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to his sheep only that he gives eternal life; but "you will not come to him that you may have life." Calling him Lord, Lord, will avail you not, for he has solemnly declared, "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven."
Bright indeed are the hopes of those, who are truly the young disciples of the Lord; but none of these hopes are yours. For you no glorious mansions are prepared; no Saviour smiles; no heaven blooms; no immortal day shines for you. No crown of life awaits you; and none are ready to welcome your entrance on eternity, but those infernal beings, who, with hellish joy, may exclaim, "Art thou become like unto us?"
You want also those blessings that should comfort you in death. All the false supports, and deluding pleasures of the world, will then be vanity of vanities; and what have you besides?—You want a title to the bliss of heaven.-Heaven is no home of yours, it is not a rest to which you have any claim. Unhappy young man, or young woman! this is too surely your sad condition. O wretched creature! how poor are you in the midst of all you may possess ! how truly miserable, in the midst of all your gaieties and pleasures!
Poor trifler, you have not one cheering proImise in the book of God. If you turn to God, you will have many, but now you have
Not one promise that you shall be kept out of hell, even for one month; but many awful threats, that if you die as you are, you shall be turned into that flaming prison. Poor indeed are you, all you have will leave you soon. Your hasty pleasures will soon depart, and you must lie down in the dust of death; while a dreadful and neglected eternity will appear before your trembling soul.
Another evil attending the want of religion is, that it is a want which spoils all other blessings. If you live without religion, life will be no blessing to you. For you in vain the Saviour died. His gospel is to you the "savour of death unto death." The sun
shines on you in vain, for it shines to light you to destruction. The years roll on in vain, for every added year increases your load of guilt. Health blesses you in vain, for your soul is sickening to eternal death. Harsh as it may sound, it would really have been better for you to have been cut off in your sins, years ago, and then to have been sent to hell, than to live here adding to the number of your sins, and then to sink to endless wretchedness. Yes, unhappy youth, if
you continue careless of religion, every added year will prove a curse instead of a blessing. The longer you live in this world, the deeper will be your misery in the next. The more mercies you enjoy, the more guilt you contract. The more blessings you receive from God, the base are your ingratitude and sin in refusing to give him your youth. A dying profligate once said, "I have been too strong for omnipotence. I have plucked down ruin." Thus, by carelessness and neglect, you change God's blessings into curses. O, what would you think of a sick man, who, by some fatal power, should change all the remedies, by which a kind physician would restore his health, into a subtle poison; which should spread through his body, occasion him years of misery, and in the end, torture him to death? Distracted wretch! you might exclaim, all are kind to him but himself; how happy might he be, if he felt half the pity for himself that others feel for him! Do you slight your God? You act this part; nay, a far worse than this; you change his blessings into curses. You heap up wrath against the day of wrath. By the very mer cies of God, you are preparing matter for your own torment; not merely through a few fleeting years, but through a dreadful eternity. Infatuated youth! did you feel half
that pity for your own soul, that others feel for you, how happy would you become! How many are kind to you! how cruel are you to yourself!
While you continue careless of religion, you lead a life of base ingratitude to the God that gave you being. Ingratitude is indescribably base, when manifested to a friend or parent, in this world; but baser still is unkindness and ingratitude to God. Do you remember a fable, which, perhaps, you may have read in your childhood? A compassionate countryman found a serpent, chilled with frost; he pitied it; he put it in his bosom; he cherished it with tenderness there. The vital warmth restored it to life and activity; but what was its first action? It would fain have destroyed its benefactor. Apply this fable to the present subject. Has not God done more for you than words can express? Are not you indebted to him for life, breath, being, and all things? Through his fostering care, you have reached the vigour and bloom of youth; and what are your first actions? what is the commencement of your course? Neglect of God and religion; and thus, base ingratitude and sin. O, is not this imitating the serpent? It is true, your abused Benefactor is beyond the reach of real injury; but your ingratitude is the same as
if he could receive the greatest injury from you. You deny hin your youth, your favoured youth. The time in which you are most favoured by God, the blooming season, which he values most, that very time, that very bloom, you give to Satan, the world, and sin. O! while you act this part, little as you may suspect it, the venom of the old serpent is rankling in your heart.
Perhaps you delude yourself by imagining that you shall present him the latter part of life; but does not his goodness claim all your days? Besides, what can the aged convert offer?
His riches? but he can use them no more his pleasures, but he can enjoy them no longer. He leaves his sins, when they will no longer bear him company.'
In neglecting early piety, you are ungrate
ful to the Son of God. He humbled himself to earth, he hungered and thirsted, groaned and wept, endured the thorns, the scourge, the cross, and even bled and died, in pity to your soul; and he demands no return, but what is for your good as well as his glory. He demands your heart; and you refuse to give it. Were not they basely cruel and ungrateful to him, who cried, "Not this man, but Barabbas ;" who thus preferred a murderer to the Lord of life ? but you act as guilty a part, while you prefer the world, that