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a thousandth part so guilty as you must be if you slight all the unspeakable goodness of God, and all the infinite love of the dying Saviour? How horrible a state it is, through wilful sin, to become the enemy of God in this world, and then to be such for ever! to begin by neglecting a kind Heavenly Father here, and to end by hating him, as the sinner will, beyond the grave: To hate him, who is all that is excellent and amiable; and in whose favour alone can any happiness be found hereafter. How horrible, most horrible a state is this! yet this condition is yours, if you are not reconciled to God. Can you expect that he should glorify in his presence, and admit to his right hand, those whose hearts are averse to his ways, or entirely negligent of them; who are loaded with mercies, but still forgetful of the Giver? What though they shine in the view of their fellow rebels, what though they be adorned with a thousand charms of body or mind, yet God beholds the serpent that lurks beneath the rose; He sees the ungrateful heart full of hatred against himself.
And now, my young friend, with all the seriousness I can use, allow me to ask you, if you were this moment to be summoned before the throne of your Judge, and were accused of having lived negligent of God,
and thus of having lived a life of dreadful sin, would you not be obliged to plead guilty to the charge? or at least to stand speechiess and confused before your Maker? Does not your conscience tell you that you must? and if it does, "God is greater than your hearts, and knoweth all things."
Some of the sins of youth enumerated.
I ENTREAT you to follow me, while I point out to you some of those sins which ruin multitudes. Among these evils, a thoughtless, inconsiderate spirit, is, in young persons, one of the most common, and one of the most fatal. While open impiety slays its thousands this sinks its ten thousands to perdition. A time is coming when you must consider your ways. From the bed of death, or from the eternal world, you must take a review of life; but, as you love your soul, defer not till that solemn period, which shall fix your eternal state, the momentous question; "How has my life been spent?" Look back on your past years. They are gone for ever. But what report have they borne to heaven? Will they rise up in the judgment against you? Possibly you may not see many instances of flagrant crime; but do you see nothing which would fill you with alarm, if going to the bar of your Maker? Perhaps you reply, "It is true, I cannot justify all the actions of my youthful
years; yet the worst that I see, were but the frolics of youth." My dear friend, let me deal plainly with you. Do they bear that name in heaven? Does your Judge view them in no worse a light? know, that what you pass over so lightly, your God abhors as sius-sins, the least of which, if unforgiven, would sink your soul to utter, endless woe. For "the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against ALL ungodliness and unrighteousness." The iniquities of youth, as well as of riper years, are abhorred by him. The sins of youth were the bitter things which holy Job lamented; and for deliverance from which David devoutly prayed. "Thou writest bitter things against me; and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth." "Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord."
Take then another review of life. Begin with childhood. In that early period, so often falsely represented as a scene of innocence, the corruptions of a fallen nature begin to appear; and the early years of life are stained with falsehood, disobedience, cruelty, vanity, and pride. Can you recol lect no instances, in which your earlier years were thus polluted with actual sin? Can you
bring to remembrance no occasion, on which. falsehood came from your lips; or vanity, pride, or obstinacy, was cherished in your heart; or when cruelty to the meaner creatures was your sport? Shrink not from the review; though painful, it is useful. It is far better to see and abhor your youthful sins, in this world, where mercy may be found, than to have them brought to your remembrance, when mercy is no more.
But you have passed the years of childhood; you have advanced one stage forwarder in your journey to an endless world. Has sin weakened as your years increased? Have not some sinful dispositions ripened into greater vigour? Have not others, which you knew not in your earlier years, begun to appear? and does not increasing knowledge add new guilt to all your sins?
Among the prevailing iniquities of youth, allow me to enumerate:
Pride. This is a sin common to all ages; but it often peculiarly infects the young. is abhorred by God. "He resisteth the proud; but giveth grace to the humble. EVERY ONE that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord. The proud are cursed." Pride is the source of numberless mischiefs; and the parent of many other vices. Has not this sin, which God so much abhors,