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from a fountain: all these are the effects of being not our own; but of having Christ live in us; and being given up to the Lord. If we were wandering in an unknown country, and having lost our way, had intrusted ourselves to a guide, should we not renounce our own judgment and our own will, and be so at our leader's disposal, that we might almost be said to move with his feet, and to see with his eyes? Such is the case in religion. We have lost our way to a better world, and, if christians indeed, shall commit ourselves to Jesus's care, to be saved by him, and in his way, by grace alone; yet to go where he bids; to do what he enjoins ; to live as he directs; to love what he loves; to hate what he hates; to shun what he commands us to avoid; to sit at his feet and learn of him; and to "follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth."
Closely connected with the knowledge of the Son is the knowledge of the Father; indeed so closely, that they cannot be separated. "This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." Jesus was 66 God manifest in the flesh." In him the Father's excellences shone in such a lively manner, that "he who hath seen him, hath seen the Father.' Yet it is proper to remind you, that Jesus is
your way to God. The design of Christ is to bring you to the Father, and reconcile you to him. He is the mediator, or intercessor, by whom you may find acceptance, with your most compassionate, but much injured God. If you obey the gospel, God will become your father. To him you will yield up what you have and are, as a reasonable sacrifice. In him you will seek your happiness; and in his presence your eternal rest. To know him, to love him, and to enjoy his favour, will be the highest ambition of your soul.
"Give what thou wilt, without thee we are poor; And with thee rich, take what thou wilt away."
Your wish will be that his will may be done in you; that his will may be done by you; and that his will may be done with
A very important part of religion, is a knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Men, when first awakened to regard divine things, often imagine that their own endeavours are to produce in them those graces which real religion displays. The word of God, on the other hand, describes them as the fruits of a far superior power; and represents them as formed by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is promised to them that ask for his aid. The christian is "born of the Spirit."
Spirit is sent to "convince the world of sin." By the power of the Holy Spirit "the love of God is shed abroad in the heart. By him hope abounds in the believer. His mind is enlightened; he is sanctified; and strengthened," by the Spirit of God. By the Spirit, he is taught to cry, "Abba Father; and love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," are the fruits of the Spirit.
All the graces of the christian character, all the parts of holiness, are thus produced by the Spirit of God; and while you are assured that, "without holiness no man shall see the Lord," you are taught to look to God for his Spirit to "form your heart anew." While it is to be your aim to glorify God, in all things, your dependence for ability to do so, is to be on the promised Spirit. Yet think not, that, on this account, sloth and negligence, in religious matters, will be excused. The abuse, which Satan and the world would have you make of this evangelical doctrine is, that if the work is thus God's, you need not trouble yourself respecting it. A surer guide, the Lord himself, makes a widely different inference. That "he works in you, both to will, and to do," is made, by him, the reason why you "should work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."
Thus you see what religion is; it consists not in a round of outward forms, though if it be enjoyed, outward privileges will be prized and improved. It consists not, in the strictest mere morality, though if it influence the heart, holiness must surely follow; but in such a knowledge of God in Christ as makes believers his, and not their own.
If religion be chosen by you, you will determine, in God's strength, to abide by your choice, to your latest day. While the almost christian halts between the world and Jesus, those who really flee to him resolve to be his decidedly. "The world will laugh at me," may the young christian say :-"Well, let it laugh; if I may but enjoy the smile of God, I can bear the senseless laugh of men The world will frown on me :-"Well, let it frown. It frowned on my Master before me, and the disciple is not greater than his Lord." If you flee to Jesus, you will flee to him to be his, not only decidedly, but for ever. You will view religion as a blessing chosen once, but chosen for life. Though not called to martyrdom, yet that high de gree of value for Christ, which animated martyrs, must dwell in your heart, or your religion will be an empty name; for the Lord has declared, "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of
me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple."
Having now described to you what religion is, it may seem almost superfluous to add, that early piety consists in your thus becoming a disciple of Christ's in your youthful days. If this be your wisdom and happiness, you will give your youth to God. You will listen to him, saying, "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, my Father, thou art the guide of my youth?" and the language of your heart will be, "Blessed God, by thy help, I will. I consecrate the morning of my life to thee, I owe thee more than I can repay even in eternity. Take, then, O take the little, yet the best, that I can offer; the prime, the flower of my days. Most young persons around me are ruled by the maxims of a corrupt world. Sinful nature governs them; evil companions lead them astray; and Satan urges them to perdition; but, Lord, I will listen to thy voice. Be thou my guide through all the slippery paths of youth. I cry to thee as my Father; I seek thee now as such, and let me love and