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obey thee as a friend, to whom my welfare is dearer than it is to myself."
If piety, my young friend, be yours, you will, in youth, forsake the world and dare to stand up for God and religion. While thousands of the young are building all their hopes upon this fleeting scene, yours will be fixed on things unseen and eternal. While they are trifling with the Saviour's love, you will gladly listen to his voice; and learn of him. Yes, in youth, you will accept the proffered Saviour: To him you will flee, and to him will say, "Dear Lord, my youth is thine. I gladly yield to thee the best of my hasty life; gladly for thy sake renounce a deceiving world. For, O! what didst thou not yield up for me! It is but a few false vanities that I relinquish, when resigning the world for thee; and while I part with a little dross, in thee I find inestimable treasures. Blessed Jesus, thou didst part with real happiness on my account. Brighter glories, than thy angels wear, thou didst resign for me. Thou didst forego on my account nobler joys, than those to which I aspire in thy presence. Take then my youth. Too much of it has already been lost; but, Lord, accept what remains; and let not nother of my days be spent in the service
of a world, that murdered thee; or of thy great enen y and mine. 'Love so amazing, so divine,' as is thy love, 'demands my youth, my soul, my life, my all.' "
Thus, my young friend, if true piety is yours, must you renounce all that religion opposes; thus change your object, your master, and your way; and thus devote yourself altogether to Him, who died on your account. Without this, to hope for heaven, is as unreasonable, as it would be, if you threw yourself from the top of a precipice, to hope that you should not fall. It is hoping against hope. The word of God is plain, that without con version there is no salvation.
Cautions against some delusive supports on which many rest their hopes to their eternal
Ir is clearly evident, from the word of God, that many fatally deceive themselves with respect to their spiritual state. They say to themselves "Peace, peace," while God declares there is no peace to persons in their condition. Such is the deceitfulness of the human heart, that you cannot too solicitously guard against its delusions, and those of the world.
I am now to warn you of some of these delusions.
One of the most common is, the belief that all those are christians, who bear the christian name, whose lives are virtuous, and whose deportment and temper are lovely. But, alas! all this is found in thousands, who know nothing of real religion. Perhaps this can scarcely be made more evident, than by referring you to the history of one, who possessed these qualifications, in no common degree, but who still wanted the one thing needful.
In Matt. xix. Mark x. or Luke xi. an instance of this kind is recorded. "When the Lord had gone forth into the way, there came one, (a young ruler,) running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life ?" He was so moral a person that he could say with respect to many of the commandments of God, (at least as far as his outward conduct was concerned,) "All these have I observed from my youth." "And Jesus beholding him, loved him; and said, one thing thou lackest; Go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross and follow me. And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved. He was very sorrowful, for he was very rich." There cannot be a reasonable doubt that this young man was in a state of sin and death, notwithstanding all that seemed so promising and fair; and, perhaps, this little history is recorded to show how far a person may go in morality and a concern for religion, and yet fall short of heaven. There are but few, in the bloom of life, so amiable, and, according to worldly views, so good as this young man; and yet he wanted one thing more, and that one the most important of all things; with much that was lovely and
commendable, he still was a stranger to real piety. His life had been moral; he had been a dutiful son; was most probably affectionate and kind; and doubtless had secured the esteem of his friends, when even the Lord saw so much that was pleasing in him, that beholding him, he loved him. But when the blessed Saviour put him to the test, whether he would part with all for Christ and heaven, then his heart failed him, and he showed that with much that was so lovely about him, he still was in reality a lover of this world; and if any man, young or aged, wicked or virtuous, "if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Yet even the manner of his departure proved the interest he took in the question he had proposed; he went away grieved; and was very sorrowful. In short, he was such a one, that we may readily wish all young persons were like him; and yet he was such a one, that we must wish them to be much more than he
Guard against their dreadful delusion, who put a knowledge of some sacred truths, in the place of religion itself. Many such selfdeceivers abound in the world. They can discourse on the hallowed themes of the gospel, but are strangers to its influence and power. To hear them talk, you might think