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SINCE SO many books have already been written for the use of young persons, it may be asked, Why is one more added to the number? Perhaps the author of this may not improperly reply by proposing another question, since so many are employed in the ministry of the gospel, why is an increase in the number of labourers continually desired? Because the harvest is great, the field is the world, and in that wide field there is room for the exertions of thousands or of millions more, than have ever yet been engaged in labouring within its ample round. Though many pious writers have sought to promote the welfare of young persons, by serious publications, particularly addressed to them, yet how many thousands, how many millions are there, who speak the English language, into whose hands these publications never passed. Multitudes of the rising generation now exist in Britain, to whom the endeared names of Doddridge, Jennings, Fawcett, and others, who have written for the young, are quite unknown. And, possibly, the Most High may deign to make this little volume, the instrument of enlightening scine youthful mind, that is altogether unacquainted with the works of much more distinguished writers.
The author of this book has no expectation of its being applauded, for elegance of language or the beauties of imagination. He has not written seeking human applause as his reward; for what is human applause? the applause of a world whose duration is a span;--of a world that will soon vanish away like smoke;-of a world whose very existence may be next to forgotten by the soul, in the distant and interminable scenes of eternity. The minister of the gospel meets with the best commendation not when the discourse he may have delivered from the pulpit or the press is much admired, much applauded, but when the sinner becomes dissatisfied with himself and his pursuits; when the prodigal says, "I will arise and go to my father;" when the penitent weeps in secret, over the crimes that have been brought to his review. Such applause the writer covets, and for such he does not hesitate to pray. He freely confesses that it is his desire to do something for promoting the kingdom of Christ beyond the narrow limits of his own congregation, and the confined space of a few short years.
In composing the subsequent pages, it has been the Author's wish to imitate the serious plainness, which prevails in the wri. tings, of some of those eminent men, who lived a century and a half or two centuries ago; rather than the more polished but much less impressive manner of the present age. Gospel truth is now often held forth in so refined a style, that the offence of the cross ceases, the force of divine truth is lost, it is little better than the mere wisdom of words, and has not much more ef fect than sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal.
How far the writer of this little book has succeeded in his aim, must now be left to the decision of God. If he deign te employ it as an instrument of advancing his cause, it will be successful; but if he have nothing for it to do, the sooner it shail sink into oblivion the better,
7 Testimonies of Scripture to the importance of
12 The happy end of a pious life a reason for ear-
tive for early Religion
22 The young Reader urged to make no delay in