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to "hear the instruction of his father, and to forsake not the law of his mother: for they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck."+ It is indeed a very important subject: for time seldom eradicates a growing habit or evil. Let then, those who have entered into years, examine their present feelings and pursuits, whether they are the same as ten, or twenty, or thirty, and even fifty years ago. Whether the same negligence to religious duties as characterized their early days exists, at their now advanced state of years. And may those who are just entering into life look well to their steps, lest by a little indulgence to worldly gratifications, they dash into excess, and before they are aware of their position sink inevitably under it. And what is the profit here which men derive from an overabsorbing carefulness of worldly possessions, is it equal to their exertions? and is there awaiting them any compensation hereafter? He may indeed "gain the whole world, and lose his own soul, but what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" What will the world be to him, when naked and trembling he stands before the awful tribunal of a just and righteous God? What will then be to him all the pomps and vanities which he has so profusely enjoyed in this life—and his riches, where are they? They could not follow him to the grave!"What profit hath a man of all his labour which he taketh under the sun? Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, * 22nd chap. Prov. 6th verse. † 1st chap. Prov. 8th & 9th verses.

vanity of vanities, all is vanity." What will then be to him all those companions of evil communications which corrupted his good manners in this life, who were in the eyes of the world, good friends, excellent company, as long as they indulged themselves in earthly and carnal gratifications, what will such be to him at that day, when the Lord maketh up his jewels?

The truly devout Christian should indulge himself in these reflections relative to the future; they would tend in some measure to weaken the value which he may set now on the present, and all objects in sight, and bring to his mind those holier delights, which though unseen, are yet eternal, and which will be for the just to inherit in celestial mansions of heavenly glory! Consider for one moment, the value of the SOUL: that SOUL which can never die, that soul which by our well-doing, we may fit for the never-failing presence of God: and on the other hand by neglecting it, and living in "the wages of sin," will be to it eternal death.

There are some persons not given to flagrant vices, but yet indulge themselvesin some other species of animalgratification, yet flatter themselves with the notion that nothing serious will follow it. Others again, seek pomp and splendour, magnificent houses, grand equipages, numerous retinues, and in their own light glide down the stream of life happy and contented, apprehending no danger. These remarks also extend to the commercial and the professional world. Absorbed in procuring wealth, and

forgetting that it is our heart which is bent on such pursuit, we are labouring day by day for the meat that perisheth; meanwhile, religion and the care of our souls are forgotten,-worldly advancement, and worldly gain form our most predominant desires, and we forget the enquiry in our text, "What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" And there is one serious reflection from these momentous truths, that a day is coming when we shall have to leave them all-to leave all that has delighted our eye and charmed our ear,—they cannot enter heaven! Too many excuse themselves by saying, that business and pleasure occupy them so much that they have no time for religion, or the like. And few embrace it, few live like Christians either in thought, word, or deed, for they cannot give themselves up to God, they cannot resign themselves to his service; their spirit is good, but their will is corrupted by their desires. The pleasure of to-day may end in the greatest misery tomorrow. The thirst for MAMMON in this life may quench the living waters of divine love in a future world. Therefore, my Christian friends, beware! Sacrifice not your heavenly treasure, for the gratification of possessing worldly wealth. Let not your happiness consist "in a plant which can come up in a night, and perish in a night," but rather "seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, & all these things shall be added nnto you.' Alas! how many are priding themselves in their pos

* 6th chap. Matthew, 33rd verse.

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sessions, and who are looked upon by the world, not as to what they ARE, but as to what they HAVE, This is one of the characteristics of our present times, and as despicable as common! And what is the consequence ? Men are induced to love the world more than God: to gather up a few more of this life's vanities to put into their storehouse a few more of its follies before they can with worldly satisfaction seek the Lord-his word, and follow after his example,-before they can lay hold on religion as a bulwark to their faith, before they can bid adieu to the enjoyment of either sensual pleasures, or some species of animal gratification, imagining that no cheerfulness, no ease and alacrity, can be found in religion; that it is a docile, difficult, restraining, and incomprehensible doctrine; while the world is noisy, easy, and pleasant. If adversity enters their door, friends speedily depart: but as long as they are counted RICH in this world's goods, they are upheld and noticed by their fellow men.

Christian friend, let us attentively consider these things: they may appear "little," but hear the warning of the wise man, "He that forsaketh little things shall perish with little and littler." The pleasures of sense may amuse us for a little while: the temptations of Satan may assail us, and we may not have strength to overcome them; we may taste of all the world offers out to us, and we may be allured for a time, but assuredly the end will be vanity and vexation of spirit in this world, as well as

pain in the next. For what said Solomon? "I made me great works; I builded me houses; I planted me vineyards; I made me gardens and orchards, and I planted trees in them of all kind of fruits: Imade me pools of water to water therewith the wood that bringeth forth trees: I got me servants and maidens, and had servants born in my house; also, I had great possessions of great and small cattle above all that were in Jerusalem before me: I gathered me also silver and gold, and the peculiar treasure of kings and of the provinces. I gat me men-singers and women-singers, and the delights of the sons of men, as musical instruments, and that of all sorts. So I was great, and increased more than all that went before me in Jerusalem: also, my wisdom remained with me, and whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun." But there will be a profit arising from religious and good worksthere will be a reward for the righteous: verily, there is a God that will judge the earth.

Doubtless, there are many who can confirm these truths. Set about then, seeking the salvation of thy soul! let it not perish for want of spiritual knowledge; but make * 2nd chap. Ecclesiastes, 4th to 11th verses.

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