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I do not say, Banish Imagination : but I say, Regulate Imagination. Beware of it, especially in your youthful years. Keep it in subjection to Truth' and Reason. Never allow it to be the Dictator. Have as many pictures as you please in the chambers of imagery; but let them not be fantastic combinations; let them not be too highly coloured. Let them be scenes from the Scriptures; from real life; what may urge you to seek attainable excellence, and not lead you to muse and dote on non-entities—to cherish sickly sensibilities—to be disgusted with the humble and tame realities of human existence to be the gloomy or irritable victims of disappointment. In more mature life you will not be exposed to the exorbitant agency of this faculty, unless you wilfully surrender yourselves to its power : but through the whole of life you will find it highly expedient to attend to the due regulation of it.
" Lord of all power and might, who art the Author and Giver of all good things ; Graft in pur hearts the love of Thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same ; through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen.
Holy and Blessed God, I would rejoice with trembling when I consider my present circumstances. I would rejoice when I think of Thy great goodness towards me, in leading me to the serious examination of spiritual things, and in causing me to choose them for my portion. But I have reason to tremble, when I reflect, that, through my ignorance and weakness, I am exposed to many and great dangers. Be Thou, O Lord, my Helper and Preserver. Make me serious, thoughtful, and deliberate : and let me not be hurried along by my own fancies and feelings to any perverseness of sentiment, expectation, or conduct. Give me, I beseech Thee, a right understanding, a sound judgment, in all things. Let me always remember, that I am an imperfect creature among imperfect creatures : and instead of cherishing any vain fancies, let me heartily engage in all the duties of the Christian life, and stand prepared to act and to suffer, as Thou mayest be pleased to appoint. Let me bear with others, as I wish them to bear with me. Instead of fondly dreaming of a paradise here, and of joys and associates almost celestial, let it be my study and labour, by the mortification of sin, by the cultivation of true holiness, and by the faithful discharge of the duties which I owe to Thee and to my fellow creatures, to prepare for the paradise above, and for the society of the glorified spirits that surround Thy throne. Thus, O Lord, of Thy great goodness, grant me the light of Thy truth and the power of Thy grace, that with a well-instructed mind, a subdued heart, and a life formed and governed by Thy holy word, I may enjoy the blessedness and produce the fruits of real and substantial piety, and finally receive the end of my faith, even the salvation of my soul, through the merits and intercession of Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ Plain-path'd Experience, the unlearned's guide,
· Yes—let them pass without a sigh,
“A difficult pilgrimage is before you : but infinite mercy has not left you to wander alone. Your Conductor fully knows the way to that blessedness whither ye are endeavouring to follow Him. Ignorant as ye are, He can give you knowledge-feeble, He can support you—faint, He can refresh you."
Buddicom's Christian Exodus.
By the term “reality” I here mean-our real or true attainments in piety, independently of all the influence of systematical notions, animated affections, and splendid or dark imaginations, by which we may form a sort of false experience, or corrupt that which is genuine. On this important subject I can advance in a work of this nature only a few
remarks, It is very difficult to discuss religious topics in a right manner, without excess, defect, or extortion: and it is equally difficult for true Christians to think of themselves rightly. The exact delineation of character, as to the minister, and the exact apprehension of character, as to the hearer, are by no means' easy things. It is easy for the minister to adopt one idea as a standard, and to preach in agreement with it. His hearers will not question the truth of his statements, for these are deduced from scriptural principles, and illustrated by texts. But when they look into themselves, and into the world around them, and do not find a conformity to exist between what they hear and what they see and feel, they are greatly perplexed, and form improper notions and conclusions.
The minister, it may be supposed, will clearly describe the different Spiritual States of the nominal and of the real Christian. The former will be represented as being in sin, under God's displeasure, in slavery, darkness, and death; the latter, as being freed from sin, in God's favour, enjoying liberty, light, and life. So far as mere State or spiritual Condition is concerned, this is right; for evidently the state of the impenitent and unbelieving is widely different from that of the penitent and believing; that of the former being unspeak