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champaign, which presented to his view unnumbered charms.
Here then begins, in fact, the second stage of his journey. The district upon which he now enters is not a paradise, but yet it promises him much enjoyment. There is an elevation before him: he gains its summit: and there he indulges in various reflection. He considers what he has left behind him, and what he has already endured; and he anticipates, with perhaps more or less of fancy, the satisfaction which he shall enjoy. Feelings of delight prevail in his heart: smiles adorn his countenance; and his expressions are those of gratitude. He is glad that he listened to none of those voices that would have kept him from entering on his journey. He begins to be an experienced traveller. He is persuaded, on sound principles, that his happiness will increase, if he faithfully persevere in his good course.
The application of this image to yourselves, my young readers, is so obvious, that I need not dwell upon it. You are Christian pilgrims: and you know what you have left, renounced, abandoned; what obstructions you have met with; and what you have endured. You review the past with gratitude, and anticipate the future with hope. You rightly apprehend to a certain extent both good and evil, truth and error, the source of happiness and of misery. You feel the spirituality of your being—the spirituality of religion--and you
know that “patient continuance in well doing" is now the essential point. .
It was not my design to accompany you any farther than is pointed out by the image which I have selected. I suppose you to have finished the first stage of your spiritual life, in which, through divine grace, you have by a true repentance and by a true faith turned to God and Christ, and chosen the good part. I suppose you to have advanced so far in the second stage, as to have arrived at peace, and joy, and satisfaction, and repose of soul. The heavens are so far bright, your path is so far plain, your prospects are so far clear, that you feel calm delight and solid satisfaction. Though many things which I have advanced belong to a still farther period, yet it is here that my work properly ends. I now leave you to abler guides, who will teach you not merely to travel as pilgrims, but to work as labourers, and to fight as soldiers.
My limits will allow me to offer you a few more remarks: and I willingly confess that I have no wish to quit you abruptly. In the remainder of this chapter I shall offer you some observations on the subject of Satisfaction, though I may be guilty of repeating in some measure what has been already advanced.
True piety is most undoubtedly the only satisfactory portion. All other things, when compared with it, are shadow and vanity. Let not the common blessings of human life be undervalued: but let all things have their proper places. It is by a reference to the soul and eternity that we ought to form our estimate of objects and pursuits. Wealth, honour, science, pleasure, amusement—what benefit do these confer upon the soul ? Not the least: it is only religion that enlightens and blesses itthat enlivens it, expands it, exalts it, refines it, enriches it, ennobles it—that makes it holy and sublime here, and fits it to be a holy and sublime agent through eternal ages.
You will always find piety to be that which affords you satisfaction. The more faith and love and hope, the more you abound in Christian tempers and performances, the greater will your satisfaction be. In prosperity and adversity, in health and sickness, in youth and age, at home and abroad, in solitude and in the busy walks of life, Wisdom will be your companion and friend, to guide you with her lamp, to cheer you with her cup of consolation, and to animate you with her voice.
But here allow me distinctly to observe, as it has been uniformly inculcated in these pages, that there is no paradise here either external or internal. This world is a mingled world, and true Christians are mingled characters. Aim at perfection: advance towards it: but be not astonished or alarmed, though deeply humbled, that you find yourselves, and that you see others, far, too far, from the attainment of your glorious aim. All below is imperfection. The kingdom of grace is a paradise when compared with the world; but it is not without many a thorn and weed, without many a foul beast and loathsome bird. This we shall understand, if we look rightly around us, or faithfully explore our own hearts. Heaven is the only perfect paradise--the only world of perfect satisfaction.
But, further, I would make a marked distinction between solid satisfaction and what may be called the conscious enjoyment of delightful feelings. The latter are varying, and may
be possessed more abundantly by the young than by the advanced Christian: the former is far more uniform, and is the portion of the calm, reflecting, and mature believer. If you exercise wisdom, you will be satisfied, although your feelings may not be bright and animated. The pilgrim is satisfied when he knows that he is walking in the path that will lead him to his home, although the sun does not shine brightly upon him-although soft and fragrant gales do not breathe mildly around him. Do not account it strange, if at a future period you do not feel exactly the same life, tenderness, and animation that you feel at present. As you become more familiar with piety, the feelings will not be extinct, but they will become more mild, chastened, calm, and uniform: and then the happiness of the believer has in it less of what may be called the sensitive, and more of the spiritual. There are many humble Christians who do not enjoy large. measures of the pleasures of religion, but who have ample cause to be satisfied: for they who walk before God with tender hearts and upright lives, the former bent and moulded to God's way of salvation, and the latter the fruit of having received that salvation, must enjoy the persuasion, that true piety is the good part, and that the final issue will be blessed.
Your satisfaction in piety will in general be in proportion to the simplicity, purity, and consistency which you maintain in piety-in faith, love, hope, humility, resignation, and obedience. I need not here speak of exceptions : but commonly he that soweth much reapeth much: he that is diligent in religion is happy in religion. The clouds will gather at times, but they will soon be scattered. Seek plain scriptural views, with the genuine spirit of the gospel, and walk in the good old way: and then, though earth will not be heaven, you will always have reason to say that you have a goodly heritage.
Your life may be chequered, and your feelings will vary; but if you can look to God in Christ Jesus as your reconciled Father, you will have rest, peace, and joy.
The elements may war around you;
your anchor is fixed upon a rock. You will never lament the sacrifices that you make, or the difficulties that you undergo. You will never