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“He that would win the race must guide his horse
“Each true Christian is a right traveller : his life his walk, Christ his way, and heaven his home His walk painful, his way perfect, his home pleasing. I will not loiter, lest I come short of home : I will not wander, lest I come wide of home, but be content to travel hard, and be sure I walk right, so shall my
way find its end at home, and my painful walk make my home welcome.”— Warwick's Spare Minutes.
He who feels a lively interest in the 'spiritual interest of the young, and undertakes to address them, will leave many things unsaid which he wished to advance. I will, however, my young readers, only trespass further on your patience and attention while I offer you a few thoughts on matters which deserve your best consideration. Permit me to set them before you, for the sake of brerity, in the form of directions.
1. Attend to reading. Reading supplies materials for thinking: it employs, strengthens, enlarges, feeds the mind. Some read every book that comes before them: some read only the Bible. These are extremes. Read what is valuable. You may talk, or make a noise, without knowledge: reading will enable you to converse usefully, or it will teach you to be silent. Voluble tongues generally indicate unfurnished minds.
2. Think much. When you read the Bible, and when you read a good book, be sure to think, to meditate, to understand what you read. Unless you do this, reading is but mere mechanism: the eye and tongue are employed, but the mind is at the most but half awake. Reading and memory give knowledge: reflection gives wisdom. Read ing makes you rich in the stores of others: thought makes
you rich from your own mine. 3. Pray much. All alive at the commencement of piety, you perhaps then thought that you would never become dull and careless and remiss in devo. tion. Experience will teach you a different lesson. You may habitually pray as to form and words: but, the spirit of prayer-look well to that. While you retain the spirit of devotion, you will prosper in piety; but when that languishes, your piety will decline. Happy the Christian, old or young, who, by divine grace, maintains a devout frame of soul! 3 4. Converse with the wise and good. If in your youth you only converse with the young, or with them chiefly, the effect of it, to say the least, will be doubtful., Some young persons, indeed, have sedateness and knowledge far beyond their years: but in general the experience of the young must be small; their views cannot be expanded, diversified, and mature: and, therefore, by only associating with them, your mistakes will be confirmed rather than corrected. If you have opportunity, you will do well to consult, as occasion
may require, those who are judicious and advanced in piety. Be not offended with them for plainly pointing out to you your faults and mistakes, for reproving your exorbitances and checking your ardour, or for sweeping away with an unsparing hand your splendid dreams and imaginations. Converse with the wise, if you would become wise.
5. Beware of intimacy with the world. may now think that you have renounced the world for ever: but you will soon learn that you are to live in the world, and to perform your duties among human beings. Beware of a worldly spirit, of lukewarmness, of compromise and compliance. Always remember whose you are, what you are, where you are, and what is required of you, both as to your spirit and conduct, by your divine Master. By your friendly intercourse with the world you may think of benefiting them. Friendly
and social you ought to be: but take care that the world do not injure you." Associate with the world, (I would almost say, as much as you please,) provided that you faithfully regard your Christian character. Let me plainly tell you a most painful secret—The social heart is very apt to forget the Christian spirit. Here is the danger; here is the evil: and here thousands have I was going to say, ruined themselves. Give way to the more social feelings; and you laugh and joke with the world, and catch their spirit, and forget the disciple of Christ, and incur—the reproach of your consciences--the contempt of the world whom you strive to please and conciliate. Be kind, benevolent, respectful, courteous towards all men: but let not your familiarities and intimacies be worldly. Be social, but be not secular. Be in the world, but not of the world. Let your delight be in the excellent of the earth. Do lambs associate with wolves, or doves with vultures ?
6. Cultivate simplicity in religion. Read, think, converse; be well-informed and wise Christians: but avoid wild speculations and fascinating vagaries: be the plain and sober, solid and judicious, true and sincere, humble and devout disciples of the Scriptures. Humility, repentance, self-abasement; faith, hope, and love ; holiness and obedience; resignation and perseverance; spirituality of mind and heart-attend to these things in the plain and pure light of God's word, with honest and fervent prayer and supplication. Be Christians--persons who know Christ, rely upon Him, love Him, are united to Him, follow Him, glory in Him. Habitually depend on the Holy Spiritlive in Him, walk in Him, bring forth His fruits. Proceed in this manner: leave fine-spun webs, and subtile distinctions, and gorgeous fancies, and fugitive dreams to others. Cleave to the great truths of the gospel--by these be guided, supported, comforted, and animated. Feed on plain manna: drink
waters : walk in the old way: repose in the shade of the tree of life. Keep your eyes ever upon the Cross, your feet in the narrow way, your souls thirsting for God for the living God.
7. Be always correcting and rectifying your piety. Improvement in religion—is an expression that contains a volume. You will find yourselves guilty of various faults, if you be faithful in selfscrutiny. Sometimes you will attend to one thing -one truth, duty, or grace--to the comparative exclusion of others. Sometimes you may regard doctrine and grace, as if religion were nothing else, and thus approach to antinomianism. Sometimes you may look to duty in such a manner as to border on legalism or self-righteousness. Sometimes you may so regard the means of grace, and the Bible itself, as to forget that they are only means: and at other times you may so regard spirituality as to undervalue ordinances. You,