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characters, exhibit complete rules of direction in every cafe. In all difficulties in which perfons may be involved, here is inftruction for deliverance, or how to bear them with patience, and improve them for their greateft good. In our text they give directions of the highest importance, to wit, how the rifing generation may become holy and ufeful in the world, and be happy forever." Wherewith fhall a young man cleanfe his way? "By taking heed thereto according to thy word." My young friends, I hope, will grant their attention to a subject of fuch infinite magnitude. It is long fince it was faid by the wisest of men, that youth is folly and vanity. I will not enter into the common effay, that youth is worfe in this age than formerly. Every one, even the most ignorant, is continually giving lectures on this topic. This is not by any means a general truth, there may be particular places where one generation may be worse than a preceding, fo there may be places where a generation arifes better than the one which went before it. But however this matter may be, there is in the words before us an important question asked, and a satisfactory answer given for the direction of the rifing generation.

There are various things of high importance contained in the queftion, "How fhall a young man cleanse his way?" By way, when used in this figurative fenfe, expreffive of the moral temper and character, is generally meant the bias and inclination of the heart, and the courfe and prevailing tenor of the life. If the habitual turn of the heart be to that which is good and the external conversation such as becometh the gofpel, then bis way is right with God, or it is in its meafure clean. But if the heart be commonly difpofed to evil, and the converfation ungodly, this proves his way to be unclean, or corrupt and vicious.

To cleanfe, in a moral or religious fenfe, fignifies to reform and amend that which is amifs both in heart and conduct. To

afk, therefore, how a perfon fhall cleanse his way, fully implies that his way is corrupt, morally defiled and wicked, and ftands in abfolute need of purification and fanctification.

This question imports,

First, that all are guilty and polluted even the very youngest. It is a melancholy truth, "That the imagination of man's heart from his youth is only evil continually; that he cannot * be clean who is born of a woman; that all flesh have cor"rupted their way; that that which is born of the flesh is flesh; "that by one man fin entered into the world, and death by fin, "and fo death hath passed upon all, for that all hath finned." Thus the infant juft born, though it never has actually tranfgrefied the law of God, or in apoftolic language, finned after the fimilitude of Adam's tranfgreffion, yet there is a deftitution of the divine image and a want of conformity to the divine law, from whencé proceeds all fin and corruption which ftain and defile the future life. Wherefore this original depravity muft be removed, these ftains must be washed away, the way muft be cleanfed, and for thefe purposes the holy fcriptures afford infallible inftruction.

Secondly, this question imports that young perfons are guilty of many actual iniquities, whereby they are awfully polluted in heart and life. Thefe by Solomon are termed "folly and vanity," and by St. Paul, "youthful lufts." Perfons when young are full of life and fpirits; feel not the pains, cares and anxieties of advanced age. Thefe impel them to the gratifi cation of prefent defires, and they rush on with a volatile impetuofity, thoughtlefs and regardless of all the confequences following after. Their minds are blind to immortal concerns, and wholly occupied with the projects of prefent pleasure. This corruption of their way manifefts itself in fome fuch particulars as thefe. An averfion to read God's holy word

and pious books; a neglect of fecret prayer; an avoidance of joining in family worship; and an averfion from religious exercifes in general. Feeling the fabbath aburden, and an attendance. upon the house of God is a wearifome task. They are often prone to neglect, if not despise the pious counfels and admoni. tions of parents; they attend to the indulgence of their own inclinations and purfue the evil imaginations of their hearts. Thus I might fhow in a great variety of things, the corrupt ways of youth, fuch as bad language, profane curfing and fwearing; lafcivious conversation; gambling; affociating with wicked company; and an innumerable train of such evils, which demonftrate the way of youth wants cleanfing.

Let us now attend to the answer, wherein youth are taught how this important matter may be accomplished; how the young may become virtuous, ufeful and bleffed. "By taking "heed to their way according to the word of God." That the way of youth is exceedingly corrupt is abundantly evident from the previous obfervations; therefore the enquiry how the fame may be cleansed and purified, is of the highest moWould to God all who are young, were folicitous and anxiously concerned how they fhould get their hearts renewed, their lives reformed and their fouls faved!-Those who would attend to this fubject mult,

ment.

First, receive the fcriptures as a fyftem of revelation from heaven for the certain direction of every foul to eternal life. "The law of the Lord is perfect converting the foul." There can be no cafe or circumftance of a religious nature for which rules are not there given. Let the young, therefore, firmly believe the fcriptures. Beware of every doubt and every mif giving thought upon this head. Examine the evidences of their divinity without fcruple, and cleave to them as your life. They furnish you with infallible instruction, how you fhall ferve your generation, procure the falvation of your fouls, and attain to the enjoyment of eternal felicity

Secondly, here they are taught how they may get their

"Those who feek

natures changed, cleanfed and fanctified. "me early, faith the Lord, shall find me." That is, those who feek God in the method appointed in the fcriptures, will furely obtain their defires. Thofe who feek God, by repentance of un, forfaking their iniquities, repairing to the blood of Jesus by faith, committing their fouls into his hands, looking to his righteoufnefs alone for juftification, and to his grace for fanctification, giving up their hearts in love to God, and refolving to walk in all the commandments of the Lord. This is the fum of that feeking God contained in the bible. The young have really as much need of effectual grace, of converfion, faith, repentance, &c. as any other finners. Hence the young man in the gofpel who was poffetfed of fo many natural and amiable accomplishments, that Jefus loved him, yet his way wanted cleanfing; there was one thing lacking; his foul was not adorned with the beauties of holiness. Hearken to the

voice of Solomon to his pupil. "My fon, if thou wilt hear "my words, and hide my commandments with thee, fo that "thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thy heart to "understanding: yea, if thou crieft after knowledge, and lifteft "up thy voice for understanding, if thou feekeft her as filver and "searchest for her as for hid treasures; then fhalt thou under"stand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." The fcriptures teach you to pray to God, to worship him, to fubmit to his will, to honor your parents, to love your brothers and fifters, to love all mankind, and to do good unto all as you have opportunity, and fill all your ftations and relations in life with faithfulness and propriety. Thefe are a few of the counfels of the divine oracles to the children of men. They are as fufficient now as they were in the times of Timothy, "to make them wife unto falvation." Would youth be comfortable in life, useful and honorable in the world, have peace and hope in death, and finally be brought to those regions where rivers of bleffednefs eternally flow, "Let them take heed "unto their way according to the word of God."

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A brief addrefs to those who are young will conclude this difcourfe I have often addreffed your fathers in the days of their youth, and this will probably be among my last directed to you in this particular form.

My dear children and amiable youth, all that shall be faid at prefent will flow from the moft fincere intention to promote Your bliss and miyour felicity in this world and in the next. fery, life and death, are placed before you, and this day you Confider are folemnly called upon to make your election. what is your ftate and practice. Confider you are in the hands of a God of infinite power to punish or to reward. Con. fider whether you have moft need of God, or God of you. What will be your final destiny if you continue in fin, impenitent and unbelieving, neglecters of God, defpifers of Jefus Christ and of your own immortal fouls? You certainly know you muft die, and pafs to judgment, and thefe awful events may take place refpecting you, while you are in all the bloom of life, and in an hour when you think not. You have attended the funerals of multitudes of perfons younger than yourselves. Wherefore be exhorted in this your day to attend to the things of your peace. God is ftretching out his compaffionate arms unto you, the precious blood of the Saviour, which was fhed for your falvation, is calling upon you; the Holy Ghost is friving with you; minifters, are calling upon you, praying for you and weeping over you. Your pious parents, in all the tender language of perfuafion, and with bowels yearning for your fouls, are preffing the things of religion upon you. Yea, all the holy angels, and the whole church in heaven and earth, folicitously urging you to come and drink of the waters of life freely. Now what do you fay to all thefe mighty invi tations? Will you hear or will you forbear? If you refufe to cleanfe your way according to the word of God, remember the terrible denunciations of divine wrath against all fuch. "Because I have called and ye have refufed, I have firetched "out my hand and no man regarded; but ye fet at nought

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