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As things are honest, whatsoever things
are just, whatsoever things are pure, “ whatsoever things are lovely, whatson * ever things are of good report ; if there “ be any virtue, and if there be any “ praise, think on these things ;-those “ things which ye have both learn« ed, and received, and heard, and seen,
do, and the God of Peace shall be with
There is, in the third place, another view of human life, of which even the youngest among us cannot be ignorant that man is subject to suffering of different kinds, both such as arises from his own misconduct, and such as belongs to his frail and precarious existence. I will not suppose, that you, my young friends, are acquainted with vice in any of its more disgraceful forms yet you have « done those things which you s ought not to have done, and left un“ done those things which you ought to 6 have done." There is a feeling of helplessness and despondency naturally accompanying the reproaches of conscience, and although it may make but a transient impression on the careless spirits of youth, it is a feeling which all must, in some degree, have experienced. Nothing more enfeebles the mind for any good or virtuous exertion ; and it is thus that vice produces vice, by making the attainment of virtue despaired of, and, by drawing around the soul that circle of enchantment, from which it cannot discover the means of emancipation.
It is the glory of that Religion, of which you have now professed yourselves the disciples, that it has burst these unworthy fetters of the soul. He who came to guide you to duty, came likewise to save you from sin;
from sin ; and if you feel that you have offended, and long to regain that path' which you have left, you are called by the voice of Heaven
itself, to throw away every desponding apprehension, “ to arise at once, and go “ to your Father;
Father;"-and the blood which was shed upon the Cross, is the pledge that your
Father is ever ready to receive, and that the Spirit of consolation and of strength is ever willing to conduct you !
But is it the evils of life that appal you, and are even your young spirits no strangers to affliction ? Then look to the Master whom
have vowed to serve ! In Him, behold “ a man of sorrows, and “'acquainted with grief,” and hear him say to all his sorrowing disciples --" Come “ unto me all ye that are weary and heavy “ laden, and I will give you rest.”—Is it the close of mortal existence which you contemplate with horror ? Have the
parents whom you revered, or some youthful companion, dropped from before your eyes into the grave ? And is the natural gaiety of your hearts clouded by the gloom
of “ the shadow of death?” Come, then, with thankfulness, my young friends, and fix your eyes upon the glorious discoveries which have now been unveiled to you. Behold in the Conqueror of Sin, the Conqueror
likewise of Death! See his Divine form bursting from the tomb, in all the radiance of a celestial nature, and listen to these words of exulting Faith, “ 0 « Death, where is thy sting? O Grave, “ where is thy victory ?”
Such is the Religion which you have now acknowledged to be yours ; and I trust in God, that no perversion of heart, and no imagination of vanity, will ever tempt you to desert it. Yet you may probably hear voices that will endeavour to win you to other impressions of opinion and of conduct; and in the seductions of present pleasure, to drown all your high views of duty, and all your glorious prospects of futurity.
Come, then, while your hearts are yet warm with the sentiments of your late professions and engagements; come, and assemble round the altar of Him, in whose name the waters of baptism were at first poured upon your heads ;-of Him who has now, in your riper years, “ shewn you the Father,” and called you, amidst the happiness of opening existence, to acknowledge the God of love and of every true joy ;-of Him, who walks before you in the road of duty, , and reclaims
from all the wanderings of sin, and, amidst the gathering evils of life, sheds abroad upon your hearts the consolations of his Spirit, and cheers even “ the valley of the shadow of death,” by the day-spring of immortality from on high !—Come and repeat your vow, to “ continue his faithful servants for ever and be well assured, whatever may be the colour of your future days, whether they