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heart, and affects every grade of society, and every period of life; it applies in an especial manner, to you who are young. You have still a choice to make. The path of godliness and of iniquity are both before you; and it is yours to select that in which you will walk. The company of sinners and of the righteous both invite you; it is yours to say to which you will unite yourselves. God and mammon, Christ and Belial, solicit your allegiance; it is yours to declare, to whom you will submit, to whom you will pledge and devote yourselves. Be not deceived; you cannot serve both; a choice must be made. The moment you enter the world; the moment you begin to act for yourselves; aye, and before that time, even now, you must declare yourselves. Even now, as soon as you can distinguish between good and evil, you become fearfully responsible.
Early as it is in the day, the clouds begin to rise which portend the storm; the enemies begin to gather which threaten your peace; the heart begins to ac
knowledge the power of the earthly inclinations, as the vessel upon the ocean feels the current and the gale. Oh! let faith be stationed at the helm, faith in the promises of God, in the eternal recompense of the reward: let that be your pilot through the waste of waters spread fearfully before you, and trust to it for guidance unto the haven where you would be.
To you, especially, the example of the Jewish lawgiver is important and instructive. To you the world displays its treasures, and sets forth its glories. To your eyes its enchantments are expanded, and perhaps you think it requires but the withdrawing of the restraint in which you are held, to enable you to grasp them all. But you reflect not that the voice which, in accents so pleasing to the ear, suggests that all these things. shall be yours, is the very same voice which assailed the Saviour also, in the day of his humiliation; and that it is coupled, with the same condition, then offered by the spirit of evil, "If thou
wilt fall down and worship me." Yet so it is. An eager pursuit after worldly riches is but an unceasing worshipping of mammon. A burning thirst after temporal honours, is but a passing through the fire unto Moloch. An unrestrained indulgence in sensual pleasure is but a continual sacrificing unto Belial. Think then, whilst yet there is time, that there are greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; greater enjoyments than those of carnal appetite; brighter glories than those of earthly fame. The Gospel promise is, "Do this, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven 1." "There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the Gospel's, but he shall receive an hundred-fold more now in this time, and in the world to come eternal life 2.
And oh! remember, my brethren, that the pleasures which tempt you from the path of righteousness-the pleasures of
1 Matt. xix. 21.
2 Mark x. 29, 30.
sin, are but for a season. They are but shadows which pass away, and have no endurance;-unsubstantial vapours which will not abide. In vain we try to preserve them. In vain we endeavour to chain them to our subjection. There are no bonds which can prevent their departure from us; no chains which can keep them from fleeing away. The time will come, when we shall nauseate the cup of which we are now so eager to drink; when the crowns in which we now glory shall fade and wither; and the prizes for which we now strive shall be worthless in our eyes, as the toys of childhood. And think not that this just appreciation of earthly objects will be delayed until the hour of death draws nigh: think not that it can be put off till the grave opens upon us: think not that it is possible, if we were willing, to live the whole of our lives to pleasure. It will come long ere the time of nature's just decay. Pleasures will cease to please, allurements will cease to allure, enjoyments will cease to fill the heart with joy, long, long before the dust
returneth to the earth. "If a man live many days," says the proverb, " and rejoice in them all; yet let him remember the days of darkness; for they shall be many!" The sentence of Scripture is fully borne out by our own experience; "Many days and years shall ye be troubled, ye careless ones"."
And what is there in this worldly, sensual life, to wish for? Look at the covetous. Is there any thing to envy? Look at the profligate. Is there any thing to envy ? Look at the successfully ambitious. Is there any thing to envy? Is the debased and degraded mind an object of desire? Is the shattered and debilitated body a thing to be sought after? Is the harassed and exhausted spirit a prize to be grasped at ? Count the number of years of enjoyment, in wealth, or honour, or sensuality, which can, in the utmost extent, pass away, before the evil days come, when all will say alike, we have no pleasure in them;"-and see how few
1 Eccles. xi. 8.
2 Isaiah xxxii. 10.