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PLAN OF THE BOOK.

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Saviour, make me thine! O God of glory, make me thine without delay, and teach me all thy will! Then, whatever be the instrument that awakens my soul, thine shall be the praise, for it is thy work, and the glory is justly thine.

Hear me, O thou most merciful Father, and wash my sins away in atoning blood; hear me, and let my youth from this day be devoted to thee; hear me, for the sake of thy beloved Son; and now to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be glory and dominion, world with out end.

AMEN. § 4. Having, my young friend, sought God's blessing, allow me now to explain to you the plan I design to follow in this little work. As my object is to persuade you to devote your youth to God, it is needful for me to address you as one whom I may suppose to be negligent of that best of blessings, humble piety. I shall, therefore, endeavour first to show you what is your natural condition, (Chap. 2). After this, I would entreat you to accompany me while I descend more into particulars (C. 3), and set before you some of the more common sins of youth. I would then point you to the Lamb of God; and would represent to you the nature of true piety (C. 4). Pursuing this subject, I would (C. 5) affectionately warn you against those delusive supports, on which many rest to their eternal ruin. I would then urge on you the infinite importance of early piety, by showing you (C. 6) the worth of your soul. By referring you (C. 7) to the advice of the eternal God. By displaying to you (C. 8) the love of God and Christ. By setting before you (C. 9)

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PLAN OF THE BOOK,

the peculiar acceptableness of early piety. By enumerating (C. 10) some of its numberless advantages. By glancing (C. 11) at some of its pleasures. By conducting you (C. 12) to take a view of the happy conclusion of a life of religion; and attempting (C. 13) an imperfect description of that heaven and that eternity to which religion conducts the soul. But fearing, that in many instances, all the pleasing motives which these considerations yield, may be of no avail; I shall then present to you reasons for religion, drawn from very opposite sources. I would here show you (C. 14) that while you neglect early piety you are destitute of all real good. I would describe to you (C. 15) the unkindness and ingratitude visible in such a course to God, and its cruelty to yourself. I would show (C. 16) the vanity of youth; and (C. 17) the sorrows and dangers that attend the way of transgressors.

I would remind you (C. 18) of the approach, to the most careless, of judgment and eternity; and (C. 19) would glance at the dismal abodes of eternal wretched. ness to which youthful sins would lead

I then (C. 20), if you have not chosen true religion, would affectionately beseech you to choose it without delay. But, knowing how many objections are started against early piety, I propose (C. 21) to answer some of the principal of These. Having noticed these, permit me to occupy a few more lines (C. 22), in entreating you, without delay, to make your choice; and then (C. 23) to conclude the whole with a few directions, and some brief addresses. May God make this little book promote his glory, and your eternal benefit.

you.

AMEN.

CHAPTER II.

THE PALLEN, GUILTY, AND RUINED STATE OF MAN.

§ 1. I now, my young friend, address you on a subject unspeakably important; as no hope can be entertained of doing you lasting good, till you feel the truth of the statement, contained in this chapter; but if you be led by the Divine Spirit, to perceive that this chapter describes your own condition, there will then be a pleasing prospect of your becoming acquainted with those things which belong to your everlasting peace.

In reference to bodily disorders it is said, that to know our disease is half the cure: the same observation will apply to the disorders of the soul. If one deeply infected with a fever, or the plague, were so deluded, as to believe himself enjoying perfect health, or to think himself, at worst, but slightly disordered, and therefore to neglect the means for restoring health, how soon would death and the grave convince him of bis sad mistake! Such delusion is seldom met with ; but an infinitely more dreadful and more mischievous delusion, is as common as the light of day. Perhaps you labour under its baleful influence. Perhaps, if your life has been unstained by flagrant enormities, you imagine yourself a good-hearted young man, or an innocent young woman. Your sins are softened down under the name of youthful follies. The deep corruption of your nature is totally hidden from your view. You are in danger of; 22 DELUSION RESPECTING MAN'S dying eternally of the worst of plagues, and yet thinking that all is well. You are exposed to the wrath of a justly offended God, and saying to yourself, “ Peace, peace."

Š 2. God forbid that I should wish to represent your state, by nature, as worse than he de. scribes it in his word. If I had the wish I should scarcely have the power.

Be patient then, and hear the worst. What are you? If guided by the opinions of a poor blind world, you might reply, “A frail imperfect creature, guilty of some sins, but yet with so many good dispositions and good actions to counterbalance them, that I may reasonably hope for happiness and heaven.” My dear young friend, are these, or such as these, your views of yourself? If they be, no wretched madman, bound with chains, crowning himself with straw, and imagiping himself a mighty and happy monarch, was ever more deceived. I repeat the question. What are you? Let the word of the God of truth reply. And what is its answer? It teach. es you that you are corrupt and polluted, and at variance with your God; having all the powers of your soul disordered; and exposed, justly exposed, to everlasting ruin; and so entirely depraved and undone, that without a change as great as a second birth, you cannot possibly see the kingdom of God.

Perhaps you exclaim,* “Shocking doctrine !” whilst, full of indignation, you are almost ready to throw this book aside, before you have glanced at the proofs afforded in scripture, for the assertion's have made. If this be the case, I beseech you to remember I appeal to scripture,

*A few lines, with a little alteration, from Fletcher's Appeal.

FALLEN STATE, COMMON AND RUIXOUS. 23 not to your passions; to the declaration of God, not to worldly delusions. You may cry out at the sight of a shroud, a coffin, a grave,

Shocking objects!" but your loudest exclamations will not lessen the awful realities, by which many have happily been shocked into a timely preparation for approaching death.

Refuse not then to listen to the declarations of God, on this momentous subject: to refuse to hearken is to seal your own destruction. § 3. His word assures you,

that
every

human being is born into this world with a corrupt and sinful nature. God formed man "in his own image,” innocent and holy; but fallen man begat a son “ in his own likeness,” corrupt and fallen like himself. The consequence is, man comes into this world with a sinful nature; for "who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? not one." Such is the exceeding sinfulness of human nature, that the word of God strongly describes it, by declaring that we are

shapen in iniquity and conceived in sin.” “Man is a transgressor from the womb, and goes astray speaking lies.” The devil is elsewhere called the father of lies; and one of the earliest tokens of human depravity is, that a disposition to commit that abominable sin so soon appears in little children. - Man is born untamed and rude as a “wild ass's colt.” “Fool. ishness is bound even in the heart of a child." "The imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth, "is only evil and that continually;" "he is abominable and filthy, and drinketh in iniquity like water.” As he advances in life, do

Gen. v. 1. v. 3. Job, xiv. 4. Ps. li. 5. lviii. 3. Job, xi. 12. Prov. wi. 15. Gen. viii. 21. vi. 3. Job, xy. 16,

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