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PERSON PENITENT FOR SIN,

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which is enmity against thee: and, gracious God, the sad fruits of this enmity have been my neglect of thy favour; my unconcern at thy displeasure; and my forgetfulness of thy love. I have resisted thy Spirit; but listened to the suggestions of Satan.

I have sligbted thy word; but have been guided by the maxims of a corrupt world. Thou hast bid me remember thee in my youth; but I have forgotten thee. Thou hast commanded me to love thee; but I have neglected thee. Thou hast encouraged me to pray to thee; but I have often restrained prayer before thee, or, when I professed to pray, have mocked thee with solemn sounds on a thoughtless tongue.

Thou hast been a tender Father to me; but I, worse than a rebellious prodigal to thee. Thou hast wooed me by thy compassion; and, by the gift of numberless mercies, hast, as it were, said, Now love me, now give me thine heart: and I have not heard thy voice; or, if I have, refused to give what thy love claimed. I have undone myself; and thou hast interposed to save me. Thou hast even given thy best-beloved and adorable Son to die for me; yet even this matchless mercy melted not my hard heart. Can I, great God, bide my infernal wickedness? I cannot. It is open to thy view; and ever glaring in all its horror before thine eyes. Shall I extenuate my transgressions and corruption ? Shall I plead much ignorance ? - but I might have known thee. Shall I plead the thoughtlessness of youth? I dare not; for thoughtless as I have been of thee, young as I am, I have been thoughtful about the trifles of a moment. Shall I - no, I dare not, say, thou art not wor

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PRAYER FOR A PENITENT.

.thy of my love; for had I ten thousand hearts; thy love would deserve them all. Shall I plead that I have been kind, benevolent, and useful to my fellow-sinners ?

Ah, my God! the plea would but aggravate my guilt: I have been kind to them; but unkind to thee. I have loved them; but been averse to thee: though thou hast an infinite and everlasting claim on my regard. My heart has glowed with gratitude for their tenderness; but been cold and unmoved by thine: though theirs has borne no more comparison to thine, than a drop to the ocean, or a grain of sand to the world. Kind and muchinjured God, I own my guilt before thee. "I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight.” I have sipned against thee. I have sinned against thy once suffering, but now exalted Son. I have sinned against thy Holy Spirit. I have sinned against my own immortal soul. God, be merciful to me a sinner! No tears of penitential grief can wash away my stains. Teach me to plead the Saviour's death, and cleanse me in his atoning blood. Create in me a clean heart; and renew a right spirit within me. more of the precious days of my youth be spent careless of thee, as many have already been. Take my heart, and make it thine. Take my youth, and let it be devoted to thee. Take me now in the flower of life, and let me live to thee alone: that while I live, I may live to the Lord; and when I die, may die to the Lord; and thus whether I live or die, may be the Lord's. Grant these requests, O most merciful God! for the sake of thy dear Son; to whom I would flee as my only refuge; and to whom be the kingdom, power, and glory, for ever and for ever,

Let no

AMEN.

CHAPTER III.

SOME OF THE SINS OF YOUTH ENUMERATED.

§ 1. It was endeavoured, in the last chapter, to show you, that you are, by nature, a fallen, depraved, and apostate creature. Now, great God, assist me, whilst I strive to convince my youthful readers, not merely of the corruption of their nature, but of the error of their ways. Display to them, whither the paths of sin lead ; and bid them seek true happiness in thyself.

My young friend, I entreat you to follow me, while I point out to you some of those sins which undo multitudes. Among these evils, a thoughtless, inconsiderate spirit, is in young persons, one of the most common, and one of the most fatal. While open impiety slays its thousands, this sinks its ten thousands to perdition. A time is coming when you must consider your ways.

From the bed of death, or from the eternal world you must take a review of life: but, as you love your soul, defer not till that solemn period, which shall fix your eternal state, the momentous question ;

« How has my life been spent ?”

Look back on your past years. They are gone for ever. But what report have they borne to heaven ? What is the record made respecting them in the book of God ? Will they rise up in the judgment against you? Possibly you may not see many instances of flagrant crime: but do you sec nothing, which conscience must condemn; nothing, which would fill you with alarm, if going

woe.

52 THE READER URGED TO REVIEW LIFE, this moment to the bar of your Maker? Perhaps you reply, “It is true, I cannot justify all the actions of my youthful years; yet the worst that I see, were but the frolics of youth.” My friend, do they bear that name in heaven? Does your Jadge view them in no worse a light? It has ever been the custom of this world to whitewash sin, and hide its hideous deformity ; but, know, that what you pass over so lightly, your God abhors as sins sins, the least of which, if unforgiven, would sink your soul to utter, endless

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” The iniquities of youth, as well as of riper years, are abhorred by him. The sins of youth were the bitter things which holy Job lamented ; and for deliverance from which Da. vid devoutly prayed. « Thou writest bitter things against me; and makest me to possess the iniquities of my youth." “Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions : according to thy mercy, remember thou me, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord!”

Take then another review of life. Begin with childhood. In that early period, so often falsely represented as a state of innocence, the corruptions of a fallen nature begin to appear; and the early years of life are stained with falsehood, disobedience, cruelty, vanity, and pride. Can you recollect no instances, in which your earlier

years were thus polluted with actual sin ? Can you bring to remembrance no occasion, on which falsehood came from your lips; or vanity, pride, or obstinacy, was cherished in

heart? or when cruelty to the meaner creatures was

your

Rom, i. 18. Job, xiii, 26. Ps. xxv. 7

YOUTHFUL SINS — PRIDE.

53 your sport? Shrink not from the review; though painful, it is useful. It is far better to see and abhor your youthful sins in this world, where mercy may be found; than to have them brought to your

remembrance, when mercy is no more. But you have passed the years of childhood; you

have advanced one stage forwarder in your journey to an endless world. Has sin weakened, as your years increased ? Have not some sinful dispositions ripened into greater vigour? Have not others, which you knew not in your earlier years, begun to appear? and does not increasing knowledge add new guilt to all your sins ?

Among the prevailing iniquities of youth may be mentioned : § 2. Pride.

This is a sin common to all ages; but, it often peculiarly infects the young. It is abhorred by God. "The proud he knoweth afar off." "He resisteth the proud; but, giveth grace to the humble.

Every one that is proud in heart, is an abomination to the Lord.” He hateth a proud look." "A high look and a proud heart, is sin.” “The proud are cursed.” Pride is the parent of many other vices. It puts on a thousand forms; yet, unless subdued by religion, is found in the palace and the cottage. You may see it displayed in the character of the young prodigal: (Luke, xv. 19, &c.) Has not this sin, which God so much abhors, crept into your heart? Perhaps it has made you haughty, when you should have been humble; obstinate, when you should have been yielding; revengeful, when you should have been forgiving. You thought it showed spirit, to resent an injury or Ps. CXXXVIII. 6. James, iv. 6. Prov. xvi. 5. Prov. vi. 17. Prov. xxi. 4.

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Ps. cxix. 21.

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