Imatges de pÓgina
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what rule of life to obey, you will find in your Bible and Teftament. To deal boneftly and fairly by your own foul, you should read them every day of your life, though it were but for a quarter of an hour, or a shorter time. You will certainly not practise your duty, unless you learn it; and you will never learn it, if you never read the fcriptures, or hear others read them and the more you read them, the more you will be convinced of the truth of them. This is the true state of the cafe, and if you do your duty, you will certainly be everlastingly happy: if you do it not, what a dreadful thought it is!-but, I fay, if you turn a deaf ear, and will not regard the eternal obligations you are under, you will be miferable beyond all defcription,miferable for ever. I do not tell you this as the opinion of the fociety, or as my private opinion, but as that which all true chriftians are agreed in, and which appears to us from the word of God himself.

8. THAT you may come to a more eafy knowledge of your religion, and take a comprehensive view of it, in few words, let me recommend to you, The bishop of Tuam's Chriftian Knowledge. I am defired by the fociety to prefent it to Next to your Bible and Teftament, which are incomparably the best books in the world, this little book will teach you how to become a good chriftian.

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9. ACCUSTOM yourself to think that the highest character, and the greatest honor any mortal man can arrive at, is to be a GOOD CHRISTIAN, and you have as good a title to aspire at this character, as the greatest lord in the land. To be able to judge of your own heart, remember, that in every conflict that arife in your breast, between a corrupt inclination, and a fenfe of duty, it is better to fuffer any evil, or to ftruggle with yourself even to death, rather than act inconfiftently with your character as a chriftian. To be ashamed of doing a bad action, lest men should know it, and not to be confounded at it, for fear of God, will prove to your own heart, that you act like a fool, or a madman.

10. Bɛ affured, my good lad, that it is far better to die, than to offend your MERCIFUL LORD AND SAVIOR CHRIST, whose blood was spilt for your fake, who fuffered an ignominious death on the cross, that he might redeem and fave you from your fins, and from everlasting punishment. He has done for you D 2 much

much more than the heart can conceive, or the tongue exprefs; and let your heart bleed with contrition when you think of it. If you do your part, and obey the laws of your crucified Savior, as contained in the New Testament, you will receive the reward of immortal happiness.

II. You are entered into the wide world; I muft, therefore, forewarn you, to arm yourself, for be you ever fo cautious, you will fee many bad examples. But you must not only arm yourself against them, but also be careful to shun them. To fly from TEMPTATIONS, is the only true way to avoid falling into the fnares of them. You will find every day, I may almoft fay every hour of your life, many who act as if they had lost their wits, and did really not believe that there is a God, to whom they must give an account of their actions. Mourn over their fad misfortune; reprove them when you think there is any chance of their bearing you, but fooner die than imitate their conduct.

12. You have heard a common proverb, "What is every-body's business, is nobody's;" which is the fame as to fay, few attend to that which is a common obligation, either to do a good thing which is necessary to be done, or to prevent a bad thing being done, the confequences of which may be hurtful. Be affured that a GOOD MAN will do what is good for others, whether he is obliged to it or not, by any human law, or whether he meets any favor or countenance from his friends, his country, or mankind. So a true chriftian will confider well what the duties of chrif tianity are, with regard to himself and others, and will practise them alfo, tho' he stood fingle amongst millions, and the world was to burst around him!

You will observe, as you grow up, that it is the great misfortune of man13. kind, to be apt to regard RELIGION with indifference, from this caufe, that it is common to all. But, my dear lad, remember that you must stand, or fall, for ever, by your own thoughts, words, and actions, not by thofe of other people; and no one in his fenfes can plead ignorance, or pretend that it does not belong to him to ferve God, because he fees his neighbor is careless, and negligent of his duty to Oji his

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Much fervency is apt to injure the brain; there is a measure in all things, and men often miitake the warmth of their blood, for folid piety and the dictates of reason and religion. You can hardly be too attentive, nor is it poffible to be too fincere, but you may be too much transported. There is also a certain manner of expreffing ourselves, which either creates awe, and fills the heart with piety, or produces a quite contrary effect. You should, therefore, learn to express yourself in a proper tone of voice, whenever you have occafion to pray aloud: experience will also teach you, that it will fometimes help your devotion, in private, to express your words fo diftinctly, as to hear yourself speak. It may hereafter be your task to pray, or what is commonly called reading prayers, to your master or fellow apprentices, to your aged parents, or your own young chil dren this is a duty much out of fashion, and perhaps a great part of our national impiety is owing to it. To avoid the dangerous extreme of fanaticism and enthusiasm, many have run into the contrary error, of a great neglect of private prayer this is the fecret cause why many live, as it were, without God in the world, and many run wild with new conceits, and hurt their brains with new modes of religious worship.

If after saying your prayers, you are confcious, that you forgot yourself, and properly speaking, only faid your prayers, not prayed; give yourself a little respite ; call up your attention, though it were but for a minute, and pray. To pray well, constitutes the effence of religion; it is the best proof that the heart is right. Those who are very wicked are afhamed, or afraid, or unaccustomed, ever to pray at all; but how can be expect mercy, who never asks for it? Or how can he defire it who expreffes himself as if he thought it not worth asking for? To be fincere and attentive, is the way to be heard, and the fureft means to engage the favor of heaven. And if there is any thing in the life of man, about which he ought to be serious, it is in his addreffes to the God of life, on whom his present and everlasting happiness depends.—You will find no small help in keeping your eye on your book, especially in public prayers, which in our church are short and admirably expreffive.

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22. So far from taking the name of God in vain, as the brutish, the untaught, or wicked part of mankind continually do, be it your care never to mention the name of the MosT HIGH, without an awful pause in your discourse. "For as a

fervant, that is continually beaten, fhall not be without a blue mark, so he "that fweareth, and nameth God continually, fhall not be faultlefs:" in other words, fuch a perfon is exceedingly criminal in the fight of God.-Being thus guarded, the industrious and honest pursuit of the several duties of your worldly calling, will also be as an offering up of praises to God; and your whole life, will thus become one continued prayer. This is the way to engage his favor and protec tion, and to call down his bleffings on your head.

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23. Bɛ ashamed of trifling in any thing: but above all, be in earnest with regard to your foul. For, as it is expreffed in the holy fcriptures, "What "would it profit you to gain the whole world, if you lost your soul?" Keep your heart then, with all diligence; be jealous and watchful, for "out of it issue good " and evil.” Do not only restrain yourself from such thoughts, words, and actions, as you know are forbidden, but keep yourself at as great a distance from them as poffible. Let it be your pleasure, and delight to discharge your duty to God; and fuch pleasures as are of a dangerous kind, will then find but little entrance in your heart. Nothing can affift you in this more than a habit of industry, that you may always feel yourself most happy, when you are most usefully employed, remembring that we are formed by nature, and by God's appointment, for action, and that laziness and floth bring us to poverty, disease, and early death.

24. KEEP the SABBATH-DAY moft diligently, and rejoice, upon every return of it, that you have fo fair an opportunity of worshipping the God of your fathers.. Do it with a willing mind, in public, as well as in private: the entertainment is the most rational, and the most noble of all others. You will encrease your pleasures : you will add one pleasure, the most exalted of all others, though many are entire ftrangers to it; you will live in the joyful hope of pleafing your God; and you may be well affured, if you please him, he will love you, and preferve you.

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But on the fame account, that it is recommended to you to ufe your reafon, you may conclude that a church is far better than the open fields; and the calm dictates of a clear head and a pious heart, preferable to the flights of a warm imagination. Strict regard must be had to the manner in which you worship God, in public, left under a notion of extraordinary godliness you offend against the laws of your country, and bring on difcord and confufion, than which nothing can be more injurious to the great cause of true religion, or more contrary to the true spirit of christianity.

25. READ the SCRIPTURES and pious books on SUNDAYS, and let your recreations, after the hours of divine fervice be fober. That can never be proper for the Sabbath, which is improper for any day: and the more fober you keep yourself, the more you will be refreshed, and the fitter for labor, as well as for piety.

PRUDENTIAL INSTRUCTIONS to the fame.

"Mwhich regard this world and the next.

Y GOOD LAD, it is very hard to divide, in our thoughts, the things He who is prudent in matters which relate to this world only, is a fool: it is, as if he believed in no other. We must keep our eyes fixed on that future ftate, where the evils of the prefent life cannot follow us; not because here are so many evils, but that our minutest actions have some reference to an after account; and whether you court the fubftantial pleafures of piety, or fly from the acute and poignant pains of wickedness, religion will still be your only faithful friend.

2. We cannot, however, be always thinking of heavenly things: we are focial beings, and must court fociety, and men will talk of the affairs of this world; it would be well, if fome did not confine their thoughts to them only. Be it your chief care, next to ferving God, and getting your daily bread, to make acquaintance with sensible, virtuous, and religious perfons, and esteem their friendship as one of the choiceft bleffings heaven can bestow on you. A faithful friend is the E 2 "medi

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