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ing tendency of religion, or of the hypocrisy of such individuals. They must be soothed by the voice of indulgent commiseration, and committed to the mercy of Him who will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax.
Let those in middle life consider how necessary these qualities and duties are for them. That watchfulness and temperance you will find most conducive both to your temporal and spiritual interest, and that charity which will render you candid and obliging to others, will secure to you similar treatment in the intercourse of life. It is good to acquire the habits, and to be proficients in the virtues of age, before we glide into it: you are now on its borders, and it will be wise for you to rejoice with trembling.
Let the young be exhorted to watch and pray that they enter not into temptation. Let them flee youthful lusts, and avoid even the appearance of evil. The young ought to consider, that an act of gross indiscretion will so stamp on them the character of fools, that no future sagacity will be able to efface the impression. Indulge not in vain speculation, and think not that the contempt of the creed of your fathers is any evidence either of a strong or of a liberal mind. Remember, that Titus was enjoined to deliver this charge to you in the verse which follows the text,
Young men likewise exhort to be sober-minded.” Cultivate that good sense, that modesty, that spirituality, that self-control, which this sober-mindedness implies. At your time of life a tendency to backbiting and tale-bearing is a sad evidence of malignity, and this habit will be punished in your being
long left without a real friend. Be grateful for the lessons of the aged, and avail yourselves of no pretext for disregarding them. Let them see in the fixed principles, the habitual self-government, and the mild benevolence of your youth, motives to the duties enjoined on them in this charge. This also we wish, even your perfection. Amen.
AN OLD DISCIPLE.
Acts xxi. 16. There went up with us also certain of
the disciples of Cesarea, and brought with them one Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge.
THESE words present to our view Paul's journey from Cesarea to Jerusalem. This was a place deeply interesting to the saints during the former dispensation. To it the tribes went up as to the city of their solemnities, and the place of their most sacred intercourse with God and with one another. To Christians it is still more interesting as the place where that sacrifice was offered, which through all eternity will be the source of happiness and the theme of praise, and where some of the most affecting events in the history of the infant church occurred. Often hath the pilgrim trod the path to it; and though we cannot sanction the superstitious ideas which inAuenced many of them, we must honour the piety which wrought mightily in some, amidst all the prejudices of the age in which they lived, and that holy courage which made them persevere in their attempts to reach it in spite of all the perils, insults, and impositions to which they were subjected. Often, too, has the Christian traveller visited this scene, that he might mark in its present state the
fulfilment of ancient prediction, and gratify the curiosity of his own mind, in the survey of places associated with the best feelings and with the highest hopes of man.
Paul's feelings in going up to Jerusalem were of a mixed kind: he had much to fear, for he had been warned of the persecutions which awaited him ; yet he was calm and intrepid. That noble resolution was not the blaze of the moment,-"I am ready not only to be bound, but to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” He felt it in every stage of his progress. He had a duty to discharge, and from that duty he could not shrink. He had the hope of his Master's countenance and blessing, and that hope he would not cast away.
On Paul's arrival at Jerusalem, he was conducted by these disciples to Mnason of Cyprus, as is the proper rendering of the phrase. This man was a native of Cyprus, but was now an inhabitant of Jerusalem, and to his hospitality the Apostle was committed. The intercourse betwixt them would be of the most interesting kind. Much as Paul communicated in public, there were incidents and explanations which could be detailed only amidst the ease and familiarity of domestic intercourse ; and we know from his history and from his letters, that, distinguished as he was by the qualities which are requisite in a public character, his heart was susceptible of the warmest friendship, alive to every kind attention, and ready in the most private sphere for every good word and work.
In this discourse, I shall illustrate the account here
given of the character of Mnason, and shall then point out those objects of peculiar interest which are to be seen in such a disciple.
1. In examining the account here given of Mnason, we behold, in the first place, a person of long-standing in the church. Some have supposed, that he was converted to the Christian faith when Paul and Barnabas visited Cyprus. But the epithet attached to him leads us to suppose that he was one of our Lord's first followers and disciples. How many things had occurred to try his attachment to the Gospel! The crucifixion of our Lord, so dark an event to the Apostles, must have been so to him also. The virulent calumnies of the Jews, and the persecuting violence to which the followers of Christ were subjected, he could not escape. His situation and circumstances were superior to those of many of the disciples, and would thus mark him out as the object of hatred and abuse to the enemies of Christianity. Stephen and James had both fallen as martyrs in the cause of the Redeemer, and many had been imprisoned, and scourged, and spoiled, to gratify the rapacity and cruelty of their enemies, and to terrify others into apostacy from the Gospel. Yet, in spite of all these difficulties, he kept the faith. He could employ the language of the worthies of old, -" Thou makest us a reproach to our neighbours, a scorn and a derision to them that are round about us. All this is come upon us; yet have we not forgotten thee, neither have we dealt falsely in thy covenant. Our heart is not turned back, neither have our steps declined from thy way; though thou hast sore