Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

OBSERVATIONS ON YOUTHFUL PIETY.

385

acquisitions of the liberal arts and sciences, are at: the same time very remiss in the practice of religion and the fear of the LORD. Be assured, my young friends, the one may be pursued, yea, and ought to be, without the neglect of the other. And the sooner: you begin, the greater and more apparent will be your proficiency. Recollect, that the fame derived from the most profound learning, will avail you now thing, if you have not acquired the knowledge of salvation, and learned the important lesson of true religion. We would strongly recommend human learning, but never so as to supersede the knowledge of God, in and through Christ Jesus the Lord. “ This is life eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.” But at the same time your progress up the hill of science need not hinder your ascent to the mount of God. And let it be frequent in your remembrance, that the sooner you begin, the higher and more illustrious · will be your attainments. The noblest and most ho.. nourable Christian in age, is the person who, like the ' excellent OBADIAH, has feared the Lord from his youth. We remark,

3. A prompt, early, and cheerful compliance with the requisitions of the Almighty, is a sacrifice the most acceptable in his sight. The admirable lines of Dr. Warts are quite in point upon this part of our subject :

“ When we devote our youth to God,

'Tis pleasing in his eyes ;
A flower, when offer'd in the bud,

Is no vain sacrifice.” Jesus, looking upon a certain young man, "loved kim.” And the Eternal God says expressly, “ I love them that love me, and they who seek me early shall find me.” The Gospel precept is, “ Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness ;” and when this is obeyed, with such a deportment Gop is well pleased.'

It has been said that “ late religion is seldom sincere, and that sincere religion is seldom late." Early dedication to God proves the reality of your VOL. VI.

2 L

motives, and renders your offering so much the more acceptable. When you enjoy health of body, strength of mind, and vigour of spirits, then is the heart a noble sacrifice, and best worthy of being presented to the great CREATOR of heaven and earth. But, alas! when the prime of your life has been devoted to the ways of pleasure and folly, with what confidence can you offer to God the dregs of vice and iniquity, an old age broken with infirmity, and groaning under the load of misery. To all procrastinators, will not the Prophet's interrogatories be very apposite? If we offer the blind for a sacrifice, is it not evil ? and if we offer the lame and the sick, is it not evil ? Offer it now unto the Governor: will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of Hosts.” Let not any one attempt to put off the ALMIGHTY with the gleanings of life after the enemy has secured the golden harvest. 56 Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.” And while the aged sinner presents to God 6 wood, hay, and stubble," the youthful saint offers “gifts, gold, frankincense, and myrrh."

4. To embrace religion at an early period of life, is to imitate the example of some of the most noble and honourable characters recorded in the sacred Scriptures. There are many other bright examples, as well as that of OBADIAN, of persons early embracing religion, and 66 adorning the doctrine of Gop their SAviour.” Let me begin with JOSEPH, one of the youngest sons of JACOB, who, when only seventeen years of age, was sold into Egypt; but he feared the Lord, and his God was with him, and raised him to high elevation and honour. Moses, also, early in life, when surrounded with the delusive pleasures of a court, and the fascinations of a palace, preferred suffering with the people of God, and considered ever the " reproaches of CHRIST greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.” Young SAMUEL was early devoted to God, and through a long protracted life he glorified God his Maker. Josial, when only eight years old, was vested with regal authority; and though

ACCOUNT OF SIR PHILIP MORDAUNT.

387

.

environed by such alluring grandeur, yet it is said of this youthful Monarch, that he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord.DAVID was but a youth when he entered the lists against GOLIAH of Gath; yet, what piety of expression, what confidence in God: “Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, but I come unto thee in the name of the Lord of Hosts.” And the result was, that though the means appeared so unequal to the end, yet in the name of his God, and by the power of his God, he brought the proud uncircumcised Philistine down. With the impious giant was “ an arm of flesh ;” but with the pious stripling was 66 the Lord his God to help him.” Religion is better than weapons of war. The weapons with which religion furnishes its espousers are not 66 carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” Various other shining examples of early piety, well worthy the imitation of youth of every character, are also to be found in the Sacred Scriptures.

(To be conelreded in our next.)

ACCOUNT OF SIR PHILIP MORDAUNT. Sir Philip MORDAUNT was young, beautiful, and brave. He had an ample fortune of his own, and the love of the King, his master, which was equivalent to riches. Life opened all her treasures before him, and promised a long succession of happiness. He came, tasted of the entertainment, but was disgusted from the beginning. He professed an aversion to living, was tired of walking round the same circle, had tried all kinds of worldly enjoyment, and found them all grow weaker at every repetition. “ If life even in youth be so displeasing,” cried he to himself, “ what will it appear when age comes on? If it be at present indifferent, surely it will then be execrable.” This thought embittered every reflection, till at last, in the madness of perverted reason and of infidelity, he .consummated his folly with a pistol. How vastly different is the case of the youth who is possessed of genuine piety. He may be without fortune, without worldly honour, and obscure in his situation in life; but having tasted the good word of Gop, and felt the powers of the world to coine, he can delight himself in the Lord from the very beginning of his Christian course. He is never tired of walking round the same circle of religious exercises. Repetition of duty increases his spiritual strength. His youthful years are cheerfully spent in the active service of his SAVIOUR : old age he anticipates with pleasure ; and if it should please the LORD to protract his earthly being to that period, he calculates on the satisfaction and thankfulness with which he shall look back, in the retrospect of life, on years devoted to the glory of God, and forward, to the approach of an eternal felicity. Thus he patiently waits, till his change shall come, and till angels shall conduct his happy spirit to glory. O what a contrast with Sir Philip MORDAUNT ! Drudley, Sept. 13th, 1822.

SAM. WOOLMER.

JUVENILE OBITUARY. Died, on his birth-day, May 27, 1822, aged twenty, ANDREW MURRAY, son of LIEUTENANT MURRAY, of Lofthouse. From the time when he professed to enjoy vital godliness, until the hour of his death, he exemplified by his conduct the reality of the work of regenerating grace upon his heart. Exercised as he was, during his last affliction, with pains the most agonizing, amidst them all, resignation was pourtrayed upon his countenance, and his language was, “ Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him." Far from repining at the righteous will of the Lord in “ appointing wearisome nights and painful days unto him," he resigned all into the hands of a mer. ciful God, and prayed only for 6 grace to help in time of need.” When informed that his medical attendant had not the smallest hope of his recovery, he said that “ he wished to depart and be with Christ, which was far better.” Being asked if he could now

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

firmly rely upon the atonement of Christ, he answered, “ He is to me all in all;" and upon another occasion, he expressed his comfortable persuasion that God for Christ's sake had pardoned all his sins. At many times, while he was meditating upon the goodness of God, his heart was cheered, and his mouth filled with the praises of God: death had lost its sting. In this happy state his spirit returned to God who gave it.

A. MURRAY.

MEMOIR OF MISS ELIZA WINTLE, Daughter of the Rev. RICHARD Wintle, of Dursley, Gloucester

shire, who died May 30th, 1822, aged near fifteen Years. · ELIZA WINTLE was born in Derby, on the 9th of November, 1807. From her earliest years, she was blessed with a measure of the preventing grace of God, by which she was restrained from those sinful follies and amusements, which fascinate, ensnare, and ruin multitudes of young persons. Under its influence, also, she was led to reverence the SUPREME BEING, and to take pleasure in attending his worship and service. How far she was truly pious, prior to her last illness, I am unable to determine; but her subsequent experience, and happy death, have induced me to think that she must have been very sincere in her religious conduct.

In August, 1821, she was visited with a severe affliction, which was made a great blessing to her. From that time, she became more deeply serious and thoughtful than ever; and though she did not make an open disclosure of her mental feelings, yet the change she had experienced was too great to be concealed. It was well known to her mother, that she was praying to the Lord for mercy, with the most fervent importunity. It pleased the Lord to restore her at this time, and she enjoyed tolerable health through the winter.

About the middle of May, she was seized with a typhus fever, under which her constitution finally sunk. In such a home as hers, she could not remain long without spiritual assistance. I talked and prayed

« VorigeDoorgaan »