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man usually becomes contentious; the contentious profane: the foolish-talker a tale-bearer, censorious and a dealer in falschood. Hence the guilt attached to cach distinct class of the offences which we have considered, and the great probability that he who indulges in any one will be ensnared into more, concur to cstablish the extreme importance of guarding the lips against all. Unless you are habitually able to command your tongue, think not that you arc a Christian. You have the decisive judgment
. of an Apostle, that if any one among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue; that man decciveth his own heart, and his religion is vain.
But mark the forcible language in which the same Apostle represents the difficulty, nay, if we are left to our own strength, the impossibility, of controlling this instrument of evil. “Every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sca;" every part of the animated world which men bare encountercd; “is tamed and hath been tamed," has sooner or later been subdued, 6 of mankind.” “ But the tonguc can no man tame: it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.” “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” What has been our personal experience? We have acknowledged the transgressions of our lips. We have resolved against the repetition of them. Again and again new relapses have covered us with shame. To shame has succeeded our grief; to grief determination of amendment; to determination of amendment transgression. If this, then, be our situation: if there can be no religion without the subjection of the tongue, and if the tongue be unconquerable by human discipline: what course is man to pursue? What course but that pointed out in the words of the Psalmist? What path but that which leads to "the sure mercies of David?" Let “ a watch” be " set" by Thee,
“ “O Lord, before my mouth: keep” Thou, O God, “the door of my lips!” They who obstinately depend upon themselves shall prove by lamentable disappointments that human nature can neither cure nor withstand its own corruption; that it is not in man, unrenewed by the Spirit of God, to govern cither bis actions or his words according to the law of cternal life. But with God all things are possible. There is no undertaking, whatever be its difficulty, which to His power is not easy. There is no corruption, be it ever so closely interwoven with the human hcart, which
His grace cannot extirpate. Direct your carnest supplication to the Father of m:rcies for ability to restrain your lips from evil: for a disposition uniformly to endeavor to follow the steps of your Lord in word, no less than in deed. Offer up your prayer in sincerity and truth; offer it in the name and in the mediation of Jesus Christ, who ever liveth at the right hand of God to make intercession for you; and you shall receive the assistance needful to salvation.
But think not that God will shower down his grace to abolish thic nccessity of your own cxcrtions, or to justify you in sluggish unconcern. “
Though "except the Lord build the house, their labor is but lost who build it;" hc espects that the builders should perform their office. Though “ cxcept the Lord keep the city, the watchmen waketh but in vain;" he requires that the watchmen should be faithful in circumspection. From you, if you would obtain from Fim power over your longue, he demands vigilance, caution, sorbcarancc, forethought, persevering struggles against sin. He demands that, through the grace which He has already supplied, you exercise your tonguc in the employments and language of devotion; that in the business of your station, in the hour of leisure, you converse as befits those who kaow that they speak in the hcaring of God: that amidst allurements and provocations, amidst un hallowed principles and corrupt cxamples, you daily confess Christ in the government of your lips; that you redouble your efforts and your prayers, when the pressure of temptation increases; that you faint not under discouragements, nor be weary in well-doing; that, if betrayed into transgression with your lips, you labor the more strenuously against transgression for the future; that you depend not on yourself, but exclusively upon Ilim; that, when you have been enabled to preserve your tongue void of offence, you ascribe not to yourself but to Him the praise. Shun, then, my brethren, as you value present peace and cternal happiness, every offence of the tongue. Avoid“ vain babblings and foolish and unlearned questions.” “Be not hasty
Bc with your words; nor fret against the Lord.” Abhor "strife, railings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds and destitule of the truth.” “Be not desirous of vain-glory.” “ Let all bitterness and clamor and evil-speaking be put away from you. Putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbor: for we are members one of another. Lay aside all guile and hypocrisy.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth; but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may administer grace unto the hearers." 6 Give unto the Lord the honor due unto His name." “ The God of patience and consolation grant, that, according to Christ Jesus, ye may with one mouth glorify God."
ON THE CHRISTIAN CHARACTER OF YOUTH.
By the Rev. THOMAS GISBORNE, M. A.
2 Cor. vi. 17, 18, & vii. 1. Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not
the unclean thing: and I will receive you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these pronuises, dearly beloved; let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of Aesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
When a person conversant with the vegetable productions of the earth, observes in the forest a plant, whose properties he is desirous of improving; he removes it from its native wild into his garden. There, rooted in luxuriant soil, sheltered from inclement blasts, secured against immoderate humidity, duly watered in seasons of drought, defended from the encroachment of worthless herbs which even in that cultivated spot are continually springing on every side; it testifies by a conspicuous transformation the fostering care of its protector. Its growth enlarges; its juices are meliorated; its tints are heightened; its fragancc is exalted; its fruits are multiplied. It is no longer a barren weed: but the delight of him who has appropriated it to himself.
In correspondence with the general outlines of this similitude, the God of mercy purifies unto himself a peculiar people. By the ministrations of the Gospel He separates them from the wicked; by his grace transforms their nature; sustains them with his arm; nourishes them by his sacred word; cheers them with the light of his countenance; and enables them to bring forth fruit unto perfection.
Between the objects of favor, however, in the two cases, there exists a very important difference. The plant is unconscious, senseless, passive. It knows not its benefactor nor his purposes. Choice has no concern in its improvement. Not so the human being addressed by the Gospel. Him God has created a moral agent. From him God requires active concurrence; co-operation of the will manifested by exertions of obedience. He does not hurry the man by arbitrary force from amidst the thorns and thistles of iniquity. “Come out from among them,” he cries,
, " and be separate.” Bestowing on the helpless individual adequate powers by the influence of his Spirit: He commands him to exert them and come forth.
To remove an aged plant from the forest, and to cause it to flourish in the garden, might be a task level with the skill of the cultivator. But he gives the preference to a younger stem, whose fibres are less firmly riveted in the soil, and less closely interwoven with the roots of the contiguous thicket. To pluck up the veteran sinner, however deeply he may have shot his roots downwards toward hell; and to enable him to flourish like a green olive-tree in the courts of the house of his God; is an undertaking devoid of difficulty to the Omnipotent. But with singular complacency he looks on those, who have received Him as "the guide of their youth.” “Out of the mouth even of babes and sucklings lle perfecteth praise.” Advancing childhood receives new marks of his love. “Come, ye children,” he cries by his
“ Holy Spirit, “hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” “Suffer little children," cxclaimed his beloved Son, “ to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.” In the Old Testament is heard the gracious admonition; “Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth.” And in the passage from the New which I have proposed for our consideration, a passage strictly connected by the context with the subject of marriage, it is to young persons that the promise,
though pertaining to all Christians, is primarily addressed: “I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you: and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
How is an in:crest in this promise to be obtained? “ By coming forth and being scparate,” through a living faith in Christ, from the pollutions of the world: “ by cleansing ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit,” and “persecting holiness in the fear of God.”
In order to apply these universal instructions to the especial benefit of the young; I design in the present and in the succeding discourse to point out the distinct bearings of some of the principal Christian virtues on the characters and duties of youth in general, and, as opportunities arise, of cach sex in particular.
I. The arcbitect, whether purposing to ercct a cottage, or a palacc, or a temple, provides for the safety of the future superstructure by devoting his first care to the solidity of the foundation. In youth, as in every other period of life, the foundation of cvery Christian cxcellence is pirty: a fervent love of God habitually submitting itself to the guidance of this law. 6. Wherewith shall a young man cleanse his way? By taking hecd according to thy word.”
66 Josiah did that which was right in the sight of the Lord; and declined neither to the right hand nor to the left.” Why? " For while he was yet young he began lo seck after the God of David his father.” Why had the young men,'
“ whom St. John addressed been enabled “ to overcome the wicked one?" Because, adds the Apostle, “the word of God abideth in you." Youth is the season of ardent affections. Shall the heart Le warm in its attachment to earthly relatives and associates; and cold towards your heavenly Father, your kindest friend; cold to Jesus Christ who died for you, and is not ashamed to call you brethren?" Youth is the season when the perception of delight is the mosi lively. Shall you be penetrated with a fecling of obligation, with tender emotions of gratitude, towards an earthly benefactor; and unthankful to Him who giveth you all things richly lo enjoy?" Youth is the scaion of strength and alacrity. Shall the sluggish spirit, the inactive fecbleness of age be scen zealous in labors of the glory of God; and shall you be torpid as to his service? Youth is the scason for inexperience.
? Shail you be carnest in the pursuit of human knowledge, obcdient to human counsel; and negligent of the “light” which