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reasonable hope. * * * * It becomes us, in many instances, to rejoice, not only with trembling, but with silence; and to remember, that the evidences which encourage us, must be, from the very nature of the case, dubious. We ought to remember, that • light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart;' and that we are to run the race set before us, in order to reach the prize of our high calling ;' and that the frequent exhibition of careless, worldly, wicked lives being closed with a work of grace, will have a tendency to prevent a salutary fear, and to keep alive a presumptuous hope."
If I did not conscientiously believe that the instances which follow, are exceptions in the present case,—whatever might be my private feelings and attachments - I should never consent to give you these Memoirs, in the form they now assume.
My conviction of their usefulness,particularly with reference to the members of the school with which the deceased individuals were connected,-is confirmed by the opinion of those on whose judgment I rely more than upon my own. But, perhaps, it may be well, to improve this opportunity, in reminding the youth, who may read these pages, of the imminent hazard to which they are exposed, in neglecting the call of love, till the opening realities of eternity make it a call of terror. My young friends, it is in this way you fail to illustrate that “ religion is a thing to live by, as well as to die by ;" —you lose the opportunity of exerting a healthy, extensive, and most salutary influence among your companions ;you allow yourselves but a very short
and uncertain season for preparation in the great concern of death; and if, through rich and infinite grace, you are saved yourselves, you go, as it were, alone into heaven, instead of being the instruments,-as you would in all probability be,—of winning others into the path of glory, and having an abundant entrance ministered unto you, into the everlasting kingdom of your Redeemer.
In the instances we are about to consider, how many advantages these youth had for becoming acquainted with truth, and for having their last days and hours employed, through the friends around them, in an appropriate and useful manner, which, in ordinary cases, are not enjoyed! How many diseases are there, which distract the mind with pain and delirium, so that it cannot call in its thoughts for the solemn work of preparation for death!
And how many are hurried, by sudden accident, into the presence of an angry God! And then, the thought should never be forgotten, that, though at the eleventh hour you may become fitted to shine as a glorified spirit in heaven, yet the evil you must inevitably have done, by continuing, till nearly the end of life, in a state of impenitence, is as active and as everlasting as your praises! Never forget, that every one who acts a part in the great drama of life, leaves, at his departure, an impression and an influence more or less extensive and lasting. The grave of the peasant and the mausoleum of the prince are alike vocal. On each may be inscribed,
“HE BEING DEAD, YET SPEAKETH.”
Be watchful, then, my dear young friends, from day to day, and strive that your example may be such that generations to come, over which your life may exert an important and evergrowing influence, may have abundant occasion to bless God that you ever lived upon the earth, and that you transmitted to them a fame pure as the dew-drop, and imperishable as the throne of God.