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TO THE YOUNG.
TO THE YOUNG. : xvii Why, you may perhaps ask, have I given such an extended series of Selections, upon what, after all, are only two subjects; and not, rather, condensed into one systematic and complete Treatise whatever was best in each? I reply-Because certain of these writers appear to have been themselves attempting something like this; but with such partial success, that I am deterred by the fear of yet worse failure. Neither should I willingly forego that variety in style, which is attractive to most readers; and which is here exhibited from so many writers, that there will be found something suited to persons of all moods, ages, and circumstances. Much of the weight of their sentiments, also, will be felt to arise from the consistency of Christian character, by which not a few of these authors were distinguished. Further I confess myself to be one of those who are pleased with hearing useful things repeated many times, and with much diversity of expression. Thus, for example, we go into a company of friends, where all may be, in the main, agreed, on Religion, Morals, and Literature; and yet, still we delight to hear a subject rung out with all the possible chimes and changes of men's feelings, opinions, and affections: we sensibly yield a warmer assent to what has been aptly said by such or such a person of worth and consideration; and when (as in this Manual) we find a Bishop, a Judge, and a Physician, all concurring in the same sentiment, our hearts surrender without hesitation, and we are irresistibly won over to the Truth.
Were it now required of me to advance so far beyond the character of a mere compiler, as to state what appears to me the sum of the whole matter, in reference to the management of Time and Temper ; I would beg leave to make the attempt in the fewest possible words. First of all, sanctify The Lord's Day: this practice will gather blessings around you, through all the periods of Time, and for all the ages of Eternity. Next, by faith in God, through Christ, and with the aid of his Holy Spirit, unceasingly cultivate EVENNESS OF TEMPER: all happy graces will spring up, in beautiful and natural order, from a heart thus regulated, thus influenced from above.
My soul is, at times, weighed down with sorrow, at the sight of those thousands of my fellow-countrymen, both rich and poor, who habitually profane the Lord's Day; and for whom I am often constrained to fear, that they will never see the Rest that remaineth for the people of God. Certainly, except they repent, they will all perish! The reading, also, of the Journals of Missionaries tends to keep open a perpetual wound in the heart; seeing, as we clearly do, by them, that the world is still so deeply sunk under the power of him, who was a liar and a murderer from the beginning. Hence, mankind appear, to a most awful extent, to be as full of debate, deceit, ma. lignity, as were the Heathen in St. Paul's time. Thus, consequently, counting back from the fall of our first father, the space of nearly six thousand years seems to have been spent by a large part of mankind in dishonouring God, in making the earth miserable, and crowding the insatiable pit with lost souls. Of this period, four thousand years were passed in darkness, by the chief part of the world; while the small remnant had but a twilight view of the will of God. Then followed some fifteen hundred years, ere the different books of Scripture were collected into one volume: then nearly three hundred more, up to our own day, before Bibles were copiously distributed among the nations; many of which, in fact, do not as yet possess, in their own language, that Blessed Book, which, so far back as eighteen hundred years ago, had all been committed to writing. Some relief to this dark scene is, indeed, found in contemplating that little company of “ babes”!—for so the Eternal Lord of Glory names all his followers ! -and it was over such that Jesus rejoiced in spirit, while confessing that his Heavenly Father had hidden these things from the wise and prudent! But, while I thus mourn, my main desire is to bespeak from you -the hopes of the rising generation!—fervent prayers and strenuous efforts on behalf of our country, and of all unconverted lands. O, never stoop to the meanness of regarding these as party-matters! Let glory to God in the highest, and good will to men, be your aim. Devote yourselves to promote the observance of the Holy Day of rest. Give heart, and voice, and hand, to the cause of Missions; that Mercy and
Truth, Righteousness and Peace may look down from heaven; and all families of the earth be blessed in Jesus, the Prince of Peace !
O never-while your own Time is well economised, and your own Temper brought under wise and happy rules-never rest there! It would be resting in Self ! The God of Love, who so blesses you, has a claim on large portions of your time, for others: He would have you to be swift and intelligent in works of mercy, to kindred, neighbours, country, and mankind. .
But I return to the essential point of application. I desire to press on you the necessity of reducing
good rules to practice. If any of the excellent passages contained in this volume had been the production of some of your own most revered relatives or friends ; if they had been handed to you in manuscript, with leave, as a particular favour, to copy some of them for your own private use; I can well imagine how you would have prized the possession of such a Gallery of Portraits, such a Treasury of Counsels. With what delight, at intervals, would you have looked them over carefully, shewing them occasionally to a few partial friends! Yet, a portfolio, thus enriched, would be valueless, unless practically used : and, for the same reason, this little volume, now and then read, will be of no use at all, unless the Spirit of the Work be wrought into your daily conduct and temper. One good rule, well kept, excels ten thousand beautiful hints and sketches, merely admired in theory. Nay, theory, without practice, is positively injurious : it powerfully aids self-deception : the very familiarity of the mind with rules neglected, and resolutions broken, paralyzes the heart in its most vital functions.—Bishop BUTLER well remarks,“ Going over the theory of virtue in one's thoughts, talking well, and drawing fine pictures of it ; this is so far from necessarily or certainly conducing to form a habit of