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LETTER IX.

PROVIDENCE.SELF-RECOLLECTION.

MY DEAR

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You will observe that I have said nothing, in these letters to you, about your future prospects: nor do I commonly approve of referring to them, excepting so far as incidental conversations may serve to shew you the general bearings of my own mind, and enable me to discover yours. For what are your prospects ? There is time enough yet, before that question is answered. It is impossible to define any thing future: your present duties chiefly absorb my attention; and I wish them to absorb yours. It would be easy to indulge daydreams; but if ever they should hover about you, I counsel you to dismiss them from your thoughts. Follow the word of God, and confide in his Providence. “ Take no thought for the morrow; for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself: sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."-" Trust in the

Lord with all thine heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him; and He shall direct thy paths.

We should constantly live under the influence of this conviction—that God has required us to withdraw our anxiety from the world; and to fix our great care on the attainment of his favour, and the cultivation of spiritual graces. Just the opposite to this is natural to our carnal minds: our graces we frequently leave withering, while we take all possible painsfruitless pains, very often ! — to make our outward condition prosperous and flourishing. Did we view our calling aright, we should regard ourselves as redeemed from sin and death, only to be made instruments of the Lord's glory, in whatsoever situation he may allot to us, and in that way which may seem best to his wisdom. He will surely lay out work enough for Faith and Love: He will always find a place for Humility; and He will cause his meek and unaspiring servants to be attended by that sweetest of all companions, Peace.— Then why should we be anxious, and selfish, and craving, and scheming? when, in

fact, our plans, even if permitted to succeed, might tend to thwart God's better plan on our behalf. Lay up a store of grace; or rather, draw daily from the store already provided in Christ: but, as to earthly provisions, “ Be careful for nothing. "_Trust in the Lord, and BE DOING GOOD : dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.”—“ Your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of these things.”— “ My God will supply all your need, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus."-Be careful only for that “faith which worketh by love.”

To these remarks—which have grown to a length which I never anticipated I will add but one more. Let me advise you to keep some note of your present feelings and religious experience, as well as of your observations on the state of the world, the little world, around you. Whether you should do this in the form of a regular private Diary, or of an occasional private Paper, delineating your views at stated intervals(say, for example, Half-yearly)-or whether you should content yourself with the habit of conscientious Self-examination, I am not anxious to prescribe: only let me entreat you to aim at this" Know thyself.”—Aim also to know, experimentally, the methods of Divine Grace, working on the soul. And, from stage to stage, in every important event of your journey, set UP WAY-MARKS. For, should you be spared to see many future years in this world, and should the youths of some later generation come to you, in your turn, for advice and comfort, inexpressible will then be the advantage of your having early begun to study Religion as a matter of experience. You will have learned how to fear, how to hope, and how to watch for other young persons, as I now do for you. And this is a kind of debt which we contract, as we go on growing older; and which we should be preparing, in due season, to pay off, for the benefit of those who follow after us; shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and the wonderful works that he hath done; that they also may set THEIR HOPE IN God.

Thus have I, in a familiar way, placed under your view some of the most important rules that occurred to me for your future conduct

and especially in reference to your religious course: for it is this which gives real character to our present existence; and it is inseparably bound up with our future and immortal state. While writing, I have been sometimes touched with the thought, how little can be done, seemingly, by fathers, friends, and Ministers of Christ for the Young. We introduce you into life; we lead you on a little way in it; and thenleave you! The great trial must be your own; and the consequences of your choice, your own. But then I reflect, that though a small light in a great wilderness may seem to be a very minute object, yet, when you feel the night to be dark, and the way slippery—and WHEN YOU KNOW THAT THIS LIGHT IS THE TRUE LIGHTmost assuredly you will rejoice in it, though it shed forth a very feeble ray. Oh that the brief counsel which I have now endeavoured to give you, as the result of Scriptural studies, and of some experience, may be to you as a light shining in a dark place! At each turn of life, may new gifts of wisdom, suited to your new circumstances, be bestowed on you! Here is my chief consolation; that though you are at pre

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