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wards any aged individual neglect or ' derision be thus heinous: what is the sin of those who despise or deride a parent? The eyethat moekcth at his father, and defpifeth to obey his mother; the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young eagles shall eat it. 'What is the first commanament with promise {h) t Honour thy father and thy mother. Observe the impartial equality with which the command extends its protection and confirms its privileges to each of your parents. Within the scope of this command, all periods, situations, and circumstances are comprised. But the Spirit of God does not fend you forth to the discharge of filial duties without an injunction immediately referring to the cafe of aged parents. Hearken unto thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mother tehen she is old (/). Conformable to this injunction is the admonition of the son of Sirach —Grieve hot. thy father as long as he Uvetb. And if his understanding fail, have patience with him: and despise him not, -when thou art in thy full firength {k). Sustain the trembling steps, supply the. waning faculties, of the protectors who upheld thee

(b) Prov. xxx. 17. Eph. vi. 2. (i) Prov. xxiii.*23. (i) Eccl'us. in. i2, i3.

while while tottering in infancy, and pondered by day and by night for thy good, when thou knewest not thy right hand from thy left. If thy career be prolonged; thou also (halt be old. Thou snalt lean on the arm of duty: thou shalt call on affection to smooth thy paths.

IV. The obligations to be considered ia the next place may be ranged under the comprehensive head of self-government.

The supports of self-government are, first, sobermindedness; secondly, the habit of forbearance. ;'; I,.,,

Sobermindedness, or sobriety, implies the dispassionate contemplation of objects divesting them of false brilliancy and undue importance. On the youth of each sex, as particularly obnoxious to delusion through warmth of passion, Vividness of imagination, and the speciousnese of new attractions, the duty of sobermindedness, enjoined on every age, is distinctly impressed by St. Paul. leach young women to be sober. Young men likewise exhort to be sober* minded {I). To youth also, in common with their seniors, the general exhortations

(/) Tit. 11.4.$. ..>'*-! '•-"

'.-.. to to,sobriety, with which the word'of God' abounds, are directed. Sobermlhdedness leads to self-government by rectifying the judgement, and exercising through the medium of the rectified judgement, a chastising Influence over the affections. If the youthful Christian is commanded not to love the world, nor the things that are in the world; how much more reasonable in his apprehension is the mandate; how much less eager will be his attachment to the lust of theses} and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, when his understanding is opened and his heart sobered by the reflection that the world pajfeth away and the lust thereof but he who doeth the will of God abideth for ever (m)! How much more cheerfully willi he turn from the things whichare seen to ' pursue the things which are not seen; when his foul is penetrated with the conviction that the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal (»)! ".J \ .'

The transactions of every day are exemplifications of the power of habit. * ''No circumstances are so trifling, none so momentous, as to be below or above its ist

(m) John, ii. lj. %J, . (n) 2 Cor. iv. 18.

fluence. 6

fluence. No step within the abiMty of matt is so easy, or so difficult, as not to be essentially retarded or advanced by the opposition or the co-operation of customary practice. Of all human attainments, selfgovernment is the most arduous. Better is be that rules b Ms spirit, than be that taketh a city. Yet arduous as it may be, to salvation it is indispensable. Is it then a mattes of indifference whether the aid of habit be cultivated, or despised: whether habit be secured as a faithful ally, or converted into an obstinate foe? Is not habit equally potent to strengthen you in forbearance asi in action? Behold the advantage which the children of this world derive from the assistance of habit in bridling their passions, in restraining their tongues, in reducing their very gestures and looks under subordination. Will not you seek the same aid for nobler ends? Is it not your wisdom, is it not your duty, to make a covenant with jour eyes, and with the thoughts of your heart; universally to keep under your body and bring it 'into fubjeclion; nay even to refrain on many occasions from innocent indulgences for the very purpose of forming and upholding that habit of forbearance, whose power, when confirmed,

is

As in the hands of divine grace of such signal efficacy in supporting you against temptation?

The importance and the right application of a steady principle of self-government may be illustrated by an examination of its bearings on various Christian duties.

A sanguine temperament; buoyant spirits; want of familiarity with vicissitudes, obstacles, and disappointment; conspire to hurry the young into levity, impatience, hastiness, petulance, and impetuosity. Gravity is deemed stupidity: caution, fearfulness. Delay becomes intolerable; opposition, grievous. Behold a scene for the exercise of self-government. By gentleness towards others, by firmness of command over yourself, by serenity, by kindness of temper, by patient acquiescence, prepare yourself to remain unruffled amid the trials of life. If the vessel is incapable of regulating its course under the shifting gales and fluctuating tides, which await its early departure from the harbour; how shall it stem the waves and blasts of the middle ocean?

Temperance displays a spacious field for self-government. Who hath woe? Who hath sorrow? Who hath contentions? Who hath babbling f Who hath wounds without

Vol. II. C c cause?

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