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Shall the blessing of the Lord of all accompany a contract, in which his honour is flighted, his approbation held of secondary. importance? Do you seek the glory of God? Do you hope for his blessing? Cherish not a thought of being united to another in marriage, until you have solid grounds for deliberate belief, that the individual in question is a true servant of Christ: a servant of Christ not in the loose acceptation of the terms prevalent in a careless world, but in that comprehensive and scriptural import which they shall be found at the last day to have involved. If personal attractions, or amiable manners, or lucrative or splendid, connections, preponderate in your heart; you are the slave of engaging features, or of alluring manners, or of interest, or of ambition; not the servant of Jehovah. Hear the voice of God prohibiting his chosen people from marriages with idolaters. Hear St. Paul commanding Christians to marry only in the L&td (y). Hear him, in the very passage which is the foundation of the present discourse, commanding them not to be yoked unequally with unbelievers. Whatfellowjhip^
(j) 1 Cor. vii. 39. .... .'
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he exclaims, hath righteousness with unrighteousness? What communion hath light -with darkness f What concord hath Christ -with Belial f What part hath he that believeth -with an infidel? Let it not be supposed that the energy of these words respects merely the cafe of a Christian about to marry a heathen or a sceptic. It respects the cafe of a Christian meditating marriage with any person whom God regards as not a Christian ; a person who like the covetous man, or the glutton, being enslaved to some habit of unrighteousness, is stamped by the Scriptures an idolater; a person who lives not unto Christ, and therefore has no efficient faith in Christy a person whose heart, idolising the world, is cold and formal as to genuine religion. Reflect too on she danger which would necessarily ensue to your own principles no less than to your happiness, from an union with a partner not truly religious: and you will confess that on this as on every occasion interest moves hand in hand with duty. Guard then your affections against sudden and premature impressions. Look primarily to the religious character of the individual towards whom you feel a dawning of regard. Weigh circumstances 1 with with precision: weigh them under a lively sense of your predisposition to see all things with a favourable eye. If attachment insinuating itself into the bosom has been permitted to make progress, ere you discover that its' object is in the primary qualification defective; how distressing is the alternative of relinquishing your prospects at the expence of a bitter sacrifice, or of persisting at the risk of your present and eternal welfare! But if you shrink from the sacrifice, you do not love God above all. In making it, whatever you suffer, you suffer as a Christian; you suffer for righteousness' fake. In such sufferings blessed are you. Act thus in all things, and you shall be blessed for ever.
~^! >f CbR.vI. 17,18. vii. 1./
'1-r^'if br '.. '5". f , - ''' 1 ..r '. r. 'v'.t" *. Cb7»ff oat from among them, and be ye separate,faith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: and I will receive, you, and will be a father unto you, and ye shall be inysons and daughters,faith the Lord Al-. mighty. Having therefore these promises', dearly beloved; let us cleanse ourselves
from allfilthinefs of flesh and spirit, persebling holiness in the fear of God.
*HE Christian graces of piety, docility, and reverence for age, together with the leading obligations into which selfgovernment is ramified, were investigated in the preceding discourse with especial regard to their influence on the conduct of youth. May the guidance of the Holy
Spirit direct, and His blessing prosper, our inquiries into several branches of duty, which remain to be examined with a similar reference.
V. With self-government discretion is intimately connected. Each borrows aid from the other, and lends reciprocal assistance. If, in proportion as discretion influences the character, the path is smoothed for the exercise of self-command; in proportion likewise as sober-mindedness and forbearance produce experimental effects on the conduct, the discriminating powers of discretion are strengthened, and the exertion of them is rendered prompt, easy, and determinate. To give to the young man discretion, was an object which occupied the heart of the wisest of men. My son, keep sound wisdom and discretion. Discretionshall preserve thee, and shall be life unto thy soul. Let the aged teach young women to be discreet. I will that the younger women give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully [a). Such are the precepts of the Most High. Discretion neither recommends immoderate suspicion j nor en
(a) prov. i. 4. ii. ii. iii. 21, 22. Tit, ii. 5. 1 Tim. v. i4..... *''