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that I have ; I am dependent on thee for all that I want ; and I owe to thee all that I can do. I would be humbled before thee for all my childish follies and youthful vanities ; for the corruptions of my heart, and the iniquities of my life. I pray thee, O God, to detiver me from my guilt, and cleanse me from my pollutions. Form my mind to the early love of true and fubftantial wisdom. Teach me to love, fear and serve thee, with all my heart. May I honour mey Divine Saviour, know the truth as it is in him, feel the power of his doctrines, obey his conmands, and be conformed to his example. I desire especially to imitate his example of youthful piety, virtue and wisdom. O that like him, 'I might not only grow in ftature, but also increase in wifdom, and in favour with God and man. May I enbrace the good, and abhor the evil which I fee in other3 ; and, by my example, do fomething to encourage good and discourage evil
, in all that I affociate with. May I be a companion of them who fear God, and wifely Jhun the fnares of wicked company. May I be kept from temptations, or, when they meet me, be enabled to overcome them. Give me grace to keep my heart diligently, to govern my tongue wisely, and to use my time profitably. May I daily mind the one thing needful, and faithfully attend to the care of my foul. May I daily act in the fear of God, and with a sense of the judgment to come. May Idaily think of dýing, and do Something in preparatian
for my great change. And when death shall remove me from this world, may I, of thine abundant mercy in Christ Jesus, be received to thy presence in heaven. Take me under tby care this day, (or this night,] and, both by night and by day, may
I be kept from fin. And, whether I sleep or wake, may I be preserved from barm; and unto thee I will ascribe the praise, through Jesus Christ my Redeemer..Amen.
The Duty of Speaking to the Young.
ZECHARIAH ii. 4.
-Run speak to this young man.
young man was the prophet Zechariah, who seems to have enjoyed the spirit of prophecy in his youth. He flourished toward the end of the captivity, when things were ripening for the restoration. The intention of the first part of his prophecy is to encourage the Jews in rebuilding their ancient city and temple. As he was converling with an angel, whom he calls “ the angel that talked with him,” he saw another angel, with a measuring line in his hand, going, like an architect, to lay out the plan and take the proportion of the city, in order to its being rebuilded. And the angel, who talked with him, went forth, and this other angel went out to meet him, and said to him, “ Run speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited, as towns without walls ; for the Lord will be a wall of fire round about her, and the glory in the midst of her.”
This message to the young prophet was sent on a special occasion. There may be many occasions which call on us to address the young. Other young men are to be spoken to, as well as the Vol. V.
prophet; others are required to speak to them, as well as the angel to speak to Zechariah ; there are other subjects on which the young need to be ad. dressed, as important as that which called the prophet's attention. I shall therefore improve our text as a general direction to speak to the young.
You will afk then, what young man is to be fpoken to ?
Every one needs to have fomething faid to him. But there may be special occasions to speak to some. You will find some who are ignorant, and need to be instructed ; some who are rash and precipitant, and need to be warned; fome who are wicked and ungodly, and need to be reproved ; some who are inattentive to their duty, and need to be exhorted. Every one has his temptations, his dangers, his weaknesses, and his failings, and needs to be addressed in a manner suitable to his peculiar situation and character.
But what occasion is there to speak to the young
Speak to him, because he is unexperienced; he has not had time for much obfervation and improvement. Hence through want of knowledge, he is liable to commit many grofs mistakes, and to také many dangerous steps. Give him, therefore, the advantage of your better judgment, clearer forelight and riper experience.
Speak to him, because temptations dwait him, of which he is unapprized. This is with him a giddy age; a critical period. His pafsions are strong, his imagination lively, his felf-confidence bold, and his forethought but short. Hence temptations more suddenly furprize him, more easily overcome him, more powerfully bear him away, than, we hope, they will do at a riper age, when his senses are better exercised to discern both good and evil.
Speak to him, because one wrong step may be followed with a train of mischievous consequences. It is of importance that he begin well ; that he fet out right, that he early take the path in which he fhould walk; that he be secured from the fatal tracks, into which incautious souls are easily dea coyed. One false ftep will make way for another, and that for a third, until the poor thoughtless wanderer will be so bewildered in the mazes of errour ; so entangled in the fnares of vice, that he will not know by what means to extricate himself, por by what steps to return back to the good way, from which he has departed.
Speak to him, because he may have many bad advisers. His wicked companions will intice him to evil ; and perhaps their fair speeches will cause him to yield. Many feducing suggestions will be made to him ; many flattering arguments will be urged upon him, to draw him away from truth and virtue. Give him your wholesome cautions, that he may cease to hear the instructions, which caufe to err from the words of knowledge.
Speak to him, because the interest of his soul is depending. It cannot be a matter of indifference what course he takes, for with this his eternal state is connected. The path of fin is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death. The path of righteousness is the way of life, leading up to the kingdom of glory. As you would save a foul from death, apply the means in your power to convert the finner from the errour of his ways. Speak to him, because from your
silence he will conclude that his way is right, or not dangerously wrong. There are many cases, in which, not to reprove is to countenance an errour; not to condemn is to excuse a fault ; not to reftrain is to embolden a transgression.
Speak to him, because the virtue and happiness of others may greatly depend on bis conduct. If he runs into the path of vice, you know. not how many he may draw after him. These again may decoy and millead many more. His pernicious influence may spread wide and last long. It may reach down to succeeding generations, and extend itself on each side, more and more, in its progress. One finner destroys much good. You know not, how much evil you may prevent, and how much good you may promote, by speaking to one young man. By speaking to him, you may speak to hun. dreds.
Speak to him, because he is young, and there is hope that you may do him good. There may be some older sinners who are hardened through the deceitfulness of fin, and become callous and unfeeling to reproof. The young are not yet so far gone
in vice. There is in them some sensibility of heart ; some regard to honour ; fome apprehenfion of futurity; fome tenderness of conscience; and a word properly spoken may have a happy effect.
You will next enquire, whole business is it to speak to the young man ?
It is the business of every one who fees, that he needs to be spoken to, and who can do him good by speaking. Particularly,
His parents ought to speak to him. They are commanded to bring him up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; to train him up in the way in which he should go. By divine authority they are charged with his instruction, guidance and education. If they forbear to execute the charge, how God will resent the neglect, they may learn from the example of his vengeance on the house of Eli, of which he says, “ Iwill judge the