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us. It is easy to abstain from that species of the love of the world to which our health or temperament is opposed. It is easy to escape from one snare of this dexterous enemy, whilst we fall into another. We may easily avoid display and extravagance, if we are covetous. We naturally refrain from indiscriminate association with others, if we are proud or morose. We find no difficulty in shunning public amusements, if we are infirm in health. We may readily decline trifling conversation, if we are much occupied. We may abstain from dissipation, if we are ambitious. We may avoid irregularities of conduct, if we are jealous of our character. We may shrink from tumultuous scenes of pleasure, if we are reserved, and from those which are expensive, if we are indigent. And yet the love of earthly things, in the shape most convenient and easy to us at our age and with our particular disposition and pursuits, may reign undisturbed ; the heart may seek after vanity, and the love of God and a holy life be far from our thoughts. With all these and a thousand other modifications, the world may still be our God, and the whole soul be fixed on the objects of sense and time.
Allow me, then, in drawing towards a conclusion,
I. To point out the way in which WE MAY BB DELIVERED FROM THE SPIRIT OF THE WORLD.
In order to this, we must, first of all, strive, under God's blessing and grace, to be SERIOUS. " It is the business of religion to quicken vigilance, as it is the design of the world to lay it asleep.” Till men are serious and in earnest about their salvation, little can be hoped from them. A vain trifling mind, on which nothing makes an impression, is perhaps the most unfavourable of all dispositions to religion. Repentance is a serious thing : faith is a serious thing: the soul is a serious thing : death, judgment, eternity, heaven and hell, are all serious things. Even in the concerns of this life, no important matter can be accomplished by a trifler. How much less then in religion! And yet I may appeal to the consciences of men, whether the whole tendency of their present course of life, if they love the world, is not that of making light of Christ and his salvation. Withdraw then from the giddy throng. Take up the duties of Christianity with solemnity and earnest
Trifle no longer with the crowd, but listen to the voice of conscience and Scripture.
I say, listen to the voice of Scripture: for THE STUDY OF THE BIBLE is one of the most imperious duties of a serious and awakened mind. Read that holy book. See what it states of man, of God, of the law of God, of the danger of sin. See what it declares of human corruption, of redemption, and of the
way of pardon and holiness. Read its instructions as to the real nature and spirituality of religion, as to the demand which God makes of the whole heart, as to the duties of faith, love, and communion with Heaven. Study what it testifies against the world, as lying in wickedness, as being in a state of enmity against God. Meditate on its warning's as to the value of time, the uncertainty of death, the danger of an impenitent state, and the deceitfulness of sin. And when you have read this, pause and tell me whether you are not required to love the Lord
your God with all your heart and soul and mind and strength; tell me whether you will be profited, if you gain the whole world and lose your own soul; tell me whether you are not to glorify God in your body and your spirit, which are his ; tell me, in a word, whether the kind of religion depicted in the Bible admits of a worldly life, of dissipated affections, of inflamed passions, of a trifling waste of time, and a supreme love of gain, or pleasure, or applause.
Pass on from these studies to FERVENT PRAYER FOR THE RENEWING GRACE OF THE HOLY Spirit. When
your weakness and irresolution, the seduction of example and the force of habit, then implore that new disposition of beart, that heavenly and sacred change, that entire regeneration of the soul, which may issue in a truly holy and religious life. Be
Bot cast into despair whilst you
your duty and yet your infirmity, your danger and yet your frailty and corruption; but learn that the grace and power of the Holy Spirit are precisely calculated to assist and strengthen you. This divine and almighty Sanctifier can deliver you from the world, can implant in you the seeds of a new nature, can show you the sinfulness of a sensual life, and convince you of the possibility of living the life of a Christian. ; Thus the very doctrine of the influence of the Holy Spirit, which you once misunderstood and perhaps despised, shall become your consolation and your joy. Implore then the illumination and strength of this blessed Spirit of God, that you may be enabled to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the uncleun thing, that God
y02 muy become the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. Let prayer be followed up by A DETER
Prayer without practice is hypocrisy. Boldly act then on the dictates of conscience. Give up what you know to be wrong. Besides, the general course of the world in the less gross sense of the expression, you are, in all probability, living in various other habits which you know to be con. trary to the will of God. Renounce them. Whats ever reproach may attach to you, venture to
MINED EFFORT IN THE PATH OF DUTY.
obey God rather than man. By acting up to the light you have, you may expect more. Break through all opposition; for your soul and eternity are at stake. All intercourse withi the profligate part of those around you avoid, and avoid it at once. That measure of necessary association with irreligious persons which is connected with your real duties to society or to your family, jealously watch over. Court retirement; cultivate a spirit of devotion; keep holy the Lord's day; conceal not your new views and determinations. Honour God by your repentance; edify your neighbour by your example. . In doing this, be WISE AND HUMBLE as well as resolute. Do not affect singularities. Do not mistake self-will for decision. Do not indulge your own bad tempers, and then talk of persecution. Do not spoil what is substantially good by indelicacy or unnecessary abruptness. Be wise and prudent. Show the true spirit of separation from the world, not by being scrupulous in things really indifferent, but by love to Christ, by delight in holiness, by the fear of God, and by the ardent pursuit of higher objects. Unite with these, condescension, cheerfulness, courteousness, charity. Be more exact than ever in the discharge of those duties which fall under the notice of worldly persons. Especially if you are in younger life,