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sation, affords you a bright pattern of success. You have advantages by far greater than she had. You have the full revelation of God's will; you live in a Christian country; you are. protected by the social usages and laws of a Protestant nation; you have ministers and friends to direct you ; you have the Bible in your hand. You have the blaze of divine glory in the revelation of Jesus Christ. You have been roused from time to time by the providence of God; you have felt the convictions of his Spirit. Neglect not then the opportunity for securing heaven. Are you weak or vacillating or timorous ? Be encouraged. The grace of God will work in you to will and to do; the truth and faithfulness of God will be your shield and exceeding great reward. Consider also the happy consequences of being decidedly the people of God. The difficulty is in taking a determined step and breaking through the first hinderances to a devout life. Act then resolutely in the strength of almighty grace. You will bless God all your future life for enabling you to do so. You cannot, indeed, expect the same temporal blessings which followed the pious Ruth, because you live under another dispensation ; but you may rely even on these, so far as they are for your ultimate good. Possibly your greatest difficulties may soon disappear, when you have once taken an open and firm
part. Possibly the very sister or brother, the effect of whose regard in drawing you back to the world, you most dread, may be won over to your Saviour. The very circumstances which now most perplex you, may be changed, the clouds disperse, and the day break out again with all its splendour. Or, at all events, whatever may be the case as to these outward trials, you will assuredly have pardon, reconciliation, and acceptance with God through the death and righteousness of the Redeemer ; you will have the indwelling and communion of the Holy Spirit ; you will have the comfort of the promises ; the peace and consolation of hope ; the testimony of a good conscience; and at last, after the short trials of this life, an eternal rest in the bosom of your Saviour for ever. Othe infinite recompense which awaits the resolute and determined Christian ! O the unbounded grace and faithfulness of God! O the wisdom of choosing that good part which shall never be taken from you ! None ever complained of God as a rigorous master. He does exceeding abundantly above all we can ask or think. III. LET ME
THOSE WHO, RUTH, HAVE CHOSEN THIS GOOD PART, TO IMI
TATE HER IN THEIR HABITUAL TEMPER AND CON
Let their industry, their obedience, their submission, their humility, their simplicity, their thankfulness, their consist
ency testify the inward principle of grace by which they are governed. Let their religion be a lovely thing. Let it be productive of amiable tempers and affections. Let an undaunted resolution on points of real moment, be united with softness, tenderness, humility, and courtesy of demeanour on points of less iinportance. Let there be ever a desire to yield and conciliate, rather than to wound charity and peace by useless and never-ending contentions. This is the genuine fruit of grace. This, this greatly recoinmends religion in young persons. This distinguishes real principle from self-will and pride, This peculiarly adorns the Gospel of Christ.
IV. LET ME ANIMATE PARENTS AND HEADS OP FAMILIES TO BRING UP THEIR CHILDREN FOR THE SERVICE of God. They may be afflicted and bereaved. They may be compelled to leave house and country and friends ; but, wherever they are, or whatever be their lot, let Naomi's example lead them to become a blessing in their housebolds. Let them submit to the dispensations of a Providence which is as kind as it is unerring, Let nothing tempt them to worldly expedients, even in times of trouble. If distressing events take place without any wilful negligence on their part, let them wait for God's appearance for them. Even the most unjust persecutors can only do whatsoeder God's hand and counsel have
determined before to be done. The most gloomy and calamitous circumstances may be pregnant with blessings. Their pious labours may win over a prejudiced relative, may sooth an irritated opponent, may gain, and even save, an enemy. The omnipotent grace of God can convert the most obstinate characters, and can arm the wavering with courage for the day of trial. And what a recompense is this for all the solicitude of pious parents! Who would not pass through Naomi's troubles to share her joy in the converşion of her daughter-in-law, and to partake of the calm serenity of her closing days? Yes, if parental duties are of all obligations the most difficult, they are also the most delightful. If these were more attended to, we should have happier families, and should behoid more young people, like Ruth, determined for Christ and beaven. And then, what delight would fill the devout parents' hearts! What gratitude to God would expand their bosoms! An union would be formed in families, not merely such as Ruth vowed with Naomi, which nothing but death should part, but wbich even the grave itself will only cement and perfect, which will stretch beyond the valley of the shadow of death, be continued through endless ages, and constitute in no small degree the ineffable bliss of heaven.
ROMANS, VIII. 26. Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities ; for we know not what we should pray for as we ought : but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
There is no duty of the Christian life more im-. portant than prayer. It is by prayer that true religion begins in our hearts, that all evil is averted, and that every real blessing is attained. It is by prayer that we draw nigh to God, that we approach a Saviour, that we receive the graces of the Holy Ghost. Prayer strengthens us and enables us to love our neighbour, and to keep the divine commandments; and from it we obtain support and consolation under the innumerable trials and temptations of this probationary state. It must be a matter, then, of great moment not only to pray, but to know bow to pray aright : for, as so much depends on this duty, grace and help to pray must in fact