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ST. JOHN, xiv. 1.
YE BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.
To instil the true principles of Religion into the minds of the young, to explain to them the nature, excellence, and im portance of the faith into which they were baptized, and to show them how to* " pass the time of" their "sojourning here," "that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things," and arrive at happiness in the end, is not only a duty, which every Christian. Minister, who feels the awful responsibility of his office, will be most anxious to fulfil, but also a task, under which, while he has the opportunity to preach the good tidings of salvation, and the power to work in the vineyard of his Lord, he will never faint. To feed the
sheep of his Blessed Master in the best way he can, is his object. Although, from a want of better judgment (for all are not equally gifted with abilities) he may not choose the most skilful method of conveying edification to his hearers, yet, if he be sincere and earnest, and they willing to receive such spiritual nourishment as he can give them, there is every ground on which to build a hope, that Providence, working together with him, will bring his labours to good effect.
With these impressions on my mind, I have frequently, during my ministry amongst you, addressed my discourses to the young. I have done this with a view to assist in bringing up the rising generation * in the nurture and admonition of the Lord," and with the hope of benefiting the world, not only while I am in it, but also after it shall please God, in the due course of his Providence, to take me from it. Into all my particular addresses, however, I have en
* Eph. vi. 4.
deavoured to throw advice applicable to every age and rank. And in the following Discourses, though they will claim more immediately the attention of the young, such observations and instructions will be incidentally offered, as are calculated, I trust, to be of service to all.
From all, then, and especially from you *who are beginning your career in life, let me ask a willing and a patient ear, while I expound to you, in the best manner I am able, your three Great
It is gratifying to observe the number of young persons who constantly attend divine service in the afternoon at this (St. Margaret's) Church. This voluntary act, in many instances unintermitted, and proceeding, I am persuaded, from a conviction of duty, and a sense of real piety, deserves every encouragement the Christian Minister can give it. It has become too much a fashion to abstain from entering the House of Prayer a second time on the Sabbathday; too much a prevailing delusion, that the devo tional tribute is abundantly paid, when the morning service is at an end. That this evil fashion and this dangerous delusion may soon pass away, and the wise ordinances of our pious forefathers be more strictly and religiously observed, must ever be the fervent prayer of all good Christians.
your Duty towards God, your Duty towards your Neighbour, and your Duty towards Yourselves.
I shall, first, discourse to you on your Duty towards God. All that relates to this important point I shall comprehend under the general heads of Belief, Fear, and Love. The subject of Belief will occupy our present consideration.
In the first place, you should believe in God; for "without Faith it is impossible to please him ; for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." Faith in him is the foundation of all intercourse with him. Without
you can have no interest in him, nor in any thing that he has done for mankind. If you admit not this grand fundamental principle, this elementary tenet of religious truth, what is there to induce or constrain you to lead a righteous life? what is there, besides the authority of human laws, and the fear of human punishment, to deter you from entering
*Heb. xi. 6.