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of fruitless speculation, its design is to How what improvement and advantage you may reap from the peculiar circumAtances of the age in which you live.
The general obligations to “ remem“ ber your Creator in the days of your « youth,” we mean not at present to de duce. They may be an object of future enquiry, alike profitable and pleasing. What we directly intend, is to consider the State of the Times, as an additional argument for Early Piety: an argument, if I am not mistaken, in some respects new; I am sure, an argument highly worth the regard of every Young Man, who wishes to think soberly, to act vire tuously, and to pass with satisfaction, security, and honour, through this life to a better. As for those who are not yet awake to serious reflection, or who, if they are sometimes inclined to admit it, still suffer themselves to be carried headlong by the torrent of fashionable vice, and have no feeling of public concerns ; I can scarcely hope to impress them by what I am going to offer. If such are ever effectually restrained from evil, or excited to good, it must be brought about by admonitions of a more rousing and awful nature.
That the practice of religion is not without its difficulties and hardfhips to any individual, at any period, in any country, we pretend not to deny, we wish not to conceal. They will be experienced, in a greater or less degree, by every one who honestly attempts it. But compare the case of a young person, living under the inspection of wise and worthy parents, friends, or instructors, at a distance from the contagion of epidemical iniquity, in some calm fequeftered scene, where the Janguage of profligacy is not heard, where the violence of party is yet unknown, where pleasure and innocence go hand in hand, and from which industry, fimpli
city, and contentment, are not banished by the cares or the parade of wealth, by the refinements or the languor of luxurycompare, I say, his case with that of a youth bred and situated as are most youths of any figure in or about London, and other great towns through the kingdom. Are you not truck with the extreme difference of the two conditions, in the view with which I mentioned them, namely, to prove that while both the young men sup-posed are equally bound to do their duty, as rational and moral agents, accountable to themselves and to their common Judge, the latter will find his task unspeakably more arduous than the former, and that to maintain his quiet and integrity at the same time, will demand a much superior strength of principle? What I have to say, therefore, is chiefly calculated for the youth of this capital, and fuch others as are nearly in the fame circumstances ; but still on the supposition that they retain not only fome decency, but some ambition
to excel. In a word, whether you contemplate the present state of Affairs, or of Morals, we say that the practice of Religion will preserve your Tranquillity impregnable, and your Virtue untainted...
By Religion, we would be understood to signify a lively, affectionate, and habitual sense of God, in conformity to the discoveries he has given of himself, sanctifying and regulating the temper and conduct of his worshippers : a distinction which has nothing to do with the minute distinctions of sects, or the miserable disputes of bio gots. And when we speak of preserving your Tranquillity impregnable, we fuppose it will be assaulted, we grant it may be disturbed and shaken; but would intimate that it cannot be destroyed, or over-: thrown, by any convulsions of the world, provided you are faithful to the interests, and fortified by the consolations, of piety. It may be proper to add, that the Tranquillity in question, will be more or less:
animated and satisfactory, according to the various characters or conditions of those who possess it; and that it is totally distinct from constitutional infipidity, ftoical indifference, or the contemptible selfishness of such as are engrossed by themfelves, and the contracted circle round them.
But what, will the gay and the youthful be ready to ask what avails this same thing called Tranquillity? It may, for aught we know, be defirable, to people worn out in the pursuits of pleasure and ambition, who can no longer enjoy the tumult of brisk ideas, and bold exertions : but to spirits all alive and vigorous, Starting in the race of glory, and grasping at delight from every quarter, Tranquillity is only another name for dulness. --Believe me, Gentlemen, you are mistaken. An habit of ferenity, or self-possession, is the very foundation of all heart-felt happiness; and they can enjoy nothing to