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or maxims of mere moral virtue, by what ingenious conclusions, or elevated sentiments, frail men and inexperienced youths Thall in those situations maintain their ground, and come off conquerors, without deriving strength from religion, without acting as in the presence of God.
Let a young person be so circumstanced," that he cannot retain his virtue, without incurring the derision of his associates ; that he cannot hold fast his righteousness, without offending some who have it in their power to make or mar his fortune; that he has an opportunity of securing a considerable advantage by a small devia-' tion, or of serving a connexion, a com-* panion, or a man of 'rank and affluence, to the prejudice of a stranger, or of a poor' man; that there is nothing to hinder him from arriving at the very summit of his wishes, but a scruple of conscience, which many would pronounce idle, if not pusillanimous ; or finally, that in doing an ill thing, to which he is stimulated by a
Arong desire, he may either elude discovery, or despise censure, or perhaps find numbers who will not only justify, but applaud hiin :- inform us, I conjure you, what is there to prevent this young man from falling into any of these snares? Will you say, The fuperior pleasure and glory of innocence, of truth, of humanity, of self-command? Can you then imagine that such considerations, beautiful and dignified as they must doubtless appear to more correct spirits in an hour of tranquillity, when all is calm intellectual per ception that such considerations alone will be sufficient to combat irregular im. pulses, to withstand improper folicitations, at a moment when the mind is agitated, the fancy fired, the passions in a mutiny, and especially when the Aattering hope of fame among the genteel and the gay, as well as of present gratification, incite to compliance ? Never believe it: the least reflection upon your own feelings, and the manners of the age, will convince you of the contrary..
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When Vice throws off the mark, and presents her impudent front, those who have not been used to behold it, or who have hitherto resisted her advances, are naturally disposed to turn away from the monster with abhorretice : but when the conceals herself under the aspect of élėgant pleasure ; when, supported and recom mended by the fashion, 'fhe is entertained among those who pass for the best judgés in the way of taste; when not politeness only, or gentility, but wit and talents are reduced to plead her cause, and propagate her empire; when the almost refiftless charms of music are employed to give her new attractions, or however to promote that languor and effeminacy which lull the guards of Virtue;' once more, 'when, instead of wearing her own coarse and obnoxious name, the affumes the more familiar and fèrs alarming title of Diflis pation what then why, then the becomes much more infinuating.' And this, I prefume to Táy, is a case which has been as common for some years, as it was rare in the days of our forefathers; when that odious form not having learned the science of smooth disguise, and being still ashamed of her native ugliness, generally skulked in corners. By the unbounded importation of foreign diverfions, by the enormous growth of commercial luxury, and the prodigious influx of Eaftern plunder, formerly mentioned, she has since taken çourage, and walked forth with great frees dom, in the character of a smiling difa sembler, amidst all the advantages of dress, decoration, and powerful patronage. In this character, and under thefe circumstances, the accosts a lively young man, adapting herself to his paffions with wonderful address, and equal affiduity. The question returns, and I beg leave to press it, Where shall he be furnished with the strength, with the resolution, with the grace required to vanquilo her'; more especially, if an easy or affluent fortune supplies him with many opportunities of visiting the scenes where the pra&ifes her chief forceries above all the reli, the nocturnal assembly, the inflaming revel, and the maddening masquerade?
When the abstract idea of the joy and honour attendant on conscious rectitude, is opposed by the alluring prospect of fenfible good, of solid gain, of popular praise, or of safe indulgence to an impatient propenlity, or a riotous imagination, where, alas! is the child of Adam, who possesses such purity of virtue, such sovereignty of reason, as shall enable him to reject the alluring prospect, and rest content with the abstract idea, independent- I say, independent, of any, compensation from futurity, of any reward from a Being at, once omnipotent and eternal ? But now suppose, that in this dangerous trial, the Fear of offending Him " whose loving“ kindness is better than life,” as his dif pleasure is more terrible than death, should, like some faithful monitor or guardian angel, whisper our young friend as it were. in the ear, tell him his hazard, and warn: him to “ stand in awe and not lim"