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the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when you shall say, I have no pleasure in them?
You will reflect, that among those whose departure we lament, there were some who, but a few days since, stood side by side with you as companions and friends; and that they were then, as you are now, looking forward to the enjoyment of life and its various comforts. There probably was a time, when the thoughts of eternity seldom occupied their minds. The world appeared decked out in its thousand deceitful charms. In prospect, at least, every thing was bright and flattering; and, for a time, their hopes were fixed on earthly objects. But you know the sad reverse. Withering disease, and decay, and death, followed close upon these delusive scenes ; and your young companions have been summoned away to the eternal world. You have seen the earth close upon their remains. The dust has returned to the earth as it was. They have gone to their long home, and the mourners go about the streets. While, therefore,
. you sympathize with the bereaved, and while you fondly cherish the hope, that the sanctified spirits of the departed have returned to God who gave them, and now rest in the bosom of redeeming love, turn again, for one moment, to the instructive lesson conveyed in these dispensations. Young men — you may still cherish in your memory the
friends who are gone; but you meet no more in this world. How soon you may meet in another, it is not for mortals to know. A few years, at most, perhaps but a few days, or a few hours, may be the whole term of your separation. You probably now feel secure in the freshness and vigor of youth ; but you know not how soon this freshness may be withered, and this vigor prostrated, by the touch of dissolution. You doubtless anticipate the enjoyment of life for many years; but you know not how soon the anticipation may be defeated. Perhaps you think not, as seriously as you ought, of eternity; but you know not how soon its awful concerns may force themselves, with tremendous energy, upon your mind.
The world appears charming and inviting to you ; but even now the years may
be drawing nigh when darkness shall overshadow it. Your prospects are bright; but you know not how soon disappointment may blast them. Your hopes are fixed on things below; but how soon may experience teach you the fallacy of these hopes, and constrain you to say, I have no pleasure in them !
Consider, youthful hearer, by what frail ties you are bound to earth; how easily the silver cord of life is loosed; the golden bowl broken; the pitcher broken at the fountain ; and the wheel broken at the cistern. Consider how liable this perishing dust is, at any moment, to return to the earth as it was, and the spirit to return unto God who
it. Consider all this, and then ask yourself whether you do well to remain careless, secure, and indifferent to the concerns of eternity. Ask yourself whether it is right, whether it is safe, to sport, with blind temerity, upon the very brink of a fearful precipice. Ask yourself whether it is not the part of wisdom and of prudence, as well as of duty, to remember your Creator now, in the days of your youth. And as you reflect on the case of those who have departed in the true faith of the Gospel, and who have appeared calm and serene amid the most trying and distressing scenes, let every such reflection prompt you to the anxious inquiry, whether your trust in God is sufficient to enable you to follow their bright example, were you now called to face the terrors of death. And as you pursue this inquiry, bear in mind the awakening truth, that your great and last enemy does not always approach his victim with slow and gradual steps.
In such an hour as we think not, at a moment of entire self-security, does the summons sometimes come. It is a summons, against which no human fortitude can arm us; a summons which the power of religion alone can enable us to meet with composure.
May you, then, my young friends, and may we all, use our utmost diligence to have all things in readiness when the summons does come. May we now, wbile it is called to-day, secure the strong foundation of our present hope, and of our future bliss. May the dispensations to which we have briefly adverted, prove instrumental in the hand of God, in awakening our attention to the solemn admonitions which we have drawn from the sacred volume. “ And may the good examples of our
departed friends, and the hope of their eternal blessedness, excite us to press, with the more earnestness, toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. In every instance of mortality, may we see how frail and uncertain our own condition is; and may we learn so to number our days as to apply ourselves unto wisdom ; that so, among the changes and vicissitudes of the world, our hearts may be fixed on that sure and only foundation, where true joys are to be found.” And when we reflect, that God will surely bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil, “let us learn to live above the world, to seek the favor of our heavenly Father, to study his holy will, to observe his laws and precepts, and in all our actions, to aim at his glory, the salvation of our own souls, and the souls of our fellowmortals; that so, when we go to our long home, his presence may go with us, to sustain and comfort us, to lead us to the rest eternal in the heavens !"
ADMONITION TO THE YOUNG.
How prone is man, in youth's enchanting hour,
Does health give promise of a safer bloom
What if you gain this world's dear bought applause,
What if you hold from fortune's flattering smile,
Turn, turn to Christ; be teachable and mild,
Many have long been of the opinion, and still feel, and express the decidedly erroneous sentiment, that the religious views and principles of the venerated and deceased Bishop Hobart were of a cold and formal character, and that he assumed that “an entire change of the natural heart of man was not necessary to his salvation."
It is our purpose to do away such error, and that "the memory of the just be blest,” we give his own language on that vital and truly-important subject.
MAN'S NATURAL DEPRAVITY, AND THE NECESSITY OF THE NEW BIRTH.
(Extracted from his Posthumous Works.] “ In his general character, man must be born again, must undergo a spiritual change, as a fallen and corrupt creature.”
“ Blind to spiritual truth, and incapable of spiritual good, except as he is enlightened and sanctified by the DIVINE SPIRIT, it is apparent that fallen and corrupt man requires the renewing agency of this divine Guide and Sanctifier. On account, then, of the misdirection and abuse of his powers and propensities, his state by nature, independently of divine grace, is characterized as a state of blindness, impotency and sin. The natural man discerneth not the things of the Spirit of God.' "The carnal mind is enmity against God.' We are not sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves.' This is the language of Scripture. What is the language of fact? Who are they that understand and relish the sublime and holy truths of the Gospel? Who are they that exhibit a uniform and consistent course of piety and virtue? Who are they that not only do justly and love mercy, but walk humbly with their God'— revering and loving his attributes, serving him in righteousness and holiness, submitting to his institutions and ordinances ? Are there any who thus merit the character of holy and righteous men— none but those who, in humility and sincerity, , have invoked, and in the use of the prescribed means, have received the enlightening and sanctifying influence of the Divine Spirit? Fact, then, as well as Scripture, enforces the necessity of a spiritual change in man, as a fallen and corrupt being."
“Self-love may attempt to blind and to flatter thee; and yet, successful as may be her efforts, she cannot conceal from thee the lamentable fact, that, under the guidance, and with the efforts of thy own reason and strength, thou art in a greater or less degree, under the dominion of corrupt passion, and far, very far from those holy attainments that mark the righteous man. What, then, should be the conclusion? That thy corrupt nature must be purified by a power superior to thine own, — by that agency which in mercy God has provided for the sanctification of his fallen creatures the renewing of the Holy Ghost. - Thou must be born again."