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who are arrived at this dejecting season, feel and lament the change which they suffer. The complaints, therefore, of the aged, should meet with tenderness, rather than censure. The burden under which they labour, ought to be viewed with sympathy, by those who must bear it in their turn, and who, perhaps, hereafter may complain of it as bitterly. At the same time, the old should consider, that all the seasons of life have their several trials allotted to them; and that to bear the infirmities of age with becoming patience, is as much their duty, as is that of the young to resist the temptations of youthful pleasure. By calmly enduring, for the short time that remains, what Providence is pleased to inflict, they both express a resignation most acceptable to God, and recommend themselves to the esteem and assistance of all who are around them.

But though the querulous temper imputed to old

is to be considered as a natural infirmity, rather than as a vice; the same apology cannot be made for that peevish disgust at the manners, and that malignant censure of the enjoyments of the young, which is sometimes found to accompany declining years. Nothing can be more unjust, than to take offence at others, on account of their partaking of pleasures, which it is past your time to enjoy. By indulging this fretful temper, you both aggravate the uneasiness of age, and you alienate those on whose affection much of your comfort depends. In order to make the two extremes of life unite in amicable society, it is greatly to be wished, that the

age,

young

would look forward, and consider that they shall one day be old; and that the old would look back, and, remembering that they once were young, make proper allowances for the temper and the manners of youth.

But, instead of this, it is too common to find the aged at declared enmity with the whole system of present customs and manners; perpetually complaining of the growing depravity of the world, and of the astonishing vices and follies of the rising generation. All things, according to them, are rushing fast into ruin. Decency and good order have become extinct, ever since that happy discipline, under which they spent their youth, has passed away. Part, at least, of this displeasure, you may fairly impute to the infirmity of age, which throws its own gloom on every surrounding object. Similar lamentations were, in the days of your youth, poured forth by your fathers ; and they who are now young, shall, when it comes to their turn, inveigh, in the like strain, against those who succeed them. Great has been the vain, it were cruel to prohibit them. But though allowable as the relaxation, they are most culpable as the business, of the young. For they then become the gulf of time, and the poison of the mind. They foment bad

passions. They weaken the manly powers. They sink the native vigour of youth into contemptible effeminacy.

Redeeming your time from such dangerous waste, seek to fill it with employments which you may review with satisfaction. The acquisition of knowledge is one of the most honourable occupations of youth. The desire of it discovers a liberal mind, and is connected with many accomplishments, and many virtues. But though your train of life should not lead you to study, the course of education always furnishes proper employments to a well-disposed mind. Whatever you pursue, be emulous to excel. Generous ambition, and sensibility to praise, are, especially at your age, among the marks of virtue. Think not, that any affluence of fortune, or any

elevation of rank, exempt you from the duties of application and industry. Industry is the law of our being; it is the demand of Nature, of Reason, and of God. Remember always, that the years which now pass over your heads, leave permanent memorials

behind them. From your thoughtless minds they may escape; but they remain in the remembrance of God. They form an important part of the register of your life. They will hereafter bear testimony, either for or against you, at that day, when, for all your actions, but particularly for the employments of youth, you must give an account to God.

Thus I have set before you some of the chief qualifications which belong to that sober mind, that virtuous and religious character, which the Apostle, in my Text, recommends to youth; piety, modesty, truth, benevolence, temperance, and industry. Whether your future course is destined to be long or short, after this manner it should commence; and, if it, continue to be thus conducted, its conclusion, at what time soever it arrives, will not be inglorious, or unhappy. For, honourable age is not that which standeth in length of time, or that which is measured by number of years. But wisdom is the grey hair to man, and an unspotted life is old

age.

Let me finish the subject, with recalling your attention to that dependence on the blessing of Heaven, which, amidst all your endeavours after improvement, you ought cona

tinually to preserve.

It is too common with the young, even when they resolve to tread the path of virtue and honour, to set out with presumptuous confidence in themselves. Trusting to their own abilities for carrying them successfully through life, they are careless of applying to God, or of deriving any assistance from what they are apt to reckon the gloomy discipline of religion. Alas! how little do they know the dangers which await them? Neither human wisdom, nor human virtue, unsupported by religion, are equal to the trying situations which often occur in life. By the shock of temptation, how frequently have the most virtuous intentions been overthrown ? Under the pressure of disaster, how often' has the greatest constancy sunk. Every good, and every perfect gift, is from above. Wisdom and virtue, as well as riches and honour, come from God. Destitute of his favour, you are in no better situation, with all

boast. ed abilities, than orphans left to wander in a trackless desert, without any guide to conduct them, or any shelter to cover them from the gathering storm. Correct, then, this ill-founded arrogance. Expect not, that your happiness can be independent of Him who made you. By faith and repentance, apply to the Redeemer of the world. By piety and prayer,

your

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