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holy the sabbath, reads the word of God, rejoices in the preaching of the cross, loves secret prayer, receives the supper of the Lord, joins the communion of saints, because these things are means of grace, and ordinances of God. Constrained by the love of Christ, he now seeks to be useful, and especially by diffusing that religion which he has found for himself. He gives up all his former sinful amusements, the theatre, the card party, the ball, the fashionable and dissipating visit, for they do not now suit his taste; his delight is in God and his service, to which these things are all contrary. He is independent of them, and happy without them.

Such is religion-a personal, experimental, and practical thing. It is a thing of the heart, and not merely outward forms; a living principle in the soul, influencing the mind, employing the affections, guiding the will, and directing as well as enlightening the conscience. It is a supreme not a subordinate matter; demanding and obtaining the throne of the soul, giving law to the whole character, and requiring the whole man and all his conduct to be in subordination. It is an habitual, not an occasional thing; it takes up its abode in the heart, and not only sometimes and at particular seasons visiting it. It is a universal, and not a partial thing; not confining itself to certain times, and places, and occasions, but forming an integral part of the character, and blending with every occupation. It is noble and lofty, not

an abject, servile, and grovelling thing; it communes with God, with truth, with holiness, with heaven, with eternity, and infinity. It is a happy, and not a melancholy thing, giving a peace that passeth understanding, and a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory. And it is a durable, not a transient thing, passing with us through life, lying down with us on the pillow of death, rising with us at the last day, and dwelling in our souls in heaven as the very element of eternal life. Such is religion, the sublimest thing in our world, sent down to be our comforter and ministering angel on earth,

"Our guide to everlasting life
Through all this gloomy vale."

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You want, young man, a shield always at hand, and which is impenetrable by the arrows of your enemies, to defend you from the perils to which you are exposed, and you find it in religion; and it does this by various means. It changes the moral nature, producing a dislike and dread of sin, and a love of holiness and virtue. Piety is a spiritual taste; and, like every other taste, it is accompanied with a distaste for the opposites of those things or qualities which are the subjects of its complacency. Sin is that bitter thing which the soul of a true Christian hates; it is the object of his antipathy, and therefore of his dread. He turns from it with aversion and loathing, as that which is offensive and disgusting. It is not merely that he is commanded by authority to abstain from sin, but he is led away from it by inclination. He may have sinful propensities of his animal nature, but he resists the indulgence of them, for it is sin against God. Now what can be a more effectual protection from a practice or habit than an actual dislike of it, or distaste for it? Who does that which he dislikes to do, except under compulsion ? When you have once tasted the sweetness of religion, how insipid, how nauseous, will be those draughts

of vicious reasure with which the sinner intoxicates and poise is his soul ? When you have acquired a relish for the pure, calm, satisfying joys of faith and holiness, how entirely will you disrelish the polluting, boisterous, and unsatisfying pleasures of sin! When you have once drunk of the waters of the river of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb, how loathsome will be the filthy, turbid streams of licentious gratification! The new nature, by its own powerful and holy instinct, will turn away your feet from every forbidden place, and every unhallowed scene. Panting after God, and thirsting for the living God, taking pleasure in his ways, and delighting in the communion of the saints, you will shudder at the idea of being found in the haunts of vice, or in the society of the vicious. It will be unnecessary to forbid your going to the tavern, the theatre, the house of ill fame, the gambling-table, or horse-race; your own renewed and sanctified nature will be a law against these things, and compel the exclamation, “I will not sit with vain persons, nor go in with disse mblers; I have hated the congregation of evil-doers, and will not sit with the wicked. Gather not my soul with sinners."

In addition to this, religion will implant in your hearts a regard to the authority and presence of God. "By the fear of the Lord,” says Solomon,

men depart from evil.” This veneration for God, comes in to aid the operations of a holy taste. By

the fear of God I do not mean a slavish and tormenting dread of the Divine Being, which haunts the mind like an ever present spectre,—this is superstition, not religion; but I mean a fear springing out of affection, the fear of a child dreading to offend the father whom he loves. What a restraint from sin is there in that child's mind! he may be absent from his father; but love keeps him from doing what his father disapproves. So it is with religion ; it is love to God, and love originates fear. He who is thus blessed with the love and fear of God is armed as with a shield of triple brass, against sin. The temptation comes with all its seductive force, but it is repelled with the indignant question, How shall I do this wickedness, and sin against God?And then this awful Being is everywhere. “O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways,” Psa. cxxxix. 1–3. Yes, God is in every place. Heaven and the earth are full of his presence. A person once dreamed that the sky was one vast eye of God, ever looking down upon him. He could never get out of the sight of this tremendous eye. He could never look up but this awful eye was gazing upon him. The moral of this fearful dream is a fact. God's eye is always, and everywhere, upon us. Who could sin, if he saw God in a bodily form looking upon him. Young man, could you go

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