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cruel and bloody men (the Jews, whom he was sent to call to repentance; but, alas! they would not listen to him); that he was buried, and on the third day rose again from the dead for our justification ; and in due time, having fulfilled his high mission, ascended again into Heaven, the place of his habitation, where he now sitteth at the right hand of God (or, in the highest place of honour), making intercession for us.
His carnal conception, whereby he put on the form of man, though in his spiritual nature he was the son, emanation, or word of God, is a mystery, and the effect of a miracle or extraordinary exercise of the power of the ALMIGHTY, which we short-sighted creatures can no more comprehend or account for, than the fly or the worm can for any of those exercises of reason and power which are within our ability to perform. We may, therefore, believe it without hesitation, and confide in Jesus as our Mediator and Intercessor with the greatest security; for, besides this, the wisest and most learned men in every age and country have firmly sanctioned it by the credit of their opinions, and the effects of it upon their lives and conduct. . . God himself, in the earliest ages of the world, foretold his appearance on earth; and prophets, who lived for centuries before his incarnation, described his coming, and the circumstances of his birth, mission, liie, sufferings, and death, so mi
nutely, and with which every thing related of him by the four Evangelists and other witnesses so truly and exactly corresponds, that you would think they were describing what was passed, instead of foretelling events that were afterwards to happen; not to mention the concurring testimonies of heathen writers, and particularly the Jewish historian JoSEPHUS himself, who all agree in stating that this Great and Divine Personage was actually a cotemporary with them.
Next to RELIGION, you must arm yourself with the rational principles of sound phILOSOPHY, the business of which is to teach us the knowledge of ourselves, and from ourselves to carry us on to God: to distinguish the mind from the body, namely, that part which is to govern from that which is to serve; and that from the image of a mind ruling the body, we may form an idea of God, governing the world and the mind itself. As man is most present to himself, we may from hence apprehend how intimately present God is with all things; forasmuch as without him we could not live, move, breathe, or think.
You must, moreover, take REASON for the rule of your conduct, and refer every doubtful point to its impartial decision. If Temptation, disguised in the attire of innocent Pleasure, beckon you to her, and attempt to impose upon your unsuspecting heart, ask Reason's opinion before you accept her invitation.
If Falsehood, under the mask of Truth, should endeavour to make you swerve from the paths of SINCERITY, spurn her at once from you, and · think of your HONOUR. Falsehood is the weak.
offspring of Baseness and Cowardice; Truth the daughter of their opposites; and Honour, or the great principle of dignity in man, the arbiter be tween both
Thus fortified, we will now enter together on the scene of life, and I, who have already trodden its seemingly flowery but deceitful thorny paths, will again begin the journey with you, that you may avail yourself of my experience in marking and avoiding the snares, dangers, and temptations, that you will assuredly find scattered thick in your road.
The cause of my mistakes and wanderings in my former journey (for I have been imprudent, and therefore unfortunate---the latter being the sure effects of the first) arose from my being too long confined within the narrow sphere and the contracted limits of an ACADEMIC EMPLOY: MENT; by which restraint, being unaccustomed to the society of men and the business or pleasures of a town, I was deprived of that knowledge which the experience of them gives, and forced to depend upon books for information and
acquaintance with the affairs of life, the characters of men, and the sources of happiness or misery.
At length, however, I entered upon the busy scene at twenty-three years' of age, and, having been long accustomed to restraint and confinement, now become my own master, and not hav. ing previously tasted the infatuating poison of imaginary pleasure, I gave a loose to my inclina. tions and curiosity, and, from one step to another, by swift degrees, rushed into all the follies of dissipation, extravagance, and unlawful pleasure, to which my situation in a public office, and the bad examples I met with there, gave ample scope and incitement; but this very probably would not have been the case, had I been earlier introduced to the affairs of life and the bustle of the town, as you probably have the advantage of being: for, once broke loose from the shackles of education and the necessary austerity of an academic life, I beheld the pleasing side of every novel attraction without thinking of its reverse ; in short, the ardour of curiosity, the fascinating charms of novelty, and a life I had not been accustomed to, overpowered my reason and judgment; and, though naturally well and virtuously inclined, passion carried all before it, and drove me headlong into dissipation and vice, without being absolutely wicked or decidedly continuing long a slave to my desires. Many virtuous struggles and
: : much
much remorse of mind did I feel, before I could quietly abandon myself to the false pleasures which I sò greedily pursued: good and deeprooted habits were to be overcome, and almost eradicated from my mind. Conscience and religion were both to be lulled to rest, and compelled to relinquish their charge, while now and then the virtuous tear of remorse, and the longing wish to regain my former innocence and purity, were to be wiped from the cheek, or totally banished from the mind---so difficult is it to sin with tranquility against good principles and habits early contracted. The earlier youth become acquainted with the world and its vain pleasures, the sooner is their judgment matured, and their moral principles established, provided their parents or companions are themselves religiously and virtuously inclined; indeed, the regular and constant employment which business affords to the mind, and the exertion, honour, and integrity necessary in the transaction of affairs of trade and commerce, tend to keep out bad thoughts, and to discourage and discountenance dissipation. The ambition of gaining a good character, a great name, riches, and the elegant conveniencies of life, tend to confirm
right habits---and happy are they who are early ini- tiated in them; whereas, he who only enters upon
the busy scene at the period when his judgment should be matured, and his principles and habits