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. which her temple stands, not far distant from the Temple of Fame. ,'.
For the better and clearer arrangement of the subject, I shall connect the hints and instructions that I have to give you for your guidance in this arduous journey under several separate heads and divisions, that you may be the better able to retain them in your memory, and turn to them as occasion may render necessary.
SECTION 1. Of the Fear of God, and entertaining a constant
Sense of his all-seeing Presence. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. PROVERBS.
... IN the difficult and dangerous journey of life, early impressions of religion can alone, check, at least, if not entirely stop the mad career of youth; and the truth of this assertion of Solomon's has been proved, beyond the possibility of doubt, by the experience of thousands of unfortunate and wicked men in every age. Let the
dying words of hundreds of criminals, addressed at the place of execution to the surrounding multitudes, be received by you as one of the many incontestible proofs of its veracity and force. They have generally confessed that their ruin was dated, in their own minds, from the moment that, hesitating on the verge of the rock of Virtue, they passed its limits, and began their descent down the preci. pice towards the rapid current of Vice, to which, though their progress was gradual, yet once arrived and afloat in the stream, they were hurried along by the irresistible torrent; and however desirous, upon reflection, to exert themselves to regain the safe footing they had imprudently quitted, were rapidly driven forward, without ever being able to effect it. .
The moment they had once brought their minds · to overstep the boundary between Virtue and Vice,
the fear of God was weakened in their hearts; and every step they advanced further down the declivity, that fear was proportionably diminished, till, at length, hardened and emboldened, they plunged into the stream, and, following the multude to do evil, met with their fatal end.
It is also remarkable, that such men are particular in exhorting the by-standers to “keep the Sabbath holy;" as to the frequent breach of it, they have generally attributed the temptations and opportunities to pursue those guilty pleasures
which were the means of leading them by degrees to commit the crimes for which they suffered, in order to enable them to pursue those pleasures still further and oftener.
It is also observable, that in all indictments of criminals, the charge runs against them thus--“ Whereas J. D., not having the fear of God before his eyes,” &c.
You know the Latin observations, “ Princi-, piis obsta,” and “Nemo repente turpissimus fuit.” Ang. “ Oppose (diseases or vice) in the first stages;” and, “ No one ever became grossly wicked all at once.” From whence you may conclude, that the first voluntary wrong step you take tends to decide your fate; and it may not, perhaps, be going too far to say, for ever. As to believe, therefore, that you are always within the reach and under the care of God's Providence, is an everlasting source of comfort ; so to remember you are ever in his eye, and that all your actions, words, and thoughts, are registered before him, will preserve you sinless, though surrounded with temptations. : Oh! then, let the fear of God, or a respect for his commands, as it may likewise be translated, with a continual sense of his awful presence and all-seeing eye, be so deeply rooted in your mind, that you may not even dare to think of, much less to practise, Sin and Vice, the acknowledged parents of Misery, Wretchedness, Poverty, and Death.
The moment you begin deliberately to hold correspondence with them, that very moment you are turning your back upon your God, crucifying your Saviour afresh, and putting him to open shame. The comfortable sense of the Divine presence will be effaced from your mind, and his holy spirit will depart from you grieving. Your guardian angel, the protector of your innocence and virtue, will, with regret, be compelled to leave his ungrateful charge, and wing his way again up the steep ascent, towards the footstool of the throne of God, there to record, in the everlasting book of judgment, the register of the fate of nations, the cause of his return. If you should be so unhappy as to go astray, oh! may your timely repentance speedily recal him, and prevent a tear from being dropped over the record of your fate.
There is a marked distinguishing line drawn between virtue and vice, strongly impressed upon every man's conscience; and though the boundary may differ more or less in its dimensions, yet let · it once be passed, and the return to virtue is ten times more difficult than the declination to vice, for the one is up and the other down hill. It is very easy to glide down the side of the steepy mountain; but the most vigorous exertion alone can enable you to regain its summit, after repeated falls back again in the arduous attempt, if ever at all,
Beware, therefore, of quitting for a moment your firm footing on the summit of the hill: the. declivity, viewed from the brow, is seemingly beautifully adorned with flowers ; but mark it from the valley, and thorns only growing upon a craggy, rocky ascent, present themselves to your .disappointed view. I have, from long experience, found, that whenever I forgot that I was in the presence of the ADORABLE CREATOR, boasted reason lost its influence over me; nor could philosophy, with all its vaunted power, restrain me from giving a loose to my passions. The fear of him only can effectually restrain, where the temptations to sin are strong and sudden, and where neither the love of God, or natural goodness, prevail so forcibly as to overcome them otherwise.
The softest whispers of CONSCIENCE, that faithful monitor and vicegerent of the Creator, implanted in every man's breast; ought to be scrupulously listened to and obeyed---its friendly warnings and admonitions should be kindly taken, and rigidly attended to: never check the impulses of your conscience, nor attempt to stifle its soft, still voice ; for be assured it will always tell you truth, and advise you right; but if you do not listen now to its gentle whispers, it will hereafter speak in thunder to you, and fill your boding mind with unutterable terror and dismay, at the certain and tremendous judgments of your MAKER, which