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he had attained. While he is thus neglecting his duty, evils without number, and fraught with incalculable consequences, are working below. The defects in his machinery are not discovered and not remedied; its weaknesses remain unobserved and unrepaired; and if at last there should be intrusted to his care valuable property, nothing can reasonably be expected but its destruction.

Multitudes of men, and even great numbers of those who call themselves Christians, act the part of this infatuated engineer. God tells them that their moral powers are now on trial. He commands them to consider it their business here not to be engrossed in the objects of interest which surround them as they pass on through life, nor to be satisfied with present attainments of any kind, but to consider themselves as sailing now in troubled waters for the purpose of trial and improvement; to watch themselves with constant self-examination, and with honest efforts to rectify what is wrong and to supply what is deficient. He requires them. to consider all the circumstances and occurrences of life as coming from him, and as arranged with express reference to the attainment of these objects. Notwithstanding all this, however, they neglect the duty altogether. They do not watch themselves. They do not habitually and practically regard the events of life as means to enable them to understand their hearts, to strengthen, by constant exercise, moral principle, and to grow in grace. Instead of this, they are engaged in simply endeavoring to secure as much present good as they can; and they see no good in any trial, and get no good from it. When they are sick, they spend the time in longing to get well. When they are disappointed, they make themselves miserable by useless lamentations. Losses bring endless regrets, and injuries impatience and anger, and thus half of life is spent in struggles which are really the vain and hopeless struggles of a weak man to get free from the authority and government of God.

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I have now completed what I intended to present on the subject of probation; and I think that all my readers will easily see, that by taking such a view of life as this subject presents to us, the whole aspect of our residence in this world is at once changed. If you really feel what I have been endeavoring to explain, you will regard yourselves as strangers and pilgrims here, looking continually forward to another country as your home. The thousand trials and troubles of life will lose half their weight by your regarding them in their true light, that is, as means of moral discipline and improvement. You must, however, make a constant effort to do this. Make it a part of your daily selfexamination not only to ascertain what is the state of your heart at the time of retirement, but to review the incidents of the day, and to see how they have operated upon you as means of moral discipline. See what traits of character those incidents have brought to your view, and what effect they have had in making you worse or better than you were in the morning. The little events and circumstances of every day must have a very important influence of one kind or of the other. If you neglect this influence, it will all go wrong. If you attend to it, it may go well and happily with you wherever you may be.




"The path of the just is as the shining light, that shinetn more and more unte the perfect day."

THE chapters which the reader has just perused are on subjects connected with the improvement of the character: that is, they are upon the means by which this improvement is to be promoted. Studying the Bible, keeping the Sabbath, and exposure to discipline, are all intended to be means for the promotion of a moral progress. There are some things, however, which I wish to say in regard to the character itself as it goes on in the process of improvement. Reader,


you wish to avail yourself of the opportunities and means I have described? Do you wish to study the Bible, remember the Sabbath, and improve all the occurrences of life, as the means of promoting your progress in all that is good? If so, look now with me a little while into your character itself, that you may see in what respect it needs your attention, and in what way you can so employ the means I have described as to gain the fullest benefit from them. As I think that every young Christian ought most assiduously to cultivate his moral, and also his intellectual powers, I shall discuss in order both these points.


Every young Christian will find, however sincerely and ardently he may have given up his heart to God and commenced a life of piety, that a vast number of faults remain

to be corrected-faults which he acquired while he lived in sin, and which the force of habit has fixed upon him. Now, you know what these faults are, or you may very easily learn, and your first effort should be to correct them.

In order now to make clear the course which I think ought to be taken to correct such faults, I will suppose a case, and bring into it the various methods which may be adopted for this purpose; and I shall write the account with a double aspect-one towards parents, with the design of showing them what sort of efforts they ought to make to correct the faults of their children, and the other towards the young, to show what measures they should adopt to improve themselves.

First, however, I will mention a very common, but a very ineffectual mode of attempting to correct faults. A father sees in his son some exhibition of childish vanity, and he says to him instantly, at the very time of the occurrence, "You are acting in a very foolish manner. You show a great deal of vanity and self-conceit by such conduct; and in fact I have observed that you are growing very vain for some months past; I don't know what we shall do to correct it."

The poor boy hangs his head and looks ashamed, and his father, talking about it a few minutes longer in a half-irritated tone, dismisses and forgets the subject. The boy refrains, perhaps, from that particular exhibition of vanity for a little while, and that is probably all the good which results from the reproof.

Another wiser parent sees with regret the rising spirit of self-conceit in his son; and instead of rushing on to attack it without plan or design at the first momentary impulse, he resorts to a very different course. He notices several casesremembers them-reflects that the evil, which has been forming perhaps for years, cannot be corrected by a single abrupt reproof and accordingly forms a plan for a protracted moral discipline in the case, and then seeks a favorable opportunity to execute it.

One day, after the father has been granting some unusual indulgence, and they have spent the day happily

together in some plan of enjoyment, and are riding home slowly in a pleasant summer evening, he thus addresses

his son:

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'Well, Samuel, you have been a good boy, and we have had a pleasant time. Now, I am going to give you something to do, which, if you do it right, will wind up the day very pleasantly.”

"What is it?" says Samuel.

"I am not certain that it will please you; but you may do as you choose about undertaking it. It will not be pleasant at first; the enjoyment will come afterwards."

SAMUEL. "But what is it, father? I think I shall like to do it."

FATHER. "Do you think you have any faults, Samuel?”
SAMUEL. "Yes, sir; I know I have a great many."

FATHER. "Yes, you have; and all boys have. Some wish to correct them, and others do not. Now, I have supposed that you do wish to correct them, and I had thought of describing to you one of your faults, and then telling you of a particular thing which you can do which will help you to correct it. But then it will not be very pleasant for you to sit here and have me find fault with you, and mention a number of instances in which you have done wrong, and particularize all the little circumstances which increased the guilt; this, I say, will not be very pleasant, even though you know that my design is not to blame you, but to help you improve. But if you undertake it, and after a little while find that you are really improving, then you will feel happier for the effort. Now, I wish you to consider both, and tell me whether you wish me to give you a fault to correct or not."

If the boy, now, has been under a kind and gentle, but efficient government, he will almost certainly desire to have the fault, and the way by which he is to correct it, pointed out. If so, the father may proceed as follows:

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