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it a privilege to derive our supply from those who have drunk at our own streams, and mused in our own groves; who have been fed at our bosom, and have learned the lessons of eternal truth at the lips of our own forefathers.

It will, of course, not be thought, that, in venturing to present a general commendation of this striking and original work to the public, I wish to make myself responsible, either for every opinion expressed in it, or for the phraseology in which that opinion is conveyed. I must also clear myself of all responsibility as to the errors of the press, as the task of correcting it by my revised copy

has been entrusted to another.

J. W. C.

HARROW, Jan. 18, 1833.






Introduction.-Nature of Confession.-Case supposed.-Story of the Boys' Disobedience on the Ice-Consequences-their Unhappiness.-Guilt a Burden-Means of Relief. The Boy's Confession-his Conversation with his Father.-Confession of little Faults.-The Torn Letter.-The Anonymous Letter.- Reparation compared with Confession.-Confession of great Crimes.-Punishment.-Story of Boys on the Ice continued.-To Parents and Teachers.- Confession a Privilege. -Depression of Spirits-its Remedy.- Careless Confession.- Anecdote.-Punishment.-An Experiment.-Story of the Dulled Tool-Story continued.-Confession to God.-Anxiety unnecessary.-Common Mistakes.-Immediate Repentance.-Salvation by Christ.


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WISH, in this first chapter, to point out to my reader something in the nature and effects of confession, which every one has perhaps at some time experienced, but which few sufficiently consider: I mean, its power to bring peace and happiness to the heart. But to make myself clearly understood, I must suppose a case.

Two boys, on a pleasant winter-evening, ask their father to permit them to go out upon the river, to skate. The father hesitates; because, though within certain limits he knows there is no danger, yet he is aware that above a certain turn of the stream the current is rapid and the ice consequently thin. At last, however, he says: "You may

go; but you must on no account go above the Bend." The boys accept the condition; and are soon among their twenty companions, shooting swiftly over the smooth, black ice; sometimes gliding in graceful curves before the


bright fire which they have built in the middle of the stream; and sometimes sailing away into the dim distance, in search of new and unexplored regions.

Presently a plan is formed by the other boys for going, in a cheerful company, far up the stream, to explore its shores, and then return again in half an hour to their fire. Our two boys sigh, to think of their father's prohibition to them. They faintly and hesitatingly hint that the ice may not be strong enough: but their caution has no effect upon their comrades; and the whole set forth, and soon are flying with full speed towards the limit prescribed. Our boys think they may safely accompany them till they reach the boundary which they are forbidden to pass: but while they do so, they become animated, and intoxicated with the motion and the scene. They feel a little foreboding as they approach the line; but as it is not definitely marked, they do not abruptly stop. They fall a little in the rear, and see whirling through the bend of the river the whole crowd of their companions, and, after a moment's hesitation, they follow on. The spot once past, their inde cision vanishes; they press forward to the foremost rankforget their father-their promise-their danger. God protects them however. They spend the half hour in delight-return down the river to their fire-and, at the close of the evening, they take off their skates, and step upon the firm ground and walk towards their home.

The enjoyment is now over; and the punishment is to come.-What punishment? I do not mean that their father will punish them. He knows nothing of it. He trusts his boys; and confiding in their promise, he will not ask them whether they have kept it. They have returned safely; and the forbidden ice over which they have passed never can speak, to tell of their disobedience.-Nor do I mean the punishment which God will inflict in another world upon undutiful children. I mean another, quicker

punishment, and which almost always comes after transgression;—and I wish my young readers would think of this more than they do;-I mean, the loss of peace of


As the boys approach their father's dwelling, unless their consciences have become seared by oft-repeated transgression, their hearts are filled with uneasiness and foreboding care. They will walk silently. As they enter the house, they shrink from their father's eye. He looks pleased and happy, at their safe return. But they turn away from him as soon as they can; and prefer going to another room, or in some other way avoiding his presence. Their sister, perhaps in the gaiety and happiness of her heart, tries to talk with them about their evening's enjoyment; but they wish to turn the conversation. In a word, their peace of mind is gone; and they shrink from every eye, and wish to go as soon as possible to bed, that they may be unseen and forgotten.

If they have been taught to fear God, they are not happy here. They dare not-strange infatuation!—repeat their evening prayer: as if they supposed they could escape God's notice, by neglecting to call upon him. At last, however, they sink to sleep.

The next morning, they awake with the customary cheerfulness of childhood;-until, as they look forth from their window, they see the clear ice-bound stream, which tempted them to sin, winding its way among the trees. They say nothing, but each feels guilty and sad. They meet their father and mother with clouded hearts; and every object at all connected with their transgression awakens the remorse which destroys their happiness. They carry thus about with them a weary and a heavy burden.

I suppose that, in such cases, most boys would continue to bear this burden, until at last they became insensible

to it, i. e. until conscience became seared. But though, by habit in sin, the stings of remorse may be blunted, real peace never would return. By repeating trangression a great many times, we all come at last to feel a general and settled uneasiness of heart, which is a constant burden. Ask such an individual if he is unhappy. He perhaps tells you no: he means, however, that he is not particularly unhappy just at that time. His burden is so uniform and constant, that he comes to consider it, at last, as a necessary part of his existence. He has lost all recollection of what pure peace and happiness are. A man who has lived long by a waterfall at last becomes so habituated to the noise, that silence seems a strange luxury to him. So multitudes, who have had an unquiet conscience for their familiar companion for many years, without a single interval of repose, when they at last come and confess their sins, and, through the mercy of God, find peace and happiness, are surprised and delighted with the new and strange sensation.

This peace cannot come by habit in sin. A seared conscience is not a relieved one. But what is the way by which peace of mind is to be restored in such a case as the above? It is a very simple way. I wish it was more generally understood and practised.

Suppose one of these boys should say to himself some day as he is walking alone, “I am not happy, and I have not been happy since I disobeyed my father on the ice. I was very foolish to do that; for I have suffered more, since that time, than ten times as much pleasure would be worth. I am resolved to go and confess the whole to my father, and ask him to forgive me; and then I shall be happy again."

Having resolved upon this, he seeks the very first opportunity to relieve his mind. He is walking, we will

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