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Case supposed.

God a sovereign.

Submissive spirit.

of the boundlessness of human freedom, acknowledges that a most important agency in determining where the Gospel shall triumph, and where it shall fail, and in regulating its progress throughout the earth, rests in the hands of the Supreme. Now what Christian is there who can understand the principles which guide Jehovah in the exercise of the power which he so obviously possesses? How many secretly think that the sudden conversion of a whole city, perhaps, to God, would be a glorious achievement of the Redeemer, and fancy that if they had the power over the heart which God possesses, they would produce the effect at once, and exhibit the magnificent spectacle of the undisputed reign of holiness and peace in a community of one hundred thousand. Suppose now every Christian in some great city were to unite in a sincere and heartfelt prayer that God would pour out his Spirit universally among them, and in a single day awaken all the multitudes around them to piety. It is indeed unquestionably true, that if this united prayer should be offered, and should be accompanied by the efforts which sincerity in the prayer would insure, most uncommon effects would follow. But who believes that the whole city would be converted in a day? No one. Why? Because this is not according to the analogy of God's working in spreading the Gospel. And why does he not work in this way, converting whole communities at once, leading them to him by his own direct agency upon the heart, as he now often leads individuals in silence and solitude? Why does not God work in this manner? Some one may say, because Christians are so cold and negligent in duty. Why then does not the power which raised up Paul, raise up thousands like him now, and enkindling within them the spirit and devotedness of the great apostle, and send them forth to bring the world at once to him?-Who can tell?

No: we can not direct. God guides by his own wisdom

Prayers for the young.

Danger of perversion.

the chariot of his coming. We can ask, but we can not dictate. If we attempt to take the reins, he holds them up far above our reach, and the wheels roll on where God points the way.

Men

The experienced Christian who reads these remarks, intended to show that God really controls and directs every thing relating to the progress of piety in the world, will immediately say, "How liable are we to pervert this truth, so as to excuse our own neglect of duty." Yes, it is so. are everywhere so prone to throw off responsibility from themselves, that the minister of the Gospel is often almost afraid to vindicate fully and cordially the supreme and unbounded power which God exercises over the human heart, for fear that men will lose their sense of their own accountability. A mother will ask that God will change the hearts of her children, and sometimes wait, as she expresses it, for God's time to come, while she in the mean time does nothing, or at most only goes over a formal round of duties, without any of that spirit, and enterprise, and ingenuity which she would exercise if she knew that something depended upon her own efforts. But this perversion of scripture truth is not necessary or unavoidable. However difficult it may be for us to understand how man can be free and fully accountable, while God retains so much direct power over his heart as the Bible so distinctly describes,-it is possible cordially to feel the accountability, and at the same time sincerely to acknowledge the dependence. Look at the case of that Christian teacher. She prays most earnestly that God would come and bless the school to which she belongs. She brings individual cases in secrecy and solitude before God. She prays that faults may be forgiven-froward dispositions softened and all brought under the influence of Christian love. She asks that God will pour out his Spirit and diffuse peace and happiness over the school-room improving every charac

The humble yet active teacher.

Conclusion.

The ship.

ter, purifying and ennobling every heart, and in making the dejected happy, and the happy happier still. She has seen such an influence diffused over a school-she knows that it is an influence from above, and she looks to Him who rules all human hearts to come into her circle with his benign influences once more. Now, does she after this go away and spend her time in inaction, on the ground that God only can change the heart, and that she has done all that it is in her power to do by simply bringing the case before him? No, she comes to her morning duties in the school-room with a heart full of desire to do something to procure what she has asked God to bestow. And she does accomplish something. By her kindness she wins her companions to her confidence and love, and in thousand nameless ways which never can be described, but which a heart full of love will always be discovering, she carries forward very effectually in her little circle the cause for which she prays.

It is so universally. When a minister allows his sense of his entire dependence on God to become feeble or indistinct, his efforts, instead of increasing, diminish. It may be called the Christian paradox, that he who, in theory, ascribes least efficacy to human efforts and most to the Spirit of God in the salvation of men, is ordinarily most indefatigable in those very efforts which he knows are of themselves utterly fruitless and vain.

And here I might close this long chapter, by urging my readers to commence immediately the practice of bringing all their wants and cares to God. I trust that they have been persuaded by it to do so. Some of my young readers, however, probably wish to know what became of the passengers in the packet-ship whom we left in such imminent danger; for that narrative is substantially true, though I was not myself an eye-witness of the scene. When we left them, they were tossing about upon the waves; the storm was increasing, the

The storm subsides.

Safe arrival at Provincetown.

captain had almost given them over for lost, and those of the passengers who were not prepared to die were greatly agitated by remorse and terror. Things continued in this state for some hours, and very few of those on board expected to see another morning. The passengers however, before long, perceived that the violence of the tempest was a little abating; the thunder of the wind and waves grew somewhat less; and though the pitching and tossing of the ship rather increased than diminished, they began to cherish a little hope; some of the number even fell into a troubled sleep.

At last there were indications of the morning. The dim forms of objects in the cabin began to be a little more distinct. The gray light of day looked down through the narrow window of the deck.. As the passengers aroused themselves, one after another, and looked forth from their berths, they perceived at once that the danger was over. They went to the deck, clinging to something firm for support, for the wind was still brisk, and the sea still heaved and tumbled in

great commotion. But the danger was over. The sky was clear. A broad zone of light extended itself in the east, indicating the approaching sun: and not many miles distant there was extended a level sandy shore lined with dwellings, and opening to a small harbor, filled with vessels which had sought shelter there from the fury of the storm. It was Provincetown, at the extremity of the Cape. I need not say that the passengers and crew assembled once more, before they landed, at the throne of grace, to give thanks to God for having heard their prayer and granted them protection.

Neglecting duty.

CHAPTER IV.

CONSEQUENCES OF NEGLECTING DUTY.

"If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

I HAVE now, in the several chapters which the reader has already had the opportunity of perusing, endeavored clearly to explain the first steps to be taken in Christian duty, and the principles and feelings by which we ought to be guided in taking them, and I think that all who have read these pages must have understood clearly and distinctly what they have to do. Take for example the subject of the first chapter— Confession. You can not read, or even think upon that subject for half an hour, without seeing plainly that you have disobeyed God again and again, and that you have, by thus doing what you know to be wrong, destroyed your peace of mind, and displeased your Maker. This no one can deny. There is a vast variety of religious opinion and religious controversy in the world, but I believe no sect, believing in the existence of a Deity, was ever heard of, which maintained that man does not do wrong, or that doing wrong, he is not bound penitently to confess his sins to God.

But when you saw clearly that you had done wrong, and destroyed your peace, did you go and seek this reconciliation? How many probably read that chapter, and distinctly understood what duty it urged upon them, and saw the reasonableness of that duty, and yet shut the book and laid it away, without ever intending at all to set resolutely about doing it.

D*

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