Watts - Houston-Packer Collection BX5207.W3 S4x 1805 v.1

132 A HOPEFUL YOUTH [BERM. VIII. blasted by the breath of Satan, and in the smoke of hell. But is it not pity, that a strong and healthy constitution should be wasted in slavery to your appetites, and in making provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts of it? Why sbould not the powers of nature, in their first bloom and glory, adorn the kingdom of grace? Why should not our sprightly days, and the warmest hours of life, be employed in some useful activity for the in- terest of God ! What a decency and honour is added to religion, by its fairest and youngest votaries ? With what peculiar praise does the word of God recommend the character of youthful piety ? How is the youngking Josiah celebrated in the sacred records? that while he was yet young, he began to seek after the God of David his Father, &c. 2 Chron. xxxiv. 3. How is Timothy commended, who had known the holy scriptures from his very childhood ; iii. 15. And there are some young in years, to whom the apostle John might address himself with the same pleasure as he does to the Chris- tian converts, whom he calls young men, strong ingrace, who had the love of God abiding in them, and had overcome the wicked one ; 1 John ii. 14. And he gives them in the next verse a most needful and friendly cau- tion against the love of the world, and the things of it, lest they should shut the love of the Father out of their hearts. What an abuse and waste of life are ye guilty of, when ye layout the brightest moments of it upon the works of darkness ? and treasure up to yourselves ever- lasting darkness and fire? I pity the young, the vigorous, the comely figures of human nature, that neglect to seek after divine grace, that are ruined and made wretched to all eternity, by their excessive love of the pleasures, or the pomp, or the riches of this vain world. A thousand such sinners, that were once the hope of their families, and the lovely ornaments of the place they lived in, are now cursing the day of their birth, and raging with despair in the midst of the wrath of God. Let me speak a word also to those that have rich en- dowments of mind. Where we behold a sprightly genius, solid reason, and deep judgment, we cannot forbear lov- ing the possessors of them : We cannot forbear to say, " It is pity that so much wit should be abused to ridicule 6