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der and peace preserved through the frame, from the subordination of appetite and the dominion of reason ; above all, from the consciousness of doing well, and the kindred consciousness of deserving well from mankind; from self-applause and a good name. Be grave: yours will be the satisfactions, that arise from acting with dignity, and being sensible that a beauty and decorum adoin your deportment. Be humble and modest : yours will be the satisfactions, which flow from meeting with the respect you seem to avoid, from enjoying the friendship of those to whom by engaging manners you are endeared, and from following the counsels dictated by the wisdom, which age and experience have formed. Be prudent and discreet: yours will be the satisfactions, which grow out of being provided for most events, and from your affairs being conducted to an happy and prosperous issue. Be temperate and chaste : yours will be the pure delights of innocence shared with the innocent : your natural appetites will be preserved in vigour : your enjoyments will not leave you satiated and disgusted : your repeated indulgences will be heightened by a new relish for them. Moderation and virtuous pursuits will leave you something still to enjoy; and the intervals between the moments of pleasure will be so agreeably diversified as not to suffer the alloys of listlessness and langour. Solomon had tried the utmost, which sensuality was capable of affording, and he so-. lemnly declares all to be VANITY and vexaTION of SPIRIT. But who, after a confirmed experience, ever declared the same concerning regular virtue and sobriety of manners? Would you then exhilirate your hearts with pure delight, and are you votaries for pleasure! WisDOM, saith, “ mine are the ways of serenity and peace :" and SOBRIETY addeth, “mine are “ the ways of health, long life, and felicity.”
As for Him whom neither the reputation of wisdom invites, nor the forms of true perpetual bliss allure ; I will address Him in the pointed and awakening words of Solomon: “ Rejoice, O young man, in thy youth, and let “ thine heart cheer thee in the days of thy “ youth, and walk in the ways of thine heart, “ and in the sight of thine eyes; but know, " thou, that FOR ALL THESE THINGS GOD “ WILL BRING THEE UNTO JUDGEMENT.”
PART THE FIRST.
RELIGION, it has been remarked, hath been in all ages, more indehted to the attachment of devout women, than to the zeal of the other sex* Their minds, perhaps, are susceptible of more lively impressions from the principles of piety: but this circumstance alone doth not afford a cause adequate to the effect. The tender sex, formed for domestic life, are happily secured by their education and employment, froin many of those snares, which betray men into a neglect of pious obligations. Their hearts, not so deeply engaged in the pursuits of interest or ambition, are more at leisure for the contemplations of faith, and the exercises of devotion.
* 6 The female sex seems, by the very constitution of its
nature, to be more favourably disposed than ours, to the “ feelings and offices of religion; being thus fitted by the “ bounty of Providence, the better to execute the impor. " tant task, which devolves on it, of the education of our " earliest youth. Doubtless, this more favourable disposi“ tion to religion in the female sex, was graciously designed " also to make women doubly valuable in the wedded +6 state. Wilberforce's " Practical View," p. 434.
But to what cause soever it be owing, that piety doth not meet with an equal regard from both sexes, it is in itself the concern of both, and hath its foundation in the rational and manly powers. Amongst, my friends, the many objects which invite your attention, there is nothing more interesting than religion : and, perhaps, there is nothing from which you are more ready to turn away with indifference, if not disgust: either not duly sensible of its importance and truth, or else possessed with prejudices against it. Permit me, then, to offer some hints, which may serve to convince you of the reasonableness of paying a serious and prevailing regard, to religion ; which may expose the weakness of those notions you have
formed concerning it, and may assist you to establish habits of piety.
First, I would offer some hints on the reasonableness of a serious and prevailing regard to religion. Many arguments might be urged on this head, with great propriety and force ; but I will select a few only, which, while they are not inferior to others in importance and weight, have a peculiar connexion with our present design. With this view let it be observed, that religion hath a foundation in the frame of man, in the constitution of the hu. man mind. There is no proposition to which the mind gives a more early assent than this, that there is a God. This truth can boast of being more generally embraced than any other; and of still retaining its hold on the mind, when other sacred principles have been discarded, and men have argued themselves into scepticism and uncertainty about many other truths. This is the more remarkable, because the idea of a God is the idea of that invisible Being ; concerning whose nature and perfections, after the most calm and enlightened researches, we are still greatly in the dark.