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securing a less. So in teaching, never neg»
lect any branch, for the sake of attending to
one of inferior utility.

As my last and most earnest advice, my
beloved friends will permit me to recommend
a particular attention to religious iustruc-
tion. As it is the particular duty of minis-
ters and parents to give religious instructions
to those under their care, some may imagine
that teachers of shoolsmay be excused. But
how often, alas, is the ^religious instruction of
children almost entirely neglected by parents
and ministers; and then, if it is neglected by
their teachers, there seems to be nothing, but
destruction before them. But even if minis-
ters and parents are faithful in this business,
fs there nothing left for teachers to do?
"Where is the child, that has as much reli-
gious information, as it is desirable for him
to possess? or that has made as great ad-
vances in holiness, as are desirable, so as to
leave no need of the religious instructions
and earnest, affectionate exhortations, of a
dearly beloved and much respected teacher?
Teachers often have advantages to give re-

£74 To Teachers,

ligious instruction and exhortation to their"
pupils, that no other person can be supposed
to enjoy. How can they answer it to their
consciences and to their Judge, and how will
they dare to meet their pupils at the bar of
Christ, if they neglect such opportunities of
doing good? Especially, as the teacher, who
does not inculcate religion upon his pupils,
can hardly fail to inculcate irreligion. If he
does not teach religion, his pupils will natur*
ally conclude that he considers it of no im-
portance; and therefore, that it is of no im-
portance to them. Such instruction, as this,
many children are but too ready to receive.
If the teacher gives verbal instructions, and
then contradicts them by unchristian con-
duct, there is reason to fear, that they will
be worse than in vain. It seems infinitely
important, therefore, that every teacher
should be a decided, well informed, consist*
ent, zealous Christian; that he should praj
with his pupils and for them, most sincerely,
and fervently; and that he should train then
up in the nurture and admonition of t|<

And here I cannot deny myself the pleas
lire of transcribing a few sentences from th'
Christian Observer for last November. <<Wi
may confidently affirm, that imperfect ani
essentially defective must be every plan ti
form the human character, which is no'
founded on the basis of religious instrudioik
For, if true religion can alone restore mm


To Teachers. SL75

to those high hopes, blissful employments,
and ennobling privileges, for which he Was
originally created, and which assimilate and
unite him to pure and holy spirits, 'who circle
God's throne rejoicing;' if it is well describ-
ed, as «an active, vital, influential principle,
operating on the heart, restraining the de-
sires, affecting the general conduct, and as
much regulating our commerce with the
world, our business, pleasures and enjoy-
ments, our conversations, designs, and ac-
tions, as our behavior in public worship,
or even in private devotion; — ^if this be true,
shall we for any weak and frail weapons of
human device, reject those arms of heavenly
temper, that panoply divine, which has in
every age defeated the strongest and most
inveterate enemies of the human race? Shall
we, for any ineffectual mixture of our own,
neglect that medicine presented by Infinite
Wisdom, which has so often cured the most
fatal and inveterate diseases, to which man's
fallen nature is subject? Would we then
qualify our children, for the discharge of du-
ties, domestic, social and political; — would
we, that they should possess the substance,
of which the world admires only the empty
J shadow; that they should be directed by the
inward dispositions and principles, rather
than exhibit only the outward form; let U3
instruct tliem in that <faith, which worketh
by love,' that 'wisdom, which is from above,*
and which is first pure, then peaceable^ gen-

^76 To Magistrates*

tie, and easy to be entreated, full of itiercy
and good fruits; without partiality, and with-
out hypocrisy.' ''

Jf any of our civil fathers should conde-
scend to cast an eye over these pages, they
will doubtless feel, that I am a debtor to
them. So much is depending upon the con-
duct of those, who are raised to stations of
honor and trust by the voice of a free and
enlightened people and the providence of
God — so much is depending upon the con-
duct of those, whose important duty it is, to
enact, to explain, to execute the best of
human laws, that I dare not pass them by in
silence. Respected and beloved rulers, may
you have the unspeakable satisfaction of do-
ing much, very much, for the introduction of
that blessed day, when kings and queens
shall be nursing fathers and nursing mothers
to the church. For this, your abilities, your
opportunities, your obligations, are greater
than I can express. How much may you
do, by your example, by your wisdom, by
your influence, by your prayers, by your
zeal for your country and your God; how
much may you do to banish or crush the
monster vice, to promote truth, integrity and
every good work, to promote the cause of
sound and useful learning, to advance true
religion, to renovate and bless the world.
Vicegerents of God on earth, your offices
are vastly important Under him, you carry
in your hands the destinies of the nation;
and your conduct may have a great and ex-

To Magistrates. ^77

tensive influence upon other nations. To
you much is given; of you therefore much
will be required. You are as much account-
able to Him, who shall j?."clge the judges, as
the least of those, over whom you are pra-
moted; nay your accountability is as much
greater than theirs, as your talents and op-
portunities are superior. Take heed, O re-
spected magistrates, take heed to yourselves,
and to the duties of your honorable stations,
lest your accumulated responsibility should
only prepare the way, for the accumulated
displeasure of the King of kings. What you
do for your Savior, your race, your country
or your own souls, either as magistrates or
as men, you must do quickly. You cannot
long hold the important stations you now^ oc-
cupy. You will not be suffered to continue
hy reason of death Already the grim mes-
senger is on his way. <*How swift the shut-
tle flies, that weaves your shrouds." The
cloth that shall array the sad procession, and
blacken the way to your graves, may have
already passed the loom. What you do in
the land of the living, you must do quickly.
JBe wise therefore O ye rulers, be instructed
ye magistrates of the land. *»Serve the Lord
with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss
the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish frara
the way, when his wrath is kindled but a lit-
tle. Blessed are all they that put their trust
In him." Beloved guardians of liberty,
fathers of the people, may this blessedness
be eternally yourg.

£78 To the JlffiuenU

Those, who are favored with a large por-
tion of the good things of this world, ought
to feel that they are distinguished and bles-
sed, above most of their fellow citizens,
above the opulent of former ages, aud proba-
bly, above the opulent in ages to come. Hap-
py, thrice happy ye, if indeed ye have a dis-
position to make such distribution as the
Lord requires. Once it was said by one
of the greatest and best of poets, and
the saying was true in the sense intended,
<«Gold glitters most, where virtue shine no
more." But now it may be said, if never

«'Gold brightest shines to eyes that glow with love^,
Love to the Savior, love to souls redeem*d."

If in any age it can be in any sense proper
to say, "Blessed are the rich,'' surely that
age is the present. God has opened so many
channels, in which their wealth may flow out
for the most important purposes; he has put
it in their power to do good upon such a
vast and extensive scale, that, if they faith-
fully improve their talents, they may have
reason to hope, that generations yet unborn,
and whole nations will rise up and call them
Messed, The names of Thornton, and Phil»
lips, and Norris, and Abbot, and many oth-
ers, who have liberally given back to the
Lord of what he had so liberally bestowed

To the ^JfiuenL 279

irpon them, will be music in the ears of those,
who shall flourish as the palm-tree in the
Millennial Paradise. Ye sons and daughters
of affluence, ye stewards of the bounties of
Heaven, would ye know the bliss of these
worthies, the bliss which they felt in giv-
ing, the bliss which they now feel in
the presence of the Lamb — ^would ye know
how much better it is to give than to receive,
go ye, and do likewise. 1 do not ask, that
you should expose your families to want, nor
incapacitate yourselves for future benefac-
tionsi but according as every one has re-
ceived, so let him give; and let him give lib-
erally and freely of what he has so freely
received from the great Source of every
gift. Bible Societies, Missionary Societies,
JEducation Societies, Theological Semina-
ries, &c. &c. are loudly calling for all the
silver and the gold, that you can spare;
which the Lord has put into your hands,
which he considers as still his own,^ and
which he requires you to use in his service.
The Lord has opened a thousand treasuries,
by which, as with so many mouths, he is
calling upon the affluent, saying, <*Give,
give." Most of the vast machines, that are
rolling forward toward the glorious consum-
mation, predicted and promised, must move
on golden wheels, and be urged forward by
weights of gold. Blessed are they, who cai^

* Joel 3:5,

280 To the Young,

sincerely and cheerfully give up a liberal
portion of their treasures, to promote the
glorious cause. They will find it, after many
days; they will find it to be treasure laid up
in heaven, that will be increasing and bright-
ening to all eternity.

Nor will this blessedness come upon the
affluent alone. Blessed are they, whether
rich or poor, who are willing to labor and
toil, who are v/illing to rise up early and sit
up late, and eat the bread of carefulness, for
the sake of advancing the Redeemer's king-
dom. The two mites of the poor widow, will
never be forgotten before God. And we
shall know in another world, what vast sums
have been raised, what blessed purposes have
been answered, by Cent Institutions, Mito
Societies, &c. formed principally by those,
who could afford to contribute only a few
cents from month to months or from year to

But even if there are any, who are denied
the privilege and delighf of helping forward
the work of the liord in this way; if there
are any who can say with the indigent apos-
tle, *< Silver and gold, have we none;" still
they may give something in the important
cause. They may give their hearts, their
influence, their prayers.

But to none, perhaps, does the subject of
the Millennium speak in strains more af-
fecting; than to the rising generation* My

To the Foung, 281

dear young fi iciids, you live in an age pecu=
liarly eventful, peculiarly interesting. NVe,
who have come upon the stage before you.
Lave within a few years, seen great things-
great things indeed, whereof we are glad-
things, which '^prophets and kings desired
to seei but died without the sight.'^ Some
of the most important of these, were men-
tioned in the Lecture upon the signs of the
times. So great and glorious are the events
that have taken place within a few years,
that some persons in the overflowings of
their joy and praise, have concluded, that
the Millennium has already begun. But
they mistake/ Satan is not yet bound. Ye,
who are now coming upon the stage, will
see greater things than these; and sonie
of you will be the blessed instruments of
accomplishing much greater things than
these. And now, my young friends, who of
you are prepared, willingly to offer your=
selves to engage in a work, so great, and so
glorious? There is enough for you all to do.
In the figurative and beautiful language of
the prophet, "Every valley shall be exalted,
and every mountain and hill shall be made
low; and the crooked shall be made straight,
and the rough places plain; and the glory of
the Lord shall be revealed; and all flesh
shall see it together." All this is to be ef-
fected principally, if not wholly, by human
instrumentality. And this is more than the

g8£ To the Youngs

present and succeeding generation will be
able to accomplish. But there is reason to
believe, that the succeeding generation will
excel the present, in the work of the Lord, as
iiiucii as the present excels all the preceding.
And to me it appears highly probable, that
the generation, that is to succeed the present,
will do more toward introducing the Millen-
nium, than any before or after it. It is to
those who are now in their pupilage, that we
must look, as the principal instruments ia
the hand of Zion's King, to raise the church
above her enemies, that slie may "look fortii
as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the
sun, and terrible as an army with banners."
Surely this will be the most important step
ti>ward the Millennium, tho that blessed pe-
riod will not probably commence, till 75 years
after the church has gained the ascenifancy,
and laid aside her sackcloth. With what
veneration and awe, then, may the teacher
look upon his pupils, and the hoary-headed
grandsire, upon his children's children.

Dear respected youth, a considerable pro-
portion of you will live— (that is, if 1 have
been enabled to understand the scriptures
relating to this subject) a considerable pro-
portion of you wiii live, to see the commence-
ment of the time of the end; and many of you
will liave a ninst important agency in intro-
ducing that illustrious era. Who of you is
desirous of such an honor? of sucb a bliss?

To the Young, 283

Such an honar, such a bliss, you may every
one enjoy, if your lives are spared. It is
only for you to engage with all your hearts
In the work of the Lord, and persevere in
the ways of well-doing; and you shall be
enabled to <^tread Satan under your feet
shortly." Nay, if you do not live to se&
«<the mountain of the Lord's house establish-
ed in the top of the mountains, and exalted
above the hills," yet, if you will sincerely
enlist yourselves under the banners of the
King of kings, and heartily engage in the
service of the Captain of salvation, tho you
fall in the fii^t onset, you shall in no wise
lose your reward; you shall receive from
your Judge, the heart-thrilling plaudit, ^^WeU
done^^^ and he will declare to assembled
worlds, that you <«did well, that it was in your
hearts," to engage in his service — that it was
in your hearts to fight in his cause, till you
should be covered with honorable scars, and
honorable wounds. Dear youtliful reader^
are these things nothing to you? and can you
be so unwise as to care for none of these
things? The King of Zion, your Creator 'AvA
Preserver, now calls you to his service. Can
you be deaf to the call? The great Captain of
salvation, who has shed his most precious
blood for you, now summons you to the field*
"Will you, can you, neglect and despise the
summons? Hark! the trumpet gives a certain
sound* It bids you instantly gird on the

^84 To the Young.

gospel harness, and prepare yourself for the
battle. The victory is declared to be cer-
tain; and the triumph, most glorious and
eternaL Can you refuse? can you doubt?
can you hesitate? If angels could look into
your heart, with what overwhelming so-
licitude must they witness your exercises,
while you are discussing within your own
breast, the momentous question 'wheth-
er you shall follow the standard of Im=
manuel, or the standard of the prince of dark-
ness — a question, upon the decision of
which hangs your eternal destiny. Are you
almost persuaded to yield to the invitation of
Christ? .^/mos^ persuaded? That is not suffi-
cient. It was not enough for Agrippa;* it is
not enough for you. Remember, you are
still in the enemy's ranks, while you are only
almost persuaded to leave them. If you con-
tent yourself with being almost persuaded,
you are lost forever. This most important
decision, which will seal you over to everlast-
ing life, or everlasting death, must be formed
without delay. Unbelieving reader, your
time is short. O do not, I beseech you, do
jipt decide against your Savior, against his
kingdom, against yoJir own soul, against
your eternal salvation. And now, methinks,
I see you just ready to f[?rm the decision, as
Satan would have it, and as it were sealing
your own death-warrant, that consigns you

* Acts 26:28.29.

To the Young. 585

over to everlasting darkness and despair*
And now, you seem to whisper to yourself,
"Farewell, Savior; farewell, angels of light;
farewell, saints; farewell, heaven; farewell
peace; farewell, hope. Hail, ye powers of
darkness; ye everlasting horrors, hail. I
come, I come to dwell with you. — No! 1 can-
not, I cannot renounce my Savior, my heav«
en, my hope, ray all, for such a prison, fop
such companions. Jesus, 1 am thine; O bless-
ed Redeemer, 1 yield my sotil to thee. But
canst tliou accept of one so vile and filthy;
80 wretched, and miserable, and poor, and
blind, and naked?

*Aod can so vile a sinner find
A just and holy God so kind?

And can I trust his grace?
Yes, my Redeemer lives, he lives!
Joy to my soul, my hope revives;

I see his smiling face.

Lord what wilt thou have me to do? Her^
am 1, send me — send me to India, to China,
to the remotest isle of the sea, to the ends of
the earth, to prison, to tortures, to death, if
1 may but glorify thy blessed name. Lord
what wilt thou have me to do?" Are these,
O youthful reader, are these the honest in-
quiries of thy heart? — of a heart humble, bro-
ken, and reconciled to God, and in love with
the Savior? If so, I can most joyfully say.
Dear brother, or dear sister, go to thy bible,
to thy spiritual guide, to tliy Christian
friends, and especially to the throne of grace.

286 To the Foung.

and it shall be made known to thee, what
thou shalt do. Be not in haste to decide a
point of such vast importance. Perhaps the
Lord intends to send thee far hence unto the
Gentiles; and perhaps thou art destined to
fill a humble, narrow sphere in the village
that gave thee birth.

Let me again entreat you, my dear youth-
ful readers, to devote yourselves to the
Lord and to his service most unreservedly
and most fervently. Youth was always a
very interesting and important period of
life. It is peculiarly so at such a day as
the present. It is now your seed time. Ne-
glect this, and you will have no harvest; none
but a harvest of weeds; or rather of tares, of
briars and thorns, fit only for the burning
flame. How important, that you should sow
good seed, and none but good, in a soil so
noble. And take the most diligent heed that
the enemy do not sow tares. "Cease, my son
to hear the instruction, that causeth to err
from the words of knowledge.'^ Sow your
seed with a liberal iiand. With such a bless-
ing, as you may humbly expect, the soil is ca-
pable of producing a most glorious and abun-
dant harvest; if it be propei-ly sown^and prop-
erly cultivated.

Young candidates for glory, honor and
immortality, your time is precious. Time
was^ always precious. "The man is yet un-
born, who duly weighs an hour." Time is
peculiarly precious to you. You have no

To the Ymng. 287

time to indulge in vain amusements, however
harmless they may seem to '<fools reputed
wise." Surely they cannot be harmless, if
they rob you of that, which "worlds want
wealth to buy." You have no time for the
gratification of vain curiosity. Whatever
study, or book, or pursuit, may solicit your
attention, let your first, your grand inquiry
be, "Is it useful? is it conducive to the salva-
tion of souls? to the advancement of Christ's
kingdom? to the glory of God?" Remember,
you are tasting forbidden fruit, whether you
eat or drink, or converse, or read, or write,
or whatever you do, unless it is conducive to
the glory of God. God is glorified by good
works; especially by such as are immediately
conducive to the salvation of souls. Assidu»
ously engage in forming such habits, in cul-
tivating such dispositions, and acquiring such
knowledge, as may appear most conducive
to your usefulness below, and your bliss

If any of you, my young friends, liave such
gifts and graces, as to render it probable that
with a proper education, you may be useful
in the ministry, it is vastly important, that
you should be brought forward and educated
for the sacred office. The call for faithful
ministers is so loud and urgent fron;i the four
quartei's of the world, tiiat it seems that no
one, who has the requisite qualifications,
ought to be excused from ftjigaging in the

^ 288 To Ml

work. All pious and promising youths, wbo
are indigent, may unquestionably be assisted
in obtaining the best education, that the
country can aiford. And let no parent pre-
sume to withhold his son, his only son, if the
Lord appears to have called him for the ser-
vice of the sanctuary.

Dear reader, farewell. We shall meet at
the bar of Christ. May it be at his right
hand. And, O may we have the unspeakable
satisfaction to find, that these imperfect pages
hare not been written, nor read, in vain.



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Online LibraryJoseph EmersonLectures on the Millennium → online text (page 16 of 16)