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There are few, if any of you, my dear children, who can yet be said to have worldly affairs of any moment to think of. But the state of your souls is of the greatest moment to you even now. Even now, therefore, it is well that you should make it your business every Sunday to examine yourselves thoroughly as to your religious state; that you should look back carefully on all your conduct during the past week, consider where you have erred, to what temptations you have yielded, and in what instances you might have acted better than you did. You may also look forwards to the coming week; consider well the duties it will bring with it, and the trials by which you may expect to be assailed. This employment of the Sunday is the duty of all who wish things to go well with them both on earth and in heaven; and is a duty which all of you may easily perform. Do this, and you will not spend your Sundays ill. Do this in a spirit of real piety, and I can promise that you will also spend them happily.


"Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image."-Exodus xx. 3, and part of 4.

THE words "no other gods before me" mean the same as "no other gods besides me," or "no other gods but me," as we have the same passage translated in the Prayer Book. It may appear to you, my dear young friends, that neither this first Commandment nor that which follows, and of which I have included the first part "Thou shalt not make any graven image" in my text, can require much explanation. Born in this happy country, and bred up in the blessed light of Christianity, you need not, you will think, be reminded that you have no other god but the one true God: you need not, you will think, be exhorted not to make any graven images, nor to fall down and worship them. You are not, you will say, like the heathens of old, who were continually provoking God by their idolatries.

But let us examine these commands well, and we shall be convinced that even we, with all our clearer light and better knowledge than the heathens had, must not pass these commandments over as not being of any use or importance to us. It is certain that none of us would think of worshipping a golden statue. Yet, alas! we are but too prone to worship the vanities of this mortal life; to make idols of our own passions and desires, the love of riches, the love of pleasure, the love of power. Any one of these things, if suffered to become a ruling passion, will overpower all considerations of God. These mortal and earthly things will become the idols of our hearts, and their worship will be our only worship in sincerity. We may, perhaps, from custom, occasionally address our prayers to the true God; but if our minds be fixed on the things of this life to the exclusion or the neglect of the things of the life eternal, our hearts will not go along with our prayers.

Of course, the things of this life must be attended to. We have, every one of us, our

own duties both particular and general in this world which we ought to fulfil, and which require a continual attention and watchfulness to fulfil them properly. But still the things of this world must not engross and govern our minds. In all we do we must bear in mind that we are not any of us placed on this earth in order to follow our own devices or imaginations, but that we may do the will of him who placed us on it.

Nor yet, even in matters concerning which our desires do not in themselves outrun the bounds of innocence or propriety, ought we to allow ourselves to go on from day to day forming schemes for the future, as persons supposing that every thing will turn out as we would have it. The wisdom and the strength of man are as nothing in the sight of God. Our deepest laid plans are often swept away as the clouds before the wind; and we are made to feel that there is a God who governs the world, a God who will be feared, and will be obeyed.

Those amongst us are the happiest who never forget this truth; who have always

God before their eyes, and who remember that he has said, "I am a jealous God." They who remember this will be in less danger than others of making idols of the things of this world: they will have no other god but the true God. They will know that they are always in the presence of him who is greatest, best, most wise, and eternal; who not only sees their actions, and hears the words which they utter, but also dives into their hearts, and knows their inmost thoughts. Surely, whoever has all this fully impressed on his mind will fear to think or to do anything that is wrong. Let then all this, my dear children, be always in your recollections, not only in your hours of prayer, but also in the midst of your employments, your recreations, and at all times. Your knowledge and intimate persuasion of your relation to, and dependence on God, will make your employments profitable, your recreations without guile, your prayers acceptable, and you will enjoy that peace of mind which passeth understanding; for you will then also feel that you are not only under the watchful eye

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