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penses should be incurred, that inextricable embarrassments should follow, and that the crime of forgery, or fraud, should be now almost daily committed, as one of the desperate resources of relieving them? Above all, can we wonder that, in many instances of young persons thus left to themselves, abandoned as it were to their own natural inclinations, and the strong impulse of the passions ;-can we wonder that the sacred interval of time, from the end of one week to the first day of labor in the next, instead of being devoted to their spiritual edification and improvement, should be perverted and abused to their corruption and ruin ? If any person is disposed to be sceptical on this head, let him only turn over the late Reports of our public Committees; let him attend to the cases that come before the police magistrates, or read the proceedings of our principal Court of criminal judicature. When we reflect on the great numbers of young persons that come to the metropolis from every part of the country annually, for the purpose of learning some profession, or of being initiated into the mysteries of some business, as the means of a future livelihood, it must grieve a parent's heart to think that his child, who has been brought up with the utmost
care, vigilance, and attention, should, at the most critical period of his existence, be not only left without a monitor and guide, but be exposed to all the dangers and mischiefs, the open temptations, and secret seductions, of such a town as this.
In answer to any multiplied remarks on this interesting, and, as I conceive, very important subject, it is easy, under the consciousness of omission, or transgression of duty, to say-We admit the evil, but where is the remedy ?_With respect to the indifferent, the lukewarm, and worldly-minded man, it is useless to offer weak motives as any sufficient counterpoise to stronger; and it is folly to expect the performance of any social duty from those, whose paramount object is such gratifications, as are in direct opposition to it.
But, not to go into extremes--it must be confessed, that the great mass of human society consists of beings of ordinary goodness, and ordinary frailties. They go smoothly on with the world, therefore, and, to regulate their own conduct, they only consider, for the most part, what their neighbours do. Thus, circumstances grow up around them, and conditions of life are gradually formed, which, though fraught with
the most serious evils, cause no rebukes of con. science; and, till they demand the interference of the legislature, excite no efforts towards reformation. Whatever might be the mischief, or the evil, they plead that it could neither be caused nor prevented by them; and as it is shared among an indefinite number, no single responsibility, on the present occasion, is either felt, or acknowledged. But if there be an individual, who is really actuated by the love and fear of God ;—who, like the virtuous Hezekiah, does what the divine law commands “ with all his heart,” and hopes to prosper; he will consider, that the great duty of doing good, and preventing evil, is co-ordinate and reciprocal; he knows that, whatever others may do, he must hereafter be answerable for his own conduct at the awful day of judgment; and therefore he will be prepared, like Joshua, to take a decided
“ As for me, and my house, we will serve the Lord.”-Now, if there be such an individual, and many I trust there are, then I should expect him, after due deliberation on the present subject, to express his sentiments in some such terms as these-“ No consideration of comfort and convenience, of ease, or gain, shall ever induce me to take a youth of fair expectations into my house, without offering him something like paternal protection and a home. I see the dangers and the evils of neglect, and of liberty without restraint, at a time of life, when every thing that is valuable often depends on vigilant circumspection, and judicious control. I know what the feelings of a father are, and can fully enter into all his anxious cares and duties. Knowing, therefore, what I should hope and expect in a similar situation myself, my conduct, not to mention other obligations, resolves itself into that divine law of our heavenly Redeemer, which
ON THE PARABLE OF THE TARES AND THE
MATT. XIII. 28, 29. ale; in The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that
and gather them up ? But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
THE Parable of the wheat and the tares, of which the text forms a part, recognises the existence of moral evil, not only in former times, but under the gracious dispensation of the holy Gospel, and in the kingdom of Christ on earth. The imagery, which is taken from rural life, and familiar to every one's mind, teaches us, that there is an unavoidable mixture of virtue and vice, or of good and bad men, in the world; and, at the same time, it manifests, in language plain, simple, and intelligible to all, the forbearing mercies of God.