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sonable souls, and made them accountable for the use they make of the , faculties he has bestowed; that he has
made them capable of eternal happiness, and liable to incur the penalty of eternal pain. That he has placed this happiness and misery in their own immediate reach; but that while he has guarded them from the latter by the monitions of reason, the remonstrances of conscience, and the light of revelation, he has called them to the former by the most powerful impulses of nature; has made heaven and earth, all the works of creation and providence, instrumental to their instruction, and that he has promised the aids of divine grace to lead them to everlasting glory.
If the God who is ever present
with us, not only wills our happiness,
but (to use the language suited to
our present weakness) has taken in
i finite finite pains to secure it to us, does it not follow, that we are bound on our part to pursue that path towards it which he has pointed out? Now this path, though it is acknowledged to be narrow, is neither thorny nor intricate.
We must, if we desire to keep upon it, be vigilant. We must endeavour to attain a complete control over every passion which would lead us to transgress its bounds. We must teach self-will to relinquish its impetuosity, and self-love to unite itself in firm alliance with charity and benevolence. We may lay our accounts with having much to resist, and something to suffer: and we can neither suffer nor resist without the exertion of activity and fortitude. Activity and fortitude are therefore most necessary to our success: let us but exert D 3 them them as we ought, and the obstacles which at first view appeared most formidable, will vanish and be forgotten!
| TRUST, my dearest Lady Elizabeth "* is not yet so tired of the subject on which I entered in my last letter, as to be averse from renewing it. Did our living in the presence of God depend upon our own choice, and was the all-seeing eye of Deity to be withdrawn whenever we please to exclude it from our thoughts, then indeed the friend might be deemed impertinent, who endeavoured to recall the unbidden guest. But as there cannot be a moment throughout the whole period of our existence, in which we can act unwitnessed by D 4 our our Creator and our Judger and as we are by him expressly told that " he "that seeth in secret shall reward us "openly," no means ought to be neglected or despised which can afford us any assistance towards establishing this important truth as a principle in our minds.
It is in the season of youth, while the heart is most alive to every generous impulse; and when nature, sensible of its weakness, teaches it to glow with gratitude for the protection of which it stands so much in need; that a habit of living in the presence of God can be most effectually established.
Very happy I am in the idea of having in some degree contributed towards laying a foundation for the establishment of this habitual consideration of the most important of truths in the minds of my young