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peace themselves, the youth of the community, generally, will express it by the sobriety of their lives-by their respect for the civil and religious institutions of the land, and above all, by their love of goodness.
Now, whatever the cast and character of the youth may be, that are to rise up, when you have passed off from the scene of action, depends mainly on you. You are to be their instructors, their guides, their moral and religious keepers. Your piety or want of piety; your love of right and goodness, or love of self; your sober-mindedness, or your love of irreverent mirth, will multiply and enlarge itself, and give their moral expression, to the youth that are to come after you. It rests with you to say what it will be--whether it will be the expression of moral beauty, or of moral ugliness. That this must be so from the nature of the social relations is most plain. I will suppose a case for illustration's sake. Suppose a young man is a gambler, a dram drinker, or a swearer. Do not suppose these terms are below the dignity of the Pulpit? Whatever concerns the moral welfare of the youth of a community, that most legitimately belongs to the Preacher, and it is his right to speak-be silent who may. He is not to be a mere man-pleaser, but to warn, rebuke, exhort, instruct, and win to virtue and to God, as God giveth him grace and power.
Well, who made that young man a gambler, a swearer, a drunkard, or an immoral man? Most assuredly his guilt is the result of imitation and companionship. He learned to gamble, and swear, and drink, and be immoral, just as you learned your trades and professions, from others-others who taught him, and learned him, and cheered him on, by their example, their sneers at virtue, and piety, and soberness; their irreverence for the Sabbath, for the Scriptures, for the Church. They are just what their models and teachers have made them. Oh! better, if a man has by his influence, his example, or his sneers against virtue and religion-better, I say, for that man, if he knows of any man made a gambler, or an intemperate man-made so by his influ ence or example, better for him to travel, though it were to the ends of the earth, upon his bare feet, and beseech him to be a new man in Christ Jesus, than to meet that man's face in eternity -a dark soul-ruin, the workmanship of his hands.
Well, indeed, did Paul say to Timothy, "Be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity."
And equally earnest and emphatic are the words of Peter, "Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul, having your conversation honest among the Gentiles; that whereas they speak against you as evil doers, they may by your good works which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation." Even so may it be. Ame.
FROM LIVING MINISTERS OF THE UNITED STATES.
CONDUCTED BY REV. W. H. BIDWELL.
PUBLISHED BY W. H. BIDWELL, No. 5 BEEKMAN STREET. LONDON: TRÜBNER & CO., 12 PATERNOSTER ROW.
By Rev. Henry Ward Beecher,
HANANIAH, a false prophet, denied the truth of what the Most High had, through Jeremiah, foretold with regard to the length of time that the Jews were to be captives in Babylon. He said that, within two full years, they would be freed from captivity, when the Most High had declared that they should remain there a much longer time than that. Thus was this false prophet guilty of great and daring sin against God, in boldly and openly denying what his Maker had said, and thus striving to excite the Jews to disbelieve and disobey the Great Creator and Lord of all.
Hence it was that the Most High sent Jeremiah to him, saying, "Hear now, Hananiah, the Lord hath not sent thee, but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord: Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth; this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord. So Hananiah the prophet died in the same year, in the seventh month."
So speedy, fearful, and exact was the execution of the sentence
of God on this bold and daring transgressor. And in the solemn and impressive language of our text, "This year thou shalt die," we all have a lesson and a warning, as to the shortness and uncertainty of life, and the nearness and certainty of death.
With a view to improve this lesson, let us consider THE GREAT AND EVENTFUL CHANGE OF DEATH; ITS CAUSE; ITS UNIVERSAL EXTENT; ITS APPOINTED TIME; AND ITS NEAR APPROACH TO OURSELVES.
I. Death is not commonly the act, or event, of a single moment, or hour, or week, or month, or year. There are, indeed, many who die soon after they are born. The chilling, withering blasts, which blow upon the tender plant, or opening flower, cause it quickly to fade, and droop, and die; its fleeting fra grance, like the early dew, borne, by the breath of morning, to the upper sky. The tender and sensitive infant, whom God hath sent, as on an angel's visit, to cheer and gladden its parents' home and hearts, shrinks away from the chilling winds of pain and sorrow, which too rudely blow upon it; tastes of the bitter cup of life-so bitter, that it turns quickly from it, and seeks a heavenly home, carrying with it there the warm affections of those who fondly loved it here on earth.
Vast numbers in infancy and early childhood pass away, but of many of these, as well as of those who, in more advanced life, go down to the grave, it is true that death has, with them, been a slow, lingering process of days, weeks, or months; and, in those of more matured age, it has often been the work of years. The seeds, or the ripening or ripened fruit of permanent and ever-wearing, wasting, and consuming disease, decay, and death, entered the world with them, so that all their lives long they could, with the Apostle, truly say, "I die daily."
The paleness which covers the face, the sigh which deeply heaves the bosom, the inward pang which gives to the countenance the impress of anguish, the unbidden tear which pain has caused to flow, the convulsive tremor which shoots over the frame, the hectic flush of beauty and decay which lights up the cheek with a more than earthly radiance, while the eye has an angel's brightness,-all these, no less than the dying throb of anguish, and the last convulsive struggle with the King of Terrors, are a part and parcel of death itself. They plainly mark the straining or the sundering of one of the thousand chords of life. They show that a new breach has been opened, or an old one widened, in the fountain of being within, so that its hidden waters will the sooner escape, and death's approach be hastened.
There are few who have perfect or unbroken health; so few, indeed, as to form rare exceptions to the general rule. It is true of most, that they either inherit, or from early imprudence, or disease have inflicted upon them, some oft-repeated or lasting sickness or