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do so; and the more we reflect on the danger of those who despise such sacred admonitions, the more evident will their importance appear.
In the following remarks, I intend to consider the infinite hazard those persons expose themselves to, who frequent lewd and profligate company, and who associate with wick: éd men. The danger of associating with men of this des. cription, would appear sufficiently obvious, were we to proceed no farther than to consider the powerful infinence of evil example. . · Imitation is one of the strongest principles of homan nature. We are prone to it from our very 'birth ; the little nursling, prattling on the knees of its tender parent, attempts to imitate her words and gestures. And in more mature years, we are, in all our enterprizes, inclined to follow the example of those who have succeeded in similar circumstances. Nor is it only in the every day's transactions of life, that this principle is to be observed; but even in matters of religion, which ought to be influenced by higher motives; and in forming the morals, as well as directing the manners, of mankind, it has a powerful effect. ,
While every other example then operates so powerfully among mankind, is evil example alone productive of no consequences ? -_Unfortunately, it is the very reverse; here, if any where, it never fails of producing its banefal influence. At first, indeed, owing to the natural deformity of vice, an uncorrupted mind may be shooked at the sight, aņd scenes of wickedness may seem rather to deter than allure. But this state of mind will not long continue. By frequenting evil company, and witnessing their vicious conduct, the mind becomes so accustomed that it can behold them without any sensations of horror, After the mind thus becomes reconciled to viçe, at length it begins to find pleasure in it; and when it arrives at this unhappy pitch,
they have done against evil examples no man, no
it is but a short step to the commission of what it thus far approves. Such is the pernicious influence of evil example; and when aided by the corruption of our heart we begin to contract a partiality for wicked men, especially those who may be denominated libertines, or freethinkers. There is a wonderful diversity in human characters: few men are so notoriously wicked, but that there is some trait in their character worthy of admiration; and when we enter into the company of such men, we are either prepossessed in their favour, or willing to be so, and too often by their dissimulation we contract an attachment to them. This very circumstance contributes not a little to accelerate our ruin. We generally find such men using every endeavour to bring others into the same abyss of guilt with themselves; they sleep not,” as the Scripture saith, “ except they have done mischief, and 'nren are not always alike on their guard against evil example, or the crafty insinuations of the wicked. The virtue of no man, no not even of the most confirmed Christian, is at all times equally strong; and it is the peculiar happiness of those who abstain from evil company, that when they are most liable to be seduced they are put of the way of temptations. This guard to virtue is infallibly lost by attending the societies of wicked men. They are always ready to second the temptation, and to render the way to sin practicable and easy: nay, they will even watch the most unguarded moments, that they may enjoy the 'unballowed satisfaction of debaaching mens principles, and corrupting their manners. Suppose a person subject to sudden sallies of passion, and when under its influence so far devoid of consideration, that he would wreck out vengeance on whatever came in his way; that person would very ill act the part of a friend who would at that moment put a sword in his hand. The case before us is exactly similar; we are all subject to
bottnissger has "DIE EE ***, L. temptations
temptations, and were we left to ourselves, each might prove the occasion of sin.
And when these attack us, our only refuge is in retirement and reflection. But when we associate with wicked men we deprive ourselves of those advantages, and allow ourselves no time for reflection, and thus we are pushed on to gratify the present evil passion, until it raise a flame which will consume and destroy us.
By frequenting and delighting in the company of regardless men, every virtuous principle will soon lose hold of the mind; every good resolution will be shaken ; and when thus we pursųe the road to wickedness, our evil genius will furnish us with many excuses. Sin, we will begin to imagine, cannot be so malignant in its nature as we formerly believed. We will be ready to think that our natural fears are nothing but the mere prejudices of education, Or, if we cannot entirely dispel them, we will then impose upon ourselves, by promises of a better behaviour for the future : how much will the example of wicked men confirm those imaginations. Our own depraved heart will whisper that there is no danger; and thus, because sentence is not speedily executed against an evil work, our heart will be fully set in us to do evil. Thus we go from one step to another until all hopes of amendment are lost. Let us then learn to avoid this pitfall of destruction, so pernicious to mankind, reflecting that it is an inlet to many disgraces and miseries, by injuring our character, by rendering us subject to diseases, and by hastening a premature old age.
·Effects of Bad Company. JUDGING men look on others from the company they frequent; according to the old proverb, shew me your company, and I'll tell you the man,
Bad company is ruinous to fame and reputation.
Ill company is the ruin of youth and reproach of age. ez Revelling with prostitutes, and parading with gambJers, wert thou a king, thy reputation could not be safe.
Ill company, like objects besmeared with filthiness, besmear all those who come near or touch them.
Il company is the grand engine with which the devil effects most of his purposes on mankind. by IU company is to be shunned as deadly poison, or as a snare laid for your safety and welfare. Be Unavoidable and innumerable mischiefs and misfortunes attend the keeping bad company.
Many men have been good till they were ill associated: as pure water changes its quality and virtue by passing through pernicious minerals.
When vice runs in a single stream or rivulet, it is shallow and fordable ; but when many of these vicious streams fall and unite into one large and deep channel, the unwary are drowned therein.
Bad companions, like a jack o'lanthoin, or misguiding light, lead the unwary insensibly into ambuscades.
Evil companions, like the syrens, allure men into dangerous follies and destructive vices..... ". It is better to have no companion or associate than to have an ill one. s isi :
Acquaintance is similar to commerce, or dealing of one tradesman with another; begun by accident, continued by custom or inclination, and revocable at pleasure.
When a commerce of acquaintance happens between two persons, and is carried on in mutual confidence ; and if through inadvertency either find himself deceived in his choice by discovering the other to be evil minded ; he, by prudent and safe measures, should shake. him off as St. Paul did the viper.
; How to get Married. WOMEN should be acquainted, that no beauty hath any charms but the inward one of the mind; and that a gracefulness in their manners is much more engaging than that of their persons; that meekness and modesty are the true and lasting ornaments; for she that hath these, is qualified, as she ought to be, for the management of a family, for the educating of children, for an affection to her husband, and submitting to a prudent way of living. These only are the charms that render wives a miable, and give them the best title to our respect.' .
A prudent woman is in the same class of honour as a wise man. The best way to advance the marriage of a young lady, is, when she has in her countenance mildness, in her speech wisdom, in her behaviour modesty, and in her lise virtue.
The Cottager's Advice to his Daughter
UPON HER GOING TO SERVICE.
How to deserve the name of a Christian... instances of the life of
our Saviour proposed for imitation...its good effects. TF thou, therefore, meanest to deserve the glorious natge of a Christian, be zealous for thy great master's honour. Examines into the circumstances of his life with care and attention, and show thy love for him by thy obedience to his precepts. All other instructions, compared to them, are light in the balance. Thou wilt find it in the Net Testament most clearly marked out.
From this blessed book, I would propose the following instances of the life of our Saviour for your imitation.
His early piety. Luke, ii.-46, 49.