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mary of our whole duty, and includes all that we have been considering in the previous chapters. We may be just and industrious, we may be kind to our parents, we may govern our tongue, we may be temperate, benevolent and humane, and yet may be far from walking in the path to heaven. In addition to all these virtues, we must have PIETY, to crown the whole, or we are far from God and heaven. Virtue alone can never ensure our entrance into heaven; and he who builds his hopes upon it, is deceiving himself, and may find out too late that he has begun wrong.

When we look around, every thing reminds us that man has sinned. We hear it proclaimed in every groan, and see it in every tear. The penances and smoking altars of the heathen, and the prayers and tears of the Christian, alike remind us that we are a race of sinners. But, what is more, while we behold the workings of sin in our fellow-men, we feel them also in our own hearts; so that no one, even though an infidel, can deny that all have gone astray.

But what is sin? It is departure from God, it is refusing to love and obey him. To illustrate the nature of this departure from God, let us resort to a familiar subject. Astronomy tells you, that the eleven planets and eighteen satellites composing our solar system, constantly revolve around the sun, which supplies them with light and heat. It also tells you that the cause of this is the attraction which the sun possesses over these bodies, together with their own natural force. Now suppose one of these planets should leave its orbit, and fly from the sun, instead of revolving around it. It would soon go off into utter dark`ness, never more to enjoy the light and heat that are now so freely poured upon it. This would be a very strange thing; but it is just what has happened in the moral world. Man was made to revolve around his Creator, with all the angelic beings above, and for ever to rejoice in the light of his countenance. But, alas, he has left the sphere in which he was made to move, and in which the holy angels still move, and has wandered away into darkness.

This is his sin. He has forsaken God and holiness, and followed after Satan and sin. We have proof of this in the first man that was born, who was a hypocrite and a murderer: a hypocrite, because he offered a sacrifice to God, but withheld his heart; a murderer, because he stained his hands in the blood of his own brother. And all who have been born since his day, have given certain evidence that "the crown is fallen from our head," and that man has degenerated from his original holiness.

But, though all admit that man has sinned, many are unwilling to believe that he is so vile as the Bible represents him. "We know we sometimes do wrong," say they, "but we do as many holy actions as sinful ones."' "" This is false; and those who say it, do not know their own hearts. A young man in college was once highly offended, because he heard the remark made at a prayer-meeting, that no impenitent person ever did one action from the motive of love to God. He did not believe it, and determined to go home and investigate the subject. He retired to his room,

took a sheet of paper, drew a line down. the centre of it, and thought he would put down on one side all the actions he had done during the day from love to God, and on the other all he had done from selfish and worldly motives. But he was surprised and overwhelmed, when he found he had one side of the sheet full, and not a word on the other. He found that he had not done one thing that day which originated from love to God! He soon after related this circumstance at another meeting, at the same time desiring prayers; and he is now a devoted missionary of the

cross.

But why are so few conscious of sin? Why are they so slow to believe that "the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint?" It is because they are so surrounded by sin without, and filled with it within, that they do not perceive it, until the Spirit brings light into their hearts. You know that a man of middling stature bears upon his feeble frame a column of air at least forty-five miles high, and weighing about fourteen tons. But why does he not feel

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this great burden? It is because the air in him, and around him, counteracts the weight. Could he be placed where there was no air (in an air-pump, for instance), and still have this column pressing upon him, it would crush him to atoms. So is it with us, in regard to sin. Like Bunyan's pilgrim, we all bear a heavy burden, until we leave it at the foot of the cross. This burden is sin; but we are so accustomed to it, and so surrounded by it, that we do not perceive it, and will hardly believe that it exists. Could we be transported to some world of purity and holiness, we should then feel it most sensibly, for it would crush the soul beneath its weight.

My young readers, if any of you are inclined to disbelieve that the heart is "desperately wicked," I would ask you to try upon yourselves the experiment of that young man, just mentioned. Look at all the actions you have done for one day, and see how many of them you did because you loved God, and wished to please him. More than one person, by doing this, has

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