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ON THE FIRST PRINCIPLES hose wisdom cannot be mistaken, and whose bour tiful kindness is infinite! - Love Him, therefore, in the same manner you love your earthly parents, but in a much higher degree --in the highest your 12ture is capable of. Forget not to dedicate yourself to his service every day; to implore his forgiveness of your faults, and his protection from evil, every night: and this 10t merely in formal words, unac companied by any act of the miod, but " in spirit and in truth;" in grateful love, and humble adora tion. Nor let these stated periods of worship be your only communication with him; accustom your self to think often of him, is all your waking hours;-to contemplate his wisdom and power, in the works of his hands;--to acknowledge his good ness in every object of use or of pleasure;-10 de light in giving him praise in your inmost heart, in the midst of every innocent gratification--in the liveliest hour of social enjoyment. You cannot conceire, if you have not experienced, how much such silent acts of gratitude and love will enhance

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your understanding and affections: and be assured, that the more you increase in love to him, and delight in his laws, the more you will increase in happiness, in excellence, and honour :that, in proportion as you improve in true piety, you will become dear and amiable to your fellow-creatures; contented and peaceful in yourself; and qualified to enjoy the best blessings of this life, as well as to inherit the glorious promise of immortality.

Thus far I have spoken of the first principles of all religion; namely, belief in God, worthy notions of his attributes, and suitable affections towards him ;--which will naturally excite a sincere desire of obedience. But, before you can obey his will, you must know what that will is; you must enquire in what manner he has declared it, and where you may find those laws which must be the rule of your actions.

The great laws of morality are indeed written in our hearts, and may be discovered by reason; but our reason is of slow growth, very unequally dispensed to different persons, liable to error, and con. fined within very narrow limits in all. If, there. fore, God vouchsafed to grant a particular revelation of his will; if he has been so unspeakably gracious, as to send his Son into the world to reclaim mankind from error and wickedness, to die for our sins, and to teach us the way to eternal life; . surely it becomes as to receive his precepts with the deepest reverence; to love and prize them above all things; and to study them constantly, with an earnest desire to conform our thoughts, our words, and actions to them.

As you advance in years and understanding, I hope you will be able to examine for yourself the evidences of the Christian Religion, and be convinced, on rational grounds, of its divine authority. At present, such enquiries would demand more study, and greater powers of reasoning, than your age admits of. It is your part, therefore, till you are capable of understanding the proofs, to believe your parents and teachers, that the Holy Scriptures are writings inspired by God, containing a true his.

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every pleasure; nor what sweet serenity and cheer fulness such reflections will diffuse over your mind. On the other hand, when you are suffering pain or sorrow, when you are confined to ax uppleasant situation, or engaged in a painful duty, how will it support and animate you, to refer yourself to you Almighty Father!-o be assured that He kanas your state and your intentions, that to effort of virtue is lost in his sight, uor the least of your se tions or sufferings disregarded or forgotten that Jus hand is ever over you, to ward off every real evil, which is not the effect of your own ill-conduct, and to relieve every suffering that is not ufeful to your future well-being.

You see, my dear, that true devotion is not a I melancholy sentiment that depresses the spirits, and excludes the ideas of pleasure, which youth is food of: on the contrary, there is nothing so friendly to joy, so productire of true pleasure, so peculiarly suited to the warmth and innocence of a poutktal Do not, therefore, think it too soon to tam

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Those wisdom cannot be mistaken, and whose bountiful kindness is infinite!-Love Him, therefore, in the same manner you love your earthly parents, but in a much higher degree, -in the highest your nature is capable of. Forget not to dedicate yourself to his service every day; to implore bis forgiveness of your faults, and his protection from evil, every night: and this not merely in formal words, unac. companied by any act of the mind, but " in spirit and in truth;” in grateful love, and humble adoration. Nor let these stated periods of worship be your only conimunication with him; accustom yourself to think often of him, in all your waking hours; to contempiate his wisdon and power, in the'works of his hands;—to acknowledge his good. + ness in every object of use or of pleasure ;-to de. light in givipg him praise in your inmost heart, in the midst of every innocent gratification,-in the liveliest hour of social enjoyment. You cannot conceive, if you have not experienced, how much such silent acts of gratitude and love will enhance every pleasure; nor what sweet serenity and cheerfulness such reflections will difiuse over your mind. On the other hand, when you are suffering pain or sorrow, when you are confined to an unpleasant situation, or engaged in a painful duty, how will it support and animate you, to refer yourself to your Almighty Father!--to be assured that He knows your state and your intentions; that po effort of virtue is lost in his sight, nor the least of yonr actions or sufferings disregarded or forgotten that huis hand is ever over you, to ward off every real evil, which is not the effect of your own ill-conduct, and to relieve every suffering that is not ufeful to your future well-being.

You see, my dear, that true devotion is not a melancholy sentiment that depresses the spirits, and excludes the ideas of pleasure, which youth is fond of: on the contrary, there is nothing so friendly to joy, so productive of true pleasure, so peculiarly snited to the warmth and innocence of a youthful heart. Do not, therefore, think it too soon to turn your mind to God; but offer him the first fruits of

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your understanding and affections: and be assured, that the more you increase in love to him, and de

ON THE FIRST PRINCIPLES hose wisdom cannot be mistaken, and whose boonciful kindness is infinite!Love Him, therefore, it the same manner you love your earthly parents, but in a much higher degree, --in the highest your na. ture is capable of. Forget not to dedicate yourself to his service every day; to implore his forgiveness of your faults, and his protection from evil, every sight: and this not merely in formal words, unac. companied by any act of the mind, but " in spirit and in truth;" in grateful love, and humble adora. tion. Nor let these stated periods of worship be your only communication with bim, accustom your self to think often of him, in all your waking hours;---to contemplate his wisdom and power, in the works of his hands;-to acknowledge his good. ness in every object of uge or of pleasure ;-10de light in giving him praise in your inmost heast, in the midst of every innocent gratification,-in the liveliest hour of social enjoyment. You cannot conceive, if you have not experienced, how much suel silent acts of gratitude and love will enhance every pleasure; nor what sweet serenity and cheer fulness such reflections will difiuse over your mind. On the other hand, when you are suffering pain or sorrow, when you are confined to an unpleasant situation, or engaged in a painful duty, bow will it support and animate you, to refer yourself to your Almighty Father to be assured that He konus your state and your intentions; that no efort of virtue is lost in his sight, oor the least of your a

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piness, in excellence, and honour:--that, in proportion as you improve in true piety, you will become dear and amiable to your fellow-creatures; contented and peaceful in yourself; and qualified to enjoy the best blessings of this life, as well as to inherit the glorious promise of immortality.

Thus far I have spoken of the first principles of all religion; namely, belief in God, worthy notions of his attributes, and suitable affections towards him which will naturally excite a sincere desire of obedience. But, before you can obey his will, you must know what that will is; you must enquire in what manner he has declared it, and wliere you may find those laws which must be the rule of your actions.

The great laws of morality are indeed written in our hearts, and may be discovered by reason; but our reason is of slow growth, very unequally dispensed to different persons, liable to error, and con. fined within very narrow limits in all. If, therefore, God vouchsafed to grant a particular revelation

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cious, as to send his Son into the world to reclaim mankind from error and wickedness,--to die for our sing, and to teach us the way to eternal life; surely it becomes us to receive his precepts with the deepest reverence; to love and prize them above all things; and to study them constantly, with an earnest desire to conform our thoughts, our words, and actions to them

As you advance in years and understanding, I hope you will be able to examine for yourself the evidences of the Christian Religion, aud be convinced, on rational grounds, of its divine authority, At present, such enquiries would demand more study, and greater powers of reasoning, than your age admits of. It is your part, therefore, till you are capable of understanding the proofs, to believe your parents and teachers, that the Holy Scriptures are writings inspired by God, containing a true his

his hand is ever over you, to ward off every real
evil, which is not the effect of your owu ill-conduct,
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You see, my dear, that true devotion is not a
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of: on the contrary, there is nothing so friendly 18
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tory of facts, in which we are deeply concerned;a true recital of the laws given by God to Moses, and of the precepts of our blessed Lord and Sam viour, delivered from his own mouth to his Dis. ciples, and repeated and enlarged upon in the edifying epistles of his Apostles, who were meu chosen froin amongst those who had the advantage of conversing with our Lord, to bear witness of his miracles, and resurrection ;-and who, after his ascension, were assisted and inspired by the Holy Ghost. This sacred volume must be the rule of your life: in it you will find all truths necessary to be believed; and plain and easy directions for the practice of every duty. Your Bible, then, must be your chief study and delight: but, as it contains many various kinds of writing, some parts obscure and difficult of interpretation, others plain and in. telligible to the meanest capacity; I would chiefly recommend to your frequent perusal such parts of the Sacred Writings as are most adapted to your understanding, and most necessary for yourinstruc tion.Our Saviour's precepts were spoken to the common people amongst the Jews; and were therefore given in a manner easy to be understood, and equally striking and instructive to the learned and unlearned: for, the most ignorant may comprehend them, whilst the wisest must be charmed and awed, by the beautiful and majestic simplicity with which they are expressed. Of the same kind are the Ten Commandments, delivered by God to Moses; which, as they were designed for universal laws, are worded in the most concise and simple manner, yet with a majesty which commands our utmost reverence.

I think you will receive great pleasure, as well as improvement, from the Historical Books of the Old Testament, provided you read them as an history, in a regular course, and keep the thread of it in your mind, as you go on. I know of none, true or fictitious, that is equally wonderful, interesting, and affecting; or that is told in so short and simple a manner.as this, which is, of all histories, the most authentic.

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tory of facts, in which we are deeply concerned; a true recital of the laws given by God to Moses, and of the precepts of our blessed Lord and Su viour, delivered from his own mouth to his Dis. ciples, and repeated and enlarged upon in tica edifying episties of his Apostles-who were sees chosen froin amongst those who had the advantage of conversing with our Lord, to bear witness of his miracles, and resurrection;-and who, after his asceusioy, were assisted and inspired by the Hop Ghost. This sacred volume must be the rule of your life: in it you will find all truths necessary to be believed; and plain and easy directions for the practice of every duty. Your Bible, then, mustheo your chief study and delight: but, as it contains many various kinds of writing,-some parts obscure and difficult of interpretation, others plain and we telligible to the meanest capacity; I would chiens recommend to your frequent perusal such parte or the Sacred Writings as are most adapted to your understanding, and most necessary for your instruc tion.-Our Saviour's precepts were spoken to tile common people amongst the Jews; and were there fore given in a manner easy to be understood, and etjually striking and instructive to the learned 200 unlearned: for, the most ignorant may comprebere

In my next Letter, I will give you some brief directions, concerning the method and course I wish you to pursue, in reading the Holy Scriptures. May you be enabled to make the best use of this most precious gist of God,--this sacred treasury of know. ledge! May yon read the Bible, not as a task, nor as the dull employment of that day only in which you are forbidden more lively entertainments;-but with a sincere and ardent desire of instruction; with that love and delight in God's word, which the "holy Psalmist so pathetically felt, and described, and which is the natural consequence of loving God and virtue!

Thougłe I speak this of the Bible in general, I would not be understood to mean that every part of the volume is equally interesting. I have already said, that it consists of various matter, and various kinds of books, which must be read with different vicws and sentiments. The having some general notion of what you are to expect from each book, may possibly help you to understand them, and heighten your relish of them. I shall treat you as if you were perfectly new to the whole: for so I wish you to consider yourself; because the tinie and manner, in which children usually read the Bi. bie, are very ill calculated to make thein really acquainted with it; and too many people who have read is thus, without understanding it in their youth, satisfy themselves that they know enough of it, and never afterwards study it with attention, when they come to a maturer age.

Adieu! my beloved Niece! If the feelings of your heart, whilst you read my Letters, correspond with those of mine, whilst I write them, I shall not be without the advantage of your partial affection, to give weig!it to my advice: for, believe ine, my own dear girl, my heart and eyes overflow with tenis derness while I tell you, with how warm and earnesl prayers for your lappiness bere, and hereafter, I subscribe myself

Your faithful friend,
and most affectionate AUNT.

B 2

them, whilst the wisest must be charmed and awed,
by the beautiful and majestic simplicity with which
they are expressed. Of the same kied are the Tea
Cominandments, delivered by God to Moses; which,
as they were designed for universal laws, are
worded in the most concise and simple matuer, J
with a majesty which commands our utmost fete,
Irence.

I think you will receive great pleasure, as well as
Improvement, from the Historical Books of the Oid
[estament,-prorided you read them as av history,
ha regular course, and keep the thread of it in
pur mind, as you go on. I know of nobe, true or
btilious, that is equally wonderful, interesting, and
Fecting; or that is told in so short and simples
Linger.as this, which is, of all histories, the most

Improvemem prorided you need the thread prute of

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