“Counsels of the Aged to the Young” – XII. Temptations


12. Exercise incessant vigilance against the dangers and TEMPTATIONS by which you are surrounded, and by which you will certainly be assailed. These dangers are too numerous to be specified in detail, but I will mention a few. Guard solicitously against all approaches  towards infidelity. Reject unbelieving thoughts and skeptical doubts from the beginning. Even if the system of infidelity were true—it promises no comfort, and cannot possibly be serviceable to you. But the best security will be to study diligently the evidences of Christianity, and be ready to meet the cavils of infidelity at all points. Make yourselves well acquainted with the best authors on this subject, and let your faith rest on the firm ground of evidence.

Another danger against which you must be watchful is pleasure—sensual pleasure. Worldly amusements, however innocent they may appear, are replete with hidden dangers. These scenes exhilarate the spirits, and excite the imagination—until ‘reason’ and ‘conscience’ are hushed, and the real end of living is forgotten. For the sake of pleasure, everything important and sacred is neglected, and the most valuable part of human life wasted in unprofitable engagements. Beware then of the vortex of worldliness, and especially of the least approach towards the ‘gulf of intemperance’. On that slippery ground, many strong men have fallen, never to rise.

The trophies of this insidious and destructive vice, are widely spread on every side, and the wise and the godly have come to the conclusion that there is no effectual security against this enemy, but in a resolute and persevering abstinence from inebriating drink. Seek your happiness, dear youth, in the pursuit of useful objects and in the performance of duty, and then you will be safe, and will have no reason to envy the votaries of sensual pleasure.

– Archibald Alexander; Counsels of the Aged to the Young (See here for more info)

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