Christian Fellowship

By John Angell James, 1822


These generally form a very considerable class of our members, and have duties to perform appropriate to their age and station. They should be very watchful against the sins to which the ardor and inexperience of their years may expose them. They should flee youthful lusts, and be very cautious to abstain from vanity and self-conceit. Their introduction at so early a period to the church, is very apt, in some cases, to inflate them with pride, to invest them with self-importance, and impair that modesty of deportment, which is the loveliest ornament of their character. In all their conduct towards the church, there should be an amiable retiredness of disposition. They should be seen at the church meetings—but very rarely heard. It is difficult to conceive of a more disgusting or mischievous spectacle, than a young member dogmatically stating his opinion, and pertinaciously enforcing it, before men who were grey in the service of God, before his head was covered with the down of infancy.

Young Christians should be very careful not to form matrimonial connections, in opposition to the apostolic injunction, "not to be unequally yoked together with unbelievers." Both reason and revelation unite their testimony against the practice of Christians marrying ungodly people. What an interruption to marital comfort, what an obstacle to domestic piety, what an injury to the cause of religion, does such a practice bring with it!

There is one way, in which young Christians may bring great reproach upon the cause of God, and that is by engaging the affections of a female, and then abandoning her. This is a species of cruelty which certainly deserves, and always receives, the severest reprobation. It is dishonorable in a man of the world, much more in a church member.