Enlisted under the Banner of the Cross

By Charles Bridges

What serious reader can fail to estimate above all price the privilege of being early enlisted under the banner of the cross; early taught in the ways, and disciplined in the school, of the Bible; and early led to hide that blessed Book in the heart, as the rule of life, the principle of holiness, the guide to heaven!

Parents, teachers of youth, ponder your deep responsibility with unceasing prayer for special grace and wisdom. Beware of glossing over sins with amiable or palliating terms. Let young people be always led to look upon vicious habits with horror, as the most appalling evil. Discipline their vehemence of feeling, and all calculated to inflame the imagination. To give an impulse to the glowing passion may stimulate the rising corruption to the most malignant fruitfulness. Oh! what wisdom is needed to guide, to repress, to bring forth, develop safely, and to improve fully, the mind, energies, and sensibilities of youth!

Young people, beware! Do not flatter thyself for a moment, that God will ever wink at your sinful passions, that He will allow for them as slips and foibles of youth. They are the "cords of your own sins," which, if the power of God’s grace break them not in time, will "hold" you for eternity. Shun then the society of sin, as the infection of the plague. Keep thy distance from it, as from the pit of destruction. Store thy mind with the preservative of heavenly wisdom. Cultivate the taste for purer pleasures. Listen to the fatherly. pleading remonstrance, inviting thee to thy rest – "Wilt thou not from this time cry unto me, ’My Father! thou art the guide of my youth’" (Jer. 3:4)?

Taken from the book entitled Proverbs by Charles Bridges. Bridges, also the author of The Christian Ministry. was one of the leaders of the Evangelical party in the Church of England (1794 - 1869).