Here is a tool to inspire early piety in the rising generation. This book is a series of sermons that pastors in Boston preached under the ministry of Increase Mather and his son, Cotton. At the time of writing, Increase was 83 years old and nearing the end of his life; his son Cotton was 58.
They were very concerned about the loss of godliness in the rising generation. To meet this critical moment in the history of New England, they gathered eight ministers in Boston to address the youth directly. They did this through Thursday afternoon lectures.
This book is an excellent tool for young people to examine their souls. I recommend that all young people read this book. And, further, if possible, that their parents would read it out loud with them. I feel this would achieve the greatest good.
Give Your Whole Self
"It is to give up yourselves and all you have entirely to Him in your early days. You must give up your bodies and all its parts and members and especially the tongue to God. You must give up all your senses to Him: your strength and vigor, and your health and beauty. You must likewise give up your spirit, temper, and all your various appetites and passions to Him. And to be sure you must also give up your most precious souls, with all their faculties, abilities and powers to God: your imagination, understanding, reason, judgment, conscience, affection, will, and memory. Finally, you must give up all your knowledge, wit and ingenuity, and all the treasures and endowments of your minds. You must entirely give them all to god without the least reserve."
"If repentance is delayed, you will not be brought to it without more pains and groans; more tears and terrors. The longer you sleep in carnal security, the opening of your eyes will grow more difficult, and the scene more terrible; more of Hell must be flashed in your face, and there will be more amazing aggravations of sin to rack the conscience, and rend the heart and consequently greater horrors will take hold of you. The stings of sin will be more in number and greater in pain, the wounds of spirit deeper and the workings of conscience more violent afterwards than in youth. Delays will not mollify the anguish but double the torment of painful convictions. It is wretched folly then to let go the present season. It is contrary to right reason which teaches us the wisdom of prevention, and forbids our doing that (however grateful at present,) which will lay a foundation for later sorrow and regret. How great then is your madness, O sinner in that by your present security in the day of youth, you are making work for a bitter repentance hereafter, and taking an unhappy method to render your conversion more dolorous and difficult, if you do at length obtain mercy."