This is an excerpt from a letter from Legh Richmond (1772-1827) to one of his daughters. We all can be instructed by these words.
My dear daughter,
May my dear child be preserved from the defilements of a vain, dangerous, and destroying world. You know not, and I wish you never may know–its snares and corruptions!
I send you the following applications of my sermon on Ephesians 5:15-16, “Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
On circumspection of walk, redemption of time, and general sincerity of character:
1. Adhere most scrupulously to Scriptural truth; and labor to preserve the strictest integrity, simplicity, and sincerity.
2. Engage in no pursuit in which you cannot look up unto God, and say, ‘Bless me in this, my Father!’
3. Strive to be as kind, forbearing, and forgiving as you can–both to friends and foes. Never speak evil of anyone.
4. Strive to recommend true religion by the courtesy, civility, and humble character of your conduct.
5. Watch against irritation, pride, unkind speaking, and anger–study and promote love.
6. Mortify all lusts, sensuality and sloth.
7. Never speak well of yourself. Keep down pride; let it not be indulged for a moment–but watch against it.
8. Shut out evil imaginations and angry thoughts.
9. Let it be your sole business here to prepare for eternity. Consider every moment of time in that view.
10. Remember that you have to contend with . . .
a legion of devils;
a heart full of deceit and iniquity;
and a world at enmity with God.
11. Pray that you may ever rejoice in the advancement of Christ’s kingdom, and the salvation of sinners; and labor in every way to promote these objects.
12. Prayer is the only weapon which can subdue your corruptions, and keep you in close fellowship with God. Cultivate prayer.
The love of Christ is the only safe ground of all motives, and of all conduct. Where this is established, all is well. The life-blood of Christianity then circulates through every vein of the soul; and spiritual health, strength, and purity of mind is the happy result. Fall down upon your knees before God, my dear, praying that He would pour that love into your heart, until it becomes a constraining principle for the government of your thoughts and actions. The love of Christ is the only remedy for all the diseases of the soul.