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vith a per
trifling ones debases it: both, in their degree, disqualify it for its genuine good, and consign it over to wretchedness. Whoever would be really happy, must make the diligent and egular exercise of his superior powers his chief attention, adoring the perfections of his Maker, expressing good will to his fellow-creatures, and cultivating inward rectitude.
13. “To his corporeal" faculties he must allow such gratifications, as will, by refreshing, invigorate him for nobler pursuits. In the regions inhabited by angelic natures, uniningled felicity forever blooms; joy flows there petual and abundant stream, nor needs any mound to check its course. Beings, conscious of a frame of mind originally diseased, as all the hunnan race have cause to be, must use the regimene of a stricter self-government.
14. “Whoever has been guilty of voluntary excesses, must patiently submit, both to the painful workings of nature, and needfuil severities of medicine, in order to his cure. Still he is entitled to a moderate share, of whatever alleviating recommodations this fair mansion of his merciful Parent affords, consistent with his recovery. And, in proportion as this recovery advances, the liveliest joy will spring from his secret sense of an amended and improved heart.-So far from the horrors of despair is the condition, even of the guiltyShudder, poor mortal, at the thought of the gulf into which hon wast just now going to plunge.
15. “While the most faulty have every encouragement to amend, the more innocent soul will be supported with still sweeter consolations under all its experience of human infirmities-supported by the gladdening assurances, that every sincere endeavor to outgrow them, shall he assisted, accepted, and rewarded. To such a one, the lowest self-abasement is but a deep-laid foundation for the most elevated hopes; since they who faithfully examine and acknowledge what they are, shall be enabled, under my conduct, to become what they desire.
16. “The Christian and the hero are inseparable; and to the aspirings of unassuming trust an. filiale confidence, are set no bounds. To him who is animated with a view of obtaining approbation from the Sovereign of the universe, no
difficulty is insurinountable. Secure, in this pursuit, of evo| ry needful aid, his conflict with the severest pains and trials, is little rnore than the vigorous exercises of a mind in health. 17. “ His patient dependence on that providence which through all cternity,-his silent resignation,--his ready accommodation of his thoughts and behavior to its mscrutable ways,--are at once the most excellent sort of self-denial and a source of the most exalted transports. Society is the true spheres of human virtue. In social, active life, difficulties will perpetually be met with; restraints of many kinds will be necessary; and studying to behave right in respect of these, is a discipline of the human heart, useful to others, and improving to itsell.
ting, making more tolerablo
wing to a child
is. “Suffering is no duty, but where it is necessary to avoid guilt, or to do good ; nor pleasure a crime, but where it strengthens the influence of bad inclinations, or lessens the generous activity of virtue. The happiness allotted to man in his present state, is indeed faint and low, compared with his immortal prospects, and noble capacities: but yet, whatever portion of it the distributing hand of heaven offers to each individual, is a needful support and refreshment for the present inoment, so far as it may not hinder the attaining or his final destination.
19. “Return, then, with me, from continued misery to moderate enjoyment and grateful alacrity:b-return, from the contracted views of solitude, to the proper duties of a relative and dependent being. Religion is not confined to cells and closets, nor restrained to sullen retirement. These are the gloomy doctrines of Superstition, by which she endeavors to break those chains of benevolence and social affection, that link the welfare of every particular with that of the whole. Remember that the greatest honor you can pay the Author of your being, is a behavior so cheerful, as discovers a mind satisfied with his dispensations.”
20. Here my preceptress paused; and I was going to express my acknowledgments for her discourse, when a ringing of bells from the neighboring village, and the new rising sun, darting his beams through my windows, awoke me.
On the pleasure of acquiring knowledge. 1. In every period of life, the acquisition of knowledge is one of the most pleasing employments of the human mind. a Sphere, a globe, orb, circuit.
A-lac-ri-ty, cheerfulness, liveliness.
But in youth, there are circumstances which make it productive of higher enjoyment. It is then that every thing has the charm of novelty; that curiosity and fancy are awake; and that the heart swells with the anticipations of future eminence and utility. Even in those lower branches of instruction which we call mere accomplishments, there is something always pleasing to the young in their acquisition.
2. They seem to become every well educated person ; they adoru, if they do not dignify humanity; and what is far more, while they give an elegant employment to hours of leisure and relaxation, they afford a means of contributing to the purity and innocence of domestic life. But in the acquisition of knowledge of the higher kind,--in the hours when the young gradually begin the study of the laws of nature, and of the faculties of the human mind, or of the magnificent revelations of the Gospel,—there is a pleasure of a sublimer nature.
3. The cloud, which in their infant years seemed to cover nature from their view, begins gradually to resolve. The world in which they are placed, opens with all its wonders upon their eye; their powers of attention and observation frem to expand with the scene before them; and while they c'e, for the first time, the immensity of the universe of God,
d mark the majestic simplicity of those laws by which its
erations are conducted, they feel as if they were awakened to a higher species of being, and admitted into nearer intercourse with the Author of Nature.
4. It is this period, accordingly, more than all others, that determines our hopes or fears of the future fate of the young. To feel no joy in such pursuits,—to listen carelessly to the voice which brings such magnificent instruction, to see the veil raised which conceals the counsels of the Deity, and 10 show no emotion at the discovery,-are symptoms of a weak and torpid+ spirit-of a mind unworthy of the advantages it possesses, and fitted only for the humility of sensual and gnoble pleasure.
5. Of those, on the contrary, who distinguish themselves ly the love of knowledge, --who follow with ardor the career that is open to them,-we are apt to form the most honorable presages. It is the character which is natural to youth, and which, therefore, promises well of their maturity. We foresee for them, at least a life of pure and virtuous enjoyment; and we are willing to anticipate no common share of future usefulness and splendor. a Nov'el-ty, newness, recentness.
d Tor'-pid, destitute of feeling, dull. b An-tic-i-pations, foretastes,
e Pre-sa-ges, signs foreshowing events ¢ Re-solve', dissolve, determine in mind.
6. In the second place, the pursuits of knowledge lead not only to happiness, but to honor. “Length of days is in her right hand, and in her left are riches and honor.” It is honorable to excel, even in the most trifling species of knowedge--in those which can amuse oäly the passing hour. I is more honorable to excel in those different branches of science, which are connected with the liberal professions of life and which tend so much to the dignity and well-being of huinanitv.
7. li is the means of raising the most obscure to esteen and attention ; it opens to the just ambition of youth some of the most distinguished and respected situations in society and it places them there, with the consoling reflection, that it is to their own industry and labor, in the providence of God, that they are alone indebted for them. But, to excel in the higher attainments of knowledge,-to be distinguished in those greater pursuits which have commanded the attention, and exhausted the abilities of the wise in every former age,is, perhaps, of all the distinctions of human understanding: he most honorable and grateful.
8. When we look back upon the grcat men who have gone beforo us in every path of glory, we feel our eye turned from the careers of war and of anibition, and involuntarily rest upon those who have displayed the great truths of religion, who have investigated the laws of social welfare, or extended the sphere of human knowledge. These are honors, we feel, which have been gained without a crime, and which can be enjoyed without remorse. They are honors also which can never die, --which can shed lustre even upon the humblcst head, -and to which the young of every succeeding age will look up, as their brightest incentive to the pursuit of virtuous fame.
On the uses of knowledge, 1. The first end to which all wisdom or knowledge ought to be employed, is, to illustrate the wisdom or goodness of the Father of Nature. Every science that is cuitivated by men leads naturally to religious thought-from the study of the plant that grows beneath our feet, to that of the Host of Heaven above us, who perform their stated revolutions in majestic silence, amid the expanse of infinity. When in the youth of Moses, “ The Lord appeared to him in Horeb," a a Ca-reer', a course, a race.
c Il-lus'-trate, to explain, make clear. o In-cen-cives, incitements.
voice was heard, saying, " draw nigh hither, and put off thy shoes from thy feet; for the place where thou standest is ho y ground.”
2. It is with such reverential awe that every great or elevated mind will approach to the study of nature; and with such feelings of adoration and gratitude, that he will receive :he illumination that gradually opens upon his soul. It is not the lifeless mass of matter, he will then feel, that he is examining; it is the mighty machine of Eternal Wisdom,the workmanship of Him,“ in whom every thing lives, and inoves, and has its being."
3. Under an aspect of this kind, it is impossible to pursue knowledge without mingling with it the most elevated sentiments of devotion; it is impossible to perceive the laws of nature, without perceiving, at the same time, the presence and the Providence of the Lawgiver ;-and thus it is, that, in every age, the evidences of religion have advanced with the progress of true philosophy; and that science,a in erecting a monument to herself, has at the same time erected an allar to the Deity.
4. The knowledge of nature is not exhausted. There are many great discoveries yet awaiting the labors of science; and with them there are also awaiting to humanity, many additional prcoss of the wisdom and benevolence of Hin that made us.” To the hope of these great discoveries, few indeed can pretend ; yet let it be ever remembered, that he who can trace any one new fact, or can exemplify any one new instance of divine wisdom or bencvolence in the system of nature, has not lived in vain,--that he has added to the sum of human knowledge,-and, what is far more, that he has added to the evidence of those greater truths, upon which the happiness of time and eternity depends.
5. The second great end to which all knowledge ought in be employed, is, to the welfare of humanity. Every science is the foundation of some art, beneficial to men; and while the study of it leads us to see the beneficence of the laws of nature, it calls upon us also to follow the great end of the Father of Nature, in their employment and application. I need not say what a field is thus opened to the benevolence of knowledge: I need not tell you that in every department of learning there is good to be done to mankind: I need not remind you, that the age in which we live has given us the noblest examples of this kind, and that science now finds its highest glory, in improving the condition, or in allaying the miseries of humanity.
a science, knowledge depending on se 0 Ex-em-pu-ly, to illustrate by example culative principles, rather than practice.