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most to congratulate,a the public, or the individual. Selftaught naturalists are often found to make no little progress in knowledge, and to strike out many new lights, by the mere aid of original genius and patient application.
2. But the well educated youth engages in these pursuits with peculiar advantage. He takes more comprehensive views, is able to consult a greater variety of authors, and, from the early habits of his mind, is more accurate and more methodicalc in all his investigations. The world at large, therefore, cannot fail to be benefited by his labors; and the value of the enjoyments which at the same time he secures to himself, is beyond all calculation.
3. No tedious, vacant hour ever makes him wish for-he knows not what -complain-he knows not why. Never does a restless impatience at having nothing to do, compel him to seek a momentary stimulus to his dormant powers in the tumultuous pleasures of the intoxicating cup, or the agitating suspense of the game of chance. Whether he be at home or abroad, in every different clime, and in every season of the year, universal nature is before him, and invites him to a banquet, richly replenished with whatever can in vigorated his understanding, or gratify his mental taste.
4. The earth on which he treads, the air in which he moves, the sea along the margin of which he walks,-all teem with objects that keep his attention perpetually awake -excite him to healthful activity —and charm him with an ever varying succession of the beautiful, the wonderful, the useful, and the new. And if, in conformity with the direct tendency of such occupations, he rises from the creature to the Creator, and considers the duties which naturally result from his own situation and rank in this vast system of being, he will derive as much satisfaction from the anticipation of the future, as from the experience of the present, and the recollection of
5. The mind of the pious naturalist is always cheerful always animated with the noblest and most benigne feelings. Every repeated observation -every unexpected discovery directs his thoughts to the great Source of all order, and all good ; and harmonizes all his faculties with the general voice of nature
a Con-grat -u-late, to profess joy to.
6 Nat'-u-ral-ists; persons versed in natural history,
c Me-thod'-ic-al, regular
Necessity of Industry, even to Genius. 1. From the revival of learning to the present day, every thing that labor and ingenuity.can invent, has been produced to facilitatea the acquisition of knowledge. But, notwithstanding all the Introductions, the Translations, the Annotations, and the Interpretations, I must assure the student, that industry, great and persevering industry, is absolutely necessary to secure any very valuable and distinguished improvement. Superficial qualifications are indeed obtained, at an easy price of time and labor; but superficial qualifications confer neither honor, emolument, nor satisfaction.
2. The pupil may be introduced, by the judgment and the liberality of his parents, to the best schools, the best tutors, the best books; and his parents may be led to expect, from such advantages alone, extraordinary advancement. But these things are all extraneous. The mind of the pupil must be accustomed to submit to labor, sometimes to painful labor.
3. The poor and solitary student, who has never enjoyed any of these advantages but in the ordinary manner, will by his own application emerge to merit, fame, and fortune; while the indolent, who has been taught to lean on the supports which opulence supplies, will sink into insignificance.
4. 'I repeat, that the first great object is, to induce the mind to work within itself,—to think long and patiently on the same subject, and to compose in various styles, and in various meters. It must be led, not only to bear, but to seek occasional solitude. If it is early habituated to all these exercises, it will find its chief pleasure in them ; for the energies of the mind affect it with the finest feelings.
5. But is industry, such industry as I require, necessary to genius? The idea that it is not necessary, is productive of the greatest evils. We often form a wrong judgment in determining who is, and who is not endowed with this noble privilege. A boy who appears lively and talkative, is often supposed by his parents to be a genius. He is suffered to be idle, for he is a genius; and genius is only injured by application.
6. Now it usually happens, that the very lively and talkative boy is the most deficient in genius. His forwardness arises from a defect of those fine sensibilities which, at the same time, occasion diffidence and constitute genius. He
CE-moll-u-ments, profit, gain. An-no ta'-tluns explanatory notes. d Ex-tra'-ne ous, foreign, not intrinsie
a F:1-cil-i-tate, to make easy.
ought to be inured, to literary labor; for, without it, he will be prevented, by levity and stupidity, from receiving any valuable impressions.
7. Parents and instructors must be very cautious how they dispense with diligence, from an idea that the pupil possesses genius sufficient to compensate for the want of it. ` All men are liable to mistake in deciding on genius at a very early age; but parents more than all, from their natural partiality.
8. On no account, therefore, let them dispense with close application. If the pupil has genius, this will improve and adorn it; if he has not, it is confessedly requisite to supply the defect. Those prodigies of genius which require not instruction, are rare phenomena :" we read, and we hear of such; but few of us have seen and known such.
9. What is genius worth without knowledge ?-But is a man ever born with knowledge? It is true that one mân is born with a better capacity than another, for the reception and retention of ideas; but still the mind must operate in collecting, arranging, and discriminating those ideas which it receives with facility. And I believe the mind of a genius is often very laboriously at work, when to the common observer it appears to be quite inactive.
10. I most anxiously wish that a due attention may be paid to my exhortations, when I recommend great and exemplary diligence. All that is excellent in learning depends upon it. And how can the time of a boy or a young man be better employed ? It cannot be more pleasantly; for I am sure, that industry, by presenting a constant succession of various objects, and by precluding the listlessness of inaction, renders life at all stages of it agreeable, and particularly so in the restless season of youth.
11. It cannot be more innocently; for learning has a connexion with virtue: and he, whose time is fully engaged, will escape many vices and much misery. It cannot he more usefully; for he who furnishes his mind with ideas, and strengthens his faculties, is preparing himself to become a valuable member of society, whatever place in it he may obtain ;-and he is likely to obtain an exalted place.- Knox.
Religion the only Basis of Society. 1. Religion is a social concern ; for it operates powerfully on society, contributing, in various ways, to its stability and a In-u'-rel, harilenec! by use.
d Phe-nom'-e-na, appearances. o Com'pen-sate, to make amends.
e List'-less-ness, indifference, inattention. « Prod-i-gies, surprising things.
f Ba'-sis, foundation, support.
prosperity. Religion is not merely a private affair ; the community is deeply interested in its diffusion ;a for it is the best support of the virtues and principles, on which the social order rests. Pure and undefiled religion is, to do good; and it follows very plainly, that if God be the Author and Friend of society, then the recognition of him must enforce all social duty, and enlightened piety must give its whole strength to public order.
2. Few men suspect -perhaps no man comprehends - the extent of the support given by religion to every virtue. No man perhaps is aware, how much our moral and social sentiments are fed from this fountain, - how powerless conscience would become, without the belief of a God,-how palsied would be human benevolence, were there not the sense of a higher benevolence to quicken and sustain it,--how suddenly the whole social fabric would quake, and with what a fearful crash it would sink into hopeless ruin,-were the ideas of a supreme Being, of accountableness, and of a future life, to be utterly erased from every mind.
3. And, let men thoroughly believe that they are the work and sport of chance, -that no superior intelligence concerns itself with human affairs,—that the weak have no guardian, and the injured no avenger,--that there is no recompense for sacrifices to uprightness and the public good,—that an oath is unheard in heaven,—that secret crimes have no witness but the perpetrator, --—that human existence has no purpose, and human virtue no unfailing friend,—that this brief life is every thing to us, and death is total, everlasting extinction once let them thoroughly abandon religion, -and who can conceive or describe the extent of the desolation which would follow !
4. We hope, perhaps, that human laws and natural sympathy would hold society together. As reasonably might we believe, that were the sun quenched in the heavens, our torches would illuminate, and our fires quicken and fertilize the creation. What is there in human nature to awaken respect and tenderness, if man is the unprotected insect of a day ?And what is he more if atheismî be true?
5. Erase all thought and fear of God from a community, and selfishness and sensuality would absorb the whole man. Appetite, knowing no restraint, and suffering, having no solace or hope, would trample in scorn on the restraints of human laws. Virtue, duty, principle, would be mocked and spurned as unmeaning sounds. A sordid self-interest would supplant every other feeling; and man would become in fact, what the theory of atheism declares him to be,-a companion for brutes.
a Dit'-fu-sion, spreading, dispersion.
d Guard'-i-an, one who has the care of another.
& Per-pe-tra'tor, one who does, or con mits. SA'-the-ism, disbelief in God.
On the reasonableness of Devotion. 1. TRUE devotion is ratio al, and well founded. It takes its rise from affections which are essential to the human frame. We are formed by Nature to admire what is great, and to love what is amiable. · Even inanimate' objects have power to excite these emotions. The magnificent prospects of the natural world, fill the mind with reverential awe. Its beautiful scenes create delight. When we survey the actions and behavior of our fellow creatures, the affections glow with greater ardor; and if to be unmoved in the former case, argues a defect of sensibility in our powers, it discovers in the latter, an odioushardness and depravity in the heart.
2. The tenderness of an affectionate parent, the generosity of a forgiving enemy, the public spirit of a patriot or a hero, often fill the eyes with tears, and swell the breast with emotions too big for utterance. The object of these affections is frequently raised above us in condition and rank. Let us suppose him raised also above us in nature. Let us imagine that an angel, or any being of superior order, had condescended to be our friend, our guide, and patron: no person, sure, would hold the exaltation of his benefactor's character, to be an argument why he should love and revere him less.
3. Strange! that the attachment and veneration, the warmth and overflowing of heart, which excellence and goodness on every other occasion command, should begin to be accounted irrational, as soon as the Supreme Being becomes their object. For what reason must human sensibility be extinct toward him alone? Are all benefits entitled to gratitude, except the highest and the best ? Shall goodness cease to be amiable, only because it is perfect ?
4. It will perhaps be said, that an unknown and invisible being is not qualified to raise affection in the human heart. Wrapt up in the mysterious obscurity of his nature, he escapes our search, and affords no determinate object to our love or desire. We go forward, but he is not there,-and backward, but we cannot perceive him,-on the left hand, a In-an-i-mate, void of life.
60-di-cus, very offensive, hateful,