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youth, if they have flown away without improvement-if he has foolishly confumed them in trifling occupations, or lost them in idleness.
What more distressing object can be held to the view of society than that of a man whose faculties, instead of be. ing unfolded and enlarged by exercise, are benumbed by inactivity, or debilitated or worn out in the service of vice ; carrying with him, into the maturer season, nothing but the disgraceful feelings of weakness, regret and remorse?
5. On the other hand, What pleasure must not a person experience in recalling to his mind the spring of life, who has employed it in forming his mind and his heart in preparing himself for useful occupations ; and who, having cultivated the precious feed which the Creator has fown within us, can hope to reap for himself and others the most excellent fruits ? How delightful is the fight of such a man to every sensible and virtuous person !
6. Happy will it be for me if I may one day taste this satisfaction, and procure it for my parents and fellow citizens. Happy for me if I entertain at present the same opinion of the important design of youth as I shall certainly have in maturer years, and in old age, in the hours of retirement and recollection, and at the approach of death.
7. But ah ! how different is the point of view in which manhood and old age see the days of their youth, from that in which they are beheld by the young man himself! And how much more likely to be just is their opinion which is formed on their own experience and that of others! Where is the man who ever repented of having well employed his youth?
8. Does not this period of life, when passed in piety and innocence, procure us the most valuable advantages, and the most noble pleasures ? On the other hand, how many deplore the loss or abuse of these most favorable days of their lives, and bitterly lament over the unhappy consequences of youthful errors?
9. How many are there who, in the Power of their lives, are a prey to the infirmities of a premature old age, become incapable of tasting the pleasures and comforts of domestic life, or to whom these pleasures are embittered and poisoned by remorse of conscience ?
10. And shall not these lessons and experiences, fo pro. per to instruct and encourage me, make me more wise and prudent ? Shall they not engage me wisely to employ the days of youth ; to fly the steps of those unfortunate persons whose very appearance terrifies me ;
11. To proceed with a firm and persevering step in the parh where so many of my predeceffors have reaped the advantages they now enjoy, and by which they have become valuable men, ufeful citizens, and wife and happy beings?
12. The present is the season for fowing. If, at a more advanced period, I would not be reduced to the want of necessaries ; if I would not be a burden to myself and others; if I would gather a rich and abundant harvest, I must fow the good feed, and carefully cultivate the ground which receives it. I must adorn my mind with wisdom, and my heart with virtue ; I must lay in a store of useful knowledge, and early acquire the habit of acting juftly.
13. I must combat my evil thoughts before they gain the mastery ; I must extirpate my evil habits before they have taken deep root ; I must endeavor to secure the love and esteem of my fellow citizens, by à rational, modeft, attentive, regular conduct, that I may be able to depend in future on their protection and support.
14. Youth is the time for discipline and preparation ; in this season I should acquaint myself with, and properly val. ue, and exercise my faculties and powers, if I would 01.e day employ them with facility and success ; I should ac. quire the information and the talents for which I shall have occasion in future life, and without which I shall stumble at every step, and find myself involved in a thousand perplexing difficulties.
15. I must accustom myself to felf denials ; to bear contradiction and opposition ; to endure fatigue, trouble, and affliction ; to subdue my passions ; to conquer my sensual appetites ; if I would not one day sink under the weight of every duty and
trial. 16. How important then is the present season of life ! Mere wishes, slothful and feeble efforts, will not suffice to fulfil its duties and design. It is only by persevering endeavors, by a constant application, and by an unshaken firmness, that I can attain the end which I propose.
17. But need I be discouraged and alarmed at the neceflity of diligence, application and resistance ? Will not the wages be proportioned to the labor, and the triumph to the combat ? Shall 1 postpone to an uncertain hereafter that which I can and ought to do at present ? Is not the time I lose really lost forever ? Has not every future period of my existence its particular employment ?
18. Will it be the time for fowing when the season of gathering shall come, or for instruction when I shall be call. ed to make use of my knowledge? What it is incumbent on me to do at this season, and which I neglect because of its difficulties, will become every year and every day more dif. ficult ?
19. Notwithstanding the health and strength I enjoy in the spring of life, may I not lose my powers, and die in the flower of my days? And what doom may I expect in the future state, if I have foolishly wasted the prime of life in the slavery of irregular paflions and the corruptions of vice?
20. Let me watch continually over myself, over all the secret motions of my heart ; let me not suffer myself to be seduced by the vain promises of vice, by the charms of an apparent liberty, or a treacherous joy.
21. Wisdom raises her voice to tell me that the intoxica. tion of sense endures but for an instant"; that the enchanted cup of luxury shall not be always sweet to my taste ; that the pleasure I find in drinking it shall foon vanish, as a fleeting dream from which we are fearfully awakened ; that the liberty with which I am flattered by vice is nothing but the vilest slavery, and that all its joys are poisoned at their source.
22. Whereas, no innocent pleasure which I forego, from a principle of virtue, shall be loft to mé ; sooner or later it thall be returned to me with intereft. A train of pure and lasting joys shall recompense me, in manhood and old age, for the destructive or vain gratifications which I have prudently renounced.
23. And even when prevented, by an early death, from gathering, in this world, the fruits of a well regulated youth, Shall I not reap a prodigious advantage if I am prepared to nter a more perfect abode, and sufficiently qualified for the
sublime employment and delicious pleasures which await the virtuous in a future existence ?
24. Yes, O my God, it is only by keeping thy commandments by making wisdom and virtue, reason and re. ligion his faithful guides, that a young man can preserve his innocence, look with calmnefs on the beginning of his course, and advance nearer and nearer to his supreme destination.
25. O may thefe faithful guides always accompany me in the journey of life! Oh Almighty and moft merciful God, do thou thyself conduct me, by thy spirit, in the straight road. Preserve me, by thy grace, from the wanderings of youth, and the tyranny of paflions.
26. Let thy wise and good providence remove far from my path the obstacles and temptations which may occasion my fall. Aflift my endeavors to become wise, and virtuous, and holy; and accompany them with thy blefling. Place me in circumstances favorable to my improvement. Give me faithful friends and guides, and enable me to fol. low them in the paths of goodness.
27. Thou delightest, o God, to grant the desires which flow from a fincere heart, and to second the efforts of those who seriously aspire after greater perfection. Supported and guided by thee, I cannot fail of attaining in this world the design of my existence, and of arriving in the other at my supreme end.
THE EFFECTS OF PARENTAL PARTIALITY.
"1. THE intrinsic moral worth of any character is en. tirely distinct from, and independent of, external circumftances. Every situation in human life affords sufficient opportunities for the cultivation of virtuous habits, and the performance of good actions ;
2. And as far as a man's virtues respect himself, it is of little consequence, whether they be displayed to public view from an exalted station, or concealed from the notice of the world in the humble retreats of poverty.
3. If the pine or the oak happen to grow in the valley, the one is not on that account, in itself, the less lofty, nor the other the less majestic.
4. With respect, however, to the impressions which the virtues of one man may make on the imagination or feeling of another, or the degree of force with which his example will operate, much depends on the situation in which they appear, and the light in which they are exhibited.
5. In the still walks of domestic life, and under the lowly roof where honest labor dwells, if you will be at the pains to search for them, you will find many amiable and respect. able characters, adorned and enriched with virtues which entitle them to a place among
“ the excellent of the earth,” who, nevertheless, live unnoticed and forgotten ; without reward, without praise, perhaps almost without support :
6. While others, whom fortune hath surrounded with the glare of earthly grandeur, continually set forth their whole stock of shining qualities before the gazing multitude, and are sure of obtaining at least as much admiration and applause as they deserve.
“ Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the defart air.” 7. Perhaps we owe it to the extraordinary revolutions which happened in the life of Joseph (whose character and history we are now to confider) and to the elevated station which he filled in the court of Pharaoh, that the virtues of his early years, while he was a shepherd in the land of Ca. naan, a fervant to Potiphar, and a prisoner in Egypt, were not buried in oblivion.
8. Under the former of these characters, the sacred history pretents him to us, as at once a proper object of our admiration and pity. While we admire the gentleness of his dispositions, the innocence of his character, and the fimplicity of his manners, we cannot but lament his misfor. tune, and be afflicted to see him fall a sacrifice to the im. prudent partiality of his father, and the envy and malice of his brethren.
9 “ Ifrael loved Joseph more than all his children;" And why? Was it because he took better care of the flocks and herds ; because he was more dutiful and affectionate to