« AnteriorContinua »
licentious, which have conspired the first of the human race, to usurp so deceitful a name. if, indeed, we cannot, in a few The mind which has once ac- instances, now make that boast, quired a fondness for riotous under all our discouragements. mirth, and which has conde- The circumstances which scended to degrade itself by un- make it necessarý that a stuworthy indulgence, cannot relish dent should leave his books, a confinement to faithful appli- and engage in active life, fcad cation, nor endure the stillness him into such habits as alınost of academic bowers.
of course preclude him from any Some inconveniences of no farther prosecution of his studies. small magnitude arise from the There are some such exceptions infancy of our country. Litera- as Dr. Johnson, that eminently iure bas here never been pursu- learned civilian, of whom Coned, as the employment of a necticut may well be proud. But whole life. That a young man it is much to be wondered at, if should addict himself entirely to the mind, which has been emscientific pursuits, regardless of ployed in drawing declarations, pecuniary concerns, would be and making out fee-bills, for esteemed a thing entirely new ; years, should be capable of exand many of his acquaintance panding so as to delight in the would be ready to cry out, that higher branches of learning. he was beside himself. Indeed, Those who are eminent in a profew who have any desire of learn- fession, are usually crowded ing could possibly afford to live with professional business; and without some productive busi- those who are not, are obliged ness. Scarcely does the stu- to submit to inferior drudgery. dent begin to make progress in In either case, the man seems the labours of the mind, before too much trammelled to think he is interrupted by the deficien- of excelling in scientifical purcy of his purse, and diverted suits. from his contemplated advances Besides, there is little encourin learning, by the near approach agement to literary performof the horrors of penury. The ances of our own countrymen, time is much to be desired, when after they are accomplished. individuals, who are fond of stu- Perhaps not a single meritorious dy and retirement, may ile pos- work of genius, written by an sessed of such a competency, as
American, bas met with a to leave the getting of money to liberal patronage in the United others, and devote themselves to States ; though the vilest proscience entirely; or when pri- ductions which Europe disgorgVate munificence shall have es, have been purchased with made provision for the encour- avidiiy. While this is the case, agement and support of those, it cannot be strange that, rather who are disposed to be useful, than strive after excellence, without engaging in the bustle where there is so much reason of the world. Then may our
to despair of obtaining either country produce men not suf- honour or support, young men fering in a comparison with should apply themselves to pursuits of better prospect, in growth,
growth, while the mushroom which, though their talents may springs, and withers, in a day. be hidden, they can kecp them- Constant and persevering exselves from poverty and want. ertions in the cultivation of the
The spirit of the times may mind, as in that of the soil, selalso be seen in the slender sup- dom fail to produce some corport which is given to instruc- respondent effects ; while the tors of youth. It is not an uns desultory efforts of those, who common thing for music mas- make haste to be eminent, are ters, mountebanks, and dancing without force, being made withmasters to receive triple the pe- out any well digested plan. Yet it cuniary support that is given to is common in this country to ri. young gentlemen of the best
dicule that industry in literary hopes and most unblemished pursuits, by which every thing characters, who have spent all valuable is attained, and that attheir property in gaining their tention to common things, and education, and who have under common sense, by which men their care the children of the are principally benefited. A ablest, and every way the first striking instance of this, is the men of the land.
manner in which a very valuable An opinion has likewise crept member* of the community abroad, that whatever is not has been treated by some of his dazzling, is to be regarded as of fellow citizens. That the genlittle importance; an opinion tleman, to whom I refer, has rennot only groundless and false, dered much assistance to the but very unfavourable to useful youth of our country, no person and patient investigation. If we will have the injustice to deny ; search for men who have most & surely it reflects little honour on extended the boundaries of sci- any person to stigmatize endeavence, and who have performed ours to make the education of such essential services, as to de- youth easy, as a pursuit unwor. serve the appellation of benefac- thy of the most exalted talents, tors of mankind, we shall not and the most benevolent heart. find them among those who It is by attending to the things made the most noise and uproar of ordinary life, that Count in their day, who glittered and Rumford has performed such dazzled for a time, and behaved acceptable services to the world. as though, like Atlas, they bore I shall mention but one more the heavens on their shoulders. cause unfriendly to learning, It is not an unsound maxim of though the catalogue might Horace,
easily be enlarged. It is the « Nil sine magno
influence of party politics. Vita labore dedit mortalibus."
Such is the unhappy state of
our country that the clamours of « Human life has granted no- partisans excite more attention, thing to men without great in- than the calls of utility, or even dustry." Those trees which of necessity.
There is now are to stand for ages, are slow and imperceptible in their
• Mr. Webster,
found to be a summary way of servable at the present time. rising into consequence. It There are others which have seems that wisdom to decide, operated ever since the country and vigour and integrity to exe- was settled. Such for instance cute, are not now numbered a- is that proininent one, the aumong the qualifications of a pol- spicious influence of the clergy ; itician; but they are supplanted whose general and uniform by confidence to assert, and im- character has been that of pudence to persist. The can- friends to freedom of opinion, didate for distinction joins him and of every thing which tends self to a party, or, in more phi- to increase real knowledge. losophical language, 10 a sect, But the time would not permit and labours without hesitation a particular discussion of all the and without respite, to make topics which present themhimself acceptable to the people, sclves. or the great men under whose On the whole, then, it seems, banuers he enlists, or both. If that there is little encourageassiduity and zeal could insure ment offered to the student in "success, he would be little likely this country. Save the tranquilto meet with disappointment. Pity of his own mind, the conIn the mean time, his passions sciousness of having improved take side, and carry on through his time as he ought, and the affected regard for the public, hope of doing some good, he what he at first
at first engaged in can have little to stimulate him through motives of private in- to action, or inspirit him in his terest. Thus the vigour and arduous undertaking. These sprightliness of youth, instead motives are sufficient, it is acof being improved in such a way knowledged, where, on account as to be useful to mankind, and of external circumstances, they pleasant as well as profitable to are not debarred their natural the possessor, are wasted in influence ; but, among men in frivolous debates, and local an- general, something more strongimosities. Not to mention, ly felt, and more easily gras ped that a mind under the influence at, is needed. of passion and selfishness, di- To tell what remedies may minishes as to its capacity, and possibly be applied, would rebecomes less and less capable of quire experience and informabeing wisely directed, till its tion which the writer cannot prepowers are spent in bootless tend to possess. There appears conflicts with enemies whom it no difficulty, however, in dewould be no honour to vanquish, ciding, that a change in the pubor in the service of men, who lic opinion, with respect to the have little regard for the instru- importance of learning, must ment, if the end is accomplished. take place, before any very salu
In this enumeration of tary alteration in common practhings favourable, and of those tice can be expected. Till this unfavourable to literature, in shall be done, it is hard to say, New England, it has been my what subordinate changes may intention to remark upon those be wrought, and what smaller only which are particularly obe advantages gained. Without
lispute, there is wealth enough ed, and every evil lust exalted to in the community to do all that uncontrolled dominion. Even can be done by liberal endow- poesy, a nymph of celestial orianents. Whenever men shall gin, they have seen made subfeel as generously disposed to servient to the basest purposes, wards colleges, and the votaries and the most unhallowed polluof science, as they bow do to- tions. All these things, it is wards theatres, and parties, true, can be proved to be abuses learning will be encouraged, and of what is a real blessing : but the labours of the student amply ought not the character of learnremunerated.
ing to be retrieved from the inAfter the cursory view which famy which would, not unnatuhas been taken, it is a natural rally, cling to it, from the consubject of inquiry, what are the duct of its professors? And duties especially incumbent ought it not to be a matter of upon the friends of science, in
special attention, that it should order that her interests may be be practically shown to be fabest promoted? To this pur- vourable to peace, harmony, and pose it would probably have no love among men, and sincere pismall efficacy, if they were unin ety towards God? formly to exhibit themselves as There is another practical inthe friends and advocates of vir- fluence, of no small importance tue. The truth is, that num- to the happiness of our country, bers among the great body of which literary men may possess. mankind are not a little afraid I refer to the influence which of learning ; & perhaps, if the af- would result from vigorous exJair is canvassed, their suspicions ertions to support and preserve will not be found entirely desti- the institutions of New Engtute of plausibility. They have land. In this secluded corner seen splendid talents, and high of a corrupted world, the seeds literary attainments prostituted of happiness were sown by exilto feed selfishness, to pamper
ed Christians, of whom the East. pride, to flatter wealth and pow- ern Continent was not worthy ; er, to corrupt and destroy man- and by the goodness of Provi. kind. They have seen the mind dence the seeds look root, and of man, that of Mr. Hume for produced a plentiful harvest. instance, irradiated by genius, Here liberty and law have walked and enlarged by study and con- hand and hand, shedding around templation, labouring to invali- them a shower of blessings. date evidence, and obscure truth, The man who can assist in repelto “ darken counsel by words ling the dangers which threaten without knowledge,” and to en- the destruction of these things, velope the whole moral world in will conser a high obligation on gloom. They have seen the mankind. same mind employed, in excit- The spirit of infidelity and of ing and stimulating the passions, hatred to the truth has been long and in extending the means, and lying in wait to lay sacrilegious improving the manner of their hands on all that we have most gratification. They have seen reason to esteem precious. As reason dethroned, virtue depress- to the triumph of party, it is all of little significance, when com- ican Union is lamentable, and the pared with the importance of our prospect lamentable, far as the schools, our churches, the fami- eye can reach. The prevalence ly instruction and subordination of intrigue, and of electioneerwhich have prevailed, and the ing for public office, will of itself general manners, which cannot prevent the most worthy perhave a more happy designation sons, in ordinary cases, from bethan that of steady babits. Tho' ing elected. And the most pat. these have been made a subjectural result of the process is, that of reproach by our enemies, let the tenure of office should be us count them our glory. While irksome to all who are possessed possessed of these we need not of firmness and integrity, and fear the deprivation of liberty. sought only by those who can There is also something truly barter conscience to the highest noble in being engaged in de- bidder. The clamours of party fence of truth. Such a champi- threaten in future to drown the on, as a Wilberforce, claims an voice of wisdom, and the most elevation in the view of judg. vociferous bawler is likely to be ment and conscience, compared esteemed by many as the most with which thrones and diadems meritorious man. In such times, are the dust of the street.
when “ the post of honour is a Before this subject is dismiss. private station,” it is the part of ed, I would mention one induce, prudence steadily to maintain a ment which young men have, at fondness for private life ; to rethe present time particularly, to tire with books and friends, and engage with ardour in the pur- make it the constant design to suit of literary knowledge. It is, be actively, though silently, enthat they may be fitted for use- gaged in something which may fulness in the world, and yet re- benefit mankind. tain the situation of private men.
C. Y. A. The state of politics in the Amer.
ON SELF-DECEPTION, FROM THE
sion of his iniquity. How came CASE OF JOHN THE BAPTIST's it to pass that repentance and
confession of sin were at this
time so general among the JewWHEN John the Baptist ish people ? The doctrine of repreached repentance, we are in- pentance, it seems natural to formed in Scripture, that “ Jeru- suppose, must at all times be unsalem and all judea, and also all popular ; for to repent, even in the region round about Jordan, the lowest sense of the word, imwere baptized of him, confessing plies an acknowledgment of their sins.” Each individual of having donc wrong: and is the this vast multitude, made, in bulk of mankind disposed to this words at least, the due confes- admission ? Surely men may be