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youth for the various social, moral, and political duties of life. Those indispensable arts are the keys—but libraries are the chests of knowledge.
4 Although it is an axiom, generally admitted, that interest and happiness are identified with the practice of virtue and moral rectitude, yet, so powerful is the influence of example and the habits of society, that much reading and much reflection are generally requisite (and they sometimes fail) to produce a firm resolution to adopt the principle of virtue and moral rectitude as an inflexible rule of conduct.
5 Much the greater proportion of our youth are dismissed from the primary schools, and arrive to maturity, with very little or no acquaintance with the precepts and works of the most eminent moral teachers, whose names are preserved from oblivion.
6 The printing press is the main engine, and books are the rapid vehicles for the general distribution of instruction. The discovery of the art of printing, and of manufacturing paper, gives us a vast ascendency over our ancestors in the facility of propagating knowledge; yet, notwithstanding the immense difference between the cost of books within the last four hundred years, and the whole anterior space of time, but few, comparatively speaking, can sustain the expense of private libraries.
7 Most people would probably become readers, if furnished with suitable books at a proper time of life. It is only necessary to offer instruction to the voluntary acceptance of youth, in a proper manner, to produce an ardent appetite for it.. It will be found, by computing the leisure of every youth, at two hours daily, from the age of ten to twenty-one years, that it is sufficient for reading seven hundred volumes 12mo. of three hundred pages.
8 The long preparatory period of youth, designed by our beneficent Creator, for the acquirement of knowledge, and laying the foundation for a useful and happy life, to the greatest portion of mankind, is almost entirely lost, and often worse than lost, except as to the attainment of corporeal maturity.
9 The countless hordes of savages, composing an immense majority of the human race, as well as millions of people classed amorg civilized nations, may be said to grow up and march successively through the journey of life, in a state of mental childhood. Hence it is no mystery, that they remain, perpetually, in a state of delusion and depravity:
10 Intellectual cultivation is the basis of virtue and happiness. As mental improvement advances, vice and crimes recede. That desirable happy era, when the spirit of peace and benevolence shall pervade all the nations which inhabit the earth; when national, personal, and mental slavery, shall be exterminated; when nations and individuals shall cease to hunt and destroy each other's lives and property, when the science and implements of human preservation and felicity, shall be substituted for those of slaughter and wo, will commence, precisely at the moment when the rays of useful knowledge, wisdom and virtue, shall have been extended to the whole human family.
11 By useful knowledge, I mean not only an acquaintance with valuable arts and sciences, but also, an understanding of our various moral and religious duties, in relation to our Creator, to our neighbour, and to ourselves.
12 By wisdom, I mean that kind of sagacity, which infuences us to regulate our passions and conduct, in conformity to the precepts of knowledge, reason and religion. Until an approach towards such a state of things is effected, the names of peace, liberty and security, on this earth, will differ but little from an ignis fatuus, either to monarchs or their vassals.
13 At present, violence assumes almost universal sway ; and ignorance is the magic spell which sustains its sceptre. Therefore, what more glorious achievement, what greater aggregate and ultimate good, can be produced to mankind, by the application of the power of governments and the surplus wealth of individuals, than by reclaiming man from the chains of ignorance, vice, oppression and misery, and thereby, elevating poor degraded human nature to that scale of dignity in the creation, to which it was evidently destined, by the Supreme Parent of the Universe.
14 In our own country, particularly, instruction ought to be universal. For virtue only, can sustain and perpetuate our political organization. As every citizen, therefore, is vitally interested in the universal dissemination of knowledge and virtue, let all classes combine their influence and means, in promoting the general welfare.
15 In addition to the motives of patriotism and benevolence, the wealthier classes of society, are interested in a pecuniary point of view, in the universal intellectual and moral improvement of youth. For, as intemperance and indolence are the invariable, and almost only causes of pau
perism, Dimes, voluntarily applied to the instruction of youth, will prevent the compulsory expenditure of as many Dollars, in partially relieving the miseries of pauperism, and the premature diseases of self-immolated victims of vice.
16 It is very seldom that men of intelligence, who have been educated to habits of virtue and industry, and who delight to employ their leisure hours in the acquirement of useful knowledge, by reading or otherwise, will deliriously and idolatrously sacrifice their reputations, their estates and lives, their wives and children, in a word, their happiness, to the voracious, unmerciful, and barbarous god of intemperance.
17 Let American legislators, both national and sectional, perform their duty to their country and its posterity; and to mankind, by listening to the wise counsels of many illustrious living sages, and pursue, without delay, the inestimable "parting advice" of George Washington, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Adams, and other departed friends and patrons of man; and establish public schools, and judiciously selected free circulating libraries, in every part of the Republic
18 Let moral virtue constitute an essential branch of instruction in every school; so that our youth may be carefully taught the art of acting correctly, as well as of speaking, reading, and writing correctly.
19 Dr. Rush, in his Oration, “On the Influence of Physical causes upon the Moral Faculty,” makes an earnest appeal in favour of universal knowledge :"Illustrious CounSELLORS and SENATORS of Pennsylvania!” he exclaims, “I anticipate your candid reception of this feeble effort to increase the quantity of virtue in the republic.
20 “ Nothing can be 'politically right, that is morally wrong; and no necessity can sanctify a law, that is contrary to equity. Virtue is the soul of the Republic. There is but one method of preverting crimes, and of rendering a republican form of government durable, and that is, by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge, through every part of the state, by means of proper places and modes of education, and this can be done effectually only by the interference and aid of the Legislature.
21 “I am so deeply impressed with the truth of this opinion, that were this evening to be the last of my life, I would not only say to the asylum of my ancestors, and my beloved country, with the patriot of Venice, Esto perpetua,' [Be thou perpetual] but I would add, as the last proof of my
affection for her, my parting advice to the guardians of her liberties, to establish PUBLIC SCHOOLS in every part of the State.'
22 “ Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.
Washington. 23 “ To secure the perpetuation of our Republican form of Government to future generations, let Divines and Philosophers, Statesmen and Patriots, unite their endeavours to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of the people with the importance of educating their little boys and girls.”
S. Adams. 24 "A Republican Government, without knowledge and virtue, is a body without a soul_a mass of corruption and putrefaction-food for worms.'
J. Adams. 25 “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society, but the people themselves: and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." Jefferson.
26 “Without knowledge, the blessings of liberty cannot be fully enjoyed, or long preserved."
Madison. 27 “Ignorance is every where such an infallible instrument of despotism, that there can be no hope of continuing even our present forms of government, either federal or state, much less that spirit of equal liberty and justice, in which they were founded, but by diffusing universally among the people that portion of instruction which is sufficient to teach them their duties and their rights.
Burlow. 28 “And without going into the monitory history of the ancient world, in all its quarters, and at all its periods, that of the soil in which we live, and of its occupants, indigenous and emigrant, teaches the awful lesson—that no nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity.” Jefferson.
29 “With knowledge and virtue the united efforts of ig. norance and tyranny may be defied.”
Miller, late governor of North Carolina. 30 “ In a government where all may aspire, to the highest offices in the state, it is essential that education should be placed within the reach of all. Without intelligence, selfgovernment, our dearest privilege, cannot be exercised.”
Nicholas, late governor of Virginia.
31 Clinton, late governor of New York, has elegantly expressed his sentiments; “That education is the guardian of liberty and the bulwark of morality. And that knowledge and virtue are, generally speaking, inseparable companions, and are, in the moral, what light and heat are in the natural world--the illuminating and vivifying principle."
32 “Knowledge distinguishes civilized from savage life. Its cultivation in youth promotes virtue, by creating habits of mental discipline; and by inculcating a sense of moral obligation. Knowledge is, therefore, the best foundation of hap
Blair. 33 6" Then, (says Professor Waterhouse, alluding to the invention of the art of printing) did knowledge raise weeping humanity from the dust, and with her blazing torch, point the way to happiness and peace.
34 Dr. Darwin very properly, calls the “PRINTING PRESS the most useful of modern inventions; the capacious reservoir of human knowledge, whose branching streams diffuse sciences, arts and morality, through all nations and
35 “ 'Tis the prolific Press; wnose tablet, fraught
SECTION II. A serious Address to the rising Generation of the United
States. Favored Youth,
1 Contemplate calmly and attentively the sacred legacy which must soon be committed to your charge, in trust for your successors—and eventually for the whole human race ! You constitute the only insulated Ararat, on which the olive branch of peace, and the “glad tidings" of freedom and happiness, can be deposited and preserved to a groaning world drowned in tears !!
2 Prove yourselves, then, deserving of the exalted office which Providence has assigned you. To do this, it is indispensable that you cultivate your understandings, and store them with the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Where these exist, tyranny disappears as darkness in presence of sun beams. Consider, also, that these will preserve you from