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operation with the endeavours of your friends to promote your improvement and happiness. This co-operation, whilst it secures your own progress, will afford you the heart-felt satisfaction, of knowing that you are cherishing the hopes, and augmenting the pleasures, of those with whom you are connected by the most endearing ties. He recommends to you also, serious and elevated views of the studies in which you may be engaged. Whatever may be your attainments, never allow yourselves to rest satisfied with mere literary acquisitions, nor with a selfish or contracted application of them. When they advance only the interests of this stage of being, and look not beyond the present transient scene, their influence is circumscribed within a very narrow sphere. The great business of this life is to prepare, and qualify us, for the enjoyment of a better, by eultivating a pure and humble state of mind, and cherishing habits or piety towards God, and benevolence 10 men. Every thing that promotes or retards this important work, is of great moment to you, and claims your first and most serious attention.
if, then, the cultivation of letters, and an advancement in knowledge, are found
found to strengthen and enlarge your minds, to purify and exalt your pleasures, and to dispose you to pious and virtuous sentiments and conduct, they produce excellent effects; which, with your best endeavours to improve them, and the Divine blessing superadded, will not fail to render you, not only wise and good yourselves, but also the happy instruments of diffusing wisdom, religion, and goodness around you. Thus improved, your acquisitions become handmaids to virtue; and they may eventually serve to increase the rewards, which the Supreme Being has promised to faithful and welldirected exertions, for the promotion of truth and goodness amongst men.
But if you counteract the hopes of your friends, and the tendency of these attainments; if you grow vain of your real or imaginary distinctions, and regard with contempt, the virtuous, unlettered mind; if you suffer yourselves to be absorbed in over-curious or trilling speculations; it your heart and principles be debased and poisoned, by the influence of corrupting and pernicious books, for which no elegance of composition can make amends ; if you spend so much of your time in literary engagements, as to make them interfere with higher occuparious, and lead you to forget, that pious and benevolent action is the great end of your be, ing: if such be the unhappy misapplication of vour acquisitions and advantages, instead of becoming a blessing to you, they will prove the occasion of greater condeinnation; and, in the hour of serious thought, they may excite the painful reflections,--that it would have beea better for you, to have remained illiterate and maspiring; to have been confined to the humblest walks of life ; and to have been eren hewers of wood and drawers of water all your davs.
Contemplating the dangers to which you are exposed, the sorrows and dishonour which accompany talents misapplied, and a course of
indolence and folly, may you exert your utmost endeavours to avoid them! Seriously reflecting on the great end for which you were brought into existence; on the bright and encouraging examples of
excellent young persons; and on the mournful deviations of others, who once were promising; may you be so wise as to choose and follow that path, which leads to honour, usefulness, and true enjoyment! This is the morning of your life, in which pursuit is ardent, and obstacles readily give way to vigour and perseverance. Embrace this favourable season; devote yourselves to the acquisition of knowledge and virtue; and humbly pray to God that he may bless your labours. Often reflect on the advantages you possess, and on the source from whence they are all derived. A lively sense of the privileges and blessings, by which you have been distinguished, will induce you to render to your heavenly Father, the just returns of gratitude and love : and these fruits of early goodness will be regarded by him as acceptable offerings, and secure to you his favour and protection.
Whatever dificulties and discouragements may be found in resisting the allurements of vice, you may be bembly confident, that D:vine assistance will be afforded to all your good and pious resolutions; and that every virtuous effort will have a correspondent reward. You may rest assured too, that all the advantages arising from vicious indulgences, are light and contemptible, as well as exceedingly transient, compared with the substantial enjoyments, the
present pleasures, and the future hopes, which
Virtue alone is happiness below:
CHAP. 2. Of syllables, and the rules for
Sect. 1. Of the