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conqueror of the world turned to his courtiers, and said, “ Were I not Alexander, I should wish to be Diogenes.”
How few we have at the present day, who would not dwindle into pigmies, and weigh like a feather against a pound of lead, if put in the scale of patriotism by the side of a Diogenes. In his day, the friends of freedom loved and fought for it, for its own intrinsic worth, not for the sake of the loaves and fishes, as in modern times. Love of gain, fame, and honor, now form the great motive power that moves the multifarious wheels, wires, and pipes, of our political machinery. The towering waves of party spirit have long rolled over old school patriotism, and covered it with the alluvion of corruption. If not too deeply buried, it will yet spring up; and our country will again reap a rich harvest from this alluvial bottom. But it is high time the plough of correction and harrow of equality should be used. The few have governed the many long enough. If the deposite is suffered to accumulate, the substratum of patriotism cannot be reached with a common instrument. Even now, it would require a prairie plough to insure a good erop. The people, in mass, should become fully sensible, that they have something more to do, than “to stalk about, and draw fresh air, and gaze upon
the sun.” Let them reflect, analyze, judge, and act for themselves; and with the independence and patriotism of a Diogenes, prove themselves worthy of freedom. Then, and not without, will it be preserved and perpetuated. Let demagogues, and all the contaminating vices that have long polluted the political atmosphere of our country, be thrown over the dam, with all the accumulated flood wood, that is impeding the originally pure stream of LIBERTY. Our nation may then reasonably ask, and expect to receive, the guardian care of Almighty God—not otherwise.
This word is applied to a ship, signifying its unsteady and indirect motion on a great swell of the sea; a fit emblem of the Yawing of man, in passing over the ocean of life. How few there are who carry ballast enough to keep their frail barks from careening at every swell that overtakes them. Many are thrown upon their beams ends, others are lost at the early part of their voyage. And why these shipwrecks ? Because the vessel is of bad materials, poorly constructed, and not properly trimmed ; not for want of good materials within the reach of every one, and good workmen to put them together.
The youth who rushes into the avenues of vice, will find himself with a bad hull, a rotten mainmast, a mildewed mainsail, a disordered cabin, a broken compass, a weak cable, a light anchor, his figure head defaced, his helm unshipped, his ballast composed of bilge water, his cargo worthless, and all his rigging unfit for sea. In this condition, unless thoroughly repaired by those master workmen, VIRTUE and WISDOM, his shipwreck is inevitable and speedy.
Reader, look around, and see what multitudes are Yawing on the billows of life. See that young man, endowed with towering talent, polished by an expensive and refined education ; the hope of indulgent parents, and the pride of admiring friends—see his vessel ca.
reening-his sails fluttering--his masts falling—his cable parted—he founders--one awful plunge—he sinks to rise no more. Alcohol unshipped his helm, destroyed his compass, forced him on the rocks, and plunged him
, in ruin, before he had lost sight of the shore from which he launched.
Look at the multitudes, whose flimsy barks are constructed of the light materials of sensual pleasure; their vessels cannot live on a rough sea for a moment. Look at those in the low black schooner, water logged with crime in all its varied forms—the billows of justice roll over them, and they disappear. See the gay multitudes putting to sea in their light canoes of fashionthey are tossed to and fro, like squirrels on a strip of bark; and sometimes are driven back on shore, and apply to Virtue and Wisdom, to construct them something more substantial. Look into the ship-yard of Folly and Vice, and you will see an endless variety of crafts, all enticing to the natural eye, but none of them sea-worthy—they will all Yaw those who embark in them, on the rocks of destruction.
Wisdom, Virtue, and pure Religion, are the only safe workmen to be employed. They have none but substantial and durable materials, and do their work in the very best manner. Be not deceived in the firm —the name is Happiness and Heaven-index pointing upward. Embark in a craft from this ship-yard, if you desire to outride the storm of life, and be safely landed in the haven of enduring bliss and endless joy.
What is youth? a smiling sorrow,
LACON has well remarked, that the excessess of Youth are drafts upon our old age, payable, with interest, about thirty years after date. Hurry and Cunning, are the two apprentices of their Despatch and Skillbut neither of them learn their master's trade. Youth are easily thrown off the track of happiness, and often get wofully bespatterd. They are usually strangers to the three modes of bearing up under the ills of lifeindifference, philosophy, and religion. Their anticipations are strong, their imaginations ever on the wing, their hopes extravagant, their judgment weak, their experience green ; and, like the kite, they are carried by various currents of wind, in a zigzag course, up to adult age. Some unfortunates are long reaching their majority, and are somewhat kitish through a long series of years. They chase and crush butterflies a long time.
With these natural propensities, how important that our Youth receive, and duly improve the right kind of instruction during the proper season for improvement. The reasoning powers, and the capacity of discerning between good and evil, are early developed, by kind and judicious culture. But few are too obstinate to listen, and those few have been neglected in early childhood. Induce them to listen, an affectionate course will usually influence them to comply with advice, that they can readily see must enhance their happiness, and prepare them to become respectable and useful members of society. Inspire in them self respect, a most powerful lever to insure their safety. Teach them the proneness of human nature to yield to seducing pleasure, and the great safety in avoiding temptation, that they may be kept from evil. Teach them their importance as immortal beings, and curb their pride, by convincing them of their dependence on God for every thing. Show them that they must soon take the places of their fathers and mothers, on the great theatre of life; teach them to think and act like men and women; this will strengthen them and press upon them the vast importance of becoming thoroughly prepared to act well their part, when called on the stage of action. Teach them religion in its native purity and simplicity. Unfold to them its sublime beauties, and contrast them with the distorted features of vice. Picture to them the happy results of the former, and the direful effects of the latter. Do these things with all of our Youth, religion will prosper-our country is safe. Causes will produce their legitimate effects.
To the dear Youth, I desire to say a few words. Listen to an old man, who feels a deep interest in your welfare, and well remembers when he was young, and can appreciate the increasing dangers to which you are exposed, as our country becomes more densely populated.
Love, honor, and obey your parents. From them you received the first kind attentions of humanity. By them you have been fed, clothed, and preserved, under