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ADVICE, to prove beneficial, depends upon these grand requisites; honest persons, with capacity and discretion to give that which is salutary; and honest hearts, willing to receive and be guided by it. It is as abundant as spring flowers in May, but not always as odoriferous.
From Lawyers, it may be purchased in quantity, according to the purse; and in quality, from first, to fourth common, as lumbermen sell boards; the latter being the most plentiful, but usually the most expensive in the end. Lawyers can, and should be the promoters of social order; peace-makers in community, keeping people out, instead of leading them into the labyrinth of law. If no lawyers were patronized, but those who are emphatically peace-makers; who can clearly discern the right and wrong between litigants, and kindly enforce the one and correct the other, by patient and sound reasoning; a ray of millennial glory would burst upon us; millions of money would pass through a better channel, and thousands of friendships be saved from dissolution., In the Healing Art, our country is flooded with advisers, from those of science, judgment, and skill; to swarms of quack opathics, who know as much of Physiology, Pathology, Materia Medica, Pharmaceutics, Anatomy, and Physics; as a pet cat does about the battle of Waterloo. We have many of this tribe of advisers, whose self-assurance, backed by some patent nostrums, gives them a passport among the credulous, and sometimes enables them to leave in the distance, a man of science, merit, and worth; but too modest and unassuming for the times. Blustering impudence and foaming braggadocia, have performed astonishing feats in our country, within the last few years.
Specifics, in numbers that would amaze Æsculapius, are proclaimed to the wide world by trumpet-tongued newspapers, each of which is a certain cure for all the diseases flesh is heir to, and promises to restore the Methuselah age to the human race. The patient can be accommodated with medicine, from the microscopic dose, to the pound or gallon. He may be par-boiled in the steam bath, or chilled with ice water; he may be drenched with syrup, scoured with pills, covered with plasters, have his blood let out, or his system charged with lightning. If all these should fail, he may throw himself into the arms of Mesmerism, triumph over all diseases, and attempt to deceive death, as the man in the fable did the bear, by pretending to be dead, as the only means of saving his life. If, in the multitude of counsel there is safety, the sick should be preëminently safe.
In Politics, we have numerous advisers, most of them patriots in proportion to their interests, who counsel us to go with their party, right or wrong.
In this matter, our own judgments should be well informed, and guide us.
In Literature, there is no deficiency in the number, variety, or quality of advisers. From the shallowbrained, self-conceited pedant, up to the able, honest, and erudite professor in our colleges, we may obtain advice, to direct our ideas how to shoot.
Bookology has also taken a high stand, and is unfurling its broad pendant before the genial breeze of science. These silent monitors may be consulted, from Tom Thumb, up to the voluminous Encyclopedia, and from that, up to the book of all books—the BIBLE.
In the every day concerns of life, there are always numerous volunteers, ever ready to give their advice, but not all, either honest or competent.
In matters of Religion, a subject of more importance than all other things combined, the advisers are legion, and as various and distinct in some non-essential particulars, as the lines of latitude and longitude. Sectarian walls tower to the clouds, and these clouds often bewilder the inquirer after truth. All Bible churches draw their creeds from the same pure fountain-all serve the same master-all aim for Heaven. In this state of things, what is to be done ? My advice is, go to the Bible; there pure religion is described in few words -throw the excresences of sectarianism to the winds, and extend charity to all Bible Christian churches. In what is necessary for the salvation of the soul, they are all right. Different sects of Christians, are like the children of one father ; each has a different Christian name, but all belong to the same family--so all Christian churches belong to the household of faith, and should soar above family quarrels.
In giving advice, time, place, and manner, are of the first importance. Meekness, love, prudence, and discretion; with other talents below mediocrity, will effect more in correcting error, reforming the vicious, and advancing pure and undefiled religion; than the talents of an angel could accomplish without them. To know what, how, and when to advise ; is a matter too little understood, and less practised. If we wish the seed sown to take root, we must mellow the soil by proper cultivation. So in giving advice, we must first gain the confidence of those we deem it a duty to advise, and then look to God for success.
What I have said on this subject in a former publication, I here repeat. Of all occupations, that of agriculture is best calculated to induce love of country, and rivet it firmly on the heart. No profession is more honourable, none as conducive to health, peace, tranquillity, and happiness. More independent than any other calling, it is calculated to produce an innate love of liberty. The farmer stands upon a lofty eminence, and looks upon the bustle of cities, the intricacies of mechanism, the din of commerce, and brain confusing, body killing literature; with feelings of personal freedom, peculiarly his own. He delights in the prosperity of the city as his market place, acknowledges the usefulness of the mechanic, admires the enterprize of the commercial man, and rejoices in the benefits that flow from the untiring investigations and developments of science; then turns his thoughts to the pristine quiet of his agrarian domain, and covets not the fame that accumulates around the other professions.