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THEIR DANGERS, SAFEGUARDS,
THE NEW YORK|
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1852, by
LANE & SCOTT, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the Southern District PREFACE. .
of New-York. annarorooromoororonoamaran
“I HONOUR a young man,” said John Wesley, “ because he may be doing good when I am in my grave." The author heartily adopts this sentiment, and he offers the following pages to young men as a token of that respect. The design has been entertained for several years, and the work partly executed; but a multiplicity of engagements has delayed its execution. It now appears, not as a rival of similar works, but as an auxiliary; its aim is not novelty, but utility-the author has sought to make its language pointed, and its spirit and voice paternal.
Having long since observed that the Bible that infallible model for all moral teachersgives us “ not merely the rule of duty, but also the exemplification ;" that it abounds with fact and incident,—the histories of Abraham and Lot—the adventures of Jacob and Joseph—the parables of the prodigal son and the lost sheep; -that, in short, “it presents us actions rather than words;" and having also noticed audiences listless under able speakers, when there was neither fact nor incident, parable nor allegory—and still further, having seen the eyelids droop over books well written, but destitute of illustration; the author has come to the conclusion that “ the primness of diction” which shuts out all incident and example, is as far from accordance with the dictates of philosophy, as it is from conformity to the precedents of the Bible. An address may challenge criticism as a finished piece, and yet may “run like oil over polished marble," and leave as little trace of its passage. Such an address is likely to do very little good, especially to the young. Diametrically opposite is the plan pursued in the following pages: they abound in incident and example—not attempting illustration where there is nothing to illustrate; but first giving the principle, and then endeavouring to rivet it by the illustration.
The author is not ignorant of the fact, that several works of this kind are already before the public, or that they have recently multiplied somewhat rapidly. This he regards as an omnen for good. It shows that many minds are alive with solicitude for the welfare of our young men that their position and responsibilities are not forgotten. The more works of