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youth is the proper time for fubduing them. In other inftances, the obftructions you encounter serve only to ftimulate your industry and animate your efforts; and why then not in this? Be the discouragements what they will, the confequence is not, that you ought to defift from the attempt, but, that you ought to begin the fooner. For these obftacles, instead of leffening, will grow upon your hands: every moment you delay, will but rivet your chains the fafter, and give habit time to strengthen appetite. Befides, you have here advantages and helps towards this great work, which no other place, no other time, can afford. The retirement you enjoy from the great world, and the admirable order here established, were purposely meant to affist you in the science of felf-government, no less than in the acquifition of learning. The exclufion of all the most dangerous allurements to vice, of thofe amufements which excite the fofter paffions, of those cares and contefts which provoke more violent emotions; the frequent and stated returns of divine wor ship, the exact diftribution of time, the allotment of almost every hour to its hour to its proper employment, the neceffity of a modest and uni

form apparel, of temperate and public meals, of repofing at night under one common roof; all these things are most wifely calculated to keep the attention fixed on innocent and useful objects, to curb the imagination, to reftrain extravagant defires, to induce habits of modefty, humility, temperance, frugality, obedience; in one word, soBER-MINDEDNESS. It may be thought, perhaps, that the regulation of drefs, and diet, and amufement, and fuch-like trifles, are below the notice of a great and learned body. But it is a mistake to think fo. Order and regularity in the minutest points, tend to introduce them, nay, are neceffary to introduce them, in the greatest; accuftom the mind to restraint, and infenfibly form it to the practice of vigilance and felf-denial.

It is, in fhort, the excellent difcipline established in these focieties, which is their greatest glory, and must be their firmest support. It is what most eminently distinguishes the universities of Great Britain from all others in the world, and justly renders them the admiration of every one whom curiofity draws from other climes to vifit them. This distinction,

distinction, then, fo honourable to ourselves, fo beneficial to those we educate, it is of the utmost importance for us to maintain with inflexible firmness and refolution. We cannot, without fome hazard, give up the fmalleft article of good government: but in those points which relate immediately to morals, the leaft relaxation muft tend to fubvert our credit, and even endanger our existence. In a place facred to virtue and religion, no species of vice, no kind of temptation to vice, can, for one moment, be tolerated or connived at. We shall not be allowed to fay in our defence, that we only keep pace with the manners of the age: this will be deemed our reproach rather than our excufe. It is our business, not meanly" to follow a mul❝titude to do evil;" not to conform to the corrupt fashions of the times, but by our precepts and our example to fortify our young difciples against them. It is evident that the world expects from us a more than ordinary degree of watchfulness over our conduct. It expects that the correction of ́national abuses should begin here. And the expectation is not unreasonable.




should general reformation take its rife, if ever it rife at all, but from the two great fources of Learning and Religion? We are as lights fet on an eminence, shining at present, indeed, in a dark place, in the midst of luxury and profufion, but able, perhaps, by degrees, to difperfe the gloom of the furrounding profpect. If we cannot check the exceffes of the present age, we may at least crush future extravagancies in their birth, by infufing into our youth thofe leffons and those habits of frugality, abftinence, and fober-mindednefs, which are effential to the welfare both of the universities and of the state.

II. The other great branch of fober-mindedness, which we must recommend to young men, is the government of the understanding.

There is a great variety of intellectual errors, into which, without a proper conduct of the understanding, or, in other words, without a found and well-cultivated judgement, the young student will be extremely apt to fall. Of these I fhall fingle out only one, against which it seems at prefent more peculiarly neceffary to caution him, and that is



an insatiable thirst for novelty. The Athenians, we know, in the decline of their state, spent their time in nothing else but either "to tell or to hear fome new thing *." In this respect, whatever may be the cafe in others, we fall very little fhort of that elegant but corrupt people; and the greater part of those who write for popular applause, are determined at any rate to gratify this extravagant paffion. For this purpose, they hold it neceffary to depart as far as poffible from the plain direct road of nature, fimplicity, and good fenfe; which being unfortunately preoccupied by thofe great mafters of compofition, the antients, and fuch of the moderns as have trod in their fteps, leave them no room in that walk for the diftinction at which they aim. They ftrike out therefore into untried and pathlefs regions, and there ftrain every nerve, and put in practice every artifice, to catch the attention and excite the wonder of mankind. Hence all thofe various corruptions in literature, thofe affectations of fingularity and originality, thofe quaint conceits, abrupt digreffions, indecent allufions, wild starts of fancy, and every other obliquity

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