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wards, will undertake with some comfort' an office, laborious and important at all times; but particularly so in an age of uncommon corruption ; when the expectations of good men are more than ever fixed on their discharging this trust well; and their failure will give bad ones the double joy, of seeing wickedness flourish, and accusing them for it. Complaints indeed of unjust accusations were never better grounded: but complaints alone will do little good; and even deserved returns of bitterness may do much harm. The only remedy is, that by well doing we put to silence * the unreasonableness of ill persons, and secure the protection of those who mean well.
The educator of youth therefore will first perfect himself in each needful qualification, and then apply to forming others. In every science he will join the discoveries of later times with such instruction, as may render the learning of former ages intelligible ; and prudently direct the more particular attention of each person to such things, as may chiefly relate to their future part in life.
The foundations of religion he will lay deep and strong: recommending the great articles of it, not to the passions of those under his care, by warmth and vehemence; but to their reason and faith, by just explications and conclusive arguments ; neither loading revelation with unauthorized doctrines and needless difficulties; nor yielding up the least real part of it, to defend the rest; nor altering the least, to give it a more plausible appearance. A disputing and cavilling temper he will endeavour to repress; but will treat with all tenderness the doubts of an ingenuous mind; and ever encourage that sacred regard to truth, which makes men worthy of esteem, even
• 1 Pet. ii. 15.
whilst they err, and is the great security of their returning into the right way. He will take fit opportunity of shewing how closely a due regard to the teachers of religion and virtue is connected with the practice of both. But the persons, whose employment teaching them is to be, he will studiously warn, that the only way of securing this regard is, by useful and exemplary lives; prudent and inoffensive conduct; and so hearty a frindship to all just and reasonable liberty, as may give them unsuspected authority to oppose the dissolute licentiousness, that in vain assumes its name.
To civil government he will conscientiously teach that dutiful obedience and honour, which Christianity requires all subjects to pay; and which the happiest subjects in the world ought to pay with the cheerfullest gratitude. He will discourage with all possible care, the rage of party zeal; which warm and unexperienced minds too often mistake for public spirit. Admitted in this fair disguise, it possesses the whole man; tinctures his way of thinking on almost every subject; leads him to hate and injure worthy persons, to admire and associate amongst very bad ones; with whom this immoral temper stands in the stead of all merit, whilst indeed it hinders the acquiring of any. As life goes on, these evils increase: of which all the world complains, but unhappily indulges them at the same time; instead of each curbing, on his own side, the eagerness and keenness of so malevolent a principle. Young persons should therefore be reminded, that the seats of learning are purposely secreted from the busy scenes of life; that the time for engaging in those will come but too soon, and meanwhile the generous ardour of
youth should be exerted in making the preparation of useful knowledge and virtuous habits; but ever tempered with such mildness and diffidence concerning matters, of which they need not judge yet, as they will every day see more necessary in order to judge and act right.
This is indeed one part of morals : and on every other part the director of education will have an attentive eye. Even the sallies of a well meant feryour he will prudently moderate, when they give religion a gloomy appearance, or add to it a needless burden. But much more strictly will he guard against the opposite extreme of libertinism and profaneness : labouring to keep up, not only an outward form of regularity, but a serious awe of God, and sense of duty, in every mind; watching over each tendency to vice; and considering wilful neglect of application, as a dangerous kind of guilt. In order to this great end of preserving morals, he will preserve and countenance, as far as it remains possible, that temperance of living, simplicity of appearance, and frugality of expence, which are usually brought hither, and so peculiarly suit this institution; which keep the mind in fit temper for the exercise of its faculties, and defend it from the corruptions of luxury and vanity; lay the foundations of health and prudence in men for the rest of their days, and prepare them to be virtuous and easy in whatever stations may prove their share.
It remains only now, that the person, of whom all this care is taken, should know and improve his own happiness. Too many there are, that set out upon the important journey of life, without a skilful, or perhaps a friendly hand, to conduct them through the difficulties of the untried and hazardous way. These are greatly excusable in their faults, and pitiable in their miseries. But of you God and man will expect attainments, that may bear proportion to the advantages with which you are blessed. Nature engages your parents : duty, honour, and interest, your instructors, to consult your welfare: which they desire as much as yourselves, and understand better. Restrain therefore and apply yourselves as they direct; though you not only feel it painful, but see it not yet beneficial: and trust those, who have all imaginable claim to be trusted, that, by quick degrees, the pain would wear off, and the benefit be evident.
- Their province, who are devoted to the service of religion, will be to appear, perhaps after a very short preparation, in an age strongly prejudiced against them and their function ; sure objects, without merit, of contempt and hatred; but, with it, capable still of being esteemed and useful. This situation, you see, requires in the first place, that you carefully acquaint yourselves with the proofs, the doctrines and precepts of the Gospel revelation. Fear not therefore making free inquiry into every thing. Others inquire with bad intention : if you do it not with good, you will want true learning, to oppose against the false and half-learning of unbelievers. Only begin not your inquiry, till you are qualified : and end it not, till you have considered matters thoroughly. Young minds, and often the most generous of them, are apt to pursue truth with an impatience, that occasions their missing it. Nothing ought ever to stand against full evidence, well weighed: but many things may induce those, who have yet had little time for thought, to think again, and be diffident in the meanwhile. For not only the world too commonly imputes to a man, all his life, the indigested notions of his early years : but persons list themselves by positive talk, and then cannot retreat. With this caution, and with due method, diligence will go far in acquiring knowledge. But knowledge is only one part of what must be attended to. The unguarded conduct, even of persons younger days, will be treasured up in many a malicious memory to their future disadvantage: and, though an affectation of untimely gravity sits ill, yet innocence and piety are the duties of every age. They especially, whose profession will make a stricter abstinence from doubtful and imprudent pleasures expected of them hereafter, will find it much the safest and easiest to begin now; and, by an uniform life, grow regularly up into that esteem, which their destination will require.
And though neither the same diligence of application, nor such accuracy of conduct, may appear necessary in those of higher rank; yet an improved understanding must be an advantage, and the want of it a blemish, proportionably conspicuous, as the station, in which either appears, is public: and the choice, how life shall be spent, is always important in the same degree, as the persons are who make it. Such therefore, of all others, should not take it hastily for granted, that an immoral course is right. To begin with virtue, at least till fair inquiry rejects it, is evidently the safe part. No one ever bitterly condemned himself, that he had spent his younger years soberly: many have, that they did not. Then, some degrees of vice are owned to produce misery, and every vice leads on to worse degrees of itself, and variety of others. Or, though a vicious