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...But what do I see? That youthful face already degraded by vice! so young, and so horrid ! Unbappy youth, the depravity of thy heart is painted on thy forehead. The sight of thy own countenance filleth thee with horror. Shame and remorse are preying on the marrow in thy bones. In the hours of solitude and retirement, stretched on thy bed, to which sleep is a stranger, thou art constrained to reflect on the wretchedness of thy condition ; thou feelest thyself unworthy of the praises bestowed upon thee, by the partiality of those who know thee not; thou blushest in secret, and art filled with indignation against thy. sell, on calling to remembrance the innocence and sim. plicity of bappier days. Thou givest up thyself as lost. No, young man, do not abandon thyself to.despair: adı not this to thy offences : there is help for thee, let it re-animate thy courage. Though “ cast down," thou “art not destroyed.” However debased that face, it is in thy power to amend, to ennoble it. Thou wert vot destined always to remain an innocent child, nor couldest thou : by stumbling and falling tbou wert to be instructed how to walk and to run. Wert thou wounded and bruist d; wert thou plunged into the abyss ? there is an arm nigh thee, which is able to raise thee up, to strengthen and to heal thee. Multitudes like thyself have been recovered, restored, established. “ As a father pitieth his children, su the Lord” will have mercy upon thee, and forgive, and receive thee. The impure, the profane, the blasphemer, the chief of sinners, have repented, have returned, have found favor; and ibere is hope also concerning thee. Only for the Lord's sake, and for thy soul's sake, proceed no farther, persevere no longer in an evil course. Que step forward may be fatal ; tomorrow may find thee in the place wbere there is no hope. « Bebold now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of Salvation.” “Seek the Lord while he may be found, call upon him while be is near."
* The wind is boisterous," the sea rages, thou art 66 beginning to sink,” thou art ready to perish; but shalt not, whilst thou art able to exclaim, “ Lord save me:" for behold“ a very present help in trouble;" that helping hand which snatched Peter from the roaring gulph...“ And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?” Matt. xiv. 91.
.... I conclude with calling upon parents, and guardians, and instructors of youth, seriously to consider the importance of the trust committed unto them; and to discharge it under a sense of responsibility to God, to their pupils, to their country. The history under review presses one point upon you, as of singular moment, and closely connected with every article of education and consequent improvement; I mean the study of the happy, but difficult medium, between excessive indulgence, and oppressive severity, The steady firmness of Hannah, the mother of Samuel, furnishes an useful example. If ever there was a child in danger of being corrupted by indulgence, it was he. But no symptom of it appears. He is treated as a mere ordinary lad, and from his earliest years, to old age, evinces by his conduct, the execellence of the prece;ts, and the steadiness of the discipline which formed his character, and laid the foundation of his eminence. He leaves home, and parts with his parents, while yet a child, with manly fortitude. Already under habits of submission to parental authority, he cheerfully transters that submission to a stranger, to Eli. Una tainted by imaginary terrors, the darkness of the night, the solemnity of the house of the Lord, silence and solitude, and sleep disturbed by extraordinary and unseasonable voices, excite in him no silly apprehension, draw from him no childish complaint, deter him from the performance of no duty. In all this we cannot but recognize the wisdom, the constancy, the fortitude of bis excellent motber. Had VOL. 111.
she been foolishly fond, he had been peevish, and petulant, and timid, and discontented. Take a lesson from her, ye mothers of young children. If you would have these children happy, they must by times be inured to subjection, to privation, to restraint. To multiply their desires by unbounded gratification, is the sure way to multiply their future pains and mortifications. Reduce their wants and wishes to the standard of nature, and you proportionably enlarge their sphere of enjoyment. Let them contract no fear but that of offending God, and of committing sin. Let them learn to consider all places, all seasons, all situations as equal, when duty calls. Impress on their opening minds the two great precepts on which “ hang all the law and the prophets, to love the Lord their God, and their fellow-creatures. Lead their infant steps to the Friend of little children, to the Saviour of mankind; to the knowledge, the belief, the love, the hope, the consolations of the gospel, and thereby preserve them “ from paths wherein destroyers go."
The profligate character and untimely end of Eli's sons, on the other hand, afford a solemn admonition of the inevitably ruinous effects of unbounded indulgence to the passions and caprices of youth. Had they been early habituated to the whoelsome restraints of piety, decency and justice, they could not bave become thus criminal, nor would have perished thus mi. serably. In the excesses which they committed, we clearly see the relaxed government, the careless inspection, the unbounded licentiousness of their father's house. Neglect, in this case, occasioned the mischief. And the neglected field will soon be over-run with noxious weeds, though you sow, designedly, no poison in it. Fathers, see to it that your instructions be sound, that your deportment be regular, that your discipline be exact. Account nothing unimportant that affects the moral and religious character of your son. Precept will go so far, example will go farther; but authority must support and enforce both the one and the other. You cannot, indeed, communicate the spirit of grace, but you can certainly form youth to habits of decency and order : and habitual decency is nearly al. lied to virtue, and may imperceptibly iinprove into it. Do your part, and then you may with confidence “ cast all your care" on God.
May it not be necessary to throw in a short word of caution against the opposite extreme, that of exces. sive severity to offending youth? This indeed is not so common as corruptive indulgence; but this too exists. How many promising young men hare been forced into a continuance in an evil course, have been driven to desperation, have become “ hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,” because the first devi. ation could find no mercy, because a father armed himself with inflexible, unrelenting sterpness, for å slighter offence? Alas, how many amiable, excellent, promising young women have been lost to God, to their families, to society; have been dragged into the jaws of prosti. tution, and infamy, and disease, and premature death, because a father's door was shut, and a mother's heart hardened against the penitent; because her native re. fuge was no refuge to the miserable ? She returned to her own, but her own received her not. Instances however, might be produced of wiser conduct, and happier consequences; of mercy extended, and the wanderer reclaimed; of human parents working together with the “ Father of mercies," and succeeding, in rekindling the sacred flame of virtue, in restoring peace to the troubled breast, in recovering the fallen, to reputation, to piety, to comfort, to usefulness. So long as God " waiteth to be gracious," surely it well becomes man to “put on bowels of mercies, kindness, meekness, long-suffering, forbearance, fo and charity, which is the bond of perfectness.”
Thus have I finished what I proposed, in attempt. ing to delineate the female character, by instances taken
from the sacred record. In these, and in the case of every virtuous woman, we see the great Creator's design fully justified, in making for man“ an help-meet for bim." That which is necessary cannot be despised; that which is useful ought to be valued ; that wbicb is excellent commands respect; that which is improveable calls for cultivation. Bad men only revile and undervalue the other sex : the weak and ignorant idolize and worship it. The man of sense and virtue considers woman as his equal, his companion, bis friend, and treats her accordingly; for friendship excludes equally invective and flattery. In the education and treat. ment of females, too much attention bas, perhaps, been paid to sex. Why should they be forever reminded that they are females, while it is of so much more importance to impress upon their minds, that they are reusonuble beings, endowed with human faculties, faculues capable of perversion or of improvement, and that they are accountable to God for them? Wherefore obstruct to them one path to useful knowledge, one source of rational improvement, or of harmless enjoyment ? If they are despised they will become despicable.' Treated either as slaves or as angels, they cease to be companions. "Prize them and they will become estimable ; call forth their intellectual powers; and the empire of science will be extended and improved.
And let them learn wherein their real value, importance, and respectability consist. Not in receiving homage, but in meriting approbation ; not in shining, but in useful employment; not in public eminence, but in domestic dignity; in acquiring and maintaining influence, not by pretension, vehemeuce or trick, which are easily seen through, and always fail, but by good temper, perseverance in well doing, and the practice of unfeigned piety.