Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

perism, Dimes, voluntarily applied to the instruction of youth, will prevent the compulsory expenditure of as many Dollars, in partially relieving the miseries of pauperism, and the premature diseases of self-immolated victims of vice.

16 It is very seldom that men of intelligence, who have been educated to habits of virtue and industry, and who delight to employ their leisure hours in the acquirement of useful knowledge, by reading or otherwise, will deliriously and idolatrously sacrifice their reputations, their estates and lives, their wives and children, in a word, their happiness, to the voracious, unmerciful, and barbarous god of intemperance.

17 Let American legislators, both national and sectional, perform their duty to their country and its posterity; and to mankind, by listening to the wise counsels of many illustrious living sages, and pursue, without delay, the inestimable parting adviceof George Washington, Benjamin Rush, Samuel Adams, and other departed friends and patrons of man; and establish public schools, and judiciously selected free circulating libraries, in every part of the Republic

18 Let moral virtue constitute an essential branch of instruction in every school; so that our youth may be carefully taught the art of acting correctly, as well as of speaking, reading, and writing correctly.

19. Dr. Rush, in his Oration, “On the Influence of Physical causes upon the Moral Faculty,makes an earnest appeal in favour of universal knowledge :-"Illustrious COUNSELLORS and SENATORS of Pennsylvania!” he exclaims, “I anticipate your candid reception of this feeble effort to increase the quantity of virtue in the republic.

20 “Nothing can be politically right, that is morally wrong; and no necessity can sanctify a law, that is contrary to equity. Virtue is the soul of the Republic. There is but one method of preventing crimes, and of rendering a republican form of government durable, and that is, by disseminating the seeds of virtue and knowledge, through every part of the state, by means of proper places and modes of education, and this can be done effectually only by the interference and aid of the Legislature.

21 “I am so deeply impressed with the truth of this opinion, that were this evening to be the last of my life, I would not only say to the asylum of my ancestors, and my beloved country, with the patriot of Venice, “Esto perpetua,' [Be thou perpetual] but I would add, as the last proof of my • affection for her, my parting advice to the guardians of her

liberties, “to establish PUBLIC SCHOOLS in every part of the State.'

22 “ Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened."

Washington. 23 “To secure the perpetuation of our Republican form of Government to future generations, let Divines and Philosophers, Statesmen and Patriots, unite their endeavours to renovate the age, by impressing the minds of the people with the importance of educating their little boys and girls.

S. Adams. 24 “A Republican Government, without knowledge and virtue, is a body without a soul-a mass of corruption and putrefaction-food for worms.”

J. Adams. 25 “I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society, but the people themselves : and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is, not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education.” Jefferson.

26 “Without knowledge, the blessings of liberty cannot be fully enjoyed, or long preserved.”

Madison. 27 “Ignorance is every where such an infallible instrument of despotism, that there can be no hope of continuing even our present forms of government, either federal or state, much less that spirit of equal liberty and justice, in which they were founded, but by diffusing universally among the people that portion of instruction which is sufficient to teach them their duties and their rights.”

Barlow. 28 “And without going into the monitory history of the ancient world, in all its quarters, and at all its periods, that of the soil in which we live, and of its occupants, indigenous and emigrant, teaches the awful lesson-that no nation is permitted to live in ignorance with impunity.Jefferson.

29 “With knowledge and virtue the united efforts of ignorance and tyranny may be defied.”

Miller, late governor of North Carolina. 30 “ In a government where all may aspire, to the highest offices in the state, is essential that education should be placed within the reach of all. Without intelligence, selfgovernment, our dearest privilege, cannot be exercised.”

Nicholas, late governor of Virginia.

B 2

31 Clinton, late governor of New York, has elegantly expressed his sentiments; "That education is the guardian of liberty and the bulwark of morality. And that knowledge and virtue are, generally speaking, inseparable companions, and are, in the moral, what light and heat are in the natural world—the illuminating and vivifying principle.”

32 “Knowledge distinguishes civilized from savage life. Its cultivation in youth promotes virtue, by creating habits of mental discipline; and by inculcating a sense of moral obligation. Knowledge is, therefore, the best foundation of happiness."

Blair. 33 “Then, (says Professor Waterhouse, alluding to the invention of the art of printing) did knowledge raise weep. ing humanity from the dust, and with her blazing torch, point the way to happiness and peace.

34 Dr. Darwin very properly, calls the “PRINTING PRESS the most useful of modern inventions; the capacious reservoir of human knowledge, whose branching streams diffuse sciences, arts and morality, through all nations and

ages."

35 “ 'Tis the prolific Press; whose tablet, fraught
By graphic Genius with his painted thought,
Flings forth by millions, the prodigious birth,
And in a moment stocks the astonished earth."

Barlow's Columbiad.

J. T.

SECTION II. A serious Address to the rising Generation of the United

States. Favored Youth,

1 Contemplate calmly and attentively the sacred legacy which must soon be committed to your charge, in trust for your successors—and eventually for the whole human race! You constitute the only insulated Ararat, on which the olive branch of peace, and the "glad tidings" of freedom and happiness, can be deposited and preserved to a groaning world drowned in tears !!

2 Prove yourselves, then, deserving of the exalted office which Providence has assigned you. To do this, it is indispensable that you cultivate your understandings, and store them with the treasures of knowledge and wisdom. Where these exist, tyranny disappears as darkness in presence of sun beams. Consider, also, that these will preserve you from

the still more odious and destructive despotism of ignorance and vice.

3 Wisdom and virtue are the offspring of knowledge. 66. Take fast hold of instruction ; let her not go; keep her, for she is thy life.” “Human happiness is founded upon wisdom and virtue.” It is an immutable and universal rule, interwoven with your existence, that respectability, self-approbation and happiness, are the natural and invariable consequences of virtue'; and disgrace, remorse and misery, of vice.

4 Therefore exert yourselves without delay, to secure the means of enlightening your understandings with instruction, during the season allotted to that purpose by your Creator. Form yourselves into societies in your respective neighborhoods, and establish FREE CIRCULATING LIBRARIES, by means of subscriptions, and contributions of books.

5 I am not inclined to advise you to restrain yourselves from a rational indulgence in innocent amusements, but fail not, if you prefer genuine happiness to misery and repentance, to devote the most of your evenings and leisure hours to mental improvement and reading. Let your choice of books be directed chiefly to works on practical piety, morals, natural philosophy, natural history, geography and astronomy, history and biography.

6 But beware of the syren lure of novels, plays, and romances. Is not a beautiful garden, in a state of living verdure, and native bloom, both more entertaining and useful, than a heap of counterfeit artificial flowers, composed of paper, blackened with ink? The fascinating habit of reading novels, &c. not only injures the health, by incessant, unseasonable night-reading, but, with a very few exceptions, inflames the imagination, and fits the mind for a world of fiction and romance, instead of a world of realities, and impairs the relish for plain solid instruction,

7 If you can first prevail on yourselves to taste the salutary sweets of authentic biography, history, travels, &c. you will ever after, with rare exceptions, view a novel with indifference, if not with disgust.

8 Let your library, and your reading, commence with the following books : The Looking Glass for the mind; the Newtonian System of Philosophy, explained; Burton's Lectures to young ladies; Mayo's Abridgment of Natural History; Blair's Grammar of Chemistry, Book of Nature ; Blair's Sermons; Stretch's Beauties of History ; History of Sanford and Merton; Morse's Universal Geography; Blair's

Universal Preceptor; Lord Mayor of London's Advice to Apprentices; Spectator; Tatler; Rambler; V. Knox's Essays; Rogers' Biographical Dictionary ; Ramsay's History of the American Revolution, of the United States, Universal History, and Life of Washington; Franklin's Works ; Bingley's Useful Knowledge; Sampson's Brief Remarker; Catechism of Health, by Dr. Faust; and Dr. Armstrong's Art of preserving Health.

9 The youth not already trained to depravity, that can read merely these few books, without being fascinated with the pleasures of science, wisdom, virtue, benevolence, and moral rectitude, must be a prodigy of stupidity and worthlessness.

10 And, here, after having endeavored to demonstrate to you the advantages of knowledge and mental improvement, I should consider it a neglect of duty, to omit cautioning you against excessive reading and study; which are but little less pernicious to health, than other kinds of intemperance.

11 Never more than eight hours, daily, should be, habitually, devoted to study, or any inactive employment; nor less than three to exercise, either at labor, riding, walking, or active, but moderate recreation. It would undoubtedly promote the literary progress, as well as the health of students of academies, colleges, &c. to require them to labor two or three hours daily, either on a farm, in a garden, or mechanical work shop.

12 Such a discipline ought to be introduced, not only for the purpose of preserving health and invigorating the constitution, but also of qualifying students, destined for whatever profession, for some kind of productive industry, if their inclination or condition should, in the course of life, require it.*

13 Except for medical purposes, taste not distilled spirits at all. It is a poisonous enemy to human life, in proportion to the quantity drank, whether temperately or intemperately.

14 It is to you, ye young sons and daughters of Columbia, ye who are yet innocent, who are yet free from the snares of

* The studious, the contemplative, the valetudinary and those of weak nerves if they aim at health and long life, must make exercise in a good air, a part of their religion.-(Cheyne on Long Life.)-The late Dr. Wistar recommended walking at least six miles, every 24 hours, as the most effectual restorative to a debilitated constitution, and the effect is still more certain as a preservative. Having, myself, been severely injured by excessive study, as well as by excessive exercise, my sentiments are the result of experience, of the pernicious effects of both.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »