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selves as set loose from the reins of discipline, and to look abroad in it with conscious rapture, and the most buoyant hopes. The fulness of blood, the strength of passion, the constant call of pleasure, and the harlot-form of vice, will be apt to bear down that sober wisdom and cool reflection, which are your best guard. At every glance, elysian scenes and fairy prospects will open before you; seemingly so variegated with beauty, and stored with pleasure, that the choice will perplex you. But, alas! these lead not all to the bouers of joy! many will only seduce you from the path of virtue, by false appearances of happiness, and draw you on, through meades of unreal bliss, to the fool's paradise; a deceitful region, which proves at last to be but the valley of the shadow of death, where snakes lurk under the grass-
And, mid the roses, fierce repentance rears
Her horrid crest* On the other hand, you will find the world inclined to make but small allowances for the slips of youth. Much-very much-will be expected from you. Your superior opportunities of knowledge, the many specimens of genius you have already exhi. bited, will give your friends and country a right to expect every thing from you that is excellent or praise-worthy.
Oh! then, let rio part of your future conduct dis. grace the lessons you have received, or disappoint hopes you have so justly raised! Consider your selves, from this day, as distinguished above the vulgar, and called upon to act a more important part in life! Strive to shine forth in every species of moral excellence, and to support the character and dignity of beings formed for endless duration! The christian world stands much in need of inflexible patterns of integrity and public virtue; and no part of it more so than the land you inhabit.
Remember that superior talents demand a supe. rior exercise of every good quality; and that, where they produce not this salutary effect, it were far better for the world to be forever without them. Unless --your education is seen conspicuous in your lives, alas! what will be its significancy to you, or to us? Will it not be deemed rather to have been a vain art of furnishing the head, than a true discipline of the heart and manners?
If, then, you regard the credit of this institution, which will travail in concern for you, till you are formed into useful men; if you regard your own credit, and the credit of the many succeeding sets of youth, who may be fired to glory by your example; let your conduct in the world be such, at least, as to deserve the applause of the wiser and better part of it. Remember you are the first who have received the honours of this seminary. You have been judged doubly deserving of them. O! think, then, what pain it would give us, should we be disappointed in you, our first and most hopeful sons! What a reproach would it be to have it said that, under us, you had obtained all sorts of learning, and yet had not ob. tained wisdom-especially thạt wisdom, which has
for its beginning the fear of God, and for its end everlasting felicity!
But we have every reason to expect far better things of you. And, in that expectation, I shall beg leave to propose a few rules, which, being well observed, will contribute greatly to your success in life. They shall be confined to two heads.
1st, How to live with yourselves, and your God. 2dly, How to live with the world.
Perhaps this may be deemed a very needless work at this time. But my heart yearns towards you. I cannot easily part with you. And though I should only repeat what you have often heard in the course of our lectures in this place; yet, being laid together in one short view, and delivered before such a number of witnesses, 'tis probable the impression may be so much the deeper. And, that it may be so, I shall not amuse you with high drawn characters and visionary precepts; the creatures of fancy's brain, worked up beyond the life. Such may allure the eye, but they will not sway the practice. They may induce despair, but they will not quicken industry. I shall, therefore, confine myself to the living virtues, as they are within the ordinary reach of humanity, when assisted by divine grace and goodness. For it is they alone that can influence the conduct, and ex. cite to imitation.
First, then, in living with yourselves and your God, let it be your primary and immediate care, to get the dominion of your own passions, and to bring every movement of the soul under subjection to conscience, reason and religion; those three lovely guides, set over the human conduct. Let your wishes be moderate, solicitous about nothing so much as the friendship of your God, and the preservation of your virtue and good name!
Accustom yourselves to an early industry in business, and a wise reflection upon human life. Beware of idleness, and the pernicious influence of bad habits. Possess yourselves of just and elevated notions of the divine character and administration, and of the end and dignity of your own immortal nature. 'Oh! consecrate to your God the first and best of your days! When you enjoy health of body, strength of mind, and vigour of spirits, then is the heart a noble sacrifice, and best worthy of being presented to the great Creator of heaven and earth!
But, alas! when the prime of our years have been devoted to the ways of pleasure and folly, with what confidence can we offer to our God the dregs of vice and iniquity; an old age broken with infirmity, and groaning under the load of misery? Though heaven be all merciful, and even this last offering not to be neglected; yet, to a generous mind, there is something peculiarly painful in the thought. And certainly, when the soul is fittest for pleasure, then also it is fittest to be lifted up, in manly devotion, to its ado. rable maker!
That your souls may be the more disposed to this exalted intercourse, continue to adorn them with every divine grace and excellence. As far as your circumstances will permit, continue through life the votaries of Wisdom; and never drop your acquaintance with those sciences into which you have been
initiated here. But, in the prosecution of them, weigh well the strength of the human understanding. Keep to subjects within its reach, and rather to those which are useful than curious. In your inquiries, never suffer yourselves to be drawn from the main point, or lost in a multitude of particulars. Always keep first principles in view; life is short; we can go but little farther, and that little will then only be of use, when clearly deduced from them.
For this reason, beware, above all things, of va. luing yourselves much on any temporary acquisitions, or falling into the error of those who think they shew the depth of their wisdom, by disregarding that sublime system, brought down from heaven by the son of God. Poor is the extent of human science at best; and those who know the most, know but just enough to convince them of their own ignorance. Vain, then, must they be who would be thought wise for despising the dictates of eternal wisdom, and would build up the pride of knowledge upon their ignorance of things of the most lasting consequence.
In my discourse before you this day, I showed that such empty smatterers could have but small pretensions to common wisdom, much less to the exalted name of philosophy. The true votaries of this divine science will ever disclaim them; and I am persuaded you will heartily join in the suffrage.
Though we honour human reason, and think human virtue the glory of our nature, yet your education here will teach you to fix your hopes on a far more solid foundation. It will convince you that reason, when unenlightened, may be fallacious; and