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visit them with their severest anathemas, if they chance to discover the least signs of ingratitude or evidence that their efforts are not duly appreciated. We go still farther. We had even hoped to find now and then one who would bring to the investigation of this subject such a lively sense of true merit, and such a jealous fear of that which is, in the least degree, spurious, - such a quick apprehension of any admixture of purely selfish motives, as to prefer the most uninviting fields; who could not only perceive that merit is greatly enhanced by the difficulties which beset our benevolent efforts, but who could appreciate this consideration as a practical motive.
We repeat it, then: if a young man of talents and education seeks a profession of true dignity, - a profession which shall undeniably entitle him to the lasting gratitude of individuals and of communities, he cannot well make a wiser choice than to enter this field of labor.
Nor will this suffer, in this respect, in the comparison with the other learned professions. And here, I beg leave to say, I have no invidious comparisons to draw;
I nor have I any disposition to detract from the honor justly due to any pursuit in life. It is the true end of the law, to define the rights of man in his social relations ; to enforce the duties and obligations which grow out of these relations, and with such accuracy to adjust the several parts of the social compact, in all their variety and intricacy, that there shall be no clashing, no interference. He, therefore, who devotes himself to the study and practice of the law, with a singleness of pur
pose directed to this one object, is engaged in a most honorable calling, – he is worthy of all praise.
Again, it is the province of the medical profession to alleviate human suffering. This it does by the discovery and application of the proper remedies, and still more by investigating the laws of health, and enjoining such attention to them, as to prevent disease and consequent suffering. And here, again, where the business of the profession is prosecuted with the spirit due to the benevolence of its aim, all praise is due to the members of the profession, as true benefactors of the human race. Of the clerical profession little, surely, need be said. Its founder, its end and object, the good it has accomplished, and is still accomplishing in elevating the human race, and teaching man his true destiny, are surely quite enough to ensure the highest esteem for those who fill it worthily.
Whilst, however, we make all these concessions in favor of other professions, and we make them most cheerfully,) we shall still claim for the teacher a rank which will by no means suffer in the comparison. If it be honorable to remedy the evils of the social compact, it certainly cannot be base to rescue the rising generation from the ignorance and vice which cause these evils. If it be a praiseworthy employment to alleviate human suffering, and provide remedies for the innumerable diseases which flesh is heir to, that certainly cannot be a meaner calling which has for its object, by right training, not only to forestall the maladies to which the nobler and spiritual part of man is exposed, but also, by appeals to conscience and the understanding,
to inculcate habits of temperance and prevent those excesses which are the most prolific source of disease.
Again, not only the end contemplated by this profession, but the profession itself, in its every-day duties, will make good its place in the comparison. If the framework of society be an exalted theme for study and contemplation ; if the revelations of anatomy fill the mind with amazement, much more should the study of the soul, its capacities, its mysterious connection with the body, its susceptibilities and the means of its developments, awaken the same class of emotions. It is true, there are many things to try the patience, and discourage any but the most resolute spirits. Neither does the lawyer always see human nature in its nobler aspects ; nor is the business of the physician always in the abodes of the opulent, the refined, and the cleanly ; nor is the minister always thanked for the purest acts of benevolence, or cheered with the prospects of immediate reformation in all those for whom he toils. And, again, it is not denied, that there are narrow-minded, self-conceited ignoramuses in this profession. So, too, has the law its despicable pettifoggers, medicine its wretched quacks, and the ministry itself its Judas Iscariots. But this, as every man of sense fully understands, detracts not from the dignity of the respective professions, nor from the nobleness of their ends.
Once more, we regard this profession as an eligible one, because it gives promise of a rich harvest of grateful remembrance to the faithful and disinterested teacher. When Themistocles at the Olympic games witnessed the spontaneous out-gushings of grateful
hearts, in view of what he had done to save his country from the Persian yoke, he assured his friends he had that day received a rich reward for all his toils and sacrifices in behalf of Greece; and he was right. Who that has ever done one generous act, that has extended a helping hand to those ready to perish, and has witnessed their expressions of gratitude, has not resolved that the remnant of his days should be devoted to deeds of mercy and benevolence? Who that has once responded to the dictates of a noble charity has not exclaimed, with wonder and delight, truly, “ It is more blessed to give than to receive ?” Such are the rewards of disinterested benevolence. But there ar very few who are so directly and so surely in the way of these rewards as the faithful teacher. His labors, it is true, may not always be appreciated. His efforts for the best good of his pupils may be strenuously opposed, or perseveringly evaded. His disinterestedness may be questioned: his name may be bandied about, and coupled with the most opprobrious epithets; he may even be insulted to his face, and every attempt be made to thwart his plans and exhaust his patience. This, I presume, is more or less the experience of every teacher. At the same time, not all scholars demean themselves thus. There are always enough, in every school, who will so far appreciate judicious efforts for their good, as to furnish no mean encouragement to perseverance.
But it is not in present esteem that the teacher is to look for the great reward of his labors. Seed of this kind is not of so speedy a growth, nor can fruit of so
rich and durable a flavor so speedily come to maturity. God has not connected such inestimable rewards with such trifling services. The teacher must persevere in his labors of love. He must set his face, like steel, against the discouragements of his office, neither harboring impatience, nor giving place, even for a moment, to vexation. He must, by every possible means, by kindness, and by authority, by coercion, even, if need be, aim to subdue the most obstinate, arouse the most stupid, give stability and decision to the wayward and capricious, check every tendency to vice and impurity, inspire a generous love of that which is virtuous and pure, and awaken in the minds of the most careless an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and intellectual culture. When all this shall have been done, and done for years, who can tell what a glorious reward awaits such a man in the future history of his pupils ? From their various callings and pursuits in life they shall come up to greet him as their benefactor. One from his exalted position on the Bench, or in the halls of legislation, another glowing with the eloquence of the Bar, another whose heart has been warmed, and whose lips have been made eloquent with the sacred truths of Holy Writ, another from his toils and researches into the history of the past, all these, and more than these, shall greet him with no ordinary tokens of regard ; and, whilst in tones too earnest to be feigned they shall exclaim, “ To you,
" To you, to you, sir, we are indebted for the beginning of those aspirations which have resulted in our present happiness and prosperity," the warm pressure of the hand, the earnest and thankful expression