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be working out a state of things, even in this land, which shall render us, in a fuller sense, 'great-glorious—and free;' and bear on the interests and destinies of the whole world.

Having taken this general view of our present position, we shall, in another article, in conformity with our promise, as well as with the sentiments of an Englishman' in our former number, address ourselves to the duty of pointing out what precise line of procedure should be adopted by christians individually, and the church collectively, at this great national crisis.

May heaven throw around us the shield of omnipotence, and beneath the guardianship and protection of his power, may all our immunities be preserved and perpetuated to latest ages!

CLAIMS OF SOCIETY ON YOUNG MEN.

(Concluded from page 239.)

4. ANOTHER thing demanded of you by society is public spirit. Every young man should come forward in life, with a determination to do all the good he can, and to leave the world the better for his having lived in it. He should consider that he was not made for himself alone ; but for society, for mankind, and for God. He should feel that he is a constituent, responsible member of the great family of man; and while he should pay particular attention, to the wantş and the welfare of those with whom he is immediately connected, he should accustom himself to send his thoughts abroad, over the wide field of practical benevolence, and early learn to feel and act for the good of his species.

I say, early, because if you do not begin in the morning of life, to cherish a public spirit-a spirit of active, enterprising benevolence, you will, probably, never possess much of it. This is a virtue that rarely springs up late in life. If it grow and flourish at all, it must be planted in youth, and be nourished by the warm sunshine and rain of the spring season of life. He who cares only for himself in youth, will be a very niggard in manhood, and a wretched miser in old age.

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And consider, what a poor miserable kind of existence it is, to live only to one's self. It is indeed but half living. • Selfishness has been well termed, a starveling vice. It is its own curse. He who does no good, gets none. He who cares not for others, will soon find that others will not care for him. As he lives to himself, so he will die to himself, and no body will miss him, or be sorry that he is gone."

Guard against this temper, my friends, as most unworthy in itself, and destructive of all respectability and usefulness. Cultivate a spirit of enlarged benevolence,-a generous, self-denying, public spirit, which shall cause you to feel and take an interest in whatever affects the happiness, or conduces to the improvement of your fellow-men. Especially is this a duty incumbent on you at the present day. It is a day of action,-of action in the cause of God and human happiness. The young men of this generation are called to a great work. God is fast preparing the way for this world's emancipation from the thraldom and misery under which it has been groaning for six thousand years; and to those who are now coming upon the stage, does he extend the high privilege and honour of bearing a part in effecting this glorious work. See to it, then, that you forfeit not the honour by acting on the principle of a narrow and contracted selfishness. Cherish that noble, that disinterested, that rare patriotism, which will make you prefer the public interest to your own ;-your country's prosperity and glory to your own honour and emolument. It is in this spirit alone that you can prove yourselves the worthy descendants of the pilgrims, or preserve those precious institutions and privileges, which you inherit from their labours and prayers. No one trait in their character was more marked than their public spirit. They laboured, not for themselves, but for mankind; not for time, but for eternity. It was this that led them to forsake their own green fields, for these then inhospitable shores. It was this that induced them to lay broad and deep the foundation of those civil, literary, and religious institutions, which are the glory and defence of our land. While, then, you have the honour of descending from those illustrious men, distinguished alike for their love of country, and their love of God, aspire to tread in their steps, and imitate their virtues,-living not for yourselves, but for society; not for the present moment, but for all future time and for eternity.

5. To be prepared to meet the claims of society, may I not add, that personal religion is indispensably necessary? Is not this the only sure basis of public and private virtue,-the only sufficient support of sound morals and social order? It was the design of God, as it was the prayer of our fathers, in the settlement of this fair portion of our country, that it should be a religious community. This guided all their counsels, prompted all their efforts, and entered into the very foundation and texture of all their institutions.

Can these institutions then be preserved, or the great end of their

*James's Christian Father's Present,' a precious little volume, and should be read by all young people.

establishment secured, if those, who are to sustain them, are destitute of the spirit which forms their strength and their glory? Nay, my friends, be not deceived. You cannot fulfil the great end of your existence, nor perform in a right and acceptable manner any of the duties of life, without true religion. Without this, you are without the first and chief qualification of a good man and a good citizen.

But, not to enlarge on this particular, I would only add, that whatever youthful thoughtlessness may dictate, the time is coming when there will be but one opinion on this subject ;-—when all will be made to feel the supreme importance of religion, both as a qualification for the duties of this life, and for the scenes of the eternal world.

III. In glancing at the motives, which urge upon you the duty of being prepared to meet the claims of society, it is encouraging to observe,

1. That the qualifications demanded are entirely within your power. There is not one of you, who cannot awake to a serious consideration of the duties and responsibilities, that are soon to be devolved upon you; and this is the first and main thing necessary to your being prepared to sustain them. There is not one of you who cannot become intelligent, virtuous, public spirited, and pious; and, adorned with these graces you will be prepared to fill, with honour to yourselves, and usefulness to society, the various stations to which God in his providence may call you.

2. It is a consideration of great weight, that the claims, of which we have been speaking, are fixed upon you, and there is no possibility of escaping from them, God has brought you into being in circumstances of deep and solemn interest. He has cast your lot in the midst of a christian and civilized society, and surrounded you with privileges of a very high and peculiar character. Soon you are to come upon the stage to act the part assigned you,_soon to have committed to you, all the various and infinitely important interests of this community. And for the manner in which you sustain these interests, you are held account. able at the bar of your final Judge. In this matter there is no discha and there is no neutrality. Whether

you

shall exist as members of society, and finally give account of your conduct, is not submitted to your choice. This point God has decided. You must exist,--you must exist in the midst of society,-burdened with the weighty responsibilities that grow out of the relations you sustain to the living beings around you, and to the generations that are coming after

you must take the eternal consequences of living and acting in these deeply interesting circumstances. Nothing more, one would think, need be said to excite you to a diligent improvement of your talents, and to an untiring, faithful discharge of the duties which you owe to yourselves, to your fellow-men, and to God.

3. Consider next the value of the interests that are soon to be com

you; and

mitted to you. Much is said, and most justly, of the happy state of society in which our lot is cast. We may truly say, the lines have fallen to us in pleasant places, and we have a goodly heritage. It is a heritage which is endeared to us, by a thousand tender and sacred associations; for which our fathers laboured and prayed, for which they lived and died; which has been preserved to us, through many dangers and conflicts, and at a great expense of treasure and blood. It is a heritage, on which the smiles of heaven have always rested, - which comprises more good with less evil, than is any where else to be found on earth ; which contains, in short, all that is most essential to the perfection and happiness of man, both in this and the future world. Of this inheritance, young men, you are soon to be the guardians and defenders. To all its institutions and blessings, to all its privileges and hopes, you are the natural heirs; and on you lies the weighty obligation of preserving it entire, for the generation that is to succeed you. If you fail to be qualified for the high trust, or prove unfaithful in the sacred duties which it involves, how fearful the consequences,--how irreparable the loss ! It is entirely in your power to turn this garden of the Lord into a desolation ; to sweep from it all that is goodly and fair. Let but the rising generation come upon the stage, without intelligence, without virtue, without public spirit, without piety; inconsiderate, dissipated, vicious; and in thirty years, the dismal change would be realized. Yes, my beloved friends, on you it depends, under God, whether this goodly inheritance shall be preserved or destroyed; whether the morals, the religion, the good order and freedom which now so happily prevail in the community, shall be continued, or give place to profligacy, to irreligion, and wild misru

Your influence is not confined to yourselves or to the scene of your immediate action : it extends to others, and will reach to succeeding ages. Future generations, will feel the effects of your principles and your conduct. You are so connected with the immortal beings around you, and with those who are to come after you,

that

you cannot avoid exerting a most important influence over their character and final condition; and thus, long after you shall be no more, nay, long after the world itself shall be no more, the consequences of your conduct to thousands of your fellow men, will be nothing less than everlasting destruction, or eternal life.

4. While you aim to fulfil the duties which you owe to society, you take the most effectual measures to promote your own respectability and happiness. The young man of inconsideration and thoughtlessness, of gaiety and fashion, may shine and sparkle for a little moment; and during that moment, he may be the admiration, and perhaps envy, of persons as vain and thoughtless as himself. But he soon passes the season of gaiety and mirth, and what is he then ? A wortbless neglected cypher in society. His present course of life has no reference to the scenes and duties of riper years. His youth is entirely disconnected from his manhood. It is a portion of his existence which he throws away, and perhaps worse than throws away,

because he contracts habits which unfit him for sober life, and cleave to him as an enfeebling, disgusting disease, all his days.

Beaux and fops, and the whole pleasure-loving fraternity, are shortlived creatures. They look pretty in the gay sunshine of summer ; but, poor things, they cannot endure the approach of autumn and winter. They have their little hour of enjoyment, and that is the end of them.

On the other hand, the young man who seriously considers the nature and design of his being; who shuns the society, and flees the amusements of the thoughtless and the vicious; who devotes his vacant hours to the improvement of his mind and heart, and aims at the acquisition of those habits and virtues which may qualify him for the duties of life,—such a young man cannot fail to rise in respectability, in influence and honour.

His virtues and attainments make room for him in society, and draw around him the confidence and respect, the affection and support, of all worthy and good men. The pursuits of his youth, bear directly on the enjoyments and usefulness of his manhood. There is no waste of his existence; no contraction of bad habits, to obscure the meridian, or darken the decline of life. The course upon which he enters, like the path of the just, shines brighter and brighter unto the perfect day. This motive, my young friends, you cannot duly consider without feeling its constraining influence. You are all in the pursuit of happiness ; you all desire the esteem and respect of your

fellow-men. Here is the way, and the only way to attain it. An enlightened mind, a virtuous character, a useful life ;-—these are the dignity and the glory of man. They make him lovely in the sight of angels and God; and secure for him present peace and everlasting happiness.

5. Consider again, how pleasant will be the retrospect of past life, if you faithfully serve God and your generation according to his will. It is but a little time, before you, who are young, will be looking upon a generation rising up to take your places, just as the fathers are now looking upon you. You will soon pass the meridian of life, and be going down its decline to the invisible world. Consider that time as come-as present. Think of yourselves as retiring from the scene of action; your heads whitened with the snows of age,

and
your

limbs stiffened with the frosts of winter. O, how cheering to be able now, to look back upon a life of beneficent and useful action ; a life spent in the service of God and for the good of mankind ! how pleasant and consoling to reflect, that you have done your duty as members of society, and have sustained, honourably, the great interests that were committed to you! How animating too the prospect before you, how glorious the anticipations of the future ! All the great interests of society, safe; all its institutions, secure and flourishing; a generation rising up under the influence of your example and training, intelligent, virtuous, enterprising; prepared to fill your places, and carry on the system of human affairs. Tothem you commend all that you hold most dear on earth,—the high interests of the church and society, -happy in the

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