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to leap, as the legs of that insect, and which used with ease to bear the weight of the whole body, are now become a bur den, and can scarcely carry themselves; and when the faculties thus fail, the desire fails along with them, for nothing is desirable, when nothing can be enjoyed.
Such are the evil days, which come upon us when our youth is past, and prepare the way for that last and greatest evil of our death, when man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets lamenting his departure. Then the silver cord, the nerves whose coat is white and shining as a cord of silver, is loosed and no longer does its office. The circulation of the blood stops at the heart, the fountain of life,—as when a pitcher, which draws water, is broken at the well, or the watering wheel, circulating with its buckets, which it both fills and empties at the same time, is broken at the cistern. Thus do the vital motions all cease at death; and the dust returns to the earth, to become such as it was before man was made out of it; and his immortal spirit returns unto God, the fountain of immortality, from whom it proceeded.
Let then the light of my understanding, while I have it, be employed in the search of truth, and let my memory be a treasury of all useful knowledge; let my hands labour while their strength lasts, and my shoulders be ready and patient under every necessary burden; let my mind be ever looking
out through the windows of my body, to see and learn, while the day-light is with me. Let the daughters of music be employed in the praises of God, before they are brought low; let my youthful ambition and activity be occupied in pursu ing the elevated, difficult, and laborious path of Christian duty; and let me so spend my early years, so use my bodily strength and all my faculties, as that my hoary head, being found in the way of righteousness, may be a crown of glory; that when I depart I may be affectionately remembered by the wise and the good; and that when this body ceases to breathe, and is mixed with its kindred clay, my soul may go into the presence of a reconciled God, and enter on the enjoyment of that eternal happiness which my Saviour purchased for me, and for which his grace and Spirit have been preparing me in the course of my earthly pilgrimage.
1, Who is the author of Ecclesiastes ? 2. To whose service should we dedicate our youthful days!
3. Wherefore should we do so? 4. What are represented under the figure of sun, moon, and stars?
5. Name the superior powers of the soul !
6. What are meant by "clouds," and what by "the clouds returning after the rain"?
7. What are meant by the keepers of the house, the strong men, the grinders? 8. What are the eyes called? 9. Explain "the doors are shut in the
10. How do young persons sleep, and how old?
11. At the voice of what bird do the old rise!
12. What do you understand by the daughters of music being brought low?
13. Of what is old age afraid, and for what unfit ?
14. At what season does the almond tree flourish ?
15. To what is the hair becoming white likened ?
16. For what bodily power is the grasshopper remarkable?
17. What is the grave here called? 18. Why are the nerves called the silver cord?
19. To what is the stoppage of the blood at the heart compared?
20. When inan dies where does the immortal spirit go?
21. How, then, should we use our powers of mind and body!
22. Can the unpardoned soul go to glory?
23. Are we not all sinners in God's sight! 24. How can a sinner find acceptance with God?
II. THE FIRST STAGES OF THE SCHOOLBOY'S PILGRIMAGE TO THE TEMPLE OF LEARNING.
NOTHING could be more easy and agreeable than my condition when I was first summoned to set out on the road to learning, and it was not without letting fall a few ominous tears that I took the first step. Several companions of my own age accompanied me in the outset, and we travelled pleasantly together a good part of the way.
We had no sooner entered upon our path than we were accosted by three diminutive strangers. These we presently discovered to be the advanced guard of a Lilliputian army, which was seen advancing towards us in battle-array. Their
forms were singularly grotesque; some were striding across the path, others standing with their arms a-kimbo, some hanging down their heads, others quite erect, some standing on one leg, others on two, and one, strange to say, on three; another had his arms crossed, and one was remarkably crooked; some were very slender, and others as broad as they were long. But, notwithstanding this diversity of figure, when they were all marshalled in line of battle, they had a very orderly and regular appearance. Feeling disconcerted by their numbers, we were presently for sounding a retreat; but, being urged forward by our guide, we soon mastered the three who led the van, and this gave us spirit to encounter the main army, who were conquered to a man before we left the field. We had scarcely taken breath after this victory, when, to our no small dismay, we descried a strong reinforcement of the enemy stationed on the opposite side. These were exactly equal in number to the former army, but vastly superior in size and station; they were, in fact, a race of giants, though of the same species with the others, and were capitally accoutred for the onset. Their appearance discouraged us greatly at first, but we found their strength was not proportioned to their size; and having acquired much skill and courage by the late engagement, we soon succeeded in subduing them, and passed off the field in triumph. After this we were perpetually engaged with small bands of the enemy, no longer extended in line of battle, but in small detachments of two, three, and four in company. We had some tough work here, and now and then they were too many for us. Having annoyed us thus for a time, they began to form themselves into close columns, six or eight abreast; but we had now attained so much address that we no longer found them formidable.
After continuing this route for a considerable way, the face of the country suddenly changed, and we began to enter upon a vast succession of snowy plains, where we were each furnished with a certain light weapon, peculiar to the country, which we flourished continually, and with which we made many light strokes, and some desperate ones. The waters hereabouts were dark and brackish, and the snowy surface of the plain was often defaced by them. Probably we were now on the borders of the Black Sea. These plains we traversed across and across for many a day.
Upon quitting this district, the country became far more dreary; it appeared nothing but a dry and sterile region, the soil being remarkably hard and slaty. Here we saw many curious figures; but we soon found that the inhabitants of this desert were mere ciphers. Sometimes they appeared in vast numbers, but only to be again suddenly diminished. Our road, after this, wound through a rugged and hilly country, which was divided into nine principal parts or districts, each under a different governor; and these again were reduced into endless subdivisions. Some of them we were obliged to decline. It was not a little puzzling to perceive the intricate ramifications of the paths in these parts. Here the natives spoke several dialects, which rendered our intercourse with them very perplexing. However it must be confessed, that every step we set in this country was less fatiguing and more interesting. Our course at first lay all up hill; but when we had proceeded to a certain height, the distant country, which is most richly variegated, opened freely to our view.
I do not mean at present to describe that country, or the different stages by which we advance through its scenery. Suffice it to say, that the journey though always arduous, has become more and more pleasant every stage; and though, after years of travel and labour, we are still very far from the temple of learning, yet we have found on the way more than enough to make us thankful to the kindness of the friends who first set us on the path, and to induce us to go forward courageously and rejoicingly to the end of the jour
13. Explain the snowy plains and the light weapon.
14. What mean you by light and desperate strokes?
15. What is signified by the Black Sea? 16. After leaving this region, what appearance did the country assume?
17. What sort of people dwelt there? 18. Who will name the nine governors of the next country?
19. What parts of speech are declined? 20. What compared?
21. What conjugated?
22. What reward had our hero for his perseverance?
23. Had he yet reached the temple of learning?
24. What encouraged him to proceed?
TRUTH has all the advantages of appearance, and many more. If the show of anything be good for anything, surely the reality is better; for why would a man seem to be that which he is not, but because he thinks it good to have the qualities he pretends to. To dissemble, is to assume the appearance of some real excellence: now, the best way for a man to seem to be anything, is really to be what he would seem. Besides it is often as troublesome to support the pretence of a good quality, as to have it; and, if he have it not, it is likely that he will be discovered to want it, and then all his labour is lost.
It is hard to act a part long; for where truth is not at the bottom, nature will betray itself at one time or other. Therefore, if any man think it convenient to seem good, let him be so indeed; for truth carries its own light and evidence along with it, and will not only commend us to every man's conscience, but which is much more-to God, the searcher of hearts. On all accounts, sincerity is true wisdom. In the affairs of this world, integrity has many advantages over all the artificial modes of dissimulation. It is much the plainer and easier, much the safer and more secure, way in dealing; it has in it much less of trouble and difficulty, much less of perplexity and hazard; it is the short and near way to our end, carrying us thither in a straight line. The arts of deceit continually grow weaker and less serviceable to those that practise them; whereas, integrity gains strength by use; the longer any man is in the practice of it, the greater service it does him by confirming his reputation, and encouraging others to repose implicit confidence in him—an unspeakable advantage in the affairs of life.