Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 Lecture I
 Lecture II
 Lecture III
 Lecture IV
 Lecture V
 Lecture VI
 Lecture VII
 Back Cover

Group Title: A voice to the young, or, lectures for the times
Title: Braggadocio
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00058791/00001
 Material Information
Title: Braggadocio a tale for boys and girls
Physical Description: <2>, 190 p., <4> leaves of plates : ill. ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Dalziel Brothers ( Engraver )
G. Routledge & Co ( Publisher )
Levey, Robson, and Franklyn ( Printer )
Publisher: George Routledge and Co.
Place of Publication: London
Manufacturer: Levey, Robson, and Franklyn
Publication Date: 1853
Subject: Pride and vanity -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Courage -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Conduct of life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Brothers and sisters -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Embossed cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1853   ( rbbin )
Bldn -- 1853
Genre: Embossed cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
General Note: Illustrations engraved by Dalziel.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00058791
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002238963
oclc - 12577526
notis - ALH9487

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front 1
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Table of Contents
        Page ix
        Page x
    Lecture I
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
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        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
    Lecture II
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
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        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
    Lecture III
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
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        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
    Lecture IV
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
    Lecture V
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
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        Page 135
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        Page 147
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        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
    Lecture VI
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
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    Lecture VII
        Page 181
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    Back Cover
        Page 217
Full Text










Entered according to Act of. Congress, in the year 1850, by
In the Clerk's Office for the Northern District of New York.


IT is too late in the world's history for an author to
apologize for publishing a book, and I shall not be
guilty of the affectation of doing so; still it may be a
matter of interest to friends, to know the occasion, and
of advantage to all, to know the design, of the present
work. It having been suggested that a series of Sab-
bath evening lectures would be acceptable to my
people, and might prove beneficial to the community,
I consented to prepare and deliver such a course. In
deciding upon the direction which the lectures should
take, the thought of doing something to benefit young
men, of whom my congregation is, perhaps, in an un-
usual degree, composed, deeply impressed my mind.
I felt interested in them, as being myself a young man,
and judged that possibly that fact might in return in-
terest them in me, and in a series of lectures which
should be prepared with specific reference to their
benefit. I accordingly wrote and delivered the seven
lectures which compose this volume. The reception
with which they met, far surpassed my expecta-
tions, and, I am afraid, their merits. While they
were in progress, and after their close, numerous re-
quests were made for their publication, by member


of my own congregation, and also by individuals con-
nected with the other churches in this city; in conse-
quence of which, this little work is now presented to
the public.
As to the design of these lectures, I would observe,
that my object has been to approach young men, idl a
manner differing from that usually pursued in works
intended for their perusal. If I mistake not, these
have emanated from writers who were older-in many
cases much older, than those whom they addressed,
and have consisted for the most part of cautions
against youthful vices, and a recommendation of per-
sonal religion. Now if my impression be correct,
there has been too great a distance between the writer
and those addressed. Young men have felt that while
there was important truth in the counsels given, it
came from a preceptor who was neither identified
with their position, nor prepared to sympathize with
their views. As the advice of a father, or as the
instruction of an experienced pastor, they received
the truth with aspect, and in not a few cases with
benefit; but still realized that there was an element
wanting which should commend it to the heart with a
warmth equal to the power with which it otherwise
appealed to the intellect. To supply this element is
one design of the present work. I have based my
appeal upon the fact that I am myself a young man,
and as such, come not with the stern reproof, or grave
counsel of a father, but with the affectionate en-
treaty, and kind, yet faithful warning of a brother.
Sh a view is presented in the first lecture.


Having opened a passage to the hearts of those I
would benefit, my next object was to make them feel
that they are entitled to consideration; that they have
a right to a name and place in the community; that
they have a sphere of thought and of action in which
they may be, and ought to be, independent; that they
occupy a position which will secure regard from all
honorable and liberal minded men-a regard which
nothing but their own misconduct can change into
contempt. This constitutes the theme of the second
The third lecture is based upon the self-evident idea,
that if you would make anything of a man, he must
be convinced that there is something in him. Hence
the attempt to prove that there are elements of power
in young men which are sufficient, when properly
used, to ensure success. These are named, their utility
and strength pointed out, and the responsibility of
their possession solemnly urged.
The fourth lecture is devoted to a ?nsideration of
the future effect of youthful sins upon our happiness--
the anguish which their remembrance frequently oc-
casions in after life, the appearance they will then pre-
sent, and the mental effect wkieh will be produced.
To this succeeds a lecture upon the sins to which
young men are liable, particularly at the present day.
These are depicted with the earnestness and plainness
of speech which the importance of the theme demands,
although with a brevity which fails to do it justice.
The sixth lecture presents a passage of Scripture.
and a theme, which are by no means devoid of



difficulty. In it an attempt is made to draw the line
between austerity on the one hand, and unbridled
license on the other,-to present the relations of
youth to pleasure and to the judgment. In doing
this I have endeavored to avoid that representation
of religion which would make it distasteful to a young
man as such, and incompatible with the cultivation and
enjoyment of the traits which properly accompany that
season of life. At the same time, I trust nothing has
been said which would relax the wholesome rigor of
the divine law.
The concluding lecture is designed to turn the
advice and warning previously given, to some posi-
tive account. Negative virtue is of little worth. To
be free from vice is indeed important, but equally
so, that the mind fasten upon an end worthy of pur-
suit. The necessities of a sin-cursed world require
that young men should expend their energies to some
good purpose. I have endeavored, therefore, to set
forth the peowdiarities of the present age, and to
urge upon young men a course of conduct that win
make them the world's benefactors. I have sought to
give them a conception pf what life ought to be-a
state of conflict, of aggression upon sin, of resistance
to wrong, of holy and beneficent labor, preparatory
to an eternity of boundless development and of un-
ending reward.
The tone of these lectures is earnest; for I humbly
conceive that no man ought to discuss such subjects
who is not deeply in earnest; who does not possess
strong and decided convictions, and is not willing to


give his thoughts free utterance. If I have been con-
scious of any wish in preparing this work, it has been
that, by God's blessing, it may do something towards
raising up a generation of young men who will not
leave the world as they found it, but will courageously,
prayerfully, constantly urge forward needed reform,
until earth shall submit to her rightful King.
In a word, this book is designed, as the title may in-
timate, to present the Young Man, as he is, as he
may be, as he ought to be. It is one thing for him in
obedience to numerous exhortations, to be free from
vice; to be studious, intelligent, and industrious; to
be even a reputable professor of religion; and another
thing, to possess that type of piety which shall iden-
tify him with every struggling truth, and cause his
heart to beat responsive to every noble deed. The
church abounds with those, who, notwithstanding the
orthodoxy of their belief and the sobriety of their
demeanor, make little or no impression upon the mass
of sin and wretchedness around them: I would that
a generation might arise who would reduce the prin-
ciples of the gospel to practice, and apply them to
the whole circle of life's duties,-a generation that
would transfer the benevolence of the Bible from the
vague region of theory to the stern world of reality,
and make the spirit of universal regeneration once
more incarnate.

Hartford, April 20th, 1847.










* 11

S. 61

* 0 0 S 95

S. 126

S. 153

. 181






CARE FOR YOUR STATE.-PhilippiaUs, ii. 20.

I HAVE selected this passage of Scripture, as
a-lording an opportunity of stating the reasons
which have induced me to commence, in ac-
cordance with the request of my people, a course
of lectures to young men. These reasons will
be more easily expressed, and will strike the
minds of my auditors wifh more force, when
the design of the Apostle in uttering the lan-
guage just read shall have been laid before you.
The words of the text were penned by a pris-
oner, and were addressed to friends whom he
had known when at liberty, and from whom he
had received tokens of kindness during his cone
finement. Paul was at Rome, suffering imprise


onment by the command of the emperor Nero.
In his own expressive language, he was "an
ambassador in bonds!" The church at Phi-
lippi, learning that the Apostle was in circum-
stances of distress, commissioned Epaphrodi-
tus, one of their members, to proceed to Rome
with pecuniary assistance, and with a message
of consolation. On his return, Paul wrote this
epistle, to express his gratitude and to com-
municate instruction. He promises to send
Timothy to look after their welfare, and in the
text assigns the reason why Timothy was
selected for this service, in preference to other
ministers. "For I have no man like-minded,
who will naturally care for your state." The
Greek word rendered naturally," more prop-
erly refers to truth and sincerity. It is used
where the Apostle in his Epistle to the Corin-
thians speaks of proving the sincerity of their
love; also in the verses where he declares that
Timothy and Titus are his "own sons," that
is, his true, legitimate children, bearing the
moral image of himself.
The idea of the Apostle in the text seems to
be this: I send Timothy, because such is his
piety and such are the relations which he sus-
tains both to you and myself that he will more


truly and sincerely care for your spiritual in-
terests, than any other minister whom I could
select. It must be remembered, in expla-
nation of such language, that Timothy was
bound to Paul by ties of peculiar endearment,
as having been converted under his preaching,
and as having been for years the companion
of his labors. Hence he would feel a deep in-
terest in the churches which Paul planted,
and from which Paul received tokens of love.
Besides, it is probable that Timothy had la-
bored among the Christians at Philippi, for
the Apostle adds, "ye know the proof of him,
that, as a son with the father, he hath served
with me in the gospel." Thus it appears, that
special circumstances made it proper for Timew
thy to labor in Philippi. The argument of the
text warrants the deduction of a general prin-
ciple, to wit: that peculiar relations give pro-
priety to appeals which are founded upon
them. It is in the light of this principle, that
I propose to show
Why a young man, as suc, should appeal to
young men.
It is customary for the aged to address the
young. Those who have passed through the
toils, the trials, the temptations of lie, who have



been gladdened by its successes, or depressed
by its reverses; and have tested the value of
all that this world offers, are wont to gather the
young around them, that they may imprint
lessons of wisdom on their minds.
The old man takes his seat amid the group of
children who fill up the fireside circle during
the long winter evenings, and tells over the ex-
ploits of his younger days. He enumerates the
pleasures, the sorrows, the dangers, the preser-
vations, and the losses of his checkered life. He
points out the mistakes he made, the faults into
which he fell, the errors he embraced, the sins
he committed. By turns, he warns, he en-
courages, he praises, and he blames; sealing his
instruction, the while, with the facts of his
history, and with his patriarchal benediction
In like manner, the gray-headed pastor as-
cends the pulpit, and from a heart which the
frosts of many winters have not congealed,
however they may have whitened his head, ut-
ters words of counsel to the young. He tells
them of the scenes through which they must
pass, and of the principles by which alone their
steps can be safely guided. He points to the
illustrations which have occurred during his
long ministry, of the disastrous consequences of


serving self instead of God, and of the blessed
effects connected with the renunciation of this
world, and with the life of faith in Christ. He
looks upon the youthful portion of his flock as
the hope of the church when he and his com-
peers are departed; and his words fall upon
their ears like the tones of a prophet passing to
his reward.
To this you have been accustomed, and for
such services you naturally look to the fathers
in the ministry. And you are right. There
are relations subsisting between the aged and
the young, which make it strikingly appropriate
for the former to instruct and counsel the latter.
Earth furnishes few sights more beautiful, than
that of youth gazing with interest into the face
of instructing age, and age looking with a
smile and a blessing upon blooming youth.
Long may the child and the old man totter
hand in hand along the pathway of life.
While I say this, may it not however still be
true, that the young sustain a different and
peculiar relation to each other, out of which
spring corresponding obligatioband privilege ?
While Paul could appreciate the influence and
the duties of gray hairs, and could therefore,
in his epistle to Philemon, make the touching



appeal, yet for love's sake I rather beseech
thee, being such a one as Paul the aged;" he
could also perceive the relation which those in
early life bear to each other, and hence instruct-
ed the youthful Timothy how he was to conduct
towards the young men of his flock: Entreat
the younger men as brethren."
I cannot come to such with the rich harvest
of wisdom, garnered during long years of ex-
perience; but I may come, with the superior
wisdom of the word of God; yes, and with the
language and experience of age there recorded.
If to any it seem immodest and unsuitable for
the young to address the young, let me remind
them that though I cannot speak with the coun-
sel and authority of a father, it may neverthe-
less be permitted that I should utter words
which are prompted by the affection of a
Titus was a young man, the pastor of a
church in Crete, yet the direction of Paul to
him was, "Young men, likewise, exhort to be
soberminded;" implying that he was to con-
sider them as a portiba of his charge, to whom
special instruction was to be given. In further
support of this view, I would draw your atteam
tio to three facts.



1. Similarity of age usually interests men sn
each other. There seems to be a natural attrac-
tion between those who have arrived at the
same period of life. We notice the develop-
ment of this tendency in our social nature
very early, and can trace its influence through
every stage of existence.
The aged man loves the company of those
who, like himself, are in their declining years.
A little knot of patriarchs may often be seen,
in earnest conversation, renewing the scenes
of other days, mourning over the degeneracy of
modern times, telling of companions who long
since passed away, and comparing their diver-
sified experience. They are usually interested
not so much in the present, as in. the past; not so
much in the actors of to-day, as in those of yes-
terday. They are struck mostly with the
deaths which occur among the aged, and read
with greatest interest the obituaries which
narrate incidents in the life of some recently-
departed octogenarian. They listen with more
interest than others to the discourses of min-
isters venerable for their hoary heads, and find
a "feast of fat things" in a semi-centennial
The same is true of middle-aged men. They



prefer the society of those who have passed, or
are passing, the meridian of life. Their con-
'versation concerns the pursuits in which such
are engaged. The young are too ardent, too
impetuous, too unsteady for them; while the
aged are too cautious, too slow, too much lost
in the past. They do not trouble themselves,
indeed, about the future; but then they love a
steady, moderate, prosperous present, and enjoy
the company of those who live in that present
-men of stable character, fixed views, quiet
energy, regular habits. The very young and
the very old, die, without the event producing
a decided impression; but they are startled,
when a man of forty-five departs. They miss
him in the business walks, in the town meeting,
in the ecclesiastical society, in the well-filled
family pew. A young man proves unfortunate
in business, and they scarcely notice it, unless
he is their debtor; but a man of fifty fails, and
the news gives them a- shock, as though the
dwelling next their own were in flames. All
this proves, that unseen links bind men of the
same age together.
Now consider the young. See that group
among whom you notice not an elderly, nor a
middle-aged person. Their interests are pe-



culiar to themselves-peculiar to their age.
They are conversing about their companions
who are beginning life. They have heard that
one young man is doing well in Boston; an-
other has not succeeded in New York; a
third started but yesterday for New Orleans,
and they are discussing his prospects. Perlfaps
their countenances are sad, and you hear words
of reference to a recent death. It is not the
death of that gray-headed patriarch, or that
reputable merchant in middle life, who died
recently, that affects them; but the departure
of the young man who expired last evening,
or of the young lady, whose form wasted
by consumption, was a few days since laid in
the grave.
Appoint a social party, to which all ages
are invited, and how soon the young gather
into a room or corner by themselves; thus
showing where their feelings of interest lie.
We recognize this general fact in all our
arrangements, whether of festivity or of sor-
row. When we invite the young to our homes,
we are careful to invite a sufficient number
of that age to make a pleasant circle; and
the same with other ages. When death has
withdrawn the soul, aged men, with trembling



hands, as pall bearers, lift the body and totter
with it towards the grave; or the middle-aged
march under the burden with firm tread; or
the lighter step of youth carries it to the tomb,
according to the years which the departed
had numbered. .
Now, my argument is, that religion does not
exclude, will not repress, and should not over-
look this tendency; and that other things being
equal, men will feel the deepest interest in the
labors of those whose age corresponds to their
own. Interest communicates influence, pre-
paring the mind for instruction, and the heart
for improvement. There is, then, a special
propriety in a young pastor addressing young
men. Age links him to them, and them to
him. He feels an interest in their welfare, and
they feel an interest in hils words. He comes
as a brother to enter into their feelings, and to
give warm-hearted advice; while they receive
him witl something of fraternal affection and
2. The second fact is, tlat interest is also pro-
diced by similarity Vf temperament. Perhaps
the word temperament, hardly expresses all
that I intend. My reference is, to the consti-
tutional and natural tendencies in accordance



with which we act; to the general principles
aside from morality, which affect our conduct,
by influencing the mind in the formation of
opinion. A similarity of moral character we
know has a powerful tendency to attract men
to each other; which is shared, though in a less
degree, by natural character. The ardent
naturally associate with the ardent; the cau-
tious love the society of the cautious; the timid
congregate together; the hopeful tend towards
each other; the slothful hang back in a body;
while the enterprising start forward at the same
watchword. The common saying, "Birds of
a feather flock together," though rendered
somewhat low by vulgar use, and perhaps not
expressed with special elegance, forcibly states
a great fact, one element of which I am now
canvassing. Hence it is natural that those of
the same age should associate, because their
temperaments have striking resemblances: for,
although men differ indefinitely in mental pe-
culiarities, yet there are characteristics of a
general kind, appertaining to different ages.
Thus this second position of the discourse be-
comes, in the language of hermeneutics, epex-
egetical of the first.
Those who have reached their three-scorf



years and ten, are proverbially slow, cautious,
considerate, and timid, tending perhaps to re-
trogression in their views. Men of forty and
fifty, are firm, judicious, practical, content with
things as they are, fearful of sudden change,
and usually conservative. Young men are
hopeful, bold, enterprising, ardent, reforma-
tory, aggressive. Hence the ancient proverb,
"Old men for counsel, young men for war."
Now on the principle previously referred to,
those who are similarly constituted will be
drawn together. Thus the ardor, the warmth,
the enthusiasm, the hopefulness of early years,
will interest all of that period of life in each
We have a fine illustration of this fact in
the Scriptures. When David, comparatively a
stripling, returned victorious from the combat
with Goliath, who, among the admiring, crowd
of Israel's warriors, looked upon him with the
deepest interest? Was it Abner, captain of the
host, a warrior of many battles, a veteran of
many wars? Was it any of the gray-headed
chieftains, wise in military counsel, who stood
around the king? Was it one of the stalwart,
able-bodied sons of Mars, intred to hardships
during a life of forty years ? No, none of these:



but it was Jonathan, the son of the king, another
stripling like David himself, and who with sim-
ilar courage, and similar faith in God and his
own right arm, had a few days before assailed
and vanquished a garrison of the Philistines,
with no assistance but that of his armor-bearer.
He it was, whose "soul," in the expressive lan-
guage of inspiration, "was knit with the soul
of David."
And thus I contend, that from the fact of
a similarity of taste and feeling, the young min-
ister will feel a peculiar interest in the young
men of his flock-an interest, which, in the
nature of the case, no older man can feel. And
in like manner, it is but reasonable to suppose,
that they will listen with interest to his preach-
ing. It will have the characteristics of earn-
estness, hope, and aggression, which are neces-
sary to charm and to meet the real wants of
the young mind. In many respects, young
men, it may be said' of a youthful minister,
that there is "no man like-minded, who will
naturally care for your state."
3. The thirdfact to which I would direct your
attention, is, that similarity of circumstances also
interests men in each other. We are moulded
more thoroughly than we are aware, by the



circumstances in which we are placed. Not
only is an influence exerted from this quarter
upon our mental habits, associations, and tastes,
and upon our moral character; but also upon our
natural sympathies and affections. Striking
illustrations of this truth are seen in those cases
where men have been exposed to imminent
danger, and have experienced sudden or re-
markable deliverance.
In mid ocean sails a gallant ship, with a brave
crew, and a. joyous company. Suddenly, at
midnight, the fearful cry of fire! fire! is heard
from the watch on deck. Hurriedly the trem-
bling passengers escape from their berths, while
the crew man the boats, and hastily cast in
such provisions as come to hand in that mo-
ment of terror, when they push off from the ill-
fated vessel into the open sea. Spell-bound,
they rest upon their oars, while the curling
flame bursts through the deck, mounts the
rigging, and wraps the ship in one sheet of fire;
until the shrouds are consumed, the masts go
by the board, the vessel settles upon her side,
and with a seething hiss descends into her
ocean grave. Then, and not till then, do those
who have escaped realize their critical situa-
tion. They are crowded into three small



boats, the land in either direction more than
a thousand miles distant, with only provi-
sions for one or two days, and with the
certainty of being engulfed by the first storm
which may arise. With heavy hearts they
ply the oar, and raise a small rag of a sail.
The wind begins to freshen, the ripples on
the surface swell into waves, and fret and foam
under the bow. The weary hours of night
pass away, the wind still rising and the ocean
becoming more rough; when, to the horror of
the men in the largest boat, the others are not
to be seen. Some flaw of wind, some rushing
wave, has, during the darkness, hurried them to
their last account. Anxiously, and With a gaze
which tells the intensity of their feeling, they
scan the wide waste of waters. No ship in
sight! Hour after hour they row in silence,
keeping the boat's head to the dashing waves,
rising and falling on the heaving ocean, and
wet with the spray, thinking of the wives and
children, whose faces they may never see again,
and commending their souls in secret prayer
to God. Suddenly the captain cries, A sail!
a sail! and they behold in the distance, a
large vessel holding her proud course over the
deep. They elevate an oar with a streamer


attached, and wait, oh how anxiously! till they
shall be seen. Will such a speck on the dark
waters be noticed! The stranger ship keeps
her course. With wide-spread canvass she
urges on, leaving her track of foam behind;
while the "white caps" toss their arms in
glee, and none of the joyous hearts on board
suspect that the despairing are so nigh. But
see! her course is changed; there are anxious
men looking from her deck-the solitary boat
is discovered, just as hope dies within the
breast of its crew; and on comes the gallant
ship to their rescue. They are safe; and soon
you see them, trembling, and pale with ex-
citement, climb over the vessel's side, amid
the congratulations of their deliverers. Now
let me ask, will those men, who, for hours,
each of which seemed longer than a day, suf-
fered together in that open boat, ever forget
each other? Were two of them to meet on
the opposite side of the globe, ten or twenty
years from that time, would it not be with a
hearty grasp of the hand, and a warm flow of
blood to the heart ? Forget each other! why
very line of every countenance has daguerreo-
typed itself on the memory, and the sight of it
would thrill through the soul.


The men who have fought in long cam-
paigns, side by side, or who have suffered
through a bitter persecution, giving mutual
encouragement, and sharing common inflic-
tions, become united by ties of ho ordinary
strength. I tell you, my hearers, there is no
welding heat and stroke so effectual as that
found in the furnace of affliction, and coming
from the hand of danger.
But lest these instances should be thought too
unusual, and out of the sphere of ordinary ex-
perience, let me allude to those more common-
place. Let me inquire, What class of business
men interest you most ? Plainly, those of a like
occupation with yourself. The minister loves
the society of ministers, and the intelligence
which concerns them. The lawyer converges
about the legal profession, and his inqpiiies as
to distant places respect its members there.
The merchant sympathizes most deeply in the
successes and reverses of those engaged in the
sale of goods, and his circle of friends embraces
more of that class than of any other; and so
with physicians, and mechanics, and laborers.
Why is this? From the operation of the prin-
ciple, that similar circumstances in life interest
men in each other. There i& a woadPrful


power of sympathy and attachment, in the
fact of common hopes, common fears, common
joys, common aims, common principles, com-
mon advantages and dangers. These are so
many bands thrown around men to bind them
Upon this, I as a young man, found a right
to appeal to young men. We are one in the
important respects named-possessed of com-
mon interests, and surrounded by similar cir-
cumstances. We have a right to be interested
in each other's welfare, a right to care for the
impression which these circumstances shall
make upon us all.
What are the respects in which the young
men present and myself are similarly situated,
and which make it proper for me to address
them in this series of lectures ? They are such
as these :
We are all in the beginning of life. We look
not behind, but in advance. The world is
opening to our view, with its labors yet to be
performed, with hope unchilled by disappoint
ment to spread its flowers before us, with the
bright side of the picture turned to our view.
We all have our character to form. Some
of us may have advanced beyond others in


this solemn work, but with none is it com-
plete; with none is it more than commenced.
We have not settled down into that fixed, ma-
ture, known character, which is borne by the
middle-aged and the aged. This is true as
relates to this world, and in many respects, as
relates to another world. We may give indi-
cations of the future, but it is not yet certainly
known, what we will be.
Our temptations are of the same kind. I speak
now in general terms, since there are tempta-
tions which are characteristic of ages. The
sins of the aged are not identical with those of
the young; as for instance, the old are tempted
to parsimony, but the young to prodigality.
Satan has his snares artfully spread to entrap
all; but he has peculiar baits for eachstage
of life. As a young man, I am exposed to the
same general temptations which assail others
at that time of life; for, in the nature of the
case, we stand in this respect upon the same
And this leads me to say, that we have the
same faults against which to contend. We are
too often hasty, impetuous, passionate, trifling,
inconsiderate, irreverent. We are sometimes
too fond of innovation, too impatient of re-


M ~1T~XA f. tt4 ~r ER8'STB

straint, too wise in our own conceit; we are
prone to evince contempt for those who are
less prompt than ourselves, and to rely more
upon present feeling, than a wise forecast of
the future. The burden of such faults, we bear
in common. They press upon you, they press
upon me. They are incidental to our time of
life, and arise from the fact that
Our mental tendencies are the same. You and
I alike possess the hopeful temperament, the
buoyant spirit, the restless energies, the sche-
ming mind, the adventurous courage, which
belong almost exclusively to the young. The
future appears bright; we believe great things
can be accomplished before we die, and we in-
tend to accomplish them. The past may do
well enough for the aged; the present may
content the men of middle life; but we have
sketched out a future which shall throw the
present and the past into the shade, and realize
poetic dreams of the golden age. We are for
improvement, and believe in the sentiment of
the lines beginning
SThere's a good time coming."
Such feelings, young men, often glow in your
bosom, and give a warm coloring to the pic-
tures of imagination. I appreciate these views


-I am with you in your aspirations for a future
better than the present, and in your determina-
tions to secure such a future. The aged may
tremble, and overweening conservatism may
cry Forbear! as time-honored, yet sin-cursed
institutions are assailed; but taught by the
Bible, and the experience of all who have op-
posed wrong, I answer with the poet,
"Grown wiser for the lesson given,
I fear no longer ; for I know,
That where the share is deepest driven,
The best fruits grow.
The outworn right, the old abuse,
The pious fraud transparent grown,
The good held captive in the use
,Of Wrong alone-
These wait their doom, from that great law
Which makes the past time serve to-day;
And fresher life the world shall draw
From their decay."

What now is the conclusion of the whole
matter? Briefly this; that I come to the young
men of my congregation as one who sustains
peculiar relations to them-as one who more
deeply than others, sympathizes with their
hopes, their fears, their aims, their struggles,
their wishes, their victories, their defeats, their
interests for time and for eternity; because I



am identified with them, I am one of them.
Old men forget in a great measure how they
felt when young, and their rebukes or coun-
sels fall with a freezing influence upon the
ardent soul. Contact with the world for a
series of years, blunts the sensibilities, and pre-
vents that consideration for the circumstances
of another, which gives the greatest power
to argument and entreaty. The child in the
school room feels this, when, with total forget-
fulness of his own tender years, the teacher
visits a trifling fault, a boyish freak, with un-
mitigated severity. The young man feels it,
when sitting beneath the abstract truisms,
or the unsparinig rebukes of his elders. He
often suspects that they are heartless, and
that with the dew of their youth, passed away
also the sympathies of their souls. Hence it
is that I appeal to young men, as a young man,
and feel that in some respects, by no means in
all, the absence of years and gray hairs is an
advantage. There must be sympathy between
speaker and hearer, to accomplish good.
The Bible recognizes the great truth upon
which I have this evening dwelt. When God
would provide a Saviour in whom man could
exercise confidence, to whom he would be at-



tracted, and through whom his soul would be
made acquainted with the divine character,
what else did he, but act upon the principle
urged in this discourse, and throw himself into
the channel of human sympathy. He clothed
himself in human nature, placed himself in our
circumstances, and thus appealed to the inmost
heart of every man. Wherefore in all things
it behooveth him to be made like unto his
brethren; that he might be a merciful and
faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God,
to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.
For in that he himself hath suffered, being
tempted, he is able to succour them that are
tempted." God knew that the best way of
interesting and saving men, was, to give them
a Saviour, who in an important sense should be
one of them, exposed to the same temptations,
trials and afflictions. Therefore the Son of
God became incarnate.
And thus, my fellow young men, I would fain
be recognized as of your number, and through
this course of lectures would speak as one.
of yourselves. Knowing your circumstances
in my every-day personal experience, I come
as a brother to brethren, to make suggestions
relative to your temporal and eternal welfare.


I have been reading and studying the Bible.
In it I find advice for those who are starting in
life-words of wisdom, such as we need to
guide us through the difficulties. and dangers
of time, into the rest and security of eternity.
I; is adapted to us, and from its perusal'I come
to announce what I have read, to relate the
discoveries I have made, to recite the deci-
sions to which I have come. It may be, that
there will be something in this that will inter-
est, that will instruct, that will save you. I
have also for nearly ten years been making
trial of the religion of Jesus Christ, and I
find it to be what we need, and my object is,
to persuade you to follow in the same path.
There may be something in the invitations,
in the statements, in the arguments of a
brother as he walks by your side along the
journey of life, which will win you to the
Saviour, and make you choose "that good part
which shall not be taken away from you."
May God grant it, for Christ's sake.




LET NO MAN DESPISE THY YOUTH.-1 Timothy, iv. 12.

THERE are difficulties attendant upon every
stage of life. There are trials, dangers, ca-
lamities, and faults, incident to youth, toinature
years, and to old age; and whoever would
address men as they are severally classed, must
bear this fact in mind, and shape his advice
and instruction accordingly.
The Apostle Paul was a writer well ac-
quainted with human nature, and with human
circumstances; and he varied his arguments,
his illustrations, his encouragements, and his
admonitions, in such a manner as to adapt them
to the position of those addressed. He did
not write to the Philippians as he wrote to the
Corinthians, nor to these latter as to the Ro-
mans. Neither did he address Philemon as
he did Timothy and Titus. To the last two


he wrote in a similar strain, because they were
of nearly the same age, were in the same
lholy office, and subject to like temptations.
The epistle in which the text is found, was
written to Timothy fIo cle purpose of impart-
ing instruction relative to the proper discharge
of miinisterial duties at Ephesus, % here he
Vwas temporarily laboring. It appeals from the
text that Timothy was a young man, and, of
course, stood in need of advice. He was occu-
pying a responsible station in one of the most
populous and magnificent cities of ancient
times, having been left there by the Apostle, to
confirm the faith of the converts, and to place
the church upon a firm foundation. It was
highly necessary, therefore, that he should
receive such cautions as the ripe experience
of Paul could furnish. The directions con-
tained in this epistle are numerous; with only
one of which, are we concerned at this time.
It would seem from the text, that in a certain
respect, Timothy's youth placed him in an
unpleasant, and possibly, in a disadvantageous
position- that he was in danger of being re-
garded with contempt on account of it. The
object of Paul was to direct Timothy to pursue
such-a course as would prevent the evil which



was anticipated. This introduces us to the
subject of the present lecture, in which I pro-
pose to show
How young men are to escape the reproach so
often connected with youth.
This involves the statement, and exposition
of two points.
I. I shall show that young men are liable to re-
proach in connection with their youth. The most
casual reader will perceive, that this idea is
implied in the language of the Apostle; for if
young men are not exposed to reproach and
contempt for the fewness of their years, there
could be no pertinency, or propriety of any
kind, in the injunction "Let no man despise
thy youth." Were there no danger to be ap-
prehended from this source, Timothy would
have read thib part of the Apostle's advice
with unfeigned surprise. There is a real dif-
ficulty, and Paul intended to prepare Timothy
for it, and to forewarn him against it. We
have corroborative evidence of this, in an ex-
pression used by the Apostle in his epistle to
Titus, which corresponds very closely with the
text. He writes to Titus, "Let no man despise
thae." Whea we remember the close rsem-



balance between the epistles to Timothy and
to Titus, in nearly all points; and that Titus
likewise was a young man; we cannot doubt,
that the Apostle intended to cdnvey the precise
thought which is expressed in the text. From
the fact that Paul addressed this same caution
to different young men, laboring among distinct
nations, and at some distance from each other,
the conclusion can hardly be avoided, that
there is a liability of the kind in question, at
all times, and in all places, and that it is con-
nected in some way with human nature.
To prevent confusion of ideas, and to avoid
misapprehension, I would remark, that there
are two ways in which young men are exposed
to reproach or contempt, both of which are in-
cluded in the implication of the Apostle.
1. Young men are often despised from the
mere faot of their youth. By this I mean, that
there are individuals in every community so
narrow-minded, as to condemn the young for no
other crime than their youth. Moral character,
intellectual acquirements, opportunities for ob-
servation, are not inquired into; but the judg-
ment is apparently formed from the fact of
youth. When a young man expresses an
opinion, how often is it treated as necessarily


erroneous, and as destitute of all weight. How
often is he told in so many words, that he has
no business to entertain an opinion of his own
on such subjects; or, at least, has no right to
express it. The implication is, that it is a
breach of modesty, and a primafacie evidence
of self conceit, for him to exercise an indepen-
dent judgment, or to utter his views; especially
if they differ from those embraced by his
seniors. It is implied, and even asserted, that
on important points, young men, in the exercise
of self distrust and modesty-two prime vir-
tues-should be content to receive the opin-
ions of older men.
Occasionally an individual may be found,
who, because he thinks he can safely do it, will
grossly insult a young man who may differ from
him; and such are fond of quoting the passage
of Holy Writ about "tarrying at Jericho till
the beard is grown"-a passage which they
either do not understand, or else wilfully and
foolishly pervert; for it was not spoken of
young men at all, but of men certainly in
middle life, and probably aged, who, having
been sent as ambassadors, were insulted by
having their flowing beards' cut off, and being*
afraid of ridicule if they returned home. in



that predicament, were advised to tarry at
Jericho until their beards should be again
grown. There are no circumstances in which
cowards are more bold, than when assured of
impunity, and many a man when other weapons
fail betakes himself to insult. That judicious
divine, Philip Henry, if I remember aright,
complains that in his youth he received such
One case of this nature, which has become
somewhat noted, occurred in the British Par-
liament. Walpole, sorely pressed by the ar-
guments and eloquence of Pitt, in an over-
bearing and insulting manner taunted him
with being a young man, and consequently
with having no right to discuss such subjects.
When Pitt came to reply, he answered in
words, which, we may well suppose, Walpole
did not forget to his dying day: The atrocious
crime of being a young man, which the hon-
orable gentleman has with such spirit and
dqrency charged upon me, I shall neither
attempt to palliate nor deny; but content
myself with wishing, that I may be one of those
whose follies cease with their youth, and not
of that number who are ignorant in spite of
e erience. Whether youth can be imputtd



to any man as a reproach, I will not, sir, as-
sume the province of determining-but surely,
age may become justly contemptible, if the
opportunities it brings have passed away with-
out improverrent, and vice appears to prevail
when the passions have subsided. The wretch,
who after having seen the consequences of a
thousand errors, continues still to blunder, and
whose age has only added obstinacy to stu-
pidity, is surely the object of either abhorrence
or contempt."
So fond have men been of this ill bred argu-
ment, that it was used several thousand years
since, to silence one well advanced in life.
When Job's friends could not answer his
arguments, they said What knowest thou
that we know not; what understandest thou,
which is not in us? With us are both the gray
headed and very aged men, much elder than
thy father." It was such a mode of argumen-
tation that made even the patient Job in bitter
sarcasm reply, "No doubt but ye are the people,
and wisdom shall die with you!"
I need not, however, appeal to instances
which occurred in by-gone days, since, there
are, without doubt, young men present, whose
experience has been portrayed in the state-



tnents already made. They know the deep
wound that has been wantonly, or at least,
thoughtlessly inflicted upon their feelings, when
they have been rudely pushed aside, not be-
cause they were ignorant, or immoral, but be-
cause they were young! who have heard their
opinions not refuted, but ridiculed; because
God was not pleased to send them a few years
earlier into the world! who have been treated
with contempt by men, who, beyond question,
think Methusaleh far exceeded Solomon in
wisdom! It may be asked, why I dwell upon
this point? Because I know the feelings of
young men upon this subject, and can sympa-
thise with them; and because they seldom have
an opportunity to be heard with regard to it.
As a young man, I know by experience, the
trials which we are called to endure-trials,
let me add, the more severe to a minister,
because the fact of his ordination and installa-
tion by a council of his seniors, is a virtual cer-
tificate under their own hand and seal, that he
is competent to have and to express an opinion;
seeing they have inducted him into the office
of a public teacher. I speak, therefore, as the
representative of those w ho, so far as this matter
is concerned, feel that they are often wronged.


2. Young men are exposed to contemipt on
account of the faults into which their youth
leads them. I do not mean by the last expres-
sion, that they are excusable for these faults;
that youth necessarily implies them, so that
they are unavoidable; but only, that such are
the tendencies and circumstances of young
men, that without great care, they will be-
come addicted to faults which will expose
them to the contempt of the community.
This is a fact of which I make no complaint.
When young men are guilty of dereliction from
duty, I claim in their behalf, no exemption from
the punishment which is visited upon other de-
linquents. I weave no cloak that is intended
to cover their sins. So far from that, I rejoice
that young men are despised when their con-
duct is improper, when the most important
season of their lives is allowed to pass without
improvement. My only complaint is, that such
young men are not sufficiently despised; but
by the influence of money and friends, are
allowed a respectable position in society.
It is well that there should be a sense of
responsibility cultivated in young men; that
they should know, that if they give way to
passion, and indulge in folly, they must answer

~I~PP~~QA"CB ~~P'f"rl~gjlil~Bf:,


for it at the bar of public sentiment, and receive
the condemnation and contempt of the vir-
tuous. It is right, also, that they should be
blamed for the lighter faults, as well as for the
grosser sins that they may commit. It will cul-
tivate caution, and self-government, and prove
a strong and wholesome curb to wild. propen-
sities. I believe not a whit in the doctrine,
that youth is the time for sowing wild oats,"
and that young men must be indulged in evil
courses, until the fervor of early life wears
away. Such sowing in youth brings bad har-
vests in after years, and ought therefore to be
prevented. Those expressions which tend to
give respectability to youthful wickedness,
should be disused, and the guilty taught that
they will be the subjects of blame rather than
Let young men know that they will be de-
spised if they fall into excesses; if they fail in
self-government; if they are loose in their prin-
ciples; if they act in a manner unworthy of their
station. This is the result, so far as reasonable,
considerate, moral men are concerned; and it
is their respect and confidence that we wish to
gain. It will do us good to behold contempt
suspended over our heads, ready to fall upon



us the moment we swerve from the path of
uprightness and sobriety. I say this, young
men, as one of you; subject to the same temp-
tations, exposed to similar trials, liable to like
faults, with yourselves; and certain to share in
the same reproaches when deserved. I pro-
ceed now, to show
II. How this reproach, to which young men are
liable, may be obviated.
When Paul wrote to Timothy Let no man
despise thy youth," his words implied that suc-
cessful efforts might be made to avoid con-
tempt; that such a course of action might be
pursued, as would commend young men to
public estimation. Else, why impose a com-
mand upon Timothy which he could not obey ?
It must then be inferred, that something can
be done to prevent or remove the evil in ques-.
tion. There may still need, however, to be a
word of qualification. I do not suppose that
young men, be their demeanor perfectly cor-
rect, can escape contempt from all persons.
There are individuals so narrow-minded in
their views, so mean in their disposition, so
lacking in generosity of heart, so envious and
jealous in their temperament, that they never



will treat a young man honorably and with
magnanimity. With such we must expect to
meet, from such we must expect to suffer.
But from reasonable men, men of candor, of
true nobility, of liberal feeling, free from big-
otry and pedantry, we may anticipate other
and better treatment. At all events, it is
within our power so to act, that we shall be
exposed to no just reproach. In order to ac-
complish this end, several things are necessary.
1. We must modestly, yet firmly, maintain our
right to form, and to express opinions. An
abandonment of our rights will secure the re-
spect of no man. He is rather honored, who,
when assailed, vindicates his rights to the last,
and will not submit to have them wrested from
him. Yielding to one aggression invites a
second. Nor have we a right to yield. There
are privileges which we may resign, and ought
to resign, for the sake of peace; because we
can do without them-their absence will have
no other effect than to abridge our comfort; and
such a sacrifice, gospel principles often require
us to make. But the present case is of a
different nature. In this instance, the defence,
or abandonment, of our right, will materially
affect our mental and moral character. No



young man can resign the formation and ex-
pression of his opinions, without receiving irre-
parable injury. His character will lack force,
individuality, independence, and decision. He
will become imitative, inert, cowardly-a mir-
ror, to reflect, with diminished brightness, the
thoughts and opinions of others. Such wounds
upon his mental and moral nature he has no right
to inflict-they are suicidal in their character.
It is proper that we should resist the at-
tempt to set aside our prerogative of inde-
pendent judgment and free speech; because
such an attempt is as unjust, and absurd, as it
is injurious. A young man may not, indeed,
reason from years of personal experience, or
advance opinions as the result of long contin-
ued observation; but he has the resources of
past history upon which to draw, and the ex-
perience of former generations to which he
can point. He may not pretend to as profound
a knowledge of men and things, as the aged;
nevertheless, his arguments from established
truths, ought to be candidly weighed, and im-
partially considered. His opinions ought not
to be condemned because they have been ad-
vanced by him, since a young man is some-
times nearer right than an old man; an4 fact*



often corroborate the assertion in the book of
Job, "Great men are not always wise; neither
do the aged understand judgment"-as also
the declaration of the Wise man, Better is a
poor and wise child, than an old and foolish
It is a high crime for the young to despise
the old, and gray hairs should always entitle
to respect; but it is also, and equally wrong,
for the aged to trample upon the young. It
should ifot be practised by the former, nor
allowed by the latter. We should modestly
assert and maintain our rights; not with self-
conceit and vain glory; not with a purpose to
dictate to our seniors; not to display our fan-
cied wisdom; but with the honest design of
making the best improvement of our opportu-
nities for doing and receiving good. Such a
course is necessary to self-respect, to happi-
ness, and to usefulness. It was undoubtedly
with this view that Paul wrote to young Titus,
"These things speak and exhort, and rebuke
with all authority.. Let no man despise thee."
Freedom of thought and speech, is the vital air
essential to intellectual and moral growth.
2. Another means to be used, is the diligent
cultivation of the mind. "Knowledge is pow-



er," was the terse maxim of Lord Bacon, and
one which he probably derived, and condensed,
from the proverb of Solomon, Awise man is
strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth
strength." Other things being equal, influence
and respect are in proportion to mental disci-
pline. If young men would avoid contempt,
and secure regard, they must show that they
are intrinsically worthy of esteem; for the doc-
trine that men are to be respected simply on
account of their youth, is no more tobe re-
ceived than its opposite, on which I have ani-
madverted. If we would produce a desirable
impression upon the community, which may
constitute a basis of regard, we must prove that
we are men intellectually, as well as physically.
If we wish ous opinions to be respected, we
must present the community with evidence
that our minds are stored with useful know-
ledge, and our powers disciplined to mental
toil. Those who come in contact with us,
must see, that by reason of the acquisitions
made by patient study, we are competent to
think, to speak, and to act. Our own profes-
sions and claims, will avail as little without
real intelligence, as would the 'promises to
pay' of a bank whose vaults were destitute of



The wise man has declared "A man shall
be commended according to his wisdom;" and
we shall never fail of securing respect, if we
thirst after knowledge. Confidence and re-
gard must have some foundation on which to
fest. We have had an excellent illustration
of this thought, in the persons of the youthful
band of musicians who lately visited this city,
and gave concerts to delighted audiences.
They were not despised and disregarded on
accoui of their youth, although their ages
only ranged from nine to fifteen years. Dis-
tinguished professors of music, here and else-
where, have freely bestowed their commenda-
tions. Why was this? Only because these
juvenile performers gave evidence of uncom-
mon skill in their department because their
auditors heard them play the most classical
and difficult musical compositions, with a pre-
cision, brilliancy, and taste, which proved them
to be masters of their instruments. The easy
manner in which they win golden opinions from
the musical world, is the result of months and
years of patient study and practice. It was
by this same process, that Melancthon, Burke,
Pitt, and others, attained to a world-wide ce*
ebrity in early' years. They anxiously im-



proved the precious hours of youth, till the
treasures of the past lay at their feet; till their
intellectual powers grew ripe under culture;
till they were competent to think, to decide,
and to act. Thus prepared, they opened their
lips, and nations heard with mingled astonish-
ment and reverence. Thus armed at all points,
disciplined in mental exercise, and inured to
intellectual hardship,, they went forth to com-
bat and to victory. When Melancthou was
but twenty-one, Luther wrote to Spalatin Be-
ware, my dear Spelatin, of despising this youth
-the young man is worthy of the highest
honor.': We may not, it is true, with the ut-
most diligence be able to equal their exploits;
but following at an humble distance, and ani-
mated by their success, we may at least, secure
the commendation of the community in which
we live, the confidence of our equals, and the
respect of our superiors.
3. Young men, to escape the contempt s
often incidental to their age, must avoid youth-
fill faults, and cultivate the virtues which will
adorn their years. An unblemished moral
character, is the crown of glory after which
we must strive, and without which, all reputa-
tion that we may gain is essentially defieiat.



The principal reason why young men are de-
spised, arises from their faults. Remove these,
and the road to respect and esteem lies open
before them. So generally have they in times
past committed these errors, that a measure
of suspicion at first attaches to each indi-
vidual; and it is only as he evinces freedom
from these characteristic sins, that he gains
the confidence of his seniors. It is not to be
denied, that we are exposed to peculiar temp-
tations, and that we often yield to their influ-
ence. We know this; many of us deplore it;
and we recognize the requirement that we
shall gain a victory ov&r our evil propensities,
as the righteous and salutary condition on
which regard shall be bestowed. We are
prone to rashness, levity, passion, idleness,
trifling pursuits, and other sins, upon which I
shall probably dwell in a future lecture. These
we must overcome, and cultivate sobriety,
moderation, candor, decision, industry, and the
like virtues. This is the course which Paul
recommended to Timothy, in connection with
the text. "Let no man despise thy youth;
but be thou an example of the believers, in
word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in
faith, in purity."


The faults for which young men are despised,
grow, after all, out of qualities and tendencies
which, if rightly directed, and' proportionably
developed, would lead to noble results. TJey
are ardent, their temperament is warm, their
decision is prompt, their passions strong, their
hopes bright; and hence they often become
rash, passionate, vain, impetuous, giddy and
headstrong. Now, let these qualities be hot
suppressed, but regulated, and great will be
their efficiency. Let men see that our zeal
has embarked in a good cause; that our ardor
burns for the accomplishment of noble ends;
that our impetuosity urges to deeds of lofty
moral daring; and they will pardon the mistakes
of judgment which will occasionally arise, for-
get our temporary indiscretions, and respect
us for the purity and exaltation of our inten-
tions. If we show them that our faults are but
exaggerated virtues, they will not despise us.
The highest part of our being is its moral
nature. We were made not merely to be apt
scholars, but to be obedient, holy subjects. A
young man of principle, who acts in thefear
of God, will secure the love. and esteem of
those who know him, because he approaches
nearer to what they conceive man ought to be,


than in any other way. They can excuse
some deficiency in knowledge, and many errors
in judgment, provided they are assured that
his heart is right. A young man of loose prin-
ciples cannot maintain an honorable position
in society. He will be secretly, if not openly
despised, however great his natural talents,
however splendid his acquirements.
Virtue or true holiness, superadded to intelli-
gence as its controlling power, and set forth in
all the ardor and glow of youth, presents one
of the most pleasing spectacles which this
world affords. Who can despise a young man,
intelligent, studious, decided, independent in
thought 'and speech, of unbending integrity,
who with a wise appreciation of his advantages
and responsibilities, is making youth the seed-
time of a glorious harvest? Who can avoid
despising the young man whose aims are low;
whose wild propensities are unchecked; whose
passions are unrestrained; whose pursuits are
trifling and ignoble; whose mind is neglected,
or else cultivated only to gild over sin with
intellectual charms; and whose precious years
when thoughts should germinate, and char-
acter should start for eternity, are allowed
to pans uDheeded and misimproved? The



words of Solomon, when urging wisdom or
true holiness upon young men, are worthy of
much thought, and beautifully confirm the
views I have presented: "Exalt her and she
shall promote thee; she shall bring thee to
honor, when thou dost embrace her. She shall
give to thy head an ornament of grace: a
crown of glory shall she deliver to thee." I
conclude with one
The reputation of every young man is commit-
ted to himself. I do not deny that the influence
of others is great, and that by their aid we
may be placed in more favorable circumstances
for winning the golden opinions of our fellow
men, than would surround us, if they were in-
different or hostile. Friends may do much in
pushing a young man into notice; they may
even for a while succeed in supporting hir
otherwise baseless pretensions; and so may
enemies for a season prejudice the community
against a young man who claims their respect.
Such an unnatural position, however, cannot
long be maintained, and eventually each must
stand upon his own merits. The public will by
a sure, although at times a slow process, arrive
at just conclusions concerning the character of



every man. Prepossessions and prejudices,
must alike give way before the onward march
of reality. The influence of friends cannot
forever conceal our faults, neither can the oppo-
sition of enemies blind the public to our virtues.
Let me impress the thought upon you, compan-
ions in early life, that we must weave the web
of character for ourselves. The text comes
/with its injunction to us, and not to our parents
or friends. Paul wrote not to the father of
Timothy," Let no man despise thy son's youth,"
but to Timothy himself, "Let no man despise
thy youth;" evidently implying that the repu-
tation of every young man is committed to
There is special reason why the sons of rich
men should bear this fact in mind. They not
unfrequently imagine that the wealth, respect-
ability, and influence of parents will give cur-
rency to children; and that reputation is a pos-
session as hereditary as money. There can
be no greater mistake. The principal effect
of wealth in this respect is, to place the chil-
dren in a prominent position, where their con-
duct will be noticed, their faults more widely
known, and their character, if evil, more thor-
oughly despised. I well remember, when in



college, the sons of certain rich men, who,
relying on the standing and affluence of their
parents, idled away their time, wasted their
opportunities for intellectual and moral im-
provement, and became, in consequence, ob-
jects of contempt, not only to the mature and
aged, but to every young man of self-respect
and intelligence; and it is but a short time
since one of them, whose character was gone,
and whose happiness for life has been blasted
by his youthful excesses, wept before me with
loud cries and bitter tears of vain regret. Let
me warn the sons of the wealthy, to place no
reliance on the position of their fathers. They
can give you no reputation, an4 their eminence
presents seductive temptation. The sbns of
the poor always succeed the best. It was the
remark of a minister of extended observation,
made within my hearing, that influential and
wealthy families generally disappear from pub-
lic view by the third generation. How true
is the assertion of the wise man, "If thou be
wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself; but if thou
scornest, thou alone shalt bear it."
This sentiment particularly applies to this
country. We have here no aristocracy, no
order of nobility, by which, irrespective of


character and talents, a young man may be
distinguished and respected. In this land of
comparative equality, we are stripped in a
measure of a reliance on factitious distinctions,
and must work our own way upward. Every
young man is thrown in a degree upon his own
resources, and those who are the most so, are
usually the most successful. If, as young men,
we would avoid reproach and contempt, we
must do it by our own exertions; by acting in
a manner becoming our station, our responsi-
bilities, and our opportunity of improvement.
The husbandman who is idle through the
spring, and in whose unploughed and unsown
fields the wee~c are luxuriantly growing;
around whose farm the fences are falling into
decay, while he is engaged in hunting, and
racing, and drinking, becomes the object of
deserved contempt to the whole community.
And in like manner, the young man who allows
the precious years of early life to be wasted in
trifling pursuits, his mind the meanwhile un-
sown with seeds of truth and holiness, and
rank with error and sin, must expect to be de-
spised by men of sense and virtue; must expect
to be regarded as was Esau who sold his birth-
right for a mess of pottage.



I should not do myself, or this occasion
justice, did I not, in conclusion, remind the
young men present, that there is a contempt
from which they are to flee, which outlasts
time. Were all the consequences of misspent
youth confined to the present life, I should
scarcely be as urgent in my appeals. It is
indeed sad, to be despised by our fellow-men
upon earth; but it will be intolerable, to be de-
spised by God and all the holy,-yes, and by
all the wicked too, through eternity. And
will there be contempt beyond the grave ?
There will. As certainly as the reward of the
righteous shall be "glory aid honor and im-
mortality," so certainly shalkthe doom of the
wicked embrace contempt, infamy, and eternal
death. Let the words of the Judge himself be
heard on this point.. Speaking through the
prophet Isaiah, in language which Christ after-
wards borrowed in ptrt, he declares of the
wicked, "their worm shall not die, neither
shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be
an abhorring unto all flesh." Again, in the
prophecy of Daniel, we read, "And many of
them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall
awake, some to everlasting life, and some too
shame and everlasting contempt." Dreadful



doom! to be an object of universal loathing-to
see no being in heaven or hell, through a long
eternity, who does not despise and abhor you.
Ah, sinner, of what avail will it be to gain the
honors of this world, only to lie on a bed of
infamy and agony through endless ages ? Bet-
ter were it to surrender sin, and embrace holi-
ness-better to renounce the world, and to
believe on Jesus Christ. Even if the coura-
geous pursuit of right should involve you in
suffering on earth, as possibly it may, share
the cross of the Saviour, and you shall share
his throne and crown also.



STRONG.-1 JoAn, ii. 14.

M~ANKND, when viewed generically, are often
spoken of as a unit, as though they had one set
of qualities in which all shared. The propriety
of such expressions arises from the fact, that
there are characteristics which are common to
every individual man, but peculiar to his order
of being as distinguished from other sentient
existences. There are certain mutual resem-
blances between the descendants of Adam,
which designate them as neither angels, nor
brutes, but men. Thus far similarity extends;
but here its dominion ceases, and a minute in-
spection of our remaining natural characteris-
tics reveals endless diversity.
Men are divided into classes, in accordance
with the physical or mental differences which
are deected. Hence we read of the several


races into which they have been distributed,
such as the Caucasian, Indian, Mongolian and
African. Then again we have national divi-
sions, accompanied by national diversities of
character. We have a distinct impression of
the peculiarities of the English, the Irish, the
Scotch, the French, the Germans, the Poles,
the Spaniards, the Italians, the Chinese, the
North American Indians, as distinguished from
each other, and from all other nations. We
conceive also of effects in the physical and
mental world, which are produced by each of
these national characters, and we attach to
them attributes of force or weakness, as facts
seem to warrant. Thus we are wont to speak
of the indomitable energy of the Anglo-Saxon
race, as represented in the British nation and
our own. We believe, whether truly or
falsely, that no other nations can withstand
their progress; that before their onward march,
the present inhabitants of barbarous and sav-
age countries which they enter, will melt
away and disappear from the face of the earth,
to be known thenceforth only in history.
We look again, and divide men into classes
according to their geographical position, and
can without difficulty detect variations of char-



acter according with the physical features of
the country which they inhabit. Who does
not know that activity, industry, and enter-
prise, have ever characterized those whose
possessions lie upon the sea-shore and along
navigable rivers? Who has failed to detect
the love of ease and quiet which has marked
the inhabitants of rich inland plains? Who
can forget the courage, the love of freedom,
the independence of thought and spirit, which
in all ages have made a mountain region the
home of a noble race of men ? Nor does hu-
man diversity end here. We enter the race,
the country, the nation, the very family, and
how dissimilar are the traits which appear.
Among the more noticeable lines of division
which are drawn through human society, lines
referring to qualities and results, are those
which designate the various seasons of life,
from infancy to old age. I refer not now to
physical growth and decay, but to mental char-
acteristics. No one can mistake on this point,
or deny that the qualities and capabilities of
different ages, with their average results,
widely vary.
The Apostle John, in the text and context,
strongly implies this idea. He addresses Wuc



cessively, those whom he terms fathers, young
men, and little children; varying his remarks
and descriptive assertions with each class.
With only one of these classes have we at
present to do-the one to which allusion is
made in the words, I have written unto you,
young men, because ye are strong." There
has been a dispute among Biblical interpreters,
on the question, whether the words of the
Apostle are to be understood literally or figura-
tively; whether those young in years, or merely
in experience, are intended. This dispute may
have its importance, but it does not affect the
idea which I wish to develop. The language
of the Apostle implies that young men wield
a certain degree of power. If he is speaking
literally, that idea is conveyed directly; if he
is speaking figuratively, the figure must. be
founded on fact, and thus conveys the same
idea indirectly, by implication. I wish then
to draw your attention, in a way of mingled
proof and illustration, to
The Elements of Power in Young Men.
The subject, as also the text, implies that
there are sources of power in young men-that
they have energies and opportunities to wield,
which are capable of producing great effects.



My design is to exhibit the facts which justify
such an assertion, and which indicate and illus-
trate the mode in which these pent up energies
are developed and used.
1. One element of power resides in the spirit of
enterprise which characterizes young men. They
love to push forward, to engage in difficult un-
dertakings, to expend their energies upon ob-
jects of consequence. Obstacles which deter
older men, stimulate them. The old man is
content to do business in the same store which
was occupied, perchance, by his father before
him. He minds not its rusty appearance, nor
its numerous inconveniences. The young man
is of a different opinion. He opens a store in
a new building, freshly painted, in a central
and conspicuous situation; where his goods can
be displayed to advantage through the broad
windows, each pane of which is half as large
as the entire windows of ancient stores. He
makes his place of business attractive within,
and fits it up with an eye to the comfort of his
customers, and the convenience of himself and
clerks. By such a course, provided he keep
within his means, he carries away the business
from his less enterprising neighbors.
One illustration of this enterprising spirit of



youth, is to be found in the present extended
operations of business expresses. Their num-
ber is so multiplied, and their utility so obvious,
that we regard them as indispensable, and sel-
dom remember that they have sprung up during
the last ten years, through the activity and en-
terprise of one young man, now in his grave.
William F. Harnden first conceived and execu-
ted the plan of a regular establishment for con-
veying and delivering packages in the principal
cities of the Union. He began on a small scale,
on the route between Boston and New York,
and gradually extended his operations, till
his arrangements covered our entire country.
Then he passed into Great Britain, and thence
to the Continent, so that in the course of five
or six years, his plan was so far complete, that
parcels, from the size of a letter to that of a
cotton bale, could be sent not only to any house
in any city of this Union, but with equal cer-
tainty and precision to the principal cities of
The truth is, that hope animates the young
man, and he is prepared to advance beyond the
bounds of former days, and to embark in enter-
prises that require energy and decision. Now
I am not about to utter the absurdity, that this



spirit is always rewarded with success. I
know that often times, enterprise encounters
obstacles which it cannot overcome, and that
young men very frequently fail in their business
calculations. Not infrequently they may be
said to build railroads, upon which they run
with astonishing speed, from nothing, with
which they start, to irretrievable bankruptcy,
in which they end. Nevertheless, it cannot
be denied that there is power in this spirit
of enterprise, which, restrained within proper
limits, and exercised upon proper occasions, is
well adapted to secure progress in the world,
and which points to young men, as a class of
the community by whom much might be ac-
2. Additional power springsfromt the enthusiasm
of their character. Not only are young men
prompt and energetic, but their enthusiastic
temperament invests each subject of contem-
plation with unwonted interest and importance.
This trait lends wings to speed: by it toil
ceases to be toil, and is regarded more a
pleasurable industry; labor becomes light, and
success appears certain. This is but another
development of that strong hope which ever
gives buoyancy to their spirits, and elasticity to
their mental powers.


We have seen the artist, who, by day and
night, was lost in the beauties of painting or
sculpture; who almost worshipped the great
masters of former days; who counted no sacri-
fice too great to possess their works; or to ap-
proach in his own productions their excellence;
whose soul seemed on fire with genius, and
almost consumed in the heat of his artistical
passion. We say of him that he is enthusias-
tic in his love of the fine arts. There is much
of this glow of feeling connected with young
men. They are sometimes excessive in their
admiration, and assured, on too slight grounds,
of success. Nevertheless, this mental feature
is necessary as an element of strength; and,
when properly controlled, does much to impart
vigor and life to the soul. He who anticipates
success; and puts forth exertion with that ex-
pectation, will more probably succeed than
one of desponding frame.
An enthusiastic soul not only engages eagerly
in great and good enterprises itself, but also
attracts others to the work. Enthusiasm is
thereby kindled in congenial minds, until the
requisite number of cooperators is secured.
Thus one of the biographers of Melancthon
remarks of him, at the time when he was but



little over twenty-one years of age, and was
professor in Wittemberg University, that he
was possessed of that contagious enthusiasm
which gave him, through the thousands of
young men who thronged his lectures from
every part of Europe, a position of the most
commanding power and influence." Again
we are told, that "the scholars caught the en-
thusiasm of their teacher," so that Luther ob-
served, they are as busy as ants at the Univer-
sity." In this way arduous toil becomes ex-
hilarating and attractive, and the soul delights
in that which would otherwise soon disgust.
Enthusiasm is the poetry of exertion, enlisting
the varied passions of the soul in behalf of the
stern truths to which the intellect has bowed.
3, Another element of power in young men, is
found in courage. I no not mean by this, that
all young men are courageous, nor that all old
men are timorous. There are the cowardly
among the former as among other classes; but
viewed collectively, it cannot be denied that
they exhibit more courage, at least more daring,
than those of maturer years. What is the reck-
lessness charged upon youth, but this quality,
unchecked by thought or experience ? There
is an obvious reason why this trait should be



charaoeristke. They know not as yet the
amount of danger to which they are exposed;
they have not learned the consequences which
follow particular courses. The old man, who
has passed through frequent conliets, who has
suffered numerous losses endured many pri-
vations, and submitted to multiplied trials and
aflictions, will naturally be more cautious and
prudent than the young man who has not
fought hs first battle nor received his first
wound, ar suffered his first triaL To the
latter al is cheering. He beholds the end
which is so deirable, and in his eagerness to
secure the prize, despises the danger and pri-
vation which are requisite to obtain it. Hence
when the cry is raised, 'there is a lion in the
way,' ad others start back in unmanly fear, or
with cntiwpu prudence, he grasps hi sword,
and rushes to the combat.
Now, after making every allowance for the evil
results when courage becomes recklessness,
and darieg changes to fool-harditess; it cannot
be denied, that this bold, determined spirit,
has its mission to execute in a world which,
like this, call fr. many dangerous enterprises.
It has become a maxim in business, "Nothing
venture, nothing gained." He who rns no



risks, and never encounters danger, will find
that he seldom secures an advantage. Every
age demands daring souls, who will confront
danger, and be resolute in carrying out great
undertakings-men who, when called upon to
serve in a difficult and hazardous enterprise,
will act with the decision, courage and prompt-
ness of Ledyard, who, when aked when he
would be ready to start on a perilous expedi-
tion to the interior of Africa, replied To-mor-
row morning, sir." For such you must look
mainly among young men, and in all ages they
have responded to similar calls. "Young men
for war," is proverbial, and is but a deduction
from universal history.
When Israel trembled before the invading
Philistines, and the whole army of Saul num-
bered but six hundred men, who wos it ven-
tured with no aid but his armor-beaver, to en-
counter an entire garrison of the enemy, and to
commence a battle that ended in a perfect rout
of the foe-who was it, but young Jonathan, the
son of the King ? When, shortly after, those
inveterate enemies re-assembled their armies
and marched forth to destroy the people of
God, and when their gigantic champion stood
tbrth to maintain their cause against Israel's


warriors, and found none to vindicate Jehovah
and his peculiar nation, who went out to meet
him, and smote that proud champion to the
earth, but the stripling David? And so in
years before, when God would raise up a bold
deliverer for his oppressed people, he passed by
all others, and selected young Gideon, by his
own confession, "least in his father's house,"
and through him wrought a decisive victory.
And thus God and man may always find
efficient instruments for carrying out important
designs in young men. They have a power
which, though often abused, is capable of pro-
ducing mighty results.
4. An additional element of power in young
men, is found in their readiness to receive andprop-
agate new truths. It is a fact which no man
well read in history, or experienced in observa-
tion, will call in question, that young men are
more willing than old men to adopt truths
which are newly discovered. The latter can
with difficulty be moved from their position-
they look with suspicion on all new discoveries,
they distrust novelties of every description,
they are conservative not only of old truths,
but not infrequentlyy of old errors also, and
their minds are seldom in that perfectly candid



state which welcomes inquiry and discussion,
and looks for further light. Hence the Saviour
prayed "I thank thee, 0 Father, Lord of heaven
and earth, because thou hast hid these things
from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed
them unto babes."
Young men have not yet become so fixed in
their views that their mental activities are rigid
and inflexible-they have more hope for the
future than reverence for the past, and rather
expect than otherwise that discoveries will be
made in arts and sciences, in medicine, law,
and theology. They are less committed before
the public than old men to peculiar theories,
and hence more readily adopt those which
appear to have the advantage over their pre-
decessors. When a truth which has long been
hidden, emerges to light, they eagerly receive
it, and give it currency. They are for the in-
crease of intelligence, and the prosecution of
discovery. Doctrines in theology, which cause
men retiring from life to turn pale with appre-
hensions of heresy, they are willing to discuss,
and if right, to receive. They sympathize
with Bishop Butler, where he observes, "As it
is owned that the whole scheme of Scripture is
not yet understood, so, if it ever comes to be



understood, before the Restitution of all things,
and without miraculous interposition, it must
be in the same way as natural knowledge is
come at; by the continuance and progress of
learning and liberty, and by particular persons
attending to, comparing and pursuing intima-
tions scattered up and down it, which are over-
looked and disregarded by the generality of
the world. Nor is it at all incredible, that a
book which has been so long in the possession
of mankind, should contain many truths as yet
In corroboration of the assertions which I
have made, let me refer to opinions and facts as
noticed by others. President Edwards wrote
in his diary, September 23d, 1723, I observe
that old men seldom have any advantage of
new discoveries, because they are beside (con-
trary to) the way of thinking to which they
have been so long used." He then subjoins
the following resolution: "Resolved, if ever I
live to years, that I will be impartial to hear
the reasons of all pretended discoveries, and
receive them if rational, how long soever I have
been used to another way of thinking." Rev.
Dr. Emmons, a few years before he died, said
to a minister, now well known, "Never dispute



with a man who is over forty years of age,"
intimating that it would be a useless task. It
is also said that when the fact of the circulation
of the blood was discovered, no physician over
forty years of age embraced the new and true
theory! It is in point here to cite a fact from
D'Aubigne's History of the Reformation. It
appears that when Luther endeavored to propa-
gate the truth, the men of advanced years re-
fused to be convinced, and clung to Rome;
while the young men eagerly received the
doctrines of the reformation. Hence Luther
on one occasion exclaimed," I have the glorious
hope that even as Christ, when rejected by the
Jews, turned towards the Gentiles, so we shall
see the rising generation receive the true
theology, which these old men, wedded to their
vain and fantastical opinions, now obstinately
Now, I argue that the possession of truth
imparts immense power-that a young man,
embracing truth which old men discard be-
cause it is new, has untold advantages over
them.in his efforts to do good. It is for the
interest and eventual influence of every one to
deal in verities, and not in falsehoods; to propa-
gate facts, and not fallacies; to cling to substance



and not to shadow. As the freeman has more
power than the slave, so the defender of truth
is clad in a panoply which cannot be used by
the advocate of error. If the young man has
received truth whichthe old man has rejected
as a novelty, then as certainly as truth is des-
tined to prevail, so certainly will the former
eventually advance to honor and influence, and
the latter fall back into shame and impotence.
How soon, for instance, did young Melancthon,
in the advocacy of truth, attain to unbounded
influence in Germany; while the aged theo-
logians who despised the doctrines of reform
as a heretical innovation, sunk into contempt
and oblivion.
I contend, therefore, that the tendency of
young men to receive and propagate new truths,
is an element of power. If I am told, by way
of objection, that this tendency often leads
them into error, and that frequently they mis-
take and regard a doctrine as true merely be-
cause it is new; I answer, undoubtedly such
cases occur; but they only illustrate the fact
that over against every blessing is set a curse;
that every coin has its counterfeit; that every
good is attended with danger; that every idea
may be pushed to extremes. No one, however,



denies the utility of steamboats because they
frequently explode, nor of rail cars because they
are liable to run off the track, nor of the
magnetic telegraph because a mistake is some-
times made in transmitting intelligence.
5. The relation in which young men stand to
the community is one which places power in their
hands. They are coming into the exercise of
prerogatives which will give them great in-
fluence-like a youthful monarch emerging
from his minority, and assuming the reins of
government. The opinions which are em-
braced by the young men of this nation will
soon be the dominant opinions in the state;
while the sentiments embraced by the young
men of the church will soon become the pre-
vailing sentiments of the church. Our fathers
have held the sceptre for many years, but must
soon resign it to us, and so we in our turn
will resign it to our children.
Our fathers understand and admit the fact.
Two or three years since I remarked to one
who has been long in the ministry, while dis-
cussing the subject of slavery, you may slight
this matter for the present, and our ecclesiasti-
cal bodies may deny it a place in their discus-
sions, but be assured a change is at hand. As-


certain the sentiments of the young men in the
theological seminaries, and you will find them
far in advance of your own.. In a few years,
they will be pastors of churches and members
of ecclesiastical bodies, and will outvote you;
and the day is not far distant when the slave-
holder shall be excluded from christian fellow-
ship at the North. To this he could only reply,
that he supposed it must be so.
And thus on nearly all the vexed questions
of the day, the young men are in advance of
their fathers, and in a few years will have
reached a position in which they can make
their power felt by transmuting opinion into
law. Now they may seem feeble, and older
men may ridicule their views and aspirations;
but be it remembered, the one class have almost
lived out their days, the other have but com-
menced their labors; the one class steadily
diminish, the other steadily increase. Fifteen
years from this, and a different order of men
will have sway in church and state-men not
educated in the past, and clinging alike to its
excellencies and follies; but matured under
more recent influences, the representatives of
newer opinions, unknown indeed now, but who
will have come into notice and power during
the intervening period.



Let me impress it upon you, young men, that
we have the future destiny of the church and
state in our own hands. The opinions we now
form, the positions we assume, the political and
theological doctrines that we embrace, will
soon be paramount in the community where
we move-to give place, it is true, to those
which our successors shall adopt, but to reign,
nevertheless, till we pass from the stage of
6. I will refer to certain facts to prove what
has been accomplished by yozmg men. If we run
over the personal history of distinguished indi-
viduals, we shall find that many, and in some
cases most of their eminent deeds, were per-
formed before they reached the age of thirty-
five; thus proving that the power of acconm-
plishment is most vigorous in the early part of
life. True, there have been men of great
ability, whose influence in the world has been,
and still continues to be extensive and pow-
erful, who achieved their great works at a more
advanced age; but this fact does not overthrow,
or at all impugn my position; since we know
not what they might have accomplished, if the
circumstances of their lives had been such as
to arouse their energies, and call forth their
talents, at an earlier period.



If we turn our attention to the great con-
querors of former times, we find among the
most prominent, Alexander the great. This
wonderful man subdued his enemies in Greece,
took possession of the neighboring countries,
passed into Asia, conquered the whole of Asia
Minor, Syria, Egypt and Persia, besides count-
less smaller kingdoms, and a large part of India,
and died at Babylon, at the age of thirty-two
years and eight months. Hannibal, who was the
most formidable adversary with which Rome
ever met, was made general of the Cathaginian
armies at the age of twenty-two. By the time
he was twenty-eight, he had driven the Romans
from Spain and Gaul, had crossed the Alps with
an immense army-a feat at that time almost
miraculous, had conquered a large part of Italy,
and by the battle of Canna had brought Rome
itself into danger of capture. Bonaparte, at the
age of twenty-seven, was made general of the
French -armies; after which he subdued the
whole of Italy, passed into Egypt, and annexed
that to his conquered territories, invaded Syria,
returned to France, was made First Consul at
the age of thirty years, and having, like Hanni-
bal, with incredible boldness and perseverance
crossed the Alps, by the decisive victory of



Marengo, again subdued Italy, and was eventu-
ally crowned Emperor-having gained some
of his most brilliant victories by the time he
reached the age of thirty-five. Hernando
Cortes, the conquerorof Mexico, pushed his way
up from obscurity, became commander of the
expedition to Mexico, an d by consummate
boldness and address, too often running into
unmitigated villainy, became, by the age of
thirty-five, master of the mighty Aztec empire.
If we turn to literary men, poets, orators and
philosophers, we find Burke laying the founda-
tion of his reputation for eloquence as a writer
and speaker, as early as his twenty-seventh
year, and composing his celebrated treatise on
the Sublime and Beautiful in his twenty-eighth
year. We are told that Lord Bacon had con-
ceived his design of overthrowing the philoso-
phy of Aristotle, then everywhere received, and
hlad expressed his opposing views as early as
his sixteenth year. Sir Isaac Newton had made
his most important discoveries in astronomy
and mathematics before he reached the age of
thirty. The younger Pitt became Chancellor
of the Exchequer, and Prime Minister of Eng-
land, at the age of twenty-four, and for many
years conducted with consummate ability the



multiplied and complicated affairs of that
empire. Lord Byron, who, though immoral in
his character, and in many of his productions,
nevertheless ranks among the most gifted poets
in the language, composed many of his choicest
poems before his thirtieth year, and was but
thirty-seven when lie died. Burns, who died
at the same age, and whose character resembles
Byron's in its immorality, published some of
his most exquisite compositions by the age of
If we turn to theologians, we are'struck with
the fact that Calvin composed his celebrated
treatise known as the Institutes, when he was
but twenty-five years of age. At thirty, he
revised and enlarged the work, and this second
edition, one of his biographers declares, "is
justly considered as the perfected fruit of his
mature studies." At the same age he pub-
lished his celebrated commentary on the Epis-
tle to the Romans, which was speedily followed
by annotations on nearly the whole Bible.
Philip Melancthon is a yet more wonderful
instance of what can be accomplished in the
early period of life. At twelve years of age
he went to the University of Heidelberg, and
at fourteen, was made bachelor of arts. At


seventeen, he was made Doctor of Philosophy.
At twenty-one, he was appointed Professor of
the ancient languages in the University of
Wittemberg. He delivered his inaugural dis-
course before an immense concourse of learned
men, in Latin, the idiom of which was so pure,
the diction so elegant, the learning so profound,
that his auditors were amazed. Luther, who
sometimes termed him a lad, wrote, saying,
"His lecture room is always crowded. All the
theologians, especially, attend his lectures."
D'Aubigne'writes in his history, "Melancthon's
appearance wrought a revolution not merely
in Wittemberg, but throughout Germany and
the learned world." "Thanks to him," says
Plank, the German historian," Wittemberg
became the school of the nation." His hearers
sometimes numbered two thousand. He made
great improvements on the old course of in-
struction, discontinuing that which was useless,
and introducing valuable studies. When he
was twenty-four years old, he published his
most celebrated work, the Loci Comnmues,
being a complete theological treatise, which
Luther, in the height of his admiration, declared
"to deserve not only immortality, but to be
admitted among the canonical books," Three



editions were published the first year, and be-
fore his death it had run through seventy
I have cited these instances of youthful
success, which might be indefinitely multiplied,
not with the vain idea that every young man
may become as eminent as those whose names
have been mentioned; but to show what has
been done by early application and effort, and
to convince my hearers that whatever ability
God may have given them, may be developed
and used before they reach old age, or even
the meridian of life. These facts prove that
young men are strong-that in past ages they
have done much to revolutionize the political,
the literary, and the religious world. Well
did the Psalmist exclaim, "As arrows are in
the hands of a mighty man; so are. children
of the youth." I close with three
1. The possession of the power which has
been described, involves great responsibility.
The law of God extends its dominion over all we
have, and its language is, Unto whomsoever
much is given, of him shall be much'required.
To us, young men, God has entrusted great
power, and for its use or abuse we are responsi-



ble to him. Great results for time and eternity
depend upon what we shall do-results affect-
ing not ourselves alone, but our friends, the
community in which we live, and not improba-
bly the nation, and the world. You are strong
-God knows it-by his arrangement, you are
so, and for him that strength must be expended.
You are not to wrap your talents in a napkin,
much less are you to invest them in schemes of
wickedness. God expects that you will make
your power felt on the side of truth and right-
eousness, until the victory is gained. Well
has the poet described the dying remorse of
him who refuses to do this.
(( But look, whose shadows block the door ?
Who are those two that stand aloof ?
See, on my hands this freshening gore
Writes o'er again its crimson proof!
My looked-for death-bed guests are met;-
There my dead Youth doth wring its hands,
And there with eyes that goad me yet,
The ghost of my Ideal stands!
,, Men think it is an awful sight
To see a soul just set adrift
On that drear voyage from whose night
The ominous shadows never lift;
But 't is more awful to behold
A helpless infant newly born,
Whose little hands unconscious hold
The keys of darkness and of morn


Mine held them once; I flung away
Those keys that might have open set
The golden sluices of the day,
But clutch the keys of darkness yet;--r
I hear the reapers singing go
Into God's harvest; I, that might
With them have chosen, here below
Grope shuddering at the gates of night.
"0, glorious Youth that once wast mine,
O, high Ideal, all in vain
Ye enter at this ruined shrine
Whence worship ne'er shall rise again;
The bat and owl inhabit here,
The snake nests in the altar-stone,
The sacred vessels moulder near,
The image of the God is gone."

When the last account is rendered, the Judge
will say, you had the precious years of early
life given to you-how were they spent ? You
had exalted powers-to what use were they
put? You had noble opportunities for doing
good-how were they treated ? You had zeal,
enthusiasm, courage, enterprise, a facility for
perceiving and embracing new and important
truths-to what deeds did these qualities, lead ?
You had the moral sense and the political
power of your community placed, in connection
with your companions, in your hands-how
did you mould them? What was your in-
fluence upon the world ? To whose cause did



your strength impart aid? Prepare, young
men, to answer these solemn questions before
the burning throne.
2. Young men need something to guide and
direct them in the use of their power. It
must have struck every hearer, that the various
elements of power which were mentioned, are
all liable to perversion. There is nothing in-
herent in them to prevent abuse. Alexander,
Hannibal, Bonaparte, Cortes, Byron, and others,
%had power, but the energies of their early years
were misdirected, and the result was blood-
shed, crime and immorality. Calvin and Me-
lancthon, by a proper use of their strength,
became a blessing to their own age, and to
succeeding generations.
Mere power may be used for any purpose,
noble or ignoble. Gunpowder may blast out
a path for the rail car, or send death into the
heart of a defenceless city. Steam may propel
to our shores the friendly vessel of commerce,
or the hostile naval armament. In like manner,
we who are young will prove benefactors or
enemies of our race, according to the use to
which we put our power. Our ardor, unless
wisely controlled, will impel us to sin; our
readiness for new views, unless guided by right



principle, will lead us into error; and then our
enthusiasm and courage will only make the
evil results the more disastrous. What shall
ensure a wise, safe and happy course? One
thing alone-the grace of God in the heart.
Without that, you are tossed upon life's tem-
pestuous ocean, and driven by its fierce winds,
without chart or compass. Shipwreck is cer-
tain-death inevitable. Let me persuade you,
to devote your days of youth to Him whose
spirit will cleanse the heart, and guide you in,
the way of holiness, till you reach the city of
God above.
3. The views presented in this discourse,
should encourage young men to live for great
and noble ends. The varied powers which
have been described, were not bestowed that
they might be wasted on ignoble pursuits and
trifling vanities, but to gird you with strength
for mighty undertakings. A consciousness of
power prepares the soul for deeds of daring,
and prompts to energetic conflict.
You have this evening been informed of the
resources placed at your disposal; let the in-
fluence of the recital be in favor of manly and
courageous action. You live in a world of
conflict. The hosts of sin are encountering


the armies of the living God. Every thing is
in commotion. Satan gathers his forces to
defend the strong holds of sin against the
attack of reforming Christians. Strongly are
his followers entrenched within the walls and
moats which have been constructed by ancient
habit, bitter prejudice, dark ignorance, blind
superstition, and brute law. The assailants
are comparatively few, but mighty in the power
of truth and of an Almighty God. Angels are
the interested spectators, and every noble deed
of holiness is performed amid their hallelujahs
and benedictions, while God holds out to the
victor soldier a crown of glory as his eternal
Young men, throw yourselves into the breach;
with all your ardor, courage, and enthusiasm,
lead the way in this moral war. Let every
department of truth find defenders in you.
Let every form of sin and error, which, however
awful in an earthly antiquity, is, in the light of
eternity, but a novelty of yesterday, meet in
you uncompromising opponents. You may do
much by such a consecration of your energies
to God as the noblest of beings, and to the
defence of his truth as the sublimest of causes.
Remember what young men have accom-



polished, who early in life became fixed in prin-
ciple, and devoted themselves to the prosecu-
tion of great and worthy objects. You were
not made merely for amusement, nor for secular
business-God intended you for something
nobler than the ingathering of cents and dollars,
though it may be your duty to attend to such
** God bends from out the deep and says,
I gave thee the great gift of life;
Wast thou not called in many ways ?
Are not my earth and heaven at strife ?
I gave thee of my seed to sow,
Bringest thou me my hundred-fold ?'
Can I look up with face aglow,
And answer, Father, here is gold ?'"

While engaged in the drudgery of a store or
office, remember that secular pursuits are igno-
ble when considered as an end, and only rise
into dignity, when viewed as means to ends
beyond them. While engaged in business
avocations, realize that life is indeed con-
temptible, if it has nothing more elevated, more
worthy the attention of an immortal being,
than the details of trade. You may live so as
to make life both an honor and a blessing.
Even if cut off in youth, your work may
have been done-a work, in comparison with


which the erection of the pyramids of Egypt
was an act of trifling folly. Henry Martyn
was but thirty-two when he died, but who can
estimate the amount of good which his labors
have secured? David Brainerd expired at the
age of twenty-nine, but not till he had done a
worK glorious in the eyes of saints and angels.
James B. Taylor had not completed his twenty-
eighth year when called hence, yet has he
accomplished more for Christ, than many who
live to four-score.
A little more than one hundred years since,
three young men were accustomed to meet,
with a few others, in the city of Oxford, in Eng-
land, for prayer and exhortation. They there
consecrated themselves to the service of God,
and determined, ere they died, to do something
for Christ. The world despised and derided
them; but the world has long since shaken
beneath their tread. Those young men were
strong in the possession of undeveloped ener-
gies, and in the certainty of a divine blessing;
and now earth boasts no prouder names, no
truer heroes, no more successful champions,
than John Wesley, Charles Wesley, and George
Whitefield. What portion of the world to
which the gospel has been carried, has not felt



their influence, and does not contain their
followers? John Wesley alone, has in this
country nearly a million of disciples, and the
power of those three young men will be felt
increasingly while time lasts.
Thirty-nine years ago, last autumn, three
other young men, "whose hearts God had
touched," kneeled down by the side of a hay-
stack in a meadow, and there vowed to live for
Jesus Christ,'and, if possible, to do something
to evangelize' a dying world. They were
unknown-they seemed to have little power-
they were without influence; but nevertheless,
they have done a work which might well be
envied by the angels in heaven. Their names
were Samuel J. Mills, James Richards, and
Gordon Hall; and young as they were, they
were the fathers of American Missions to the
heathen, and the true founders of the American
Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.
Will you tell me, after such facts, that young
men are not strong ? I would God, that I could
only secure the consecration, thorough and per-
manent, of every young man in this house, to
truth and holiness, and in twenty years the
wicked of this land would tremble before us.
Words failme to utter the longings of my heart,

as I behold the young men of this audience.
Who could tell how much they might do
for God, were they united and faithful in
his service! Go, ye who share with me the
ardor, the energy, the onward impulses of
early life; labor for that which will confer
immortality beyond the grave, and may God
crown your efforts with abundant success.
Excuse my earnestness, and the length of this
discourse; they are occasioned by my unspeak-
able anxiety to enlist your powers on the side
of God. "I have spoken unto you, young
men, because ye are strong."





THE world has witnessed many changes, as
century after century of its history has passed
away. Empires have risen, have flourished,
have gradually decayed, or have been suddenly
overthrown; cities have been built which in-
creased in extent, in wealth, and in power, till
they controlled the destinies of nations, and
then, by the strange operations of providential
causes, have been desolated and deserted, till
every trace of their existence has vanished;
great men have appeared, who as kings and con-
querors have stalked across the stage, attract-
ing the attention of an admiring world, and
gaining the applause of thoughtless fellow
mortals, till, at the unseen signal of the divine
hand, they have fallen from their grandeur, and
their names have either passed into oblivion,
or occupy but a small space on the historic page.


Nation has meanwhile given place to nation;
each with its strongly marked peculiarities,
and each with its mission to perform. Age
succeeding age has served to develop and
perfect the arts and sciences; knowledge has
had its seasons of banishment and diffusion;
religion has in different parts of the earth
assumed varied and strange forms; civilization
and barbarism have in turn triumphed; battles
have been fought, have been won, have been
lost; great struggles have taken place in the
mind; the history of the race has presented
the appearance of incessant change.
But amid all this seeming confusion, and
these multiplied overturnings in the outward
world, man as an individual, viewed in the light
of his interior affections, and of his secret ex-
perience, has been ever the same. There is a
nature common to the race, and its workings
have been identical from the fall to the present
time. There seems to be great disparity be-
tween the peasant and the king; one would
scarce imagine that they had a single thought
in common: yet beats there the same heart
in both breasts; and could you feel its secret
pulsations, you would find in both, the throb-
bing of ambition, of pride, of passion; the



swelling of sorrow, of envy, of disappointment.
The philosopher, profound in his observation,
and varied in his learning, seems little akin to
the ignorant boor, who plods through the world
content with his skill in using the implements
of daily labor: yet were they honestly to con-
fess the promptings of their souls, it would ap-
pear that they share many hopes and many
fears, that they drink at the same fountains of
joy and sorrows And in like manner, the man
of the present age is, in his secret experience,
the counterpart of him who lived centuries
since, however dissimilar their dress, language,
social habits, rank, occupation, or belief. We
may study man almost equally well from what-
ever age we select the individuals whose con-
duct we scrutinize.
The Bible proceeds on this assumption, and
is consequently composed in large part of per-
sonal and national history; or of. the poems,
prophecies, lamentations, and discourses to
which such history has given rise. It narrates
the events connected with Abraham; the
prophecies referring to the Jews, and the sur-
rounding nations; the incidents of primitive
church history; and the observations of Paul;
because men are, at heart, and in their entire



interior being, the name to day, that they were
then. By nature all are depraved, and the
manifestations and results of depravity are
not so dissimilar in various ages as may be
imagined. "As in water face answereth to
face, so the heart of man to man."
It is this fact which throws such interest
around the book of Psalms, in which the text
is found. The particular Psalms were com-
posed for the most part on special occasions, by
such men as David, Moses, and Asaph: but they
express the feeling of the pious heart in all
ages, and are introduced into the worship of
Christians at the present day. We find there
the same detail of experience which works
out in us-the same alternations of joy and
sorrow, of hope and fear, of victory and defeat;
of gratification and disappointment.
The Psalm which contains the text is as-
cribed to David, and expresses his confidence in
God, and his ardent desire of temporal and spir-
itual deliverance. It assumes the form of prayer,
and one of the burdens which lay upon his
soul is alluded to, in the words "Remember
not the sins of my youth." From this earnest
appeal and deprecation, it would seem that the
sins of his younger days lay with weight upon


his conscience-they twoubled his thoughts
to such an extent, that he was forced to make
them a subject of prayer, and to implore the
divine forgiveness, by the entreaty that God
would not remember them against him. Be-
lieving that this feeling of the royal Psalmist
meets with a frequent response in the hearts
of those now living, and that its consideration
may be of advantage to young men, I call the
attention of nqhearers to the fact, that
Men often look back with anguish to the sis of
their youth.
It is not true, that this feeling is always or
often expressed. Frequently it works silently
and sadly within, calling upon memory to pro-
duce her stores of ancient facts, and from them
preparing a cup of bitterness for the soul to
drain. It troubles not the mind during the
hurry and confusion of business, or amid the
excitement of passion; for it is the offspring
of retirement, and has its birth amid silence,
solitude, and meditation. It comes stealing
over the mind when we sit alone, as the gray
twilight loses itself in the shades of evening;
or when we lie wakeful and thoughtful upon
mur beds at midnight, or muse away te

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