Page images
PDF
EPUB

3. I believe in the doctrine of universal holiness and happiness, because “the restitution of all things" is a doctrine "which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began," Acts iii. 21. The promise which was made to Abraham, renewed to Isaac, and confirmed to Jacob, embraces "all the nations," "all the families," and "all the kindreds of the earth ;"! and while I believe that "he is faithful that promised, and that no power is sufficient to thwart his all glorious parposes, I must continue to believe this doctrine.

As truth, and that alone, is my object, if you can show from the Scriptures that the above sentiments are erroneous, I will gladly renounce my present belief, and esteem you my best and dearest friend on earth. Yours in the bonds of the gospel,

WARREN SKINNER. Langdon, Jar. 11, 1887.

ADVICE TO THE YOUNG.

The following letter was written by Mr. Jefferson to his ne

phew, Peter Carr, whose education be in part directed. It is full of instruction.

Paris, August 10, 1785. Dear Peter,– I received by M. Marrie your letter of April 20th. I am much mortified to hear that you have lost so much time, and when arrived at Williamsburgh, you were not at all advanced from what you were when you left Monticello. Time now begins to be precious to you. Every day you lose, retards a day your entrance on that public stage whereon you may begin to be useful to yourself. However, the way to repair the loss, is to improve the future time. I trust that with your disposition, the acquisition of science is a pleasing employment. I can assure you that the possession of it is what (next to an honest heart) will above all things render you dear to your friends, and give you fame and promotion in your own country. When your mind shall be well improved in science, nothing will be necessary to place you in the highest point of view, but to pursue the interest of your country, of your friends, and yourself, with the purest integrity, the most chaste honor. The defect of these virtues can never be made up, by all other acquirements of body and mind. Make these then your first object. Give up money, give up fame, give up science, give the earth and all it contains, rather than do an immoral a'ct. And never suppose, that in any possible situation or under any circumstances, that it is best for you to do a dishonorable thing, however slightly it may appear to you. Whenever you are aboat to do any thing, tho it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act, were the whole world looking at you, and act accordingly. Encourage all your virtuous dispositions, and exercise them whenever opportunity arises, being assured that they will gain strength by exercise, as a limb of the body does, and that exercise wilt render them habitual. If ever you find yourself environed with difficulties and perplexing circumstances, out of which you are at a loss how to extricate yourself, do what is right, and be assured that will extricate you best, out of the worst situations. Al though you cannot see, when you take one step, what will be the next, yet go on, follow truth and justice, and plain dealing, and never fear their leading you out of the labyrinth, the easiest manner possible. The knot which you thought Gordian, will untie itself before you. Nothing is so mistaken as a supposition that a person is to extricate himself from a difficulty by intrigue, by dissimulation, by an untruth, by an injustice. This increases the difficulties ten fold; and they who pursue these methods, get themselves so at length that they can turn no way but their infamy becomes more exposed.

It is of great importance to set a resolution not to be shaken, never to tell an untruth. There is no vice so mean, so pitiful, so contemptible; and he who permits himself to tell a lie once, will find it easier a second and third time. At length, it becomes habitual : he tells lies without attending to them, and truths without the world believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time, depraves all its good dispositions.

An honest heart being the first thing, a knowing head is the second. It is time for you now to begin to be choice of your reading, to pursue a regular course, and not to suffer yourself to be turned to the right or the left by reading any thing out of that course. I have long ago digested a plan for you, suited to the circumstances in which you will be placed. This I will detail to you, from time to time, as you advance. For the present, I advise you to begin a course of ancient history, reading every thing in the original, and not in translations. First read Goldsmith's History of Greece. This will give you a digested view of that field. Then take it up in the detail, reading in the following order. Herodotus, Thucydides, Xenophontis Hellenica, Xenophontis Anabasis, or Quintus Curtius, or both, Diodorus Siculus. This shall form the first stage of your historical reading. The next will be Roman History. Sallust, Cæsar, Cicero's Epistles, Suetonius, Tacitus and Gibbon. From that, we will come down to Modern History. In Greek and Latin poetry, you have read, or will read at school, Virgil, Horace, Terence, Anacreon, Homer, Euripides and Sophocles. Read also Milton's Paradise Lost, Shakspeare, Ossian, Pope and Swift, to form your style in your own language. In Morality, read Epictetus, Xenophontis Memorabilia, Antoninus, and Seneca, of the ancients. In order to ensure a certain progress in this reading, consider, what hours you have free from the

school and the exercises of the school. Give about two of them every day to exercise for health must not be sacrificed to learning. A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercise, I advise the gun. While this gives a inoderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, independence and enterprise to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body, and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks ; never think of taking a book with you. The object of walking is to relax the mind; you should therefore not permit yourself even to think while walking, but divert your attention by the objects surrounding you. Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walking far. The Europeans value themselves on having subdued the horse to the use of man, but I doubt whether we have not lost more than we have gained by the use of this animal. No one has occasioned so much the degeneracy of the human body. An Indian goes on foot nearly as far in a day for a long journey as an enfeebled white does on his horse, and he will tire the best horse. There is no habit you will value 80 much as that of walking far without fatigue. I would advise

you
to take

exercise in the afternoon—not that it is the best time for exercise, for certainly it is not, but is the best time to be spared from your studies ; and habit will soon reconcile it to health, and render it nearly as useful as if you gave to that the most precious hours of the day. A little walk in the morning of about half an hour when you first rise, is advisable also. It shakes off sleep, and produces other good effects in the animal economy. Rise at a fixed and early hour, and go to bed at a fixed hour also. Sitting up late at night is injurious to the health, and not useful to the mind. Having ascribed proper hours to exercise, divide what remains, (I mean of your vacant hours,) into three portions. Give

your

the principal to History; the other two, which should be shorter, to Philosophy and Poetry. Write to me once every month or so, and let me know the progress you make. Tell me in what manner you employ every hour in the day. The plan I have proposed to you is adapted to your present situation only ; when that is changed, I shall propose a corresponding change of plan. - You are now, I expect, learning French-You must push this, because the books which will be put into your hands, when you advance into Mathematics and Natural Philosophy, will be mostly French-these sciences being superiorly treated in that language. Our future con-nections with Spain render that the most necessary

of the modern languages, after the French. When you become a public man, you may have occasion for it, and the circumstance of your possessing that language may give you a preference over other candidates.

. I have nothing further to add for the present, than husband well your time. Cherish your instructers, strive to make every body your friend, and be assured that nothing will be so pleasing as your success, to, Dear Peter, your affectionate uncle,

TH: JEFFERSON.

From the Evangelical Repertory.

CHRIST THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH.

The idea of union between Christ and his people, in which he is considered as a head, and they as the members of a spiritual body, has been prevalent from the earliest ages. The holy scriptures advance the doctrine that Christ is "head over all things to the church," that "he is the head of every man.” We are not to wonder that Christians have admitted this doctrine, in some sense or other, since they find it authoritatively stated Vol. VIII,

3

« PreviousContinue »