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critical period. It is the true golden age, which never returns. Government and subordination, moral and religious instruction, must commence in families. Parents must teach their children diligently, and must enforce their precepts by a corresponding example. Schools must be cheerfully and liberally patronized. Great care must be exercised in the choice of instructers; and they must be encouraged and supported in all their measures. Every teacher must be required to inculcate good principles upon the minds of bis pupils, to make his school, if possible, a nursery of piety, as well as good learning. The bible and the catechism must be restored to their place and use, both in the school-room and family. Children must be taught, from their infancy, to abhor falsehood, profaneness, drinking, gaming, and every other evil habit. They must be faithfully trained up in habits of industry and economy. Idleness at any age, is vice, and vice is ruin. Children must be taught to despise every mean and sordid action. They must be warned against associating with wicked companions ; must be kept as far as possible from all the haunts of vice, and must be accustomed to seek for enjoyment in that kind of society where their minds may be improved, and every virtuous habit strengthened. Above all, they must be brought up in the fear of God. They must be taught to look up to him as their Creator, Preserver, and Judge; to humble themselves before him as sinners; to believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ; to take his word for their rule; to love their neighbors as themselves, and to lay up treas-> ures in heaven.
Let this course be pursued, my brethren, with the rising generation ; let the preceding outline be filled up by parents, guardians, school-masters, and ministers, and you
will hereafter have very few candidates for the poor-house. Take this plain course, and by God's blessing, your children will be sober, industrious, and comfortable, in their worldly circumstances. Your sons will walk with wise men and will be wise, and not with fools, whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, who glory in their shame.'
They will shun and abhor the dram-shop, as they would the mouth of a lion, or the coil of a serpent. They will be the crown of your grey hairs,' instead of
bringing them down with sorrow to the grave.' They will be 'eyes, and feet, and hands to you, when those that look out of the windows are darkened, and the strong men bow themselves.' In the time of sickness, they will watch over you with filial affection; will support your heads and close your eyes in the hour of death ; will bedew your clay with no ambiguous tears, and will bless your memory.
Think not, my brethren, that this is the baseless fabric of a vision. It is but a plain, unvarnished sketch of the blessed effects of a virtuous and pious education. Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.'
But chiefly owing to former neglects, one thing further is necessary, to remove the existing causes of pauperism, and save our children from the contamination to which they are now exposed. The laws against vice and immorality must be executed upon those who will not be reformed by milder
There evil habits which must be corrected; bad examples which must not be tolerated; inroads upon our moral and religious institutions which must no longer be winked at. The laws against tippling, swearing, gaming, and sabbath
breaking, must be executed, with a prudent, but steady and determined hand. Against intemperante especially, every friend of God and man must boldly lift up his voice, and exert all his influence.
The cries of starving and shivering families against dram-shops, and other similar resorts, in every part of our land, have long siace gone up to heaven ; and they must no longer die away unheeded, upon human ears. These gates of hell must be closed, locked, bolted, barred, and covered with death's beads, flames, and furies !
1 say, my brethren, there must be one grand and united effort, for the support of all that is dear in society, and to prevent the increase of those intolerable burdens, which idleness and profligacy have everywhere, imposed upon virtue and industry. Let the excellent laws this Commonwealth be awaked, where they have been left to fall asleep. Let them rise in their majesty and their might, and your poor rates will soon be diminished more than one half; and in the place of rags, and dirt, and hunger, and cold, you will find cleanliness, sobriety, and competence. Yes, my brethren, every moral, religious, and legal preventive of poverty, which has been named, or omitted, must be employed, with a humble reliance on the blessing of God, and the work will soon be done.
It is no new system, which I have proposed for the prevention of pauperism. I plead for no dubious experiments. I only request that you will stand in the way, and ask for the old paths.' It is not left for us to digest a system of education, adapted to the genius of a free government, and calculated to diffuse the blessings of science, virtue, and religion through the whole community. Such a system was matured and in successful opera. tion, long before we were born.
Our ancestors have not devolved upon us the difficult task of framing, in a degenerate age, all the necessary laws for the punishment of evil doers, the prevention of crimes, the encouragenient of sobriety and industry; and whatever else is essential to the well-being of society. Ålmost every thing is prepared to our hands, and has come down to us from our ancestors, the pious fathers of New England. I need not say, how much those illustrious founders of our happy republic have been ridiculed and vilified, as weak, and bigoted, and fanatical, by some of their puny and degenerate offspring. But I will say, without fear of contradiction, that they were higher from their shoulders and upward, than their tallest revilers : that there were men among them, who, for rectitude of principle, soundness of judgment, largeness of views, and piety of heart, would not suffer by a comparison with the wisest and best legislators of any age or country. The whole world may be challenged to produce a code of laws, which, for the government of a free and enlightened people, can be compared, for one moment, with that which they have bequeathed to posterity.
It is wonderful to observe, in their early statutes and institutions, with what prospective, I had almost said prophetic, sagacity, they guarded against almost every danger, civil, political, moral, and religious, which might menace the security and prosperity of their descendants. Had the laws which they framed been faithfully executed ; had their noble spirit proved hereditary ; had their mantle' fallen upon their children, and then upon their children's children, vice would never have gained its present alarming ascendency. The evils and sufferings of poverly would have been comparatively few and light. It is by degeneracy that we have brought upon ourselves these
heavy burdens, and that we stand exposed to still greater evils. We have stood by, with our arms folded, and permitted the enemy to make wide breaches in our walls, to drive in our sentinels, and to overawe. the whole garrison. Let us now, at length, arise, expel the armies of the aliens ;' build up these breaches ; adhere steadily to the principles and measures of our forefathers; and we shall reap a rich harvest of public and private blessings.
We have only to repair the machinery which our ancestors have left us; to brush away the cobwebs and rub off the rust, which have accumulated through disuse ; to put and keep the wheels and springs in motion ; and the reformation, which every good man prays for, will follow almost of course. It now only remains,
IV. To suggest motives and encouragements for a speedy, united, and persevering course of measures, for accomplishing so important and benevolent. a design. But what shall I say? I have scarcely room left for a bare enumeration of these interesting topics. They present themselves in every view which can be taken of the subject, and press upon the considerate mind, with an urgency, which admits of no delay. They appeal to your interest, to your philanthrophy, to your bowels and mercies,' to your consciences, to your affections, and indeed to every feeling, to every principle, which ought to govern a rational and benevolent mind.
If the means which have been pointed out for bettering the condition of the poor; for stimulating them to exercion, by the honors and substantial rewards of industry ; for affording prompt and adequate relief to the helpless ; for clearing our streets of profligate beggars ; for compelling the idle and intemperate to maintain themselves ;