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We must also consider well the present, because there is always some duty now to be done, the doing of which is our immediate business, which no reflection on the past and no anticipation of the future should lead us to neglect. Still, however, we must let our eyes look right on, and our eyelids look straight before us.” We have not only memory, but a certain measure of prescience. True, we cannot look into futurity, so as to ascertain particular events, but we can anticipate general conditions; and it is a mark of a well governed mind to anticipate the future as far as possible. We should consider what in all probability is to happen to us, and prepare for it. Young people are not unapt to look forward, but rather in a sentimental and romantic, than in a practical manner, and as an exercise of the imagination rather than of the judgment. Be thoughtful, then, and let your thoughtfulness have respect to the future. Let your eyelids look straight on; and ponder the ways


feet. There is a world of practical wisdom in some single words : : among them is that momentous word,

prepare. How many evils, in some cases, would have been avoided, had men prepared to meet them! How many benefits would have been secured, bad men prepared to appropriate them! How much that they have done would have been better done, if they had prepared to do it. How often, already, have you had regretfully to say, "I wish I had prepared for this !” Well then, let this impress you, and guide you for the future. own limited experience in the little things which have yet happened, be a warning to prepare you for the greater ones which will happen. I know very well that the opposite evil of always preparing and never acting, which is the case with some, is also to be avoided. There are many who are ever getting ready to act, but when the moment for acting arrives, are so irresolute, 80 timid, so procrastinating, that they let it go by,

Let your But this is by much the rarer case of the two. This chapter then meets you about to enter on life, and it gives out to you the momentous note of preparation.

Preparation is often half the doing and the hardest part too. Preparation for life! How impressive an idea! Not for one particular act, or scene, or engagement, but for the whole of future existence. Life! How much is included in that weighty term.

A love of life is an instinct of our nature, wisely implanted in us for important purposes by the Great Author of our existence. It was the language of truth, though uttered by the father of lies, “Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath, will he give for his life.” Surely, then, if it be incumbent upon us to prepare for everything else, it must be of incalculable moment to prepare for life, since it is the most valuable thing we can covet or possess.

But it will be asked perhaps, what is meant by preparing for life?

I intend then by it preparing to act well our part upon earth, so as to secure to ourselves the greatest measure of happiness and usefulness in this world and eternal happiness in the world to come : preparing to live successfully, religiously, usefully, and happily, so as to secure to ourselves the promise of God to Abraham : “I will bless thee, and thou shalt be a blessing."

The injunction to prepare for life implies that whatever constitutes the felicity and usefulness of life must be matter of choice, pursuit and labour ; that it will not come spontaneously. This is very true. The continuance of even existence itself, is not independent of man's own volition, action, and preparation. We do not live in spite of ourselves, or without ourselves : the vital spark at first communicated to us without our own acting, is still fed and sustained by our own action. We take food and medicine, and wear clothes, and dwell in habitations, to preserve life ; and we must manifest no less solicitude, and put forth no less effort, to secure the blessings of life.

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It depends very much upon every man's own choice and Jabour, how life turns out.

To spend life in happiness and usefulness, we must prepare in the early stages of it for what is future. There is no truth in the Platonic notion of the pre-existence of human souls. We cannot in another and antecedent state anticipate our existence on earth, and through a training in some previous world, and thus learn how to act our part here. Such an advantage, if indeed it would be an advantage, is denied us. We must come into life, and learn as we go on.

We must by thoughtfulnesa, observation, and experience, pick up knowledge by the way. This wonderfully increases the peril of our situation, and the necessity for our cultivating and exercising habits of reflection and caution. Still though we cannot in a previous state of existence anticipate our dwelling and conduct upon earth, we may be trained for the subsequent stages of our being by the conduct we pursue in the earlier ones. We cannot first live to know how to live, but we can be educated for the future in the first part of life. Boyhood and youth are life, physically considered, as well as manhood and old age ; but intellectually, morally, and socially considered, they are rather introductory to life, than life itself. I have therefore, in this view of the subject, to consider the processes preparatory for future life.

I. First of all is Education. I am aware that most of those who will read this work, will have passed through their school-days already. Yet this will not be the case with all, and the subject is so important that I must say a few things upon it. Education includes on the part of those by whom it is conducted, not only instruction, but the right application of knowledge to practical purposes ; in other words, the formation of character. This is beautifully expressed in the proverb, “ Train up a child in the way tould go." Not merely in what he should know, but in the way he should go. And this should ever be remembered by the pupil as well as the teacher. His mind is, of course, to be stored with knowledge, but his judgment, beart, will, and conscience, must also be trained to act rightly. The term of school education is of immense consequence to future life, and should, and does, lead all considerate parents most anxiously to look out for suitable persons to entrust with the education of their children, when they are no longer able themselves to educate them at home. But however judicious the selection of a teacher may be, all young persons should recollect that every one must, to a certain extent, be self-educated, and that it remains with themselves to determine whether the pains bestowed upon them shall be successful or fruitless. It is not in the power of man or woman, or of all men and women combined, to educate a young person, if he will not be educated, or if he does not determine to be well trained. The intellect is not a cup or a bottle into which knowledge can be poured, whether the mind will receive it or not; nor is the heart a piece of passive clay which may be shaped at will by the teacher, irrespective of the will of the pupil. No. It

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And all your future life, for time and eternity, depends upon your education.

“ The child is father of the man," and education forms the child. What you are when you leave school, that you may be expected to be through all your future life. Would that I could impress this upon all young persons : would that I could lead them, especially the older pupils, to look forward and to reflect that they have to pass through life, and that they are just entering upon it; and to consider with what measure of knowledge, and with what form of character, they wish to fill up their places in the great community.

II. Self-education must not stop, but be considered as having only just begun when you leave school. You

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must still carry on your improvement by a thirst after knowledge, a studious babit, and a love of reading, thinking, and observing. Books must be your companions, and if they are good and useful ones, they will be your most profitable associates. In this wonderful age, when knowledge is so rapidly and extensively widening its boundaries; when science and the arts are ever astonishing us with new discoveries, inventions, triumphs, and wonders; when they are incorporating themselves with all the practical business of life ; when to be ignorant is not only disgraceful to a man's intellectual reputation, but injurious to his temporal interests; when to have any weight in society he must know ten times as much as his grandfather knew before him ; and when such facilities are afforded for mental improvement; no young man can be considered as preparing well for life who neglects the cultivation of his intellect. It is a love of knowledge, young men, not a love of pleasure, that will prepare you to act well your part in life. Understand and remember this.

III. The acquisition of a knowledge of some secular calling is another most important part of the preparatory processes of life. Most of you are intended for business, either in the way of manufacture, trade, or one of the professions, and are already for that purpose apprenticed or articled to some one who is to teach you your business, to some one who ought to feel himself bound by every principle of honour, justice, and religion, to instruct you in all you are sent to him to learn. And if the child be the father of the man, it is equally true that the apprentice is the father of the tradesman. What you are as to industry, application, and ability, now in your term of service and secular education, that in all probability you will be as the future tradesman. Subordination is essentially necessary. We learn to command by first learning to obey. t is of immense consequence to re

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