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country, I see an oppressed nation unfurl the banners of freedom.
2. My policy, in our foreign transactions, has been to cultivate peace with all the world; to observe treaties with pure and absolute faith; to check every deviation from the line of impartiality; to explain what may have been misapprehended, and correct what may have been injurious to any nation, and having thus acquired the right, to lose no time in acquiring the ability, to insist upon justice being done to ourselves.
3. Observe good faith and justice toward all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct, and can it be that good policy does not equally enjoin it? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature.
4. There is no truth more thoroughly established than that there exists, in the economy and course of nature, an indissoluble union between virtue and happiness, between duty and advantage, between the genuine maxims of an honest and magnanimous policy and the solid rewards of public prosperity and felicity.
5. The name of American, which belongs to you in your national capacity, must always exalt the just pride of patriotism more than any appellation derived from local discriminations. With slight shades of difference you have the same religion, manners, habits, and political principles. You have, in a common cause, fought and triumphed together. The independence and liberty you possess are the work of joint counsels and joint efforts, of common dangers, sufferings, and successes.
6. This government - the offspring of our choice, un
influenced and unawed, adopted upon full investigation and mature deliberation, completely free in its principles, in the distribution of its powers uniting security with energy, and containing within itself a provision for its own amendment has a just claim to your confidence and your support. Respect for its authority, compliance with its laws, acquiescence in its measures, are duties enjoined by the fundamental maxims of liberty.
7. The very idea of the power and the right of the people to establish government presupposes the duty of every individual to obey the established government. All obstructions to the execution of the laws; all combinations and associations, under whatever plausible character, with the real design to direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular deliberations and action of the constituted authorities, are destructive of this fundamental principle, and of fatal tendency.
8. Let us unite in imploring the supreme Ruler of nations to spread his holy protection over the United States; to turn the machinations of the wicked to the confirming of our Constitution; to enable us at all times to root out internal sedition and put invasion to flight; to perpetuate to our country that prosperity which his goodness has already conferred, and to verify the anticipations of this government being a safeguard of human rights.
Thou, too, sail on, O Ship of State!
XVIII. TEMPTATIONS OF THE YOUNG
1. It is true that every age and employment has its snares; but the feet of the young are most easily entrapped. Issuing forth, as you do, in the morning of life, into the wide field of existence, where the flowers are all open, it is no wonder that you pluck some that are poisonous. Tasting every golden fruit that hangs over the garden of life, it is no wonder that you should find some of the most tempting hollow and moldy.
2. But the peculiar characteristic of your age, my young friends, is impetuosity and presumptuousness. You are without caution, because without experience. You are precipitate, because you have enjoyed so long the protection of others that you have yet to learn to protect yourselves. You grasp at every pleasure because it is new, and every society charms with a freshness which you will be surprised to find gradually wearing away. Young as you are upon the stage, there seems to be little for you to know of yourselves; therefore you are contented to know little, and the world will not let you know more till it has disappointed you oftener.
3. Entering, then, into life, you will find every rank and occupation environed with its peculiar temptations; and, without some other and higher principle than that which influences a merely worldly man, you are not a moment secure. You are poor, and you think pleasure and fashion and ambition will disdain to spread their snares for so ignoble a prey.
4. It is true, they may. But take care that dishonesty does not dazzle you with an exhibition of sudden gains. Take care that want does not disturb your imagination by temptations to fraud. Distress may drive you to indolence
and despair, and these united may drown you in intemperance. Even robbery and murder have sometimes stalked in at the breach which poverty or calamity has left unguarded.
5. You are rich, and you think that pride and a just sense of reputation will preserve you from the vices of the vulgar. It is true, they may; and you may be ruined in the progress of luxury, and lost to society, and, at last, to God, while sleeping in the lap of the most flattering and enervating abundance.
6. The last resource against temptation is prayer. Es
caping, then, from your tempter, fly to God. Cultivate the habit of devotion. It shall be a wall of fire around you, and your glory in the midst of you. To this practice the uncorrupted sentiments of the heart impel you, and invitations are as numerous as they are merciful to encourage
7. When danger has threatened your life, you have called upon God. God. When disease has wasted your health, and you have felt the tomb opening under your feet, you have called upon God. When you have apprehended heavy misfortunes, or engaged in hazardous enterprises, you have, perhaps, resorted to God to ask his blessing. But what are all these dangers to the danger which your virtue may be called to encounter on your first entrance into life?
8. In habitual prayer you will find a safeguard. You will find every good resolution fortified by it, and every seduction losing its power, when seen in the new light which a short communion with Heaven affords. In prayer you will find that a state of mind is generated which will shed a holy influence over the whole character; and those temptations to which you were just yielding will vanish,
with all their allurements, when the day-star of devotion rises in your hearts.
JOSEPH S. BUCKMINSTER.
XIX. WRITING WITH DIAMONDS
I. A little child, beside the window pane,
Held in his hand a diamond, pure and bright,
2. Across the pane he drew the tiny stone,
And, smiling, watched the dainty penciled line,
3. "Not there, my son ! not there," his father said,
"Not there, my child! though every word appear
5. "Thine eye may weary, but the line must stand; Thy thought may change, but here 'tis traced in light;
The fairest touches wrought by childish hand
6. "Nay, school thy hand, and wait a future day, When thou may'st write with bolder mastery: Give not this gem to fancy's careless play;
'Tis but for him who wields it thoughtfully."