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This period should in part be given to prayer, as it furnishes a variety of devotional topics and excitements. The evening is the close of an important division of time, and is therefore a fit and natural season for stopping and looking back on the day. And can we ever look back on a day, which bears no witness to God, and lays no claim to our gratitude? Who is it that strengthens us for daily labour, gives us daily bread, continues our friends and common pleasures, and grants us the privilege of retiring, after the cares of the day, to a quiet and beloved home?

The review of the day will often suggest not only these ordinary benefits, but peculiar proofs of God's goodness, unlooked for successes, singular concurrences of favourable events, singular blessings sent to our friends, or new and powerful aids to our own virtue, which call for peculiar thankfulness. And shall all these benefits pass away unnoticed ? Shall we retire to repose as insensible as the wearied brute ? How fit and natural is it, to close with pious acknowledgment, that day which has been filled with divine beneficence !

But the evening is the time to review, not only our blessings, but our actions. A reflecting mind will naturally remember at this hour that another day is gone, and gone to testify of us to our Judge. How natural and useful to inquire what report it has carried to heaven! Perhaps we have the satisfaction of looking back on a day which in its general tenour has been innocent and pure, which, having begun with God's praise, has been spent as in his presence; which has proved the reality of our principles in temptation : and shall such a day end without gratefully acknowledging Him in whose strength we have been strong, and to whom we owe the powers and opportunities of Christian improvement ?

But no day will present to us recollections of purity unmixed with sin. Conscience, if suffered to inspect faithfully and speak plainly, will recount irregular desires, and defective motives, talents wasted and time mispent; and shall we let the day pass from us without penitently confessing our offences to Him who has witnessed them, and who has promised pardon to true repentance? Shall we retire to rest with a burden of unlamented and unforgiven guilt upon our consciences ? Shall we leave these stains to spread over and sink into the soul ?

A religious recollection of our lives is one of the chief instruments of piety. If possible no day should end without it. If we take no account of our sins on the day on which they are committed, can we hope that they will recur to us at a more distant period, that we shall watch against them to-morrow, or that we shall gain the strength to esist them, which we will not implore ?

The evening is a fit time for prayer, not only as it ends the day, but as it immediately precedes the period of repose. The hour of activity having passed, we are soon to sink into insensibility and sleep. How fit that we resign ourselves to the care of that Being who never sleeps, to whom the darkness is as the light, and whose providence is our only safety! How fit to entreat him that he would keep us to another day; or, if our bed should prove our grave, that he would give us a part in the resurrection of the just, and awake us to a purer and immortal life! Let our prayers, like the ancient sacrifices, ascend morning and evening. Let our days begin and end with God.

CHANNING. REMARKS. This passage is an example of didactic persuasive writing, but it is not sufficiently extended to bring to view the plan and other peculiarities of this class of compositions. In the remarks made upon it the attention will be principally directed to the amplification.

1. The evening is a part of the day in itself favourable to the duty of prayer. Under this head, the amplification is of the nature of proof, being an enumeration of those circumstances favourable to devotion, which are peculiar to the close of the day. These circumstances are matters of common observation, and do not require to be substantiated by authorities or arguments of any kind. The bare suggestion of them is all that is necessary and all that is attempted.

2. The evening offers several topics and excitements favourable to devotion.

Of these topics, the review of mercies common and special, received during the day, is first mentioned. The amplification here consists of a brief enumeration of these mercies, with appeals to our gratitude and to our sense of what is fit and natural to man in the relation which he sustains to his Heavenly Benefactor.

Another topic which offers itself is a review of our actions. Here a reference is made to our condition as accountable beings, and we are led to consider what report, respecting our conduct, the day has borne to Heaven. Wherein we have been kept from wrong and enabled to do right, we are gratefully to acknowledge Him, in whose strength we have been strong. Wherein we have done wrong, we are penitently to confess our sins and to seek forgiveness. · Here also the amplification consists of an appeal to our emotions of gratitude, to our conscience, and to our self-interest. In connexion with the last consideration, the writer is led to speak of a religious recol. lection of our lives as an instrument of piety.

Another distinct topic is now mentioned. The evening precedes

the period of repose. This lays the foundation of an appeal to what is fit-to what our own safety and welfare require. We are to sink into a state of insensibility and sleep. Shall we not commit curselves to the care of that Being, who never slumbers nor sleeps ?

EXERCISE III.

ARGUMENTATIVE WRITING. Defence of Literary Studies in Men of Business. AMONG the cautions which prudence and worldly wisdom inculcate on the young, or at least among those sober truths which experience often pretends to have acquired, is that danger which is said to result from the pursuit of letters and of science, in men destined for the labours of business, for the active exertions of professional life. The abstraction of learning, the speculations of science, and the visionary excursions of fancy are fatal, it is said, to the steady pursuit of common objects, to the habits of plodding industry which ordinary business demands. The fineness of mind which is created or increased by the study of letters, or the admiration of the arts, is supposed to incapacitate a man for the drudgery by which professional eminence is gained; as a nicely tempered edge, applied to a coarse and rugged material, is unable to perform what a more common instrument would have successfully achieved. A young man destined for law or commerce is advised to look only into his folio of precedents, or his method of book-keeping; and dulness is pointed to his homage, as that benevolent goddess, under whose protection the honours of station and the blessings of opulence are to be attained; while learning and genius are proscribed as leading their votaries to barren indigence and merited neglect.

In doubting the truth of these assertions, I think I shall not entertain any hurtful degree of scepticism, because the general current of opinion seems of late years to have set too strongly in the contrary direction ; and one may endeavour to prop the falling cause of literature, without being accused of blameable or dangerous partiality.

In the examples which memory and experience produce of idleness, of dissipation, and of poverty, brought on by indulgence of literary or poetical enthusiasm, the evidence must necessarily be on one side of the question only. Of the few whom learning or genius has led astray, the ill success or the ruin is marked by the celebrity of the sufferer. Of the many who have been as dull as they were profligate, and as ignorant as they were poor, the fate is unknown, from the insignificance of those by whom it was endured. If we may reason a priori on the matter, the chance, I think, should be on the side of literature.

In young minds of any vivacity, there is a natural aversion to the drudgery of business, which is seldoin overcome, till the effervescence of youth is allayed by the progress of time and habit, or till that very warmth is enlisted on the side of their profession, by the opening prospects of ambition or emolument. From this tyranny, as youth conceives it, of attentiou and of labour, relief is commonly sought from some favourite avocation or amusement, for which a young man either finds or steals a portion of his time, either patiently plods through his task, in expectation of its approach, or anticipates its arrival by deserting his work before the legal period for amusement is arrived. It may fairly be questioned, whether the most innocent of those amusements, is either so honourable or so safe as the avocation of learning or of science. Of minds uninformed and gloss, whom youthful spirits agitate, but fancy and feeling have no power to impel, the amusement will generally be either boisterous or effeminate, will either dissipate their attention, or weaken their force. The employment of a young mau's vacant hours is often too little attended to by those rigid masters, who exact the most scrupulous observance of the periods destined for business. The waste of time is undoubtedly a very calculable loss; but the waste or the depravation of mind is a loss of a much higher denomination. The votary of study, or the enthusiast of fancy, may incur the first, but the latter will be suffered chiefly by him whom ignorance or want of imagination has left to the grossness of mere sensual enjoyments.

In this, as in other respects, the love of letters is friendly to sober manners and virtuous conduct, which in every profession is the road to success and to respect. Without adopting the commonplace reflections against some particular departments, it must be allowed, that in mere men of business there is a certain professional rule of right, which is not always honourable, and though meant to be selfish very seldom profits. A superior education generally corrects this, by opening the mind to different motives of action, to the feelings of delicacy, the sense of honour, and a contempt of wealth, when earned by a desertion of those principles.

To the improvement of our faculties as well as of our principles, the love of letters appears to be favourable. Letters require a certain sort of application, though of a kind perhaps very different from that which business would recommend. Granting that they are unprofitable in themselves, as that word is used in the language of the world, yet, as developing the powers of thought and reflection, they may be an amusement of some use, as those sports of children, in which numbers are used to familiarise them to the elements of arithmetic. They give room for the exercise of that discernment, that comparison of objects, that distinction of causes which is to increase the skill of the physician, to guide the speculations of the merchant, and to prompt the arguments of the lawyer; and though some professions employ but very few faculties of the mind, yet there is scarce any branch of business in which a man who can think will not excel him who can only labour. We shall accordingly find, in many departments where learned information seemed of all qualities the least necessary, that those who possessed it, in a degree above their fellows, have found, from that very circumstance, the road to eminence and wealth.

But I must often repeat, that wealth does not necessarily create happiness, nor conser dignity; a truth which it may be thought declamation to insist on, but which the present time seems particularly to require being told.

The love of letters is connected with an independence and delicacy of mind, which is a great preservative against that servile homage which abject men pay to fortune ; and there is a certain classical pride, which, from the society of Socrates and Plato, Cicero and Atticus, looks down with an honest disdain on the wealth-blown insects of modern times, neither enlightened by knowledge, nor ennobled by virtue.

In the possession, indeed, of what he has attained, in that rest and retirement from his labours, with the hopes of which his fatigues were lightened and his cares were smoothed, the mere man of business frequently undergoes suffering, instead of finding enjoyment. To be busy as one ought is an easy art; but to know how to be idle is a very superior accomplishment. This difficulty is much increased with persons to whom the habit of employment has made some active exertion necessary; who cannot sleep contented in the torpor of indolence, or amuse themselves with those lighter trifles in which he, who inherited idleness as he did fortune from his ancestors, has been accustomed to find amusement. The miseries and misfortunes of the “retired pleasures” of men of business have been frequently matter of speculation to the moralist, and of ridicule to the wit. But he who has mixed general knowledge with professional skill, and literary amusements with professional labour, will have some stock wherewith to support him in idleness, some spring for his mind when unbent from business, some employment for those hours which retirement or solitude has left vacant and unoccupied. Independence in the use of one's time is not the least valuable species of freedom. This liberty the man of letters enjoys : while the ignorant and the

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