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liar character; and it is not difficult, to generate in their minds a reverence for its sentiments and style. They should be directed to the most touching representations, and the most moral stories; and you will find them susceptible of the best impressions.

But, to preserve in their minds an babitual sense of religion, even from their infancy, there is nothing more salutary, than to accustom them to private prayer. Do not imagine, that it is necessary to confine them always to a certain form ; nor satisfy yourselves, that it is sufficient to hear them repeat the Lord's prayer, morning and evening. You will find, that they can, much sooner than you imagine, make little prayers of their own, however short or incoherent ihey may, at first, appear. O, ye parents, if you were sufficiently interested in this most interesting of subjects, you would early aid their thoughts, and help out their imperfect petitions, and accustom them to pray for themselves, instead of hearing them repeat, for ever, a form, which they either do not understand, or utter unconsciously. But I must leave the subject to your own good sense, aided by a deep conviction of the importance of religion, and of early religion.

Before I conclude, however, I cannot but make one remark, of great practical importance, that, though a child may be secured from the contagion of innumerable examples of depravity in others, one unequivocal violation of rectitude, discovered in the parent, may paralyze the influence of all past, and all future instruction. Wbat, then, is not to be apprehended from an habitual transgression of the laws of virtue. You cannot, you will not put lessons into your children's hands, every line of which condemns you; you will not bear them read from books, whose pure pages make you blush ; you will not teach them prayers, who never heard you pray; nor send them regularly to the weekly

services of the sanctuary, to see your seats empty, and hear your irreligious habits condemned. This, I acknowledge, would be too much to expect of you. Walk, then, within your houses, with a perfect beart. Then may you teach diligently to your children the holy truths and precepts of your religion. You will be unwilling to talk of them, neither when thou sittest in tbine house, when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up; that the generations to come may know them, even the children, which shall be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children, and their children to another generation,

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The proclamation of the chief magistrate, and the long continued custom of this part of the union, invite us once more, my christian friends, to cast a restrospective look of gratitude upon our public blessings. It cannot be very dissonant to the spirit of tbis institution of annual ihanksgiving, to devote the hour, which is occupied in the instructions of the pulpit, to some considerations on the peculiar circumstances which distinguish this country from older and distant nations; especially, if we endeavour to ascertain and to acknowledge those advantatages for moral and religious excellence, which are afforded by its extraordinary position. The very multitude of our privileges, and especially their commonness and apparent security, diminish, in some degree, the feelings of attention and interest, which they ought to excite. Absorbed, as we all are, in the pursuits of private emolument, we too often lose sight of those public, but not less distinguished advantages of our situation, which frequent


ly furnish the only, or the primary ground of individual improvement and bappiness. It is true, we unavoidably feel, with peculiar gratitude, the value of our personal blessings ; but it would be unpardonable, to be always inattentive to those public privileges, which, ihough we share them with many millions, may yet constitute our most enviable advantages. It is my intention, this morning, with diffidence, to consider, under several heads, some of the circumstances in the situation of this country, which are favourable to great moral and religious eminence ; and to suggest, under each

; topic, such serious considerations, as are suited to the religious nature of the present occasion.

Omitting, as subjects too extensive for a single discourse, the blessings of christianity and civil liberty, the advantage, which I shall first mention, is to be found in the novelty and youth of our institutions. We may begin to build upon the experience of former ages, and older countries, with all the privileges, and all the spirit of new experiment. Young institutions are flexible, and may be easily contrived to meet the exigencies of circumstances, as they rise. To say nothing of our political institutions, which are, in truth, ibe most hazardous of our experiments--which, from the very nature of our government, every one feels himself called upon to scrutinize, and quite able to adjust-experiments, which God grant our folly may never defeat, let us attend to those establishments, which have learning, public utility, religion and charity for their objects. In the countries of Europe, the usefulness of this kind of institutions is inconceivably diminished by the circumstance of their antiquity, and the character of the times in which they were founded. The munificence of truly pious benefactors was often directed to the most worthless objects. Estates have been bestowed upon monastic and unprofitable foundations; legacies have been left to keep up the repetition of the most idle superstitions; the bounty of princes and states has been wasted upon establishments, which the change of manners, the progress of literature, and the growing culture of the human mind have rendered heavy incumbrances. In truth, it may be safely asserted, that more than half of the noblest generosity of centuries has been entirely unprofitable. Some institutions hare grown into nuisances, from the very accumulation of their wealth; and it is too often true, that the danger of reform is more to be dreaded, than the inconvenience of enduring abuses. Ignorant regulations, absurd restrictions, or repeated 'mal-administration have continued to abridge the value of so many magnificent establishments, that we are almost ready to weep at the splendid waste of public charities and private virtues. We look upon these establishments, as we do upon the cumbrous Gothic piles, with which they are so often connected ; piles, which time is continually impairing, while every successive year leads us to lament, that with all their solitary grandeur, they should continue so cold, so uncomfortable, so dilapidated, unfit for the purpose of habitation, and standing in worthless grandeur only to engage the curiosity of the antiquarian, or amuse a casual spectator.

My friends, a vast range of benefits is open before you in the public-spirited establishment of institutions, wbich sball continue favourable to the best interests of the community through many successive generations. Let no man consider himself uninterested in the future influence of any rising institution. The man of letters has something, for which he is responsible, in every literary project; the busy and active, in ever new plan of public utility. The rich and benevolent are answerable for our charitable foundations; and every man has something, for which he is interested, in our religious institutions. We have opportunities every

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