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ON THE READING OF YOUNG PERSONS.
(Concluded from page 233.) But supposing a love of Reading to exist, it is of the first importance to give to it a right direction. It were indeed better not to read at all, than to read as many do. They read merely for momentary gratification, not being at all anxious about the acqusition of solid and substantial knowledge, or the formation of prineiple. The light and frothy reading of various periodical miscellanies,-the sickly contents of the numberless sentimental volumes that usually crowd our circulating libraries,-or, what is still worse, the rank poison of á vain and sceptical philosophy,- is that in which their vitiated minds chiefly delight. Such reading, alas! the great enemy of souls, and his instruments, abundantly provide for the foolish and uowary ; and too many swallow with eagerness the deadly poison, and thereby eventually draw down on themselves the just puoishment of Gov.
The course of Reading which youth should pursue, is of two kinds, and directed to two objects. The first should be of a devotional cast, with a view to form his mind to religion, and lead him to GOD. The second should be philosophical, in order to store his understanding with the knowledge of human science, as far as it is at all valuable. The first of these ranks highest in importance, as it affects not - only this life, but the next. It will of course begin with the Bible. Indeed, in substance, the Bible will be all in all. Other books will occasionally be used, as explaining or enforcing the Sacred Text; but alí must lead to and agree with it; all belief must be founded on it; alt conduct must be regulated by it;
and all hope must be derived from it. As to other - books, a young man will in general find himself led by his connexions to a particular circle of authors, whose sentiments accord with those of the religious body to which he may be attached. If a Methodist, he will naturally and properly study first the works. of WESLEY and FLETCHER, and such like; if an evangelical Dissenter, those of Watts, DODDRIDGE, and others of the same class ; if a member of the Church of England, the very numerous and valuable writings of her old and standard Divines. Still, to be strictly confined to the books of any one denomination of Christians, is not well. A variety, if judiciously chosen and combined, will be found profitable. In. deed, in many cases, particular excellencies will be found in some authors that are not in others. To give any list of books, fit for a serious young mau's li. ·brary, would be unreasonable: the advice of a pious, intelligent, and experienced friend, will answer that purpose much better; as no one list which could be prepared would suit every individual. But, above all, I again say, let the Bible be read ; every thing else must bend to that. 66 Make it your study by day, and your pillow by night," and then you will be wise and happy.
The less time a young man has for Reading, the greater proportion of it should he devote to the Scriptures; and if he be so situated in business that he cagnot, even by early rising, get more than half an hour's leisure in the morning or evening, then, I hesitate not to say, he should devote the whole of it to his Bible : for this is essential ; other books are only in a lower degree advantageous.
The other kind of reading, that for improvement in general science, must be mentioned in a manner still more indefinite. Every variety in time, capacity, opportunity, disposition or bent of mind, and future prospects in life, will make a difference in the course of reading which a youth should adopt ; so that, on this head also, the advice of a judicious friend, who : knows the case and circumstances, will be far better than any general plan that could be laid down.
A few remarks, however, on the manner of Reading, may not be amiss, as they will be beneficial in all cases, and apply to whatever may be read.
1. Read one page carefully, and with deep attention, rather than two superficially and carelessly
ON TIE READING OF YOUNG PERSONS.
Be not ambitious to note down in your journal the number of volumes you have gone through, or the speed with which you have done it, but rather to inaster the subject you are upon.
Enter into the author's spirit and design ; mark well every step of his reasoning; and follow him to no conclusion that is not just and rational. If no pains be taken to know the truth or fallacy of an author's reasonings, you might as well learn the table of contents by heart, and then lay the book aside.
2. Make occasional use of an extract-book, or common-place-book. This will serve to imprint very important passages more lastingly on the memory, and is valuable for future reference, by means of an alphabetical index. In some cases, it will be well to make a complete analysis or abridgment of the work you read.
3. Intermix different kinds of authors. This, how. ever, should be done judiciously. While you are not altogether confined to one work till its perusal be completed, yet do not begin too many at once; not more than two or three. And when two or three are read together, they should be of quite different kinds; not two histories at once, nor two deep treatises on divinity at once;- but rather take one book of these classes and a poet together : the one will be as recreation after the other; for a change of any kind renders study less fatiguing.
4. Prefer those authors who treat a subject profoundly and fundamentally, rather than those who take it up in a light or superficial manner. The latter may often write in a more lively and flowery style ; but the advantage of being well.grounded in the su bject of your study is by far the greatest. London, 1821.
MR. ADDISON'S REFLECTIONS IN WEST
MINSTER ABBEY. “When I look upon the tombs of the great, every emotion of envy dies in me; when I read the epitaphs of the beautiful, every inordinate desire goes out; when I meet with the grief of parents upon a tombstone, my heart melts with compassion; when I see the tomb of the parents themselves, I consider the vanity of grieving for those whom we must quickly follow; when I see Kings lying by those who deposed them, when I consider rival wits placed side by side, or the holy men that divided the world with their contests and disputes, I reflect with sorrow and astonishment on the little compétitions, factions, and debates of mankind. When I read the several dates of the tombs, of some that died yesterday, and some six hundred years ago, I consider that great day when we shall all of us be contemporaries, and make our appearance together."
AN ANECDOTE. CAMILLUS routed the army of the Falisci, and besieged their capital city, Falerii, which threatened a long and vigorous resistance. The reduction of this little place would have been scarcely worth mentioning, were it not for an action of the Roman General, that has done bim more credit with posterity, than all his other triumphs united. A school-master, who had the care of the children belonging to the principal men in the city, having found means to decoy them into the Roman, camp, offered to put them into the hands of CAMILLUS, as the surest means of inducing the citizens to a speedy surrender. The General, struck with the treachery of a wretch, whose duty it was to protect innocence, and not to betray it, for some time regarded the traitor with a stern silence : but at last finding words, “ Execrable villain,” cried the noble Roman, 66 offer thy aboa minable proposals to creatures like thyself, and not to me: what though we be the enemies of your city, are there not natural ties that bind all mankind, which should never be broken ? There are duties required from us in war, as well as in peace; we fight vot against the age of innocence, but against men,
men who have used us ill jodeed, but yet whose crimes are virtues, when compared to thine. Against such base arts let it be my duty to use only the Roman ones,-valour and arms." So saying, he or. dered him to be stripped, his hands to be tied behind him, and, in that ignominious manner, to be whipped into the town by his own scholars. This generous behaviour in CAMILLUS effected more than his arms could do. The magistrates of the town submitted to the senate, leaving to CAMILLUS the conditions of their surrender; who only fined them a sum of money, to satisfy his army, and received them under the protection, and into the alliance, of Rome.
(From MR. WESLEY's Journals : -See Works : Vol. III. p. 308,
8vo Edition.} “ SEPT. 18, 1757.- Here (Gwenap, in Cornwall) I learned a remarkable occurrence.
A few days ago, some hundreds of English, who had been prisoners in France, were landed at Penzance by a cartel-ship. Many of these passed through Redruth, going home; but in a most forlorn condition. None showed more compassion to them than the French prisoners now resident in that town. They gave them food, clothes, or money ; and told them, “We wish we could do more : but we have little for ourselves here.' Several who had only two shirts gave a naked Englishman one. A French boy, meeting an English boy who was balf naked, took hold of him, and stopped him : cried over him awhile; and then pulled off his own coat, and put it upon him."
NUMBER OF EYES IN THE BEETLE AND
HORSE-FLY. The eyes of insects are immoveable, and many of them seem cut into a multitude of little planes or facets, like the facets of a diamond, and have the