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[259]

We live in a country of vast geographical extent. A large portion of it is uninhabited. It is, however, rapidly filling up. Immigrants from every section of the civilized world are rapidly arriving in our eastern cities, and spreading to remote sections of our republic: men of every conceivable variety of taste, disposition, and opinion, both in politics and in religion. The fertility and abundance of our soil, and the variety of our staple articles of produce, have attracted universal activity and enterprise. To compare the civilized world to one vast city, our republic seems destined to become the great market or business-street of it. Here, all is bustle and activity. Nowhere on the face of the globe is so much energy of character displayed. No attentive observer can fail to perceive the tendency of all this to call off the mind from those moral and intellectual pursuits that so eminently fit men for the sober duties of life and the felicities of heaven. The public mind is already kept in a state of most unnatural excitement, stimulated in the highest degree to the pursuits of wealth and political distinction, to the almost-entire neglect of every other interest. This is daily becoming the supreme attraction, to which the popular impulse yields as readily as the unfortunate ship obeys the resistless circles of the maelstrom.

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