previous next
[340] ministry which shall systematically, promptly, fearlessly war upon every shape and disguise of evil—which shall fearlessly grapple with war and slavery, and every loathsome device by which man seeks to glut his appetites at the expense of his brother's well-being, it will be secured to us through the instrumentality of the very reform I advocate—a reform which shall render the clergyman independent of his parishioners, and enable him to say manfully to all, “You may cease to pay, but I shall not cease to preach, so long as you have sins to reprove, and I have strength to reprove them! I live in good part by the labor of my hands, and can do so wholly whenever that shall become necessary to the fearless discharge of my duty.”

A single illustration more, and I draw this long dissertation to a close. I shall speak now more directly to facts within my own knowledge, and which have made on me a deep and mournful impression. I speak to your experience, too, friends of the Phenix and Union Societies—to your future if not to your past experience—and I entreat you to heed me! Every year sends forth from our Colleges an army of brave youth, who have nearly or quite exhausted their little means in procuring what is termed an education, and must now find some remunerating employment to sustain them while they are more specially fitting themselves for and inducting themselves into a Profession. Some of them find and are perforce contented with some meager clerkship; but the great body of them turn their attention to Literature—to the instruction of their juniors in some school or family, or to the instruction of the world through the Press. Hundreds of them hurry at once to the cities and the journals, seeking employment as essayists or collectors of intelligence—bright visions of Fame in the foreground, and the gaunt wolf Famine hard at their heels. Alas for them! they do not see that the very circumstances under which they seek admission to the calling they have chosen almost forbid the idea of their succeeding in it. They do not approach the public with thoughts struggling for utterance, but with stomachs craving bread. They seek the Press, not that they may proclaim through it what it would cost their lives to repress, but that they may preserve their souls to their bodies, at some rate. Do you not see under what immense disadvantages one of this band enters upon his selected vocation, if he has the rare fortune to find or make a place in it? He is surrounded, elbowed on every side by anxious hundreds, eager to obtain employment on any terms; he must write not what he feels, but what another needs; must “ regret” or “rejoice” to order, working for the day, and not venturing to utter a thought which the day does not readily approve. And can you fancy that is the foundation on which to build a lofty and durable renown—a brave and laudable success of any kind? I tell you no, young friends!-the farthest from it possible. There is scarcely any position more perilous to generous impulses and lofty aims—scarcely any which more eminently threatens to sink the Man in the mere schemer and striver for subsistence and selfish gratification. I say, then, in deep earnestness, to every youth who hopes or desires to

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: