Abbildungen der Seite

putation, in every branch of fair and ufeful bufinefs; with diftinction, in every public ftation. The vigour which it gives the mind, and the weight which it adds to character; the generous fentiments which it breathes; the undaunted spirit which it infpires; the ardour of diligence which it quickens; the freedom which it procures from pernicious and dishonourable avocations; are the foundations of all that is highly honourable, or greatly fuccefsful among men.

Whatever ornamental or engaging endowments you now pofsefs, virtue is a necefsary requifite, in order to their fhining with proper luftre. Feeble are the attractions of the fairest form, if it be fufpected that nothing within corresponds to the pleafing appearance without. Short are the triumphs of wit, when it is fuppofed to be the vehicle of malice. By whatever means you may at first attract the attention, you can hold the esteem, and fecure the hearts of others, only by amiable difpofitions, and the accomplishments of the mind. These are the qualities whofe influence will last, when the luftre of all that once sparkled and dazzled has passed away.

Let not then the season of youth be barren of improvements, fo efsential to your future felicity and honour. Now is the feed-time of life; and according to "what you fow, you fhall reap." Your character is now, under Divine assistance, of your own forming; your fate is, in some measure, put into your own hands. Your nature is as yet pliant and foft. Habits have not establifhed their dominion. Prejudices have not pre-occupied your understanding. The world has. not had time to contract and debase your affections. All your powers are more vigorous, difsembarrassed,

and free, than they will be at any future period. Whatever impulfe you now give to your defires and pafsions, the direction is likely to continue. It will form the channel in which your life is to run; nay, it may determine its everlafting ifsue. Confider then the employment of this important period, as the highest truft which fhall ever be committed to you; as in a great measure, decifive of your happiness, in time, and in eternity. As in the fuccefsion of the seasons, each, by the invariable laws of Nature, affects the productions of what is next in courfe; fo, in human life, every period of our age, according as it is well or ill spent, influences the happiness of that which is to follow. Virtuous youth gradually brings forward accomplished and flourishing manhood; and fuch manhood pafses of itfelf, without uneafinefs, into refpectable and tranquil old age. But when nature is turned out of its regular courfe, diforder takes place in the moral, just as in the vegetable world. If the Spring put forth no blofsoms, in Summer there will be no beauty, and in Autumn, no fruit. So, if youth be trifled away without improvement, manhood will probably be contemptible, and old age miferable. If the beginnings of life have been "vanity," its latter end. can fcarcely be any other than "vexation of spirit."

I fhall finish this addrefs, with calling your attention to that dependence on the blessing of Heaven, which, amidft all your endeavours after improvement, you ought continually to preferve. It is too common with the young, even when they refolve to tread the path of virtue and honour, to fet out with prefumptuous confidence in themselves. Trusting to their own abilities for carrying them fuccefsfully through life, they

are careless of applying to God, or of deriving any afsiftance from what they are apt to reckon the gloomy difcipline of religion. Alas! how little do they know the dangers which await them? Neither human wif dom, nor human virtue, unfupported by religion, is equal to the trying fituations which often occur in life. By the fhock of temptation, how frequently have the most virtuous intentions been overthrown? Under the pressure of difafler, how often has the greateft conftancy funk? "every good, and every perfect gift, is from above." Wifdom and virtue, as well as "riches and honour, come from God.” Deftitute of his favour, you are in no better fituation, with all your boafted abilities, than orphans left to wander in a tracklefs defert, without any guide to conduct them, or any shelter to cover them from the gathering ftorm. Correct, then, this ill-founded arrogance. Expect not, that your happiness can be independent of him who made youth. By faith and repentance, apply to the Redeemer of the world. By piety and prayer, feek the protection of the God of heaven. I conclude with the folemn words, in which a great prince delivered his dying charge to his fon; words, which every young perfon ought to confider as addrefsed to himfelf, and to engrave deeply on his heart: "Solo. mon, my fon, know thou the God of thy fathers; and ferve him with a perfect heart, and with a willing mind. For the Lord fearcheth all hearts, and underftandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts. If thou feek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forfake him, he will caft thee off for ever."






Earthquake at Calabria, in the Year 1638.

N account of this dreadful earthquake, is given by the celebrated Father Kircher. It happened whilst he was on his journey to vifit Mount Etna, and the rest of the wonders that lie towards the fouth of Italy. Kircher is confidered, by fcholars, as one of the greatest prodigies of learning.

"Having hired a boat, in company with four more, (two friars of the order of St. Francis, and two feculars,) we launched, from the harbour of Messina, in Sicily; and arrived, the fame day, at the promontory of Pelorus. Our deftination was for the city of Euphæmia, in Calabria; where we had fome bufinefs to tranfact; and where we defigned to tarry for fome time. However, Providence feemed willing to cross our defign; for we were obliged to continue three days at Pelorus, on account of the weather; and though we often put out to fea, yet we were as often driven back. At length, wearied with the delay, we refolved to profecute our voyage; and, although the fea feemed more than ufually agitated, we ventured forward. The gulph of Charybdis, which we approached, feemed

whirled round in fuch a manner, as to form a vaft hollow, verging to a point in the centre. Proceeding onward, and turning my eyes to Etna, I faw it caft forth large volumes of fmoke, of mountainous fizes, which entirely covered the island, and blotted out the very fhores from my view. This, together with the dreadful noife, and the fulphurous ftench which was ftrongly perceived, filled me with apprehenfions, that fome more dreadful calamity was impending. The fea itself seemed to wear a very unusual appearance: they who have seen a lake in a violent shower of rain, covered all over with bubbles, will conceive some idea. of its agitations. My furprise was still increafed, by the calmness and ferenity of the weather; not a breeze, not a cloud, which might be fuppofed to put all Na-ture thus into motion. I therefore warned my companions, that an earthquake was approaching; and, after fome time, making for the fhore with all pofsible diligence, we landed at Tropea, happy and thankful for having escaped the threatening dangers of the fea."

"But our triumphs at land were of fhort duration; for we had fcarcely arrived at the Jefuits' College, in that city, when our ears were stunned with a horrid found, refembling that of an infinite number of chariots, driven fiercely forward; the wheels rattling, and the thongs cracking. Soon after this, a moft dreadful earthquake enfued; fo that the whole tract upon which we flood, feemed to vibrate, as if we were in the scale of a balance, that continued wavering. This mution,. however, foon grew more violent; and being no longer able to keep my legs, I was thrown proftrate upon theground. In the mean time, the univerfal ruin round?

« ZurückWeiter »