Gambar halaman
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

THE FIRST SECRETARY OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BOARD OF
EDUCATION. -

[ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1851, by - * HoRACE MANN, In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the District of Massachusetts.

[merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

This work comes from one in whose mind present Memories are taking the place of early Hopes. It is specially addressed to those in whose minds future Memories will soon take the place of present Hopes. Hence a fitting occasion presents itself for the statement

of a few principles, by whose unerring guidance the exulting

Hopes of Youth may always be transformed into the happy Mem-
ories of Age.
The Youth of all climes and times have a common attribute.
The desire of happiness is a universal desire. God fixes this ele-
ment in the core of life. Far back in our moral organization, before

human conduct can come in to control or modify, this longing for

happiness, this hope of future welfare, is radicated in the soul; so that it seems to have been the first attribute which was taken for the constitution of our nature, and around which the other attributes were gathered, rather to have been added to the rest as a secondary or incident. The desire of some form of happiness being secured, as a motive power, it seems to have been left very much to the option of each individual to select his own objects of enjoyment, whether noble or ignoble, and to devise his own means for obtaining them, whether righteous or unrighteous. The emulous and aspiring youth of a Free People will always find much of their private, and most of their public welfare, indissolubly connected with the institutions and laws of their country. In these, therefore, their interest is both public and personal;—it pertains to the citizen as well as to the man. All great moral questions, though touching them but lightly at first, will come closer and closer home, as long as they live; — growing into greater importance for their posthumous memory than for their living fame, and affecting the fortunes of their posterity even more than their own. Though all Young Men are substantially alike in their desire of well being, yet, in regard to the guiding principles by which the objects of hope are pursued, in order to obtain happiness, three marked distinctions, or classes, exist among them. 1. There are those who adopt with implicit and unquestioning faith the views of their parents, or of the circle, or caste, into which they were thrown by the accident of birth. They never venture to explore or wander outside of the ideas and opinions among which they were born and bred. For them, an hereditary boundary encloses thought, belief, hope. Whether the opinions amid which they live are insular in their narrowness, or continental in their breadth ; whether they belong to the earth, came up from the dark regions below, or descended from the realms of purity above, they are taken into the receptive soul, as unfledged birds take whatever food is offered them, from friend or foe, with closed eye and opened mouth. Even if practically right, therefore, they are never rationally right, for they have never discerned between good and ill; and all their convictions, whether true or untrue, rest upon the foundation of bigotry alone. & 2. The second class look eagerly beyond family or caste. They anxiously inquire what views, what dogmas, are in the ascendant

« SebelumnyaLanjutkan »