Sidor som bilder

again reasonably expect to enjoy. Neglect your present privileges, and perhaps you seal your ruin for ever!

Reflect for a moment on the advantages you secure to yourselves by learning to read. You gain access to every kind of useful reading; you can acquaint yourselves with geography, history, voyages, and travels, and peruse descriptions of the wonderful operations of God. Above all, you obtain access, at all times, to the written Word of God, which is able to make you wise unto salvation, through faith in Christ Jesus. For I need not tell you, that it is not merely the power of reading, for its own sake, which I am so extremely anxious you should possess, but the power to read fit and profitable books, and nothing else! I faithfully tell you, that the man who shall pervert, or misapply the education he shall receive on board this transport, by reading unprofitable or pernicious works, must be considered not only to have broken faith with me, but to be chargeable with a base perversion of his instruction; a most wicked conversion to the greatest evil, of a gift which he was bound to turn to the greatest good—the only end for which that gift was bestowed. Do not imagine that the mere power of reading deserves to be called education. To teach a man to read, and to add no profitable instruction; to generate in his breast no sound principles, no decided preference for useful knowledge, is just to put into his hand a most powerful weapon, which must prove a good or an evil, a blessing or a curse, accord

ing to the use he makes of it. My aim in teaching you to read, is to make you better, happier, and more useful men. I do then require and expect that you will keep this momentous end ever in view; and that, at no period of your existence, you will so forget my design in teaching you, as to read books calculated to defeat my most anxious wishes for your welfare.

In conclusion, I would remind both teacher and pupil of the importance of uniting humble, believing, and earnest prayer with your own most strenuous exertions. I remember meeting, in the days of my boyhood, with this sentiment: "Study without prayer, is atheism; prayer without study, is presumption. The success of all our endeavours depends on the help and blessing of God. But forget not that I recommend only the Scripture method of prayer. To pray with acceptance, you must pray in faith ; in humble reliance on the teaching and influence of the Holy Spirit, and in the name of Jesus, through whom alone sinners can have access to the Father: and it is as much the duty of every man to believe in Christ, as it is the duty of every man to pray.

There is just one point more to which I solicit your attention ; I mean your obligation to the Great Head of the Church and the King of Nations, for so overruling events as to secure your embarkation in a transport, in which you have now an opportunity of obtaining a wholesome education, and of becoming acquainted and enriched with the inexhaustible treasures of the everlasting Covenant: an opportunity for

[ocr errors]

your improvement of which you must render an account at the great day, and which cannot fail to extend its influence over the whole of your future condition through endless ages ! For myself, I consider you all as

all as placed under my care, not merely by my earthly superiors and rulers, but by the Great Sovereign of the universe. To him I am accountable, as well as to the Admiralty and Government of England, for the manner in which I discharge the duties which I owe to you and to my country, and the fidelity with which I labour to advance you in knowledge, usefulness, and happiness; and it is this view of the origin of my charge, and of its responsibility, which gives it, to my mind, its most impressive and solemn character.



The first opportunity is next seized for assembling the people, to make them acquainted with the routine and regulations.

Che routine and miscellaneous regulations having been read to the people assembled on the quarterdeck, they receive the following


With the duties now exhibited to you, it is requisite that not only the petty officers and schoolmasters, but the whole of you, should make yourselves perfectly familiar; and you will then take care that the demands which every successive hour makes on your united efforts, are cheerfully and punctually complied with. In every state of society, and especially in our little community, punctuality and zeal in the discharge of duty must be ranked amongst the cardinal virtues. Their neglect is confusion and wretchedness; their practice is order and comfort. Their observance is not to be limited to those in office; they are to be characteristics of every member of our

community. On this the perfection of our social order must mainly depend.

I therefore expect soon to see the whole of you so intimately conversant with the duties of


hour of every day of the week, so distinguished by punctuality and zeal, and so under the influence of brotherly love (God of his infinite mercy grant that it may be that love which springs from the belief of his love to you), that our entire apparatus shall work with the most perfect ease and regularity, and steadily produce the anticipated result.

In a society whose organization is as complete as ours will speedily be, and in which the mainspring is love,-supreme love to God, and that brotherly affection which such love of necessity involves, the maintenance of harmony and order, and the punctual and zealous despatch of personal and relative duties, cannot possibly fail to obtain.

I would have it now impressed upon all your minds, that the smooth, agreeable, and satisfactory working of our system of moral government and discipline on board this transport will depend on the spirit and movement of each individual among us.

You all know that, in a piece of machinery——a watch, for example—every wheel, however small, in order to secure the accurate working of the whole, must move with absolute precision, and correctly accomplish its assigned portion of work in a given time. So it must be with us. Let the veriest child amongst us ever recollect, that on the propriety of his individual tem

« FöregåendeFortsätt »