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resolute to uphold them, on the other. Of what use is the most exquisite music ever composed by the greatest masters of the art, until you have orchestra or choir that can perform the pieces? Pupils must thoroughly master the vocal elements, musical language must be learned, voices must be long and severely trained, or the divinest compositions of Haydn or Mozart would only set the teeth of an auditory on edge. And so must it be with our government and laws;-the best will be useless, unless we have a people who will appreciate and uphold them.
Again, then, I ask, with unmitigated anxiety, what institutions we now possess, that can furnish defence or barrier against the action of those propensities, which each generation brings into the world as a part of its being; and which our institutions foster and stimulate into unparalleled activity and vigor? Can any Christian man believe, that God has so constituted and so governs the human race, that it is always and necessarily to be suicidal of its earthly welfare? No! the thought is impious. The same Almighty power which implants in our nature the germs of these terrible propensities, has endowed us also, with reason and conscience and a sense of responsibility to Him; and, in his providence, he has opened a way by which these nobler faculties can be elevated into dominion and supremacy over the appetites and passions. But if this is ever done, it must be mainly done, during the docile and teachable years of childhood. I repeat it, my friends, if this is ever done, it must be mainly done, during the docile and teachable years of childhood. Wretched, incorrigible, demoniac, as any human being may ever have become, there was a time when he took the first step in error and in crime; when, for the first time, he just nodded to his fall, on the brink of ruin. Then,
ere he was irrecoverably lost, ere he plunged into the abyss of infamy and guilt, he might have been recalled, as it were by the waving of the hand. Fathers, mothers, patriots, Christians! it is this very hour of peril through which our children are now passing. They know it not, but we know it; and where the knowledge is, there rests the responsibility. Society is responsible;not society considered as an abstraction, but society as it consists of living members, which members we are. Clergymen are responsible;-all men who have enjoyed the opportunities of a higher education in colleges and universities are responsible, for they can convert their means, whether of time or of talent, into instruments for elevating the masses of the people. The conductors of the public press are responsible, for they have daily access to the public ear, and can infuse just notions of this high duty into the public mind. Legislators and rulers are responsible. In our country, and in our times, no man is worthy the honored name of a statesman, who does not include the highest practicable education of the people in all his plans of administration. He may have eloquence, he may have a knowledge of all history, diplomacy, jurisprudence; and by these he might claim, in other countries, the elevated rank of a statesman; but, unless he speaks, plans, labors, at all times and in all places, for the culture and edification of the whole people, he is not, he cannot be, an American
If this dread responsibility for the fate of our children be disregarded, how, when called upon, in the great eventful day, to give an account of the manner in which our earthly duties have been discharged, can we expect to escape the condemnation: "Inasmuch as ye have not done it to one of the least of these, ye have not done it unto me?"
WHAT GOD DOES, AND WHAT HE LEAVES FOR MAN TO DO, IN THE WORK OF EDUCATION.
GENTLEMEN OF THE CONVENTION:
With the coming of another year, I come to you again, asking and offering sympathy for the welfare of our children.
When I last had the pleasure of meeting a convention of the friends of Common Schools in this county, I addressed them on the subject of the Necessity of Education, under a government and with institutions like our own. I endeavored to demonstrate, that here, in our country and in our age, the enlightenment of the intellect, and the cultivation of the affections of the rising generation, had not been left optional with us, but made indispensable; that the efficient and thorough education of the young was not merely commended to us, as a means of promoting private and public welfare, but commanded, as the only safeguard against such a variety and extent of calamities as no nation on earth has ever suffered.
The argument, in brief, ran thus:-All men are born into the world with many appetites and propensities of a purely animal and selfish nature. Some of these appetites and propensities are necessary to the existence of the individual, and therefore they adhere to him and remain a part of him as long as he lives; others are necessary to the continuance of the race, and therefore we must expect that they will be reproduced with every new-born generation, to the end of time. Each individual, for instance,