Page images
PDF
EPUB

have left your father's house. You are going, or have gone away from home. I sympathize with you in the sorrows of that tearful hour of your existence. Well do I remember, even at this distance from the time, the scene which my own home presented, when I finally quitted it, to embark on life's stormy and dangerous ocean. My mother, one of the kindest and tenderest that ever bore that dear relationship, unable to sustain the parting, had retired to the garden; my sisters wept; my father walked silently by my side to the edge of the town, where I was to take horse and ride to meet the coach that was to carry me to London; while my own heart was almost overwhelmed with emotion, under the idea that I was leaving home, to encounter the anxieties, dangers, and responsibilities of a new and untried course.

In any aspect of the event, it is no trifling or inconsiderable transaction, to quit the scenes, the friends, and the guardians of our childhood; to leave that spot, and its dear

inhabitants, with which are associated all our earliest reminiscences; to go from beneath the immediate inspection of a mother's anxious love, and the protection of a father's watchful care, and expose ourselves to the perils, privations, and sorrows that await the traveller on his journey through this world. You ought, as a child, to feel a pang as your mother presses you to her bosom, and sobs out her parting exclamation, "Adieu, my son." You ought to feel pensive and sad, as your father squeezes your hand, and turns from you with a heart too full to speak. You ought, as you cross the threshold of that habitation where you have been nurtured so tenderly, to cast a longing, lingering look behind. You would be unworthy of your parents' love, and of home's endearments, if you could leave them without emotion.

Still, however, these feelings are to be guided and limited by reflection. You cannot always remain at home, to be nursed in the lap of domestic enjoyment. You have

a part to act in the great drama of life, and must leave home to prepare to act it well. It is the appointment of God that man should not live in idleness, but gain his bread by the sweat of his brow; and you must be placed out in the world to get yours by honest industry. In some few cases, the son remains with the father, and prepares for his future calling at home; but in by far the greater number of instances it is necessary for young men to learn their trade or profession, and to procure their livelihood by being placed with strangers at a distance from home. This is your case, and in kind solicitude for your welfare, this little volume has been prepared, and is now presented to you, with the prayers and best wishes of the author.

THE

YOUNG MAN FROM HOME.

CHAPTER I.

THE TIME OF A YOUNG MAN'S LEAVING HOME
ALWAYS A CRITICAL PERIOD.

CRITICAL, I mean, as regards his character. Yes, imminently so. You are aware that, besides your attention to business and acquiring a knowledge of that trade or profession to which your attention is directed, there is such a thing as the formation of character, or fixed habits of action, arising out of fixed principles. A man may be a good tradesman, and yet a bad man; though generally, good moral character has a very favorable influence in forming the good tradesman. I wish you to direct your most serious attention to the importance of character-moral and religious character. What is every thing else without character? How worthless is any man without this! He may have wealth, but he can neither enjoy it, improve it, nor be respected for it, without character. But it very rarely happens that they who begin life

with a bad character, succeed in the great competition of this world's business. Multitudes, with every advantage at starting, have failed through bad conduct, while others, with every disadvantage, have succeeded by the aid and influence of good character.

Character for life, and for eternity too, is usually formed in youth. Set out with this idea written upon your very hearts, in order that it may be ever exerting its powerful influence on your conduct. As is the youth, such, in all probability, will be the man, whether he be good or bad. And as character is generally formed in youth, so it is not less generally formed at that period of youth when young people leave home. The first year or two after quitting his father's house, is the most eventful period of all a young man's history, and what he is at the expiration of the second or third year after leaving the parental abode, that in all probability he will be, as a tradesman for this world, and as an immortal being in the next. This should make you pause and consider. Before you read another line, I entreat you to think of it. Perhaps you doubt it. Attend then to what

I have to offer in support of the assertion. Does not reason suggest that such a transition as leaving home, cannot be negative in its influence? You cannot quit so many restraints, so much inspection and guardianship, and come into such new circumstances, at an age when the heart is so susceptible and the character so pliable, with

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »