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XXV.-POVERTY

XXVI.—CHASTITY.

XXVII.-MORTIFICATION

XXVIII-NATURE AND THE CHURCH ...

XXIX.-EXHORTATION.....

XXX.-CONCLUSION.

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EVERY

IVERY man that is born into life has for his

task to find his destiny, or to make one. This he must accomplish, or be condemned to the greatest of all miseries, the misery of being “conscious of capacities without the proper objects to satisfy them.”

The question that agitates the mind of man, as soon as the eye of reason opens, is that of his destiny. The idea of God, himself, and the world around him, strikes him at that moment, as separate and independent facts. The charm that surrounded his innocent childhood is broken ; he enters upon a new sphere of life ; and, with feelings of surprise, he asks : “Who am I?

Whence did I come ?' " Whither do I tend ? " " Who is God ? ” relations to God ? to man ? to the world around me?“Have I a destiny? A work to do? What is it? And where ? or is all ruled by Fate ? or left to what men call Chance :

6. What are my

“No When,-no Where,—no How, but that we are, And nought besides ! ”

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These, and similar questions, are the first to spring up at the dawn of reason, in the minds of those who have no fixed notions of religion. Alas ! this is the condition, deny it who may, of the great mass of American youth.

* Milnes.

A shrewd observer of men, one who ranks high among our poets, has stated this fact in his quaint way in the following lines :

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“I saw men go up and down,
In the country and the town,
With this prayer upon their neck,-

Judgment and a judge we seek.'
Not to monarchs they repair,
Nor to learned jurist's chair;
But they hurry to their peers,
To their kinsfolk and their deara;
Louder than with speech they pray, -
• What am I? Companion, say!'"*

These questions we cannot set aside if we would ; and, unanswered, they fasten upon the mind and consume the life of the heart, like the vultures that fed upon the vitals of the rockbound Prometheus. Moreover, we would not set them aside if we had the power, for the highest prerogative of man's reason is, to know his destiny ; and his noble energies were not given to be wasted or misspent, but to be directed to the fulfilment of it.

First of all, then, the question of our des

* Emerson.

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