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ings, otherwise it will be a barren desert, or a forest overgrown with weeds and brambles. 3. Universal ignorance, or infinite error, will overspread the mind which is utterly neglected and lies without any cultivation. 4. The following rules, therefore, , should be attended to, for the improvement of knowledge:
5. Deeply possess your mind with the vast importance of a good judgment, and the rich and inestimable advantage of right reasoning.
6. Consider the weakness, failings, and mistakes of human nature in general.
7. Be not satisfied with a slight view of things, but take a wide survey now and then of the vast and unlimited regions of learning, the variety of questions and difficulties belonging to every science..
8. Presume not too much upon a BRIGHT GENIUS, a READY WIT, and GOOD PARTS; for these, without study, will never make a man of knowledge.
9. Do not imagine that large and laborious reading, and a strong memory, can denominate you truly wise, without meditation and studious thought.
10. Be not so weak as to imagine, that a life of learning is a life of laziness.
11. Let the hope of new discoveries, as well as the satisfaction and pleasure of known truths, animate your daily industry.
12. Do not hover always on the surface of things, nor take up suddenly with mere appearances.
13. Once a day, especially in the early years of life and study, call yourselves to an account for what new ideas you have gained.
14. Maintain a constant watch, at all times, against a dogmatical spirit.
15. Be humble and courageous enough to retract any mistake, and confess an error.
16. Beware of a fauciful temper of mind, and a humorous conduct.
17. Have a care of trifling with things important and momentous, or of sporting with things awful and sacred.
18. Ever maintain a virtuous and pious frame of spirit.
19. Watch against the pride of your own reason, and a vain conceit of your intellectual powers, with the neglect of divine aid and blessing.
20. Offer up, therefore, your daily requests to God, the Father of lights, that he would bless all your attempts and labours in reading, study, and conversation.
Rules for Improving the Mind.
9. Mi"-li-ta-ry, a. belonging to a soldier, warlike.
Mer'-can-tile, a. trading, belonging to merchants. 13. The'-o-ry, s. opposite to practice, a plan, subsisting only in the
mind. Lo gi"-ci-an, s. (pro. lo-jish-un) one who is skilled in Logie, or
the art of reasoning. In-duc-ti-on, s. (in Logic,) the art of inferring a general propo
sition from several particular ones.
). Let the enlargement of your knowledge be one constant view and design in life; since there is
no time or place, no transaction, occurrence, or engagement, which excludes us from this method of improving the mind.
2. When we are in the house or in the city, wherever we turn our eyes, we see the works of men : when we are in the country we behold more of the works of God. 3. The skies above, and the ground beneath us, and the animal and vegetable world round about us, may entertain our observation with ten thousand varieties.
4. From the observation of the day and night, the hours and the flying minutes, learn a wise improvement of time; and be watchful to seize every opportunity to increase in knowledge. 5. From the vices and follies of others observe what is hateful in them; consider that such a practice looks as ill or worse in yourself. 6. From their virtues learn something worthy of your imitation. From your natural powers, sensation, judgment, memory, hands, feet, &c. make this inference, that they are not given you for nothing, but for some useful employment, for the good of your fellow-creatures, your own best interest and final happiness.
7. Thus, from every appearance in nature, and from every occurrence of life, you may derive natural, moral, and religious observations to entertain your minds, as well as rules of conduct in the affairs relating to this life, and that which is to come.
8. Let the circumstances or situations of life be what they will, a man should never neglect the improvement that is to be derived from observation.
9. Let him travel into the East or West Indies, and fulfil the duties of the military or mercantile life there; let him rove through the earth or the seas for his own humour as a traveller, or pursue his diversions in what part of the world he please as a gentleman ; let prosperous or adverse fortune call him to the most distant part of the globe; still let him carry on his knowledge, and the improvement of his faculties by wise observations.
10. By these means, he may render himself some way useful to mankind.
11. But on making your observations on persons, take care of indulging that curiosity, which is ever inquiring into private and domestic affairs, with an endless itch of learning the secret histories of families. 12. Such curiosity begets suspicions and jealonsies, and furnishes matter for the evil passions of the mind, and the impertinencies of discourse.
13. Be not also too hasty to erect general theories from a few particular observations, appearances, or experiments. This is what the logicians call a false induction. 14. A hasty determination of some universal principles, without a due survey of all the particular cases which may be included in them, is the way to lay a trap for our own understandings in the investigation of any subject, and we shall often be taken captives by mistake and falsehood.
4. Au'-tumn, s. the third quarter of the year, being the time when
fruits are ripened and gathered in. An'-nu-al, a. yearly. 6. A-na"-lo-gy, š. likeness, resemblance. 7. Su-per-flu-ous, s. needless, more than enough.
Irk’-some, a. to hinder, to delay.
Men'-tal, a. belonging to the mind. 8. Nu-tri"-ti-ous, a. (pro, nu-trish-us) nourishing.
1. Two young beech trees, planted at the same time, in the same soil, at a small distance from each other, and equally healthy, were pitched upon as subjects of the following experiment. 2. They were accurately measured; and, as soon as the buds began to swell in the spring, the whole trunk of one of them was cleansed of its moss and dirt, by means of a brush and soft water. 3. Afterwards it was washed with a wet Aannel twice or thrice every week, till about the middle of summer. 4. In autumn, when the annual growth was supposed to be completed, the beeches were again measured; and the increase of the tree which had been washed, was found to exceed that of the other, nearly in proportion of two to one.
5. Had you seen the commencement of this experiment, Alexis, you would probably have smiled at the nicety of the gardener, and thought his labour misapplied. 6. But the conclusion of it will give you different ideas, and, perhaps, convince you, by the obvious analogy, that cleanliness and frequent