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to his fellow-creatures : “ freely thou hast 6 received, freely give.”
And if this duty of giving freely be obligatory upon all men, it is surely doubly so upon us, who, besides the blessings which we have received in common with the rest of mankind, are also partakers of others of a peculiar nature, from the munificence of our illustrious founders and benefactors; blessings which demand our warmest acknowledgements, and, at the same time, give us both the fairest opportunity, and hold forth the strongest argument, for cultivating our talents to the best advantage. :
We are placed here, by the hand of antient liberality, as it were in a safe asylum from the turbulence and follies of mankind; in which our researches after knowledge can never be interrupted by the rudeness of ignorance, or insulted by the bluster of insolence; in which our
eyes can never be pained by the sight of unattainable honours, or our hearts lacerated by the violence of ungratified ambition; in which every unruffled passion may move in subjection to reason, and every faculty conspire in the undisturbed pursuit of religious, moral, and scientific improvement. And yet, our retirement, though admirably calculated for these valuable purposes, is not that gloomy species of monastic seclusion, which would strike us off, as useless links, from the chain of social existence, or condemn us, like the superstitious Bramin, to drag the fetters of misery in the horrors of solitude; but rather a pleasing secession, which, whilst it abstracts us from the tumultuous scenes of active life, gives us the fairest opportunity of exercising the amiable duties of every relative virtue..
It is, farther, no small addition to our happiness in these sacred retreats of sci
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ence, that we are amply secured, by the munificence of our respective founders and benefactors, from the stings of dependence, and the anxious forebodings' of destitution ; of both which the secular clergy are too often compelled to taste a large and bitter potion. But here, every man is as independent as reason can wish, or the well-tempered subordination of society allow. He is never under the hard necessity of sacrificing his understanding to the man he despises. He knows not what it is to watch the nod of folly, or court the smile of ignorance. He can spurn, with honest indignation, the idea of bearing the insults of pride with awe, and the injuries of oppression with tameness, Nor do the cares of future support embitter his hours, or impede his generous. pursuits. For the same hand of munificence, which supports him here, has provided for him a comfortable and respectable maintenance in the world; where he may at once enjoy, and communicate
to others, those fruits of useful knowledge, which have been planted and brought to full perfection of maturity in this genial soil.
And as we are here sheltered from the intrusion of present care and the fear of future want, so we have the amplest scope for attaining solid happiness, by enriching our minds with the treasures of wisdom and virtue. For, in this place, the torch of science, being successively transmitted from hand to hand, blazes out with uninterrupted and improving lustre. We have those, at our first entrance into the untried regions of literature, to guide our doubtful steps, who have trod before us the same paths ; who are ever ready to guard us from the rocks of error, to check the deviations of folly, to restrain the petulance of presumption, and to 'rouse us from the encroaching slumbers of indolence and inattention. 03
And, And, whilst we are thus shielded from danger, on the one hand, every thing around us, on the other, conspires to lead us on to a progress in whatever is “ lovely “ and of good report.” Our regulated hours of rest and devotion, our short and simple meals, our abstraction from scenes of gaiety and dissipation, are all admirably fitted for preserving that temperance of body and equanimity of soul, which are essentially necessary to a life of study. Nor are our studies themselves less admirably fitted to form us to every noble, amiable, and useful purpose of life. The stores of classic knowledge cannot fail to excite, in every youthful breast, a most ardent love of that liberty, for which so many illustrious heroes of antiquity bled and died. The weapons of dialectic skill will enable us to repel with success the attacks of error, and support the cause of truth. The lessons of Ethic discipline will teach us a proper knowledge of our