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natural deficiency, by dint alone of practice ; for I actually produced three landscapes, which a lady thought worthy to be framed and glazed. I then judged it high time to exchange this occupation for another, lest, by any subsequent productions of inferior merit, I should forfeit the honor I had so fortunately acquired. But gardening was, of all employments, that in which I succeeded best; though, even in this, I did not suddenly attain perfection. I began with lettuces and cauliflowers : from them I proceeded to cucumbers ; next to melons. I then purchased an orange tree, to which, in due time, I added two or three myrtles. These served me, day and night, with employment during a whole severe winter. To defend them from the frost, in a situation that exposed them to its severity, cost me much ingenuity and much attendance. I contrived to give them a fire heat; and have waded, night after night, through the snow, with the bellows under my arm, just before going to bed, to give the latest possible puff to the embers, lest the frost should seize them before morning. Very minute beginnings have sometimes important consequences. From nursing two or three little evergreens, I became ambitious of a green-house, and accordingly built one; which, verse excepted, afforded me amusement for a longer time than any expedient of all the many to which I have fled for refuge from the misery of having nothing to do. When I left Olney for Weston, I could no longer have a green-house of my own; but in a neighbor's garden I find a better, of which the sole management is consigned to me.

LESSON XXXI.

Moral Destiny of the United States.-JEREMIAH EVARTS.

LOOKING at the present condition of mankind with the light of history alone, there are three suppositions, which

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may be made, not without some plausibility, in regard to the character of the people of North America, who shall speak the English language, when the whole continent shall be full of inhabitants. The first of these suppositions is, that the proportion then existing between morality and vice, truth and error, honesty and crime, religion and impiety, will be the same, or nearly the same, as at present; —the second, that infidelity and wickedness will prevail, while the friends of God are reduced to a very small number, and driven into obscurity and the third, that religion will pervade the land, in the length of it and the breadth of it, till opposition shall have ceased, and the whole vast community shall wear the aspect, and exemplify the reality, of a nation, or rather a cluster of nations, consecrated to God, the grateful recipients of his bounty, and the honored instruments of conveying his beneficence to other nations, rising to an equal state of glory and happiness.

The first of these suppositions is the least plausible of the three; but still it is the one which most naturally strikes the mind, and it therefore deserves particular consideration. What, then, will be the condition of this country in future times, if the proportion between religion and irreligion, the church and the world, should remain as it

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now is?

It has been computed, after a careful estimate of the capabilities of America, that, with the present degree of knowledge, and without any reliance upon future discoveries in agriculture and the arts, this whole continent will sustain at least two thousand millions of inhabitants, in circumstances of comfort. Let it be supposed, then, that, after a hundred years from this time, the population shall be doubled in thirty years instead of twenty-five. At this rate, the descendants of the present inhabitants of the United States, in one hundred and seventy years from this day, will amount to one thousand millions. If we keep in view the fundamental position, that religious restraints are not to be

diminished, this conclusion is in no degree improbable. But the calculation founded on this position will certainly be safe, if the descendants of the present inhabitants of British America be thrown into the scale, and if it be considered that the emigration from Europe to America is constantly and rapidly increasing, and is likely to increase still more rapidly. For obvious reasons, the inhabitants of Spanish America will not increase so fast as the people of the United States. It may be assumed, then, that, if the power of religious principle be not weakened among us and our descendants, there will be on this continent, in the year 1880 (when the young children now around our tables and in our schools will not have ceased to take an active part in human affairs), fifty millions of human beings, speaking the English language; and in fifty years more (when some of our grandchildren will be spectators, if they shall have ceased to be actors), there will be two hundred millions; and in seventy years more, one thousand millions. The condition of this amazing mass of human beings must, according to the established laws of the divine government, be more or less affected by the principles and conduct of the present generation. If, according to the supposition, the relative power of religion be not diminished, the diminution will be prevented, with the favor of Heaven, by the strenuous efforts of the friends of God.

Of the twelve millions and a half, who now compose our population, about five millions are men and women ; the rest are children, or persons in early youth. Of the adults, enlightened charity can hardly go further than to suppose, that one million will include all who are truly pious, and all who live habitually under a sense of personal responsibility to God for their conduct. The remaining four millions, though not under the direct influence of religious considerations, are, to a great extent, restrained by fears respecting the world to come, and by the example, exhortations and prayers of the religious part of the community. The general influence of their lives, however, is unfavorable to religion ; and vast multitudes are vicious and abandoned, diffusing a moral pestilence all around them, perpetrating enormous crimes, eluding human law, or suffering its penalties.

These four millions, who may be comprehended under the general denomination of people of the world, have six millions of children and youth under their direct control, and exposed to their constant example; and the other million of adults, who are habitually influenced by religious considerations, and who, to avoid circumlocution, may be denominated the church, have under their direct control, and subject to the influence of their constant example, a million and a half of children and youth. It is to be observed that, though the restraining influence of the church upon the world is in a high degree salutary, so far as the preservation of order in a free country is concerned, and so far as the tone of general morality is regarded, yet it is at present such as by no means to satisfy the desires of a benevolent mind. The church itself is burdened with many unsound and unprofitable members. There is much jealousy, suspicion, error, bigotry, and much defective morality too, within its pale. Compared with what ought to be seen, there is little zeal, devotedness, self-denial and spiritual vigor.

If the proportion between religion and irreligion is to remain the same, the god of this world will number among his followers, in the United States, fifty years hence, no fewer than sixteen millions of adults, having under their direction twenty-four millions of children and youth; while the church--the divided, weak, inefficient church, comprising all who act under a constant sense of religious responsibility, though many of these belong to no regularly organized body of disciples, and many others exhibit no very consistent example, the church, thus rent and disfigured, will contain but one fourth as many adults, and a proportionate number of children and youth under its direction.

Where one theatre, with its purlieus of vice and infamy, now allures to destruction, four of these noxious semina

ries will educate their hundreds and their thousands for a life of profligacy, and a hopeless end. Where one jail now. raises its horrid and cheerless front, four will vex the eyes of the political economist, and chill the heart of every friend of man. Where a penitentiary now admits a regiment of disarmed malefactors, and confines them in degrading servitude and chains, its walls must be so extended as to receive a little army of felons, who will be prevented by physical force alone from seizing the property, or attacking the lives of peaceable inhabitants. For one printed vehicle of slander and falsehood, of ribaldry and blasphemy, which now dishonors the press, four of these pestiferous agents will pervade the community; and all sorts of mischievous influences will be increased in the same proportion.

Is this a prospect at which a good man can look with composure ? The appeal is made to Christians,—to men who believe that the gospel is the great remedy for human suffering,-and that where the gospel is rejected, all is lost.

Looking forward only fifty years further (when some of our grandchildren will hardly be men of gray hairs), and we must multiply every theatre, and every jail, by sixteen; and in seventy years from that time, every receptacle of evil which now annoys us, must be multiplied by eighty. In one hundred and seventy years from the present day (a period forty years shorter than that which has elapsed since the landing at Plymouth), the people of the world, in distinction from the church, then inhabiting America, and speaking the English language, will amount to 320,000,000 of men and women, and 480,000,000 of children and youth; while the church will contain but one fourth of that number. It is true that, on this supposition, there will be numerically a large multitude arranged on the side of the church, a goodly proportion of whom may be charitably considered as on their way to heaven. But who can bear the thought, that, in such a vast congregated mass of im

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