to pursue an honourable and a virtuous course, to aim at high
attainments, and to strive after extensive usefulness. Many
eyes will be turned upon you, and many an anxious wish will
be breathed for your success.
Your instructors will not faU to watch your future career in
life, with intense solicitude. If you perform your parts well, it
will be to them a source of heart-felt satisfaction : — if you fail,
it will afford them cause of mortification and regret. You
cannot possibly sink into insignificance and forgetfulness.
Wherever you may go, whatever may be your station in socie-
ty, so long as one of you remains in hfe, he will be remem-
bered by his Instructors, and by his fellow-students, as a
graduate of Washington College.
Young Gentlemen ; let the debt of gratitude which you owe
to your parents be to you a still higher stimulus to virtuous
exertion. Remember the sacrifices they have made to secure
your education, and rear you up for usefulness. Reflect on
the care with which they sustained your helpless infancy, and
pondered by day and by night for your welfare, when you
knew not your right hand from your left. Consider the anx-
iety with which they have watched your youthful steps, from
that period to the present moment. Be mindful of the prayers
they have addressed to heaven for your welfare ; and you will
seek to requite thek tenderness, their labours, and their cares,
by leading an honourable and a virtuous life.
Your Country, too, has her claims upon you. The consti-
tution of society is kept up but by succession. Those who
now fiU the stations of distinction, are rapidly passing off the
stage. Another set of actors Avill soon occupy the busy scenes
of life, and the posts of honour will be filled by the generation
to which you belong.
But you owe a still higher responsibility to your God. He
will hold you accountable for the faculties he has given you,
and the means of improvement he has afforded you. You
may not bury your talents in the earth ; you may not squander
them on worthless objects. To promote the glory of your God,
and the welfare of your fellow-men, is the great object of your
existence. This is to be effected only by a life of sobriety,
industry, integrity, and active benevolence. By such a life
you \viU honour the institution to which you belong ; by such
a life you will gratify the fond anticipations of your parents,
fulfil your duty to your country, and secure the approbation
of your God.
" And now unto God's gracious mercy and protection we
commit you. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord
make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious unto you.
The Lord Uft up his countenance upon you, and give you
peace, both now and evermore."
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
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