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Our Inquiry Meeting

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Wo are happy to find so many young sntlcmcn and ladies at our meeting to glit, notwithstanding the sneers of the shionablb cigur-pufiing blackguards who lldd the slrcets. We overheard also mé simpcring misses exclain, vith a ssoftho hëad ! dearme, liow insipid!" o not reproach their folly, but try to et them to come in and improvo their oek of Lilliputian ideas. But to what extent can the rnind imrovc itself and hew out its owu way in ny given course 1 This is an important ucstion. Wc ought to know what wo an do, and what we cannot. Some things re wholly in our power, some are parially so, and some are entirely beyond ur control. Yet some pcople tolk as hough a man, by his mere will, could de my thjng. "It is a poor story," says Poster, in his Essay on Decisión of Char ïcter, "when a rational being canno xnswer the simple inquines - What wil you do- what will you bc VI But these rjuestions after all, are more easily aske than answered. Wc presume therc wi a timo whcu the writer could not have responded to them very readily. But wlat hindera us from doing il all ihings just as we picase % Two ob slacles hedge us in on either hand.makin barriera utterly impa3sable : the origina Weakness of our Facultics on the on hand, and the uncontrollable nature o surrounding Circumstances on the other But in the district included between thesi heaven-appointed walls, tho mind is freí to act as it will. For example : you conlOt Say, I WIU Uü U1U Sliuugüöi muit iu he world, bccauso others may have a r ictter physical endowmentto begin with. The most you can do is to improve all e ,-our physical faculties to the highest jree. So of attainments of a different eind. You can, if you please, acquire wenty five dollars : but when you say, ( [ will become as rich as John Jacob As,or, and have twenty five millions, you , ïave no certainty ór pvobability of suo meeding. Why? Because such an a. tnount of wculth cannot be atlained ' 3ut a concurrence of Circumstanccs.; - ( Your will alone, car ried out in the most strenuouseflforts, cannot certaiuly plish the object. So of politicul success. : No one can say, I will become President ot the United States : for no amount of will or effort, without the co-operation of fa vori ng Circumstances, can ccrtainly uttain that office, althougli it is true at tliesame time, that it cannot bo attained without labor and eiïbrt. But talent, industry and perseverancc, in their highest degree, are not of themselves, sufllcient. We see this in the case of Polk's electionClay, Webster, Calhoun, andBcnton had all evinced powers superior to Polk, vet circumstanccs enabled an inferior man to succeed. But it is still true that if Polk had been an idle,lazy,shiftless fellow, he could notbave been Président. But wliat does that bluecyed youth wish to say that sits 30 uncasy in his seat, rolling his cyes around, and bitinghis fingers? There iscvidently an idea m him! Out with it, friend. Let it go for juat what itis worth. With thinking persons it will be rightly appreciated. Hear him : "It appears to me that there are some kinds of excellence that do not require the concurence of circumstances, but depend altogether on ourselves. Cannot a person be as pious as he picases? Can he not be as just, or as benevolent in his feelings? And, with only ordinary opportunities, can hc not say,. I will have a greater knowledge of numbers, faces, ñames, dates and faets, than any other peí-son 1 Can he not excel all others as a mathematician or moralist, or fine writer1? Is not his field of action here as boundless and unobstructed as that oí' thcengle when ho soars in the hoavens f" - You are right, fricnd. Youv thought and comparison are both good. In some things, the progress of the mind is but Hule hnmpered by circumstances. It is true that the eagle, with abundance of food and strength, can'soar very high into'the heavens. There is no visible obstacle to hinder him from going even to the stars : but the limitation of his faculties cuts down his ambition to certain bounds beyond which he cannot go. He must eat and rest occasionally ; and to do either he must come down to the earth again. - So it is with the flights of the mind. - The fields of metaphysics, 'moráis, theology, and other similar branches .are boundless, and may be pursued to a great extent under órdinary circumstances ; but the explorations of the mind are necessarily limitedby the measure of its faculties. W e can be benevolent and pious, if we please, in all situations : but we cannot certainly comprehend all our relations to God or our fellow men. So we - can remember facts, names and dates, and our memory can be improved by uso :ret we cannot remember all fucts, nor all names or dates. We might writo stately poems, like thoseof Miltonor Pollock: but owing to our imperfect faculties, they would necessarily be imperfect and faulty productions. Thus wc sec that we can do much within certain limits, and yet we cannot do everything. We can use all our faculties to the best advantage; and we canïxcel as accomplished orators, poets, W. cians, artists, politicians, or in any other sapacity, so far as the strength of.our faculties, and the concurroncö of circumstanccs, will permit. Bcyond thÍ9 ice cannot go, and all cxpcctations of transcending these limits wili prove visionary and i die.