Harvard Commencement, 1799.
My young friends who have now completed your literary course and are about to receive the honors of the University, It is scarcely possible that we can pass such an Anniversary as this without calling to mind the noble exertions of our pious and venerable Ancestors who founded the University in this place, our honorable and generous Legislators who have been its nursing Fathers, and the many munificent private Benefactors, those Friends of Science and Religion, who, with liberal hands, have greatly promoted and enlarged the means of education in this important Institution. While these Worthies occur to our minds in quick succession, our hearts cannot but be impressed with gratitude by a consideration of their kindness, liberality and public Spirit, who, while they have beneficently furthered the interests of the University have essentially benefited the Civil Community.
For more than a Century and a half has the prosperity of our Country been eminently promoted by this literary Institution. If we take a review of times long since past and those of more recent date, we shall find great numbers of those who have received their education in this University acting worthy parts in Society, and effectually advancing the happiness of their Countrymen, by labors which their advantages have enabled them successfully to perform—some as Instructors of Youth, a very difficult employment, but of the highest importance to the Community—others, as Ministers of Religion, diffusing that sacred knowledge, and promoting those morals, which make men good Members of Society, and fit them for a better world—others as Professional Men concerned with the fortunes and lives of those around them, and who by properly discharging ...1
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