[Morality] “Young Men,” by Miss C. Gilman (from Youth’s Companion, November 22, 1849; p. 119)
There is no moral object so beautiful to me, as a conscientious young man. I watch him as I do a star in heaven; clouds may be before him, but we know that his light is behind him, and will beam again; the blaze of others popularity may outshine him, but we know that, though unseen, he illuminates his own true sphere. He resists temptation, not without a struggle, for that is not virtue, but he does resist and conquers; he bears the sarcasm of the profligate, and it stings him, for that is a trait of virtue, but heals with his own pure touch. He heeds not the watch word of fashion, if it leads to sin; the Atheist, who says not only in his heart but with his lips, “there is no God!”—controls him not; he see[s] the hand of a creating God, and rejoices in it.
Woman is sheltered by fond arms and loving counsel; old age is protected by its experience; and manhood by its strength; but the young man stands amid the temptations of the world, like a self-balanced tower. Happy he who seeks and gains the prop and shelter of morality.
Onward the, conscientious youth—raise thy standard, and nerve thyself for goodness. If God has given thee intellectual power, awake in that cause; never let it be said of thee, “he helped to swell the tide of sin by pouring influence into its channels.” If thou art feeble in mental strength, throw not that drop into a polluted current. Awake, arise, young man! assume that beautiful garb of virtue! It is difficult to be pure and holy. Put on thy strength then. Let truth be the lady of thy love—defend her.—Miss C. Gilman.