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THE FIRST PRIZE
To Master ROBERT FLETCHER, aged fifteen years, Sept. 1824.
THE SECOND PRIZE on the same subject to MISS MARY GROOM, aged sixteen years, June, 1824.
THE SECOND PRIZE
TO MASTER JOSEPH SORTAIN, aged fifteen years, July 1824.
THE SECOND PRIZE on the same subject to MASTER JONATHAN GLYDE, aged sixteen years, Jan. 1824.
THE THIRD PRIZE
TO MASTER JOHN SAMUEL BROAD aged fifteen years, July 1824.
THE SECOND PRIZE on the same subject to MISS SARAH GROOM aged seventeen years.
JUDICIOUS and enlightened parents cannot contemplate without delight, the facilities provided, in the present day, for their children, to aid and encourage their acquisition of valuable knowledge. Their recollections can recur to the period, when few comparatively were the publications which combined the useful with the entertaining; and when their thirst for knowledge could seldom attain the desired gratification, without encountering difficulties, which to many in early life, appear formidable and forbidding. Inexpressible would have been the feelings of interest with which they would have perused many of the compendious and attractive productions which are now presented to the young, and which
divest so ample a proportion of literature and science, of all that is needlessly abstruse. Most cordially do we congratulate our young friends on their superíor advantages; and with affectionate earnestness would we intreat them to improve, with unremitting diligence, their opportunities of mental cultivation. would recommend to them the adoption of a few principles of procedure, which, by the blessing of the "Father of Spirits," may become elements of intellectual and religious improvement. They are such as the following:--
After due attention to the exercise of body which health requires, improve, to the very utmost, the time which is at your own disposal, Be it your first concern, that your heart may be right with God, and that you may become wise unto salvation, through the teaching of the Holy Spirit. Read no books, but such as judicious friends and a tender conscience will approve. Value most of all those books which will assist your endeavours to understand the
meaning of the Holy Scriptures, and to derive from them, the impressions they are designed to produce. With these views direct your early attention to ancient history, chronology, and geography, as illustrative of the word of God. Acquire a competent knowledge of the situation, the climate, and the productions of the land, which for so many ages, was the scene of the most astonishing of the divine interpositions. Study the manners and the customs of the ancient people of God, and of the other oriental nations, with which they were more or less connected. Let deliberation and reflection characterize your perusal of valuable books. By repeated efforts of memory endeavour, as you proceed, to treasure up in your minds, the information you acquire. Instead of transcribing long passages in a common-place book, as mere extracts, resolutely make the effort to express, in your own words, the substance of such parts as appear most important; and this early exercise in composition, when your materials of thought are copious and interesting, will not
only enable you most effectually to appropriate a stock of useful knowledge, but will also prove to be one of the most efficient methods of mental discipline. Never let your object be display, but simply improvement; that by the blessing of God, your qualifications for usefulness in future life, may be continually increasing.
It is with the hope of exciting and encouraging youthful ardour, in a course of mental improvement, that Prize Essays have been invited in the "Teachers' Offering"; and it is with the same hope, that the successful Essays are now published. Many which were not deemed equal to these, were still highly creditable to the juvenile writers, and gratifying to those who were invited to compare their respective merits. In doing this, with a view to the adjudication of the Prizes, the writer of these prefatory lines needs scarcely say, there was exercised the most conscientious and unbiassed impartiality of judgment, He will only add, that his surprise was equalled