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WE shall not gather in old age that which was not sown in youth. If you "sow corruption," says the Apostle, "you shall reap corruption." You say every day yourselves, that we always die as we have lived; that characters are unchangeable; that we carry into advanced life, all the faults and passions of our early days, and that there is no greater happiness than to form in our youth those laudable inclinations which accustom us, from childhood, "to the yoke of the Lord."

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If we regarded only our repose in this life, and had no other interest than to prepare for ourselves quiet and happy days, what previous enjoyment it would be, to stifle in their birth, and turn at last to virtue, so many violent passions which afterwards rend the heart, and cause all the bitterness and misfortune of life! What felicity, to have encouraged none but innocent and amiable propensities, to be spared the wretched recollection of so many criminal pleasures, which corrupt the heart and sully the imagination, leaving a thousand shameful and importunate images, which accompany us almost into virtue, survive our crimes, and are frequently the cause of new ones! What happiness to have passed our first years in tranquil and harmless pleasures, to have accustomed ourselves to contentment, and not contracted the mournful necessity of engaging in violent and criminal pleasures, making the peace and sweetness of innocence and virtue insupportable, by the long indulgence of ardent and tumultuous passions! When youth is passed in virtue and in dread of vice, it draws down mercy on the remainder of our lives; the Lord himself watches over our paths; we become the beloved objects of his special care and paternal goodness.

MASSILLON.

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