This speech was given to the Young Men’s Society of Lynchburg, August 26, 1838.
I Appear before you, gentlemen, in compliance with an invitation which deserves my grateful acknowledgments. To have been deemed capable of offering one thought proper to guide your minds in the pursuit of truth, is an honor which I beg you to believe I highly appreciate. In proportion to my sense of it, has been my anxiety not to disappoint your favorable anticipations. I have felt that it was my duty to give my best thoughts to the selection of some topic worthy of your attention. In my choice, I have been aided by the obvious reflection, that you would naturally expect from me a discourse on some subject not remotely allied to the studies of the youth committed to my charge.
With these you had reason to suppose me most familiar; and it became me to believe that your invitation was dictated more by a wish to hear someihing connected with them, than by any misjudging partiality for myself.
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