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Early life of Mr. Williams-State of religious affairs in England
Mr. Williams embarks for America.
The obvious analogy between human life and a river has supplied the poet with similes, and the moralist with arguments. The resemblance of the two objects is, in this point, at least, worthy of notice, that their origin awakens the curiosity of every reflective mind. This feeling has impelled many travellers to a perilous search for the sources of the Niger and the Nile; and it made Lewis and his associates look, with triumphant joy, on the little rill, at the summit of the Rocky Mountains, which flows on, and expands into the mighty Missouri.
We feel a similar desire, when we survey the actions of a distinguished individual, to learn the incidents of his youth. The mind is perplexed and dissatisfied, if such a personage has suddenly appeared, like Manco Capac to the Peruvians, as if he had indeed alighted on the earth from the sun, or risen, like the fabled Venus, from the ocean.
This curiosity has valuable uses. The instruction which is gathered from the lives of men is drawn, in great part, from a view of the steps, by which they ad