Resolve to Form Your Lives Upon Some Certain Principles, and to Regulate Your Actions by Fixed Rules.

Man was made to be governed by reason, and not by mere accident or caprice. It is important, therefore, that you begin early to consider and inquire what is the proper course of human conduct, and to form some plan for your future lives. The lack of such consideration is manifest in the conduct of multitudes. They are governed by the reckless impulses of the moment, heedless of consequences. They have fixed no steady aim and have adopted no certain principles of action. Living thus at random—it would be a miracle if they went uniformly right. In order to your pursuing a right path, you must know what that path is, and to acquire this knowledge, you must divest yourselves of thoughtless giddiness, you must take time for serious reflection.

It will not sufficient, to adopt without consideration the opinions of your acquaintances, for they may have some sinister design in regard to you, or they may themselves be misled by error or prejudice. People already involved in dissipation or entangled in error, naturally desire to encourage themselves, by the number of followers whom they can seduce into the paths of vice. As reasonable creatures, therefore, judge for yourselves what course it is right and fitting that you should pursue. Exercise your own reason independently and impartially, and do not give yourselves up to be governed by mere caprice and fashion, or by the opinions of others.

– Archibald Alexander