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36                            FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
tion unknown to former ages. In our day, a man cannot rise to a level with his fellow-men without being able to read. But how slow and tedious is the process by which the child is taught the alphabet, and then taught to combine syllables into words and words into sentences! How many months of toil are required to compass this common, but necessary branch of education I It is not so with the brute creation. All the knowledge necessary to their existence, all that is required for the fulfilment of their duty and their destiny, is the gift of God. They need to learn no alphabet at the point of the penknife; they need no admonition from the birch or the ferule!
MAN THE SUBJECT OF EDUCATION IN RESPECT TO HIS MORAL FACULTIES.
We have spoken of man's physical nature, and shown that this is subject to the great law of education. We have noticed his intellectual powers, the exalted gift of reason, and shown that this, too, is unfolded by a process of tui­tion and training. But there is another most important point of considsration. Of all the various sentient beings which people this vast universe, man is the only one that has been per-
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