MAN THE SUBJECT OF EDUCATION. 39
adds no qualifications. The maxim is positive, and involves the doctrine that the moral nature of man may be formed and moulded by education. And this, though uttered three thousand years ago. corresponds with every-day observation. "Just as the twig is bent, the tree's inclined," is a passage which illustrates the power of cultivation over the soul as well as the mind. The lieart has often been compared, and with apt propriety, to a field, which may be cultivated like a garden, and, divested of noxious weeds, made redolent of flowers and fruit: or, left to the wild luxuriance of passion, it may resemble the overgrown forest, whose thickets are infested by the adder and the scorpion.
All this is well understood, it is also admitted that man's moral nature is the most exalted portion of his being. Virtue is superior to knowledge; the good man is ranked as superior to the great man. "An honest man's the noblest work of God." The Scriptures ever give the first place to the righteous man, the man of high moral character; not to the man of genius or talent. The highest exercise of reason is in the discovery of moral truth. The intellect is thus made to be the pioneer, the servant of the soul.
Yet the high gift of moral faculties is not bestowed without conditions. If a man use