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40                            FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
them wisely, they will ensure happiness; if otherwise, they will work out his ruin. With the power to perceive the beauty of virtue and the deformity of vice, he must follow the one if he would be happy, and shun the other at his peril. This is the weighty condition, and it cannot be resisted or evaded. The law is coiled around the soul of man, and while that soul endures it cannot be shaken off. It is the law of the moral universe, and is as pervading and inflexible as the principle of gravitation, which draws back to the earth a stone hurled into the air, while, at the same time, it reaches to the planets, and sustains the balance of the heavens. It is a law ordained by Omnipotence and admi­nistered by Omniscience.
If, then, man has moral faculties; if these are the highest portion of his nature; if upon their right exercise his happiness depends; and if these are subject to the great law of educa­tion, how important, how supremely important, is that education ! I shall hereafter return to this topic, and attempt to explain why there is no systematic provision in our schools for moral culture,, and why this most essential branch of education is too often neglected altogether, or left to the uncertain and capricious management of parents. For the present, I content myself
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