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44
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
instinct which supplies them with all the arts and knowledge they require. Man then is made to he the subject of education; and in this he stands in contrast to every other living thing. It is true that some animals have a limited capacity for instruction. You may teach the elephant to bear burthens; you may train the ox to the plough, the horse to the harness, and the dog to the chase. You may thus render these animals subservient to the profit, the plea­sure, or the caprice of man; but you do not confer on them any art which improves their condition, increases their happiness, or raises them above their fellow-brutes. But it is other­wise with man. Heaven has imparted to him the mighty gift of reason, and permitted him to taste of the immortal fruit yielded by the tree of knowledge of good and evil; and endowed him with an independent and indestructible existence. He is destined to pass from one gra­dation to another as he ascends in the scale of knowledge; but experience is the process by which his faculties must be unfolded, education the ladder by which he must rise to the perfec­tion of his being. The Creator has bestowed various instincts on the brute creation, and these are so wonderful in their power that they seem like scintillations struck out from the
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