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150
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
others. Without regarding minute divisions, we should look upon the pious of all sects as con­stituting Christ's church ; the "many mansions" in his Father's house doubtless afford ample room for them all. But the division into dif­ferent sects is productive of some benefits. It is a mode in which Christianity adapts itself to the various tastes of individuals and the diversified conditions of society. It also brings into action the selfish feelings of man to sus­tain the institutions of religion: and thus the wrath of man is made to praise God. In illus­tration of these views, I will recount a series of events which occurred, with no great vari­ation from the following narrative, in a New-England village, some thirty years since.
W*******, at the period of our story, was a quiet inland town, of about two thousand inha­bitants. It had but a single place of worship, and this was now somewhat brown and dilapi­dated. Dr. B., the clergyman, was of the old school: learned and doctrinal in discourse, in life and practice, simple, pious and sincere. The people entertained for him the highest respect, and nothing like sectarian division had ever entered in, to disturb the harmony of the parish. But at length an itinerant preacher, of another creed, came to the place, and being able to get
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