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152
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
der his own charge. The school-house was soon too small for him, and, by the aid of some of the people, and funds obtained elsewhere, he caused a plain but comfortable meeting-house to be built. Here he continued to hold his meetings, and at length established a flourish­ing church. The members who joined it at first were the least respectable portion of the inhabitants of W****** : but as the society advanced, these improved in respectability, and in a few years, the church which they had formed was not inferior in numbers to that of Dr. B. If its members did not consist of the richest inhabitants of the town, they were as sincere and pious as those who surpassed them in certain worldly advantages.
Such was the effect of competition in matters of religion in the village of W******. There was, it is true, not a little sectarian bitterness engendered during the progress of the events which I have briefly described. The leaders of the two societies frequently preached about wolves in sheep's clothing, and warned their people against them, insinuating that such fierce creatures were not far off. There were also smart debates whether salvation is by faith or by works; whether or no a Christian can reach a state of perfectibility on earth : and whether
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