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154
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
dice against religion, on account of the faults and foibles of some of its professors. It some­times happens that persons professing to be reli­gious, and affecting a peculiar degree of sanctity, are still marked with certain disagreeable traits of character. They are perhaps gloomy, and would give the impression that religion imparts gloom to those who become subject to its influ­ence. Or perhaps they are disputatious, and draw the sword of controversy on unsuitable occasions. Or they may combine ignorance with conceit, and undertake to instruct those who are wiser and better than themselves. Or they may imagine that they have some call from heaven to persuade mankind to become Christians, and, forgetting or disdaining the pro­prieties of life, force religious conversation upon people at improper times. Or they may have that peculiar species of arrogance, which begins with expressions of humility, and ends by giv­ing you to understand that they have been blessed with heavenly light, while you are in the " gall of bitterness and bonds of iniquity." All these, and many other forms of error, igno­rance, impertinence, or hypocrisy, are to be met with in people who profess to be religious: and it is an unfortunate fact that such persons are frequently zealous, and therefore render
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