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156
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
the test. Bring together the whole body of Christians, of all persuasions, and I hesitate not to declare that they will exhibit a loftier stand­ard of virtue, a purer code of morals, a higher sense of justice and humanity, than any other class of men that exist on the face of the earth. Let the Christian religion be viewed in this light, and it will readily claim the admiration of every candid and enlightened mind. Let it be well understood that there are quacks, fana­tics, and impertinent meddlers in religion, as in every other good cause; but let it also be un­derstood that these persons are marked with individual qualities which the spirit of true reli­gion would rebuke, and the existence of which, wherever they may be found, goes far to prove the absence of that spirit. Let these views be entertained by parents, and, on proper occa­sions, communicated to children, and these will be saved from those perilous misapprehensions, which have driven more persons into infidelity than any other single cause.
One thing farther. The common cant of the irreligious and profane is made up of gibes and sneers at religion, on account of the errors and inconsistencies of those who bear the name of Christians. There can be no surer mark of ill breeding, no more palpable instance of bad
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