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RELIGION.                                    157
taste, than to participate in this poor wit. But, at the same time, it is not wise, unduly, to pal­liate the faults of those who profess to be reli­gious. Whoever furnishes any reason to a child to suspect him of want of candor, to suspect that he is influenced by a sinister design, runs the risk of turning the whole strength of the child's mind and heart against that which he would desire to inculcate. The true rule, on this point, would seem to be this,—admit frank­ly the imperfections of individual Christians. but, on suitable occasions, illustrate the spirit of Christianity, by exhibiting its effects upon the world at large. Suppose you were to blot Chris­tianity from the earth, and what would be the condition of the human family? To what creed should we resort, to support our hopes of im­mortality, or unfold the duties and the destinies of man? Would Mahometanism, or Bramanism, or any other pagan scheme, content us I Would not the moral world seem deprived of the great luminary which gives it light, and warmth and vitality? We know, indeed, that the fool, who has said in his heart " there is no God," affirms that, in spite of the diffusion of Christian know­ledge, the world goes on now as it has gone before. But the fact is not so. Within the last century, the human mind has made great 14
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