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158
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
progress, and it requires no very profound study to discover, that Christianity has been the pio­neer in this onward march. The advance of civilization has resulted from a diffusion of po­litical liberty, and this has arisen from a better knowledge of the rights of man. And from what source has the sense of justice sprung, which has thus been scattered over Christendom, and induced even kings and emperors to mitigate their sway of despotism? It is from Christianity, alone. It is this which has established, on a firm basis, the principles of equity between man and his fellow man. Greece and Rome had beautiful schemes of liberty, but they rested upon no substantial basis of morals, and their institutions perished. Modern civilization is supported by the eternal pillars of Christian mo­rality, and the world's progress must now be onward. How different is the spirit of this age from what has ever been witnessed before! How many charitable institutions have arisen, within the last few years, to benefit the poor, the distressed, the unfortunate ! How many as­sociations have been formed for the suppression of vice and the promotion of virtue, and how wonderfully have their efforts been seconded by society ! And are not these, at once, proofs of an advanced state of civilization, and strides
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