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RELIGION.
ini
to virtue, it will lead him to adopt a high stand­ard of moral character; if it presents treble motives to virtue, it will scarcely enable him to stem the natural current of human passions, and. with the profession of Christianity- may leave him but little better than a heathen.
While, therefore, I admit the importance of definite and settled religious opinions, and com­mend it to every person to sustain bis own faith, that having been duly considered, with stead fastness, and on proper occasions with zeal: 1 conceive, however, that this should ever be done with a full admission that Christ's church embraces the pious of all creeds; that no one sect can claim to hold exclusively the keys of heaven's gate: and that while there are many mansions above, so there are doubt­less many paths by which Christian pilgrims may reach these glorious abodes. I deem it important that parents should imbue their chil­dren, at the proper age, with these views. They will serve many good purposes: they will lead to the exercise of charity towards those who hold opposite tenets; they will induce them to look upon the bickerings of rival religious com­munities as collisions of the steel and flint, sharp and fierce it may be, and in such cases cer­tainly to be condemned, but as a means which 14*                                      K
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