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162
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
may still develop the light of truth and the glow of piety. They will lead them to look upon the divisions in the Christian world, not with despondency and sickness of heart, as it might seem that our religion has introduced a sword among mankind; but as a system by which religious liberty and religious zeal are secured and perpetuated in the world.
In illustration of the folly of insisting upon minor points of doctrine as essential in religion, and of the incidental advantages which may yet arise from the conflict of opinions even on such topics, I offer the following allegory.
THE VOYAGE OF THE PHILOSOPHERS—AN EASTERN TALE,
The celebrated Hiram, king of Tyre, was not only a patron of the arts, but a promoter of learning. He founded seminaries, encouraged talent, and favored men of letters.
In a simple state of society, the disputes of men arise out of questions of conduct; but, as they grow more learned and refined, they quar­rel about matters of speculation. After the rights of property and the rules of duty are well ascertained, there is little opportunity for the exhibition of superior sagacity, except in the discussion of misty points of doctrine. Those,
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