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How Best To Educate Your Child At Home

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176
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
It is also strengthened by a consideration of the benefits to which it tends. The happiness of
dom mistake what is his duty. And children may do this, as well as grown persons.
" Our conscience is also improved in this respect by reflecting upon virtuous actions and thinking upon virtuous characters. The more we do this, the easier we learn to distinguish and avoid every thing that is wrong. It is for this reason that we should think much on the character of our blessed Savior, if we wish to improve our conscience and make progress in virtue. So young persons should reflect upon the character of Samuel, Joseph, Daniel, in the Bible, and of George Washington and other good men of later times. And of course, on the contrary, we shall weaken our power of making moral distinctions if we neglect to inquire into the moral character of our actions. If children or men go on doing right or wrong, just as it happens, without ever inquir­ing about it, they will at last care but little whether they do the one or the other, and in many cases will hardly be able to dis­tinguish between them. Every one knows that children who are taught by their parents to reflect upon their actions and distinguish between right and wrong, know much better how they ought to act than those whose parents never gave them any instruction on the subject. '
" And, again, we injure our power of judging correctly of moral actions if we allow ourselves to witness or hear of wickedness, or if we are in the habit of letting wicked thoughts dwell in out minds. If a boy for the first time hear another swear, he will feel it to be wrong; but if he associate much with him, he will soon care nothing about it, and very soon will begin to swear himself. The same is the case with lying, cruelty, bad language, or any other wickedness. This shows us how careful we should be to avoid all bad company, and never to mingle with those who per­sist in doing wrong.
" I have mentioned, above, that we could all observe in the feeling of conscience a sort of command, urging us to do what is right. Now this command becomes stronger or weaker just in proportion
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