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178
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
In illustration of the high moral endowments of man, and the inward impulses implanted hy his Creator, I subjoin the following striking pas­sage from Dr. Dick's Philosophy of a Future State.
" Man is formed for action, as well as for con­templation. For this purpose there are inter­woven in his constitution, powers, principles,
Conscience, as we all know, may be listened to or disregarded ; and in this, habit has great influence. The following story, from the Juvenile Miscellany, illustrates this.
" A lady, who found it difficult to awake so early as she desired in the morning, purchased an alarm watch. This kind of watch is so contrived as to strike with a very loud whizzing noise at any time the owner pleases. The lady placed the watch at the head of the lied, and, at the appointed time, she found herself effectually roused by the loud ratthng sound. She immediately obeyed the summons, and felt the better all day for her early rising. This continued for several weeks. The alarm watch faithfully perform­ed its office, and was distinctly heard so long as it was promptly obeyed. But, after a time, the lady grew tired of early rising, and, when awakened by the noisy monitor, merely turned herself and slept again. In a few days, the watch ceased to arouse her from slumber. It spoke just as loudly as ever, but she did not hear it, because she had acquired the habit of disobeying it. Finding that she might just as well be without an alarm watch, she formed the wise resolution, that, if she ever heard the sound again, she would jump up instantly, and that she would never allow herself to disobey the friendly warning.
" Just so it is with conscience. If we obey its dictates, even to the most trifling particulars, we always hear its voice clear and strong. But if we allow ourselves to do what we fear is not quite right, we shall grow more and more sleepy, until the voice of con­science has no longer any power to waken us."
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