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210
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
fruitful source of many evils. It disgusts the young and the cheerful with religion and reli­gious people, who become associated in their minds with moody dulness or revolting gloom. But the effect of these views upon persons of a melancholy temperament is even worse. They are apt to sink deep into the mind, and, coin­ciding with the tendencies of the heart, to over­shadow the whole being with the dismal mist of habitual despondency. In such cases, in­sanity is the frequent result. And where this does not happen, where the mind is sustained by religious hope, still how desolate is the ex­istence of that individual who is trained to look upon this world only as a scene of sorrow and trial. And, beside, is it not a false, unprofita­ble and impious view of existence ? Has God given this to us as a curse? There is, doubtless, a great deal of misery in the world, but it is chiefly brought upon us by our own miscon­duct. And, moreover, the balance of pleasure infinitely outweighs the pain.
Dr. Paley remarks that "it is a happy world after all. The air, the earth, the water, teem with delighted existence. In a spring noon or a sum­mer evening, on whichever side I turn my eyes, myriads of happy beings crowd upon my view. The insect youth are on the wing. Swarms
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