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MORALS.
217
contempt. You often see it in children, who, from a feeling of rectitude, will tell the truth, though it may subject them to reproof or pun­ishment. It is a beautiful trait of character, and deserves careful parental encouragement. It has led to many of the finest actions detailed in the history of mankind. It was moral cou­rage that sustained the apostles in undertaking to preach the religion of the crucified Jesus, in opposition to a splendid mythology, which had been cherished for ages, and to the support of which, the architect and sculptor had long con­secrated their genius. It was moral courage that sustained Wilberforce, through good report and evil report, in his protracted efforts to effect the abolition of the slave trade. It was moral courage that sustained Howard in his pilgrim­ages to hundreds of prisons, reckless of infec­tion and pestilence, if so be he might alleviate the misery of the prisoners.
Such are a few of the higher examples of moral courage. But it is a virtue which may be called into daily exercise in the common business of life. It is this which induces a man. on fit occasions, to express his honest opinions, with­out regard to the unfavorable effect they may have upon his own interests. It is this which induces a man to stand by the virtuous, when 19
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