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226
FIRESIDE EDUCATION.
vidence, by which the inhabitants of every land, whether it be a region of sterile mountains, or an inhospitable climate of snow, or a land flow­ing with milk and honey, or a desert of sand, are attached to the soil where their lot is cast. In the first place, this love is a source of con­tentment and happiness, even though it maybe founded in ignorance or false comparisons ; and, in the second place, it excites the people to seek the good and promote the prosperity of the inha­bitants. It stimulates them to act individually and unitedly, and, in cases of emergency, to put forth great efforts in the sacred cause of coun­try whether it be to realize some desirable ob­ject, or avert some threatened evil.
Thus it would appear that, by implanting this sentiment in the breast of man, God has provided an active agent, the design and ten­dency of which are to cultivate and cherish the advantages which each country possesses: to develop its resources, to increase its comforts and riches, to raise the standard of civilization, and. in short, to promote its true glory. Such is the design and such the tendency of that sen­timent called patriotism; and if it is more cir­cumscribed in its view than philanthropy, it is far removed from selfishness, and the bosom in which it dwells must be exalted and purified,
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