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Sect. 3.– Decision of Character. — Why as necessary to women
as to men. — Not incompatible with feminine gentleness. — Ele-
ments of decision of character. - Its proper grounds and limits ;
moral courage.

Women capable of it in a high degree. — Evils
of cowardice to women. - Importance, in nursing the sick, of
presence of mind and moral courage. — Digression on economy
and household duties. — Harmony of the mind with itself.

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Sect. 2. Observation. Its value in connection with spirit of

inquiry. – Different modes of observation, its value in educating

children.

Sect. 3. - Attention. - Some studies more favorable than others
for training attention. — Reflection is attention to thought. –
Necessity of controlling thought.

Sect. 4. - Association. Different kinds of association. - In-

fluence of habitual associations. — Influence of association on

memory

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Sect. 5. - Cultivation of Reason. Habits of reasoning depend
on culture. — Process of reasoning, what; syllogism ; value of
mathematics in training the reason. Mental and moral philoso-
phy. - Different modes in which reason is exercised in their dif-
ferent subjects.

Sect. 6. — Language as influencing the habits of reasoning. -

Defects and difficulties of language. — Test of our own accuracy.

- Exaggeration. — Conclusion.

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CHAPTER XIII.

CULTURE OF THE IMAGINATION .

391
Importance of imagination. — Not cultivated in education. -
Repressed in English society. - Effect on character when it is
wanting. — Sympathy, tact, and influence. — Its evil influence on
women when not duly cultivated - Day dreams, morbid feelings.

Enthusiasm ; danger to women. — Love of the beautiful. -
Beauty of nature. Art. — How to cultivate imagination; com-
parison of poetry and common fiction. — Accomplishments.-
Value of cultivated imagination as life wears on.

CHAPTER XIV.

RELIGION

417
Object of this chapter to consider essential principles of Chris-
tianity apart from dogmatic theology. — And prevalent errors
regarding them. — Influence of views of religion on individual
and national character. — Christianity affords the governing idea
of life. — Obedience to God's will ; rule of moral, physical, and
intellectual life. — Sectarian views. — Peculiarity of Christianity
lies in its motives to action. - Love of God its fundamental prin-
ciple. — How adulterated by superstition. — Errors. Substitu-
tion of means for the end. - General consequences. — Misappre-
hension of the object of Christianity. — Doctrines derived from
Scripture. — Grounds for toleration. — Intolerance consistent in
the Church of Rome. — Inconsistent in Protestants. — Assump-
tion of infallibility. - Possibility of error always to be borne in
mind. - Argument summed up. — Meaning of faith as used in
Scripture. — True end of Christianity. - The moral regeneration
of man. - - Evidences of religion. Historical and critical.
Moral evidence. Study of Scripture. General method of
study. – Definite object in study. — The general purport and
spirit of Scripture the only safe ground for conclusions. – Dan-
ger of resting doctrines on individual tests. Use of moral evi-
dence in the interpretation of Scripture. — Objections answered.
Principles, not minute rules, to be sought for. — The Bible to be
studied with reference to other knowledge. — Spirit in which it
should be studied. — Caution to the young. - Practical influence
of the errors pointed out. - Separation of religion from secular
life. — Influence of women in religion. — Religious education of
children. — Religion the crowning aim of self-education. — Its
practical influence. — Its inestimable benefits.

THOUGHTS ON SELF-CULTURE.

CHAPTER I.

PART I.

GENERAL VIEW OF WOMAN'S POSITION AND INFLUENCE.

THROUGHOUT the many changes that woman's social position has undergone in past and present times, its importance has never been wholly overlooked. The condition of woman may vary from slavery and degradation, to refinement and freedom, according to the age or country we consider; but the Asiatic who dreads her emancipation, the savage who enforces her labor, or the enlightened European who seeks in her a companion and friend, all alike, with hope or with fear, tacitly or avowedly, acknowledge the vital consequence of the position she occupies.

An able writer of our own day has spent much research in tracing through the various phases of human society the influence of different institutions and forms of civilization upon woman's position, as an introduction to considering that position in the present day. To her brilliant sketch we refer our readers as establishing more clearly than any reasoning could prove it, the constant and inevitable reaction upon society of the different modes of estimating woman's condition and influence. * When we have traced this reaction upon the stern patriotism

* Woman's Rights and Duties, Vol. I., first four chapters.

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