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rfect laws, even supposing that they imagined ey had obtained them? The private conduct of ch individual in the community has a much more mediate influence upon his own welfare than y thing that can be done for him by princes or lers. Every man is, iu a comprehensive sense, nstituted the sole warden of his own happiness. onscious of this, philosophers have in all ages aced the scene of human felicity amid some opia, or retreat of innocence and virtue.

But alas for the systems of ancient philosophers! hich, be it remembered, display some of the blimest vagaries of unassisted human intelligence; ey crumble to atoms and chaotic confusion, eneath the touch of demonstrative truth. The ligions of Paganism vanish away before the keen ance of knowledge; and the world discovers that e phantoms which ignorance and superstition epicted amid the darkness of intellectual gloom, › where exist. Mohammed, aware of the conquence, threw a thick veil over the minds of his llowers, for he foresaw that knowledge must be cluded, for imposture to succeed. The religions heathenism have passed away with the people ho professed to believe in them; but that is not e case with those works and doctrines which ere founded upon truth. The superstitions of e ignorant, and the vague traditions from a arbarous age, were too palpably irrational and emoralizing to impose upon the more intelligent art of even ancient communities. Aristotle, in

his Ethics, controverts the doctrine of the plurality of deities. Aristophanes holds up to ridicule various subjects of the popular mythology. And as for the oracles, Eusebius says that six hundred persons among the Pagans had written against them. An intelligent people will sift equally the dogmas of their priests, and the mandates of their prince.

Son of the morning, rise! approach you here!
Come-but molest not yon defenceless urn;
Look on this spot-a nation's sepulchre !
Abode of gods, whose shrines no longer burn.

The sophist has in all ages risen above the superstitions of his times; and has expatiated in the fields of reason, and luxuriated in the gardens of nature, till in endless mazes lost, he sinks down in despair amid his lonely wanderings. He mocked the superstitions of those around him; and when he attempted to build up his systems of Stoicism, Epicureanism, Platonism, Paganism, Mohammedanism, or Atheism, philosophy mocked him in his turn, with confusion, at that Babel of opinions.

All the theories of antiquity which have been refuted, or laid aside, were contrary to experimental knowledge and reasonableness. But there are many things which recommend themselves to our reason after they are made known to us, although we might never have been able by reason to have discovered them ourselves. Thus Butler remarks, that Christianity, as the moral system of nature,

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This, however, was not the case with the cient theories which incurred the contempt of hilosophers. This rationality should not be lost ght of in a system of Christian education.


It is somewhere observed by Tertullian, “ that e most ignorant peasant under the Christian disensation, possesses more real knowledge than the isest of the ancient philosophers." In confirmaon of this, we may sometimes hear uneducated hristians of very ordinary minds, discourse upon atters of moral well-being, with a shrewdness and nowledge of practical virtue surpassing any thing at ancient philosophers have written upon the abject.

Many advocates of popular instruction treat the abject of education as if we should thereby be nabled to impart to the lower orders of society n intelligence all but divine; whereas we cannot elp remarking, how few of those classes who eceive the best education, appear either to possess liking or capacity for any but very ordinary puruits. We are not to look for creative virtues in ny species of tuition. The schoolmaster is but he cultivator of the soil subjected to his moral iscipline. A barren or depraved mind, may with ll its merely scientific accomplishments, retain its lepravity.

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thousand children out of a population of about ninety thousand persons. This was during the period of the revival of learning in Italy, an age in which there was scarcely any part of that country uninfluenced by intellectual refinement; when, during the progress of nearly three centuries, her bards, her historians, sculptors, and painters, achieved performances which not only Italy, but the world, may ever continue to admire and extol. Then if literature and a refined intellect were sufficient to inculcate the eternal principles of rational liberty and justice, how came it to pass, that at that very period when Italy was the centre of learning and refinement in Europe, her polite inhabitants were probably the most flagrantly immoral and atrociously iniquitous people in this quarter of the globe? It matters not whether the fault rested with their rulers or the people themselves. Their warlike spirit had subsided; but was there peace? It was but to give way, as Machiavelli discloses, to a more dastardly and fatal system both as regarded their home and foreign policy. Intrigue and assassination were now their most boasted and successful scheme of revenging private injuries, and retaliating upon foreign cabinets. And at the root of all this, lay the hotbed whence it all sprang; their moral depravity and private vices. Their learning and mental refinement, apparently only served to render them more exquisitely depraved. What was once said

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propriately applied to this and other once flourishg empires,—" thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it th perverted thee." There is nothing in the very ghest branches of philosophy and the fine arts, at what the veriest demons themselves may be lept in. The veriest demon, clothed in philosophy id refinement, may pass for an angel of light.

In the precedent of other ages and empires, we actically recognise the development of events hich sceptical reasoners might otherwise dispute. here we see nations educated and intelligent, but egardless of morality and religion, sunk in vice, allen and lost. There is no doubt that polite ducation conduces to develope the human energies nd capacities—but what are these? They include s well vices as virtues-they spring up together, ut no regenerating effect being produced upon his depraved nature, the vices in the long run utstrip the virtues.

In the times to which we allude, the people in general gave themselves up to the indulgence of their own passions; and in Venice they prosituted their political freedom to those objects. The effect was to divide the state into almost as many parties as there were families, each of whom sought to forward their own private interests in despite of the influence which they might have upon the community at large. The general good was at length lost sight of; and the people abetted the interests of parties in the same way as the

unnrincipled do still in modern Europe and forcots

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