« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
mischievous, dangerous, selfish ; yet, so chastened, it becomes enlightening, and consoling, wherever and whatever human condition may be. The law of morality is alike applicable to all men. It is a heavenly light, which shines in the retired apartment of the philosopher, in the halls of legislation, on the bench of justice, in the sacred desk, on the fields of the farmer, on the work bench of the mechanic, in the domestic circle, in the social assembly, in the cottage and palace, in the chamber of the sick, and which even sheds its beam before the startling step, and on the grim visage of Death.
There may be persons who are of opinion, that no system of moral teaching deserves notice, unless it be founded on that peculiar creed which is the right one. What difference, as to morals, can it make, whether a person maintain one, or another, of the many constructions which are given to the BIBLE ? Whether one believe that a just and inexorable JUDGE pronounces awful punishment, and forever, on guilty man; or that there is į merciful and beneficent FATHER, who exacts ohadience to his laws, and who punishes transgression, and who has pleasure in beholding life well spent, the law of morals, as to earthly being; must be the same. The moral system, herein proposed, applies to any creed, and every creed, alike. It luaves to every one his own creed, only insisting that there can be but one true system of moral laws for all men.
All that this volume assumes to do is, to demonstrate that there is a SUPREME BEING ; that there is a created universe ; that man has his proper place therein ; that by the mere light of reason, man may have an immortal spirit ; that through Christian revelation, this is certainly so : that as
man properly belongs to this system of being, and is immortal, there must be rules of conduct for him, in this life; that he can know what these rules are ; and that if he know them, and obey them, he attains to his best condition on earth.
Note. The Words of a school book should be proper words, and properly used. Two or three words are used in this book, which some writers may not use ; as responsibility for responsableness; accountability, for accountableness. These are English words. Difference in termination, does not in this case make a difference in meaning. If any rule is violated in preferring the one termination to the other, it is only that of taste. Sound, and ease in pronouncing, have led to a preference.
Whether it be best to write participles with double consonants, is questionable. The rule of grammarians, that the double consonants are to be used or not, a sa syllable of the word is accented or not, is unsatisfactory, and not easily applied. Referred, for example, is so written in obedience to this rule. The last r in this word is useless, in speaking, and writing. The present usage has been conformed to; but, sound, saving of space and labor, and appearance, are thought to be very sufficient reasons, why it should not have been.
A few errors of the press were not noticed in time to be corrected, before the plates were cast. They are, however, such as to be easily discerned, and corrected, by any one who uses this book.
XXVIII. Same subject, continued,
arising from the Perversion of some
good, whether affecting others or
MORAL CLASS BOOK.
Introduction. Every thoughtful person finds that inquiries arise in his mind of this nature, What am I? Whence am I? For what purpose do I exist ? What is this which is called life? What is the power of thinking? Will the consciousness of being cease when this life ends ? If not, will that consciousness relate to the acts done in this life? If so, in what manner, and with what consequences ? If I doubt what answers I must give to these questions, why do I doubt? Is it beyond my power to remove my doubts? If I believe nothing of a future state of being as a consequence of the present being, have I done what I ought to do, to inform myself whether this be so or not? If I have a sentiment of being liable to account in a future life for my conduct in this, is it a mere sentiment, or is it founded in reason, and binding on me as a conviction, from which I cannot free myself? · Inquiries also arise in many minds of this nature : If there be a Supreme Being who created and who governs the universe, and who is supremely good and wise, why are the good and wise on earth, sometimes subjected to suffering and to sorrow? Why is there, to such persons, so much of pain in body and in mind ? Why do disappointments and afflictions fall on those who strive to perform their duty in all things ? Why do not the punishments