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the mind than to store the head; and we are persuaded whatever principles are instilled, or thoughts and feelings induced, without regard to religion, are either directly erroneous, or mainly defective. Our children are immortal beings, preparing for eternity. If we believe them .such, it is as such we must instruct them-as such we must teach them to act, to think, to feel, on every subject presented to them. Otherwise, however the subject be in itself unconnected with religion, we give them a false and distorted view of it. That such is the case with much our children learn, we regret to know. For there is scarcely a history in which a false colouring is not given to the characters and conduct of men, because they are considered as creatures of this world only, independent of every duty they owe to their Creator. Far be it from us so to write. Religion is 'not a check upon our intellect or a damp upon our innocent pursuits. We forbid not our children to gather the flowers or taste the fruits so richly scattered on their earthly path; but we do and must forbid them to forget why they are here and whither they are going. Religion is not a subject for sermons, or a dress for Sundays. It is the one great interest of our lives--the foundation of every right thought and just feeling. Most willingly do we disclaim every species of knowledge and object of pursuit that must stand in opposition to it, or banish it from our minds.
We scarcely feel it necessary on the other hand to apologize for mixing secular matters with our religious instruction. We believe the most serious of our friends know the value of the various intellectual powers committed to our trust, and the propriety of cultivating them by all innocent and lawful means. Nor do we need to remind them, that we write even our religious matter for minds to whom its deep importance and simple loveliness are better suited than the doubts and difficulties so fitly made the objects of research and enquiry to older minds. But never, we trust, shall we be found to equivocate or disguise those principles for which our noble Patronesses have done us the honour to put their names in pledge.
73, 140, 196, 257
244, 304, 361
Deluge to the time of Abraham
16, 86, 153, 210, 272, 332
37, 109, 172, 232, 292, 351
A SKETCH OF GENERAL HISTORY.
FROM THE CREATION TO THE DELUGE. In attempting a connected history of the world from the time the divine Being put his hand to the unshapen mass, and moulded it into a form so beautiful, the task appears of a magnitude disproportioned to the slow progress of a work like this; and, as promising nothing but what has been so often written, and so often read, in detached histories, it may seem unnecessary even to the young. They may be supposed, in some way or other, already informed on the leading points in general history; while its minuter details are not possible in so brief a retrospect as ours. The view is just. We scarcely expect to offer any thing to the observation of the wellinformed, which they do not know already. But to know and to consider are not the same thing. To collect facts, and to combine them one with another, tracing their connexion, causes, and consequences, are different operations of the mind. The former is done by every child as early as tuition commences, and knowledge is attained in proportion to their capacity and the means of cultivating it. The latter is often never done at all. We all know that God, in the beginning, created the worldthat he directs and governs it--that Alexander ravaged it with fire and sword—that Caligula used it as a play
thing of folly and crime. But what have Caligula, and Alexander, and the Creation, and God's government to do with each other, or with us? Certainly nothing, in the ideas of most. They are all accidents that befel we know not how or when. Our business with them is to learn them; and though we cannot avoid knowing, that the issue of all is the destruction of a world with whose creation we began, we do not, in general, feel ourselves more personally concerned in that event, than in all the rest of its varied history. That there are reflective minds with whom this is not the case, we know; but we believe most learners of history will feel guilty of something of this heedless way of studying what they would consider it disgraceful not to know.
We have no remedy to offer for this evil. The utmost we pretend is, to give a hint, to supply a clue to those whose minds will make the effort of reflection; we will endeavour to connect every thing with its first great cause, and keep in view the final issue of all that is passing in this sublunary world.
And we would have it understood, that this Sketch of History is not intended to superşede or to supply the place of any histories whatever; but rather to make the perusal of them more useful to the improvement of the moral and intellectual powers, and to the cultivation of a religious feeling in our secular pursuits. When awaking, as it were, from the thoughtlessness of childhood, we first begin to consider what we are, and how we came to be, the mind naturally wanders backward in search of the origin, and forward in search of the issue of the things we see. It is difficult to imagine a mind at all reflective, without a desire to know what has been passing in the world before we had our being, and what will pass in it when we shall be no more. Of the former, the records of history, rich and abundant, give us much to know: of the latter, all is wrapped in impenetrable darkness. But of the end and the beginning, we must have been alike ignorant, had not a direct revelation of them been made