Imatges de pÓgina
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Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1848, by
WILLIAM H. WARDWELL,

In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.

STEREOTYPED BY

HOBART & ROBBINS;

NEW ENGLAND TYPE AND STEREOTYPE FOUNDERY.

PREFACE.

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WHILE most sciences have stooped to children, and condescended to become instructors of the little ones, that of Morals - one of the most important- has kept a distant reserve, and wrapped itself in cloudy abstractions. work on Morals for Common Schools," says the Hon. Horace Mann, "which shall excite the sympathies as well as inform the intellect; which shall make children love virtue as well as understand what it is, is the greatest desideratum of our schools." The following pages are an attempt to fulfil this want. This work is designed to be placed in the hands of every scholar of our public schools, as soon as they are able to understand it, and to be studied like any other text-book. The execution is not, indeed, in all respects, equal to the author's desire; but it is hoped that even the feeblest contribution to this most neglected part of juvenile instruction will not be unacceptable.

We cannot overrate the importance of having the children of our country thoroughly indoctrinated in the principles, and duly imbued with the spirit, of morality.

The author has endeavored to present the elements of the subject, in a manner sufficiently plain to be apprehended by children who have reached an age capable of understanding any truth. The aim has been to illustrate the general principles by familiar examples, and to bring to the test of immutable rectitude many of the common habits and smaller acts of daily life. It is desirable that teachers should explain and apply these principles still further, by a reference to those little

misdeeds which fall under their eye, from time to time, as they observe the conduct and manners of those under their

care.

As the book is intended for younger classes, it seemed wel. that it should be attended with questions. But, in many instances, the form of them is designedly such as to oblige the scholar to exercise his own reason and reflection in finding the true answer, and thus, in some degree, avoid an evil attending the use of set questions — that of giving an answer, without getting an idea. It is recommended, however, that the questions be dispensed with, in all cases in which the learner is able to do without their aid.

In the preparation of this work, especially in the general plan, great aid has been derived from Dr. Wayland's Moral Science. Free reference has also been had to Dymond's Essays on Morality, and Whewell's Elements of the same subject.

But chief reliance has been placed upon the inspired Word of God, which must be considered as the great repository of all moral truth. The prevalent sentiment, requiring that everything of a sectarian kind should be excluded from public schools, has rendered the theological part more brief than some, perhaps, would desire.

The First Part is entitled "Duties to God." It is believed that duty to God underlies and includes all other duties; that the personal, relative, and mutual obligations of men, are not only better enforced by a regard to the will of God, but that they are permanently and essentially involved in that will ; which is in itself but an expression of eternal virtue; -in a word, that religion is the surest and completest foundation of morality. A. HALL.

SEPTEMBER, 1848.

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