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Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1832,
By CARTER, HENDEE, & Co. withe Clerk's Office of the District Court of Massachusetts.
A PAINFUL apprehension has been indulged, within the last few years, lest, in the great zeal or improvement in common elementary education, the subject of religion should be too much neglected. Is not this the melancholly fact? Let an examination be made, and what will be the result! Look at the mass of our primary schools, and of qur grammar schools, and see how little is embraced in the whole range of instruction there given, that would indicate us to be a Christian people, It is true, that in many of our school books allusions may be often made to the gospel, and indeed to some of its distinctive characteristics; but, are these characteristics themselves exhibited in a manner to enlighten the understanding, to consolidate the views, and to invigorate the hopes of the professed disciples of Jesus Christ! It is believed not. They are allusions merely that would scarcely disturb the faith of an enlightened Bramin or Mahometan.
Is it not owing to such a deficiency in our systems of education, that so many youth are grow
ing up flippant sceptics on the subject of religion; and, are casting away with insolent rudeness and scorn the faith and hope of their pious parents? No one of extensive observation can deny it is so. Only a few years since, in one of the Sunday Schools of this city, an intelligent Miss of fourteen disputed with her Teacher the truth of Christianity. It soon appeared that the former was familiar with the writings of Paine and other infidels; and, yet she was the daughter of Christian parents. It seems that a moral poison had been administered to her; yet, no one at home, or at school had furnished her with an antidote! The poison sank deep into the soul; and, were it proper so soon after and in the very place of a sad catastrophe, to detail the subsequent history of one so young, and beautiful, and of respectable connexions, and in a high degree intellectual, it would address itself to a Christian community with a force seldom realized.
If we would secure the children and youth of our country against the deleterious influence which is cast over them by the enemies of Christianity, we must furnish them with means at their own houses, in the Sunday School, and in the various literary Institutions to which they have access, to become familiarly acquainted with the principles of our most holy faith. No one should be permitted to grow up without these means. The subject should be continually in view; and, in a manner calculated to awaken all the sensibilities of the