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COMPILED FOR THE USE OF
HIGHER CLASSES OF SELECT AND PARISH SCHOOLS.
With an Introduction,
BY RIGHT REV. DR. SPALDING.
BY A MEMBER OF THE ORDER OF THE HOLY CROSS.
NEW AND REVISED EDITION.
QOR. NOTRE DAME AND ST. FRANCIS XAVIER STS.
Entered according to Act of Oongress, in the year 1872,
By D. & J. SADLIER & CO.,
day. Its practical importance can scarcely be exaggerated. Upon its solution depends the future of society, whether for weal or for woe. The leading spirits of our age and country have so apprehended it; and hence school-book succeeds school-book, and method follows method, with a view to the more efficacious imparting of knowledge to youth. The activity in this department, especially among those outside the Church, has been prodigious, and it seems to be on the increase. The characteristic trait of our age seems to be the desire to seize on the child, and to mould its tender mind and heart to a particular form. Our wide-spread system of common schools is but an expression of this feeling, which is based upon a knowledge of human nature and of philosophy. The child is “the father of the man,” and the character of the matter will be but a development of the impressions made upon
the mind and heart of the former, while these were susceptible and plastic. If the flower be blighted, or the twig be bent, in the nursery, it will be difficult to render the matured plant either healthy or straight.
The great fault of our common-school system is found in its either wholly ignoring or greatly undervaluing the religious element in education. Without religion, education is, at best, but a doubtful boon, and it may be even a positive evil. Considering the innate tendency of our nature to evil, and the difficulty of training it up to good, the religious element is essential in the educational process. No other principle can supply an efficient ourb to the headlong passions of youth ; no other can effectually train up children to the practice of a sound morality, thereby