Page:The Daughters of England.djvu/274

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CHAP. XII.
DEDICATION OF YOUTH.


Without having made any pretension in this volume to class it under the head of a religious work, I have endeavoured to render it throughout conducive to the interests of religion, by pointing out those minor duties of life, and those errors of society, which strictly religious writers almost universally consider as too insignificant for their attention. And, perhaps, it is not easy to interweave these seeming trifles in practice, with the great fundamental principles of Christian faith.

I cannot but think, however, that, to many, and especially to the young, this minuteness of detail may have its use, by bringing home to their attention familiar instances upon which Christian principle may be brought to bear. For I am one of those who think that religion ought never to be treated or considered as a thing set apart from daily and familiar use, to be spoken of as belonging almost exclusively to sabbaths, and societies, and serious reading. To me it appears that the influence of religion should be like an atmosphere, pervading all things connected with our being; that it ought to constitute the element in which the Christian lives, more than the sanctuary into which he retires. When considered in this point of view, nothing can be too minute to be submitted to the test of its principles; so that, instead of our worldly and our spiritual concerns occupying two distinct pages in our experience, the one, according to this rule, becomes regulated by our spiritual