The Great End in Religious Instruction
The great end in religious instruction is not to stamp our minds upon
the young, but to stir up their own;
Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily
with their own;
Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent
love of truth;
Not to form an outward regularity, but to touch inward springs;
Not to bind them by ineradicable prejudices to our particular sect or
peculiar notions, but to prepare them for impartial, conscientious judging
of whatever subjects may be offered to their decision;
Not to burden the memory, but to quicken and strengthen the power of
Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules, but
to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment.
In a word, the great
end is to awaken the soul, to excite and cherish spiritual life.