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From Teachers in Washington City.
Central Academy, Washington, D. C. April 10, 1823.
We have carefully examined “The Moral Instructor and Guide to Virtue," published by Dr. J. Torrey, and consider it one of the best books for the use of schools, that we have ever seen. It is a work well calculated to enlighten the minds, and improve the habits of youth, and to impress them with the advantages of knowledge and virtue.
We have adopted it as a class book in the seminary under our care; and think its universal introduction into American academies and schools and private families would be of great public utility.
JOHN M'LEOD, Principal.
Having carefully perused "The Moral Instructor," I concur in the above mentioned sentiments, and have introduced it into the school under my care. HENRY OULD, Teacher of Washington Lancasterian school for the first District.
April 10, 1823.
From Mr. Salem Town, Principal of Granville Academy, N. Y.
I have carefully examined" The Moral Instructor;" and am satisfied, that the work is well calculated to enlighten the understanding, and improve the heart; to form the moral taste of our youth, in accordance with the sound principles of morality and virtue. SALEM TOWN.*
Granville, Jan. 8, 1820.
I concur in the opinion of the above gentleman.
JOSEPH HOXIE, Principal of Philom. Academy. New-York, Feb. 20, 1820.
From Teachers of Academies and Schools in Baltimore and Philadelphia. Having examined "The Moral Instructor," and being satisfied that it is a work well adapted for the higher classes of scholars in Academies and Schools, we have concluded to adopt it as a class book in the seminaries under our care; and cheerfully recommend it to the public as a valuable repository of moral information,-interesting to all classes of society, but particularly deserving the attentive and repeated perusal of young persons of both sexes, from ten years to maturity of age. In giving publicity to our high estimation of the merits of the Moral Instructor, we consider ourselves as rendering a service to society, (if the work should, in consequence, be more known and circulated) as well as justice to the author, who, in our opinion, is entitled to the gratitude of the rising generation, and the thanks and patronage of parents and teachers.
JAMES F. GOULD,
J. WALKER, Jun.
R. P. STROUD,
Baltimore, April, 1823.
J. WALKER, & SON,
A. B. CLEAVELAND,
R. M. JONES,
L. H. GIRARDIN, Principal of Baltimore College,
PATRICK O'KELLY, German St.
W. B. TAPPAN & S. M'L. STA-DANIEL L. PECK, Teacher of the
* Now Preceptor of the Academy at Athens, Georgia.
THOMAS T. SMILEY, 29 Church J. IRVIN HITCHCOCK, 22 Cherry
SHEPHERD A. REEVE, Professor BENJAMIN MAYO,
Philadelphia, May, 1823.
Extract of a letter from John Hamer, teacher of English, Mathematics, &c. DEAR SIR,
I have perused "The Moral Instructor," more than once, with increased satisfaction, and have pleasure in giving it my unqualified approbation. I have no hesitation to say, that the compilation is, in my estimation, much the best that has appeared in the English language.
Old College, N. 4th st. Philad. October 30th, 1823.
Extracts from the Columbian.
"THE MORAL INSTRUCTOR."
"I have occasionally dipped into Dr. Torrey's Moral Instructor, first from curiosity, and then more particularly to ascertain the drift or tenor of the work, and the manner in which it is executed. Having known the author and compiler for several years, I could expect nothing but sound morality, correct philosophy and useful instruction from this book. It is an Essay to do Good, like Cotton Mather's, and cannot be read without benefit." "I find nothing in it to offend the strictest sectarian in religion or politics, and consider myself discharging a duty and rendering a benefit to society in recommending so cheap and valuable a compend to public notice, as a very excellent and proper work for the use of schools, as well as private families and individuals. C. H.
From the Maryland Herald.
Having examined a copy of the second edition of the Moral Instructor, we think it highly deserving of the respectable and emphatical commendations which it has received. It ought to have a universal circulation. The wise maxims and precepts with which it abounds, are interesting to people of all classes and conditions, and we think it is the best compilation for the mental and moral improvement of youth, that we have seen, foreign or domestic."
From Edward P. Livingston, Esq. late Senator in Congress, from the State of New-York.
Having perused the "Moral Instructor," compiled by Dr. Torrey, I concur in opinion with those gentlemen who have recomiended it as a work which may be usefully introduced into Academies and Common Schools.
EDWARD P. LIVINGSTON.
THE MORAL INSTRUCTOR,
GUIDE TO VIRTUE.
ORIGINAL ESSAYS ON THE DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE, MORAL REFORMATION, &c.
ESSAYS ON THE GENERAL DIFFUSION OF KNOWLEDGE.
Necessity and advantages of Knowledge.
"Man's general ignorance, old as the flood,
1 KNOWLEDGE is essentially necessary to the well being and happiness of every member of the human family, whether male or female, rich or poor. To ignorance may be traced the origin of most of the vices, crimes, errors and follies, that distract and destroy mankind. It is the mother of misery—a mazy labyrinth of perpetual night.
2 Besides the intellectual pleasure derived from the acquisition and possession of useful knowledge, the well-informed man (of whatever occupation) being acquainted with moral and physical causes and effects, has an eminent advantage over the ignorant man, in the capacity of providing for his welfare. General instruction, therefore, is the harbinger of national virtue, prosperity and happiness.
3 The public or private provision for elementary educa-tion in common schools, has, of late, become very general in the United States. But the education of youth should not cease with the expiration of their attendance on public schools. Legislators and parents indulge themselves in a pernicious mistake, if they suppose that the primary arts of spelling, reading, writing, grammar, and arithmetic, the principal branches taught in common schools, will qualify our
youth for the various social, moral, and political duties of life. Those indispensable arts are the keys-but libraries are the chests of knowledge.
4 Although it is an axiom, generally admitted, that interest and happiness are identified with the practice of virtue and moral rectitude, yet, so powerful is the influence of example and the habits of society, that much reading and much reflection are generally requisite (and they sometimes fail) to produce a firm resolution to adopt the principle of virtue and moral rectitude as an inflexible rule of conduct.
5 Much the greater proportion of our youth are dismissed from the primary schools, and arrive to maturity, with very little or no acquaintance with the precepts and works of the most eminent moral teachers, whose names are preserved from oblivion.
6 The printing press is the main engine, and books are the rapid vehicles for the general distribution of instruction. The discovery of the art of printing, and of manufacturing paper, gives us a vast ascendency over our ancestors in the facility of propagating knowledge; yet, notwithstanding the immense difference between the cost of books within the last four hundred years, and the whole anterior space of time, but few, comparatively speaking, can sustain the expense of private libraries.
7 Most people would probably become readers, if furnished with suitable books at a proper time of life. It is only necessary to offer instruction to the voluntary acceptance of youth, in a proper manner, to produce an ardent appetite for it. It will be found, by computing the leisure of every youth, at two hours daily, from the age of ten to twenty-one years, that it is sufficient for reading seven hundred volumes 12mo. of three hundred pages.
8 The long preparatory period of youth, designed by our beneficent Creator, for the acquirement of knowledge, and laying the foundation for a useful and happy life, to the greatest portion of mankind, is almost entirely lost, and often worse than lost, except as to the attainment of corporeal maturity.
9 The countless hordes of savages, composing an im mense majority of the human race, as well as millions of people classed among civilized nations, may be said to grow up and march successively through the journey of life, in a state of mental childhood. Hence it is no mystery, that they remain, perpetually, in a state of delusion and depravity.
10 Intellectual cultivation is the basis of virtue and happiness. As mental improvement advances, vice and crimes recede. That desirable happy era, when the spirit of peace and benevolence shall pervade all the nations which inhabit the earth; when national, personal, and mental slavery, shall be exterminated; when nations and individuals shall cease to hunt and destroy each other's lives and property; when the science and implements of human preservation and felicity, shall be substituted for those of slaughter and wo, will commence, precisely at the moment when the rays of useful knowledge, wisdom and virtue, shall have been extended to the whole human family.
11 By useful knowledge, I mean not only an acquaintance with valuable arts and sciences, but also, an understanding of our various moral and religious duties, in relation to our Creator, to our neighbour, and to ourselves.
12 By wisdom, I mean that kind of sagacity, which influences us to regulate our passions and conduct, in conformity to the precepts of knowledge, reason and religion. Until an approach towards such a state of things is effected, the names of peace, liberty and security, on this earth, will differ but little from an ignis fatuus, either to monarchs or their vassals.
13 At present, violence assumes almost universal sway; and ignorance is the magic spell which sustains its sceptre. Therefore, what more glorious achievement, what greater aggregate and ultimate good, can be produced to mankind, by the application of the power of governments and the surplus wealth of individuals, than by reclaiming man from the chains of ignorance, vice, oppression and misery, and thereby, elevating poor degraded human nature to that scale of dignity in the creation, to which it was evidently destined, by the Supreme Parent of the Universe.
14 In our own country, particularly, instruction ought to be universal. For virtue only, can sustain and perpetuate our political organization. As every citizen, therefore, is vitally interested in the universal dissemination of knowledge and virtue, let all classes combine their influence and means, in promoting the general welfare.
15 In addition to the motives of patriotism and benevolence, the wealthier classes of society, are interested in a pecuniary point of view, in the universal intellectual and moral improvement of youth. For, as intemperance and indolence are the invariable, and almost only causes of pau