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ardoon, 1832.


That a healthful religious influence should pervade all elementary books, is a principle which will not be contested in a Christian country. Human beings, in their most susceptible age, become habitually conversant with the daily lessons of the schools. These lessons are perused and reperused till the sentiments are not only lodged in the memory, but imprinted on the heart, and almost incorporated with the elements of the soul itself. Many individuals, now in middle age, will carry to the end of life the impressions which they received from the pages of the “ American Preceptor,” and the “ Art of Reading.” In all heathen countries, the religious belief is found, in various forms, in every department of literature, and of common life. There is no reason why the principles of the Bible, in a Christian land, should not have an equal prominence in the systems of education and courses of discipline. In this work, while every thing of a sectarian and exclusive tendency has been carefully avoided, the compiler has kept in view, in making his selections, the moral nature and the destiny of the minds which may become interested in its pages. It is hoped that nothing will be found which will offend against the spirit of our Saviour's precepts.

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To a considerable extent, it has been our intention to render the Eclectic Reader subservient to the great

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cause of the moral renovation of the world. The time is fast coming, when the usefulness of every publication will be tested by its adaptedness to this object. This is the great design of our Creator in his providentiar government of the world, and it ought to be the main purpose of his intelligent creatures in all their labors. It has not been so much the intention of the compiler to advocate any specific modes .of benevolent effort, as to cherish in the .booms of higieatleys an enlarged

and philanthropic spirit. The good of ople’s own country • is best secured by consulting for the interests of the

whole human race. The effort has been made to select such articles as men of a truly catholic spirit, in all countries, may regard with approbation, rather than those of a patriotic or national character.

More than THREE FOURTHS of the articles in the Eclectic Reader are not found in any other selection, not excepting Mr. Cheever's excellent compilations. Fifteen or twenty of the most popular reading books have been examined, so that this selection might have the character of novelty and variety. If the articles are of equal merit with those contained in previous collections, an important object is attained, as a new body of valuable English literature is presented to the youthful mind.

The compiler has endeavored to keep in recollection the principle, that the young reader should be familiarized with those kinds of writing with which he will most commonly meet in mature life. It were easy to multiply extracts from Dr. Johnson, Dr. Blair, Mr. Alison, and other writers of a stately and formal character. But little preparation could be made in this way for the exigencies of a miscellaneous and widely various reading. The style of writing at the present time is more forcible,

direct and unembarrassed than was the case in the days of Queen Anne, or George III. The same objection may be made to the selection of dialogues, except so far as the reading of them serves to give variety and compass to the intonations of the voice. They are not the species of composition with which it is necessary to become very familiar. Unhappily, also, many dialogues are objectionable on the score of morality and good taste.

In conclusion, the compiler hopes that the Eclectic Reader will be an acceptable addition to the number of reading books already before the public. Selections might have been made from Milton, Cowper, Shakespeare, Thomson, and other well-known writers, both foreign and American; but it was not necessary. As some compensation, the man of taste will be pleased with the mature and finished compositions of Professors Playfair and Frisbie, the delightful allegories of Jane Taylor, the “wisdom married to immortal verse" of Coleridge and Wordsworth, the manly sense and comprehensive views of Evarts, and the Ciceronian elegance and dignity of Robert Hall.

Boston, December, 1832.






1. Dignity of Man...

Daniel Webster. 11

2. Blindness of Milton..

Charles Wolfe. 13

4. Burial Places in the Country

Wordsworth. 16

5. The Good Schoolmaster.

Thomas Fuller. 18

6. The Beloved Disciple.

Robert Hall. 20

9. Christian Patriotism.

..Ibid. 26

10. Death of Sir Philip Sidney


11. Pleasure and Happiness.

Jane Taylor. 30

12. Same Subject concluded..

.Ibid. 36

16. Calista, or Spiritual-Mindedness.. Christian Observer. 45

20. Instruction and Education ... . Annals of Education. 51

21. What is Education ?....

ibid. 53

22. Uses of Water....

. Anonymous. 56

24. Pledge to abstain from the Use of Spirits. .Henry Ware, Jr. 59

25. The Dawning of a better Day. James Douglas. 62

28. Scenery of Andover.

George B. Cheever. 66

30. Letter from the Poet Cowper to Mrs. King


31. Moral Destiny of the United States..... Jeremiah Evarts. 69

32. Same Subject continued...

. Ibid. 174

33. Same Subject coneluded..

.. Ibid. 78

34. Sublime Virtues inconsistent with Infidelity.... Robert Hall. 82

35. Uses of Poetry...

U. S. L. Gazette. 84

41. My Mother's Grave..

· Anonymous. 91

43. The happy Prospects of the Righteous. .... Robert Hall. 94

44. Poetry of Wordsworth...

..S. Maxwell. 95

45. The Stream of Life.

.Heber. 97

47. Commanding Position of the United States...D. Webster. 99

49. Character of Brainerd and Martyn.. . Robert Hall. 103

53. Winter Evening in an Icelandic Family Henderson. 107

55. Forest Trees preparing for Winter.. .N. A. Review. 110

56. Falls of Niagara..

U. S. L. Gazette. 111

58. The Glory of God in Creation. President Edwards. 114

59. The Landers sailing down the Niger


61. Qualities of a well-regulated Mind., Abercrombie. 120

64. Improvement in the Science of Analogy ...Pres. Wayland. 126

65. Hurricane in Barbadoes in August, 1831. Described

by one of the Moravian Missionaries...


66. Pilgrim Fathers of New England Robert Vaughan. 132

68. The Slave-trading Nations...

... George Croly. 135

72. Waste of Mind....

American Quarterly Register. 145



77. Memoir of Lady Huntingdon ..... Christian Offering. 150

78. The Power of Christianity .. American Quarterly Register. 154

79. New Republics of the South

. Daniel Webster. 156

80. Poetry and Science

Wordsworth. 158

81. Migration of Birds..

William Howitt. 100

82. Permanence of literary Monuments..James Montgomery. 161

83. Extract from a Speech on the Indian Bill, in the

Congress of the United States Isaac C. Bates. 103

85. Prospects of the Cherokees

.Peleg Sprague. 166

86. Youth and Studies of Pascal

. Craig. 170

87. Cruelty of confining Birds

William Howitt. 172

88. Career of Mohammed ...... .James Montgomery. 173

91. The Blind Teacher

.Professor McVicar. 178

92. Ingenuity of the Ant-Lion..

..N. A. Review. 180

93. Proper Method of Education

Professor Jardine. 181

96. Flowers..

William Howitt. 105

97. Danger of an exclusive Attention to Secular Learn-


....... Hinds. 188

98. Effects of a good Government.. ...Algernon Sidney. 189

99. Incomprehensibility of God no Argument against his


..Ralph Cudworth. 190

101. Prospects of the United States

..James Gould. 192

102. Conversation in a Library.

...Jane Taylor. 194

104. Clouds

Scientific Tracts. 201

105. Character of Professor Playfair ..Francis Jeffrey. 205

106. Parallel between Leibnitz and Newton Playfair. 207

107. Genius of Laplace..

Ibid. 209

109. Character of Dugald Stewart . Sir James Mackintosh. 213

110. Aristotle, Bacon and Luther

Dugald Stewart. 215

111. Influence of perverted Talents.. Professor Frisbie. 217

113. Value of Classical Learning..

Ibid. 222

114. Letter from Lord Collingwood to his Daughter... 224

118. Sabbath Scene in Hawaii .

C. S. Stewart. 233

119. Crater of Kirauea in Hawaii

Ellis. 237

( 120. Advantages of Decision of Character .John Foster. 210

121. Discovery of the New World . .... Washington Irving. 243

122. Reception of Columbus on his Return to Spain

....Ibid. 247

123. Character of Columbus..

.Ibid. 250

124. Living without God in the World.. ......John Foster. 254

128. Importance of the Union of the States... Daniel Webster. 253

132. The Active Service of Heaven. Nat. llist. of Enthusiasm. 269

133. Valedictory Counsels of Washington


134. Obligations resting upon the People of the United

States to preserve the Union

Daniel Webster. 276

137. No Cause of Enmity between the United States and

Great Britain...

. Edinburgh Review. 283

139. Union of Piety and Learning in the Christian Min-


. Robert Hall. 289

140. Thomas Simpson ....Library of Entertaining Knowledge. 292

141. Cemeteries and Rites of Burial in Turkey...... Hartley. 299

142. Speech in the British Parliament, on the Motion for

reducing the Army. 1731..

.Pulteney. 301

145. Colloquial Powers of Ďr. Franklin. William Wirt. 308

150. Examples of Self-taught Men


151. Select Sentences in Prose..

Thomas Adam. 319

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