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[471] mental peace, each helped to prolong life and secure contentment. Yes, we say contentment; for, if any one should think these humble annals descriptive only of ennui or thraldom or stupidity, we must call it a hasty and false conclusion. When the human mind really desires improvement, it converts rocks and trees, animals and men, trials and joys, into books of philosophy and bibles of truth. By a chemistry which it cannot explain, the hungry and thirsty soul turns every thing into educational meaning and moral nutriment. All that is thus gained are reliable facts and available knowledge, which will stand the test of life and experience, while rainbow theories fade and vanish with the dissolving cloud. Our fathers had strong common sense; and, while they were devoted to a Puritan faith and an exclusive church, they did not lose their humanity; but the very necessities of their condition brought them to the most practical results, and to the soundest philosophy of life.

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