Of Crimes and Punishments
Finally, the most certain method of preventing crimes is,
to perfect the system of education. But this is an object too vast, and exceeds
my plan; an object, if I may venture to declare it, which is so intimately
connected with the nature of government, that it will always remain a barren
spot, cultivated only by a few wise men.
A great man, who is persecuted by that world he hath
enlightened, and to whom we are indebted for many important truths, hath most
amply detailed the principal maxims of useful education. This chiefly consists
in presenting to the mind a small number of select objects, in substituting the
originals for the copies both of physical and moral phenomena, in leading the
pupil to virtue by the easy road of sentiment, and in withholding him from evil
by the infallible power of necessary inconveniences, rather than by command,
which only obtains a counterfeit and momentary obedience.
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