, as by the thousand and one methods adopted to teach it, the multiplicity of books pretending to "simplify" it, and the vast contrariety of opinion entertained by those who profess to be its masters. By many it has been considered a needless affair, an unnecessary appendage to a common education; by others, altogether beyond the reach of common capacities; and by all, cold, lifeless, and uninteresting, full of doubts and perplexities, where the wisest have differed, and the firmest often changed opinions.
All this difficulty originates, I apprehend, in the wrong view that is taken of the subject. The most beautiful landscape may appear at great disadvantage, if viewed from an unfavorable position. I would be slow to believe that the means on which depends the whole business of the community, the study of the sciences, all improvement upon the past, the history of all nations in all ages of the world, social intercourse, oral or written, and, in a great measure, the knowledge of God, and the hopes of i