In Vol. 1, Chapt. 3, when Helen Graham reveals that she has been innoculating her son against the temptations of alcohol by giving it to him as medicine, the narrator, Gilbert Markham, states, ‘What is it that constitutes virtue, Mrs Graham? Is it the circumstance of being able and willing to resist temptation; or that of having no temptations to resist?’ 
Helen of course unwittingly comes close to the view of the famous Sinai Abbot in the course of her eloquent reply, when she says concerning her son, ‘God knows he will have temptations enough to assail him, both from within and without, when I have done all I can to render vice as uninviting to him, as it is abominable in its own nature . . .’ 
Stevie Davies, in her note on Markham’s question, observes:
Markham recites the essence of the doctrine of experience and choice famously expounded in Milton’s Areopagitica (1644): ‘If every action which is good, or evill in man at ripe years, were to be under pittance, and prescription, and compulsion, what were vertue but a name . . . when God gave him reason, he gave him freedom to choose, for reason is but choosing’ (Complete Prose Works, Vol. 2, ed. Ernest Sirluck (Yale 1959), p. 527). Anne Bronte’s position was a modified version of this; but her experience of the corruption latent in human nature taught her caution, and Wildfell Hall multiplies instances of men incapable of resisting temptation, however privileged their position. This is why Helen attempts behavioural immunization of her son. 
Unfortunately, Plato, whose ethics overlap with Christianity in some important ways, clearly goes on this issue in the opposite direction to St John Climacus and Helen Graham. Indeed, in Laws 647d, the great philosopher recommends indulgence specifically in alcohol as a means to fortify oneself in the virtue, arguing:
A man has to fight and conquer his feelings of cowardice before he can achieve perfect courage; if he has no experience and training in that kind of struggle, he will never more than half realizehis potentialities for virtue. Isn’t the same true of self-control? Will he ever achieve a perfect mastery here without having fought and conquered, with all the skills of speech and action both in work and play, the crowd of pleasures and desires that stimulate him to act shamelessly and unjustly? Can he afford not to have the experience of all these struggles? 
But of course no one ever accused Plato of being too pessimistic about human nature. Perhaps he might have thought differently had he too had been married to Arthur Huntingdon! At any rate, I intend to give my daughter, Elisabeth, and any others I may have, Wildfell Hall to read before they even think of looking for a spouse. I think Anne will be much more useful in this regard than Plato.
 St John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, rev. ed., tr. Archim. Lazarus (Moore) (Boston: HTM, 1991), p. 15.
 Anne Brontë, The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, ed. Stevie Davies (London: Penguin, 1996), p. 31.
 Ibid., p. 32.
 Ibid., pp. 496-7, n. 4.
 Plato, ‘Laws’, tr. Trevor J. Saunders, Complete Works, ed. John M. Cooper, assoc. ed. D.S. Hutchinson (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1997), p. 1341.