Obrázky stránek

sume his health and fortune; till ruined, emaciated, and forsaken, the wretch is left to pine in hopeless despondency; or, unable to meet his naked heart alune, he terminates his vain-glorious career by suicide! Such, alas! are too often the fruits of an improper or imperfect education.

Under the head “ Manners of the Great,” we have taken a cursory view of what is called a liberal education *; let us now investigate the mode of instruction usually pursued with children of the lower classes. The sons of tradesmen are generally taught a smattering of Latin, which they seldom find of any real utility during their progress through life, while their morals are overlooked, and the mind,

" Like a neglected forester, runs wild."

Still more objectionable is the present education of the children of mechanics. It being the principal object of the school-master to increase the number of his pupils, at the same time that he is disqualified for the important charge, both from his ignorance of human nature, and his imperfect knowledge of the elements of science.

We often hear parents complain that their children in a few months forget all they had learned at school; the fact is, they had learned nothing except a smat, tering of grammar and arithmetic; but the principles of these useful sciences had been impressed so feebly on their memories, that, like the visions of the night, they were forgotten with the return of more vivid objects. Many school-masters are shamefully negligent in the inculcation of the first principles of morality, and commonly leave that most important branch of instruction to the management of a vain and irreligious usher. Such are the most obvious defects in some of our seminaries; let us now suggest a few improvements.

* For a Comparative Treatise on this important subject, the reader is referred to what Dr. Barrow has modestly entitled, “An Essay on Education.”

Young clergymen would be the most proper instructors of youth. Being well taught themselves, and coming fresh from classic ground, with their faculties invigorated by polite learning, they are fully competent to the task of inculcating knowledge; and from their preparatory study of ethics, they are proper guardians of the morals of others,

Men of genius would find ample room for their active minds to expatiate, in tracing and aiding the developement of the human understanding. Nor will any man of sense object to the avocation, who will take the trouble to recollect that some illustrious writers presided over youth as masters and assistants in academies. Milton, Johnson, and Goldsmith, "

poured the fresh instruction o'er the mind;" nor can we rationally consider that employment a degradation of talents, which contributes so essentarlly to the diffusion of knowledge.

When the pupil has been initiated in the elements of useful science, and while the susceptive heart throbs with generous feelings, the beauty of morality should be exhibited in the most engaging garb. The simple and sublime precepts of Christ will awaken that benevolence which is the source of human 'felicity on earth. The tutor will have an opportunity to contrast the fanciful doctrines of the heathen with the elevated and godlike dignity of Christianity, and the unerring precept, “ whatsoever ye would that all men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them,” will, by making an early and permanent impression, guide the happy being in the path of justice.

Elegant literature, such as poetry, history, biography, geography, and natural philosophy, may then be studied with success. With a mind thus imbued with knowledge, the youth when he steps into the world will feel and act up to the dignity of a rational being; and like a column at once adorn and strengthen the fabric of society. He will perceive his dignified situation in the order of created beings, and rejoice in the honourable privileges of a man and a Christian.

This sketch is submitted to the consideration of the middle and lower classes of the community, whose very imperfect mode of education requires improvement, especially as many school-masters are incompetent to a trust on which so much of the happiness of the present and future generations depends! Happy, thrice happy, would London soon be, if those miserable children who are taught the arts of deceit and thievery, were now taught to read and write, and had their minds early fortified with pious precepts, to enable them to resist the inAuence of evil communications.

The human soul comes pure and innocent from the hand of the Creator; by its unijn with the body it acquires propensities which, under proper regulations, are productive of good; while its exquisite


susceptibility renders it liable to receive continual impressions from surrounding objects. Hence the vast importance of our infantine years, and the necessity of the early and gradual inculcation of the moral duties.

Parents, look around! behold the little blooming creatures whom Providence has committed to your charge. Ah, cultivate their hearts, rectify their jndgments, and their grateful reverence will reward your love! Do not imagine that your duty to your offspring is confined to supplying them with mere necessaries. Those are, indeed, indispensible; but their minds require a more important kind of nutriment. Instil a reverence of the Supreme Being, and love of mankind, as the two great principles of human felicity. Teach them to regard the whole creation as the production of one great and good Being, whose wisdom is unbounded. As their faculties expand, let them be initiated in the principles of useful science, and taught_some art conducive to the common good. Then shall your daughters be celebrated for their modesty and virtue, and your sons become honest, industrious, and intelligent men, the glory of their parents, and an honour to their country.


I venerate the man whose heart is warm,
Whosc hands are pure, whose doctrine and whose life,
Coincident, exhibit lucid proof
That he is honest in the sacred cause.


LONG have the various opinions respecting religion, and the sanguinary persecutions of men who called themselves Christians, employed the sarcastic wit of unbelievers. The luxury, pride, and negligence, of many of our modern clergy, have induced malignant infidels to point their ridicule against the whale clerical body; and though it must be confessed that the dissipation of some pastors is a degradution of the robe they wear, we can boast of many ciergymen of the different sects of Christians who are ornaments of human nature.

Several of our beneficed clergymen, indeed, by employing curates at a low salary, seem to think that their proxies are like the m litary, better disciplined, and more attentive to their duty, in proportion to the smallness of their pay. Hence the curate is so far from being prepared for his sabbatical avocation, that he is engaged during the week in some worldly pursuit, for the subsistence of his family; and instead of the zeal he should feel for the happiness of his flock, he too often attends on Sunday merely as a hireling, and with a mind preoccupied with business.

But if the Reverend Doctor himself condescends to preach, his parishioners must doubtless be inuch


« PředchozíPokračovat »