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thus, if instead of giving a few of five, ten, and fifteen shilling premiums, the conductors of schools would give the same gross amount in a great number of small prizes, yet of different value according to seniority, it would be found far more satisfactory to both parents and children, and unquestionably productive of far less evil. “None but those who have had experience of it can imagine how small a premium will satisfy children, and how little they value the money it cost. I must pray your indulgence, while I add a few words in favour of this plan-1 conceive it would have (indeed I may say I have found it to have) the effect of producing much better general answering than can be obtained by the common plan; for many children when they know that a child of superior abilities, knowledge, or advantages, is in their class, will not read, from the conviction, that they cannot be successful against their more favoured rival, and in general only a few of the better qualified think of looking for a premium.* On the plan now recommended, every child obtains the reward of his own merit, irrespective of any other child, and consequently he has the strongest inducement to exertion, the certainty of success.
In the usual mode, the premiums being limited, it frequently happens, that while many children really deserve them, only a few can obtain them—this
opens the door to many of the worst evils of examinations.
First-It produces rivalry of the very worst and most injurious species—a rivalry between the best and most deserving of the children, and that on subjects of the most sacred character, which is not more decidedly injurious to the children themselves than repugnant to the spirit, and in violation of the letter of Christianity. The most talented children are, generally speaking, the most likely to be injured by the fostering of an eniulous, ambitious spirit, and they are most exposed to its influence, and the whole business of Christian Education is to eradicate that pride of heart from which it springs, and we may add, that until it be eradicated the spirit has not been produced, which is by our Lord said to be necessary to the reception of the gospel—"except ye receive the kingdom of God as a little child, ye can in no wise enter therein.” This spirit on the contrary, fosters pride of intellect, and is the very opposite to humility and docility.
But this is not all—it gives bitter and often unmerited grief and disappointment to the diligent, but unsuccessful child, and too often it affords a triumph to others, who are more indebted to pertness
• How far this operates-in higher schools and even in Trinity College, is too evident to require any thing to be said upon the subject, and it may be a point well worth consideration, how much the general extension of respectable attainments might be increased, if some plan were adopted to induce the students at present below the rank generally designated “premium men” to read systematically : the old gold medal had an excellent effect in this way, and while the writer does not hazard an opinion, as to which the old or the present mode of granting the gold medal is preferable, it seems very evident that the former had great and peculiar advantages—could not the College afford to give both ? 'í hey might be of dillerent sizes for distinction.
and audacity, than to any real superiority of talent or industry. Instances of this must be familiar to every person who has ever been at an examination. A worse evil is the production of feelings of envy and jealousy towards each other, and not unfrequently discontent and disrespect towards their teachers and examiners, while the hearts of the children that gain the premiums under the present mode are filled with vain glory, and any feeling of disappointment which the loss of a premium might have, is rendered considerably less by being shared with so many who must, however deserving, be in the same case. The mode of cutting for premiums is no way preferable, it introduces an adventurous and gambling spirit—and in all cases, when it is deemed expedient to resort to it, it would be better to divide the premium even on the present system.
I have said nothing of objections to the system of examination taken from the higher considerations of the false motives to exertion, which all rewards recognize--for my object is not to argue against examinations, but to render them less injurious. The subject has been fully discussed in a very excellent little work long before the public, and very generally known.*
All the evils noticed as resulting from the present system are obviated by the change proposed, which, first, gives every child a fair opportunity of proving his diligence and attention, and obtaining the reward of them; secondly, gives a more equable stimulus to diligence; thirdly, makes the reward more a matter of course, and consequently less a matter of vain glory; fourthly, makes failure more inexcusable ; fifthly, excites and keeps alive more extensively the interest of the parents; sixthly, corrects the bitter feelings of rivalry, envy, and disrespect, or rather does not call them into action; and lastly, gives the examination a tone and spirit more consistent with the subject of it, so far as scriptural and religious examinations are considered. Nothing surely can be more inconsistent, than to teach for twelve months the lessons of Christianity, which inculcate humility-lowliness of spirit, gentleness, respect for superiors, sympathy with each other, self-denial and preference one of another, and that preference in honour, and then in one fatal day upturn the very foundations of the whole goodly pile of Christian virtues.
If examinations be indispensable, it is of great consequence to render them as harmless as possible; with this object in view, the plan now recommended has been proposed, and it may probably be in the power of some of your readers to give it a trial, when the experience of the writer warrants him in being confident of its
The usual method of conducting examinations of all sorts, but particularly catechetical examinations, is as well calculated as Satan could desire to produce all that the Bible condemns, and the Church teaches us to deprecate, saying, "from pride, vain glory, and hypocrisy, from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness, good Lord deliver us.
* Hints for conducting Sunday Schools.
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.2 Peter, ii, 16,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Mr. Examiner, I believe one of the strongest arguments adduced by Roman Catholics in defence of their anxiety to prevent the poor and unlearned of their communion, from reading and studying the Word of God, is founded upon a mistaken view of the following passage. In which Epistles there are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures, unto their own destruction.” The apostle here, does not assert, (as our Roman Catholic brethren would wish us to believe,) that St. Paul's Epistles were hard to be understood—but that the subjects on which the apostle dwelt in his Epistles were difficult, “ and which the unlearned wrested to their own destruction.” The words in the original are Εν πάσαις ταις επιστολάις, λαλών εν αυταίς περί τουτων, εν οίς, &c. The disagreement in gender between ois and énlotolãıç proves that the apostle did not refer this difficulty to St. Paul's Epistles, but to the subjects of those Epistles, which indeed are difficult to the most learned among us. I remain Sir your humble Servant,
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-DEUT, xxxiii, 7,
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
Sir.-For the critical part of the following remarks I am indebted to that valuable work, “Horsley's Biblical Criticism”by which much light is thrown upon many texts, and much beauty is manifested, which before lay concealed, or but partially exhibited-with the following and many others, I have been much struck; and as some of your readers may not be acquainted with the work of the learned prelate alluded to, or may not possess
the means which a knowledge of Hebrew affords of judging for themselves of the justness of his criticisms, it occurred to me that it might be useful to them to be furnished through the medium of your pages with some of those which most beautifully illustrate difficult and obscure texts. I therefore subjoin the following on Deut. xxxiii. 7. which is thus rendered in the authorized version: “ And this is the blessing of Judah, hear Lord the voice of Judah and bring him unto his people.” Bishop Horsley would translate the latter clause thus—" and bring unto him the mighty One of his people.” In support of this emendation he refers to Ezekiel xxxi. 2. where the same word in the Hebrew (3x) which is rendered “ unto" in this passage in our
Bible is translated (as he would translate it) “ the Mighty One.” In Isaiah xxxi. 3. and Ezekiel xxviii. 2, 9, it is also used as a title of God. The justness of the Bishop's translation of this text is further borne out by considering the history of Judah—he was never separated from his brethren or removed from them, expression “ bring him unto his people” would imply--the ten tribes were indeed separated from him, and Benjamin and Judah are to be brought to him, not he to them, (see Isaiah xlix. 20, 21, &c.) As from the tribe of Judah our blessed Lord descended (according to the flesh), the prayer of the patriarch, “ Hear Lord the voice of Judah and bring unto him the Mighty One of his people,” is particularly appropriate. In one sense the prayer has been answered, but it still awaits a larger fulfilment. "The Mighty One of his people has been brought to Judah, but the sons of Judab .esteemed him not, “ their eyes were blinded so that they could not see” the 723 38, “ God the Mighty Man,” (Isaiah ix. 6,) through the veil of his humanity—“he came indeed to his own but his own, received him not." Let the Lord's people of the spiritual Israel, who by grace have been brought to enjoy the forfeited privileges of the natural seed of Jacob join in the earnest prayer of The venerable patriarch to the God of Israel," and give him no rest till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth; "--and while they plead the promise that he will pour
the seed of Jacob the Spirit of grace and of supplication, let them also say “ Lord hear the voice of Judah and bring unto him the MIGHTY ONE of his people,” reveal thy Son unto his children as the Mighty God and bring Him to their hearts, “ let his hands be sufficient for him, and be thou an help to him from his enemies." -" The Lord hasten it in his time." -Amen.
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.-GEN. xxxiii. 20.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER,
SIR.—The great doctrine of the Trinity is allowed by all not to be very fully revealed in the Old Testament: some however have gone so far as to deny that it can be proved at all without the assistance of the New. With respect to the several portions of revelation with which it has pleased God to bless mankind during different
of the church, I feel convinced that each part, of itself, was sufficient for the perfection of the then existing dispensation ; each part contained, as it were, in the bud, all those great truths of salvation, which it is the glory of the Gospel to unfold and display more clearly to our view. As every thing tending to establish this position seems to be important, I take the liberty of proposing to your consideration, whether the title that Jacob gave to the altar he built at Shalem (Gen. xxxiii. 20,) viz. El-EloheIsrael 32%-1732-38, being compounded as it is of the singular and plural nouns, is not a distinct, and concise proof of the Trinity in Unity? As no commentator, that I have met with, has taken any particular notice of this question, I leave it to the judgment of your readers; and subscribe myself, Your very obedient servant,
ON THE FORMULARY OF GODLY PRAYERS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. SIR-Your correspondent, M. G. T. requested farther information from such as could give any, respecting the formulary of Godly prayers for private use, which he extracted from an old common prayer book for the benefit of your readers.
I find that these prayers were re-published about the very same time, in England, by professor Walter, in an appendix to his reprint of the book of private prayer, issued by authority in Edward VI's. reign under the title of Primer.
The Professor does not mention at what date they fell into disuse, but I see that he says, these Godly prayers some time regularly inserted in the Book of Common Prayer, immediately after the Psalms. They appear thus in the Liturgy bound up with the first 4to. edition of our present authorized version of the Bible.”
Your sincere well-wisher.
BIBLICAL CRITICISM.--Gen. ii. 5. TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir, -It has not been noticed by any of the Lexicographers whose works I have consulted, that the word 72 rendered “ before,” which occurs twice in Gen. ii. 5, is almost always followed by a verb in the future tense. This circumstance appears to me to account for the transition from its original meaning “ before” “yet," to that of negation which it certainly bears in many passages.
In Exod. x. 7, it assumes its negative meaning, “ knowest thou not yet that Egypt is destroyed Pyyn 0707 lit. " art thou yet to know"-or, " is thy knowing yet future”—see also Ex. ix. 30. In the same way it should I think be rendered in the
passage to which I have alluded, Gen. ii 5: “and every plant of the field was yet about to be in the earth, (i. e. its being in the earth was yet future, or it was not yet in the earth) :--and every herb of the field was yet to grow, (i. e. its growing was yet future, or it had not yet grown.”)
This version will certainly materially improve the sense, by showing the connection between the part of the verse already quoted and that which follows,-a full stop instead of a comma, being placed at the end of verse 4:
“ And no plant of the field was as yet in the earth; and no herb of the field had as yet grown ; for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”
This gives a good reason why the plants and herbs were not yet grown up: but in the common version the want of rain, and of a man to till the ground, does not appear to afford a very satisfactory reason why the Lord had not created the plants and herbs.