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A SCHOOLMASTER IN PARLIAMENT. THE electors of Berlin have chosen a schoolmaster for their representative, and in so doing have entered a protest against the system which has been long at work-before 1848—undermining the national schools, formerly the pride of Prussia. Herr Diesterweg was director of the seminary for the training of national schoolmasters in Berlin. In this capacity he had shown peculiar powers, and under him the Berlin seminary not only rose to an unprecedented degree of efficiency, but gave the tone to the other training schools throughout the country. This success gave umbrage to the Reactionary Minister of Education, Eichhorn ; and he endeavored in every way to thwart the director. Diesterweg, conscious of the value of the work which he was doing, bore with much. But not only was his position made uncomfortable to himself, but his utility was destroyed by forcing upon him assistant masters who would not work in harmony with his views, and he consented to be placed “at disposition." This was before 1848. In 1850, questions were asked in the Chamber why so valuable a teacher remained unemployed. The then minister of Education, Ladenberg, also a man of the Reaction, offered Diesterweg an inferior post-that of Schulrath at Stolpe, in Pomerania. A civil servant, placed zur disposition, is obliged to take any government employment which is offered him, or to resign the salary of his former office, which he continues to enjoy as long as he is z. d. Diesterweg, who had no mind to be exiled to Pomerania, resigned, and has since employed himself in editing an educational periodical, and in preparing popular books on natural science, &c., for the use of schools. That he will be useful in the Chamber, even on his own special subject, is hardly anticipated. It is not thought that he possesses parliamentary tact or weight enough to get attention, though doubtless the national schools, as much as any other department, demand that "hand of improvement" of which the Prince's address spoke. It is however, an encouraging sign that the subject is not overlooked. The Times Berlin Correspondent.
THE LANGUAGE OF ANIMALS, « THAT animals have each a language of their own to one another," says James Hogg, “ (the Ettrick Shepherd''), in his sermons, “there can be no doubt. I know a good deal of their language myself. I know by the voice of the ravon when he has discovered one of my flock dead-I know also his prelude to the storm and to fine weather. The mbor-fowls call one another from hill to hill. I learned to imitate their language so closely that I could have brought scores of them within the range of my shot of a morning, The blackcock has a call, too, which brings all his motley mates around him, but the females have no call. They are a set of subordinate beings, like the wives of a nabob. They dare not even incubate upon the same hill with their haughty lords. But the partridge, and every mountain bird, have a language to each other, and though rather circumscribed, it is perfectly understood, and, as Wordsworth says, 'not to me unknown.' Even the
stupid and silly bárn-door hen, when the falcon appears, can, bị one single alarm note, make all her chickens hide in a moment. Every hen tells you when she has laid her egg; and lest it should not be well enough heard or understood, the cock exerts the whole power of his lungs in divulging the important secret. The black-faced ewe, on the approach of a fox or a dog, utters a whistle through her nostrils which alarms all her comrades, and immediately puts them upon the look out. Not one of them will take another bite until they discover whence the danger is approaching. If the dog be with a man, sundry of them utter a bleat which I know well, but cannot describe, and begin feeding again. If the dog is by himself, they are more afraid of him than any other animal, and then you will again hear the whistle repeated through the whole glen.
But the acuteness of the sheep's ear surpasses all things in nature that I know of. A ewe will distinguish her own lamb’s bleat among a thousand all braying at the same time, and making a noise a thousand times louder than the singing of psalms at a Cameronian sacrament in the fields, where thousands are congregated-and that is no joke either. Besides the distinguishment of voice is perfectly reciprocal between the ewe and the lamb, who amid the deafening sound, run to meet one another. There are few things have ever amused me more than a sheep-shearing, and the sport continues the whole day. We put the flock into a fold, set out all the lambs to the hill, and then send out the ewes to them as they are shorn. The moment that a lamb hears its dam's voice, it rushes from the crowd to meet her, but instead of finding the rough, well-clad, mamma, which it left an hour, or a few hours ago, it meets a poor, naked shriveling-a most deplorable looking creature. It wheels about, and uttering a loud, trenulous bleat of perfect despair, flies from the frightful vision. The mother's voice arrests its flight-it returns-flies, and returns again, generally for ten or a dozen times before the reconcilement is fairly made up.
SEARCH INTO THE HUMAN MIND. The value of mental Philosophy, is thus pointed out by Burke, in his Essay on the “ Sublime and Beautiful.”—The more accurately we search into the human mind, the stronger traces we everywhere find of His WISDOM, who made it. If a discourse on the use of the parts of the body may be considered as an hymn to the Creator, the use of the passions, which are the organs of the mind; cannot be barren of praise to Him, nor unproductive to ourselves of that noble and uncommon union of science and admiration, which a contemplation of the works of INFINITE WISDOM alone can afford to a rational mind; whilst, referring to him whatever we find of right, or good, or fair, in ourselves, discovering His strength and wisdom in our weakness and imperfection, honoring them, where we discover them clearly, and adoring their profundity, where we are lost in our search, we may be inquisitive, without impertinence, and elevated without pride; we may be admitted, if I may dare to say so, into the counsels of the ALMIGHTY, by a consideration of IIis works. The elevation of the mind, ought to be the principal end of all our studies, which if they do not in some measure effect, they are of very little seryice to us.
BEAUTIFUL TESTIMONY TO A FAITHFUL TEACHER, NOW
DEPARTED TO HER REST. [From “ A Brief but Beautiful; or a Biographical Sketch of the late Mrs. WILLIAM ALLisos, of Leeds. By A. M. Stalker."]
She loved the work of Sunday school teaching, on which she entered soon after her return to Leeds, and seemed out of her element when prevented meeting her class. Thus on one occasion, when from home, she says, “You do not know how I missed the Sunday school yesterday. It was the Sabbath for the teachers' prayer meeting, and I wish very much to be there.” In this interesting sphere of exertion she labored for four years in the most exemplary manner. Her regular and punctual attendance, as well as her felicitous manner of conducting the exercises of the class, led the superintendent richly to prize her efficient aid.
In her class at the Sunday school, her manner was particularly kind and winning. Her looks, her tones, her words, her doings, were redolent of love. As a consequence, her pupils " rejoiced in her light.” Their salvation lay near her heart. It was lacerated only when any member of the class seemed indifferent to the lesson, or had acted so as to render necessary the discipline of the school. “Don't you sometimes feel terribly,” said she, to her sister, “when you are teaching, as if you might not be saying just the right thing, and that your message, if a little differently worded, might do more good ?" Jane replied, “ Yes; but you know we can pray for right words." Mary's face brightened, and, as if rejoiced at what she hoped was a proof of the object of her solicitude being a subject of divine grace, she exclaimed, " True, O love, and I thank God you say we can pray."
During her last illness she often spoke of her scholars, and one occasion when consciousness was partially suspended, she was heard with great earnestness exclaiming, “ Don't expel her, don't expel her ;" evidently taking the part of some little incorrigible whom she hoped yet to be the means of improving. May those who were privileged with her valuable and kind instructions treasure them in their memories, and practise them in their lives.
THE TEACHER AT HIS POST. By HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW, the American Poet. “Kindly the teacher stood, like an angel of light, there amongst them, And to the children explained he the holy, the highest, in few words, Thorough, yet simple and clear; (for sublimity always is simple ; Both in sermon, and song, a child can seize on its meaning ;) E'en as the green growing bud is unfolded when springtide approaches, Leaf by life is developed, and, warmed by the radiant sunshine, Blushes with purple and gold, till at last the perfected blossom Opens its odorous chalice, and rocks with its crown in the breezes. So was unfolded here the Christian lore of salvation, Line by line, from the soul of childhood. The fathers and mothers Stood behind them in tears, and were glad at each well-worded answer."
"IT IS A PITY TO HURT THEIR FEELINGS."
Such is the reply almost invariably offered to any question regarding men who are filling posts for which they are manifestly unfit, from year to year. If the reason is asked, why they continue to occupy such posts— why they are not superseded by better men-you are told that “they are good people who mean well;" that "they would feel it very deeply;" and that "it would be a pity to hurt their feelings." It would be a hard task to attempt to estimate the number of ministers who occupy pulpits to the utter hindrance of the spread of the gospel in their churches; and if you ask the members why it is that they do not endeavor to procure a better pastor, the answer is," he is so tender hearted that it is a pity to hurt his feelings."
So with our Sunday schools. We have superintendents who are so foolishly good natured and indulgent as to have forfeited all obedience on the part of the scholars ; others who are so sternly severe as to be repulsive to them. Many will address them as though they possessed all knowledge-theological, philosophical, and scientific.
Others offer prayers such as would be understood by Jewish Rabbis, or German philosophers, or Cambridge professors, but certainly not by children ; and yet these men are elected, and re-elected year after year to fill the deeply responsible post of managing and directing the school; and inexpressible wonder is occasioned why the boys and girls desert the school to wander about the streets and lanes, when they are just arriving at the age at which they might be useful in teaching junior classes, and becoming members of the church. If you ask the teachers why a new superintendent is not appointed at the annual meeting, the reply is, “Mr. has been in so long that it is a pity to hurt his feelings." And just the same with secretaries and visitors ; secretaries who come late and keep confused accounts, and classify badly: and visitors, who seldom visit, are put in as cyphers to fill these places just on the ground "that it is a pity to hurt their feelings."
So it is; the Apostle plainly inculcates the duty of Christian courtesy, and such is indispensable where right feelings are to be preserved; but the feeling above referred to arises not from a desire to be courteous, but an unmanly and reprehensible shrinking from stern duty, from a feeble and sickly sentimentalism, and from a false delicacy of mind, at once injurious to ourselves, to the institution concerned, and to the person who is thus occupying a false position.
" It is a pity to hurt their feelings ;" but then are they not inflicting untold injury by this psuedo regard for their feelings? A superintendent of the kind already referred to is (of course unwittingly) doing much mischief to every teacher and scholar who is unfortunately placed under his direction. For instance: in the devotional exercises he offers up a prayer so learned, so abstract, and so lengthy, that no child understands a sentence of it, and the scholars are whispering, yawning, spitting, or playing during the sacred exercise. The teacher, instead of having his mind soothed and prepared for his duties by the worship of God, is occupied by reproving his scholars and endeavouring to keep them quiet ; and thus both teachers and scholars
are unprepared for the right performance of their duties by their mouthpiece in their collective devotional exercises not giving adequate expression to their wants and feelings. A man who holds the place of superintendent of a school without possessing the essential qualifications for the post, is a barrier to success, and casts a blighting influence over the whole institution. Yet we are told “it is a pity to hurt their feelings" by effecting a change for the better. Is it not a greater pity that the cause of God should thus be fearfully injured and its progress prevented; and whether is it better to allow an officer to hold a false position to his own material damage and depreciation, as well as to prevent the success of a work which he himself loves, than to kindly, firmly, and clearly give him to understand that he is deficient in the very peculiar though essential combination of qualities which are go needful for the office.
The same censure will apply to any official who holds a place without the requisite qualities; it would be kinder to them, it would be a greater exemplification of Christian principle, it would be more consistent with a love of God, and a desire for the spread of his kingdom if such men were frankly and tenderly told the truth, than to sacrifice principle and prosperity by a mawkish and unnatural regard for their "feelings."
“God has his plan,” says a Tyrolian proverb, "for every man;" and every one who is thus in a false position is not only not working out the plan God intended for him, but actually preventing a better agent from doing his work, by vainly and effectually trying to do it for him. There is something every man is fitted for and intended to perform : each man therefore who has been led out of his sphere of labor has left his own vacant, and is keeping some one else out of theirs, who for this very reason perhaps is standing idle, or laboring to the injury and harm of mankind, instead of for their well-being; and yet we are told “it is a pity to hurt their feelings !" But is it not a greater pity, and a grievous sin to tolerate a man in sacrificing his lifetime to labors for which he was not destined by God; to allow the kingdom of Christ to suffer wrong, and to shrink from the manly and courageous discharge of a Christian duty? The evil referred to is a wide spread one; let ministers of churches, superintendents, and Sunday school teachers ponder well their position, and be prepared to act as the occasion may demand, always seeking the assistance of the divine spirit of truth. Newcastle-on-Tyne.
W. J. T.
TEACH THEM TO THINK,
Teach your children to think, and you arrive at the secret of success. Punctuality, order, attention, love, are all embodied in this one point. What a differenee does an abstract truism present when brought to the test of thought, and kindled by the fire of imagination. At once it loses its garb of frigidity, and by enquiry and kind suggestion, and remarks, becomes in itself a little history. Take an instance. You tell your children "God is love." Follow up that truism, by asking questions such as these, What their idea of love is ? What an idea is ? What gives them the power