« PoprzedniaDalej »
one and the same mind and will. To | Bible in every man's vernacular, and the educated eye of sound reason, there teach every man to read it.” The Bible is one supreme intelligence everywhere and the schoolmaster are God's two manifest, without a single aberration ; great instrumentalities to enlighten, to and there is, to the cultivated ear of civilize, and to aggrandize man. religion, an omnipresent harmony, with- The Assyrian empire was annihilated out one discordant note in all the by the Medo-Persian, the Medo-Perspheres of God's own universe. sian by the Grecian, and the Grecian by
There is no apology for scepticism or the Roman. But Bible civilization, infidelity in heaven, earth, or hell. even in its rudimental elements, when There is not a more demonstrable pro- fettered by Grecian and Roman philoposition in the whole area of enlighten- sophers, falsely so called, sapped and ed reason and cultivated intellect, than mined the bases of Pagan governments, that the same mind that projected the and gradually, but successfully, paved universe and created the body, soul, the way to a more rational, humane, and spirit of man, also projected the and dignified civilization. Oracles of Eternal Truth, which consti- The whole philosophy of the highest tute the materials of that volume we so civilization ever exhibited on earth, or, emphatically and impressively call the indeed, conceivable in our horizon, is Holy Bible.
summarily comprehended in two preThe works of the great sculptors, cepts, on which the greatest philosopher carvers, painters, architects the Phi- that ever appeared amongst men said, diases', the Praxitiles', the Raphaels, depended the whole Law and the Prothe Michael Angelos, of world-wide phets. These two precepts are but two fame-are not more marked and cha- manifestations, or applications of one racterized in the monuments left behind principle. Love to God, and love to them, than are the shepherds, the hus- man, on the part of man, is the gravibandmen, the fishermen, the prophets, tating principle conservative of a rakings, and priests, that were the oracles tional and moral universe. The centres and the amanuenses of the Holy Spirit of all systems are attracting and radiaof all divine wisdom and knowledge, ting centres. It is so in the physical, embodied and embalmed on the pages the moral, and the spiritual universe. of that much-neglected: volume, em- The analogies of the physical to the phatically denominated The Book of spiritual, or of the spiritual to the phyLIFE TO MAN.
sical universe, so far as observation exThis is not only the family Bible, tends its dominion, aided by the light the Sunday school Bible, the church of the Bible, and what is sometimes Bible, but should be the common school, called the light of nature, fully and most the academy, and the college Bible, and satisfactorily demonstrate and attest daily read, studied, and practiced in that they are the offspring of one and and by them all.
the same Supreme Intelligence, and The Bible is, indeed, the tongue of therefore, they severally, more or less, creation. It inspires sun, moon, and interpret and sustain one another. stars. It not only echoes in the thun- We may change the terminology of ders of heaven, in the tempests, the whatever constitutes our beau ideal of whirlwinds, the earthquakes, and the a perfect social system ; but the fact. volcanoes of earth. buč it speaks in the or reality of humanity, in its most still small voice of morning and evening extended horizon, is the fruit of a piety in the conscience, in the heart, and in based upon a divine communication. the soul of man. It was the great mo- Hence the Bible, daily in the hand of ral engine of ancient civilization, so far every pupil in every school, is not only as it obtained a local habitation and a the best antidote against the frailties name amongst human kind.
and follies of man, but is also the soveFor the best essay of modern times, reign directory in all that constitutes on the subject of the best means of civi- an amiable, honorable, and magnanilizing the tenantries of the British pro- mous man or woman. vinces in her East India possessions, a A gentle-man and a gentle-woman rich medal was voted to the author of may be, and, indeed, often are conan essay whose theory of civilization founded, in our current dialect, with a
"Give to Pagandom the whole genteel man and a genteel woman. But
these are the mere creatures of the tailor the neglect of a rational system of inor mantua-maker, the barber or the tellectual, moral, and religious educamilliner, possessing the fashionable diction, based upon the mature oracles of tion and mannerism of a Bostonian, a reason, of human experience, and the Londoner, or a Parisian. These, indeed, authentic annals of expenditure on acare the creatures of perverted reason count of the drones, loungers, and and a romantic fancy often at war criminals, in erecting for them jails, with head, and heart, and conscience-court-houses, penitentiaries, hospitals, alienating our reason, our moral sensi- and providing armies and navies — to bilities, and our affections, from all say nothing of lawyers, judges, courts that is truly amiable, estimable, and of oyer and terminer, &c.--all of which, praiseworthy, in the legitimate aspira- or most of which are the legitimate retions of man or woman.
sults of the entire or partial neglect of Education is a transcendently inte- timely physical, intellectual, moral, and resting theme. Its merits, its claims, religious culture. These, indeed, are its achievements, its enjoyments, its the four cardinal points in human eduhonors, and its rewards, are not to be cation, in reference to which the ship told in a few minutes, nor inscribed on of our humanity must direct its course
few pages. It is more than mere across the ocean of human ignorance science, art, literature, philosophy, the- and depravity, at the peril of ship, cargo, ology, or Christology. It is the perfect and all the hands aboard. development and decoration of man- No sage philosopher, no profound pobody, soul, and spirit. It developes litical economist, no commou philanand adorns his animal, intellectual, mo- thropist, no minister of state or of ral, and spiritual nature. It enthrones church, has given to this subject a reason and conscience within him, and tithe of the thought and earnest attensubordinates his animalism to the di- tion which its vital importance and its rection and control of an enlightened superlative claims legitimately deconscience and a purified heart.
mand at our hands. That an amelioTo achieve these is the great end and ration of the social system is practicaintention of a rational, moral, and reli- ble, and that it is desirable, every man gious education; and, as assumed in of enlightened reason and sober thought our premises, it must be adapted to our must admit
. A cold indifference, inwhole constitution, our position in the deed a sinful apathy, seems to exist on social compact, and our eternal destiny the part of many who possess an inin the universe of God. Any of these fluence which, were it discreetly used overlooked, neglected, or disparaged, and brought to bear on the public mind, must ordinarily, in the common course might not only stay the progress of this of humau events, terminate unfortu- social delinquency, but introduce such nately and unhappily. The individual a system of moral education, based on pupil is, first of all, the loser ; but so- the true science of man and of the society must, more or less, suffer in every cial system, as would at least prevent such failure.
the growth or spread of these noxious We have in all communities, formally elements, which ultimately work the or informally, a joint-stock concern. | degradation and ruin of every people. The honest, industrious, frugal, and We hold it to be a paramount duty successful operators in the busy hive of of every citizen, to seek the good of humanity, always suffer from, and gene- that people amongst whom himself and rally have to pay all the costs of all the his posterity are, by Divine Providence, drones, spendthrifts, and marauders located. The amor patriæ of the Greeks within their respective localities. More and of the Romans-of the ancient and than half the common and necessary modern Jews and Gentiles, though not expenses of social life, are imposed upon a virtue wholly disconnected from our us through the neglect of a rational native selfishness, is still a duty of pasystem of universal education, in the ramount importance, not merely to full-orbed development of what legiti- ourselves, but in its wide-spreading and mately enters into its unsophisticated long-enduring influence, more or less definition and import.
bearing upon the destiny of subsequent Were we arithmetically to compute generations. our taxes paid annually, chargeable to No man on earth, by any divine or
human warrant, lives solely for himself. vince any reasonable man that educaOthers providentially have lived, and tion, good or bad, has been the most do live for him; and both religiously immediate, and continuous, and potent and morally he is obliged to live for agency in the fortunes and misfortunes others, or to make his life profitable to of mankind, from Adam and Noah them. No man, in any society, lives down to this present hour. for himself, or dies for himself. This is From this meagre outline of the allan oracle both of reason and of revela- permeating and all-potent agency of tion. And this fact alone is superla- education in the affairs and destinies tively suggestive of the premises from of the tribes, and nations, and empires which we should reason on the whole of earth, we are authorized to conclude, subject of education--physical, intellec- that it is the paramount duty, privilege, tual, and moral. The world is so con- and honor of every family, tribe, state, stituted, that its fortunes or its misfor- and empire on earth, to take it under tunes may be materially, if not essen- its most special care, direction, supertially, changed for the better or for the vision, and patrimony. worse, by the education of one indi- The richest mine in any community, vidual actor in the drama of one gene- is its mind. There is found the wealth ration. This actor, this agent of good of nations, the honor, the dignity, and or evil to contemporaries and to pos- the aggrandizement of every terity, on some scale, large or small, munity on the verdant earth. It is a often has been, and may hereafter be, divine decree, which should be as fathe creature of a propitious or an un- miliar as household words, and oft repropitious education. Histories and peated, that educated mind must govern, biographies of all sorts-literary, moral, and does govern, the world and the philosophical, political, and religious universe, of which it is a constituent abound with examples and illustrations part. of the influence. direct and indirect, of Our lawgivers, our law interpreters, theincalculable good or evilcommenced, our judges, our executives, should know conducted, and consummated by indi- this, feel it, realize it, and patronize viduals, clubs, associations, councils, national education, to the utmost exand conventions, in each or in all of tent of constitutional limits. Why, in which, one, two, or three master-spirits reason's ear, not work this mine with prompting, inspiring, guiding, and con- more intensity of interest, with more trolling the decisions, have originated, careful and paternal solicitude, with matured, and consummated crises of more liberality of support, with more good and evil in church and state -- in generosity of endowment, than any public and in private life – in sciences other mine of national wealth-than and in arts, useful and ornamental- any other fountain of national dignity the tendencies and bearings of which and prosperity? All lawgivers and have continued for generations past, rulers are penny wise and pound foolish, and will continue for generations to whose national coffers are replete with
Old Testament and New Testa- gold, and a majority of their population ment history-Chaldean, Persian, Me- replete with ignorance, and more or do-Persian, Grecian, Roman, German, less polluted with crime. French, English, and American histo- To keep within the precincts of one ries and biographies -furnish materials letter of our English alphabet, we ask for a hundred volumes in proof of the -How many more Franklins, Fultons, position, that sometimes one, two, or Fausts, Farels, Fauquiers, Fayettes, three distinguished orators have stamp- Fenelons, Fergusons, Fields, Fieldings, ed their image not merely on the coin Findleys, Flavels, Fleetwoods, Flemof their respective countries, but on the ings, Fletchers, Forbeses, Fosters, masses that have handled it, and trans- Forces, Francises, Frederics, and Fulmitted it, with their manners and cus- lers, might we, and mother England, toms, during hundreds, if not thou have had, provided only, as a people, sands of years. The Bible alone, which we had sooner learned that educated is, or ought to be, in every man's hands mind is the true riches, the true honor, at least once or twice a day, furnishes and the real estate of any and every in its biographies and narratives people. enough, and more than enough, to con- But our time and our premises are too much restricted to go into the de- which we have five books in the Chrisvelopment of this transcendent theme. tian Scriptures, and five primary books But we need not go far abroad in search in the Jewish Scriptures. These are, of argument, illustration, or proof of in their simple facts and documents, the transcendent and incomparable an all-sufficient library for this departvalue, benefit, and importance of edu- ment of education. We have two other cation, in its full-orbed development, in Bibles, for two other collateral studies, all its bearings upon the destiny of man which constitute and consummate our now, henceforth, and for ever. In fact studies of religion and morality-these the whole earth, with all its riches, are the volumes of the earth and the real and personal, was designed by its heavens. The former, the text-book of Creator to bę one grand constellation geology ; the latter, the text-book of of schools, of every rank and order for astronomy. These three infallible training, developing and perfecting volumes severally studied, analytically humanity, not merely to eat, drink, and synthetically, furnish ample data frolic, dance, and die, but to live, reign, for any, and every student in the great triumph in immortal youth, to bloom family of man, who desires to compreand fructify* for ever in the eternal hend himself in his origin, relations, paradise of God.
and destiny, in this magnificent universe. From this meagre and miniature But in the details of moral culture, glance at this lofty and profound theme, it should be noted with much eman important and practically interest- plasis, that of those pupils that enter ing question arises in every inquisitive schools of all orders, there is a fearful and earnest mind-How is this educa- majority of cases beyond the period of tion—this moral department, more successful moral culture. Neglected at especially, to be prosecuted, and, in home, they enter schools from which some degree, perfected ? To answer they very seldom can receive that culsuch a question, might occupy the de- ture most essential to the ecclaircissetails of a handsome volume. We can ment of their spiritual and moral cononly say at present, that the great text-stitution. If this be neglected in the book of humanity, especially in its nursery and infant school, as it is in a moral, spiritual, and everlasting rela- majority, a fearful majority of cases, tions and enjoyments, is emphatically there is not that full assurance of hope the Bible; not on the shelf, nor on the which we so fondly desire to entertain, family stand, but daily in the hands, that it can be done in the most primary under the eyes, and upon the con- school beyond the nursery. There is a science and the heart of every pupil seed-time in humanity, as well as in capable of reading it. I do not mean the seasons of the year, which if past, in the nursery, the infant school, the is rarely, if ever, to be recalled, but by seminary, the academy, the college, the the special grace of God. Paul's comuniversity. But in whatever you may pliments to Timothy, touching his please to call the school, the Bible must grandmother Lois, and his mother Eube daily, solemnly read, and the atten- nice, are like apples of gold in pictures tion of the pupils or students concen- of silver, and ought to be committed trated upon it, with corresponding lite- to memory by every maternal lady in rary and exegetical developments, in Christendom (2 Tim. i. 5, iii. 15.) harmony with the capacity and attain- But when may moral culture most ments of the pupil, whether child or hopefully commence ? is a grave quesstripling, in full manhood or woman- tion à most interesting question. hood. We have wrought out this pro- Shall we say in grandmother Lois, or blem to our entire satisfaction during in mother Eunice ? Before birth, or the last fifteen years in college life; after it? This is to me, and to you, and we previously wrought it out for ladies and gentlemen-Christian ladies seven years in academic life, and have and Christian gentlemen-a very grave, proof, strong as Holy Writ, of its prac- serious, and transcendently interesting ticability, power, and efficacy.
question. But a word to the wise is No other than historic documents, of sufficient on any thing. It must com
mence with the commencement of our * Such is one of the acceptations of this being, and be continued till our full word.--Webster.
physical and moral development. So
have said our Solomons and our Apos- that this can never be achieved without tle Pauls, with all the good and great, the instrumentality of God's own Book the learned and wise men of the last of Life to man. Scholastic ethics are three thousand years. As the twig is jejune provisions for an immortal mind. bent, the tree's inclined. But it is not God's own book is the only book of merely to commence with our being, life to man. His Oracles are living but to be continued, in the female sex, oracles, and they are also life-giving to the age of eighteen ; and in the oracles. The word of God is a living other sex, more slow learn, till three and a life-giving word. It imparts the times seven, or one and twenty years. light of life to a benighted world. It
My old friend, Robert Owen, of is a monumental fact, to be read, and Lanark, Scotland, once well known in studied, and admired by every reflecting Cincinnati, took the position, and and cultivated mind, that God created stoutly maintained it, that man, in his the universe by his word. In the only prime, was but the creature of mere infallible and satisfactory account of circumstances. But since the era of the origin of the material universe, we new spiritual communications, he has are informed that twice seven fiats gave learned better, and abandoned the posi- to it birth, and being, and location. tion, and now imagines that there is This antedates all the existing and all more in man than flesh, blood, and the antecedent philosophies of man by bones ; and that there are at least in- thousands of years. fernal spirits, and that the presumption The book of God is the only book of may now be entertained, that there are life, the only charter of immortality to also supernal spheres, with supernal man. A school, an academy, a college, tenantry, all of which were to him, in without the Bible in it, is like a unibygone days, less than problematical. verse without a centre and without a
But God's own Book of books, is a We do not mean a Bible on the book of facts, and not at all a book of shelf, the Bible on the stand, but the theories. Facts are for children and Bible in the hand, the Bible in the the great masses of humanity; but head, and the Bible in the heart, and philosophies, speculations, and doc- in the soul, and in the life of man. trines, abstruse and metaphysical, are 'Tis in its hallowed teachings and in its for philosophers and dogmatists, and spiritual breathings upon our spirits not for the great masses of humanity. that they are stimulated, energized into Moses begins with facts and palpable all the activities of a moral, a spiritual, documents, and ends with them ; so and an eternal lifc, that not only meets do all inspired writers. They give us but satisfies the perpetual cravings of everything in the concrete, and nothing our nature, the longings of our soul for in the abstract. Hence the dramas of the infinite, the eternal, the unfading creation, of providence, of moral govern- joys of a blissful immortality. ment, and of redemption, are the pro- We demand no politico-ecclesiastical per materials of history and prophecy, creed, rubric, or platform, no red book which include the contents of both dictated, and commanded, or recomTestaments, with some epistolary and mended by the civil sword, or an indidactic communications.
tolerant priesthood. We want the This is the material and the manner Holy Bible of Protestant Christendom of all the inspired documents; and it to be consecrated in the heads, the should be the material and the manner hearts, the consciences, and in the lives of a useful and practical education. We of our sons and daughters. We, therediscover no good and relevant reason fore, plead with God, and we plead with why there should be any difference. man, and especially with the curators, God is revealed to man by what he has the superintendents, the presidents, done, and what he has said; just as the professors, the teachers of all semiman is revealed to’man by what he has naries of learning, to permit their done and what he has said. Moral cul- pupils, if not to cause them, duly to ture, we need not repeat, is the great listen to God speaking to them, teachend of all human education. This is ing them, and directing them in the the polar star of our whole theory. path of life, and honor, and blessedness Much experience, and more observation, eternal. If, with Blackstone, we say has most satisfactorily convinced us “The trial by jury is the palladium of