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lates to efforts which the sluggish nature of man would not otherwise make, and which, besides, strenghthening the active powers of the individuals who make them, produce results that are highly beneficial to the community. Even the conflict of claims, which takes place between competitors for the prize of distinction, though it may occasionally produce an effervescence of feeling in the young, which maturer judgments may not entirely approve, yet it affords, upon the whole, a healthful and invigorating exercise to the faculties, the moral as well as the intellectual, inasmuch as it puts in requisition patience, candor and other virtues which find no occasion for exercise, or trial, in a dull monotonous state of existence. It is infinitely better that the atmosphere of our feelings be stirred by the gentle breezes of a kindly excitement, and even agitated, once in a while, by the storms of passion, than that it should settle into that sluggish calm in which life itself seems to stagnate.
I observe, in the last place, that there can be no good government in colleges without religion.
“God," says the Duke of Sully,“ is the true owner of kingdoms, and monarchs are but the ministers, who ought to exhibit to the people a true copy of the perfections of him in whose place they stand; and remember that they do not govern like him, but when they govern as fathers.” Such are the maxims as stated by a most sagacious statesman and brave soldier, according to which,
civil government ought to be administered. They are, indeed, maxims which at first view one would hardly have expected from a man who spent his whole life between the turmoils of war and the intrigues of a court. And yet, on further reflection, it would . seem, that it is from such men precisely that we should expect such maxims, for that, having been deeply engaged in the management of great affairs, they enjoyed the best opportunity for observing how intimately religion is blended with all the springs of social order and national prosperity. And, certainly, it is still more closely united, nay, may I not say, it is perfectly identified with that species of government now under consideration, which has for its object, not the regulation of a perishable empire, bounded by geographical lines, but the formation of the character of an immortal mind, made to transcend the boundaries of the world and time, and find its happiness in the bosom of its Creator.
The astonishing vagaries on the subject of religion, into which the human mind has always fallen, wherever destitute of the light of divine revelation, while they have justly deterred the friends of christianity from trusting to reason alone as a sufficient guide in the things of religion, have betrayed them-many of them at least
-into the opposite error, that, I mean, under the influence of which they seem to regard religion in the light of an effect produced upon the mind by the force of Almighty power, acting indepen
dently of the laws of mental operation, if not traversing and overturning them. If, indeed, this were so, it would be improper to speak of religion as a part of education ; for it would, on that supposition, be entirely out of our sphere and above our reach. All we could do, would be passively to wait the visitation of the supernatural agency. But it is not so. Religion is an element of human character, the product of the mind itself, unfolding its powers and capacities to the quickening influence of that " grace and truth,” which, like light and heat emanating from
the natural sun, radiate from “the Sun of righteousness”. that Light which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world.”
But though religion is an element to be incorporated into that system of means by which the character of the young ought to be formed, it is an element not of a gross and earthly nature, but pure and spiritual, requiring the utmost delicacy in its management. The least admixture of art and finesse destroys it. It cannot be rewarded by any thing that man has to give. Even the breath of praise corrupts it. It shrinks and withers under the gaze of the public eye, nor can it well endure the confined air of the cloister. Though it has flourished and thriven in the fires of persecution, it is apt to languish and die, if showered upon by the profusion of royal bounty or saluted by the incense and hosannahs of the multitude.
It resembles those subtle but powerful agenies in nature, which, though they pervade all bodies, are never found in a detached and separate state, and which, if for a moment detached by the art of the chemist, hasten through the transient display of some startling phenomenon to hide themselves under the covert of their original combinations. Should you ask me now, by what rules and methods a teacher should contrive to carry the influence of religion among his pupils, my answer would be this : the thing admits not contrivance; it refuses to submit to the technicality and formality of rules. Let the teacher be really and truly a religious man--not a bigot-not a fanatic--not a canting hypocrite -not a base time-serving pretender—but one who honestly feels what he professes, and acts as he feels, and the spirit of his religion will be manifest in its fruits--in the purity of his life and manners, and the punctuality and fidelity with which he will perform all his duties. And the influence of such an example will not be lost on his pupils.
It remains to say a word on the mode of instruction proper to be observed in schools and colleges. So far, however, and no farther, shall my remarks be extended as may be neceseary to show how a correct mode of instruction becomes subservient to the purposes of good government. The time was, when the teacher's business, so far as instruction was concerned, was in his view accomplished when he could support his positions by the authority of text books, grammars and lexicons. That time is past. It is, at length, discovered that an opinion is not necessarily true because it is found in print. The teacher must go beyond the book, now, or fall into the rear. He must be able to show to his tyro; whom he is conducting along the path of science, those avenues that open a view on either side into far distant regions of enquiry and, if classical literature is his subject, he must penetrate beyond the mere forms of the language into the spirit of the author. He must himself see the very mind of his author in the language he uses, and must understand the philosophy of language in general. Deeply imbued with the love of letters and the spirit of philosophical investigation, he must know how to call into exercise every latent faculty in the mind of his pupil. I do not mean that he should think for him. This is the very opposite of what I mean, and resembles the method of those nasty nurses, who themselves masticate the food which they afterwards put in the unconscious infant's mouth. The best example of that kind of instruction which I have in view is found in the discourses of him who “taught as never man taught," and whose illustrations never fail to please, because they are drawn from nature : the next in point of excellence is presented in the incomparable Analogy of Bishop Butler, who, as has often been remarked, never thinks for his reader, but always puts him in the way of thinking correctly for himself.
Now, I have only to observe, that the youth, whose mind has been properly instructed and disciplined in this manner, will be furnished, in the love of learning, which it can hardly fail to inspire, with one of the surest safeguards against all temptations to disorderly conduct.
What a rich and glorious reward, for all his care and toil, will await the competent and faithful teacher, when in taking a last farewell of his beloved pupils, he rejoices in the confident hope, that, whatever fortune may attend their future course in life, their character and conduct will show them to have been worthy the instructions they have received ;—that they will ever be found in the practice of what is fair and just and useful to the public—that they will prove true to their principles and faithful to all their obligations—that whatever difficulties or temptations may beset their path, they will maintain a fixed and steady purpose of soul, relying on the favor and aid of that gracious and Almighty Being who is the friend and guardian of the virtuous, to do and suffer every thing rather than violate their conscience that they will be wise and circumspect, as well as upright and courageous, of a prudent and considerate temper, always viewing things in a proper light and tempering every impulse which they may feel by a critical examination of circumstances, times, occasions and consequences, and estimating every thing in the present life according to its bearing on the interests of the life to come.
Happy, thrice happy, beyond all that wealth can give or ambition aspire after, are they who enter upon the stage of active life with a character such as to justify these expectations ! Happy, also, the teacher who may have contributed, by instruction and example, to the formation of such a character !
USES OF HISTORY,
E. D. MANSFIELD, ESQ.
History,” says Bolingbroke, “is philosophy teaching by example ;” a definition which has received the assent of society, by its universal reception, without denial. Science too, has extended this instruction, by example, much beyond the boundaries of mere human transactions. It has shewn us history in every thing. The tree, it is said, records its own age, by the successive strata of its growth. The stars also measure the spaces of time, and there is an astronomical history, which goes back to the morning of creation. The very elements and affinities of matter have undergone changes, and there is a record of them written on the features of nature. The fountains of the great deep have been broken upislands have been cast up, by fire, out of its waters, and the memorials of its secret history scattered on the mountain tops. Chemical agencies have been employed, till the living animal and the decaying wood, petrified into stone, preserved in caverns, or imbedded in rocks, remain, and shall forever remain, historical monuments to the changes wrought by Almighty power, as well as to the unchanging truth of his word.
But, man is at last the chief subject of history : for his restoration to a lost estate were the fountains of nature broken
and that very registry of time, kept by the bright orbs of heaven, is a ministering agent to the record of human events.
Yet upon all this history of man, mutability, apparently the most wayward and destructive, is written with a pen of iron.