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Students and others of sedentary habits, err more in the quantity than in the quality of their food. They eat too much ; more than the stomach can digest, before it is called upon to receive an additional supply. In this condition the pupił cannot study. He may pass a few hours in a kind of dreaming meditation, but he will be unable to accomplish any thing until the stomach has disposed of its “stock of provisions.” Indeed it is well that he is unable to concentrate his mind upon his lessons, for were he to do so, he would cut off a part of the nervous influence from the stomach, which would be fatal, in time, to his general health.

The drinks of children should never be stimulating. Strong coffee and tea should be entirely forbidden ; as well as wine, beer, or any thing else containing alcohol, even in the smallest quantities.

To conclude, I will again repeat that children should seldom, if ever, be placed in school before they are six or seven years of

age. In cities they are sent to school too young. Until the time specified, they should be solely under the protection of the parent. Their education should be strictly moral. They should be taught to love and venerate every thing that is good. The parent should rest satisfied with seeing his children attain the seventh year in health, with their chests fully expanded, and their muscular systems well developed by unrestrained exercise. But even then the confinement should be gradual-at first consisting of an hour or two in the day, and gradually increasing to four or five. Numbers of children have been destroyed by being prematurely placed in school. To make the child a prodigy of learning when almost a babe, it is sent to an infant school, where it is kept still, (an outrage upon nature,) for hours together, or until the system becomes weary of restraint, when it falls asleep and thus escapes the watchful

eye of the teacher. It is true it will learn by a kind of imitation, and appear to solve problems astonishing to the visiters, but when closely examined it will be found that it has learned the whole by repeating what it was told, without understanding the first principles of the subject under consideration.






What are the effects on the progress and character of the learned professions in the West, of the defective preparatory education of so large a proportion of those who are educated to these professions ?

E. D. MANSFIELD, Committee.


A complete preparatory education for the clerical profession implies,

i. A correct grammatical acquaintance with one's own language, an attainment quite as essential to accuracy of thought as to propriety of speech.

2. The principles of the various branches of natural science, for how can one be an intelligent minister of God, who is unacquainted with the works of God?

3. The Hebrew, Chaldee and Greek, of the Holy Scriptures, for how can one be an interpreter of God's word who is ignorant of the languages in which the word was given ?

4. The classical languages and literature, without which one cannot investigate to the best advantage the language of the Bible, or ascertain what the human mind is capable of without revelation. - 5. Ecclesiastical and civil history, for the minister should not be ignorant of the processes through which the human race has already gone, of the changes in human society and the causes which have produced them.

6. Systematic theology, together with mental and moral philo-' sophy, the principles of the sciences with which he is most immediately concerned.

7. Rhetoric, which teaches the mode of exhibiting and applying the above-named principles so as most powerfully to affect the moral nature of man.

All these branches of study certainly are essential to a full preparatory course for the ministry. . It is true there have been and are still very good and even eminent ministers who have never had the advantages of such a preparatory course'; but they are men who, by extraordinary natural - talent, i gigantic effort, and untiring perseverance, have in some measure overcome the obstacles of defective preparation, and who would have been far in advance of what they now'are, had they, applied the same labor with greater earlier advantages; and their example is no proof that others do not need a preparation which it has cost them infinite labor to dispense with. I never knew one of these eminent ministers who had not the highest appreciation of the value of a full preparatory course, and who did not labor earnestly to procure for the rising generation the advantages of which he was himself deprived—a sufficient proof of what experience teaches on this point.

Admitting, then, all that can be fairly claimed, that some men have made themselves eminently useful notwithstanding the deficiencies of their preparatory course, I proceed to point out the more prominent evils which universally and necessarily result to the clerical profession from a general deficiency in this respect,

1. It leads to random speculation'after what is new, and a great reaching after discovery and improvement.

An ardent, adventurous youth, undisciplincd by study and ignorant of what has been done by other minds, is apt to regard the numberless half-formed images which flit in rapid succession through his brain, as original and complete ideas, and begins to imagine that a mind so wonderfully fertile as his must be a rare phenomenon in human nature. Knowing little of what others have done or have been capable of doing, he scorns the idea of receiving help from them; all that he needs is to raise the steam and concentrate his own vaporing into noisy explosions, which he mistakes for powerful cannonading. 6 He boldly spurns as unworthy his notice all that has been done before him, and thus it happens to him as to all who seek originality independent of the pioneers who have preceded them, that he gets knee deep into

quagmires, and ends by advancing exploded fallacies as bold discoveries."

It is as if some wrong-headed foreigner should undertake to penetrate from the Atlantic shore to the Rocky Mountains ; and starting with the idea that the Americans are all savages from whom nothing is to be learned, neglects to inquire for the road, makes his way along the most unfrequented defiles of the Alleghanies, passes through the trackless forests and across the mighty rivers of the West; and publishes a map vaunting his wonderful discoveries of passes in the mountains and fords in the rivers and ways through the forest, not knowing meanwhile that these routes had all been surveyed before him and abandoned for a better one where the national road is now fixed, with substantial bridges across the rivers and macadamised turnpikes through the forests, and canals and rail-roads along the mountains. Could the '

mischief be confined to the mischief-maker himself, it were the less to be regretted; but there are numbers in the community looking to him for instruction; his noisy assurances impose upon their simplicity; society becomes agitated and thrown back in its progress by fallacies which have already been a hundred times exploded, and must now be exploded again. It is not contended that no new trụths or new applications of truth, are yet to be discovered in theology as in other sciences ; but it is affirmed that those who are ignorant of what has already been done, and who know no better than to mistake old errors for new truths, are not the men to make those discoveries.

2: It leads to bigotted adherence to old theories and obsolete methods without an intelligent estimate of their reason and real value. . In minds of a different temperament from those mentioned above, the same deficiency leads to this opposite evil. This happens in dispositions of the dependent sort, who are never fond of new ways, but are always looking about for the old paths in which their fathers walked. They accordingly take the little chart which their fathers left them, and push straight forward according to the bearings and distances therein-laid down. But though the start was a correct one for the times when it was made, the face of the country has been continually changing since. They, however, not having informed themselves respecting those changes, make no allowance for them. Where there was once. a lake there is now a fertile valley, where there was once a river there is now a gravelly bottom, a deep ravine has been filled up by the fall of a mountain, a green forest has been cut away and a thriving city now stands in its place ; but these careful divines have no eyes

such changes—they must with infinite labor row across the valley in a , boat because their fathers.did, though the lake is no longer there; at great expense they must maintain a bridge across the bottom, though the river has long since changed its course, and when they come to the present channel of the stream they must ford it or swim it, or boldly swear there is no water there because it is not so laid down on their chart, and they must by no means allow a bridge where their fathers never had one-they must continue to warn travellers of the mountain and ravine, though both have long since disappeared and the city must still be called by the name of the forest and treated as if the houses were mere trees and. the citizens beasts.

for any

This is the extreme of conservatism, and is no less disastrous to the progress of society than the extreme of innovation ; and as the former results from ignorance of what has been, so the latter results from ignorance of what is; and both these species of ignorance have their origin in the same source, a preparatory education too deficient to improve and discipline the intellectual powers, to mature the judgment and give it the proper materials to act upon.

3. It leads to self-sufficiency and rashness, to intolerance and ultr aism

Saint Paul, with characteristic wisdom, says, that a ministershould not be a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. It is well known that the evils we have just mentioned are all incident to want of experience ; and he who has not studied the records of the past, in a most important sense lacks experience. If a man could live in all ages, among all nations, and be personally conversant with all periods of their history, he would need little aid from books. But confined as we are to one little spot of earth and to one very brief period of time, it is impossible for us to become masters of a large experience without availing ourselves of the treasures deposited in books. The experience contained in books is not only altogether larger than our personal experience can be, extending as it does over all climes and through all ages, but it is also more select and valuable. How do we obtain experience by actual intercourse with men ? Simply by observing their developments and ascertaining the results of particular combinations. Many of the minds, however, which we meet in real life scarcely repay the trouble of investigation, and by far the greater number of combinations are such as to afford very limited results; while in books well selected we may constantly furnish ourselves with the best thoughts of the best minds, and contemplate the most important results of the most striking combinations.

Books alone, it is true, will not give experience. One must have personal intercourse with mankind in order to understand and apply the statements of the book ; but with this preliminary knowledge, study has all the advantages of personal observation and much besides. In like manner, books alone will not make the geologist. He must travel in his own district and observe the

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