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jd Philosophy, and Chemistry, such as those formerly recommended, and particularly those works which treat of Natural Theology, and the connection of science with religion.*— Besides the above departments, the Sabbath school teacher should study with particular attention human nature in all its varieties and modes of operation. He should learn to contemplate, with the eye of a Christian philosopher, the dispositions of mankind, as displayed in their social intercourses, the scenes of public and domestic life, the various modes in which the principle of evil operates, and the practices, whether good or bad, which prevail either in Christian or in general society. From such sources he will derive many home illustrations of the effects of sin, and of the manner in which Christian principle should operate in all the ramifications of human society. He should likewise study some of the best works on the " Evidences of Christianity" —a system of Divinity such* as " Dwight'g Theology"—and, above all other branches of knowledge, he should study with the utmost care the discourses of our Saviour, as reported in the Evangelists, and the practical parts of the writings of the Prophets and Apostles, which, in religions instructions, are too frequently thrown into the shade.
In teaching Sabbath schools, a practice which is not uncommon should be carefully avoided—and that is, addressing long-winded discourses to young people, most part of which they do not understand. I lately visited a school in a neighboring town, containing from 80 to 100 catechumens. Among these were about 20 young persons, chiefly females, from the ajre of 16 to the age of 24; the rest were children from 7 to 12 years of age. After the repetition of texts, psalms, catechisms, and passages of Scripture, more than an hour was consumed in some crude dissertations, in a preaching style, on the meaning and references of some passages in the prophecies of Isaiah, which none of the younger persons could possibly understand; and only about a dozen general questions, for the sake of form, were put to the younger class, to which the answers, "yes," or "no," were chiefly required. It seemed as if the chief aim of the teacher had been to recommend himself to the attention of the adult part of his audience, while the children were sitting in a state of apathy, playing with their fingers, and eagerly wishing to be gone. Such a conduct is quite preposterous, and tends to frustrate the great object of such institutions. No address to young people should be continued beyond five or ten minutes at a time, unless the subject be extremely interesting and the attention exclusively fixed upon it. The method of teaching • See p. 140.
by Interrogatories, and interspersing occasional remarks on the different topics, will be found in general the best mode for keeping alive the attention of the young.
Sabbath schools should not be considered as confined to the children of the poor, or of those who are inattentive to the spiritual interests of their offspring, but as embracing the instruction of all classes of society. It is indeed a duty, from which no parent can be exempted, to impart instruction to his children in the principles of religion, and " to train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." But, without neglecting this duty in private, their children might derive important additional instruction by attending a public religious seminary. If the system of religious instruction were once improved, and carried to that piteh of perfectioa of which it Is susceptible; and, if that superior intelligence and wisdom, which we hope ere long to see displayed in the department of religion, were to pervade all the details of juvenile instruction, I have no hesitation in asserting that the children of the most learned and intelligent of the community would derive much advantage from attending such seminaries of instruction. Nor should such seminaries be confined to young persons under 12 or 14 years of age, as they too frequently are; but schools should be organized, adapted to persons from the age of 15 to the age of 20, and upwards, in which they may be trained in the higher branches of knowledge connected with religion, and thus be enabled to take more expansive views of the revelations of Heaven, that they may be " thoroughly furnished for the performance of every good work." For the instruction and superintendence of such schools, the study of those departments of sacred knowledge referred to above, will be found an indispensable qualification. In order that properly qualified teachers may be obtained for such seminaries, colleges or academies might be established for their instruction. Evening lectures on tho different branches of sacred knowledge and popular science, accompanied with various other mental exercises, might be delivered two or three times every week, to which all might have access who wish to devote themselves to the religious instruction of the young. Various discussions might likewise be entered into relative to the best modes of communicating knowledge and impressing divine truths upon the heart; and trperiments in the art of instruction might be occasionally tried by collecting a number of children for this purpose, and observing the effects which different instructors and different modes of teaching produce upon their affections and understandings. In the meantime, before such systems of instruction be established, it might be expedient for the teachers of Sabbath schools in large towns, to meet once a week, »r once a fortnight for mutual instruction, and for discussing the various subjects connected with their official duties. A library might be formed, of the best books connected witb Sacred History, Theology, and general information, to which each of them might have access for the purpose of private study. By such means the knowledge of our teachers would be enlarged, their interest in carrying forward improve
ments kept alive, and the system of religions instruction would gradually approximate towards perfection. To guide the teacher in his selection of books on Sacred Literature, he may be referred to the Rev. E. Bickersteth's "Christian Student," which contains lists of books in the various departments connected with the study of Divine revelation, interspersed with a variety of judicious remarks.*
Schools for Young Persons, from the age of fourteen to the age of twenty and upwards.
It is one of the grand defects of our present system of education, that it is considered as terminating about the period when our youth arrive at the age of fourteen or fifteen years. Prior to this period, little more than the ruiHments of knowledge can be communicated, even where education is conducted on an intellectual plan. The whole period of our existence should be considered as the course of our education; and there is no portion of human life of more importance in this respect than that which intervenes between the age of fourteen and the age of twenty. At this period, the rational powers arc advancing towards perfection, and are capable of acquiring clear and expansive views both of scientific truths and of scriptural doctrines. At the same time the moral powers and propensities are beginning to arrange themselves on the side either of virtue or of vice; and, in the great majority of instances, tho character of the future man depends on the intellectual views and the moral hahits which arc then formed. It is therefore a matter of the utmost importance, that the human mind, at this interesting period, should be properly directed as to its views of truth and of duty, and guarded against the temptations and allurements which might turn it aside from the paths of rectitude. It is somewhat unaccountable, that this important period in the life of man—so pregnant with blessings or curses to society—should have been ahnost overlooked in the view of the Christian philanthropist, and that no specific arrangements have been made to promote moral and intellectual instruction during its continuance. About the age of fifteen the greater part of those who have enjoyed a common education are employed as apprentices or servants. At this period, new passions begin to operate, and new pursuits engage their attention. They mingle with new associates, are frequently exposed to vicious indulgences, and, in many instances, are set free from the
restraints of their parents and guardians. If, in such circumstances, no rational or rcligiouj instruction is regularly imparted, they will be apt, as too frequently happens, to be led away by their vicious companions, and their sensual appetites, into the paths of folly and intemperance. Hence the propriety of establishing institutions, and arranging a system of instruction adapted to the wants and the circumstances of this interesting portion of our population.
The subjerts to which the attention of this class of young persons should be directed might bo such as the following:—I. The Physical sciences, as Geography, Astronomy, Natural History, Experimental Philosophy, and other subjects more particularly noticed in the preceding pages. The illustration of these subjects might occupy a wider range, and the topies connected with them be more fully discussed than in the primary schools to which I have already adverted.—2. Logic, or the art of reasoning. This subject might be treated in a popular manner, and the various kinds of reasoning and of sophisms illustrated from the sciences, historical facts, the phenomena of nature, and the conduct of men in general society. One great object in such discussions should be, to teach the pupils to hahituate themselves to clear ideas and conclusive reasonings on every subject—and to
* Sabbath school teachers will derive much useful instruction from the wrjltngs of Mr. Jacob Abbott, Principal of the Mount Vernon School, Boston, particularly his "Young Christian,"" and "The Teacher, or Moral Influences employed for the Instruction of the Young'' He should also peruse "The Mother at Home." and other works of the Rev. John 8. C. Abbott, of Worcester. America, formerly recommended In the proc-ests of leaching, the books published by Mr. Gall on the "Lesson System,'' will frequently be fn«n4 of great utility. But, it ought never to he forgotten, that no plans we may adopt, and no books however good in themselves, can be a substitute for the scriptural knowledge and general informa tion of the teacher.
expose the false principles and sophistical reasonings by which princes, statesmen, clergymem, and others, have supported tyranny, slavery, oppression, and abuses of every description in church and state, and by which deists and scepties have attempted to undermine the fabric of Christianity. If properly illustrated, there are few subjects more important than this to young men when entering on the active scenes of life. But we have no system of logic, with which I am acquainted, in which the subject is treated in the popular and practical manner to which I allude.—3. Practical merhanies and the useful arts—including discussions on the various applications of steam—rail-roads, canals, and machinery of different kinds—the processes connected with the different arts, the improvements of which they arc susceptible, and the experiments that require to be tried in order to carry them to perfection.—4. Ethies, or a system of moral philosophy founded on the principles and precepts of Revelation—or, in other words, a system of practical Christianity, explaining the duties incumbent upon men in the various relations of life, and illustrating them from the facts connected with the scenes of history and of common life. In the discussion of this subject, the following topies, among others, would require to be particularly illustrated:— The true foundation of moral action, or the principles which form the basis of the moral order of the universe—the laws which God has promulgated in his word for the regulation of human conduct—the reasonableness of these laws, and their indispensable necessity and obligation—the happiness to which the observance of them uniformly leads—the misery which is necessarily consequent on their violation—and the confusion which would arise throughout every part of the social system were these laws reversed or universally viqlated. The history of all nations, both savage and civilized—the facts related in the history of the Bible—the narratives of voyagers and travellers—«nd the scenes of public and domestic society,—would furnish appropriate illustrations of such topies.—5. The Evidences of Christianity—illustrations of Sacred Hisfory and Geography—explanations of Scripture diffirtdties, and of the accomplishment of prophecies—elucidations of Christian facts, doctrines, and precepts—and other topies connected with the great objects of religion and the realities of another world,—should hold a prominent place among all the other departments of irrtruction. Such instructions are essentially requisite, if we wish to see mankind rising in the scale of intellectual and religious improvement, anil if we wish to behold rice and intemperance banished from our rtrcets, and harmony and happiness throughoat every department of the moral world.
Such subjects as the above might be varied according to circumstances, and elucidated, in more or less detail, according to the ages, capacities, or pursuits of the pupils; but, in every instance, the chief portion of instruction should have a particular bearing on their moral and religious improvement . Three or four days in the week, from eight to half-past nino o'clock in the evening, might be devoted to such studies and exercises,—and the same apartments which are used for the instruction of the junior classes might serve as places of meeting for engaging in the discussions to which I allude, so that no additional expense would be requisite for such accommodations. Every arrangement in such seminaries should bo adapted to the conveniency of apprentices, journeymen, shopkeepers, clerks, labourers, and all others who are employed in active labour, or other professional duties, during the day;—at the samo time, persons of every rank and of every age may be invited, when public discussions take place, or public lectures are delivered- Similar institutions might bo established for the improvement of the female sex, in which instructions in natural history, logic, morality and religion, similar to those suggested above, might be imparted, together with all those useful and ornamental branches of knowledge which arc peculiarly adapted to the stations and relations they occupy in society. In certain cases, where public lectures on physical or moral subjects are delivered, arrangements might be made for the attendance of persons of both sexes, which, under certain regulations, would tend to enliven tho scenes of instruction.
Such institutions have never yet been established, so far as I know, in any part of tho civilized world; nor can we hope for their establishment, till the influence of avarice be in some measure undermined—till our shops and manufactories be shut up at more early hours than they now are, and till our labourers, shop-keepers, and artisans, have more leisure to devote to the cultivation of their moral and mental powers. Many of our manufactories arc kept open till between the hours of eight and nine in the evening; and our grocery stores and other shops, till near the hour of midnight; so that, from seven in the morning till near eleven at night, our apprentices have scarcely two hours of leisure, even for their meals. Such long hours of labour, during which many of the working classes are obliged to toil from day to day, tend not only to retard the progress of the human mind, but to reduce mankind to a species of slaves, or mere animal machines; leaving them scarcely any reasonable portion of their existence, either for cultivating their intellects, or for preparing for the world to come. On this subject I shall afterwards offer a few remarks.
Qualifications of Teachers, and Seminaries for their Instruction.
To all that is stated in the preceding pages, it will likely be objected, that we have few teachers possessed of the talent and information requisite to carry the plans I have proposed into effect. It is indeed much to be regretted, that an opinion has long prevailed, that the most slender qualifications are sufficient for a teacher, and that little preparation is requisite for conducting a common school. If a man is unfortunate in trade, enfeebled in body, or disinclined to manual labour, it is considered that ho may still be sufficiently qualified for a teacher, after having spent four or five months at a seminary of education. If he can read his mother-tongue, write a good text-hand, and has acquired a tolerable knowledge of arithmetic and book-keeping, he is considered as fully warranted to set up the trade of a teacher; and if in addition to these he has acquired some knowledge of Latin and French, he is viewed as moving in the higher rank of instructors. Such opinions, indeed, arc now beginning to be reckoned as somewhat antiquated, and many of our teachers arc rapidly rising in the scale of intelligence; but it is, at the same time, a fact, that many of our parochial and other schoolmasters are possessed of few qualifications besides those now stated. On the Continent, till lately, the office of schoolmaster, in country villages, was considered one of the lowest employments in society. Even in Prussia, about the middle of the last century, " All that was required of their schoolmasters, who were chiefly mechanies, was, to be able to read, say the catechism, sing tolerably a few well-known psalm-tunes, and to write and cipher a little. Numbers of shepherds, employed in summer time in keeping sheep, during winter assume the office of teachers of youth. The nohility used generally to bestow the place of schoolmaster (if it was at their disposal) on their valets or grooms, as a reward for past services."* In many instances the offices of village barber, fiddler, and schoolmaster, were conjoined in the same person.
It may be affirmed, without the least hesitation, that there is no office in general society more honourable and important than that of an instructor of tho young, and none on which the present and future happiness of the human race so much depends. But, in consequence of the circumstances now stated, the office has been rendered inefficient for the great pur
« Repnrt of the Primary Normal School at Potslam, by F. L. O. Btriez.
poses of human improvement, and the teacher himself degraded from that rank which ho ought to hold in the scale of society. It is not a little unaccountable, that, in this country, no reminaries have ever yet been established for training young men for the office of teachers, so that the important ends intended by a system of education may be fully accomplished. A watehmaker, a smith, a mason, a carpenter, or a weaver, serves an apprenticeship of from four to seven years, before he is considered qualified to exercise his profession. A clergyman generally undergoes a course of training for eight or nine years, before he is licensed to perform the functions of the sacred ministry. Even a menial servant, a stable-boy, a cook, or a laundry-maid, must devote a certain portion of time and attention before they are considered as qualified for such occupations. But the office of an instructor of youth is frequently assumed at random. If a man i«M* ginr s ho can execute such an office, and publishes an advertisement of his intention, he is believed to be qualified for what he undertakes, although, perhaps, he has never applied his mind to investigate the principles on which instruction should be communicated, nor the objects which education should embrace. Such an anomaly in the state of civilized society, in regard to a matter of such vital importance, is a disgrace to the character of an enlightened age, and ought no longer to exist . If wc had right views of all the important objects which a system of moral and intellectual education should embrace, and its extensive effects upon all ranks of society, in relation both to the present and the future world, we should at once admit, that an instructor of youth should be a man possessed of almost universal knowledge, conjoined with a high degree of moral prohity and fervent piety.
How then, it may be asked, arc we to proceed in elevating the teachers in the scale of intelligence, and thus laying a sure lusis for an efficient education? The first arrangement, which is obviously requisite, is to establish seminaries or collepet for their instructionIn these Vrertptoral Cotlegtx, as they might be called, such branches as the following might be taught.—I. Arithmetic, Drawing, Algebra, and tho Mathematical sciences, particularly those which are more iminedtatdT applicable to practical purposes.—*. Grammar, Logic, History, and Christian mi
9 Natural History, Natural Philosophy, Geography, Astronomy, Chemistry, Physiology, anil Vocal and Instrumental Music.—4. Natural Theology, the Evidences of Christianity, Sacred History, Christian doctrines and duties.—To teach these sciences with effect, three or four Professors would be required. They should be taught, not merely by lectures, but by regular examinations and numerous exercises connected with the several topies of discussion; and, where the subjects admit of it, by experimental illustrations. The course should be as popular in its plan and illustrations as the nature of the subjects treated of will admit, and all the discussions should, if possible, be made to bear upon matters of practical utility. Of course, all abstract metaphysical disquisitions, intricate mathematical questions and theorems which are more curious than useful, and all theological speculations respecting mysteries and questions which are beyond the reach of the human faculties to resolve—should be carefully avoided. The great object of these instructions should be, not to make the students profoun l mathematicians, philosophers, or divines—but to communicate to them a clear and comprehensive view of all those subjects of a practical nature which are level to the comprehension of the bulk of mankind, which may present to them objects of delightful contemplation, and which may have a bearing on their present and future happiness. In connection with these subjects, instructions and exercises should be given in the art of communicating knowledge, and on the various modes which may be employed to excite the attention, and to convey clear and well-defined ideas to the understandings of the young. The plan and routine of teaching, the various evolutions requisite for preserving order in a school, the divisions of time, the arrangement of classes, the moral treatment of the youthful mind, the punishment of offences, the best methods of impressing upon the heart the truths of religion and the rules of morality, the method of using the different class-books, and every thing else which has a relation to moral and intellectual tuition—should be explained and illustrated in minute detail.
For the purpose of exercising the students in the practical application of these instructions, tiro schools should be connected with every Prereptaral College—one for the primary and the other for the higher brunches of education. Over these schools the professors, though not constant or regular teachers, should be invests*! with a special superintendence and control. Under their direction, each student, in turn, should be appointed to engage in the business of instruction, so as to reduce to practice the philosophy of teaching. Remarks
on the manner in which he executes his office, may be made in private, and hints by which he may be enabled to correct any of the errors or defects into which he may have fallen. These remarks should have a reference not only to the mode of communicating knowledge, but likewise to the moral dispositions displayed towards the children, and tho treatment they receive. While a proper degree of respect and authority is maintained, the young teacher should be taught to address his pupils in the language of kindness and affection, as a father does his children, and to avoid every thing in his manner that has the appearance of being boisterous or domineering. Besides being occasionally employed in scholastic teaching, the students should be frequently exercised in the art of composition, and, at certain distant intervals, in delivering lectures of their own composition, to the rest of the students, on any physical or moral subject they may choose to select. This practice would tend to prepare them for becoming public lecturers on the different branches of useful knowledge, in the districts where they might afterwards be appointed as teachers. All the public exercises of the students, both in learning and in teaching, should be commenced with prayer, and a recognition of tho superintendence and agency of the Divine Being, and the business of the day concluded in the same manner—a practice which, in this country, has almost fallen into disuse, especially in those seminaries devoted to tho promotion of a fashionable education. In short, the whole system should be considered as chiefly of a moral and religious nature— having for its main and ultimate object, not merely the communication of literary and scientific knowledge, but the promotion of moral order and happiness among mankind, and their preparation for the felicities and employments of the world to come. Such a noble object can only be obtained by impressing such views on the minds of the rising teachers, and training them up to hahits of universal benevolence and of Christian piety and devotion, that, in their turn, they may communicate the same hahits, feelings, and affections, to young immortals over whoso instructions they may be afterwards called to preside.
Every candidate for the office of schoolmaster, previous to being received into such a college or seminary, should be strictly examined as to his mental powers and natural capacity for acquiring and communicating knowledge, his moral principles and conduct, and his leading motives and aims in wishing to devote himself to the office of an instructor. It should be understood that he has previously acquired the elements of a common education