Imágenes de páginas

jects discussed by the present Congress classified themselves naturally under five heads:

1. Anatomy and physiology of the brain and the psychology of the senses-thirty-four lectures.

2. Psychology of the normal individual-thirty-four lectures.

3. Pathological and criminal psychology-thirty-six lec


4. Psychology of sleep, dreams, and hypnotic statesthirty-six lectures.

5. Comparative psychology and psychology applied in teaching-twenty-eight lectures.

In these two things, then, is the "new" psychology new : (1) in its new standpoint, and (2) in the results it has obtained from its new standpoint. Let us consider these

a little further.


1. The New Standpoint of Psychology. The most superficial thinker has heard of the everlasting contention between spiritualism and materialism. Which side does the new psychology take? Is it spiritualistic or materialistic? It is neither. It says: "Go to, you are both beyond my ken. I will have nothing with either of you. You are both metaphysicians, while I will be a scientist. You may be both right, but it matters not to me." So the new psychology studies the data of consciousness as an astronomer studies the data of the heavens. The old materialist and spiritualist had always presupposed something behind these data of consciousness-the materialist matter, the spiritualist spirit. Either may be right, but they belong to a world which the new psychology does not enter. new psychology discusses the facts of consciousness and does not attempt to go behind them. Here, for example, are any facts of consciousness that you please—i. e., feelings, sensations, impulses, thoughts, etc. Such facts are given; but they have two sides—an inner or mental side, an outer or a body side. These sides are called body and mind, for want of a better name. What they are psychology does not discuss, but it discusses the relations between them. The psychical must always be discussed and stated in physiological terms. This, then, is the standpoint of the new psychology: a scientific discussion of the relations between body and mind—i. e., between the inner and the outer world.1

An extreme exemplification of the new psychology is the notable James-Lange theory that we do not laugh because we are glad or cry because we are sorry, but we are glad because we laugh and we are sorry because we cry. The bodily state is the cause of the psychological state, and not vice versa, and must be stated and investigated in physical terms. Am I in love? What are the physical accompaniments or causes of my mental state? What, mathematically and physically stated, are conditions of the emotion love? What are the physiological accompaniments-i.e., how does my heart beat, my temperature rise? Does the blood fill my cheeks? Am I angry? What, stated in exact statistics, are the causes of anger? What are the physiological conditions-do I stamp, clinch my fist, flesh my teeth? Am I remembering? What time is required to remember different objects and under differing conditions, such as repetition, diverting objects, etc.? Or is it will-power to be tested, or attention, or discrimination, or perception? All mental states must be stated and tested in physical terms. The psychological laboratories of the different universities are used to measure and test in all sorts of ingenious ways the mental states through the bodily states. The most notable laboratory in the world is that of Professor Wundt, at Leipzig; the most complete in its appointments is that at Harvard. Inasmuch as the investigations extend over so large a territory as I have before stated, there can be scarcely any subject that could

This is called by most psychologists the parallelism between the physiological and the psychical. Only of late has the theory been attacked as parallelistic, and the attempt is made to bring the psychical and physical under the law of causality. I append a table here to show the different ways in which the relations between body and mind have been treated.

[blocks in formation]

not be legitimately studied from the "new" psychological standpoint in a psychological laboratory.

2. The Results of the New Psychology. It would be impossible as well as wearisome in so short a paper to state the results of the new psychology, even if any one man knows all the results. Such a statement would be a series of statistics. The content of consciousness has been divided into its elements by the psychologists, and then these elements studied in their relations. The elements are the several sensations-viz., hearing, sight, smell, etc. In studying the elements of consciousness, the relations, above described, between the inner and the outer world have been statistically stated with painstaking care. For example, the sounds that the physicist classifies into tones and noises are studied in their psychological relations. What physical conditions give me the comfort of a tone or melody? What give me only noises? Why should certain vibrations of the air be pleasing and others (noises) displeasing? These and very many other questions have been raised and answered in regard to the sense of hearing. With reference to the sense of sight, what physical conditions give us the sense of color, what of non-color? What is color saturation? What psychological state is it that gives rise to deceptions in forms and colors? Do certain colors affect certain sounds?

The same method has been pursued in reference to the senses smell, taste, and touch. The results obtained have not been, in the majority of cases, novel results; they have usually been the corroboration of what we have already known a priori. A real discovery, however, was made when it was proven that not only historically have all the senses been derived from the sense of touch, but that within the sense of touch are latent and partly developed senses: so that the old-fashioned notion of the five senses vanishes. There are, besides the five senses, the pressure sense, the cold and hot sense, and the pain and pleasure sense. Investigations are going on to ascertain, if possible, if there be special nerves for pleasure and pain. It is easily proven that there are special nerves for cold and heat; for if a cold iron nail is passed over the skin of the arm, only in spots will it be felt cold. Whether there be special nerves to carry pleasure and pain is quite uncertain. At any rate, the a priori notion of Leibnitz that pleasure is positive and pain negative, and that of Schopenhauer that pain is positive and pleasure negative, could never have been stated by those intelligent minds had they lived among modern psychologists. Pain and pleasure are both positive.1

The psychological elements, i.e. the sensations, are thus studied separately. In actual life, however, no one sensation comes alone. It always occurs in combination with others. Sounds, sights, smells, tastes, and touches occur in conjunction. The world in which we live is very complicated, because it is constructed in various ways out of these differing elements. For example, I am now sitting on the Schlossberg, at Freiburg, with many colors before my eyes greens, browns, reds, etc., in many forms, regular and irregular. These colors and forms are what my eyes really see. But I seem to see what I call the Black Forest and the Höllenthal and the city on the Dreisam. The noise I now hear is only certain air-vibrations, but I call it the bark of a dog, and vibration of the air near me a baby's prattle. That is to say, my psycho-physical organism reacts upon my sensations in such a way as to construct a world that I call the Black Forest, the Höllenthal, and the city of Freiburg. One can easily see how profitable the field of our actual life is for psychological investigation. How is it that the ideas of space and time arise? Why and how are certain colors and sounds associated and not others? What is the object I perceive? How do I perceive it? How do I remember? How make the present world fit the past?

In regard to the question of free will, the psychologist would say, "I know of no supernatural motiveless part of

1 The sixth sense is very early developed in the animal kingdom. The Flegelmaus (Vesperugo noctula, Vespertilis proterus), a species of bat, has a very highly developed nerve covering its wings. For experiment, many of these bats were blinded, and yet could fly about without injury in a dark cavern, guided by this sixth sense.

the human personality. Man is free to act as he is constituted to act. Nevertheless, the will is rot determined by a single sensation, feeling, or desire. The freedom of the will is this: the psycho-physical personality as a whole reacting on the outer world."

As to self-consciousness and the unity of the Self, the psychologist answers that the feeling of self-consciousness is the general feeling that arises when the psycho-physical personality reacts upon the outer world.

I am aware of the weaknesses of the "new" psychology. It is easily vulnerable at many points. There is no time here for a fair criticism, however, except to say that the last Psychological Congress showed that incorrigible tendency of the German minds to out-Hegel Hegel in their daring theories. In spite of the boasts of the present generation of Germans that the new psychology is scientific and not metaphysical, the words of their own Jean Paul point to one of the dangers to the new young science in the hands of a German-"The kingdom of the English is the sea; that of the French, the land; while the German owns the kingdom of the air." The new psychology claims only to be in its beginnings. Its future will be safe and its effect salutary if it be not overwhelmed by highly inventive theorizing.


By Amos R. Wells

There once lived a centaur whose name was Correction. This centaur, whenever the man part of him saw a mortal in difficulty, fallen among foes, straying from the right path, conducting himself unseemly, would get the mortal to mount upon the horse part of him, and would canter swiftly away, carrying the mortal to a place of honor and happiness and safety.

This would have been in every way a fine thing for mortals, and they would always have rejoiced to see Correction approaching, if it had not been for a strange law of the centaur's being, which was this: As long as he did his good deeds solely with the thought of helpfulness,

applies to fault-finding as well as to expletives. Here, as elsewhere, we are not heard for our much speaking. True, "constant dropping wears away the stone," but in the matter of hearts, on the contrary, constant dropping petrifies them. "Precept upon precept, line upon line "--but not the same precept, nor the same line, nor in the same place. The best workman uses the fewest blows. If we are seeking our dear one's amendment rather than our own glory, we shall be anxious that as much of the amendment as possible shall come from him. Nagging fails largely because it does not give the culprit a chance to improve of his own motion. See how carefully God has preserved the free agency of mankind, refraining from forcing upon us either good or evil; and shall we not be as wise in dealing with each other? If you want a man to do the right, point it out, and leave him alone long enough for him to make willing choice of the right, and label his deed with his own name.

In fact, fault-finding always finds failure if it considers the fault rather than the man. We speak, and then look for results, for amendment, instead of looking for the will. to amend. This proves the shallowness of our own desire, that it regards exteriors, and is not prompted by the Spirit, since it does not look to the spiritual for its success. Our correction will produce righteousness only when it produces love for righteousness; and if it seeks first to inspire this love, everything else will be added to it.

And not only will love be the object sought by admonition; it will also be the tool that is used. Diamonds are cut only by diamonds, and hearts are formed to beauty only by loving hearts. "Liking cures ;" that is the law of spiritual homeopathy. Admonition, like charity, endures all things, because it hopes all things; nagging endures nothing, because it hopes nothing and has no love. The first requisite of a good corrector is that he be a good lover. If you want to find fault, first find hearts. Words do not reach your brother's will except along the telegraph wires of heart-strings. If he won't do it for your heart, he won't do it for your tongue.

everything went well. The man-horse, with the man's Oriental Archæology, the Vindicator

wisdom and the horse's fleetness, was effective for the restoration of thousands to their proper places and conditions. As soon, however, as the centaur Correction ceased to think of the mortal he was helping, and began to think of himself, how much wiser he was than the mortal, how much stronger, how much better-just that instant the horse part of the centaur began to get uppermost.

In a very short time, as they moved on, the mortal would find himself on the back, not of a splendid, noble, spirited centaur, but of a raw-boned, cross-tempered old nag, that ran more and more slowly and less and less straight, until finally it simply ran around a stake driven in the ground, to which it seemed to be tied. That stake was made out of wooden selfishness. The mortal found himself unable to dismount, and was indeed in a sorry plight, until some kind traveler came along, or until the centaur Correction came to his senses and ceased his nagging.

Reader, can you not interpret the parable? Correction is a noble beast, but nagging is the meanest mare in the stable. The one is transformed into the other by the potent poison of selfishness. Nagging is admonition. soured. Nagging is correction run to seed. Admonition is progressive, nagging is stationary. Admonition is sympathetic, nagging is egotistic. Admonition teaches, nagging judges. Admonition graciously leads, nagging spitefully pushes. Admonition is a sagacious St. Bernard, nagging is a snapping poodle. Admonition produces reformation, nagging produces only exasperation.

There is a righteous indignation, which is a teacher of righteousness; but nagging is born of unrighteous indignation. Its hidden source is offended self-esteem. It is often our duty to find fault, but it is more often our duty to stop finding fault. To cease speaking is as great an art as the art of speech. Better corrections many times too few than "Let your yea be yea, and your nay, nay,"

once too often.

of the Old Testament

By Professor A. H. Sayce, LL.D, F.R.S.

In this busy nineteenth century nowhere has research been more active or discovery more fruitful than among the monuments of the ancient civilized East. In Egypt, in Assyria and Babylonia, in Palestine and Asia Minor, even in Arabia, the history of the past, which had seemed dead and forgotten, has risen once more into life. Thanks to the explorer, the excavator, and the decipherer, we can now trace its general outlines, and even fill in many of its details. The fables which Greek and Roman writers had given us in the place of Oriental history have been swept away, and we can now read the contemporaneous inscriptions of monarchs who lived before the days of Abraham, can study the novels which amused the Egyptian masters of the Israelites in the age of the Exodus, and unravel the policy which led to Sennacherib's invasion of Judah. The Bible no longer stands alone like some solitary menhir on a desolate heath; we can compare it with other literary monuments of the same age and the same region of the world, and examine it in the light which texts of undoubted genuineness and antiquity are casting upon it.

And it is passing unscathed through the ordeal. A few years ago those "higher critics" who would not admit the authenticity and historical character of the earlier records of the Old Testament seemed to have it all their own way. There was nothing to check their conjectures and conclusions, or disprove the a priori assumptions with which they started. The Hebrew Scriptures were treated as they had been compiled by a modern German professo and the result was exaggerated skepticism. The critic counted the words he found in them, and declared them to be a sort of literary mosaic in which he could with the

utmost confidence assign each minute fragment to its original author.

It was a confidence born of ignorance. The critic's area of comparison was too small to allow of trustworthy results, and it needed to be enlarged before any satisfactory conclusions could be reached. Before condemning the writers of the Old Testament for ignorance, it is necessary to be sure that the ignorance is not our own.

Archæological discovery has shown that such has been the case in more than one instance. Professor Francis Newman, for example, in his "History of the Hebrew Monarchy," declares that the references in the Bible to the Hittites of northern Syria are "unhistorical," and do "not exhibit the writer's acquaintance with the times in a very favorable light;" and yet we now know, from the inscriptions of Egypt, Assyria, and Armenia, that it was just northern Syria which was the home of the Hittite kingdoms from very early times down to the age of Hezekiah. The German critics and their followers, again, have assured us that Jerusalem was a small and unimportant place before the time of its capture by David, the very name of "Jerusalem" being introduced then for the first time, and that consequently the account of Melchizedek, "king of Salem," in the days of Abraham, must be a pure fiction. Nevertheless we have learned from the Tel elAmarna tablets that in the century before the Exodus not only was Jerusalem already an important city and the capital of a fairly extensive territory, but that it was already known by the name of Uru-salim, or Jerusalem. And in the texts of Ramses II., the Pharaoh of the Oppression. the name is given in the abbreviated form of Salem. such instances the skeptical confidence of the critic was the measure of his own ignorance.


At the root of most of the negative criticism which has been applied to the earlier records of the Bible lay the tacit assumption that the art of writing was not employed for literary purposes until long after the Mosaic age. So far as Egypt, Assyria, or Babylonia is concerned, the assumption has been long since refuted. One of the earliest of extant writings is an Egyptian literary work, the "Proverbs of Ptah-hotep," which was composed in the time of the Sixth Dynasty (about 3000 B.C.) and shows that writers and readers were already plentiful on the banks of the Nile. At a later date, but still before the period of Moses, Egyptian literature entered upon its Augustan age; schools and libraries existed all over the land, and all classes of literature were represented in them, including even the predecessor of the modern novel. It was the same in Babylonia and Assyria. Here, too, there was a nation of scribes and readers. From a remote epoch Babylonia had possessed a voluminous literature, written, not upon papyrus, like that of Egypt, but upon clay. Every great city had its public library where the books were duly catalogued and arranged, and the position of librarian was held in such honor as sometimes to be occupied by the son of the king. To imagine that the Israelites had once lived in Egypt, where even small articles of daily use were inscribed, and yet that they should have been ignorant of the art of writing, did not seem very credible.

In 1887, however, a discovery was made at Tel elAmarna, in Upper Egypt, which has made such a supposition still more preposterous. The ruins of the record-office of Khu-n-Aten, the "heretic king" of the Eighteenth Egyption Dynasty, were found in the mounds of the ancient city, just outside the walls of the royal palace. Each brick of which it had been built was stamped with an inscription stating them to have belonged to "the house of the archives," and among the ruins were the remains of the foreign correspondence itself. This was written upon clay, like the literature of Babylonia, and, to the surprise of the historian, turned out to be in the cuneiform syllabary of Babylonia, and, with two or three exceptions, in the language also of the Babylonians. It consisted not only of the correspondence that had been carried on with Khu-n-Aten, but also of a part of the correspondence carried on with his father and originally deposited in the "Foreign Office " at Thebes.

It was all a century earlier than the Israelitish exodus,

and belonged to a time when Canaan was a province of the Egyptian empire. A large portion of it consists of letters and dispatches from the vassal princes and Bedouin chiefs of Canaan, as well as from the Egyptian governors, many of whom bore Canaanitish names and were of Canaanitish descent. But there are also letters from foreign potentates, from the kings of Assyria and Babylonia and AramNaharaim. The whole of the civilized world of the East, in fact, is shown to have been in a state of constant literary activity, quite as much so, indeed, as was Europe in the age of the Captivity.

That the common medium of intercourse should have been the language and complicated syllabary of Babylonia is a wholly unexpected fact. The explanation of it has been furnished by discoveries made in large measure during the last four or five years. Before Canaan became an Egyptian province it had been a Babylonian province. At a very early epoch Babylonian rulers had led their armies to the shores of the Mediterranean, and introduced Babylonian culture into the lands of the West. When Abraham was born, a dynasty was reigning in Babylonia whose kings claimed sway over "the land of the Amorites," as Syria and Palestine were called. Babylonian literature was introduced into Canaan along with the Babylonian system of writing, and the traditions and mythology and even the deities of Babylonia became, as it were, domesticated in the West. When, therefore, Egypt became a conquering power under the monarchs of the Eighteenth Dynasty, it found Babylonian culture too firmly planted in western Asia to be displaced. The Babylonian language was learned and studied from the banks of the Euphrates to those of the Nile, along with the system of writing with which it was associated.

This necessitated the existence of schools throughout the region in which it was taught. The system of writing made a great demand upon the memory, the cuneiform characters being very numerous, while each of them expressed more than one phonetic and ideographic value. Moreover, they could not be correctly used without some knowledge at least of Sumerian, the old language of Chaldæa, which stood to the Semitic Babylonian of a later day in much the same relation that Latin stands to English. In short, to learn the cuneiform system of writing required time and patient teaching even in Babylonia and Assyria, where it was not necessary to learn the Babylonian language as well.

But, besides schools, there must have been libraries similar to those of Babylonia, where the clay books could be stored up and the official archives preserved. That Babylonian literature was studied even on the banks of the Nile we know. Fragments of Babylonian legends have been found at Tel el-Amarna, one of them with the words separated by points of red in order to facilitate its reading by the foreign student. Another contains a portion of a legend relating to the first man, Adapa (or perhaps Adama), and explaining how death entered the world, the commencement of which was already in the British Museum. This latter had been found by Layard at Kouyunjik, and belonged to a copy which had been made for the library of Nineveh, eight hundred years after the Tel el-Amarna text had been buried and forgotten.

In the fifteenth century, then, before our era, and more than a hundred years before the Exodus out of Egypt, the whole of the Oriental world was filled with schools and libraries, with readers and writers, with teachers and pupils, and the books which were composed and studied were in the language and script of Babylonia. And the center of all this literary activity was Canaan. Here the civilizations of Egypt and Babylonia met and coalesced, and here must have been stored up a large amount of literature on imperishable clay. When the Israelites entered Canaan, its cities must have been full of these records of the past, and wherever the cities remained untaken or undestroyed the records would have remained uninjured down at least to the age of David.

Moses, therefore, could have written the Pentateuch, and the materials embodied in the Book of Genesis could easily have been known to him. He was "learned in all the wis

dom of the Egyptians," and in the Mosaic age this wisdom included a knowledge of Babylonian literature as well as of the history of the Egyptian province of Canaan. And among the Israelites and "the mixed multitude" whom he led out of Egypt there must have been many who had learned to read. At a time when the nations round about them were reading and writing, it would indeed have been strange if the Israelites alone had remained illiterate. Archæology meets the assumption of their illiteracy with an emphatic negative, and declares, on the other hand, that it would have been little short of a miracle if the great Hebrew legislator had not left behind him some written record. Such is one of the most important results of the archæological discoveries of the last few years.

If, indeed, it could be proved that the narratives of the Pentateuch are full of errors in history and geography, we should be justified in concluding that they belong to a much later date than that to which Jewish and Christian tradition has persistently assigned them. But the errors supposed to exist in them are for the most part of the critic's own making. He has started with the assumption that the narratives have been written down long after the events they profess to chronicle, and have, moreover, been derived, not from contemporaneous records, but from popular tradition, and from this assumption it is easy enough to pass to the conclusion that the narratives themselves are unhistorical. Any further arguments in favor of the conclusion are derived entirely from the very narratives whose trustworthiness is impugned; the critic does not look beyond the limits of the Biblical text, and so never calls in the aid of the scientific method of comparison.

Wherever archæological research has enabled us to test the conclusions of this negative criticism, it has shown them to be false, at all events so far as the Pentateuch is concerned. Let us take, for instance, the fourteenth chapter of Genesis, which only a few years ago was triumphantly declared to be mythical. The very conception, it was argued, of a Babylonian campaign to the distant West in the time of Abraham proved that the whole story was unhistorical. And yet contemporaneous Babylonian documents have now been discovered which show that the Bible is right and the critics wrong. Long before the age of Abraham Babylonian kings had already overrun Canaan, and even carried their arms to the Sinaitic Peninsula. The dynasty which governed Babylon in the period to which Abraham would belong, according to the Book of Genesis, claimed to be lords of Palestine. Even the name of EriAku or Arioch has been found on the bricks of the temples he built. He was King of Larsa, the Ellasar of Genesis, and was the son of an Elamite prince. Babylonia was divided at the time into more than one kingdom, just as the narrative in Genesis represents it to have been, and was under the supremacy of the King of Elam.

It was

the overthrow of Eri-Aku and his Elamite allies by Khammurabi, the King of Babylon, which destroyed the Elamite domination, and made Babylonia a united kingdom, with Babylon as its capital.

Mr. Pinches has lately discovered a broken tablet which once gave an account of the wars of Khammurabi in Elam and elsewhere, and mentioned some of the princes with whom he had to contend. Among them is not only ErieAku or Eri-Aku, "the servant of the Moon-god," as the name signifies, but also Kudur-laghamar or Chedorla'omer, and Tudghula, the son of Gazza**, the Tid'al of Genesis. The tablet, doubtless, was written in the later period of Babylonian history, but it is a copy of one of older date. The story of Chedor-la'omer's campaign was thus no Jewish invention, as a skeptical criticism has asserted, but genuine history, accurate even in the spelling of the proper names.

The very existence of Abraham has been denied, as well as his birth in "Ur of the Chaldees." But here again the monuments are vindicating the truthfulness of the Biblical record. Numerous tablets have been found in Babylonia containing contracts and other deeds drawn up in the time of the dynasty to which Khammurabi belonged. Many of them are dated in the reign of Eri-Aku or Arioch himself. Among the names recorded in them is that of

Ab-ramu, the Abram of the Old Testament. During the past few months Mr. Pinches has found two other names of surpassing interest. One of them is Ya'akub-il or Jacob-el; the other is Yasup-il or Joseph-el. That Jacob and Joseph are abbreviated forms of Jacob-el and Joseph-el has long been known, but the interest of the discovery lies in the fact that these names are specifically and characteristically Hebrew. They belong to the "language of Canaan," as Isaiah calls Hebrew, and so testify to the presence of a Hebrew-speaking population in Babylonia at the very time when Abraham is said to have been born there.

But this is not all. The names of the kings of Khammurabi's dynasty are not Babylonian. They are at once South Arabian and Hebrew. They show that Babylonia was governed at the time by a line of kings which was intimately associated with the West; they show further that the Canaanite language of the West and the language of southern Arabia were at the time practically one and the same. The fact is a striking verification of the historical accuracy of Genesis x., 24-29, where we read that Eber was the ancestor not only of " Abram the Hebrew" (Gen. xiv., 13), but also of the tribes of southeastern Arabia. Eber was the grandson of Arphaxad, in whose name we have that of Chesed, the "Chaldæan," and his descendants lived in Babylonia down to the time of Terah.

We now have express testimony that inhabitants of Syria and Canaan," Amorites," as they were termed by the Babylonians, were settled in Chaldea at that early age. A "district of the Amorites" is referred to in the contract tablets as situated just outside the walls of Sippara. One of the contracts in which it is mentioned is dated in the reign of Khammurabi's father, another in that of his fourth successor, while an official of the latter king is characterized, as Mr. Pinches has shown, as "an Amorite." There was consequently a colony of Amorites settled in Babylonia, doubtless for the purpose of trade, like the colonies of Syrians and Israelites settled in Samaria and Damascus in the time of Omri and Ahab (1 Kings xx., 34). Not only was. Canaan under the influence of the Babylonian Government and culture; in Babylonia also there were natives of the West who could rise to high offices of state. We can

now understand why it was that Abraham did not find a strange language and a strange culture when he migrated to the land of Canaan. He was like a colonist who passes from Great Britain to Australia or Canada.

That all Syria should have been known to the Babylonians under the name of "the land of the Amorites" makes it clear that in the Abrahamic age the Amorites were the most influential people of the West. After the epoch of the Tel el-Amarna letters the name ceases to be used in this wide and general sense. In the inscriptions of Assyria its place is taken by that of the Hittites, who had stepped into the position once held by the Amorites. But it is worth noticing that in many parts of the Pentateuch the name of Amorite is used pretty much as it is on the early monuments of Babylonia. Such a use must have come down from the days when Babylonian influence and literature were still dominant in the West, and the power of the Amorites had not yet passed away. In post-Mosaic times its employment would be difficult to explain. And yet the use of the term has been brought forward in proof of the lateness and unhistorical character of the Pentateuch, and has been asserted to be a mark of one of the documents into which the Book of Genesis has been analyzed. But the critic has spoken in ignorance of the testimony of the cuneiform texts. Once more archæology has come forward to show that what a skeptical criticism has declared to be a sign of historical untrustworthiness is really a proof of antiquity and good faith.

No human life would be possible if there were not forces in and around' man perpetually tending to repair the wounds and breaches that he himself makes.-Mrs. Humphry Ward.

The Kindergarten in the Sunday-School

By Clifton Harby Levy

The feeling has been general among the superintendents of Sunday-schools that the methods of instruction in vogue are far from being effective. In no department has this In no department has this been more keenly felt than in that devoted to the instruction of the youngest children. They attend the school with more or less (generally less) regularity, but what do they carry home with them? How little is only too evident to the teachers of the higher classes to which these children are sent later.

[ocr errors]


It was from a consciousness of this fatal weakness in religious instruction, at the very point at which it should. be strongest, that I determined to find some sane and natural mode of operation. Surveying the field of pedagogy, I found not a little upon the subject of the psychology of childhood, but nothing was more striking than that little book by G. Stanley Hall on the contents of the child's mind. It seemed to suggest the cause of our failure in religious instruction, as clearly as it demonstrated the defects of our secular schools. The Sunday-school pupil is taught names and words, not thoughts. Every superintendent who is frank enough to tell himself the truth has been often discouraged by the lack of efficiency on the part of his teachers, even after he had devised the very best methods. The problem then became twofold. Wanted, teachers and methods by which the dawning consciousness of childhood should be properly dealt with. The teachers of public schools were not what was required, for they are apt to bring int› the Sunday-school the dry-as-dust, mechanical methods so generally employed in their daily work. They have given as little attention to the study of childnature and the avenues by which to reach it as most of the very willing and gushing maidens who would so love to teach the little darlings" what they don't know themselves. Only one class of teachers appeared to fill the requirements as to methods of instruction and understanding of the nature of children, and that was the "kindergartner." is conceded by the most advanced of our pedagogues that Froebel was inspired by the true principles of teaching, and those trained according to his ideas are best equipped for instructing the very young. I was fortunate enough to find two trained kindergartners willing to attempt the work of applying their methods to religious teaching. Several young ladies of intelligence were secured as assistants, on account of the large number of children in the primary department. No attempt was made to transplant the "day kindergarten" into the Sunday-school room. These ladies had sufficient adaptability to utilize their mode of teaching upon newer material. Still, there was no great rupture between the secular and religious instruction. It was but another proof of the soundness of Froebel's method that it was just as good on Sunday as on Monday, and required only some very simple additions. A Miss Beard had contributed a series of articles upon the "Kindergarten Sunday-School" to the "Kindergarten Magazine" and republished the matter in book form, but this work was not found very helpful, attempting, as it appeared to us, to do too much. The announcement was made from the pulpit that a Sunday kindergarten would be opened, and a large number of children, ranging in age from four to six years, were registered upon the Sunday following. The teachers met together and arranged the lessons, the songs to be sung, the stories to be told, and the games to be played each week. thought best to retain the games as a very important element of the system, making the work attractive to the children. Such was proven to be the fact, for parents reported that whereas they had to use no little persuasion upon the older children to attend regularly, the little ones were eager to come and could hardly be kept at home in the stormiest winter weather. Thus the first obstacle to progress was overcome, and we had the class present with remarkable promptness and regularity.

It was

Every one who has given the matter any serious thought will gladly admit the good influence in training accomplished by this simple device. Naturally, the quietest games


were used, and those having a close connection with the lessons taught. The kindergarten work was not attempted in the Sunday-school, but perforated cards were distributed each Sunday, bearing upon some special topic of the day, and returned worked in worsted on the following Sunday. The first effort made was to rouse the intelligence of the child, to make it think-and not merely learn "golden texts." We wished to show it the golden texts of nature, that it might in later years be able to comprehend the words of the Bible. The regular kindergarten method of drawing out the child by question and answer was freely used, and we determined to teach it the first great law of religion, "God is love." It would have been very easy to have the words repeated so often that they became sounds "et prætera nihil," but we desired to make them instinct with meaning. First the teachers drew out of each child what it knew or had heard about God-where he was, what he did for man—until they had sounded the childish mind and had it eager for something more. Then the attempt was made to teach in the natural method, by induction. Seeds were brought, to show the origin of plants; winged seeds illustrating the wonderful device for their dissemination. A bean which had been planted and allowed to sprout was brought to illustrate the act of growth, and the wonderful provisions of nature were explained in the utmost detail. This received careful attention-the development of details. It is not true that a child cannot appreciate an abstract thought. It is true that it requires more details for grasping it than the adult, but once it is conceived, with all of its minutiæ, it is implanted forever. The child can form a conception of God; it ought to form one, and can be led to form a correct one by gradually leading it through nature to nature's God. idea that each child advances by the same steps as the race is by no means new, and the success of the natural method seems to substantiate its truth. Just as men have filled out their idea of God by the contemplation of his manifestations in his works, so the child may be helped to think, to love, and to reverence. Then the decorations used in the "House of Worship" for a harvest festival were transferred to the school-room, the beauties and uses of flower, fruit, vegetable, and grain being dwelt upon at length, but always with reference to the Creator. this way the perfection of God's work, his wisdom and love, were practically illustrated. It required no special preaching to point to the natural conclusion of gratitude being a duty, and reverence flowed naturally from the consciousness of the many blessings enjoyed. Before each lesson the children and teachers sang a prayer beginning, "Father, we thank Thee," used in many secular kindergartens. Many lessons were required for the proper teaching of the ideas mentioned, but it was not time wasted by any means. generally take all of these things for granted, which is unfortunate, as the result proves. Children would not be so much interested if they knew all this; and many of their elders even manifested their interest by coming week after week to listen to the lessons. The subject of God's love was handled from every possible point of view, as we preferred to teach this one fundamental principle well rather than spread superficially over a broader field. The important feature of such work must be concentration, as should be the case even in later instruction. But the concrete was always selected as the means of reaching the abstract, and therefore the natural festivals, with all of their symbols, were used as the different seasons passed. For instance, Passover was explained, with the story of the ancient deliverance, and its present mode of observance by the Jews. All of the articles used upon the Passover table were brought into the school-room, the significance of each being explained fully. It was remarkable, when the school term was drawing to a close, to note the amount of information and the religious spirit which had been implanted during the few hours of instruction. An hour and a half a week is a very short time, yet in the space, of eight months these little children had grown to comprehend and realize more about nature and natural processes, the method of God's working in and for men, than many of their seniors. was very easy, after the beginning had been made, and it




« AnteriorContinuar »