« AnteriorContinuar »
upon to re-print, you will find the Rules to observe throughout your grand and noble Mission.
That you may bear in continual remembrance the high responsibility that attaches to your glorious work, which is both for time and eternity,
is the sincere prayer of,—
Your faithful Servant,
Office of the Brunswick University,
September 29th, 1864.
* It will be seen, that we first gave this Book to the Public in 1834. We now re-print it with the same Dedication; and have done little more than added a Dedication to the Mothers of England, the FOURTH STRICTURE, and the Sequel.
LORD VISCOUNT SANDON
WILLIAM EWART, ESQ.
MEMBERS FOR THE BOROUGH OF LIVERPOOL.
WHEN We reflect upon the ruin of empires, on the fate of the cities of Nineveh, of Tyre, of Babylon, and of Egypt, and on the causes which produced their fall; and when we compare the cities of England with those of past ages, we perceive the town of Liverpool, Gentlemen, of which you have the honour of being the Representatives, is rising pre-eminent among the cities of modern times; and the strides of her greatness, in her maritime power and merchandise, are already attracting the envy of Europe. Nineveh is perished, Tyre is no more, the great and mighty Babylon is gone for ever; and the cities of our own country may await their fall. It is to you, Sirs, and to the representatives of this kingdom in general, we look for means to avert such a catastrophe.
The only defence and bulwark of cities, of kingdoms, and of nations, is a correct education given to youth.
The imperfections of the systems adopted are visible in the dark catalogues of juvenile delinquency; and the ambitious schemes of modern times have been incapable of arousing the nation from party feeling, to unite in one general and universal aim, the expulsion of evil, by the dissemination and establishment of sound principles, compatible with christian morality.
Youth has hitherto been treated as a mechanical, rather than as an intellectual being. The order of the day has been a fierce conflict of contending factions on the orthodoxy of Bell and Lancaster, and a leaning to aristocratic prestige; rather than the cultivation of intellectual greatness, by the united exertions of the wise, the impartial, and the benevolent of all classes, and of all denominations. A partizan at the head of the Sessional School of Edinburgh, named Wood, has unintentionally been the great modern supporter of the corrupt and ambitious education of our national schools. This gentleman, who in many other respects appears of amiable and welldirected feelings, writing of ambitious emulation,* has the assurance to declare that “he, and he only, who is incapable of excellence, will ever refuse its aid." He then attempts to weaken the experience of others, and to
* This gentleman, to establish his views, gives a quotation from Cowper, in which he does not distinguish between the noble and praiseworthy emulation of imitating excellence, and the ambitious emulation of our schools; which is rivalry, envy, desire of depressing another, contest, contention, and discord. Though a Pagan establishes the principles of murder, theft, and suicide in his child, who, as he arrives at manhood, considers it a duty
support his own views, by stating, that emulation amongst his boys produces a friendship, which must excite, in the breast of the theoretical speculator and opposer, the like feelings of wonder that arise in the clown, on seeing the friendly intercourse of two barristers, who but the moment before appeared to have contracted a deadly quarrel. One might be led to infer, that this illustration proceeded from an ex-lawyer, to whom truth and falsehood were marketable commodities, something to buy and sell. Mr. Wood's observations go to fritter down the Word of eternal life, to induce others to follow the maxims of an apostate world, and to give the lie to the plain declaration of the Son of God; and he has also the vanity, arrogantly to tell the public, though in other words, that men holding the principles of the immortal Locke, of the divine Fenelon, of the philosophic Rousseau, of the metaphysical writers, Genlis, Graham, and a host of other worthies, are incapable of excellence." Here we certainly read our own doom. It is most melancholy to find a person, at the head of the Sessional School of Edinburgh, in the face of the world, assuming the perfection of his own limited views, to the condemnation of all who differ from
imposed by the divinity, to destroy his parents as soon as they become old and burdensome, to rob his neighbour, and to immolate himself at the shrine of his god; yet, Mr. Wood looks upon that Christian as a theorist, who attempts to establish from his creed the principles of esteem and disgrace as the most powerful incentives of youth, to the annihilation of the unchristian principle, worldly emulation. Surely, if a Pagan can establish the principle of evil, a Christian, with the Divine assistance, can establish the principle of good.
him. These observations of Mr. Wood may proceed from feelings intentionally good, but they are produced by principles to which the charity of the gospel cannot be affixed.
The spurs and reins, by which all mankind are guided, are rewards and punishments, these to exercise on youth, are of a very different order to those employed by Mr. Wood.
Esteem and Disgrace are the most powerful incentives to the mind.-Love of approbation and an apprehension and fear of disgrace are the true principles of government. Children are very sensitive of praise and approval. They feel a pleasure in being esteemed. To caress and commend them when they do well; and, to exhibit a cold and neglectful countenance when they do ill, is the only discipline for those we would have wise, good, and ingenuous men :-not the reward to please the appetite, vanity of dress, or possessions, to encourage his desire for them; by which we invert the order of education, and teach youth luxury, pride, and covetousness. By flattering inclinations which should be restrained and suppressed, we lay the foundation of vices; which, cannot be avoided, but, by curbing the desires and accustoming children early to submit to reason. No correction is useful to a child, where the shame of suffering for having done wrong, does not influence more upon him, than corporal punishment; which, creates an aversion to that, for which a desire should be created.
A slavish discipline, makes a slavish temper. The child submits and dissembles obedience, as long as the