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sign of a great mind.” His own example so fully evinced his belief in this saying, and its truth has been so frequently forced upon my attention since, that I have perhaps unwisely incorporated it into my creed, at least practically if not theoretically.
Growing up under such tuition, the foundations for those habits, of which you complain so justly, were laid, and the experiences of after years, when I had reached the period of life suitable for the study of grammar, but added strength to these habits. I was told that the best knowledge of my vernacular tongue" as you term it, could be reached through the beauties of Latin and Greek Grammars, and that the analogies of the Latin and English were so marked that it was useless to teach a child English Grammar who had not first mastered Latin.
Then, while wading through the mazes of Numbers, such remarks as these often greeted my ear: “I could make you understand this, if you were acquainted with Algebra"-or “This would be as plain to you as to myself if you were initiated into the science of Geometry,” or “I despair of making, you understand the reason of this process until you have advanced farther, so that you must take the rule on trust and hope for better things hereafter." Anxious to understand all things I met, what wonder that my ambition was excited, and that under its spur, I proposed to follow my teacher into paths that suited him better than the plain common paths which, I see now, I should have trod. What wonder that I believed implicitly my learned teacher and endeavored to please him by selecting studies suited to his tastes.
Bear with me, while I pass in silence a few years of my life, and come to the time when some of my own children found admission to your house as pupils for a four years' course. They tell me that their examination preparatory to admission was confined exclusively to the analysis of Greek and Latin sentences, to the discussion of Algebraic problems and to a few unimportant questions in Ancient and Modern Geography. There was nothing in the whole examination that gave weight to the studies of Reading, Spelling and Writing, nor did you, my dear sister, lead them to infer that you attached much importance to these elementary branches. In fact, to use your own figure, you did not examine into the character of the foundation” at all, but concerned yourself rather with the materials gotten out for the superstructure.”
Young and unsuspecting, they submitted to your directions, and for four years received no hint that you even suspected the foundation needed “chinking." Occasionally a passing allusion was made by the one charged with the department of English Literature to the careless Chirography, the incorrect Orthography, or the faulty arrangement of an essay expected once or twice each quarter, while their demonstrations in Calculus or Çonic Sections were daily criticized, and their analysis of Sentences in an unknown tongue closely watched, and a failure in parsing or in scansion was a death blow to their rank. Just before a public exercise some attention was paid to their enunciation of the particular composition which was designed to give the pupil standing among the few who listened to his delivery of it. At all other times, except for an hour upon a stated afternoon of each fortnight or perhaps each week, the halls of your house echoed not the words of the future reader or orator. The experience of my sons explains the course of my early teachers. For many years, my sister, I bave plodded on in the path of your example. Ignorant myself, it was natural that I should adopt the sentiments and imitate the course of my betters, and there is pone whose example has been more constant **before my eyes than your own.
For years past I have felt the force of your criticisms, and I have often asked myself" the question—"Shall I be sustained by my beloved elder sister if I draw off my sons from the mad chase after higher branches until I shall find them rooted and grounded in “the elements ?"
Your letter reassures me, and you can not tell the pleasure with which I read and re-read its closing sentence: “But by no means let them forget or neglect their reading, their writing and their spelling, in whatsoever grade of thine they may be, and I will take care that they do not when they come to me.” Will you not also direct those who may enter the teacher's profession from your walls to bear in mind the advice you have so kindly given me, that I may have needed assistance in my work, and that you may not be further troubled with that which belongs not to your work, nor be longer ashamed of your graduates whose habits of bad reading and spelling came from my lack of wisdom in blindly following the preferences of my early teachers ?
May I not also ask one favor more ? It is that you will remember that but a small portion of all my children will ever reach your walls, and that I may be permitted to encourage them to study such things as they should know, without your feeling that I am interfering with your work. You have so long led a secluded life that I fear you have not kept pace with the progress of the age in this direction, and still assume, what you were allowed to monopolize years ago, the entire instruction in some branches as important for my children to understand as for yours. The rudiments of these branches I trust you will allow me to introduce into my family. It will but encourage more to seek the polish given by yourself. There need be no clashing of interests. Our work is the same, differing only in time. The field open for our labor is ample and each of us in our appropriate sphere may find enough to do. Your advice will be most gladly received at any time.
Happy in the reunion,
I have no conception of any manner in which the popular republican institutions under which we live could possibly be preserved, if early education were not freely furnished to all by public law, in such forms that all shall gladly avail themselves of it.-Webster.
DEPARTMENT OF PRIMARY INSTRUCTION.
For the Journal of Education.
CHRISTIANITY IN TEACHERS. Of all important requisites in a teacher, Christianity is certainly the foremost. An individual may be well educated in the common sense of he term, that is he may be well versed in the arts and sciences, even more, he may be strictly moral or even religiously inclined, but unless he possess true christianity, he can be but a deficient teacher.
The instructor of the young occupies one of the most important positions of which we can conceive. He it is who is to mould the character of the rising generation. He is to act an important part in preparing men for offices of trust in town, county and state, and some for the senate perhaps, or the presidential chair, He is to exert a great influence on the position of our nation in time to come. He is to instil and develop in the hearts of his pupils those principles which may in time decide the destiny of our country. Not only is he to influence the rising generation but also generations to come. How important is it then that he be amply qualified in every respect.
The end and aim of education is to fit man for the proper discharge of the duties of life ; religion embraces the same end. But some will allow this and at the same time maintain that it is soon enough to think of religion when one has attained to years of maturity and sobriety; that to draw his attention to religion, while attaining an education, is to divert it from his studies, thereby impeding his progress and, at the same time running the hazard of having him make shipwreck of his faith through lack of stability or experience. Ah, false reasoning! If he be lacking in stability he needs religion to strengthen his principles, to check his youthful impetuosity. He needs it to prevent his being led away by the vanities and frivolities, aye ! more, vices of the world which his imagination renders so charming to his vision. Without religion be runs a thousand chances of never reaching manhood. How many of those who every year die from the effects of sin are still in youth, or at least, were led away at that period by the fatal enticements.
It is in childhood that the character is really formed. It is then that those impressions are received which will never be effaced. And not only are impressions which are then made more permanent but they are then more easily made than at any subsequent period in life. How important then that right opinions be then formed, right principles then implanted, and that every thing which would tend to the contrary be studiously avoided. If in youth religion is neglected, when the years of maturity are attained, there is also an increase of toil and care which will tend to check all thoughts of it.
But notwithstanding all the good to be derived from an experimental acquaintance with christianity in the discharge of life's duties, there is another and weightier reason why religion should be inculcated in the common school.
It is there that minds are to be trained for eternity. “These minds are destined for interminable development and the impressions of the school-room will never bé effaced." They may remain unnoticed long, perhaps be long forgotten, but the increased light of eternity will again reveal them. linger along the seashore and carelessly sketch characters upon its surface, but the next dash of the refluent wave will obliterate them.” No so with the impressions of early life; they are made upon immortal minds and will remain through all the cycles of eternity. In a work of such fearful magnitude religion cannot be dispensed with without the most imminent peril to the soul. And who but the Christian teacher is qualified to present its claims to the youthful mind? Other teachers may strive to do so, bat who can know its value as one who know knows from experience the utter worthlessness of all other things compared with it?
Who else can feel the zeal in imparting its truths as one who knows its blessedness, or how can it affect anything unless accompanied by a teacher's example and prayers ?
0, Teacher, reflect ! pause, ere you go farther! Have you weighed well your responsibilities—have you considered that you are preparing souls for eternal happiness or everlasting misery? That on you devolves the duty of imparting religious instruction to those little ones with whom you meet day after day in the capacity of teacher? Do you realize that you can not do this effectually unless you possess true christianity? "And if the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch."
GOLDEN RULES FOR HOME EDUCATION.
1. From your children's earliest infancy, inculcate the necessity of instant obedience.
2. Unite firmness with gentleness. Let your children always understand that you mean exactly what you say.
3. Never promise them anything unless you are sure you can give them what you promise.
4. If you tell a child to do anything; show him how to do it, and see that it is done.
6. Always punish your children for wilfully disobeying you, but never punish
6. Never let them perceive that they can vex you, or make you lose your self-command.
7. If they give way to petulance and temper, wait till they are calm and • then gently reason with them on the impropriety of their conduct.
8. Remember that a little present punishment, when the occasion arises, is much more effectual than the threatening of a greater punishment should the offence be renewed.
9. Never give your children anything because they cry for it. 10. On no account allow them to do at one time what you have forbidden, under the same circumstances, at another.
11. Teach them that the only sure and easy way to appear good is to be good. 12. Accustom them to make their little recitals with perfect truth. 13. Never allow of tale-bearing.
RELIGION IN SCHOOLS. There is enough-thank God there is enough—of common christian ground in the Bible, for all sects to meet on and cultivate the spirit of christian truth, love and brotherhood, without impaling themselves on sectarian points or irrevocably diverging into sectarian by-paths. Why, the Sermon on the Mount of itself is an exhaustless text, whence the pure mind of youth may be supplied with instruction of the best and most desirable kind, and which may be studied and explained without trespassing on the ground of the most jealous sectary. Other portions there are,-parables, stories and sayings,-full of wisdom and truth, which all denominations accept in the same meaning, and which no child can comprehend without profit.—Pennsylvania School Journal.
TEACHING CHILDREN TO PRAY.-It is said of that good old man, John Quincy Adams, that he never went to his rest at night until he had repeated the simple prayer learned in childhood—the familiar “Now I lay me down to sleep.”
Is there not something inexpressibly touching in the thought that these words breathed from the rosy lips of infancy, went with him away through old age into the dark valley of death? Some people object to teaching forms of prayer, lest the act become only a form. But did not Christ teach us to say,
“Our Father!" Do you not remember those still evening hours far back in your childhood, when your mother first taught you to say those words ? Can you forget the solemn hush that fell on everything as she knelt with you and commended you to the care of the blessed Fatber?
She is dead now; but ever as the night falls you think of her, and the little sister she left in your care-how it fell to you to hear the little one repeat the same old words in the dim twilight, and how at last, when she had learned to love the Saviour, who watches over the little children, He called her suddenly, one day, to go up where they sing the new song.