Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

from taking effect. He conceives With regard to the education of that “the moral corruptions of the higher classes, he has favoured men,” meaning flagrant vices, “and me with a translation from the Gerthe defects of their intellectual man, made by a friend of his, of a character often arise from bodily portion of a letter on the subject, debility, from the depraving increase in which he says, of sensual wants, and the consequent “ We commence our task with subjection to immoral tendencies. the conviction, that the destination This, indeed, often results from of every child is indicated by Diwant of energy, from the want of vine Providence, in the natural turn perceiving how time might be pro- of his mind; and that no educator fitably employed, or from a want of should allow himself to misappreknowing how to execute conceptions. hend or prevent, according to his On this account action should al- own confined ideas, that which the ways follow as closely upon in- Creator has ordered in infinite wis. struction, as the thunder upon the dom. Society has provided with lightning*.” A good preceptor, he great care for the temporal inheriholds, ought to be an experienced tance of our youth, which consists friend, who will guide the direction in visible and tangible property; but, of energy; rather than a master, and on the other hand, that far more especially an irritable master, who precious, imperishable endowment does but command. M. Fellenberg which every child receives at the is no imitator of Procrustes : there hand of his Creator - that individual is nothing arbitrary, as there is no capital, which consists in the sum harshness, in his method of edu- of his intellectual and moral facul. cation. He fits the means of in- ties, and on which depends not only struction to the child, and not the the acquisition and proper use of child to the means. If a boy in wealth, but the elevation of man Vehrli's school discover extraor. above all earthly dependance on dinary talent, the advantages of the earthly possessions, is generally conInstitute would, in due course, be signed to the absolute, and often accessible to him; and those of a uni- blind, disposal of the parental or versity would not finally be withheld. public guardians of youth, without I did not hear of any whose minds had rendering them in the slightest debeen found of so remarkable a cast gree responsible for their conduct. as that M. Fellenberg had been in- By this neglect of duty on the part duced to go to that expense; but he of society, both the temporal and deems it his duty to foster extraordi- eternal welfare of innumerable chil. nary talent, though his general plan 'dren, and of society in general, are is rather to provide suitable instruc- seriously and unwarrantably hazardtion for pupils of moderate ability. ed. In this dreadful guilt, I would

have no share. On the contrary, In making these observations M. Fellenberg might be alluding to the same frail- the object which I have most at heart ties and infirmities which Sir Joshua Rey- is, to point out, by means of the nolds adverted to when he remarked, that facts to be observed at Hofwyl, and " Treatises on education and methods of in other institutions which may arise study have always appeared to me to have from it hereafter, what society should one general fault. They proceed upon a false supposition of life : as if we pos- do in order to fulfil those duties sessed not only a power over events and which Christianity imposes upon it, circumstances, but had a greater power in reference to every child born over ourselves than I believe any of us will be found to possess.” I may add, within its limits. Jesus Christ has dethat I fear neither the British artist, nor scribed these duties in the following the Swiss philanthropist, had any just terms (M. Fellenberg here cites notion of what constitutes, in the Scrip. Matt. xviii. 10, xix. 14, Mark ix. 42, tural sense, “the moral corruptions of men." I have before noticed this funda- and Luke xviii. 17, and then conmental defect in M. Fellenberg's system. tinues) :

“ The most important means of must otherwise suffer. It is not reasecuring a happy result in every sonable to bring down to the level species of education and instruction, of a child's capacity what presupis to preserve as much as possible poses the intelligence of manhood *. the child-like innocence of the pu- It is folly to attempt to make an impil, and that cheerfulness which is mature mind pursue the train of its inseparable companion. He thought of the greatest men, as is should be brought up to desire, in often done in the classical and scienthe sincerity and joy of his heart, tific schools. The infantile concepthe welfare of his fellow-creatures, tions of great objects which are and to feel the warmest interest in thus produced are, in effect, an obtheir happiness. On this sentiment stacle to its improvement; and the depends, not only his most valuable important lessons to be learned from enjoyments, but also his resemblance antiquity are thus debarred all acto the Deity, and his noblest dis- cess to the comprehension of the tinction from the brute creation.” cultivated youth, and to the feelings

“ An education like this,” he pro- of the mature man. These, and ceeds, " is the only sure mode of similar mistakes, we carefully enpreparing him to comprehend Chris- deavour to avoid. tianity thoroughly, and embrace it “ On the reception of a new pucordially. In order to accomplish pil, our first object is to obtain an these objects, he who educates accurate knowledge of his intellecmust be, like the Saviour, the child's tual character, with all its resources best friend. He must never forget and defects, in order to aid in its that the powers of man are indeed further development, according to excited to action from without, but the apparent intention of the Creathat the personal activity of the in- tor. To this end, the individual dividual operating upon himself, and independent activity of the pupil, upon the materials which are fur- is of much greater importance than nished him for the exercise of his the ordinary busy officiousness of faculties, is the only means of their many who assume the office of educomplete development and cultiva- cators and teachers. They too often tion. The more animated and ear. render the child a mere magazine of nest these efforts, the more satis- knowledge, collected by means purefactory will be the result; and the ly mechanical, which furnishes him interest which enlivens the pupil in neither direction nor aid in the buhis employments, will also increase siness of life. The more ill-digest. bis cheerfulness and happiness. The ed knowledge a man thus collects, objects of education will then be the more oppressive will be the burmore fully attained, in proportion den to its possessor, and the more as he is interested in a well-arrang. painful his helplessness. Instead of ed course of studies, cheered in his pursuing this course, we endeavour, progress in them, and encouraged by bestowing the utmost care upon to farther exertions. In fact, the the cultivation of the conscience, great art in education consists, in the understanding, and the judg. knowing how to occupy every mo

* A critic, in reviewing Taylor's colment of life in well-directed and use

lective works of Dr. Sayers, makes the ful activity of the youthful powers, following excellent and apposite remark : as that nothing evil shall find room

“ The moral faculties cannot be accusto develop itself.

tomed to discipline too early, that they “ It is also of great importance, there is a danger of weakening or distort

may receive their growth in time; but that the child should never be em- ing the intellectual powers, if you interployed with exercises or objects fere too soon with their free growth. To which are above his comprehension. make boys critical, is to make little men The development of the character vent them from ever becoming great ones.” which should take place at this age, -Quarterly Review, Jan. 1827, p. 177.

ment, to light up a torch in the mind is cultivated. At the same time, of every pupil, which shall enable the faculty of conceiving with corhim to observe his own character, rectness, and of employing and comand shall set in the clearest light all bining with readinese, the materials the exterior objects which claim his collected by the mind, and especiattention.

ally the reasoning faculty, should “ A great variety of exercises of be brought into exercise by means the body and the senses are employ. of forms and numbers, exhibited in ed, to prepare these instruments of their multiplied and varied relations. the human soul for the fulfilment “ The social life of our pupils of their destination. It is by means contributes materially to the formaof such exercises that every man tion of their moral character. The should acquire a knowledge of his principles developed in their expephysical strength, and attain con- rience of practical life among themfidence with regard to those efforts selves, which gradually extends with of which he is capable, instead of their age, and the progress of their that fool-hardiness which endangers minds, serve as the basis of this the existence of many who have not branch of education. It presents learned to estimate their own powers the examples and occasions necescorrectly.

sary for exhibiting and illustrating “ All the various relations of space the great principles of morals. Acshould be presented to the eye, to cording to the example of Divine be observed and combined in the Providence, we watch over the little manner best adapted to form the world in which our pupils live and coup d'æil. Instruction in drawing, act, with an ever-vigilant but often renders important service in this re- invisible care, and constantly enspect. Every one should attain the deavour to render it more pure and power of reproducing the forms he noble. has observed, and of delineating “ At the same time that the vathem with facility, and should learn rious improvements of science and to discover the beauty of forms, and arts are applied to the benefit of to distinguish them from their con- our pupils, their sound religious trasts. It is however only where education should be continually kept the talent is remarkable, that the in view, in every branch of study. attempt should be made to render This is also the object of a distinct the pupil an artist.

series of lessons, which generally “The cultivation of the ear, by continue through the whole course means of vocal and instrumental of instruction, and whose influence music, is not less important to com- is aided by the requisite exercises of plete the development of the human devotion. being. The organs of speech, the “ By the combination of means memory, the understanding, and the I have described, we succeed in ditaste, should be formed in the same recting our pupils to the best memanner by instruction, and a great thods of pursuing their studies invariety of exercises in language, vo- dependently. We occupy their atcal music, and declamation. The tention, according to their individual same means should also be employed necessities and capacity, with phito cultivate and confirm devotional lology, the ancient and modern feelings.

languages, the mathematics, and “ In the study of natural history, their various modes of application, the power of observation is develop- and a course of historical studies, ed in reference to natural objects. comprising geography, statistics, and In the history of mankind, the same political economy. faculty is employed upon the phe- “ It is the object of our most nomena of human nature and hu- earnest efforts, to enlarge and enman relations, and the moral taste noble the ideas of our pupils in regard to human nature in general, as goodness of the Creator and Prewell as to their conduct in particu- server of the world, may never eslar, by enriching their circle of ex- cape his observation. Such an exaperience from the records of history. mination of those laboratories of They should by this means attain the creation which are accessible to a thorough acquaintance with every us, and of the productions of the variety of human existence and con- infinite skill of the Most High, is duct, and with all the consequences the best means of preserving us from of wisdom and folly, of virtue and that pride which might be excited vice. They should discover them- by an imperfect acquaintance with selves, their families, their country- human science and art. Where is men, and their country in the page the man-who after a religious exaof history; and we should endeavour mination of the works of God, wheto render them so familiar with every ther in nature or in the sphere of possible lot in life, before their own moral and intellectual life, could is fixed, that the most unexpected neglect to do homage in humility events shall not take them by sure and prayer to their great Author prise, or produce embarrassment. who would not attempt the fulfilThey should there observe the rocks ment of the great ends of his being? on which human happiness is in “In this manner, we establish danger of being wrecked, and learn our institutions upon the basis of how to avoid them, before they are genuine Christianity. We proceed hurried away by the whirlpool of in the commencement of our labours passions.

upon the essential principles and “ We should also draw from his- conditions of the Gospel. Every tory a panoramic view of human sound system of education must nature in its purest and best forms, rest on the instructions of Jesus and in the various paths of life which Christ. In these instructions is are accessible to us. We should given the substance of its theory : form ourselves an ideal model of the the best practical example for the highest excellence; one so adapted educator is to be found in the Sato our circumstances and individual viour of men ; and in the result, character, that we may adhere to we should aim at no other object it through life, that we may cheer- than the realization of that kingdom fully struggle to realize it-nay, that of God to which he has directed we may be ready to live and die for mankind.” its attainment.

I have inserted this long passage “ History should, finally, present for the sake of much that is highly to us the course of Divine Provi. valuable in it; and which the Chris. dence, in directing the destinies of tian reader will know how to sepaindividuals, and of the human race rate from the inexplicable theology in general. It should produce an which runs throughout the whole. elevation and energy in our religious It is too clear that, notwithstanding character, which should continue the frequent reference to the New through our lives. This object is Testament, to Jesus Christ, and to best attained, by presenting as early the precepts of his religion, that as possible to the view of the child the system goes not beyond the the great books of God—that of inculcation of a species of morals nature, and that of providence as called Christian, but, alas ! unconexhibited in real life, in history, and nected with the essential features of in the holy Scriptures. But they Christian doctrine. What may be should be presented in a manner M. Fellenberg's religious tenets it is adapted to form bis religious feel- not for me to decide, and I am as ings : in such a manner that the far as possible from wishing to judge traces of the infinite wisdom and harshly in the matter ; but I should Christ. OBSERV. No 341.

2 R

not be justified in exhibiting his educational plans in your pages, if RELIGIOUS CHARACTER OF THE I did not put the reader upon his guard against supposing for a moment that a child thus trained would Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. be truly brought up in “the nurture and admonition of the Lord." The In the interesting notice of the contemplation of the infinite wis- religious character of the Emperor dom and goodness of the Creator Alexander, in your last Number, an and Preserver of the world,” even allusion is made to the interviews as exhibited " in the Holy Scrip- between Mr. Lewis Way and the tures,” is not more than a Socinian, Emperor, and to other sources of or even a Deist, might inculcate; information respecting his religious unless that wisdom and goodness character, subsequently to the pewere set forth, where most brightly riod at which M. Empeytaz’s narthey shine, in the redemption of the rative is brought to a close. I world by our Lord Jesus Christ; of should feel indebted would you which the above extract says no- permit me to direct the attenthing, any more than of that awful tion of such of your readers as fact which must never be forgotten maintain a correspondence with in Christian education, the fallen Christians on the continent, to a and guilty condition of mankind, source from which, I doubt not, and the necessity of conversion to very valuable information might be God through the power of the Holy derived. Ghost. Truly does M. Fellenberg A Protestant-catholic minister of remark, “ Every sound system of the name of Lind), whose labours education must rest in the instruc- in his own parish (Gundremningen) tions of Jesus Christ ;" but those in Bavaria appear to have been instructions contain infinitely more remarkably blessed to the conversion than is developed in the above of many of his people, set out for St. passages. I have merely offered Petersburgh in the autumn of 1819. these cautions, to prevent miscon- In an extract from a letter which ception in so important a matter. he wrote from that place, and which Education may be essentially de- was published in 1820 in the “Mafective, nay, positively injurious, by gasin Evangelique * " at Geneva, being grounded on false or inade- occurs the following passage : “On quate views of religion, as well as the 28th of November I preached by a neglect of moral culture. M. my first sermon, before several Fellenberg has done well in shewing persons belonging to the court. that the heart, as well as the under. The Lord strengthened me, and I standing, is to be educated: and preached with power, and with a those who take infinitely higher blessing, on that which is the life views than appear in the above and essence of Christianity. My extract, of what constitutes spi- discourse was mentioned to the ritual education—the Christian edu- Emperor ; and that prince desired cation of the heart-may profitably me, through his minister of religion, avail themselves of many of our to wait upon him the next day. philanthropist's suggestions, and Expression fails me to describe much of his machinery; while they the goodness, the humility, of this ground the whole upon those celes- sovereign. He made me sit down tial principles which alone lead the wandering sinner to the kingdom This respectable work, which did not of God.

EMPEROR ALEXANDER.

proceed beyond two or three volumes,

was edited by the pious and able trans(To be continued.)

lator of Mr. Scott's Commentary into French.

« ForrigeFortsett »