during that short time, so far from having a sufficient inducement to exert their talents to the utmost of their power, would have their minds fixed on a better situation, soon to be enjoyed by them, not as the reward of services, but as the mere contingent of seniority. If this would be thought absurd in every other department of life, why is an exception to be made in the case of one of the most difficult, and, certainly, not the least important, of all arts, the art of teaching. It is to no purpose to urge, in support of the present system of appointing tutors, that many of them have distinguished themselves by great ability and success in the discharge of their office. It would be wonderful indeed, if among such a number as exercise that duty, and amid such a variety of genius and taste as must occasionally adorn it, there should not be found some individuals possessed of the proper qualifications; who are seen to take pleasure in communicating knowledge to youth, and in being instrumental in their progress; who do not allow their minds to be alienated from their office by future prospects; and who find, in the consciousness of discharging a weighty obligation, a motive sufficient to support the exhausting labors with which it is attended. Such instances, however, are not to be attributed to the spirit of the system. They are rather to be viewed in the light of exceptions, and as exhibiting, in strong colors, the manifold advantages which would result from a mode of appointment, calculated to secure all the talent and zeal of the teacher, for the improvement of education. The lower seminaries all over the country, are provided with masters on a better principle than the colleges in either of the English universities. They are filled by men who make education their profession; and who, having their eyes fixed on nothing beyond it, devote all their time to its details, and all their talents to its improvement. I am not ignorant that another argument, if such it should be called, has been repeatedly employed, in support of the general plan of instruction pursued in the English universities. It has been maintained, that, with all their defects, these institutions have sent out into the world more great men—a larger number of persons distinguished in the different walks of science and literature, as well as in all the pursuits of public life—than almost all other establishments of the same kind. The views upon which this argument is founded are extremely fallacious, and prove rather, that native genius cannot be depressed by defective systems of education, than that eminent talent, or even great acquirements, are to be attributed to any mode of teaching. The greatest men whom the world has produced, have owed but a very slight obligation to the care or skill of masters; and, when we peruse the biography of Milton, Locke, Newton, and Johnson, we are at a loss to discover upon what other ground, than that their names were entered in a college record, any merit has been taken by the seminaries wherein they happen to keep their terms. Is it imagined, that if men of genius were to give the history of the various steps of their secret studies, and the accidental aids by which they gradually attained celebrity, they would have much to ascribe to the forms, and lessons, and commentaries, of a college tutor? It were to be wished, indeed, in order to place this mode of reasoning on its proper foundation, that we had a list of the thousands who might have been scholars and men of science, if they had been suitably instructed; for, it is worthy of remark, that the merit of academical institutions is to be estimated, not by the few men of uncommon talents who have been there educated, but by their success in cultivating ordinary ability; in raising the lowest mental endowments to that degree of eminence which nature has placed within their reach; and, above all, by the tendency which they have to confirm habits of industry and a love of research. In short, we must not draw our conclusions in this field of inquiry from particular instances; and we have it not, in general, in our power to found them upon a comparative estimate of what is actually performed; because we cannot determine how much is due in every single case to natural gifts, how much is to be ascribed to individual exertion, and, of course, how much belongs to the teacher, and how much to the system of the school. We must, therefore, form our opinion on the subject on principles connected with general experience relative to the human faculties, and the most natural method of culture; on the analogy of nature in the developement of our mental energies; and on the practice of those who have been most successful in instructing the young, whether in action, fact, or principle. To this criterion I am willing to submit the propriety of whatever I have advanced, either in the way of stricture, or of suggestion. The above observations, though they apply more immediately to those colleges, where the system of education is avowedly different from that pursued in Scotland, have, perhaps, some claims on the attention of all teachers who are appointed to conduct young men over the threshold of philosophy. The leading principle of method which I here venture to recommend, is derived from the analogy of nature, and the experience of mankind, in every other branch of instruction, which prove to us that, in learning any art, mere precept is unavailing; that the beginner, in short, must work as well as listen; otherwise he has no chance of arriving at proficiency in the object of his pursuit. By a system of practical education, well regulated, and judiciously enforced, the student is enabled to become his own teacher; and when he has been accustomed to exercise his faculties,—to arrange his thoughts, whether for prosecuting his researches, or for committing them to paper, he finds that he can do for himself, what the most learned professor, without such means, could never have qualified him toperform. The result, on the whole, is that, unless professors condescend to become teachers, not only communicating instructions to their students; but subjecting them to a regular course of active labor, and thus obtaining an opportunity of knowing the progress of their minds,—of correcting their labors, and of directing them to the means of higher degrees of excellence,—the effects of education will only be experienced by the chosen few, whose natural talents enable them to follow out, and profit by the ingenious lectures of the professor. In the university with which I have so long been connected, the practical mode of education is zealously followed in all the departments of the undergraduate course. In the class of moral philosophy which succeeds that of the logic, the professor meets his students at two separate hours, each day, during the session. At the first of these, he delivers a lecture on the principles of ethical science, embracing such inquiries into the nature of the human mind, as are connected with the character of man, considered as a moral agent, and are necessary to unfold those states of thought and feeling, known by the terms instinct, appetite, desire, passion, and affection. In this way the student is led to consider the origin and authority of moral sentiment, and to trace the rise of those energetic principles which actuate and impel the vast mechanism of human society;—as also, the source and distinction of moral good and evil, of praise and blame, of reward and punishment. He is made acquainted with the opinions of the learned, in ancient and modern times, respecting the obligations of morality, the qualities of mind and of action in which virtue consists, and the various standards of moral excellence which have been proposed in different ages and nations, to determine the true source of approbation in the human mind. Those subjects are followed by a consideration of the principles of law and government, so far as these are founded on the moral nature of man;—tending to illustrate the gradual progress of refinement in the history of civil society. At the second hour of meeting, the students arc examined on the various topics of the lecture which I have just described;—or they listen to the remarks of the professor on the essays they are enjoined to write, which he reads daily in the class;—or, according to a practice long established in that department, they translate to him a portion of some of the ethical works of Cicero, or of the Novum Organon of Lord Bacon. This latter exercise, like the lectures of the college tutors in English universities, is accompanied with a commentary on the part of the professor. In the class of natural philosophy, the last in the under-graduate course, the professor likewise meets his students at two separate hours every day. At the one, he gives«lectures on the elements of matter and motion,—on mechanics, pneumatics, hydrostatics, optics, and astronomy. It being understood that the students have previously made some progress in mathematics, he applies demonstrative reasoning to those parts of his subjects, which admit of it; while, in other branches, he illustrates the laws and processes of nature by a regular course of experiments carefully prepared, and exhibited by means of a very expensive and ingenious apparatus, enlarged from time to time, as the progress of the arts required. But it is chiefly by following out a regular system of examinations and exercises, that my respected colleagues, in these two departments, render their labors available to the great object of academical instruction. Nor is there any part of the business of the class more agreeable to the young men themselves; as a proof of this, it deserves to be mentioned, that, besides the exercises which are required from the whole class, there are not a few presented as the fruits of voluntary study and exertion on the part of individuals. The spirit of emulation and the desire of improvement, which are thus excited, make the labor light and even pleasant. The student has the pride of appearing before his master and his companions, in the character of an author; and however incorrect or trivial his performances may be, they afford him at least the means of regulating thought,—of improving his reasoning and his style, and of measuring the progress which he makes under the training to which his mind is subjected. In a word, the manifold advantages of this system, both to teachers and pupils, can only be appreciated by those who have had the experience of their happy effects; and that this practical method of philosophical instruction, is not more generally adopted in our academical institutions, is only to be accounted for, by the very familiar fact, that public functionaries are, for the most part, more inclined to rest satisfied with merely following out the line of duty which custom has prescribed, than to inquire very anxiously how their offices might be rendered more efficient for promoting the interests of the community. I am not inclined to flatter myself with the expectation that any material change, in the system now alluded to, will be adopted, in consequence of any recommendation which is contained in these pages. But every person deeply interested in the success of education is entitled to expect, that whatever is candidly proposed, as an improvement in the plan of conducting it, should receive, at least, an impartial consideration. Nor is there any thing, I should hope, in the constitution of colleges in the south, positively to preclude all changes whatsoever, in the mode of applying the industry

•and genius of their students; for a statute to this effect would be tantamount to a determination, not to admit any of the improvements which the progress of science may bring to light, how es» scntial soever to the furtherance of the object for which they were originally founded. Every change which is calculated to improve philosophical education must be in perfect accordance with the spirit and intent even of the most ancient of such establishments; and it is always to be presumed, that, if the founders had possessed the knowledge and experience which has elsewhere led to any particular innovation, they would have been the first to adopt it. For instance, the statutes left in force, at the last visitation of the university of Glasgow, required that the professor of the first class of philosophy should teach Aristotle's logic, and those parts of his metaphysics which treat of ontology and the human mind. But the present professor does not think that, by any change of subject which he has introduced, he has deviated in the smallest degree from the spirit of these statutes; and his immediate superiors, accordingly, have sanctioned the modifications which he has thought it expedient to make, both in the subject-matter of his lectures, or in the details of teaching. This is nothing more than that accommodation to circumstances which the imperfect nature of all human institutions is found to demand. Laws become obsolete from the change of manners and opinions; and, although permitted to remain on the statute-book, have no more force than if they had never been in existence. So should all enactments which restrict education fall into desuetude, whenever they are found to oppose the advancement of sound views and of useful knowledge. And were the plan of teaching philosophy, which is here recommended, to be adopted in our universities, the reproach which is so often thrown out against them, of not teaching any thing connected with the business of active life would, in a great measure, be removed. But I fear not so much the opposition which arises from statutes and the caprice of founders, as that generated by prejudices which spring up in learned societies, and are, in some degree, fostered by the habits and modes of life which there prevail. The magnificence and splendor of ancient establishments, with the power and privileges with which they are endowed, have contributed to separate them, in some very important respects, from almost every other learned society, and to create a feeling of superiority, which does not easily brook any change in their habits and institutions. It is to this constitutional pride and importance that I allude, when I anticipate opposition from the habits of thinking which prevail among some of those classes of men to whom these observations are addressed; for nothing is likely to be so ill received by them as an allusion to supposed defects and imperfections, except, pervoi.. r. 82

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