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welfare is, of necessity, connected with his welfare. Herein, therefore, we have the needed security.
I have thus endeavored, as fully, and yet as briefly as my time permitted, to answer the several questions suggested by the subject before us. My aim has been to present a few leading thoughts upon the topics discussed, in a plain, practical manner. If what has been advanced shall have a tendency to incite reflection, and provoke investigation, my design will have been accomplished.
Fellow Teachers, - Whatever be the mode or character of the supervision under which any of us are placed, be it thorough or superficial, just or unjust, our responsibilities are always the same-great and fearful. While the multitude of men are eagerly pursuing some personal object, wealth, power, fame, it is our province-humble in the world's esteem, but subline in its momentous results—to shape the destinies of immortal souls.
As, day after day, we take our station before the charge intrusted to our care, and look upon the beaming faces upturned to our counsel and instruction, let us pause and reflect, that to us it is assigned to impel and goveru the delicate, wonderful, complicated machinery of mind; that if any of its parts should be corroded by the rust of neglect, or injured by the hand of ignorance or unskilfulness, it may produce nothing but the harshness of discord, the bitterness of hatred, the atrocity of vice; but if all its parts are carefully and wisely adjusted, maintained in harmony and mutual adaptation, it may work out the grandest achievements of enterprise, the noblest deeds of patriotism, the deepest love of philanthropy, the warmest devotion of Christian zeal, the proudest victories of intellectual supremacy, the mightiest sovereignty of justice, truth and virtue. Let us then toil on with energy, faith and hope. Though the luxuries of wealth, the pride of power, the dignity of place, the plaudits of fame, are beyond our sphere, we may attain to an infinitely higher reward—the calm approval of that searching monitor within, Conscience; and the everlasting benedictions of a superintending, omniscient God.
THE TEACHER IN THE NINETEENTH CENTURY.
BY THOMAS CUSHING, JR.,
OF BOSTON, MASS.
The fact of our assembling to-day, as Teachers, presupposes that our profession is a common bond of interest to us, and that the different phases of teaching, at different times and under different circumstances, are proper subjects for our consideration. Meeting for mutual improvement, however, it seems to me that I cannot better occupy a small portion of our time, than by trying to bring definitely before you some of the peculiar circumstances that affect the business of teaching and the position of the teacher at the present day, and striving to draw from them some hints for the consideration of those now engaged in, or who are about to engage in this occupation. A great deal has been said and written of late years by the professed friends of the teacher, intended to magnify our office, and create in the public mind an interest in our labors, and regard for ourselves. So far we thank them. From much that we hear and read, it might almost be inferred that Teaching to any purpose, was quite a new art; that great and extraordinary results from the practice of it, were soon to be looked for; and that the pleasures and satisfactions of it, were quite unalloyed, and far surpassing the ordinary lot of humanity. How far all this is true, is of some importance to us who are engaged in it. It is also important that the public should be possessed of correct ideas on the subject, that the teacher's labors may be fairly judged, and that nothing undue or impossible may be expected of him.
Let us, in the first place, do justice to the past. That there must have been good and skilful teachers in former days, is evident from results. Considering the means with which they operated, it may well be doubted, if any better or more skilful exist at the present time. Education was not so generally diffused as it is now in a small and favored portion of this country and Europe; but looking back for centuries, we find always men and women of high accomplishment and deep and thorough culture. Do we find men more deeply imbued and thoroughly read in classical lore, than Milton, Taylor, Johnson, and that great army of professed teachers, the Jesuits? Are young ladies numerous, who, like Queen Elizabeth, could converse with foreign ambassadors in Latin; or, like Lady Jane Grey, could sit down quietly and enjoy reading Plato in the original ?
And yet these acquisitions do not come untaught to the most brilliant minds. The elements must have been correctly and thoroughly taught, or there could