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of rectitude and benevolence, is the appropriate work of education, as the guardian of human welfare.
11. The PRActicAl VIRTUEs, as Moral Powers.-High among these attributes stands Rectitude—that power of self-adjustment by which man corresponds to the dictates of conscience, as the sense of right, which keeps him true to his position in the moral universe— true in thought, word, and deed, to the posture in which his Creator placed him when He “made man upright.” This principle confers on the human being that noble power of self-poise, which bespeaks his dignity, as a free agent, endowed with the ability, to maintain his moral identity and stability, amid all the fluctuations of circumstance, or the plausible solicitations of evil. It tends to render him sacredly regardful of truth in all his communications with his fellowbeings, and of equity and justice in all his transactions. It stamps his character with integrity and honor, in every station of power—. with fidelity, homesty, and punctuality in the discharge of every obligation of duty. Truthfulness, is, in a word, the one sure and firm foundation of every personal virtue, and the only ground of reliance between man and man. . Without the security which it affords, the whole fabric of human, society would be but a hollow structure of falsehood and hypocrisy, and life but a degrading scene of deceit, imposition, and intrigue, issuing in universal corruption and misery. .
A sacred regard to truth, in all its relations of communication, whether in expression or action, while it is an element so indispensable to the existence of human virtue, in any form, is one which more than most others, is a growth of culture in the soul, and peculiarly needs the genial guardianship of watchful care, mature wisdom, and consummate skill, on the part of the cultivator. The fertile imagination and artistic fancy of childhood, are prone to create a world of unreality around the unconscious spirit, in its immaturity of knowledge and experience; and a guiding mind is ever needed to lead it onward to a distinct perception of the sacred beauty which invests the simplicity and severity of truth, and which renders any conscious violation of it a desecration. The force of truthfulness, as a moral principle, when so directed and matured, is seen in that loyal and devoted adherence to its dictates, which is exhibited in the constancy and genuine heroism of the martyr. In his estimation, it is held dearer than life, no intensity of pain or suffering has the power to wrest it from him.
12. The HUMANE AND GENTLE VIRTUEs, as Moral Powers.-Under this designation may be properly included those traits of disposition and character which soften the heart of man to his fellow man— the sympathy which is not a mere passive condition of feeling or organic susceptibility, but a living, active participation in the emotions evinced by our fellow creatures; leading us to rejoice in the happiness of others, to compassionate them in conditions of want and distress, ... to commiserate sorrow and suffering, in every form—ignorance, error, degradation, vice, and every pressure of evil which afflicts or depresses humanity;—to cherish the catholic spirit of universal charity, tolerance for the sentiments which differ from our own, uniform tenderness toward woman and childhood, calmness under irritating treatment, meekness under a sense of wrong, quietness and mildness with the violent, patience and forbearance with waywardness and opposition and injury, pity for the erring, mercy for the evil-doer. All these godlike traits of disposition are the features which characterize the peculiar spirit of true Christian culture; none of them the mere fortuitous products of a happy constitution of body or of mind, but all earned by ceaseless watchfulness, and diligent endeavor, and, sometimes, by arduous struggles, and none of them perfected without aid from on high. 13. PERson Al QUALITIEs, in their Moral Influence: The Self-asserting and Self sustaining Virtues of the Individual Man.—(1.) Self. respect.—As a being created in the high sphere of intelligent and moral existence, and possessed of an immortal nature, man enjoys, in a just self-respect, a security against degradation by any influence which he feels to be unworthy of the rank assigned him in the universe. Consciously noble in origin and destination, he tends, if not perverted or degraded by habit, to noble action; and if, in the plenitude of Divine favor, he is consciously recovered from a fallen condition, he feels it his immunity, as “a new creature,” to have been liberated from a state of bondage—set free for the enjoyment of a “glorious liberty,” and impelled to run a new and noble career. Respect for his own nature and personal condition—when kept pure from the senseless interminglings of pride, or haughtiness, or arrogance, of overweening self-esteem, or exclusive self-regard—insures to man the proper dignity of his being, and tends to elevate all his aims and actions. It is an element of high moral power; and the judicious cultivation of its influence is a prominent duty of all whose office, as educators, constitutes them the guardians of humanity. (2.) Ambition.—Feeling the nobility of his nature, man, when not hopelessly degraded, instinctively seeks to act in harmony with his conscious position, and, under the influence of ambition, to aspire after advancement, in every stage and relation of his life. This desire may, it is true, be suffered to center on merely selfish purposes—on the personal aggrandizement of an individual, to the exclusion or depression of others, and to the violation of their rights. In such cases, it sinks to the level of that brutal greed which prompts one of the inferior animals to usurp the better place at the trough, and monopolize its advantages, to the exclusion of the weaker members of the herd. But the desire of advancement, as that of progress and attainment, is utterly free from all considerations of relative superiority or advantage. It is obedience to an ennobling instinct, pure in its character, and beneficial in its results, not merely to the individual whom it elevates, but to all whom it enables him to aid from the higher sphere of ability to which he has been raised. To the student it is a most powerful incitement to application and exertion; and in the relations of moral attainment, its influence is a salutary inspiration of the highest order. It is not incompatible with the purest spirit of benevolence, in the largeness of the plans on which it delights to work, and the inestimable value of the benefits which it delights to bestow. It urges the Christian aspirant to “press toward the mark,” “for the prize of his high calling,” and incites him by the promise of a “crown of life.” (3.) Magnanimity.—Ambition naturally tends to generate another personal quality of noble character and influence—that magnanimity which lifts man above the littleness that would limit the scope of life, and fritter away its purposes in paltry pursuits, in trivial employments, or low gratifications, in snatching at mean advantages, or mingling in petty strifes. This ennobling virtue incites its possessor to high aims in all his plans and purposes, and to an utter disregard of meanness in motive or action, as manifested by others toward himself. It overlooks malice and injury, or forgives their results. It disdains revenge. It is a sure preventive of that sordid narrowness of soul which induces man to drudge, throughout life, for the mere purpose of accumulating wealth, or to practice the degrading shifts of a niggardly parsimony in expenditure, through fear of diminishing his hoards. A magnanimous spirit scorns the selfish littleness which thus wraps the individual in himself, and shuts the door of his heart against the natural claims of human brotherhood. It gives a generous breadth to measures of usefulness and benevolence, and raises human activity to a higher sphere and ampler scope in all directions. (4.) Resolution.—This attribute, so important in all the practical relations of life, implies the clearness of perception and readiness of judgment in consequence of which the will is empowered instantaneously to decide the course of action. Hence the certainty and the swiftness with which execution follows purpose, the invaluable habit of promptness and dispatch in business, and of punctuality and efficiency in Jersormance, as contrasted with the lagging irresolution, and halting, unavailing endeavor, which invariably issue in failure and disappointment.
The power of energetic and decisive resolve determines, at once, the practical value of an individual, and the reliance which may be placed on him by others. It determines, in fact, the mental health and moral life of the man, the efficacy of his action, and the estimation of his character.
Many constitutions are so formed that even this trait of mental freshness and vigor, so natural to early life, in general, needs diligent cultivation to secure its due development in particular cases. The dreamy indolence, the languid inactivity, the tendency to aimless reverie and absence of mind, which proceed from organic feebleness, wear the same aspect with the profound abstraction of deep and earnest thought, and thus excite, perhaps, in the mind of the parent or the teacher, the expectation of the fruits of close thinking and severe application—an expectation sure to be disappointed. The irresolute youth is prone to sink into habitual vacancy of mind, indecision of purpose, vacillation and feebleness of judgment, sluggishness and utter inefficiency of will.
(5) Courage.—A kindred quality of soul to power and promptness of resolution, is that genuine courage which man, as a self-reliant and independent agent, is naturally called to exert; and which, as a being of conscious energy and power, by his very constitution, is one of the primary instincts of his nature. It enables him to assert his place in the creation, as an agent intrusted with dominion, to a vast extent, over nature and circumstance, and destined to a high position by the exercise of his peculiar endowments. It protects him, at the same time, from any undue ascendency usurped over him by a fellow-man. It prompts him to oppose and resist every encroachment on his rights, and to imperil life itself in defense of his natural liberty of action. It nerves him to encounter danger, to triumph over obstacles, and to master difficulties. It lightens toil, and facilitates attainment.— It gives to the energies of individual mind and will the comparative force of numbers. It enables man to achieve miracles of physical strength and moral power, not merely on the field of conflict, or under the gaze of admiration, but in the solitary grapple with physical obstacles, and the daring, unassisted encounter with the fury of the elements, when the lone adventurer hazards life on some far errand of scientific or humane exploration. In its higher relations, as a moral attribute, it inspires the individual to attack usurping or even approaching evil, in its most formidable shapes, and to encounter fearlessly opposition and opprobrium, and death itself, in the cause of truth and duty.
Courage may, it is true, degenerate into inconsiderate rashness or fool-hardy temerity, and prove itself but a blind animal impulse. It is the office of education to enlighten and elevate it, and render it a ministering spirit of good to humanity, inspiring it with intelligence, and hallowing it with the sanctity of benevolence; so that it may become worthy to fulfill its highest offices, and lead the van in noble endeavor for the advancement of human well being. Its moral power and value then become incalculable; and to cherish it is a peculiar duty of the educator. (6.) Fortitude.—A virtue yet higher than even the noblest form of courage, is that Firmness to sustain, to bear, to withstand, to endure, or to resist every pressure of pain and of suffering which inevitable evil may call him to meet and to undergo. Along with this upholding power usually comes the equanimity which preserves from extremes of elation or depression, and maintains the moral identity of the individual, the patience which soothes and tranquilizes, and coÖperating with the enduring firmness of its kindred virtue, contributes to that calm self possession which leaves man master of himself, and equal, in his native greatness and acquired abilities, to resist the assaults of evil, and bear the double pressure of toil and pain with unshaken firmness. These arduous virtues are, in no sense, innate, or constitutional merely: they are the fruits of diligent and persevering culture—the attainments of the trained and practiced spirit. They owe their power to that self-education which, although it may be wisely anticipated, must ever, in substance, be purchased at the peculiar price of personal experience and strenuous endeavor. (7.) Perseverance.—Another quality of high rank as a moral power, and closely allied to the preceding group, is the persistent firmness of purpose which follows so worthily in the track of dauntless courage, and enables man, with the aid of time, to accomplish, in life-long battles with external nature, those wonders of triumphant human energy which inspire successive generations of the human race with mingled admiration and awe. It is the same trait of persistent resolution that has enabled communities to struggle, for successive years, for a foothold among the family of nations, and to endure, to the verge of extinction, for independence. The same element sustains the explorer of nature, in his years of solitary exposure and unmitigated hardship, through toil, and sickness, and peril. The same sustaining power cheers the secluded student onward through his labyrinths of exhausting investigation, pursued year after year, without aid or sympathy, yet never abandoned till some glorious discovery, duly verified, crowns his devoted loyalty to science. Indefatigable perseverance, in the