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freedom. We should contribute of our means to the education of the freedman.
Consistently with this, we ought, as citizens, to vote in such a way as will help secure to him his inalienable rights. And finally, we ought to join with all zeal, by word and deed, and upon all suitable occasions, to help on the great revolution of sentiment, which will soon be acknowledged as the grandest triumph which we have achieved.
A resolution to the effect that the Institute recommends to those engaged in organizing and conducting schools for freedmen in the South the importance of employing colored teachers for colored schools, whenever suitably qualified teachers of this class can be obtained, was adopted.
President Northrop then introduced President Woolsey, of Yale, who gave a lecture on “The Teaching of Moral and Political Duties in the Public Schools."
Bishop Stevens, of Pennsylvania, said, I supposed, when I came here to listen to the excellent words of wisdom of my friend, that this was a free meeting, but I find I must pay for coming by making a speech. I was extremely gratified by the calm, sober, judicious, and eminently wise views which I have just heard. I give to those views my thorough indorsement. Those who deal with the minds of children, should, if possible, bring those minds in contact with the God who made them. You can bring the mind and the soul of the child in contact with God through his holy word. It is for you, acting in your spheres, to decide how it is best to be done. But there is no morality outside of a Bible basis. Upon that must be built up all that morality which is to save our nation by the blessing of God.
An education without morality is only preparing the way for another French Revolution. It is solemnly incumbent upon all who have to deal with young mind, with mind that is to be the governing mind within a few years, to plant in those young minds those great truths of God, as we find them in his holy word; which shall take root there, and which shall spring up by and by, and bring forth fruit unto holiness and peace, and the moral elevation of all who are brought within their influence.
There are great and solemn duties resting upon all educators. This world is to pass away; these great principles of government will soon come to nought. But you are to regard that soul as looking God-ward, eternity-ward; not merely as being trained for a few days of probation, but to guide it for its eternal destiny ; that it may go upward to God, and dwell forever in the light of his holy countenance.
Since sitting here, my mind has been much exercised by a thought, and I hardly have words to develop it. You are an association of teachers. One of the greatest educationists of this day — Bishop Potter - now lies a corpse in New York, and I am now going that I may accompany his remains to Philadelphia. The name of Bishop Alonzo Potter has been identified with the interests of education for many years. You all know the grasp and strength of his mind, and how he has labored to elevate the whole educational system of the country. And I have thought how he would have spoken, if here; how he would lift up his voice to second the noble words of the noble President of Yale College. But he died upon
the far-off shores of the Pacific; his body has been brought here, and it is my duty, as his successor in the episcopacy he has exercised for the last twenty years, to coinmit the remains to the dust, there to await the resurrection of the last day. But I feel, as he looks back upon his past life, that he will recur
with peculiar gratification to all the efforts he made in elevating the system of education in this country, and all that he did in inspiring teachers to discharge their solemn duties. O beloved friends, whose object is to teach minds of God's creation ! I wish I could impress the solemn obligations that rest upon you. Would you look upon it in its right light, you would feel that you need something more than mere human wisdom to guide, something more than earthly knowledge, and that your only and true source of light would be the throne of grace ; that you might seek from the Giver of all grace that power, that wisdom, which would enable you to deal aright with all the great questions that arise, as you have your children grouped about you, that you might lead them, not only in the paths of learning, but to the paths that lead to the golden gate, and onward to the very throne of God.
Hon. Joseph White made a partial report on the subject of West Point appointments, and it was voted to give the committee on that subject, appointed at the last annual meeting, further time, and that they be requested to report at the next annual meeting.
The members, at eight o'clock, visited the College buildings, and examined the Cabinet, Trumbull Gallery, the Library, and the new building for the Yale School of Fine Arts. They were delayed there until half-past nine, when they again met in the hall, and were called to order.
Prayer was offered by Rev. Dr. Cummings, President of the Wesleyan University.
The following subject was then discussed, " Methods of Presenting Moral Topics."
Dr. Cummings, President of Wesleyan University, being called on to speak upon the topic for this hour, “Methods of presenting Moral Topics,” said, I listened with great pleasure to the lecture last evening, and indorse every word of it with reference to the importance of teaching those great moral principles which are necessary to fit for the work of life. I do not think that in any sense, or in any respect, those principles were urged too far. I suppose the great design of education is to fit the young for usefulness in life. And how can they be fitted for these great duties — their relations to society, their personal obligations to God, and their duties as citizens ?
I understand well the difficulties connected with this subject, as to the manner of discussing the subject, growing out of partisan excitements, of political questions, and sectarian feelings. It is for this reason that a teacher will need skill to rightly and prudently perform his duties, more than on any other subject that may come before him.
As to the modes of this instruction — for I suppose there is hardly any question as to the propriety and purpose of it it seems to me it must depend greatly, more perhaps than other subjects, upon the teachers themselves. There can be principles of morals presented and taught. But merely abstract questions, those which refer merely to supposititious cases, do not meet the issue. The teacher must educate the child with reference to present circumstances and present duties, and yet he must have the requisite prudence not to defeat his own purpose, and render his teaching entirely nugatory. Therefore he must rely upon himself for his applications, and those applications must be drawn from actual life, or cases sufficiently parallel to answer the purpose in view.
The first thing is to have right moral principles as to the relations of scholars among themselves. This is one of the greatest difficulties I have met with. There are wrong principles sometimes growing up in schools, which, if carried out in society, would be exceedingly pernicious. There is a laxness in standing always for the truth, in realizing the obligations personally to maintain order and to sustain principles, which every candid child, even in tender years, knows are requisite. But some wrong principles are stronger than these. The right understanding of the obligations of truthfulness and honor and integrity, and the support of all moral principles, is important. And it is easy, from the establishment of these principles, to extend them to the relations of society; and this will give the teacher an opportunity to communicate important instruction, to fit his pupils for the higher positions to which they may be introduced. The teacher, it seems to me, must have prepared for him some simple, general principles of morals, great truths which are laid down as principles fully established, and that these should be fully and familiarly discussed in their application to the personal relations of the pupils to each other and the community in which they live. It is only in this way that deep and permanent impressions can be made. I do not have great faith in moral lectures. The reading of moral essays is well enough in its place; but they rarely have much influence on the conscience.
There is a world-wide difference between lecturing and training on this subject, as well as on most others. He who influences by his daily familiar intercourse, and draws his illustrations from the relations of the young to each other, will succeed best. That child who is trained to the principles of honor and integrity, and the sternness of integrity, can never go forth to be a corrupt politician, norengage in any business controlled by corrupt moral principles.
Mr. C. F. Dowd, of Granville Academy, New York, said This topic had been discussed in almost all teachers' conventions in some way; but it was not brought down to the practi