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ishing the number of capital crimes, and thus to reduce the number of capital punishments, were born with the same number and kind of faculties,-though doubtless differing greatly in proportion and in activity,—with a company of Battas islanders, on the opposite side of the globe, who, perhaps at the same time, may be going to attend the holiday rites of a public execution, and, as is their wont, to dine on the criminal. As each human face has the same number of features, each human body the same number of limbs, muscles, organs, &c., so each human soul has the same capacities of Reason, Conscience, Hope, Fear, Love, Self-lore, &c. The differences lie in the relative strength and supremacy of these powers. The human eye is composed of about twenty distinct parts or pieces; yet these constituent parts are so differently arranged that one man is far-sighted, another near-sighted. When an oculist has mastered a knowledge of one eye, he knows the general plan upon which all eyes have been formed; but he must still learn the peculiarities of each, or, in his practice, he will ruin all he touches.* When a surgeon, or an assassin, kuows where one man's heart is, he knows, substantially, where the hearts of all other men may be found. And so of the mind and its faculties. It is because of this community of original endowments, that all the great works of nature, and art, and science, address a common susceptibility or capacity, existing in all minds. It is because of this kindred nature that the same earth is given to us all, as a common residence. The possession by each of his complement of powers and susceptibilities, confers the common nature, while the different portions or degrees in which they exist, and the predominance of one or a few over the others, break us up into moral and intellectual classes. It is impossible to vindicate the propriety of making or of carrying a Revelation to the whole human race, unless that race has common capacities and wants to which the revelation is adapted. And hence we learn the appalling truth,-a truth which should strike " loud on the heart as thunder on the ear,”-that every child born into this world has tendencies and susceptibilities pointing to the furthest extremes of good and evil. Each one has the capacity of immeasurable virtue or vice. As each body has an immensity of natural space open all around it, so each spirit, when waked into life, has an immensity of moral space open all around it. Each soul has a pinion by which it may soar to the highest empyrean, or swoop downward to the Tartarean abyss. In the feeblest voice of infancy, there is a tone which can be made to pour a sweeter melody into the symphonies of angels, or thunder a harsher discord through the blasphemies of demons. To plume these wings for an upper or a nether flight; to lead these voices forth into harmony or dissonance; to woo these beings to go where they should go, and to be what they should be,--does it, or does it not, my friends, require some knowledge, some anxious forethought, some enlightening preparation 1
You must pardon me, if on this subject I speak to you with great plainness; and you must allow me to appeal directly to your own course of conduct in other things. You have property to be preserved for the support of your children while you live, or, when you die, for their patrimony; you have health and life to be guarded and continued, that they may not be bereaved of their natural protectors ;-and you have the children themselves, with their unbounded, unfathomable capacities of happiness and misery. Now, in respect to your property, what is it your wont to do, when a young lawyer comes into the village, erects his sign, and (the most unexclusive of men) gives to the public a general invitation? Though he has a diploma from a college, and the solemn approval of bench and bar, yet how warily do the public approach him. How much he is reconnoitered before he is retained. How many premeditated plans are laid to appear to meet him accidentally, to talk over 'indifferent subjects with him,the weather, the crops, or Congressional matters,-in order to measure him, and probe him, and see if there be any hopefulness in him. And should all things
• I have heard that distinguished surgeon. Doct. John C. Warren, of Boston, relate the following anecdote, which happened to him in London: Being invited to witness a very difficult oper ation upon the human eye, by a celebrated English oculist, he was so much struck by the skill and science which were exhibited by the operator, that he sought a private interview with him, to inquire by what means he had become so accomplished a master of his art. “Sir," said the oculist, “I spoiled a hat-full of eyes to learn it." Thus it is with incompetent teachers; they may spoil schoolroom-full of children to learn how to teach,-and perhaps may not always learn even then.
promise favorably, the young attorney is intrusted, in the first instance, only with some outlawed note, or some doubtful account, before a justice of the peace. No man ever thinks of trusting a case which involves the old homestead, to his inexperienced hands. He would as soon set fire to it.
So, too, of a young physician. No matter from what medical college, home or foreign, he may bring his credentials. From day to day the neighbors watch him without seeming to look at him. In good-wives' parties, the question is confidentially discussed, whether, in a case of exigency, it would be safe to send for him. And when, at last, he is gladdened with a call, it is only to look at some surface ailment, or to pother a little about the extremities. Nobody allows him to lay his unpracticed hand upon the vitals. Now this common sentiment, this common practice of mankind,-is only the instinctive dictate of prudence. It is only a tacit recognition of a truth. felt by all sensible men, that there are a thousand ways to do a thing wrong, but only one to do it right. And if it be but reasonable to exercise such vigilance and caution, in electing a healer for our bodies which perish, or a counselor for our worldly estates, who shall assign limits to the circumspection and fidelity with which the teachers of our children should be chosen, who, in the space of a few short years, or even months, will determine, as by a sort of predestination, upon 80 much of their future fortunes and destiny?
Again: it is the universal sense of mankind, that skill and facility, in all other things, depend upon study and practice. We always demand morc, where upportunities have been greater. We stamp a man with inferiority, though he does ten times better than another, if he has had twenty times the advantages. We know that a skillful navigator will carry a vessel through perilous straits, in a gale of wind, and save cargo and lives, while an ignorant one will wreck both, in a broad channel. With what a song of delight we have all witnessed, how easily and surely that wise and good man, at the head of a great institution in our own State, will tame the ferocity of the insane; and how, when each faculty of a fiery spirit bursts away like an affrighted steed from its path, this mighty tamer of madmen will temper and quell their wild impetuosity and restore them to the guidance of reason." Nay, the great moral healer can do this, not to one only, but to hundreds, at a time; while, even in a far shorter period than he asks to accomplish such a wonderful work, an ignorant and passionate teacher will turn a hundred gentle, confiding spirits into rebels and anarchists. And, my hearers, we recognize the existence of these facts, we apply these obvious principles, to every thing but to the education of our children.
Why cannot we derive instruction even from the folly of those wandering showmen who spend a life in teaching brute animals to perform wonderful feats? We have all seen, or at least we have all heard of, some learned horse, or learned pig, or learned dog. Though the superiority over their fellows, possessed by these brute prodigies, may have been owing, in some degree, to the possession of greater natural parts, yet it must be mainly attributed to the higher competency of their instructor. Their teacher had acquired a deeper insiglit into their natures; his sagacious practice had discovered the means by which their talents could be unfolded and brought out. However unworthy and even contemptible, therefore, the mere trainer of a dog may be, yet he illustrates a great principle. By showing us the superiority of a well-trained dog, he shows what might be the superiority of a well-trained child. He shows us that higher acquisitions.—what may be called academnical attainments,-in a few favored individuals of the canine race, are not so much the results of a more brilliant genius on the part of the dog.pupil, as they are the natural reward and consequence of his enjoying the instructions of a professor who has concentrated all his energies upon dogteaching.
Surely it will not be denied that a workman should understand two things in regard to the subject-matter of his work:-first, its natural properties, qualities, and powers; and secondly, the means of modifying and regulating them, with a view to improvement. In relation to the mechanic arts, this is admitted by all. Every body knows that the strength of the blow must be adjusted to the mal. leability of the metal. It will not do to strike glass and fint either with the same force or with the same implements; and the proper instrument will never be selected by a person ignorant of the purpose to be effected by its use. If a
man working on wood mistakes it for iron, and attempts to soften it in the fire, bis product is--ashes. And so if a teacher supposes a child to have but one tendency and one adaptation when he has many ;-if a teacher treats a child as though his nature were wholly animal, or wholly intellectual, or wholly moral and religious, he disfigures and mutilates the nature of that child, and wrenches his whole structure into deformity.
The being, Man, is more complex and diversified in constitution, and more variously endowed in faculties, than any other earthly work of the Creator. It is in this assemblage of powers and prerogatives that his strength and majesty reside. They constitute his sovereignty and lordship over the creation around him. By our bodily organization we are adapted to the material world in which We are placed ;-our eye to the light, which makes known to us every change in the form, motion, color, position, of all objects within visual range ;-our ear and tongue to the air, which flows around us in silence, yet is forever ready to be waked into voice and music ;-our hand to all the cunning works of art which subserve utility or embellishment. Still more wonderfully does the spiritual nature of man befit his spiritual relations. Whatever there is of law, of order, of duty, in the works of God, or in the progressive conditions of the race, all have their spiritual counterparts within him. By his perceptive and intellectual faculties he learns the properties of created things, and discovers the laws by which they are governed. By tracing the relation between causes and effects, he acquires a kind of prophetic vision and power; for, by conforming to the unchanging laws of Nature, he enlists her in his service, and she works with him in fulfilling his predictions. Regarded as an individual, and as a member of a race which reproduces itself and passes away, his lower propensities,—those which he holds in common with the brutes,-are the instincts and means to preserve himself and to perpetuate his kind; while by his tastes, and by the social, moral, and religious sentiments of which he is capable, he is attuned to all the beauties and sublimities of creation, his heart is made responsive to all the delights of friendship and domestic affection, and he is invited to bold that spiritual intercourse with his Maker, which at once strengthens and enraptures.
Now the voice of God and of Nature declares audibly which of these various powers within us are to command, and which are to obey; and with which, in every questionable case, resides the ultimate arbitrament. Even the lowest propensities are not to be wholly extirpated. Within the bounds prescribed by the social and the divine law, they have their rightful claims. But the moral and the religious sentiments,-Benevolence, Conscience, Reverence for the Allcreating and All-bestowing Power,-these have the prerogative of supremacy and absolute dominion. These are to walk the halls of the soul, like a god, nor suffer rebellion to live under their eye. Yet how easy for this many-gifted being to fall,-more easy, indeed, because of his many gifts. Some subject-faculty, some subordinate power, in the spiritual realm, unfortunately inflamed, or, what is far more common,-unwisely stimulated by an erroneous education, grows importunate, exorbitant, aggrandizes itself, encroaches upon its fellowfaculties, until, at last, obtaining the mastery, it subverts the moral order of the soul, and wages its parricidal war against the sovereignty of conscience within, and the laws of society and of Heaven without. And how unspeakably dreadful are the retributions which come in the train of these remorseless usurpers, when they obtain dominion over the soul! Take, for instance, the earliest-developed, the most purely selfish and animal appetite that belongs to us,—that for nourishing beverage. It is the first which demands gratification after birth. Subjected to the laws of temperance, it will retain its zest, fresh and genial, for threescore years and ten, and it affords the last corporal solace upon earth to the parched lips of the dying man. Yet, if the possessor of this same pleasure-giving appetite shall be incited, either by examples of inordinate indulgence, or by festive songs in praise of the vine and the wine-cup, to inflame it, and to feed its deceitful fires, though but for the space of a few short years, then the spell of the sorcerer will be upon him ; and, day by day, he will go and cast himself into the fiery furnace which he has kindled;-nor himself, the pitiable victim, alone, but he will seize upon parents and wife and his group of innocent children, and plunge with them all into the seething hell of intemperance.
So there is, in human nature, an innate desire of acquiring property-of owning something of using the possessives my and mine. Within proper limits, this instinct is laudably indulged. Its success affords a pleasure in which reason can take a part. It stimulates and strengthens many other faculties. It makes us thoughtful and fore-thoughtful. It is the parent of industry and frugality, and industry and frugality, as we all know, are blood-relations to the whole family of the virtues. But to the eye and heart of one in whom this love of acquisition has become absorbing and insane, all the diversified substances in creation are reduced to two classes, that which is gold, and that which is not;—and all the works of Nature are valued or despised, and the laws and institutions of society upheld or assailed, as they are supposed to be favorable or unfavorable to the acquisition of wealth. Whether at home or abroad, in the festive circle or in the funeral train; whether in hearing the fervid and thrilling appeals of the sanctuary, or the pathos of civic eloquence, one idea alone,-that of money, money, money,--holds possession of the miser's soul ; its voice rings forever in his ear; and were he in the garden of Eden,-its beauty, and music, and perfume suffusing all his senses,—his only thought would be, how much money it would bring! Such mischief comes from giving supremacy to a subordinate, though an essential and highly useful faculty. This mischief, to a greater or less extent, parents and teachers produce, when, through an ignorance of the natural and appropriate methods of inducing children to study, they hire them to learn by the oifer of pecuniary rewards.
So, too, we all have an innate love for whatever is beautiful;-a sentiment that yearns for higher and higher degrees of perfection in the arts, and in the embellishments of life,-a feeling which would prompt us to "gild refined gold, to paint the lily, to throw a perfume on the violet, and add another hue unto the rainbow." Portions of the external world have been exquisitely adapted to this inborn love of the beautiful, by Him who has so clothed the lilies of the field that they outshine Solomon in all his glory. This sentiment may be too much or too little cultivated :-so little as to make us disdain gratifications that are at once innocent and pure; or so much as to over-refine us into a hateful fastidiousness. In the works of nature, beauty is generally, if not always, subordinated to utility. In cases of incompatibility, gracefulness yields to strength, not strength to gracefulness. How would the rising sun mock us with his splendor, if he brought no life or warmth in his beams! The expectation of autumnal harvests enhances the beauty of vernal bloom. These manifestations of nature admonish us respecting the rank which ornament or accomplishment should hold in the character and in the works of men; and, of course, in the education of children. Christ referred occasionally to the beauties and charms of nature, but dwelt per petually upon the obligations of duty and charity. But what opposite and grievous offenses are committed on this subject by different portions of society! The laboring classes, by reason of early parental neglect in cultivating a love for the beautiful, often forego pleasures which a bountiful Providence scatters profusely and gratuitously around them, and strews beneath their feet; while there is a class of persons at the other extremity of the social scale, who, from never comprehending the immeasurable value of the objects for which they were created, and the vast beneficence of which, from their wealth and station, they are capable, actually try every thing, however intrinsically noble or sacred, by some conventional law of fashion, by some arbitrary and capricious standard of elegance. In European society, this class of " fashionables" is numerous. They have their imitators here,-beings, who are not men and women, but similitudes only,—who occupy the vanishing point in the perspective of society, where all that is true, or noble, or estimable in human nature, fades away into nothing. With this class it is no matter what a man does with the “ Ten Commandments," prorided he keeps those of Lord Chesterfield; and, in their society, Beau Brum. mel would take precedence of Dr. Franklin.
In a Report lately made by the Agricultural Commissioner for the survey of this Commonwealth, I noticed a statement respecting some farmers in the northern part of the county of Essex, who attempted to raise sun-flowers for the purpose of extracting oil from the seeds. Twenty bushels to the acre was the largest crop raised by any one. Six bushels of the seed yielded but one gallon of oil, worth, in the market, one dollar and seventeen cents only. It surely re. quired no great boldness to assert that the experiment did not succeed :-cultivation, one acre: product, three gallons of oil; value, three dollars and fifty cents !-which would, perhaps, about half repay the cost of labor. Woe to the farmer who seeks for independence by raising sun-flowers! Ten times woe to the parents who rear up sun-flower sons or sun-flower daughters,-instead of sons whose hearts glow and burn with an immortal zeal to run the noble career of usufulness and virtue which a happy fortune has laid open before them;-instead of daughters who cherish such high resolves of duty as lift them even above an enthusiasm for greatness, into those loftier and serene regions where greatness comes not from excitement, but is native, and ever-springing and ever-abiding. Every son, whatever may be his expectations as to fortune, ought to be so educated that he can superintend some part of the complicated machinery of social life; and every daughter ought to be so educated that she can answer the claims of humanity, whether those claims require the labor of the head or the labor of the hand. Every daughter ought to be so trained that she can bear, with dignity and self-sustaining ability, those revolutions in Fortune's wheel, which sometimes bring the kitchen up and turn the parlor down.
Again; we have a natural, spontaneous feeling of self-respect, an innate sense that, simply in our capacity as human beings, we are worth something, and entitled to some consideration. This principle constitutes the interior frame-work of some of the virtues, veiled, indeed, by their own beautiful covering, but still necessary in order to keep them in an erect posture, amidst all the overbearing currents and forces of the world. Where this feeling of self-respect exists too weakly, the whole character becomes limber, flaccid, impotent, sinks under the menace of opposition, and can be frightened out of any thing or into any thing. On the other hand, when this propensity aggrandizes itself, and becomes swollen and deformed with pride, and conceit, and intolerance, it is a far more offensive nuisance than many of those which the law authorizes us to abate, summarily, by force and arms. Our political institutions are a rich alluvium for the growth of self-esteem; for, while every body knows that there are the greatest differences between men in point of honesty, of ability, of will to do good and to promote right, yet our fundamental laws,-and rightly too,-ordain a political equality. But what is not right is, that the political equality is the fact mainly regarded, while there is a tendency to disregard the intellectual and moral inequalities. And thus a faculty, designed to subserve, and capable of subserving the greatest good, engenders a low ambition, and fills the land with the warwhoop of party strife.
These are specimens only of a long list of original tendencies or attributes of the human mind, from a more full enumeration and exposition of which, I must, on this occasion, refrain. But have not enough been referred to, to authorize us to assert the general doctrine, that every teacher ought to have some notions, clear, definite, and comprehensive, of the manifold powers,—the various nature, of the beings confided to his bands, so that he may repress the redundancy of a too luxuriant growth, and nourish the feeble with his fostering care ? No idea can be more erroneous than that children go to school to learn the rudiments of knowledge only, and not to form character. The character of children is always forming. No place, no companion is without an influence upon it; and at school it is formed more rapidly than any where else. The mere fact of the presence of so many children together, puts the social or dissocial nature of each into fervid action. To be sent to school, especially in the country, is often as great an event in a child's life, as it is, in his father's, to be sent to the General Court: and we all know with what unwonted force all things affect the mind, in new places and under new circumstances. Every child, too, when he first goes to school, understands that he is put upon his good behavior; and, with man or child, it is a very decisive thing, and reaches deep into character and far into futurity, when put upon his good behavior, to prove recreant. Now, teachers take children under their care, as it were, during the first warm days of the spring of life, when more can be done toward directing their growth and modifying their dispositions, than can be done in years, at a later season of their existence.
Equally indispensable is it, that every teacher should know, by wbat means, by virtue of what natural laws,—the human powers and faculties are strengthened or enfeebled. There is a principle running through every mental operatin-without a knowledge of which, without a knowledge how to apply which,