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THE SCIENCE OF EDUCATION.
No. II. DEAR FRIENDS,—Having already endeavoured to give you some idea of what education truly is, together with its importance as regards the educator and the educated, let me in this paper draw your attention to the mind, as it is chiefly with this part of the child we as educators have to deal. I use the word educator, because it ap. pears more comprehensive, including Teachers of all kinds. The powers which children possess are physical, intellectual, and moral; the cultivation or bringing of these powers into a fit and perfect state is (as far as it is attainable) the work of the educator. With respect to the physical powers, Sabbath-school Teachers have nothing to do with them particularly ; clapping of hands, marching, and other evolutions of the body, would be unseemly on the Lord's Day. The shout of the school-boy, so expressive of his joy, which none should seek to dimi. nish while lawful, and which at the same time is calculated to strengthen the lungs, could not be tolerated on the Sabbath Day. Physical exercise, so necessary and essentially beneficial to the body, is, after all, sadly neglected in the greater part of our large public schools.
Dismissing the body, we come to the mind, the seat of the intellectual and moral powers; that incorporeal part of man, which is “the active principle within, which thinks, feels, and wills." All human beings possess mind; it is the possession of this which makes man to differ from the brute creation. Like them, man was formed out of the dust of the earth; but different from them, by the Creator breathing into him “the breath of life," and making him “a living soul.” We know we have mind, by its operations, which operations at once prove the mind to have power to operate. These operations are called mental powers, or faculties; those which relate to the thoughts are called intellectual powers; others, which relate to the feelings, are called moral powers. The following are some of the intellectual powers : Perception-conception-suggestion-memory-imagination-attention--judgment-reasoning--generaliza
tion-consciousness. The feelings of the mind, or the moral powers, are of two kinds; the inferior, or animal propensities, and the superior, or moral sentiments. Among the former are love of life-aisposition for activity-appetite for food, drink, &c. -- love of offspring attachment to place ---sociality-disposition to opposeinstinct of destruction-propensity to conceal-impulse to construct-feeling of caution. Among the latter, the superior, or moral sentiments, are firmness, or couragewonder-hope-desire of perfection-sentiment of goodwill-justice-respect, or veneration. This latter, when raised to God, is called adoration.
There is no necessity to speak now of these powers respectively, as they will be alluded to, and what may be said of one will refer to all. We know these powers exist, that they are in operation ; varying in their degree of strength; doing good or evil. Glancing at them again, it will be seen that some of them are injurious, from their tendency to do what is wrong, and require, if possible, to be destroyed, or so weakened as not to be able to act; while there are others of such a character as to render them worthy of attention and cultivation. That these feelings are very often improperly manifested is obvious; take an instance or two. We behold a man destitute of “respect," and even insolent; while another will be found to revere the creature almost to idolization, and forget the Creator. Again, in the “ love of offspring," how many parents will ill-treat and beat their children upon the smallest provocation, and frequently even without this ; while, on the other hand, some parents show excess of feeling towards them, indulging and spoiling them. Again, we find one man's mind thirsting and stretching after something, in his estimation, great and honourable ; while another is content to be occupied in foolish ideas, and to grovel amidst paltry affairs. Examples might be multiplied, but these will suffice. Add to this the Scriptural account, as well as the every day experience of the heart, and we find it as a of unclean birds," with the desires and imaginations evil continually, naturally prone to do that which is displeasing to God, going astray as soon as born, and con
tent to live utterly regardless of the consequences of such awful departure from God and “original righteouse ness.” From this may be seen something of the materials the educator has to work upon.
Let us now consider the business of the educator; not that educator who is merely going to give a certain amount of instruction for a certain sum of money; not him who intends to store the memory with - hard words, complicated rules, and ideas not understood; not him who is aiming to produce what is sometimes called “a good head piece :” no! the educator who is going to educate the heart, the feelings-to educate morally as well as ina tellectually-him who desires to spend his energies in the quickening, strengthening, and preparing those noble powers given by God, and destined by him for glorious purposes (but sadly dimmed and injured by the fall), for future usefulness and enjoyment upon earth, and a life of eternal and infinite bliss in the abode and presence of God.
There is an analogy between the artizan and the educator—in the proceedings of each, if properly carried out. The former has to do with materials, some substance or production of nature ; it comes into his hands to be prepared for some definite purpose, or something is to be produced from it. He requires to know the quality of the material, to judge whether it is fit for the end he wishes to bring it to; that end has to be borne in mind during the operations he will make; he will have to rea member how be can best accomplish that end, and cone sider what tools, &c. he may require, and then produce those best adapted for the accomplishment of the end desired. While the latter has the school-room for his workshop, the child, or the mind of the child; for his material on which he is to work--the eternal welfare of the soul should be the end desired and brought about by all the means he can use; the mind or material must be understood in order to operate properly and effectually, this knowledge is requisite to enable him to bring those tools (his lessons, his example, his words, tones, and looks) which are the most likely to effect his desired purpose. There are many materials in nature brought to the artizan not fit for the purpose designed--the need.
ful quality is perhaps absent in some degree-they are marked by too much roughness or coarseness, which render them unfit for the purpose. intended, or they will not pay for the labour bestowed, or the time spent upon them. Happily it is not so with a child, not so with the mind; however it is neglected, however it is uncultivated, however rough hewn out of nature's quarry, (for remem. ber, there are diamonds found there of dazzling brightness, and of costly price, though externally rough and valueless in appearance,) still it is capable of being po. Jished and made fit for the master's use the Lord hath need of them,” or he would not have made them.
The artizan may calculate the amount of time and labour likely to be required in the performance of his vork; while the educator finds that no length of time can be assigned, no amount of labour can be reckoned on as sufficient to execute so high and solemn a work as that of fitting souls for heaven. The Christian educator will not talk about time, except that it be to declare “it is short, and flies rapidly away, waiting for no one;" neither will he talk about labour as to its amount or duration; he may be heard to say, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father's business?" and, like Him who said these words, he will “work while it is called to-day.” Truly alive to duty and his responsibility to God, he will often exclaim, “Woe is me, if I am unfaithful, tardy in my efforts, or neglectful of my charge, which will one day be required at my hands!”
Do not misunderstand me: let it not be thought that any man or woman, however gifted with abilities, or en. dowed with qualifications well adapted to develop and form the mind of childhood, can in the smallest degree bring about those requisites of heart and life necessary for heaven: viz., repentance—faith—and holiness. This is God's work, and man is not chargeable with its performance; we are only as Paul and Apollos were of old, planters and waterers : all vitality, all increase, all fruit comes from God. It is ours to exercise and train the mind; to raise the moral standard of the rising generation; to teach them to love God with all the heart, and their neighbours as themselves. · Dear Friends, you are well acquainted with your du, ties, or you ought to be so, for they are often brought before you, and pressed upon your serious consideration. Let me urge, in concluding this paper, the duty of studying the minds of your children ; try to find out the dispositions of each, and make each and all the object of much care, thought, attention, and solicitude at a throne of grace : endeavour to do them all some good, as far as you can.
In my next I shall present to your notice some principles, which the educator will do well to bear in mind, as they affect the powers of children both in body and mind; it is needful that they should be understood, for in the science of education, as in all other sciences, we must “work with nature, and not against it;" and in proportion as we regard these principles, or “ work with nature,” so will be the success; which, dear friends, that you may obtain, is the desire of your fellow-labourer,
LESSONS FOR WEEK.DAY SCHOOLS.
It is a starry winter night—the long icicles drop from the cottage eaves, a crust of blue ice covers the brook that winds round the little garden plot, and ice glitters in the narrow path where your foot-prints were left in the morning when you passed with your pitcher. All the trees are bare; but a few green spear-shaped leaves have here and there broken the frozen ground, and tiny flower-bells lie like flakes of snow beneath the hazel bushes: the cold stars cannot melt them, though they are winking through the branches, and the little snowdrops can just be seen in the faint light.
Thousands and thousands, the stars glitter above you, like drops of silver in the winter sky. Yes, that broad band of light, like a thin white mist stretching across the night, is made of stars, so many and so far away, that you cannot see what they are. It is the Milky Way. Here and there, in the sky, you may notice a star