Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

me more tenderly than this Chinese servant-very fastidious, no woman could have better ironed my shirts or made my linen whiter-fond of good living, no cook could have prepared better or more palatable dishes-always at hand, ready, good-natured, willing; no money, no motive could tempt me to part with him.” A friend, used to the best comforts of life in the East, and interested in the silver mines of Nevada, says that he wanted no better cook or attention than he received from his Chinese attendant. Rev. Dr. A. L. Stone says the Chinese make the best kind of help. They adopt at once any new habit desired, are clean and competent; always respectful, and never seem tired out. They never steal, nor do they have company. The testimony of several of the best Spanish families in New York is, that the Chinese excel all other servants. They use and much prefer them for all kinds of work. Their family attachments are strong, and they do not wish to change. Such testimony must be conclusive to all unprejudiced minds. In conclusion let us learn the lessons of history.

The nations that despised the barbarians fell. Greece was the classic land, the mother of the arts and sciences, the promoter of commerce, the instructor of antiquity, and yet proud, and despising the barbarian. She fell before the power of Rome. Rome took her place and strode over a prostrate world. She ruled with an imperions sway. Overbearing, haughty, she despised the barbarian and before that terrible horde her imperial sway perished. All men are our brothers, all are colaborers with us in the emancipation of the world. We pass over the ocean, tell China she belongs to the brotherhood of nations, and her open ports and valuable commerce will be our rich reward. Christianity must triumph. With all her faults America is the grand Protestant nation of the world, and we are rising up to our true position. We no longer wrangle about minor matters, and the hosts of our Christian ranks are becoming united. A stronger bond' of religion and fellowship awaits us. Our money is poured out like water for noble and charitable objects. The missionary is better understood and more highly appreciated. Closely united by commerce, by telegraph with other lands, our missionary friends and children are not beyond our reach. A strong united gov- . ernment at home, we speak, and Turkey, India, China, know that we are a power upon the earth. The bright cross appears in the heavens, “in hoc signo vinces." A greater than Constantine is marching to universal conquest, and under onr immaculate king, a universal Christian empire will surely prevail.*

ART. VII.-The American Colleges and the American Pub.

lic. By Noah PORTER, D. D., Professor in Yale College.

New Haven, Conn.: Charles Chatfield & Co. EDUCATION is a work consisting of several stages, which necessarily differ greatly from one another. It includes all that is due to the culture and direction of all the mental and bodily powers of children, of youth, and of men and women, as well as their equipment for professional life. The style of teaching which is best for a child may be unsuitable for the boy of fifteen or sixteen; and the young man between twenty and twenty-five has reached by natural growth a stage at which he is less capable of profiting by drill, and better prepared to apprehend abstractions and generalizations, and to organize practical knowledge.

Obvious as this fact must seem when mentioned, the overlooking of it has occasioned the principal difficulties in both the theory and practice of education. One plan treats children at school on the principles suited to the college ; another carries the methods of the school into the treatment of young men; and a third confounds school, college, and university in one. Objections may be raised to the distinctive use of these names, and many will make no difference

* Our readers will judge how far any part of the foregoing article needs qualifying in the light of the Tientsin massacre, the authentic details of which have been received since it was in type. A masterly description and analysis of that barbarous slaughter, by Dr. Martin, of China, has been published in a late number of the New York Evangelist.

between school and college, and cover the whole course of education by the one word-school. But where there are real distinctions, corresponding names are indispensable to the proper ends of language. Common usage has, in the main, so appropriated these. And a right understanding of the duties of an instructor depends very much upon the correctness with which he discriminates their respective meanings. The slackness so commonly complained of in preparatory schools in this country is chiefly due to their aiming at what does not belong to them to do, and to a great extent neglecting, or going through in a perfunctory manner with their proper work, and hurrying on to carry their pupils into the sophomore or junior classes in college, to the spoiling of half the college course, as well as the whole of their own. Similar is the injury done by young men to themselves in their attempting, as some do, to carry on professional studies, while in college. Order, that first law of heaven, and which onght to be the first of human culture, is in no other serious business of life so much neglected. In nothing else have the recent improvements in normal and model schools been of more value than in the stress which they lay upon order. Every part of instruction has its best use in its proper place: and all together may be rendered worse than useless by being put into improper places. Many of the difficulties encountered by theorists arise from the attempt to regulate all steps of the process by one measure.

Greater progress might have been made toward a proper distribution of the work had successive generations been more careful to study the experience of the past. Amid the efforts for improvement, which so commendably distinguish the present, there is still too little regard paid to that earnest but much neglected witness. Experiments are made, and fail, and are forgotten, and are tried over again, to fail again and be forgotten, and again mislead some future experimenter. What are some of those great heterogeneous enterprises of which, as if they were novelties, extravagant expectations are now entertained, but the reproduction of what, in a more spontaneous way, grew up, flourished, and failed, hundreds of years ago.

[ocr errors]
[graphic]
[graphic]

both its planting and culture, through many succeeding centuries it was chiefly indebted to the church.

Heathen schools in the Roman Empire disappeared with heathen religion. All that Christians respected in their teaching was transferred to the schools of the church. With the decline and fall of the civil power in the West, the purity and intelligence and energy of the church also suffered. The time came when the end of the world was thought to be so near that it was not worth while to expend thought upon education or any thing else which pertained only to time. Little was studied except what was of use in the service of the church, and, as time advanced toward the tenth century, very little was the amount deemed necessary for that.

One or two extraordinary men in the ninth century, especially Charlemagne on the Continent, and Alfred in England, made some improvements in the schools, which, although they had little immediate effect, lay as seed in the ground, preserving their vitality for a more genial season. And when the thousandth anniversary of the Saviour's Passion had passed over, and the earth was found to continue her former round of seasons, to be as firm to the foot, and as little like burning up or falling to pieces as before, the nations of the West began to recover from the paralysis which had long rested upon them. The schools, which had diminished in numbers, and been reduced to the baldest rudiments of instruction, began to partake of the general intellectual quickening. Dreary was the nature of the education given in their classes, and lightened only by its scantiness. Improvement was at first not undertaken there. But in connection with some schools, oral lessons were given on the theological questions of the day, which created a new interest in the minds of the pupils. For a time primary education continued in the same depressed condition, while the interest in the lectures increased. Youth crowded to hear lectures, without being properly qualified to profit by them. Of course that was an incongruity which could not long exist. The practical difficulties involved constrained attention to its remedy.

« ElőzőTovább »