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By emulation, then, as applicable to education, is to be understood that noble desire to excel, that aspiration after superior acquisitions, which has distinguished most of those remarkable characters who have become eminent in any branch of science or literature, and who have shed a lustre over their age and country; not that degraded and souldebasing disposition, which, itself incapable of rising above mediocrity, is only desirous of reducing others to its own level. The motive here recommended, instead of detracting from the merits of others, aims only to surpass them in the honourable pursuit of excellence: it prompts to the noblest exercise of the youthful faculties; is equally remote from envy on the one hand, and supineness on the other; and could they who declaim against it, unfortunately succeed in banishing its influence from our public and private seminaries, its absence would be speedily manifested in the decline or spiritless pursuit of learning and virtue. Nor does its salutary influence terminate, though it may begin, at school. So long as it continues to operate on the mind, it will awaken unsuspected energies, and urge their possessor to the rigorous exertion of them. Let, then, this principle of our nature be acted upon discreetly but powerfully, in schools, not only on account of its present, but its ulterior advantages.
Prizes and other rewards in schools are but a practical application of this principle; and, when judiciously employed, will be always found to constitute a very useful auxiliary in public or in private education. The ardour with which these are sought, however insignificant as to their intrinsic value, when distributed upon fixed principles, and a uniform scale of merit, ascertained by a daily register, tickets, and other scholastic contrivances, is a proof sufficiently strong of this principle being deeply implanted in the human mind.
Periodical examinations before the parents and friends of the pupils, have a similar tendency, by prompting youth to vigorous efforts at improvement, either to gain a superior place in their respective classes, or at least to maintain their ground, that they may appear to advantage in the presence of those whose approbation forms so large a portion of their reward. On a sensitive mind, this public test of his proficiency will often operate, when persusion or coercion fail ; and as a method of subduing constitutional indolence or aversion to study, such means cannot be too strongly recommended. Promotion or degradation consequent upon the manner in which each pupil acquits himself at these examinations, gives them additional importance, and thereby greatly increases their educational value.
Another motive, which, however, chiefly addresses itself to the more advanced student, is a conviction of the necessary connection which exists between his present pursuits and his future prospects. This, when fully explained and deeply impressed on his mind, in private and confidential intercourse with his tutor or friends, will often have a durable effect, and render other methods unnecessary. Few minds are so obtuse as not to perceive, when this relation is clearly pointed out, how closely associated are such studies with their future destination and advancement in life. At the risk of being thought unnecessarily prolix, the writer will venture a remark suggested by the preceding, on the advantage to be derived from private conversation between the tutor and his pupils. It is a fact well known to schoolmasters, that a private lecture or admoni. tion will often have greater influence, either in encouraging what is good, or in checking evil, than a reward or a flogging; but then it is essential to its efficacy, that it be administered to the individual in the absence of his companions; otherwise, by lowering him in their estimation, its good effects will be, in a great measure, neutralized. It is on such occasions, too, that motives to diligence can be most conveniently enforced.
Considerable advantages have been attributed, by some writers, to a system of pecuniary rewards and punishments, for diligence in study and general good conduct, and the reverse ; but this plan seems to lie open to so many objections, that perhaps it is better avoided, except in cases where all other methods have proved ineffectual, — an extreme case, scarcely within the range of probability. If resorted to at all, it should be with the utmost circumspection, lest it beget an avaricious or mercenary spirit. Experience has long since proved, that honorary distinctions, rather than pecuniary rewards, have the greater influence: but when they are combined, as in presents of books, scientific instruments, and the like, they may be occasionally introduced with very beneficial results.
It will perhaps be objected to the foregoing remarks, that in every school there will be found some dispositions inaccessible to the motives here suggested; but these, although not individually actuated by them, will nevertheless be influenced by the force of example ; besides, in every school there exists what may be termed “public opinion;" and when that has once received a right direction, there are few who can resist its control, or see the majority of their school-fellows striving to distinguish themselves in their several studies, without insensibly falling into the current of improvement.
It may here be added, by way of recapitulation, that so essential is a due discrimination of individual character to the success of all or any of these means, that whatever principle of the youthful mind it is designed to act upon-whether hope or fear; the desire of approbation or the dread of disgrace; the love of distinction, the force of example, or the less laudable influence of pecuniary reward—the remark of the poet, with certain qualifications, is equally applicable to the management of boys and of men; to the government of schools, as of nations ; and with him we may with propriety exclaim
“For modes of government let fools contest;
S. SKINNER. Winchmore Hill Academy.
NOTICE OF THE LATE S. F. WOOD, ESQ. The present number of this Journal cannot go forth without some allusion to the recent death of one of the most diligent labourers in the cause of Christian education. He is known to our readers as the author of two articles “ On Attaching the Middle and Lower Orders to the Church,” which appeared in this Journal with the signature of S. F. W. The initials are those of the late Samuel Francis Wood, M. A. of Oriel, Oxford, and Barrister at Law. It must be noticed here, with peculiar interest, that the last of those papers was one of his latest compositions. Just before it appeared in our April number, he had retired to the seat of his father, Sir Francis Wood, Bart, of Hickleton, in Yorkshire, where he passed into rest on Saturday, the 22nd of April, after two years of slowly wasting health and strength.
It is not in the pages of a magazine that the memory of what we must venture to call his saintly character can be fitly preserved. Something in the way of silence is due to that unaffected reserve, wherewith he seemed to withdraw himself from observation, and to be wounded by praise. Yet something in the way of utterance is due to the friends who loved him, and to the church which reaped the fruit of his willing service. Even here, therefore, without trenching on the province and privilege of near and dear friends, who, we trust, will speak of his more private life for the instruction of others, it may not be presumptuous to note down a few particulars of those good works, the unwearied discharge of which, even to the last, causes him to be missed in so many quarters.
During his college life he was, as he has been ever since, an example to many. He was formed to make and retain friendships of no common warmth, by animated kindness of manner, affectionate and tender sympathy, and an unvarying charity of judgment which was most remarkable. He took his degree in May 1831, and was in the first class in classics, a distinction which he fully deserved, by an unusual union of elegant scholarship, historical knowledge, and philosophical thought, with a sound and discriminating judgment. He was always remarkable for accuracy of knowledge and independence of mind, as well as for the freshness of interest with which he apprehended the merits of the different schools of literature to which this century has given birth, both at home and abroad.
With these qualities, so given by nature, so improved by cultivation, and sanctified by purity of intention and deep devotion, it is not surprising that he took a vivid interest in the struggle which these times have witnessed for the maintenance of ancient principles and the restoration of life to the institutions of the church. With clearness of intellect to apprehend distinctly the points at issue, and with that earnestness of heart which gives one man power over others, he exercised an important influence, though with such retiring modesty, that he seemed himself unconscious of it; yet sometimes by his pen, sometimes by his counsel, and at all times by the example of his meekness, and by the sweetness of his society, he drew men on to holy thoughts, and to deeper views of what was passing around them.
In this place, however, we must speak of him only in one point of view, namely, in reference to the service rendered by him to the various societies which in our day supply, in some measure, the lack of a more adequate ecclesiastical organization. He was early called to this work by gaining the confidence of that revered layman, whose retirement from the treasurership of the National Society was so affectionately commemorated at the last annual meeting. As that venerable person seemed to perform the part of Robert Nelson in this century, so did he of whom we are writing seem destined one day to follow in the same track; indeed, he once was heard to observe, that it seemed as if he was called to take up the routine of the work of his aged friend *; and therefore, though few were more painfully alive to the faults of our religious societies, or longed more earnestly for deeper principles of united action, he was content, day by day, to do the good which seemed appointed to be done in his time by means of the existing machinery. Accordingly, he would spend many a patient hour, even during exhausting illness, in sifting applications for aid, whether for the building of churches or of schools, or for the employment of additional clergy.
In the various committees of which he was a member, he was ever diligent in his attendance to the ordinary routine of business, as well as ready to devise plans of extended utility ; there was no one more clear-sighted to discern what was practicable from what was fanciful, no one more fertile in expedients to reconcile conflicting opinions, and to bring various minds to bear on the execution of the common object. In all his communications there was a peculiar suavity of manner, a consideration for the feelings of others; and, especially, in his dealings with those in authority or in advanced life, there was an unaffected deference and delicacy of manner, which cannot easily be forgotten.
He was among the first promoters of the extended diocesan operations engrafted on the parent stock of the National Society, and, in the operations of the committee of inquiry and correspondence, his was the clear pen to sketch some of the most important documents ; his the zeal and the discretion which commended the plans proposed to the judgment of those on whom their adoption depended.
In how many ways he advanced the cause of education both in London and in the country, cannot now be told; but it may be interesting to an important, and we hope a numerous class of the readers of this Journal to know, that they are in a great measure indebted to him for the arrangements by which the comfort and improvement of the adult masters in training at Westminster, have been provided for. The rising institution at Stanley Grove also engaged his peculiar interest and watchful care. It owes to his happy suggestion the name of St. Mark's College, which so well indicates the true position of the schoolmaster in the church.t
* Providence has ordered it otherwise, and we trust that the survivor will pardon this allusion to himself, for we are quite sure that we consult the feelings of the departed, by so connecting his name.
t" Barnabas and Saul ...... took with them John, whose surname was Mark.”Acts xii, 25. So they being sent forth by the Holy Ghost departed ...... and ... preached the word of Gov ... and they had also John to their minister.-Acts xiii, 4, 5.
He had taken particular interest in the erection and adorning of the chapel, to which he gave a window of stained glass; but he was not permitted to live till divine service was performed within its walls. He was, however, fresh in the memory of the friends who there knelt together on the third Sunday after Easter, but one week after his funeral; and along with his name, doubtless, were remembered those of W.M. Praed and H. N. Coleridge, fellow-workers in the same cause -like him accomplished in mind and gentle in spirit, and like him called hence in the prime of life.
May the remembrance of such animate the hearts of those who remain, that they slacken not in the work to which they stand pledged : and may God in His mercy increase the number of those who labour in His church, and grant them a like spirit of patience, humility, and perseverance.
EDUCATION IN HOLLAND. My dear Sir,-1 regret to say, that in my brief tour in Holland, I have not been able to collect sufficient materials to enable me to draw out a formal report upon the subject of Dutch Education.
I venture, however, to send you, in the shape of a letter, such obser.. vations as I have been enabled to make; and shall feel amply repaid if they prove of any the slightest use.
1. GENERAL OBSERVATIONS.—The theory of education in Holland seems to be, that it is the duty of a state to provide instruction for its youth ; but that all necessary instruction may be imparted, and the responsibilities of the state fulfilled, without at all entering upon dogmatic theology.
2. This was to be expected from a government which does not consider it a duty to recognize the teaching of the Christian religion as authoritatively identified with the unity of the Church of Christ; the Dutch system being, to regard all Christian denominations as equally deserving of support, and to grants funds for the maintenance of a minister of that denomination which is professed by the majority of the
3. The system seems to me to expose its own imperfections, and the great extension of the Romish faith in Holland (it being asserted, that within the last few years, there have been more Romish churches built, than in the previous century and a half !) is no marvel, independently of the question of truth or error, when the systematized force of Rome is placed, as in this country, in juxta-position with the isolated weaknesses of the “disjecta membra” of ultra-Protestantism. And this natural effect of the indifference of the Dutch government to the unity of the faith, must necessarily become increasingly evident, as each new generation attains maturity. While the state educates her subjects generally in indifferentism, the Romish branch of the church is most careful to inculcate upon her own children particularly, the doctrine of her maternity ; these, consequently, are indoctrinated into a principle lost sight of by those ; and when, in more advanced age, that principle is first made known to them, its truthful force commends itself to their