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riority over our fellow Christians; that our success necessarily supposes their failure, and that we must and may desire the latter no less than the former, seeing that the one necessarily involves the other. I think I need say nothing more about this scriptural argument.
The truth is, that there ever is, and must be this vice in emulation, that the boy gains as much by the short-comings of his rival as by his own diligence, and therefore (as all schoolboys and candidates for university honours allow, when they confess the truth), the one is in practice just as much reckoned on, and eagerly desired, as the other. And while the clever boy's sharpness is thus developed at the expense of far nobler qualities, both of heart and head, and the love of knowledge for its own sake is sadly obscured if not altogether blighted in him ; the injury to the dull and idle boy is not less serious. There are in every class many boys who cannot, and many others who will not, carry on any successful struggle with the few ambitious fellows at the top. Certainly the one set, probably very many of the other, would be diligent if their master taught them that learning and diligence were good things in themselves ; but he precludes himself from doing this by the system of emulation. His duty to his boys is to educate every one of them, and this duty he utterly forgets and renounces, in his efforts to turn out a few clever boys, who can be only made what they are by the injury of all the rest.
The Article proceeds to assert, that emulation, or the 'noble desire to excel,' the aspiration after superior acquisitions, the aiming to 'surpass’ others in the honourable pursuit of excellence,' 'has dis. tinguished 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.' Now, this I do most unhesitatingly deny to have been the case; there is not one man deservedly called great, in science, literature, war, or politics, in whom the desire to be superior to others has been the ruling principle of his life. They have in every case striven to attain to positive, not to comparative, excellence; to be great in themselves, not to seem so when seen by the side of others. And the same thing is true of all that countless host of wise and good men, whose lives go to make up the life of every great nation, though the individuals can never be known or remembered beyond a narrow sphere. I know that such men as Julius Cæsar and Napoleon Bonaparte were thoroughly possessed and actuated by this emulous desire to be superior to all other men. They strove successfully to deprive their country-men, and half the world besides of freedom, that they might rule alone over millions of slaves, but I thought that only schoolboys and Frenchmen now-a-days called this greatness. Every thing we know about Shakspeare, and Hooker, and Milton, and Johnson, and Burke, and, in our own day, Wordsworth and Wellington, shows that that though they may not have been free from this more than from any other of the inferior impulses of our common nature, yet it was never the guide of their life ; but, like all other lower motives, made more and more secondary and subservient to far different principles of action. I have no room for proofs, though indeed the thing is too evident to require them, only I will refer to the famous story of Nelson's last signal. Nelson was no philosopher, no theorist, but a most plain man of action, and having to do only with that order of men-I mean English sailors—in whom the most energetic action is habitually called for. And he, when conscious that he was his country's favorite hero, and judging from his own heart, how best he might stir the hearts of his men, would speak when it was most needed, to the deepest and most vehement principles of their soul. He appealed not to their hope of approbation and fear of disgrace, to their love of glory, to their desire of surpassing their enemies and each other in valour; nor to their prospects of prize-money; but instead of any reference to these ‘more generous and elevated principles of our nature,' his battle-signal was, "England expects every man to do his duty.” I am, &c., June 12.
ON SELF CONTROL.
THOUGHTS FOR PARENTS AND INSTRUCTORS. THERE is no qualification more indispensable in those to whom, whether as parents or instructors, the guardianship of youth is entrusted, than an habitual and entire self-possession. No provocation must tempt us to irritability ; no case of youthful delinquency, however it may grieve our heart, must affect our temper. Do we say that it is im. possible thus to govern our feelings ? then may we as well know at first, for we shall certainly discover it at last, that we are altogether unfit for the work of educating the young. Those who rule others should beyond all doubt first learn to command themselves. “Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry,” is a direction peculiarly and absolutely necessary to be attended to by those who have undertaken this solemn responsibility, this momentous duty ; for unless we gain such a mastery over our passions as shall produce a calm and collected manner, we shall never command the respect and obedience of the young. We sometimes expect too much; we are not content to wait with gentleness the gradual development of the youthful intellect; we expect fruit, and when we find that which only we have a right to look for, blossoms, we become impatient and discouraged, and weary of repeating the often-told lesson. And when evil passions and sinful tempers manifest themselves, we act as if we were astonished to find that our children are what the word of God represents them to be-prone to evil and disinclined to good. “ Is it not a fundamental error” said Hannah More, “to consider children as innocent beings, whose weaknesses may perhaps want some correction, rather than as beings who bring into the world a corrupt nature and evil dispositions, which it should be the great aim of education to rectify. This appears to be such a fundamental truth, that if I were asked what quality is most important in an instructor of youth, I should not hesitate to reply—such a strong impression of the corruption of our nature as should ensure a disposition to counteract it, together with such a deep and thorough knowledge of the human heart as should be necessary for developing and controlling its most secret and complicated workings." We too frequently forget the nature of the being with whom we have to do; we forget that the heart of a child is not a fountain untainted by evil ; and when at last we become convinced of the fact, instead of seeking to cleanse the polluted waters by adopting our Divine Teacher's method of patient forbearance and forgiving love, is it not true that there are times when we permit our temper to be provoked, the morose look to be seen, the harsh expression and the tone of irritation to be heard, by the youthful being who is placed under our training, and who is to receive the impress of our character; and though in our calm, reflecting moments we feel assured that our hasty reproaches and impatient demands are not only in a high degree injurious as an example, but little calculated to effect our purpose-the moment of trial no sooner returns, than our impatience and ill humour return also, and instead of the mildness and love which should mark our tone in all our dealings with the young, we give way to a hastiness of speech and manner utterly inconsistent with our profession as Christian parents and instructors. Surely these things ought not so to be-we may rest assured, that it will be of little avail to hold up for their imitation the lovely features of meekness and gentleness which shone so brightly in the character of our Lord, while we ourselves bear no closer resemblance to that pure and spotless pattern. The young are peculiarly quick in catching the spirit of those to whom they look up as their superiors in knowledge, and if they perceive (and they are eagleeyed on this point,) that we ourselves are, after all, uninfluenced by the instructions we give to them, it is but too probable they will neglect the precept, and follow the example. Let me not, however, be mistaken here, as if I were advocating an unlimited indulgence, and misjudging fondness. Let us restrain, by every means which our authority places at our disposal, the perverse, the refractory, the insincere, and the selfish disposition. We must not dare to allow these or any other poisonous weeds to grow unchecked. Parents, and those whom they deem worthy to be entrusted with the education of their children, are invested with an authority which they cannot neglect to use without incurring the guilt of disobedience to the commands of God. Let it not for one moment be imagined, that we have any desire to act the part of Eli. “Why do ye thus?” is very far from being the point at which we would stop. We disclaim every approach to feebleness and timidity in dealing with the bad habits and evil tempers of the young, and we should esteem ourselves to be guilty, not only before man, but in the sight of God Himself, if we could content ourselves with expostulation, when punishment was required. Let the sins and the faults of childhood or of youth be met with measures the most firm and deci. sive. We have not the least notion that children, any more than men, are to be governed by half measures : all that we plead for is, that it be a firmness regulated by gentleness. I rejoice in being able to give my own sentiments, on this very important point, in the words of one in every way better qualified than myself to offer counsel :--"Let chastisement be given-it is often a species of cruelty to withhold it; but let Christian temper conduct that punishment, which Christian principle may judge it necessary to inflict.” And may we not rest assured, that punishment thus administered will be infinitely more effectual than that which is applied in passion ? Many a fine mind has been ruined by the injudicious harshness, exercised towards the faulty parts of the character. The joyous season of early youth has been clouded and embittered by an undue severity; and the presence of the parent and instructor, far from being welcomed and delighted in, has been dreaded as the sure prelude to reproof and punishment. The treatment has doubtless been well intended, but it argues little knowledge of human nature to suppose that the desired effect would be produced with no other stimulus to effort than the cold and heartless stimulus of fear --it is difficult to conceive how they should win to happiness and virtue the youthful heart, who scarcely ever appear before their charge in the endearing character of a friend, and whose uniform system it seems to be to reprove, and to punish, with unsparing severity, not only every more serious transgression, but even the faults which all children possess. If a mere external obedience be all that we aim at, the stern voice of authority may produce it; but surely this is not all that we desire ? -we want to strengthen an internal principle, which shall act at all times, and under all circumstances;—"not as in our presence only, but also in our absence,” is our requirement, and such a principle of duty as this cannot be inculcated by fear. Our stern reproaches and our ill-judged harshness must fail here they can at the best procure for us nothing more than a cold and lifeless obedience, which, cold and heartless as it is, is nevertheless enough to satisfy some parents and instructors. Strange that any should so widely mistake their aim-strange, indeed, that they do not seek to produce a warm and generous affection rather than a trembling and servile fear! Who would not rather see his child obey him from a sense of the pleasure of obedience than from a dread of the consequences of disobedience ? Let us further recollect, that every thing in the nature of punishment, which is inflicted under this influence of irritation and anger, rather to gratify our own feeling of displeasure than to prevent future transgressions, may produce an impression which all our after care shall in vain attempt to obliterate. Oh, let us beware how we trifle with the warm and sensitive feelings of the young! reproof and even punishment may be needed, but it should be a kind and gentle voice to administer the one--it should be a tender and a delicate hand to inflict the other. No reproof, I am persuaded, can ever be advantageously administered to the young, except it proceed from those whom they love, and by whom they are beloved ; nor can we ever attain any real ascendancy over their minds until we have bound them to our hearts with the golden girdle of love. When we have once obtained the stronghold of affection—when we have once learned the happy art of so blending the friend with the instructor, as to conciliate love without losing respect, then shall we have little to fear in the way of exercising influence over the young. Are we not told by an authority that cannot err, that “the cords of love are the bands of a man?” yes, and of a child too. The youthful heart may be drawn, yea, bound with these golden cords ; and this powerful attractive shall produce fruits more sweet and precious than were ever yet found to
spring from bare authority, unmodified with love—from frowns untempered with smiles.
Let us love the youthful objects of our solicitude, and it cannot be that our efforts to influence them will be altogether in vain. There is the greatest probability that the conduct we exhibit will be imitated, the feelings we express will be imbibed, the principles we cherish will be adopted. It must remain for ourselves to decide, whether the almost unbounded power we have acquired be exerted for good or evil ; for we repeat, that the young heart, to which we have gained access, will seldom fail to vibrate in unison with our own. And let no one say, It is a difficult thing to win the affections of the young. Bad as human nature is, the youthful heart is warm and affectionate. My “thoughts," while saying this, rest upon a spot which, during a long season of domestic affliction, was to me almost what the oasis is to the fainting traveller in the dreary desert. Depressed in spirits, and clothed in the garments of heaviness, my own little school-room was as a bright and sparkling star to gild my dark but appointed path. It was then that my heart was cheered, and my sadness in some measure dispelled, while engaged in an employment which has ever proved to me an unfailing source of interest and delight. It was youthful society which solaced me under many sorrows, as month after month, and year after year, I watched over the wasted form and failing health of a dearly beloved parent-mother-friend-companion--all in one. The ago. nizing hour of separation had passed away. The tender mother, the faithful friend, the intelligent companion, has quitted an earthly, for, we humbly trust, a heavenly home; and it is youthful society which again solaces her mourning daughter, now, that excitement being over, the heart knows its own bitterness, and is conscious of the extent of the bereavement. Well may I assert, that the young can feel a warm and tender affection, when I remember how frequently the natural gaity of youth has been for my sake chastened and subdued, and love itself been stamped on every effort to give me pleasure, and to spare me pain. No persons feel affection more tenderly than the young, and when once the instructor has awakened a personal attachment to himself, a control the most powerful and beneficial may easily be exerted, There may be exceptions, we admit—there may be those whom kindness cannot touch-hard and sullen hearts that will not yield to the mild and gentle influence of love. We admit it may be so, because we are told it is sometimes found to be so; but surely these must be uncommon cases. Youth is the season of feeling; the young heart is usually penetrated by the voice of affection, and has its echoing vibrations there. We can never believe that it will generally be a difficult task to control powerfully and to influence favourably, those of our youthful charge who regard us as a sincere, a faithful, and a loving friend—too sincere, too faithful, too deeply anxious for their present and eternal welfare to pass over with anything like indifference the faulty parts of their character. This is indeed a trying, perhaps the most trying part of our office; for, besides the pain of casting a gloom over the sprightliness of youth, we cannot help feeling tremblingly alive to the risk we run of weakening that fond affection, and in some degree breaking off that friendly and confi