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ing to which they may be subjected, and with reference to whom, therefore, all training beyond a certain point is a waste of time and money; a waste of time to the parties themselves, who might be employing it to better purpose in active usefulness, and a waste of money to the public, whose benevolent contributions might be more profitably expended on other objects. In such cases as these the result does not pay for the cost. We often think it well worth while to spend twenty pounds on an object which we by no means think would pay for an outlay of a hundred. On the other hand, if a youth who has been, after a deliberate examination of all the circumstances, put into this class, exhibit such promising talents, and make such a rapid progress as to justify the belief that he would repay the cost of a more protracted education, it were easy to draft him into an institution of higher character, upon the supposition that different colleges devoted themselves to the two different objects, or into the higher classes of the same institution, upon the supposition that the two objects were carried on in combination under the same roof.
In order to give the greatest possible efficiency to this plan, and to make both classes of students as useful as possible, we would have a severe judgment exercised in the first instance on the probable success of every candidate who aspires to the exercise of the ministry amongst us; and that not merely in reference to his religious character (which we rejoice to say has always been the case), but to his mental qualifications. In addition to those indications of piety which have always been so justly demanded by our colleges, as an indispensable pre-requisite to entertaining the remotest application of this nature (and this in our opinion constitutes the peculiar glory of the Dissenting ministry), we would have at least one of two other qualifications absolutely insisted upon in every case; either striking talents to make amends for the lack of early advantages, or great previous advantages to make amends for feeble talents. Without one or the other of these, no one whatever should be encouraged to aspire to an office so arduous and so responsible. This is alike demanded by duty to the public, to the church, and to the individual himself: to the public, whose money ought to be expended only where it is likely to realize the objects for which it is contributed; to the church, because its interests are not likely to be promoted by a feeble and inefficient ministry; and to the individual himself, because, if he is thrust into the ministry destitute alike of talents and of knowledge, he is taken out of a sphere of life in which he might have been humbly useful, and is thrown into one in which he cannot be of much use to others, and inevitably insures his own misery.
Respectability in a private station, oftentimes considerable property, and therefore valuable influence, may be acquired with very little knowledge and very slender talents; respectability
in the ministry never can. In many such cases, therefore, the sole talent has been taken away, and the church as well as the individual has been a loser. A minister of very feeble capacity, and oppressed by poverty, is but a poor exchange for a private Christian of the same slender capacity, possessed of the influence which business, and perhaps considerable wealth may command. A guinea acquired by honest trade, and freely spent in the cause of Christ, is in our opinion of at least as much worth to the church as a very bad sermon. It is our painful conviction that in times past our colleges have not been sufficiently cautious on this point, and hence that most distressing spectacle, not infrequently seen, of men of unimpeachable excellence of character struggling through life with overwhelming poverty, because they really bave not the power to attract or retain a congregation that can adequately support them.
On those students who shall be deemed, from their comparative youth (and who have therefore plenty of time before them), from early advantages, and from other circumstances, likely to derive the fullest benefit from it, we would then bestow a thorough education, giving them never less than six years, two of them to be devoted exclusively to science and literature, one partly to these, and partly to the elementary studies of theology, and three years' exclusively tỏ theology. If they have already pursued science and literature up to the requisite point at colleges dedicated to secular learning, they might be admitted at once to the Theological course, which even in that case should, in our opinion, be never less than four years. We shall speak of the intellectual advantages likely to be secured by such a protracted course of study by and bye. We shall here only advert to one point which we are persuaded has been far too much overlooked. We consider that one great advantage of this prolonged course of study would be, that the student who enters upon it, even though he commenced it young, would never be permitted to assume the responsibilities of the pastoral office before he had arrived at something like manhood of intellect and maturity of judgment; before he had attained some experience of human nature, and some insight into his own character; before the impetuosity of youth was softened down, and the powers of reflection developed. "It seems to be imagined by many, that the sole task of tutors is to infuse into the mind of the ministerial candidate sufficient knowledge and sufficient facility in communicating it, and the work is done; pre-supposing of course the possession of undoubted piety. Never was there a greater mistake. The office of pastor and of bishop implies some talent for government; consequently a sound judgment, a knowledge of human nature, some practical acquaintance with the diversities of temper and disposition; and above all, that self-control which nothing but
ripeness of character, and a little experience of life can impart. In these respects, tutors and books may indeed do something, but time is a still better teacher than either. There is a great difference in point of development between the judyment of a man of twenty, and that of a man of five-andtwenty, putting out of sight altogether the advantages which spring from spending that interval in the active pursuit of knowledge and the strenuous cultivation of the intellect. The rashness and vehemence of early youth are in some measure repressed, a portion of the vanity which is inherent in us all rooted out, and the self-willedness and obstinacy which are almost equally common at a certain age, corrected as we advance to manhood. To us, we confess, there seems something absolutely preposterous in calling upon a youth of one or two-andtwenty to govern four or five hundred of his fellow-creatures, of every conceivable variety of age, temper, and circumstance; to govern them too in the most difficult of all possible ways—not by despotic authority, by the mere brute energy of an irresistible will, but by moral influence, by gentle suasion, by skilful management, by the combination of wisdom and kindness, of prudence and love ;—to govern them also in the most difficult of all matters, those which relate to their moral and spiritual well-being. And yet it is at this early age that some of our ministers undertake the heavy duties of the pastorate! Though in some few instances the experiment has turned out well, the result is to be attributed only to unusual solidity of character manifested at a very early age, and is altogether beyond the calculations of human prudence and sagacity.
On the other hand, we are inclined to believe that in a large proportion of the instances in which an early separation takes place between a youthful pastor and the flock who have chosen him as their spiritual guide, the consequences are mainly attributable to premature settlement. The young
minister then removes to another place, and possessed of more self-knowledge, and taught much by experience, he probably succeeds; but that knowledge and that experience he ought never to have been left to buy so dear. Now if a youth of eighteen be subjected even to the lengthened course of training for which we plead, he is still only four-and-twenty years of
age when he undertakes the duties of governing a church; if he be twenty when he begins, he is still only six-and-twenty, and will any one in his senses contend that he ought to have entered upon so difficult a task a single hour earlier? We have insisted the more strongly upon this point because we believe it to be one of vital importance. If a man had the genius of an angel, and the knowledge of an angel to back it, unless he could also lay claim to angelic purity and love, he should not with our good-will be permitted to enter upon the duties of a ruler of the church, or undertake the man
agement of the spiritual interests of a multitude of human beings, a single hour under five or six-and-twenty years. Of all incongruities in the world, the most incongruous, in our opinion, is that presented in a boy-pastor.
If only on these grounds then we would advocate a prolonged education for the class of students now under consideration. But there are other advantages, connected with their intellectual fitness for the ministry, which scarcely less loudly proclaim the propriety of this course.
It is often triumphantly asked by those who have only superficially considered the matter, and who entirely overlook some of the chief purposes of education, of what use is it 'to stuff the head of a youth who is designed for the ministry, with Latin, Greek, Mathematics, Logic, Mental Philosophy, and so forth? What are all these things in relation to the gospel of Christ? The man is not to teach the classics, or science, but to explain and enforce religious truth. All this is nothing to the purpose; these things are not taught him because he is to teach them to others; but first, for the sake of that discipline of mind which they impart; to develop his faculties, and to enable him to exert those faculties with facility on whatsoever subjects demand their exercise ; to strengthen the memory, to exercise the judgment, to refine the taste, to form habits of close attention, patient investigation, and continuous thought, in relation to any subject which may come before him. The proper object of a thorough general education, as Dr. Johnson well observes, is not so much to fit the mind for any particular department of exertion (for this is the object of a strictly professional education), but to prepare it to engage with the greatest probability of success in that department of exertion, whatever it be, to which circumstances may determine it. Now the above classes of study, pursued under different modifications and to a different extent in various schools, have been thought in all ages better adapted to this great end of general discipline than any others, and all experience confirms the judgment. If there were any others that would answer the purpose equally well, they would have equal claims to be chosen, but then the objection if it were valid at all, would equally apply to these also, for they must be equally alien from pursuits strictly professional, and would be selected not with a view to them, but to the great object of mental training. It little matters whether this mental discipline be imparted, as is generally the case with students for the ministry, in the very same institution, in which the strictly professional education is also given, or whether in a separate school or college. It must be imparted some where and in some way. Thus it is we act with boys and with young men who are designed for any department of professional life, and
even with those who are designed for any common business. A boy is sent to school to learn grammar, arithmetic, perhaps to acquire some knowledge of Latin and Greek, and the elements of the mathematics, the greatest part of all which in nine cases out of ten, has little or no relation to the business to which he is to be apprenticed, and in which he is to spend the strength of his days. Nay, almost all that he learnt at school he may perchance forget, and in the greater number of instances it is actually forgotten within a couple of years of his leaving it. Why then do we act thus? Why is a boy sent to school to learn much that shall have little or no relation to the occupation for which he is designed, and nine-tenths of which he will shortly cease to remember? To exercise and develop the powers of his mind, to be sure ; to impart that facility of using his faculties, and that general knowledge, which could not so well be acquired any where else or by any other means. This is the reason; and we should assuredly laugh at any man who acted in defiance of it. We should condemn even a butcher, who instead of sending his son to school at seven years of age, set him to learn his business, in preference to the spelling-book and the multiplication-table. Still more should we condemn a medical man, who because he designed his boy some day to be a practitioner, should put him at ten years of age behind a counter, to weigh out powders, and mix up draughts.
In the case of those who are destined for the higher professions with which handicraft skill has nothing at all to do ; in which the mind is the sole instrument with which the mind itself operates ; in which to investigate, to reason, to persuade, and such like things form in fact the great business of life, a more prolonged and thorough discipline is usually thought, and justly thought, to be necessary. In no profession is this severe training generally supposed to be more requisite than in those which involve public speaking. Is the ministry to be the only exception ?
This then is the sufficient justification of putting youths to study things which are not immediately connected with the duties of their after-life, and which, as we have already said, would not be a whit less worth their study, even if every syllable connected with them passed away from the memory in a few short years after they were acquired. There are comparatively few members of any of the learned professions, however sound their early education, who retain in advanced life many vestiges of their early scholarship. Crabbed constructions in Latin and Greek, difficult equations in algebra, abstruse theorems in geometry, once perhaps easy enough, would puzzle them now effectually. But the benefit derived from these studies at the time they were pursued, is permanent, and continues