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ecclesiastical seasons....... The Christian year begins not on the first of January, nor at Christmas, but in Advent; and therefore the natural course of reading at the conclusion of the autumn half year, would be the harmony of the Nativity. Thus the last religious thoughts with which the boys would be sent home for the Christmas holidays, would be the thoughts of our Saviour's birth, and, it might be hoped, not without benefit. To this course might be added, at the discretion of the teacher, the lessons which are appropriated to the festivals of St. Stephen, St. John the Evangelist, and the Holy Innocents, which occur close to Christmas-day, and always in the holidays. Thus much at least is certain, that in this course on the Nativity, great stress ought to be laid on those three hymns, which are taken from the early part of St. Luke's Gospel, and which are introduced into Morning and Evening Prayer. If we bring up boys to repeat the Benedictus, the Magnificat, and the Nunc Dimittis, without connecting any distinct thoughts with them, or without any notions of the persons by whom, or the occasions on which they were uttered, we have done them an incalculable injury. I am deliberately using a strong expression; for I am sure that the use of stated forms must either be a great blessing or a great curse. If they are used intelligently and devotionally, we come to value them more and more; if we use them without attaching any ideas to them, or associating any religious feelings with them, the end is certain to be either superstition and formality, or weariness and disgust. There is hardly any thing I should dread so much, as lest the boys should learn to go through the church prayers as they go through the streets which lead from their houses to the school, where they know every door and every window of all the houses they pass, but know nothing, and care to know nothing, of the inmates within.
This is hardly a digression ; and now I will proceed to another portion of the year.
There is no doubt as to what the subjects ought to be before and after Easter. Before, we should read with the boys the narrative of the Passion; after, the narrative of the Resurrection and Ascension, each prosecuted at greater or less length according to circumstances. Good Friday and Easter-day should be before us from the very commencement of the half-year; and no more suitable subject could be chosen for Bible reading at the opening of the schools, than some of the types of the Old Testament. If Easter should be early (as in the present year, 1845), this course might be shortened. If late, the history of Joseph, which, we remember, is appointed for the Sundays in Lent, might be inserted in addition, or some of the prophecies of Isaiah, which are selected by the Church for the Sundays after Advent and Epiphany
Thus we have nearly accounted for two out of the four quarters in our scholastic year, viz., the first in the first half-year and the second in the second. For one of the other quarters, appropriate subjects would be found in the history of David, with certain of the Psalms, and in the history of Ezra, with extracts from the later prophets; and these courses would afford opportunities for instruction in two things, which are of considerable importance, viz., for explaining the Psalms as they are used in our daily worship, and for communicating some knowledge
of the historical events which took place in the world between the times of Malachi and John the Baptist. The one of these is important for the devotional use of the Prayer-book, the other for the intelligent reading of the New Testament.
For the last quarter the subject remains, with which I first began, namely, the connected reading of a portion of the Acts, and of the Epistles of St. Paul.
And now I will say a word on some advantages which I conceive would result from such a course of Scripture readings as has been proposed ............. What is good in religion for boys, is good for men also. It would be a great advantage to us to have a series of Bible subjects brought definitely and periodically before us, which might incite us to read and reflect for our own improvement, and for the sake of instructing those who are committed to our care more thoroughly and faithfully; for I am sure of this, that we must always be improving our own minds, if we are to be successful in training the minds of others. This is true of all teaching, and there are deep and solemn reasons why it is more true of religious than of secular teaching... And this method of studying Scripture would be likely to secure the advantage of having it studied thoroughly; it makes much of comparing one part of Scripture with another, in an intelligent and natural manner; it is repeated year by year; and it constitutes a framework to which all the scriptural teaching in the schools would naturally be adapted. This, I may add, would give to our theological instruction the character of being Biblical-of being in every point in the closest connection with the Word of God. And, lastly, it would give it a thorough Church-of-England character; and that not in a polemical way (which would be most objectionable)—not by filling the boys' heads with thoughts about religious errors on the right hand and the leftnot by feeding them with the husks of controversy, on which neither boys nor men can ever thrive,—but by endeavouring to give them a healthy and hearty attachment to the Prayer-book, and an intelligent regard for the services of the Church.
In conclusion, I cannot help speaking once more of what I have hinted above, viz., the importance of our taking great pains with ourselves, if we are to instruct the boys successfully in religion. If a master is not perpetually improving and replenishing his own mind, his teaching will in time lose all its life and freshness, and degenerate into mere routine. A well may be deep and full, but if buckets of water are continually drawn from it, it will be dry at the last, unless there be a living spring. This great principle, which applies to all teaching, was felt most strongly by Dr. Arnold, even as regarded himself; and if he felt that his own manifold powers did not exempt him from the continual necessity of self-advancement, we may well take a serious view of our duties in this respect. We cannot doubt that, if we are to instruct our pupils in the Bible, we must know the Bible ourselves. If we are to teach Christianity, we must be good Christians ourselves, and in practice too, as well as in knowledge; for it is not only true that a class will learn Christian doctrines and Christian narratives best from a wellinstructed and accomplished teacher ; but it is also true (and it is far
more important), that they will insensibly catch the tone of their teacher's mind. If he takes low and worldly views of our life on earth, they will do so likewise, without a word being said on the subject. If he is devout and spiritually-minded, it may be hoped that many of them will become so also.
J. S. H.
SUGGESTIONS ON THE TEACHING OF GEOGRAPHY.
(Continued from page 331.)
In the case of numbers, such as areas, populations, dimenGeneral Princi- sions of countries, &c., a new difficulty occurs. Every one ples, &c.
is laid down with as much accuracy as it would be in a book of reference merely, although it is well known that the most learned man in society neither hopes nor wishes to attain any but general ideas on these subjects. The consequence is, that hardly any subject is so imperfectly or so unsatisfactorily taught. In answer to any particular question, it is no unusual thing for one boy to answer 300, another 3,000,000, and the next perhaps 3,000, thinking that the number three is so far right; although it is evident that no two of these answers can refer to the same subject with the slightest degree of correctness. Even in those cases where pupils take the trouble to commit to memory any given figures with accuracy, the subject is neither taught on the one hand, nor learnt on the other. The knowledge consists of several separate acts of memory, which, from the very fact of their being isolated, are extremely liable to be lost; and even in those cases where they are retained, they are retained with confusion-the 50,000,000 representing the population of Russia being as readily ascribed to Sweden, or Portugal, or China, or Canada. To the principle already illustrated, therefore, (Sect. I) we add a new one, which is the following :-Instead of the ordinary numbers, which, from their accuracy, are composed of miscellaneous digits, take the nearest multiple of the highest decimal number. This will be found sufficiently accurate for all practical purposes. Thus, if the actual number be 7,912, which expresses in miles the length of the earth's diameter, the highest decimal number is 1,000, and the nearest multiple of that 8,000, which we take accordingly. The attempt which is made, then, is no less than-to bring a sufficient extent of knowledge, and at the same time a sufficient degree of accuracy, completely within the limits of easy attainment. Any one can readily test the importance of these suggestions by their effect on himself :- let him compare the present state of his knowledge with that derived from the views about to be given ; and especially let him remark. their adaptation for retaining facts in the mind as general knowledge,
1. Dimensions. How known. The first thing to be known in the natural order, is—the dimensions of any particular country, or its length and breadth. These,
it is obvious, we must learn from books, as the basis of other important facts to be derived from them ; but much may be known by observation and comparison.
(1.) For example, there are two countries in Europe, Sweden and Portugal, each three times as long as it is broad. Thus :
1. Sweden, 900 miles long, 300 broad.
2. Portugal, 360 (2.) Again, the eye will often act as the corrector of loose ideas of dimension; as may be seen from the following examples :
1. America is 10,000 miles long, from north to south, as might be inferred
from the fact, that it is 121,000 from pole to pole. 2. Africa is about 5,000 miles from north to south, or half the length of
America, which might be inferred in a similar way from inspecting a map of the world.
2. Area. The length and breadth of a country known, its area May be known without remem- is, in general, not a matter of recollection, but of calculation. bering.
Thus, it is well known, that the area of any rectangular surface is obtained by multiplying its length by its breadth; as we should find the number either of square feet or square inches in an ordinary four-cornered table or floor, by multiplying the number of feet or inches in the length by the number representing the breadth. But no country in the world is of that precise shape : for we find gulfs, and bays, and promontories, and other irregularities produced by nature, so that the surface is in every instance considerably smaller than the rectangular area. If, in addition to this, we take into account that it is not the average length and breadth that is usually given in geography, but the greatest length and breadth, we shall see cause for a still farther reduction. In point of fact, most countries of the world are just about half the rectangular area, or of the same size that a triangle would be, with their greatest length and breadth. Hence, the obvious rule to find the area is—multiply the length by the breadth, and take half the product. The following are examples of the singular correctness of this rule, but they are by no means the only ones.
It has been tried in reference to almost every country of the world, and it has been found to be more or less applicable, with a few exceptions : Miles long.
Rectang. area. 1. Asia.. 5,000 6,000
30,000,000 15,000,000 2. Africa 5,000 4,600
22,000,000 11,000,000 3. Hindostan 1,700
2,500,000* 1,250,000 4. Ireland......
40,000 Familiar standard Again, much of the confusion of our ideas respecting size of measurement. would vanish, if we had some well-known and easily
* In “round numbers," two millions and a half.
recognised standard of comparison, that could be at once applied. How many times is America as large as Europe ? how great is France in comparison with England proper ? and other similar questions, do not require the slightest reference to a gazetteer, for any practical purpose. Our standard of comparison is ascertained thus :
The island of Great Britain, with some small ones immediately adjacent, contains 85 counties—52 in England and Wales, and 33 in Scotland-and its area is about 85,000 square miles ; from which we have the average size of an English, Scotch, or Welsh county, 1,000 square miles. Again, in Ireland there are 32 counties, and the area of the island is 30,000 square miles, giving us nearly the same average.
The eye tells us that the English counties are above the average, while those of Scotland are in general below it: the inference is, therefore, that England and Wales are more than 52,000 square miles in extent, and Scotland less than 33,000. This inference is strictly correct.
The following are easy applications of the standard :1. The Republic of the Ionian Islands contains 1,000 square miles. 2. The Island of Mauritius contains above 1,000 square miles. 3. The Island of Bourbon contains nearly 1,000 square miles. It is evident that
each of the three is equal to an English county. 4. The Grand Duchy of Tuscany contains about 9,000 square miles, and is equal
to the Province of Ulster. 5. Lake Aral (Asia) contains 9,000 square miles, and is equal to ditto. 6. The Caspian Sea contains 120,000 square miles, and is larger than the British
Isles. It is easy to see that, in this way, a much more correct idea can be obtained of the magnitude of the German States for instance, and indeed of all the various countries of the world, than schoolboys generally have. The following are a few important exemplifications : 1. The Kingdom of Bavaria is 30,000 square miles in extent, and is equal to
Ireland. 2. Kingdom of Hanover, 15,000 square miles. 3. Kingdom of Greece, 15,000 do. 4. States of the Church, 15,000 do. 5. Switzerland
15,000 do. It is evident that Hanover, Greece, Switzerland, and the States of the
Church, are each about half the size of Ireland. 6. Kingdom of Wirtemberg contains 7,600 square miles, and is equal to the six
northern counties of England. That is, since Yorkshire is evidently almost
as large as three ordinary counties. Take a few more of the countries of Europe :
1. Portugal contains 40,000 square miles, and is nearly equal to England proper. 2. The Two Sicilies contain 40,000 square miles, and are also equal to Eng
land proper. 3. Spain contains 180,000 square miles, and is more than twice the size of Great
Britain. 4. France contains 200,000 square miles, and is nearly equal to five times England
proper; or twice the size of the whole British Isles. 5. Austria contains 300,000 square miles, and is half as large again as France. It is quite surprising to see how the areas of some important countries arrange themselves in marked and distinct numbers, which are easily