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and children are not beyond our reach. A strong united government 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 our 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 qual. ifying in the light of the Tientsin massacre, the authentic details of wbich 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 attempt. ing, as some do, to carry on professional studies, while in college. Order, that first law of heaven, and which ought 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.
Science records her progress and her failures, and carefully retains knowledge of all, for warning and encouragement, as well as for steps to higher success. Why should education stumble along, with the ruins of her own failures about her feet, with no other idea in her mind than that of reconstructing the same; or why launch out into chiunerical enterprises without regard to the results of bygone experiments? History alone can make a plain man a prophet. Within certain limits what has been will be. In the material world the rule is positive and precise; and in human nature also there are laws which may be relied on. There are experiments which have been made so often that they need not be tried again. It has been abundantly proved that the memory will not execute the office of the understanding, that you cannot make philosophers without knowledge, that a disorderly mind will not do orderly work, and that men can no more perform the intellectual processes of children than children can rise to the capacity of men; and yet, in how many of our institutions for education do we find all these things overlooked, and that to the greatest extent in those which are most daring in novelty as most boastful of improvement. The way by which reasonably to expect progress is that of cautious, carefully tested improvement upon the old. And what is needed is not so much addition to the subjects now studied, as to have them set apart, better classified, and adapted to the state of mental preparation for them. The best results of experiment are to be found where one would most naturally look for them, in the old institutions, which have not failed to appreciate the spirit of the age. In them, among many admitted crudities, there is really a stem of traditional progress from age to age, which is for the better. There is a solidity and healthy vitality in them, which is due to the freshness of the new being ever sustained by union with the tried stability of the old. It is a long and interesting way by which that position has been reached. The whole of modern education is the outgrowth of medieval schools, which were in most respects very unlike it. And much as has latterly been said and done (and in some cases well done) for taking education out of the hands of the church, yet for
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.
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.
In the course of the twelfth century more thorough attention was given to the use of the means of instruction then possessed, by a vastly increased number of students; and ere the end of it, additions were made to the studies, especially in the departments of logic and mathematics, by importation from the Moorish schools of Spain. The value of the lectures and the range which they took grew proportionately. Both lecturer and pupil rose to a higher level and to broader views, as they were prepared and sustained by the disciplinary classes. Still the lectures were the attraction of the schools, and both supplied the demand for intellectual culture and incited to it. The lecturers were the intellectual heroes of Europe, who were the first to awaken the hitherto dormant energies of the young nations. The only subject of which they treated was theology; but from only debating occasional topics of present interest they in course of time expanded their grasp to take in the whole field. Arid and shallow, their treatment was minute and orderly in its superficial divisions and classification, and was perhaps the better intellectual gymnastic for those times, that it had only the semblance of profundity.
The Latin church had come into the inheritance of a large share of the Western authority of Imperial Rome; and every question of popular interest was concerned with her practice or dogmas; and the lecturers, for the most part, occupied themselves with their defence and exposition. In return, the schools were sustained by the church, and many ecclesiastics and pious laymen of wealth devoted their labors and much ot their property to the improvement and extension of the means of instruction. Thus, they were constituted charitable institutions, and that system was created whereby college education has continued to this day to be furnished at a price so far below what it costs.
In the old cathedral and conventual schools the person who had charge of the preliminary branches was called the scholasticus, and the teacher of theology, the theologus. That course went no further, and some of the poorer institutions had only the preparatory part. Hence the common name scholastic.
In a few places, youth were brought together by the reputation of illustrious teachers of law, as at Bologna, in Italy, or