Imagens das páginas
PDF
ePub

hension. But the careful training alluded to above, will beget all of these qualities. The memory, too, will be continually strengthened and enlarged by this practice. With every page read, some new thought will be seized upon by it and laid away for instant use.

The importance of reading as a means of mental culture is enhanced, when we consider that through it we acquire the best, and by far the largest, part of our intellectual culture. The ear aids much, it is true, but the knowledge poured into the mind through it, is less easily retained than that acquired by the thoughtful study of books. The lecturer may, indeed, please for the time, but he can profit us only so far as previous culture by reading, which is study, has fitted our minds to appreciate his rhetoric and understand his logic. Show us the person that can read understandingly, and we will show you him who has the power to take up any branch of study that is treated of in books, and pursue it success. fully.

L.

DO THEY TEACH FOR MONEY?-A REJOINDER.

Messrs. Editors :--I am happy to hear from your corres. pondent H. in relation to my article of the July No. in reply to his of the May No. of the Journal.

Indeed, I am obliged to him, if the reader placed the same construction upon it which he has, for I do not wish to be so understood. I must still differ from H., the same as before, and, having never seen Whately's logical fallacy, I am wholly unable, with all my logical powers, to see where the ignoratio elenchi or "shifting ground" lies; and certainly, if I were "to administer another dose of logic,” I should prescribe a slight admixture of understanding

H. cannot fail to see that I was speaking of the teachers of the common schools of Vermont, and I spoke of them as they exist, not as professional teachers, as I understand the term, for we have noge. They belong to the shifting" class—a part "shifting " from teacher to pupil and pupil to teacher, and a part“ shifting" from the field and work-shop to the school-room, and vice versa.

Of the former class I spoke, and of the same I understood H. to speak. Now the point of difference between us is this: I claim that among this class of teachers, which is coustantly in the educational sphere,-educating themselves with the money they earn by teaching-are found the most faithful and persevering, whether they are students of Law, Medicine or Teaching, as was the character of Gen. Jackson, from whose life H. selected his text; while he calls them “drones and leeches banging about the profession, who feel no interest in the school, and make no efforts to discharge their duty, except so far as their own selfishness may dictate.” I care not what the ultimate profession of a teacher may be, it does not change the fact that the teacher, who is somewhere in the educational field, is a better teacher than he who has come up to the "standard" and there stops,-teaching when he can, and when he cannot, doing something else. The element of perseverance is there and will show itself.

The fault of our schools does not rest with the teacher so much, but with the low standard of qualifications which admits everything into the teacher's ranks—the poorer class of scholars who are infatuated by the cognomen of teacher--combined with a narrow minded, penny-wase public spirit, which deals in cheap trash. More anon.

E. C. 20.

Riches.—Agar said, “Give me neither poverty nor riches ;" and this will ever be the prayer of the wise. Our incomes should be like our shoes: if too small, they will gall and pinch us, but, if too large, they will cause us to stumble and to trip. But wealth, after all, is a relative thing, since he that has little, and wants less, is richer than he that has much, but wants more. True contentment depends not upon what we have ; a tub was large enough for Diogenes, but a world was too little for Alexander. - Colton,

CLOSING REMARKS OF PRES. PEASE'S BACCA.

LAUREATE. But my congratulations chiefly refer to this time in which you are called into active life, and the kind of preparation with which you will enter it. It is a time such as recurs only in long periods--once in a hundred years, perhaps--a time when hostile issue is taken as to the validity of the great principles which underlie society; when men are put to the crucial test with respect to their confidence in those principles and their fidelity to them. Of all the providential blessings for which we have occasion devoutly to thank God,—and who can number them?this is the chief,—that He has given us our being in these stirring times. Not that war is better than peace, far from it. All righteous war is in order to just peace. There lies its obligation and glory. But war against sin is better than peuce with sin.-Such we hold the war to be which will mark in history the present time. A war by which the world is roused, by no transient, superficial excitement, but by that profound emotion which stirs the mannood of a man, and discloses how much or how little of it he has in him. The events of a day, at such a time, are often more pregnant than those of ordinary years. The significance of a lifetime is crowded into a single month. You may now see what life means ; what a man

You are called upon directly to take sides. You must do it. You cannot escape. The great principles and eternal truths of God's government, cry aloud with a voice that the very deaf may hear : He that is not for us is against us. What a grand necessity is that, young men ! What a glorious privilege is yours, to live in such a time!

And I trust you will prove worthy of the time. That is saying much, I know. But I also know that the prin. ciples which have been inculcated in your discipline here, are God's truth: that they are, therefore, vital; and that

for.

taking root in the soul they will bear the precious fruits which we have been contemplating, converting a man into a friend of God, and true co-worker with Him; into a friend of man, and his true benefactor; into a good man, a good friend, a good citizen. Take up then into your being, the Christian life ; let that actuate and guide and support you, and you will not fail to be worthy of this time, and of any time, and of all times. Imbued with these sentiments, young men, enter the great conflict, as God may guide you. Choose your side, maintain your post, fight your battle as in His service and under His eye, and your crown and your reward shall be the benediction of the good and the favor of God.

AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF INSTRUCTION.

BRATTLEBORO', Aug. 21, 1861. The American Institute of Instruction commenced its thirty-second annual meeting in the Town Hall in this place at 2 1-2 o'clock this afternoon, the President, D. B. Hagar, Esq., in the chair; and the attendance was very large indeed, embracing many veteran teachers who rarely miss the opportunity of enjoying the meetings of this venerable Institute.

The exercises were opened with prayer by Rev. Geo. P. Tyler of Brattleboro', after which the Institute was cordially welcomed to this place by Hon. J. D. Bradley, in behalf of the citizens. Referring to the contrast between the state of the country abroad and the condition of the gathering within the Hall, he said the teachers of the country caused the present disturbance. The war is a schoolmaster's and a schoolmistress's war. The contest is one between the district school system and the system of the plantation. The one was inaugurated at Plymouth and the other at Jamestown. History will record that the teachers of the country were responsible for the war.

Mr. Hagar, the President, responded that if the responsibility of the war really rested upon teachers, they were willing to take the consequences of their acts, either here or in the school-room. They were willing to fight it out, even on the field, if it could be done better there than in the school-room.

ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT. The President then gave his annual address, in which he referred at first to the large, harmonious and highly successful meeting of the Institute at Boston last year, and contrasted the happy circumstances under which they then met, so far as the country is concerned, with the fact that not a man from the South can now stand on the platform of this Institute and speak in behalf of free education, without hazarding his life or liberty on his return. No one can think of this momentous change without the deepest emotions of sadness. Had the South enjoyed free schools, the people could never have been so blindly plunged into the abyss of treason.

Some of the objections to our free school system were then answered, particularly the charges that we are carrying our system too far, and are educating the people too much; and also, as others say, that our whole system is wrong, being the hot-bed of skepticism, atheism, and all the abominable isms that curse the land; and that, instead of being adopted in other States, it ought to be everywhere abolished. These charges have been made by political leaders, judges and Gospel ministers, and therefore merit attention. These objections were fully answered by reference to the fact that where the people are educated most thoroughly, there labor is most respected and most profitable, there are the richest sources of rational enjoyment, and there they do God service by the improvement of the talents He bas given them. The social and religious institutions existing where free schools are enjoyed were contrasted with the same among those where there are no free schools, to show that infidelity and atleism do not flourish where schools exist. With devout thanks to God for the great success with which He has hitherto crowned our efforts, let us press on in the future to still higher achievements.

DISCUSSION, The question as to how many hours in a day pupils ought to be confined in school, and also as to whether they should study out of school, was then taken up for consideration. Messrs. Bulkley of Brooklyn, Parish of Springfield, Putnam of Boston, Sheldon of Newton, Grosvenor of Dorchester, and Dr. Lewis of Boston, participated in the discussion, the latter gentleman declaring that he would not object to having his child of five years of

« AnteriorContinuar »