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wonder, therefore, that grammar, which ought to form a part of every reading lesson, is shunned by teachers as a kind of scarecrow. We shall be no better off until we all agree to adopt some one book-say one that has the imprimatur of a society.
It has been said by some one that nations seem to be seized with periodical fits of morality; that crimes are not always viewed in the same light. Without admitting this for a moment, we may safely assert, that certain principles and ideas do seem to occur in a kind of cycle; in other words, they present themselves at intervals, find favour, and then relapse into oblivion for a time. So it has been with the principles of English grammar. These were at one time considered identical with those of the Latin grammar; the conjugation of the English verb was almost the same as that of the Latin verb. This system of identity as regards the two languages had one chief recommendation. boy who had learnt the English grammar first, had very little to unlearn when his attention was turned to Latin; and, on the other hand, by learning the Latin grammar he was supposed to get an insight into the principles of English. If he turned from one grammar to the other, he could still speak of the imperfect, perfect, future perfect, and pluperfect tenses, of the passive voice, and the subjunctive and potential moods. In course of time this identity of principles as respects the two languages was disputed, and the greater number of tenses, moods, &c., in English were lopped off. Priestley, followed by a legion of writers on English, effected a complete revolution in English grammar and English parsing. New grammars made their appearance constructed on different principles from those of the old ones; and in modern times poor Lindley Murray was singled out as the impersonation of all the error of the old school of grammarians, as the one against whom the attacks of the new school ought to be directed.
Strange to say, we are coming round again to the old system of teaching. Books are now published on English giving us back all our old moods and tenses; and in some cases they indemnify us for the wrong they consider themselves to have done us by even adding to the number. Several grammarians have of late changed their ground so completely, that, having once stripped the English verb of every thing except its essence, they now clothe it with every kind of attribute and accident, as if to show their remorse and atone for their errors by a liberal and hearty restitution.
But these conflicting and clashing systems subject us to much confusion. tion-papers must be very unsatisfactory to examiners. In our training institutions there must be much confusion in the parsing-lessons after a new batch of students has been admitted. They have been taught on different systems, and each is adopting an independent line, and sticking to it with a sort of devout pertinacity very amusing and very unintelligible to his neighbour. Expectation often exceeds reality; and one can only hope that such is the case in regard to the parsing in our training institutions just after the admission of pupil-teachers. One would certainly imagine that, for the first few days at least, the teacher appointed to take the lessons and reconcile differences would either be frantic with rage or disheartened by his difficulties.
But all our difficulties would vanish like a morning cloud if we would agree to adopt the same book. Such a book should be written by one who thoroughly understands his subject. It should be supplied in a form suited to teachers; and an accompanying penny book should be provided for the child. To be sold at the cheapest rate, it ought to be brought out by a society. The writer's opinions only go for what they are worth; but he feels it incumbent on him to remark, that all this has already been done by the National Society. The Manual of English Grammar, by the Rev. John Hunter, late Vice-Principal of the Training Institution, Battersea, suitable for teachers; and the Abstract of the Manual of English Grammar, by the Rev. Alexander Wilson, Principal of the Society's Institutions at Westminster, suitable for children, appear to the writer to be good and cheap. They are the property of the Society, and are never out of print, he believes. They are both written on the same principles; and if generally adopted, all our discordant statements and differences on what was intended to bind us together and make us one, viz. our common tongue, would disappear.
(To be continued.)
NOTES ON THE PROPHET DANIEL.
The date of the prophet Daniel can be gathered from the following passages in his writings: ch. i. 1, 21; ii. 1; v. 30, 31; vi. 28; vii. 1; viii. 1; ix. 1; x. 1. From these passages it appears that he flourished during the whole period of the captivity of the Jews in Babylon. He was carried captive towards the end of the third or the beginning of the fourth year of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, i. e. in the first year of Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (Dan. i. 1; 2 Kings xxiv. 1; Jer. xxv. 1), B.C. 606, and he lived at
least until the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia (Dan. x. 1), i. e. B.c. 534. He witnessed, therefore, the return of his people from captivity. Supposing him, then, to have been eighteen years old at the time of his captivity, he must have lived beyond the age of ninety; having for nearly seventy-two years exercised the office of prophet. Very early in his life he was remarkable for his great piety and singular wisdom (Dan. i. 8, 17, 19, 20); and for these qualities he is remarked by God Himself, speaking by the Prophet Ezekiel in B.C. 593 (Ezek. xiv. 14, 16, 20), and in B.C. 588, by which time his wisdom had become proverbial (Ezek. xxviii. 3).
He flourished throughout the reigns of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors, of Darius the Mede, and of Cyrus the Persian. By these kings he was especially honoured, on account of the excellent spirit that was found in him (Dan. i. 19-21; ii. 46-49; v. 1016, 29; vi. 2-4, 28). It would seem from ch. xii. 13 that he died in the early part of the reign of Cyrus; but whether his death took place at Babylon, or at Susa, the capital of Persia, is uncertain.
The contents of his book will naturally be arranged under the reigns of the kings in whose time he lived.
I. The first four chapters belong to the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Chapter i. relates the circumstances under which he and his companions were carried captive to Babylon, and brought into prominent favour with the king. From verses 3 and 6 we learn that they were of the tribe of Judah, and of the royal family; so that in them was fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah, delivered more than one hundred years before to Hezekiah (2 Kings xx. 18; Isa. xxxix. 6, 7), that his issue should be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon.
Chapter ii. belongs to the second year of Nebuchadnezzar (v. 1), and contains the account of the king's dream of the image, in which the four great monarchies of the world and the kingdom of Christ are portrayed. In consequence of the wisdom displayed by Daniel on this occasion he and his companions were set in places of high authority in the kingdom of Babylon (ver. 46-49).
In ch. iii. is related the dedication of the golden image in the plain of Dura; and the miraculous deliverance of Daniel's companions from the fiery furnace. The date of this event is not given ;* but it would seem, from the fact of all "nations, people, and languages," (v. 4, 7) being bidden to worship the image, that it must be placed at the close of Nebuchadnezzar's victories over the neighbouring nations, i. e. about B.C. 572; and the erection of the image may have been an act of acknowledgment to his idol-god, as the author of his conquests, according to the words of Habakkuk, ch. i. ii. However, the miraculous deliverance of Daniel's companions brought the king to confess the supremacy of the true God, and induced him to grant them still greater honours in his kingdom (v. 28-30).
Chapter iv. contains a solemn declaration of his belief in the true God, made and published by Nebuchadnezzar himself to the inhabitants of his extensive dominions. This belief he had already acknowledged (ch. iii. 29); but, having renounced it, he was mercifully restored by the miraculous interposition of God, being for a time deprived of his reason, and driven out among the beasts of the field; while his kingdom was preserved in security until the time of his punishment was over. The date of the dream announcing this interposition seems to be B.C. 571, after the close of all his conquests (v. 4). He was allowed one year to repent (v. 27, 29); and after seven years' banishment from among men, he was restored to his kingdom in B.c. 563, when he made his public confession of God's greatness and supremacy.
About two years after this he died, B.C. 561. His special sins appear to have been injustice, unmercifulness, cruelty, pride, and self-exaltation (v. 27, 30); and this character agrees with that given of him by Habakkuk in ch. ii. 5, 8, 9, 12; and with the account of his excessive severity against the captives of the Jews, as related in 2 Kings xxv. 6, 7, 18-21; Jer. lii. 9-11, 24-27.
II. The reign of Evil Merodach, son and successor of Nebuchadnezzar, is not mentioned by Daniel; but the kindness which was shown by him to Jehoiachin, the captive king of Judah (2 Kings xxv. 27-30; Jer. lii. 31-34), may be attributed to the influence of the prophet in his courts, from whence he may have learnt the doctrine of the true God.
III. Chapter v. contains the account of the impious feast of Belshazzar, the declaration of his punishment, the death of the guilty king, and the termination of the kingdom of Babylon. The capture of Babylon took place B. C. 538, when Darius the Mede took the kingdom.
* These nations are enumerated in Jer. xxvii., and Ezek. xxv., xxvi.
The visions of ch. vii. and viii. were seen by Daniel in the first and third years of Belshazzar, i. e. in B.c. 555 and 553.
IV. Chapters vi. and ix. belong to the reign of Darius the Mede; the ninth certainly, and the sixth most probably, to his first year, B.C. 538 (see vi. 1-3; ix. 1). In the sixth is recorded the miraculous deliverance of the prophet from the lions, and the recognition of the true God by the king, in consequence of that deliverance. In the ninth is related Daniel's confession and prayer, now towards the close of the seventy years' captivity; the answer granted to that prayer, and the celebrated prophecy of the "seventy weeks."
V. Chapters x. xi. xii. belong to the beginning of the third year of the reign of Cyrus the Persian (x. 1, 4), i.e. to B. c. 534, two years after the edict issued by that monarch for the return of the Jews (Ezra i. 1), and one year after the laying of the foundation of the Temple (Ezra iii. 8). The revelations contained in these chapters were given to Daniel at the river Hiddekel, or Tigris (ch. x. 4), after he had spent "three full weeks" in mourning and fasting (v. 2, 3). This expression of deep sorrow might have been caused by the proceedings of the enemies of his people in Judea, who tried to frustrate the rebuilding of the Temple by hiring counsellors to weaken their cause in the court of the king of Persia (Ezra iv. 5). These malicious proceedings began very soon after the foundations of the Temple were laid (Ezra iv. 1), i. e. about the middle of the second year of Cyrus, a few months before this solemn mourning of the prophet. It would appear certain from ch. x. 13, 14, that Daniel was not at this time resident at the court of Persia. How long he had been absent it is impossible to say, but it is not at all unlikely that the enemies of the Jews were able to prefer their complaints against them at that court with the more success by reason of his absence.
The prophecies of Daniel are confessedly most mysterious. It is not the purpose of these notes to attempt an interpretation of them. It is sufficient to notice the references to them in the New Testament:
Dan. ix. 26, 27; xii. 11, are referred to in Matt. xxiv. 15.
The book of Revelation is full of passages drawn from the writings of Daniel. This may be seen by the following table of comparisons:
ERECTION OF NEW TRAINING COLLEGES, AND CANVASSING FOR PUPILS. SIR,-The letter in your last Number on the subject of the erection of new Training Colleges will, I trust, have the effect of causing Diocesan Boards of Education to cousider whether the great object they have in view may not be promoted by aiding existing training institutions, either directly by grants, or indirectly by raising the education in elementary schools, and rearing up and assisting clever and deserving boys, who may hereafter be sent as students to those institutions, rather than by erecting and supporting new training colleges in their own immediate neighbourhood, and under their own immediate control. The tendency of many charitable persons in the present day is to multiply small institutions, involving additional staffs of officers, servants, &c., and diverting the means which might be much better devoted to the enlargement of those already existing. This is exemplified in the London hospitals, perhaps more strongly than in any other instance; and our training colleges bid fair to come next. That old feeling which led our forefathers to undertake buildings vaster and nobler than they themselves could hope to bring to a completion, generation after generation patiently carrying on the work (and it is to this that we owe our cathedrals, "the glory of our land"), seems nearly extinct; in these days every one desires to see both the beginning and the completion of the works of charity in which he may engage.
But I am forgetting the object which I wish to bring before you and your readers, and on which the letter I refer to has in a measure a bearing.
One cannot but grieve to see from Mr. Moseley's reports, and from other indications, that even the existing colleges, or the majority of them, have the utmost difficulty in finding candidates for admission. As, however, all are for one object, and animated, we trust, with one feeling, it is, I think, much to be regretted that any should descend to canvassing for pupilss-some might perhaps apply a harsher name to plans which have been adopted.
I have before me a paper issued by a provincial training college, copies of which have, I understand, been sent to managers and masters of schools containing pupilteachers, in which it is stated, that sums varying from 31. to 87. will be awarded by the committee of the institution to such deserving students as may be successful in obtaining first or second class certificates, and who intend to remain two years in residence. Such a grant as this would surely come with much better grace from a Diocesan Board to students in any training school who had previously served their apprenticeship as pupilteachers, or received their preparatory education in the diocese. I believe the Canterbury Board is in the habit of awarding certain sums to pupil-teachers who, having served their apprenticeship in the diocese, are successful in obtaining first-class Queen's Scholarships, and I recommend this example to general consideration.
Let each of the existing training schools do all in its power to excel in the instruction given, in the certificates obtained, and above all, in the results of its labours, as shown in the skilful and devoted men whom it may be able, by God's blessing, to send forth to do His work in the Church; but do not let any committee that can spare 501. or 1007. a year in rewards, however well they may be deserved, use this as a means of filling the colleges committed to their care. I might say much more on the ill effects which such proceedings are calculated to produce in the minds of young men, who may, and with some show of justice, think that they are conferring an obligation on the institution which they select. But these reflections will force themselves on your readers, and I will not further occupy your space at present.-I am, &c.
CAUTION AS TO DATE OF APPOINTMENTS.
R. O. I.
Halifax, October 23, 1855. Sir,-Perhaps it may ease the minds of some of your readers to know, that the circular mentioned by "A. C. M." in your last publication refers only to apprentices bound after the 1st of June 1855. This information I have received from head-quarters. I think many of my fellow-teachers will agree with me, that such a guarantee for their continuous instruction is not worth much.-I am, &c.
D. S. M.
PAYMENT FOR THE EDUCATION OF CHILDREN OF PERSONS IN RECEIPT OF OUT-DOOR RELIEF IN ORDINARY SCHOOLS BY BOARDS OF GUARDIANS.
Whittington Rectory, Oswestry. SIR, I think the following resolution, passed by the Directors of the Oswestry Incorporation for the Relief of the Poor, November 5, 1855, will interest some of your readers :
"Resolved, that payment for the education of all children of persons in receipt of out-door relief within this incorporation may be allowed to the managers of the various National Schools in the parishes belonging to the incorporation, under the provisions of an Act of Parliament of June 26, 1855, entitled 'an Act to provide for the education of children in the receipt of out-door relief,' and subject to the following conditions:
1. That each case be reported and considered separately.
2. That the payment shall in no case exceed one shilling per quarter for each child.
3. That the payment shall in no case be made until the end of the quarter paid for, and then only upon the receipt of a certificate from the managers of the school that the child to be paid for has been present in the school for at the least two out of every three of the week-days during which the school has been assembled in the quarter, excepting in case of sickness, for which a medical certificate will be required.
4. That the school in which any child is educated under the Act in question shall be open to inspection by the Directors, or by any of them, or by any one they may depute, in case they shall entertain any doubt as to the efficiency of the school, and the expediency of paying for the education of a child therein."
It is probable that some of your readers could obtain the proposal of a similar resolution (substituting, of course, where not under a local act, "union" for "incorporation," and "guardians" for "directors") by the guardians of the poor in their parishes.
Of course it is to be distinctly understood, that this payment in no way affects the amount of relief granted to the parents, but is an additional aid for the benefit of the children. It may be worth while adding, that the above resolution inadvertently omits the case of orphans, themselves receiving out-door relief, who should plainly be included. The resolution ought to begin-Resolved, that payment for the education of "all orphan children in receipt of out-door relief, as well as of all children of persons," &c.-I am, &c. WILLIAM WALSHAM HOW.
[The Act referred to will be found printed as a Bill in our July Number, page 149. We have compared the words of the Act with the Bill, and find them the same.ED. M. P.]
St. George's Parsonage, near Ashby-de-la-Zouch. SIR,-Will you permit me to call attention to the very important omission in the otherwise suitable prayers for children, printed in your November Number, at the end of the Harvest Meeting of Teachers at Abergavenny.
In the evening prayer the child is taught to think of no one but himself; he goes to bed without remembering at the Throne of Grace father, mother, brother, or sister. And even in the morning, these so near and dear are included in the general term "relations." Surely children ought to be taught to pray for them by name. Intercessory prayer is, I believe, very much undervalued in the present day. Will not the circulation of such prayers tend to increase this evil? Believing that it is not only a duty, but a privilege, for every child to pray by name for father, mother, brother, and sister, I would suggest that a short addition to each prayer would teach this duty, and cause the privilege to be valued in the Archdeaconry of Llandaff as I believe it is elsewhere.— I am, &c. SAMUEL SMITH.
November 16, 1855.
SIR, It is now, I think, about sixteen years since the government of this country began to take an active interest in education. Among their first acts was the attempt to encourage the cultivation of vocal music to a greater extent than had been done before; and for this purpose Mr. Hullah was employed to adapt to English use a foreign system of teaching singing. Patronised as the system was, it soon became widely known and generally adopted. In addition to this, several other methods have received more or less attention among the promoters of musical education. As supplementary to their plans, the propounders, and others also, have put forth collections of music of varying merit, all more or less adapted to the use of schools; yet, strange to say, the want of suitable school-songs is still so great, that in several recent numbers of the Monthly Paper correspondents, to supply the deficiency, have felt themselves justified in offering to their brethren very questionable verses to be sung to the meagre melodies of ephemeral street or negro songs. Last, and worst of all, there is one gravely put forth for "Pop goes the weasel," an air so thoroughly debasing in its character, that almost every species of ribaldry and low wit has been rendered into rhyme to suit it.
Now, sir, you prudently do not hold yourself responsible for the correspondence that appears in the Monthly Paper, and therefore these adaptations obtain only the indirect sanction of the National Society which mere publication gives them. Even this I think is too much; as educators of children in the principles of Christianity, we ought not to call in that which we know to be such unhallowed aid, so long as there is a single strain of a better character. Hooker, speaking of Church music, says, "In harmony the very image and character even of virtue and vice is perceived, the mind delighted with their resemblances, and brought, by having them often iterated, into a love of the things themselves. For which cause, there is nothing more contagious and pestilent than some kinds of harmony; than some, nothing more strong, and potent, and good." The same, with perhaps greater force, may be said of melody, especially when there is any remembrance of the words to which it was originally applied.
Is it possible, for instance, to suppose that a child could be deeply impressed with a sense of the sin of intemperance, or that he would be likely to form a due estimate of "the three great foes he vowed to fight," by being reminded of it or them in the strains of" Pop goes the weasel?" Surely the baptismal vow is of a more serious nature than such an association of words and music would lead one to suppose.
It is only a few months since I heard a boy, attending (in other respects) an excellent school, express a very strong determination that He wouldn't be a dunce!" in the tune of "I won't be a nun.' "" Now I cannot conceive any thing more likely to make a boy despise his school in after-life than the recollection of such miserable trash as this. In other branches of their education we try to elevate and refine the tastes of our children by placing models before them which are noble, beautiful, and pure, of a standard rather above than below their present capacities. Why should music be an exception to this rule? I would recommend your readers to purchase some of the collections of school-music already published. Without in the smallest degree wishing to disparage others, I may say, that Tilleard's Secular Music for Schools is considerably the best that has fallen under my notice; the melodies, many of them German, are exquisitely beautiful, such as will "flourish in immortal youth" when negro songs and all such jingle have long been forgotten. The words, on the whole, are equally well adapted for their purpose.