Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

of humanity, that no arguments can induce them to exert their energies: they remain satisfied with things as they are, and profess to consider it the part of wisdom to wait till a change is actually produced by more active and benevolent spirits—by stronger minds and more Christian hearts; when they will follow in the train, and quietly resign themselves to the necessity of conforming to the existing order of things. Many again profess to think it uncharitable to discover and point out, and endeavour to remedy errors in characters, customs, or institutions. Charity, indeed, requires that we should patiently bear with the errors of others, but by no means enjoins us either to approve or to adopt them*.

* It is time to have done with that senseless cant of charity, which insults the understandings and trifles with the feelings, of those who are really concerned for the happiness of their fellow-creatures. What matter of keen remorse and of bitter self-reproaches are they storing up for their future torment, who are themselves the miserable dupes of such misguided charity; or who, being charged with the office of watching over the eternal interests of their children or relations, suffer themselves to be lulled asleep by such shallow reasonings, or to be led into a dereliction of their important duty by a fear of bringing on themselves

Many retard the progress of improvement by narrow and contracted views, by not reflecting on the astonishing advance that has already been made, and the yet greater that may be made, by a proper application of the mind and heart to the first duty of humanity, that of promoting, as extensively as possible, both knowledge and happiness. That which is allowed by all to be difficult, they consider impossible. Others are so engrossed in general good, that it is difficult to persuade them that, in attending to particular interests, they are more certain of attaining what they anxiously desire.

Those, however, who look back on their school-days as time wofully mis-spent, may, it

momentary pain! True charity is wakeful, fervent, full of solicitude, full of good offices, not so easily satisfied, not so ready to believe that every thing is going on well, as a matter of course; but jealous of mischief, apt to suspect danger, and prompt to extend relief. That wretched quality by which the sacred name of charity is now so generally and so falsely usurped, is no other than indifference; which, against the plainest evidence, or at. least where there is strong ground of apprehension, is easily contented to believe that all goes well, because it has no anxieties to allay, no fears to repress.

Practical View of Christianity.—W. Wilberforce.
E 2

is hoped, be induced to pay some attention to improvement in Education*; and to consider it a duty to give their best assistance in adding to the solid benefit of the human race, by increasing its knowledge and virtue, its real enjoyments and happiness; neither to fear obstacles nor inconveniences; neither to dread personal trouble, nor to shrink from ridicule in the exe

* The want of really useful knowledge among the higher classes of this country is truly lamentable. The first third of their lives is spent at school and the university; and if it were the intention of those who superintend their education, to send them forth totally uninformed upon all questions, by a knowledge of which they might be of service to society, we should certainly compliment them upon their success.— Westminster Review, No. 3, p. 117.

Both in the selection of subjects to be taught, and in the mode of teaching them, which has been perpetuated even to the present day, there is exemplified a most extraordinary ignorance of the very elements of rational instruction.

Westminster Review, No. 1.

This miserable system, which has stood the shock of ages, which has exercised an influence so universal and uncontrolled; which, like other tyrannies, has excited the execrations of thousands, because it has filled with bitterness the most precious years of life, which has so often blasted the bud of intelligence and genius, and so constantly checked their growth, is, we trust, nearly at an end.

Westminster Review, No. 1. cution of a plan conformable to wisdom, justice, and love:

"Their spirits rising as their toils increase *."

It is frequently recommended that young Ladies should take an active part in the instruction and management of poor-schools. In order to enable them to follow this Christian advice, parents must pursue a widely different course in education. The means used for development must be spiritual, acting upon the spiritual powers. Love, in union with Truth, must begin, carry on, and finish the work. Religion must not only dwell on the lips: it must sink into the heart, and become a principle of action f.

* Let the consideration of the universal sinfulness and corruption of mankind awaken thy spirit and stir up thy diligence, and endear all the watchfulness in the world for the service of God, for there is in it some difficulty and an infinite necessity.—-Jeremy Taylor.

t Schools for Education were erected upon the principle of punishment: very unhappily indeed, as punishment, instead of softening or improving manners, tends to harden those who suffer by it. Humanity in time prevailed over vicious education, and a sacred truth was discovered, that man is a creature from whom every thing may be obtained by love, nothing by fear.—Lord Kaimes.

Daughters must no longer be taught to follow custom in all its follies: to surrender their own powers of reflection and judgment to the authority of fashion: to seek for admiration and applause abroad, instead of wishing to secure the approbation of those most tenderly, most deeply interested in their welfare. But they must be early initiated into the knowledge and the practice of whatever is necessary in the various departments of domestic duty. They must be perseveringly exercised in subduing pride and narrow selfishness, the vices of little minds; and be made early and active instruments of instruction and usefulness in the domestic circle. If they are brought up in ignorance of these subjects: if, instead of being trained in the duties that belong to a Christian: if, instead of being taught that the worldly mind is at enmity with God, they are led to attach importance to Fashion, to dress, to trifles: to be engrossed by worldly cares, fears, hopes, and joys: to love the praise of man more than the praise of God—sensual, earthly, selfish passions will gain complete possession of their hearts; and it would be unjust and unreasonable to expect that they will be able

« AnteriorContinuar »