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ings of a dissatisfied mind. And it is to him, likewise, the astronomer's planet-seeker—the far-seeing glass. It enables him, reading the hearts of his pupils, to discern those little points of light, not obvious to common vision, to understand those little peculiarities and traits of character, to discover those little signs of encouragement and success, so cheering and so valuable to him, and which by a doubting, wavering, and indifferent teacher are never seen. : But there are teachers, too many indeed, who do not love their work. It is not very uncommon to hear one of that class remark :—“I would not follow teaching, if I could get out of it. I am in the business, and am not fit for anything else.” Alas, that such a teacher should not understand himself, as well as others understand him! While he is conscious, or fancies himself so, that he is “ fit for nothing else,” it is a matter of deep regret that he is not also conscious of his utter unfitness for the very business in which he is engaged.

According to our idea of the feelings which a teacher ought to cherish for his calling, the schoolroom must seem the most unsatisfactory place in the world to a teacher who regards his labours as mere drudgery, and looks upon them with disgust. It would seem to be a kind of slow, but real, torture. Small, indeed, must be the pleasure that such a teacher derives from his daily labours. Not only is he a loser himself in this respect, but he inflicts a great wrong upon the community. He is without the proper spirit of a teacher, and he cannot labour with success, or profit to others. His work will be unskilfully and badly done ; and he will send forth his pupils infested with his own bad temper, and without that harmonious development of their powers and character which is the true end of education. He owes it to himself, but more especially to the welfare of the community, to cultivate and exhibit à fondness for his calling; or to step aside, and give his place to others who are qualified to discharge its important and delicate duties.

Such is the character of the age, that the teacher has a great work to perform,-great, not only in respect to its arduous duties, but in respect to its consequences upon our own, and upon future times. No one qualification is more indispensable for him than a love for his work, -the true teacher's spirit. The teacher who has it will take delight in his labours, and will be willing to spend his strength and his days in moulding the character of the young. And let him not fear lest he may not be appreciated. A successful teacher of the right spirit is quite sure to be sought for, and to be awarded a compensation that will enable him to devote his life to his profession. He will secure the co-operation of the public, and of all friends of improvement in particular ; will be recognized as a useful citizen ; and will have assigned to him that position, socially and otherwise, in the community, that will entitle him to the respect and confidence of his fellow-men. To such a teacher every valuable member of the community will say, in the language of the curate Nathaniel to the schoolmaster Holofernes :-“I praise the Lord for you. You are a good member of the Commonwealth.” IDEM.

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FEMALE EDUCATION.-No. 2. .

MENTAL CULTURE.

M HE subject we propose to ourselves to examine in this paper is the

intellectual culture of the mind ; a serious inquiry, second only in importance to that of the moral culture of the heart.

This mental education may be carried on in two ways,—by intercourse with others more advanced than ourselves in knowledge and acquirements, and by the study of books. It is to this latter branch that we would now direct our attention, and inquire carefully, first, why we should read, and then what and how we should read.

In answer to the first of these queries we cannot do better than quote the words of Trench, in his eighth Hulsean Lecture for 1846 :-" The meaning of books is to make us understand something else besides books ;” and “we miss their significance to us, when they have their end in themselves, when they do not hand us on to life and to action, when they explain to us no mysteries of our being, help us in no struggles of our souls, make clear to us no dealings of our God.”

The answer to our second question, What should we read ? presents us with very little difficulty in words, but requires much care in its execution.

If two branches of study are offered to us at the same time, we should be guided in our choice, not merely by what is most captivating to our fancy, but what will be most useful both to ourselves and others. If a work of the most fascinating character, but of an objectionable tendency, is laid before us, we should resolutely resist the temptation to read it. It may leave an unobserved impression upon our minds, which will make itself perceived some day. A single brick loosened, or put out of place, may cause the ruin of an elaborate structure ; and so a single right feeling distorted, and put out of position, may destroy our whole moral and intellectual fabric. The good effect a single book may produce is strikingly exemplified in the history of St. Augustine, who, when he was rapidly hurrying along the downward path of mad dissipation, fell in with the “ De Philosophiâ ” of Cicero. This implanted in his mind a desire to search after wisdom; and in after-years he described with deep thankfulness to God, how that book, though it could not bring him into the inmost sanctuary of the faith, yet was to him in the truest sense a porch to that auguster temple, not made with hands, into which at a later day he should be privileged to enter ; and handed him at once over to the searching of the Scriptures, although it was not till a later period that he understood all their hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

It is not always in the longest works that we find the greatest amount of information. If such had been the case, few European authors could have contested the palm of victory with Al Tabiri, the Livy of Arabia, whose labours originally extended over 30,000 leaves! Nevertheless, we must guard against considering ourselves proficients in a subject of which we have merely read a popular exposition in one of those numerous and most useful little works intended to make the acquisition of knowledge easy. Nothing can be better than these books as far as they go, but they are intended rather to lead us on to study than to supersede its necessity. Let us use them as helps, and we shall appreciate their real value ; but let us guard against making our knowledge superficial by considering them all-sufficient in themselves.

We now arrive at the third branch of our inquiry, How should we read ļ

To do this with any profit to ourselves, we must systematize what we read. It is not sufficient merely to load our memory with a mass of crude facts, events, or theories; we must arrange them; we must mark how one has arisen out of another, how they support each other, and how they explain other facts and circumstances before unintelligible. Without this kind of systematic arrangement, our stores of knowledge are, to revert to our former simile, like a heterogeneous pile of stones without shape or use; with it, like the same stones formed into a beautiful edifice, each stone supported by, and in its turn supporting, its fellow.

Thus, if we are studying the history of a country, we must keep in view the manners and habits of its people, and the period at which the various recorded events took place, for we shall otherwise form a very incorrect idea of the characters brought before us in that history. If we would be impartial, we must not judge a barbarian by a civilized standard,—an Asiatic by an European one,-a heathen by a Christian one.

What is dark in one part or branch of our studies may be enlightened by another, if we will only devote a little time and care to its examination. It will not perhaps be considered irrelevant to our subject if we give an example or two to illustrate our meaning; showing, first, how profane history may be elucidated by a careful examination of the Scriptures; and subsequently, how those Scriptures are themselves explained by a reference to history.

The ancient religion of this country was, as we all know, Druidical; and the erection of huge circles of stones was one of its characteristic features. The exact purport of these circles has, however, been a subject of great controversy. Let us see what light the books of the Old Testament will throw upon this point. In the fourth chapter of Joshua we find the children of Israel commanded to take twelve stones out of the bed of the river Jordan, and lay them down in the place where they had lodged the night after their passage. This place was called Gilgal, a word signifying circle. Here, then, was a circle of stones set up in memory of the divine interposition of the Supreme Being. When, therefore, we meet, even in an island far away from Palestine, a structure of a similar character, we naturally conclude that it also was erected in honour of the Deity worshipped by the people of that island. Amongst the primitive Druids, God was denominated Hu Gadern, or the mighty Hu; and his worshippers, though in the time of Cæsar they were degraded by a bloody ritual and a debased faith, appear from ancient records to have once possessed the original belief of the early patriarchs in a state of considerable purity. That Gilgal was not, however, simply a memorial erection, but was subsequently used for religious ceremonies, is evident, because Saul was there consecrated, and Agag“ hewed to pieces before the Lord ;” and that it was employed also for judicial purposes, is proved by the subsequent intimation that at

Gilgal, “the Circle," the prophet Samuel held his courts of judgment from year to year. Reasoning from analogy, we may very naturally infer that the Druidical circles were employed for similar purposes ; but if we are not in the habit of applying and comparing what we read (and this is a defect too prevalent in a woman's education), we should have passed over every reference to Gilgal, even when informed of the meaning of the word, without thinking it possible to explain any other difficulty by its assistance.

If the sacred writings will thus throw a light on dark points in profane history, the latter may in its turn be employed in the elucidation of Scriptural difficulties. In the seventh chapter of the First Book of Kings, we find a detailed account of two pillars which Solomon set up in the porch of the Temple. To the ordinary reader these verses contain little either of profit or instruction ; but to the ancient Israelite this was far from being the case. In the infancy of nations, signs and emblems fulfilled to a certain degree the office of books and teachers. In the East this habit has been still partially retained ; but in former times it prevailed to a far greater extent. The adornments of every sacred building conveyed to the mind of the beholder some instruction by their symbolic meaning; and this not merely to an Israelite, but to every nation of antiquity, who equally comprehended the meaning of the sign. Keeping this fact in view, let us endeavour to read in the names Solomon gave to these pillars, what his intention was in their erection. The one he called Jachin, meaning, as the marginal reference tells us, “ He shall establish ;" the other Boaz, that is, “ In it is strength.”

It was a popular belief in ancient ages that the earth was supported by pillars ; hence a pillar was the received symbol of strength and divine power. Consequently, Boaz and Jachin represented the sustaining power of God.

On the top of these pillars was a capital of lily work, called the bowls of the chapiters, the chapiters themselves being spheres, and over both were wreaths of pomegranates. The import of the whole may be easily interpreted by the key of ancient symbolism. The lotus, or water-lily, which rises from a root growing at the bottom of the water and maintains its position on the surface by its columnar stalk, was a well-known emblem of the earth, with its supposed columnar supports, and hence typified the power of the Almighty securing the safety of the world. The chapiter or sphere represented the body of the earth thus supported. The pomegranate wreaths signified its fertility. Solomon, by erecting these pillars in the porch of the Temple, was silently but forcibly declaring to all nations, that the one God worshipped in that Temple was the Creator and Preserver of the world.

This reference to the ancient cosmogonies of the world explains the meaning of several other passages in the Old Testament, which would now be otherwise unintelligible ; for example, that in the 75th Psalm, 3rd verse, “ The earth and all the inhabitants thereof are dissolved ; I bear up the pillars of it.” And, again, that in the First of Samuel, the 2nd chapter, and part of the 8th verse, “ The pillars of the earth are the Lord's, and He hath set the world upon them.” What idea can these passages convey to us unconnected with the explanation which makes them so full of meaning ? A very feeble one, it must be admitted.

We might, were it desirable, multiply examples of the same character to an almost infinite extent, but this would be unnecessary, as we merely wish to explain the principles we have already laid down; these principles being, that really to understand a subject, and to appreciate its importance, we must not be satisfied with simply looking at the events themselves, but must seek out also what were the causes which produced, and the results depending on them; together with their bearing upon other facts of a similar character. If we do not try to do this, our feelings will often be carried away by the strange or romantic character of the incidents, on which we love to dwell ; while our judgment will have little power of exercising itself, or forming a correct estimate of the real merits of the case.

Important, however, as these rules may be, they will avail us little unless we pursue them with steady perseverance. “ Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel,” was the prophecy of the dying patriarch concerning Reuben and his descendants. The same words apply with equal force to both sexes at the present day. Success is seldom to be attained without exertion. If, when we meet with a difficulty, we throw aside our work as too hard, without an effort to overcome that difficulty, we shall sink slowly but surely down, till our characters become stunted, our aims trifling, our occupations frivolous ; and then either carelessness 'or despondency will gradually obtain the mastery over our minds.

The late Mr. Mogridge, under his assumed title of Old Humphrey, treats of the latter fault (that of despondency) with remarkable force in the following passage : “It is hard to fight against, and still harder to conquer this mood, for when it once lays firm hold of us, it drags as down to the very dust. My advice to you is, to wage war against it with all the powers of your mind; set about something that requires “energy of action, something that will force your thoughts into another channel.” We must not mistake despondency for humility. One is a virtue, the other a fault. The one, by showing us our deficiencies, urges us to renewed exertion ; the other, by making us despair of success, prompts us to lay down our arms without further effort. Let cheerfulness and perseverance, then, be the watchwords of our course, if we would hope for victory in the end, never forgetting that success more frequently depends upon ourselves than we are generally willing to admit. . • We cannot close this part of our inquiry without saying one word on the subject of accomplishments ; upon the acquisition of which it has been frequently thought that a woman's education principally depends. If she be a good musician, artist, and linguist, many persons will confidently assert that she is highly educated ; and yet her mind all the time may have been totally neglected. This is like placing the ornaments where the foundation should be, and putting woman on a lower stage than the one she ought to occupy.

Others again seem to contemn the acquirements and graces which assist in giving softness to the female character, confining themselves wholly to the stern realities of education. Surely it is unwise to act thus, and to despise or neglect those elegant accomplishments which, while they enable us to confer so much pleasure on others, are an innocent source of interest, occupation, and happiness to ourselves, and often become an invaluable resource in the hours of sickness or sorrow,

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