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The Church Catechism should form the text-book from the lowest to the highest class in the Sunday School,-should never be omitted as a part of the school business for any considerable time,—and should form a memorial common-place book, in which, whatever is learnt, should be arranged and deposited.
1st. What do you mean by an “angel ?” What do you mean by the word “tidings ?"
2nd. Who spoke to them? To whom did the angel speak? What did he say? Why need they not fear ? What were the good tidings of great joy? To whom was it to be good news ?
3rd. And is it good news to all people? Will all people be benefited by it? Why did our Saviour say, “Woe unto thee, Bethsaida ?" &c., &c. Are there none among us who had better never heard of Jesus Christ?
The character of the questions will vary much, according to the knowledge of the class; and it can only be ascertained by experience, what sort of questions ought to be asked; the first object of the teachers is to be conversant with the subjects, to understand them themselves; and then to take care that their scholars comprehend them also.
And no lesson should ever be read or repeated, without the teachers convincing themselves, by questioning, that the children perceive and comprehend the general import of that which they are saying. It is indeed difficult, with very little children, to make them properly understand that which it is quite right that they should learn by heart. Yet still it may be accomplished, in some measure at least. For example, let us suppose that we were attempting to teach the Lord's Prayer to very little children.
Who is our Father in heaven ?* Where is God? Whose Father is he? Have you another father ? Which is the best father? What does “hallowed” mean? Whose name should be kept holy? Who should try to keep it holy ? Should you take God's name in vain, and use bad words ? Whose kingdom do we pray may come? Do all people pray to God? What do some people pray to ? Are they who pray to wood and stone God's people? Whose will should we try to do ? Who does God's will in heaven ? Which does it best, angels in heaven, or we upon earth ? Should you try to do God's will, as the angels do? Whom do we ask to give us our daily bread? Who gave you your dinner? But who gave you a mother to give you a dinner ? What does “trespass ” mean? Who can forgive us our sins ? If any one hurt you, should you try to hurt them? Why not? What should you do ? If you do not forgive others, will God forgive you ? Who leads us into temptation ? Who can save us from the power of the devil ? Who can keep us out of all evil? Whose is the kingdom } Which is best, heaven or earth? Whose is the power and the glory? What do you mean by “ Amen ?” It is something in this way that we may lead even little children to divine truths.-From “ The Teacher's Friend," an admirably practical series of tracts.
* Nearly all of these excellent questions may be further illustrated and confirmed by referring to the parables, commandments, and precepts which enforce them.-ED. E. J. E.
“MIND YOUR STOPS!” TO THE EDITOR OF THE ENGLISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. SIR-A perusal of an interesting and useful little work, “ Mind your Stops !” published by Groombridge (at 6d.,) leads me to suggest that punctuation is an important branch of education. The compositors in printing-offices punctuate most diversely. I would suggest that some uniform scheme of punctuation should be propounded and generally agreed upon, and that then, the compositors should always be directed to " punctuate as in the copy”.
I will notice one or two points, chiefly concerning the pointing of parentheses (including references to authors quoted), and quotations.
At present there are two plans in use in different London printingoffices. They are as follows :Plan A. : Plan B.: 1 Plan A. :
Plan B.: ,( ,) ; ;) :( :) .( .)
Now they are both right, and both wrong. Both are right in the occasional use of their own forms; but both are wrong in the exclusive use of them.
First, as to parentheses. Here, as a general rule, Plan A. is decidedly the best, and far more pleasant to the reader. I have proved it by seeing the effect of matter of my own which when “set up” in a Magazine on the Plan B., was most tedious and obscure, (owing to the copious references,) but which BECAME 50 per cent more perspicuous and readable in a reprint where Plan A., was followed. And yet even here there should be a few exceptions. Take these two examples from a book pointed (as the general rule) on Plan A. :
For “lights" on an “altar” (which is illegal in our churches), cannot mean &c.
Hymns, creeds, and Litany (and even that is directed to be "read” when it forms part of “ Morning Prayer"), without excep
tion direct &e. Now in both these passages had the compositor followed the rule, instead of the exception as in the MS. copy, and set them up thus :
“Altar”, (which is &c churches,)
Litany, (and &c. Prayer",) they would have been ipso facto CONVERTED INTO bad grammar; and “ lights” would have stood as the nominative to “is”, and “that” as the relative to “Hymns, creeds, and litany”!
Then as to quotations, the stop (whether "," or ";" or "." or "." or 5!" or "?", or the “ &c.",) should be inside or outside the ” according to the sense ; i. e., inside, if it be a bonâ fide part of the quotation; and outside if the author's addition to the quotation.
Take a few examples :
(1) Is that work quite “out of print” ? Here the ? should be outside, because the bookseller's reply “out of print” was not a question but an assertion ; and the object of the ? is to express a doubt whether that assertion be quite correct; and the point of the query lies upon the word “ quite” and not upon “out of print”.
(2) He said, “What o'clock is it ?" Here the ? should be inside, because it is a part of the matter quoted.
(3) He said he “could travel a hundred miles in an hour” ! Here the ! should be outside, because the ! is used to express astonishment at the strange assertion—which might have been made in the greatest simplicity by the person quoted.
(4) He said, “Poor fellow !" Here the ! should be inside, because it is part of the phrase quoted.
(5) Is it true that “ Mr. Cobden is to be prime minister”? that “we are to have immediate peace with Russia”? and that “the
Czar has yielded to all the demands of the Allies ” ? I need scarcely point out the difference between ?" and "? in this one passage.
As a rule, if an author be quoted, and his sentence be concluded with his stop it should be so printed
and an &c. outside thus
;" &c. But if the &c. be a part of the quotation, then &c.", as in the following passage from Dr. Cardwell :
“For leases, law-days, &c.” To my mind, the best mode of marking omissions is this one :
... ...... ............ according to the quantity of matter omitted.
And the best mode of marking a word (or words) inserted by the author in a quotation is by the use of brackets :
[ ] or [? ] if required. I will not say more, but conclude, remaining, Sir, yours truly,
C. H. DAVIS. Nailsworth, 4th Dec., 1855. P.S. In references to the Bible, whenever the letter “ v.” is used as an abbreviation for “ verse ", it should be italicised thus—"0."-otherwise it may easily be mistaken for a reference to a chapter, (i. e., the 5th chapter,) « chapter V., verse 16” would be thus abbreviated :“ v. 16." Whereas no one could well mistake “ v. 16” for chapter v., verse · 16. Authors should therefore be careful to underline the letter“ v” whenever it occurs in their M.S. copy as the representative of “ verse” in order that it may be italicised by the compositors and be set up as “v.".
THE EDUCATION OF THE CITIZEN-No. 3.
POPULAR JOURNALS. TABOURS undertaken with a view to a single and even selfish
I advantage are commonly attended with collateral consequences of vaster importance and more beneficial character than those which are avowedly directed to a lofty and generous object. It would seem that man's share in the work of his race's regeneration is most successfully accomplished by his obedience to the dictates of self-interest. As if to exclude boasting, it is ordained, that while high principle and self-denying effort reproach the sordid selfishness of the mass of mankind, the interests of mankind are most effectively served by that self-seeking which is individually condemned. Thus the eager merchant has been the apostle of civilization, the grasping competition of the trader has placed the luxuries of life within the reach of poverty, or at least banished from its babitations the ruder aspect of barbarism; the plodding burgess, while accumulating the profits of the Cheap, has laid the broad foundations of civil freedom. This dependence of that which is ennobling upon that which, in philosophy at least, is counted mean, is conspicuous in the whole course of human affairs. The car of human progress rolls in the tracks worn by the wheels of commerce ; the mind has achieved its highest artistic triumphs, and most useful mechanical adaptations in its ministration to the ostentation of wealth, or the spirit of money-getting; and nations receive their first lessons in refinement and true religion through the instrumentality of that genius that crowds their ports with sails, and has sought indifferently to freight its vessels with the produce of their climates, or the children of their soil. The highest wisdom is discernible in this ; the work to be accomplished is too vast and too difficult to be committed to the sparse sympathies of good, or the rare abilities of great men ; it is therefore left to the unconscious but inseparable agency of the whole race, and the operation of a general law that renders subservient to its object the efforts of selfishness and benevolence.
It is not therefore singular that education in its loftiest relations of that character, which must exercise the most supreme influence over the moral development and eternal destiny of the individual, is recommended by the laws of political expediency-so recommended, that could passion and sectarian aspirations be excluded from their councils, it might safely be trusted to the disciples of that science of selfishness; for if experience has taught one truth more evidently than that it is cheaper to fetter vice in the school than to punish it in the prison, it is this—that the precautionary education that will serve that economy, is precisely that which the philosopher would approve and the Christian would advocate. Were it not for this circumstance, it is not clear that governments are bound to provide for—that they would not misapply their resources, did they attempt to direct or support institutions for the education of the governed ; for the simple end of government is the conservation of the rights of property and person ;-our most ancient institutions exist only for the protection of these more ancient institutions. But it is no modern discovery that this end can be best secured by attention to the spiritual and intellectual condition of the citizen : no government has existed that has not recognised the law that unites obedience to civil power with reverence for the ultimate authority of Heaven. Where the popular mind was controlled through the senses by a material worship, a splendid ritual, and the jealous supervision of a sacerdotal order, the reasoning faculty was a superfluous or doubtful ally to the civil power, which the superstition supported; but amongst a people taught to “walk by faith and not by sight," whose severe simplicity of worship is as bare of sensual influences as its sanctuary of images, ignorance, which is a matter of indifference or necessity in the first case, is incompatible with the influences of religion. To ignorant minds, a creed of sublime and abstract truths is nothing; to a reasoning man, though destitute of the essentials of true religion, it may be a bond of conduct, which he will disdain perhaps to acknowledge. It strikes the conscience through the reason, as the religion of symbols reaches it through the imagination. The political end of religion—for of its higher end and influences we are not speaking—is attained in this result ; so that it assures social interests, it is politically indifferent whether the influence be deepened into a saving faith. But in this meaner success the nobler work is almost accomplished : the soil has been prepared and the seed sown ; beyond this, man's control and the teacher's responsibility do not extend: the citizen is taught to reason and believe; and to reason and to believe, involve all the points in education for which the philosopher or Christian could contend.
To a system of government which rests its claim to obedience upon its intrinsic merits, and challenges the rational acquiescence of the governed in its existence, religion is necessary as a moral check upon personal depravity-the light in which we have already regarded it, and reason takes the place it held in the despotisms of the ancient world. We require the citizen to be a believer, that he may be a moral man ; and a reasoner, that he may be a loyal subject,—to submit his conscience to the fear of God, and his social conduct to the maxims of sound government : whether this desire aproximates to fruition, with the extension of the mechanical aids to education ; whether the national school has infused its fair proportion of strength into the social frame; whether the multiplied race of readers is a believing or reasoning race, are questions suggested by our subject, and answered in the pages before us. Popular literature opened no very cheerful view of educational results ; popular journals give no brighter aspect to the picture, bring to the eye no hopeful lights or redeeming circumstances. The moral and intellectual condition of the patrons of the first, which it may be supposed to exhibit, the latter unmistakably portray. As a gauge of the depth of popular ignorance-even when no small portion of the neglect of ages has been repaired,—of popular tastes and prejudices, the Sunday paper, with its feast of horrors, its choice entertainment of filthy “cases," its selections from the scourings of criminal courts, its rabid politics, and boisterous advocacy of popular fallacies, is more trustworthy than even those sheets of wickedness or nonsense which fall so plentifully from the press—that fountain of sweet and bitter waters ; there can be no apprehension of a refinement of suspicion in this case. The penny romance may or may not be a moral and intellectual image of its readers, its influence may be neutral or may be disputed,—we may fear of them too much : but here is the expression of contemporary thought of the counsels of actual lifeof what may be motive truths to the mechanic whose hammer sounds