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gotten. For if the streams which are to spread far and wide throughout a land are poisoned in the very source, who can foresee how far the mischief may be diffused? Unless, therefore, I can procure a proper tutor, I must give up my design. It is better the youth should remain untaught, than that they should be taught to do wrong.
And I seem not easily satisfied on this head. My idea of the person to whom I could cheerfully intrust the care of my academy, is not of an ordinary size. He seems to be one,
-Qualem nequeo monstrare, ac sentio tantum
However, since we are upon Utopian ground, where we may imagine as largely as we please, I will attempt to delineate him. And were I to recommend a tutor to your friends, it should be the man who I thought came the nearest to the character I am about to describe.
For his first essential, indispensable qualification, I require a mind deeply penetrated with a sense of the grace, glory, and efficacy of the Gospel. However learned and able in other respects, he shall not have a single pupil from me, unless I have reason to believe that his heart is attached to the person of the Redeemer as God-man; that, as a sinner, his whole dependence is upon the Redeemer's work of love, his obedience unto death, his intercession and mediatorial fulness. His sentiments must be clear and explicit respecting the depravity of human nature, and the necessity and reality of the agency of the Holy Spirit, to quicken, enlighten, sanctify, and seal those who, under his influence, are led to Jesus for salvation. With respect to the different schemes and systems of divinity which obtain amongst those who are united in the acknowledgment of the above fundamental truths, I should look for my tutor amongst those who are called Calvinists ; but he must not be of a curious metaphysical disputatious turn, a mere system-monger or party zealot. I seek for one who, having been himself taught the deep things of God by the Holy Spirit, in a gradual experimental manner; while he is charmed with the beautiful harmony and coincidence of all the doctrines of grace, is at the same time aware of the mysterious depths of the divine counsels, and the impossiblity of their being fully comprehended by our feeble understandings. Such a man will be patient and temperate in explaining the peculiarities of the Gospel to his pupils, and will wisely adapt himself to their several states, attainments, and capacities. After the example of the Great Teacher, he will consider what they can bear, and aim to lead them forward step by step, in such a manner, that the sentiments
he instils into them may be their own, and not taken up merely upon the authority of his ipse dixit. He will propose the Scripture to them as a consistent whole; and guard them against the extremes into which controversial writers have forced themselves and each other, in support of a favourite hypothesis, so as, under a pretence of honouring some parts of the word of God, to overlook, if not to contradict, what is taught with equal clearness in other parts.
I wish my pupils to be well versed in useful learning, and therefore my tutor must be a learned man. He must not only be able to teach them whatever is needful for them to learn, but should be possessed of such a fund, as that the most forward and most promising among them may feel he has a decided superiority over them in every branch of their studies. Besides an accurate skill in the school classics, he should be well acquainted with books at large, and possessed of a general knowledge of the state of literature and religion, and the memorable events of history in the successive ages of mankind. Particularly, he should be well versed in ecclesiastical learning: for though it be true, that the bulk of it is little worth knowing, for its own sake, yet a man of genius and wisdom will draw from the whole mass a variety of observations suited to assist young minds in forming a right judgment of human nature, of true religion, of its counterfeits, and of the abuses to which the name of religion is capable of being perverted. And he will likewise be able to select for their use, such authors and subjects as deserve their notice, from the surrounding rubbish in which they are almost buried.
My tutor should likewise be competently acquainted with the lighter accomplishments, which are usually understood by the term Belles Lettres; and a proper judge of them with respect both to their intrinsic and relative value. Their intrinsic value (to creatures who are posting to eternity) is not great; and a wise man, if he has not been tinctured with them in early life, will seldom think it worth his while to attend much to them afterwards. Yet in such an age as ours, it is some disadvantage to a man in public life, if he is quite a stranger to them. To a tutor they are in a manner necessary. It is further desirable that he should have a lively imagination, under the direction of a sound judgment, and a correct and cultivated taste. Otherwise, how can he assist and form the taste and judgment of his pupils, or direct or criticise their compositions?
Natural philosophy is not only a noble science, but one which offers the most interesting and profitable relaxations from the weight of severer studies. If the tutor be not possessed of this, he will lose a thousand opportunities of pointing out to his pupils the
signatures of wisdom, power, and goodness, which the wonderworking God has impressed upon every part of the visible creation. But, at the same time, he should know where to stop, and what bounds to set to their inquiries. It is not necessary that either he or they should be numbered amongst the first astronomers or virtuosi of the age. A life devoted to the service of God and souls, will not afford leisure for this diminutive pre-eminence. A general knowledge will suffice, even in the tutor. And while he lectures upon these subjects, he will caution them against spending too much time and thought upon those branches of philosophy which have but a very remote tendency to qualify them for preaching the Gospel. They are sent into the world, and into the academy, not to collect shells, and fossils, and butterflies, or to surprise each other with feats of electricity, but to win souls for Christ.
Perhaps I have said enough of my tutor's knowledge; and may now consider him with regard to his spirit, his methods of communicating what he knows to his pupils, and his manner of living with them, as a father with his children.
He must be didaxrixos, apt to teach. A man may know much, yet not have a facility of imparting his ideas. It is a talent and a gift of God, and therefore will always be found, in some good degree, in the person who is called of God to the tutor's office.
He will consider himself as a teacher, not only in the lectureroom, but in all places, and at all times, whether sitting in the house or walking by the way, if any of his pupils are with him. And he will love to have them always about him, so far as their studies and his own necessary avocations will admit.
Two things he will aim to secure from them-reverence and affection. Without maintaining a steady authority, he can do nothing; and unless they love him, every thing will go on heavily. But if the pupils are properly chosen, such a man as I have described will be both loved and feared. His spiritual and exemplary deportment, his wisdom and abilities, will command their respect. His condescension and gentleness, his tenderness for their personal concerns, his assiduity in promoting their comfort, and doing them every friendly office in his power, will engage their love. These happy effects will be further promoted by their frequent mutual intercourse in prayer, by his expository lectures, and by his public ministry, if he be a preacher. Having his eye unto the Lord, and his heart in his work, a blessing from on high shall descend upon him and upon his house.
As human nature is the same in all places, it is probable that the Christians in Utopia may be divided among themselves with
respect to rituals and modes of worship, in some such manner as we see and feel amongst us. Now here, as in every thing else, I would have my tutor a sort of phoenix, a man of a generous, enlarged spirit; a real friend of that liberty wherewith Jesus has made his people free from the shackles and impositions of men ; one who uniformly judges and acts upon that grand principle of the New Testament, which is likewise a plain and obvious maxim of common sense; I mean, that the Lord of all, the Head of the church, is the alone Lord and Judge of conscience. I suppose my tutor has already taken his side; that he is either in the establishment, (if there be one in Utopia,) or, of course, a dissenter from it. And really, as to my scheme, I am indifferent which side he has taken; we shall not have a minute's debate about it, provided he acts consistently with the principles which I have assigned him. But as I myself, living in England, am of the established church, that you may not suspect me of partiality, I will suppose, and am ready to take it for granted, that he will be found to be an Utopian Dissenter.
On this supposition my imagination takes a flight, hastens into the midst of things, and anticipates as present what is yet future. Methinks I see the tutor indulging his scholars (as at proper seasons he often will) with an hour of free conversation; and from some question proposed to him concerning the comparative excellence or authority of different forms of church-government, taking occasion to open his mind to them, something in the following manner :—
"My dear children, you may have observed, that when, in the course of our lectures, I have been led to touch upon this subject, it has not been my custom to speak in a dogmatical style. I have sometimes intimated to you, that though every part of the Levitical worship was of positive divine institution, yet, when the people rested and trusted in their external forms, the Lord speaks as abhorring his own appointments. I have told you, upon the apostle's authority, that, the kingdom of God consists not in meats and drinks, in names and forms, but in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. Amidst the many divisions and subdivisions which obtain in the visible church, there are, in reality, but two sorts of people, the children of God, and the children of the world. The former sort, though partakers in one life and in one hope, yet living in successive ages, in various countries, under very different modes of government, education, and customs, it seems morally impossible that they should all agree, as by instinct, in one common mode of social worship. It is indeed said, that there is a plan prescribed in the New Testament, to which all ought to conform as nearly as possible. All
parties say this in favour of their own plans; and men, eminent for wisdom and holiness, are to be found among the advocates for each. But is it not strange, that if the Lord has appointed such a standard, the wisest and best of his people should differ so widely in their views of it, and deviate so far from each other when they attempt to reduce it to practice? Let others dispute; but as for you, my children, and me, let us rather adore the wisdom and goodness of our Lord. He who knew the heart of man, the almost invincible power of local prejudices, and what innumerable circumstances in different periods and places would render it impracticable for his people to tread exactly in the same line, has provided accordingly. The rules and lights he has afforded us, respecting the outward administration of his church, are recorded with such a latitude, that his true worshippers may conscientiously hope they are acceptable to him, though the plans which they believe to be consistent with his revealed will are far from corresponding with each other. It is sufficient that the apostolical canons, Let all things be done decently and in order,' to edification and in charity,' are universally binding; and were these on all sides attended to, smaller differences would be very supportable.
"I have often pointed out to you the wonderful analogy which the Lord has established, in many instances, between his works in the outward creation, and in his kingdom of grace. Perhaps the variety observable in the former may be one instance of this kind. When you see every vegetable arrayed in green, exactly of the same shade, or all tulips variegated in the same manner, as if painted from one common pattern, then, and not before, expect to find true believers agreed in their views and practice respecting the modes of religion.
"Study, therefore, the Scriptures, my children, with humble prayer that the Lord may give you such views of these concerns as may fit you for the stations and services to which his providence may lead you. See with your own eyes, and judge for yourselves. This is your right. One is your Master, even Christ, and you need not, you ought not, to call any man master upon earth. But be content with this. Do not arrogate to yourselves the power of judging for others. Be willing that they should see with their own eyes likewise. The Papists, upon the ground of the assumed infallibility of their church, are, at least, consistent with themselves in condemning all who differ from them. Protestants confess themselves fallible, yet speak the same peremptory language.
"As to myself, if I had thought it preferable, upon the whole, to be a minister in our established church, I might probably have