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from such scanty sources as these? The idea is prepos. terous. Whence, then, are they derived ? An attentive observation of the progress of a child, from birth to maturity, will, it is believed, solve the problem. Let us make the attempt.

Man's true nature is spiritual. He is “ a living soul,clothed, FOR THE PURPOSES OF EDUCATION, fleshly garment.

At birth, he possesses, along with the seeds of every virtue, and its opposite vice, a capacity for the most unbounded knowledge : but all these, as yet, lie dormant, undeveloped. There is one exception, however, which is, as it were, the germ, or rather the foundation, of all his future acquisitions. By instinct, which is nothing less than God working within him,* he has the power of moving certain muscles. He can cry, suck, swallow, open his eyes. Hunger, which has been denominated the sixth sense, is the main cause of all these motions.

By imperceptible degrees, his muscular powers are extended. In some three or four months, by the exercise of his hands, he acquires faint notions of form and distance : in other words, he has learned TO SEE ; and now begins to recognise the affectionate being, whose unremitting tenderness watches over his safety, and hourly nourishes him from her own bosom. Delighted with his acquisitions, his thirst for knowledge is continually on the increase. Every object, within his reach, is eagerly seized and examined. His eyes, his ears, his hands, his mouth, are in constant requisition. During his waking hours, he cannot be kept still a moment. To the unobservant, he seems as if inspired with an intense spirit of mischief, an ardent love of destruction. But nothing can be more contrary to the fact. All these movements are caused by the divine love of knowledge, as yet neither broken

* “ The bee works most geometrically, without any knowledge of geometry ; somewhat like a child, who, by turning the hand of an organ, makes good music, without any knowledge of music. The art is not in the child, but in him who made the organ. In like manner, when the bee makes its comb so geometrically, the geometry is not in the bee, but in that great Geometrician, who made the bee, and made all things, in number, weight, and measure. - Reid.

by disappointment, nor misled by the false philosophy that deals in nothing but empty sounds. In the strange world in which he finds himself, every thing is a marvel ; the most common object to us is, to him, full of interest. Hence, not satisfied with skimming the mere surface of things, he tears them apart, or dashes them in pieces, in search of more complete information. It signifies not, that these actions may be partly or wholly instinctive. This is the way, the only way, in which knowledge can be acquired.

For the next nine or twelve months, his education proceeds with the most surprising rapidity. In addition to the immense number of objects, with whose qualities he has made himself familiar, he has learnt to balance and support his body, to walk, and, wonderful to relate, he can perform the miracle of,--speech! What an increase of interest does this last give to his studies ! To the knowledge of qualities, he now adds that of names, not mere dead vocables, but living language, the materials of thought. Our little philosopher now begins to trace resemblances, to distinguish differences, to generalize, to form his classifications, his theories. To one class of objeets, he gives the name of man, to another, tree, to a third, stone. And all this, without even the slightest offer of instruction from others. His store of knowledge is all of his own collecting. If he has assistance, it is from Nature alone.

From the age of one year, to that of four or five, the ehild, under the tuition of his first instructress, Nature, continues steadily and rapidly to advance in the knowledge of his vernacular language. But how does he contrive to add new words to his stock ? Deals he in theory, or in practice? Is it by means of the elements of words, or definitions, or grammars ? Must he know the names of letters and syllables, before he can acquire a word; and must he rely, for a knowledge of its meaning, on dictionaries, or oral definitions ? No, truly. Nature's method is directly the reverse of that of man. By observation he learns a few names, in constant use; and he acquires the knowledge of verbs, qualities, and particles, by observing their connexion with those known names : in other words, by the context. Who ever thought of explaining to a child the meaning of the words, good, bad, love, this, he, from, to, for, &c. Only let the attempt be made, and its utter futility will quickly appear.

Meanwhile, his knowledge of things increases as fast as his stock of words. His sphere of observation is rapidly extended, and all his senses are engaged in philosophical investigations into the nature of the objects around him; the minerals, vegetables, animals, and works of art, which adorn the earth; the sun, moon, and stars, which embellish the heavens.

While the intellectual powers of the child are thus in a state of progressive developement, his physical education is by no means at a stand. If he have received a moderately healthy constitution from his parents, he delights to spend his time in the open air, where his lungs can have füll play, and where his limbs may expand and gain strength, by unrestricted exercise. The children of the poor have here a decided advantage over those of the rich; for such, unfortunately, are the weakness and folly of the latter, that the health of their offspring is too frequently sacrificed, at the shrine of their vanity and love of display. Fashion, that insatiable Moloch, is not content with the consecration, by its devotee, of his own soul, purse, and person. It demands, that his child shall pass through the fire; that, at whatever risk to his health and intellect, his body shall be converted into a mere clothesscreen for the display of the frivolous fancies of the tailor and milliner. Where such a sacrifice has been consummated, it is vain to look, either for strength of body or vigor of intellect. The unfortunate little victim must neither run, climb, wade, roll, nor play. The clothes must neither be torn nor soiled. Every thing must give way to the clothes. And, finally, the child, if he survive, grows up a mere dandy ; " a clothes-wearing man ; a man whose trade, office, and existence, consists in the wearing of clothes."

When shall this base idolatry come to an end? When shall the Moloch of Christendom be pulled from his throne, and cast into that fire, wherein so many

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of his victims have perished. This can be accomplished only by a radical change in female education. Female influence is, here, all in all.

But to return. During this portion of his life, too, the moral sense of the child begins to be developed. He perceives, that there are many other beings in the world besides himself, some of whom have the same claims that he has, on the attention of his parents. He finds out, that he cannot have his own way in every thing; that to attempt it is only to subject himself to suffering ; that it is necessary that he should, in some degree, respect the rights of others. Should his parents, at this period, have sufficient tact, to notice and encourage the first appearance of sympathy with the joys and sorrows of others, an antagonist to the selfish principle will soon be more or less developed, that may neutralize many of its evil effects; while, on the contrary, should this be neglected, and his selfish views and actions be encouraged, as is too frequently the case, it may probably attain a degree of strength, that may tinge his maturer age with the darkest colors, seriously affecting both his future usefulness and happiness. For no truth in morals is more certain, than that no one can be happy who lives for himself alone ; and that the stronger the affections, the greater the chance for felicity.

But who is the great, MORAL SCHOOLMASTER, at this critical period of the child's life? It is PUBLIC OPIN10N, acting through the conversation and example of his parents, of his brothers and sisters, and of his other playfellows. It is the combined power of the whole human race, which may correctly be denominated custom, or TRADITION. Through this medium, Moses and the Prophets, Christ and his Apostles, Luther, Calvin, Faust, his pilgrim forefathers, Penn, Washington, Franklin, and even Watt, Fulton, and McAdam, combine, in moulding this precious germ of immortality. Among this host of worthies, however, many evil influences throw their quota into the formation of what


be considered TRADITION. The follies and vices of the surrounding world ; the superstitions of our Saxon and Norman ancestors; nay, the dark blot of slavery, which stains so large a por. tion of our country, contributes its share in the formation of character, even where it has never existed.

The child has now arrived at the age, at which it is usual for his school education to commence, the results of which have already been noticed. Let us continue to observe the results of his education from other sources.

His childish associates now continually increase in number, and, with their extension, his ideas proportionally expand. Nature, likewise, is beheld on a larger scale. He begins to discover, without the aid of books, that the world is not all contained within the narrow circle of his horizon. He hears of richer climes, of the extensive wilds of the unbounded West, and of the crowded marts along the Atlantic coast, in his native land, and of distant seas and foreign lands, beyond them. His parents take him to the HOUSE OF GOD, of whom, already, he has attained some vague, undefined notion. Here, however, whatever may be the case in after years, as yet he gains but little direct instruction. The teacher in that important school is commonly too full of his learning, or has not the talent (and it is one of the first order) of accommodating his language to the comprehension of our pupil, and of the other children of larger growth, who listen to his instructions. The indirect influence, however, is powerful. The town meeting begins to attract his notice.

He swallows, with avidity, the political knowledge to be picked up in that arena, and acquires some general ideas of his rights and duties. The district school meeting, also, proves to him a source of information. In those two schools, our future legislators receive their chief training. But most of his knowledge of justice, forms of law, rights, and wrongs, is derived from our judicial establishments, from the more solemn, formal courts in the county town, to the more simple dispensation of right in the justice's office.

Such, independently of the teachings in the district schoolhouse, are the principal seminaries for training our youth in knowledge and in virtue. Many other influences, for good and for evil, might be enumerated. But these are sufficient for our purpose.

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