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THE

IMPROVEMENT

OF THE

M I N D.

The Second PART.
IN TRODUCTION.

HE chief Design of the
former Part of this Book

is to Icad us into proper T

Methods for the Improvement of our Knowledge ; Let

us now conGder what are the best means of improving tbe Minds of others, and of communicating to them the Knowledge which we have acquired. If the Treasures of the Mind should be hoarded up and concealed, they would

р ofit none besides the Pofleffor, and even his Advan.

B

tage

tage by the Poffefsion would be poor and narrow, in Comparison of what the same Treasures would yield both to himself and to the World, by a free Communication and Diffusion of them. Large Quantities of Knowledge acquired and reserved by one Min, like Heaps of Gold and Silver, would contract a Sort of Rust and disagreeable Aspect, by lying in everlasting Secresy and Silence; but they are burnish'd, and glitter by perpetual Circulation, through the Tribes of Mankind.

The two chief Ways of conveying Knowledge to others, are that of verbal Instruction to our Disciples, or by writing and publishing our Thoughts to the World.

Here therefore I fall first propose some Observations which relate to the Conveyance of Knowledge to others by regular Lectures of verbal Instruction, or by Conversation ; I shall represent foveral of the chief Prejudices of which Learners are in danger, with Directions to guard against them, and then mention some of the easiest and most effectual Ways of convincing Perfons of their Mistakes, and of dealing with their Understanding, when they labour under the Power of Prejudice. I Thall afterwards add by Way of Appendix, an Effay written many Years ago on the Subject of Education, when I designed a more compleat Treatie of it.

C H A P.

CHAP. I.

Methods of Teaching, and Reading

Lectures.

E that has learned any thing tho.

roughly, in a clear and methodical Manner, and has attained a diflinet Percep. tion, and an ample Survey of the whole Subject, is generally best prepared to teach the same Subject in a clear and easy Method; for having acquired a large and distinct Idea of it himself, and made it familiar to him by frequent Meditation, Reading, and occasional Discourse; he is supposed to see it on all Sides, to grasp it with all its Appendices and and Relations in one Survey, and is better able to represent it to the Learner in all its Views, with all its Properties, Relations and Consequences. He knows which View or Side of the Subject to hold out first to his Disciple, and how to propose to his Understanding that part of it which is easiest to apprehend, and also knows how to set it in such a Light as is most likely to allure and to aslift his further Enquiry

But it is not every one who is a great Scholar that always becomes the bappiest Teacher, even tho' he may have a clear Conception, and a methodical as well as an ex

tensive

B 2

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