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his lessons he will feed his senses with novelty, and extend his knowledge over the largest possible surface-the largest consistent with memory.
"But the spoiled child of wealthy parents, whose every wish is gratified, so soon as expressed, is wearied even with wishing. His very crowd of playthings disgusts him; and novelty from, mere habit palls upon him. What then is to be done?
"Look at the games of children. What are the blisses of the six years' darling of a pigmy size.'
Some little plan or chart
Some fragment from his dream of human life,
As if his whole vocation
"But of the dull and staid part of man the child is soon wearied: he longs to be of use; he asks for occupation. With wild and buoyant spirits he rushes to labour. How eager is he in his toil, how indefatigable in his efforts to heap up a mighty snow-ball. How cunning in his skill to erect some mud fort for mimic warfare, or to weave the leafy arbour where he is first to enjoy all the rights and privileges of property!
"It was but this morning that I watched a young Lazzaroni while he sought to make his little crazy boat lie straight and steady upon the water. How fertile was he in expedients; how ingenious in contrivances, how_resolute against despair! First were the waves too strong; he sought out, therefore, a more sheltered spot: he next adjusted the ballast and furled the sails-still without success. He then looked around him in much perplexity, till some of that long sea-weed, which is scattered over the coast after a storm, caught his eye this he seized eagerly, and peeling it into long strips, he tied with them his little boat to a stone (his sheet anchor); and then wading far out as the weed would permit, and so shaping his course that a neighbouring jetty might afford him smooth and tranquil water, he again placed his boat upon the sea. There he stood breathless, his hands busied with his burthens, his shirt tucked up and held by his teeth, but still half floating in the water, and his face troubled as though with his last hope. One moment he seemed to have succeeded; the next-and his boat again lay with its side upon the waves: he did not, however, even then despair, but sat himself on the beach with an old nail and a stone to devise some other remedy.
"We see, then, that the games of children demand free play of limb, and exercise that they have a purpose comprehensible to the child, and that the labour they demand from him is one which, he has reason to believe, will be attended with success. But the wise instructor will not satisfy himself with this general knowledge of his pupil's amusements. He will also watch them with interest; for in them children most display their peculiar characters, and from them he may learn how best to apply his lessons to individuals. He may even almost share in their games, and teach them new ones. He will thus avoid the character of a pedant placed over children, merely to disturb their pleasures, and weary them with instruction: and the very games which he invents for them may be instructive. He must not, however, fall into the rich man's error; he must call forth their own resources, and not suffer them to lean on those of others; the sure way to form indolent, languid, and useless characters."
"Beware, however, that you be not too anxious to make your pupils infant prodigies. Risk not that the child grow up a dullard, from a mere surfeit of
teaching. What matters it whether he learn to read in six months or in sixteen? Let your lessons be varied, short, and at long intervals. Nature calls the child out to the open fields, to the free heavens, to the running stream; she urges on his quickened step, she speaks in his boisterous shout, and in his loud and joyous laugh. You chain him down to a desk, you accustom him to ennui; you force on your child whole hours which have for him neither thought nor employment; and this, too, that he may not disturb the silence of your study or the economy of your drawing-room: but remember, it is in these hours which are sacrificed to your ease and comfort that your children first learn indolence, and acquire all ill manners and selfish habits, and even low and filthy tricks."
As it has ever been our principle to suffer every man to be heard, whatever may be his sentiments, when those sentiments apply to the cause of Education, and to make our objections candidly, we now are compelled to remark that the author before us, in connection with much that is interesting, and in unison with truth, promulgates at the same time much that is indefinite and vague. Of religious instruction he appears unwarrantably afraid; but he seems intimately acquainted with the wholesome and touching effects of the religion of Christ in the mind of a child. Indeed there it seems peculiarly to take root, there it develops itself as in a bed of comparative innocence; the pattern of Christ,-his love for little children, his acts of love, his tenderness, his pity, all appeal to a child's heart, and draw from him ofttimes tears of penitence and pity, and the sweetest breathings of genuine prayer. He says
"I must own that I approach this part of my subject with fear: its importance awes me. I feel that against me is the universal practice of all nations. For, universally the child is educated in the religion of his country, or his parents. With me however I believe, is the common sense of mankind and their history, and with me is the experience of individuals.
"I assert then, that you cannot develope religious feeling in the boy by pressing on him the truth of this or that creed, and the duties it enjoins.
"Go back to the days of your infancy and boyhood; you hung with delight over the simple tales of the Bible. But your ideas of God and man, were they orthodox Christianism? I do not ask, what you said you believed, what was your nominal creed, but whether you had a creed, and what that creed was? "You had no creed*-but indefinite notions, and recurring at distant intervals, of a Being high, and powerful, and good, and to be propitiated and honoured by good deeds; and at times wonder and doubt, whether you might not deceive, and hide from him some wicked deed: love for Christ, even to tears, for him who loved little children, who did good to the poor and the sick, and the lame and the blind, him who hungered and thirsted, and had not where to lay his head, and whom wicked men beat, and betrayed, and crucified.
"This was your religion, and a religion good and true;—a religion which, allowed to develope itself naturally, might have shed a kindly and beneficent influence over the whole of your life; but your parents would bore you with a catechism, the summary of their creed and its forms, both matters incomprehensible and unintelligible to you. They would force you to listen to the service of a church, over which, had you dared, you willingly had slept; and insisted upon the performance of acts, as duties, which in your eyes were purposeless and burdensome ceremonies.†
"Children and childish persons apprehend not what the Man of God says; they receive but the Word, not the Revelation."
Hence it is that the religion of means is confounded with the religion of ends: and hence the universal tendency of all rituals to Fetishism.
VOL. I.-May, 1835.
"Now what is the natural consequence of this soi-disant religious education? You have a superstitious respect for the externals and trappings of a religion to whose soul you have never penetrated; and though you shrink from the performance of what you believe are its ordinances, you smooth down your ruffled conscience by venting your wrath against those who dare to hint, that not all of them are necessary to either man's well being or his salvation.— You tremble before your religion, but believe me, you hate it. You have thrust it back into some dark closet of your heart, where it sits grim and spectre-like -and prepared, should intrusion be made on its solitude, to catch and freeze in its skeleton embrace the cheering beauty of all human hope."
This, however, is in some degree qualified—
"If then we find one National creed, however large in itself, pared down to fit the narrow intellects, and distorted to please the brutal passions, of a barbaric population; and another, made for, and suited to infant man, enlarged and built upon to give room to his growing mind; and if we see also, that all attempts unnaturally to force the development of the religious sense in the individual, tend gradually to weaken, and sometimes altogether to destroy that sense; surely it must become our care, as it is our duty, not so much to teach our children our creed, (and I speak to Jew, Mahommedan, and Christian, and to Christians of all denominations, Arian, Socinian, Calvinist, Anabaptist, Trinitarian,) as to watch the character of their minds, and to find a creed adapted to them, or to let them find a creed for themselves.
"What, not teach our children religion? Are they, if they should not feel the want of a Deity, to live without God in the world.'
"I have never said, that you are to leave children to the workings of their own minds, or where is the utility of education? No, it is your business to find the subjects on which their minds are to work, by hints, questions, experiments; but teach them nothing, give them no parrot knowledge.
"Fear not, wherever you find mind, there is also humanity. Between a Bacon and an African savage; a Paul and the child that lisps in your arms; infinite as is the distance that separates them, the difference is in degree, not in kind. They possess the same powers; in the development of intellect they follow the same laws; to each are given the same fundamental ideas which make up the human mind, without which indeed the human mind, as such, cannot exist. Only in the one case they lie massed and confused together, in the other they have been developed and arranged; and of these fundamental ideas the one that first presses itself on us, is the idea of God.
"Atheism is impossible. The cradled infant, soon as he can fit language to thought, asks of his doating nurse-Who made him and the world? The parish crone answers, God; the indolent and careless Otaheitan, God;-the lowest wretch of the degraded Pariahs, God;-the bloodiest of the cannibals of Africa, God;-and the child's heart echoes to the answer. The Creator, the great I AM, lives in the child's heart.
"But this not satisfies us; we cannot rest till the child honour, not his God, but ours; we must teach him who and what God is: we cannot leave him to his own simple anthropomorphism; we must terrify him with that anomalous picture, which is the result of the heaped up traditions of succeeding ages, differing in character and civilization. With much labour we accustom him, from earliest infancy, to a jargon to him unintelligible; and with that jargon we smother in him the pure and necessary idea of the Deity. The boy grows to manhood-his trembling superstition has been elsewhere describedbut he is perhaps seized with a mania for Philosophy. Then as he has never learnt to search into the depths of human intelligence, as he has never been arrested by, or has most assuredly despised the burning flashes of his most intimate consciousness, he takes the rule and line of all that is finite in his own
mind, to compass infinity: and he daringly throws aside all religion, all morality, all conscience, and-but that he crouches appalled before that one cry of Humanity set up by the first created, and continued with one steady voice through the many terrible convulsions of the natural and the moral world,in very conceit with his own littleness, he would stand forth, and boast that there was no God. So far, however he dares not: he contents himself, therefore, with a Deity who is a pure phenomenon or a mere substance."
Taking this volume as a whole, the views contained in it are in the highest degree philosophic and sound. The philosophy, however, in it, is not of that cold kind which is too generally found in writers on these subjects; it is warm and breathing, falling like sunshine, not only to enlighten but to cheer. The appendix and notes display a very considerable acquaintance with the learned, as also with foreign authors, particularly the German writers; in fact the style is itself German, and the work such an one as Goëthe might have written. To all who are friends to education, on comprehensive principles, who would see it applied to the development of all the faculties and powers both of body and mind, who would have it universally diffused in a liberal and comprehensive spirit, this work will be valuable and important.
The Constitution of Man, considered in relation to External. Objects. By George Combe. (Henderson Edition.) John Anderson, Jun., Edinburgh. THE title of this book comprehends as fine a subject as could possibly fall to the lot of an author, at the same time that it is one of the highest importance to man. We have ever held that in teaching, a constant reference should be made to external objects, and of man's relation to them, and that he, who, with a bold and vigorous pen, should attempt a review of these relations, would confer a great boon upon mankind. The sources of human happiness, the conditions requisite for maintaining it, the application of the natural laws to the practical arrangements of life, and the influence of the natural laws on the happiness of individuals, are themes upon which the philosopher and the philanthropist would expatiate with a divine pleasure; if, in his researches he should be able to rescue the mind from its perplexites and its errors, and in place of a diseased action of its powers, bestow upon them a healthy exercise. But in this task, it is with regret that we are obliged to confess that the author of the volume before us, has signally failed; and why has he failed? Because he has been labouring more to make all his evidence suit the particular theory (that of phrenology) which he has taken up, instead of launching into his subject unshackled and untrammelled. Phrenology is to the science of mind, what astrology was to astronomy or alchemy to chemistry; with this difference, that it seeks to mystify by assumed facts, instead of occult mystery. It is a failure of great minds that they cannot conceive a great idea without making too much of it. In the present instance, this error is to be seen in every page. Leaving, however, this fault, there is another consequent upon the narrow manner in which the subject is treated, and it is a fault of the greatest magnitude, as it tends most powerfully to prejudice the cause of true
religion. It is true that the same God presides over the temporal as over the eternal interests of man, and it is demonstrably certain that what is conducive to those interests in one case will in no instance impede them in the other, but will be generally favourable also; and those that would array against Christianity, nature and science; and who would assert that one is inimical to the other, would impale themselves upon the horns of as great a dilemma as can be conceived. Let people, and particularly the mass of the people now rising into intelligence in this country, once be of opinion that Scripture is a bar to knowledge, or that knowledge is opposed and contrary to the Scriptures, Scripture and religion will in a very few years be abandoned. To assert that a man cannot be penetrated by the love of God, except that a particular cerebral organization shall exist, is at once to deny one of the first principles of religion, and one of the highest motives of action. We will leave the author, however, to speak :
"The religious teachers of mankind are yet ignorant of the most momentous fact in regard to the moral and intellectual improvement of the race which nature contains. I have heard it said that Christianity affords a better and a more instantaneous remedy for human depravity, than improvement in the cerebral organization; because the moment a man is penetrated by the love of God in Christ, his moral and religious affections and intellect become far stronger and more elevated, whatever his brain may be, than those of any individual whatever without that love, however high his cerebral development, and however much he may be instructed in natural knowledge. I observe, however, that in this life a man cannot become penetrated by the love of God, except through the aid of sound and sufficient material organs. This fact is directly proved by cases of madness and idiocy. Disease in the organs is the cause of insanity, and mere deficiency in size in them, is one, and invariable cause of idiocy. In neither of these states can the mind receive the advantages of the Christian doctrine. These facts shew that the power of receiving and appreciating Christianity itself is modified by the condition of the brain, and I venture to affirm, that the influence of the organs does not terminate with these extreme cases, but operates in all circumstances, and in every individual, aiding or impeding the reception and efficacy even of revelation. If this were not the case, there would be a power in operation capable of influencing the human mind, during life, without the intervention of material organs; and, accordingly, many excellent persons believe this to be Scriptural truth, and matter of experience also. But those who entertain this opinion are not instructed in the functions of the brain; are not aware of the universally admitted facts, which establish, that while life continues, the mind cannot act or be acted upon except through the medium of organs; nor do they bring forward one example of idiots and madmen being rendered pious, practical, and enlightened Christians by this power, notwithstanding of the state of their brains. Cases indeed occur in which religious feelings co-exist with partial idiocy or partial insanity; but in them the organs by means of which these sentiments are manifested, will be discovered to be well developed, and if the feelings be sound, the organs will be found to be unaffected by disease." In a preceding page the author denies that Scripture and science can be opposed to each other, and speaks in the strongest terms
Opposition between science and revelation I sincerely believe to be impossible, when the facts in nature are correctly observed, and divine truth is correctly interpreted; but I put the case thus strongly to call the serious at