« AnteriorContinuar »
HINTS FOR SCRIPTURE LESSONS.—No. 1.
ST. MATTHEW xviii. 10—35. Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones (v. 10).—Amplify on this universality of God's care : little ones may be taken as lowly ones (who have come to Christ, for it has reference to vv. 2, 3), and does not merely mean children, which unduly restricts the sense. Question on parallel passages and other Scripture proofs of Christ's condescending love and pity towards the humblest. The latter part of this verse seems to say that the highest angels watch over the humblest men. The Jewish belief is herein apparently supported,--that each good man had his attendant angel.—(See Bloomfield on this.)
All that are lost (v. 11).-Shows the universality of redeeming grace. (See also v. 14.) It introduces the especial solicitude of God for the most erring.
Goeth into the mountains (v. 12).—This solicitude is likened to the anxiety of the shepherd after his one lost sheep. Here dilate and digress on habits of shepherds, and especially in mountainous countries, where the danger is peculiarly great, and the effort to recover the stray sheep proportionate. Just so ought we to go abroad to reclaim sinners : and this verse is often quoted in aiding missionary efforts.
He rejoiceth more of that sheep (v. 13).—This shows that the duties of Christianity and God's sympathies assimilate with ours.
It is not the will of my Father that one of these little ones should perish (v. 14).—Cite parallel passages : Epistle gen. of St. John ii. 2; Rev. xxii. 17, &c. &c. Deduce and show sin of uncharitableness and Phariseeism.
Go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone.—Convince him of it : for so the word freyžov means. Much may be made of this. It unfolds great Christianity, and the only way of meeting offences. (See also St. Luke xvii. 3: “ Rebuke him.") This is in order to repentance. It is obvious from this, that silent forgiveness is not the forgiveness
enjoined by God; but the effort to convince and reclaim is not to be • ostentatious or public ; for that would be to triumph,or, perchance, to
fail through the effort to triumph,-more likely to exasperate than to soften. It enjoins the use of reason and argument. Amity is the essence of Christian effort, and love, its aim.
And if he shall neglect to hear them, &c. (vv. 16, 17). These show that truth must be vindicated and prevail, and that even forbearance must be subordinate to the discomfiture of obdurate offenders. Make your explanation of this in very plain language, especially avoiding the words we have used, and which are employed merely as suggestive to educated teachers, not as fit for, or intelligible to, children.
Tell it unto the Church, &c. If two of you shall agree, &c. (vv. 1720.)—These verses show the authority of the Church, and the duty of continually seeking the mediatory functions of the clergy.
Till seven times ? (v. 21.)-Peter knew well that there was no such limit to forgiveness, but he wished to draw out Christ's view of its extent. But the question came well from him, for he was hasty in temper. Our Lord answers him categorically, and so as to show that there is no numerical limit to forgiveness.
The remainder of the chapter consists of a parable full of the most
vital love, and beautifully illustrating the same truths. The large amount of the debt (v. 24) shows the vileness of the sinner who sues for forgiveness, and the magnitude of the mercy which concedes it. Turpitude is no barrier to grace : God's love exceeds it. The servant is forgiven. Improve the sequel. How forgiving should be the forgiven; how softened to others ought those to be who have felt the boundless loving-kindness of God; and far more, how forgiving should those be to their fellow-men for Almighty pardon !, There can be no absolution without it. Ask what petition in the Lord's Prayer this brings to mind ; and expatiate on it. Also give examples of the practice of duty drawn from the likelihood (or better still, the knowledge of the child's actual experience. The sequel shows, that if we are unforgiving, and persist in the frowardness of wrath, and are self-avengers, God will surely punish our anti-Christian enmity to our fellow-men ; for thereby we fit ourselves for hell, and shall be given over to the tormentors, till we have paid (suffered) all that is due.
Now these are only hints. The effect of the lesson will depend wholly on the teacher's care and skill in explanation. There are many professors who never explain ; but they are not teachers. Explanation first, and questioning after, are both essential to teaching : it cannot be done without them; and most of all, is it essential that this be done in teaching Holy Scripture.
READING-BOOKS. TO THE EDITOR OF THE ENGLISH JOURNAL OF EDUCATION. SIR,—Your correspondent M. E. C. maintains that such a knowledge of many things as it is in the power of a man to keep up in a line of equal progress, is preferable to the thorough knowledge of one subject, along with that acquaintance with other subjects which we have shown to be necessarily involved in it. Now, I think that any one who has accompanied me through the entire series of my papers on “ Disciplina Rediviva” will see that I am contending for a real principle of study, I have again and again stated that my scheme is disciplinal in its character; and that discipline of mind is not commonly attainable through the medium of varied and cursory study, it is very much the object of these papers to show. Along with this must be borne in mind the fact, that I do not presume to address myself to any other case than that of young men, at a period of their lives when the natural tendency is rather to a desultory than a studious habit ; when their minds need fixing and concentrating to a focus of observation and reflection, rather than directing to a sphere of unlimited extent ;-when the telescope may not be allowed to sweep the whole heavens restlessly, and before the discipline of severe preparation has supplied the observer with "the art of seeing," but must win for him his first inkling of scientific knowledge, through the steady contemplation of one planet, or one constellation. It would be easy to enumerate subjects of study, to an extent which might well bewilder the most intelligent lad of seventeen, even though, on being introduced to them, he were to be assured that, as to the manner of studying, “what is careless and inattentive will be entirely valueless ; but that varied reading is by no means synonymous with careless reading.” Now, my consolation to the youth's astonished mind (and a consolation truly philosophical I contend) would be, first, to point out to him what is conveyed in the term thorough study (see former papers ; e. g., on History), and then, by an easy transition of argument, to convince him that varied reading is, to him, synonymous with careless reading. I think that this point in the question, being the point at issue, should not have been dismissed by M. E. C. in a single clause of an affirmative sentence. It looks to me like an undoubted petitio principii.
Now I contend, that a thorough study of history, with its accessory topics, and with just so much acquaintance with these topics as is necessary to such thorough study, will benefit a young man's mind more, by enlarging it and bringing out its real strength and manifold capacities, than would a correlative and simultaneous handling of Chemistry, Political Economy, History, Moral Philosophy, Algebra, Arithmetic (of this, and of kindred instrumental methods, of course every youth of seventeen is supposed to possess a sufficient knowledge), and what not,and this, with no other purpose than that of keeping up what cannot, in the nature of things, be more than a mediocre acquaintance with current subjects—such an acquaintance as the generality of men, “ the mass,” possess.
Our scheme relates to a particular class of minds, we again assert, and not to “the mass," although we have a notion that this same mass might be more easily dealt with, and broken up into more intelligent and tractable units, by inducing even the said "blacksmith" or "stockingweaver” to take up his own line of research and study, and (not neglecting needful knowledge on points of life and human necessity) to keep to it. Is that same stocking-weaver a less or more intelligent man for his dogged pursuit of one of the out-door sciences,—Botany, Entomology, or the like? It seems to me, that the deeper we can induce men to dive (keeping their eyes open) into the mysteries of nature, the larger-minded we shall make them. Witness “ that humble hero Mr. Charles Peach, the self-taught naturalist of Cornwall,” spoken of with such enthusiasm by Mr. Kingsley (quoting Chambers), not only as “a collector of zoophytes and echinodermata," but as “a reasonable, well-judging man ” (M. E. C.), of a large, because a deep searching mind, and with faculties disciplined in the gymnasium of an exclusive, but not narrowing study. Witness that “self-trained philosopher,” towards whom one's heart always warms as towards a genial luminary of intelligence, the great Hugh Miller, a man who has a mind for other things than fossils, though it was through the medium of one exclusive study * that that mind assumed its present proportions,-a man, be it remembered, who emerged from a stone-quarry, to take his stand on a commanding elevation, in relation to the whole range of knowledge ;witness, if it be urged that these are exceptional cases, those many nameless individuals (I have known many of them in Yorkshire, and
* “ As a specimen of the way in which a single district may be thoroughly worked out, and the universal method of induction learnt from a narrow field of objects, what book can, or perhaps ever will, coinpare with Mr. Hugh Miller's · Old Red Sandstone ?'”—Glaucus, p. 163.
you may find scores of them in Bethnal Green) amongst our artificers, whose collections of dried plants, or carefully-preserved insects, bespeak a power of generalization, which could not have been attained through the simultaneous pursuit of half a dozen subjects ; but which, through the steady pursuit of one, has placed them on a level with men of science and education.
It seems to me, that the more we combat shallowness, the wider we extend the limits of mind, even though at the expense of a limitation as to subject-matter, which finds its justification in our limited capacities, our limited inclinations, and our limited time.
I think I have shown the unfairness of the argument which claims a position of analogy in the circumstances of the man and his trade, by embracing that case and those conditions within the limits of my own provision.
The disciplinal aim of these papers directs attention to the mind itself, rather than to the field of man's observation. We have treated of subject-matter mainly in so far as it relates to this object; viz., the strengthening and culture of the faculties, in their due subordination and precision. Enlargement of mind we do not so much dwell upon, because that is the issue of silent growth, and is rather a result than a conscious object of study or of discipline ; as such, and connected with such a laying-out of life-studies as is consequent upon some more mature stage of the mind's progress.
We need scarcely say, that we do not recommend a passive habit of mind in relation to current events, or to subjects of temporary interest. Much that is absolutely necessary to be acquired, and much that is rendered necessary by the influence of circumstances of extraordinary interest, will be allowed for a time, and in some degree, to displace the severest rule and system of study. We cannot be understood to debar the student from obedience to that natural impulse which prompts him to remedy the defects and the defaults of knowledge of various kinds, which every man must in daily life, and in his contact with thoughtful men, experience. In conclusion, we must say, that we observe, in the last paragraph of M. E. C.'s letter, remarks which go far to concede what we contend for ; viz., “ that in youth, when the mind is less able to digest the food with which it is supplied, care is requisite not to overtask the awakening brain, or prevent its acquiring the power of concentrating all its energies upon any point to which it is at the time directed.” As to the means of acquiring this power of concentration, we differ.
Thanking your able correspondent for having done me the favour of calling attention to my remarks, and also for the very courteous manner in which he tenders his views,* I am, Sir, yours truly, J. S. G.
[* And our correspondent will the more appreciate the urbanity of this reply, because she happens to be a lady.-ED. E.J.E.]
POPULAR EXPLANATION OF REGNAULT'S DISCOVERIES
RELATIVE TO THE LATENT HEAT OF STEAM AT DIF
FERENT TEMPERATURES. BY T. TATE, F.R.A.S. TT is highly desirable that teachers should be made acquainted with I the discoveries that are being made in those branches of science which bear directly on the industry of the country. The recent discoveries of Regnault, relative to the laws of heat, appear to me to be intimately connected with the economy of steam-power, and the efficient action of the steam-engine. A popular explanation of these discoveries, therefore, should not be deemed unworthy of the attention of the schoolmaster of the industrial classes of a country whose proudest achievement is the subjugation of the mighty power of steam.
UNIT OF CALORIC. So long as the form of a body, whether solid or liquid, remains unchanged, its capacity for heat, or caloric, is constant, whatever may be its temperature, or at least is so very nearly for ordinary bodies. Thus, for example, the quantity of caloric requisite for raising the temperature of a pound of water from 60° to 70° temperature will be the same (or very nearly the same) as that which would be requisite for raising this water from 70° to 80° temperature : and so on to other cases. This law, as applied to water, gives us an exact method of measuring the quantity of caloric transmitted to any substance, and of laying down an exact definition of what is called a unit of caloric.
Definition.— A unit of caloric is that quantity of heat which is necessary to elevate a pound-weight of water one degree of temperature, estimated by Fahrenheit's thermometer, or the thermometer in common use in this country.
LATENT HEAT OF STEAM. When water is heated in an open vessel, such as a common kettle, the law which has just been explained, holds true up the temperature of 212°, or the boiling temperature of water ; but the moment the water begins to boil, its temperature ceases to rise, and the vapour or steam which is formed, passes off with the same temperature as the boiling water. This process will go on so long as there is a drop of water in the vessel. What becomes of all the heat that is being applied to the water? It has become latent, or hidden, in the steam. This latent caloric is the caloric requisite for maintaining water in the state of elastic vapour or steam. Dr. Black discovered the principle of latent heat.
The latent heat of steam at boiling temperature, or 212°, has been very accurately determined. There are 934 units of caloric latent in a pound of steam at 212o temperature; that is to say, the caloric absorbed by a pound of water in passing into the form of steam, is such as would elevate 934 pounds of water one degree. When steam is condensed, or brought back to the state of water, this latent caloric is set free, or given up to the cold substance used for condensing the steam.
LAW OF LATENT AND SENSIBLE HEAT OF STEAM AT DIFFERENT
TEMPERATURES AND PRESSURES. When steam is generated in the closed boiler of a steam-engine, the heat applied to the boiler raises fresh portions of vapour, which increases