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BY THE REV. DAVID BLAIR;
of Natural and Experimental Philosophy.
THE EIGHTH EDITION, IMPROVED.
FOR RICHARD PHILLIPS;
AND ALL BOOKSELLERS.
AG 105 P55 1816
The Author of tbis work has been many years anxious to atchieve his present undertaking. His experience, reason, and feel. ings, prove to him, that, in the progress of . education, Young Persons ought to be enabled to acquire correct general views on all subjects, which may serve as food for the mind in after-life, and as the bases of further studies in sucb branches of knowledge, as, at a future period, may gratify their tastes, or accord with their interests.
Early education cannot make adepts in any branch of science; at least, without sacrificing every other subject to one: it ought, therefore, to embrace the elements of general knowledge, as the true means of enJarging and exercising the understanding, and qualifying it to engage with advantage in any peculiar pursuit. To fill the storehouse of the memory,
is the rational business of education; and, at a season of life, when the powers of reason have not acquired a useful degree of action. Nor
vil such general instruction interfere with particular studies, if the tutor be provided with a Test-Book, embracing the foundations of human learning: sach, it is presurned, will be found in the following pages.
When the Author compiled his ClassBook, he was actuated by siunilar principles; and he believes it is generally felt, ibat great advantages have accrued to young persons, from the perusal of that work. Every tutor must be sensible, however, that the Class-Book, as a meals of enlarging the sphere of knowledge, is rather to be consi. dered as a comnientary, than as a key to the temple of Science itself. The Class-Book has its superior uses; but, through its medium, the building can only be viewed at a distance; the object, then, in the present work, is to lead the young student up the steps of the portico, open the doors to him, and usher him into that superstructure, which raises man above his fellows, and places him in contact with the good and the illustrious of his species !
Without interfering with particular branches of education, all the parts of this work may be rendered familiar within two years: one paragraph may be co'nmitted to memory every day; and The Book of Questions may be answered twice over within that period. When this task has been finished, what an accession of varied knowledge will
have fallen to the lot of the pupil !--Hov stored, will be bis mind, with interesting ideas for contemplation and conversation ! and how comparatively blank must be the minds of others, who have not enjoyed the same ad. vantages !-- Yet, particular studies, at the same time, need not be neglected! This book may, indeed, be collateral in labour; although it will prove primary in effect !But the author may be said to be sanguine; he, therefore, forbears to say all that his hopes prompt him to; and leaves his book to speak for itself, and prove its worth, by its actual effects on the rising generation.
For the convenienee of Tutors, A Key to the Questions, in the Book of Questions appended to this work, has recently been published, including Answers to the Questions in Goldsmith's Grammar of Geography, in Barrow's Scripture-Questions, Adair's English Questions, and ten other works. Such an auxiliary cannot fail to render the Universal Preceptor, and the other books on the same plan, particularly acceptable to all Tutors; as it will relieve them from much uancccssary trouble and anxiety.
I. Introductory Particulars. 1. KNOWLEDGE is either necessary and useful, or ornamental and luxurious.
It distinguishes civilized from savage life. Its cultivation in youth promotes virtue, by creating habits of mental discipline; and by inculcating a sense of moral obligation.
Knowledge is, therefore, the best foundation of happiness.
2. Necessary KNOWLEDGE is that which simply provides man with food; and with the means of sustaining life.
3. Useful Knowledge is that which teaches the arts of agriculture, clothing, building, restoring health, preserving social order, main. taining national independence, and rendering the produce of all climates subservient to the wants of our own.
4. Ornamental KNOWLEDGE relates to .sub. jects of taste; as drawing, painting, poetry, grammar, geometry, eloquence, history, music, dancing, dramatic representation, and the livin languages.