Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

KNOWLEDGE AND VIRTUE ARE SO ENTIRELY THE SAME, THAT VIRTUE IS KNOWLEDGE INSPIRED WITH THE ATTRI. BUTES OF LIFE.--Dr. Southwood Smith.

Knowledge is an accumulation of facts, and signifies things known.
All real knowledge is derived from positive sensations. Frances Wright.

The Aim of Education should be to teach us rather how to think than what to think-rather to improve our minds, so as to enable us to think for ourselves, than to load the memory with the thoughts of other men.-Beattie.

Self-Knowledge.—Who seeth not how great is the advantage arising from this knowledge, and what misery must attend our mistakes concerning it. For he, who is possessed of it, not only knoweth himself, but knoweth what is best for him. He perceiveth what he can and what he cannot do; he applieth himself to the one, he gaineth what is necessary, and is happy : he attempts not the other, and therefore incurs neither distress nor disappointment.-Socrates, in Xenophon.

Obedience.To say that a blind custom of obedience should be a surer obligation than duty taught and understood—is to affirm that a blind man may tread surer by a guide, than a seeing man can by a light.

Lord Bacon.

Necessity of National Education. The Christian nations of our age seem to me to present a fearful spectacle; the impulse which is bearing them forward is so strong that it cannot be stopped, but it is not yet so rapid that it cannot be guided; there fate is in their own hands; yet a little while, and it may be so no longer. The first duty which is at this time imposed upon those who direct our affairs is to educate the democracy; to reanimate its faith, if that be possible; to purify its morals; to regulate its energies; to substitute for its inexperience a knowledge of business, and for its blind instincts an acquaintance with its true interests; to adapt its government to time and place, and to modify it in compliance with circumstances and characters. A new science of politics is indispensable to a world which has become new. This, however, is what we think of least; launched in the middle of a rapid stream, we obstinately fix our eyes on the ruins which may still be descried upon the shores we have left, whilst the current sweeps us along, and drives toward an unseen abyss.—De Tocqueville.

The Desire of Excelling. It will probably be asked, would I extinguish every spark of vanity in the world, all thirst of fame, of splendour, of magnificence, of show, all desire of excelling or distinguishing one's self from the common herd? Whát must become of the public service, of sciences, arts, commerce, manufactures? The business of life must stagnate. Nobody would spend his youth in fatigues and dangers to qualify himself for becoming a general or admiral. Nobody would study, and toil, and struggle, and roar for liberty to be a minister. The merchant would not drudge on through the infirmities of age to fill his own coffers, and supply his country with foreign commodities. The artificer, having acquired an independence, would leave his business to be practised by novices and bunglers. The man of learning would not waste his time and spirits to enrich the public with knowledge, to combat error, or defend his favourite truths against all opposers. Poetry, painting, music, elegance, wit and humour, would be lost from among us; affability, politeness, gallantry, and the pleasures of refined conversation be things unknown. How would you keep your children from rolling in the dirt without some motive of shame to influence them, or bring the schoolboy to ply close to his task? How prevent your sons from consorting with blackguards, or your daughters from romping with the grooms ?

While we remain indolent and selfish, it may be necessary for us to have vanity to counteract those mischievous qualities, as one poison serves as an antidote to another. But I could wish that there were no necessity for the poison, which must always have a tendency to impair the constitution.

If masters can find no other way of making their lads apply to their learning willingly, but by exciting an emulation among them, I would not deprive them of the use of this instrument. But there may be a commendation which has no personal comparison in it, and the pleasure, the advantages, the credit of a proficiency in learning may be displayed in sufficient alluring colours, without suggesting a thought of superiority over others, or of being the foremost. I acknowledge that it is a very nice point to distinguish between the desire of excellence and the desire of excelling, and the one is very apt to degenerate insensibly into the other: yet I think it may be effected by an attentive and skilful tutor, and the first will answer all the good purposes of the latter, without running the hazard of its inconveniences.

We may fairly conclude that the world would go on infinitely better if men would learn to do without it; and we may rank it among those evils permitted by Providence to bring forth some unknown good, but which we should encourage neither in ourselves nor others.— Tucker's Light of Nature.

Improvement in Education.- In the more advanced progress of knowledge, in the room of the pernicious maxims which are now so early and so universally inculcated, the mind will be taught that there is no law of our nature which operates more certainly and uniformly than that which secures the greatest sum of enjoyment to him who thinks least of his own, and most of others' good; that the principal design of the desire of approbation, the influence of which over noble spirits is so potent, is, to add to the authority of our own hearts, in favour of the dictates of virtue, the authority of the worthy and the wise; that the surest method of securing their honour, is, not to be guided invariably by their opinions and practices, but with firmness and fidelity to act according to our convictions ; that there is sometimes the sublimest glory in submitting to what is generally considered the deepest disgrace; in a word, that the great aim ought to be, not to appear but to be excellent ; not to obtain the applauses of the ignorant, nor even the cheering approbation of the wise, but to be of use in enlightening and blessing mankind; not to be governed contrary to our better judgment by a false maxim of the world, but to rectify its errors; not to idolize public opinion, but to deserve its homage; not from any pretext or at any price to forget for a moment the claims of morality and benevolence, but to regard them under all circumstances (as under all circumstances they must ever be) sacred and inviolable.--Dr. Southwood Smith.

Our Opinions have, unfortunately, to be changed, not simply formed; our advance in knowledge must involve forgetting as well as acquiring.

Frances Wright.

Fame.-Great minds had rather deserve contemporaneous applause without obtaining it, than obtain it without deserving it. If it follow them, it is well; but they will not deviate to follow it. With inferior minds the reverse is observable; so that they can command the flattery of knaves while living, they care not for the execrations of honest men when dead. Milton neither aspired to present fame, nor even expected it; but (to use his own words) his high ambition was, “to leave something so written to after ages, that they would not willingly let it die!" and Cato finely observed, he would much rather that posterity should inquire why no statues were erected to him,

-Colton.

THAN WHY THEY WERE.

Paid Teachers.—So long as the mental and moral instruction of man is left solely in the hands of hired servants of the public let them be teachers of religion, professors of colleges, authors of books, or editors of journals or periodical publications, dependent upon their literary labours for their daily bread, so fong shall we hear but half the truth; and well if we hear so much. Our teachers, political, scientific, moral, or religious; our writers, grave or gay, are compelled to administer to our prejudices, and to perpetuaté our ignorance. They dare not speak that which, by endangering their popularity, would endanger their fortunes. They have to discover not what is true, but what is palatable: not what will search into the hearts and minds of their hearers, but what will open their purse-strings. They have to weigh every sentiment before they hazard it, every word before they pronounce it, lest they wound some cherished vanity, or aim at some favourite vice.

When we would hear truths, we must seek them from other mouths and other pens than those which are dependent upon popular patronage, or which are ambitious of popular admiration.-Frances Wright.

RECORDS OF THE WORLD'S JUSTICE.

BY A HARDWAREMAN.
No. 10.-

-The Evangelical Preacher.

" This outward-sainted deputy,

Whose settled visage and deliberate word
Nips youth l’the head, and follies doth enmew,

As falcon doth the fowl-is yet a devil.
" And recks not his own read."

Shakspere.

"O ve plague-spotted vipers! how dare ye to drink the blood of your

God? Ye straight-lipped adulterers and adulteresses! how dare ye with your pollutions profane the sacramental vessel of the Lord? Ye whited sepulchres, fair outside, but within full of uncleanness! (Damned fine woman Mrs. Thomson-next to Mary!) wash not alone your hands in innocency, but cleanse your filthy hearts, ye double-minded! O that ye could feel the blessedness of repenting grace! O that with unfeigned contrition and bewailing for your manifold enormities ye would come unto Him who died for sinners such as you; unto Him who can make the foulest pure and lovely as a little child; who can make your sins, though they be as scarlet, through the efficacy of his wonderful blood, white as the unsullied snow! Repent, repent, I say, ere it be too late! Hell yawneth for you, ye are on the brink of everlasting perdition; yet ye mock' at the proffered mercy of your blessed Redeemer, and wantonly embrace the painted harlot that winds you in a miserable death. The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, &c.”

My

And the reverend Joseph Veale, concluding a lengthy discourse, sank back exhausted in his pulpit; wiped the streams of perspiration from his brow, with a delicate cambric handkerchief; passed his fingers through his dark curls; and very earnestly examined the roof of the church of St. Peggy Pattens, till the better portion of his congregation had vacated their pews, to jostle one another at the church-door.

Joseph Veale, by law and courtesy the “ reverend," was lecturer at St. Peggy Pattens, a fashionable place of worship at the best end of the town. My first introduction to him was at the house of a worthy tailor, where Mr. Veale was a frequent visitor. My friend, a very respectable tradesman, and as honest as a tradesman should be, lived close to the above-named church; and his house was conveniently situated for the refreshment of the lecturer. The tailor kept a good table, and was well pleased to render his offerings of mere carnal gratification in return for the spiritual fare with which Mr. Veale regaled him. Mr. Veale was a fashionable preacher; a “ dear man;" gifted with a tolerable face, black hair, great expression of sanctity, and a wondrous power of moving the feelings of his audience; and unobjectionable in all, save that some very particular people thought him “a little too studied and theatrical,” but nevertheless admired him. introduction to him was on the evening of a day which had been ordered, by the beneficent legislature, to be sanctified by fast and prayer, on account of very general distress throughout the country. Sermons, also ordered, were preached in all churches and chapels, and collections of money were made, for which the most distressed were none the better. I did as Martin Luther and Archbishop Cranmer direct to be done on Sundays, to vindicate a christian's liberty from the control of the ceremonial law—I followed my business: though I was not allowed to keep my shop open. In the evening, however, I thought I would go and sup with my friend Thomson, the tailor, who, though a saint, is an honest man, and very pleasant company when it pleases him. He was at church; so I waited some minutes, till he returned, bringing with him Mr. Veale and three or four old ladies of our acquaintance, who had been of the lecturer's congregation. The reverend gentleman was much fatigued with the delivery of a wonderful" long discourse in an unhealthy atmosphere. The Church had been crowded—not an unoccupied place—not even the pulpit stairs—" he had actually sent for the chairs from the vestry for two or three very interesting ladies who seemed exhausted with long standing.". But his exertions were nothing compared with their effect. Many had left the church in tears. How the old ladies, including my friend Thomson, hung about the reverend man, thanking him for his heavenly dis

In a little time he was well nigh fainting, either from the recollection of his labour, or beneath the overpowering attentions of the old women, who, one and all, lifted up their voices and wept over him. It was very affecting; it quite took away my appetite--gave me a sickening sensation; and I went home supperless.

Shortly after this, Mr. Veale obtained the curacy of Western, a suburban parish; and gave up his former duties for an evening lectureship at St. Adultery's. The Rector of Western was newly married to a young lady of great personal attractions. The curate became a frequent, and å welcome guest at the rectory. Indeed he soon was a most esteemed visitant in all the best families in his parish, being very assiduous in his attentions, and possessing great conversational powers and captivating manners. By the rector he was treated with the greatest friendship, of which Mr. Veale appeared very gratefully sensible. The rector had occasion to leave home for some weeks. Very soon after his departure, Mr. Veale became an inmate of the rectory (on what pretence no one could say) and was observed to be very familiar with his master's lady. Certain unpleasant reports greeted the ears of the confiding rector, on his return home. They were followed by a pitiable confession from his wife; and that by her attempting suicide. Next came a public trial, an action for damages, when it was clearly proved in evidence

[ocr errors]

course.

« PreviousContinue »