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roughnesses and trials; which maintains peace in families, and affords security to the commonwealth. In general, no length of time, no change of circumstances wholly destroys its propitious influence. And without it, without a belief in the existence of God, and a high sense of accountability, all sciences will be in vain; all other attainments will utterly fail of making men happy, and widely useful.

Multitudes of illustrations might be introduced to confirm the views of this section. How natural is the following incident! And how agreeable, therefore, to sound philosophy!" When I was a little child, (said a religious man,) my mother used to bid me kneel beside her, and place her hand upon my head, while she prayed. Ere I was old enough to know her worth, she died, and I was left much to my own guidance. Like others, I was inclined to evil passions, but often felt myself checked, and as it were drawn back by the soft hand upon my head. When I was a young man, I travelled in foreign lands, and was exposed to many temptations, but when I would have yielded, that same hand was upon my head, and I was saved. I seemed to feel its pressure, as in days of my happy infancy, and sometimes there came with it a voice in my heart, a voice that must be obeyed-Oh, do not this wickedness, my son, nor sin against thy God."

$ 434. Of education for particular arts or professions.

When men first flowed together into societies, they justly anticipated, that the wants of one would be supplied by the labours of another. As all could not devote themselves to one calling, different pursuits were chosen by different individuals. In making their choice, they were influenced by a variety of circumstances; by the wants of the community, by the wishes of their associates, or by their own predilections; and hence we find the whole community divided into arts, or professions.

In prescribing a course of study, regard should be had to the calling, which the person has in view; and it should be suited, as much as possible, to promote the objects of

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that calling. It would be absurd, therefore, for a youth, intended for some mechanick art, to spend any length of time in the acquisition of languages, which might be very proper and important in a merchant, lawyer, or theologian. -But then we would not have such an one exclusively limited to those sciences, which have an immediate relation to his business in life. Let such sciences have a great share of his attention, but not all.--Mechanicks should remember, that they are men, as well as artisans ; and while they must give up much to their work-shops, they owe not a little to their friends, to their families, and to society. If they are disposed to, they can save many fragments of time from their appropriate callings, which may be profitably employed in disciplining all the mental powers, and in the improvement of the social and religious affections.

§. 435. Formatim of intellectual habits.

The term, HABIT, may be applied either to bodily or mental operations, and expresses that readiness or facility, which is found to be the result of frequent practice. By practice, the limbs of the body may be strengthened, and may be brought to perform a variety of admirable motions. Rope-dancers, and the performers of the circus exhibit feats, which would seem incredible, were we not led to expect almost any thing from the formation of habits. The results of intellectual habits are not less striking than those of the body; the mind can be raised up to its highest excellence only by repeated actions. Many traits, such as a turn for punning, for diverting stories, for imaginary creations, for close reasoning, which are thought to be natural, are caused wholly by a repetition of the same


This great law of the mind, that it is susceptible of habits, or that it acquires a facility of doing merely by the repetition of doing, is of no small practical value in the conduct of education.If the student would become a good writer, he must form a habit; that is, he must acquire

a command of words, and a ready perception of what is beautiful or deformed in the combinations of thought and of language, by frequent practice. If he would become a ready speaker or reasoner, he must use himself to the task of connecting together his thoughts in arguments, and of expressing them in unpremeditated diction. If he would possess the power of framing at will ideal creations, it can only be done by a frequent exercise of the imagination.

-You may give to the pupil all the rules in the world; you may succeed in making him fully understand the propriety of them; and they will utterly avail nothing, unless he shall set set his own mind at work, and not only go through with a series of mental operations, but continue to repeat them, until a facility is acquired.Here is the secret of excellence; in frequent, and consequently laborious repetition. It is in this way, that good poets, good orators, mathematicians, painters, &c. are formed. In multitudes of instances a want of excellence is to be ascribed, not so much to any defect of nature, as to a repugnance to the formation of intellectual habits. And this is much the same as to say, that in all such cases the true occasion of mental inferiority is indolence.

$436. Of a thorough examination of subjects.

There is great difference between a superficial, and a thorough education; between a mere smattering, and a sound knowledge of things. Owing partly to laziness,

and partly to the vanity of appearing to know every thing, multitudes dissipate their time in skipping from one sort of knowledge to another, and in forming a slight acquaintanco with all, without a full understanding of any. It is thought by many, that this is particularly the vice of the present times; and that there has been a diminution of laborious and thorough scholarship, in proportion as books have multiplied, and there has been a wider dissemination of knowledge among all classes.One part of education is the storing of the mind with new ideas; another, and not a less important one, is the giving to all the mental powers a suitable discipline; exercising those, that are

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strong; strengthening those powers, which are weak; maintaining among all of them a suitable balance. A thorough examination of subjects is an education, or training up of the mind, in both these respects. It furnishes it with that species of knowledge, which is most valuable, because it is not mixed up with errours; and, moreover, gives a strength and consistency to the whole structure of the intellect. These facts are highly worthy of being regarded in the conduct of the understanding.

The direction, which we would deduce from them, is, that the student be made to go to the foundation, the ultimate principles of every subject. Almost every topick, which is worthy of being examined, has its difficulties. The mind, when unaccustomed to patient labour, discovers a disposition to fly off, and not to meet them. This feeling must not be yielded to; but however reluctant, the mind should be again and again brought up to the attack, until the difficulties be overcome. It is not to be supposed from this, that the student's efforts are to be limited to one department of science exclusively; it is merely meant, that he ought not to be permitted to go from one department of knowledge to another or from one subject to another, without thoroughly understanding, without going to the bottom of them.

This practice once adopted will become in the end easy and delightful. The love of truth will be strengthened, and become a mighty principle; the mind will approach difficulties with greater firmness and readiness; and toil itself will no longer be a source of uneasiness.

§. 437. Of a command of the attention.

Those, who are required to follow the directions above given as to a thorough examination of subjects, will sometimes complain, that they find a great obstacle in their inability to fix their attention. They are not wanting in ability to comprehend, but find it difficult to retain the mind in one position so long, as to enable them to connect together all the parts of a subject, and duly estimate their various bearings. When this intellectual defect exists, it

becomes a new reason for that thorough examination of subjects, which has been above recommended. It has probably been caused by a neglect of such strictness of examination, and by a too rapid and careless transition from one subject to another.--ATTENTION expresses the state of the mind, when it is steadily directed for some time, whether longer or shorter, to some object of sense or intellect, exclusive of other objects. All other objects are shut out; and when this exclusion of every thing else continues for some time, the attention is said to be in tense. It is well known, that such an exclusive direction of the mind cannot exist for any long period, without being accompanied with a feeling of desire or interest. In the greatest intellectual exertions, not the mere powers of judging, of abstracting, and of reasoning. are concerned, there will also be a species of excitement of the feelings.--And it will be found, that no feeling will effectually confine the minds of men in scientifick pursuits, but a love of the truth.

Mr. Locke thought, that the person, who should find out a remedy for the wandering of thoughts, would do great service to the studious and contemplative part of mankind. We know of no other remedy, than the one just mentioned, A LOVE OF THE TRUTH, a desire to know the nature and relation of things, merely for the sake of knowl edge. It is true, that a conviction of duty will do much ; ambition and interest may possibly do more; but when the mind is led to deep investigations by these views merely, it is a tiresome process, and after all is ineffectual. Nothing but a love of the truth for its own sake will permanently keep off the intrusions of foreign thoughts, and secure a certainty of success. The excellency, therefore, of knowledge, considered merely as suited to the intellectual nature of man, and as indicative of the character of that Being, who is the true source of all knowledge and the fashioner of all intellect, cannot be too frequently impressed.

The person, who is capable of strictly fixing his attention, will have a great advantage over others. Of two

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