صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

blood, but against principalities, “these shall go away into everlastagainst powers, against the rulers of ing punishment, but the righteous the darkness of this world, against into life eternal." spiritual wickedness in high places.” But to return: having enumeConsider the threats : “ Cast ye the rated the principal advantages to unprofitable servant into outer dark- be derived from an improved intelness, there shall be weeping and lectual education, vir. Smith gave a gnashing of teeth.” Consider also short summary of the course he prothe whole analogy of nature, in poses to be pursued for that purpose, which nothing that is useful can be previous to the age of sixteen. His obtained without time and painful young pupil is to learn a little, and application. The wiider powers only a little, of drawing and music, indeed, the ministers of the wrath leaving higher advances in those of God, are not slow in working de- accomplishments to taste or after solation; the lightning can blast opportunities. She is to read anthe oak, and the whirlwind whelm cient and modern history; to be the traveller in an instant. But all mistress of French and Italian; to those bounteous processes, whether learn a good quantity of Latin, negof art or nature, by which Provi- lecting prosody and all Latin comdence supplies the wants of its crea- position: she is to be a good arithtures, are advanced by slow grada. metician, and to learn as much mathetions to their issues. The same order matics as a clever youth will master prevails also in the moral world; in six weeks; and finally, to afford neither knowledge, wealth, nor ho- time for these several attainments, nours, nor any of the greater advan- the attendances of the posture and tages which society presents to our dancing masters are to be reduced ambition, can ordinarily be reached in the proportion of eight to one. without long and laborious progres- Mr. Smith concluded with a short sion. And is it possible while hea- enuneration of the several parts of ven and earth thus bear testimony his lecture, and a just and affecting against then, that thinking men can picture of the blessings which a believe idleness to be innocent; or young female will render back to a fancy that the least exertion, nay parent who has so educated her, in the absence of all exertion, shall return for the happiness which he obtain the highest reward? And has enabled her to enjoy: yer when I call dissipation idleness, Now, Sir, the general principle I mark only one ingredient in its which runs through Mr. Smith's composition, and that too, I fear, the lecture is not only true, but so obe least noxious. Now then can I but viously and unanswerably true, repea as a truth, too clear to he that it is perfectly amazing that it doubted if only fairly canvassed, should need to be inculcated. Can that she who spends her days in it be a question whether woman idleness and her nights in gaiety has possesses an understanding, or, if no promise of salvation from the she does, wh-ther it ought to be culGospel. This has been said a thou- tivated? Some difference of opinion sand times, and a thousand times too may prevail, indeed, as to lesser heard and forgotten. Yet there is points. Those who have considered another awful truth which grows out the gradual formation of character, of the former:-if, through the me- will probably think tliat Mr. Smith rits of Christ, we do not here work greatly halts behind nature when out our salvation, we shall doubtless he supposes it fixed at seven years of work out our destruction. Chris- age, or even at a much later period. tianity recognizes no middle state; And all surely must agree, that in sapunless we are placed with the sheep posing a boy of twelve or fourteen to on the right hand, we must stand possess a more cultivated mind than with the goats upon the left, and most women, he greatly undervalues the existing state of knowledge in dern education. Now if there be the better order of females. The no time for reading left by these truth I believe is, that women pos- harpy accomplishments, none, it is sess much more useful knowledge obvious, can be found for religious than Mr. Smith gives them credit instruction; and yet this fearful and for; (more sometimes even than their fatal omission is passed by unvotichusbands;) but then this is learnt not ed. Nor, among the various evils in. before sixteen, but afterwards; and it cident to the present system, is this is not generally a knowledge of circumstance ever alluded to; that books; but of life, of manners, and it greatly endangers the eternal salhuman nature. And as for a boy of vation of every pupil engaged in it. twelve or fourteen; he knows nothing Is it usual when we wish to beat except a little Latin and Greek, and down an opinion to omit the most only ofthat to prattleconceitedly, and powerful of all the arguments against get

flogged for false quantities. How- it? Shall I be told that Sunday is ever neither any

nor all of these are still left open? It is true; the mercy the subject of my censure. What of a most merciful Father has proMr. Smith has done, he has done well, vided in that day a resource for man. and like his fair audience he is prin- kind even from their own thoughtcipally blameable for what he leaves lessness; but to this may be applied undone. His sin, as I have said be. what Mr. Burke so eloquently said fore, is a sin of omission; and it is of the fertility and ravage of the East, no less than this, that neither in his that “ it evinces only the unequal observations on the course of educa- struggle between the bounty of Protion which he condemns, nor on vidence to bestow, and the power that which he approves, did he give of man to destroy." Is Sunday ils any reason for supposing that he practically so employed? Or does thinks religious instruction a matter any man of common sense believe, of serious moment: he neither blam- that the mother, who can let her ed its omission in the present sys- daughters live six days in the week tem, nor proposed to introduce it without God in the world, will pay into a new one. I shall be told, much regard to the consecration of however, that, in his preceding lec- the seventh? In point of fact we all ture, he expressly guarded against know, that it is thought pretty fair any illiberal conclusions, by declar, if a young lady can be up early ing his intention not to touch ou this enough to get to church before the topic. I have no doubt, Sir, I shall confession is finished; and I leave be thought extremely uncandid ; yet it to the philosophers to determine I confess this introductory declara- what impression the most powerful tion is not in my eyes a sufficient exhortation from the pulpit is likely apology. Mr. Smith was to lecture to produce, when the fair disciple on female education without any passes from the church to the Park, restriction to particulars; why then and after spending two hours under should he omit the most important the eye and shadow of her God, part of his subject? Consider his wastes the three next in strolling own account of the present system. through Kensington gardens, nodHe told us of a lady who confessed ding to belles, and flattered by coxthat the succession of masters was combs. To religion may be apso rapid, that no time could be found plied what Juvenal says of poetry, for reading with her daughters except half an hour during the lesson Vexant, et Dominis Cyrrhæ Nysæque fe

Nec locus ingenio nisi cum se carmine solo in drawing, when the joint opera

runtur tions of intellectual and mechanical Pectora nostra duas non admittentia curas. improvement Inight proceed toge- Magnæ mentis opus. ther; and this confession Mr. Smith

- currus et equos faciesque Deorum assumed as a fair specimen of mo. Aspicerem

Still it may be said, Mr. Smith ought themselves as it were surrounded perhaps to have condemned the ex- by it in every quarter, and touch it clusion of religion from the present at every turn.

'Their language, plan of education, but he was not their illustrations, their images, the bound to notice it in a new one, cast of their ideas, the character of having, as he had, expressly warn- their feelings, the style and tendened his hearers against supposing it cy of their reasonings, all bear the unnecessary, because it was not same impress. I fear, Sir, religion mentioned. There is some truth in is not ofien left to be supposed exthis, and I am far from wishing to cept by those who are careless whecensure Mr. Smith harshly; but ther it be supposed or not; and I surely it is rather extraordinary know no index more decisive of the that what is of little importance disposition of certain celebrated reshould be detailed with accuracy, viewers in this particular, than the and what is of most importance absenceof all religious sentiment and left wholly to supposition. When reference from every part of their we wish to exbibit a portrait of per- work. This negative proof of their fect beauty, it is not quite usual to character is equally convincing with leave out the most expressive feature their late review of Mrs. More's in the countenance. Waving, how- hints so abiy exposed and confuted ever, the reasonableness of such an in one of your former numbers. omission, I must confess myself Their total neglect of the temple astonished, that in lectures on such of God is scarcely less criminal than a subject, Mr. Smith was able, as a its wanton profanation. matter of feeling, to avoid entering I own therefore, Sir, when I conlargely on the field of religious in- sider the magnitude of the omission struction; it is so rich a topic and which I have mentioned, and the one which speaks so directly to the character of the gentleman who has heart. Mr. Smith may say his zeal been guilty of it, I cannot but be for Christianity is well known; but grieved and astonished. The great it is for this very reason that I think evil flowing from it is this: that those his omission so extraordinary. Does who heard the lectures will suppose a father never potice his child, be- they find in them an implied approcause every body is convinced he is bation of the present habits of high fond of him? Does a lover pay no life; for if they are wicked why did attention to his mistress, because for- unt Mr. Smith protest agaiust them? sooth all the world knows the His observations were sufficiently strength of his attachment? I con- miscellaneous, and inore than once fess I should be a little suspicious of naturally carried him to thatquarter. his tenderness, if he could be con- And still more, why did he not tent to flirt with every idle girl in make the future prevention of those the room, without casting one fond habits the great object of his new glance towards the object of his af- system? I confess, the questions, if fections. The course of nature is not asked, would embarrass me not a so. The father notices his child, and little; and yet surely it cannot be the lover is attentive to his mistress, that a man of so very acute and renot because they value the world or flecting a mind, who believes the its opinion, but because they cannot truth of Christianity, and acknowhelp it. Their expressions of kindness ledges the purity and extent of its are involuntary, and require no mo- precepts, should think those habits tive but the delight which attends innocent. Mr. Smith mingles freely them. Thus it is also in writing in female society: is it possible he and talking of religion: “ Out of can think there is at present a the fulness of the heart the mouth cient infusion of religious principle speaketh” They who are deeply in their fashionable circles? Can he impressed with its importance find think that to dress, and dance, and

suffi

to a “

paint, and play at cards, and talk religious excellence. The present nonsense, is “ to fight the good fight object of female industry is the acof faith, and lay hold on eternal complishment of the person. Mr. salvation ?” Can he think that a suc- Smith's improved style aims at the cession of routs, and shews, and din- cultivation of the intellect. This is ners, and lectures, bears any affinity something; it is something to ad

patient continuance in well- vance from animal to rational existdoing?" Is a passion for constant ence. But if woman be also, as she amusement exactly the same thing is, a moral and immortal being, then with “mortifying the deeds of the I say that not to make the improveflesh?” Is it to " put on the Lord ment of her moral nature the first Jesus and be transformed by the re- object, in a system of early institunewing of the spirit?” Is the vanity tion, is a degree of fatuity in comof those who are flattered, and the parison with which the wildest ravenvy of those who are not, exactly ings of the wildest bedlamite are that charity which “suffereth long reasonable. Or shall I be told that and is kind, which seeketh not her girls are naturally so amiable, that own, which beareth all things and little more is necessary than to teach believeth ail things?” On this sub- the great doctrines of Christianity, ject, I own, I am serious even to sad- and preserve them from the direct ness. Oh I would circle the earth influence of vice. Admitting the barefoot, were its circumference assumption, the answer is obvious: ten times what it is, to be sure that according to the means of obtaining the thoughtless, lovely, laughing excellence, must be the obligation sylphs that dance and flutter around to improve them. If women begin me, shall allone day find admittance higher than men, they will be exinto that city, where “ The Lord pected also to end higher. But is shall be our everlasting light, and it indeed true that any child of our God our glory.” But, alas!“with- Adam is so little tainted with the out holiness no man shall see the universal corruption? What says the Lord,” and never was holiness Apostle? “I know that in me dwelltrained in the nursery of fashion. eth no good thing;"

" " We are all But admitting all that can be ask- concluded under sin;" “ We know ed; admitting that Mr. Smith's au- that the whole, creation groaneth dience will understand the propriety and travaileth in pain together une of some religious instruction to be til now." Or are moral and reliimplied, and that a certain retrench- gious excellence of so easy attain. ment should be made, for that pur- ment, that a little industry and a pose, from the lessons of the posture small allotment of time will be suffi. master in the old system, and the cient? Ask those who have made Latin master in the new; still I ask, the trial and advanced farthest in is this sufficient? I for one have no the race: they are the best judges; difficulty in saying, that religious and judges, let me add, from whose and moral instruction cannot hold decisions those who are too idle to their proper place in education, un- imitate their example have no apless they hold the first place; any peal, for ignorance has no right to more than religious and moral prin- question the results of knowledge. ciples in after life can be contented Look then at Andrews, moistening with a less elevated station. That with his tears the manual of prayers man is not a Christian who does not, by which he confessed his sins to habitually sacrifice every other ob- his Maker. Look at Hooker, humbly ject to the strict performance of his asking mercy of God on his death duty; and that is not a Christian bed, and owning, that though he had education in which every other at- loved him in his youth and feared tainment is not prirsued in subser- him in his age, yet if he should be vience to the formation of moral and extreme to mark what is done amiss CHRIST. Oesery. No. 54.

3 A

half a page

none might abide it. In truth the on whom he will have compassion :" lite of a Christian, happy as it is, is but of this I am sure, that such still a life of labour. Constant dif- shreds and patches, such poor imificulty, frequent slips, constant tations of true Christian virtues, danger of regression where he hoped will never make up the rich wedthe most for advancement, are al- ding garment which can alone enmost his daily bread. We need but title us to claim admission to the open the New Testament and read supper of the Lamb. And they are

to correct our uotions as at least in great danger of being con. to the easiness of a religious life. sumed by the fiery darts of the wickWas our Redeemer himself only ed one, who, instead of grasping the made perfect through sufierings, shield of faith and girding on the and shall they, who have suffered whole armour of righteousness, fence scarcely at all, fancy they have so themselves only with the poor faithsoon attained to perfection? Can the less mail of good dispositions, and a Apostle, even in the conclusion of his sense of character and propriety. labours, declare that he “ counts After all, Sir, are not the first not himself to have apprehended, simple truths which present thembut forgetting those things which selves to the mind on this subject are behind, and reaching forth unto quite unanswerable? We come into those which are before, presses to- the world we know not how, and wards the mark for the prize of the here we live fifty, sixty, seventy high calling of God in Jesus Christ;” years, making no allowance for caand shall we, who have neither re- sualties, and on our behaviour durceived his illumination nor been ing this short period the mighty disciplined in his trials, think we stakes of eternal life and death are have reached the goal almost as soon depending. Need I ask if we have as we have commenced the race? any time to lose? Or need I ask Mr. Or have we yet like him“ approved Smith, who rates so highly, (in my ourselves in patience, in afllictions, opinion over-rates) the importance in watchings, in fastings, by pure- of our earliest years in forming the ness, by knowledge, hy long suffer- character, whether, if time is ever ing, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, to be lost, that is the time to lose? by love unfeigned?” Indeed I know If an advocate should be called upon nothing more generally alarming to prepare, in a single day, his dethan the insensibility which prevails fence to a cause of great magnitude, as to the real demands of the Gospel. and to the full mastery of which the We go on eating and talking, time was barely sufficient, should working and playing, and think all we expect to see him lounging about the nice girls and good young men the streets half the morning? Some we meet with will go to heaven recreation must be allowed to rewithout trouble; though perhaps fresh nature, and some food to susthey have nothing more to recom- tain her; but he can give no time to mend them to everlasting rewards, needless diversions or indulgences “which eye hath not seen uor ear without betraying the interests of heard,” than a certain share of con- his client. Our cause is at issue, and stitutional good humour, and a hap- we have but a day to make ready py ignorance of some kinds of'vice.

our defence. Alas, we shall be God forbid I should say that all the equally unprepared whether our labour of all our lives will be enough morning is occupied in learning to purchase our acceptance. Not so. music or reading Cicero. " It cost more to redeem our souls, I have now done with Mr. Smith so that we must let that alone for and his lecture; except only to asever.” God forbid too I should pre- sure the lecturer that nothing can sume to limit the mercies of the Al- be farther from my thoughts than mighty:“ Ile will have compassion any personal incivility to bim. I

« السابقةمتابعة »