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bear aloft the top-stone of the other. It is therefore with no presumption of developing new truths, or adding new attractions to the old and familiar, — nor with any desire to overlook the relative importance of any of the numerous means and appliances, which are everywhere urged with so much zeal and success in advancing the cause of public instruction, that the present occasion is employed for calling attention to more fundamental considerations. For the work of education has reached that stage in its progress which, in the opinion of many, renders such a reference to first principles peculiarly proper and necessary. Indeed, it is quite certain that the course of education, whatever may be its character, must be onward. By all the signs of the times, by the open field which our land exhibits for the success of developed talents, by the stirring and increasing interest everywhere manifested in its current affairs, by the untiring philanthropy of the good, by the unhallowed ambition of the bad, the advance of intelligence appears to be secure; and, in the absence of tyranny to crush, and of superstition to dread it, its dominion, unless arrested by suicide, must become universal.

Now, wherever the question should be asked, What influences were most prominent in establishing the renowned and prosperous system of government and education under which we live, and upon what may we rely for its permanence, the answers would all merge in one, rising loud and distinct from the most opposite sources, viz., “ Virtuous intelligence." Let Christian intellect be the terms and spirit of the reply, and it will announce

what we deem to be the important truth — that Christian and intellectual must be the characteristics of an education which shall be universal and free.

Obvious and undoubted such truths may appear; but if true, they are all-important, and not the more likely for their truthfulness to form the basis of practical endeavors. The fact of our mortality is a truism, yet the ancient monarch was not the only mortal who needed special admonition of the fact. Truism, indeed, is the “spectre address” in the book of Job: yet all the apparatus of supernatural vision must arouse the mind of the listener, before he will give due heed to a suggestion, which, under other circumstances, would, from its very obviousness, pass unheeded.

Let it be remembered, inoreover, that the time of their greatest prosperity, in the course of nations or of institutions, is the period of their greatest danger; and while we rejoice in the widening prospects of our cause, and “count upon its victory in the multitude of its resources,” let us remember when, and where, and by whom, and why, it was first resolved that all “ the children of the State should be educated by the State;" that Christian intellect proclaimed the everlasting, fundamental truth, that it is “the boon of every human being” to be educated; that it was Christian statesmanship, acting from no promptings of inferior motives, which declared the boon of the individual to be the right and duty of the State; and it will not be deemed superfluous that I advance, as the first of the 6 Essential Elements" of our education, that it should be distinctly and thoroughly Christian.

It is not my present purpose to discuss the methods of securing this result, nor even to maintain its possibility; but only to advocate its necessity to the protracted existence, as it was to the commencement, of such a system of public instruction as is ours; and to show that if unhallowed influences shall inflame this citadel, the edifice which it guards must also be destroyed. Proximus ardet Ucalegon."

But not to be misinterpreted at the outset, it is believed that in most States, the public schools do give all necessary and even all desirable scope for the introduction and prominence of this element. To the fact, however, let it be interpreted as it may, I beg leave to call your attention. .

Our public education should be Christian, because, in the first place, it cannot be neutral. “ The image and superscription" of some religion or other, every system of instruction will and must impress upon its recipient. Now I am not advocating a system of religious schools. The religion of a system may be one thing; a religious system may be another and a very different one- just as the religion of a book may have no necessary identity with a religious book. Who does not know that histories, dramas, novels, poems, written without any such intention, have, each, their peculiar religion interwoven throughout their whole structure ? a fact as true of the writings of Sue as of Cowper, of Scott as of Milton. Observe it in the works of the great expounder of human nature, wherever he exhibits the deep work

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ings of the human soul. Observe it in the natural conscience of Hamlet :

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1. To die;

to sleep;
To sleep! perchance to dream! - ay, there's the rub;
For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.
For who would bear the whips and scorns of time,

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Again, in the profound theology of the king of Denmark :

" What if this cursed hand
Were thicker than itself with brother's blood !
Is there not rain enough in the sweet heavens,
To wash it white as snow ?

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.but 'tis not so above.
There is no shuffling; there, the action lies
In his true nature; and we ourselves compelled,
Even to the teeth and forehead of our faults,
To give in evidence."

Once more, in the chastened penitence of Wolsey:

Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition.
By that sin fell the angels.

*

Let all the ends thou aim'st at, be thy country's,
Thy God's, and truth's ! then if thou fall'st, O Cromwell!
Thou fall'st a blessed martyr.
Had I but served my God with half the zeal
I served my king, He would not in mine age
Have left me to mine enemies."

Thus it displays itself, forces itself upon us, wherever fear or doubt, conscience or philosophy, hold their soliloquies or their councils.

Now this connection is as intimate in the case of education as in that of literature, and much more influential.

Since, then, some religion education must impress, it should avail itself of the best in its power. Now the gods of Arpad and Sepharvaim are no more. Korans and Shasters endure not the brightness of advancing knowledge. The religions of Christ and of the god of this world are all that are left; and of these, whatever system, so broad, protracted, and powerful as that of a public education, is not for the one, is against it; and it is equally true that that which is not against the other, is for it. In its spirit, therefore, and tendency, in its aims, illustrations, and philosophy, the Christian element should be paramount. For, let it be added, thus only will its moral instruction have any solid foundation.

We are constantly reminded, in the reports of school and legislative committees, in public lectures and in public prints, of the duty, importance, necessity of moral instruction and culture in our schools. From all quarters comes up this Macedonian cry for moral education. Now, if all this means simply the

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