Page images

that odious distinction of ‘pay-list and charitylist.'

If a certain sum of money is given to the schools, as in Connecticut, without requiring the people to take from their own pockets twice the amount, we certainly believe, with Lord Brougham, that “the exertions of the contributors (the parents) would be immediately relaxed, and the funds so bestowed would be applied less economically.”

Mention is made, in the above article, of “the Master's house.” Such a building is seldom seen with us. But every school district, having the means, should be as zealous to provide a permanent and comfortable home for the teacher as our congregations are to furnish a minister with a parish.

How cheap and contemptible must a teacher become, who, under the “boarding-round" system, is tucked by rotation into the corner of every kitchen in the district !- Ed.]


“In extirpating crimes, we must look to prevention rather than to punishment. Punishment lingers behind ; it moves with a slow and uncertain step-it advances but at a halting pace in its pursuit after the criminal : while all the advantages which it promises, without being able to attain them, might be secured by preventing the access of the evil principle into minds as yet untainted with its baneful influence. By the infusion of good principles, and that alone, can we hope to eradicate those crimes with which society is at present harrassed. I feel that every day is lost which is not devoted to this great purpose by the lawgiver and the government of this close-peopled, wealthy, and manufacturing country, where the variety—I had almost said, the variegation of the moral aspect of the people is so greatarising from the variety of their habits, and from the consequences which inevitably follow from the unequal distribution of wealth ; where we behold all the extravagance close by the

squalid wretchedness of poverty. In such a state of things, the necessary consequence is, that crime will abound. In such a state of things, then, it is necessary that the lawgiver and the ruler should take every means to extend education, and thus prevent the aptitude for criminal


[When will men learn that education is the only preventive of crime; and that, under any government, it is much cheaper to educate the infant mind than to support the aged criminal ? Edmund Burke, the scholar, philosopher, and statesman, long since chrystalized this drop of truth, and sent it out to remain in men's memories for ever, when he said, “Education is the cheap defence of nations.” And what is our defence ? Not standing armies, not the daily sight of the military, tramping the earth with sabre and bayonet, but the children of the

people, going from their homes to their schools, and from their schools to their homes, carrying in their hands the Testament and the Spelling

It is an age,

Book. This is our strength, and in this we have put our trust. But the age has become mechanical and physical, and no longer regards, or if so, with only a passing notice, the true sources of power and perpetuity. The strife now is with every man to see how many pockets he can empty into his own. not for education, but of profit and loss. It does not adore the true and the beautiful, but calculates the gain. “It does not inculcate on men the necessity and infinite worth of moral goodness, and the great truth that our happiness depends on the mind which is within us. But it labors to make us believe that happiness depends entirely on external circumstances. It is no longer the intellectual and spiritual condition of the people, but their physical, practical profit and loss condition, as regulated by public laws. The heart of the nation breathez out its worship toward the body-politic, but the soul-politic is forgotten.”

Every thing is done

“ Not for Conscience sake, but for Purse sake.”

The spirit of the age would inquire, with the man, who, hearing a great poem extolled, asked “if it would make bread cheaper ?

It was remarked, by Daniel Webster, to the students of Amherst, “that the great business of life was education.” But the great business now is to make laws. We live to make laws, rather than make laws to live happy. We watch over the outward machinery of life, rather than the inward living principle-we worship the bellows-blower, and not the Organist.

"Ah! what is life thus spent! and what are they
But frantic who thus spend it?”.

This and much more might be corrected, if the school master were at his post, and worth any thing when there. Then might the people begin to learn that

The only amaranthine flower on earth
Is virtue ; the only lasting treasure, truth.”

Our legislation is not preventive but penal. It is much readier to punish the crime, than to correct the circumstances which led to it. It struggles with present difficulties, and is not

« PreviousContinue »