Page images

Early formation of Good Habits,

57 Benefits resulting from Infant Schools, 60 Education no Detriment to the Poor,

64 Instructing the Poor in Latin and Greek, 71 Sneers at Education,

75 The Prussian System of Education can never be adopted in this Country,

77 The Thirst after Knowledge,

81 The March of “ Intellect” and its Contemners, 86



[blocks in formation]

“Go where you will over the world, the name of a Scotchman is still found, combined in the minds of all men, perhaps, with some qualities, which sincere regard for that good people restrains me from mentioning, but certainly with the reputation of a well-educated man.

To the possession of this enviable characteristic, and not, I trust, to the other quality imputed to them, we may fairly ascribe the high credit, the great ease, and what is usually termed the success in life, which generally attend Scotchmen settled abroad. The countries where they have settled have partially followed their exam

ple-as, indeed, into what part of the world have they not emigrated ?-and, Sir, let me ask, where have they gone without conferring benefits on the place of their adoption ? In what place have they settled that has not reaped, at least, as much advantage from them as it has bestowed upon them? In Sweden, where a number of noble families are of Scotch extraction, something upon the model of the parish-school system has long been established. In the Swiss cantons, and in many of the Protestant countries of Germany, the example has been followed, with more or less closeness, and whenever the plan has been adopted, its influence upon the improvement of the lower classes and the general well-being of society has, if I trust my own observation, and the concurring testimonies of other travellers, been abundantly manifest.

America affords another instance which deserves to be cited as a triumphant refutation of the whimsies of ingenious men, who fancy they can descry something in education incompatible with general industry. That is surely

the last country in the world where idleness can expect to find encouragement. The imputation upon

it has rather been that the inhabitants are too busy to be refined. An idler there is a kind of monster; he can find no place in any

of the innumerable tribes that swarm over that vast continent. In the rapid stream of its active and strenuous population it is impossible for any one to stand still a moment; if he partake not in its motion he will be dashed aside. Yet such is the conviction there that popular education forms the best foundation for national prosperity, that, in all the grants made by the Government of this boundless territory, a certain portion of each township, I believe the twentieth lot, is reserved for the expense of instructing and maintaining the poor."

[In this article the writer alludes to "qualities, which sincere regard for Scotchmen, restrains him from mentioning." From what is well known of the Scotch character, and seen in the context of this remark, we may readily

suppose that one of the “ qualities” restrained by the noble Lord's “regard for that good people” is bigotry. The Scotch will educate, thoroughly, as far as their creed goes, but not out of it. They are like many in our own country, who think more of their own particular Confession of Faith, than of the common Bible,-more of their particular Church, than of our common Humanity. People with such narrow, uncharitable views, frequently raise a standard of perfection, not to follow, but to judge others by. They flatter themselves that growth in grace is attained and measured by their ability and readiness to find fault with a neighbor's creed or life! Hence, censoriousness, and formality, with personal and church altercations. Nor do we see an end of all this, for instead of taking a common ground, found in the Bible, and broad enough for all to meet on, our country is fast dividing into Episcopal Institutes, Methodist Seminaries, Presbyterian Colleges, &c. &c. Each sect not only has its own schools, but every child must be educated in the schools of its particular sect. In this

« PreviousContinue »