Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

An Essay by the Head Master of Rugby on the “Education of the World,” reminds us of Cicero's account of Aristoxenus, both musician and philosopher, who maintained that the soul is a certain intension of the body, like what is called harmony in music. “Thus," he adds, Hic ab artificio suo non recessit.Sir John Davies, a philosophic poet of the Elizabethan age, has touched on the same thought :

“ Musicians think our souls are harmonies;

Physicians hold that they mplexions be;
Epicures make them swarms of atomies,

Which do by chance into our bodies flee."

Dr. Temple has added another to the many examples of this failing. He takes a professional view of the world's history. He has taken one aspect of Divine truth, and put it for the whole, under the prepossession of a peculiar taste. He is the latest instance of the schoolmaster abroad setting out on a vacation ramble into the highlands of universal history, and taking with him his educational bias, and a disciplinarian view of life, acquired at Rugby. All the world is a cloister, thought



the great Abbot of Clairvaux, who, not content with enticing his own relations within its walls, attempted to govern the great world outside by the rules of a little community of monks. All the world's a stage,” wrote the great dramatist, who worked the play of fancy out into a seven-act drama of life. And now an idealist, as sincere as either Bernard or Shakspeare, assures us that all the world's a school, and all the men and women merely scholars ranged in different classes, and learning various tasks, the use of which they do not as yet see. Fancy is never so dangerous a guide as when she comes in the sober garb of philosophy. The poet may dally with his metaphor without the same danger, because he can disavow it when it becomes troublesome. Shakspeare killed Mercutio, it is said, or else Mercutio would have killed him. But the philosopher cannot give his fancy the same happy despatch. He is tied and bound to a runaway theory, like Mazeppa to the wild horse of the Ukraine. There is no release for the horseman till the horse drops beneath him from fatigue, and then he is taken down more dead than alive. As Bacon has said of those who seem to have a fine command of language, it is language which has command of them, so with the theorist who lets loose some analogy which he cannot rein in. He is carried whither he would not, and is no more responsible for the road he has taken than John Gilpin for the ride from Edmonton to Ware-the journey begun to please the rider is ended to please the steed.

This theory of the educational unity of the human race is distinguishable at a glance from the historical unity of mankind, which Scripture plainly asserts, and which all modern research tends to confirm. All that Scripture tells us is that as we are all sprung of one father, Adam, so in the fulness of time we shall be gathered together in one, even the second Adam. These are the times of the restitution of all things which God, by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world

« AnteriorContinuar »