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ment, while we cultivate the lower propensities and the intellect, is to mistake the plan of the Creator, who, in making man, has endowed him with all the faculties of a brute, and all the capacities of a demon, but has made him a little lower than the angels, by lighting within him that flame which burns with an ethereal light, significant of its heavenly origin; it is to let this celestial fame go out, while we minister fuel to the consuming fires of the brutal and demoniacal parts of our nature.

To come forward to point out the fearful mistake we have made, and to presume to show how it may rected, should need, I am aware, an apology. While there is a class of men, whose high office it is to educate our moral and spiritual powers, to reinstate conscience on its throne, and show us how all else should be brought into subjection to it, it would have been much more fit that one of this class should now occupy this place, and teach us this lesson ; and I cannot but feel how much more reverently, on such a subject, you would lave listened to his voice. But they have done their part of the work. The great truths have been clearly declared. The high principles have been eloquently laid down. An humbler but not less essential part is ours ; not to reason out new truths, not to bring new illustrations, but to draw conclusions which may be applicable to the daily duties of our lise, and faithfully, wisely, and courageously, to apply them.

In treating this subject, we shall first endeavor to ascertain what is to be done. What is the moral education at which we should aim ? In the second place, What have we to act upon ? And lastly, how shall we effect our purpose.

What, then, is moral education ? It is to awaken conscience, to give it activity, and to establish the preeminence which belongs to it among the feelings, propensities, and powers, of the human mind and character.

It comprehends moral instruction and moral training, the teaching what the duties are, and the formation of moral habits. It is the education of the conscience which has been chiefly neglected ; yet this, more than any other part of our nature, should receive, from the beginning, constant and careful attention.

An examination of what we are to act upon, will show the truth of this position, and indicate an answer to the third question, How is it to be effected ?

Whatever may be our object in teaching, whether it be merely to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic, or, in connection with them, to communicate information which shall be useful to our pupils in future life ; or the higher one of disciplining the powers of the mind, so as to give them their greatest energy and activity ; or this highest object, of adding to all these an education of the moral nature, which shall make our pupil come forth prepared for action, full of respect for right, and of reverence for the Author of right, and fitted “to perform, justly, skilfully, and magnanimously, all offices, both private and public ;"?—whatever view we take of our duty, we must act upon the mind, and it would seem to be essential that we should know something of the mind on which we would act; of the human character, of all its elements, as they exist in the constitution of a child.

Here is the most complex and curious piece of machinery ever made,—the work of a hand divine ;

66 How noble in reason ! how infinite in faculties ! in

form and moving, how express and admirable ! in action, how like an angel ! in apprehension, how like a god !”– Can the knowledge of this come to us intuitively? I exhort you to make it a study. What study can be more worthy or more suitable ? Remember, it is not many things, but one-one wonderful machine of many parts,-

, all so related as to be dependent on each other; all essential ; each unintelligible without some knowledge of the rest. All must therefore be known, -body, mind, soul, --if you would act, with any hope of success, on the highest.

If you were about to engage in a capacity higher than that of a day laborer, in any other pursuit than that of teaching, would you not set yourself at once to understand what was the object which you should endeavor to have in view, and what the machinery by which you could attain it ? If you were going to manufacture woollen goods, you would wish to understand the nature of the raw material, the processes and machinery by which it is to be acted on, and to judge of the quality of the article you wished to produce. Will you do less, when the mechanism with which you are to operate is the work of an Infinite Architect ? and the web to be woven is the rich and varied fabric of human character ?

If you were about to engage in agriculture, you would take care to inform yourself as to the nature of the soil, its adaptation to the various kinds of grain and vegetables, and the season of the year at which, in this climate, it is most proper to prepare the ground, to plough, to sow the seed, and to reap and gather into the barn. Will you take less care, when the soil is the human soul, the

So much you


seed is the word of life, the harvest, the end of the world, and the reapers, angels ?

If you were going to navigate the ocean, you would wish to know how to judge of the ship, to sail and steer ; you would inquire about the currents that would set you from your course, and the winds that should bear you onward; you would learn to trace the moon's course among the stars, and to look alost to the sun in bis path, that you might not drift at random on the broad


but speed towards your desired haven, as if you could see it rising before you above the blue waves. would do that you might convey in safety a few tons of merchandise ; and all men would hold you unwise if you did less. Shall they not tax you with worse than solly if you make less preparation when your ship is the human soul, freighted with a parent's and a nation's hopes,—with the hopes of immortality,—if you fail to study the currents of passion, to provide against the rocks of temptation, and to look aloft for the guiding light which shines only from Heaven?

But, to speak without simile, the study of mental philosophy is of the greatest importance to a teacher, in every point of view. If we would exercise the several powers, we must know what they are, and by what discipline they are to be trained. If we would cultivate them harmoniously, in their natural order and proportion, we must know which of them first come into action, which are developed at a later age, and what are the province and functions of each. Without this koowledge, we can hardly fail of losing the most propitious times for beginning their cultivation ; we shall make the common mistake of attempting certain studies too soon, or we shall make use of means little suited to the ends we have in view.

Important as this study is, it is no more difficult than any other, if, in regard to it, we take the same course which we find the true one in other investigations,-is, laying aside conjectures, dreams, and speculations, we adopt the safe and philosophical rule, to observe carefully and extensively the facts, and draw from them only their legitimate conclusions.

There are three sources from which we are to draw light; first, the facts of our own consciousness, the most difficult of all to consult ; second, the facts we observe in the mental growth of others, especially of children; and last, the great storehouse of recorded facts contained in the works of those who, directly or indirectly, have written upon this subject.

I have no thought of going into this wide field of inquiry. I am only desirous of contributing the mite of my own experience to the common treasure of truth in regard to the question before us. I freely confess that, however admirable are the writings of what are called the metaphysicians,—and some of them are certainly among the richest, loftiest, most eloquent, and delightful writers, in the Greek, French, and English languages, - I say nothing of the unknown vast of German metaphysics,-however much of grand conception, of elevating thought, of food for the mind in its highest mood, I may have found, or of speculation which enlarged the boundaries of mental dominion,-I have derived from them little of practical value, to guide me in the daily routine of my duties. Their work has been done. Its effects are in the world; and it would be vain and idle to deny the good wrought

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