Page images

less. Why then, it may be asked, is this movement directed more particularly to the intellectual? Why not immediately to the higher and more important work of moral improvement? It is true we rank the moral above the intellectual. We also rank the intellectual above the physical: but if a man were starving, we would not give him a treatise on Geometry or Logic for his relief. The highest wants of man may not be the most urgent or most imperative. To have an intellectually great man there, must be a living man-to be morally great and good, and useful, pre-supposes a being with capacities for knowing, and with discriminating judgment; and the improvement of these attributes is our present object.

It may be further remarked, that in early life, the moral training is most appropriately allotted to parental care, and that for general, moral and religious instruction, society is already organized, and does not admit or feel the necessity of any material change. There is also a certain equilibrium to be observed between the intellectual and moral progress. They mutually aid and sustain each other, and cannot be widely separated. As the moral becomes more pure, the intellectual sees farther, and clearly discerning the obstacle to further progress, dictates the proper remedy. We have just taken an important step in morals, and the temperance reformation has probably opened the way for the improvement of our district schools. Before the success of that enterprise, the public mind would hardly have entertained the subject of universal education. Intemperance was then an evil too pressing and too vital, to admit of such slow remedy.

There are some striking analogies between the two movements. Getting drunk seems once to have been thought a manly exploit, and men of high standing gloried in it. So when the competition commenced between knowledge and physical power, men of renown gloried in their ignorance-thought learning derogatory to them, and useful only to priests and scribes. The sentiment attributed by Scott to Douglass, represents the feeling of that time.

" Thanks to saint Bothan, son of mine,
Save Gawain ne'er could pen a line,
So swore I, and I swear it still,
Let my boy-bishop fret his fill."

The individual advantages of temperance, as of learning, were next observed, and then, that the intemperance or ignorance of any, vas a public calamity, and that public policy no less than enlarged benevolence, required that all should be made temperate, and that all should be educated by the united efforts of the whole community. At each step, in both instances, there was something to be known, before further progress. Let us again cultivate the knowing faculties, and perchance they will then reveal to us, and bring within our reach, some other moral object. Possibly one of its first results will be, to re-unite in public estimation, individual and political honesty, the separation of which is now so threatening. The deception practiced by any partizan, seems to be regarded by his fellows as a pious fraud, and as such, praiseworthy of successful, and at least harmless, so long as it does no injury to their party. When we reflect on the

influence of fraud to contaminate and destroy all it touches, and upon its still more immediate tendency to provoke violence, we may well tremble for our institutions, and seek a remedy in some means of elevating the moral sentiments. Possibly another effect of the dissemination of knowledge, will be to destroy sectarian feeling, and even without producing unanimity of belief, which I do not think is ever desirable, unite the public sentiment in favor of some more universal system of moral and religious instruction. But perhaps it is useless to anticipate. It is sufficient for us to know, that a better system of education is now necessary to our progress, and that it is our duty to labor for it. This is our mission. Let us in a proper spirit press forward to its accomplishment by all proper means, and leave the result to the Great Disposer of events, with our prayers, that the benefits of our efforts may descend to our children, and enable them better to perform their duties, and to fulfil their mission, whatever it



INDIVIDUAL AND ASSOCIATED EFFORT. Extract from an Address delivered by Mr. Hazard, on Intemperance, at Westerly, July 4, 1843. As the same objection which is here commented on, has been also made against all government action upon the subject of education, many of his remarks are appropriate to the object of our Journal.

" Another ground of objection to the society, less palpable and less commented upon, but more subtle and pervading in its influence, than those already alluded to, grows out of our illy defined notions of civil liberty, in connection with a prevalent idea that the society curtails it, and that it at the same time encroaches upon the province of free agency. Both these subjects have their metaphysical difficulties even after science has done all she can accomplish to simplify their elements, and reduce them to order; and we shall be very liable to error, whenever we attempt to found any connected and rational argument upon the crude notions of those which have a popular currency. With some it is an improper restriction of liberty to prevent a man's hanging himself; and an unjustifiable interference with free agency, to restrain him from the destruction of his intellectual powers, and the perversion of his moral nature.

These vague notions of principles so deeply rooted in our nature, are the very elements for the art of sophistry, and also furnish the materials from which interest and inclination can draw as many doubts as are necessary to prevent a decision against them in the tribunal of conscience. But though society may have no natural or conventional right to interfere in those acts which affect only the individual, yet it has a right to compel from him, by all proper means, the performance of all his social duties; and incidental to this must be the right to restrain him by such means, from disqualifying himself for the performance of those duties.

“ It is seldom, however, that we find a popular sentiment however vague, which has not substantial truth for its basis. If the sentiment

[ocr errors]

is right, it is an intuitive inference from that truth,-if wrong, an accidental perversion, growing out of the want of a free and clear perception of it. The objection to the temperance society which we are now considering, had its origin in the sublimest verities of our being.

To do good or to resist evil, from an internal conviction of duty, and by an internal moral power, is the highest prerogative of intelligent natures. It is the attribute of individual sovereignty; and to yieid this sovereign right, to substitute for this free vital activity any external agreement law or force, would be the greatest sacrifice which pride, dignity and self-respect could make upon the altar of humanity. Allied to this is the conviction that wherever society, in the form of government or of subordinate associations, by the authority of law or the power of union, compel an individual to a course of action, even such as he approves, yet not originating in his own convictions of duty, they take from him the merit of voluntary performance, and rob him of the cheerful influence of self approval. They deprive him of some of the opportunities of improving his moral strength by its exercise in resisting evil and pursuing virtue. In every attempt then, to curtail the limits of this field for the exercise of individual virtue, by combinations, the question must arise whether the injury thus done, is more than compensated by the benefit arising from the association, and if so, how far the power of union may advantageously be substituted for that of individuals, and pledges for unaided self restraint or control."

The following beautiful and appropriate lines, composed by Mr. Hazard, were recited on the occasion of dedicating the new school house at Carolina Mills.


Four years of life have pass'd away,

And what my boy, hast thou to show?
Thy little limbs have learn'd to play,

Thy dimpled cheeks with pleasure glow.
But mind is an unwritten waste-

E'en memorys page scarce record shows,
Which in thine after years will last,

And these infantile scenes disclose.

And on that future as I gaze,

And think what then thy lot may be,
To Heaven a fervent prayer I raise,

For its protecting care of thee.
But if my prayers availed on high,

And all I ask kind Heaven would seal,
How should I mark thy destiny,

How best consult thy future weal!

I ask not life all free from cares,

For such would ill become that brow,
Which, even now, the promise wears,

That manliness will it endow.
For thee I ask no golden ties,

To link thy soul with earth's alloy,

Restraining from each higher prize,

Which should its nobler powers employ. For thee I ask not regal power,

Thy fellow men to rule or sway, Nor yet ingloriously life's hour,

In changeless sunshine, bask away.
For thee I ask no high renown,

Such as ambition's votaries
Have won, by pangs on earth brought down,

When they controled its destinies.
For thee I ask not glory's wreath,

If won ‘mid scenes with slaughter rife, Where venomed hearts their swords unsheath,

And mercy's voice is hushed in strife.
But rather seek that just applause,

The good bestow, on gentle deeds,
The generous warmth in virtue's cause,-

Honors, for which no bosom bleeds.
Let science too, thy brow adorn
With laurels from her peaceful bower ;

{ Imbue thy mind with beauty's form,

'Till ev'ry thought reflects its power. That beauty whose omnipotence

Can higher joys than sense impart;Beauty, pure, holy and intense,

Which chastens, while it warms the heart. Beauty like that of cloudless skies,

of starry night and rosy morn, To lure thy thoughts to high emprise,

And mould them all in grandeur's form. Beauty which in each varied form,

Displays the minds etherial grace,
And chosen at creation's dawn,

The Deity's abiding place.
Beauty like that where Plato knelt,

As glowing paths of truth he trod,
And made his thoughts a firmament,

Lighting the way to nature's God. And having gained this highest art,

Which pure philosphy can reach, Unite with it that wiser part,

Which Heav'n herself alone must teach.
Let wisdom's power thy virtue guard,

Pure feelings keep thy spirit free
From thought, or act, which would retard

Its progress to high destiny.
Yes-virtue in each lovely form,

A lofty soul, with spirit free,
And glowing as the rosy morn,

With honor's spotless purity.
Yes, these, with his protecting care,

For thee I crave on bended knee,
For these ascends a father's prayer,

For these he asks High Heaven's decree.






Convention held in Virginia, 34.

Constitution of the Lyceum of West-
Adaptation of the Universe to the cul- erly and vicinity, 16.
tivation of the mind, 169.

Condition of the winter schools of
Annual Meeting of the Rhode Island 1844-5 in New York, 101.
Institute of Instruction, 57.

Condition of the Common Schools in
Annual Report of Executive Commit- Michigan, 122.

tee of the Rhode Island Institute of Connecticut Common School Journal
Instruction, 38.

extract from on Teachers' Institutes,
Arrangements for holding Teachers' 7.
Institutes, 1.

Common Schools not a party institu-
Association, Scituate and Foster, 23. tion, 103,
Attendance, importance of regular, 43, Compensation of Teachers, 101, 124.

74; evils of irregular, 43, 114 ; County inspectors, 15.
effects of tardiness in, 44, 45; aver-
age and aggregate, how ascertained,


Dismissal of refractory scholars, 83.

District School Journal of New York,
Barnard, Mr. remarks before Teachers' Doubtful policy of a school code, 81.
Institute at Scituate, 8, 10.

Duties of pupils to the school house
Beers, S. P. report by, 137.

and furniture, 54.
Books, 150; Text, 14, 116; on Educa- Duties of parents in relation to their
tion, 2. 28.

school, 68.

Dwight, Francis, obituary of, 40.

Dwight, Edmund, donation to Teach-

erg' Institute, 91.
Certificate of qualification by whom
signed 14; valid how long, 14.

Children should be sent to school con-

stantly, 43; effect of irregular atten- Education neglected, 127; importance
dance, 43, 44; of tardiness, 44; of, 132.
school interrupted by tardiness, 45; Educational Tracts, 24, 39.
should be orderly and regard right, Educated men and the education of the
45; should be studious, 47;

people, 49.
Cincinnati, schools in, 133.

English Language, Essay on the higa
Circular, official, 1, 13.

tory of, 153.
Code of schools laws, 81.

Examination of Teachers, 13, 151.
Connecticut, progress of education in Extracts from Gov. Slade's Message, 173

from Goy. Mc Dowell's Message, 31;

« PreviousContinue »