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lately read, is grievously offended with Mr. Addison for so much as mentioning the name of Plato, and presuming in one of his Spectators to deliver his notions of humour in a kind of allegory, after the manner of that Greek author; which he calls a "formal method of trifling, introduced "under a deep ostentation of learning, "which deserves the severest rebuke *," and, perhaps, a more severe one was never given upon so small a provocation. From gentlemen of so resined and very nice a taste, I can expect no mercy. But the public is to judge, whether this be not as culpable and nauseous an affectation as the contrary one, which prevailed so much ill the last century.
One great view I had in mine eye when I put these thoughts together was the benesit of youth, and especially those of them that are students and candidates for the sacred ministry; for which they will sind no science more immediately necessary (next to a good acquaintance with the word of God) than that which is recommended to them in the following Treatise; to which every branch of human literature is subordinate, and ought to be subservient. For
certain certain it is, the great end of philosophy, both natural and moral, is to know eurselves, and to know God. The highest learning is to be wi/e, and the greatest •wisdom is to be good; as Marcus Antoninus somewhere observes. It has often occurred to my mind in digesting my thoughts upon this subject, what a pity it is that this most useful science should be so generally neglected in the modern methods of education; and that preceptors and tutors, both in public and private seminaries of learning, fhould sorget, that the forming the manners is more necessary to a sinished education than furnishing the minds of youth. Socrates thought so, who made all his philosophy subservient to morality*; and took more pains to rectify the tempers, than replenish the understaing of his pupils ; and looked upon all knowledge as useless speculation, that was not brought to this end to make the person a •wiser or a better man. And ,without doubt, if in the academy the youth has once happily learned the great art of managing his temper, governing his passions, and guarding his foibles, he will sind a more solid advantage from it in after
* Sec Introduction to an EJfuy towards fixing tit true tdard of Wit, &c. /. JO, M.
lise, lise, than he could expect from the best acquaintance with all the systems of ancient and modern philosophy.
* Totam philosophiam revocavit^ ad mores. Sen. Efjfi. 71.
It was a very just and sensible answer which Agesilaus the Spartan king returned to one who alked him, "What that "was in which youth ought principally "to be instructed?" He replied, "that "which they will have most need to prac"tise when they are men *." Were this single rule but carefully attended to in the method of education, it might probably be conducted in a manner much more to the advantage of our youth than it ordinarily is. For, as Dr. Fuller observes, "that pains we take in books or arts, "which treat of things remote from the "use of lise, is but a busy idleness f." And what is there in lise which youth will have more frequent occasion to practise than this? What is there which they afterwards more regret the want of? What is there which they want a greater help and assistance in the right government of their passions and prejudices? And what more proper season to receive
• See Plutarch's Laconic Apophthegms, under the word Agesilaus.
+ Suit es Life, p. ?S.
those assistances, and to lay a foundation sor this dissicult but very important science, than the early part of youth?
It may be said, "It is properly the of"sice and care of parents to watch over "and correct the tempers of their chil"dren in the sirst years of their infancy, "when it may easily be done;" but if it be not effectual then, (as it very seldom is), there is the more necessity for it afterwards. But the truth is, it is the proper ossice and care of all who have the charge of youth, and ought to be looked- upon as the most important and necessary part of education.
It was the observation of a great divine and reformer, that "he who acquires his "learning at the expence of his morals, "is the worse for his education *." And we may add, that he who does not improve his temper, together with his understanding, is not much the better for it: sor he ought to measure his progress in science by the improvement of his morals; and remember, that he is no further a learned man, than he is a wise and good
man; man; and that he cannot be a sinifhed Philosopher till he is a Christian *.
* Qui prosicit in literis et desicit in moribus, non prosick sed desicit. Oetolampadius. See ffjfi. of Pop, Fol. %. p. 37.'
But whence it is that moral philosophy, which was so carefully cultivated in the ancient academy, fhould be forced in the modern to give place to natural, that -was originally designed to be subservient to it? which is to exalt the handmaid into the place of the mistress f; which appears not only a preposterous, but a pernicious method of institution: for as the mind takes a turn of future lise suitable to the tine* ture it hath received in youth, it will naturally conclude that there is no necefsity to regard, or at least to lay any stress upon those things which were never inculcated upon it as 'things of importance then; and so will grow up in a neglect ot
* Te In scientia prosicisse credae, quantum in moribus fueris emendatior; eo usque doctum, in quantum bonum; ita philosophum, ut christianum. Pretf. ad AT«w.
t Things Were coming to this pass so f arly as Seneca's time; who laments that plain and open trash was turned into a dark and intricate science. "phi"losophy (fays he) is turned into philology; and 11 that through the fault both of masters and scho"lars. The one teach to dispute, not to live; and "the other come to them to mend their wits, not "their manners. Whereas philosophy is nothing "else but a rule of lise." Quid autem philosophia, nisi vitae lex est? Efist. gs