« הקודםהמשך »
life, than he could expect from the best acquaintance with all the systems of ancient and modern philosophy.
It was a very juft and sensible answer which Agesilaus the Spartan king returned to one who asked 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 obferves, « that pains we take in books or arts, 6 which treat of things remote from the « use of life, is but a busy idleness t.” And what is there in life 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
those • Sce Plutarcb's Laconic Apophthegms, under the word Ageflaus.
+ Rule of Life, p. 82.
those assistances, and to lay a foundation for this difficult but very important science, than the early part of youth ?
It may be said, “It is properly the of« fice and care of parents to watch over “ and correct the tempers of their chil6 dren in the first years of their infancy, « when it may easily be done ;" but if it be not effectual then, (as it very feldom is), there is the more necessity for it afterwards. But the truth is, it' is the proper office 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: for 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 wife and good
* Qui proficit in literis et deficit in moribus, non proficit sed deficit. Oecolampadius. See Hift. of Pop.
Vol. 2. p. 37.
man, and that he cannot be a finished Philosopher till he is a Christian*.
But whence it is that moral philosophy, which was so carefully cultivated in the ancient academy, should be forced in the modern to give place to ratural, that was originally designed to be subfervient to it? which is to exalt the handmaid into the place of the mistress t; which appears not only a preposterous, but a pernicious me. thod of institution : for as the mind takes a turn of future life suitable to the tincture it hath received in youth, it will naturally conclude that there is no necessity 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 or
disesteem * Te in scientia proficiffe credas, quantum in moribus fueris emendatior; eo usque docum, in quantum bonum; ita philofophum, ut christianum. Præf. ad Nem.
+ Things were coming to this pass so early as Se. neca's time; who laments that plain and open truth was turned into a dark and intricate fcience. “ Phies losophy (says he) is turned into philology; and
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 of their manners. Whereas philofophy is no
reas philofophy is nothing elfe but a rule of life." Quid autem philofophia, nisi vitæ lex eft ? Epift. 95.
disesteem of those things, which are more necessary to make a person a wise and truly understanding man, than all those rudiments of science he brought with him from the school or the college.
It is really a melancholy thing to see a young gentleman of shining parts and a fweet disposition, who has gone through the common course of academical studies, come out into the world under an abso. lute government of his passions and prejudices ; which have increased with his learning, and which, when he comes to be better acquainted with human life and human nature, he is soon sensible and an shamed of ; but perhaps is never able to conquer as long as he lives, for want of that assistance which he ought to have received in his education : for a wrong education is one of those three things to which it is owing (as an ancient Christian philofopher juftly observes) that fo few have the right government of their passions *
• Εγγινονται δε τα φαυλα παθη τη ψυχη δια τριων τελων· δια κακης αγωγης, εξ αμαθιας, υπο καχεξιας μη «χθενες γαρ καλως εκ παιδων ως δυνασθαι κραζειν των . walw sis Thy ajueTECY AUTWY Spript topsy"Bad pafo. " fions spring up in the mind three ways; vis, « through a bad education, great ignorance, or a difor" der in the animal frame. 1. From a bad education :
I would not be thought to disparage any part of human literature; but should be glad to see this most useful branch of science, the knowledge of the heart, the detecting and correcting hurtful prejudices, and the right government of the temper and passions, in more general esteem, as necessary at once to form the Gentleman, the Scholar, and the Christian.
And if there be any thing in the following sheets which may be helpful to students, who have a regard to the right government of their minds, whilst they are furnishing them with useful knowledge, I would particularly recommend them to their perusal.
I have nothing further to add, but to desire the reader's excuse for the freedom with which I have delivered my sentiments in this matter, and for detaining him so long from the subject of the ensuing Treatise, which I now leave to his candid and serious thoughts, and the bleffing of Almighty God to make it useful to him.
« For if we have not been taught from our childhood " to govern our pasions with all poflible care, they « will soon come to have the government of us." Nemes de Nat. Hom. p. 182.