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“There are few things in this world more wonderful to a thoughtful mind, or more delightful to a benevolent heart, than the joy of children. We need not do anything to make the child happy. It is naturally happy in itself. From the joy which God sheds within its soul like sunlight, joy shines upon everything without, and is reflected back from all. No poet ever had a more brilliant fancy, no philosopher busier thoughts ! It can create to itself an ocean from a cup of water, a ship from a bit of straw, and summon out of bits of paper, or out of nothing, men and women, kings and queens, to obey its commands, and contribute to its amusements. It is planning, contriving, and enjoying all day long. With all this God has placed it in His own school of providence; and in ten thousand ways, too many to number, and too deep to understand, He is educating this babe, and teaching it lessons innumerable.

As a rule, I believe more harm than good will be done by attempting to apply any formal system of pruning and training to so tender a plant, beyond what is prompted by good common sense, guided by parental and Christian affection. If you must, in short, give it something, confine your generosity to wholesome plain food from your hand, love in abundance from your heart, with as much light, liberty, and air, as every day beneath God's sky can afford, and it will educate itself better than you can do. Let these conditions be fulfilled as far as possible, even in one of our vile and horrid streets or lanes, and the child will thrive better in soul and body than when confined, like a hot-house plant, in a splendid mansion, pampered with luxuries, or teased and fretted all day long by some injudicious parent or teacher who insists on training or teasing it up to become wonderfully clever, or wonderfully well-behaved. Watch, control, lead, mould your children from infancy if you will, but oh, let them be free and joyous!"

Would that every parent and teacher were deeply impressed with this radical truth-the self-developing power of the soul, which the reverend author has so well and so fearlessly expressed! To compel and to guide are acts widely differing in nature, and lead to very different results. Yet we see too often brute force prevail over the heavenly in almost every family and school Systems too-nothing but systems—squaring and compassing by material

, mechanical rules, the subtle protean play of the ever-expanding soul.

Thoroughly imbued with a Christian spirit, he is not afraid to expose that spurious mawkish sentimentality frequently mistaken for it.

“There are many religious books for the young now published, whose tendency, in spite of the best intentions of their writers, is anything but healthy -books in which children are made to think like old and virtuous Christians, to recount their experiences in a way which even they would shrink from, and who, in short, are thereby unlike any we ever meet with in real life, or perhaps would like to meet with, so false and unnatural do they seem. Moreover, they are always sure to die young. Thus the impression is given that all good children must be like those in the book, and must think like them, and also die like them; and if so, then the conclusion is inevitable, that piety in childhood is not to be desired."

With much the same unbiassed and truly philosophical spirit he claims a range of developing influences that are much questioned now-a-days by persons who, lacking proper breadth and depth of intelligence, would doom the soul that exults in the abundance, freshness, and variety of things, to a circumscribed routine, or blinding gin trot.

“I see no reason for banishing from, but many for keeping in the children's library, the old classics of Blue Beard, Jack the Giant Killer, Beauty and the Beast, etc., which were, I doubt not, the first to delight ourselves, and the perusal of which, so far as I have ever heard, has never been looked back to with

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regret by any Christian when he became a man and put away childish things. There are also delightful volumes on natural history, calculated to cultivate in children the most wholesome of all tastes, the love of nature, and to make them notice and search for the glorious and inexhaustible treasures which God has poured out for the eye and ear, for the heart and head, in the magnificent world around them on the seashore and open field, in wood and stream, on mountain and moorland, by day and night-all affording a quiet joy that will never grow old, but which the patriarch can share with the child and angels with men. Then, again, there are books of another kind-histories of men and nations, especially those of our own country, and of its deeds on land and sea, in church and state; true stories of the great and brave, the generous, self-sacrificing, and patriotic; narratives of the difficulties overcome in the pursuit of knowledge, or in the discharge of duty; actual adventures by field and flood, showing what firmness, courage and perseverance can accomplish and endure-books which are fitted to inspire the young with an admiration of what is manly and brave. 'And,' as Milton says, 'what glorious and magnificent use might be made of poetry, both in human and divine things !' And why should I be silent about song, as a means of linking pure and lofty sentiments with the imagination and the feelings ? Milton, in his well-known Letter on Education, already quoted, speaking of music, and of elegant voices, tuned to religious, martial, and civic ditties, adds, 'which, if wise men and prophets be not extremely out, have a great power over dispositions and manners to smooth and make them gentle from rustic harshness and distempered passions.' . . . Many of our dear old Scottish songs, embalmed in the hearts and memories of our countrymen throughout the world, with others which commemorate the great and brave deeds of those who have fought for our hearths and homes, should be taught our children, as well as hymns that sing of loftier and eternal themes."

There wrote a true Scottish Christian man. May the advice he records come home to every Scottish Christian parent and teacher, and counsel them in the discharge of their responsible office. Glad -right glad are we to hear a clergyman speak out thus boldly in favour of a more natural education. We pray sincerely and ardently that his brethren will support and strengthen him and the cause he so ably advocates with frankness and decision. Too—too long has childhood been tyrannised over, by cold and cruel custom; let us hope that emancipation is near. Clergymen are the most effective agitators, for they command the confidence of the public heart on the faith of the pure principles of their vocation. Thus will they imitate their great Pattern in blessing little children, who have hitherto been anything but happy at home, while committing such tasks as the 119th Psalm for the reward of a shilling, or at school, while gorging their grammar and geography, to show off the master on examination-day.

His remarks on discipline are most judicious. Love, not fear, is maintained as the ruling principle. "Love is the sheet-anchor of

“ education." This love, however, implies, firm, persevering and watchful training, that proper habits may be properly formed. On the much vexed question of the “use of the rod," he vindicates its application in extreme cases. If the course laid down were followed, we think it would not be much needed. If John Wesley's course be adopted, we think it will be much needed. It is this : “ Break their (the children's) wills betimes: begin before they can run alone. Whatever pain it costs, break the will if you would not damn the child. Let a child from a year old be taught to fear the rod, and

learn to cry softly; from that age make him do as he is bid, if you whip him ten times.”

We shall now fittingly conclude our extracts with one from that beautiful chapter on Prayer :

“The fireside group is scattered to distant shores. One becomes a soldier, fighting amidst the din of battle; another a sailor boy, voyaging over the boisterous deep; or an emigrant, labouring in a distant colony; or a merchant, buying and selling amidst the temptations of a great city. But wherever they are, and in whatever circumstances, still for them the earnest prayer may ascend at home, and be heard by that Father who is everywhere a present help! Not until the revelation of the great day will children or parents be able to discover the connection which God has established between the blessings received by the one, and the prayer offered up by the other.

A true prayer never dies. It lives before God when the mortal lips which gave it utterance are silent in the grave."

Our criticism of the treatise, as a work of art, is taken away by the author's pleading guilty to the full extent of the fault, that it wants unity of design, and relative proportion of parts, the mode of their original production necessarily preventing that. We think, however, the materials were worth the recasting into a more condensed form, that might have had a better chance of living in that world of letters where so many die. Sure we are, however, that it will serve the generation for which it is immediately intended. Every parent and teacher will find it highly profitable to give it a careful, thoughtful perusal.

Notices of Books. OUR FRIENDS IN HEAVEN: or the Mutual Recognition of the Redeemed

in Glory demonstrated. By the Rev. J. M. Killen, M.A., Comber. Third Edition. Edinburgh : Shepherd & Elliot. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co. The doctrine of mutual recognition in heaven is one which every Christian feels to be true. It seldom crosses his mind to doubt it. Still it is profitable and pleasant to know from what sure data that fond belief of his may be demonstrated. Those especially, who, like the author, have been severely tried with bereavements, are likely to find in the perusal of this book the same solace in their woe which he seems to have found in the writing of it. The arguments are unanswerable, and the style sober, as becomes the serious theme, with frequently a pleasant light of illustration beaming from its pages. BLACK'S SCHOOL ATLAS FOR BEGINNERS. A series of Twenty-seven

Maps of the Principal Countries of the World. Edinburgh: Adam

and Charles Black. This is the best Atlas of the kind we have seen. Many of our cheap school Atlases are actually dear at any price, being very defective—being, in fact, old editions dressed up for the market. This one, however, in our estimation, surpasses acknowledged standards of four times the price, in meeting the educational requirements of modern Geography. The want of such maps as New South Wales and Cape Colony has long been felt; and all teachers must feel grateful to the publishers for supplying it. The maps are neatly and beautifully printed in colours, and bound up in a most portable form. It will command a sale.

THE TEMPLE LAMP. By the Rev. J. B. Dickson. Paisley : Robert

Stewart. Glasgow: J. R. Macnair, and Thomas Murray & Son.

Edinburgh : Shepherd & Elliot, etc. True religion is as old as man, therefore, original thinking on religious matters, abstractly speaking, is altogether out of the question. But every man may-nay, ought to be an original thinker for himself—in this matter he ought to be his own carthly prophet, priest, and king. Such originality is Mr Dickson's chief characteristic. This, of course, could not but induce a style of writing peculiarly his own, which, by the force of an exquisite ear and untiring art, he has elaborated into a firmly beautiful form. We could not refer to a more happy specimen than his description of Nature after the Fall, in the opening discourse of this serial. Mr Dickson has many admirers. These will peruse it without a hint from us, and every other person who may be induced to read it, will, we think, extend that already extensive circle. A COMPLETE ENGLISH GRAMMAR. By M. Wilson, Ilead Master of

the Glasgow Normal Seminary. London: Richard Griffin & Co.

Edinburgh : Sutherland & Knox. Glasgow: Orr & Sons, etc. This Grammar is a very complete compilation of those grammatical facts which are generally acquired at school. From these, any teacher may extract his material for his own particular system; for who ever heard of a teacher satisfied with any text-book of Grammar that was not his own, and who had not a much better one which he would publish if he could only find a publisher? Mr Wilson's Grammar is as well arranged as any we have seen; but the chief feature of it which strikes us, besides its comprehensiveness, is the data and directions for thorough practice, the only sure basis for a thorough proficiency in the art. THE MANSE OF SUNNY SIDE; or, Trials of a Minister's Family. Edin

burgh: John Shepherd. This tale is well told. It displays great knowledge of certain phases of human nature, which are sketched off in the most graphic manner.

The interest deepens with the progress of the story, until the sympathies become unconsciously attached to the fortunes of the whole family. Much may be learned from it.

KITTY Brown BEGINNING TO THINK. Edinburgh: Shepherd & Elliot. This is an interesting story for young folks. We cannot recommend it better than by stating that it is written by the authoress of “The Manse of Sunny Side."

EARLY HISTORY OF PHILIP O'FLAHERTY, The Young Soldier, with

graphic notices of the War, and of his intercourse with Turkish Officers.

Edinburgh: Shepherd & Elliot. London: Hamilton, Adams, & Co. This is a very interesting account of a young man who rose by his own efforts from a very humble position in society to that of an interpreter attached to the head quarters of Lord Raglan in the Crimea. The account of his intercourse with the Turkish Officers must be full of interest to all the friends of Christian civilisation. His own conduct shows that a man may at the same time be a soldier of his country and a soldier of Christ.

[Several Notices unavoidably deferred.]

PRINTED BY THOMAS MURRAY AND SON, GLASGOW.

THE

BRITISH EDUCATOR.

APRIL, 1856.

CONVERSATION SECOND.

[Educator's Study, . . . Table covered with a mass of papers duly arranged.]

Enter EDUCATOR and FRIEND. Ed. (Pointing to easy-chair.] Come-no ceremony—be seated.

Fr. No ceremony, say I too—and therefore this: (shunning the easy one] be seated there yourself—to me it says,

“ Come take your case -feel comfortable—talk languidly for a while—then fitfully drowse -start, and discourse with animation forced; then, in the midst of your rejoinder, sleep—nodding assent where you did least intend it."

Ed. Well, I have no such fear, I can assure you—its arms have no such soporific embraces for me: “Come—work, work, work!" it says to me.

Fr. I feel so too in my own easy-chair-but not in any other's— the association of ideas, I suppose.

Ed. Well, now that I reflect upon it, I think that you are right; for I remember the last time I was through seeing you, you would have me into your easy-chair, and I chatted a little, and then drowsed—then shook myself free of the languor-spoke with forced emphasis—and, I doubt not, with a plentiful lack of thought; then, as you began to speak, I listened—lids closed-opened them, looked up, shut them again, and at last went fairly off into the regions of deep sleep.

Fr. Precisely so—nodding assent all the while, while I kept wasting my eloquent breath on your deaf ear, as if I had rivetted your deep attention, and had answered you so well, that you were puzzled, and had not a word in reply, or were taking time to muster your thoughts for answer—when, to my utter chagrin, but yet with pleased confusion, you answered me with a very audible-snore ! and I then found the sense in which I had talked you over.

Ed. I see the cut in your refusal of my easy-chair.

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