Imatges de pàgina

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80 far as to be placed or to be retained in the mastership, he must possess it in such measure as to be his own master as well as the master of the school. Fortunately, the constitution of Rugby school favored the independence of the head-master.

There was the same sort of claim on Arnold's part to independence in relation to the parents of his pupils. He bore with no meddling; he deferred to no pretense from them; their putting their boys under him was not putting themselves above him. teacher was ever readier to recognize his true responsibility to the parents of his scholars. “It is a most touching thing to me,” he said, " to receive a new fellow from his father, when I think what an influence there is in this place for evil as well as for good. If ever I could receive a new boy from his father without emotion, I should think it was high time to be off.” Nor did the feeling wear away with the residence of the pupil. The letters from Arnold to the parents of those who were with him are amongst the most convincing proofs of his constant watchfulness and constant faithfulness as a teacher.

To exbibit the relations between Arnold and his pupils will require fuller treatment. His idea of a teacher embraced, as we have seen, a variety of qualities, on which he was as intent in practice as in theory. “When I find that I can not run up the library stairs, I shall know that it is time for me to go,” he said in reference to that freshness of frame which he deemed essential to freshness of mind, or at any rate to the freshness of mind required in the teacher. Exactly the same principle appears in his pursuit of fresh studies and his cultivation of fresh powers. “I do not judge of them," he said of his private pupils,

as I should if I were not taking pains to improve my own mind." Nor was the most industrious of the Rugby boys half so hard a student as his master. “The qualifications which I deem essential to the due performance of a master's duties here," wrote Arnold to a sub-master on his appointment, “may in brief be expressed as the spirit of a Christian and a gentleman; that a man should enter upon his business not $x mapépyou, (as a subordinate work,) but as a subtantive and most important duty; * * that he should be publicspirited, liberal, and entering heartily into the interest, honor and general respectability and distinction of the society which he has joined ; and that he should have sufficient vigor of inind and thirst for knowledge, to persist in adding to his own stores without neglecting the full improvement of those whom he is teaching." All that Arnold thus proposed for the teacher, he proposed, with the necessary qualifications, for the pupil. He was quite as anxious about the physical as he was about the intellectual condition of his boys; "and whenever," says one of them who became his biographer," he saw they were reading too much, he always remonstrated with them, relaxed their work, and if they were in the upper part of the school, would invite them to his house in the half-year or the holidays to refresh them.” As for the minds of the boys, he had but one wish,that they should be at work. Their cleverness was altogether an inferior consideration; even the amount of their attainments was comparatively unimportant, so that they were doing what they could. “If there be one thing on earth which is truly admirable," he said, "it is to see God's wisdom blessing an inferiority of natural powers, where they have been honestly, truly, and zealously cultivated.” “Its great business," he wrote of education," as far as regards the intellect, is to inspire it with a desire of knowledge, and to furnish it with power to obtain and to profit by what it seeks for;" words in which we may trace the features of the pupil who would have satisfied Arnold,—the boy who wished and who strove to learn. But far above all intellectual, as above all physical development, was the moral excellence after which he would have teachers and pupils alike exerting themselves. “What we must look for here,” he said to the boys, “is, 1st, religious and moral principles ; 2dly, gentlemanly conduct; 3dly, intellectual ability.” “It must be,” he declared at a time when the school was rife with disorder, “it must be a school of Christian gentlemen.” “I hold all the scholarship that man ever had,” he wrote to a friend, "to be infinitely worthless in comparison with even a very humble degree of spiritual advancement.” To this point the religious element of Arnold's system-we shall revert; it has been alluded to in this place only to complete the outlines of the teacher and the pupil after Arnold's design.

We have no wish to represent Arnold as faultless. The appreciation of his strong points is our object; and we pass by the detection of his weak ones. He had his failings both as a man and as a teacher; and the ideal of the relations between him and his pupils was seldom entirely attained. But we must refer to his biography or to his educational works for an account of his errors; our few pages are hardly ample enough to describe his virtues.

" What a sight it is," writes one of the Rugby men,—“ the doctor as å ruler.” It was the first and the chief aspect in which he appeared to his pupils. He was not merely the master but the headmaster, the presiding spirit of the establishment, the source of law and authority, of honor and dishonor. It was often said of Arnold that he was born to be a statesman. Of all the signs to this effect, above


his writings, above his exertions as a citizen, his administration of Rugby school may be safely set down as the most remarkable. The school was a state on a small scale; its magistrates the masters, its citizens the three hundred pupils ; each with his own tastes, his own powers, his own circumstances; not easily managed by himself, and much less easily directed in the midst of his two hundred and ninetynine associates. No state was ever better ruled on the whole; none was more carefully guarded from evil and shame; none consistently guided to nobleness and truth.

Higher still was the position of Arnold as the chaplain of the school. When this office fell vacant, a year or two after he joined the school, he asked it from the trustees on the ground that, as headmaster, he was “the real and proper religious instructor of the boys." Pray let it be remarked before we go further, that he did not make his religious instructions depend upon his being in the chaplaincy. He had begun to preach to the boys, as well as to give a religious tone to his daily teachings, from the very first year of his mastership; and what he began, he continued. Nay more; he would not make his instructions in religious matters depend even -on his being a clergyman. Had he been a layman, he would not have preached as often, but he certainly would have addressed the boys on their Christian duties from time to time; while the religious atmosphere of his own recitation-room would have been quite as constant and quite as effective. “The business of a schoolmaster," was a frequent expression with him,“ po less than that of a parish minister, is the cure of 'souls." In this spirit, and not merely in that of a clerical functionary, he assumed the chaplain's office. How well he discharged it, not merely in the chapel, but throughout the school, may be gathered from a pupil's life-like report of his preaching and his influence.

More worthy pens than mine have described that scene. The oak pulpit standing out by itself above the school seats. The tall gallant form, the kindling eye, the voice, now soft as the low notes of a flute, now clear and stirring as the call of the light infantry bugle, of him who stood there Sunday after Sunday, witnessing and pleading for his Lord, the King of righteousness and love and glory, with whose spirit he was filled, and in whose power he spoke. The long lines of young faces rising tier above tier down the whole length of the chapel, from the little boy's who had just left his mother to the young man's who was going out next week into the great world rejoicing in his strength. It was a great and solemn sight, and never more so than at this time of year, when the only lights in the chapel were in the pulpit and at the seats of the præpostors of the week, and the soft twilight stole over the rest of the chapel, deepening into darkness in the high gallery behind the organ.

But what was it after all which seized and held these three hundred boys, dragging them out of themselves, willing or unwilling, for twenty minutes on Sunday afternoons ? True, there always were boys scattered up and down the school, who, in heart and head, were worthy to hear and able to carry away the deepest and wisest words then spoken. But these were a minority always, generally a very small one, often so small a one as to be countable on the fingers of your hand. What was it that moved and held us, the rest of the three hundred reckless childish boys, who feared the doctor with all our hearts, and very little besides in heaven or earth; who thought more of our sets in the school than of the church of Christ, and put the traditions of Rugby and the public opinion of boys in our daily life above the laws of God? We couldn't enter into half that we heard ; we hadn't the knowledge of our own hearts or the knowledge of one another, and little enough of the faith, hope, and love needed to that end. But we listened, as all boys in their better moods will listen, (aye, and men too for the matter of that,) to a man who we felt to be with all his heart and soul and strength striving against whatever was mean and unmanly and unrighteous in our little world. It was not the cold clear voice of one giving advice and warning from serene heights, to those who were struggling and sinning below, but the warm living voice of one who was fighting for us and by our sides, and calling on *us to help him and ourselves and one another. And so, wearily and little by little, but surely and steadily on the whole, was brought home to the young boy, for the first time, the meaning of his life ; that it was no fool's or sluggard's paradise into which he had wandered by chance, but a battle-field, ordained from of old, where there are no spectators, but the youngest must take his side, and the stakes are life and death. And he who roused this consciousness in them, showed them at the same time, by every word he spoke in the pulpit, and by his whole daily life, how that battle was to be fought; and stood there before them their fellow-soldier and the captain of their band. The true sort of captain too for a boys' army, one who had no misgivings and gave no uncertain word of command, and, let who would yield or make truce, would fight the fight out, (so every boy felt,) to the last gasp and the last drop of blood. Other sides of his character might take hold of and influence boys here and there, but it was this thoroughness and undaunted courage which more than any thing else won his way to the hearts of the great mass of those on whom he left his mark, and made them believe first in him, and then in his Master.-School Days at Rugby, pp. 154–57.

Let us listen to some of the teachings from that chapel pulpit ; they will more than bear out the enthusiasm of the account just given concerning them.

And therefore he who thinks that to provide schools is to provide education, or that to provide schools where the Bible and Catechism are taught is to provide religious education, will, undoubtedly, be disappointed, when he sees the fruit of his work. Be sure that the saving men's souls is no such easy matter; our great enemy is not so easily vanquished. It is not the subscription of some pounds, or hundreds of pounds, nor the building a schoolhouse, nor the appointing a schoolmaster, nor the filling the school with all the children in the parish, which will deliver all those childrens' souls from death, and mortify in them all the lusts of their evil nature, and foster and perfect all the works of the Spirit of God. Schools can not, as a matter of certainty, do this, but let us see what they can do.

They can give elementary religious instruction. As every child can be taught to read and write, so every child can be taught to say his catechism, can be taught to know the main truths of the gospel, can be taught to say hymns. There is no doubt, I suppose, that schools can certainly compass as much as this, and this is, I think, by no means to be despised. For although we know but too well that the learning this and much more than this, is very far from saving our souls certainly or generally, yet it is no less true that withont this we are much worse off, and with this much better off. It is at least giving a man a map of the road, which he is going, which will keep him in the right way if he uses it. The map will not make his limbs stronger, nor his spirits firmer; he may be tired or he may be indolent, and it is of no use to him then. But suppose a man furnished with a very perfect map of a strange country, and that on his day's journey he has wasted many hours by going off his road, or by stopping to eat and to revel, and by and by the evening is coming on, and he knows not where he is, and he would fain make up for his former carelessness, and get to his journey's end before night comes on. The map, which hitherto has been carried uselessly, becomes then his guide and his best friend. So it has been known to be often with religious instruction. Neglected, like the map, while the morning was fair, and we cared not about our onward journey; when life has darkened, and troubles have come, and a man has indeed wanted light and comfort, then the instruction of his school has been known to flash upon his mind, and more especially what he has learnt in psalms and hymns, which naturally cleave the easiest to the memory. When he would turn he has known where to turn. This has very often happened as the fruit of early religious instruction, when that instruction has been in no way accompanied with education. And therefore, as all our church schools can undoubtedly give to all the elements of religious instruction, as well as teach all to write and read, they deserve, I think, our most earnest, support; and it is our part to help according to our best ability in providing every portion of the kingdom, and every one of our countrymen, with the means of certainly obtaining so much of good.

I have said that schools can certainly give religious instruction, but that it is not certain that they will give religious education. I dwell on this distinction for two several reasons: first, because it concerns us all in our own private relations, to. be aware of the enormous difference between the two; secondly, because, confounding them together, we either expect schools to educate, which very likely they will not be able to do, and then are unreasonably disappointed ; or else, feeling sure that the greater good of education is not certainly to be looked for, we do not enough value the lesser good of instruction which can be given certainly, and thus do not encourage schools so much as we ought. Elementary instruction in religion as in other things, may be certainly given to all who have their common natural faculties; that is, as I said, the catechism and hymns may be made to be learnt by heart, and the great truths of Christ's Gospel may be taught so as to be known and remembered. But even instruction, when we go beyond the elements of learning, can not be given to all certainly; we can not undertake to make every boy, even if we have the whole term of his boyhood and youth given us for the experiment, either a good divine, or a good scholar, or to be a master of any other kind of knowledge. This can not be done, although, as far as instruction is concerned, schools have great means at their command, nor do other things out of school very much interfere with their efficacy. But to give a man a Christian education, is to make him love God as well as know him, to make him have faith in Christ, as well as to have been taught the facts that He died for our sins and rose again; to make him open his heart eagerly to every impulse of the Holy Spirit, as well as to have been taught the fact as it is in the Nicene Creed, that He is the Lord and giver of spiritual life. And will mere lessons do all this,-when the course of life and all examples around, both at home and at school, with a far more mighty teaching, and one to which our natural dispositions far more readily answer, enforce the contrary? And therefore the great work of Christian education is not the direct and certain fruit of building schools and engaging schoolmasters, but something far beyond, to be compassed only by the joint efforts of all the whole church and nation, by the schoolmaster and the parent, by thu schoolfellow at school, and by the brothers and sisters at home, by the clergyman in his calling, by the landlord in his calling, by the farmer and the tradesman, by the laborer and the professional man, and the man of independent income, whether large or small, in theirs, by the queen and her ministers, by the great council of the nation in parliament'; by each and all of these laboring to remove temptations to evil, to make good easier and more honored, to confirm faith and holiness in others by the'r own example; in a word, to make men love and glorify their God and Swiour when they see the blessed fruits of His kingdom even here on earth. And to bring this to ourselves more closely as private persons, let us remember that if we send our children to school, although we give up their instruction to the schoolmaster, yet we can not give up their education. Their education goes on out of school as well as in school, and very often far more vigorously. We shall see this, if we remember again that the great work of education is to make us love what is good, and therefore not only know it, but do it.

I speak of us as a society, as a school, as a Christian school, as a place, that is, to which the sons of Christian parents, and of no other, are sent to receive a Christian education. Such a society is beyond all doubt in its idea or institution a temple of God; God's blessing is upon it, Christ and Christ's Spirit dwell in the midst of it.

It is very fearful to think of the sin and the shame of letting this temple of God be

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