Imatges de pàgina

profaned, of letting it be so overrun with evil that from a house of prayer it should have become a den of thieves. But, is it not also an enkindling and encouraging thought, to dwell on the blessing of not suffering it to be so profaned; of driving out in Christ's power the evil that would most corrupt us ; of being indeed a temple of God, wherein his praise should be not only spoken with our lips, but acted in our lives?

I think that this is very encouraging and enkindling to every one who wishes to serve God. But by “encouraging

and enkindling," I mean of course, encouraging and enkindling to exertion. It is but folly to say, “How delightful would it be if it were so !" and not rather to say, “This is indeed so glorious and blessed a thing, that I will labor heart and soul that it shall be so."

I well know that such labor becomes us, the older part of our society, most of all, and that our sin is the heaviest of all if we neglect it. But it is no less true that you have your share in the work also, and that more depends upon you than upon us. Nor is your sin light if you neglect it; I mean that every one of you has a duty to perform toward the school, and that over and above the sin of his own particular faults, he incurs a sin, I think even greater, by encouraging faults, or discouraging good in others; and further still, that he incurs a sin, less I grant than in the last case, but still considerable, by being altogether indifferent to the conduct of others, by doing nothing to discourage evil, nothing to encourage good.

The actual evil which inay exist in a school consists, I suppose, first of all in direct sensual wickedness, such as drunkenness and other things forbidden together with drunkenness in the scriptures. It would consist, secondly, in the systematic practice of falsehood, --when lies were told constantly by the great majority, and tolerated by all. Thirdly, it would consist in systematic cruelty, or if cruelty be too strong a word, in the systematic annoyance of the weak and simple, so that a boy's life would be miserable unless he learnt some portion of the coarseness and spirit of persecution which he saw in all around him. Fourthly, it would consist in a spirit of active disobedience,—when all authority was hated, and there was a general pleasure in breaking rules simply because they were rules. Fifthly, it would include a general idleness, when every one did as little as he possibly could, and the whole tone of the school went to cry down any attempt on the part of any one boy or more, to shew anything like diligence or a wish to improve himself. Sixthly, there would be a prevailing spirit of combination in evil and of companionship; by which a boy would regard himself as more bound to his companions in ties of wickedness, than to God or his neighbor in any ties of good ;-so that he would labor to conceal from his parents and from all who might check it, the evil state of things around him ; considering it far better that evil should exist, than that bis companions doing evil should be punished. And this accomplice spirit, this brotherhood of wickedness, is just the opposite of Christian love or charity; for as St. Paul calls charity the bond of perfectness, so this clinging of the evil to one another is the bond of wickedness ; it is that without which wickeddess would presently fall to pieces aud perish, and which preserves it in existence and in vigor.

Let these six things exist together, and the profanation of the temple is com. plete—it is become a den of thieves. Then whoever passes through such a school may undoubtedly, by God's grace, be afterward a good man, but so far as his school years have any effect on his after life, he must be utterly ruined. An extraordinary strength of constitution, or rather a miracle of God's grace, may possibly have enabled him to breathe an air so pestilential with impunity ; but although he may have escaped, thousands have perished, and the air in its own properties is merely deadly.

The sixth evil I left for separate consideration, because it appeared to require a faller notice. And its very name, if we attend, will make it probable that it does 50. I called it the spirit of combination and companionship, whereas the other evils of which I spoke were such things as idleness, falsehood, drunkenness, disobedience ; names very different in their character from combination and companionship. They are very different in this, that when we speak of idleness or falsehood we mean things altogether evil, which are plainly and altogether to be avoided and abhorred; but when we speak of combination or companionship, we name things not in their own nature evil, things which have a good sense as well as a bad sense; things, therefore, not plainly and altogether, but only upon consideration and beyond a certain point to be avoided and condemned. Here, therefore, the subject must be gone into more carefully; we must not blame indiscriminately, but opening gently as it were, what lies in a tangled mass before us, we must so learn, if we can, to separate the evil from the good.

What I have called the spirit of companionship, is that feeling by which we are drawn toward our equals, while we are conscious that they and we stand in a certain relation to a common superior. I mean that the feeling of companionship, as I am now taking it, implies that, besides the persons so feeling it, and who are always more or less on an equality with each other, there exists also some superior party, and that his superiority modifies the mutual feeling of the parties on an equality. Thus the feeling of companionship amongst brothers and sisters, supposes that they have all parents also, to whom they stand in another relation, and not in that of companionship; the same feeling amongst the poor supposes that they have also something to do with the rich, the same feeling amongst subjects supposes that they have a government, and if it could exist amongst all mankind toward each other as men, then it would imply the existence of God, and that he interfered in the affairs of mankind. The first element then in this sense of companionship is sympathy, a feeling that we are alike as in many other things, so also in our relation to some other party ; that our hopes and fears with respect to this party are in each of us the same. And thus far the feeling is natural and quite blameless, sympathy being a very just cause why we should be drawn together. But then this sympathy is accompanied very often with a total want of sympathy so far as regards our common superior; as we who are each other's companions have with respect to him the same hopes and fears, so we often think that he and we have not the same hopes and fears, or in other words the same interest, in any degree at all; but that his interest is one thing, and ours is the very contrary.

So that while there is a sympathy between us and our companions, there is also between us and our superior the very contrary to sympathy, we conceive ourselves placed toward him in actual opposition.

But if he too could be taken into our bond of sympathy, if we could feel that his interests and ours are also the same, no less than ours and our companions', then the feeling of companionship, if I may so speak, being extended to all our relations, would produce no harm at all, but merely good : it would then, in fact, be no other than the perfection of our nature,-perfect love.

Let companionship expand into communion. You are companions of one another, with many natural sympathies of age, of employment, of place, and of constitution of body and mind. But you are companions of us too, coinpanions in our common work, which is your good, earthly and eternal; you are companions of all God's saints who are engaged in the same warfare ; you are companions -high and most presumptnous as the word were in itself, yet God's infinite love has sanctioned it-you are companions of Him who is not ashamed to call us brethren, who bore and bears our nature, who died as we shall all die. Bear all these relationships in mind, and then, as I said, companionship is become communion, the bond of wickedness is become the bond of perfectness, we are one with each other, and with Christ, and with God.-Sermons ; last volume, pp. 55, 57, 58, 66, 67, 68, 74, 75, 76, 77, 82, 83, 90, 91, 92, 93, 94.

But it was not in preaching alone, as we have said, that Arnold gave religious instruction to his pupils. “No direct instruction," says one of them, “could leave on their minds a livelier image of his disgust at moral evil, than the black cloud of indignation which passed over his face when speaking of the crimes of Napoleon, or of Cæsar, and the dead pause which followed, as if the acts had just been coinmitted in his very presence. No expression of his reverence for a high standard of Christian excellence could have been more striking than the almost involuntary expressions of admiration which broke from him whenever mention was made of St. Louis of France.” So, through all the studies under his direction, there streamed the ray of light from his own lofty faith, breaking in upon the darkest passages of history or of literature, bringing out all the brighter ones, and aiding those who sat beholding, to a faith as lofty and as illumining as that of their master. When he found, one day, that the change from the chamber of a dying pupil to the recitation room was very marked, he announced to his class that he should hereafter begin their lessons with a prayer, this being additional to the prayers for the entire school; his object, as he said, being to make his school work so really religious, that “ the transition to it from a death-bed would be slight.” It was by these means, even more than by those of the chapel, that his religious reforms were extended, so that his system of education was confessed be“ not based upon religion, but itself religious.” From any praises of his system, as he conceived it, he would not have shrunk; he did not regard it as his so much as his Lord and Master's. But from any declaration that the system was carried out in his school, he recoiled at once. “I dread," he would say, " to hear this called a religious school. I know how much there is to be done before it can really be called so." This very consciousness of imperfection proved the greatness of the perfection at which he aimed ; and, more than any thing which he did, perhaps, that which he was seen to be endeavoring to do, bore up his pupils to the heights where he was pausing, only to ascend above them.

Comparatively a small number of the boys at Rugby knew Arnold as their every-day teacher. To those of the younger classes he gave no school instruction beyond hearing their lessons at intervals. But his influence was not the less universal ; it was felt in the course of instruction as marked and as carried out; his being the selection of the studies, and his the system on which they were pursued. On these topics we must, of course, enlarge.

A reference to the tabular view of studies already given will show the materials of which Arnold made

his course.

Foremost amongst them, the great staple of culture, stand the classics. At first disposed to abridge the time usually given to these studies, Arnold was afterwards inclined to enhance rather than diminish their import

When he entered upon his Rugby duties, a general clamor had arisen against classical instruction, as assuming a place altogether above its merits or its advantages; and his avowed purposes as a reformer, led him to regard himself, as they led others to regard him, in some sort pledged to confine this branch of education to more restricted limits. But as his experience increased, and the resources of the classical department opened more and more beneath his management, he not only acknowledged, but applied them with greater appreciation and stronger confidence. “He was the first Englishman," says his pupil and biographer, “who drew attention in our public schools, to the historical, political and philosophical value of philology, and of the ancient writers, as distinguished from the mere verbal criticism and elegant scholarship of the last century." Nor was this all which gave life to classical study in his hands. He entered into the spirit of the great authors of antiquity; if he was reading a historian with his class, he too, was a historian for the time; if they were studying a poet, he showed them by his own expressive earnestness, what it was to share a poet's feeling and a poet's power; whatever, in short, the text-book, it was to the teacher and to all his responsive pupils, the living companionship of the writers, as much so as if the writer were their contemporary and their countryman. “Do'nt you find the repetition of the same lessons irksome?" was a question to which Arnold could honestly reply, "No, there is a constant freshness in them; I find something new in them every time I go over them.” Where would be the still prevailing distrust of the classics if they were taught in this way? Who would stay to wrangle about the philology or the mental discipline involved in the study, if it thus comprehended not only all that lived in the past, but all that is yet living in the present ?

Let Arnold speak for himself.

It may freely be confessed that the first origin of classical education affords in itself no reasons for its being continued now. When Latin and Greek were almost the only written languages of civilized man, it is manifest that they must have furnished the subjects of all liberal education. The question therefore is wholly changed, since the growth of a complete literature in other languages; since France, and Italy, and Germany, and England, have each produced their philosophers, their poets, and their historians, worthy to be placed on the same level with those of Greece and Rome.

But although there is not the same reason now which existed three or four centuries ago for the study of Greek and Roman literature, yet there is another no less substantial. Expel Greek and Latin from your schools, and you confine the views of the existing generation to themselves and their immediate predecessors: you will cut off so many centuries of the world's experience, and place us in the same state as if the human race had first come into existence in the year 1500. For it is nothing to say that a few learned individuals might still study classical literature; the effect produced on the public mind would be no greater than that which has resulted from the labors of our oriental scholars; it would not spread beyond themselves, and men in general after a few generations would know as little of Greece and Rome, as they do actually of China and Hindoostan. But such an ignorance would be incalculably more to be regretted. With the Asiatic mind, we have no nearer connection or sympathy than that which is derived from our common humanity. But the mind of the Greek and of the Roman is in all the essential points of its constitution our own; and not only so, but it is our own mind developed to an extraordinary degree of perfection. Wide as is the difference between us with respect to those physical instruments which minister to our uses or our pleasures; although the Greeks and Romans had no steam-engines, no printing-presses, no mariner's compass, no telescopes, no microscopes, no gunpowder; yet in our moral and political views, in those matters which most determine human character, there is a perfect resemblance in these respects Aristotle, and Plato, and Thucydides and Cicero, and Tacitus, are most untruly called ancient writers; they are virtually our own countrymen and contemporaries, but have the advantage which is enjoyed by intelligent travelers, that their observation has been exercised in a field out of the reach of common men; and that having thus seen in a manner with our eyes what we can not see for ourselves, their conclusions are such as bear upon our own circumstances, while their information has all the charm of novelty, and all the value of a mass of new and pertinent facts, illustrative of the great science of the nature of civilized man.

Now, when it is said, that men in manhood. so often throw their Greek and Latin aside, and that this very fact shows the uselessness of their early studies, it is much more true to say that it shows how completely the literature of Greece and Rome would be forgotten, if our system of education did not keep up the knowledge of it. But it by no means shows that system to be useless, unless it followed that when a man laid aside his Greek and Latin books, he forgot also all that he had ever gained from them. This, however, is so far from being the case, that even where the results of a classical education are least tangible, and least appreciated even by the individual himself, still the mind often retains much of the effect of its early studies in the general liberality of its tastes and comparative comprehensiveness of its views and notions. All this supposes

, indeed, that classical instruction should be sensibly conducted; it requires that a classical teacher should be fully acquainted with modern history and modern literature, no less than with those of Greece and Rome. What is, or perhaps what used to be called a mere scholar, can not possibly communicate to his pupils the main advantages of a classical education.

The knowledge of the past is valuable, because without it our knowledge of the present and the fature must be scanty; but if the knowledge of the past be confined wholly to itself, if, instead of being made to bear upon things around us, it be totally isolated from them, and so disguised by vagueness and misapprehension as to appear incapable of illustrating them, then indeed it becomes little better than laborious trifling, and they who declaim against it may be fully forgiven.-Miscellaneous Works, pp. 348–350.

The studies which Arnold introduced or developed at Rugby, were not numerous. The table sbows how prominent a place was assigned to Scriptural instruction, including exegesis and church history; besides which we find history, modern as well as ancient, geography, mathematics, and the modern languages, of which not only French, but German, was taught. Arnold laid no great stress upon any of these studies but the first, the Scriptural; not that he neglected or undervalued any of them, but that he was not disposed to agree with those who thought the introduction of such a branch as modern history, for example, to be in itself a proof of progress. The “favorite notion of filling boys with useful information" was no favorite with him. “It is not so much an object,” he said, “ to give boys ' useful information,' as to facilitate their gaining it hereafter for themselves, and to enable them to turn it to account when gained.” Modern history, therefore, was not to be made much of at the expense of ancient history, or of any other study which was equally essential to the end in view. “I assume it certainly,” he wrote in relation to the study of modern languages, “as the foundation of all my view of the case, that boys at a public school will never learn to speak or pronounce French well under any circumstanoes. But to most of our boys, to

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