Imatges de pÓgina

and assiduity is constantly an attribute in true genius. The seed, buried in the dark earth, germinates, under the favorable conditions of spring, at some inappreciable point in time. Of the radiant sun at noon, while we say it is, it is not. Thus of every deific manifestation. But to man is awarded another course. Through the law of industry he is to elaborate those divinely generated conceptions, to whose inbirth time is not attributable.

The God-born idea is not an impulsion, but an inspiration; not a personal pleasure, but a univeral happiness. It is not a fluctuative influence, as is frequently fancied, which comes sometimes and then departs. It is not a momentary stimulus, which urges us this morning to write a book, to build a church, or to visit the sick; and this afternoon leaves us tired or disgusted with the effort. Quite the contrary. It is a permanent, abiding, substantial pressure, which allows not the youthful artist to dissipate the holy mornings of spring in dreams of deeds he never will realize, but continually energizes his soul to action. Impulse is more dangerous than steady inanition. Dull unpretension never will mislead; but the impulsive and influential, the sometimes good, the wavering, are on all occasions, both to themselves and their susceptible neighbors, sources of diappointment and unhappiness.

Cordial therefore as was the joy with which the idea of a deep and true spirit-culture was hailed on this occasion, the satisfactory results, were not throughout obtained, in default of efficient human instruments. * Those who re

* The following letter from the late Mr. Greaves to Mr. Alcott confirms our remarks, and well deserves insertion in this place.



London, 16th September, 1837.


Believing the Spirit has so far established its nature in you, as to make you willingly to co-operate with itself in Love-operations, I am induced, without apology, to address you as a friend and companion in the hidden path of Love's most powerful revelations. "The Record of a School" having fallen into my hands, through Miss Harriet Martineau, I have perused it with deep interest; and the object of my present address to you, (occasioned by this work,) is to obtain a more intimate acquaintance with one, in our Sister Land, who is so divinely and uni

ceived most truly were personally too aged and too unexecutive; and the appointed executive, though occasionally enraptured with the thought, was too desultory and impulsive to realize so grand a scheme. But even with this

versally developed. Permit me, therefore, dear Sir, in simple affection, to put a few questions to you, which, if answered, will give me possession of that information respecting you and your work, which I think will be useful to the present and to future generations of men. Also a mutual service may be rendered to ourselves, by assisting to evolve our own being more completely; thereby making us more efficient instruments for Love's use, in carrying forward the work which it has begun within us. The Unity himself must have his divine purposes to accomplish in and by us, or he would not have prepared us as far as he has. I am, therefore, willing to withhold nothing, but to receive and transmit all he is pleased to make me be, and thus, at length, to become an harmonious being. This he can readily work, in the accomplishment of his primitive purposes. Should you think that a personal intercourse of a few weeks would facilitate the universal work, I would willingly undertake the voyage to America for that purpose. There is so decided and general a similarity in the sentiments and natures addressed in the account of your teaching, that a contact of spirits so alike developed would, no doubt, prove productive of still further development. Your school appears to work deeper than any we have in England; and its inner essential character interests me. If an American Bookseller will send over any of your books to his correspondents here, I shall be happy to receive and pay for them.

In the year 1817, some strong interior visitations came over me, which withdrew me from the world, in a considerable degree, and I was enabled to yield myself up to Love's own manner of acting, regardless of all consequences. Soon after this time, I met with an account of the Spirit's work in and by the late venerable Pestalozzi, which so interested me, that I proceeded at once to visit him in Switzerland; and remained with him, in holy fellowship, four years. After that I was working, with considerable success, amongst the various students in that country, when the prejudices of the self-made wise and powerful men became jealous of my influence, and I was advised to return to England, which I did; and have been working, in various ways of usefulness ever since, from the deep centre, to the circumference; and am now engaged in writing my conscientious experiences, as well as I can represent them in words, and in teaching all such as come within my sphere of action. Receptive beings, however, have as yet been but limited, and

large drawback there yet remained so striking and prominent an approach to good men's hopes, that, notwithstanding the supposition of introducing impossible novelties, the number of individuals moved by the example is sufficient

those, who permanently retain, have been still less; yet, at present, there appears a greater degree of awakening to the central love-sensibility, than before. I see many more symptoms of the harvest time approaching in this country. There is, at present, an obvious appearance of the Love-seed beginning to germi


Such of the following questions, as you may think calculated to throw any light upon what you are doing, I shall be obliged if you will answer, with any other information you may feel disposed to supply, for the universal good.

1. Do your instructions entirely follow the universal ideas; and are they connected with any peculiar sect of religion? 2. Are you, yourself, satisfied with the results that appear? 3. Have you had many difficulties to overcome?

4. How early do you begin to act upon children?

5. Is a day school or a boarding school best to carry out your views?

6. Have you found any one able to assist you?

7. Can mutual instruction avail anything?

8. Does the moral influence decidedly dominate over the intellectual in the children?

9. Are the Parents willing to let you have the children? 10. What religious sect works most favorably with you? 11. What sect works most against you?

12. Do the children that have come from other schools show any preference to yours?

13. To what age would you keep the children?

14. Do you think that your mode of instruction could be easily nationalized?

15. Is your mode of teaching compared with other modes, or is it estimated with relation to the end sought?

16. Do the children soon begin to perceive the power of the end that you have led them to?

17. Are inner tranquillity and inner thoughtfulness results of the primary purpose?

18. Do you find that the exercise of the inferior faculties neutralizes what you have done?

19. Can you make all branches of instruction relate to the primary purpose?

20. Do the Girls make greater progress under you than the Boys, and are they more grateful for the results?

21. How do you rank music, singing, and dancing, as means?

to encourage any, who are so doubtful as to require the confirmation of associate approbation. Enough of good was done to prove the path to the best. The gates of Eden were temptingly in view, though the ultimate abode was not entered.

22. Has sound a more universal influence than sight?

23. Are the poor chidren more easily acted upon than the rich?

24. Do the children feel at a loss, when they are removed to another school?

25. Can you act with more effect upon strange children than upon your own?

26. Is the spirit of inquiry considerably deepened, and does it take an eternal, instead of a temporal direction? 27. How many scholars would you undertake to instruct in the manner you are acting?

28. Do you consider the mode in which you have fitted up your school room as very beneficial?

29. Is it used for ordinary purposes, or only for instructions?

The child has two orders of faculties, which are to be educated, essential and semiessential, or in other words, roots and branches.

Radical faculties belong to the interior world, and the branchial to the exterior.

To produce a central effect on the child, the radical faculties must be first developed; to represent this effect, the branchial faculties must be developed.

The radical faculties belong entirely to Love, the branchial to knowledge and industry.

It is imperative upon us to follow the determination of the radical faculties, and to modify the branchial always in obedience to the radical.

It is the child, or the Love-Spirit in the child, that we must obey, and not suffer the Parents or any one else to divert us from it.

Good is not to be determined by man's wishes, but Good must originate and determine the wish.

The Preceptor must watch attentively for every new exhibition of the child's radical faculties, and obey them as divine laws. We must in every movement consider that it is the Infinite perfecting the finite.

All that is unnecessary in the external must be kept from the child.

The Preceptor's duty is, as far as possible, to remove every hinderance out of the child's way.


- NO. IV


[ocr errors]

Not many years have revolved since scholastic modes had sunk to so low and miserable a point, that almost simultaneously a Pestalozzi, a Neff, and an Oberlin, were enabled to shed around them no small lustre, to acquire in

The closer he keeps the child to the Spirit, the less it will want of us, or any one else.

The child has an inward, sacred, and unchangeable nature; which nature is the Temple of Love. This nature only demands what it will give, if properly attented to, viz. Unfettered Liberty.

The Love Germs can alone germinate with Love. Light and Life are but conditions of Love. Divine capacities are made by Love alone.

Love education is primarily a passive one; and, secondarily, an active one. To educate the radical faculties is altogether a new idea with Teachers at present.

The parental end must be made much more prominent than it has been.

The conceptive powers want much more purification than the perceptive, and it is only as we purify the conceptive that we shall get the perceptive clear.

It is the essential conceptive powers that tinge all the consequences of the exterior conceptive powers.

We have double conceptions, and double perceptions; we are throughout double beings; and claim the universal morality, as well as the personal.

We must now educate the universal moral faculties, as before we have only educated the personal moral faculties.

It is in the universal moral faculties that the laws reside; until these laws are developed, we remain lawless beings.

The personal moral faculties cannot stand without the aid of the universal moral faculties, any more than the branches can grow without the roots.

Education, to be decidedly religious, should reach man's universal faculties, those faculties which contain the laws that connect man with his maker.

These reflections seem to me to be worthy of consideration. Should any of them strike you as worth while to make an observation upon, I shall be happy to hear it. Suggestions are always valuable, as they offer to the mind the liberty of free activity. The work we are engaged in is too extensive and important, to lose any opportunity of gaining information.

The earlier I receive your reply, the better.

I am, dear Sir, yours, faithfully.


« AnteriorContinua »