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of, I judged their scheme deficient in the most in. teresting article.
He resumed, that my observation was just; and that it was for this very reason he had left the account of their method of inculcating religion and morals to a separate article; as well, because of their importance, as because they are the chief object of the studies of every class, and consequently could not be brought into the account of any particular one.
My countrymen, proceeded he, are fully persuaded that those, who are entrusted with the education of youth, can do more lasting service to the interests of religion and virtue, at a time when the heart is susceptible of every impression, than all the good men, armed with all the power of a country, can do; if, for want of education, the heart is suffered to be. come callous, as it were, and obstinate in the habits of vice. They were therefore extremely careful to look for something still better than learning in all the masters they chose into this seminary, admitting none but men of irreproachable characters; men whose lives should be a daily comment on their precepts, and their genuine goodness of heart a constant pledge for the morals of the youth committed to their care; men indefatigable in the discharge of their duty, from a consciousness of the weighty trust reposed in them, and an unfeigned zeal for the present and future interests of their pupils; men, in a word, formed to command love and reverence, and, from their sweetness of temper, disposed to strew the path to science with roses. They prudently foresaw, that upon their meeting with men of this character at first, not only depended the reputation of the college, but, in a great measure, the morals and genius of their country to the latest generations.
Such men it was their happiness to meet with; and it will prove a pleasing speculation to take a more particular view of the method of inculcating virtue, which is practised by them, and may be practised by every good master, in the course of these studies. Some may be ready to imagine that they bestow a great deal of labour this way; but, on the contrary, though religion and goodness be a sulject always in their eye, it is not always in their mouth. They know well enough that youth are apt to give but a cool attention to whatever has the appearance of set lectures, and formal discourses on morality; while a word dropt, as it were casually, by a skilful master, in proper season, shall strike so much the deeper as it was not expected, and make an impression perhaps never to be erased.
His great business then, who would train up youth to the love of religion, seems to consist, in the first place, in getting the entire possession of their hearts, in keeping a watchful eye over them, in preventing the approach of every thing that is of a noxi- . ous quality, in making all around them breathe innocence, purity and truth; and, lastly, while the heart is in this sound state, in watching the proper opportunities of dropping into it the seeds of goodness, which will not fail to bring forth an hundred fold; provided he adds to the whole his own example, and seems fully persuaded of the truths he would impress
upon them, never mentioning religion and virtue, but with the utmost devotion and fervour of soul.
Opportunities of this kind will never be wanting to the master, who has himself a good heart. I shall take notice of a few of them; and though every clas sic author may be made to furnish them, I shall con. fine myself to the five learned classes last mentioned, because I would be brief. I shall take care to ascribe nothing more to the scholar than I myself have felt, nor can I ascribe half so much to the master, as I have known the good Aratus to put in practice; for under him I had the happiness to pass through these five classes, being one of the youth with whom he opened the college, and which he could not open higher than the first or Greek-Class aforesaid.
Now, in this class, the reading of Homer under such a master, was like travelling through some de. lightful country, richly variegated with every thing that could please the fancy or exalt the genius. Nu. merous were the opportunities which the good man took, from the writings even of this heathen author, to press home upon us respect for kings, magistrates, parents, and all superiors. Beautifully would he mark for us the Decorum and Honestum of life, painted in the characters, and every thing ignoble and unworthy exposed. Often would he dwell with rapture on the poet's noble images of ancient hospitality, generosity, benevolence, justice, honour, piety, integrity, friendship, fidelity, sincerity, intrepidity, patience, resignation, and the like. At the same time, while he taught us to gather the roses of such an author, he not only made us shun the thorns; but, as becs from
poisonous herbs extract healing liquids, he taught us even to reap advantages from those absurdities, which were more the fault of the age than of the poet. Such are the monstrous fictions about the nature of the Gods, their jars, thefts, robberies, rapes, incests, drunkenness and the like; from which Aratus would take occasion to teach us the just value of those sacred volumes, which have rescued us from such superstition and blindness.
In the second class, what fresh opportunities did he find of leading us from wonder to wonder, and bringing the Deity as it were before our eyes, in the study of his stupendous works! How were our minds dilated and exalted when he led us to consider the heavenly bodies, and put them in competition with what we usually called great! Even the terraqueouş globe on which we dwell, with all its kingdoms and boasted grandeur, seemed in our eye but a point in the solar-system! The solar-system itself dwindled into a narrow spot, when compared with the nume. rous systems of those stars that in a clear night stud the Cerulean! All these systems again were lost in the vast expanse, when compared with that infinity of systems, which philosophy's purer view can descry beyond the reach of all optics.
Thus, having raised us from system to system, beyond all definite space, till he perceived us lost in the imagination, and, as it were, labouring under the weight of our own conceptions; the good Aratus, knowing his opportunity and exulting in his success, would turn his address immediately to us in words like these.
My dear youths! I think it not strange that such speculations should fill your minds with wonder and amazement. Yet be assured, (if we may use the inadequate language of men) that so far are we from having even in thought reached the limits, that we are still but on the frontiers, of the Creator's kingdom. How much, then, ought we to be astonished at our own littleness, and his grandeur, whose * hand framed all those clusters of systems, kindled all their suns, and feeds their immense fires from age to age! How daring is it for us, the atom-lords of this atomworld, to exalt ourselves against the great Sovereign of such an incomprehensible domain! How ridiculous to strut about in pride, and boast that all these systems were made for us!-Certain I am, that very different sensations must now actuate your bosoms. Doubtless, you have already, in your own imaginations, peopled all these various systems with ten thousand various orders of being, rising rank above rank in the scale of intelligence. Nay, if I deceive myself not, your very souls are now arcently affecting that period when, shaking off this cumbrous vehicle of flesh, you shall soar perhaps through the wide realms of nature, see all things as they are, and be in. dulged in a correspondence with all those systems, and all their inhabitants.-Such affections as these, my dear youths, are from above;—they are divinely in
* Whose arm almighty put these wheeling globes