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THE CREATION OF MAN.
"And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air," &c.Geu i. 26.
"But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed iuto his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul."-Gen. ii. 6, 7.
"LET us make Man!" Jehovah spake the word;
Then thus, pavilion'd on th' o'erarching skies,
"Be his the fowls that cleave the liquid air;
And from the moisten'd earth God fashion'd MAN!
Thus from his parent EARTH, Earth's sovereign came;
J. C. W.
TO DR. CHANNING,
ON HIS SERMON, "MAN THE IMAGE OF GOD."
Go on, and prosper-man of lofty soul !
To God and thine own spirit nobly true :
Teach the dull eye to see! inform anew
The heart and mind, their aim, their pow'rs to know.
Teachers of old the listening numbers drew
To their own wisdom: not like them be thou.
O gently let the breathing influence fall
Over the soul-it sleeps, but never dies—
Spirit to spirit speak-O say to all,
"The well-spring of deep bliss within ye lies;
"Drink deep, and thirst no more." Preach thus, and we
OBSERVATIONS BY THE REV. T. BELSHAM, OCCASIONED BY MR. BENSON'S REMARKS ON DR. PRIESTLEY'S SYSTEM OF MATERIALISM, MECHANISM, AND NECESSITY, IN A SERIES OF LETTERS TO THE REV. JOHN WESLEY. PRINTED AT HULL.
SIR, Hampstead, Feb. 5, 1829. IT is rather late to write upon this subject, but having accidentally met with Mr. Benson's work, I was tempted to set down my thoughts upon the question, which you will publish or not, as best comports with your design. T. BELSHAM.
1. Dr. Priestley, with Mitchell, Franklin, P. Boscovich, and others, held matter to be destitute of the properties of inertia and impenetrability.
2. He thought that matter consists of active powers, of attraction, and repulsion, surrounding each other like the coats of an onion.
3. His matter, therefore, was much the same as Dr. Price's spirit; i. e. extension without solidity or impenetrability.
4. As thought was allowed to be a property of Dr. Price's immaterial extended substance, there is no reason why it should be denied to Dr. Priestley's matter, which is also extended, penetrable, active substance.
5. Man, therefore, upon Dr. Priestley's principle, might be wholly material, while upon Dr. Price's he must have a spirit, or soul, distinct from body.
6. Upon Dr. Priestley's principle, the man, the conscious being, is annihilated by death; the several particles being disposed of to make other bodies, or perhaps parts of other souls.
7. The stamina of one soul would not make the stamina of another, either from necessity of nature or by almighty power.
8. Upon Dr. Price's principle, the body is indeed resolved at death into its constituent atoms; and resurrection consists either in uniting the same soul to the same unchangeable stamina, or to a body similarly constituted to the original one; the identity of the man consisting wholly in identity of soul.
9. According to Dr. Priestley's principle, identity of man must, strictly speaking, consist of identity of particles, under identity of form. Identity of particles where form is wanting, would be no identity at all. Identity of form where particles are different, can produce only similarity, not identity.
10. Upon Dr. Priestley's principle, therefore, there can be no true resurrection but by a location of the original stamina in the original form. There may be a thousand cases imagined of exactly similar stamina placed in an exactly similar form, and producing exactly similar beings; but there is only one case of identity.
11. In order to make two similar beings equally happy, a similar combination of particles must be placed under the same or an equal process of discipline.
12. Nothing could insure the perfect happiness of Dr. Price's man, because with precisely the same discipline he might act a part the very reverse of what he does; which is very like an opposite effect from the same cause.
13. Every sentient creature is conscious that he possesses no power of self-determination, but to say that it involves a contradiction, and is in itself impossible, is more than can be warranted.
NATIONAL EDUCATION FOR IRELAND.*
SOME Congratulation may fairly be given to the friends of education in this and the sister country on the appearance of so bold an attempt as this to infuse into the public mind a fresh spirit of zeal in the cause; to inform that zeal, moreover, and to make it a more sensible and praiseworthy thing.— There are some points on which we cannot but differ from Mr. Bryce, yet on one important subject he is so useful an auxiliary, that we must not be hard upon him on any. He has made no new discovery: the impossibility of effectually carrying on the education of the people without a better educated set of teachers, is daily becoming more apparent to all who concern themselves about the matter. To meet the difficulty, Mr. Bryce's idea is, that of erecting Teaching into a fourth learned profession, by establishing a professor of the art in every university; by requiring from those who study under him a good previous education, and, in particular, an acquaintance with the science of mind; and by making a certificate of attendance on his instructions an indispensable qualification for every public charge connected with the education of youth, from the presidencies of our richest and most illustrious colleges, to the masterships of our humblest village schools. Mr. Bryce, who is President of the Belfast Academy, writes, it is true, for Ireland, and conceives it to be clear that all which he proposes, even to the establishment of three more universities, might be accomplished for one half of the sum which has already been expended in well-meant, but utterly inefficient, endeavours to improve education in Ireland. With regard to religious differences, his opinion is, that the plan recommended by the late Committee of the House of Commons is both objectionable in principle and impracticable
"As far," says he, "as the south of Ireland is concerned, the plan of having two separate days for religious instruction, one for Catholics and one for Protestants, may do very well. It is liable to this objection, however, that it loses one day in every week. Only four days are employed in the work of ordinary teaching; of the remaining two, one is given up to Roman Catholics, the other to Protestants. ** But in the north of Ireland it would never do. The divisions of Protestants among themselves would, in some places, render three days at least necessary for them alone. The Protestants of the Established Church, the various bodies of Presbyterians, and the Independents, (who, however, are few and rare,) would never submit to the same system of instruction. Besides, the religious instruction is to be given by the clergyman; and how are we sure of him? It is his duty to instruct the people, it is true; but what if he chooses not to perform it? Is he to be paid by government an extra salary for this? Surely not; and if not, how does the system of education lay hold on him?”
"But we confess we despair of the success of any scheme for combining religious and common education in Ireland at present. It is much to be regretted; but what then? Because we cannot get all done, shall we refuse to do any thing? Let us give ordinary education as a temporal benefit, as the means of helping the wretched population to earn their bread, on the same principle that we are commanded to feed the hungry and to clothe the naked.”
"We are inclined to believe that, at present, by far the best way of proceed
* Sketch of a Plan for a System of National Education for Ireland, &c. By R.J. Bryce, A. M., Principal of the Belfast Academy.
ing would be to make no regulation about religious instruction at all. Leave it to the feeling of each neighbourhood; and in the Act of Parliament constituting the schools, let not one word be said about it, either in the way of prohibition or regulation. Thus an opening will be left for its introduction, if the people be agreed about it; but, if they cannot agree, one of two things will happen; either they will omit it altogether, and the matter will fall to the charge of Sabbath-schools; or else they will divide into two parties, set up an opposition school, quarrel violently for a few months, and in a few years be as good friends as ever; and the country will have two schools in place of one."-Pp. 49, 50.
Mr. Bryce might have added, that teachers, such at least as he proposes to send up and down the land, ought to understand the nature of religious instruction well enough to communicate a great deal to their pupils without the probability of giving offence either to Catholic or Protestant. It is the least important part of that great business which does the mischief. Who would have the heart to expel a mild, affectionate, effective teacher, for bringing home to a child's feelings the beautiful lessons of pure Christian morality; or for making him acquainted, as far, probably, as his age admits, with the character of the Saviour, and the glorious purposes of his mission? We have often been made to regret the state of some of our Lancasterian schools, which, because a difference of religious sentiments in the members of a committee forbids the introduction of all religious books but the Bible, are subjected to a dry and uninteresting reading of that sacred volume, and learn little that they are able immediately to apply. But this would never be the case, let the restrictions on a teacher with regard to books be what they might, if a devotional spirit and a cultivated, well-instructed mind were brought to the task. The absence of books of direct religious teaching would in such a case force out a degree of extempore talent, of practical application, which might be in the end better for children than the indolent habit of trusting to what is written.
There is another favourite position of Mr. Bryce, in establishing which we wish him more success than, it is to be feared, he will easily meet with.
"The radical error," says he, "in all schemes of national education hitherto proposed is, that they are schemes for the poor. Now we say, that in order to have good teachers for the poor, there must be one common system of education for them and for the rich. We do not mean that the children of the rich and of the poor must necessarily meet in the same school to be taught; but that the same machine of national education must furnish teachers for both. The teacher who labours among the poor requires just as high qualiffcations as he who labours among the rich: he may not need the same extent of learning, or the same knowledge of the world, but he requires even more skill and dexterity in his art, because the minds on which he is to work are in an inferior state of cultivation. But scarcely any man of talent will take charge of a pauper school, though he will have no objection to a school with small income, and attended by humble pupils, if he is to be one of a profession, all whose members may claim a connexion with one another, so that honour is reflected on all from the respectability of those who are at the head of it." "Curates," as he afterwards observes, "live upon very low salaries, and yet are men of education."
In the above we entirely concur. The most difficult part of the subject is the future, if not present, interference of Government in the appointment of teachers. For awhile the supply must precede the demand. There is no possibility of making the people feel a want of this kind, without first in some degree supplying it.
"The science of jurisprudence tells the legislator to excite, if he can, a demand for education where it is wanting: the science of political economy teaches him to leave the supply to be regulated by the demand."
With regard to the influence of Government, however the case may stand with regard to England, it seems very certain that no progress can be made in education in Ireland without the aid of Government money: and it never should be forgotten, as has been well observed by an Edinburgh Reviewer, (Vol. XXXIV. p. 221,) that "the natural effect of the system is to increase, beyond all calculation, the power and energy of the people generally, and especially to furnish, in each individual instance, the very antidote most adapted to counteract any tendency which the mode of tuition might have unfriendly to perfect independence." Mr. Bryce's idea is, moreover, far less objectionable than Mr. Brougham's in the rejected Education Bill; and he has the merit of perceiving, what seems to have escaped the cognizance of that keen-sighted man, the necessity of making provision for the instruction of teachers of the people. Mr. Bryce bestows great commendations upon the plan adopted by Lovell Edgeworth, Esq., at Edgeworth Town.
"About ten or twelve years ago, he established a school, intended at first merely for the poor of his town and estate." He therefore made "the education so cheap, that the poor could count it no hardship to pay," and he made" the education so good, that, without his ever having calculated upon such a result, the rich found it of no hurt to their children to send. Many of the most respectable persons in that quarter of the country, and even at a considerable distance, requested him to allow their children to attend: he fitted up a neat house adjoining the school for the reception of pupils from a distance, and placed it under the charge of a proper person, and it is generally full. There are, besides, boys of a very respectable description, who board or lodge in private houses through the town."
Objections have, we are informed, been made to this plan, on the ground of the mixture of ranks in the school; but it is perfectly voluntary on the part of the rich; the boarders have no intercourse with the other scholars except during the lessons; and we cannot help thinking any possible disadvantages which might result occasionally from this mixture, would be more than compensated by the lessons which the richer members might learn respecting the necessity of mental exertion, and the worthlessness of mere external advantages in a field where mental and moral acquirements form the only ground of distinction.
Among the most necessary qualifications of a teacher, Mr. Bryce ranks that of an acquaintance with the science of the human mind-with "the few facts which have been ascertained concerning its operations, in order that they may be able to act rationally and effectually in their endeavours to manage and instruct the minds of their scholars," (p. 15,) previously to all question of the best practical methods of imparting knowledge. "A good and solid general education" is also, very properly, insisted upon. Yet, on the whole, we are inclined to think that Mr. Bryce has laid rather too great a stress on mere intellectual education; that he expects a result from the mere communication of outward knowledge which experience does not warrant. While his general principle, which is that of giving all the knowledge we can to the poor as well as to the rich, may be a good one, we would say that, for the poor, no less than for the rich, do we desire to see less stress laid upon acquisition, and more upon education. If observation be attentively exercised upon the defects of our national character, surely it must be seen that the real want is cultivation of the domestic, religious, and social