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feelings-cultivation of all those various powers, whether of heart or mind, by which the Deity has connected individuals with himself and with society. Hitherto, in defiance of all the immense varieties of character, constitution, and talent, the grand aim in our schools for the poor, and in some of our highest grammar-schools also, is to make all get through a certain quantity of learning, and there the discipline stops. In schools for the poor, we have also farther to object, that the whole mechanism is calculated to swallow up individual peculiarity, or to hide it from the master's eye; so that he really knows nothing of the actual state of mind or feeling of the various children under his charge. Now the principal problem which has to be solved in education is, what are the exercises most calculated from the earliest period to strengthen and develop the whole compound character. We may satisfy our minds as to the general solution of this problem, and so far, and no farther, do our querists often proceed; but, be it remembered, that there is a fresh problem to solve with every individual child presented to the schoolmaster, and that his general rules must not stand in the way of his particular investigations. As there is a peculiarity in every mind, (how or why arising we need not now stop to inquire,) there must be a modification of his previously-formed system probably in every case, if he pays due deference to the nature of the being before him. Yet there are gentleman pedants (we do not say Mr. Bryce is one of them) who propose to work out the reformation of the poor by means of the grammar and lexicon, and by crowding their minds with historical facts. Not so Dr. Channing. "The great hope of the world," says that able man, who sees the world and all things in it from the elevation of truly Christian virtue, "the great hope
of the world is in individual character: the grand lesson for men to learn is, that their happiness is in their own hands; that it is to be wrought out by their own faithfulness to God and conscience; that no outward institutions can supply the place of inward principle, of moral energy; whilst these can go far to supply the place of almost every outward aid."
The value of the human character, we would add, is in the proportion which all its component parts bear one to another-in permitting every different power to occupy its just place in the system, and no one faculty to be the tyrant of the whole. Difficult and impossible as it may be for any individual not endowed with omniscience to mete out with perfect correctness the stimulus or the check which may be necessary for the formation of a well-proportioned mental and moral character, we surely ought always to be aiming at this point. We ought not, at any rate, to labour at increasing the inequalities which prevail. This, however, is too often the case with teach
They seize upon that faculty which a pupil exercises with the greatest ease-the memory, for instance-and by it and with it they principally work; neglecting the obvious inference, that, if one power is particularly strong, another, probably, is in a state of weakness and depression, and requires especial attention, while the strong one has sufficient strength to maintain its ground till greater force has been acquired by that which is weak. Mr. Bryce has chiefly adverted to exercises of memory in a child's earlier years, and has never even mentioned the advantages of awakening its powers of observation upon itself and the objects around. Natural history is not once alluded to; and though a child is to learn to read at five years old, writing is not to begin till seven. What can be the reason for this ar
* Thoughts on Power and Greatness.
rangement? Writing is one of the most valuable aids in education, not as an end, but as a means. The same may be said of drawing.
Enough has been written to give the reader a general estimate of a pamphlet, which, however, ought to be read for itself. With reference to all plans for the improvement of society, we are inclined to say, "If you would have the people wiser and happier and better, beware of the spirit of ostentation." This spirit has inconceivably retarded the progress of many good things in this country, and of none more than of education. When Lancasterian Schools were first introduced, those who took them under their protection were so pleased with the plan, and so shocked at the illiberality of those who opposed it, that they took it up almost as if it left little to be desired as a system of national reformation. They did not observe in how small a degree it bore upon individual character, and how nearly alike, to all intents and purposes, except in the knowledge of reading, writing, and arithmetic, a boy who had passed through one of these schools, and one who had never entered them, might be. The grand thing was to have large schools-schools for hundreds-"schools for all, and not for Churchmen only." They planned for the world. "Meeting in the very worst parish in all London, in St. Giles's, they listened to reports of the progress they were making with the new method-in St. Giles's? in any part of London ? in the country? in Ireland? No; but in France, Spain, Poland, Russia, Finland-even on the shores of the Euxine and Caspian !" There is a little of this spirit of dash in Mr. Bryce's pamphlet, in spite of its good sense and motive. But it must be regarded as a valuable contribution to the general fund, and, we hope, will lead to more serious consideration of the best mode of providing good National Education for England and Ireland.
BY THE LATE MR. GRIGG.
SWEET Blackbird, sing on: and I wish I could sing :
Edinburgh Review, Vol. XXXIV. p. 235.
BISHOP MARSH'S TWO LECTURES, &c.*
For a considerable time, the diffusion of various kinds of knowledge has been attempted by means of lectures. Perhaps our own age and country employ this method of instruction with unprecedented frequency and zeal. That it is used indiscriminately, nor sufficiently understood, either in theory or in practice, we cannot, for a moment, doubt. It possesses, we admit, characteristic advantages: as certainly, however, it has appropriate inconveniences, even if we must not call them evils. In its facility of addressing numerous assemblages, it is an instrument of vast magnitude and effect: in the limits which unavoidably circumscribe its power of communicating full and accurate information, it labours under an essential deficiency, and, in some views, may be dangerous and hurtful. The external accomplishments of the lecturer, will often conceal from the majority of his auditors his superficial or incorrect learning; while the captivated hearer may too easily regard as his own acquisition the intelligence which he receives merely through the channel of the person to whom he listens. In many instances, the custom of delivering a lecture within a given circle, literary, commercial, manufacturing, ecclesiastical, bespeaks and promotes an empirical spirit, and may be ranked among the many ways in which candidates for the patronage of the public aim at obtruding themselves on its notice, and winning, if they can, its approbation.
If, indeed, lectures are multiplied at a time when books have become abundant, and if the demand for both is equal, or nearly equal, such a circumstance will be an auspicious token of the increase of a thirst for useful knowledge; especially among the manufacturing classes. We fear, nevertheless, that the coincidence is not quite so exact: we suspect that, in almost every department of society, a great proportion of the attendants within a lecture-room content themselves with the opus operatum, nor engage in that regular course of reading which harmonizes with such an occupation of, it may be, a single hour in the week, and is requisite to the due cultivation and improvement of the mental powers. Any degree of knowledge entitled to the name, is, we grant, better than ignorance: and we are not hostile to the habit of lecturing, while we intimate its defects, and suggest the necessity of its being exercised and encouraged with certain modifications, aids, and cautions. Censure, like praise, may be immoderate, and fail of its proper end. We can allow that the celebrated Samuel Johnson was hurried into an exaggerated reprehension, and a caricature description, when he said, "Lectures were once useful; but now, when all can read, and books are so numerous, lectures are unnecessary. If your attention fails, and you miss a part of a lecture, it is lost; you cannot go back, as you do upon a book. People have now-a-days got a strange opinion that every thing should be taught by lectures. Now, I cannot see that lectures can do so much good as reading the books from which the lectures are taken. I know nothing that can be best taught by lectures, excepting where experiments are to be shewn. You may teach chemistry by lectures-you might
teach making of shoes by lectures."+
* Two Lectures on the History of Biblical Interpretation. With an Appendix. By Herbert Marsh, D. D., &c., &c. London: Rivingtons. 1828. 8vo. pp. 63. + Boswell's Life of Johnson, [3d ed.,] Vol. II. 6; IV. 95; and Memoirs of the Life of G. Wakefield, I. 341, &c.
To this decision we cannot subscribe. In our own judgment, lectures may be advantageously delivered on a wider range, and a yet superior class, of subjects. But whatever be thought of lectures on other spots, and from other persons, we cheerfully acknowledge that within academical precincts, and in the hands of competent professors, they may be signally beneficial. Well framed, well conducted, and accompanied by the assistance of college, if not of private, tutors, of specific exercises and regulations, of preparatory and of collateral studies, of the very genius and atmosphere of the scene,* and of easy access to books and conversation, they will materially advance the progress of every assiduous hearer, and place many topics before him in a stronger and a more familiar light than books alone are capable of affording. Nor can we be astonished that works at once highly popular and intrinsically valuable-works, indeed, of surpassing merit in their respective departments, have been lectures delivered officially within some one of the universities of the united kingdom. We are purposely silent concerning publications of this sort, which are extremely creditable to certain living authors. Of Blackstone's Commentaries, and of Lowth's Prelections, we may be permitted to say, that time cannnot impair their deserved reputation. The intelligent and able, though too casuistical, lectures of the late Professor Hey, are worthy of being diligently perused by every theological student; while, among our contemporaries, Bishop Marsh honourably signalizes himself by those which he lays before his university and the world.
We have welcomed and noticed the several parts of his Lectures, as they have successively appeared. To their specific excellencies, in point of style, arrangement, intelligence, and reasoning, we have not been insensible: and we have marked, firmly, yet, we hope, with becoming candour, what we deem their omissions and their blemishes. Altogether, we consider them as meriting no scanty commendation: we regard their author as one of the most accomplished theologians of his age; and we, in proportion, hail the two supplementary Lectures and the Appendix, which are now to pass under our review.
They take their fit place after the lectures on the principles of biblical interpretation: +
"The principles of biblical interpretation," says his Lordship, "having been explained in the ten preceding lectures, it now remains that, agreeably to the plan proposed in the first Preliminary Lecture, we take an historical view of biblical interpretation, according to the different modes which prevailed in the different ages of Christianity. In describing the criticisms of the Bible, the historical view preceded the rules of criticism, because a history of criticism is a history of facts, and the rules of criticism are founded on those facts. But a history of interpretation is a history of opinions, which may properly follow the principles of interpretation." ↑
From the Jews, "the earliest interpreters of Scripture," we here learn what to avoid rather than what to imitate; they perpetually sought for remote and mystical meanings in their sacred books, nor, in their expositions of them, were governed by rules applicable to other writings. Philo's at
Sir Joshua Reynolds' Discourses, &c., No. I., and Lowth's Letter to Warbur ton, p. 65. + Parts III. and IV.
P. 3. It will be remembered that by "a history of criticism," Bishop Marsh meaus a history of whatever regards the text of Scripture.
tachment to the new Platonic philosophy, gave him an additional motive to the use of allegorical interpretation.
Among Christian authors of the first century, Barnabas interprets the Old Testament in the same mystical manner and his expositions are so many examples of the Jewish Medrash.* Contemporary and immediately succeeding writers afford little matter for a history of biblical interpretation, because their quotations from Scripture are generally unaccompanied by explanation. +
In the second century, Justin Martyr, who, before his conversion to Christianity, had been a Platonic philosopher, considered the words of Scripture, especially in the Old Testament, as containing mystical meanings, which were concealed from the view of those who regarded only the literal sense. His works abound in instances of this sort of exposition; shewing alike his feebleness of judgment, and the absurdity of his principles of interpretative criticism.
Irenæus justly objects to the allegorical interpretations employed by the Gnostics, although his own interpretations are sometimes as fanciful as those of his opponents. But the principle of interpretation upon which he chiefly insists, is a kind of traditio hermeneutica, to which he appeals as authority for the interpretation of Scripture. He appeals also to a Kavur The ZA, or regula veritatis. A formulary of faith laid down by him accords in substance with the corresponding articles in the Apostles' Creed: and with this formulary his regula veritatis was identical.
The Recognitiones Clementis, written by some author of the second century, declare the sentiments which then prevailed in the Latin Church respecting biblical interpretation. This author speaks of the veritas tradita, and the regula suscepta ex divinis Scripturis." It was not an authority,' "It says Bishop Marsh, "distinct from Scripture, but Scripture itself interpreted by authority."
Clement of Alexandria, being greatly attached to that species of the Platonic philosophy which prevailed there, had a strong predilection for allegorical interpretation, and carried it so far as even to put a mystical or allegorical sense on the precepts of the decalogue. The fifth commandment, for instance, relates, according to Clement, not to our natural parents, but to our heavenly Father, and the divine Gnosis.
Still, notwithstanding his regard for the Greek philosophy and his propensity to allegorical interpretation, Clement, like Irenæus, appeals to kavy της αλήθειας, which he terms also κανων εκκλησιαςικος. This was professedly founded on Scripture. +
We come now to the Latin fathers of the end of the second century. Of these Tertullian is the most ancient, and one of the most important. He was not addicted to allegorical interpretation. The rule by which he appears to have been chiefly guided in the interpretation of Scripture, is that which he calls the regula fidei: not the tradition of the Church of Rome, not the doctrina tradita, which is called by Bellarmine, Verbum Dei non scriptum, but a rule which has no other foundation than in Scripture, and by which in controversies of faith the sense of Scripture should be determined. §
In the third century the most distinguished among the fathers were Origen in the Greek Church, and Cyprian in the Latin.
Origen had really but two modes of interpretation, the grammatical and
* See Buxtorf. Lex. Rabb., &c., in verb.
§ Pp. 14-18.
↑ Pp. 4, 5.