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to make of the creatures, who all teach us our duty. [y] He sends the sluggard in the scriptures to the ant, to learn industry; [] the ungrateful to the ox and ass, who make a grateful return for their master's care ; [a] the inconsiderate to the stork and the swallow, who know their appointed times. [b] Jesus Christ lays down the consideration of the lilies of the valley, and the birds of the air, as an instruction to all mankind, absolutely to rely upon the cares of a providence, which is at the same time watchful over all, abundant in goodness and almighty. We should therefore not answer the intentions of divine Wisdom, and should fail in the most essential part of a master's duty, if we did not observe to youth the footsteps of the Deity in all his creatures, as he has been pleased to draw himself, and point out our duty in them.

In the account the scripture gives us of the creation of the world, it is often said (c) that God approved, and if I may venture to say it, admired his own works, to teach us how great an admiration they ought to raise in us, how much we ought to study them, and what reflections they deserve; and to reproach us at the same time with our stupidity, in not employing our thoughts about them, and our ingratitude in not returning thanks for then, whilst we continue ignorant and weak, though we live in the midst of the most astonishing prodigies, and are ourselves one of the most incomprehensible.

It is not natural philosophy alone, which assists us in obtaining the knowledge of God; the little I have said upon the principles of morality, drawn from paganism itself, is sufficient to shew us how proper that branch of Philosophy is to inspire us with an high veneration for religion.

Can any thing be more likely to imprint it deeply in the minds of youth, and to lay such solid foundations as are capable of withstanding the torrent of in

D) Prov, vi. 6,
[Z] Isa, i. 3.
[a] Jerem, viii. 7.
(6) Matt. vi. 26, 30.

[c] And God saw every thing that he had made, and behold it was very good, Gen. i. 31,


credulity and libertinism, than the famous questions in metaphysics, concerning the existence of a God, and the immortality of the

soul ? But the greatest and most important service that Philosophy can do man, is to dispose him to receive whatever is taught by Divine Revelation with docility and respect. It particularly takes care to make him comprehend, that every thing must be silent before God, reason as well as sense, as nothing is more reasonable than to give ear to him when he speaks, [d] Ipsi

, de se, Deo credendum est; that it must not therefore seem strange to reason, that it is made to submit to authority in such sciences, as treating of subjects superior to reason, must be guided by another light, which can be only that of divine authority; that as in the very order of nature, there are a thousand things which human understanding cannot comprehend, though beheld with human eyes, there is still greater reason to respect the veils, which it has pleased God to throw over the mysteries of religion; that lastly, God would cease to be what he is, if he was not incomprehensible, and that his wonderful works would no longer deserve that name, if human understanding could attain to them.

These are the lessons which Philosophy gives to youth, not restless, bold and vain Philosophy, such as [e] St. Paul advises the faithful to beware of, and which by explaining what it believes, often annihilateş what it ought to believe ; but a wise and solid Philosophy, founded upon the actual principles and purest lights of natural reason.

[d] Hilar. lib. iv. de Trinit. deceit, after the tradition of men,

fej Beware lest any man spoil after the rudiments of the world, you through Philosophy and vain and not after Christ. Col. ii. 8.








Turs introduction shall contain two articles. In the first I shall shew the importance of the good education of youth ; in the second I shall enquire whether public instruction is preferable to private.




THE education of youth has been always considered by the greatest philosophers, and the most famous lawgivers, as the most certain source of the tranquillity and happiness both of private families, and of states and empires. For what else, in short, is a republic or kingdom, but a large body, whose health and strength depend upon those of private families, which are the members and parts of it, and none of which can fail in the discharge of their function, but the whole body must be sensible of it? Now what is it but good education, which enables all the citizens, and great men, and princes above the rest, to perform their different functions in a deserving manner? Is it not evident that youth are as the nursery of the state ? That it is renewed and perpetuated by them? That from among them all, the fathers of families, all magistrates and ministers, in a word, all persons placed in authority and power, are taken ? And is it not certain, that the good education of those who are one day to fill those places, will have an influence over the whole body of the state, and become,

in a manner, the spirit and general character of the whole nation?

The laws indeed are the foundation of empires, and by preserving a regularity and good order in them, maintain them in peace and tranquillity. But whence have the laws themselves that force and vigour, but from good education, which trains up men in subjection to them, without which they are but a feeble barrier against the passions of mankind ?

[f] Quid leges sine moribus vanæ proficiunt?
“ For what can laws, when manners are corrupt?”

[g] Plutarch makes a judicious reflection on this subject, which well deserves to be considered : it is in speaking of Lycurgus. “ This wise lawgiver, [h]

says he, did not think it convenient to set down his “ laws in writing, as judging that the strongest and “most effectual means of making cities happy, and "people virtuous, was the impression that was made “ in the manners of the citizens, and rendered fami“ liar and easy to them, by custom and habit. For, " the principles which education has fixed in their

minds, continue firm and unshaken, as being found“ ed upon an inward conviction, and even upon the of will, which is always a much stronger and more

lasting tie than that of force; insomuch that this “ education becomes the rule of youth, and serves " them instead of a lawgiver.'

Here, in my opinion, we have the justest notion that can be given of the difference there is between the laws and education.

The law, when it stands alone, is a severe and imperious mistress, céváyun, which lays a man under re. straint in what he holds most dear, and whereof he is most jealous, I mean his liberty ; which torments and

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[f] Horat. Od. xxv. lib. ii. των των πολλευομένων, ει μή έσονται [8] In Vit. Lycurg.

είθισμένοι και σεπαιδευμένοι εν τη [1]"00ɛnocéder twv operopealátwo worrléig, Arist. lib. v. Polit.c. ix, νόμων, και συνδεδοξασμένων από τσαν


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contradicts him in everything, is [i] deaf to his remonstrances and desires, never submits to any relaxation, [k] speaks always in a threatening tone, and presents him only with correction. Thus it is not surprising that men should shake of this yoke, as soon as ever they can with impunity, and that giving ear no longer to its offensive directions, they should abandon themselves to their natural inclinations, which the law had only restrained, without changing or destroying them.

But the case is far otherwise with education. Its government is gentle and engaging, an enemy to violence and constraint, which delights to act only by motives of persuasion, which endeavours to make its insructions relished, by speaking always with reason and truth, and tends only to make virtue more easy, by making it more amiable. Its lectures, which begin almost as soon as a child is born, grow up and

gather'strength with it, in time take deep root, soon pass from the memory and understanding to the heart, are daily imprinted in his manners, by practice and habit become a second nature in him, which it is scarce possible to change, and do the office of a present legislator all the rest of his life, putting him in mind of his duty upon every occasion, and engaging him to the practice of it. Η παίδευσις νομοθέτη διάθεση ανεργάζεθαι σερί έκαςον αυτών.. “ Education performs the 5 business of a legislator among such.

We must not wonder, after this, that the ancients have recommended the education of youth with so much care, and looked upon it as the surest means of making an empire permanent and flourishing. [l] It was a capital maxim with thein, that children are more the property of the republic than of their parents; and that thus their education should not be left to their fancies, but be intrusted to the care of the republic; that for this reason children ought to be brought

[8] Leges, rem surdam, inexora. verba minantia fixo ære legebantur. bilem esse . . . nihil laxamenti, nec ..Ovid. lib. ii. Metam. 'Tis a veniæ habere, si modum excesseris. beautiful definition of the laws Verba Liv. lib. ii. n. 3. [k] Pana metusque aberant, nec [1] Arist. Pol. lib. viii. c.s. U 4



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