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power, and to concur in 'evangelical movements’ with his bré. thren, we are not for having A. B. and C. brought before a church meeting for correction,' because they will not go where they are ordered. This new department of church discipline has small warrant from scripture, we think, and will find but few to welcome it across the Tweed.
Thirdly. We dissent altogether from the view taken by our author of the pastoral office. At what rate he is for "vesting authority in the bishop,' (p. 355,) we feel it necessary to make a short extract to show.
• The Christian pastor, according to the sacred scriptures, is contituted both the teacher and the ruler of the church, of which the Holy Spirit hath made him overseer. He is, under Christ, the head and chief of the institution with which he stands connected. He is the organ through whom is administered the code of laws by which the kingdom of heaven is regulated. He is their sole administrator. He is, likewise, the instrument by whom those truths are promulgated which bring health and cure to the human soul. He is the only authorized and responsible instructer of the faithful. All other teachers are subordinate and auxiliary to him. The entire system of tuition likewise, which emanates from the church, is wholly under his super. intendence. This duty devolves exclusively on him, not on the church; for he alone has the 'rule' over that part of the kingdom which Christ has assigned him ; and that rule extends to every thing which can constitute its subject.'--Jethro, p. 354.
We differ toto cælo from this statement of pastoral pretensions, and we are sure it will be very unwelcome to the congregational churches of England, both Independent and Baptist. The author tells us, indeed, (and the statement is worthy of deep consideration,) that'vesting this authority in the bishop' is essential to bis scheme, and warns us thus emphatically of the consequences of rejecting it.
• There is another light in which the subject may be considered and grave, indeed ought to be the consideration—no other system will work ; but this will work powerfully and well every where, and for evermore. This principle of management must be conceded, or the whole question of lay agency must be given up in despair. All plans, however excellent, in which this principle is violated by artificial theory, or neglected by apathy, or opposed and thwarted by the rage of an ultra democratic spirit, will prove abortive.'--Jethro, p. 356.
Be it so. The author has, then, certainly, a subject to discuss with the congregational churches of our country, before they can lend an ear to his practical instructions, and it is a pity that he had not addressed himself to it. He says (p. 356) that it is painful “to be under the necessity of arguing a point so clear;' but to the persons for whom he has written, this point is not so clear' yet as to render some little argumentation unnecessary, and of a species very different, we must be permitted to say, from the denunciations which are to be found in p. 357. To tell us, as he has done, that no other system will work,' is but to condemn his whole scheme at once; for we are convinced that we run no risk in assuring him, that whether any other system will work or not, the system of spiritual domination will not. In truth, we believe that the author of Jethro has vastly overdone his scheme in the matter of organization. It is like a royal procession, almost all trappings and harness. What we want, in our humble judgment, and what we trust, in spite of himself
, his book will largely promote, is not the incessant and universal application of the military drill system, but a more free and unfettered activity for God, on the part of every Christian, in the sphere in which God has placed him, and according to the means with which God has endowed him.
We must now hasten to conclude our remarks. Jethro, the volume to which we have felt it our duty to devote our chief attention, is not the production we prefer. With all its excellencies, which are not few, it is written too rapidly and too dictatorially to be either very judicious, or very satisfactory. We cannot account for the writer's extreme fondness for the Methodist and Moravian systems. Dr. Matheson's essay enters directly into things as they are, with much patience and judgment; and aims more at enlarging and improving existing agencies, than at striking out new paths. He comes home with us, accompanies us in our ordinary walks, enters into our perplexities, and at every step quickens, counsels, and encourages. As a sample of the good qualities we have mentioned, we extract a passage relating to the Loan Tract system as carried on by the Christian Instruction Society, and the causes of its comparatively slender success.
* It has been hinted already, that considering the many thousands of tracts in circulation, and the many hundreds of excellent persons, male and female, regularly and perseveringly engaged in lending them for a great length of time, the result has been very trifling. This subject has long engaged my attention. I have tried to ascertain from the agents themselves, in various places, how they managed the business; and I have no hesitation in saying, that in general the duty has been performed too hastily, without conversation, and too often without the spirit of prayer. The important object to be attained was too little realized, and consequently the necessity of divine influence was not sufficiently felt. In many cases the districts were too large ; and where so many houses were to be visited, there was no time for personally addressing the consciences of individuals. Besides, inquiry was seldom made whether the persons receiving the tracts attended an evangelical ministry. Or even if this point were ascertained, they were still lent to all, without discrimination, in that particular district. It might be, that one-third of the families visited were hearing the gospel every Sabbath-day ; while families in some other part of the town, living in the neglect of all ordinances, were overlooked. Supposing this to be the case, then we may say that one-third of the agent's time and energies were misapplied, or, as far as concerned the persons entirely destitute of instruction, lost. I do not say that the visits of a judicious tract-lender might not be highly beneficial
, even to those who have other opportunities of instruction. I speak only in reference to the existing deficiency of means to reach the case of those who 'care for none of these things. The grand defect, however, (so far as regards the manner of execution,) is, that the agents do not spend enough time in each house. Into some dwellings, perhaps, they cannot obtain admission ; but in others a few kind words would soon secure an entrance, as well as an attentive hearing. It may be gene. rally expected that success will be in proportion to the care bestowed by the visitor on each particular case. Two minutes' or five minutes' serious conversation, founded upon the tract, or arising out of the cir. cumstances of the family, would do more to interest and impress the minds of the careless, than the reading of many pages. Where this duty is attended to, there is a greater probability that the tract will be read, and that the visitor will perhaps become acquainted with facts calculated both to direct and to encourage him in his labour of love. This is highly important: for where there is no appearance of success, he is apt to become discouraged, heartless, and irregular in the work, if he does not give it up altogether. A better acquaintance with individuals might discover to him where good was doing, or where opportunities of doing it were most favourable. At all events it would deepen his feelings of interest in each family; and render his prayers on their behalf more minute, specific, and importunate. He would also be enabled to find and to improve occasions suitable for praying with the persons visited. And besides the blessings to be expected in answer to fervent prayer, we are all aware how impressively it conveys to the minds of the impenitent the deep sense of their misery and danger which dictates such supplications. I do not think it is too much to say, that if one-fourth of the families now visited by tract distributors were thus individually and deliberately attended to, the results would be much greater than they have ever yet been.'— Our Country, pp. 70-73.
Dr. Matheson has not confined himself entirely, however, to the evangelical agencies already in existence. In his chapter on the necessities of the rural population, whom he justly deems the most difficult of access, he deviates materially from the beaten track, and sketches a plan of operation, at present, so far as we know, totally unemployed.
Were it not that our space warns us to desist, we should be happy to prolong our notice of this volume; but we must conclude by expressing our cordial thanks to the writers of both the Essays for the pains they have taken with so important a subject, and our devout wishes that the volumes may be extensively useful.
Art. VI. The Educator. Published under the sanction of the Central
Society of Education. London: Taylor and Walton.
attention of our readers, is a remarkable and interesting one. It contains a Prize Essay, and four others written in competition for the prize, published by the Central Society of Education. That society offered a sum of 100 guineas for the best essay on the following subject; “The expediency and means of elevating
the profession of Educator in the public estimation. The prize was awarded by Professor Malden, of University College, and was gained by John Lalor, Esq., of Trinity College, Dublin, The remaining essays are from the pens of the Rev. Edward Higginson, of Hull; J. A. Heraud, Esq., J. Simpson, Esq., and Mrs. G. R. Porter. We have perused the whole with great satisfaction; and think the Central Society has performed a most serviceable act in offering this prize, and publishing the essays which it produced. The position occupied by those who conduct secular education in this aristocratic and commercial country, is far too low, and we therefore rejoice in every effort, whether by individuals or public bodies, to elevate it.
In the times of classical antiquity, the sage and the educator were one and the same; and the noble office of an Instructor received its due meed of honor and emolument. The names of the greatest philosophers are familiar to us as the heads of schools, and (without referring to the patronage afforded to Aristotle by Alexander) the profits reaped by those who pursued the occupation of teaching may be seen from the severe animadversions of Socrates on the Sophists, as recorded in the Dialogues of Plato. In the Oriental nations, the duty of imparting secular as well as religious knowledge was monopolized by the priesthood; and their example was followed (in this as in other respects) in modern Europe by the Romish hierarchy, after the establishment of the power of the church had restored to the seven hilled city the empire of the western world. At the Reformation, the task of instruction, which had been theretofore fulfilled, or professed to be fulfilled, in the monasteries, was performed by private hands. The want of secular instructors may be distinctly seen from the establishments which were founded to supply it, viz., the grammar schools, which, all instituted about that period, clearly indicate the necessity out of which they arose. Those, who have in such powerful and richly endowed establishments, and in our Universities, superintended instruction, have, it must be confessed, received their full reward. But the truth must be spoken. We are an aristocratical and money-loving people, and unless the professors of education have been also endowed with large incomes
or titles of honor, we have not yielded them our respect. The nation has never, in fact, duly honored, because it has never duly appreciated, the office of educator. It has respected the accidental, when that office has been accompanied by wealth, or has led to ecclesiastical dignity; but it has never really honored the essential character of the office from a sense of its intrinsic dignity and paramount importance. Even the great men who have held it, have not been able to eradicate the prejudices of society. Johnson was a schoolmaster, although he was balf ashamed of his office, or at any rate felt no pride in it. Milton was a schoolmaster, and with that high appreciation of all intrinsic excellence, which marked his august nature, felt the weight and real importance of his duty. His noble • Tractate on Education’shows the sense he entertained of the educational office. Locke in his philosophic “Thoughts on Education,' says expressly, when describing a tutor, (sec. 91,] • The great difficulty will be where to find a proper person. I can only say, spare no care or cost to get such a one. In this choice, be as curious as you would be in that of a wife for your son,' &c. And Lord Brougham, in the splendid peroration to his speech at the Liverpool Mechanics' Institute, * nobly said, “The calling of the schoolmaster is high and holy; their fame is the property of nations; their renown will fill the earth in after ages in proportion as it sounds not far off in their own times. Yet it must be owned that even now, too little disposition prevails throughout society, to view the educational office in its proper light. The miseries and degraded condition of ushers and tutors are familiar to all; have passed into proverbs, and formed a favorite topic for the satire of novelists; while the unhappy governess, halting between the drawing-room and the nursery, less kindly treated often than the housekeeper, has presented to the eye of philanthropists one of the most heartrending objects which the hard exigencies of our society bave produced. The consummation of this most devoutly to be deprecated state of things, is doubtless owing to the action and reaction of various causes. The profession has not been duly estimated by the great mass of the nation, and therefore men of high talent and moral feeling have not entered it. And, again, such men having shrunk from the discharge of its duties, they have been left to the incompetent and unworthy, and, therefore, society has not felt disposed to honor those to whom personally, honor was, too often, really not due. We confess we feel it is high time that some efforts should be made to terminate, if possible, this most unjust and disastrous state of things, by which society inflicts a grievous injury on itself as well as on a body of men to whom it is under
Specches, vol. iii. p. 603.