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HEAD AND THE HEART,
INTELLECTUAL AND MORAL CULTURE.
By ELISHA BARTLETT.
THE HEAD AND THE HEART.
The title of the Association, which I now have the honor to address, is the American Institute of Instruction. Its principal objects are, I suppose, to ascertain, and to bring into general usage, the best methods and processes of instruction. Conformably to this design a large proportion of the Lectures which are read at its annual meetings are, very properly, from practical teachers, on practical matters. Experience, not theory, is its acknowledged guide and oracle ; and the true principles, and the most efficient systems of intellectual education its paramount objects of pursuit. I presume, however, that the Institute does not intend to confine its labors wholly within such limits. No one department of the great SCIENCE of Human CULTURE can be entirely without its province and recognition. Any contribution, from whatever quarter it may come, will, I am sure, be cordially received. Any offering, how humble soever it may be, if brought with pure hands to the altar, will be welcomed and accepted.
The directors of the Institute, in inviting me to give a lecture on the present occasion, very kindly left the selection of a subject to myself. For various reasons, I shall ask your attention, for the passing hour, to the relative value and importance of intellectual and moral education; or, more correctly perhaps, to some of the considerations which go to show that in this science of human culture the moral nature should be
the chief object of concern, and that all systems which fail to recognise this truth, are vicious in principle, and must be unsatisfactory in their results. I have avoided the discussion of any one of the numerous questions of practical education, because I have no store of observation and experience to bring to their solution. I have chosen this general topic because it has been the frequent subject of my meditations — because it has been but little attended to by the community in which we live, and because I believe right notions respecting it to be of paramount and unspeakable importance.
It may be proper for me to state here, that the general design of my lecture was formed, and a considerable portion of it already written out, before I had read the excellent lectures by Mr. Abbott, and by President Bates, on Moral Education, delivered before the Institute at its former sessions. But although these gentlemen may have anticipated me in many things, stilt the scope of their lectures and of mine is not precisely similar, and the same subject must, almost necessarily, present itself in different aspects to different minds. I may also say here that during my attendance on the present series of lectures, it has delighted me to find that this very subject, in its various bearings, is occupying so large a share of your attention. It is one of the best signs of the time. All men every where, who have at all rightly studied the nature and destiny of the human race, are calling for a radical reformation of educational principles and systems. Widely as they may differ on other matters, they agree on this; widely as they may differ as to the means of accomplishing the end, the end itself they all agree in demanding. They all call for moral and religious culture. The old philosophies call for it; the new philosophies call for it. Spiritualism and Phrenology – Cousin and Spurzheim - Germany and France call for it. Common sense demands it with its plain Saxon utterance, and Transendentalism preaches it, with its melodious voice, summoning us, like the skylark, from the invisible depths of the heavens, through it and by it to strive thitherward. I would add my mite to this rich contribution. · I would do my little part in promoting the reformation which we all so ardently desire to see consummated.
I start with this proposition, — that in the multiplex organization of human nature, the highest element is the moral and religious element. The being — man-is a perfect, com