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timents and dispositions would be necessary to their fidelity, perseverance and effectiveness. But they are fathers, sons, brothers, citizens, subjects, judges, legislators, governors. A culture and training of the intellectual powers merely, is a furniture totally incompetent for persons holding these responsible relations.
In truth there are no places in society and no duties for creatures of mere intellect. Deliver us from these half-formed, half-breathing things, constituted of an improved understanding, joined to a heart without form and void, or worse than chaos.
Nothing is clearer than that our school teachers should rear the moral as well as the intellectual powers; the whole being, not an isolated part of him; the whole being, as they find him, as he comes to them fresh from the forming hand of God. In considering and urging, therefore, the responsibility of teachers in reference to a literary education, it is no part of my desire to make the impression that they are not under other responsibilities, and have not other and nobler services to render to the cause of popular instruction.
1. The literary responsibility of teachers clearly appears from the fact that it is mind chiefly which educates mind.
There are collateral assistances and encouragements in the business of instruction, but the teacher's own intellectual powers, in contact with those of his pupil, are the only educators. · It is admitted that the learner should neither be left alone, uncheered and unguided, to struggle with dates, unintelligible statements, and arbitrary rules, nor be put into an apparatus of springs and joints like an automaton, and made to think and speak as dictated and drilled. Let him be permitted to see the light of his teacher's mind shining before him, and he will be conducted in a method between these erroneous extremes. While he is thrown upon his own efforts and powers, left to walk himself, he is compelled to take no 'step in the dark, whatever the inquiries which he may pursue.
Teachers, it will be no less readily admitted, are not to proceed in their business, as in making a mound or building a ship, throwing earth to earth, and fastening timber to timber, for then their duty could be performed by proxy; are not to create, for then their efforts would be hopeless; but are to waken, to develope, to mould, what is already created ; to nourish and rear a gem, the gem of a living spirit nobly capa
cious. There is no instrumentality competent to this service, save the living spirit of the instructer. The powers of his mind, as sunbeams and dropping rains are first to stir the vitalities of the buds of being to be reared, next to swell the channels of nutrition, then to send through them into all the system, the proper and wholesome aliment which is to pass into the mental structure. In this process, the growth will be the pupil's own, while the nourisher and the guide is the mind of the teacher.
Children are flexible, iinpressible and imitative. These characteristic attributes point us to the same agent as the only direct source of education. If the teacher's mind be open and clear, proceed with certainty in its courses, keeping just in advance, as a flexible creature, the scholar commits himself to move whither that mind would lead, and adopt what it dictates with entire confidence, apprehending no difficulties, stopping at none. As an impressible being, habits and qualities are given to the pupil's mind, by contact with that of the instructer, with much of that readiness and accuracy with which thoughts are written on paper, or form given to plastic clay. This will be regarded by some as a mere vision of poetry, or a flourish of rhetoric. It is poetry, but not illusion. It is poetry, for it is the bodying forth to our conceptions, of a spiritual idea in a vivid and speaking image. But no less is it reality. Mind is thus transferred to susceptible mind; and, though other influences may supervene and the impression seem to be lost, it will afterwards re-appear, even without apparent cause, as if some invisible spirit had been retracing the lines. Not more surely does the flower open and turn to the sun, or the earth answer with a greener surface to the summer shower, than does the mind of the scholar wake and grow at the presence and the call of his teacher's intellectual powers.
As an imitative being, these powers exert over him a still more visible influence. His ardor instantly burns when that of his teacher is kindled ; his faculties act with vivacity and power, whenever those of his teacher are aroused.
Almost without exception, the play of mental powers on the part of an instructer, will be answered to in the clear spirit of the learner, as trees and clouds are in the waters below them.
This great law being established, that mind educates mind, the mind of the educator the mind of the educated, the res
ponsibility of teachers is a natural and unavoidable inference. No matter how much patronage; no matter how many or how valuable facilities may be provided, unless between them all and those to be benefited be interposed the instructer's mental powers, as a bland and efficient medium, facilities are wholly in vain. There is no substitute for those powers in the business of education. So also, as nothing else can perform what is assigned to the mind of the teacher, and nothing partake with him in it, is there no division of responsibility. It is all his own. It is of the most important character.
There is another view to be taken. If that which is to educate is the mind of the teacher, then all education depends essentially upon the condition of that mind; upon the qualities and acquisitions which it brings to the great duty allotted to it. We spread now our thoughts abroad and throw the mind's eye in upon all the places of instruction in the country ; we see a generation of susceptible beings cast upon the intellectual powers of their teachers as a nurturing bosom, a light to walk in, and an example to follow. After a few years they will be returned to society, and be set down upon the broad theatre of life to move on its crowded and important affairs as the principal actors. What amount of intelligence and what intellectual character they shall bring with them to their places and employments among the people, depend upon the mental qualifications of those to whom their instruction was committed. Whether, therefore, those minds which educate the community shall be disciplined or rude, rich in knowledge or ignorant, patient or irritable, capacious or contracted, ardent or dull, apt to teach or incommunicable, is, on the part of teachers, a matter of the first importance.
The intelligence and intellectual character of the community rise and fall with the qualifications, the furniture and fidelity of the instructers of its children. Theirs is the power and the privilege, therefore, by elevating their own qualifications, to point the nation to the high sphere of intelligence it shall move jp ; the intellectual power it shall wield for good or ill. In the matter of qualifications, as well as in the immediate business of instruction, there is a responsibility resting upon teachers of no ordinary character.
2. The literary responsibility of teachers receives confirmation from the valuable effects of popular education.