Page images

verity of temper as a disciplinarian, Dr Parr united, in no small degree, the more amiable qualities of a wise and affectionate counsellor and friend. According to the report of all his pupils, with only a single exception, whilst he was rigorous in exacting their obedience, he, at the same time, endeavored, and rarely failed in his endeavors, to conciliate their esteem, and to deserve and obtain their confidence. If he was quick to discover and to reprove errors in thinking or acting, he was no less prompt to mark and to applaud whatever was right in sentiment, or right in conduct. If he was harsh in his censures, where censure was due, he was, at least to an equal degree, warm and liberal in his praise where praise was merited.* "Of course," says Dr Monro, “severity, in his public reproofs, was sometimes necessary; and, on such occasions, not only was his language full of the bitterest reproach, but his character of countenance was terrific; and I have not, to this day, forgotten the dread it used to inspire. On the other hand, in his private admonitionsusually the most effectual in restraining the follies and correcting the faults of youth-" he always appeared,” adds Dr Monro, “very kind, very sincere, very earnest; and his address, highly energetic, was strongly marked with religious fervor.'

To turn again to the excellencies which distinguished Dr Parr as a preceptor—it is stated by his pupils, and deserves to be recorded by his biographers, that, besides delivering his instructions in the public schools, he was watchful of opportunities to interpose his advice in the conduct of their private studies; and that these he was careful to point towards the objects, more immediately connected with their intended situations in future life. To the youth, who had in view the study and the practice of medicine, he would recommend such writers as Hippocrates and Celsus, among the ancients, and Boerhaave, Mead and Cullen, among the moderns. To the attention of the future barrister, civilian, or statesmen, he would propose the volumes of Blackstone, Grotius, Pufsendorf and Vattel : and to those whose choice was fixed on

*“ True it is, that my conception of men and things is vivid, and that my language about them is seldom feeble. But if my censures are severe,

I hope that my commendations are more frequent and not less forcible. I am sure, too, that I have much oftener had reason to repent of my precipitation in praise, than of my injustice in reproach.”Reply to Combe, p. 20.

the profession of a divine, he would guide, with careful hand, to the pure fountain of sacred truth, in the study of the Greek and Hebrew Scriptures, aided by the critical skill of Lambert Bos, Palairet and Bowyer.

The same anxiety which watched over the improvement and the happiness of his pupils, whilst under his care, continued even when they were withdrawn from it, and followed them to the universities, and to those stations of public or private life, which it was afterwards their lot to occupy. In the course of an epistolary correspondence of no small extent, he often conveyed his wise advice or his friendly wishes to those, who had minds to appreciate the importance of the one, or hearts to feel the value of the other. " Of these admirable letters," says Dr Maurice, “I have myself seen as many as, could they be collected and published, would make a volume, replete with the noblest precepts for the conduct of the rising generation.”

The plan of literary instruction, which Dr Parr adopted at Hatton,* was the same as that, which he had hitherto pursued, as far as the difference between public and private education will admit. Even in his new situation he was still an advocate for most of the ancient rules of scholastic discipline; and especially for those corporal inflictions which, it is probable, no authority can long uphold against the growing conviction in the public mind, that such inflictions are as unnecessary and inefficacious, as they are barbarous and degrading:

In his habits, as a tutor, even at the earlier, and still more at the later periods of his life, he was somewhat wayward and capricious—at one time punctual, at another time irregular, in his attendance upon bis pupils ; to-day severe, and remiss 10-morrow, in enforcing the tasks, which he had enjoined, or the rules which he had prescribed. But his chief defects, as they struck the writer, were, those which are common to all men of great talents and learning, and which may be said to arise out of their very excellencies. The high powers, the quick comprehension, the rapid movements of their own minds, render it difficult for them to command, and to apply that degree of patient and indulgent attention, which the office of teaching so often requires. To sink down from the dignity of science—to descend from the loftier em. inence of literature—to retrace, again and again, the first elments of knowledge, and to accommodate instruction to the dull or the feeble capacities of youth-all this is one of the hardest tasks, which humanity has to teach, or which genius can be made to learn.

* Dr Parr removed to Haiton early in 1786, of which parish he had been appointed perpetual curate, and where he instructed a few private pupils.

po' Lumbos dolare virgos,' Dr Parr considered so essential a process in the business of education, that, when asked respecting any one educated by him. Whether he had been his pupil?' his usual reply was, “Yes! I flogged him !'- Introducing one of his pupils to a ladly as hier guest, lie addressed her in the following words : ' Allow me, Madam, to introduce to you an old pupil of mine, whom I have often flogged, and who, I assure you, is all the better for it.' "-New Monthly Mag. Sept. 1826.

[ocr errors]



From a hasty examination of the twentysecond annual report of the American Education Society, we learn that this Society, since its commencement, has assisted 2993 individuals of different denominations in their course of preparation for the ministry, of whom about 1200 have finished their studies and entered upon the active duties of their profession. We learn also, from the twenty first report of the same Society, that, for several years past the number of beneficiaries who have been aided, has been increased on an average of nearly 100 annually. The number assisted by the society during the year ending May Ist, 1837, was 234 in 19 theological seminaries ; 575 in 39 colleges, and 296 in 95 academies or public schools, amounting in all to 1,125 in 153 institutions. Of these 621 were assisted at institutions in the New England States, and 504 at institutions in the Middle, Southern and Western States.

The twentysecond report contains a most interesting table, in relation to the earnings of beneficiaries, during the year, both by labor and teaching. A greater or less number of these students in nine theological seminaries, fourteen colleges, and thirty academies, were employed more or less in teaching; and in fourteen theological seminaries, twentynine colleges, and sixtysix academies of manual labor. The

whole number employed either in teaching or labor or both, was 162 in theological seminaries, 420 in colleges, and 243 in academies; in all 825. Their whole earnings were in teaching, $17,278 39, and in labor $22,407 48, amounting in the whole to $39,685 87; or in round numbers, $ 40,000. This is an average of $20 94 to each student who is engaged in teaching; and of 27 16 to each employed at manual labor.

It is also a curious fact, worthy of remark, that though little more than one half of the beneficiaries were connected with institutions in the New England States, the earnings of the latter, both by labor and teaching, amounted to more than two thirds of the whole sum, or to $ 26,570 19; so that the latter earned upon the average nearly twice as much as the former. If we compare the Eastern States, and New York with the rest of the States, in respect to manual labor alone, the disparity is still greater. Some of the western colleges and schools, however, have done much at manual labor, among which may be mentioned Illinois College, Lane Theological Seminary, the Western Reserve College, and Oberlin Collegiate Institute. A still larger proportion of the teaching is also done by the students at the north.

On the question, to what extent manual labor and teaching should be combined with a course of study, a volume might be written. There are objections to an union of labor and teaching both; but it has also its advantages. If only the health of the student is to be consulted, manual labor is indispensable; but if the pecuniary advantages are to be taken into the account, its importance is greatly enhanced ; and with a view to the latter, teaching during vacation seems highly desirable. It appears that in about half the instances above mentioned, the same students engaged in both kinds of labors. This, as we conceive, is quite too much. We do not believe one student in ten can pursue faithfully a course of manual labor and study during term time, and then fill up his vacations with faithful and intelligent teaching without lasting injury to his health. He may indeed go and sit in the the school room without much injury; but this is not teaching,

We confess ourselves averse to the idea of making the student pay as much as possible, his own expenses. We are in favor of manual labor of some sort during term time, -we do not believe it safe to dispense with it, in the case of either ser, unless a large amount of recreation, of the athletic kind, is taken--and of teaching during vacation, just so far as will promote in the best possible degree, the health of body and mind, and no farther. Let the grand point in all our schools be to develope harmoniously, in the best and highest degree, the bodily functions, intellectual faculties, and moral powers; and if in doing this in the best manner, the avails of the labor of the student are of any value, he is fully entitled to them, to assist in defraying his expenses. But there is such a thing—and many young men have found it out when too late—as breaking down the constitution of body and mind by their efforts to pursue their studies, and at the same time defray their own expenses. We are in favor of that education which is secured by encountering and surmounting difficulties; but not in favor of that effort which if it do not break the neck of him who is its victim, breaks down his physical frame in general, and renders him not only crippled in body, but half idiotic in mind, for the remainder of his life.

Nor are we disposed to look with favor on that narrow minded feeling which, in educating a child, looks primarily at the reputation of the parents, the teachers, the institution, or the sect with which he is connected, instead of looking first at the happiness and usefulness of the child himself? Against the idea of saving money to the parent, the school, the college, or the State, as a leading idea, we enter our most earnest protest. Let money be “poured out like water,” rather than diminish aught of a student's power or disposition to do that, in subsequent life, which it always is, or always should be, the great object of all education and instruction to accomplish.

Much is sometimes said of the benefits which college students, who go out and teach during vacations, confer on the community, 1, by making known the character, &c., of the college to which they belong, and 2, by acting upon the various neighborhoods in which they engage as a kind of missionaries. To this is also added the advantages the student derives to himself, both from the exercise of teaching, and from the preparation which it affords him for future usefulness. There is, however, quite a draw-back upon this. Few students from colleges and theological schools, succeed well

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »