Practical Christian Socialism
Part Three: A Way of Life
Without a highly improved and thorough course of education, I could not expect success and permanency for my Social System. Education may be divided into three general processes: development, enlightenment and government. Whatever expands, unfolds and matures the inherent constitutional faculties of a human being, belongs to development. Whatever imparts ideas, knowledge, understanding, wisdom, belongs to enlightenment. Whatever gives controlling motives, principles of action, regulation, habituation and decided characterization, belongs to government.
Education presupposes beings to be educated, educators, and processes or methods of educative operation. Both the educated and their educators are human beings. What then is a human being?
A human being is a compound identity consisting of matter, soul-spirit, and Deific spirit. The exterior personal identity is composed of mineral, vegetable and aqueous matter - inert, passive substance. Interior to this is an incomparably finer substance which I have called soul-spirit. This soul-spirit pervades, animates and controls the body until after death. Sensation, affection, intellect, sentiment and reason are developed from germs inherent in soul-spirit. Thus we have the soul within the animal body. But interior to the soul is a still finer essence, a little ganglion on one of the innumerable Deific nerves that traverse immensity in all directions throughout the Infinitarium. This divine nerve ganglion is at first so minute and impalpable, that the soul is unconscious of its presence. But it is inherently capable of such expansion and intensification as to gain absolute control over the whole man, and ultimately to absorb his identity as it were into its own divinity, and thus without annihilating that identity to harmonize it perfectly with the Supreme Deific Volition. This inmost essence is what chiefly distinguishes man from beast, allies him to the angel world, forms within him the divine image, renders him receptive of heavenly inspirations, and finally brings him into perfect union with the Infinite Father.
From this view of the human constitution it is seen that education must be adapted to develop, enlighten and govern man in accordance with the wants, susceptibilities and capabilities of his threefold constitutional being. His physical part must be treated physically. His psychical part must be treated psychically. His divine part must be treated divinely. And every condition and circumstance necessary to these results must receive due consideration.
I fully believe that human beings will progress by development, enlightenment and discipline through all ages until complete reunion with the Infinite Divinity. In that sense education can terminate only when man's identity shall have become perfectly divinitized. But now I am treating of education in a more restricted sense. I mean by the term that compound of development, enlightenment and government which renders men and women what they are at full maturity in this life. If this process be well carried out by human agency, we may confide all the rest to higher teachers. Practically the question is, What have we to do in the education of the rising generation?
Education Begins in the Womb
The human seed commences its development, for good or evil, in the maternal womb at or soon after impregnation. Therefore I must begin at this point. When I come to treat of marriage and procreation I shall begin even farther back. But educationally I will start where development is first cognizable. Who now are educators of the embryo, man or woman? Primarily, directly and chiefly the mother. Next in degree of influence the father. And next subordinately the mother's intimate associates in the family and neighborhood. All these exert a greater or less influence, designedly or undesignedly, to determine the development of the unborn child. Their influence is variously limited, yet great. Their educational responsibilities are proportionate. The structure, conformation, nervous system, appetites, passional propensities and moral tendencies of the future man or woman will be more or less affected by influences operating in, upon, and through the mother before birth. This may be safely affirmed of ordinary cases, not to mention extraordinary ones in which very dire calamities sometimes occur. Before birth, as well as afterwards, it holds true that "Just as the twig is bent the tree's inclined."
It is a pity that multitudes who are grossly unfit to become parents could not be deterred by some wholesome motive from perpetrating those dreadful generative and gestative wrongs which so grievously afflict their offspring. I cannot indicate all the wrongs to which I allude. "Their name is Legion." They result from great abuses, some of which I will briefly mention.
1. Frequent and persistent venereal indulgence of the husband, sometimes with, sometimes without, and sometimes against the reciprocal inclinations of his pregnant wife. This is a great and prevalent abuse of nature. Perverted amativeness, unchastened lust and the force of habit, strengthened by the ignorant plea of passional necessity, thus inflict incalculable mischiefs on the helpless fetus. Such indulgence should seldom, if ever, take place during pregnancy, or during lactation. It is contrary to unperverted nature and productive of most blighting consequences.
2. Cruelty, unkindness, indifference, neglect and various kinds of ill-treatment from the husband, or from other persons, towards the pregnant wife. This is sometimes gross and outrageous, sometimes refined and secret, but always injurious to the mother, and through her to the unborn child. There is no period of female life during which a loving, kind, considerate treatment is so necessary - so indispensable. Yet ill-treatment from the husband, or other intimate associates, to the incipient mother is no uncommon occurrence. And the consequences are deplorable. Many a child comes into the world malformed, or non-compos, or sickly, or irascible, or ill balanced, by reason of the gall and bitterness amid which it has been gestated.
3. Undue excitement of the passions, especially the more malignant ones - anger, envy, jealousy, hatred, revenge, fear and despair. These exert a blighting and baneful influence on unborn offspring. Mothers thus excited often unintentionally stamp the most fatal impressions on the fruit of their wombs. Abuses of this nature are fearfully prevalent, if not in their extremes, yet to a malign extent. But it is of the highest importance that they should be studiously avoided during both gestation and lactation; indeed, for other reasons, at all times through life.
4. Physiological abuses which in millions of cases poison, pervert and curse human nature before birth. We need not dwell on instances of disgusting drunkenness, gluttony, filthiness and gross intemperance of the animal propensities, which sometimes occur in the degraded classes of society. They are horrible to contemplate in connection with the procreation and gestation of children. Besides these, we may find evils enough to deprecate in more favored circles. Look at the food generally eaten. Think of the quantity, the quality, the cookery, the condiments, the accompaniments, the mastication and the digestion. Is it nutritious, wholesome, simple, digestible? Far otherwise. Look at the exhalations, perspirations and evacuations. Are they open, free, regular and healthful ? Far otherwise. Look at clothing, dress. Is it adapted to preserve a just temperature of the body? Is it comfortable and easy at all points? Is there no compression of the lungs, chest, abdominal viscera, blood vessels, muscles of the limbs or pores of the skin? Far and fatally otherwise. Look at sleeping rooms. Are they spacious and well ventilated? Alas, little better often than death cells, where people breathe a most vitiated, gaseous atmosphere from eight to twelve hours in the twenty-four! Look at the exercise taken by women, over the cooking stove and the fervent coal fire, on the treadmill of household drudgery, in the streets with elegant good-for-nothing shoes, or worse yet in the parlor or ballroom, or some frivolous party got up for amusemental dissipation, killing of time and reversing of day and night.
5. Extreme toil, hardship, care and anxiety of the pregnant mother, whereby in many instances she is overtasked, worn down, and her vital energies nearly exhausted. This is no uncommon evil. Sometimes it seems absolutely unavoidable. Sometimes poverty impels it. Sometimes it is enforced by rank covetousness on the part of the husband, or the wife herself, or both. Sometimes pride, fashion and a false hospitality, which oppresses the family with company to be entertained, occasions the drudgery. And not infrequently it is necessitated by too large a family.
A thoughtless husband ignorantly indulges his venereal lusts at every opportunity. Impregnation occurs just as often as poor jaded maternity will admit of it. The good woman perhaps believes it to be the visitation of Divine Providence upon her from year to year, and that she is irrevocably fated to have her "number." So the house swarms with unbidden offspring, and resounds with the clamor of their conflicting wants. There is an utter disproportion of strength, qualification and means to the necessities of the case. They cannot be properly cared for even physically, much less intellectually and morally. The affectionate but worn-down mother drags on through it all as well as she can, meantime adding to the household another and another crying loved one, till age or death terminates the struggle. And long after she shall have paid the debt of nature will her ill-developed, half-lived children re-echo her sighs.
All this is wrong. Such abuses ought not to go uncorrected. In fulfilling functions so momentous, and under circumstances so delicate, the wife should not be overtasked, oppressed with care nor tortured with anxiety. At least such evils should be avoided to the utmost possible extent. The developing embryo should have the benefit of a calm, cheerful enjoyment of life's needed comforts. Otherwise both mother and child must be more or less injured.
I will not allude to the thousand and one other abuses rife among women, the mothers of each successive generation of our race. When we contemplate the wrongs inflicted before birth on millions of human beings, is it any wonder that the world abounds with so many unfortunate, incompetent, intractable, depraved, vicious, contentious, destructive and unhappy creatures? Is it any wonder that mankind are so low, ill-developed and miserable; especially when we adjoin to the education before birth that which follows after through infancy and youth? Imagine now a million of unborn babes in process of development amid the blight and bitterness of these multiform abuses. Every one of that million comes into outer life more or less perverted in physical, mental and moral capability. Is it very strange that one-third of the race die in infancy? Is it very strange that so many of the survivors spend a wretched life? Is it very strange that only a few of them are really healthful, intelligent, virtuous and happy?
Physical Education from Birth Onward
We have traced development from conception to parturition. Let us suppose that thus far all is right. Well formed, healthful, promising infants are born, and now we are to proceed with their education. What have we to do? They are to be developed into men and women - such men and women, physically, intellectually, and morally, as shall be truly happy. We wish them to be, to do, and to enjoy all that is really desirable, to the extent of their natural capabilities. This then is what we have to do, so far as it can be done by education.
Suppose we are now to take charge of a newborn infant, which is to be provided for and trained up to adult age. Our first concern is for the body of this child. Our great desideratum is the child's health. If this can be promoted and preserved, we are sure that the whole body will naturally grow to full size and consistency, experiencing much pleasure and comparatively little pain. What then are the indispensable conditions of physical health? First, proper protection against external injuries by means of suitable caretakers, a suitable habitation, and suitable clothing.
Care and Shelter
The little stranger comes into the world the most helpless of all creatures, yet exposed to multiform dangers. There must be persons to take suitable care of this helpless being until rendered capable of all necessary self-care. Let the midwife, the nurse, the mother, the father and the subsequent assistant educators, be qualified both by knowledge and good will, to do their duty. Thus will the child fall into good hands, and receive suitable care.
Let the habitation be a safe and quiet shelter - a suitable protection against the inclement elements and all invading annoyances by day and night - a pleasant, healthful home. To be such, it should have a good surrounding atmosphere and pleasant prospects, plenty of natural light, moderate warmth, ample ventilation, very little dampness, very little filth, and very little harsh noise. The wretched abodes in our large cities, and often in our villages and country places, where so many of' the human race are born, and for a while vegetate rather than live, are deplorable opposites of the suitable habitations I am recommending.
Clothing is an important item of physical protection. What is suitable clothing? That which is absolutely healthful. All other is unsuitable. The following precepts may be safely followed.
1. Let the clothing next the skin be flexible and congenial; of linen or cotton, such as may be easily cleansed; a day suit, and a night suit, often well washed and aired.
2. Let the more exterior apparel be of various material, and adapted to preserve the normal heat of the system, which is about 98 degrees, in just equilibrium from head to foot, by night and day, adding or diminishing the quantity as the varying temperature may require.
3. Protect the feet and other much exposed parts from injury by substantial yet flexible attire. Also, the head and shoulders in hot weather from the scorching sunbeams, by very light, cool coverings.
4. Let not the head be over clothed. It needs little clothing additional to the hair, while that lasts. Keep it cool, and the feet warm.
5. Let all clothing be as light as it can be and afford the necessary protection against cold, moisture and other injury.
6. Let no part of the clothing be so tight as to impede the circulation of the blood, or the free play of the muscles, or the full respiration of the lungs, or the natural action of any internal organ, or the ingress of a portion of air to the skin. Let it be so loose and easy at every point, from head to foot, as to move readily at all times.
Another indispensable condition of physical health is proper alimentation, nutrition or refection, by means of eating, drinking etc. I may sum up my leading ideas on this point in the following precepts:
1. Let the child be nursed at the breast, or fed on similar liquid nutrition, for one year, or until the period of dentition; then on easily digested liquids and solids suited to age until seven years old.
2. Let nutriment be taken often by infants, but never to surfeiting. From seven years of age and upward let three meals be taken per day at regular periods, and seldom anything else eaten, except wholesome fruits.
3. Let all food eaten be of a good quality in its kind, not adulterated, damaged or inferior.
4. Let all cooking be cleanly, simple and wholesome, not filthy, not greasy, not compounded of many ingredients, not highly concentrated, not undercooked nor in any wise unfit for comfortable digestion. Eschew nearly all confectionery, pastry etc. as abominable.
5. Eat only one, two or at the most three kinds of food at the same meal. Masticate well, and be careful not to overeat. Intemperance is the common fault in alimentation. There are as many gluttons as there are drunkards.
6. Let the flesh of animals be wholly eschewed if vigorous health can be secured without it; and if used at all, let it never be in large quantities, nor oftener than once a day. Studious, sedentary and excitable people must live on the simpler and more digestible kinds of food. They must be regular and abstemious feeders, yet not starvelings.
7. Intoxicating liquors of all kinds must be eschewed as beverages or ordinary refreshments. Likewise coffee, tea and hot refections in general. Likewise tobacco and narcotics of every description. Some of the more harmless coffees and teas may be occasionally used; but moderate quantities of pure water, or milk, or milk and water or some other unstimulating drinks, are the healthful liquids to be taken into the stomach.
These are good general rules for proper alimentation. Some will think I go too far, and some that I am too latitudinarian. More might be added, and doubtless some exceptionable cases provided for. But with common sense these are sufficient; and without common sense ten thousand rules would be useless.
Proper exercise is a condition of health. The physical system is so constituted that every part of it must have more or less motion. Certain vital organs keep up a perpetual motion from birth till death without volition, and to some extent without the mind's consciousness. Thus the heart throbs, the blood circulates, the lungs respire, digestion goes on and the secretions take place, by what we call involuntary action. But the healthy action of even these organs depends much on external exercise; i.e. on the proper activity of the organs which we can voluntarily put in motion. Muscular exercise is quite indispensable to development and strength. I will give my ideas on this point in the preceptive form:
1. Let every kind of exercise be so adapted to the present strength of the organ or muscles exercised as to increase it, but never to overtax any part. Thus the feet, hands, chest, eyes, ears and every part of the system will be invigorated.
2. Let exercise take place daily, and, when at all convenient, in the open air. Let it commerce while the infant is yet young, and be varied in all practicable ways.
3. Let it be gymnastically adapted to exercise daily and harmoniously all the muscular powers of the system. So soon as the child can walk and run, let it be taught to use its limbs in all manner of wholesome ways. Also, to inhale long breaths, and slowly exhale them, that the lungs may be strengthened, the chest expanded, and the blood exhilarated.
4. Let there be multiform graceful and invigorating exercises gradually taught, such as the most unexceptionable calisthenic and gymnastic movements. Also, marching and dancing in the open air to music; or if within doors, never in crowded, heated, ill-ventilated rooms.
5. Let exercise be taken often with a distinct object immediately in view, that is useful, charitable, or of real benefit to some human being. Let utility be combined with recreation.
6. Let not exercise be sought in the wanton killing of harmless creatures, nor in any kind of cruelty to human or brute beings, nor in vulgar demoralizing antics, nor in any pugilistic rencounters, nor in mimicking the arts of war, nor in burning gunpowder with firearms and annoying playthings, nor in any other vitiating sports. These have prevailed long enough; and there are plenty of innocent unexceptionable methods, which will completely subserve the promotion of health.
Sleep and Rest
The human body must have a due portion of proper sleep, rest, and repose, or become diseased and wear out. Some persons require more and some less. The following rules may be observed to advantage:
1. Let sleep always be natural and abundant - never otherwise except from necessity. Infants, if healthy, will sleep a large part of the time for the first few months. Let them sleep all they will naturally; but do not stupefy them with drugs. The young generally require more sleep than adults. Let them have what they need. It is a much praised folly in many quarters, that the less people sleep the better. Not even the benefits of early rising, though great, will offset the evils of insufficient sleep.
2. Let beds be as soft as they can be without overheating the sleeper, with bedclothes as light as they can be and preserve sufficient warmth. There is no merit in hard beds per se. Feather beds are well enough in cold weather, but bad in hot. Mattresses of decent flexibility are generally preferable at all seasons.
3. Let sleeping rooms be large, well lighted by day, well aired at all times, and kept thoroughly clean. Let the bedclothes and bedsteads be frequently cleansed and aired. Let bedsteads be well elevated above the floor, and never hung about with curtains. Curtains are an unhealthful nuisance. Let there be no trundle beds for the children. They are too near the floor, where the air is often carbonized. Let there be wide berths, or single ones, that the sleepers may not annoy each other, nor suffer from vitiated air, or fetid exhalations.
4. In securing the requisite ventilation, freshness of air and coolness, let damp vapors and atmospheric currents be carefully avoided.
5. Let sleep be taken regularly and in the night season; when practicable always between sunset and sunrise. At other times, of course, according to age, circumstances and necessity.
6. Let there be other repose than that of sleep, whenever the weary and exhausted system requires it, especially about mealtimes, during the heat of summer noon days, in the evening, and on the weekly sabbath.
7. Let the amount of sleep and rest, if possible, always be to the wants of the physical system; and let no one involve him or herself, except from necessity, or considerations of duty, in cares, anxieties and toils which prevent the taking of needful repose.
The term purification implies proper attention to all the natural and artificial processes of physical cleanliness. There is a constant effort of the human body to expel from itself all impure and deleterious matter. This is done through the lungs, the skin, the bowels and the other excretory organs. This effort of nature to cleanse itself must be encouraged and assisted from without. Otherwise the natural channels are obstructed, the discharges checked, the rejected matter flows back, and the whole system becomes diseased. It is said that five-eighths of this impure, poisonous matter is expelled naturally through the lungs and skin, and three-eighths through more obvious channels. What then if the lungs do not expand and contract freely, so as to inhale a full supply of oxygen, and to exhale the carbon and fetor from the circulating blood? Or what if the air breathed is itself vitiated, so as to be unwholesome ? Or what if scurf and filth agglutinate the pores of the skin from the crown of the head to the soles of the feet? Or what if uncleanness be absorbed from foul linen about the body, or the bed occupied by night? Or what if there be unfrequent and insufficient discharges through the other excrementary organs? Can there be health? Surely not. Then let the following be carefully observed:
1. Breathe long full breaths of good air habitually. Let the lungs do justice to the blood in purifying it.
2. Cleanse the whole surface of the body with soap and frequently; every day if you can, but every week without failure. If you cannot bear cold water, use warm. Apply the comb, the towel, the flesh brush, and the scraper if necessary, till the dead scarf and oily impurities are purged away, and the exhalent putridity can freely escape through the pores. "Wash and be clean."
3. See that your clothes are washed and aired often enough not to scent the surrounding atmosphere as you sit down or walk about. Let not the absorbents of the surface be doomed to take in exuded pollution from unclean linen. Never leave the bedroom in the morning till the clothes have been well laid open, and the window has welcomed the fresh air.
4. Promote habitually a regular stool at least once in twenty-four hours, and attend promptly to the other natural purifications, that there may be no unhealthful obstructions, and that the whole machinery of the physical system may run smoothly.
5. Let your habitation and all its appurtenances within and without, share in the general purification.
6. Let children from birth receive all needful purifications, and be so trained that they will cheerfully adhere through life to the law of cleanliness.
If due attention were always paid to the five previously named conditions of health, it would not often need recovery. But there are many casualties, unavoidable exposures to disease, and delinquencies through imperfection. Hence there will arise frequent occasions for medication of some sort. Therefore let the following rules be observed:
1. If a surgical operation be requisite, for any sufficient reason, let reliable aid be seasonably called and skillfully applied.
2. In all ordinary cases of disease, rely on dieting, exercising, bathing, journeying, resting, and kind, simple nursing. Be not easily alarmed; be patient, and nature will recuperate. Three-fourths of all the cases wherein doctors are called, and drugs swallowed, or other worrying applications prescribed, would pass off well if treated according to this rule. Perhaps nine-tenths. Perhaps even a greater proportion.
3. In very extraordinary cases, resort to the physician in whose medical skill and judgment you have the greatest confidence; and let his prescriptions be faithfully followed so long as you profess to trust him. But if the medicines prescribed, or the applications urged, are of a violent nature, from whichsoever of the conflicting Parties emanating, make up your mind that the chances of your recovery are doubtful, and be ready for death.
4. Abstain from all artificial interferences with the course of nature as much as possible. When. you make use of any, be sure that they will not damage or weaken, but assist and strengthen, the system. As a general thing, eschew the whole chaos of high-pretending medication.
5. Let the sick leave a good nurse, plenty of wholesome air, cleanliness, few watchers, and little excitement. There is commonly too much company and too much noise about sick persons. It is a great mistake to fill the house with what is called help, kind callers and night watchers, when one of the family is taken sick. Let there be silence, serenity and order to the utmost extent.
6. In time of health prepare for sickness. Let there be as many conveniences in readiness as can well be provided. The changes of body and bed clothing, the utensils, implements and other requisites should be kept in readiness by every household; or at least by every group of families, so that when the visitation is made all things necessary and comfortable may be readily available.
7. Finally, let the old rule of health preservation be constantly respected: "Keep the head cool, the feet warm, and the bowels open." Then you may hope for the best, and be prepared for the worst.
This is what I have to offer relative to physical education. In general accordance with this outline, I would have the bodies of the young, in my new social order, treated, trained, habituated, and governed. And if they were thus physically educated from birth to adult age, it seems to me that their average health must be incomparably greater than that of mankind in general as society now is.
I have treated of physical education. I now take a step inward to the soul which animates the material body. It is but a step. I come to the sensational instincts, the animal propensities and the passional forces. All these are variously excitable, normally and abnormally. In their aggregate general character and tendency they give what we call disposition. Hence we say of children, this has a good disposition, that a bad one. When these sensational instincts, animal propensities and passional powers are strongly excited by external objects or influences, we speak of excited feelings as passions. Thus we have the passions of anger, fear, grief, etc.
What we properly call affection comes between disposition and passion. It is a determinate love or hate, like or dislike - a settled inclination of feeling in a certain direction. Human nature is so constituted as to become strongly affectional, both carnally and spiritually. The ruling affections make the man. They determine his character to a great extent, also his measure of happiness, and frequently that of others. The propelling power of human nature is affectional; the directing is rational. But the affectional often overrules the rational. Hence the importance of affectional education. It is this which regulates and molds the affections.
Among the principal affections of the human soul:
The love of food or gustatory pleasure: Alimentiveness.
The love of property: Acquisitiveness.
The love of crushing, destroying, or overcoming what is offensive: Destructiveness.
The love of contest and debate: Combativeness.
The love of secrecy: Secretiveness.
The love of the opposite sex: Amativeness.
The love of friends: Adhesiveness.
The love of display: Approbativeness.
The love of command or power: Self-Esteem.
The love of justice: Conscientiousness.
The love of safety or security: Cautiousness.
The love of worship, homage, adoration: Veneration.
The love of benefiting and blessing others: Benevolence.
These samples sufficiently explain my meaning. Phrenologists designate organs which serve as the vitalic centers of all the known loves. Some make these organs more and some less numerous. Without discussing the merits of their general philosophy, which I regard as fundamentally sound, we know very well that human nature has these loves in great number and variety. We know that it has what may be called animal affections, intellectual affections, and religious affections. And I propose to educate all these affections.
You may ask, do they admit of much education? Do they not naturally and necessarily grow up from their several vitalic roots? Are not all man's loves and hates, likes and dislikes, phrenologically predetermined before birth by hereditary transmission, or gestatory influences? Not to any such extent as to preclude education. Were I to entertain such a persuasion, I should, of course, abandon all idea of regulating these streams of feeling by means of education.
I have already taken for granted that the physical system is very much affected, for good or evil, by what takes place before birth. The same is undoubtedly true of the affectional constitution, which during the present existence is almost inseparable from the material body. But I maintain that both the material and affectional systems, however predisposed at birth, are capable of education to an immense extent.
I do not assume either that infants are born wholly normal and pure, or wholly depraved. I believe that infants come into the world in all degrees of impurity, from the least to the greatest. Consequently the very first inquiry I should institute, in order to the right affectional education of children, would be, What are their hereditary and gestatorial predispositions? Because the desideratum is affectional health; just as in physical education the desideratum was physical health. To secure health there must be well balanced activity, order and harmony. Angular, ill balanced, disorderly affections are necessarily incompatible with happiness. This is why there is so little true happiness in our world.
First, let educators understand and duly consider the following truths:
1. That all the natural affectional powers of human beings, rightly exercised, are good.
2. That they are all liable to abuse and perversion.
3. That they have no inherent self-regulation, but are the proper subjects of enlightenment and law.
4. That they are all to be regulated by reason and divine principle.
5. That they are all to be temperately exercised, indulged and gratified in their proper place and season.
6. That the more animal and selfish affections are to be kept in just subordination to the spiritual and unselfish ones.
7. That the whole need to be harmoniously balanced.
Second, let educators take care to be well informed concerning the following particulars in the state of children and youth under their influence:
1. Whether they have any extreme hereditary or gestatorial angularities or affectional proclivities, which require to be corrected; or any important deficiencies of affectional capability which require special remedies.
2. Whether their nervous and affectional systems, as a whole, are too excitable, or too torpid, or of a proper sensibility. Whether excitive or moderative influences are necessary, what they should be, how they should be applied, and when.
3. Whether they have refined or gross constitutional affections.
4. Whether their sensual, or their spiritual capabilities are predominant.
5. Whether there be danger of the precocious or unseasonable development of any affectional power.
6. Whether the good effects intended are really produced on their pupils by the course of educative treatment pursued.
Third, let educators earnestly and persistently endeavor to approve themselves competent and well qualified to discharge their responsibilities in dealing with the afflictions of children and youth. In order to this they ought themselves to be truly and wisely affectionate, truly and wisely intelligent, truly and wisely exemplary, truly and wisely diligent, truly and wisely firm, truly and wisely patient, and truly and wisely progressive.
Fourth, let them always conscientiously aim at the following results:
1. To promote the permanent happiness of the educated in their proper relations to all other beings.
2. To secure their real love, confidence and respect.
3. To render them pre-eminently benevolent, friendly, kind, forgiving and courteous.
4. To render them pre-eminently conscientious and reverent of divine principles
5. To inspire them with a modest but just self-respect as rational and immortal beings, and a due mutual respect for each other.
6. To give them confirmed habits of self-discipline and self-control.
7. To bring all their loves into healthful, orderly and harmonic activity.
Fifth, let educators understand and wisely make use of the following specific means for accomplishing the aforementioned results:
1. Example. Let them take care to be affectionally right themselves; to be what they would have their pupils be; to treat infants and children tenderly, gently, benignly and lovingly; to speak to them and to all around them in like manner; and thus by looks, tones, gestures, and all other indications to give them the best possible impressions. This treatment should commence at birth and never cease. Children are responsive, imitative beings. Let them not be taught by an evil example to be affectionally perverse.
2. Habituation. Insist perseveringly on their exercising their affectional powers aright, and on their restraining their wrongly indulged appetites and feelings as they ought. Let them exercise their right loves, and disuse their wrong ones, till habit is confirmed. Habit is well termed "second nature." Once established it is not easily changed. Give the right, the good and the delightful all the advantage of habit. Habituation is indispensable in education, especially affectional education.
3. Association. All things familiar belong to association; and all familiar things exert their influence, for good or evil, on the young soul. Scenery, objects, sights, sounds, vegetables, animals, persons, playmates, schoolfellows, industry and amusements all make their impressions. They sweeten or embitter, purify or corrupt, ennoble or degrade the passional nature. Let educators see that they be rendered salutary and beneficent.
4. Contrast. When the educated become old enough to appreciate opposites, let them be occasionally, yet judiciously, placed in circumstances to know how abhorrent and dreadful are the evils from which they have been preserved; and how wretched is the condition of children, youth and people who are suffering those evils. Let them not merely see the gilded exterior of incipient vice and folly, but rather the lower degradations and woes which are the legitimate results of gross and perverse loves. This will indelibly stamp their souls with devotion to affectional righteousness, and also stimulate them to determined efforts for the reformation of the world.
5. Intimacy. Parents and all auxiliary educators may act powerfully on the affectional nature of the young by confidential intimacy with them. This must be based on mutual love and truthfulness. Indifference, austerity and despotism on the part of educators, with distrust, fear and slavishness on the part of the educated, work only mischief to the affections. The parent and child, the teacher and learner, should be on such terms of confidential intimacy that their souls may at all times flow into each other congenially. Then the young heart will freely confide all its little hopes, fears, joys, sorrows, desires and difficulties to the older; and the older one will entrust the younger with information, suggestions and counsel of the most delicate and sacred nature, as well as interchange with it the best of sympathies. Thus a sweet reciprocal confidence will mutually expand and genialize their bosoms. And all this may be so conducted as not to destroy but greatly promote true filial reverence. Let sympathetic, confidential intimacy be regarded as an indispensable means of affectional education.
6. Thought and imagination. By thought and idealizing, all the human loves, from alimentation to veneration, are powerfully excited, and also moderated. A simple suggestive idea enters the mind relative to some affectional pleasure. If retained and cherished, it generates a series of thoughts which soon inflame the imagination, thence awaken passion, and at length generate a permanent desire for gratification. On the other hand, the most pernicious lusts can be gradually conquered if only the thoughts be effectually turned away from their ideal indulgence and concentrated on some good object of pursuit. If a vicious appetite, or wonted criminal lust, can be thus corrected by the power of thought, or a holy love strengthened, educators should regard it as of great importance in affectional education. They should carefully endeavor that the educated be disciplined to cherish right thoughts, and to avoid evil imaginations. Much may be done to this end by keeping them from witnessing demoralizing exhibitions, from being corrupted by evil conversation, and from being poisoned by vile reading; but the grand preventive of all such mischief will be found in habituating them to cherish only right thoughts and a pure imagination. Thought, idealization, imagination, is the key of their affectional citadel.
7. Religion. This is the last great lever of affectional education; and it is absolutely indispensable. The veneration and love of God, and of his law and righteousness, is the mightiest of all human affections. To this all others must do homage. Let educators develop and perfect it in their pupils by all suitable influences. Let it not be so developed as to be a servile and superstitious fear; but a profound, worshipful, filial love for the universal, all-perfect Father; and not merely for a Deific Person, but also for divine principles, attributes and qualities, as exemplified by God, angels, and good men. If this grand religious power can once be developed and enthroned, its scepter will become a sovereign regulator of the entire affectional nature.
The intellectual powers, faculties or capabilities are comprised in seven classes:
1. With our perceptive powers we acquire more or less knowledge of existing facts.
2. With our retentive powers we retain more or less of what has come to our knowledge, and are able to remember it.
3. With our reflective powers we examine, consider, compares reason and judge. We inquire into the nature, causes and effects of things.
4. With our imaginative powers we form mental images of external realities, or images of things partly real and partly fictitious. We idealize and fictionalize indefinitely.
5. With our inventive powers we devise and contrive new things - new combinations of matter, of mechanical power, or vegetable animal nature, or human association and cooperation, and so on through all the departments of external and internal nature.
6. With our expressive powers we express, or manifest, by speech, language, signs, gestures, looks and actions, our knowledge, our thoughts, convictions, opinions and mental determinations - as also our emotions, passions and affections.
7. With our executive powers we are enabled to actualize our ideals somewhat in the outward world, to reduce theories to practice, to be skillful constructors, elaborators, and performers.
Now what is the desideratum in intellectual education? Health again - intellectual health. This requires well-balanced activity, order, and harmony. The intellectual faculties, being all good in their place, ought to be qualified to perform their appropriate functions. How may this be done? By suitable intellectual education.
Let parents and all educators of the young consider well their responsibilities and how to handle them. Their children and pupils are in their hands to be intellectually educated. Let them begin by ascertaining as nearly as they can:
1. What the hereditary, gestatorial, and actual developments of their children are; what the capabilities and marked tendencies of their intellectual powers are; and what can or cannot be made of each child intellectually. For there are radical and almost unalterable differences between children in these particulars, which required corresponding differences of educational treatment. There is no such thing as running all through the same mold. It is wisely ordered that there shall be a variety of gifts, aptitudes, and ministrabilities of usefulness among the individualities of human nature.
2. What the activity and strength of each pupils nervous system are, whether great, or small, or average. Because otherwise too much haste may be made, or too little, in urging forward the intellectual powers.
3. Whether, as the process goes on, any of the faculties are getting along too fast, and others too slow; so that one flourishes greatly at the expense of another, and the requisite balance is being destroyed. It is not wise to make a prodigy of a child in one direction, and a simpleton in all others. And let it be remembered that there is always a limited quantity of vital stamina in each individual, which if overdrawn at one outlet must leave others deficient. Peter must not be robbed to pay Paul.
4. Whether the age, physical development and affectional state of the pupil are sufficiently mature to admit of vigorous intellectual drilling. Nothing is gained, but much lost, by overtaxing the young intellect, hurrying the child into the man, and breaking down sickly constitutions with premature or excessive study.
5. What general sphere the pupil is best adapted to occupy, and probably must occupy in mature life, to be successful, useful and happy. If this point can be rationally settled, let that be taught which is indispensable to all, with the addition of what will probably be needed for actual use in the anticipated sphere of adult life; but let not time, strength and other resources be wasted in lumbering the intellect with useless freight. Of what use are the dead languages, for instance, to one who has no taste for them, and who will never be likely to use them, even if able to do so?
6. Whether the child or scholar can be best taught by direct lessons and close application to study, or by more general observation, by free conversation, by illustrations, by association, and by other indirect means. For there are minds that can easily be educated by the latter method, but not by the former, especially in childhood and early youth. Wise educators win choose their methods judiciously.
7. What the opportunities and means are which can be commanded for giving particular individuals an intellectual education; i.e. whether ample or limited. If anything desirable must be omitted, let it be that which is least important. The indispensable, or most necessary, should always take precedence.
These preliminaries being judiciously settled, let the following order of induction and progress be followed. Begin with the child, or pupil, as him or herself first to be studied, and thence, proceed:
From that which is nearest in kind, locality or time, to what is most distant.
From that which is most noticeable to what is least so.
From that which is most exterior to what is most interior.
From that which is most simple to what is most complex.
From that which is most material to what is most spiritual.
From that which is most knowable to what is least so.
From the comprehensible finite to the incomprehensible infinite.
According to this order we may see that a person, having a good intellectual education, will know himself and human nature as well or better than any thing else that exists. Though he began with studying his hands and fingers, he has come at length to a good practical knowledge of his body, soul and spirit; he knows himself physically, affectionately, intellectually and religiously. He is well versed in anatomy, physiology and pneumatology. He understands his wants, rights and responsibilities. Hence also he knows mankind within and without; what they are, what they have been and what they are destined to be; their constitution, their relationship and all that is essential to their welfare.
He has a good knowledge of the earth, its annuals, vegetables, soils, minerals etc.; but is best informed respecting that part of its contents nearest his own home; because he studied first the geography, zoology, botany, geology, mineralogy etc. of his immediate vicinity, of his own country, and thence outwardly to the remotest parts. So he understands best the climate and atmospheric peculiarities of his own latitude and longitude. So of language; so of history; so of all that can be known in the earth, or in the heavens. His education began, proceeded and was matured in the natural order. From himself he went outward, exploring in all directions the fields of knowledge. Thus he ascended upward through nature to nature's God. First well instructed in the nursery, in the vicinage, in the continent, in the earth, in the skies, he is now qualified to fly on the wings of thought far abroad into the boundless expanse of the Infinitarium.
Compare one thus educated with the thousands of nominally well educated, the graduates from high schools, academies, colleges and universities. Behold great numbers of them as profoundly ignorant of themselves, and of what is practically necessary to their physical, affectional, intellectual, industrial, economical, social and religious welfare, as they are learned in mere fashionable lore. They know something of the dead and of foreign languages, but far too little of their own. They are profound in knowledge, useless or worse than useless, but ignorant of a thousand things necessary to their own highest happiness. I will not descend into specifications. Men of sound common sense, acquainted with real life in its practicals, know how defective is much that passes for "liberal education."
I think the dead languages, heathen classics etc., heretofore held so important in our old fashioned educational institutions, are worse than useless in nineteen out of every twenty cases. It is high time that this old folly were exploded. It is incompatible with my educational theory, and with the genius of the Practical Christian Republic. Possibly five students in a hundred might be encouraged to master the dead languages, and plod through the so-called classics. These should have a natural predisposition and adaptation to such learning. Let the rest read the compound wisdom and folly of heathen masters in some one of our numerous translations, or, what would generally be better, leave them unread. Let the grand aim be a thorough knowledge of the natural sciences and arts, and of the living languages. An intelligent naturalist, geologist, chemist, physiologist, agriculturist, is worth a thousand adepts in the Greek and Roman classics. Let living knowledge be accumulated and perfected, not the learning of dead pagans.
I propose then that the young be taught:
1. Humanity or anthropology and all that is peculiar in the manifestations of human nature.
2. Geography, geology, botany, zoology and whatever belongs strictly to the earth, as to its substance and productions.
3. Meteorology and everything appertaining to the atmosphere which surrounds our globe.
4. Chemistry, or the science which investigates and explains the composition and changes of all material substances.
5. Electricity, magnetism, and all the more subtle material forces.
6. Astronomy, with all that appertains to it.
7. Theology, with all that is naturally and legitimately connected with it.
Now I do not expect that any possible intellectual education which can be given to men and women previous to maturity is to make them thorough masters of all these sciences, nor of any of them. The best that can be done will be to induct them into such an elementary knowledge of these sciences, as shall supply their rudimental necessities and qualify them for all desirable progress. They will then have learned what there is to learn, and how to prosecute those sciences which most attract them. This, to be sure, is a great work to accomplish in the youthful soul. It fairly launches the intellectual ship, and provides for its long voyage of discovery on the ocean of knowledge.
In effecting all this do I propose to exhaust the student, by confining the attention to one particular, or one topic, or one theme, or one department of science at a time till that be mastered or have received all the attention it demands? By no means. Beginning at the right point I would so apply my rules as to give the child some rudimental ideas in each of the seven great sciences above specified before he was five years old. But I would not overstrain a single one of his faculties, nor tire, not disgust him. But whatever might be the range and variety of my inculcations, each child should then and always have most knowledge of himself and that which most immediately concerned human nature.
Here is a child in the nursery, just old enough to distinguish persons and things, to understand a few words of the tongue spoken by his parents, to toddle about the room, and to remember some familiar names. His mother is now his principal educator. She is teaching him daily the difference between his feet and his hands, his fingers and toes, and sundry other parts of the body; i.e. physiology. She is teaching him the elements of grammar by the pronunciation of names etc.; the elements of music in a sweet melody of sounds frequently changed to soothe him; the elements of geography by acquainting him with the apartments of the house, the door-yard and garden; the elements of mathematics by counting his hands and fingers; the elements of botany by frequently directing his attention to flowers; the elements of zoology by awakening his admiration for the domestic animals; the elements of astronomy by pointing out to him the full moon in her silvery brightness, or the setting sun; or the glowing stars; the elements of theology by the offering of devout prayers, or the first direct inculcation that there is a great Spirit Father. In many ways, simple, pleasing, and impressive, she inducts her loved one into the rudimentals of the seven sciences. And as the capacities of the child unfold and strengthen, she goes on deeper and wider, more and more systematically, more and more thoroughly with her inculcations.
When the young have fairly become teachable in any science or art, educators should endeavor to give them the following habits. Once fairly formed, they will prove of incalculable value.
1. Of close attention and application, for the time being, to the lesson in hand.
2. Of original thinking and questioning about the more important particulars of their lessons.
3. Of reflecting and reasoning on all subjects for themselves.
4. Of freely expressing by speech, or in writing, and in both ways at different times, their own thoughts, views and feelings.
5. Of taking notes, and making memoranda of what seems most important in any lesson, lecture or case considered.
6. Of criticizing their own productions and performances, and correcting defects therein.
7. Of being humble, modest, candid, frank and straight forward in expressing their own minds, and above all in acknowledging mistakes or errors into which they may have fallen.
I would have educators inculcate knowledge and train the young intellect to think and reason by a great variety of means, but chiefly by the following:
1. In early infancy by intellectual toys and amusements, and by living objects talked about.
2. Subsequently, by a higher grade of pleasing contrivances, pictures, books, conversations and simple lessons--making very light requirements of thought or study till at least seven years of age.
3. Later, by regular lessons adapted to capacity and health, by books, pictures, maps, outlines, models, illustrations, practical exercises and demonstrations.
4. Later still, by similar appliances of a higher class and adaptation, by lectures added to conversation, observations in real life, and manifold experimental exercises.
In short, I would have them taught by all the instrumentalities, appliances and contrivances discovered and proved to have been worthy of adoption, whether ancient or modern.