Page images



State aid should be given to all denominations alike for the purposes of education, and that, in doing this, the most convenient course is to leave the teaching of religion to those who have immediate responsibilities respecting it, so that the public money should be awarded for the results of secular teaching only-a principle affirmed by the Education Act of 1870.

The Editor assumes that not only those who object to this principle, but also all who approve it, recognise the paramount importance of Religious and Moral training as the essential basis of true education ; and that, inasmuch as the teaching of practical morality necessarily involves the teaching of practical religion, all will alike regard with favour an attempt to present a means of promoting this in a perfectly unsectarian form.

(2) It has been the conviction of the Editor for many years that Moral teaching has not had that special attention which the importance of the subject demands. It is perfectly true that in most schools a Bible lesson is given daily ; but in this, as a rule, while the facts of the Bible are considered, the enforcement of Moral truths is left to the inclination of the Teacher. Again, although every good reading-book is more or less a Moral Lesson Book, the Editor believes that no systematic method of Moral teaching for schools exists, and that, therefore, a work for the young which shall have for its object the exposition and application of Moral truth in the various duties of life, will meet an acknowledged want in this branch of elementary education.

Impressed with these convictions, the Editor presents the · Practical Moral Lesson Book,' in the hope that it may be recognised by Teachers and others interested in the training of the young, as a useful auxiliary to them in their efforts to give Moral teaching its due position in schools.

Some may object to the introduction of a Moral Lesson Book on the ground that the Scriptures, which are read in schools, contain sufficient Moral instruction. It should, however, be reme

membered, that this objection applies with equal force to the introduction of all books of Religious or Moral instruction other than the Bible.

But the Editor believes that the general use of books for special instruction in the Morals of Scripture would confer

great benefit



young, by inculcating more distinct, and therefore better, views of the elements of morality than they now obtain.

Considering the early age at which children leave school, Moral instruction can only be elementary, and the attempt to impart it in this elementary form is surrounded by difficulties which Teachers only fully understand. No conscientious Teacher


however, can feel satisfied that his pupil should quit school without a knowledge of Morals which may at the least be equal to his knowledge of the ordinary subjects of school instruction.

In a vast number of cases it appears certain that if children do not receive such instruction in the dayschool, they will be thrown upon the world in ignorance of this important branch of knowledge, at a time when they are not only susceptible of good impressions, but when they are also as susceptible of the attractions of vice.

No one can contemplate so deplorable a result without wishing to use every available effort to prevent it.

It seems, therefore, necessary that direct and systematic Moral teaching should form part of the day-school duties, and that no school duly fulfils its functions in which the proper place is not assigned to the subject in the scheme of school-work. The * Practical Moral Lesson Book' is intended to promote and facilitate the efforts of the Teacher in this direction.

Some works for the young have appeared whose authors have had special Moral teaching in view, but it is believed that there is no work similar in plan and scope to the Practical Moral Lesson Book.' In this book the endeavour has been made to give a regular series of lessons on those subjects included in the term Morals, and to present them


in as great a variety and attractive a guise as possible.

The Editor is conscious that an objection may be raised to this arrangement. It may be urged

. that the various duties of life are so intimately connected, that any attempt at a distinct division of them into parts or sections must be to some extent unsatisfactory.

In reply to this objection, he wishes to say that no claim is laid to a perfect arrangement of those duties. It has simply been attempted to connect and group together the most important of them, for the purpose of forming an intelligible plan for a series of practical lessons concerning them, in the hope that by such means they may be more clearly understood by the reader, and thus make a more lasting impression on his mind.

The Editor, therefore, presents the present volume, the Second Part of the First Book. This part treats more particularly of those subjects which may be classed under the duties men owe to the mind, as the first treats of the duties concerning the body. Care has been taken so to adapt the lessons on these subjects as to avoid, as far as possible, the use of technical terms, the introduction of which too often gives to a subject really as interesting as it is important a dry and repulsive aspect. The attempt has, therefore, been made to produce

readable lessons, which, it is hoped, may be found interesting as well as instructive to those for whom they are intended.

The work is divided into three books, and will be published in four volumes.

FIRST BOOK (In Two Parts).


"He that ruleth his spirit is better than he that taketh a city. If thou be wise, thou shalt be wise for thyself.'

Part 1.-Of Duties concerning the Body.
Part II.-Of Duties concerning the Mind.



«Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so unto them.'



Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter.

Fear God, and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man. This is His commandment, that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and love one another.'

« EelmineJätka »