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“You are not displeased with my straight forward manner?' said Mr. Gisborne.
“By no means,' replied my father, with a cordiality which did him honour. "You have not displeased me; but you
have called my thoughts to subjects which never before engaged my attention. And now, my good Sir, for your third objection.'
• My third objection, Sir,' said Mr. Gisborne, is this--that, while the circuitous progress of education recommended by the old system is going forward, the ideas and moral habits of the child remain uncorrected, at least, so far as his studies may affect them. In the first place, he does not enjoy the advantage of those correctives of sin which are found only in the word of God; he has no absolute standard of truth in his own mind- nothing solid or sterling against which to weigh or compare the objects immediately surrounding him; nor yet any principles or laws by which he might be enabled to judge his own heart, so as to approve or condemn his own actions. And in the second place, he is liable to receive some impurity from every lesson which he learns, even allowing that his tutor uses every precaution to select and extract for his study the least impure or hurtful of the classic writings; which, after every possible modification-as they neither proceed from the Spirit of God, nor are influenced by the word of God, but are the products of the unsanctified imagination of unconverted man --must remain so radically polluted as not to admit of that entire purgation as might render them wholesome and salutary food for such as ought to be fed with milk, even the sincere milk of the word; and who cannot be supposed to have attained, if it is ever attainable by corrupt man, such spiritual strength of mind as to enable them to reject all that is offensive, and every thing that has a tendency to pollute, as soon as it is perceived.
"s" Mr. Gisborne,' said my father, I will candidly confess, that you have made me very serious, and very uneasy, nay, almost indeed inclined to quit the field of contest, perhaps not altogether vanquished, though certainly puzzled and confounded. I will freely acknowledge, that I am half disposed to think you right; notwithstanding which, I must be allowed to say, that some objections to your system occur to me. Are
opinion, that a constant application of the mind to the study of Scripture, to the exclusion of the classical writers, which I think I understand to be your plan, would lead to an extremely narrow and illiberal inode of think
" Mr. Gisborne replied, that, before my father decided, he wished to make him thoroughly acquainted with the whole of his system; 'which,' added he, will not perhaps be found so narrow as might at first be supposed.'
My father bowed, and Mr Gisborne proceeded. * Before I enter into a full statement of my plans, my good Sir,' said the old gentleman, 'I shall take the liberty of giving you the results of my experience. I have observed on many occasions, that a serious perusal of Scripture produces certain effects on the human mind which never result from the study of other books. The first of these effects, I consider to be that peculiar illumination of the mind, which is thus alluded to by the Psalmist, When thy word goeth forth, it giveth light and understanding to the simple. This effect is, of course, observable only when the Scriptures are read with attention by the pupil, and held up by the tutor as an infallible rule of life. And it is remarkable, when the Scriptures are thus used, how wonderful is the effect which they produce in correcting and settling the principles; and how soon even an infant is taught thereby to bring his actions to the standard of holy writ. The motives of action presented in every book, but those of Scripture and such as are written on decidedly scriptural views, are various and confused, unavoidably exciting in the reader of such writings the most irregular and confused ideas on a point of so vast importance : whereas there is but one motive of action held forth in Scripture with approbation. Nothing in these sacred writings is put in competition with the majesty of God and the glory of his name; and nothing is represented as a real evil but sin. Hence the child who has been early nurtured in the love of his Bible, will always be found much superior in intellect all other things being equat) than any other child of his own age who has been brought up according to the more commonly adopted systems.'
"..I should not have conceived this,' said my father;
• I should have thought the contrary—but you may be right, my good Sir, and it is more for the glory of God that you should be so. It is, however, remarkable, that this should remain a question at the end of the eighteenth century. And now for your system-Where would you begin this mode of education, or rather where did you begin it with my grandson, who, by the bye, is no bad specimen of the efficacy of your extraordinary plan?'
“I began it, Sir,' replied Mr. Gisborne, by giving him such a knowledge of his own language as enabled him to read it with facility, and to understand the common acceptation of all words in ordinary use: and having proceeded to this point, I placed the English Bible in his hands, endeavouring, without further loss of time, to make him acquainted with its histories, its precepts, its doctrines, and the most plain part of its prophecies. Much of this information was acquired in his sixth year; and, in his seventh, I proceeded to the Hebrew language, which is thus spoken of in a preface to an Hebrew grammar, addressed to the learned Bishop Lowth :-“ It may appear a new and inconceivable truth to some, though not to the author of the Prælectiones, that the Hebrew, for its facility, expressiveness, the rules of syntax, and figures of speech, to say nothing of its important contents, would be the first language to be learned, were it possible to explain a language not understood, otherwise than by one that is so. This makes it necessary
learner should begin, as well in grammar as in speech, with his native tongue; but then he might very usefully go from the Hebrew to the Greek and Latin, drinking at the fountain-head, and not wholly at the less pure streams.–What hath hindered this natural and rational procedure is the universality of the Latin, and the prevailing practice of writing grammars and lexicons in this language, which hath made the Latin the janua linguarum. Our gold is changing apace into tinsel, and our silver into tin; insomuch, that your lordship cannot help foreseeing, with deep concern, that, should the neglect of letters, the contempt of revelation, and the slight of the essence of revelation, as well as of its form, continue to increase in the same degree in the next century as in the last and present, this nation will be but one remove from its original state
of barbarism: which to escape, there is no way so sure as by quitting the efficient cause of our degeneracy, infidelity-that root of evil, and assuming once more the simplicity of our forefathers, returning to the Word of God, that tree of wisdom and of life!
“Mr. Gisborne having concluded this quotation, which he repeated from memory, he proceeded to remark, that he and his little pupil had reaped every benefit which could have been expected from the mode of study here recommended; and that the child had made so great a progress in this branch of learning, that in his ninth year he was induced to commence Greek with him, and had already proceeded with him through one of the Gospels, when their studies were interrupted by the late family misfortune.
“I am then to understand,' said my father, “that your little pupil has read the Bible only?'
“Not so,' replied Mr. Gisborne: “he is fond of reading, and I have allowed him to amuse himself with Robinson Crusoe, and other books which are calculated equally for the instruction and amusement of children. But the Bible, I may say, has supplied our only serious studies; for, in whatever form I may have given a lesson. it has been my endeavour, in some way or other, to connect it with the Scripture: and it is wonderful how I have been assisted in this endeavour, and how frequently I have found the holy volume casting light on parts of science with which, on a hasty view, it seems to have no connexion. For instance, in the contemplation of the heavens, what beautiful notices of the heavenly glories do we find in Scripture! In considering the various divisions of the earth, how are we assisted by the inspired writers in tracing up to their source the names and origins of nations! In studying chronology, where do we find fixed dates and sure resting-places but in the Bible? And, without Scripture, what is ancient history but a web, so intricate and involved, as absolutely to pass all the skill of man satisfactorily to unravel it?'
"!If any man on earth can render the study of one book, or of one set of books, interesting to a young person at all times, I believe that you are the man, Mr. Gisborne,' said my father: 'nevertheless, I am not able to conceive how you can avoid rendering this perpetual reference to Scripture tedious and disgusting to a child.'
6.• The Bible is a book,' replied Mr. Gisborne, • which is invariably found to acquire new interest by frequent study; and it is only the careless reader who ever complains of weariness. There are times, indeed, when children will feel a disinclination not only to studies of every kind, but even to every kind of amusement. An idle child is as wholly incapable of pursuing any play with energy, as of following up any kind of study with perseverance. But these feelings must be contended with; since no character is of any value, or can ever be relied on, which is not accustomed to combat them, and regularly to follow up a duty notwithstanding occasional sensations of disgust or fatigue. I have never, however, found that the study of Scripture excites this mental weariness more than that of any other book; but I have remarked, on the contrary, that it has decidedly the contrary effect, and that a taste for divine things and holy contemplation increases with the exercise.'
"I understand,' said my father, that you make Scripture the vehicle of two languages, namely, the Hebrew and the Greek, and that you teach these languages grammatically. Does your plan then entirely exclude Latin?'
“Undoubtedly not,' replied Mr. Gisborne: but inasmuch as all the best Latin writers were unenlightened heathens, I reserve them till such times as I may hope that my pupil, being well grounded in Scripture, and armed with the knowledge of better things, may be enabled to discern and reject the evil which they contain, and to derive from them such benefit as they are calculated to afford. Much as I disapprove of placing these works in the hands of untutored infancy, there are many reasons for not wholly rejecting them. Many of these writings were composed by the most able men of their day; men who, with the exception of the inspired writers, are to be considered as authors of the most incomparable ability. They describe scenes and circumstances of extraordinary interest; with a more than magic skill they lead back their readers to ages long gone by, setting them suddenly in the streets of Troy, of Carthage, and of Rome; they bring before our eyes