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children have derived from attending this experimental school. None but the best elementary books have been introduced into it, the best selections having been made from the Irish, Chambers's, and other courses; and the remark may be offered here, that to the honour of all writers of books of instruction for the young, they have with common and singular propriety scarcely produced a work that cannot with safety be placed in the bands of the most ignorant. Triumphant as the practical and now proved advantages of this school are, the privy council has withheld all pecuniary and other support and countenance from it, though a simulated assent to certain prescribed forms would have procured the needed aid; hence, not only is a great, sound, and beneficial principle stultified, but the very honesty of its advocates has been insulted for the omission of an assumed and impracticable sanctity.
Many eminent men have avowed the necessity of saprating religious and secular teaching into two distinct duties; and after witnessing the benefits arising from such a system in America, Lord Elgin, at Glasgow, in January, 1857, said that “education in Canadla was equal to that in Massachusetts. Elementary education was there free of cost, attainahle by every child in the community, and on condituons which do no violence to any principle. Every child might go on the same terms to the higher school, and thence to the university." And then, his lordship exclaimed, “If we can get all these advantages by going to Canada, why cannot we get them without going to Canada ?”
A wise legislature will decree that the teachers of sarted things shall be sacred men ; whilst for the artistic and material duties of life the man whose labours conduce to his own wordly weal or woe, and whose knowledge, or ignorance, of common industrial duties leads to honourable rewards, or to degradation, shall be provided with the means of acquiring
an ordinary education. The patriotic and enlightened statesman will provide for the material wants and honour of his country; he will develope every latent and hidden power which can promote universal peace and prosperity; and he will not withhold from the young of his nation that knowledge which, as a mental implement of inestimable value, shall enable its possessor to work his way through life, to become a profitable contributor to the stores in the general hive of industry, -and to place himself among the independent and virtuous subjects of a great empire.
BE not afraid to pray-to pray is right,
[Delivered in the Literary Institution, Preston, and elsewhere.]
Oue hero for to-night was a Roman Catholic-moreover, a Monk. At the same time, strange as it may sound to ultra-Protestant ears, he was an honest and godly man. It would be a great injustice to measure him by the standard of the nineteenth century. Since his day, Europe has had 700 years to make progress in; and if men are not by this time in every way better than they were then, it is a reproach and shame to them. Take away from the boastful youth the knowledge which was impossible in the twelfth century; the privileges that were not then within the reach of any,—the free press, the many books, and the equal laws which date their origin only a few years back; strip him of every thing that could not have been his, had he been the contemporary of Bernard,--and he would be compelled to admit that, considering the age in which he lived, Saint Bernard must be ranked among the greatest and the best of men. I make this remark, that it may be remembered that our hero's lot was cast upon different days to ours, and that he struggled with difficulties to which happily we are strangers.
In the last decade of the eleventh century, and in the fortress home of one of the noble and war-loving knights of Burgundy, Bernard was born. Burgundy, now one of the departments or provinces of the French empire, was at that time an independent dukedom, with an army of its own; in which army Bernard's father spent the greatest part of his life, seeking fame at the point of the sword, and revelling in the turbulent soldier-life of that age. The result was, that Bernard was left entirely to his mother's care. She made him. How many men of mark have owed their greatness to their mothers! The Roman matron formed her boy for endurance and command; and he became invincible on the field of battle, and a power in the senate. Napoleon's mother inspired him with ambition; and he became the first warrior of his day. Mothers ever make or mar their sons. As they bend them, so the twigs grow. And if their roots strike deep, and take firm hold of the soil, if they shoot up and are full of verdure and fruitfulness, to maternal culture it must, in a great measure, be ascribed. This was especially the case with Bernard. His mother was a gentle, pious woman; and, if a little superstitious, was the possessor of no small amount of intelligence and firmness. It was the business of her life to train her seven sons--of whom Bernard was the third—for God. Her dearest wish was to see them devoted to a monastic life. His nursery training over, and that we find the secret of his after-life, Bernard was placed in a public school at Chatillon, where he was instructed in the classics, well grounded in logic, and received a taste for literary studies.
At this juncture, just as Bernard was beginning to realise the fond expectation and high hopes of his mother, she died. His father at once resolved that his sons should enter the army-ardently desiring to see them hardy and renowned warriors, foremost in the battle charge, and the merriest at the convivial
tables of the barons. For this our hero showed no aptitude. He had caught his mother's spirit; and knowing that she had intented to devote him to a cloister life, himself cherished the
Fancied appearances of the devoted parent-visions in which affection taught the imagination how to keep the maternal teacher before the mind's eye of the loving pupil-kept alive his resolution, and at last determined him to renounce the pomps, and vanities, and possessions of the world, for the hard life of a monk. By his eloquent pleading he won over all his brothers, who had grown to man's estate, with a large circle of relatives and friends. With these Bernard retired to a house at Chatillon, with a view of preparing for final seclusion. It may interest some to know that the father, heart-broken by the loss of his sons, followed them, and died a monk. As to the sincerity of the men, there can be no doubt. They left behind them wealth, comfort, luxury, and fame, at the supposed call of God, and to save their souls. We Protestants may make ourselves merry over the follies of monasticism; but it would more become us to emulate the self-sacrifice of these who surrendered all that they held dear at the command of duty.
Let us now look into the convent home that received these worthies, and gather what we can of the character of their convent life. There were richly-endowed monasteries, where the monks lived a merry life; but these Bernard avoided, and chose one of the poorest. The convent of which Bernard and his thirty associates became inmates, was that of Citeaux. It belonged to the Cistercian order, and was celebrated for its extreme austerity, and the great severity of its discipline. Among the rules of the convent were these :--A monk must render absolute obedience to his abbot; and if commanded to do impossible things, may meekly represent the impossibility, but if the command be persisted in, must attempt the doing of it, in dependence on the