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enlargement of a physical power; that such improvement or enlargement is not effected by addition, or accretion, to some element, seed, or rudiment, already in existence. And, I believe it will be found a parallel and universal truth, that there can be no growth-no enlargement-no expansion of intellectual or moral power, which is not also effected by co-operation with, and assimilation or addition to, some original seed, or primary mental principle. Therefore, if the capacity or power, the propensity or instinct, the taste or sense, be not implanted by the Creator, it is in vain that education can make an effort to improve, enlighten, or expand.
"Doctrina vim promovet insitam.”
In a seed there is a natural tendency to germinate, -in one part to shoot downward, in another to shoot upward, a power to attract and assimilate the surrounding elements, provided they are congenial to it, and to evolve itself by growth into branches and leaves. It has also an inherent tendency to bear fruit in its season, and to multiply its kind, to become torpid in winter, and to flourish again in summer. Now, the great end may be frustrated, and is often frustrated by human art or negligence; but the original tendencies remain the same; and the specific characters of the seed or of the plant, are so defined, that by no human power can they be interchanged.
The seed of a bramble differs essentially from that of a vine; and, to whatever outward circumstances they may be subjected, each preserves its individual and proper character, though the purpose of its creation may not be fully attained. These different tendencies in a seed may be exhibited in succession; but their successive developement does not prove that they are the work of man. In like manner, the capacities and propensities of the mind may some of them be successively developed; yet it is from nature they are derived and not from art. The succession of changes may have been wrought under man's superintendence, as advances are made by education, but the succession of changes does not prove that it is wholly the effect of human power. In every mind are sown the seeds of intellectual and moral excellence, for the world to ripen to perfection or to corrupt. The world gives it none of its capacities or propensities, any more than it gives a brute his instincts or a seed its tendencies: it only affords occasion for their exercise and developement. The world is the soil in which the living principle of the mind is thrown by an all-wise Creator, to be acted upon by outward things, only in proportion as this living principle has been endowed with innate powers or capacities to receive impressions from these outward things.
But these outward things, which thus make impressions upon the senses and upon the internal faculties, may either be qualities of external natural
objects, or qualities of human character and conduct. For, we have principles within us that fit us by nature for intercourse with one another, as well as those which fit us for intercourse with the external world; and as we are capable of receiving pleasure and pain from the latter, so are we capable of receiving pleasure and pain from the former. Without these several excitements, and the due regulation and balance of these excitements, we cannot exercise ourselves to virtue, and attain the perfection of our being. We are prompted by natural feeling to do good to our fellow creature, as we are to do good to ourselves. For there is an instinct or affection of Benevolence; as well as a principle or instinct of Self-love.
Now, impressions of outward things are varied according to the sense, faculty, or power, which is appointed to receive them. And even some human beings are capable of receiving impressions which cannot be made upon others.
Impressions of light and colours are unavailing upon the blind, or of sounds upon the deaf. Impressions of kindness are made in vain upon a soul incapable of love and reciprocal attachment, or of natural beauty on one destitute of taste. Emotions of distress for human suffering cannot be excited in a mind without sympathy, or of grateful feeling in one that has no sensibility. Impressions of physical, mathematical, or speculative truth, however plain and simple and self-evident, cannot possibly be received where there is not an original capacity to comprehend
internal eye to perceive relations, proportions, or equalities. And lastly, no impressions as to the loveliness or deformity of moral actions can take effect, where there is not an internal power or instinct to feel the varied and opposite emotions of moral sentiment.
If these positions were not true, brutes might be made to feel and know most of those things which now distinguish and exalt human nature.*
Of the office and effect of Education compared with Culture.
Let us therefore properly understand the office and effect of education. It cannot be to introduce into the mind notions and relations of things which have
According to Locke "White paper," (comparing it to the mind), "receives any characters;" but Cudworth appears to have had a clearer notion of the matter, when he said, "If Intellection and Knowledge were mere receptions of extraneous and adventitious forms, then no reason could be given at all why a mirror or looking-glass should not understand."
"If Intellection and Knowledge were a mere passive Perception of the soul from without, and nothing but sense or the result of it, then what Reason could be given, why brute animals, that have all the senses that men have, and some of them more acute, should not have Intellection also, and be as capable of logic, mathematics, and metaphysics, and have the same notions of Morality, of a Deity, and Religion, that men have?"-Treatise concerning Morality, p. 130.
no affinity to its own nature; to pour into it, as into some passive receptacle, any sort of ingredients; to which it is to be considered as perfectly indifferent, as though it had no original tastes or predilections. Instead of having none, we find that it has opposite or contending tastes and predilections. Hence the office and effect of good education upon the mind must be to enlarge innate capacities and feelings essentially its own, to teach them to shoot in a virtuous direction, to convey proper nourishment by placing it in the circle of good example, to defend the opening buds of intellect, sensibility, and moral feeling, from every thing that would harm them;-in a word, to encourage the growth of the good seed planted in every mind, and to prevent the growth of evil propensities, and destroy those noxious principles, which, if allowed to spring up, would debase and deform the character.* For, as good example could never have effect, if there were not good principles in the mind to attract and cherish it; so bad example could not have effect, if there were not evil propensities to lay hold of it and embrace it. There is, therefore, antecedent to all instruction, a principle or seed, an appetite or affection, with instinctive tendencies towards certain external relations in cha. racter and in moral conduct, just as there is in the
"To teach the young Idea to shoot," is a beautiful and apt image; but, surely, no one ever thinks that the Idea so taught is some external representation brought incidentally into the mind. I take it to be the germ of thought itself.