« VorigeDoorgaan »
colour of the skin, at least until it has attained a considerable fize: it enlarges gradually, does not soften as it enlarges, but continues through the greatest part of it incompressibly hard, and when it is got to a large size it seems to contain a fluid which may be felt towards the bottom, or resting, as it were, on the back part of the bones. If an opening be made for the discharge of this fuid, it must be made very deep, and through a strangely distempered mass. This Auid is generally small in quantity, and consists of a sanies mixed with grumous blood; the discharge of it produces very little diminution of the tumor, and in the few cases which I have seen, very high symptoms of irritation and inflammation come on, and advancing with great rapidity, and most exquisite pain, very soon destroy the patient, either by the fever, which is high and unremitting, or by a mortification of the whole leg.'
On dissection, we are told, the arteria tibialis poftica is found enlarged and burst, and the posterior part of both tibia and fibula carious. Nothing but amputation can give the lea chance of safety in this singular and dreadful disease.
ART. VI. Miscellaneous Observations relating to Education, more espee
cially as it respects the Conduct of the Mind. To which is added, an Esay on a Course of liberal Education for civil and active Life. By Joseph Prieslley, LL. D. F.R.S. 8vo, 5 s. bound. Johnfon. 1778. N the Preface to these Observations, Dr. Priestley acquaints
his Readers, that, though much has been written about education of late years, yet several of the writers appear to him never to have had much, if any thing, to do in the conduct of it, and to have given but little attention to the real influence of it in life; that it is his fault if he has not formed a better judgment, having had the best opportunities for making obfervations, in consequence of having been engaged, at different times, in conducting almost every part of education, both in a public and private way.
That he has formed a just judgment, will be very evident to every discerning reader, who has turned his thoughts to the important subject of education, and who is acquainted with the world. His observations, indeed, do no small honour both to his head and his heart, and may be read with fingular advantage by every parent and tutor, who is desirous of making his child or his pupil a happy and useful member of society; as they few throughout a liberal and enlarged turn of thought, and are admirably calculated to inspire noble and exalted vicws of human life and conduct.
The only thing we regret is, that instead of Miscellaneous Ob. fervations on Education, the Author has not favoured us with a Rev. Mar. 1779.
regular treatise on the subject. He appears to us to be per-
Before a decisive judgment is formed of the maxims he contends for, he tells us in his preface, that it should more especially be confidered, as a fundamental preliminary, that the chief and proper object of education is not to form a shining and popular character, but an useful one ; and that there are circumftances in which it may be necessary that a truly great and valuable man may be the most unpopular of all men.
• Shining accomplishments, continues he, are only of secondary confideration, being valuable only in proportion as they come in aid of qualifications that render a man happy in himself, and ufeful to others. To please is, indeed, generally useful, in order to profit men; but this, like mott other general maxims, admits of many exceptions, such as we see in the history of many truly wise statesmen, but more especially those eminently wise and good men, to whofe labours and risques we are indebted for instruction in the important articles of morality and religion, both Heathens and Chriftians.
· The great end of education, if it correspond to the great end of life, is by no means advancement in the world, but to inculeate fuch principles, and lead to such habits, as will enable men to pass with integrity and real honour through life, and to be inflexibly juit, benevolent, and good, notwithstanding all the temptations to the contrary from the example of the age we live in. To comply with the world, and in consequence to be the idol of it, is an easy thing in comparison with this ; but then the advantages derived from nobly withitanding the prevailing vices and errors of the age are infinitely more solid and lasting. This conduct makes a man fatisfied with himself, it generally insures the gratitude of a more enlightened pofterity, and, above all, the favour of God, and a happy immortality.
A man who lives to any purpose, must have one object, and have a consistent character. When a man's attention is distracted with a multiplicity of views he never succeeds in any, or never enjoys the success he may occasionally meet with. But with consistency of character, and uniformity of conduct, success is almost infallible. Any man, for instance, may be rich, if he will be content to have no osher object; but he cannot always get money, and enjoy pleasure ; he cannot always be wealthy, and respected ; and least of all can he always be rich, and honeft. Also, any man of a common capacity may make himself master of any one branch of knowledge : he may
be an acute grammarian, or critic, a good natural philosopher, an able chymilt, a kilful naturalitt, a learned lawyer, or a profound metaphyfician; or a man of very diftinguished abilities, and great leisure, may, at different times, attend to a variety of things, and make some figure in cach of them; but, in general, one literary porsuit must be sacrificed to another. So also in the arts, a first-rale musician cannot be, at the same time, the first ftatuary, the first painter, or the first player ; though there are few who may not be with the foremoft in some or other of the arts, if their attachment to it be fuch, that they hall give almost their whole time and attention to it.
• In like manner, if a man's great object be the pursuit of trutla, and the practice of virtue, he may depend upon success, and will ena fure the proper reward of such a conduct; provided he have no other object to divert him from his pursuit, and obftract him in it. But be must not be disappointed, or chagrined, if, together with virtue and knowledge, and in his endeavours to promote them, he do not get rich, or become popular.
• Let us, therefore, be fatisfied, if we can make our children good men, and truly valuable members of society, whether the reception they meet with in the world be favourable or unfavourable. If, however, their friends be few, they will be the more cordial, and contribute more to the real enjoyment of life. Indeed, their happiness in all respects will be more in reality, than in appearance; as that of the world is more in appearance, than in reality; and this exclusive of all respect to any thing in futurity, in comparison of which, however, every thing else is little and insignificant.
• I shall be happy if the following obfervations contribute, in any measure, to give parents these juft views with respect to the education of their children, or their own conduct in life. They are certainly fundamental, though too apt to be overlooked in both. This must be my apology for suffering myself to be drawn in, infenfibly, to say so much in this strain, after what I have advanced te the fame general purpose in the work itself.
"Those of my friends who wish to see the Observations on Human Nature, and the Gonduct of the Mind, promised in the preface to my Examination of the Writings of Scotch Defenders of the Doctrine of inftinctive Principles of Truth, may form some idea of what they may expect of a practical nature in them, from what they will think of most value in this treatise; and especially Section XII. which was originally written as part of that work, but what it was thought might be more useful in this. I fhall continue to collect materials for this work, but the publication will probably be several years hence. Some of the hints I laid before Dr. Hartley himself, more than twenty years ago, and he was pleased to approve of them, and promise me his aflittance whenever I should think proper to lay them before the Public.'
The subject of the twelfth fe&tion, here mentioned, is, the Importance of early religious Inftrufiion. The Doctor introduces it by observing, that the impression which ideas makę upon the mind does not depend upon the definitions of them, but upon
sensations, and a great variety of ideas, that have been associated with them; and that these associations require time to be formed and cemented. The idea of God, he says, may be defined, and explained to a man of the world, who has hardly ever heard, and seldom thought of him; but the impresion that is made upon his mind when the name of God is, at any time, mentioned to him, cannot be the same with that which will be felt by a person who has been accustomed to hear and think of God from his infancy, who has been much conversant in the scriptures, and has lived in a general habit of devotion.
• In the mind of such a person, continues he, the idea of God must have acquired a thousand associations, which, though they are infinitely complex, will be felt as one sensation ; but, from the nature of the thing, it is impollible that it should ever be fully explained, or communicated to another. The analysis of such an idea is far too difficult a problem for any human fagacity; or if the thing were possible, the doing of it would not enable a person to communicate the sensacions that entered into it; because the same events in life would be necessary to it; and without these the fame resulting ideas and impressions cannot be obtained.
• For this reason no two persons can have precisely the same idea of any thing about which they are much conversant: for the minute asociations which enter into it will be different, though they may have a great resemblance; and perhaps there is no object of our thoughts
from the impression of which men feel more differently, than the idea of God; though the impression made by it on the minds of persons educated in a similar manner will be nearly the same, so that by using the same words they may communicate what may, with fufficient propriety, be called the same feelings to each other.
• This observation, which appears to me of considerable importance, I shall endeavour to illustrate by a case that very much re. sembles it. All persons know what is meant by the term father, and if they were asked, would define it in the same manner; but the man, who has never known a father of his own, or which is nearly the same thing, has had little connection with him, no dependence upon him, or particular obligation to him, will by no means have the same feelings when the word is pronounced to him, with the man who was brought up in a constant uninterrupted intercourse with a father, and has been the object of innumerable endearments and kind offices, and who has likewise frequently felt the effects of paternal correction. Every instance of this nature has an effect, and therefore leaves an impression upon the mind, which is not wholly loft. For though it soon becomes separately indiscernible, it makes part of an infinitely complex sensation, and is one of the elements of what is called flial affection, or that mixture of love and reverence which is the necessary result of paternal care properly conducted. Now the most transient idea suggested by the word fatber will excite in the mind of such a son a secondary idea, which, though it does not af. fect the definition of the term, is, however, inseparable from it ; and if dwelt upon, it will unfold itself into a mot exquisite and in
communicable feeling. To have this feeling a man must have lived a whole life in a particular manner.
• In like manner, besides those ideas annexed to such words as God, religion, future life, &c. which can be communicated to others by their definitions, there are what are sometimes called secondary ideas, or feelings, which are aggregate sensations, consisting of numberless other fenfations and ideas, which have been associated with them, and which it is absolutely impossible for one person to communicate to another; because the same education, the same course of instruction, the same early discipline, the fame or similar circumItances in life, and the fame reflections upon those circumstances, must have concurred in the formation of them. They are, however, these infinitely complex and indescribatle feelings that often give those ideas their greatest force, and their influence upon the mind and conduct; because diipofitions to love, fear, and obey God have a thousand times followed those complex feelings, and pious and worthy resolutions have been connected with them.
• On this account, persons whose education has been much nego lected, but who begin to hear of religion, and apply themselves to it late in life, can never acquire the devotional feelings of those who have had a religious education ; nor can it be expected that they will be uniformly influenced by them. They may use the same language, but their feelings will, notwithstanding, be very different.
• The difference is, however, nothing more than.is observed in other fimilar cases. A man, who has from his infancy been conversant with any thing, will have ideas of it very differently modified from those of the person who has acquired them by the information of others, or later in life. A person who has been bred in a camp will have very different ideas of every thing relating to war from those who have only heard, or read of such things, or who have seen fomething of war later in life; and the ideas of the former cannot, in the nature of things, be communicated with precision to others ; because the component parts of those ideas, or, rather, the feelings, were acquired by palling through a variety of scenes which made a deep impresion upon the mind, and therefore left traces proporcionably deep.
I mall conclude with observing, that the influence of general ftates of mind, turns of thought, and fixed babits, which are the consequence of them, is so great, that too much attention cannot be given to education, and the conduct of early life. Supposing the present laws of our minds to continue (and there is no more reason to expect a change in them than in any other of the laws of nature), our happiness to endless ages must depend upon it. It is a necessary consequence of the principles of association, that the mind grows more callous to new impressions continually; it being already occupied with ideas and sensations which renderit indisposed to receive others, especially of a heterogeneous nature.
• We, in fact, feldom fee any confiderable change in a person's temper and habits after he is grown to man's estate. Nothing short of an entire revolution in his circumstances, and mode of life, can effect it. This analogy will lead us to consider the state of our minds at the commencement of another life (being produced by the P3