A FEW BOOKS DEALING WITH EDUCATION
Pastor Agnorum: A Schoolmaster's Afterthoughts, by J. Huntley Skrine, Warden of Glenalmond (Longmans, 5s. net). We have in Pastor Agnorum another very delightful and stimulating book about education; not a number of collected papers this time, but a carefully ordered work. It is addressed to schoolmasters, Headmasters for the most part, by no means an easy class to approach from the rostrum; but Mr. Skrine writes with so scholarly an ease and grace, sprinkles his matter so cunningly with the Attic salt of his wit, that we venture to predict that even his hard sayings will be genially received by the appreciative audience he has in view. But the rest of us are not to be left out in the interest of masters. This is a book for us all––fathers, mothers, teachers––whoever is interested in the bringing up, not only of boys, but of girls also. The "shepherd's" calling, he tells us, is "to nourish, rule, and lead," and he must learn his method by the study of the Incarnation. From the life of the Pastor Pastorum he must learn to teach with authority, that is, he must know and feel what he teaches, but must seek, not to reproduce himself, but to produce the pupil's self. He must teach "not without a parable," school lessons must be a parable of the art of living well; humane letters, science lessons, mathematics can be such parables. He must be a preacher of the gospel to the poor, that is, he must teach, not some of his boys, but all, only he must also "give to him that hath." As a ruler, he must deduce the government of school from the ideas of chivalry. The secrets of chivalry are (1) Truth, which must be taught without convention or class narrowness, (2) Freedom, which needs to be interpreted, (3) Courtesy, which must be popularized, (4.) Hardihood, which should not be only of the body, (5) Chastity and Woman-worship, (6) Religion, (7) Brotherliness, without exclusiveness or partiality. The richness and unusualness of this book may be judged of from the fact that, so far, we have been quoting solely from the table of contents. Seven chapters are devoted to the consideration of the shepherd as the life of the school, inspirer, teacher. Then follows the consideration of the fold. Our Round Table sets forth how chivalry can become the bond of Head and Colleagues. This is a singularly ennobling and purifying chapter and throws much light upon what is often a difficult relation, and here, especially, we admire the wit and charm which make hard things good to be listened to. The chapter on Some Knights of the Round Table, which gives us racy pictures of several types of master, and that on The Parent as a Neglected Factor, are capital reading. The subtlety with which the author justifies that old-fashioned institution, the Family, and even ventures to hold up its casual ways for the consideration, if not the imitation, of the schoolmaster, is an example of how the salt of wit may flavor discernment. The book is a witty and even worldly wise apologia for Christianity, for the high chivalry of Christianity among masters and scholars; and we earnestly commend it to those other pastors who have but a few sheep to tend in that little fold which they call home. Reverence, insight and common-sense must needs grow from the seed-thoughts the author has dropped.
School and Home Life, by T. G. Rooper, M.A., H.M.I., Balliol College, Oxford (A. Brown & Sons, London, 6s.). "I have tried to study the education of children from the age of three onwards to their coming of age; and this, I think, few have had the chance of doing both practically and theoretically. Most teachers specialize on one period, in the nursery, the 'private' school, on the 'public' school, or the university, because they have only the experience of one such period. The relation of one stage to the next has been too much neglected, with the result that in many young persons there are two or three distinct characters." We have ventured (without permission) to quote the above from a private letter from the author of School and Home Life, because we feel that the passage throws much light on the method and scope of the work before us. The casual reader might, without such a guide, say, "Oh, but the work does not deal with education at any particular stage, or even with the education of one sex or the other," and might suppose the charming classical English in which the essays are written to be the vehicle of a literary production, and that only. But parents will find here a mine of suggestions on each of the phases of educational work with which they are concerned, including the bringing up of boys and girls from three (or one!) to one-and-twenty. Perhaps the special characteristic of the work is the author's power of initiating ideas. You read one of the essays, feel that all the thoughts are your own thoughts, and that nothing new is being said; that the "art of putting" is so happy that you are carried over the ground unawares. You digest the essay, consider it in its bearings on your own children, and, behold, you find you have imbibed a number of new ideas, practical, vital, full of interest and hope. This would be something were the ideas those of a mere theorist on education; but we have in Mr. Rooper an educational expert, at home in the literature, both English and foreign, of each subject on which he touches, an adept in practical education, and, at the same time, an original thinker who passes the materials he receives through the illuminating medium of his own mind. Probably no man in England has initiated so many and so many successful new departures in education; and not the least claim on our gratitude is that, from the very first inception of the Parents' National Educational Union, Mr. Rooper has unwaveringly and actively supported the movement. Many of the lectures have been delivered to Parents' Union audiences, and those of us who have heard some of these lectures are likely to keep the impression of them at the bottom of all our educational thought. This is absolutely a book for parents and teachers, not to be borrowed, but possessed, to be at hand ready for reference at the moment.
Thoughts on Education, by Mandel Creighton, D.D. (Longmans, 5s. net). Dr Creighton's Thoughts on Education is a possession. They do not, as Mrs. Creighton remarks in her preface, propose any system of education; indeed systems failed to interest him; he was too true an educator to care for anything but the practice and principles of education. These papers have been gathered under difficulties. Many of them exist only in newspaper reports, but, such as they are, they embody the insight of the historical mind, the enthusiasm of the educator, and the serious fervor of the Christian Bishop. They deal with such questions as The Child and the Education Question; Examinations; The Training of the Schoolboy; The Art of Teaching; The Hope of the Teacher; The Use of Books;––in fact, these thirty papers cover a wide field of thought, and touch upon questions that exercise most of us. It is not too much to say that in each paper there are sentences of epigrammatic force and terseness which present the subject in a new aspect and leave nothing more to be said. From the inspiring address to Sunday School teachers on The Hope of the Teacher we get, "That our daughters may be as corner-stones polished––there is no picture here of useless grace; quiet solidity of character receives its due adornment, and while it supports the fabric, gladdens the passer-by." And this from Apollos: A Model for Sunday School Teachers:––"You must try and make them feel that Christ is knocking at the door of each of their little hearts, and you must realize with reverent awe that it is your work to help the little trembling fingers to undo the bolt and lift the latch to admit that gracious and majestic visitant." We must add two or three sentences from The Art of Teaching (which will commend themselves especially to members of the Union):––"As regards teaching itself, however, I believe it to be an incommunicable art, a gift which may best be defined as the power of showing others some reason why they should learn. . . . That is just what the good teacher does; he brings knowledge and his pupil into a vital relationship; and the object of teaching is to establish that relationship on an intelligible basis. . . The acceptance of knowledge is an internal process which no external process can achieve. . . . A child is much more idealistic than a grown-up person, and readily responds to an ideal impulse. . . . Remember that memory is a power which does not need to be especially developed. It is the most worthless of our mental powers, and a true teacher should always try and prevent his pupils from relying on it." This volume comes to us as a welcome memorial of the late Bishop of London.
Vittorino da Feltre and other Humanist Educators, by W. H. Woodward (Cambridge University Press, 6s.). This volume is something more than an interesting study in the by-ways of history. True, it treats of the schoolmasters––especially of perhaps the most famous of them, Vittorino himself––of that most fascinating period, the early days of the Renaissance, the revival of learning. But the real value of the work to us is that it shows on what liberal lines the humanist schoolmaster dealt with the questions which are debatable ground to-day. The radical fault of our English thought and opinion on the subject of education seems to be that we have somehow lost the sense of historical perspective. At each new idea, which we believe we have ourselves conceived, we cry––"We are the people"; "Never was education like unto ours." And here, towards the end of the fourteenth and early in the fifteenth centuries, we have every one of our vexed questions answered with liberality and philosophic conviction to which we have not attained. Should girls have equal advantages with boys? Vittorino taught girls and boys together. Is early education important? He laid himself out for children of five years old. Should lessons be pleasant? La Giocosa not only named but described his school. Should there be a mixture of classes in a school? He taught children whom he educated out of his large charity with the children of princes. Do we desire a wide and liberal curriculum? This was what he accomplished––Latin and Greek, Arithmetic, Geometry, Algebra, Natural Philosophy, Euclid, Astronomy, Natural History, Music, Choral Singing, Dancing, all Games for the training and exercise of the body, and a good deal besides. Plutarch was made much use of as an educational instrument, being employed with the Bible to teach morals. Does it distress many a mother that her son should wade through the pages of classic authors too apt to be unchaste? Such authors were not admitted into the curriculum of Vittorino. Do we pride ourselves on the higher education of women? This is an old story in Italian education, where women were advanced to professorial chairs even in universities for men. Are we beginning to expect that parents should be serious students of the philosophy of education? This was a matter of course for the fifteenth-century parent, to whom the schoolmaster looked for intelligent co-operation. We owe a great debt to Mr. Woodward for focusing our loose thoughts on the subject of the Renaissance in ltaly. Persons who wish to have just and liberal views of education, not limited by the last output of the last English writer on the subject, will do well to give this volume a careful and studious perusal.
Educational Studies and Addresses, by T. G. Rooper, H.M.I. (Blackie and Son). This volume of Educational Essays by Mr. Rooper is singularly refreshing. The range of the Essays is considerable. We have the treatment of mentally deficient children in the very enlightening and encouraging article on the great French educationalist, Séguin, who studied education as it were at the fountainhead by discovering the possibilities of defective children. Séguin's great discovery was that the normal intellect depends upon the interaction and proper co-ordination of various parts of the nervous system,––"Now in a normal child the various parts of the nervous organism work so rapidly and promptly that it is almost impossible to follow the process of co-ordination. It is indeed quick as thought. In the cretinous child, owing to want of co-ordination, different movements can be studied before they are combined into a whole. The method of training such children consists in doing for them artificially what in the ordinary child is done naturally."
The lecture which follows, upon Manual Training, is an application of this principle to the normal as well as the defective child. The author deplores the fact that the home has ceased to be a miniature technical school; and certainly no English person who saw the unique exhibition at Stockholm some years ago could fail to envy a people who showed so much art feeling, industry, and capacity, such genuine love of work. Again, in natural sequence, follows the essay on Obedience; for the physical possibility of obedience also depends upon the interaction and proper coordination of various parts of the nervous system. This is the rationale of military discipline. This military discipline the author accepts as the physical basis of obedience; but, he contends, obedience must be moral and rational before it is really human. The working out of this thesis is exceedingly interesting and suggestive; all the more so because, as is his custom, the author adds modern instances to his wise saws. He begins with Agnes Grey, the unfortunate governess portrayed by Acton Bell, and concludes the essay with a reference to the great speech of the late Lord Russell of Killowen, made before the American Bar in 1896, when the vast audience––many of them lawyers––were so impressed with the beauty and dignity of law that they rose to their feet at the end of the speech and cheered vociferously for a quarter of a hour. The next essay, Lord Collingwood's Theory and Practice of Education, works out the theme in that most delightful form of a practical experiment. Few people will read this essay without added reverence for a great man, increased pride in a country that has produced a Collingwood, and clearer and more forceful notions of how to bring up one's children and how to rule in one's little domain. Personally we feel that this sort of object lesson in education is worth more than many manuals of teaching and many studies in psychology. We cannot dwell on the charming essay on Gaiety in Education, nor on that on Individualism in Education, nor on those on the teaching of special subjects, nor on the especially charming essay on Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. But the thoughtful reader will find in this volume much food for reflection; and, always, the pleasant sense of tempered judgment, great experience, and the recognition that education is not an air-tight compartment of life, but is a part of life itself, open to all the winds that blow and to a thousand changing lights from literature, philosophy, art,––the things and thoughts which we care about. Religious Teaching in Secondary Schools, by the Rev. Geo. Bell, M.A. (Macmillan & Co., 3s. 6d.). The former Headmaster of Marlborough has done most important service in these "Suggestions to Teachers and Parents for Lessons on the Old and New Testaments, Early Church History, Christian Evidences, etc." Only those who have to do with young people know the steadily increasing ignorance on all matters connected with our faith which they manifest, whether they have been brought up at home or at school. The cause of this lack of preparation for the religious life does not, we are convinced, lie in the carelessness whether of parents or of teachers, but is due to a sort of uneasy conscientiousness; a sense that they are not qualified to deal with Biblical criticism in its present stage; they do not know what to allow or what to refute, and the shortest way on the whole seems to be to let the subject alone. But negligence on this score is alike perilous and culpable; and a grave, moderate, practical treatment of the question by an author qualified both as a scholar and as a schoolmaster is an incalculable boon. The opening chapter on the difficulties that beset the teacher of religious knowledge is very helpful. Mr. Bell shirks no difficulty, and he writes always with fervor, reverence, and unshaken faith. We cannot better indicate the aim of this work than by quoting a passage: "'The true value of religious education is to supply children with that faith in man's destination for a spiritual life, which nothing can give them except a belief that the universe is under the guidance of a Divine all-powerful Spirit. Without such belief man drops into a utilitarian secularist. We need, then, to use specially for education such parts of the Bible as display the highest qualities of human character developing under the influence of a pure faith, and thus foster the germs of spiritual heroism and earnest devotion." But in this, as in other subjects, teaching must be graduated according to capacity. In the religious teaching of young children, as in other subjects, their quickness and freshness of memory will be turned to account by making them learn facts and details suited to their intelligence; but the primary aim will be to select and use facts and details as means of quickening and cultivating the germs of religious and moral feeling towards God, love, reverence, trust towards man, such emotions as are stirred by,the biographies of the Bible. The purity and equanimity of Joseph, the piety and wisdom of Samuel, the manly faith and religious earnestness of David, the heroism of Stephen, the unselfish zeal of Paul, and, far above all, the ensample of Jesus' most holy life, attract the fresh sympathies of the young, and teaching must indeed be dull which fails to draw from such sources that which stirs emotion and lifts the heart. And in the early years this will be the main object and result of religious teaching, the reason is not much exercised, the higher ideas and truths of religion––sin, atonement, judgment, heaven, eternity––are as yet almost unintelligible, dimly foreshadowed by familiar types or analogies; the difficult problems of freewill, predestination, inspiration, have not as yet taken shape in the mind; the battle-cries of sects, transubstantiation, infallibility of Pope or Church, or Bible, are unheard of or meaningless . . . . . There is, however, very serious practical difficulty in deciding at what stage in education, and by what methods and agencies, the teacher should begin to supplement instruction in the letter of Bible history and doctrine by a gradual unfolding of the principal arguments and objections that will ultimately have to be faced. There are two questions of first importance on which such supplementary teaching seems to be necessary.––(1) the historical truth and degree of inspiration of the various parts of the Bible, especially the Old Testament; (2) the evidences of the Christian religion, ie. those facts and arguments which convince an educated Christian that his faith is intellectually and spiritually more tenable than any of the rival theories of belief or unbelief that prevail in modern society." The chapters which follow are no mere disquisitions, but contain carefully ordered practical advice as to what to teach and how to teach it; with, for example, a scheme of selections from the Old Testament, or again, topics for lessons suggested by the early chapters of Genesis. The author makes frequent reference to Mr. C. G. Montefiore's invaluable Bible for Home Reading. The chapters on the "Inspiration of the Old Testament," the "Composite Character of the Books of the Old Testament" the "Resurrection of Jesus Christ," "Miracles," and the "Difficulties of Constructive Unbelief," will be found exceedingly helpful. Indeed, we have seldom met with so much guiding and stimulating counsel in so small a volume.
Special Reports on Educational Subjects, Vol. VIII.: Education in Scandinavia, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, etc. (3S. 2d.). Mr. Sadler in these extraordinarily instructive reports is providing the country with an educational library of unique value. The essays on education in Norway and Sweden are especially interesting, and the new law for secondary schools in Norway contains important suggestions. The article which attracts us most is that upon Children's Workshops in Sweden; the Arbetsstugor appear to us to do more than indicate the right way of teaching handwork to the children of the working-classes. They strike at the root of a fallacy which tells against educational progress; that is, that educational results are in exact proportion to the elaborateness and costliness of appliances, building, etc. In the Arbetsstugor the children work in an ordinary cottage––no more and no less comfortable than a workman's dwelling. The head of every Arbetsstuga is a lady, who, as a rule, gives her time freely to the work. Practical craftsmen are engaged when necessary to work under her direction. Boys and girls attend the Arbetsstuga separately every other day for two consecutive hours; the number of children attending one such school varies from fifty to two hundred. Ten to twelve form a class. Small rooms will do for a class, because of the excellent method of ventilation employed. The work taught is of various kinds: chip and bast plaiting and needlework for the youngest children (7-9 years); for the elder pupils (10-14) fret-sawing, brush-making, weaving, netting, carpentry, boot mending. "Thus the children have made different kinds of objects. They have plaited hats, made slippers, chairs, baskets of many kinds, tables, shelves, baking troughs, mended shoes, made waistcoats with the button-holes, pantaloons, children's dresses and aprons; they have woven mats, petticoats, aprons; they have made iron and steel instruments, hammers and other tools, rakes, spades, small iron beds, sledges, etc." The work is disposed of at an annual sale, and the sales more than cover the expenses of fresh materials. The children are rewarded by a meal, either dinner or supper, and in these meals not only health and economy, but the tastes of the children are regarded. The children get to love work, and to beg to have some to do at home. The paper on The Teaching of Arithmetic, by Mr. A. Sonnenschein, is a most helpful contribution, and not less so is that on The Teaching of Latin, by Dr E. Sonnenschein. But the whole volume is too full of wise thought and suggestive practice for us to do it justice in a short notice.
Special Reports upon Educational Subjects––Supplement to Vol. 8. Report on the School Training and Early Employment of Lancashire Children (Eyre & Spottiswoode, 3d.). To quote from the prefatory note: "The following Report, prepared by Mr. E. T. Campagnac and Mr. C. E. B. Russell deals with a question of great interest and importance at the present moment: namely, how best to fit boys who are educated in primary schools for their life's work, and how to better their present haphazard method of obtaining employment." This supplement is melancholy reading. The result of the evidence given by working-class youths, teachers, inspectors, employers, and other authorities with whom the young people of the working-classes come in contact when they go out as wage earners, amounts to a strong indictment against our system of elementary education. The boys and girls turned out of the schools, even those who have passed through all their standards with credit, are glaringly deficient in intelligence, initiative, and perception. They have no interests, they do not think, and they do not care to read. More than one employer states that he would rather pick up a street gamin for work in his office or shop than the boy who has distinguished himself in passing through the sixth or seventh standard. It is hoped by the Board of Education that the publication of this Report at this time "may be of service to local educational authorities in considering what steps can be taken for securing better and more permanent results from the large sums now spent upon our elementary schools." We profoundly hope that it may, and commend the study of the authors' judicious and stimulating remarks to all teachers. Here is a passage whose insight should commend it to intelligent persons––"It may, of course, be said that work is work, and play is play, that the habit of attention is not to be easily acquired, and that labor is necessary to enjoyment. . . . This is true, but it is not a high view either of work or of its reward; and it may well be doubted whether any work which is done in this spirit is of much value, either to the man who does it or to his fellows. But as regards intellectual work, the doctrine is false and misleading, and it is peculiarly dangerous when it is applied to the work of a school. Discipline must be kept and labor must be exacted, but there should be no radical distinction between discipline and happiness, between labor and enjoyment; and we believe it is because, somehow, this distinction has been established that an antipathy to books and to reading has grown up in the minds of so many children." We have cried aloud our panacea in the market-place, and no one heeds; but it is cheering and hopeful to come upon so authoritative a condemnation of the defects we lament.
Special Reports on Educational Subjects: Education in Germany (Eyre and Spottiswoode, 2s. 7d.). This excessively interesting volume opens with an important essay, a considerable work in itself, on The Unrest in Secondary Education in Germany and Elsewhere, by the Editor, Mr. M. E. Sadler. This essay is encouraging reading to all who recognize "Education" as a living force rather than a more or less mechanical routine. The Board of Education commissioned Mr. Sadler to visit the Paris Exhibition of 1900 in order to report upon the educational section. The first thing that struck him was that "education is not a thing by itself, but one aspect of national life." It is this recognition which marks the whole essay, and is perhaps the key to the unusual discernment and breadth of view with which the subject is treated. There has never been so deep an interest shown in education, we are told, as there is to-day, but the nations differ in their aims in this matter. Here is a passage which at the same time encourages and condemns ourselves. "Some are in the habit of identifying 'education' with what is taught in schools, and, therefore, of regarding a tidily organized school system as necessarily the most fruitful kind of national education. Others have preserved a healthier sense of the truth that education is but one aspect of life, and, therefore, as varied and as long as life itself, with the result that some of their children get a very much better education than others, and that, in the community taken as a whole, the average of intellectual attainments is low." The comparison between English and Continental secondary schools is searching and suggestive, but the gist of the whole is, that, that which we have that in which we are great, is due to the free play allowed to individuality in English education. This admits of the action of an enormous force in the making of character. "We English have always believed that some of the highest kinds of learning are not necessarily printed in books, but may be embodied in institutions; that some of the noblest combinations of intellectual and spiritual power seek to revive, inspire, or create some form of corporate life." This is cheering so far; but we cannot escape the charge, brought home to us by this prophet of our own, that we are intellectually below other nations, our compeers, and far below what is possible to ourselves. The problem is how to level up our secondary education intellectually without loss of moral force or physical fiber. If we take the author's advice, two doors are closed to us––the perpetual examinations by which school-life is made an uneasy dream, with little or no waking profit, and for which we are held in some contempt by our Continental neighbors; and that other tempting escape, by which we run in and out to this foreign system and that, snatching at a patch here and a patch there to piece up our deficiencies. We must recognize that education is organic––the outgrowth of our nationality––and we can only take in new material of thought in proportion as we can assimilate it and it becomes part of ourselves. Among the nations, two are singled out by Mr. Sadler as having characteristics which are a possession for the world, not to be endangered by rash strictures and hasty reforms. England, on the one hand, has the spirit engendered in its public schools. France, on the other hand, has that perfect instrument of thought––its literary language––the outcome of ages of education, in its secondary schools, upon literary traditions. In considering the schools of Germany, the author's view is that German thought and English thought are at opposite ends of the pole. Germany leans to the production of high attainments, England to the all-round development of character; and each country perceives that it has much to learn from the other. The rest of the volume contains deeply interesting reports of education in various parts of Germany, Primary and Secondary girls' schools and boys' schools, Realschulen, Commercial schools, Handelsschulen and what not; an examination of the provision for training teachers; and a very interesting article upon the measurement of mental fatigue in Germany, which discloses sad facts concerning 'overpressure.' It is well that the Head of the Empire is aware that the manhood of his people is being sapped in the schools. The whole volume is most interesting reading, and we commend it to teachers. Probably no step made in England in the promotion of education is more notable than the periodic production of these perfectly adequate yellow-books.
Ideals of Culture: Two Addresses to Students. By Edward A. Sonnenschein, Oxon (Swan Sonnenschain, & Co., 2s. 6d.).––Parents who have not made up their minds on the vexed question of classical or modem culture will find Professor Sonnenschein's two lectures pleasant and helpful reading. We have only room to quote his summing up of the matter of his first lecture on Science and Culture: "Let me cast a brief glance upon the general aim and purport of what I have said. The prime essentials of culture are science and poetry; and they may be cultivated without spreading ourselves impartially over the whole field of knowledge, without ascetically denying our special bent. One branch of either of the great departments, nature and literature, may give us scope for both energies of soul; but the student of nature cannot be independent of the aid of poetry, unless, indeed, he is a poet himself. Further, in resigning claims to universal knowledge, we may remember that to command one department is to command many potentially, and even involves inquiry into and partial grasp of subjects lying outside it. Finally, life is long enough to admit of our making practical experience of our fellow-men, without which we ourselves are scarcely human."
The second essay, on Ancient Greek Games, is very interesting, and tends to show that "there are many points of kinship between Greece and England: not the least is the ideal, fostered alike by ancient philosophers and by English philosophers, and by English schools and universities, of physical and intellectual education going hand in hand." We cannot refrain from giving our readers the pleasure of reading of the games of the Greek child: "The rattle, the ball, the hoop, trundled by a crooked necked iron, the swing, occupied the same position in Greece as in our nurseries; the top is as old as Homer. Boys amused themselves with a kind of stilts and with toy carts, girls with the inevitable doll, made probably of wax or clay. It is pleasing to hear of children making their own toys. Aristophanes speaks of a precocious child that carved ships for himself, and made carts out of leather, and frogs out of pomegranate peel. Lucian says that when he got out of school he used to make oxen or horses, or even men, out of wax. Plato recommends that children should have mimic tools given them, in order to amuse themselves with carpentering. But it may be gathered that he did not approve of too many toys, which are apt to discourage originality; he rather praises the natural modes of amusement which children find out for themselves when they meet."
Ethics of Citizenship, by Professor J. Maccunn, M.A. (Maclehose, Glasgow). A singularly sane, many-sided, instructive volume, which most of us would be the better for reading in this age of many open questions. Parents, whatever be their political creed, one of whose chief duties is to bring up good citizens, would, we believe, find matter for careful consideration in Professor Maccunn's book. It is probable that the education of the future will recognize, as its guiding idea, Matthew Arnold's fine saying, that "The thing best worth living for is to be of use." Every man and woman will be a candidate for service beyond the range of his or her own family. The solidarity of the nation, anyway, if not that of the race, is being pressed home upon us, and already the more thoughtful among us suffer from uneasiness if we are not engaged in some kind of public duty. It is not a new thing, by any means, for many of us to take such public service in the cause of religion, but it is a new thing, and shows a wider, deeper conception of religion, that so many of us are now zealous to serve merely as citizens.
But the public has its choice of servants who will serve without wage. It has no Cali for the ignorant amateur, will none of him. If our children are to be prepared for public service, they must be indoctrinated with what Professor Maccunn calls the Ethics of Citizenship. "Oh, my Brother, my Brother, why cannot I shelter thee in my bosom and wipe away all tears from thine eyes?" says Carlyle; and here perhaps we have the note of the future for whatever party or creed. But mere blundering good-will will not serve us. We must be brought up in the principles and in the methods of wise co-operation.
A Survey of English Ethics, being the first chapter of Mr. Lecky's "History of European Morals," edited by W. A. Hirst (Longmans, 3s. 6d.). We are exceedingly indebted to Mr. Hirst for the idea of publishing in this handy form the first chapter of Mr. Lecky's History of European Morals. Mr. Hirst prefaces the volume by an introduction tracing the history of English ethics from Hobbes to John Stuart Mill. It cannot be denied that our English moralists have belonged for the most part to the utilitarian school, of which it is well said that "The history of the Utilitarian principle is the history of contribution to the stock of happiness; it is the history of what has been done from time to time to improve and perfect the operations of which enjoyment is the result." Again it is said of the Utilitarians and the philosophic radicals, "Efficiency was, in fact, their watchword. The object of efficiency, of a better system of government, morals, and legislation, was happiness." At the present moment the doctrine of the man in the street, and of the thinker who represents him, is distinctly utilitarian. In religion, morals, politics, and education, happiness is his aim; his altruistic aspirations are expressed in "the greatest happiness of the greatest number," and assuredly he labors for the aim he has in view. His benevolent and socialistic enterprises show fine results, all the more so because, as compared with the intuitive moralist, his results are readily put in evidence. In face of these obvious facts, it is startling to read Mr. Lecky's statement that "the intuitive moralist (for reasons I shall hereafter explain) believes that the Utilitarian theory is profoundly immoral." This is startling, but it is also encouraging. There are still those among us who believe in the intuitive sense of obligation which we call duty; who believe that the hope of the race lies, not in the alleviation of its discontents, but in this, which they are assured is the fact––that every man has in his nature a notion of right which carries with it a feeling of obligation; that when circumstances call upon a man to express this sense of obligation (though it be at the peril of life or limb or property), that man is for the most part ready to seize such opportunity as offering a supreme good. This is the theme which Mr. Lecky works out with singular lucidity and power, and at the same time with full and fair treatment of the Utilitarian position. We strongly advise the study of this "survey" as offering a key to many questions of the hour.
Knowledge, Duty, and Faith: a Study of Principles Ancient and Modern, by Sir Thos. Dyke Acland (Kegan, Paul & CO., 3s. 6d.). Sir Thomas Acland has done a very valuable and timely public service in the production of this volume. We say valuable, because he has reduced a subject of so much inherent difficulty as philosophy to the simplest possible forms of expression, to be "understanded" by people who know nothing of the language of the schools, but who are stirred by the natural human curiosity as to what man can know and what man should do. We say timely, because, since the mind of man began to think, it has occupied itself with the real and the ideal in, so to speak, rhythmic pulsations. For fully a generation the real has been strongly in the ascendant, and science has advanced by leaps and bounds, pari passu with materialistic thought. But, according to that law of rhythmic thinking which affects the race as truly as the individual, thought is again turning to the ideal. The limitations of the real, with its one possible outcome, that man himself is a congeries of regulated atoms––that there is nothing in the universe but atoms and regulating laws––this doctrine is oppressive to the spirit of man, and there is a strong rebound towards the Platonic conception of the Idea. Thoughtful people, who feel that they know nothing of the history of thought and nothing of the laws of thinking, will find here just the help they want––an introduction to the principles taught by typical thinkers, ancient and modern. Sir Thomas Acland's chapter on Aristotle seems to us especially useful and interesting, and still more so that upon Lotze, whom he describes as having spoken the last word on knowledge and faith and the relation between them. The author has that quality of temperance in thought and word which should distinguish the philosopher. We quote a passage illustrating this quality, and showing the practical value of the work in the conduct of life:––"If we are justified in accepting this doctrine, that the validity which belongs to ideas and to laws (of nature and mind) may be distinguished from the reality which belongs to things embodied as matters of experience, some important inferences may be drawn as to modem speculation.
"One suggestion is, that we must be very careful and self-restrained in drawing logical conclusions as to matters of fact from ideas in our minds, especially on moral and spiritual realities, the bearing or relations of which we may only imperfectly grasp by the intellect. We may feel confident that ideas or conceptions in our minds involve some preceding conditions, or some succeeding conclusions. But we cannot infer the reality of such conclusions––though they may correspond to our limited thoughts––especially when they take a negative form.
"On the other hand, while experience brings home to our minds a conviction of the reality of certain facts as known to us by their appearances or phenomena, and further teaches us that facts follow one another (as far as our experience goes) in a regular order, we shall do well to remember that no length of experience amounts to demonstration, still less to the disproof of spiritual convictions resting on grounds beyond our experience."
A chronological table of modern philosophers is a valuable appendix, and so is a list of books at low prices, meant for the help of the students in University Extension Classes, for whose use the volume is intended. We hail a book setting forth a scheme of knowledge, duty, and faith, so distinctly making for righteousness, and recognizing the Divine as a fundamental necessity. To criticise the limitations of the work would be to ignore its objects and to forget the class of students for whom it was written. We repeat that the venerable author has done a lasting service for those who will come after him.
It is with diffidence that the writer ventures to reprint anything so fugitive as these short notices of books, which have appeared from time to time in the Parents' Review. On the other hand, it may be well to keep certain useful books more permanently in mind, and also, each notice gives an opportunity to bring out, often in the author's words, some instruction of value.
Spectator, February 1896.