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Girls and boys usually wear an equally sad | rather prejudiced against books, like other uncountenance, for there is too wide a chasm be- educated people. We lately heard an intellitween the home occupations and those of the gent Russian say, that children are sent to the school-room, to allow any familiarity with the public schools in Russia because the Emperor themes of the latter. With the greater part of wishes it; the parents saying that they consider the scholars it is such up-hill work, that both what is learned, beyond counting and signing they and their parents deserve much credit for one's name, rather a disadvantage than a good. persisting in efforts, the result of which is dis- | The rough, hard-working American forms the tant, at least, if not uncertain. A few happy, same estimate; and this is the less to be wonbright spirits flash out in spite of the dull in- dered at, when we see highly instructed people, fluences, and they are apt to absorb the atten who may be supposed to have full knowledge tion of the teacher, leaving still less hope for of the benefits of cultivation, adopting these the unready.
unenlightened sentiments. It will hardly be The disciplinary part has reference only to believed that men, not only of education but behaviour, delinquency in lessons being a fault of learning, once transplanted to the woods, which the teacher is usually too honest or and forced into the hard struggle for the orditoo sympathetic to visit with much severity. nary comforts of life which occupies both head High offences are biting apples, rattling nuts and hands there, are found to let their children or marbles, singing, whistling, making faces,
grow up without even the cultivation within pinching and scratching. Cutting the desks their reach; so that among the most boorish of and benches is nominally an offence, but not western youth, we see the sons and daughoften punished, because it can be done without ters of those who possess the power of impartnoise; once in a while, however, a confiscated ing the best instruction. This is more particuknife diversifies the row of nuts and apples on | larly the case with transplanted Europeans, the teacher's desk. Modes of punishment are certainly, but it is not inapplicable to many of ingeniously varied. To be put on the boy's our own countrymen from the Eastern States. side is a terrible one for the little girls; to hold In the Sabbath exercises the parents take up a slate, formidable to either sex. Standing their own personal share of the log schoolupon the bench, or, in summer, on the stove, is house, and it is a beautiful sight to see them equal to the pillory, especially when, as is | assemble; hard, knotty, rough, bashful and sometimes practised, the whole school is en solemn, all clean washed and dressed, though joined to point the finger at the delinquent. | carrying the week's atmosphere of toil about Minor transgressions are occasionally atoned them, even in their Sunday clothes. The sexes for by wearing a piece of split quill on the top are divided, but sit facing each other, and the of the ear, or across the bridge of the nose, low benches, on week-days appropriated to saddle-wise; or carrying pinned to the back or bread-and-milk scholars, are in meeting occushoulder, a piece of paper, on which a signifi | pied by mothers, with babies and younglings cant word is written. The rod is the last re who enjoy the benefit of the open space for source, unless the teacher gets a dislike to manifold evolutions more amusing than edifysome unlucky boy, whose smallest fault ever ing. There is a curious mixture of extreme after looms large on his jaundiced eye. As it formality and familiarity on these occasions. is conscious weakness that instinctively has re- Countenances wear an unconscious and forbidcourse to force, it might naturally be expected ding gravity, as husbands and wives, parents that female teachers would be fondest of the and children, beaux and belles, look each other use of the rod, and experience proves the fact. full in the face across the house; but if a baby It serves as a substitute for the mental power is troublesome, the father will go and take it which commands respect. The master's brow | from the mother, and returning gravely to his being by nature more terrible, he can afford to seat, toss it and play with it awhile and then reserve flagellation for great occasions.
carry it back again. Children go into the pasIf the absolute knowledge acquired under sage for a drink; dogs sit gazing up at the these circumstances could be ascertained, its preacher, and fall asleep like Christians if the amount would probably be so small as to seem day is warm; the speaker stops sometimes to disproportioned even to these simple means. give directions about matters that need attenBut there are a thousand indirect advantages, tion, or even points his sermon directly at some both to children and parents, which make | individual whose connexion with it is well themselves evident in due season, so that known. the difference between children who go to We remember an occasion when the preacher school and those who do not, is as patent as if began his discourse by a considerable dissertathe teachers were Dr. Arnolds and Hannah | tion on controversy, declaring his dislike to it, Mores. This general result is all that the and appealing to his auditors for confirmation farmer expects or wishes; he is, on the whole, of his assertion that he had always avoided it. After spending some fifteen minutes on this / uninstructed people by controversial preachtopic, he announced that he had been request- ing. The pulpit is the most efficient instructor ed by a person then present to preach from a of the people, on other subjects besides religion, certain text, which he forth with read, and ap- and the advance in general intelligence must pealed to the person by name, as to whether it depend very much upon the competency of was the text he meant. An affirmative answer those who undertake the dispensation of ethical having been given by a deep bass voice in a truth. It is therefore greatly to be desired far corner, the speaker read some twenty verses that knowledge should be added to zeal, in by way of context, adding that if any person those who go westward in the hope of doing present wished him to read more he would do good. Too many who go are deficient in both, so, and upon request he proceeded to read and no one who has lived there will doubt that several verses more. Now preparing seriously the harm done, directly and indirectly, by such, for the work, by coughing, &c., he drew the | is incalculable; but there is another class attention of his hearers by saying that there whose persuasions to religion, though honestly were only two kinds of isms that he contended | meant, lead only to superstition and outward with-devilism and manism; but that if the observance, too common everywhere, but espegentleman who had selected the text found cially destructive in their influence on true Universalism in it, he was willing, for truth's piety in unenlightened communities. A consake, to show him his error. He thought some siderable portion of the religious teachers who people present would open their eyes, when officiate, self-elected, in the western wilds, are they found how little of that doctrine the pas- behind those they teach in general intelligence, sage in question really contained. He did not and not much above them in familiarity with mean to back up his text with other portions religious topics, though they may possess a of Scripture; it could stand on its own legs. great flow of words, which pass for signs of He came “neither to 'criticise, ridicule, or ideas, but are not such, as it regards either blackguard anybody,” but thought he was party. Some sermons are mere strings of right, and was willing to be shown if he was Scriptural phrases and well-known texts, often wrong. About half an hour had now elapsed, curiously wrenched from their authorized meanyet the sermon was not fairly begun. There ing, to favour the purpose of the hour. The was plenty of time yet, however, for he went idea on these occasions seems to be, that the on more than an hour longer, warming with a people are to be touched, moved, excited, feeling of success, and ever and anon casting frightened, or persuaded into an interest in triumphant glances at the corner where sat his
religion, by any and every means that the opponents, as he felt that he had given a home Scriptures afford, and with so good a purpose thrust to their theological errors. This sermon it is lawful to make them afford whatever may was much praised, and pronounced by the promise to be effectual. Griesbach and Rosenschoolmaster of the day the most powerful müller would stare at some of the glosses of discourse he had ever heard.
our zealous preachers, and the learned Rabbi This sketch, however, represents an indi- who has been lecturing among us would find vidual, not a class. Ambition is not the pulpit | his metaphysics far outdone in subtilty, by vice of the woods, and sermons are usually of certain constructions of the Old Testament histhe hortatory character, delivered with great tories, which read with such grave simplicity fervour. It must be confessed that doctrinal | and directness to the unlearned. sermons win the most respect, and are most with all deductions, however, an immense talked about ; exhortation is deemed common amount of good is done in various ways. Even place in comparison-mere milk for babes. A when the preacher is deficient, the hearers exsermon on original sin, which asserted that in- tract good in some shape from his blind teachfants of a day might be damned, and that souls ing; that is to say, seeking for good, they find in blessedness would be able to rejoice over it whether it is brought them or not. Who can the eternal misery of those they loved best, reckon the value of the rest, the change of because it vindicated Almighty justice, gave thought, the neat dress, the quiet, the holy asgreat, though perhaps not general satisfaction. sociations, which the Sabbath day brings with “ Ah! wasn't it elegant!” we heard a good it in the country! A few persons are found woman say, coming out; “I haven't heard such who make it rather a point to be seen in their a sermon since I came from the East !”
fields at work, or in the woods shooting, on The public taste turning thus toward knotty that day; but there is a broad line between points of divinity, the preachers, whose employ- them and all good citizens, for these habits are ment depends upon their acceptableness, natu- invariably found associated with irregular rally make polemics a large part of their little ones in other respects. The best touchstone of reading-an unhappy result, considering the valuable citizenship is found in the log schoolvery little good likely to be accomplished among house. He who feels no interest in that, feels
none in anything that concerns the welfare of from its crazy platform, and a rough-looking the community.
gentleman, in a plaid neckcloth, had during a The Sunday-school is one of the most inte- / whole evening thumped the teacher's desk till resting of all the occupations of the school- | it quivered again, in his endeavours to prove house, but it would require the graphic power all religion a device for the better subjection of of a Hogarth to describe it worthily. As there the people. A Sunday-school had been mainis no rod, and no authority but one founded on tained here for some time, at no small cost to sentiment, the erratic genius of the West has the good laymen who conducted it; for they full scope. The youth who would on week-days were obliged, in winter, to precede their schotell his teacher-"Scoldin' don't hurt none- | lars by at least an hour, and make the fire and whippin' don't last long--and kill me you arrange the room, lest some petty discomfort darsn't !” would not probably be very lamb- should prove an excuse for absence on the part like under the instructions of the Sabbath ; of those whom they were most desirous of beneand the very proposition to teach for love, and fiting. Here, too, were singing-schools held, not for money, puts every one on his guard. and spelling-schools, and other solemnities reThey cannot exactly see the trap, but they are quiring space and benches; and the log schoolpretty sure there is one! Something very like | house, spite of its rough aspect, was, as usual, bribery is necessary, in order to secure the at- a building in much request and high esteem. tendance of the class of scholars whom it is There was no “stated preaching" in it on most desirable to persuade—the children of Sundays, but clergymen of different denominaparents who do not frequent the schoolhouse. tions seemed to know by intuition or mag
me of these hardly know the Bible by name, / netism when it would be available, and their and others have heard it only scoffed at. But re- appointments dovetailed so nicely that its soligious teaching often exerts a wonderful power called pulpit was seldom unoccupied at the even over such, and they are apt to be con- hours of divine service. Once only, within the verted to a faith in disinterested benevolence memory of “the oldest inhabitant,” did ten at least. The labour of teaching them is quite o'clock, Sunday morning, find the people asequal to that required for teaching in Ceylon, sembled, -the wagons tied outside, with their according to Dr. Poor; and the good mis- seats turned down as a precaution against fallsionary's whole description of the mission ing skies, and their patient steeds chewing schools in that far land, reminded us very “post-meat” for recreation and no preacher much of certain western experiences.
forthcoming. A sort of extempore, self-constiBesides the uses we have mentioned, the tuted deacon, after much solemn whispering schoolhouse is the theatre of the singing-school, with the grave-looking farmers who sat near 80 dear to country beaux and belles; of the him, gave out a hymn, which was sung with a spelling-school, as exciting as a vaudeville; of sort of nervous slowness, and much looking at all sorts of shows and lectures, expositions and the door. A restless pause followed, and then orations. Even the ceremonies of the Catholic the deacon gave out another hymn, in six Church are found possible within those rude verses, with a repeat; this occupied a convewalls, and incense has won its way through the nient portion of time, and then came another chinks of warped oak shingles to the sky. The fidgety silence, during which, some of the most numerous sects are the Baptists and lighter members slipped out, and several of Methodists ; but there is hardly one unrepre- the children went to the pail outside the door sented. We remember a Quaker sermon on a for a drink. The deacon then offered to read certain occasion, which produced perhaps as a chapter, and proposed if the clergyman did great a sensation as any doctrinal discourse of not arrive at that time, that some of the brethem all, though it partook very little of theo- thren should “make a few remarks.” The logy.
chapter was read, and the remarks duly inWe had occasionally met for public worship, vited; but this only made the silence deeper ; in a lonely schoolhouse on the border of the indeed, it was such that you might have heard forest, where four roads crossed, and where, a pin drop. in winter, a flooring of chips showed that the Nobody belonging to the town seemed to have seekers after learning were not behindhand in anything on his mind, and after a little pause, consuming the woods as fast as their great stove there were evident symptoms of a natural diswould assist them. This primitive temple, with solution of the meeting; when a Quakeress, its notched desks and gashed benches, was used who was on a visit in the neighbourhood, laid in turn by religionists of every shade of belief aside her close bonnet, and standing up, preand no belief; even the Mormons had expounded sented to the view of the assembly a fair and their Golden Bible (by some of the neighbours, calm face, on which sat the holy smile of Chrisbelieved to have been typified by the Golden tian love and confidence. All was hushed, for Calf which led the people astray in old times), such a look has an irresistible charm.
“My friends," she began, with a sweet, so-, terfere with your purpose of worship, and lemn tone, between entreaty and reproof, “since leave your minds unquiet and your thoughts you are disappointed with regard to your mi- wandering ?” nister, perbaps you will be willing to hear a Thus the gentle monitor opened her truly few words from one who, though personally a extempore sermon, and, passing from one topic stranger, feels a true interest in you, and who to another as she proceeded with her remonwould fain help you forward, even ever so strance, she touched on many points of scriplittle, in the religious life. Your desire to have ture and of practical religion, until her authe gospel preached to you, shows that you dience forgot their disappointment, or rememare, at least in some measure, seeking that bered it only to rejoice at it. The prejudice life, and my mind has been drawn towards you against a woman's pretending to teach in pubas I observed the dependence you seemed to lic, though peculiarly strong among coarse and feel on the ministrations of the person expected. unlettered people, melted before the feminine It has certainly seemed strange to me that so grace and modesty with which the speaker was much uneasiness and commotion should have so largely endowed; and when she finished, and been occasioned by the failure of a particular resumed her seat and her bonnet, there were person to conduct your worship. God is a few present who would not gladly have agreed spirit, and they that worship Him must' wor- to hear her every Sunday. How they would ship Him in spirit. Now you, every one of have relished her silence, or whether her arguyou, brought with you to this house this morn- ments had done anything towards convincing ing a spirit, in and by which alone you can them that the heart may worship though no worship acceptably. You have here before word be spoken, we can only conjecture; for you the book containing the revealed word, in before another Sabbath, the persuasive eye and which you could find wherewithal to direct and voice had departed on some mission to the fargovern your thoughts on this occasion; why ther West, and we never again enjoyed her then should the absence of any mere man in- ministry of love in The Log SCHOOLHOUSE.