網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

book in some schools, and was used by several eminent teachers in Boston and elsewhere as a kind of syllabus of lectures to be delivered to their pupils. During the same year, Mr. Nathan Dunn having opened his magnificent collection of Chinese curiosities in Philadelphia, at his request, Dr. Wines prepared and published an 8vo. volume, entitled “A Peep at China in Mr. Dunn's Chinese Collection.” This book brought the author a highly complimentary letter from the Hon. Edward Everett.

During most of the time of his connection with the Central High School, the principal of it was Prof. Alexander Dallas Bache, LL. D., first president of Girard College, and now superintendent of the Uni- • ted States Coast Survey, who thus speaks of Dr. Wines' method of. teaching :

Mr. Wines presented in his teaching a remarkable illustration of the life-like inductive method, as distinguished from the mechanical or routine method. llis modes reminded me of some of the best teachers of the German Eclectic School. To attend the recitation of a class under his instruction, was to sce an illustration of some of the best principles of "pedagogy.” The immediate subject of the lesson was subordinate to the great principles of training. The special knowledge to be acquired, was not the most important lesson of the day. His own mind working upon and through his subjeci, infused its life into the pupils in a degree varying of course with their mental powers. His varied resources for arousing and keeping alive the attention of the pupils, were felt without attracting attention to the machinery itself, by which the effect was produced. He had the power of presenting important principles in a simple but definitive form, and of interesting and enforcing by judicious illustration. His oral instruction was, in fact, a pattern in its way. The plain and forcible statement of the truths of inorals which he presented in familiar lectures, impressed, while they interested, his pupils. His ideas belonged to the school of “education," the drawing out from the pupils mind rather than that of simple instruction, or the forcing in of knowledge.

It was while Dr. Wines was connected with the Philadelphia High School, that he prepared his first course of lectures on the laws of the ancient Hebrews. During the time he remained in that city, he delivered those lectures twice in Philadelphia and New York, and once in all the principal cities of the Atlantic Board between New York and Savannah, and always with the strongest expressions of approbation from some of the most gifted minds of the country.

In the year 1844, he opened a boarding-school near Burlington, New Jersey, called the Oakland School. This institution was highly successful, gathering large numbers of pupils from all parts of the United States, and some from the West India Islands. Rev. Shepard K. Kollock, D.D., thus gives his reminiscences and impressions of the Oakland school and its principal :

It was in the year 1844, when I was pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Burlington, that Mr. E. C. Wines (now the Rev. Dr. Wines) established his academ. ical institution at Oaklands, about two miles from the town. I had previously some knowledge of him as a man of high literary attainmeuts, and of eminent

skill in the management of youth ; but after his school was in operation among us, I formed with him an intimate acquaintance, and had an opportunity of seeing much of him in his professional duties. Without entering into any detail of his method of instruction or mode of government, I would observe that he seemed to possess all those qualifications which fitted him for presiding with success over a literary institution. In all his government he was discreet and judicious; he never lost his dignity in his intercourse with his pupils, and therefore secured their respect, veneration, and obedience. Yet, while he was always firm and decided, he was so gentle and affectionate in his social feelings, that he bound the members of the school so closely to him by the cords of love, that, while they revered him as a guide, they confided in him as a father. His was a rare combination of sweetness of temper with firmness of authority, of the amiable and the commanding. He entered with lively interest into the circumstances of his scholars, gave instruction according to their varied wants and talents, and performed the duties due to each with wonderful discrimination.

During the three years and a half in which he was engaged as principal of the Oakland school, he attended numerous educational conventions, and took a prominent part in their proceedings; delivering addresses and lectures, and every way striving to advance the cause of learning. Especially did he labor to rouse the public mind to the importance and value of normal schools, and to the necessity of raising teaching to the dignity of a learned profession; and to this end of preparing teachers for their business by a thorough course of professional training. A normal school has since been established by the state at Trenton; an institution to which the Hon. Edward Everett, after a careful inspection of it, gave the palm of excellence over all the institutions of the kind he had ever visited. We know it to be the opinion of the Hon. Richard S. Field of Princeton, a gentleman of the highest social and professional eminence, and who exerted a potential influence in getting the bill creating the school through the Legislature, that the efforts of Dr. Wines contributed materially to the formation of a sound public opinion which at length demanded a seminary of the kind, and rendered it safe and proper for the legislative authority of the state to call it into being. This is evident from the following paper prepared by Mr. Field himself, with a view to aid in the preparation of the present memoir :

I first became acquainted with Mr. Wines when he had charge of Edgehill school in Princeton, New Jersey. I had never met with any one who seemed to me more thoronghly to understand the true principles of education, or more successfully to apply them. Edgehill school while under his care, was one of the most admirably conducted institutions of the kind I have ever known.

In 1838 a movement was made in New Jersey, with a view to the improvement of the condition of our common schools which were then in a most deplorable state. A convention, composed of delegates from the different counties of the state, assembled at Trenton on the 16th of January, where spirit-stirring speeches were made, and strong resolutions* adopted, exposing the defects of the existing system, and urging the necessity of immediate reform. I was then a member of the house of assembly, and chairman of the committee on education, and the interest thus awakened in the subject, led to the passage of a law which, although not every thing that was desired, was still a great advance in the cause of popular education. To this movement, attended with such important results, and out of which has grown our present school system, no one contributed more than Mr. Wines. He prepared a volume of some 250 pages, entitled " Hints on Popular Education," addressed to the late Professor Dod und myself, in which he urged with great force the importance of popular education—the duty of the state to provide for it--the branches of study proper for common schools, and above all, the absolute necessity of " seminaries for the education of teachers." This, I beliere, was the first time that the establishment of normal schools was ever seriously proposed, or publicly advocated in New Jersey.

* These resolutions were drafted by Dr. Wines.

But this was a step quite in advance of public opinion at that time. The necessity for such institutions was not then perceived. Mr. Wines, however, did not lose sight of them ; nor did he despair of living to see this crowning work in our system of common schools adopted in New Jersey.

In 1847, having removed to Burlington, we find him attending a convention of the friends of education in that county, called for the purpose of recommending. to the Legislature the establishment of a state pormal school. He was one of a committee, of which the late Senator Wall was chairman, appointed to draft resolutions and to prepare a report upon the subject w be submitted to an adjourned meeting of the convention. The task of preparing this report was assigned to him, and well did he discharge it. He addressed letters to various distinguished gentlemen in various parts of the country—among others to Edward Everett, Bishop Potter, William II. Seward, John A. Dix, Horace Mann, and D. P. Page, asking an expression of their views on the professional education and training of teachers. The answers to these letters and the report of the committee, were published in a pamphlet and circulated extensively throughout the state. Nowhere are the arguments in favor of normal schools more clearly and strongly put, or the objections which have been made to them, more triumphantly repelled than in this report. It was calculated to make a deep impression upon the Lege islature and people of New Jersey. Doubtless it did make an impression, although its effect was not immediately perceptible. But the seed thus sown did not perish. It was destined in a few years to spring up, and to bear most abundantly

On the 9th of February, 1855, the Legislature of New Jersey passed an act more munificent than any which Mr. Wines had ever dared to hope for, by which the sum of $10,000 a year was appropriated to the support of a state normal school, to be expended by a board of trustees, with no other limitation than that of “ carrying out the purposes and designs of the act, in a manner worthy of the state of New Jersey." And the last time I had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Wines, was in the large hall of one of the noble buildings of that institution, attending a convention of the friends of normal schools from all parts of the United States.

The year 1849 was spent by Dr. Wines in re-writing his lectures on the Hebrew laws, and in delivering them in all the principal cities and towns of New England. During the same year, he sought and obtained license to preach the Gospel from the congregational association of Rhode Island, and thus at last fulfilled a wish and purpose which had been cherished even in college days. but which circumstances, vot necessary to be detailed here, had prevented him from-carrying out. In the year 1850, he was called to the Presbyterian church of East Hampton, Long Island, and having accepted the call, was duly installed as pastor. Here he wrote over for the fifth or sixth time his illustrations of the llebrew laws, putting them now into the form of a treatise, and publishing the first volume (8vo.) under the title of “ Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews.Another volume still remains to be issued, which it is hoped

will ere long be ready for the press. This work has been honored with the highest eulogiums both in reviews and magazines, and from gentlemen of eminence in the legal as well as the clerical profession. The Hon. Horace Binney, of Philadelphia, among the ablest of living jurists, in a letter to the author, says :

I have read a second time, and with renewed pleasure, the “ Commentaries on the Laws of the Ancient Hebrews ;" and I must add, that the work has been as productive of instruction and satisfaction to my family, as it has been to myself. I know of no book that is comparable to it, in point of information and attraction, on the subject of which it treats; and there is no subject that, in its three relations, historical, political, and religious, is of more importance and general interest. Of the learning exhibited in the work, I must leave others to speak; but the sources seem to have been faithfully explored, and as far as I have been able to follow them, candidly represented. The political parallel drawn between the government of the Hebrews and modern representative governments, our own especially, is new to me, and is exceedingly well put and well sustained ; and if to its very pure style, I may add the conservative temper it manifests in regard to the republican features of our constitution, you will understand why the whole work has made so deep an impression upon me. I am very much obliged to you for it, as I think all the reading men in the country must feel themselves to be. I hope that the remaining books which are promised in the preliminary chapter, will not be long deferred, as my time is probably short, and my desire to profit by them very strong.

The first volume of this instructive and interesting work has already gone through four editions.

While engaged in this greatest of his literary efforts, and in the discharge of his pastoral duties, Dr. Wines was elected professor of ancient languages in Washington College, Pa., and left East Hampton in January, 1854, to enter upon his new field of labor.

The estimate in which the services of Dr. Wines in Washington College were held, may be seen in the fact that, on his resigning his professorship, the trustees of that institution spontaneously and unanimously conferred upon him the honary degree of Doctor of Laws; as well as from the following letter from the Rev. Richard Henry Lee, LL.D., Rector of the Episcopal Church in Washington :

When Dr. Wines was elected professor of the ancient classic languages in Washington College, Pennsylvania, I was a professor in the same institution; and for three years, I served with him in the consultations of the faculty, and in the general labors of the College. It is needless to say, that we found Dr. Wines to be fully entitled to his high reputation as an accomplished scholar, and a faithful and skillful instructor, and a wise, practical assistant in the administration of the discipline and general affairs of a learned institution.

As a cordial and enlightened gentleman, a profound scholar and faithful instructor, as a learned and liberal divine and writer, Dr. Wines must be ranked among the eminent men of the day. His work on the Hebrew commonwealth will convey his name to posterity.

In connection with his professorship, he discharged the duties of pastor to a small country church, ten miles distant from the college. His relation to this people was an exceedingly happy one, and by the blessing

of God, abundantly fruitful. Four Seasons of special religious awakening and revival, were experienced within the space of five years, during which nearly one hundred persons were added to the communion of the church. We bad intended to say something special in relation to Dr. Wines as a preacher, but we find, in a communication which we hold in our hands, from Mr. David N. Lord, the learned and able editor of the “ Literary and Theological Journal,” so just a view of bim in this respect, that we content ourselves with giving the communication entire, after placing upon it our fullest endorsement.

Dr. Wines' leading traits as a theological writer, are strength and clearness of intellect, carefulness of investigation, soundness of judgment, simplicity and foroe of logic, and earnestness. He studies his topios with unusual industry, impartiality, and good sense ; never neglecting important sources of information, and never withheld by prepossession from discerning and receiving the truth, nor led away by specious show of popular novelties; and while upright and cautious, frank and independent in the avowal and advocacy of his convictions. In discussing the great themes of his commentaries on the laws of the ancient Hebrews, which demand high powers in the sphere of philosophy, logic and criticism, he takes an honorable rank among the eminent men who preceded him, in the mastery of his subject, comprehensiveness of views, sagacity in meeting objections, and skill in disembarrassing the truth from inisrepresentation, and presenting it in attitudes that win the interest and assent of the reader. His other theological writings are marked by the same characteristics, sound and vigorous sense, clear apprehension and statements, direct and convincing reasoning, and earnest and impressive appeals. His style is simple, nervous, and argumentative, adorned here and there with natural and striking figures, and lighted up by apt and tasteful illustrations—his pages always leaving the impression that he is aware of the import of his words, and that they are the expression of his sincere and earnest convictions.

His manner in the pulpit is in harmony with these features of his mind. Slightly above the medium size, with an open countenance, a clear voice, and distinct enunciation, he is self-possessed, grave and empbatio in his utterance; engaging his audience in the didactic parts of his discourse by the clearness of his points and the ease and force of his reasoning, and rising in his exhortatory passages to solemnity and warmth.

In the fall of 1857 he received a unanimous invitation from the trustees of South Hanover College, Indiana, to the presidency of that institution. This position, howerer, he did not see his way clear to accept, especially against the earnest remonstrances of the friends and patrons of Washington College, and accordingly he declined it. Two years later, he was induced by a most urgent call of the board of trustees, to accept the presidency of the City University of St. Louis, a new institution founded by the presbyterians of the great western metropolis ; and designed to rest upon the basis of a positive, evangelical christianity, to be conducted in accordance with its principles, and to be imbued and pervaded with its pure, lofty and regenerative spirit.

Such is an imperfect sketch of a laborious, useful, and honorable life.

« 上一頁繼續 »