ePub 版

advantages with far less charge to the parish than what is now done for them, but they will be also thereby the more obliged to come to school and apply themselves to work, because otherwise they will have no victuals, and also the benefit thereby both to themselves and the parish will daily increase; for, the earnings of their labor at school every day increasing, it may reasonably be concluded that, computing all the earnings of a child from three to fourteen years of age, the nourishment and teaching of such a child during that whole time will cost the parish nothing; whereas there is no child now which from its birth is maintained by the parish but, before the age of fourteen, costs the parish £50 or £60.

"Another advantage also of bringing cbildren thus to a working school is that by this means they may be obliged to come constantly to church every Sunday, along with their schoolmasters or dames, whereby they may be brought into some sense of religion; whereas ordinarily now, in their idle and loose way of breeding up, they are as utter strangers both to religion and morality as they are to industry.

“In order therefore to the more effectual carrying on of this work to the advantage of this kingdom, we further humbly propose that these schools be generally for spinning or knitting, or some other part of the woollen manufacture, unless in countries (that is, districts) where the place shall furnish some other materials fitter for the employment of such poor children; in which places the choice of those materials for their employment may be left to the prudence and direction of the guardians of the poor of that hundred. And that the teachers in these schools be paid out of the poor's rate, as can be agreed.

“This, though at first setting up it may cost the parish a little, yet we humbly conceive (the earnings of the children abating the charge of their maintenance, and as much work being required of each of them as they are reasonably able to perform) it will quickly pay its own charges with an overplus.

“That, where the number of the poor children of any parish is greater than for them all to be employed in one school, they be there divided into two, and the boys and girls, if thought convenient, taught and kept to work separately.

“That the handicraftsmen in each hundred be bound to take every other of their respective apprentices from amongst the boys in some one of the schools in the said hundred without any money; which boys they may so take at what age they please, to be bound to them till the age of twenty-three years, that so the length of time may more than make amends for the usual sums that are given to handicraftsmen with such apprentices.

4. That those also in the hundred who keep in their hands land of thcir own to the value of £25 per annum, or upwards, or who rent £50 per annum or upwards, may choose out of the schools of the said hundred what boy each of them pleases, to be his apprentice in husbandry on the same condition.

"That whatever boys are not by this means bound out apprentices before they are full fourteen shall, at the Easter meeting of the guardians of each hundred every year, be bound to such gentlemen, yeomen, or farmers within the said hundred as bave the greatest number of acres of land in their hands, who shall be obliged to take them for their apprenti. ces till the age of twenty-three,or bind them out at their own cost to some handicraftsmen; provided always that no such gentleman, yeoman, or farmer shall be bound to have two such apprentices at a time.

That grown people also (to take away their pretence of want of work) may come to the said working schools to learn, where work shall accordingly be provided for them.

"That the materials to be employed in these schools and among other the poor people of the parish be provided by a common stock in each hundred, to be raised out of a certain portion of the poor's rate of each parish as requisite; which stock, we humbly conceive, need be raised but once; for, if rightly managed, it will increase."

School of Industry at Lindfield. In the year 1824, Mr. William Allen, * Secretary of the British and For. eign School Society, began at Lindfield, Sussex County, an Industrial School for the children of agricultural laborers, which had great influence in demonstrating the practicability of engrafting manual labor in some form into the daily routine of schools, especially for vagrant children.

The proprietor had published, in 1820, a little tract, Hints for establishing Schools of Agriculture, drawn from Fellenberg's experience, and in 1825, he adopted the plan himself, by making provision for boarding, lodging, and clothing twelve boys on the manual labor system. This school has been in successful operation ever since, and is now being enlarged. One great point is, to bring up the boys in habits of industry, and particularly in the knowledge of agriculture; they are employed about five hours a day upon land, when the weather permits, under the immediate inspection of a person well skilled in husbandry; when they cannot work out of doors, some of them are employed in weaving linen, som: in the printing office attached, some in shoemaking, &c.

The boys are taught to do everything for themselves as far as practicable; they make their own beds, keep their apartments clean, assist in cooking, clean their shoes, &c.

Each of the twelve boys has a little apartment to himself, about eight feet square, and ten feet to the ceiling, in which is a bod, a chair, and a table, of course; they each have a separate bed, no two boys in the establishment being suffered to sleep together.

Each boy has a garden, consisting of twenty-six rods or perches; two of which he may cultivate in flowers, or what he likes; twelve rods are for potatoes, and twelve for corn. The expense for manure, &c., is charged; but this being deducted, he receives the rest for pocket money. The average last year was 11. 68. 8d. each, or more than 6d. per week.

The boys are instructed in the most effectual means for supplying the necessaries and comforts of life by the cultivation of the land on the spade or garden plan. These boys, beside reading, writing, and arithmetic, are taught English grammar, geography, the use of the globes, land measuring, and such other branches as are found practicable.

A book is kept, in which the master notes from time to time the conduct and progress of each boy; care is taken that they be well instructed in the evidences of the Christian religion, and in the Bible.

Each boy is made to keep a diary, in which he enters the time spent in each of the objects of his study. An examination generally takes place every month or six weeks, when a summary of the diaries is made, and the progress of each is noted; reference being had to the conduct book.

The persons employed in the establishments are: a superintendent, who is also a teacher; a school-master; a school-mistress; an infant schoolmistress; a laborer in agriculture, who works with and teaches the boys.

As the peasants, in general, are so ignorant of the value of education, that they will keep their children from school if they can get employment for them that will bring in a few pence, the proprietor of the schools gives a shilling a week to such boys as will work for a certain number of hours on the land, and go to school for an equal number of hours. This plan has completely succeeded; the value of the labor being found equal to the shilling per week, so that the schooling is a clear gain to the boy.

All the boarders who are old enough to have the care of a boy's farm, each consisting of three-quarters of an acre, and divided into twenty-four parts; each part or division being five rods. There are now fourteen such' farms, and the things cultivated are precisely those recommended in a pamphlet called “Colonies at Home,” first published by the proprietor in: the year 1828 under the name of “The Three Acre or Handicraft Farm;”. so that each boy's farm is exactly the fourth part of a farm on which a weaver, tailor, shoemaker, or any other handicraft might be carried on in connection with agriculture.-BARNARD's Common School Journal, 1839.

• See Memoir of William Allen, one of the Proprietors and Founders of Savings Banks, i in Barnard's Journal of Education, Vol. X, p. 865.

Manual Labor School at Ealing. PROF. BACHE in his Report to the Trustees of Girard College on Education in Europe, in 1836, describes the Manual Labor School at Ealing, the expense of which was borne by Lady Byron, as follows:

The Model Industrial School at Ealing, a village almost five miles from London, is an attempt to adapt the spirit of the Swiss rural schools to the circumstances of the English peasantry. “Its leading principles are, that the children should early acquire habits of patient industry; that they should be acquainted with the value of labor, and know the connection between it and property; that they should have intelligence, skill, and an acquaintance with the objects by which they are surrounded; that the higher sentiments, the social and moral part of their being, should receive a full development.”

Habits of industry are promoted by laboring in the garden attached to the school-house. This is divided, one portion being reserved for the use of the school, another being subdivided into small gardens for the boys. The pupils work in the first under monitors, and receive a compensation in proportion to the useful results of their labour. The second they hire at fixed rates, and dispose of the produce as they please, always receiving, however, the market price for it from the school, if they choose to dispose of it there. The younger children are not allowed to undertake gardens on their own account, but work for others or for the establishment. Partnerships are sometimes formed among them for the more advantageous cultivation of larger pieces of ground. At the period of my visit, the gardens were planted with vegetables and flowers, and many of them tastefully arranged. All exhibited an appearance of neatness, and during the hours of work the renters appeared busily occupied. The best order reigned among all the children. An occasional simple song was sung in the group who were working for the school, under the direction of a monitor. The master directs the whole, and to his suggestions they are indebted for many improvements; it is their privilege to resort to his counsel in cases of difficulty. The school furnishes the working-tools, which for the youngest children are merely a hoe and rake. They have also indoor work for bad weather, consisting of carpentry, the making of wooden shoes, etc. I was told that the room for containing their gardening-tools, where there is also a trough for washing, had been fitted up by the pupils, and they have shown considerable ingenuity in the repairs of the out-houses attached to the school, and have even entirely constructed one of them. In the beginning a gardener was employed to teach the boys, but this is now done by the master and monitors. An account current with each pupil is kept, in which he is charged with the rent of his ground, and the seeds and plants which he has purchased from the stock, and credited with the produce which he has sold to the school. Some of the pupils have a considerable surplus on the credit side at the end of the year; one lad is stated to have gained nearly ten dollars from a sixteenth of an acre; another, of thirteen, to have gained nearly five dollars and a half, from the gardening between March and November; another, of fourteen, five dollars; and a third, of eleven, the same sum. It is the duty of the master so to arrange that the pupils may not lose, unless by providential circumstances; not to intrust, for example, a youth with the charge of a garden before his capability to manage it is sufficiently proved; and not to allow extravagances or glaringly injudicious measures on the part of the little gardeners. The tendency of these measures is, incidentally to train to habits of respect for property, of honesty, fair dealing, and mutual assistance, quite as valuable as those of industry. The time employed in manual labor by the elder pupils is three hours, and to this is added three hours and a half of intellectual instruction. The younger boys are four hours and a half in school.



“ FOR OF SUCH IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD."* It is a happy thought that the children who climb upon our knees are fresh from the hand of God, living blessings which have drifted down to us from the imperial palace of the love of God, that they still hear some of the faint notes of the music of God's life, still bear upon their faces traces of the uncrcated light. Heathen sage and Christian poet bave enshrined the thought, each according to his knowledge, and though there is no proof of its truth, yet we cannot neglect as quite fruitless in wisdom so wide spread an intuition. It is vain to sneer at it as poetry, in vain at least for some of us. He cannot scorn this thought who feels, as his children's faces light up at his coming, not pleasure only, but an inner sense of gratitude that things so pure, so close to God, should give to him, with the sense of his unworthiness deep within, so much and so unsuspectingly. Their trust seems to carry with it something of the forgiveness of Heaven. The man secs the tolerant tenderness of God his Father in the child whom He has sent him—that his little one believes in him, bestows on him the blessing of an ever-renewed hope.

Nor can he scorn this thought who on philosophic grounds believes that all living beings are held in God, are manifestations of part of the Divine thought. He knows that a phase of that idea which God has of the whole race is incarnate in his child, that his child is destined to reveal it, that this is the purpose for which God sent it into the world. Therefore hidden within this speck of mankind he recognizes a germ of the Divine essence which is to grow into the harvest of an active life, with a distinct difference from other lives.

And if, born of these two thoughts, a sadness succeeds the first touch of joy and gratitude, when the parents think how soon the inevitable cloud of life will make dim the heavenly light; how long, how evil, may be the days of their child's pilgrimage; how far he may retrcat from God-yet, we who believe, not in a capricious idol of power, but in a just Father who loves-we who hold that there is nothing which is not in God, can. not distrust the end. Our children are in His hands; they will some time or other fulfill the work of revealing God; they must, for God does not let one of His thoughts fail. If all life be in God, no life ever gets loose from God; it is an absolute imperative of the philosophy which denies that anything can be which is not of God, that nothing can ever finally divide itself from Him. Our children, like ourselves, are already saved by right. Years of what we call time will be needed to educate them

* Chud Life.-A Sermon preached in St. James' Chapel, London, by Rev. Stopford A. Brooke, Chaplain-in-Ordinary to the Queen. "Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them dot: for of such is the kingdom of God."-Luke xviii, 16.

into unior with God in fact, but that end is as certain, if God exist, as God's existence.

This thought of what I may call the divinity of childhood is still further supported by the exquisite relation in which Christ put Himself to children. The heart of woman will never forget that beautiful wayside story where He consecrated the passion of motherhood. The religious spirit will never cease, when disturbed by the disputes of the worldlier life, to remember his words when, bringing the disciples back to the sweetness of carly charity, He took a child and placed it in their midst. The soul 'dis. tressed with questions of belief remembers with a touch of peaceful pleas. ure how Christ recalled liis people to the natural simplicity of faith, to that higher and deeper religion which lives beyond the wars of the understanding, when He said, "Whoso shall receive one such little child in My name receiveth Me.".

And wlien mistaken religious persons press hard upon the truth and tenderness of the relation of parents to children, and bid the one look upon the other as children of the devil-corrupting with their poison the sweetest source of feeling in the world and the love which of all human love links us closest to the heart of God, we fall back in indignant delight upon the words of the Saviour: “Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven."

And once more, when wc think that God revealed Himself in the childhood of the Saviour, the thought of the divinity of childhood becomes still more real. To us it is much, in our stormy and sorrowful life, to think of Christ in bis manbood conquering and being made perfect through suffering; but when we wish to escape into a calmer, purer air, we turn from the image of our Master as “the man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” dear as that is to us, and look with infinite pleasure on the earlier days at Nazareth, imagine Him playing in the meadow and rejoicing in thc sunlight and the flowers, taking his mother's kiss, anci growing in the peace of love and so learn to dream of God, revealed not only as the Eternal Father, but, in some not unworthy sense, as also ihe Eternal Child.

It is a thought which bathes all our children in a divine light. They Jive for us in the childhood of Christ; they move for us and have their being in the childhood of God.

In the directest opposition to all this—to the poetic instinct of Greek and Christian poctry and philosophy, to the natural instincts of the human heart, to the teaching and acts of Christ, to the revelation of God in childhood—is the dreadful explanation which some have given of original sin. Children are born, we are told, with the consummate audacity of theologi. cal logic, under the moral wrath of God, are born children of the devil. I have already denied this from this place, and stated instead of it the fact

—that we are born with a defective nature which may and does lead to moral fault, but in itself it is no more immoral than color-blindness. I have said that this imperfcctness is the essential difference of human nature; that which makcs man differ from God, from angels, from brutes; that which makes him, so far as we know, the only being in the universe

« 上一頁繼續 »