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these, more indeed than can ever be put in words? As we look upon such, we are forced to acknowledge the nobility of our nature, to loathe ourselves, and to take heart for renewed efforts. So great is the influence of women! That they do at the present time exercise this influence, and that they so well deserve to exercise it, is due to the Christian religion. The position, which women now hold by force of their own character, is the very antipodes of that, in which they were once held by the force of men, and this* reversal of their position is due to the life of Christ, and the change wrought by Him in the moral feelings of men. Wherever Christianity has been received, there the condition of women has been altered for the better; and even amongst such, as deny the main doctrines of that religion, it requires no great discernment to trace the elevating influence of its morality. Mr. Milman speaks of Christianity “as the parent of all which is purifying, ennobling, unselfish in civilisation; as a principle of every humanising virtue, which philosophy must ever want; of self-sacrifice compared to which the patriotism of antiquity sinks into a narrow and national feeling; and as introducing a doctrine of equality as sublime as it is without danger to the necessary gradations, which must exist in human society.”+

To put the whole matter in a few words. Each of us instinctively yearns after a high Ideal. It will be possible to find an approximate embodiment of that Ideal, amongst those around us, and by the vivifying influence of such example, we shall be able to

* This change in position and character may be thoroughly appreciated by comparing the Cnidian Venus with Raphael's Madonna, and the word-picture in Tenny. son's Enone commencing

“Idalian Aphrodite, beautiful,

Fresh as the foam new bathed in Paphian wells,” with the Evangeline of Longfellow, and Wordsworth’s

“Perfect woman, nobly planned, &c.” + History of Christianity, vol. I., p. 34. In the History of Latin Christianity, book I., chap. I., p. 28, there occurs the following passage :—"Christianity was gradually withdrawing from the heterogeneous mass some of all orders, even slaves, out of the vices, the ignorance, the misery of that corrupted social system. It was ever instill. ing feelings of humanity yet unknown or coldly commanded by an impotent philosophy among men and women, whose infant years had been habituated to the shrieks of dying gladiators; it was giving dignity to minds prostrated by years, almost centuries, of degrading despotism ; it was nurturing purity and modesty of manners in an unspeakable state of depravation ; it was enshrining the marriage bed in a sanctity long entirely lost, and rekindling to a steady warmth the domestic affections, &c., &c.” Gibbon in the Decline and Fall, vol. IV., p. 418, speaks of Christianity as opening the gates of heaven to the barbarians, and improving both their moral and political condition.”

trample down and subdue vi et armis our brute nature. When the mind habitually contemplates the highest good, the whole being will revolt from evil. When the very consciousness of self is destroyed, and the man is lifted up and carried away by a feeling of reverent worship for the embodiment of nobility in another, then indeed a new life has commenced for him.

This is the practical aspect of Idealism. In this respect it is, that an Enthusiasm of Humanity will supply us with an influence which is all powerful, and with an assistance essentially practical. Under such Influence, and with such assistance, there will remain for us

Along the line of limitless desires, no obstacle, that may not be passed, no difficulty, that may not be overcome, no good, that may not by persistent effort be achieved.

EDWARD PERCY FIELD.

ON MODERN METHODS OF TEACHING

ANCIENT SUBJECTS.

Any teacher of the ancient languages and literature in a new country must not unfrequently experience some mauvais quurts d'heure of despondency, as he reflects on what must seem to him the scanty results of long labour. The gap that divides Greece and Rome, the Acropolis and the Forum, from England and France, from Pall-Mall and the Boulevard des Italiens, is wide enough, but the gap which divides antiquity from Collins-street and from Ballarat seems infinite. In England and in France, life, with all its shifting phases of earnestness and gaiety, is modern enough to make one wonder whether the leaders of thought in those countries have retained any of the spirit of antiquity which their youth was passed in acquiring. There seems to have descended a very small portion of that spirit on the ordinary roturier or cockney of the Palais Royal or of Whitechapel. Indeed, it is but too often cast in the teeth of the most favoured students of the ancient universities, that they leave their Alma Mater with "a little knowledge of rowing and less of Greek.” Still, it must not be forgotten that in the old countries antiquity is never so far removed from men's memories or eyes as to become wholly obsolete. The buildings, the churches, the manor houses, the castles, the names of rivers, mountains, and towns, the titles of the nobility, the local traditions, constantly and unremittingly appeal to antiquity in some shape to explain some question to the most casual observer. The problems of modern England are only to be solved by a reference to ancient England, and the state of ancient England is inextricably bound up with the history of at least one of the two great powers of ancient times. But in a new country like Australia, all this is very different. Antiquity we have none, nor will all our wealth and all our perseverance serve to purchase it. The traditions handed down by our forefathers of the new world are the only link which binds us to the past, and these soon become blurred and indistinct. The

lives of most of us are those of hardworking men; our views are practical and definite; nature herself, while most ungrudgingly meeting our needs more than half-way, refuses to charm our imagination or to appeal to our poetic instincts. Now, it is natural to suppose that the practicalness and definiteness of the aims of our young men should affect their views on education. In practical life they see, or think that they see, from the moment they start on their career, distinctly what they want. They intend to adopt some career in which they shall have indeed to work, but not, as they possibly might in the old world, to work themselves to death. They mean to gain a competency as early in life as possible, possibly even a fortune ; but they have no idea of killing themselves in the attempt to make either the one or the other. This definiteness of aim, which I think it is fair to assume as one of the most marked characteristics of our youth, has its advantages as well as its drawbacks. Very few of our young men turn out loafers, a class of humanity of whose definition aimlessness would form the larger part. Australia would find it beyond her resources to pour forth annually from her shores a number of those thriftiess, shiftless young men at all proportionate to those whom England yearly sends to our country. But on the other hand, our typical young man from the educator's point of view is, on account of this very definiteness of aim, hard to deal with He knows perfectly well what studies are necessary to prepare him for the career he has selected, and in mastering these he is willing to expend any amount of toil and energy. He knows further that, heir as he is to a new country, with its many resources and openings, he must be versatile, adaptive, and receptive. He must know "something of everything," whether he knows" everything of something" or no. Now, the study of the classical tongues and literature is not in its first intent eminently practical. And yet even philosophers like Mr. Mill, who cannot assuredly be suspected of any undue leaning towards ancient studies, have insisted upon the importance of a classical training. In his address at St. Andrew's, we find him saying :

“The proper function of an university in national education is tolerably well understood. At least there is a tolerably general agreement about what an university is not. It is not a place of professional education. Universities are not intended to teach the knowledge required to fit men for some special mode of gaining their liveli. hood. Their object is not to make skilful lawyers, or physicians, or engineers, but capable and cultivated human beings.

What professional men should carry away with them from an University is not professional knowledge, but that which would direct the use of their professional knowledge, and bring the light of general culture to illuminate the technicalities of a special pursuit.”

Dr. Acland, in citing this passage at Oxford, explained that in his opinion that which had damaged the study of classics as a means of forming completeness of character is the active antipathy which it manifested in former years to the cultivation of science, and its passive indifference to the promotion of art. To these points we shall have occasion to recur presently. What I want at present to point out is, that it is of the greatest importance for those who have to lay down a course of educational study to reckon with the fact that as circumstances in a new country modify men's aims and character, so will men's aims and character shape the education which seems to them under their new circumstances most suitable. Men read classics in this country because they are prescribed; a few, but a few only, master them until they gain a firm hold over them, so as to be able to read them with perfect facility; most look upon them, perhaps, as a necessary evil. We, the teachers, believe that there is no way in which a clear, free, and unpedantic style can be taught, as by accurate and graceful translations of dead languages into living. We believe that precisely because both in their structure and in the thoughts which they enshrine, the ancient languages are so different from the modern, that they are useful pieces of educational machinery, both as means of comparison and of contrast with

We think that it is something to enable the young Australian to use Horace and Virgil as his poets, and Plato as his philosopher; but, perhaps, we are rather sanguine in supposing that he will see things from the same point of view. Now it seems to me that it might be possible, by paying attention to a few points, to render the study of the classics not less useful as a branch of instruction, and yet to make them more interesting in the acquisition. The first of these would be by habituating boys from the time that they enter on the study of Latin and Greek to enter also upon the study of philology. I should like boys to be made to see from the very beginning that those words which the sage calls the money of fools and the counters of wise men, are of sterling and intrinsic worth for their own sakes. They should learn that languages and words change, but change according to fixed and unvarying laws-laws which change under no influence except under the operation of some other law with whose provisions we may or may not be fully acquainted. We know quite well that boys, when quite young, delight in collecting and classifying flowers, birds' eggs, birds, and animals; and we know that the greatest naturalists have attributed much of their success in after-life to

our own.

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