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THE

IMPROVEMENT

OF THE

MIND.

The Second PART,

INTRODUCTION.

HE chief Design of the former Part of this Book is to lead us into proper Methods for the Improve* ment of our Knowledge; Let us now consider what are the best means of improving the Minds of others, and of communicating to them the Knowledge which we have acquired. If the Treasures of the Mind should' be hoarded 'lip and concealed, they would p osit none besides the Possessor, and even his Advan

B tage tage by the Possession would be poor and narrow, in Comparison of what the same Treasures would yield both to himself and to the World, by a free Communication and Diffusion of them. Large Quantities os' Knowledge acquired and reserved by one M.m, like Heaps of Gold and Silver, would contract a Sort of Rust and disagreeable Aspect, by lying in everlasting Secresy and Silence; but they are burnisli'd, and glitter by perpetual Circulation, thrpugh the Tribes of Mankind.

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The two chief Ways of conveying Knowledge to others, are that of verbal Instruction to our Disciples, or by writing and publijh* ing our Thoughts to the World.

Here therefore I shall first propose seme Observations which relate to the Conveyance of Knowledge to others by regular Lectures of verbal Instruction, or by Conversation; I shall represent several of the chief Prejudices of which Learners are in danger, with Directions to guard against them, and then mention some of the easiest and most effectual Ways of convincing Persons of their Mi/lakes, and of dealing with their Understanding, when they labour under the Power of Prejudice. I shall afterwards add by Way of Appendix, an Essay written many Years ago on the Subject of Education, when I designed a more compleat Treatise of it.

CHAP. CHAP. I,

Methods of Teachings and Reading LeBures.

HE that has learned any thing thoroughly, in a clear and ?nethodicat Manner\ and has attained a diftincl Perception, and an ample Survey of the whole Subject, is generally best prepared to teach the fame Subject in a clear and eosy Method -, for having acquired a large and distinct Idea of it himself, and made it familiar to him by frequent Meditation, Reading, and occasional Discourse; he is supposed to see it on all Sides, to grasp it with all its Appendices and and Relations in one Survey, and is better able to represent it to the Learner in all its Views* with all its Properties, Relations and Consequences. He knows which View or Side of the Subject to hold out first to his Disciple, and how to propose to his Understanding that Part of it which is easiest to apprehendi and also knows how to set it in such a Light as is most likely to allure and to assist his further Enquiry.

But it is not every one who is a great Scholar that always becomes the bappiejl Teacher, even tho' he may have a clear Conception, and a methodical as well as an exB 2 tensive

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