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THE following Lectures were first delivered in April 1833, at the end of a course of Lectures on Phrenology; and again in the month of November of the same year. At the request of the Directors of the Philosophical Association, they were then published, in the form of a pamphlet. Immediately afterwards they were, with my permission, reprinted by Messrs W. and R. Chambers in their widely-circulated journal. At a later period, a part of them was incorporated into the text of the " Constitution of Man." In these circumstances it seemed unnecessary to reproduce the original lectures in a separate form, and they were allowed to remain for some time out of print. Having been informed, however, that the public continued to demand the work, the present edition has been prepared, and I have endeavoured to make some corrections, additions, and improvements, which I hope may increase its value. In its present form it contains a condensed and comprehensive summary of the chief objects which should be aimed at in popular education.

Since these Lectures first appeared, a great improvement has taken place in popular education; and the principles and practices which they recommend, although at first assailed with ridicule, have already, to a considerable extent, been carried into effect. I allude particularly to the diffusion of useful knowledge by means of lectures on science to popular audiences. There is an increasing demand throughout the country for such instruction, and lecturers are much wanted. So far back as 1796 Dr Beddoes published "A Lecture introductory to a course of popular instruction on the Constitution and Management of the Human Body," and in 1797 lectures on Animal and Human Physiology were delivered to a miscellaneous audience of both sexes at Bristol. When I ventured to revive this practice in my own courses of instruction, and recommended it in these published Lectures, it was objected to as improper and dangerous. The subject, however, has proved so attractive and useful that already it has ceased to be a novelty, and numerous successful courses of lectures have been delivered on it in various parts of the country.

EDINBURGH, 16th January 1837.


A third Edition of these Lectures being now called for, I have endeavoured by notes, and also by enlargement and modification of the text, to adapt them to the present time. In doing so, I have been forcibly struck with the rapid progress made by the public mind since 1833, towards forming a just estimate, not only of the importance of education, but of its principles, objects, and practical development. In Edinburgh one branch of popular education has recently been instituted, and successfully carried into practice, that was not even contemplated when these lectures were composed. Dr Mainzer has taught singing and a knowledge of music to more than a thousand children of the humbler classes of society, to the

manifest improvement of their taste and manners, and I have no doubt also of their morals; for every means of supplying innocent and refined pleasure necessarily tends to moral advancement. The grounds on which this branch of education is recommended are ably and successfully expounded in Dr Mainzer's work on "Music and Education."*

While this Edition is in the press, a new Revolution has taken place in France, Louis Philippe has been dethroned, and a Republic proclaimed. Whatever may be the immediate consequences of this event, I cannot doubt that its ultimate result will be the extension of the power of the people in every country of Europe, and especially in our own. Not a day should be lost, therefore, in qualifying the people, by instruction and training, to distinguish between good and evil, and between the possible and the impossible, in human institutions.

Hitherto, the cause of national education has been greatly impeded by contentions regarding the teaching of religious doctrines in schools. In a series of pamphlets lately published, † I have endeavoured to shew that the world, both moral and physical, is governed by natural laws, instituted by the Creator to serve as guides to human conduct, and that the great aim of secular education should be to communicate a knowledge of these laws, and of the mode in which they are administered, and to train the young to yield obedience to them in their actions. Such an education would tend to protect a country from the evils of revolution. If there be Divine arrangements in nature, connecting consequences of good or evil with every mode of action, and if it be impossible to reach either individual or social happiness except by submitting to them, the people may be enabled to understand that that form of government will be most perfect which coincides most closely with their requirements. No revolution can unseat the Eternal Ruler of the Universe, or alter, or enable men to evade His laws. If this truth were demonstrated to the youthful mind as a practical fact, and the rising generation were trained to pay homage to it and its consequences, in their conduct, we should at last feel that social order rested on the basis of nature. The points of religious doctrine on which rival sects differ, are feeble as cobwebs in restraining an excited people in the whirlwind of revolutionary passion; but the truths of religion in which all are agreed, fortified by a deep conviction that the Divine Ruler has established, even in this world, an inseparable connection between virtue, both public and private, and prosperity, might probably furnish a firmer basis for the maintenance of social order, than these discordant doctrines have ever afforded. True religion would harmonize with, hallow, vivify, and render practical, a scheme of education founded on the principles revealed to man in the order of God's secular Providence. The chief object of the present publication, and of the others before named, is to promote this conviction in the public mind.


6th March 1848.

*Music and Education. By Dr MAINZER. 8vo, pp. 125. London: Longman & Co.; Edinburgh Adam and Charles Black, 1848.

+ Remarks on National Education. 8vo, Fourth Edition, price 4d.

On the Relation between Religion and Science. 8vo, Third Edition, price 6d.
What should Secular Education Embrace? 8vo, price 6d.

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Hence, a knowledge of that constitution necessary to his welfare,




Man is guided not by Instinct, but by Reason,

Reason cannot act with advantage without knowledge, founded on ob

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Reasons why Greek and Latin exclusively were taught at Grammar

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Discipline of the faculties in studying Languages and Science compared,


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But knowledge of objects and their relations indispensable in useful education,


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Dr Drummond's defence of the utility of scientific education to the indus-

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Objection that the people are incapable of improvement answered,
Interference of the Legislature in regulating the habits of the people,

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A FEW years ago, no question was more frequently asked than, What is the use of Education? It was often difficult to give a satisfactory answer, not because education was of no use, but because utility itself was viewed so differently by different individuals, that it was impossible to shew that education was calculated to realise the precise advantage which each aspired to attain. Besides, education is calculated to correct so many errors in practice, and to supply so many deficiencies in human institutions, that volumes would be necessary to render its real importance thoroughly conspicuous.

Instead of obtaining from education a correct view of the nature of man, and of the objects and duties of life, each individual has been left to form, upon these points, theories for himself, derived from the impressions made upon his own mind by the particular circumstances in which he has been placed. This has arisen from the want of a practical philosophy of mind. No reasonable person assumes himself to know the sciences of Astronomy, Chemistry, or Physiology, without study and an appeal to nature; yet, in the department of Mind, the practice is different. Almost every one has a set of notions of his own, which, in his mind, hold the place of a system of the philosophy of man; and, although he may not have methodised his ideas, or even acknowledged them to himself as a theory, yet, to him, they constitute a standard by which he practically judges of all questions in morals, politics, and religion. He advocates whatever views coincide with them, and condemns all that differ from them, with as little hesitation as a professed theorist himself, and also without trying his own principles by any natural standard. In short, the great mass even of educated men, in judging of questions relating to morals, politics, and social institutions, proceed too much on first, or even on accidental, impressions. Hence, public measures, whether relating to education, religion, trade, manufactures, provision for the poor, criminal law, or to any other of the in

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