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unparalleled wisdom, and witnessed his miracles of astonishing power, the multitude cover him with infamy. It is amidst derision that he is nailed to the accursed tree. His dying agonies move no compassion. One of the thieves crucified along with him reviles him, as a greater malefactor than himself. His prayers, breathing of divine compassion and melting love, are answered back by reproaches and scorn. Where else can such concentrated wickedness be met with ? Blindness and darkness of mind, unbelief in spite of overwhelming evidence, ingratitude for unnumbered favours, injustice, perjury, profanity, malignity, unappeasable revenge,—and all this against the meekest of all men ; all this against God, who is blessed for ever. It might seem as if God had never been so insulted and defied. We wonder not that the earth should have trembled and shuddered, as if desirous to cast forth such wickedness from its bosom. We wonder not that the sun should have hid his face as unable to look on such a scene, more horrific than the most wicked which he had seen in all his unwearied rounds. But it was at the very place at which man was most dishonouring God, that his representative was glorifying him. Where man was exhibiting the most appalling wickedness, there his surety was giving the most signal display of goodness. Where man, breaking loose from all restraint, was abandoning himself to open rebellion, there his substitute was becoming obedient even unto death. Where the wildest passions that ever stirred the human heart were raging uncontrolled, there one in our own name and nature was giving the most moving display of a tenderness which could not be ruffled, and of a love which could not be quenched. Where sin abounded, there righteousness did much more abound. The representative is lifted high upon the cross, that he might become a spectacle, and in the view of all men, in the view of wondering angels, and in the view of God, glorify God wherein he had been most dishonoured.
Method of the Divine Government.
A READER unacquainted with the real nature of a classical education, will be in danger of undervaluing it, when he sees that so large a portion of time, at so important a period of human life, is devoted to the study of a few ancient writers, whose works seem to have no direct bearing on the studies and duties of our own generation. For instance, although some provision is undoubtedly made at Rugby for acquiring a knowledge of modern history, yet the history of Greece and Rome is more studied than that of France or England ; and Homer and Virgil are certainly much more attended to than Shakspere and Milton. This appears to many persons a great absurdity; while others, who are so far swayed by authority as to believe the system to be right, are yet unable to understand how it can be so.
It may be freely confessed that the first origin of classical education, affords in itself no reasons for being continued now. When Latin and Greek were almost the only written languages of civilized man, it is manifest that they must have furnished the subjects of all liberal education. The question therefore is wholly changed, since the growth of a complete literature in other languages ; since France, and Italy, and Germany, and England have each produced their philosophers, their poets, and their historians, worthy to be placed on the same level with those of Greece and Rome.
But although there is not the same reason now which existed three or four centuries ago for the study of Greek and Roman literature, yet there is another no less substantial. Expel Greek and Latin from your schools, and you confine the views of the existing generation to themselves and their immediate predecessors; you will cut off so many centuries of the world's experience, and place us in the same state as if the human race had first come into existence in the year 1500. For it is nothing to say that a few learned individuals might still study classical literature; the effect produced on the public mind would be no greater than that which has resulted from the labours of our oriental scholars ; it would not spread beyond themselves, and men in general after a few generations would know as little of Greece and Rome as they do actually of China and Hindostan. But such an ignorance would be incalculably more to be regretted. With the Asiatic mind we have no nearer connection and sympathy, than is derived from our common humanity. But the mind of the Greek and of the Roman, is in all the essential points of its constitution our own ; and not only so, but it is our mind developed to an extraordinary degree of perfection. Wide as is the difference between us with respect to those physical instruments which minister to our uses or our pleasures ; although the Greeks and Romans had no steam engines, no printing presses, no mariner's compass, no telescopes, no microscopes, no gunpowder ; yet in our moral and political views, in those matters which most determine human character, there is a perfect resemblance in these respects. Aristotle, and Plato, and Thucydides, and Cicero, and Tacitus, are most untruly called ancient writers; they are virtually our own countrymen and contemporaries, but have the advantage which is enjoyed by intelligent travellers, that their observation has been exercised in a field out of the reach of common men; and that having thus seen in a manner with our eyes what we cannot see for ourselves, their conclusions are such as bear upon our own circumstances, while their information has all the charm of novelty, and all the value of a mass of new and pertinent facts, illustrative of the great science of the nature of civilized
Now when it is said, that men in manhood so often throw their Greek and Latin aside, and that this very fact shows the uselessness of their early studies, it is much more true to say that it shows how completely the literature of Greece and Rome would be forgotten, if our system of education did not keep up the knowledge of it. But it by no means shows that system to be useless, unless it followed that when a man laid aside his Greek and Latin books, he forgot also all that he had ever gained from them. This, however, is so far from being the case, that even where the results of a classical education are least tangible, and least appreciated even by the individual himself, still the mind often retains much of the effect of its early studies, in the general liberality of its tastes and comparative comprehensiveness of its views and notions.
All this supposes, indeed, that classical instruction should be sensibly conducted ; it requires that a classical teacher should be fully acquainted with modern history and modern literature, no less than with those of Greece and Rome. What is, or perhaps what used to be, called a mere scholar, cannot possibly communicate to his pupils the main advantages of classical education. The knowledge of the past is valuable, because without it our knowledge of the present and of the future must be scanty ; but if the knowledge of the past be confined wholly to itself, if, instead of being made to bear upon things around us, it be totally isolated from them, and so disguised by vagueness and misapprehension as to appear incapable of illustrating them, then indeed it becomes little better than laborious trifling, and they who declaim against it may be fully forgiven.
Journal of Education,
CAPTAIN MAURY. A PHILOSOPHER of the East, with a richness of imagery truly Oriental, describes the atmosphere as a spherical shell, which surrounds our planet to a depth which is unknown to us, by reason of its growing tenuity, as it is released from the pressure of its own superincumbent mass. Its upper surface cannot be nearer to us than fifty, and can scarcely be more remote than five hundred miles. It surrounds us on all sides, yet we see it not; it presses on us with a load of fifteen pounds on every square inch of surface of our bodies, or from seventy to one hundred tons on us in all, yet we do not so much as feel its weight. Softer than the softest down -more impalpable than the finest gossamer—it leaves the cobweb undisturbed, and scarcely stirs the lightest flower that feeds on the dew it supplies; yet it bears the fleets of nations on its wings around the world, and crushes the most refractory substance with its weight. When in motion, its force is sufficient to level the most stately forests and stable buildings with the earth—to raise the waters of the ocean into ridges like mountains, and dash the strongest ships to pieces like toys. It warms and cools by turns the earth and the living creatures that inhabit it. vapours from the sea and land, retains them dissolved in itself, or
It draws up
suspended in cisterns of clouds, and throws them down again as rain or dew when they are required. It bends the rays of the sun from their path, to give us the twilight of evening and of dawn ; it disperses and refracts their various tints, to beautify the approach and the retreat of the orb of day. But for the atmosphere, sunshine would burst on us, and fail us at once, and at once remove us from midnight darkness to the blaze of noon. We should have no twilight to soften and beautify the landscape ; no clouds to shade us from the scorching heat ; but the bald earth, as it revolved on its axis, would turn its tanned and weakened front to the full and unmitigated rays of the Lord of day. It affords the gas which vivifies and warms our frames, and receives into itself that which has been polluted by use, and is thrown off as noxious. It feeds the flame of life exactly as it does that of the fire—it is in both cases consumed, and affords the food of consumption—in both cases it becomes combined with charcoal, which requires it for combustion, and is removed by it when this is over.
It is only the girdling, encircling air, says another writer, that flows above and around all, that makes the whole world kin. The carbonic acid with which to-day our breathing fills the air, tomorrow seeks its way round the world. The date-trees that
grow round the falls of the Nile will drink it in by their leaves ; the cedars of Lebanon will take of it to add to their stature; the cocoa-nuts of Tahiti will grow rapidly upon it, and the palms and bananas of Japan will change it into flowers. The oxygen we are breathing was distilled for us some short time ago, by the magnolias of the Susquehanna, and the great trees that skirt the Orinoco and the Amazon—the giant rhododendrons of the Himalayas contributed to it, and the roses and myrtles of Cashmere, the cinnamon-tree of Ceylon, and the forest older than the flood, buried deep in the heart of Africa, far behind the mountains of the moon.
The rain we see descending, was thawed for us out of the icebergs which have watched the polar star for ages, and the lotus lilies have soaked up from the Nile, and exhaled as vapour, snows that rested on the summits of the Alps.
The atmosphere, which forms the outer surface of the habitable world, is a vast reservoir, into which the supply of food designed for living creatures is thrown ; or, in one word, it is itself the food, in its simple form, of all living creatures. The animal grinds