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nothing can make amends for the want of the soothing influences of nature, and for the absence of those types of renovation and decay, which the fields and woods offer to the notice of the serious and contemplative mind. To feel the force of this sentiment, let a man only compare, in imagination, the unsightly manner in which our monuments are crowded together in the busy, noisy, unclean, and almost grassless church-yard of a large town, with the still seclusion of a Turkish cemetery, in some remote place, and yet further sanctified by the grove of cypress in which it is embosomed.
The Good Schoolmaster.-THOMAS FULLER.
THERE is scarce any profession in the commonwealth more necessary, which is so slightly performed. The reasons whereof I conceive to be these: First, young scholars make this calling their refuge, yea, perchance before they have taken any degree in the university, commence schoolmasters in the country, as if nothing else were required to set up this profession, but only a rod and a ferula. Secondly, others, who are able, use it only as a passage to better preferment, to patch the rents in their present fortune, till they can provide a new one, and betake themselves to some more gainful calling. Thirdly, they are disheartened from doing their best with the miserable reward which in some places they receive, being masters to the children, and slaves to their parents. Fourthly, being grown rich, they become negligent, and scorn to touch the school, but by the proxy of an usher. But see how well our schoolmaster behaves himself.
His genius inclines him with delight to his profession. Some men had as lief be schoolboys as schoolmasters;
to be tied to the school, as Cooper's dictionary and Scapula's lexicon are chained to the desk therein; and, though great scholars, and skilful in other arts, are bunglers in this; but God of his goodness hath fitted several men for several callings, that the necessity of church and state in all conditions may be provided for. So that he who beholds the fabric thereof may say, "God hewed out this stone," and appointed it to lie in this place, for it would fit none other so well, and here it doth most excellent." And thus God mouldeth some for a schoolmaster's life, undertaking it with desire and delight, and discharging it with dexterity and happy success.
He studieth his scholars' natures as carefully as they their books; and ranks their dispositions in several forms. And though it may seem difficult for him in a great school to descend to all particulars, yet experienced schoolmasters may quickly make a grammar of boys' natures, and reduce them all, saving some few exceptions, to these general rules:
1. Those that are ingenuous and industrious. conjunction of two such planets in a youth presage much good to him. To such a lad, a frown may be a whipping, and a whipping a death; yea, where their masters whip them once, shame whips them all the week after. Such natures he useth with all gentleness.
2. Those that are ingenious and idle. These think, with the hare in the fable, that, running with snails (so they count the rest of their school fellows), they shall come soon enough to the post, though sleeping a good while before their starting.
3. Those that are dull and diligent. Wines, the stronger they be, the more lees they have when they are new. Many boys are muddy-headed, till they be clarified with age, and such afterwards prove the best. Bristol diamonds are both bright, and squared, and pointed by nature, and yet are soft and worthless; whereas orient ones in India are rough and rugged naturally. Hard,
rugged and dull natures of youth acquit themselves afterwards the jewels of the country, and therefore their dulness at first is to be borne with, if they be diligent. That schoolmaster deserves to be beaten himself, who beats nature in a boy for a fault; and I question whether all the whipping in the world can make their parts, which are naturally sluggish, rise one minute before the hour nature hath appointed.
4. Those that are invincibly dull and negligent also. Correction may reform the latter, not amend the former. All the whetting in the world can never set a razor's edge on that which hath no steel in it. Such boys he consigneth over to other professions. Shipwrights and boat-makers will choose those crooked pieces of timber which other carpenters refuse. Those make excellent merchants and mechanics who will not serve for scholars.
The Beloved Disciple.-ROBERT HALL.
THE apostle John presents a striking contrast to a certain class of writers, who, by no means deficient in talent, but possessing little sensibility, afford the reader little or no insight into their character. Their conceptions and their language are cast into a certain artificial mould, which leaves scarcely any traces of individuality. The writings of John are of the most contrary description; they are replete with traits of character; the writer presents his heart in almost every page. A tender sensibility pervades his Gospel, sufficient to distinguish it from either of the preceding; nor is it possible to believe, that the narrative of the resurrection of Lazarus, or of the last scenes of our Saviour's life, were composed without tears. Such strokes of pathos, such touching simplicity, such minuteness of
detail, without puerility or redundance, characterize the history of these extraordinary events, as could only have proceeded from one who felt himself a party concerned ; who, with a most intimate acquaintance with his subject, wrote still more from his heart than from his head. He is little to be envied, who can peruse these inimitable narratives without being moved the author places us in the very midst of the scenes he describes; we listen to the discourses, we imbibe the sentiments, of the principal actors; and, while he says nothing of himself, he lays open the whole interior of his character. We feel ourselves introduced not so much to the acquaintance of an inspired apostle, as to that of the most amiable of men.
On perusing the evangelists, it appears that John was invariably selected by our Lord as one of the three who were present in the most retired scenes of his life, on the mount of transfiguration, in the house of Jairus, and in the garden of Gethsemane. Whoever else were absent, John was sure to share his most confidential moments, and to witness his most secret joys and conflicts. At the paschal supper, to which he looked forward with so much eagerness, as the appointed season for a more unreserved disclosure of his purposes than he had before made, he placed John next to himself, in such a manner that his head naturally rested on his bosom. Through him it was that the rest of the disciples applied to our Lord to be informed who it was that should betray him. But the most decisive evidence of the preference bestowed upon John, arises from his being chosen to take care of his widowed mother after his decease. The circumstance is related with inimitable simplicity and beauty. No sooner was our Saviour elevated on the cross, than he sees his mother standing by, along with the disciple whom he loved: to the mother he said, Behold thy son; to John, Behold thy mother and from that moment John took her to his own house. What a rebuke to that proud and false philosophy which pretends to extinguish the feelings of nature,
and to erect its trophies on the ruins of humanity! By committing to the beloved disciple so precious a deposit, he gave him a stronger demonstration of his esteem than by a whole volume of panegyric.
After the resurrection and ascension, he continued to receive from his Saviour similar proofs of his preference. Preserved amidst a violent and bloody persecution, he was permitted (such is the universal tradition of the church) to survive the rest of the apostles, to witness, in the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the inhabitants, the fulfilment of his own predictions, and finally to close a life, extended to extreme old age, in peace and in the bosom of his friends. Nor was this the only distinction he enjoyed. To him it was given to convey to the churches of Asia, among whom he dwelt, repeated messages from his ascended Lord, to behold his glory, and to catch the last accents of inspiration. To him it was given, not only to record the life of the Saviour, in common with the other evangelists, but to transmit to future ages the principal events and vicissitudes which shall befall the church to the end of time, in a series of visions, which revived the spirit and manner, and more than equalled the sublimity, of the ancient prophets. Endowed with a genius equally simple and sublime, he mingles with ease among the worshippers before the throne, communes with beings of the highest order, and surveys the splendors of the celestial temple with an eye that never blenched. The place which he occupies in the order and succession of inspired men, must at the same time ensure to him a high distinction; for, while Moses leads the way, John brings up the rear of that illustrious company.