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and they will soon imitate it. No power is so influential as this of sympathy; it does not bring down the teacher to the level of the pupil to act thus, but it raises the latter to her level. Authority is not preserved by insisting upon outward deference, but by inspiring that inward reverence which is uniformly felt to a real superior—it is the homage of the heart. All this requires a governess to be alive to the importance of her calling and really interested in it—to do it for God's sake; but who else has a right to undertake the education of children? It is laborious work, but it brings its own reward. It is delightful to watch the kindling consciousness of power in a child's mind, and the lighting up of its intellect. The mere task-work is as hard to the teacher as to the taught, if she have any mental activity; and if not, alas, for the poor children! and alas, for her too!
Some may say—But we have tried this method, and have failed; we are incompetent ourselves to carry it out; must we not, then, adopt the usual routine teaching, the catechisms of learning, the ready prepared lessons, the printed questions? It has already been said that even these may be taught in a degree in an intelligent manner, but to such persons we would rather say,-Have you not mistaken your vocation, in setting up to teach at all ?—or if you see that you have been going on a wrong plan hitherto, cannot you change it for a right one? You may be discouraged for a time by apparent want of success, but there is nothing that high principle and consecrated energy cannot accomplish. Do whatever you undertake as well as you possibly can, ask yourselves constantly,How may I do this better, and whence have I failed ? and this process of self-examination will issue in invaluable results.
But there is a grand error to be guarded against, —that of supposing that teaching is educating, for it is no such thing. A person may be crammed full of learning, and yet not educated at all. Education embraces not the acquisitive powers merely, but the whole being—the character, dispositions, feelings, as well as the understanding. To be a good teacher, all this must be taken into earnest consideration, and further, be it remembered, that the being to be trained is immortala trust from God—that whatever is done, it must be done with reference to another world, for every day is only a part of eternity. We talk of time and eternity as of two separate states, but they are not so really—this is but the germ of that, which must go on for ever there is no broad line of distinction between the end of one life, and the beginning of the next, as far as the spirit is concerned. If we look at things thus, they change alike their aspect and their value.
There is no positive division between the child and the man- —the latter is but the full development of the former, but it is one and the same being, the same life; so it is with the mortal and the immortal. Should we not, then, look reverently upon a child, and tremble at the awfulness
of the charge committed to our trust, and awe stricken ask, “Who is sufficient for these things ?”
Some conscientious women, who thus regard education, are discouraged at the thought of how little they can do to accomplish the great work they have entered upon; but instead of cherishing these feelings, let them remember that the very deepest impressions are those made in childhood—they are never effaced, the sands of after years may blow over them, and cover them up; but there they still are, and will often reappear when the loose surface is removed. Innumerable instances prove that the work of a Christian governess is a God-honoured one. The writer knows many cases in which whole families have been blessed through such instrumentality; and who can calculate the extent of the good which may thus be produced. Like the work of the ministry, the fruits of the labour may not for a long time appear, but the promises of God are unchangeable, and “in due season they shall reap, if they faint not.” His words are express—“Be ye steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.”
Many a proud and wayward child will go on for years resisting the convictions of her own conscience, and the labours of her instructors, who will own, in the end, that all the time she felt deeply the truth of what was said to her, and to it she owes all her after-improvement. Nay, how many
go on to the middle of life, pursuing the same course, and then, through the discipline of sorrow and trouble, they will bow to the hand that smites, turn to the teaching they spurned before, and thank God that any were faithful enough to continue to warn them of their danger.
Should that vocation, then, be despised or disesteemed which may be the instrument of conferring such benefits, or should it be lightly thought of by those, to whom such trusts are committed, and for whom, if faithful, such honours are prepared ?
QUALIFICATIONS OF A GOVERNESS.
“Upon your knowledge of the principles which lie at the foundation of all teaching, and upon your practical skill in the use of the various methods which have been invented to give full action to those principles, depends, in a far greater degree than most persons suppose, the amount of your success as instructors. That skill is just the measure of your efficiency. You may know enough of language and science in their various kinds to exhaust the intellect of a Newton, but if you are unable to impart that information in its due proportions, you will fail in forming the mind of a child.”Introductory Lecture at Queen's College, on the Method of Teaching, by the Rev. Thomas Jackson.
HERE are two subjects which require full
upon. These are:- -What are the qualifications a lady ought to possess who undertakes the office of a governess, and what is the preparation which will fit her for it? It is not intended, in answering these queries, to encourage parents in cherishing unreasonable expectations, nor to countenance the idea that perfection can be expected from this class more than from any other. Besides, the same qualifications are not needed in all; some are only required to impart the elements of learning to young children; others, to take the intermediate years between the nursery and a school;