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Beginners are dismayed at the apparent irregularity of crystals. On comparing, for instance, the model of a cube, of six equal sides, with a cubic crystal of fluor spar, whose sides are very unequal, he fancies that, notwithstanding the right angles of the spar, there is by no means as entire a regularity in the natural crystal as in the artificial model.
To remove this error, we may first consider the way in which laws prevail in the vegetable world. When the botanist says of the lily that its blossom has a six-petaled campanulate corolla, six anthers, a sexfid, capsule, &c., a German lily will answer the description as well as a lily from Mount Carmel. And so do the carefully painted lilies in old paintings; they have a six-leaved corolla, six anthers, &c. Thus the generic description, which the botanist gives, applies to lilies of all countries and periods. · The close adherence to the law is evident; but an ignorant person, on learning so much, might probably conclude that all lilies were all exactly alike, and that accordingly great monotony must prevail throughout the creation. Such was the idea of the electress who denied Leibnitz's assertion that no leaf was precisely like another; but all her endeavors to find two precisely alike were quite in vain. It would be equally impossible to find two lilies exactly alike, though they grew upon the same stem. “The
“ law of the Lord is unchangeable," but their unchangeableness does not produce a disagreeable monotony among the individuals subject to it; but under its protection there prevails an agreeable variety and unconstrained beauty.
This appears still more clearly in the animal kingdom; most of all in the human race.
Here the law becomes less and less apparent, and the freedom of the individual is so prominent that the wicked quito forget the power of God, either over individuals or the race. “ The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God," but the pious finds peace in the love of God, and says, “I desire not to be free without Thee; let my will be thine and thine mine."
From this culminating point of revealed freedom and concealed law, to return to the silent mineral world. While the ungodly may fall into the delusion that he is entirely independent and free, we may take the mineral kingdom as the realm of entire dependence. Here we find no notions of freedom.
Freedom, in the moral sense, can be predicated only of men; the freedom, that is, of individual action. But a first suggestion, a dawn of this freedom, an evidence that God desires not a world of uniform puppets, but of free and independent creatures, is revealed in the realm of nature, by this infinite variety of individuals, included under one and the same generic idea.
And this is true even of the crystals of the mineral kingdom. If we find a crystal prismatic, six-sided, and terminated at each end by a six-sided pyramid, we shall find the number of surfaces, and the angles, invariable; but there is an infinite variety in the size of the sides of the prism and pyramids. No crystal is like another, any more than a leaf. And it is this very variety in size which brings out the beautiful relations* which do not appear from the model, because all its similar surfaces are of equal size.
The pupil's attention should be directed to these relations; and he will thus escape the mistaken idea that the natural crystals, instead of being really like the artificial model, are only attempts to be like it.
It is my heartfelt wish that instruction in natural science, in former periods entirely neglected, may be increasingly given; but that it may be given in the right spirit and in the right way, so that the feelings, senses, and understandings of the young may be trained by it, from their early years, to a clear and ascertained comprehension of the creation—that other Holy Writ.
Any one imagining that such a course of training would enslave the senses, would most wrongfully confuse the right and holy exercise of the senses with their beastly abuse. For the natural philosopher uses his senses to the honor of God; and if he makes them serve base lusts and passions, he will by that means blunt and finally destroy their loftier susceptibilities. Therefore the teacher of natural history must, above all, urge upon his pupils the necessity of boliness; must contend against wicked lusts; must cultivate in them chaste and pure feelings, and childlike innocence of heart. He must seek to secure for them a consecration such as a divine would properly require in order to the pious study of the Holy Scriptures.
Such a devotional method of investigating the creation takes a more and more spiritual form. Mere mortal and bodily envelopes disappear: and immortal thoughts, rooted in God, awaken and stimulate to a higher life.
Thus also is developed the whole man. In the imaginative period of childhood, the material world, so rich in suggestions, surrounds and enchains him. His senses are being more and more developed, up to the period of adult life; they are the means for influencing his immortal soul. As he reaches the limit of earthly life, they begin to disappear; and we then complain that the powers of our eyes and ears are decaying. But let us not complain; let us herein recognize a token that in the man, his bodily senses sated with the phenomena of this earth, all things are spiritualizing and growing clearer; and that he is thus ripening and adapting himself for a higher life. All earthly things are ended; heaven is opening to us.
* Such as the parallelism of the edges.
NOTE. AIDS FOR TEACHING MINERALOGY.*-Besides the academical collection at Breslau, I made uso in my instruction there of two smaller ones. The first consisted of only
cases, containing specimens of all the important groups, and was intended for beginners;, not only for their first inspection, but to afford some rough instruction in manipulation. Fiat experimentum in re vili; and accordingly this first collection was of little value; so that any little injury from unskillful handling could do but small harm.
After this the pupils came to the second collection, which occupied fifty-four cases. The specimens were small, but mostly fresh and clean. In going through with this collection I mentioned the names of groups ; so that the pupils obtained an intelligent and actual list of names, and a general view of all the groups. Some details of colors and crystals were omitted.
It was only after this that I introduced them to the main collection, of three hundred and fifty-five cases. In going through this collection, the pupils might, as in the others, take each specimen in their hands, but must replace it in its paper box. Where it was useless or injurious to take them in the hands, as in examining the colors, for instance, it was of course not practiced. If the pupil has been made acquainted with the careful handling of the specimens, this method does not injure them. The collection is not intended merely for the teacher's scientific investigation, and still less for empty show; but principally for the instruction of the pupils ; which can not be thoroughly done without permitting this handling. This purpose of the collection also decided me not to expend its income for expensive curiosities, or the novelties of the day, which are commonly of very small relative scientific value, and to the beginner of none whatever. In the place of one unimportant scrap of euclase can be bought a large number of instructive crystals of quartz, calcareous spar, &c. This principle is of course not applicable to collections which are not at all, or not entirely, intended for instruction, and which are sufficiently provided with all common specimens, and with incomes.
The chief collection was arranged generally on Werner's plan. According to this, the pupil had to go through the groups according to their separate peculiarities; first according to color, then transparency, then luster, crystallization, &c.
To afford the pupil a scientific gratification as soon as possible, I was accustoined to permit him, if capable, to take some single group, whose crystallization was easy, and go through with it; such as lead glance, fluor spar, &c. Thus he gained a first clear comprehension of the wondrous intelligence that pervades naturo. If there were two pupils, perhaps not precisely equal, but of about equal, capacity, I caused them to go through the collection together; which was beneficial to both. On the contrary, nothing is more harmful than to class together in this way pupils of uncqnal capacity. The more capable is impeded, or wearicd, by the slow progress of him who is less so; and the latter again despairs
What is here said relates to my instructions in mineralogy at Breslau. No objection should be made respecting the richness of the collection there; for something can be done, even with sınaller means.
at the rapidity of the former. I kept a diary, in which I daily entered briefly the work of each pupil, and how he had done it. This is of the greatest use in tracing and guiding their development. If the number of pupils was large, I found the following arrangement very convenient. I had all the more difficult crystals numbered, according to Hauy's plates, and the number lay with each one. The pupils, who had made sufficient progress, made a written description of the crystals, and laid their paper next to the described crystal. Thus only a very brief comparison of their description with my own was necessary. If they agreed, well; if not, the pupil studied the crystal further, until the descriptions coincided-unless, indeed, there had been an error on my part. Of such an occurrence I am never ashamed. I do not desire to be to my pupils an undisputed authority, but a teacher who understands his duty to them; and his first duty is love of truth.
[Translated from Raumer's “History of Pedagogy," fur the Amorican Journal of Education. )
The school-days of the writer fell in the latter years of the last century. At that time the opinion prevailed that but few scholars had a talent for mathematics; an opinion, indeed, which seemed to be supported by the usually trifling results of mathematical instruction. Later defenders of this department of study, however, controverted this doctrine. It is not the pupils, they said, who are deficient in capacity for learning mathematics; it is the teachers, who have not the talent for teaching it. If the teachers would follow the proper method, they would learn that all boys have more or less capacity for mathematics.
When I remember how often even the more talented of my companions fell into despair from finding themselves, with the best inclination, unable to follow the instructions of their mathematical teacher, I find myself ready to agree with these defenders.
At the end of my university course, I went to Freiberg. At the mining school there, under the able instruction of Werner, I first became acquainted with crystallography, which had inexpressible attractions for me. The more I advanced in this study, and the greater my love of it, the more clearly I saw that crystallography was for me the right beginning, the introduction, to geometry. What if this is the case, I reflected, with others also ; especially for students of a more receptive tendency, who are repelled by the rigors of logical demonstrations?
No one can quite escape from himself; and the reader will forgive me if, in the following views upon elementary instruction in geology, I exhibit too much of the course of my own studies in it. He can, however, abstract what is merely personal from what is applicable to others.
And now to my subject.
Formerly geometry and Euclid were synonymous terms. To study Euclid was to study geometry; he was the personification of geometry. His “ Elements," a school-book for two thousand years, is much the oldest scientific school-book in the world. Composed three hundred years before Christ, for the Museum at Alexandria, it was exclusively