Page images


[Translated from Raumer's “History of Pedagogy,” for the American Journal of Education.)

[blocks in formation]

HISTORY has made us acquainted with the very different eminent educators of the last century. We have seen that each of them had an ideal which he sought to attain ; a more or less clear conception of a normal man, who was to be produced from each child, by his method of education.

Bacon defined art, “Man, added to things.” A man, that is, who prints upon things the impress of his mind. Does the art of education come under this definition ? Certainly not; for we should have to consider the children to be educated as mere material, upon which the educator is to impress his ideal, as the stone-cutter does on a block of marble. But we might define the art of education, very generally, in analogy to Bacon's definition, thus: “Man added to man."

In order to a correct understanding of this last definition, we must see clearly how it is related to the various ideals or normal men of the educators. Did not each of them, either consciously or uncons sciously, seek to determine an ideal of the human race; a generic ideal, including all individuals; and would he not educate every child according to his generic character and ideal ?

God is the educator of the human race. Man is created by him, and for him; the beginning, progress, and perfection of humanity are his work. And if the teacher would have his work endure, he must look to God's system of “education of the human race.” But it will not suffice for the educator to look to the generic character and the destiny of humanity only; he must regard another point. Every child is born with bodily and mental peculiarities, which sharply distinguish it from all other children, although they all have the generic character. No two children were ever entirely alike; each one is an entirely peculiar, personified organism of natural endowments; a completely individual and personified vocation. An invisible and mysterious master forms each of them according to a separate ideal: a master who does not, as human artists do, first fashion his work and then neglect it, as something entirely separate from himself; but who continues to work within man, even until his death, to the end that he may become like his prototype, and may fulfill his vocation.

God cares for each individual with the same paternal love as for the whole human race.

The vocation of the educator is to become a conscientious and obedient fellow-laborer with the divine Master; to endeavor to know and to help forward the perfection of that ideal for whose realization the master has already planted the seed, the potentia, in the child. I repeat: The educator must look to His work, if his own work is to stand ; that is, not to the scarcely-comprehensible work of God upon the whole human race, but to bis work within every

individual child to be educated.

God formed man after his own image; but, after the fall, it is said that Adam “begat a son in his own likeness, after his image ;” not after the divine; flesh born of flesh, a human child, perverted from God. During all the thousands of years which have passed since Adam, only one child has lived who was sprung immediately from on high, and who, of his own power, grew in knowledge, in stature, and in favor with God and man; and who needed no education, but only care. All other men are invariably sinners from their youth up; and in all the image of God is removed away.

The purpose of all education is, a restoration of the image of God, with which the new birth begins.

“ This is the work of the regenerating, creating power of God, (ix doữ yɛvvnoñva.;) and, although a mystery both in its origin and in its aims, (John iii., 8,) works upon the earth in a visible and unmistakable manner-a new creation, a new man."*

The mystery of its origin is the mystery of the sacrament of baptism, “the bath of regeneration.” After that period there are two powers within the child, who commence the strife between the spirit and the flesh, the old and the new man; a strife of regeneration, which endures' even to the end of life.t Parents and teachers are the auxiliaries of the child in this contest. The problem of Christian pedagogy is, lovingly and wisely to watch, pray, and labor, that in the child the new man shall grow and be strengthened, and that the old man shall die.

Thus it is that we understand the term " man added to man."

But the church theory of baptism has been attacked; and, in our own times, anabaptist views have become widely disseminated. Many see, in baptism, only a symbolical act, by which the baptized

* Harless, Ethics," 77.

t Larger Catechism. "The power and work of baptism are: the mortification of the old Adam, and afterward the resurrection of the new man. Which two are in progress throughout all the life; insomuch that the Christian life is nothing else than a daily baptism, begun once, but always in progress"

And J. Gerhard says, " lofants, in baptism, receive the first fruits of the spirit and the faith."

[ocr errors]


is preliminarily received among the members of the Christian church, without becoming one truly and actively, because he is yet inexperienced in faith. It is by confirmation that he becomes consciously an acting member of the church. To admit a grace of baptism, it is said, is to admit a magical operation of the sacraments.

On this subject I refer to the dogmatic theologians, especially to Luther; and shall here only observe as follows.

The difference respecting baptismal grace seems to proceed chiefly from the opinion that, if grace passes from God to man, the latter can not be entirely passive; but that God can not confer a spiritual gift, unless the recipient shall receive it with intelligent consciousness.

Let us turn for a moment from spiritual to natural endowments. Is it not a proverb that “Poets are born?” Must it not be confessed that, in the new-born infant Shakspeare, the potentia, the seed, of the greatest creative talents the world ever saw was slumbering, quiet and unobserved, just as there was once slumbering, in a small acorn, the potentia of the mighty oak of a thousand years, which now stands before us? And might we not reply to the masters in Israel, who doubt the existence of this potentia, “Ye do err, not knowing the power of God ?” For to whom belongs the glory? Was the poet the intentional production of his parents! And could not God, who in so profoundly-ınysterious and incomprehensible a manner blessed their union, confer an equally wonderful power upon the sacrament which he ordained ?*

Although I refer to dogmatic writers for the details of this theory, yet I may bere observe that it is of the utmost importance to theologians. If Christian parents believe in the actual beginning of a new and sanctified life in their child, if they see in him a child of God, in whom the Holy Ghost works, they will educate him as a sanctified child of God, will teach him early to pray, and will make him acquainted with God's Word. But if they do not believe that the seed of a new life is in the child, if they consider him a “natural man, who receives nothing from the spirit of God," and as incapable of faith, they will proceed according to whether they are Christians or not. If not, they will bring up their child as a natural child of Rousseau's kind; a heathen child, in a heathen manner.

But if they are, as is the case with baptists and anabaptists, they will still see in the child a heathen, but one who can early be brought to Christianity, by the Word, and by awakening addresses. In this manner they think of themselves to bring about the new birth, instead of considering,

* The unworthy manner in which the sacrament is often administered causes many to err. But if the king should send us a magnificent present by a foolish servant, incompetent to estimate it, would that diminish the value of the present ?


as do the believers in the church's theory, that the care of the seed of a new life, planted in the child by baptism, is the office of education.

[blocks in formation]

I have mentioned Rousseau. We have learned to consider him the true representative of that system of pedagogy which I shall, for brevity, call Pelagian-or even hyper-Pelagian. "Every thing is good,” begins “Emile," " as it comes from the hands of the Creator; every thing degenerates, in the hands of men.” These words he uses, not of Adam before the fall, but of every new-born son of Adam, born of sinful seed. And he says, in another place, “The fundamental principle of all morals, upon which I have proceeded in all my writings, and have developed in Emile as clearly as I could, is, that man is by nature good, a lover of justice and order; that no inborn perverseness exists in the human heart, and that the first impulses of nature are always right.”

Thus he distinctly denies original sin, and would disprove the words, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; flesh and blood can not inherit the kingdom of heaven." While the Christian teacher seeks for reformation, for the destruction of the old man, and the quickening and growth of the new, Rousseau recognizes only one, the old man, whom he himself calls the “natural man.” Him he would develop and watch over; and would dress bim out for baptism with borrowed Christian adornments, although he ignores Christianity, and congratulates himself on the fact that his child of nature belongs to no religion and no church.

We have seen to what absurd conclusions Rousseau was pushed by this unchristian premiss; to what unnatural views, by his constant reference to nature; to what sophistries, by his attempt to show that all wickedness is first implanted in the child, originally as pure as an angel, by adult persons. Luther's sound and healthy pedagogy is precisely the opposite of Rousseau's. The comparison of the two must convince any one that the division of educators into Pelagian and anti-Pelagian is a fundamental one, and of the greatest practical importance.

[ocr errors]




Christ said, “ Be ye perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Thus he places before us the very highest ideal; and reminds us of that lost paradise where man retained the uninjured image of his prototype. And thus we take courage to "press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

Christian training seeks the re-establishment of the image of God, by raising up and faithfully guarding the new man, and by the death of the old. The process of the re-establishment is one both of building up and of destroying ; positive and negative; and this in relation to

a. Holiness and love.
b. Wisdom.
c. Power and creative energy.

[blocks in formation]

While a right training, such as is pleasing to God, seeks such a re-establishment of the image of God in man, that the new and hearenly man shall become a power within him, and the old man shall die, there is still, on the other hand, a false and devilish training,* a miseducation, a caricature of education, which is not satisfied with our inborn sins, but which also proceeds to destroy the young by naturalizing bad instincts in them, or even by a methodical course of corruption. The ideal objects of this miseducation are to destroy the seed of grace in the new man, in the child, and, on the other hand, to encourage and protect the old man, the man of sin, until he shall rule, alone and uncontrolled.

Fearful evils grow out of such a state of things. All manner of warnings away from this destructive path should be given; and to this end we should give diligent attention to discipline in the Lord, to delay, to education, and to miseducation.




Man fell, from pride; because he would be not merely like his Maker, but equal to him, instead of obeying him in childlike love. In the place of love of God, there thenceforth prevailed in him a delusive self-conceit and self-love; and, in order that he might not thus go entirely to ruin, God reserved for himself a place in him, by a conscience, powerfully corroborated by the death of the wicked. This was man's dowry, when he was driven out of Paradise; his protecting angel, powerful against his original sinfulness, who ever, against his own will, kept him humble in the fear of God, which is the beginning of wisdom; and was his inward taskmaster, to drive him to Christ. Afterward, the law was put over him, as a severer taskmaster; to awaken his sleeping conscience, and to direct him when going astray.t

In the fullness of time appeared Christ, to reconcile fallen man to ." We are justly given over to that ancient wicked one, the master of death, because he has persuaded our will into the similitude of bis will, which is not established in thy truth."Augustine's " Confessions," vii., 21.

Romans, ii., 14–17.

« PreviousContinue »