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simply refer to two of the greatest of all names in zoology, which is the crowning division of physical sciences; to Cuvier, who was led to his wondrous discoveries by his steady adherence to the axiom, that every organ was intelligently adapted to its functions; and to Agassiz, who could advance beyond his master only by taking a still higher religious view, and assuming that every variation in animal forms, and every succession in those variations, is in fulfilment of one comprehensive plan of the Divine thought.
When we ascend into historical studies, their incompleteness, when treated independently of their relations to theology, is still more apparent. How poor would be the narrative of the growth of the arts of life, if we did not recognize the adaptation of the physical world to the needs of man, and the beneficence of the divine Creator in that adaptation. How unsatisfactory our enjoyment of art, and how defective our survey of the field of æsthetics, did we not perceive here also the tokens of a divine nature in man, which makes him capable of appreciating the mind of God, as manifested in the forms and colors and tones of the material world. The music of nature is adapted to man; and our knowledge of music is not complete until we have perceived this adaptation, and seen that it arises from the kindness of a beneficent Creator. Thus, also, is philology incomplete, unless it leads upward to theology. What
unjust in compelling them to pay taxes to sustain such schools ? The writer of this
article is a Protestant of the most radical type does not stop with Martin Luther, but who protests against all obsta
are the various languages of man but so many barbarous dialects, until the clear light of a religious mind is thrown upon the study of words, and we are taught to hear in the sounds of human speech simple in their elements, so infinitely various in their combinations — the proofs of a Divine Providence, and to trace, in the development and growth of languages, the plan of an infinitely wise Teacher, carried out, like his plans concerning the material world, by the means of exceedingly simple but efficient laws ? And in the sciences of political economy and law, in the history of governments and of nations, what order or what completeness can there be in the studies of one who does not seek the footsteps of God in history, — who does not recognize the paternal character of God, and the wisdom of his plans for the development of races, as the fundamental axioms of historical research?
Nor, finally, is the study of the human mind complete, unless it leads us to the study of theology, and is guided by the light which is from above. No man can possibly view the human soul aright, who looks upon it either as the highest manifestation of matter, or as the highest possible manifestation of spirit. Then only can we understand ourselves aright, when we find in our own minds feebler glimmerings of that infinite wisdom which guides alike the atoms and the planets, — fainter emotions of that unfathomable love which has filled the universe with its myriads of happy creatures. Then only is the study of the human mind vested with its highest dignity and interest, when we perceive that in studying ourselves, we are studying also Him whom we can never fully comprehend, but who has, both in creation and in the revelation through prophets and apostles, declared that we were made in his image.
Thus self-evident do I hold it to be, that theology is a fundamental branch, the crown and glory of all the hierarchy of sciences, and that no one branch is, or can be, understood in full, until we have traced its relations to theology.
If, therefore, we would have our course of public instruction possess any thing like even intellectual completeness, it must embrace, from the earliest school to the college and university, a proper proportion of religious teaching.
And that proportion is to be found, so far as relates to the simple intellectual question, in the same manner as we find it for geometry. It will be determined partly by the length of the curriculum. Of course we cannot expect, in a simple, common school, to pursue theology, or any other branch, with the thoroughness with which it should be pursued at a university. It will also depend, partly, upon the circumstances of the individual scholar. A boy who intends to pass his whole life in some mechanical trade, or in a storehouse, should not be expected to study theology to such an extent as one who gives evidence of an
unjust in compelling them to pay taxes to sustain such schools ?
The writer of this article is a Protestant of the most radical ty does not stop with Martin Luther, but who protests against all of
ability and a desire to become a public teacher, whether in the schoolhouse or the church. But, with either scholar, the due proportion of directly religious instruction should be determined by this general principle, that sufficient should be given to lead the pupil to see at least the religious bearing of his other knowledge, be that other knowledge much or little, — that he may neither build too much upon an insecure foundation, nor fail to raise the most worthy structure which his basis and his capital will allow.
In like manner the questions in regard to the form of religion may be answered. The statutes of that State in which I passed the first years of my manhood, make it imperative on the teachers of the common schools to teach good manners and morals. This is teaching religion practically. In the earlier years of school life this is right;- it is the course of nature, and precisely analogous to the course which I would recommend in the teaching of other departments of learning. But as the child grows older, it should learn abstract forms of words as well as practical rules; and in colleges, should have a certain amount of direct studies in natural and revealed religion, moral science, and dogmatic theology, — regard of course being had to the general principles before stated, with reference to the amount.
The question may, however, be pressed upon me, concerning the form of religion to be taught; whether it should be distinctly Christian or not, and if Christian, whether it should be distinctly Protestant or not. If Protestant, shall it be Calvinistic, Arminian, or Pelagian? The usual answers to such questions seem to me founded upon fallacious arguments. The objections to sectarian teachings, and to intolerance of other forms of faith, are valid; but are very generally placed upon what I consider invalid grounds, or at least upon secondary grounds, while more fundamental considerations would more effectually settle the point.
It is frequently said that politics and religion should be excluded from our common schools, and other institutions of public instruction, because they are matters upon which men's opinions are divided ; that politics taught in a school must necessarily offend the partisans of opposite views, and religion taught in the schools must necessarily wound the conscience of those whose doctrines differ from those of the textbooks. Others have replied that there are common opinions in these matters, which it would be well to teach ; opinions in which all the world are agreed, and which are therefore suitable to be the theme of public instruction.
That such considerations should be only of secondary weight in deciding the great questions under discussion, will be at once manifest when we apply them to the test at the other end of the hierarchy. There are many mathematical and mechanical points, long
unjust in compelling them to pay taxes to sustain such schools ?
The writer of this article is a Protestant of the most radical ty does not stop with Martin Luther, but who protests against all obs