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and distinguish them from impostors claiming their prerogatives ? Where can they find the marks or criteria of these infallible organs of the Divine mind and will? Is it said we find these marks in the Scriptures? Saying nothing of the old vicious circle of proving the church by the Scriptures, and the Scriptures by the church, it is enough that the Scriptures require us to try by scriptural standards the pretensions of all claiming to be heard as Christian teachers or oracles. We are charged to beware of false prophets, who come in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, and to know them by their fruits. We are commanded to believe not every spirit, but to try the spirits whether they be of God. Those are commended who try them that say they are apostles and are not, and find them liars. Nay, we are charged to give no heed to wonder-workers who successfully simulate real miracles, if they attempt to use these lying wonders to seduce us from the religion of God and his word. Deut. xiii. 1–5. So far then from testing the Scriptures by infallible living teachers, we must test the claims of all teachers by the infallible Scriptures.
Finally, believers as such, and not any infallible pope or council for them, have the promise of Divine guidance in the saving apprehension of the truths essential to salvation. “If any man will do his will,” says Christ, “he shall know of the doctrine whether it be from God, or whether I speak of myself.” John vii. 17. “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” “Ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things." Dr. Manning and other papal writers seek to,evade the force of these and similar passages, by pressing into bold relief the great differences and controversies among those who call themselves Christians. How can these passages refer to private Christians, and how can they be divinely guided, if they are perpetually disputing and contradicting each other? To which the simple answer is; 1. These promises are made to real, not merely nominal or professing Christians. 2. They refer to “all things essential to salvation,” not all matters of dispute in religion. 3. The controversies among real Christians are often more verbal than real, or relate to things which, if important,
are non-essential, to the outposts rather than the citadel of the Christian faith; to the speculative rather than the experimental side of Christianity. 4. The Papists are exposed to objections similar in kind, if not in degree. They do not pretend that the pope or the church is infallible in all things, or in things unimportant to salvation. They cannot deny that controversies have prevailed amongst their own divines and schools; they admit that it is only by degrees, and through the developments of successive controversies, that the pope and councils have been enabled accurately to articulate and formulate one doctrine after another. Their argument, therefore, from the controversies among Protestants, for the necessity of an infallible and oracular interpreter of Scriptures, proves too much. It recoils upon themselves with suicidal force. It brings us back to scripture for the interpretation of scripture, which we reach by comparing (ourxpIVOVTES) spiritual things with spiritual.
“God is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.”
ART. II.- Normal Schools, and other Institutions and Agencies
for the Professional Education of Teachers. By HENRY BARNARD, D. D. 2 vols., 8vo. Case, Tiffany & Co., Hartford.
The term Normal School is an unfortunate misnomer, and its general adoption has led to much confusion of ideas. The word, “Normal,” from the Latin norma, a rule or pattern to work by, does not differ essentially from “Model.” A Normal School, according to the meaning of the word, would be a pattern school, an institution which could be held up for imitation, to be copied by other schools of the same grade. But this meaning of the word is not what we mean by the thing. When we mean a school to be copied or imitated, we call it a Model School. Here the name and the thing agree. The name explains the thing. It is very different when we speak
VOL. XXXVIII.—NO. III. 46
of a Normal School. To the uninitiated, the term either conveys no meaning at all; or, if your hearer is a man of letters, it conveys to him an idea which you have at once to explain away. You have to tell him, in effect, that a Normal School is not a Normal School, and then that it is something else, which the word does not in the least describe.
What then do we mean by a Normal School ? What is the thing which we have called by this unfortunate name?
A Normal School is a seminary for the professional education of teachers. It is an institution in which those who wish to become teachers learn how to do their work; in which they learn, not reading, but how to teach reading; not penmanship, but how to teach penmanship; not. grammar, but how to teach grammar; not geography, but how to teach geography; not arithmetic, but how to teach arithmetic. The idea which lies at the basis of such an institute, is that knowing a thing, and knowing how to teach that thing to others, are distinguishable and very different facts. The knowledge of the subjects to be taught, may be gained at any school. In order to give to the Teachers' Seminary its full power and efficiency, it were greatly to be desired that the subjects themselves, as mere matters of knowledge, should be first learned elsewhere, before entering the Teachers' School. This latter would then have to do only with its own special function, that of showing its matriculants how to use these materials in the process of teaching. Unfortunately, we have not yet made such progress in popular education as to be able to separate these two functions to the extent that is desirable. Many of those who attend a Teachers' Seminary, come to it lamentably ignorant of the common branches of knowledge. They have consequently first to study these branches in the Normal School, as they would study them in any other school. That is, they have first to learn the facts as matters of knowledge, and then to study the art and science of teaching these facts to others. Instead of coming with their brick and mortar ready prepared, that they may be instructed in the use of the trowel and the plumb-line, they have to make their brick and mix their mortar after they enter the institution. This is undoubtedly a drawback and a misfortune. But it cannot be helped at present. All we can do
is to define clearly the true idea of the Teachers' School, and then to work towards it as fast and as far as we can.
A Normal School is essentially unlike any other school. It has been compared indeed to those professional schools which are for the study of law, divinity, medicine, mining, engineering, and so forth. The Normal School, it is true, is like these schools in one respect. It is established with reference to the wants of a particular profession. It is a professional school. But those schools have for their main object the communication of some particular branch of science. They teach law, divinity, medicine, mining, or engineering. They aim to make lawyers, divines, physicians, miners, engineers, not teachers of these branches. The Professor in the Law School aims, not to make Professors of law, but lawyers. The medical Professor aims, not to make medical lecturers, but practitioners. To render these institutions analogous to the Teachers' Seminary, their pupils should first study law, medicine, engineering, and so forth, and then sit at the feet of their Gamaliels to be initiated into the secrets of the Professorial chair, that they may in turn become Professors of those branches to classes of their own. Nor would such a plan, if it were possible, be altogether without its value. It surely needs no demonstration to prove, that in the highest departments, no less than in the lowest, something more than knowledge is needed in order to teach. An understanding of how to communicate one's knowledge, and practical skill in doing it, are as necessary in teaching theology, metaphysics, languages, infinitesimal analysis, or chemistry, as they are in teaching the alphabet. If there are bunglers, who know not how to go to work to teach a child its letters, or to open its young mind and heart to the reception of truth, whose school-rooms are places where the young mind and heart are in a state, either of perpetual torpor, or of perpetual nightmare, have these bunglers no analogues in the men of ponderous erudition that sometimes fill the Professor's chair? Have we no examples, in our highest seminaries of learning, of men very eminent in scientific attainments, who have not in themselves the first elements of a teacher? who impart to their students no quickening impulse? whose vast and towering knowledge may make them perhaps a grand feature in their College, attracting
to it all eyes, but whose intellectual treasures, for all the practical wants of the students, are of no more use, than are the swathed and buried mummies in the pyramid of Cheops !
A Teachers' Seminary, if it were complete, would include in its curriculum of study the entire cycle of human knowledge, so far as it is taught by schools. Our teachers of mathematics and of logic, of law and of medicine, need indeed a knowledge of the branches which they are to teach, and for this knowledge they do not need a Teachers' Seminary. But they need something more than this knowledge. Besides being men of erudition, they need to be teachers, no less than the humbler members of the profession, who have only to teach the alphabet and the multiplication table; and there is in all teaching, high or low, something that is common to them all—an art and a skill which is different from the mere knowledge of the subjects; which is not necessarily learned in learning the subjects; which requires special, superadded gifts, and distinct study and training. There is, 'according to our observation, as great a lack of this special skill in the higher seminaries of learning, as in the lower seminaries. Were it possible to have a Normal School, not which should undertake to teach the entire encyclopædia of the sciences, but which, limiting itself to its one main function of developing the art and mystery of communicating knowledge, should turn out College Professors, and even Divinity, Law, and Medical Professors,-men who were really skilful teachers,-it would work a change in those venerable institutions as marked and decisive as that which it is now effecting in the common schools. Of course, no such scheme is possible; certainly, none such is contemplated. But we are
ery sure we shall not be considered calumnious, when we express the conviction, that there are learned and eminent occupants of Professors' chairs, who might find great benefit in an occasional visit to a good Normal School, or even to the class-room of a teacher trained in a Normal School. tainly have seen, in the very lowest department of the common school, a style of teaching, which, for a wise and intelligent comprehension of its object, and for its quickening power upon the intellect and conscience, would compare favourably with