College Course, And Its Enlargements For Graduates -- By: Laurens P. Hickok
BSac 10:37 (Jan 1853) p. 151
College Course, And Its Enlargements For Graduates
Every germ expands to its mature development through the energizing of an inner vital force. No unfolding from the outside by an external agency should be characterized as a development. The living germ has its own rudimental elements and their specific forms within it; and as occasion is given, the living energy works out through these forms and induces a growth, according to the reason and law already within its own subject.
The favoring conditions being supplied, the whole work takes on an orderly and symmetrical progress. The rudiments expand in organic unity to their consummation, when the vital force becomes exhausted and the product dies in the very process of its maturing. An immortal inner energy being given, the development may be interminable. Nothing new can be imparted; the vital force and the rudimental elements with their specific forms are there, and the culture given can be only outside appliances occasioning the growth of what already exists within.
The plant and the animal are subjected to such conditions as the causal laws of nature may induce; and they must thus mature under
BSac 10:37 (Jan 1853) p. 152
a necessity imposed from both outer influences and inner working agency. To man, on the other hand, is given the high prerogative of superintending his own growth and directing in the entire development of both bodily and mental organization. He can add nothing to the rudiment already given; he can change none of the inner forms which control the workings of the vital force and determine the shape and tone of the outward manifestations; but he may supply fitting conditions, and avert such as are unfit, and may perpetuate these favoring occasions through all the process, and thus secure that all the elements which lie within, shall be brought out in full proportion. A clear perception of what such fitting conditions are, becomes of inestimable importance, since only thus can they be skilfully applied through all the process of mental culture. Inevitable defects occur and incurable evils arise and perpetuate themselves in the character, from every year’s neglect or wrong application of these conditions.
Such well studied considerations should guide in the training of mind, from its first awakening into self-consciousness and opening attention to the outer world. The nursing of infancy and culture of childhood should be so directed; and this watchful care should be maintained through all the preparatory course of such as are designed for a public education up to their entrance into college. The college course, especially, should present the most favoring occasions practicable for a healthy, speedy and complete deve...
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