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EDITED BY A COMMITTEE OF
The Illassachusetts Teachers' Association.
PUBLISHED BY SAMUEL COOLIDGE,
No. 16 DEVONSHIRE STREET.
Vol. VI. No. 1.)
GEORGE ALLEN, JR., EDITOR OF THIS NUMBER.
THE DUTY OF SELF-CULTURE IN ITS RELATIONS
[A PRIZE ESSAY.] PERSONAL improvement is the duty of every human being. By virtue of his very humanity, every individual of the race, stands under a sacred obligation to make as much of his mental
a and moral powers, as his position in life will permit. No one has a right to bury in a napkin any talent God has given him, any more than he has to pervert it to an unworthy use. This obvious general duty becomes specific and peculiar in its relation to many callings in life ; and every one, we think, will decide that in regard to the business of teaching, it is a necessary and primary qualification. Its limits and methods, however, in that particular relation may, perhaps, give occasion for differences of opinion, where, indeed, any definite opinions at all are held on the subject.
Self-culture relates mainly to three things, manners, mind, morals. Attainments in all these directions are essential to the teacher's success.
Failure in either of them is fatal. Nor can culture in one of these directions make up for its absence in any other. The instructor ought in a high sense to be a gentlemen, a scholar, and a Christian. Whoever else can afford to be other than all these, he cannot. And this, we apprehend, will be manifest if we consider the peculiar nature of his calling.
What, then, is the distinctive character of the teacher's vocation? A somewhat extended answer to this question will furnish forcible arguments for continued self-culture in all who engage in the work. We must think, that with all the advance recent years have witnessed in the views and methods of popu