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SECTION XI.

DEBATES IN OUTLINE.

TTTHAT are here called Debates in Outline, are not, "' nor are they designed to be, elaborate synopses of all the arguments pro and con, that may be adduced in" discussing the several questions proposed. They are to serve merely as hints and suggestions, as thoughts likely to beget thoughts.

He, therefore, that consults these outlines with any view to improvement, should consider their design, and act upon it. He should regard them not so much as arguments, as the sources of arguments: keeping always in mind, that what we ourselves excogitate, however humble, and however often thought of by others, is, for all the purposes of mental training, a thousand times more valuable than the best and the most brilliant arguments, if merely borrowed from other people.

Yet, reading and conversation are not, therefore, to be despised or neglected, as useless or injurious. The error to be avoided, is that of substituting reading and talking for the weightier matters of thinking and reasoning.

Can we reasonably indulge the hope of Universal Peace f

First. Speaker. {Affirmative).—That war is unnecessary, and, therefore, unjustifiable, is a conviction which reflecting men will find it difficult to resist. Every fresh experience serves only to weaken our confidence in the arbitration of the sword, and strengthen that which we have in the decisions of reason. This renders the hope of universal peace quite a rational one.

Second Speaker. {Negative.)—Wars generally originate in causes inseparable from the character of human nature,—ambition and selfishness. As long as these last, there will be war and bloodshed. You must change the radical nature of man, therefore, before you can hope for universal peace.

Third Speaker. {Affirmative)—It is the glory of Christianity, that it changes the heart of man; implanting therein, in place of the evil passions which we by nature inherit, or, by practice, too readily acquire, those qualities of heart and mind, which cannot, for a moment, tolerate the presence of war.

Fourth Speaker. {Negative)—Experience shows that Christians do not scruple to go to war. Some of the fiercest and foulest contests have been carried on by Christians, and that, too, under the name of Christianity. "Witness the Crusades.

Fifth Speaker. {Affirmative)—What are often called Christian nations, said an acute and pious clergyman of New England, should rather be called christened nations. It is not the name and profession of Christ merely, that is to eradicate evil from the world,-but the true spirit of his religion. That religion certainly promises the reign of universal peace. It is, therefore, reasonable to expect it.

Ought Emulation in Schools to he encouraged?

First Speakee. (Affirmative.)—People never put forth their best efforts without the stimulus of rivalry. There must be something to be gained, as also something to be lost, or all energy will be paralyzed. This is the experience of mankind, and it ought to have weight in our decision.

Second Speaker. (Negative.)—Emulation is the parent of antipathy. Its presence in schools is fraught with mischief. It defeats all attempts at cultivating the spirit of brotherhood, because it virtually sets one against another.

Third Speaker. (Affirmative.)—Eivalry, in a school, is not necessarily bitter and vindictive. It must be generous. It must be regarded and used as a healthful incentive. It may be perverted, but this should not lead to its entire disuse.

Fourth Speaker. (Negative.)—All rivalry presupposes, that some must be beaten. Few only can be rewarded as victors; the many must suffer, however diligent, or otherwise deserving, the mortifications of open defeat.

Fifth Speaker. {Affirmative.)—The chances of success are equal, and, therefore, the unsuccessful have no right to complain. In the great world without, to which schools ought to be preparatory, rewards are perpetually made dependent upon the same conditions, and no one complains, or has a right to complain.

Sixth Speaker {Negative.)—The chances of success are not equal, because there is no necessary equality of talent or genius in the competitors. The whole is arranged, as though every thing depended upon the industry and perseverance of the rival candidates; whereas the most laborious and persistent effort is often the least successful, because nature has denied the requisite measure of ability. The rivalry thus becomes the source of injustice, of bitter heartburnings and rancorous hostility.

Is Party Spirit productive of more Good than Evil?

First Speaker {Affirmative)—Experience has shown, that all men act better under close supervision, than when left to themselves. Party spirit generates watchfulness on both sides, and so keeps both sides close to the path of duty.

Second Speaker. {Negative)—Party spirit withdraws the mind and heart from our common country and her best interests to place them on a particular party. It makes us eager to carry personal and private measures, and forgetful of, or unjust to, the general wellbeing. It makes the chief concern to be, not how shall the whole country prosper, but how shall a party triumph?

Third Speaker. {Affirmative)—It is well known, that, men long in power are apt to become haughty and oppressive, and that, unwatched, they will fall into many wrong practices. Party spirit, in such case, acts as a corrective. It takes unfit men out of office, and supplies their places with others more suitable. It thus operates, also as a warning to those who, in official station, are prone to oppression or injustice.

Fourth Speaker. (Negative.)—Party spirit begets such rancor, as ought never to exist in one man's heart towards another. Under this influence, men will quarrel, fight and even kill one another, though citizens of the same city, and professedly loving the same country, and the same civil institutions.

Fifth Speaker. (Affirmative.)—Party spirit may be rancorous, but that is true of the spirit that operates even in religious disputes. Shall all discussions in politics and religion, all parties and denominations cease, because men will sometimes quarrel about these things? Are not the disputes occasioned by party spirit, the means of turning men's minds upon political rights and privileges, which might otherwise be overlooked and lost?

Sixth Speaker. (Negative)—The spirit of party is

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