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THE CHRISTIAN MOURNER'S PRO
SPECT OF DEATH.
The hour, the hour, the parting hour,
On the same withering bier, my soul ;
To praise the immortal One, my soul !
And, while our farewell tears we pour
Nor dwell in Heaven alone, my soul!
The golden dawn above, my soul!
In ever-living love, my soul !
That shuns this wintry clime, my soni!
Crediton, Sept. 14, 1822.
MEMOIR OF MR. WILLIAM BUTLER. “ Nullum munus Reipublicæ afferre majus meliusve possumus, quam si doceamus atque erudiamus juventutem.”
CICERO. If the above remark of the great Ro. great favourite; upon the model of whose man Orator be true, no apology need be penmanship his own free, tasteful and offered for submitting the following Me- elegant running hand was formed. moir to the public eye. It traces a few But the great reputation and success lineaments in the character of one who which he attained sprang from a different was very eminent as an instructor of the source. They flowed from the improverising generation, and who, therefore, ments which were introduced by him into brought to the national altar a pure and the mode of instruction in writing and munificent oblation.
geography. The former branch of eduThe late Mr. WILLIAM BUTLER, whose cation acquired under his care a usefulmerits as a teacher of writing and geo- ness and an elevation which it had not graphy are bere recorded, was a native of before possessed. He perceived that a St. John's, near Worcester, where he was writing master has it in his power to inborn October 12, 1748. Splendid lineage troduce a copious store of miscellaneous conferred upon him none of its honours, information into the schools that he atnor was he anxious to claim them. With teuds by means of a judicious choice of out affecting to undervalue high birth, copies, particularly geographical ones, sawhen it is illustrated by the talent or cred and profane, and such as contain virtue of its possessor, he felt no wish to historical facts, dates in chronology, and trace his pedigree to remote antiquity or biographical notices of characters illusgreat ancestors. His father enjoyed a trious for “deeds of excellence and high very moderate competency, arising from renown.” As an auxiliary to these, he the cultivation of a small farm. If, how- proposed the publication of literary works ever, his advantages of fortune were slen- having a direct reference to his own par. der, he derived from his parents a better ticular departments of instruction, but inheritance than that which mere fortune containing a rich fund of general and usecan bestow. The plain good sense, the ful knowledge. The plan was original; strong and healthy constitution, and the it had, therefore, the impress of genius independence of character which distin- upon it. There was no laurel picked up guished the son through life, were here, which had fallen from the brow of any ditary qualities; while to the admonitions predecessor. of a mother; strenthened by the prudent frugality of her table, he owed that obe
Libera per vacuum posui vestigia princeps. dience to the temperate dictates of va
Hor. ture, in the choice and love of simple In aid of the plan above-mentioned, of dict, which he inflexibly evinced in riper combining general knowledge with his years.
own immediate pursuits, Mr. Butler pubMr. Butler received his early education lished his “ Arithmetical Questions," at Worcester, and was originally intended “ Exercises on the Globes ;" “ Chronolofor the profession of a land-surveyor, gical Exercises ;” and “ Geographical Being disappointed, however, in this ex- Exercises in the New Testament," with pectation, and having acquired conside- other works. It is not here intended to rable knowledge, and especially a fine enumerate, much less to analyze, all the style of penmanship, he resolved to try publications which his indefatigable inhis fortune as a teacher of writing and dustry and literary zeal induced him to geography in that great mart of talent compose. The favour with which they and wealth, the metropolis. He accord- have been received by the public, the staingly quitted Worcester in 1765, and tion which they occupy, not only in the froin that period (being then only in his youthful library, but often in that of the 17th year) he wholly maintained himself adult; and the commendation bestowed by his own exertions.
upon them by those who have themselves Mr. Butler might claim a fair and even been deservedly praised, aitd whose sufsuperior distinction as an able perman: frage is therefore valuable, preclude such he diligently copied and imbibed the va a necessity. It may, however, be said, rious excellencies of masters eminent in that they present a mass of information, caligraphy, especially those of Bland, his both instructive and entertaining, rarely
collected in one form; that they contain his instructions. He was a all epe, el a rich store of examples for imitation, of ear;" nor will they forget the many inci precepts for practice, and of amusement dental remarks, not only intellectual, but for the social or the solitary hour; and moral, which were made by him dáring exhibit, moreover, an extensive reading the hours of tuition, and wbicb, by conand industrious research steadily directed necting present experience with past to the highest object--that of promoting years, may have become the inspiring the moral, intellectual and religious im rule of after life. A lesson giren by the provement of the rising generation. revered subject of this memoir, was a
Of the high tone of moral and religious lesson both of wisdom and of virtue. sentiment uniformly inculcated in what Among the benefits resulting from Mr. Mr. Butler prepared for young persons, Butler's plan of ingrafting so mach genean idea may be formed from the follow. ral knowledge on his particular line of ing sentence, which is taken from an ad- instruction, was that of its enabling him mirably written preface to one of the to avail himself of those great political works just mentioned : “ In the mean events and discoveries in science which time, without undertaking a formal de have for the last thirty years riveted fence of every question in this collection," public attention. They were rendered (his Arithmetical Questions, “I am en- subservient to geographical acquisitions: couraged to hope that the candid and he was accustomed to say, tbat great serious part of the public will approve of generals, such as Buonaparte then was a design (how imperfectly soerer it may in the height of his military glory, were have been executed) which has for its among the best practical teachers of geoobject to facilitate the path of science; graphy; for by their locomotive powers, to allure the learner to mental exertion; and their rapid and extensive projects, to impress an early veneration and love they compelled the public to trace places for civil and religious liberty ; to exhibit rivers and districts, which, but for the the beauty of virtue and the fatal conse. light thrown on them by their progress, quences of vice and profligacy; to hold up would perhaps have remained in obscu. to the admiration of the rising age charac- rity. On all the passing events of the ters eminent for patriotism, benevolence day, by which the interests of mankind and general philanthropy; and to their were in a greater or less degree affected, detestation and abhorrence those of des. Mr. Butler kept a vigilant eye, for the pots, tyrants and persecutors; to incul- purpose of impressing them into his sercate rational and manly ideas of Govern. vice as a teacher. If a battle was fought, ment; and to enforce just notions con- and a hero died while sustaining the glocerning the inferior orders of society." ries of his country; if a planet was disThese noble ideas were always kept in covered by a philosopher at Palermo or view by Mr. Butler. His works are in Bremen ;--the pupil was immediately deed elementary, but they are avenues directed to search in an Atlas for the that conduct to knowledge, and by the place thus rendered memorable. Such aid of which individuals, remembering an opportunity of increasing to-day's that in their useful studies “ such things stock of knowledge was not deferred unwere, and were most precious to them," til to-morrow-a morrow which, like that may be tempted to explore its inward designed by Lady Macbeth for Duncan, recesses.
might “ never be." As a practical teacher, Mr. Butler had It may, perhaps, be thought that toe few superiors. It was his favourite opi. high an importance has been assigned to nion, that splendid talents are neither Mr. Butler's labours, Let, howerer, the necessary nor even desirable in an in- multiplicity of his engagements, and the structor. The faculty of calling forth, lengthened period to which they were and afterwards condensing, the learner's protracted, be considered ; let it be reattention ; of raising a confidence in the membered, likewise, that his efforts were master's qualifications-vigilance, method directed to that sex upon whose conduct and regularity; and an intimate acquaint. much of the character and welfare of ance with the wants of children ; were, society at large depend—that the early in his estimation, the leading requisites germ oi existence is intrusted to the moof a good teacher. In all these he was ther's care, and that it is her skill and admirably qualified. With what energy diligence, or ignorance and neglect, which he endeavoured to communicate his own determine whether it shall wither or prozeal to the learner ; to fix the wandering duce fruit;-and the true value of the thought, and prevent knowledge from useful and honourable exertions now being " poured into the heedless ear;" commemorated will be duly acknowto animate the slothful, and give new ledged. “A race of virtuons and moral vigour to the active; will be long remem- mothers,” says a learned prelate, “ will bered by those who received or witnessed produce a race of virtuous and moral