The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 20
The education of the human being commences at the hour of conception, and continues till birth through the organization of the mother—how important then that the maternal condition should be made the most favorable for the development of a justly balanced organization.
The science of educating the human being after birth is one of the most important, not so much to teach him what to think, but how to think and act so as to secure to himself the greatest amount of wisdom and happiness.
Every faculty of body and mind requires education, if that education be false the consequences are discordant and productive of misery; if true they invariably result in harmony and happiness. We must study the physical, moral, mental and spiritual peculiarities of each pupil, so that unnatural peculiarities may be corrected, moral difficiencies made good, and physical malformations altogether avoided or rendered harmless, for mental and physical peculiarities can only be overcome by effectual education or the continual operation of counteracting circumstances, fostering and encouraging the good, and restraining the defective qualities or quantities of our temperament and organization, thus you will perceive that training and intellectual acquirements, coming from without, do not constitute the sum of true education, they only furnish a part of the means of obtaining it. True education bears its fruit from within. It is true development of soul. page 23 Physical education, or the development of our bodily powers, constitutes the basis of true education, for our mental and moral nature cannot be kept in a healthy condition unless due attention be paid to physical exercises. To cultivate the physical to the neglect of the mental and moral is to give man the education of a beast of burthen.
To neglect the physical and overtax the mental may produce the weathered husks of book-worm learning, but never the halo, green, vigorous plant of fruit-bearing thought.
To under-educate man physically we need not altogether neglect his sensual feelings and desires: we need only to teach him as men do monkeys—by imitation—failing to show him the virtue and happiness arising from the rational use of his natural powers.
False or over-education is produced when the mind is so mis-directed as to throw too much restraint upon the natural feelings and desires, hiding or suppressing all natural propensities, over-riding poor human nature until she sinks and dies beneath the hoofs of a vile and inhuman fanaticism.
The popular motive for educating the coming generation is too low; it's mere end is the mitigation of the amount of crime, in order to save the expense of punishment. Higher ground than this the Harmonialist occupies. His aim is the development of the human soul to the full extent of its capabilities, producing an effect that shall carry its consequences into eternity.