He dwelt on the phrase which he used so often, ‘As is the teacher, so is the school.’
He had hoped that there would be a request that this sermon be printed, but none came.
Nevertheless, he found some encouragement, so that he was satisfied that by address and discussion he could best further the cause.
Accordingly he prepared three lectures.
He says himself they are enormously long, two hours each.
The first described minutely the Prussian system.
In the second, he showed how it could be adapted to conditions in Massachusetts
, and how it would affect favorably each town, each school, each family, each child.
The third lecture was to show the beneficent results of the State
By this time you are naturally and reasonably asking what was Prussian system and what did Mr. Brooks
find to say in his three lectures of two hours each.
He has preserved records of his having delivered them repeatedly, separately and in series.
The manuscripts themselves have not been found, but by anticipating a little in the thread of the story, a document which Mr. Brooks
drew up can be cited, as it contains in brief an exposition of the Prussian system.
This document was a petition1
sent to the Legislature in January, 1837, by the Halifax Convention
By the time of this convention, for which Mr. Brooks
prepared the document, he had acquired a felicity and directness of expression by reason of his long experience in presenting the subject to many audiences.
The document is a long one, and from it we can extract four crisp and expressive sentences which will give at least a working idea of the system.
‘The object of education is to develop all the powers, faculties, and affections of human nature in their natural order, proper time and due proportion, so that each one may occupy the exact place in the grown up character which God at first ordained in the infant constitution.’