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THE

IMPROVEMENT

OF THE

MIND.

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The Second PART.

INTRODUCTION.

HE chief Defign of the former Part of this Book is to lead us into proper Methods for the Improvement of our Knowledge; Let us now confider what are the best means of improving the Minds of others, and of communicating to them the Knowledge which we have acquired. If the Treafures of the Mind fhould be hoarded up and concealed, they would profit none befides the Poffeffor, and even his AdvanB tage

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tage by the Poffeffion would be poor and narrow, in Comparifon of what the fame Treasures would yield both to himself and to the World, by a free Communication and Diffufion of them. Large Quantities of Knowledge acquired and referved by one Man, like Heaps of Gold and Silver, would contract a Sort of Ruft and difagreeable Afpect, by lying in everlafting Secrefy and Silence; but they are burnish'd, and glitter by perpetual Circulation, through the Tribes

of Mankind.

THE two chief Ways of conveying Knowledge to others, are that of verbal Inftruction to our Difciples, or by writing and publishe ing our Thoughts to the World.

HERE therefore I fhall firft propofe fome Obfervations which relate to the Conveyance of Knowledge to others by regular Lectures of verbal Inftruction, or by Converfation; I fhall reprefent feveral of the chief Prejudices of which Learners are in danger, with Directions to guard against them, and then mention fome of the eafieft and most effectual Ways of convincing Perfons of their Miftakes, and of dealing with their Underftanding, when they labour under the Power of Prejudice. I fhall afterwards add by Way of Appendix, an Effay written many Years ago on the Subject of Education, when I defigned a more compleat Trea

tife of it.

CHAP.

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CHAP. I.

Methods of Teaching, and Reading

Lectures.

H

E that has learned any thing tho roughly, in a clear and methodical Manner, and has attained a diftinct Percep tion, and an ample Survey of the whole Subject, is generally beft prepared to teach the fame Subject in a clear and eafy Method; for having acquired a large and diftinct Idea of it himself, and made it familiar to him by frequent Meditation, Reading, and occafional Difcourfe; he is fuppofed to fee it on all Sides, to grafp it with all its Appendices and and Relations in one Survey, and is better able to reprefent it to the Learner in all its Views, with all its Properties, Relations and Confequences. He knows which View or Side of the Subject to hold out firft to his Difciple, and how to propofe to his Underftanding that Part of it which is eafieft to apprehend, and alfo knows how to fet it in fuch a Light as is most likely to allure and to affift his further Enquiry.

BUT it is not every one who is a great Scholar that always becomes the happiest Teacher, even tho' he may have a clear Conception, and a methodical as well as an exB 2 tenfive

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