In again presenting this volume to the world, I trust I feel thankful to God for the favour with which the Infant System has been received, and for all the aid I have enjoyed in my course of labour. Had the measures I originated for the development of the infant mind, and the improvement of the moral character, been sanctioned at first, as many now think theyshould have been, their progress would, undoubtedly, have been far greater; but when I consider what has been accomplished under the divine benediction, and amid greater difficulties than ever beset the path of an individual similarly occupied, I know nothow to express the gratitude of which I am conscious. It seems proper and even necessary to remark, that the system explained in this volume, is the result of many years of labour. Thousands of children have been attentively observed, and for the necessities that arose in their instruction, provision has been made. Others have doubtless reached some of the conclusions at which I have arrived, but this is only another instance of the coincidence in judgment and effort, often discoverable in persons far apart, whose attention has been directed to similiar subjects; but with the exception of the elliptical plan, devised by Dr. Gilchrist, I am not aware that I owe an idea or contrivance to any individual whatever. Upwards of twenty-five thousand children have been now under my own care, in various parts of the United Kingdom, whose age has not exceeded six years; myself, my daughters, and my agents, have organized many score of schools, and thus I have had opportunities of studying the infant mind and heart, such as none of my contemporaries have ever possessed.
Still I am aware I have much to learn. I am far less satisfied with the extent of my knowledge, and far less confident of its perfection and completeness now than I was in the earlier part of my course. The whole energies of my mind, however, having been thrown upon the subject, and the whole of my time for the third of a century having been zealously devoted to it, I trust the volume will contain knowledge of a more plain, simple, and practical characterthan is elsewhere to be found:--perhaps it may not be presumption to say thancanelsewhere be found. Should I have the pleasure to labour for years to come, I trust I shall have much more to communicate on the subject.