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require amendment. Discussions are held-different views are stated-a bill is read, and read again, considered, read a third time, and passed ; and that binds the whole nation. It is not said, “There are many parishes which conscientiously dissent from this law, therefore they shall be exempted from its operation.” On the contrary, the will of the legislature is thought competent to pass a general act, and all are required to conform to the enactment.
But in the case of education this rule is practically set aside. It is acknowledged by all men, that no education is of any value which is not based on religion. This has been ruled, though not without opposition. The opposition, however, has been silenced, and no one now maintains the position, that religion may or can be left out of any scheme of education, or that it must not, in fact, form the basis of it. But then comes the practical question, how to communicate this religious education to the people. Our sovereign, her ministers, and the large body of our legislature, are members of the Church of England; they profess to direct their lives according to her doctrine and discipline, and hope to be saved in her communion. They bring up their own children according to her tenets; and yet most unaccountably they hesitate in taking steps to procure the same advantage for the youth of the nation in which God has made them rulers and legislators. In the poor attempts at education hitherto made, they act as if there were no fixed principles of truth, as if it mattered not how the standard of truth were interpreted. They give money to Papists to bring up children in popery ; money to Dissenters to bring up children in dissent; and money to the Church to bring up children in her doctrine and discipline. Of all prejudices whereby a nation was ever infatuated, the idea that this mode of proceeding is liberal and right, is one of the most remarkable. Surely divine truth should be taught as it is, not as different people think it. If you teach religion in six different ways, you must of necessity teach it in five wrong ways; because truth is one thing only. If you vote money to bring up some children as Romanists, some as Independents, some as Methodists, some as Baptists, some as Quakers, and some as English Churchmen, it follows as a matter of necessity that you are promoting at least five different systems of error. How can a conscientious Churchman vote for the dissemination of heresy and schism? And yet such must be the conduct of one who votes for the education of all sects in their sectarian errors.
But then the liberal will say, Surely you would not force the children of conscientious dissenters to learn the doctrines of the Church? We answer, No one ever thought of using force. This is quite beside the question. Every one admits that no man's conscience is to be forced. All that is contended is, that the rulers and representatives of a nation who belong to the National Church, believing that to be the true religion, ought to give the people committed to their care the opportunity of having their children brought up in that religion. Vast numbers of them would gladly accept the boon; other vast numbers do not know its value, but would accept it nevertheless. Some no doubt would refuse it; but do not for their sake neglect the rest, or teach them falsehood instead of truth.
Surely if statesman or legislators were to take the obvious and straightforward course of voting for the education of the nation, or at least all who would accept it, according to what they believe to be true religion, and declaring that they did so on that very account, the reasonableness of such conduct is so manifest, that even those who opposed it, on account of their difference of opinion as to what was true religion, could not fail to see its rectitude.
But perhaps some may apprehend another difficulty. They may think that, in a scheme of national education, some cumbrous machinery must be constructed some expensive system which will swallow up large revenues.
This objection ought not to be any hindrance to giving to the people so great and necessary a boon : however, it is greatly removed by the fact, that the whole machinery for the education of the people in sound religion is already provided in our diocesan and parochial system. The Church, as it already exists, is the divinely prepared instrument, of which the State may at once avail itself for this purpose. And the Church acknowledges its duty; it is already hard at work; almost every diocese is already provided with its central board and district committees, which are in connexion with the committee of the National Society sitting in London, and consisting of the Bishops, and the other leading Churchmen—not a mere nominal committee, but real, hardworking, earnest friends of religious education.
For several years the Church has been actively employed in constructing its machinery for the education of the people. Measures have been taken for that most important requisite, the training of competent masters, which may almost be considered as half the business. Many dioceses have their training-schools in actual operation. Many have established institutions for the middle classes in the principal towns. Parochial schools are rising in various places, where hitherto they had not been. Existing schools are gradually placing themselves under the superintendence of the diocesan boards; and experienced inspectors and organising masters are travelling from place to place, under the authority of the Bishops, and giving their valuable aid in the improvement of those schools which need improvement, conveying information, and generally aiding the managers, whether they be the parochial clergy or a committee of subscribers, in giving efficiency to the institutions which are under their control. Moreover, every parochial clergyman acknowledges the duty of aiding in the parochial school; and, if not overwhelmed by other parochial business, many devote a great portion of their time to this branch of their ministerial labours. All this is perfect in theory : nothing is wanting to the completion of the system considered in itself; and nothing is wanting for its actual success but funds and superintendence.
First, as regards funds. The difficulty experienced by the diocesan boards in maintaining their training-schools in a state of efficiency, and affording an adequate remuneration to their inspectors, or even providing inspectors at all, is very great ; and the same drawback is found by the clergyman in obtaining the necessary funds for the establishment and support of his parochial school. In many populous places, notwithstanding great exertion, no schools at all adequate to the wants of the people have been provided. In almost all, the salaries paid to parochial schoolmasters are lamentably small-far less than a person competent to the office has a right to expect. Experience proves that the education of the people is a thing which cannot be left to the voluntary support of the public, any more than the provision for the ordinances of religion. It is acknowledged that, in the present day, it would be most imprudent to rely on the voluntary system for providing religious instruction and ordinances for the adult population. The education of the young is a precisely similar case. The public mind is not alive to the urgent necessity of the subject, and the immensity of the interests at stake. And yet one would think it was too obvious to be concealed or denied. How long the nation may bear its present evils it is difficult to say. If, by God's great mercy, society holds together for ten or fifteen years more, then those who are now of age to be under education will be the active spirits, the strength and sinews of the nation; and accordingly as they have been trained up in good or evil principles, so will be the condition of this country. If we can rear up a generation of Christian men, the country may yet be saved; but if demoralisation is suffered to proceed as it has done, nothing can save England from ruin. These truths, one would think, were almost too trite to need repetition. But, no; the majority of influential people seem to take little heed of these matters. I do not mean to say that there are not a great many zealous and charitable persons who interest themselves in the education of their poorer neighbours. These are the leaven of the land, which saves her from rottenness—without these the country would indeed be in a hopeless state. Still, the great majority of rich people do very little beyond doling forth a few guineas in consequence of the importunity of the clergyman. Their minds are not turned that way. Landowners are busied in improving their estates, advancing their families ; their minds are set on the tariff, the corn-laws, the rural police, and other matters. All this is subject of notoriety, and may be proved by recent events. Serious disturbances occur in a particular county; a special commission is sent to try the offenders. The chief justice concludes his opening address with these emphatic words: “I would, in conclusion, further suggest, that the effectual, and only effectual, method of counteracting the attempts of wicked and designing men to undermine the principles of the lower classes, and to render them discontented with the established institutions of their country, is the diffusion of sound religious knowledge in which there can be no excess) amongst those classes who are exposed to these attempts, and the educating their children in the fear of God; so that all may be taught that obedience to the law of the land and to the government of the country is due, not as a matter of compulsion, but of principle and conscience.” Most wise and benevolent sentiments! bnt how are they
followed up? The offenders are convicted and punished, the law vindicated, and the magistrates meet to provide against future outbreaks. Many days are spent in making the necessary addition to the police, the yeomanry, and so forth ; but not one single allusion is made to that which the judge from his bench declared, and all who heard him acknowledged, to be the only effectual method of counteracting the evil, namely, the religious instruction and education of the people. One or two laborious clergymen venture to suggest that now is the time to call on the diocese to make some effectual exertion in providing religious education for the peoplethat a joint appeal made by the lay and clerical authorities, the Bishop or his representatives co-operating with the lord-lieutenant and bench of magistrates, might, at this crisis, have a powerful effect. But it is answered, the time is unfavourable, the county will be taxed heavily to support the new police and repair the damages of the rioters : better to wait awhile.
This is sufficient to prove that there is not in the rich people of the land the consideration, or the energy, or the right feeling, to effect any great scheme of religious education by voluntary exertions. Their minds are not directed that way. They are ready, indeed, to acknowledge the urgent need of religious education, when it is proposed to them by one in authority; but they are not prepared to be the movers or agents in carrying such a scheme into effect. And the same apathy on the subject of education pervades the middle classes. It is not a subject on which their interest is easily excited. We cannot tell them of thousands of Bibles or millions of tracts circulated. We cannot move their feelings, and excite their imagination, by interesting accounts of heathen nations converted, and the banner of the Cross planted on unknown shores. We can only point to their poor, uninstructed fellow-countrymen, whom they see every day, and shew them our humble school, where a few masters are being trained, and our inspectors travelling quietly from place to place. Therefore the middle classes are not captivated, and dole forth their support with niggard hands.
Here, therefore, is a necessity and opportunity for the State to come in with its aid. Religious education is of vital importance to the people, but cannot be effected by their spontaneous impulses. It is an affair in which government cannot follow the movement of the nation, but must take the initiative, or rather co-operate with her ally the Church. If ever there was an occasion where she might prove that her alliance with the Church is not a mere one-sided reciprocity, now is the time for her to give her aid in a most important and necessary work—a work which can in no other way be accomplished ; and which, being unaccomplished, she herself will most surely rue the day.
It is not, however, funds only, but superintendence, that is wanted. If the State contributes funds, we admit that she has a right to see those funds rightly employed. We wish her to do so. The Church requires superintendence as well as any other body. The law of the land provides that the clergy shall do their duty in other respects, and why not also in their management of schools ? Let the parochial school be under the management of the parochial clergyman; but let there be an exterior power to see that he manages it rightly.
This principle has been admitted and carried out to a certain extent, in the agree. ment already made between the government and those principally interested in Churcheducation, that there should be inspectors appointed by the joint consent of the committee of the Privy Council and the Archbishop. Nor is any clergyman expected to submit his school to an inspector who does not come with the authority of his own Bishop-an arrangement calculated to secure an efficient inspection without an arbitrary or hostile interference. Let a sufficient number of able inspectors be appointed, and the government will have conferred on the Church and nation no inconsiderable boon.
It is satisfactory to feel assured that what has been done in the way of Churcheducation, however inadequate to the great purpose aimed at, yet has all tended in the right direction; and it has been so done that it cannot now be undone. Only let the government follow out this most salutary movement, using the Church as its willing agent in the education of the nation, not interfering with her function, but co-operating with her in her most zealous and painful endeavours to train the people in the knowledge and practice of true religion, and a work may be done, by the joint operation of the two powers, which each by itself is unable to accomplish. And the ground-work is already so laid, that a comparatively moderate sacrifice on the part of the State would be sufficient.
The.only great effort which the government has to make, is, to cast off the trammels of an unworthy liberalism, and take for its advisers, and place itself in cordial co-operation with, those whom God Himself has ordained to rule His Church, and 'teach' His people.”
We shall probably have occasion to refer again to this little volume. Meanwhile we venture to say, that all persons who, as parents or teachers, or as well-wishers to Church and State, have really at heart such questions as the following-What is the true end of education ? Who have a right to teach ? What ought to be taught? And how ought they to teach it?-cannot do better than to read and circulate “ Church Clavering."
PASTORAL LETTER OF THE BISHOP OF BATH AND WELLS, WITH
EXTRACTS FROM RUBRICS, CANONS, ETC.
[We were on the point of giving a selection from the Rubrics and Canons of the Church that refer more immediately to education, with no small misgiving lest we should be accused of an attempt to revive what some persons are pleased not only to term obsolete, but to wish to remain so, when we fortunately called to mind the following Pastoral letter from the present Bishop of Bath and Wells, the date of which is not quite two years old.—ED.]
The Palace, Wells, April 22, 1841. My Rev. BROTHER,—Impressed with a conviction of the importance of stamping upon the heart and mind of youth, from the earliest period, the principles of Religion; and nothing doubting the paramount duty of the Christian Pastor to strive to gather into the fold of the Church each and all, the young as well as the old, who compose his flock: further, having regard to the opinion expressed at a Public Meeting of the Clergy and Laity of this County, held at the Town Hall, Wells, on the 14th December, 1838 (a): and referring to the 13th Rule of the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Education (6): I beg to announce to you, that I have selected and appointed the Rev. H. F. Gray, M.A., to the office of Visitor and Inspector of Schools within this Diocese ; intending shortly, God willing, to call to his aid assistant Inspectors in each Archdeaconry, chosen with reference to their several localities and their fitness.
The Rev. the Inspector has our instructions, that his first great object shall be to examine into, extend, and, if need be, and circumstances permit, improve the Religious Education of the people throughout the Parishes and Chapelries of this Diocese; having special regard to the 59th, the 77th, the 78th, and the 79th Canons (c): and with an eye to the better observance of the Rubrics appended to the Church Catechism (d).
It is hoped, that you, my Rev. Brother in Christ, well weighing the great importance, to this Church and Nation, of Education being placed in the hands of the Parochial Clergy ; bearing in mind the exhortation delivered to you at your Ordination (e); and observant of your own promise and vow, 6 by God's help to teach the people committed to your care with all diligence;" will receive the Rev. H. F. Gray into your Parish with a ready mind, and a desire to afford him all such information as may tend to the
fulfilment of his arduous duties, and facilitate his drawing up, without delay, a full and accurate report of the present state and condition of National, Parochial, and Sunday Schools, in this Diocese, enabling us, by such means, with God's blessing, to set forward the great purposes of sound Religious Teaching, whereby the rising generation may become more generally and better instructed in a practical knowledge of the saving truths of the Gospel, and be made wise unto Salvation.-I am, Rev. Sir, your faithful and affectionate Brother,
GEO. H. BATH & WELLS. To the Rev. the Officiating Minister
of (a) RESOLUTION 1.–That in the opinion of this Meeting, it is most important and desirable to extend and improve Education in this Diocese, on sound religious principles, in accordance and connection with the Church of England.
(6) RULE 13.-That Inspectors of Schools, in connection with the Diocesan Board, be appointed by the Bishop.
(c) 59th CANON.-Every Parson, Vicar, or Curate, upon every Sunday and Holy-day, before Evening Prayer, shall, for half an hour or more, examine and instruct the youth and ignorant persons in his parish, in the Ten Commandments, the Articles of the Belief, and in the Lord's Prayer; and shall diligently hear, instruct, and teach them the Catechism set forth in the Book of Common Prayer. And all Fathers, Mothers, Masters, and Mistresses, shall cause their Children, Servants, and Apprentices, which have not learned the Catechism, to come to the Church at the time appointed, obediently to hear, and to be ordered by the Minister, until they have learned the same. And if any Minister neglect his duty herein, let him be sharply reproved upon the first complaint, and true notice thereof given to the Bishop or Ordinary of the place. If, after submitting himself, he shall willingly offend therein again, let him be suspended ; if so the third time, there being little hope that he will be therein reformed, then excommunicated, and so remain until he will be reformed.
77th CANON.—No man shall teach either in public school, or private house, but such as shall be allowed by the Bishop of the Diocese, or Ordinary of the place, under his hand and seal, being found meet as well for his learning and dexterity in teaching, as for sober and honest conversation, and also for right understanding of God's true religion ; and also except he shall first subscribe to the first and third Articles afore mentioned simply, and to the two first clauses of the second Article.
78th CANON.-In what Parish, Church, or Chapel soever there is a Curate, which is a Master of Arts, or Bachelor of Arts, or is otherwise well able to teach youth, and will willingly so do, for the better increase of his living, and training up of children in the principles of true religion; we will and ordain, that a license to teach youth of the Parish where he serveth be granted to none by the Ordinary of that place, but only to the said Curate. Provided always, that this constitution shall not extend to any Parish or Chapel in country towns, where there is a public school founded already; in which case we think it not meet to allow any to teach grammar, but only him that is allowed for the said public school.
79th CANON.—All Schoolmasters shall teach in English or Latin, as the children are able to bear, the larger or shorter catechism heretofore by public authority set forth. And as often as any Sermon shall be upon holy and festival days within the parish where they teach, they shall bring their scholars to the church where such Sermon shall be made, and there see them quietly and soberly behave themselves, and shall examine them at times convenient, after their return, what they have borne away of such