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make some provision for their families. A society of this sort would be that best suited to those whose cause I would fain advocate in your journal.
The Legislature, anxious to encourage associations whose tendency is to foster habits of providence in different classes of society, offers great advantages to them all, under certain stated and very proper re. strictions. Several acts of Parliament have been framed with a view to their support and protection. The Justices of the Peace are empowered to take cognizance of any fraud or abuse in the management of their resources. The funds belonging to them may be invested with the Commissioners of the National Debt, at nearly four per cent. compound interest; and in all life policies, for sums not exceeding £200, the stamp duties are remitted.
Provident Societies have for a long time existed among different classes of labourers, tradesmen, clerks in public and private establishments, and others. Numberless well regulated parishes have their “Benevolent Associations ;' and where adjoining parishes are separately too small for the purpose, they unite to carry it into effect. It is truly gladdening to witness, with what alacrity in many places, labourers and artizans lay by their hard-earned savings, in order to acquire a right to support in time of need. By properly countenancing such associations, more has been done, and may be done, to improve the moral condition of our population, than by almost any other temporal arrangement. It is a work worthy of our efforts, and peculiarly suited to the present day, to extend to the masters and mistresses of our schools similar advantages.
In almost all Provident Societies, the payments of the ordinary members are increased by contributions from honorary members, who derive no benefits from the funds, but are entitled to a share of the general management. There is no doubt, but that liberal assistance would be afforded by the wealthier friends of National Education, in the case of a Schoolmasters' Provident Society. In this way, with small payments from the benefited members, ample means might be obtained, for carry. ing out the several objects in view.
There is an excellent association, termed the “ Provident Clerks' Mu. tual Benefit Association,” which might serve as a guide in forming a similar society for schoolmasters. It is under the patronage of the Lord Mayor and the leading bankers and merchants of the city of London, who contribute to its support and prosperity. But within a very short period there has been established, in Yorkshire, a society more to our purpose, called the “ Church of England Schoolmasters' Provident So. ciety :" it is confined to the county and diocese in which it has been formed.
There are always great difficulties in drawing up assurance tables for particular classes of society. In those of the Yorkshire Schoolmasters' Society, there appear some discrepancies ; a revision of them would be necessary if taken as a model.
The advantages of this undertaking will be great, if extensively car. ried out. By uniting schoolmasters in one body, intimately connected with the rulers of the Church, and with its chief supporters, lay and clerical, it will tend, not only to strengthen their efforts, but it will strengthen the church itself, whose work they are engaged in. Divers attempts have been made of late to create a spirit of union and mutual improvement between the masters of church schools, not only during their training, but when scattered about at their several posts. Hitherto these endeavours have only been local and partial. But in a society such as I am advocating, this would in a great measure be effected. The hardworking and hardworked schoolmaster, let his posi. tion be ever so retired, would not feel himself an isolated individual, neglected and forgotten; contributing to assist and benefit others, and knowing that so many were doing the like for him, he would be cheered on his way, and be enabled to endure the many trials and disappointments inherent to his office.
Let it once be seen that the schoolmaster is one whose wants are cared for, whose comforts are thought of, whose duties are deemed highly honourable, and who can expect after a life of arduous labour to be provided for in his old age, and to leave his family, after his death, in the position in which he had brought them up; there will then be no longer a lack of candidates for our schools, and training establishments; the only difficulty will be that of selection.
R. N. R.
THOUGHTS FOR SCHOOLMASTERS. No. II.
Lords and Commons of England ! consider what a nation it is whereof ye are the governors : a nation not slow and dull, but of a quick, ingenious, and piercing spirit; acute to invent, subtile and sinewy to discourse, not beneath the reach of any point the highest that human capacity can soar to.
. . What wants there to such towardly and pregnant soil, but wise and faithful labourers, to make a knowing people, a nation of prophets, of sages, and of worthies ? Milton.
II. It is not because of his toils that I lament for the poor; we must all toil or steal (howsoever we name our stealing), which is worse ; no faithful workman finds his work a pastime. But what I do mourn over is, that the lamp of his soul should go out; that no ray of heavenly, or even of earthly knowledge should visit him-but only in the haggard darkness, like two spectres, Fear, and Indignation. Alas! while the body stands so broad and brawny, must the soul lie blinded, dwarfed, stupified, almost annihilated ! Alas ! was this too a breath of God; bestowed in heaven, but on earth never to be unfolded! That there should one man die ignorant who had capacity for knowledge, this I call a tragedy, were it to happen more than twenty times in the minute, as by some computations it does. - Carlyle.
III. He who has to work at this, the hardest of all duties—I mean that of
bringing in true light to dispel the horrible darkness of long and utter ignorance of heart and mind-has special need to beware of the temptation which is quite certain to come upon him, of trying to ascertain how much may be said as to the advantages of ignorance. Let him beware, for many a man has had his own moral powers completely paralyzed, many a one has become so crippled that he could do but a small part of the work which God had qualified him to do the whole of, because he has listened to this temptation. First, he looks with fear and doubt upon all his own plans for aiding in the progress and enlightenment of his countrymen, because he sees that evil has sometimes been effected by apparently like efforts: then he stands still and holds back from farther action: then sits down to lament over the times when our fathers are fancied to have found innocence and happiness in ignorance: and lastly, he too often ends with becoming a hater and opposer of those who, continuing in the course which he has abandoned, still go right onward in spite of all difficulties, and in the faith that the triumph will assuredly be with good and not with evil, with God and not with the devil. No man who knows his own heart, or who has been observant of other men, will say these are dreams, and not very real and pressing dangers in the path of each of us.
. IV. Our fathers are fancied to have found innocence and happiness in ignorance; but it is only a fancy, contradicted no less by history than by reason. That half animal state of an uneducated peasantry exhibits at best but a negative sort of virtue and happiness, imperfectly showing themselves at intervals in the midst of much positive brutishness and wretchedness. And all Church history shows that here, as in every other country of Europe, the best energies of the Church have always been employed in reclaiming the people out of this state. Whenever the Church has abandoned or neglected this work, whenever those of her sons, who have themselves received the blessings of light, have forgotten that they have received in order that they might impart freely to those who were still in darkness, and have begun to say (as they did during the last century), that the poor were very comfortable and very manageable while they remained ignorant, and that it was better not to disturb them—all this was and is the working of mere disease and death in the Church, the ministers of which in the days of her health and vigour have ever understood that their very office is to develop to the utmost, in every person committed to their charge, the capacity for receiving light, and all the blessings of light, without stint or mixture.
The enemies of the Church accuse her of being a society which exists by and for the promotion of ignorance; and while it is certain that they contradict the whole tenour of history and historical philosophy by such an assertion, I would it were possible honestly to deny that churchmen do sometimes give a handle to such charges by an unhappy way of allowing that to be true in theory which they are devoting all the powers of their life to prove false in practice-by holding speculative opinions about the advantages of ignorance, while they show by their conduct that to exterminate it from the whole sphere of their own influence is the first purpose of their heart.
VI. No speculative opinions ever remain merely speculative, but always at last produce some practical effect on a man's conduct: and he who dallies with false theories will one day find that they have bound him with fetters that he cannot break: he will have to say
Is 't possible ?
It was not
- Was it criminal
Ill does it become Englishmen and Churchmen-'God's Englishmen,' as Milton calls us to keep terms with the prince of darkness, and ask aid of him to protect us and our country from its social evils:-we are the servants of the Lord of LIGHT, and bound to believe that only in WISDOM and KNOWLEDGE can the stability of our time be found.
A PLAN FOR AN IRISH COLLEGIATE SCHOOL.
In a Letter to a Friend.
[The following letter, which has been for some time in private circulation, we are glad to insert entire, wishing to give as much publicity as possible to so promising a scheme.-Ed.]
My dear Friend, -In sending you the Prospectus of the plan for our Irish School, I send you also a more detailed account of it, which you will naturally require, before you will like to give us your support.
When we consider the importance of bringing the Word of God before all men in their native languages, in which alone they are likely to receive it with readiness and intelligence and when it is remembered, that there are at least half a million of the population of Ireland, who understand little but Irish, this alone might be sufficient to prove the necessity of providing for them an Irish-speaking Ministry, in which the Church is now so deficient, that it has been asserted that there are not more than ten clergymen in the whole country now capable of preaching, or even of performing the Service, in Irish.
* Coleridge's Schiller's Wallenstein.
The following Table is extracted from Mr. Anderson's Sketches of the Native Irish (2nd edit. p. 223), and will give a general view of the extent to which Irish is spoken:
PERSONS SPEAKING THE
50,506 45,481 314,462
94,944 128,104 68,576 74,511 84,913 95,911 93,536 36,805 53,785 206,533 232,436 149,044 120,861 166,173 106,401 112,283 83,604 74,870
8,913 10,444 14,909 20,936 49,889 44,589 105,851
46,323 235,610 56,072 74,334
50,505 113,702 21,430 15,823 42,702 113,370 22,559 14,152 38,364 37,552 92,014 53,785 56,327 92,974 56,406 141,869
99,827 115,872 135,785 193,820 272,176 287,485 163,500 171,626 169,862 494,834 100,449 272,572
101,011 159,182 335,892 110,767 170,806 181,946 97,070 99,065 134,275 131,088 128,819 107,570 262,860 325,410 205,450 261,865 193,869 248,270 130,997 195,076 174,697 124,785 146,229 208,729 293,112 337,374 208,089 277,477 216,185 730,444 156,521 346,896
The extraordinary power of this language over the minds of the people would be incredible except from experience, and can only be compared to a charm. It is associated with all their best sympathies. It is a secret bond which binds them together, and by which they communicate privately in the face of their landlords, whom they are too often led to regard to this day as enemies and invaders. And their strong religious feelings are brought in to increase its influence, by instilling into them the belief, that Irish is a holy language, which evil beings cannot speak,and that the Irish Bible is true, while the English has been corrupted by the Lutherans. Thus an English Bible they will willingly surrender to their priest; an Irish they will never give up. I need not say that Bishop Bedell and many other of the greatest ornaments of the Irish Church, aware of these facts, have from time to time made efforts to raise up an Irish-speaking Ministry, and to circulate the Scriptures and the Prayer Book in Irish. This work is now carried on to a considerable extent, and so far, at least, as it awakens the minds of the people to the errors of Romanism, with considerable success, by the Irish Society. But it is evident, that the more sensible the peasantry become of the evils of their present system, the more necessary it will be to provide them with regular instruction under the ministration of the Church. This necessity is already visible : whole districts at this time might be named in Ireland, where congregations might immediately be formed of converts from Romanism, if Irish-speaking clergy could be found for them.