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Since the first article was in print, the title of “ Associate in Arts" has passed the Convocation of Oxford. There was a strong sentiment against it, and the scrutiny proved that if those who were opposed to it had made the smallest effort at organization, it would have been rejected. Many who voted in its favour did so rather in compliance with the energetic entreaty of those who had charge of the measure, than from their own sense of the propriety of the designation.
Cambridge is acting differently from Oxford. That body is proceeding with more deliberation, and has deferred the consideration of the subject to October Term. It is said that “ Associate in Arts" does not sound well in Cambridge ears. The two Universities seem to be taking each their several way. Perhaps it is best so: there might be difficulty in producing harmony from the concert of instruments so complex. The badges of the two Universities may come to have as distinct a value as their Degrees have: and the wholesome effect which the upper ranks of society experience from the mixture of Oxford and Cambridge men may be repeated with no less benefit in the middle classes. According to thc different bents of individual minds, or according to the preference felt throughout any particular school for Oxford or Cambridge pursuits, so the candidates might offer themselves for examination either in the Oxford or Cambridge Schools, and became accordingly either Sociates of the University of ] Oxford, S. (U.) O. or Sociates of the University of ] Cambridge S. [U.] C.
The old family likeness by which the two ancient Universities have ever been recognised as sisters should still be preserved in the general analogy of their forms, though individual character should assert its place in the subordinate lineaments.
Facies non omnibus una,
THE EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE was opened by a remarkably well expressed and sensible speech by Prince Albert, whose manner is admirably adapted for a meeting of this sort, and whose choice of language and pronunciation evince a finished English education. Amongst several excellent remarks, after sunming up the paucity of attendance, the Prince said—“Gentlemen, these are startling facts, which render it evident that no extension of the means of education will be of any avail unless this evil, which lies at the root of the whole question, be removed ; and that it is high time that the country should become thoroughly awake to its existence, and prepared to meet it energetically. To impress this upon the public mind is the object of our conference, Public opinion is the powerful lever which in these days moves a people for good and for evil; and to public opinion we must therefore appeal if we would acbieve any lasting and beneficial result. You, gentlemen, will richly add to the services which you have already rendered to the noble cause, if you will prepare public opinion by your inquiry into this state of things, and by discussing in your sections the causes of it, as well as the remedies which may be within your reach. This will be no easy matter; but even
if your labours should not result in the adoption of any immediate practical steps, you will have done great good in preparing for them. It will probably happen that in this instance, as in most others, the cause which produces the evil will be more easily detected than its remedy, and yet a just appreciation of the former must ever be the first and essential condition for the discovery of the latter. You will probably trace the cause to our social condition, perhaps to a state of ignorance and lethargic indifference on the subject amongst the parents generally, but the root of the evil will, I suspect, also be found to extend into that field on which the political economist exercises his activity-I mean the labour market-demand and supply. (Hear, hear.) To dissipate that ignorance, and rouse from that lethargy, may be difficult; but, with the united and earnest efforts of all who are the friends of the working classes, it ought, after all, to be only a question of time. What measures can be brought to bear upon the other root of the evil is a more delicate question, and will require the nicest care in handling, for there you can cut into the very quick of the working man's condition. His children are not only his offspring, to be reared for a future independent position, but they constitute part of his productive power, and work with him for the staff of life. The daughters especially are the handmaids of the house, the assistants of the mother, the nurses of the younger children, the aged, and the sick. To deprive the labouring family of their help would be almost to paralyse its domestic existence. (Hear, hear.) On the other hand, carefully collected statistics reveal to us the fact, that while almost 600,000 children, between the ages of three and fifteen, are absent from school, but known to be employed, no less than 2,200,000 are not at school, whose absence cannot be traced to any ascertained employment, or other legitimate cause. You will have to work, then, upon the minds and hearts of the parents, to place before them the irreparable mischief which they inflict upon those who are intrusted to their care, by keeping them from the light of knowledge—to bring home to their conviction that it is their duty to exert themselves for their children's education, bearing in mind at the same time that it is not only their most sacred duty, but also their highest privilege. Unless they work with you, your work-our work, will be vain; but you will not fail, I feel sure, in obtaining their co-operation if you remind them of their duty to their God and Creator. (Hear, hear.) Our heavenly Father, in his boundless goodness, has so made his creatures that they should be happy, and in his wisdom has fitted his means to his ends, giving to all of them different qualities and faculties, in using and developing which they fulfil their destiny, and running the uniform course according to his prescription, they find their happiness which he has intended for them. (Cheers.) Man alone is born into this world with faculties far nobler than the other creatures, reflecting the image of him who has willed that there should be beings on earth to know and worship him, but endowed with the power of self-determination, having reason given him for his guide. He can develop his faculties, and obtain that happiness which is offered to him on earth, to be completed hereafter in entire union with him, through the mercy of Christ. But he can also leave these faculties unimproved, and miss his mission on earth. He will then sink to the level of the lower animals, forfeit his happiness, and separate from his God, whom he did not know how to find. Gentlemen, I say man has no right to do this. He has no right to throw off the task which is laid upon him for his happiness. It is his duty to fulfil his mission to the utmost of his power; but it is our duty, the duty of those who Providence has removed from this awful struggle, and placed beyond this fearful danger, manfully, unceasingly, and untiringly, to aid by advice, assistance, and example, the great bulk of the people, who without such aid must almost inevitably succumb to the difficulty of their task. They will not cast from them any aiding hand, and the Almighty will bless the labours of those who work in his cause.” (His Royal Highness sat down amidst loud applause.)
It is quite an event in these times that a Prince, the Consort of a Sovereign, and the Father of the next Sovereign, should thus express himself. These are sentiments which, twenty years ago, would have been deemed as savouring of democratical tendencies.
The Prince's speech will have great effect in rendering obsolete the still too prevalent notion that intellectual advancement is antagonistic to the duties of labour. Shoals of people who never dream of yielding to reason fall prostrate before the dicta of Princes. It is a glorious thing to find this vulgar idolatry (always the most conspicuous among those who are the most recently elevated in social rank) turned to such good account.
His Royal Highness laid too much stress upon the delusive statements of the Educa. tional Census. That of 1801 was avowedly short of the actual number at school, and it was demonstrated in a paper read in Section E, that that of 1851 as largely overstates the number. These statistics were not of the Prince's formation, and we no wise wonder at his adopting them. Long and able speeches followed from Lord Brougham, the Bishop of Oxford, and Canon Moseley, but they did not enter into details, but trod, somewhat discursively, in great measure over the same ground as that taken by the Prince, dealing chiefly in generalities and admitted principles.
The next day, Tuesday, was occupied by the various Sections which were divided into five.
The Bishop of Oxford presided over Section A, which was all day the most crowded, and the papers touched on all kinds of proofs how short a time the children attended school. The Reverend Inspector Mitchell, the Bishop of Durham, the Rev. Mr. Burgess, W. H. Hyett, Esq., E. Baines, Esq., — Ackroyd. Esq., -- Goodman, Esq., and J. Flint, Esq. read able Papers, followed by capital discussions.
Section B, was on Foreign Schools, presided over by the Honourable W. Cowper. J. Kay, Esq. and M. Eugene Rendu read excellent papers.
Section C. was devoted, under the Presidency of Sir James Kay Shuttleworth, to prize schemes where Mr. Seymour Tremenheere read a most elaborate and masterly paper, as did also Mr. Hare, Charity Inspector, and Inspectors Kennedy and Norris, and the Rev. Nash Stephenson; but these gentlemen did not show how prize schemes are to be made to bear on the children in the lower classes in schools. A discussion on this point ensued, in which an amendment to the resolution proposed by Mr. Symons was agreed to, but on that gentleman and others who had supported it leaving the room, it was expunged in their absence by the opposing party.
Section C, under the Dean of Salisbury, discussed half time systems; and good and instructive papers were read by J. Thackeray Bunce, Esq. the Reverend C. Bromby, E. Chadwick, Esq. and J. F. Winfield, Esq. who contributed profitably to the information given, when a tedious and somewhat angry discussion was raised about legislative enactments by Mr. Ball, of Birmingham, which broke out again in the final meeting on Wednesday. This was the only hitch to the Conference. It was trifling, and but slightly marred the unanimity that otherwise prevailed.
Section E. under the Dean of Bristol, was opened by a most feeling and eloquent paper by Miss Carpenter on the effects of ignorance on crime, followed by others, and discussions to which we have no space to advert.
Industrial training had its full share of attention.
On Wednesday the Conference held its final meeting at Willis's Rooms, under the presidency of Earl. Granville. Admirable speeches were made by himself, Sir J. Kay Shuttleworth, Lord Lansdowne, Sir John Pakington, E. Baines, Ésq. — Morley, Esq. several of the Bishops and others who had taken part in the former proceedings, as well as by many who had not.
Altogether it was the most successful Conference ever held.
The Master of Pembroke College, Oxford, has been preaching at Cheltenham, on the occasion of the breaking up of the Grammar School there. Dr. Jeune took for his text the following passage,-“That our sons may be as plants grown up in their youth." Psalm cxliv. 12.--We subjoin some parts of his discourse, and only regret that our space is too limited to place the whole of the sermon before our readers.
After alluding to the principle which leads men to devote their energies to the service of future times, Dr. Jeune said-The intensity of the impulse might be estimated from the munificence of the founders of educational establishments. The world has had experience that it is impossible to secure the intentions of founders from violation, the inefficacy of statutes and oaths to secure obedience and honesty, and the gross evils which abused foundations produce, have failed to check its rigour. A new foundation often arises on the site, and is maintained by the confiscated wealth of an old one. Our great Cathedral of St. Paul's took the place of one built by Roman Catholics, which had itself been preceded by a heathen temple. One large college at least in Oxford was endowed before the Reformation with the spoils of the alien priories, and Wolsey found means for his great designs on behalf of the same University in the lands of suppressed convents. The grammar schools of Edward IV. are enjoying the estates of chantries abolished as being superstitious. We have seen in our day Parliament alter with most universal 'approbation all the statutes of founders in both Universities. Changes, indeed of this latter kind made by the sovereign power with no desire to despoil, but in order to carry out the paramount objects of founders, which are the advancement of religion and learning, ought not to deter a wise benefactor from bestowing his wealth under such conditions as he shall think best for securing those paramount objects; but, while doing this he will rejoice in the thought that, inasmuch as the meams expedient in one condition of society may become absurd and mischievous in another, the State will step in, and by a change of rules, provide for what alone was, and continues to be, important to the glory of God and the good of man.
Every virtue in fallible beings could lead to evil. We should follow our instincts, which are the leadings of God, with the lights of experience, of conscience, and of Scripture. What is required is not that endowed foundations shall be forbidden or suppressed, but that they should be kept under the watchful supervision of public opinion, reformed whenever abuses arise-nay, wholly remodelled by the wisdom of the legislature, if change of time and manners should imperiously call for such interposition. The desire to confer perpetual benefits on mankind, which was a part of our mental constitution, was one which might be expected to manifest itself in every age and condition of society which had emerged from barbarism. Such was the fact. But it is, of course, under Christianity that this, like all the other noble impulses, had obtained its full intensity. At the dawn of the Reformation, and indeed even before the Reformation, when a sense of its necessity was almost unconsciously pressing on the higher minds, means were taken to multiply permanent schools in this country. Such foundations had multiplied over the country to such an extent that it was said that there were now no less than 600 old grammar schools of various kinds in England. In our own time the good work has not slackened, though it is carried on in a manner somewhat different. Thus their own great proprietary college, notwithstanding its name, was a foundation created no less for fnture generations than for the present, and which will benefit them chiefly at the cost of those who founded it. It was of little benefit, nay, it was often injurious, to force into a literary or professional life by extraneous assistance, youths of little ability; but our times require for the public service, and the higher professions all the intellectual power which can be brought forth. Mere poverty ought not to be a title to superior education, neither should it be suffered in a great and Christian country, to depress those whom God has greatly gifted.
It might be objected that what was important in this and every other country was not to provide for education in the upper and middle classes, which can and will take care of themselves, but to raise the intellectual and moral character of our mechanics and labourers, who could have no just sense of the value of schooling, and who often could have no means of defraying the cost. The reply was, that the State was doing in this direction all that could be desired, but that the State wisely abstained from interfering with the education of the upper classes. But were the case otherwise, it could not be conceded that it was of less moment to train superior youths in the best way, than to educate those destined for labourers' occupations. The greatness of a country increases with the greatness of its great men. Power and station will never want suitors, and the ablest men of a country are generally found in their proper places; but, in my judgment at least, thc ablest men would be much less able, much less refined, if their training was left to the individual judgment and chances of a mere voluntary system, than if it were determined on large principles. The wisest parents would be easily tempted to have their children taught what was regarded as more immediately serviceable to their advancement in life, than what is best calculated to develop and brace all the faculties of the man. The best schoolmaster, if unsupported from without, would be forced to render his course of teaching a sort of bastard apprenticeship for real life. The best training of the whole man is found eventually to be the best preparation for practical life. Thus would perish the memory of the classics--those great works which were the delight of men at the time when they appeared, and which have been ever since the study of boys in every other; and such is the real character of every classic. Happily we are not left to voluntary caprice and individual judgment in this country. Our children are taught, not what we please, but what our Universities and the rulers of our cheap schools from time to time prescribe Our numerous educational endowments, though apparently unconnected with each other, were yet united in one great system, while parts were becoming more and more connected every day. The acquirements to which the emoluments and honours of our Universities were awarded were those which must be cultivated in every grammar school in the country; and the examinations by which those acquirements were tested depended wholly on the uncontrolled decision of these Universities, and individual parents have no choice but to submit: though public opinion, as a whole, doubtless exercises a salutary influence on the rulers of our Universities.
All teachers are under deep responsibility to God and man. To them all is intrusted ; the most precious of God's gifts to us, our children, our hopes, our solace, the objects for which, from middle life at least, we live and labour; a real cure of souls; and to enable them to fulfil their trust, there is delegated to them a part of that sacred power, the parental power which is in itself the very image upon earth of the power of God over man. You, too, scholars, have causes to praise God this day. To benefactors, the obligation of the country, of your parents, of your master is great; but, after all, you are the direct objects of their benevolence. I am well aware that at your age, to all but natures of singular goodness, the importance of restraint, of irksome tasks, of submission to authority, which right education demands, seems needless vexation. You must in this matter trust us who have finished the course in which you are now advancing when we say that you will one day be grateful for all this, as we are grateful, and if you trust us and have aught that is noble in your character, you will thank God for His goodness in raising up a benefactor in your behalf. Accustom yourselves to see the hand of God doing all that is done for you, not only by benefactors but by parents or by teachers, who are certainly in your youth God to you--the delegates of His power, the interpreters of His will, the dispensers of His bounty, the instruments by which He fulfils His work. He creates, indeed; they fashion. He gives faculties; they brace and guide them. Let us then feel if they are to grow up—some for strength, some for ornament, some for fruitfulness-all for the happiness and glory of our native land. These, our sons, grown up as plants in their youth, are to be transplanted into the paradise of God. Our daughters, polished as corner stones, after the similitude of a palace, the graceful columns in the house of God, at once beautiful and holy, are destined to adorn the temple of heavenly Jerusalem to all eternity. Our patriotism glows most for our heavenly country. We bless God, therefore, for His goodness ; for we believe that if His spirit shall prosper the work which his providence has set on foot, many a one who frequents our schools will there be made wise unto salvation, learn to understand to use the words of divine truth, discover the wants of his soul, the power of the cross, the promise of the Spirit, and thus become blessed, and in his generation a blessing to others. If you think thus with us, with us, too, praise the Lord this day, utter the memory of His great goodness, for He has opened His hand, and gives to these young souls their meat in due season, and he satisfieth their best desires.
SCHOOLS OF ART.-There are sixty schools of art in the United Kingdom receiving aid from the public purse, in payment towards masters' salaries, scholarships, and to pupil teachers. In the year 1855-6, these payments were thus 'distributed Aid by means of examples, £4,500 ; guarantee fund for salaries, £2,000; salaries to masters, £12,000; prizes, $2,400; travelling expenses, £2,000; Normal Lace School, Ireland, £500; inspection, £2,100; total, £25,000. The head school at Marlborough House cost last year, £1,920 for salaries; £3,731 for training masters; and £145 for guarantee. In 1851, in the schools of design were 3,296 students, costing the State an average, per student, of £3, 2s. 4d. In 1852, being the commencement of the schools of art, 5,506 students cost £2. 85. 2d. each ; in 1853, 17,209 students cost £1. 48. 4d. each; in 1854, 22,154 students cost £1. 3s. 4d. each; and in 1855, 31,455 students cost 168. 2 d. each.
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