an independent company, chosen from all denominations and embracing both clergymen and laymen, to which all the children of the city should have free admission. To this arrangement the Protestant churches all submitted; the Episcopal, the Dutch Reformed, the Methodist, the Baptist, all---except the Roman Catholic--- with one consent submitted to this decision. The Roman Catholics refused. They had the largest number of poor children to be educated, and they said, “We want our portion of the public money to support our own schools.” We said to them, “Here are public schools, common schools, open to your children as to ours, come and partake of the privileges. We have no religion taught in these schools; we have sound morality, the general principles of which are admitted by all to be religious truth, but not the doctrines of any particular denomina. tion, nothing that can offend the prejudices of any. Come, we say to your children, to our schools; sit beside our children; listen to the same teachers, imbibe the same lessons, forget all differences, and become as brothers, as all the citizens of a nation should be.” “Oh, no!” said they, "we do not like that." What is your objection to it? Are not our schools good schools? Are they not well taught? “Yes." Then why not send your children to them, and let them grow up with our children: forget all differences of birth or opinion, and melt into one American mass? “Oh, no!” said they, “this public table of yours is well furnished, and the dishes may be good; but we want privale tables; we want our share of the money, and we will take care of our tables in our way." These schools were not sufficiently religious for them; they desired to have their children instructed not only in the common branches of education; but in the doctrines of their religion; and to do this they desired a portion of the common school fund. Now, what was their share! They had the greatest number of children to be instructed, but they did not pay the greater part of the

The answer to their demand was, The fund was not raised to enable you to educate your bhildren, but to educale them. They must go to the schools provided for them. This they did not like; they wanted the money. They were told they could educate their children as they chose at their own expense. But they wanted our money to do it with.

We asked them what objection they had to our schools? They did no: know; they did not like them! And finally, they said our books our reading books, had in them a great many reflections on the Raman Catholics, and they did not wish their children to read' them.

Now, we were willing to meet this with all candor. We know


'that, in books made up of miscellaneous articles, it could not be expecied that every particular sentence should suit every member of the community. We must give and take a little in this respect. But this, however just, did not suit them, and they would not have it so. We went to work to find a remedy. Suggestions were made, and 80 we went to work to expurgate all that could give offence. We wanted their children; we wanted to educate them; we did not like them to grow upin ignorance; and so we expurgated these objeclionable passages.

Mr. Ketchum here exhibited one of these expurgated editions of Murray's Reader, and pointed out the passages which had thus been stricken out; among them were a sketch of Luther's character, from Robertson's Charles V,; this line from Goldsmith's Traveller--

“And e'en in penance planning sins anew:” a sentence from Lord Chatham's celebrated protest against the employment of Indian savages by the British in the Revolutionary war, in which the words “tyranny of Rome," "Popish cruelties,” and "Inquisition” occurred. These were all stricken out for the sake of peace. But all would not do. Friends blamed us for having made too great sacrifices for the sake of quiet. We said we would educate these children for the safety of society: we would make Americans of them, make them think and feel as Americans about American institutions and American people. But that was not what the Roman priests wanted; for, be it remembered that many of the Roman laity desired that it should be so. They knew that in these schools the spirit of liberty would be growing up in their children's hearts; they would begin to exercise their right of private judgment, and this might diminish their respect for their spiritual fathers. They did not wish it to be so.

All went on; they could not very well get over this, but they soon raised another objection. Said they, “We do not like your BIBLE.” Our answer was, We do not instruct our children out of it; we have it in our schools, and out of respect to the religious cominunity, to the decencies of life and the usages of all respectable society, we have a chapter read at the opening of the schools. Perhaps it would have been well to have had offered a petition to heaven; but there were objections to this; and, therefore, to please every body, we had a chapter instead. They said, “We cannot approve this; we will not have it.” Our answer was, practically, We cannot give up the Bible; we will not give up the Bible! We are here as agents of the public; and if the public authorize you to say that we shall not have the Bible, we will submit; but till then we will not. And I have great salisfaction in saying that the public has taken up the question, and there is no probability that the public voice will issue the command that we shall give up the Bible. It has been said, in a public controVersy between Bishop Hughes and myself, that this is a Protestant country; that we were willing that their children should come here and fare as ours do; but that this was a Protestant country, and that We love the Bible. It is a fondness we have contracted from our ancestors; they used the Bible and we have continued to use it. The answer was, that this is not a Protestant country! We do not admit il, said they. Now I wish to pause a moment and inquire if this is & Protestant country? France, Belgium, Italy, and other countries in Europe, are generally spoken of in geographies as Roman Catholic countries; but on the maps, the United States are put down as Protestant. Are they not? Was that Congress which recommended the printing and distribution of the Bible a Protestant Congress, or was it not? Did Lord Chatham speak the truth when he said on the floor of the house of Lords that Indians were about to be employed in fighting their “Protestant” brethren, or did he not? We have a little documentary evidence germane to this subject; and I beg leave to read an extract from an address, in 1774, by the American Congress to the people in Great Britain:

“The dominion of Canada is to be extended that their num. bers, daily swelling with Catholic emigrants from Europe, may be. come formidable to us, and reduce this uncient free Proleslant colony to a state of slavery. Nor can we express our astonishment, that a British Parliament should ever consent to establish in this country, a religion that has deluged your island in blood, and dispersed impiety, bigotry, persecution, murder and rebellion throughout every part of the world."

This address was issued by an American Congress. Were their constituents Protestants, or not? They were Protestants. In the time of the Revolution, when struggling for civil and religious liberty, they fought Protestants; ey conquered as Protestants; and as Protestants they rejoiced over their victory. At that time, then, this was a Protestant country. Now when have we lost that character? Let me ask Bishop Hughes, or any other person, to say when we ceased to be a Protestant country? I do not know but that the time may come when we shall eease to be such, but I do not believe it; at least while the energies of this Society are still employed, while your agents go forth and your ministers are at their altars as hereto

fore; while your missionaries go out into the land, I do not believo we shall cease to be a Protestant country; and may the day ba long distant when the attempt to make this a Roman Catholic country shall succeed! And what, in that case, have we to expect? I will read proclamation---since proved to be official---lately issued in France :

UNIVERSITY OF FRANCE. ACADEMY AT BORDEAUX. The Inspector of the Schools of the Dordogne to the Schoolmasters of

the Department: Monsieur l'Institutor.---Many of the cures and their assistants have reported their schoolmasters as having suffered to be introduced in their respective schools, Bibles and Testaments, which contain doctrines contrary to the true religion. I know that some of the teachers have permitted these books to be used, because they were deceived by the colporteurs, who told them that they were sent by me. I hagten to request you to remove these dangerous books from your school. I will, without delay, in company with the priest, visit and inspect your schools, and every copy of these books that we shall find, we will cause to be burnt. I embrace this opportunity of informing you, that from this time, I will allow only three books in the rural schools, viz:

1. The catechism of the diocese.

2. A book of moral lessons, instructive and easy to be understood by the children. 3. A book of Arithmetic. (Signed)


Inspeclor of the Schools, &c., &c. I desire to have it understood, that no man has a right to exaggerate these descriptions of the proceedings of Roman Catholics. I hold myself

' responsible for whatever I have said, for I speak what i know. I have no controversy with Roman Catholics in this country; I hope they may long continue to enjoy the oivil and religious liberty they have sought here; I hope they will be happy here. But let them not seek to change our institutions. Let them not take away our Bi. ble; for I verily believe that it is to that Bible that we are indebted for these institutions which they praise, and for the liberty we enjoy, more than to any source whatever, and to all other sources whatever. And I doubt whether what we call republican liberty could exist here or elsewhere, unless the people are instructed in the Bible. There men learn their equality with their richest and most respected neighbor. It is there that practical democracy can alone be learned

by our children and ourselves. Let us then cling to the Bible! It is our safeguard and our only safeguard,

When I speak of the Bible, I mean this book. I do not come here to talk about versions of the Bible. What did our ancestors, for a hondred and fifty years, know about versions? We talk of the Bibles which we and our fathers for two hundred rears have read, in the faith of the doctrine in which they have lived happily and died tri. umphantly. These are the Bibles, these which the Society has printed, and of which they have distributed thousands of copies, to which we cling. 1 talk not of versions: It is to this Bible that the resolution refers. Its purity and simplicity of stiyle.-- where shall we find them surpassed! Here are words taken from the language of the people; and if we speak in these words to all who know the Englisn tongue, we shall be understood. Doubtless criticism may detect errors in language and punctuation ---a little here and there; but we do not believe it possible for more learning and purity to be employed upon the Bible than have been employed upon this. Let us, then, stand by it; and as it was the Bi'le of our fathers, so let it be the Bible of our chil. dren, to the remotest generation,


The lands where Popery and the Inquisition flourished, Italy and Spain, though blessed with rare fertility, with mineral wealth, with unclouded skies, are now, of all the lands where the name of Christ has been mentioned so long, the most degraded and the most wretchod. The countries where Popery has not been quite strong enough to establish or to maintain the Inquisition, but in which, nevertheless, she has substituted cunningly-devised fables and the commandments of men, for pure and undefiled religion, are countries sunk beneath a load of despotism, and debased even in this, the boasted nineteenth century, io a degree of ignorance and servility, happily unknown for many generations, to Protestant freemen. And in those darker lands where Mohammedanism has deluded the population---in Turkey and Persia particularly --- freedom is unknown, the people perish through lack of knowledge, and God's ancient people are barbarously oppresBed; while in China and all pagan nations, in the wilds of Africa, among the savage tribes of America, the hordes of Tartary, and the

« ElőzőTovább »