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these institutions throughout the diocese, and the assistance which is given from all quarters. . In the first place, as regards the supply of pupils, it is very much to be desired, that the local boards, the clergy, and other members of the Church who are interested in the promotion of education, would take any opportunity that may offer of facilitating the introduction of pupils to the school. And this not so much with reference to the advantage of the individuals (though of course this consideration need not be excluded), as with a view to their qualifications for the office of teacher. It sometimes happens, that those who from ill-health or any physical defect are unsuited for other pursuits, are led to turn their attention to tuition. And, no doubt, there are some cases in which persons incapable of filling other offices may be qualified for this. But it is of great importance to bear in mind, that short of positive sickness or infirmity, against which the medical certificates ought to be a more effectual safeguard than they have always proved, any state of health which indisposes to active exertion, or tends to dejection, or want of cheerful spirits and energy, incapacitates for a calling in which, perhaps more than in any other, that constant elasticity of the mind is required, without which the work of instruction will become a mechanical routine. It is, therefore, of much importance that the physical temperament of those who are proposed as pupils be suitable; as well as that they should have, together with those religious principles that are the foundation of all that is good, and that degree of intellectual qualification and attainment which is required, the moral qualities of good temper, and love of order, and patient and quiet energy of character.
Again, it is on the keeping up of local interest that we must rely for the necessary funds for the maintenance of the training-school, as well as for the purposes of assisting local efforts in the erection of schools, and in promoting their improvement in various modes, which we would gladly adopt, did our means allow.—Ibid.
THE CLERGYMAN THE MOST EFFICIENT AND ONLY NEEDFUL INSPECTOR.
As regards the inspection of schools, you are aware how anxious I have been for the establishment of some general system which might give to all our schools the advantage of regular inspection on a satisfactory footing; and how much disappointment I have felt at the failure of all the efforts I have made for this purpose. In consequence of this, and in compliance with a wish which has been expressed to me from various quarters, I have now turned my attention to the establishment of a system of local inspection, by the appointment of one or more inspectors for each educational district. The result of the enquiries which have been made on this subject by the committee expressly appointed for this purpose, at the annual meeting of the diocesan board, encourages me to believe, that the work of inspection may be conducted on this plan, so as to be productive of much good, and that such a mode of effecting this object would perhaps be more generally satisfactory than any other.
But, after all, no system of inspection from without can supply the place of the constant superintendence and inspection of the clergyman in his own parish school ; and where this is indeed regular and effective, all other inspection is of little moment. And for this, at least, the character of the great majority of the parishes of this diocese gives much facility, if in some other respects it is little favourable to the establishment of good schools. In proportion as parishes are of small population, it will result both that the size of the school will allow the influence of the master or mistress to be brought to bear immediately upon each individual child to a much greater extent than in large schools, and also that the clergyman will be at liberty to devote more attention to his school than is sometimes possible, amidst the perplexing multiplicity of demands upon his time, which overwhelm the incumbent of a populous parish. And I doubt whether these two advantages ought not more than to compensate for all the
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deficiencies which commonly have to be put in the balance against them, at least, in respect of that moral and religious training which is the most important part of education. Great as is the interest I take (as indeed it is my bounden duty to do) in the improvement of our schools, I am so conscious of my imperfect acquaintance with the practical details of education, that I have been very glad to be able, on some of the points on which I wish to observe, to confirm my own opinion by the far better authority of Mr. Allen, who, under the direction of the committee of privy council, has inspected, in a portion of this diocese, the schools which have been aided by the parliamentary grant, and has also done so more extensively in the neighbouring diocese of Winchester. He says in his report for 1844, “In a widely-scattered and populous cure, the clergyman has not the leisure to undertake the schoolmaster's office ; but in small parishes in the country, perhaps there are no means by which a pastor will more effectually influence his entire flock than by spending a considerable portion of time in his school, not as a superintendent merely, but a teacher. The instruction there iven will be repeated in many ways at home, and the mental associations, ormed by such intercourse in the case of the younger and more hopeful of those placed under his care, cannot but prove fruitful of good.” Again, in his report for this year, he says, “My experience would lead me to make the state: ment, “As are the pains bestowed therein by the clergyman, so is the school.'" And it is plain from the general tenor of Mr. Allen's reports, as well as from some particular instances which he quotes, that in addition to the security which is given against negligence and abuses of all kinds, by the habitual presence of the clergyman, he looks also for the especial advantage of his immediate superintendence of the religious instruction; and, indeed, as regards the elder pupils, that it may be given in great measure by himself.
(To be Continued.)
(Iijt (Editor's portfolio.
THE CHRISTIAN BROTHERS. (From Frank's First Trip to the Continent. By the Rev. W. Gresley.)
FRANK was greatly interested in the narrative of Père De La Salle. “What a noble example of Christian zeal and usefulness,” thought he –“ what a contrast to the self-indulgent lives which most people lead now-a-days. Even amongst good sort of persons, whom one supposes to be living in the performance of their duties, how few approach the standard of the good man! How few are willing to sacrifice wealth, and ease, and comfort, and leisure, for the sake of instructing their poor brethren in the faith and fear of God! If men live respectably on the means that God hath given them, and bring up their families in the same habits, they are commonly looked on as having done all that could be expected of them; but surely most men might do much more for God's glory than they do!” It may be supposed that Frank felt a lively wish to see something of the actual working of the society of which he had just read the origin. Accordingly, he gladly availed himself of Mr. Fleming's proposal to visit the institution. That gentleman had before taken the liberty of making some inquiries of the superior, and had been so, kindly received, that he did not scruple to make another visit. The house where the brothers live is in the Tintilleries, a long square on the east side of the town. The door was opened to them by one of the brothers, and they were shown into a small parlour. While they waited, they heard the sound of the solemn chaunt, as the brothers sang together the service of vespers. It always fills one with respect to listen even to the distant voice of those who are performing a solemn act of worship. The visitors felt how truly appropriate a termination of their labour was this pious service;— how soothing, after the excitement of the day, to yield their spirits to the influence of divine worship. The room was hung with specimens of writing and a few portraits, amongst which was that of the founder. The ample forehead, the well-formed aquiline nose, the mild expression of the bright blue eye, but, above all, the serene and tranquil spirit which characterized that countenance—not the mere serenity of the man who has lived in easy cheerfulness, but the deep tranquillity of one in whom all evil passions are quelled, the meekness of him who leads a patient, self-denying, mortified life;—these were the traits that marked the features of the founder of the institution. After they had waited a moderate time, the chaunting in the chapel ceased, and soon after, the superior entered the room, an earnest intelligent man, who welcomed the visitors with politeneSS. “What a heavenly expression of countenance is that of your saintly founder,” said Mr. Fleming, pointing to the picture of M. De La Salle. “It is a true index of the spirit that dwelt there,” answered the superior. “If any one has lived and died a saint, it is he.” “Your founder,” said Mr. Fleming, “was blessed beyond most men, not only in being the instrument of inestimable good, but in witnessing the fruit of his labours. It is given to few to reap as well as sow. The generality must be content to labour for God's service, in the faith that their labours will be blessed in His good time ; but De La Salle lived to witness the success of his enterprise, and left an institution, the good effects of which will be felt to the latest posterity,” “We have every reason to entertain the hope that our institution is destined to have a wide influence for good : never was it more flourishing than at the present time.” Mr. Fleming then proceeded to obtain the information which he wished respecting the management of the noviciate and schools, the superior answering all his queries with great courtesy. The institution, he told them, was spreading over all France, especially in the great towns, and extending to Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, Canada, Greece, Australia, Ireland, and even England. There are noviciates, or training schools, at Paris, St. Omer, Nantes, Avignon, Toulouse, Clermont, and Namur : at the latter place, as well as Rouen, are normal schools connected with the institution. The present number of associated brothers is 3,346; the number of schools 717, of children 170,179. There are brothers established at 422 towns, and a great many other places have made application to be supplied with masters as soon as they can be asforded. As regards the mode of conducting the establishment: the young men are admitted to the training schools from the age of 15 to 25, they, or their friends, paying 500 or 600 francs for their maintenance. At the age of 17 they take vows, which bind them for three years to devote themselves to the work of education. This is something analogous to the system of apprenticeship that is practised at some of our own institutions in England. At the age of 21, if they are so disposed, they devote themselves for life, and are enrolled amongst the brothers. Few who take the first vow are found to decline the second. After remaining one year in training, they are sent out to the establishments in the different towns, but still their training does not cease. They live under the government of a superior, and are employed in the different schools, all lodging together in one house. At Boulogne there are fifteen of them residing together under a superior, and having the charge of three schools, containing 1,100 children, who receive their education gratuitously. Never less than three are allowed to go out together to one place. The maintenance of the brothers, when employed in teaching, is provided by the towns in which
their services are required, at the rate of 600 francs, or 24l. for each brother. This is sufficient to maintain the whole establishment; they receive no salary whatever. There is a committee of management, consisting of townspeople, who take cognizance chiefly of the buildings and accommodation. In matters of education, the brothers keep strictly to their own rules. For the instruction of girls there are other societies in union with the church, but not connected with the institute of the christian brothers. In Boulogne they are taught by the Soeurs de la Retraite Chrétienne; but in other towns by different societies, particularly the Ursulines. Mr. Fleming inquired what was the system which had succeeded so well in rendering the christian brothers efficient and devoted masters. “That which we chiefly trust to, is not so much any peculiar system, as the spirit of religious devotion which we strive to foster. We are anxious to receive into our establishment only such as are sincerely desirous of labouring for God's glory. When they have become members of the moviciate, they are surrounded by associations and influences, all of which tend to confirm their resolution, and help them forward in their pious undertaking: they find others older than themselves, all devoted to the same pursuit; and so gradually they catch the same spirit, and their thoughts and habits are formed in the same mould. Besides which, the superior has the opportunity of observing and ascertaining the minutest traits of their character, and of directing their daily conduct. The greatest confidence subsists between them. The habit of instructing others, they acquire chiefly from observing the elder brothers engaged in their work. Especial pains are taken to train them in habits of self-command and patience. If a man cannot command himself, he has no business to undertake the command of children. It is chiefly by this instrument that we gain the influence we possess.” Both Mr. Fleming and his young friend listened with deep attention to these explanations. The superior, seeing the interest which the Englishmen took in the institution, proposed that on the next day they should visit the school, which is situated in the Place Navarino. Frank and Mr. Fleming accordingly went there the next morning, and were much pleased with the proficiency and general appearance of the youths. They were of the class which are commonly instructed at our national schools, and were quite equal to the pupils of a national school of the best description. They were employed in the ordinary occupation of boys of their station in life. Besides the common acquirements, some of the more advanced had made acquaintance with certain branches of mechanical and mathematical science. A good set of maps was suspended from the walls; but the chief peculiarity which struck the visitors in the arrangement of the school was, that instead of being collected in one large room, there was a separate room for each class, which consisted of about forty boys; and over each class was set one of the brothers as teacher. “I cannot but think," said Mr. Fleming, as they walked home, after taking a cordial leave of their kind conductor, “that the system of these christian brothers is, in this last respect, much superior to that of our national school system, where the boys are set to teach each other. It is not likely that boys should receive with much respect the instruction of one of their own body. Instead of which, here, you see, is a regularly trained master appointed over every class—young, indeed, but still invested with authority; and, by his very dress and demeanour, claiming the respect of the pupils. We might, with advantage, take a leaf out of the book of these christian brothers. Our own monitorial system is a decided failure, and the sooner it is broken up the better. Dr. Bell, though a well-meaning man, had not the spirit of De La Salle. The conceit of setting boys to teach boys, as a general system, is monstrous : its sure failure might have been foreseen. Its principal and almost only recommendation is, its cheapness. But surely, if in these French towns they can afford to maintain a proper number of teachers for the children of the poor, we, in England, ought not to continue an inferior system from mere motives of economy. Why should we not have our societies of teachers as they have here? There is another obvious advantage in this system of the christian brothers. We have established in England a number of training schools for masters, but find a difficulty in knowing what to do with our young men when they are trained ; and, besides, we keep them from two to three years, during which they are doing nothing for their livelihood. How much better if, in London, or in any great town, colleges of masters were instituted, to which we might send our young students to complete their training, by practising under the eye of some experienced superior, who should take care, also, that they lived properly and kept to their work.” “Would you have them take vows, like the christian brothers?" asked Frank. “There is so strong a feeling against anything of that sort in England, that, barely to propose it, would prevent the success of any attempt that might be made. Our system of training masters is purely commercial, like everything else that we attempt: the object of the young men is to sell their services in the best market; to get their living, marry, and provide for their families. Here, ostensibly, and let us hope in reality, the object is to devote themselves to the service of God ; and a most praiseworthy and noble sacrifice it is, if made, as we have no right to suppose it is not, in a true christian spirit. A young man consecrates himself to a laborious profession—renounces the world, and all its attractions—renounces even his own will—undertakes a course of humbling, uninviting duties; his sole object being to be useful to the poor children placed under his care—to form them to christian and social virtues— to render them happy by his instruction, advice, and good example, and furnish them with principles which will save them from the corruption of the world. To this, with entire freedom from worldly interests, he devotes the labour of his life; looking forward to no other reward than that which is laid up for him in heaven. What conduct can we conceive nobler or more devoted 2 I do not see any reason why we should not expect, if opportunity were offered and encouragement given, that persons might be found in our own church who should thus devote themselves, like these christian brethren, to God's glory. There are christian brothers at several places in England,-London, Preston, Manchester, Liverpool, and Sunderland; which shows that there is nothing in the system unsuited to the English people: and why we should not have them in the English communion, as well as the Romish, I can see no good reason. As to the vows which they take of celibacy, poverty, and obedience, I do not think that these are at all essential to the scheme. The institution of christian brothers flourished, at first, without them. Let young men be found who are willing to devote themselves to the work of education ; let them live together under a superior, in colleges, and be employed to instruct the population of our towns; and, so long as they choose to continue there for conscience' sake, and perform their duties, let them do so. If, after a while, they should choose to marry, and leave the institution, let them be settled in parochial schools elsewhere, according as their attainments are suitable. I am no advocate for compulsory celibacy. No man can know whether the gift of continence will be continued to him : if not, his vows of celibacy may be a grievous snare. If those who were weary with the restraints which they imposed on themselves, under the monastic system, had been suffered to depart, we should not hear of so many scandals as were attributed to them in former times. What can be imagined more certain to corrupt a religious society than the presence, amongst them, of men wearied and disgusted with the system, and remaining only by constraint P So, in the case of an association for the instruction of youth, if any member repented of his undertaking, and consequently grew lax and in