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asmuch as it is intended, not for the poor, but for those who can well afford to pay for the instruction of their children.
My letter has already extended to a great length ; but before I bring it to a conclusion, I am desirous of giving a short description of two middle schools with which I am acquainted, and which may serve as useful models for other schools of the same class. They are both situated in the cathedral city of the diocese of Chichester. This is a good arrangement; for it is very desirable to make the mother church the point around which these and similar institutions should first spring into existence. A cathedral city is like one set on an hill, and all in the diocese should be able to turn to it for light; for examples of that “ faith which worketh by love" (Galatians, ch. v. ver. 6). The middle school for girls was established in 1842, by one whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Romans, ch. ii. ver. 29); and it is now an admirable model of what every such school should be. The object of the school, as stated in the prospectus, is to afford the middle class of society the opportunity of giving their daughters a suitable education, founded on religious principles (as taught by the Church of England), on moderate terms.” The course of secular instruction embraces the following subjects :--the English language, history, geography, writing, arithmetic, church singing, and plain needle-work; and the terms are for boarders £5 per quarter, and £1 for daily pupils. Instruction in instrumental music and French is provided for those who may require a knowledge of these accomplishments. The pupils attend the service at the cathedral once every day, and their religious instruction is directed by one of the parochial clergy, who regularly visits the school.
The middle school for boys is of more recent date. It was established in 1844, with the sanction and assistance of the bishop, the dean, and the parochial clergy. The system of education is suitable to the middle classes of society, and comprises :
1. Religious instruction, according to the principles of the church of England.
2. Arithmetic, algebra, mensuration, and book-keeping.
The terms are £l per quarter. As yet no arrangements have been made for the reception of boarders ; but it is desirable that this should be soon done. When boarders are taken, the sphere of usefulness of every middle school will be found to be much enlarged. All the pupils attend the service at the cathedral on Wednesdays and Fridays, and on the festivals of the church ; and their religious instruction is superintended by the parochial clergy.
A short description of these two schools has now been given ; and I think that they will be found useful as models. Much is being done in various parts to establish sound and efficient middle schools ; but more remains to be done, and, it is to be hoped that the time is near at hand when we shall find good schools in every large town, which may
available for the middle classes of the town itself, and for those in the adjacent country. And surely there are many faithful followers of their Lord, both among the laity and the clergy, who will gladly join in this good and most necessary work. It is not only money that is required, but time, talents, labour, and vigilant pastoral superintendence above all. There is much need of a large supply of faithful and devoted teachers; “the harvest truly is plenteous but the labourers are few;" and we must pray the Lord of the harvest that he will send forth labourers into his harvest” (St. Matt. ch. ix. ver. 37, 38). In days like these, what can be a safer and more certain remedy for the mental excitement produced by controversy and disputes, than active exertions in well-doing; and in promoting the efficiency and influence of that pure and Apostolic Church, “ in whom we were born anew unto God, and in whose bosom we hope to die.” A large and neglected portion of our brethren are in need of a Christian education for their children; and we trust that many will be found willing to work diligently, in order to supply their need. In this Christian land, there must be very many who, having been drawn into closer communion with their blessed Lord by trouble, sorrow, sickness, or some other adversity, can fully enter into the meaning of those tender and considerate words which were addressed to the penitent apostle, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs" (St. John, ch. xxi. v. 15).
Let these, and such as these, be diligent and forward in this and every other labour of love. Many will follow, who want the power to lead. And even in this life they will be rewarded ; for it is promised, that “if any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God” (St. John, ch. vii. ver. 17); and again, “if a man love me,” saith our Lord, “ he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him" (St. John, ch. xiv. ver. 23). While others are perplexed and disquieted by doubtful disputations and controversies, their minds will be kept in peace; and in sorrow and bereavement they will find great and exceeding comfort in that active spirit of love which induces them to embrace with thanfulness every opportunity of doing good.
Your faithful servant, Jan. 8, 1845.
HOW TO ENSURE COMMUNICANTS AS SPONSORS. We have recently had the good fortune to meet with a small work, published in 1840*, which appears to suggest a valuable and practicable method of assisting the poor in procuring proper sponsors for their children, and in promoting, generally, conformity to that law by which the Church has provided both for the sacredness of the solemnity of baptism, and for the future christian education of the child, by ordaining, “ Neither
* Sponsors for the Poor, by the Rev. Montague Hawtrey, M.A., pp. 88, London, Hatchard and Son, 1840.
shall any person be admitted godfather or godmother to any child, at christening or confirmation, before the said person, so undertaking, hath received the holy communion.” (29th Canon.)
Upon this law of the church, the author remarks, “it is the part of christian charity, and the character of the christian religion, not only to lay down rules, but to afford every possible assistance to those who are called on to obey them.” He applies this observation to the subject before us by adding, “ let the church enjoin obedience to her canons ; let her require, that where a child is brought to be baptized, there shall be three communicants to testify his admission into the church, and to undertake for him the sponsorial obligations. But where the parents of the child cannot procure such sponsors, let not the church reject him as a friendless outcast, but supply from her own bosom those who shall be the foster-fathers and foster-mothers of the spiritual orphan” (pp. 24, 25). “Let a holy brotherhood of christian communicants be formed in every parish, for the express purpose of furnishing to the church that very class of coadjutors by which she supposes herself to be surrounded” (p. 26).
This suggestion leads the author to discuss the question, “how far it would be possible to obtain a sufficient number of communicants willing to act as godfathers and godmothers to the children of spiritual destitution within their respective parishes ?” He shows the importance of this question by observing, that the number of communicants, as compared with the whole number of churchmen, is very inconsiderable ; and but a small part of these could be presumed willing to engage in such a duty ;, while our country teems with the multitudes of children that are daily added to the population, and admitted into the church. It becomes, therefore, most important, that we should endeavour to obtain a definite idea of the proportion existing between the work to be done, and the numbers that may be engaged in its performance” (pp. 28, 29).
The author then proceeds at some length to the determination of this question. Our limits will not permit us to give all the data on which he argues, nor his reasonings thereon. For these we must refer our readers, who are desirous of further detail, to the work itself. We will only premise, that as regards the population, the figures upon which he bases his calculations are taken from a carefully corrected table in the parliamentary report of the population of Great Britain for 1833. From these returns it appears, that it may be laid down as a general rule, that for every hundred inhabitants in any place, three infants are baptized into the established church every year, and that of these three only two may be expected to survive till the end of fifteen years.
There being no means of ascertaining by a reference to published papers the proportion between the number of the inhabitants of the country and the number of habitual communicants, the author has, for convenience, taken an average considerably below that of the district with which he is himself acquainted, and which, it is to be hoped, most clergymen will at a glance perceive is so with respect to their own cures,--namely, the average of three communicants in every hundred inhabitants. This calculation gives the same number of communicants
as of children baptized each year, so that there would be one communicant for every child baptized in the year.
Upon this the author observes :: Supposing this state of things to prevail throughout the country, and every communicant to be willing to undertake the office of godfather or godmother, the amount of trouble and moral charge accruing to each would be small indeed, especially when they consider that they are engaged by their profession of christianity to visit the widows and the fatherless; to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and freely to give where they have freely received.
“As the church requires three sponsors for every infant baptized, each communicant (supposing the above proportion to hold good) would have to give personal attendance at three administrations of baptism during the year. But after the administration, though it might be hoped that each sponsor would continue solicitous for the spiritual wel. fare of his little charge, we may suppose that the chief care for the christian education of the child in each case devolve upon one of the sponsors, according to arrangements made between them at the time, * —the other two affording to the child a more general superintendence, and standing in reserve, in case the first should be removed by death or other contingency.
“ If, therefore, these suggestions were acted on, and the above proportion held good between the number of communicants willing to undertake this duty and the number of children born, each voluntary sponsor would every year have one little infant committed to his christian superintendence; and supposing that they all lived till the age of confirmation, fifteen or sixteen would be the utmost that he would have at any time under his charge. At first, the duty of such sponsors would be merely to inquire occasionally as to the bodily health of the child, and to acquire an interest in its welfare. The superintendence would afterwards become more attentive and more interesting. But no one, surely, who felt in any degree the blessings, and entered into the spirit of christianity, would deem it all burdensome to have under his eye four or five infants, about whose health he might occasionally inquire ; six or seven children upon whose opening minds he might impress in a simple manner the great truths of christianity; and three or four just coming out of childhood, whom he might exhort to hear sermons, and
prepare for confirmation” (pp. 31-34).
The author next considers the difficulties that may arise from the proportion between the number of voluntary sponsors and the number of children baptized being not unfrequently found less favourable to his proposed plan than he has supposed in the foregoing calculations. We
“The natural arrangement would be, that the female sponsors should undertake the special superintendence of girls, and the male sponsors of boys, and that each new charge should devolve upon that one of the two male or two female sponsors who might at the time have the fewest names on his or her list. Such an arrangement would be quite in accordance with the practice of christian antiquity, according to which only one sponsor was required (Bingham's Antiquities, Book XI, ch. viii, sect. 11). The custom of having more than one, must have arisen from the possibility of one being removed by death or otherwise, and leaving the child without any spiritual guardianship, not for the purpose of accumulating instructors."
propose giving, in a following number, what he says upon this part of the subject, together with a table, in which he has shown, under a variety of circumstances, the necessary number of voluntary sponsors, so that the number of children may never exceed a certain number under the care of each.
[To be continued.]
A SUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT TO REFORM A YOUNG LIAR. My dear Sir,–I cannot refrain from communicating a method for the cure of that dreadful sin of lying, which so besets our schools. In doing so, I do not pretend to pass judgment upon its merits, but rather am seeking for the judgment of others upon it. A tradesman in my parish, under whom one of my schoolboys has been placed in service, applied to me for a book for him, as he said he always kept his boys to their books. I was surprised to hear him show such an interest in them, as he had never shown any deep regard for his own spiritual welfare ; but I rejoiced at his care for others. He then told me, that he had been most successful in training boys, and especially one most notorious liar, whom the parents had placed in his hands as a forlorn hope. His plan was this :-He kept a book, in which he made the boy write down circumstantially every lie in which he was detected. This book was brought to him on Sunday. He then said,—“ You cannot be fit to go to church with such lying lips ; stay at home and read to me with your own mouth the lies of which you have been guilty during the week.” And so the poor culprit was obliged to detail his own miserable falsehoods. When a clearer page was presented to him, he would say,—“Go to church, and come back to have your dinner with me.” By this method of punishment and reward, he so completely cured the boy and gained such confidence in him, that he recommended him to an apothecary's service in London. A little time ago he was stopped in the streets by a smart young man, who said,—“Sir, I am more indebted to you than to any man living; you cured me of that sin that would have ruined me in this world and the next too; I am now the partner of the master under whom you placed me.”
My first impression was to establish a black book forth with in my own school, that every lie should be registered, and the guilty child brought to me privately to rehearse his own fault; and all subsequent thought upon the subject has tended to confirm me that the method is good in principle, without looking at all to the results which were undoubtedly good in the instance above told. I should be exceedingly glad to hear other opinions on the subject. Of course there must be dangers to be guarded against in adopting such a method amongst many children, where it would operate differently on different moral constitutions, and tempers ; and it would be a kindness in any one to point them out, Meanwhile we might ask, -Is not this principle the same by which God deals with us, and would make us deal with ourselves for the correction of our faults? Does he not tell us that all our doings are noted in a book, which will be presented to our eyes at the