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the burthen of proving that there is any necessary connexion between the catechism of the church and the rudiments of the language in which it is written. It is for them to show the dangers of instructing children in that which enables them to learn any catechism ; and if they shall point out any reason for uniting the catechism with reading and writing, any more than for uniting the psaltery of David with music, or the groupes and scenes of the holy writings with painting, they will do what, as yet, they have not even once attempted, although it lyes at the very root of their whole argument.
We have touched upon the main propositions which constitute the groundwork of these attacks on the new system ; but it remains to say a few words respecting another view of the subject, which at first sight is much less revolting, because it seems to originate in more liberal and just ideas. "It is too specious not to be very frequently brought forward by the learned and reverend gentlemen whose sermons are now before us. Let the Dissenters, say they, have schools of their own, constructed on Lancaster's plan, and in which the catechism of the Church is not taught. Let those seminaries be open to all whose principles hinder them from conforming to the Establishment But let churchmen, and those who adhere to the Establishment, support other schools. Let them refrain from mixing with Disa senters; and, reserving their benefactions for the encouragement of seminaries where the peculiar tenets of the Church may be taught, let them thus provide for that portion of the poor which belong to the same persuasion with themselves ;- let, in short, the Dissenters have schools on Lancaster's plan, and the Churchmen on Dr Bell's. Both may flourish without mutual interruption, and all classes be satisfied. So plausible a view of the question, merits a little further consideration. But we must premise, that were it fully admitted, and resolved to be carriert into effect, no argument whatever would arise against the universal adoption of Lancaster's method, and the encouragement of the new Institution ; for, as we have already remarked, the Catechism may be introduced into it as easily as into the other. Churchmen may send youths to the Borough school, to be initiated in the plan of teaching; or youths may thence be sent to different seminaries, wholly directed by members of the Church ; and those youths will be as fully qualified to teach reading and writing, and the national creed along with those branches, as if they had been taught by Di Bell, at the Bishop of Durham's school. So far the two systems are precisely simia lar ; and the balance is turned wholly in Lancaster's favour, by in greater efficacy, and, above all
, its economy-explicitly adC%
mitted, by the friends of Dr Bell themselves, to be far superior to any thing of which their method can boast. * But we shall take the question on a wider basis, and suppose it to be, whether it is expedient for Dissenters and Church of England men to encourage, severally, schools apon the new plan ; so that the former shall establish those only where no Catechism is pre
ferred; and the latter, those only where the Church Catechisin • is taught?
In the first place, we view this proposal with very considerable suspicion. Why was it never made till now?' Why did the friends of the Establishment,---who hold it to be quite elear, that teaching the alphabet withoat the Catechism is dangerous to the Church,-never think of teaching either Catechism or alphabet ? Self-evident as they deem it, that unless the poor be taught religion at school, they will grow up indifferent about the Church, nay hostile to it; how happen they not to have thought of sending them to school at all? Even after the new system had been brought forward, and was spreading in the country, how long were the affected alarmists of bestirring themselves, in order to instruct, by means of it, the poor upon their own principles? Have we any reason to think, that the zeal which all of a sudden seems to have broke out amongst them, will last longer than the jealousy which manifestly excited it ? Can we suppose that they would have preached up the education of the poor, on what they call Church of England principles, if they had not seen a great and combined effort making, upon principles which admit of no narrow exclusions, to effect the same object? And yet no man will deny, that the dangers to the Establishment were at the least as great, upon their own. principles, when the poor were uneducated, as they can be when they are educated without regard to a particular Catechism. These things irresistibly lead us to apprehend that if, unhappily, the present clamour should put an end to Mr Lancaster's progress, or shoukl confine 'to Dissenters the patronage now so liberally extended to him from all quarters, the alarmists would · relapse into their former indifference ;—the Church, as a body, would return to the inaction but too natural to wealthy and firmly established institutions ;-and we should hear no more of the schools for educating the poor upon the principles of the national creed. But admitting, for the sake of argument, that this proposi
tion * See, particularly, Sir T. Bernard's work, formerly noticed, (No. XXXI.). The clerical defenders of Dr Bell's plan, and some others equally ignorant of the subject, pass over this point of economy; forgetting that it is in reality the chief point in the question.
tion of a double system is perfectly sincere; and that such a plan would be attempted with good faith, after it should have served the
of the moment ;- we hold it to be quite impracticable, at least in the desired extent, from the nature of the thing. The essence of the new method consists in economizing the expense of education, by teaching very large numbers
Beautiful and useful as it is, when applied to schools of a certain size, it is wholly inapplicable to small seminaries; at least, it loses all its advantages. One teacher now superintends a school of 1000 or 1200 children. Wherever, therefore, the whole poor children of the district do not exceed this number, it is exactly doubling the expense, to have two schools. And where they do exceed this number, how are they to be divided? We cannot expect that, of 1600 children, 800 will belong always to the church, and 800 to the different sects. In some places, the sectaries may be very few in number, perhaps 10 or 15; but if they were 20 or 30, they are too few,—and they therefore can take no benefit whatever from the new system. In all such cases, the Church of England poor may be educated; but the Dissenting poor must go without instruction, or must conform to the Church ;--that is, must sin against their consciences,--and (like our first parents) purchase knowledge at the expense of innocence. There are other places, however, where those proportions are reversed, ---where the bulk of the poor are not of the Church ; and, here, the sectaries may be educated under the new system, but not the others; or, at least, no school can here be established where the Catechism is taught; so that the poor of the Church must either go, uneducated, or resort to the Dissenting school. It is true, they inay do so with a safe conscience ;--and this is the very point in which the plan recommended by us, of excluding all peculiar Catechisms, so greatly excels the other. But, were the community marshalled by their creeds, as our alarmists would have them, it requires no great gift to foresee, that, in a district too full of Dissenters to allow of a Church of England school, the poor of the Establishment would knock in vain at the door of the Nonconformist for the bread of knowledge. And we verily believe, that they whose outcries had persecuted the religious world into such an unchristian state, would be the first to accuse the Dissenters, their victims, of uncharitableness, should they demean themselves in the manner which their treatment had made so natural.
But, after all, and laying out of our view the facts of the case-supposing, for a moment, that the new system (call it by whatever name you please) is capable of being applied in C 3
the double form now recommended-supposing, too, that the principle is carried farther, and that each sect has its separate establishment-let us figure to ourselves a complete adoption of this plan, a regular marshalling of the community, according to their religious creeds, for the purpose of exercising the charities of their common faith, nay, the charities of their common nature-and then let the mind of man fancy, if it can, a more preposterous, a more disgusting sight-we will not say, a sight more repugnant to every precept of the gospel, but one more painful to every sense of propriety, and every right feeling of the heart. What is really the substance of the doctrine maintained by these reverend watchmen of the Church? And by what devices do they seek to uphold her strength? Do they not all lead to such maxims as the following? Give no alms, but to • them of your own sect--pour no oil into the stranger's wounds
vapass by on the other side with the Pharisee and the Levite « and let the Samaritan, who has no church to support, do as
him lists. What though our Saviour held out his conduct as
a pattern to his followers? Times are now changed; and his * church can only be supported by a direct disobedience to his * precepts.' This is the very theme of those worst of enemies to the Establishment, who would sustain it on the ruin of the best principles of our nature-in defiance of the most sacred truths of religion. When the question is, of educating the poor-of erecting schools where all poor children may learn to read and study their Bibles--of forming an institution which may spread such seminaries over the empire, and put down ignorance and vice among those orders, where ignorance, most prevailing, has planted the chief nursery of crimes--those afarmists step forward, and bid us pause. They warn us, that we endanger their Church, if we join with Dissenters in forwarding the best of good works—tell us, that Churchmen must only associate with Churchmen in promoting such charities, and that the sectaries must be left to associate together. The work shows the motives that lead to it-its manifest effects. All go
for nothing, if the sectaries bear a part in such labours of love-the stream is polluted, and must run to mischief. So, when the project is to disseminate the Scriptures among the poor, and among the heathen ;-to diffuse the blessings of religion in countries yet sitting in darkness, and over those classes of our own country which have not the means of reading the Bible forth come the same alarmists, and require that no friend of the Churchi shall join with sectaries in such an indis@riminate exercise of charity ;-that no man, who values the Establishment, shall be accessary to distributing Bibles, unless
svith the Scriptures there shall be circulated the Articles, the Catechism, the Liturgy, and all those formulas of the Establishment, which no conscientious Dissenter can have any hand in diffusing. Tests are the delight of these holy bigots; and no work of charity is pleasing, or even tolerable, in their eyes, unless it is strictly confined to the members of their own body, by the imposition of terms which, however great his love of charity may be, no Dissenter can possibly comply with.
We consider this subject, of the patronage fit to be bestowed on the new Institution, so important, as to justify us in making a plain and frank appeal to every person who is doubtful whether he shall encourage it or not-we mean, every one belonging to the Church Establishment-and assailed, on the one hand, by the clamours of political preachers--on the other, by the cries of the ignorant poor. Does any man really believe that the attachment of the people of England to her Church, arises from the knowledge of its peculiar doctrines and ceremonials, er the regard for its institutions instilled into their infant minds, at the seminaries where youth are taught the alphabet and the other very first rudiments of learning? If this be so—if the empire of the Church is founded on this base, woc be to her! She is indeed in danger or rather her existence is next to a miracle. What teacher of children from five to seven years old (and the question relates to none other) ever yet dreamt of explaining to them the points in controversy between the Establishmcut and the Dissenters--much less inculcated the snperior claims of that Establishment, as a political institution, to their veneration ? Nay, did any child ever leave school with 80 much as a notion that such a thing as a Church establishment existed ? These matters, we dare to assert, were never yet mooted in such seminaries, any more than real hinds and panthers ever discussed the Nicene fathers. Is it then by Leaching the infant the mysteries of the Athanasian creed, and C4
* The analogy here stated between the two questions of Lan, caster's Schools and the Bible Society, is too striking to escape any reader: the same persons have accordingly taken part in each dis€ussion-if discussion we can call it, where all the argument lyeş on one side. We purpose soon to call the attention of our readers more fully to the other controversy.
In the mean time, we ear. nestly recommend to them the work of Mr Dealtry, entitled, “ A Vindication of the British and Foreign Bible Society;" one of the blest and most satisfactory controversial pieces that we have ever seen, and only unfortunate in the unequal force with which it has o contend,