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principle be once affirmed, there is no pledge against any increase whatever in the amount. This was forcibly put by Lord Ashley in the course of the debate. “The Committee are to determine the principle, mode, and measure of distribution; to introduce new systems of education, say what is to be taught and what to be withheld; to define limits of doctrine, and declare what is common to all, and what must be considered as special to a few. They have power also to enact rules, a submission to which is a necessary preliminary to aid from the public fund. What enormous powers to confer upon any body of men! and what a precedent for future Governments to follow! We are called on this year to vote only £30,000; another year we may be called upon for a million and this for the purpose of acquiring dominion over the whole mind of the country !---Suppose that the Churchmen and the Wesleyans are unable to accede to the conditions proposed by the new Board; what will be the result? Why, that the whole sum will be left at the disposal of the Privy Council; first, to promote dissent, and to bring up children in hostility to the Established Church; and secondly, for the foundation' of schools, not to teach the doctrines of the Church-those doctrines in which ourselves and the Wesleyans concur-but to teach any, and what, faith they please the Roman Catholic faith, the Socinian faith, or no faith at all, or the party-coloured, pie-bald faith, patronized and published by the Central Society."
From the second Minute, however, and its arbitrary powers, we must recur to the first, which forms the most sure and equitable guide to the spirit in which the other will be carried out. It is true that Minute is now, in words, rescinded, nipped in the bud, alas, by the cruel bigotry of those who fancy "the orthodox faith" to be something better than " their own private opinions," and who are so antiquated, as even to imagine that it has some connexion with "the demonstrable temporal happiness of millions!" But still, even in death, it is lovely in the eyes of the Committee, and calls forth many a lingering look of their paternal affection. The last chapter of the pamphlet is therefore fitly devoted to its special vindication. We copy the Minute entire (page 68) :—
"Religious instruction to be considered as general and special.
Religion to be combined with the whole matter of instruction, and to regulate the entire system of discipline.
"Periods to be set apart for such peculiar doctrinal instruction as might be required for the religious training of the children.
"To appoint a chaplain to conduct the religious instruction of children whose parents or guardians belong to the Established Church.
"The parent or natural guardian of any other child to be permitted to secure the attendance of the licensed minister of his own persuasion, at the period appointed for special religious instruction, in order to give such instruction apart.
"To appoint a licensed minister to give such special religious instruction, wherever the number of children in attendance on the Model School belonging to any religious body dissenting from the Established Church, is such as to appear to this Committee to require such special provision.
"A portion of every day to be devoted to the reading of the Scriptures in the school, under the general direction of the Committee, and superintendence of the Rector. Roman Catholics, if their parents or guardians require it, to read their own version of the Scriptures, either at the time fixed for reading the Scriptures, or at the hours of special instruction."
First of all, religion, in this Normal or Model School of the Government, is to be divided into general and special. The pamphlet tells us, indeed, that "it was not the intention of the Committee to propose these regulations for other schools." If so, this Normal or Model School, in its most striking and most essential feature, was designed as a beacon for others to avoid, rather than a pattern for them to follow. This requires no small measure of faith to believe. Why, then, in the second Minute, do the Lords of the Council-speak of "grants, now or hereafter, for the establishment and support of Normal Schools?" Does this look as if there were intended to be one only? Why the imposing title of "The Model School," if its main feature was never to be copied? Why all the formal instructions of the Minute? What reason can be found, why the plan preferred by the State for the training of teachers, should not be equally preferred in the training of scholars, wherever the Committee can choose the method for themselves? Why does the Home Secretary, in the words of the Committee's first appointment, assign as one main reason, "the want of a Model School, which may serve for the example of those Societies and Committees which anxiously seek to improve their own methods of teaching?" The statement in the pamphlet, that the Model School was never meant to be imitated in this main feature, can scarcely, then, be acquitted of direct and wilful collusion.
But what is this general religion of which the Minute speaks? There is an attempt, in the pamphlet, more skilful than honest, to give the impression, that it is the same with the nine truths which form the basis in the Martinière regulations of the Bishop of Calcutta. We could wish that even this comparative soundness belonged to it. We pass by the Bishop's own vindication from the peculiar circumstances of that endowment, and the practical uncertainty that still hangs over the experiment. It is
enough for us to shew, from the pamphlet itself, that except the words "general" and "special," there is nothing else in common in the two plans. For, let us examine the Minute itself: the third, fifth, and sixth regulations shew, that all is regarded as "special," which embodies "peculiar doctrinal instruction," or the differences of sentiment in any "religious persuasion," of any religious body dissenting from the Church." The general religion must, therefore, be the residuum, when all these are taken away. It would be plainly absurd to refer the same doctrine, to the special and the general branch. To gain more precise views, then, of this general religion, we must learn what sects or bodies are included in the arrangement. And here the pamphlet assists us :—
"But when to the rights recognized by the law the Dissenters have superadded the claim arising out of the exertions they have spontaneously made to provide for education, in some of the most important districts of the country, we are at a loss to know, on what pretence they can be excluded from sharing the secular benefits of any provision for National Education furnished at the public cost, or how the Government could have been justified, either in formally excluding them from the privilege of educating their teachers in the Normal school, or (which is equivalent to that), in imposing such religious observances on those teachers, or so inadequately providing for their entire religious freedom, as practically to have occasioned their exclusion.
Nothing would tend so much to increase the political power of religious denominations not agreeing with the Established Church, as to attempt a partial or exclusive distribution of any new civil advantages, after admitting them to a theoretical equality of civil rights. We believe it to be impossible to place on the statute-book any such law; but once there, the clamour would be so loud and fierce, that any Administration must quail before it, and if Parliament did not listen to the indignant remonstrances of the constituency, this would become the sole topic of electioneering agitation until the new enactment was repealed.
Conceiving the application of the public funds to the exclusive secular advantage of any class of religionists impossible, we are of opinion that two courses only were open to the Committee of Privy Council, in proposing the plan of a Normal School.
"1. To establish separate Normal Schools for different classes of religionists.
2. To establish a Normal School open to all."
The religious bodies to be included, thus extend as far as the actual existence of schools, on the one hand, or the "theoretic equality of civil rights" on the other; and no "partial or exclusive" view is to narrow the list. They comprise, therefore, Churchmen, Wesleyans, Orthodox Dissenters, and Friends; Romanists, Socinians, and Jews. When a more impartial dis
tribution of civil advantages' shall have repealed the exclusive laws against blasphemy, the Socialists must, of course, be added to the others. The general religion will be that in which all these parties agree; that is, simply nothing. The special religious instruction will be all in which they differ; that is, every truth of Christianity, and even of natural, as well as revealed religion. Such, as deduced from the statements of its own promoters, is the natural working, the only consistent consummation, of the Government scheme.
Where such is the foundation of the building, it would be useless labour to spend our time in tracing the architectural details. We grow weary and sick at heart, in examining a system, where state expediency is everything, and the immortal hopes of mankind a mere feather in the scale; a moral chaos, where truth is to be blended with every shape of falsehood, and no spirit of life is to be seen brooding over the waters. But there are some views of our Executive, brought forward in this manifesto, which call for a brief notice, from the light which they throw upon the main subject.
And first, we observe, with shame and sorrow, that in this vindication put forth by the Ministry of their views and plans on Education, the only distinct mention of the word of God occurs in a highly-coloured picture of its frequent and dangerous perversion. Now, we are well aware of the painful truth, that such perversions do too often occur. The sacred writers themselves give warning of this solemn fact in the strongest terms. But we ask, is it right, or fitting, or consistent with due reverence for God's word, that this should be the only light in which our rulers here present it to the nation? It is strange that the facts which they adduce did not teach them a different lesson.
purposes," they say, "may the Scriptures be wrested by unscrupulous men, who have practised on the ignorance, discontent, and suffering, of the mass. Their power will continue as long as the people are without sufficient intelligence to discern in what the fearful error of such impiety consists." But the Lords of the Council might have known, that it is not merely want of intelligence that causes these wretched perversions. It is far more the want of deep reverence for the Divine Word, and a false notion of obscurity and uncertainty in its meaning, spread through the minds of the people. And who are more chargeable with a share in both offences than the authors of a scheme, where all creeds are jumbled side by side, and the publishers of a laboured defence, where nothing is mentioned of the Word of God, but its worst and vilest perversion? The Lord of heaven and of earth has been speaking to the sons of men, through four thousand years,
to guide their souls in the way of peace and salvation; and yet the Lords of the Council, in a professed vindication of measures, which ought to have this for their only aim, make no mention of His holy oracles, unless to point them out as possible sources of delusion, or the pretexts for rebellion and crime. The irreverence of such a course, which excites our indignation, is equalled by its littleness and childish folly.
We have noticed already the view taken in the pamphlet of "a good secular education," as the only and effectual cure for anarchy in the State. But its importance will justify a few further remarks. My Lords of the Council think that the Chartists are to be reclaimed by "understanding the laws which determine their physical condition, and regulate the distribution of wealth." In short, modern political economy is to be the grand specific. Adam Smith, Ricardo, and the novel writers who follow in their train, are the magicians who are to reclaim the disaffected, where the Church of Christ, and his Holy Gospel, have been tried and found wanting.
Now, for a moment, setting Christianity aside, we tell them that, on their own ground, and reasoning from their own earthly level of thought, they are miserably deceived. For ourselves, we have bestowed on those systems some patient thought; we have no pressure of want to bias us, and certainly no democratic passion to warp our judgment; and yet we are convinced, in common with thousands of thoughtful men, that the vitals of those theories are unsound, that they are based on selfishness, and in their results immoral, and anti-Christian. What madness, then, to think by such hollow theories, to still the cravings of pinching want, or to silence the clamours of the poor, or to calm the passions of excited millions! The Chartists, my Lords, will laugh to scorn your fine-spun theories, in which moral duty finds no place. They will tell you, and tell you with truth, that the question is not how wealth is, but how it ought to be, distributed? They know well enough, they will say, by bitter experience, that the selfishness of capital, left to itself, tends to massive wealth on the one hand and grinding poverty on the other. Nor can you make any consistent reply to their reproaches, till you have made this life subordinate to the life to come; and melted down the facts which you have mixed with the dross of your selfish theories, to recast them in the mould of moral duty and Christian truth. If you will not learn that true political wisdom consists in applying legal and moral correctives to the tendencies of trade, not in leaving them to their own downward course; if you will persist yourselves to build your theories of economy on a basis of cold self-interest; then it is idiocy in you to com