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that the Madras fyftem had wonderfully profpered in England under the management of one Jofeph Lancaster-(need we clear our pofition by any further admillions?-can we ftrip the one man any clofer, in order to try the other's conduct, and fcrutinize his motives-truly this filence is too unnatural even to be mysterious, and, in our ears-- do all we can to fhut them-to ftop them up with the remembrance of the man's former merits, it loudly rings a diftinct charge against the reverend gentleman, of pitiful jealousy tcwards one whom he may be defirous of thinking his imitator, but towards whom he thus betrays the feelings of a difappointed rival. But if the jealoufy be denied, then is it time to infer a still graver accufation; for, in that cafe, Dr Bell must be confidered as leagued in moft unnatural union with the combination of bigots and timefervers, against one of the greatest benefactors of his fpecies.
The efforts of that combination were, as we before obferved, molt unfortunately aided by the accident of Dr Bell's right reverend patron's calling him from his retirement to bring forward his chims to originality, and to affift in the establishment of fchools. The clamour which had gone forth partially, and with little fuccefs, against Mr Lancafter, was now renewed, under the form of afcribing all the merit to Dr Bell-lavifhly applauding his method, and decrying his competitor's. The attempt, however, to obftruct Mr Lancaster's courfe, failed fo fignally, that we shall fpare ourfelves the trouble of again alluding to the facts. The royal and noble patronage * ftill stood in the way of any very grofs violations of decency towards his principles and character; and, whatfoever was to be thrown out against the tendency of his fyftem, or against his motives, behoved to be guardedly conveyed by infinu
* To enumerate the distinguished persons who have publicly gi ven their support to Mr Lancaster and his system, would take up far more room than we can now spare for this subject. Yet we cannot deny ourselves the gratification of recording, upon such an occasion, the name of the Right Reverend Dr H. Bathurst Bishop of Norwich, who, to the many proofs of liberality-of mild and intrepid philanthropy which his pastoral life affords-has lately added that of a public sermon in favour of Joseph Lancaster and his plan of education. In Scotland, we are proud to say that it has hitherto met with no opposition from any party in our church; and that the established clergy in general have indicated a laudable zeal for its universal adoption. One clergyman, indeed, not of the Establishment, and not the most esteemed of the very respectable communion to which he belongs-has emulated, as we understand, the Archdeacon Daubeny, and made the pulpit the vehicle of his calumnies against Lancaster. As we· do not apprehend any great mischief from his exertions, we have no wish that he should be made to expiate this, as he has expiated other
ation, rather than launched in the common fhape of a cry. Mr Lancaster was ftigmatized as a Quaker-the tenets of that innocent and amiable sect were abused ;—and then, in order to heighten the charge against Mr Lancaster, at the expenfe of confiftency as well as truth, he was faid to be a perfon whom his fect renounced. But the expected fuccefs of Dr Bell's plan, from the patronage he had recently met with, foon gave a new turn and a bolder form to the argument; and the watchmen of the Church (as thefe unquiet perfons are fond of calling themfelves) now o penly founded the alarm of danger to the Eftablishment, from the fyftem of the man whom the Royal Head of the Church had gra ciously deemed worthy of his peculiar favour and protection.
The Archdeacon Daubeny once more ascended the pulpit, and raised again, within the walls of St Paul's, that voice of persecution, with which he had made Sarum echo. He warned his brethren to be on their guard against the projected improvements in the education of the poor.' He accused Mr Lancaster of excluding from his plan the peculiar doctrines of the gospel. The plan itself, he stigmatized, as calculated to answer no one purpose, so much, as that of amalgamating the great body of the 'people into one great deistical compound;' and he designated Mr Lancaster as one who, in these days of rebuke and blasphemy,' had become the author of a deceitful institution, the whole secret of which, for the purpose of neutralizing the ' effect of all established opinions,' consisted in teaching the ' rejection of all peculiar tenets,' and the adoption of a kind of philosophical deism; '—an institution which called to mind the crafty design of the apostate Julian to confound Christianity, by encouraging dissension, as the best means of gradually 'extirpating the name of Christ from the earth. Finally, this reverend person plainly stated, that the Archdeceiver' himself (meaning, as we conjecture, not Bonaparte, but only Satan) had an interest in the new system of education, in as much as this industrious promoter of heresy would not fail to turn it to 'the promotion of infidelity.'
In other tracts, the abuse of Mr Lancaster and the Quakers is still more unmeasured, particularly in a Dialogue between a Master and Apprentice,' supposed to speak pretty correctly the sentiments of the persons of whom we are treating. The Quakers are there denominated an antichristian sect.' It is said, that the brood of them was of the most unpromising kind, from their first hatching.' The term bigot is stated to be engraved on their door; and, of the sect which destroyed the African slave trade, it is observed, that little good can be expected from their efforts, either in church of
Let us hope that such topics failed altogether of success. Nevertheless, it cannot be denied, that one charge is mixed up with them, which has attracted the notice of a few among the more worthy and rational portion of churchmen-a charge which, we grieve to say, for a short season, had some influence in creating alarm against the new system. This accusation resolves itself into a single point. Mr Lancaster teaches no particular religious articles-To which the plain answer always has been, that he teaches reading,-writing,—and arithmetic. He gives his pupils a key, by which they may unlock all the stores of sacred knowledge. But, moreover, he teaches the Scriptures:-daily and hourly does he set before his scholars the history and the doctrines of Christ, as delivered by his Apostles. There is not a word taught in his schools, that is not taken from the writings of the inspired penmen. All this is granted: No one can venture to deny it His bitterest adversaries explicitly admit it. But, will it be believed, that this does not satisfy them? Will it be credited, that, in the nineteenth century-in a Protestant country -in times signalized by nothing more than the zeal displayed against the Romish religion, and the daily sacrifices of every kind which that zeal demands ;--will it be credited, that the very faction, whose outcries against Popery are the loudest, and whose demeanour towards its professors is the most intolerant, have not blushed to use the very worst arguments of the Romish bigots, and to proclaim the dangers of entrusting an unprepared multitude with the free use of the Scriptures? To teach merely the Bible, it seems, is to encourage dissent, heresy, latitudinarian principles, indifference, deism, infidelity, irreligion. And we grieve to say, that Sir Thomas Bernard himself, whom we have found in general so candid towards the new system-so fair, and even liberal, towards Mr Lancaster, in other topics-so favourable even to his method of teaching the Scriptures-lends a kind of sanction to this worst of Popish abominations, in one passage of his tract, where he lays it down, that the Bible should not be put into the hands of children, until after they have gone through a preparatory course of religious instruction. How much more
enlightened and rational an authority have we in the conduct of the King of England,-the Patron of the Lancastrian system !— and how noble is the commentary upon it, which his own me
*The worthy Baronet (we cannot too often commend him for it) boldly defends the religious part of Mr Lancaster' course of tuition; but the reprehensible passage alluded to in the text, comes in. to his account of Dr Bell's course of reading. It may possibly be an oversight.
morable speech to the author of the system, affords! We allude to that exalted saying of his (which, we own, strikes us as infinitely finer than the celebrated wish of Henry IV. of France, that he hoped to see the day, when every poor child in his dominions should be able to read his Bible!'
When this truly Christian and truly patriotic wish is accomplished, we, for our parts, shall think, that an inestimable benefit has been conferred on that generation, and an incalculable advantage obtained for the whole community. But even those who may think differently, have no reason, on this account, to undervalue the discovery of Mr Lancaster. The system which he has invented, may be applied to teach the Catechism as well as the Scriptures; and should be extolled and adopted, therefore, by all those who really wish to see the Catechism familiar to all the children in the kingdom. Mr Lancaster does not bind over the schoolmasters whom he instructs, to take all their lessons, as he himself does, from the inspired writings alone. He has no objection that they should employ his method to imprint the Catechism of the Church of England,-or the Confession of Faith of the Scotish church,-or the Liturgy of the Romanists, upon the minds of their respective disciples. All that he wants is, that his method should be made known and adopted;-and all that his advocates want is, that the merit of discovering, and of bringing that me thod to practical perfection, should be ascribed to him who deserves it. What should we think of the liberality of those who should pretend to undervalue the invention of printing, because the inventor happened to be a sectary?-or of their common sense, who should cry out against its general adoption, upon the same orthodox ground? Yet printing is not more capable of being applied to diffuse all truth and all knowledge, than the beautiful discovery of Mr Lancaster. Considering him, indeed, as the sole practical teacher of that inestimable discovery, the only person from whom, as yet, this art of universal instruction can be safely derived, we cannot help regarding it as a most fortunate and providential circumstance, that he should happen to belong to a sect which does not think it necessary to bring forward is peculiar doctrines in a system of elementary education. If the inventor of this valuable method had been a bigotted Catholica sour Presbyterian-or a narrow-minded member of the Church of England, and had, consequently, insisted upon exemplifying it only in teaching the peculiar dogmas of his own particular church, it is evident that none but the members of that church could have derived any benefit from his exertions; and that it would have been difficult for persons of another persuasion to have acquired that thorough and practical knowledge of it, which might
might qualify them to act as schoolmasters within the limits of their own congregations. The unexceptionable demeanour of Mr Lancaster, however, can revolt none; and holds out an acceptable invitation to all. He appears, in his school, as a Christian only,-teaching nothing but what all Christians agree in revering,--and desiring them all to come and learn, from his manner of teaching the Bible, how every thing else that they may wish to add to it, may be most effectually taught.
The real motive of the opposition which has been attempted to Mr Lancaster, is, we will venture to say, by no means the fear of infidelity, but of dissent; and it is truly pitiable to see Dr Bell himself among the first in furnishing us with proofs of this assertion. He has not scrupled, indeed, to insinuate, in his last publication (p. 317), that the instruction of youth should be committed to the parochial clergy; and that schoolmasters should be licensed by the bishop. After stating that such is the law (which it is not), he suggests, that little more remains to be done, than to give it consistency, uniformity and stability;' (that is to say, to repeal the existing statutes); and he adds, that it may suffice for the present, to begin with putting Sunday schools for the poor under existing and appropriate authorities.'
We certainly do not quote this for the purpose of entering into a legal argument with the reverend author. We do not mean to take the trouble of reminding him, that all manner of toleration has now, for above thirty years, been the right of dissenting teachers by statute, as it always was, in sound policy and natural justice. Nor do we intend to upbraid him with referring, for the rights of the Church, to obsolete canons, which denounce a series of excommunications against persons guilty of omissions, habitual to almost every British subject, of whatever religious denomination. But we state the substance of Dr Bell's suggestion, for the sake of recording the fact, that there exist certain persons, whose almost avowed designs are hostile to toleration-who are preparing the minds of the people for attempts to extend the powers of the hierarchy-who, not content with seeing the Established Church in possession (we thank God, in undisturbed, undisputed, unenvied possession) of the privileges so conducive to the temporal, as well as spiritual welfare of the realm-would madly seek to extend her power, and lessen her security ;-to exalt her name, and debase her character;-to clothe her with new attributes, and bring into jeopardy her very existence. Now, therefore, we, in our turn, must be permitted to speak of dangers, and to occupy ourselves with alarms ;-we must presume to warn and admonish ;-we must denounce, as enemies to the peace and liberties of the community most certainly, but as worse