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have mistaken for facts--sometimes in declamatory and wordy
undermine the foundations of all government ; all concurring in the right of private interpretation of the Scriptures, &c.' (p. 17.) To all which we can make but one answer, That it is perfectly false; and wechallenge this reverend gentleman to produce a single school, eitheron Lancaster's plan, or incieed on any other, in which such doctrines are tanght, and such demeanour heki. In truth, if he can find such an instance, he niay go before the civil magistrate, by indictment or information; for he has enumerated a list of temporai ofiences. Surely, surely, he must have known, while composing this insective, that in the Lancasterian schools Christianity aloue is taught, from the Bible; and that as no particular Catechisin is preferrel (which is the very charge brought against the system), so it is impossible that any shoukt be attacked.
But the tendency of this neutrality is severely handled; and this is one of the chief topies of these reverend alarmists. The proposition is broadly stated, that if the children of the poor do not learn religion at school, they will not learn it at all. • The parents of children, who are objects of public charity, are for ihe most part incapable of teaching religion to their children. And, if they send their children to a Sunday school according to their own persuasion, the peculiar doctrines, which the children will hear one day in the weck, can hardly make a lasting impression, when they are continnally hearing of generalized Christianity during sur days in the week. Where children go daily to school, the religion, which they are afterwards to profess, should be an object of daily attention. They must learn their religion as they learn other things; and they will have much or littk', according as their education supplies them. To assert, that our religion is not dependent on our education, is to contradict the experience of all ages and nations.' (p. 12, 13.) Here is sly assumption, lurking under a single word, religion.' Does not Mr Lancaster teach rcligion? The truth is, that he teaches scarcely any thing but the Holy Scriptures: but the Professor gained a good deal, he was well aware, if he could confound the not teaching one particular creed, or form of belief, with the not teaching any religion at all. He then makes another stride; and asserts, but without even the pretence of an argument, that if children are not tanght the National Catechism, they not only will grow up ignorant of the Church's doctrines, but inimical to its establishnient; and then, as if he had proved this strango position, he enumerates the great powers of the new system, and the vast numbers which it is capable of educating - interring from thence, that it is dangerous to the Church, in proportion to its powers—and that consequently this plan, being accompavol. XIX, yo, 57.
• nied with such religious instruction as is calculated to create in• diffirence, and even dislike, to the established Church-the most * powerful engine that ever was devised against it, is now at work • for its destruction.'
Upon reading this statement, and marking especially the very high tone in which it is conveyed, one is really tempted to conceive, that there are already provided by the Church the means of religious education, according to the Professor's notion of it; that all the poor of these realms may receive from the clergy of the Establishment the knowledge of its peculiar tenets, which, it seems, can only be obtained in early infancy, and which, if not imbibed with the alphabet, will never be received at all ;-in short, that Mir Lancaster's system is in danyer of disturbing ore already completely established, and of substituting, for vast numbers of free schools where the poor are now trained in knowledge and religion, seminaries where temporal knowledge may be dispensed, but the interests of the soul are neglected. Yet it does so happen, that the National church hath done nothing towards the education of youth, except what we have already cited from the sermon of Dr Marslı himself;—that, leaving tricordiuary branches of instruction wholly untouched, she has only required, and most properly required, from her ministers, a careful regard to the religious education of youth ;-—that, consequently, Lancaster's schools, far from being a substitute for her institutions, or in anywise derogatory to her ordinances, form an appropriate and even an essential
part of them; and that we who say--- let the poor be taught reading in whatever way is most effectual, and let the clergy, upon this stock, and hy the means which it affordz them, engraft religious instruction-speak the verylanguage of the Church of England, and conform to her spirit. Mr Lancaster goes, how: ever, a step further than this; for he teaches, not merely reading, but Christianity; and says, let the clergy of the various persuasions to which you and your parents nay severally belong, continue the good work which I have begun, and build up their creeds upon that foundation which I have laid deep in your minds, by imbuing you with the word of God as delivered in liis Scriptures. For it is in rain to disruise this matter, and, under a multitude of words, and by colemn sentences or frothy and turbulent declamation, to cover the real substance of the question. We return always to the plain statement which has so often been made, but which, in truth, comprises the whole gist of the controversy. The new system teaches reading, writing and accounts; and it enables its pupils to learn every thing which books can afterwards teach them. On its enemics lyes 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 breught 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 catechisn of the Church is not tanght. Let those seminaries be open to all whose principles binder them from conforming to the Establishment. But let churchmen, and those wbo adhere to the Establishment, support other schools. Let them refrain from mixing with Dissenters; 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, thie Dissenters have schools on Lancaster's plan, and the Churchmen on Dr Bell's. Both may flourish without mutual irterruption, and all classes be satisfied. So plausible a view of the question, merits a litile further consideration. But we must premise, that were it fully admitted, and resolved to be carried into effect, no argument whatever wonld arise against the universal adoption of Lancaster's methoil, and the encouragement of the new Institution; for, as we have already remarked, the Catechism may be introduced into it as casily as into the other. Churchmen may scrd 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 Dr Bell, at the Bishop of Durham's school. So far the two systems are precisely similar; and the balance is turned wholly in Lancaster's favour, by is greater civacy, and, above all, its economy-explicitly adl
mitted, by the friends of Dr Bell themselves, to be far superior 10 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 upon the new plan ; so that the former shall establish those only where no Catechism is preferred; 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 clear, that teaching the alphabet without 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 alarmnists 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 clrmour should put an end to Mr Lancaster's progress, or should 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 ecopomy; forgetting that it is in reality the chief point in the question,