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they would meet with fewer difficulties, and offend fewer prejudices, than they are likely to encounter in any other step they can take, in a path so obstructed with both; and the public might rest assured, that in no other manner could so much be done towards paving the way for a full and efficient measure of primary instruction. Ten or twelve intelligent men, knowing something both of the theory and practice of teaching, would suffice to commence with, in this tentative process. They would send forth from half that number of Normal schools a supply of skilful masters, whom they would be employed in training and accomplishing, while churchmen and dissenters were wrangling about catechisms and other preliminaries.
In this way a set of accomplished teachers would, in all probability, be ready for their work before the work was ready for them. Even that great rock of offence, upon which so many goodly projects have been dashed to pieces the question of religious instruction-would, we think, be less embarrassing here, than in any general provision for the education of the lower classes. Young men of eighteen-and of that age it is desirable that the bulk of the pupil-teachers should be have already attached themselves to a particular communion; and we cannot for a moment believe, that sensible men of either party would argue for more than the means of confirming them in the great principles of Christian faith and practice, leaving them every facility to follow the particular worship, and receive instruction in the particular doctrines, of the sect they belonged to. Liberty of conscience to that extent seems to be indispensable in such institutions, both upon the general principles of toleration, and in order to secure to parents of different persuasions, the means of having an instructed and acceptable teacher for their children. If we rightly discern the signs of the times, we are fast approaching to a state of public opinion when the school-room will be regarded as neutral ground, on which the youth are to be imbued with the mild precepts and wholesome doctrines of Christianity, unmixed with those topics of schism and exasperation, which too often alter or impair its benevolent character in older minds.
We cannot quit the subject without putting in a word for our own country, though we are aware that Scotland is not within the scope of the Committee's enquiries; because, if the difficulties in way of the measure we recommend be found in England more formidable than we anticipate, and fatal to its immediate success, Scotland presents facilities so much greater for trying the experiment, that we can scarcely foresee a chance of failure. Neither the differences in religious belief, nor the violence of sectarian zeal, are so great among us. Our system of Parochial Schools has
long been established over the country, and is deeply rooted in the habits of the people; and little is wanting to make it all that the most patriotic Scotsman could desire it to be. Of that little, the most obvious and important item is an Institution of the kind that we have been recommending to England; for, though the imperfections successively entailed upon our Parochial system, in consequence of this capital defect, have been marvellously redeemed by the spirit and intelligence of the people, yet those who know that system best, will most readily agree in thinking, that a means of training schoolmasters to their professional duties is necessary to bring out all its virtues, and to increase the respectability and usefulness of the teachers.
We hinted in a former Number at a plan for establishing a Lectureship on Didactics in one or two of our Scottish Universities; and the tone of kindliness in which Ministers, and Members of the House generally, have spoken of popular education, and testified their desire to see it flourish in every part of the empire, encourages us to return to the subject, and even to extend the recommendation to all the four Universities of Scotland ;-being satisfied, that there is no means within our reach that will be found at once so effectual, so little costly, and so practicable, as the institution of four such lectureships. A very moderate endowment would be wanted for three of these,-one at Edinburgh, one at Glasgow, and one at Aberdeen; St Andrews may be presumed to have ample powers, and funds too, for such an object, under the settlement and bequest of the late Dr Bell. We are aware, that, even if all this were done, it would accomplish but imperfectly what the Prussian and French Governments have proposed to themselves, and have so nearly effected. We could neither expect to have a farm or garden for the use of the students, nor that eleven months' course of training and instruction, nor that daily and watchful superintendence of the pupils, nor that complete insulation from the allurements and contamination of large towns, which form such important parts of the Normal code of Germany and France. Nevertheless, we should confidently anticipate incalculable benefits even from what may be stigmatized as a half-measure. A course of lectures on the principles and practice of teaching, continued for four or five months, illustrated by constant reference to the best schools of the place, and by employing the pupils as assistants in the teaching, could not fail to diffuse correct notions and improved methods over the country. To secure this result, it would only be necessary to make attendance on one of these courses imperative on every candidate for the situation of a Parochial schoolmaster; and, considering the great number of competitors for every
vacancy, we see no risk of stinting the supply too much, even as matters now are, and still less, if the salaries of the schoolmasters should be raised. Parliament would do well to imitate the continental governments, by founding along with these lectureships, a certain number of bursaries, and encouraging private individuals and public bodies to do the same; and if the competition for these bursaries were open to all who had the requisite certificates of character and previous acquirement, it is easy to see what a stimulus might be thus applied, by rigid examination and unvarying preference of merit, to the præfervidum ingenium of our young countrymen. It would be advisable to enjoin it upon these professors or lecturers, as a branch of their public duty, to occupy part of their summer vacations in the business of regular and systematic Inspection; a process without which no organization of schools, however perfect at first, can be saved from speedily degenerating. Supposing the whole of Scotland to be divided, with reference to Parochial education, into four districts, corresponding to the four University seats, we might easily secure an efficient inspection of the Parochial schools within a reasonable time. It would be the business of the professors, in making their progresses among the schools, not merely to visit, examine, and report on the state of each, but to converse with the schoolmaster on the nature of his duties, to point out wherein they were ill done, and exemplify, in the school-room, a better method of teaching; to hold conferences of schoolmasters invited from the adjoining parishes, and to originate discussions there on schoolmanagement; and to deliver, on suitable occasions, discourses on the various topics connected with practical education and scholastic discipline. Thus would the present incumbents, whose circumstances prevented them from attending College, be furnished with the knowledge and the motives requisite for an able discharge of their duties. Such itinerating lecturers, invested with the character of public functionaries, and enjoined by Government to report annually on what they saw, might be made to serve all the uses of a travelling Commission, at much less expense to the country; while they would exercise, at the same time, a most beneficial influence in exposing abuse, in bringing modest merit into notice, in diffusing information, and stirring up a spirit of enquiry about an art, which has been hitherto very generally practised with little or no understanding of its nature or principles; and would thus facilitate, in a variety of ways, the establishment of Seminaries for Teachers on a permanent footing.
ART. XIII-A Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeanery of Lewes. By EDWARD LORD BISHOP of CHICHESTER. Published at the request of the Clergy. 8vo. London: 1834.
THERE has seldom appeared a more able, correct, and judicious
tract from any dignitary of the English Church; and, truly, if all its Prelates were like Bishop Maltby, the cry of the laity against the episcopal order would be lessened, and the securities of the Establishment mightily increased. His lordship is, of course, a decided friend to an Establishment; but he is equally tolerant of Dissenters. He will have the just rights of the Church maintained; but he will have no unfair obstacles thrown in the way of the numerous sects which fill the country, and compose the population of almost all the great manufacturing towns of England. Thus, too, he is the advocate of the Universities; but he holds it absolutely necessary to give the Dissenters admission to Degrees as well as to Education within their walls; and as he is known to be a patron of the London University, it may be presumed that he would grant that body a Charter.
How wide the difference between this learned and pious divine and the herd of conservative lords who have lately made the Peers' House ring with anathemas against all dissent, and joined in the chorus of execration which Öxford raised against every thing that is enlightened and liberal! These wise men, who are to save the Church and the State, hold it nothing less than detestable to give the Dissenters a University of their own, while they stoutly shut the door against admitting them into the old institutions. They claim, on the one hand, a monopoly of education; and, on the other, they exclude from its benefits all who will not conform to their religious belief. In plain words-but really not much plainer than the men of Oxford use the doctrine is, that Dissenters shall not be educated in England at all, but must go to Paris, or Pavia, and study and graduate there, as a penalty for non-conformity to the Church of England, in its principles and its discipline.
Before proceeding farther, we must here advert to the strange and startling information lately conveyed to the public, through the Episcopal Bench, upon the nature of Subscription. It appears that when a youth of fifteen goes to be matriculated at Oxford, and is required first to subscribe Thirty-Nine Articles of Religious Belief, this only means that he engages himself afterwards to try to understand what is now above his comprehension -that he expresses no assent at all to what he signs--and that
VOL. LIX. NO. CXX.
he is at full liberty, when he has studied the subject, to withdraw his provisional assent. Then, can any man living tell why the subscription is not required to another kind of thing, namely, a promise to study the Articles, and if he can, then to subscribe them? and can any man living devise a more cunningly contrived trap for ignorant youth? Suppose, after subscribing, the young man reads, and is unable to believe, or to understand-who can doubt that his name, already signed, must rise up against him and prevent him from retracting? Who can doubt that if he did he would be reckoned an apostate? But one fact is quite decisive-the Articles contain some hundreds of propositions upon the most abstruse questions of metaphysical theology. Have, then, all the Oxford youths so happily constituted minds, that all of them have, upon further study and reflection, arrived at the same conclusions upon each nice, and subtle, and obscure point; and that none of them have seen reason to dissent from what they had only provisionally, as it is said, signed? And yet this must of necessity be the case; for nothing is so rare as to find a student who once subscribed leaving the University or foregoing its honours, because he has been unable to subscribe a second time, upon study and knowledge, to what he had at first taken upon trust. If, indeed, we are to be told that they go through with it because otherwise they lose their degrees and their fellowships-truly very little is gained to the cause of subscription by an avowal that it is used as an instrument of bribery for corrupting men's consciences and making them hypocrites.
But another doctor arises at the eleventh hour, and holds he has dispelled all doubt. According to Bishop Coplestone, a renowned logician, and a learned, able, and pious man, it appears that subscribing means professing that the boy belongs to the Established Church, and nothing more. Indeed! Why truly nothing more is wanting; for what does any body mean by belonging to a church, except that he agrees with its doctrines? The worthy Bishop either means that you subscribe without asserting that you agree with the Church-or he means that you subscribe because you believe. If you subscribe because you believe, then subscription is an assertion of your belief in all that the Church believes, and particularly in every one of the Articles you sign. If so, then is each boy who signs them avowing his conscientious belief in them, and in whatever else the Church teaches; so that by this argument subscription is made to pledge the novice a great deal deeper than the plain common-sense argument does, which represents subscription to be only an adoption of the Articles subscribed. But if this be not the meaning of the Bishop, and if he allows a boy to profess himself a mem