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OF THEIR STATE AND PROGRESS
IN REFERENCE TO RELIGION.
REV. JÓSEPH BROWN, M.A.
OF QUEEN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
CHAPLAIN TO THE SCHOOLS.
"Without me ye can do nothing."-Johm xv. 5.
ROAKE AND VARTY, 31, STRAN D.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it."-Prov. xxii. 6.
"Solomon might probably intend the text for a particular admo. nition to educate children in a manner suitable to their ranks, and future employments; but certainly he intended it for a general admonition to educate them in virtue and religion, and good conduct of themselves in their temporal concerns. And all this together in which they are to be educated, he calls the way they should go;' i.e. he mentions it not as a matter of speculation, but of practice. And conformably to this description of the things in which children are to be educated, he describes education itself; for he calls it "training them up," which is a very different thing from merely teaching them some truths necessary to be known or believed: it is endeavouring to form such truths into practical principles in the mind, so as to render them of habitual good influence upon the temper and actions, in all the various occurrences of life."-Bishop Butler.
The expression “eleven hundred children,” in the first page, refers to the average number always resident. There have been upwards of three thousand changes in the time there stated.
So frequently have I been requested to give an outline of the moral and religious state of the eleven hundred children whose spiritual welfare for nearly four years has been committed to my charge, that I have, after some hesitation, yielded to the request; not more to show what has been done, than as a guide to, and for the encouragement of those who may be similarly situated; so far, at least, as they may feel disposed to be guided and encouraged thereby.
Truly glad should I have been for the several hints or suggestions scattered in these pages, when my attention, many years since, was first drawn to the subject of the education of the young; or more particularly, when I had the honour to be appointed Chaplain to the PoorLaw Norwood Schools.
It may be well just to state, that this Institution has gradually grown during many years, from a small number to its present size, under the care of Mr. Aubin, who being ready to adopt every improvement, the routine of the Establishment was remodelled about four years ago, under the immediate direction of the Poor Law Commissioners.*
I confess the absence of almost all notice of the religious instruction these children receive, and of its results, by the many writers, or reviewers, if I may so call them, who have visited and written upon the Establishment, has had much weight with me in publishing this outline; for, excepting the admirable reports of J. P. Kay Shuttleworth, Esq. and of Her Majesty's Poor-Law Commissioners,* I do not know of any report that has more than alluded, and that as briefly as possible, to the religious state of the children. School inspectors, whether appointed by church or state, secretaries of diocesan and other societies, deputations from the sister kingdom, and of chairmen, vice-chairmen, and guardians
* See Poor-Law Reports, 1839, 1841.
of Unions from some of the principal towns in England, have visited the Institution, and reported of it in the most favourable terms, and yet appear to have most carefully guarded themselves from adding more than a passing remark upon the existence of any effort for the religious instruction of the children, or the effects produced by it, although they have been warm in their praises on this most important point, while they were passing through the Institution.
In the House of Commons, I do not forget that much praise has been awarded to the Schools, by distinguished senators of different political sentiments; and a French newspaper most favourably noticed these points, as have briefly several of the journals of the metropolis and provincial publications: but the recollection of these testimonies passes away, to make room for the continually recurring daily news; while the reports to which I have alluded, remain as so many standard documents, either local, parochial, or national, as the case may happen to be.
In order, then, that Religion may have her full and rightful measure of praise, for the important changes she has effected, by the blessing