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will not do, to use equivocating expressions that naturally import, and are calculated to suggest, what is injurious and untrue, and then to say that a man did not mean what is supposed; for this is one of the most usual of the fraudulent tricks of those who hasely wish to insinuate what they dare not avow.
There is another point of vast importance, which it has been the interest of those who hate our work to keep out of sight in this controversy; and which the length to which we have been carried in answering their arguments does but barely permit us to mention. We shall do it justice on another occasion, if the case should seem to require it.-It is to be remarked, that religious distinctions among the people are an evil. They are a source of division which is at no time without its effects; and of which the effects at certain times, which may always arise, would be of the very worst as well as the most violent kind. These evils are, however, far less than those which would spring from any violent methods to put an end to those distinctions; and therefore they must be borne. But it is the business of a wise system of policy to do whatever may be done to mi. tigate and temper the dissocial feelings which are apt to spring from those distinctions. It is a fact, that an Establishment is a peculiar cause of those animosities and hatreds. If esta. blishments are attended with other advantages which counterbalance this evil, and not withstanding this evil render them a good upon the whole,-be it so; this we do not for the present dispute. Still it is true that an establishment counts among its disadvantages that of exasperating the discordant passions which diversity of religions produces. It is well known, even in a private family, that the partiality of the parents to one of the children produces discord and unhappiness in the family : now it is certain, as has been often remarked, that a state is only a family on a great scale. When princes count among their weaknesses a propensity to favouritism, it is well known to what a degree the favourite inflames and animates all the discordant passions which usually inhabit a court. The pride, and jealousy, and persecuting spirit which are found in so many of the clergy of an established church, especially a clergy consisting of ranks, from a rank of great poverty and degradation to a rank of great riches and power, are a peculiar cause of aggravation and excitement to all the bad passions which it is incident to the case to engender. Now the nature of the circumstances sufficiently declares what an enlightened and prudent policy in this case would dictate. That is ;-to do
whatever could be expediently done to weaken the force of these divisive sentiments or feelings; to avoid every thing (not commanded by preponderating utility of another sort) that had any tendency to add to the force of these sentiments. If unity of opinions among a whole people be, as it is, a thing impossible; there is no such impossibility in a general harmony of affections; which ought ever to be aimed at, as one of the first of na tional glories, and of national advantages, by every patriotic go. vernment. This being so obviously and certainly the case, our experience and knowledge of human nature loudly proclaim to us, that one of the most efficient of all means for mollifying the discordant feelings apt to arise from religious diversities, and for training the differing classes of religionists in habits of mutual sympathy and benevolence, is the right ordering of the education of the young. It is well known how powerfully it always operates to produce unity and harmony of feeling, to be educated together. This is a principle, a fact in the history of human nature, which an enlightened politician would hold precious. This he would turn to the most important account: In this he would perceive immediately an instrument wherewith to perform, in the best possible way, some of the best possible effects. Most assuredly it would never be his object to educate asunder, in distinct and discordant seminaries, those religious diversities of the people, whose differences of opinion he was desirous should produce as little discordance as possible of feeling and affection. This could serve only to give these discordancies of affection and feeling their utmost possible malignity and strength; could only teach the different classes of religionists to hate and contend with one another from their tenderest years. On the other hand, the educating of them together would produce the very contrary effects; would teach them, if they must differ in opinions, as when grown up they certainly would, (for that is incident to human nature,) to agree to differ ; i. e. to have different opinions, without quarrelling with one another, or hating one another, on that account. Of a truly enlightened policy, then, it would most certainly be an object, and one of the most highly respected and dear, that, as far as could possibly be done, the different religious classes of the people should be educated together; that is to say, that as much of education as possible, all that consisted not in the teaching of religion, should be taught in seminaries to which the children of all the religious classes should be encouraged to resort indiscriminately ; and that no other part of education but that solely and distinctive
ly which consists in teaching religion, should be encouraged to be performed in separate and exclasive places of instruction. To this obvious and important policy,- in the present state of the world important beyond all former example,-—the present outcry is directly opposed. That the people in general, or the legislature, will lend themselves to the gratification of sectarian passions in so important a point as this, we are extremely averse to suppose. If they do, sure we are, it will be under the influence of an enormous mistake; and with no little danger of present and eventual mischief to their country.
To us it would appear, that the very statement of the scheme which is set up in opposition to the Lancasterian schools, would be sufficient to avert from it the mind of every thinking and patriotic person. Let us suppose that the support of the nation is withdrawn from the Lancasterian schools, and bestowed upon those who are calling themselves the Church and the Clergy: Suppose the schools to be erected, at public or private expense, and tuition begun; what happens ? The children of Dissenters, forming a large (our opponents say a very large) and growing proportion of the population, present themselves for schooling and are excluded. A large proportion, then, of the population are, as far as the scheme of our opponents is concerned, to be deprived of the benefits of education; to have an invidious and exasperating distinction, of a new sort, set up between them and Churchmen! What are the sort of sentiments which are likely to be engendered in the breasts of dissenting parents by a treatment such as this? Suppose that along with the schools from which the Dissenters are excluded, schools are supported by the Dissenters for themselves ; are our opponents so blind as not to see that if danger any where, there is much more of it to the Church in this scheme than in that which they oppose? The Dissenters are sure to surpass the Establishment, in zeal, industry, attention, and that skill which is the necessary result of labour and pains. Our opponents are among the foremost to proclaim and to lament this result, in the teaching of religion itself, where the clergy have a more peculiar concern; dwelling, in the most emphatic terms, on the growth of Dissenters; on the proselytizing arts and success of the dissenting clergy; and on the want of equal zeal and industry among the clergy of the Church. They are right in their notion of the cause; and they can hardly fail to sce that it is incurable. The men who have every thing depending on their zeal, industry, and success, always have been, and always will be, far more industrious, skilled, and successful, than those who have little or nothing depending on their zeal, industry, and success. The consequences, therefore, to the Church, of the scheme proposed by her present professing votaries, would be, not that all the children of Churchmen would be educated in the church schools ; but that a large proportion, seeing the children of Dissenters better educated, would go to the dissenting schools, where it is proposed by the clergy that dissenting creeds should be taught.- What the Church, therefore, would gain in respect to this proportion of the poor, would be, that instead of being educated in Lancasterian schools without any change of creed, they would be educated in the dissenting schools with a total change of creed. In respect to the other proportion who might continue to be educated in the schools of the Church, they would be worse educated than those in the schools of the Dissenters. The mass of the population wonld thus be formed into two remarkable divisions : 1. that of those educated in Church schools, worse educated ; 2. that of those educated in Dissenting schools, better edu. cated.- Is this a state of affairs that could fail to be detrimen. tal to the Church? Would it not be better for her to see her proportion of the population as well educated as others, in schools in which, without distinction of creeds, persons of all religious denominations were admitted on equal terms ?
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS TO CORRESPONDENTS. G. K. will observe that the subject of his communication has obtained a full share of our attention, and that he was probably not aware of all the bearings of the argument. His remarks, and the spirit in which they appear to have been written, do credit to his head and his heart.
The Shropshire case, and several other interesting communications, are necessarily postponed for want of room.
Communications for this work must be addressed, post-paid, to LONGman and Co., for the Editor. Notice of any successful attempt to promote the comfort of the poor is particularly desirable.
“THEREFORE all things whatsoever ye would that men
This grand rule of Christian morality is also the standard
Jesus Christ has commanded that each of his disciples should
What these disciples have in reality said to one another, is, in some countries, You do not believe what I believe, there fore I will burn you alive :" in other countries, “ You do not believe what I believe; however, I am tolerant; I will not burn you alive, but I will abhor you; I will teach as many people as I can to abhor you; I will impute to you all manner of bad designs; you shall be accounted an enemy to the government; you shall be with held from places of honour and emolument, as