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mathematics. It would be just as reasonable to blame Mr. Davy for not teaching Church of England creed along with his chemistry, as to blame Mr. Lancaster for not teaching Church of England creed along with his reading and writing. What is to hinder Mr. Lancaster and his pupils from teaching to read and write, and the clergy of the Church of England from teaching their creed, with all the industry and skill of which they are capable? We will point out to them a plan, by which they may certainly do for their creed all that they can desire. Let the clergyman of each parish employ regularly the evening of the Sunday in inculcating Church of England creed upon the children of his parishioners. He may easily have, if he chooses it, a list of all the children in his parish. Let him assemble them together, and teach them with as much industry his religion, as Mr. Lancaster teaches them reading and writing. Thus will the teaching of religion and the teaching of reading and writing, though in different hands, go on with equal success; and if the division of labour be here, as it is found in other provinces of education, an improvement, religion as well as reading and writing will thus be better taught, when taught separately, than if they were taught in conjunction. Let the pastor of each parish be, as it behoves him to be, and as he is paid for being, the teacher of religion to the young as well as to the old. Let the teacher of reading and writing be he who can do it best; and let him keep his religion entirely to himself*. This seems a rational plan for accomplishing all purposes. For the clergy to object to reading and writing, because it is not Christianity, is just to object to one good thing because it is not another good thing. If the clergy, however, go about objecting to allow men's teaching reading and writing, under pretence of anxiety for the teaching of Christianity, while they themselves to whom it peculiarly belongs to teach Christianity take no steps for doing what it is evident they might so easily do to teach Christianity in the most effectual manner to the children of their parishioners, their zeal, it is evident, goes no further than words, it is effectual to no purpose but evil. It is ef fectual to prevent good, viz. the teaching of reading and writing; but it is altogether ineffectual to do good, viz. to make the clergy take upon themselves the truly apostolical and religious task of teaching the children of their parishioners their religious creed in separate assemblies each Sunday.

VOL. II.

* That is, as far as his school is concerned.

K

.

What has enabled the alarmists to confound this most important practical distinction, between the teaching of Christianity, and teaching the mechanical faculties of reading and writing, is the ambiguity and uncertainty of language; that grand instrument of deception, both when men deceive themselves and when they want to deceive others. "An education without religion!" cry our opponents: "What an antichristian idea! Come, Christians, we entreat you, and assist us in exploding it." Before joining in this exhortation, we have one short question to which we should wish to receive an answer. Who recommends "education without religion?" Not certainly the Lancasterians. Education, it is to be observed, in its due latitude, is a very comprehensive word. It means, in fact, all that the child and the youth learns that is useful for the purposes of life, from the moment of birth to the time when he is fit to become his own master, and have the charge of his own actions. Who recommends that this period of life should pass without religious instruction? The Lancasterians, at any rate, wish that it should receive as much as possible of religious instruction. And assuredly they do nothing to prevent it. Every considerate man will determine how much what they do is calculated to favour it.

If it be asked, why they do not add a particular course of religions instruction to that of reading and writing, the answer is obvious-It is impossible. A plan to teach reading and writing in the most effectual manner to the poor, must be a plan calculated to admit them on the easiest terms. Teach the children only reading and writing, and you may teach the whole children of a populous city in one school. Add to this a religious creed, and you must then have many schools; one for every denomination of Christians. Would not this be to render the teaching of reading and writing to the poor many times more expensive? In other words, would not this be to render it impracticable? Is the insisting, then, upon the adding a religious creed to the teaching of reading and writing, any other thing than insisting that reading and writing shall not be taught to the poor? It is in effect the very same thing. It is possible that those who so insist have not hitherto seen that it is the same thing. But what is impossible is, that any body should have it pointed out to him, and not instantly recognise that it is so. As we trust that the whole nation will speedily have it pointed out to them, we shall then have a test which will exhibit to all men, who is in earnest for the teaching of reading and writing to the poor;

who is in earnest for the prevention of it, with whatever show of friendship to it he may be cloking his designs.

It is abundantly evident, that what is to be done for the poor voluntarily and extensively, must be done cheaply. It is equally evident, that in almost all cases, what is to be done the most cheaply, ought to be done upon the largest possible scale. In few cases will this be found to hold to a greater degree than in the teaching to read and write. To add religions creeds to this teaching would render a multitude of small schools necessary, where a few large ones would suffice; would, in short, demand an expense which the circumstances of the case render unattainable; that is to say, render the teaching of the poor to read and write a thing impracticable." This is the end to which the cry about their creed, of a party pretending to represent the clergy and the church, naturally conducts. The world will judge of its desirableness.

Suppose, when the calamities of a season of scarcity suggested to benevolent minds the expedient of soup-institutions, that instead of one large institution for a whole town or district, to which the poor were admitted indiscriminately, a number of small ones had been rendered necessary, one for each creed; and that no soup had been given but in conjunction with an appropriate creed,-would it have been possible to extend the relief by which so much misery was prevented, to one half the number of sufferers, who, when the operation was performed on the largest scale, and the poor were admitted indiscriminately, partook of the benefit? That it was just as possible to unite a creed to eating on charity, as it is to the learning to read and write on charity, will be denied by nobody.

It is by an accidental association merely that learning the principles of religion has been thought to be more necessarily connected with the learning to read and write, than with any other mechanical talent. Why should not that still more essential branch of education, the teaching children to speak, be required to be accompanied with the inculcation of a creed, just as much as the teaching children to read and write? Where is the difference? What is the learning to read and write? Is it any thing else than the becoming acquainted with written discourse? as the learning to speak is the becoming acquainted with spoken discourse. The last is the principal thing: the former is only a contrivance for giving permanence to the latter. If it be said that at the tender age when children learn to speak, they cannot understand the principles of religion; we believe it may with equal certainty be affirmed,

that at the age when it is proposed to teach them reading, they are equally incapable of understanding the principles of religion. A child at four, five, six, and seven years of age is just as incapable of annexing any rational ideas to the terms God, Salvation, Trinity, &c. as a child at two or three; and a child at two or three is just as capable of being made to repeat a few words by rote as at six or seven; and as far as the annexing reverential feelings to the repetition of certain words is reckoned a good, the sooner the association is begun the better. In point of fact, indeed, experience is on our side; for pious and careful mothers, we believe, have in general taught their children to repeat a short prayer, and to answer a few religious questions, as, Who made them? Who redeemed them? &c. before they have begun to read, and as soon as ever they can speak.

2. The second accusation to which we shall advert, is,that teaching children to read and write, without teaching them the Church of Engiand creed, is the way to make them renounce the Church of England.

We believe that no sentence more condemnatory of the Church of England ever was pronounced, or can be pronounced by her most declared enemies, than is thus pronounced by her professing votaries. For, what does it import ? That if men are rendered intelligent, and left without any bias, the religion of the Church of England is that which they are sure not to adopt. Is this a conclusion which they who maintain the premises are willing to avow? Far from it. But there is only one way by which they can evade it; and when men are hard pushed, and driven to the wall, they will adopt very awkward means of defence. One assertion there is, and but one, which they can make use of. It is an assertion totally unfounded. But what of that? Assertion with most people is taken for proof: and at the very worst, assertion always affords an image of defence, and avoids the humiliating acknowledgement of defeat.

The assertion is,-that not to give a bias to the Church of England creed, is to give a bias to other creeds. It does appear to us, however, that this implies the very same stigma upon the Church of England creed, as the proposition considered in the former sentence. It implies, that it the Church of England creed is left on even ground with other creeds; if pains are not taken to give it the earliest advantages over other creeds, men will in general disdain and reject it.

If it be the intention to insinuate, that in schools in which pains are not taken to give the advantages to the Church of

England creed, pains will be taken to give the advantages to other creeds, this, with regard to the Lancasterian schools, is totally false. There is not the smallest ground for the impu tation. Never was there a surmise more thoroughly gratuitous; more completely invented for the sake of the purpose in the service of which it is applied; more totally at variance with the facts of the case.

In these schools the fact most assuredly is, that no advan tages are given to any one creed over another. It is evident to whoever has eyes not blinded by prejudice, wherewith to see, that no object naturally can be nearer to the heart of Mr. Lancaster than to treat in his school all creeds with the most exact and scrupulous equality. His very enemies allow that he is an enthusiast for the education of the poor; that he wishes to see them taught, and to be the instrument of teaching them, to the greatest extent; universally, if possible. But to meddle with the creeds of the children in his schools; to afford advantages to one creed, disadvantages to another, would be the most obvious and infallible course to drive the children from his schools; to defeat his own most darling purpose. The only plan, upon which he can so much as hope to carry that purpose into execution, is that of treating creeds with absolute and perfect equality; that so the children of no class of Christians may be deterred from resorting to his schools. If then a man's strongest passion be allowed to con stitute his strongest interest; and if a man's strongest interest afford the strongest security for his conduct, the public has the strongest security of which human affairs admit, that Mr. Lancaster wil, observe strict equality towards all creeds in the teaching of reading and writing.

Nor is this all. There is, nioreover, the evidence of facts. Of the thousands of children to whom Mr. Lancaster has taught reading and writing, it is not known that so much as one has adopted his religious creed. One fact is remarkable: of all the youths of whom he has made choice to train for masters, not one has been distinguished as being of his own religious persuasion. Can there be a stronger proof than this? Considering the cry that has been set up, what is truly remarkable is, that of these selected youths the greater part have belonged to the Church of England; and while under the tuition of Mr. Lancaster, and boarded and lodged in his house, regularly attended (and attend) divine service in the parish church.

Another thing which is well worthy of attention is, that the sect of Christians to whom Mr. Lancaster belongs are exempt from the spirit of proselyting. It makes no part either of their

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