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religious instruction of the pupil-teachers, is all that could be desired is a very pertinent and very weighty question, and one in close connection with some of the conclusions, which, from the facts I have given, I will now proceed to draw.
1. I deduce, that previous to the Education Act of 1870, notwithstanding the large efforts made by the religious bodies, notably by the Church of England, there was very extensive and rapidly increasing need for further provision of public elementary education.
2. That there was no probability, it might be said, indeed, no possibility, of such enlarged provision being supplied by the religious bodies.
3. That the Act of 1870 has been proved to be an eminently practical, just, and beneficent measure, reflecting the highest credit for wisdom and public spirit on its authors, and entitling the government which passed it to the enduring gratitude of the country.
4. That instead of being injurious to the Church, the Education Act by the provision for compulsory attendance, as well also as by the better feeling it has excited on behalf of elementary education, has greatly added to the number of children in Church of England schools.
5. That the further and continued effect of the Act in raising generally the intellectual condition of the great masses of the population, ought to be of the greatest service to religion, by preparing a more suitable element for receiving its influences and appeals; seeing that the Church has everything to gain by the awakening of mind, and the quickening of the intellectual powers.
6. That, therefore, it is obviously the duty and policy of the Church cordially to accept, and actively to co-operate in the carrying out, a measure which, apart from all other considerations, may now be deemed to be as much a part of our national economy as the Poor Law Relief itself.
7. That it is most important, however, to realise the fact, that the Education Act in its provisions, and in its working, has greatly increased the duties and the responsibilities of the clergy.
8. That the training of teachers for elementary schools is now more than ever a matter of vital importance. The demand is great, and will continue to be great, and the Church ought to be prepared to meet that demand with as large a supply as possible of highly-trained men and women :-teachers of great intellectual ability and culture, and of equally earnest religious character ;-ready to enter both Board schools and Church schools.
9. That the care of the young has become an emphatic duty. Catechising should be regularly and carefully practised. The Sunday-school system should be extended, and also greatly improved, and all other modes for securing the attachment, and promoting the religious training of children, should be sought out and adopted. Separate Bible classes for young people will be greatly needed.
10. That teachers in elementary schools, whether Church schools or Board schools, should have the importance of their position recognised, and no members of our congregations, or residents in our parishes, should have more of the kindly notice and appreciative sympathy of Churchmen, -especially of the clergy.
11. That this kindly notice, with affectionate pastoral care and aid,
should especially be extended to the vast body of pupil-teachers,—and especially to those in Board Schools, the Church seeking to supply, in right and wise methods, with that more distinctive religious teaching, those, who from the peculiar nature of their position will more urgently require it.
12. And it is a question, though I know that here I am treading on very delicate ground, whether in certain cases it might not be a clear gain and great relief to the Church to transfer, upon proper and safe conditions, to School Boards, such Church Schools as, from continued and hopeless deficiency of voluntary support, may be both burdensome and unavoidably inefficient. For myself I think that transfer can only be a matter of time in the case of schools thus situated.
In conclusion, I am not unmindful that the deductions I have now been making are based upon the educational condition of a limited area, and it may be said, that wider observation and knowledge of the working of School Boards might not support these views. I am quite willing to bear this test, fully believing that further inquiry will not materially shake my conclusion, if that inquiry be accurately and impartially made.
The REV. CANON MELVILLE.
Mr theme is religious teaching in Board Schools, and the Church's duty therein to that great and growing element of the national system. But first, with regard to that desire to recall the original draft of the Education Act, and to repeal the CowperTemple Clause, which now-a-days is so frequently heard of. There are two cries in which the practical mind of England is unwilling to indulge. One is the cry over spilt milk, and the other is the cry for the moon. Now, to lament the first draft of the Education Act of 1870, which left the kind and degree of religious teaching, if any, to each School Board to determine for itself, were very like crying over spilt milk; and to clamour for the repeal of the Cowper-Temple Clause is, I fear, very like crying for the moon. The Church, through its authorised voices, did little or nothing at the time to secure the one or arrest the other; and now the duty of the Church to that Act it accepted, and has put itself forward to administer, is, by its collective opinion and force, as here at this time—its educational organisations and machinery, and the individual efforts of its representatives on School Boards, to save the mere religious permissiveness of the Act from sinking to that zero to which apathy, ignorance, and dislike have already partly committed it, and still more may commit it, and to register the highest standard of systematic teaching of which the enactment admits. For do not let us delude ourselves; to repeal the Cowper-Temple Clause is not necessarily to bring back the original provision of the' Act, much less to substitute for it, as some would fondly dream, the Church Catechism in its integrity ; but rather it would at best leave the point as a bone of rabid contention, wherein the bitterness of sectarian strife would eventuate more often than not in a stern and determined secularism. For the Legislature rarely, if ever, walks backwards, not even though the previous step may have been weak-rash-dangerous ; and certainly the country, as well as the Parliament, before it consents to even contemplate the question of repeal, would require that the Church, in asking it, should show that it had exhausted its thought, its energy, and its experience in making the best use it could of the means for religious teaching wbich the Act supplies. If after such experiment, faithfully, intelligently, anxiously made, nothing like a sound, systematic teaching could possibly be extracted, then the Church might have a case and appear in Court. If it cannot in limine produce this affidavit, depend upon it the Court of Appeal would at once reject the suit. The reader of the first paper referred to the material. ism of Aristotle, but I would say :-It was a wise old Greek who said—“He was the best shoemaker--not who could make the best theoretical pair of shoes, but who could make the best pair of shoes out of the leather supplied to him." Now, let us think whether the Church in this matter has at all acted on this wise maxim, and, if not, whether the materials supplied are or can be made adequate to the work required; and then, what are the great interests involved which, if the materials are or can be made adequate, make it incumbent on the Church to use rather than reject them. Now, the pair of shoes to be made is a "sufficient, efficient, and suitable" basis for religious instruction in Board Schools—for we start with this postulate—that religion, like any other subject to be taught, requires a systematic and formulated process, and cannot be left to the caprice or indifference of individual will ; and the material supplied for this work is measured by the Cowper. Temple Clause, which limits it to that which is not “distinctive of any particular denomination.” Anything else may be used, be it creed or formulary. This is most necessary to be borne in mind, for it is very commonly totally misunderstood. That is, as I have always maintained, and still would maintain, the Lord's Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostles' Creed, for instance, may be taught-for the exception expressed by the clause does not touch them. They mark and distinguish no separate denomination. No one sect, denomination, or church would presume to exclusively claim them as its own. No aggregate of sects, denominations, or churches, would dare to exclusively assign the prestige and power of their possession to any single other sect or church. The Act means that as you cannot outwardly affix to the forefront of a Board School any particular designation, so you cannot teach within what would mark it as distinctively particular. But this basis has no such distinctive particularity. This is clear, of course, as to the Lord's Prayer and Ten Commandments—being parts of Holy Writ, but is no less true, for the reason I have just given, of the Apostles' Creed—and thus out of the leather supplied the pair of shoes can be made “sufficient,” for it is enough on which securely to base the infant faith and hope, and to meet the requirements of true Churchmen as identical with the educational basis our baptismal formulary lays down : “Effi. cient,” for thereby the two great requirements in religious teaching methodical arrangement and personal interest—may be secured; and "suitable"-whether you regard the age, character, and intelligence of those taught, the relation of the religious to the other elements of instruction, or the responsibility of the Church in the matter of popular education, The question—the only question—that can arise would be—“ Is such a basis within the letter and spirit of the clause ?" There can be no doubt about the latter. That formulary is alone excluded which distinctly and singly marks off any one separate denomination—not that which is common equally to two or more, and conveys no such distinctive designation. But I happily am saved general argument on this point by a direct and pertinent fact. Nor will I say anything, though much might be urged about the intention of the framer of the clause or the legislative body, for though the great moralist tells us “intentions are acts," he did not mean that to include Acts of Parliament. The basis is in existence in School Boards, and has been passed by the Education Depart. ment. Lately, I carefully have gone through the return moved for in Parliament last session as to the religious teaching in School Board schools. The whole return is most interesting and instructive. It establishes most determinately the national desire for religious education, and expresses a decided, if not always an articulate. desire for something firmer and clearer than mere Bible reading and teaching. Throughout Wales the feeling for some fixed basis is conveyed by adding the Lord's Prayer to Bible instruction. Often there, and more often in England, the Ten Commandments are added, and in two places, the town of Cockerinouth and Warmington in Northamptonshire, the full basis of the Lord's Prayer, Ten Commandments, and Apostles' Creed was resolved upon on the construction of the Boards, on which there are Nonconformist members. At Cockermouth the Wesleyan minister seconded the resolution—and on the resolution being submitted by the Cockermouth Board to the Education Department, it did not declare the basis inconsistent with the requirements of the Cowper-Temple Clause, and it has since been acted upon, and only some Roman Catholic children, none other, have ever been withdrawn from the religious instruction of the school. Now it is the practical attitude of men's minds that nowadays promptly decides public opinion and determines momentous issues. That course or policy will best secure this influence that catches in any subject the element of pure light which is common to the varieties of thought and feeling in the body at large. It is this which I am anxious the Church in this most momentous matter should assume. I would ask Churchmen, alive to the value of education, to give a firm yet simple basis to the national system, and thereby to rescue the mere permission of the Act from its present uncertainty. I would ask those who reverence Bible teaching to evince that reverence by securing that the facts of truth may not wither and drop off, but be converted into elements of living faith, which, besides the literary and educational value of the Bible, is its singular and especial province. I would ask those who fear a denominational or sectarian interpretation to take the best security against this by a comprehensive, whilst positive, outline--for the freedom of individual teaching is no guarantee, quite the reverse, against this danger. I would ask the Church to prove that its claim of all as belonging to itself, who do not determinately attach themselves elsewhere, is no mere titular claim, but that it is anxious to make the claim a reality in the only possible way for the community at large. And I would ask Nonconfor. mists to regard this claim and its proof with only a godly jealousy, and not as of the rivalry of sects, with strife and bitterness. And I ask this of each and alltbat the future of our country, certainly so critical, may offer the best earnest for the personal, social, and political well-being of its people. For who can measure the blessings which might result, or the evils that might be stayed, through a sincere common effort to elevate the national schoolroom by a simple yet sound system of divine truth? To promote the union of the rising and future generations in “one Lord, one faith, one baptism," as simply taught in the great prayer, and precepts, and creed of Christendom, must at least act back with the blessing of Christian unity on those who plant God's truth on such a pillar and ground. It is no matter of Church proselytism, I am not thinking of the possible increase of the Church's strength and glory, though the Church, if, like the Grecian mother of old, she bares the fountain of love and life to her child in his moment of danger, may win back her wandering children once more to her arms.
The Rev. W. CADMAN, M.A. There are one or two particulars in connection with this subject upon which I desire to bear my testimony. The whole matter comes before us at the present time in connection with the question of the School Boards. Now, I hope that we shall, none of us, feel it necessary to take an antagonistic position to the School Boards, but I think it is of great importance, on the other hand, that no clergyman should think of giving up his schools to the action of the School Board until he is positively compelled to do so. It seems to me, that as Churchmen this is a matter of most vital importance. The necessity is laid upon us to provide in every possible way that we can, that there should be not only religious education at present, but that it should be permanently continued in all these institutions with which we have to do. A solemn inheritance has been handed down to us by our forefathers, and that inheritance should be handed down, unimpaired, to those who come after us. I, for one, can never forget that when we are privileged, as clergymen, to introduce children into the visible membership of Christ's Church, there is a charge which we are commanded to give, that those children be taken care of, and brought up in such a way as to remember always what their baptism signifies. I cannot see how this can be done if we imperil the continuance of religious instruction in our schools. It may be very well during the present arrangement, during one good election of members of the School Board, that religious instruction may be provided, but as far as I can see, another election may change the whole situation as to the School Board, and imperil that principle which we are bound to maintain. I therefore trust that we shall all feel bound to maintain the Voluntary Schools as long as we possibly can. There is another matter upon which I desire to say a word, namely, the duty of clergymen in connection with pupil-teachers of schools. It is a very sad reflection that from the report of Her Majesty's Inspectors, it would appear that there is not that attention paid to the religious instruction of pupil-teachers which might justly be expected. I trust that this warning will be received in such a way, that henceforth every one of us will feel that one of his primary duties in connection with these schools is to teach those who have to teach the children. We have very great advantages in such opportunity. Who is so open to kindness and to little marks of attention as the youths, the boys and girls who occupy the position of pupil-teachers ? Let us ask them to our houses and invite them to a little entertainment sometimes. This is the way to get their affection and to make them listen to our instructions, not as a matter of duty, but as a matter of delight. I trust that the clergyman teaching his pupil-teachers will become as universal and common a practice as the vlergyman conducting the service on the Sabbath-day in his church. Then in reference to another matter. If there be one point more than another in the admirable paper which has been read which I thought important, it was that we should desire conscientiousness in our teachers rather than a high scale of literary attainments. Sure I am that we need to pay great attention to this point, and I speak now from the experience of a metropolitan population, and from the experience which I have had in connection with the action of Ragged Schools, and my conclusions are just these. Although Ragged Schools have been voted to be inefficient, because of the teachers not being able to pass such an examination as would gain a certificate, yet, generally speaking, the teachers of our Ragged Schools were Christian men and women constrained to their work by an overcoming mastering passion, if I may so describe it, of love for the heavenly Master and love for souls for His sake. This led them to be kind to the children, to look after them out of school, and to bring such a power of Christian love to bear upon them that the destitute ones of the street were attracted to the school, and looked upon it as a place in which they would rather be present than absent. Cases have arisen, over and over again, in which boys and girls, having grown up to men and women, have come back to their old teachers, first of all, considering