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tion. If we hope to reach anything like a religious standard of education in our schools, it is quite impossible that we can in any way accept that imperfect mutilated system of religious education, even if we might suppose that the Apostles' Creed could be taught. Canon Melville says it might be taught, but yet we know it is not taught, and as we have to consider what religious education given in Board Schools is at present, and we are not likely to be able to raise this standard in the time to come ; therefore I say, let all those who are for the transfer of voluntary schools to School Boards, consider that they are giving up religious education, and the daily teaching in schools altogether. They must therefore be prepared to provide such a system of religious education outside the Board Schools, as will come up to that standard, which every priest of the Church of England is bound to provide for the children of bis flock. This would be the case wherever Board Schools are already established, but I believe that our great encouragement in meeting the difficulty with regard to Board Schools, is in recognising the fact that there is a soul in the voluntary schools, which there is not in the Board Schools, and if we show our children wbat religious education is, as Mr Kennedy has taught us, if we teach them to love the great doctrines of the Church, if we teach them morality, on the very highest principles, which in Board Schools they cannot be taught, because the mouths of the teachers are gagged upon so many subjects, then we show children what religious education really is, for in our catechising in Church, wbich is a most important means of religious education, and which I hope we shall all of us be stirred up to practise more diligently, we have an immense engine. Many of us complain, that it is difficult to keep op our Sunday schools to the standard that we desire, and to get the right persons as teachers. Now in catechising in Church, the priest of the parish may himself teach his children, may bring his influence to bear upon all his children, may teach them in such loving, in such distinct, and in such dogmatic terms, unfettered by any thought of the conscience clause or anything else, speaking freely, openly, and unreservedly to his children, that I am quite sure that if we can only bring our catechising up to this point, while we connect it with the teaching in our schools, we shall show our school children what Christian education is, and then I am quite sure we shall draw em by love and affection from the Board Schools. They will feel how very different a thing religious instruction (so called) in Board Schools is to religious education in a Church School, and we shall win them not by the compulsion of the School Board visitors, but by the love and attraction of affection; we shall speak to their hearts.
The Rev. Canon WALSHAM How. With regard to the severance of religious education from secular education, I think there can be but one opinion in this great Leeting, and therefore I sball say nothing about that, except as to one little point. We have been told by the advocates of secularism in education, that an equal amount of morality and good conduct can be obtained without religious teaching. Of course we do not believe that. But mark what is to be the substitate for religious motives. A secularist leader of some note tells us that we ought to teach our children the value of civilisation, and to put before them as a motive for their morality and good conduct, the grandeur of that advancing tide of civilisation, which their good conduct would promote. I suppose, to put it practically, we ought to call up a little child who has told a lie, and to argue with it thus :-“Your lie, my little child, is a hindrance to the amelioration of humanity. Of course, in itself it is a very small thing, but then every little item tends towards the advancing, or the retarding of the majestic progress of the human race." I am not quite sure, how far that line of argument would tell opon juvenile rustics. I have never tried the experiment, and I do not mean to.
Then we come to the next point, which is, how far we are to admit and approve of religious education, which abstains from any great definiteness of teaching. Here, again, I think we shall be nearly onanimous. Of course, if I were obliged, under the School Board system, to try my hand at teaching children a colourless religion, I should do my best. I have never been one who has denounced School Boards as a wicked invention, or set my face against them in all cases, because I believe they were a necessity, and have done great good in many places. But I desire to press this consideration : we have at present among our school-teachers most admirable teachers of religion; and I wish to bear strong testimony to this point, because it is sometimes overlooked. We sometimes talk only of the clergyman taking the religious teaching, while a great many of the teachers can do it a great deal better. But this is what I want to press,-that in order to have good religious teachers, you want enthusiasm, and you cannot get up any enthusiasm for a neutral tint. What Canon Kennedy said, was most touching with regard to the actual religious state of the teachers themselves, and it reminded me of an illustration once made use of by Canon Norris, which I venture to repeat. He reminded a large meeting of school teachers, of that beautiful picture with which we are all familiar, Dante and Beatrice, how, while the gracious guide was leading on her earthly companion, and teaching him the beautiful truths she was explaining, her eyes were fixed, not upon him, but upon heaven. I want our teachers to be enthusiastic in teaching religion, and I do not believe they will be enthusiastic, unless they can teach a definite religion. And now one more point. It has often been said by advocates of purely secular teaching, that the religious teaching given in our schools at present is not worth very much. I deny that altogether ; I believe it to be worth a very great deal, and in two different ways. First, as an actual possession to the children. I know, by my own experience, how valuable this religious teaching is, even to very young children. I have in many instances known it to become a real practical power in their young lives. I have known it brought home to parents, and precious on children's death-beds. Then, secondly, it is of the greatest possible value as an educational instrument. Government inspectors have allowed, that where the religious teaching is taken away from a school by the action of a School Board, there the secular teaching at once deteriorates. There is nothing which draws out all the powers of the child like the religious lesson if it is well given. Geography and arithmetic are all very well in their way; they are good educational instruments; but they do not touch the child in all its parts, they do not exereise its moral powers, they do not draw out its emotional or its imaginative side. It is the religious lesson which will most of all bring out the whole powers of the child, and educate all its faculties, because it is the religious lesson which alone enters into all the child's daily life, and bears on its motives and feelings, its hopes, fears, its duties and trials. For these reasons I strongly advocate, wherever it is possible, the extension of definite religious teaching in our schools.
The Rev. H. Knight Eaton, Vicar of Christ's Church,
Stafford. For the very few minutes permitted me to address you on this subject, I will do so upon two practical points, which, I think, are of exceeding importance-attendance and funds. In the first place, the great question is how we can have regularity in our schools; how we can get the children to come to school daily and always at the right hour. The other question is, and it is also of vast practical importance, how our schools shall obtain funds to pay for the expense of carrying them on. I think those two may be united if the legislature would enable all those who manage schools to take from the parents a prepayment of not more than half-a-crown a quarter. If the parents paid in advance half-a-crowa a qaarter, which is less than threepence a week, the consequence would be that they would keep the children at school, because the children were paid for. If, further than that, no parent was allowed to withdraw a child from school unless he gave a quarter's notice, or paid half-a-crown, the effect would be that we should not have that fearful running from school to school which is one of the greatest difficulties in teaching the children--never permitted in higher schools. A great advantage would also accrue, that we should have then nearly sufficient funds to carry on our schools upon the old system. I have written a letter upon this subject, which I hope may be placed upon paper, if the President will permit it.* I would merely add, that any one who knows the working of schools will see at once what a great loss there is from those children whose names are on the book, but whose parents do not pay for their education ; or in other words, what a great gain there would be if we had, say, 10s, a year from 1000 children, instead of only 3d per week from 700, which is about the average attendance. We should have the difference between, that £350 and £500, to enable us to carry on the school efficiently.
MR DICKINSON, In this most interesting and important discussion, I think there is hardly attention enough given to the special interest of agricultural schools in the south of England, which I know most about. I asked a friend of mine, a good evangelic clergyman working in an unbealthy place, the other day, whether, supposing his vestry were able to give him twenty pounds a year to help his school, they would do so? He replied, Undoubtedly. It seems to me, the thing we want most is, that there should be power given by the Legislature to the vestry of voting a grant of money in aid of denominational schools. In my country, Somersetshire, I am sure it would be a most beneficial thing if that could be done. With regard to compulsion, the best eompulsion is what my friend Mr Lowder proposed, the compulsion of kindness and attraction. I bave great fear of compulsive force of law. In my country it means to many of the families of the poor simply starvation. They are obliged to live on the bread won by the labour of their children. They cannot do without it, and if you compel the children to go to school, they must starve or go to the Union. Compulsion must be administered with very great care. I think there ought to be a power, but it should be a power to be mitigated according to necessity. It seems to me totally unnecessary that there should be a Board School or a Board at all to bave compulsion. I never could see wby the parochial authorities in the county should not have the power of compulsion, when compulsion is necessary.
The DEAN of CHESTER,
The two minutes allowed me give ample time to say one thing, and that one thing ought, I conceive, to be strongly said; and for the saying of that one thing, I have been listening all this morning. No reference, however, to it has been made, except incidentally by my friend Canon Barry. What I think we want above all things, is that these towns and districts which have shown themselves in earnest in the work of education, and yet do not wish for a School Board, should be armed with compulsory powers without a School Board. It is a very serious thing for such a town and such a district, under the necessity of compulsory powers, to be forced to adopt a Board, which otherwise they would not desire. Such danger exists in many places, including the town where I reside. In the first place, to form a School Board, merely for compulsory powers, is to bring into existence a very elaborate machinery for a very simple thing. Then again the School Board involves a thousand risks as regards the persons elected, and excites a great deal of party feeling. Moreover, you cannot get rid of a School Board when you once have one. Again, there is great danger, lest the temper of a School Board with regard to religion should change at each election, as we have seen in the case of Birmingham, At the same time, I strongly deprecate any approach to speaking of School Boards in a hostile spirit. I am very glad tbat my friend Canon Jackson said what he did so strongly upon that subject.
* To be had from Miss Wright, bookseller, Stafford.
The EARL of HARROWBY. I have listened, of course with great interest, to the very interesting addresses which we have heard. I do not want to touch upon anything which concerns a possible action of the Government. I am grieved whenever I hear of the transfer of a denomi. national school to a School Board, although I do not coincide in everything which is said against a School Board school, but a denominational school, well and wisely conducted, is, no doubt, a much better thing than a Board School. At the same time I must beg you to observe this. I say, if it is well and wisely conducted, but it does not follow that every denominational school, because it is denominational, must therefore be a better school than the best Board School, such as many of them are, Manchester, for instance. You may be quite sure the people of England will support generously denominational schools if they see that those denominational schools are really and more essentially religious than the School Board schools. They do not so much support a denominational school, simply because it is denominational; they want security for a religious school, and they hope to find that security in its being denominational. But there are cases where great struggles are made to secure a denominational school, and those struggles having been successful, little attention is afterwards paid to maintain the really religious character of that school. To that point I would call the attention of the clergy and all other managers of denominational schools. Let them keep in mind that what people mean when they are anxious for denominational schools is, that they shall be schools where religion and morals are more distinctly and successfully taught than in other schools. That is the only point I wish to enforce upon this assembly, and it is a thing to be kept strictly in view, that whatever Parliament and the Congress may settle, the strength of the denominational system must always be its being more really religious and moral than any other.
WEDNESDAY MORNING, 6th OCTOBER.
The Right Rev. Bishop HOBHOUSE took the Chair at a quarter
The Rev. W. FRASER, D.C.L., Vicar of Alton, Staffordshire,
Proctor in Convocation for the Diocese of Lichfield, and
Chaplain to the Earl of Shrewsbury. I UNDERTOOK to prepare a paper on the question of ecclesiastical dilapidations, on a very short notice, in consequence of the inability of Prebendary Gibbs, to whom it had been entrusted, to attend the Congress. Prebendary Gibbs has obliged me with the perusal of his intended paper, and for some of the remarks which I shall make I am indebted to him.
Ecclesiastical dilapidations vitally interest the beneficed clergy, but do not affect other classes of society in a corresponding degree. Dilapidation, or as it is technically called Waste, is defined as “the pulling down or destroying in any manner any of the houses or buildings belonging to a Spiritual living; or the suffering them to fall into ruin or decay; or the wasting or destroying the woods of the Church ; or the committing or suffering any wilful waste in or upon the inheritance of the Church.” To commit or permit any such waste or dilapidation is a spiritual offence punishable in a Spiritual court, even by suspension or deprivation; and the powers of the Spiritual courts in this respect, have been reserved in the recent statutory legislation on dilapidations.
In regard to the glebe of the Church, dilapidations are only incurred in regard to the gates, fences, and buildings upon it, which must be kept in good repair. The law pays no attention to the land itself, which may be exhausted to any extent by an out-going incumbent, and the new incumbent has no redress; and at the same time no consideration is given to the question of “unexhausted improvements," and no allowance is made for them. This should be remedied in any future legislation.
Timber trees growing on the glebe may be lopped for fuel, but may not be cut down except for repairs; but it is allowable to cut down timber and to sell it, and to apply the proceeds of the sale to repairs. The same rule applies to timber trees growing in the churchyard and the repairs of the Church.
The law in respect of mines, coal-mines, quarries, gravel-pits and claypits, in the glebe appears to be intricate and perplexing, and time will not now allow me to attempt to disentangle it.
But the chief concern of the law of ecclesiastical dilapidations is the buildings of the Church, the residences of the incumbents, the buildings standing on the glebe, and the chancels of the churches in the care of rectories. It is held that the endowments of the Church are not only a provision for the maintenance of the clergyman in each parish, but are also for the maintenance of the Church's buildings. Each incumbent, therefore, out of the endowments of his living is to keep his parsonage in good repair. It is the duty of the Archdeacon, and of the Ordinary generally, to visit and inspect all ecclesiastical buildings, and to require that all needed repairs should be duly carried out : and an incumbent may be prosecuted at visitations for allowing his residence to fall into decay. Parsonages, being spiritual property, proceedings to prevent dilapidations should properly be taken in the Spiritual courts. But the courts of equity and of common law also took cognizance of them, and a patron could obtain an injunction in Chancery to restrain waste.
But as we all know this method of preventing dilapidations was not the general custom. The usual practice among the clergy was that, on the avoidance of a benefice by death or otherwise, two surveyors should be appointed, one on the side of the representatives of the last, and one on the side of the new incumbent; each of these made his valuation, and did his best for his employer; and they endeavoured between them to arrive at some fair compromise. But if they could not eventually agree upon a sum to be paid and received for dilapidations; the matter had to come before the courts of Common Law. For in the case of houses and buildings an action for damages will lie, upon the custom of England for rectors and vicars to leave their buildings in repair to their successors.