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ments, the vast obligations which the effectually provide, no matter how religious and the loyal, in every part strenuously its enlightened provisions of the empire, owe to the man who for that purpose might be disrelished by has championed their cause with such bigotry, or resisted by faction. An undaunted intrepidity, such inflexible uncompromising perseverance in its perseverance, such tempered zeal, and own righteous policy, must, in the end, such matchless ability, in the very be successful. The statesman who is worst of times, and to inark with parti. truly worthy of the name, would no cular emphasis the large debt of grati- more make the peculiar predilections tude which is due to him from the of the people his regulators, in matters Protestants of Ireland. We cannot that concerned their moral improvebut recognize a protecting Providence ment, than he would make the peculiar in the very fact, that such a man, at interests of individuais his guide in the such a time, should occupy the very construction of roads, or in the erecpost which he now occupies; and we tion of tanks, which might be neces. do trust that the time is not distant sary for the national convenience. He when the importance of his services would consider, first, the best mode in will be so far appreciated by others, as which such works could be effected; that he may be called to take a higher and then he would bend all his enerstation, in shaping and regulating the gies to accomplish them in a manner destinies of the einpire.

that should render them most conduIf Lord Morpeth was inclined to cive to the end which he had in view, act sincerely in the spirit of the act of We will suppose the case of a faction Henry VIII. to which he referred, the resolved to thwart him in his project, Irish clergy could desire nothing bei. and we can even suppose them refusing ter. It would place them precisely to make use of the advantages that are where they ought to be, and where thus gratuitously provided for them. they would be, but for the indifference If this proceed from ignorance, they of latitudinarians, jealousy of secta- are to be pitied, and better things are ries, and the rancorous hostility of to be hoped for, when time shall have papists. It would, in fact, reverse the allayed prejudice, and experience inposition in which he would have them creased knowledge. The enlightened placed. The object of the act was, to statesman will wait quierly for ibis. If raise this country, morally and intel- it should proceed from taction, and if lectually, to the level of England, in it be only a cloak by which the cloven order that an identity of English man- foot of treason is disguised, those who ners might prepare the people for can view it in that light, if they be English institutions. The object of just and wise, will not, assuredly, lend that system of national education it any countenance, but will rather which his lordship patronizes, and consider the very opposition which which he would tax the clergy to sup- they experience a test of the excelport, is, virtually, to take the education lence of their system. In the mean of the people out of their hands, and time, they need not be over solicitous. to put it into the hands of those who If they are only steady to their purwill assuredly not take any consider. pose, time alone will prove an infallible able pains to root out and io extirpale corrector of such discontents as they the prejudices and the antipathies experience. They have cast their which, as long as they exist, must ren- bread upon the waters, and they will der British dominion insecure, and find it after many days. When the retard the progress of national im- factions see that nothing is to be gainprovement.

ed by their opposition, they will not To our minds nothing can be mire be likely to persevere in it, to their preposterous, than, in devising a sys- own detriment. Every day will ditem of national education, to consuit, miuish their hostility to sustein in the first instance, the prejudices of against which no reasonable objection the people. It is for the purpose of can be pleaded, and of which every correcting those very prejudices that day is exhibiting the advantages. We such a system is, or, at least, ought to

may suppose indeed that the malconbe designed ; assuredly it never should tents will adopt a system of their own, be so shaped as to countenance or and that evils may then threaten confirm them. An enlightened go- society, against which it would be difvernment should see in what consisted ficult to guard. But the very same the moral and intellectual wants of may be feared if they should be suffera the people, and for these it should ed to make the system to which they



have objected their own, by a tame fair and practicable way. I have always compliance with their demands on the felt it as such, and considered that the part of those by whom it was devised ; oath imposed on the clergy at institution with this difference, that, in the latter bore broadly upon this, without entering case, there would be nothing to resist into the minutiæ of the legal considerathe evils that might threaten, and that

tions, which admit of, and have led to, a those by whose connivance or com- great deal of special pleading ; but which, pliance they were permitted, must

when gone into, even with a liberal in. share their responsibility, with those by

terpretation, seem decidedly to preclude whose activity they were promoted, or

the idea that the clergy are bound to keep by whose contrivance they were de. free schools." signed.

To this opinion the Commissioners As the act of Henry the Eighth has assent, clearly exonerating the clergy been referred to, it may be as well to from

any pecuniary obligation, under lay before the reader the opinion of the the provisions of the act, and as clearly late Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Magee, recognising the duty, or, as we would

, upon that subject, as given before the call it, the privilege of superintending education commissioners by whom he the national education. This duty they was examined in 1825:

would limit to the superintendence of

the education of their own flocks ; "My view of the duty of the clergy,

thereby giving a sectarian character to as growing out of the act of 28th Henry

the Established Church, and merely preEighth, is, that there is no obligation imposed on the incumbent of a parish to scribing to the clergy a duty to be shared

The law, as it ap

with all other dissenters. keep a free school.

But this was pears to me, has become obsolete, or

not to fulfil, or carry out, but to pervert, rather is virtually repealed, respecting

or obstruct, the spirit of that enlightencertain duties enjoined to the clergyman,

ed enactment. Henry's act, as we besuch as telling the beads in English, &c.

fore observed, was designed to aid in because these duties themselves have that grand process of imperial assimilapassed away. But the duty of keeping,

tion, upon which he was resolved, and or causing to be kept, an English school,

without which it would be impossible I conceive to be still in force under the to legislate upon enlightened principles statute. The mistake that has prevailed for the people of Ireland. It was inon this head seems to be, that the clergy tended to bear directly against the are bound by this act, and the oath pre- barbarous customs, and the barbarous scribed by it, to keep a free school, prejudices, by which they were dewhereas the act expressly describes the graded and brutalized, and wbich, he school to be kept, not as a free schoul, clearly saw, must be utterly extirpated, but on the contrary, as one in which a before any progress could be made in stipend is to be paid by the scholars re- civilization. For this

purpose the sorting to it, conditioning only that the clergy were called upon to be aiding stipend shall be such as is usually paid by and assisting, to the utmost of their scholars in English schools in that district of the country; at the same time, I should not be counteracted by any

power; and in order that their labours conceive that the clergy are to the utmost influence from any other quarter, a of their power bound to keep, or see that there be kept, an English school for the them in the business of education, and

sort of monopoly is conferred upon instruction of the poor, although they are not bound to see that it shall be a free penalties are enacted against any un

licensed individuals who might presume, school. The true intention of the law I consider to be conveyed and enforced in contrary to the tenor of the statute, to the act of the 7th of William Third, in- intrude into their province, by assumtituled · An Act to restrain Foreigning the character of instructors. Such Education. In this act it is declared

was the drift of the act of Henry the that the clergy shall

, in their respective Eighth an act passed shortly after parishes or districts, keep English schools, Henry had incurred the charge of or cause them to be kept, according to heresy, by assuming to bimself the title the true intent and spirit of the act of of head of the church. Such was the Henry the Eighth; and this, I conceive, character in which the national clergy sets aside all those minor considerations were recognised, and such the privigrowing out of the change of times, and leges by which they were fortified. brings the matter to the fair honest equity Such, also, was the jealousy with which of the case, that the clergy were intended all interlopers were regarded, in whom to be the guardians of the education of a similar confidence might not be the country, and to promote it in every placed. And yet the commissioners

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in 1825 deemed that they were acting tensive benefits upon the people. This in the spirit of this statute, when they is, at least, a fair and an honest mode of discharged the clergy from their obli- putting the case, and one entitled to a gation of being superintendents over candid and respectful examination. It the education of the people at large, does not pretend

does not pretend to carry an ancient and merely required of them, in com- statute into effect, after a fashion that mon with popish and dissenting teach- must ensure its abrogation. ers, to preside over the education of Times, we are told, are changed. those of their own communion. We

We They are, undoubtedly; and in nothing believe that an instance of perversion more than in the facility with which more egregious could not easily be all classes of persons may now avail found. Henry so allocated education themselves of the advantages of eleto the clergy, as to preclude all others mentary education. This has infrom engaging in it without their con- creased in a ratio much beyond the sent. The commissioners so limit the increase of the population.

Almost clergy to the education of their own any one may now obtain a knowflocks, as to preclude them from any ledge of reading, writing, and arithparticipation in the moral guidance of metic, at far less expense, either of the congregations of papists or dis- time or money, than would formerly senters! We do not, at present, enter have been indispensible for that purinto the wisdom or the policy of this. pose ; and the inotives for acquiring Let it be esteemed wiselet it be es- such knowledge, both in the advantages teemed politic—but, assuredly, it re- which it affords, and in the disgrace of

— ceives no countenance from a statute, being without it, must ensure the acwhich, when it conferred an important quisition of it, in all those cases, where privilege upon the established cleryy, the obstacles to its attainment can, did not so much as contemplate the with any ordinary diligence, be overexistence of a recusant or a dissenter.

Therefore, we would say, a Well, the commissioners, it will be spring tide has set in in favour of inconceded, have special-pleaded the tellectual improvement ; and, as far as letter of the statute against its spirit, the acquisition of elementary knowand sought to overthrow the privileges, ledge is concerned, there can be very and to lower the character, while they little fear that, in the present state of seemed to be merely relieving the con- things, the generality of individuals sciences of the clergy. This,

no doubt, will not acquire it for themselves. So was very wrong.

But times have far, it will be allowed, a spontaneous greatly changed since the days of impulse has been given to civilization. Henry the Eighth ; and, although it No additional stimulus can be necescannot be based upou this statute, the sary, to pronipt the mass of the comproject which they patronised may still munity to avail themselves of the be expedient. We cannot now refuse means within their reach to acquire to contemplate the existence both of those accomplishments, by which they recusants and dissenters. On the con- may be raised in the scale of rational trary, we must recognise them as a beings, beyond the example of others, formidable body of men, whose wants and the prospects which may thus be and wishes must be taken into account, opened to their ambition. And the in any project for the instruction of duty of the wise government will conthose over whom they possess any sist rather in directing and controlspiritual influence. This is a concession ling, than in extending or multiplyimperiously required by the spirit of ing, the facilities which are so abunthe age, which will not endure any dantly furnished for the improvement limits to toleration ; and the plan of of the national mind. The Nile bas, united instruction, as far as children as it were, overflowed, and the object of can go together, aud separated instruc- the skilful husbandman is, not to cause tion, in those things wherein they the overflow to increase, but to avail differ, to be given to each class re- himself of the fertilizing effects, while he spectively, by its own spiritual advisers, obviates the ravages of the inundation. is, perhaps, the only one that could And it was while the natural facili. reconcile the conflicting pretensions of ties for the education of the lower the several parties who take an interest orders were thus accumulating, that in the question, and without whose co- the zeal of various powerful bodies of operation it is vain to expect that religionists was exerted in the cause, any system of national education can and led to such a multiplication of the be so carried on, as to confer any ex- means and opportunities of acquiring

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elementary and scriptural knowledge, thing either in its principles, or its
that if, before, there was a famine in management, or its arrangements, which
these respects, there might now be prevented Roman Catholic children
said to be a surfeit in Ireland. The from availing themselves of the many
charter schools were early in the advantages which it held forth to them,
field, and although they were badly or which caused even a murmur on the
conducted, and negligently superin- part of their parents or pastors, as though
tended, they must be allowed to have these advantages were but lures to se-
accomplished something for the moral duce them from their faith. There
and intellectual improvement of the were from eight to ten thousand chil.
people. Had their abuses been cor- dren receiving education in the schools
rected, they would have been exceeds of the Association, at the time the
ingly valuable ; but, as proselytism was commissioners made their report. Of
their avowed object, the infidel spirit these, one half, at least, were Roman
which lurks under the masque of liber- Catholics ; and nothing, we are fully
alisin, would not endure them; and de- persuaded, but want of means pre-
fects which might have been easily vented this enlightened educational
supplied, and mismanagement which system from being co-extensive with
could have been readily corrected, the wants of the population.
were made the pretexts for their de- Then came the London Hibernian

Society. This society originated in
The Association for Discountenan- the zeal and piety of some benevolent
cing Vice, (to the operation of which individuals in London, in the year
we, in a former number, called the at- 1806, who were touched by the moral
tention of our readers.) was also most and spiritual destitution of the peasantry
serviceable in diffusing useful know- in Ireland, and who resolved to at-
ledge, and sound religious principles ; tempt, " by the ministry of the gospel,
and has proved a most valuable auxili- by the dispersion of the holy Scrip-
ary to the Established Church, in the ture, and religious tracts, by the for-
promotion of that scriptural piety mation and support of schools, and by
which is the end and the aim of its every other lawful and prudent mea-
institution. Even the commissioners sures, calculated to promote pire re-
of twenty-five bear ample testimony to ligion, morality, and loyalty," to bring
the excellence of its schools, which, a benighted people out of darkness,
eneinies as they almost all were to the and into the marvellous light of the
Established Church, furnishes a con- gospel. This society was wonderfully
vincing proof that there was nothing successful, by means of its scriptural
very objectionable in its arrangements. readers and schools, in drawing the
They affect to consider the very pecil attention of the people to the impor-
liar manner in which it is under the su- tant subjects which it was their object
perintendence of the established clergy to hold before them; but, as prosely-
a ground for believing that it could tism was its scarcely disguised object,
not be very acceptable to the people it excited the animosity of the Roman
at large; but they do not dwell upon the Catholic clergy, and may be said to
fact, that its schools contained, at the have caused the beginning of that oppo-
time they made their report, nearly equal sition on their part, which has been un-
numbers of Protestants and Roman happily but too successful.
Catholics, and that no coinplaint was not ourselves approvers of the loose
ever made of any attempt, on the part and latitudinarian manner in which re-
of their masters or governors, to tamper ligions knowlerlge is sought to be con-
with the religious opinions of the chil. veyed, by the zealous and estimable
dren of another communion. The persons by whom this society is pa-
coinmissioners, however, had a theory tronised. It is far too vague and in-
to support, or an object to carry, to definite to constitute, in our minds, a
which inatter of fact, in this particular, saving faith, or to las a secure founda-
was rather strongly opposed ; and like tion for adequate religious guidance.
wise and honest men, they took for Its utility consists rather in shaking the
granted the impossibility of doing the confidence which the superstitious Irish
very thing that was actually done, and place in a bad system, than in leading
recommended the withdrawal of their them into a good one ; but in this way
grant from the Association, because of no doubt, it has its use, and may bė,
its exclusively Prulestant character, at subordinately, instrumental in `pro-
the very time when there was evidence moting the great work of national ame-
before their eyes, that there was no- lioration. But it is important to re-

We are

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mark, that the spirit of opposition large school having been there most began with the spirit of compromise ; successfully established ever since 1786, and that, while the Association for Dis- and which had been conducted to the countenancing Vice, which had been satisfaction of all concerved, precisely in operation for nearly twenty years, upon the principle which the new and whose avowed principle was, the society proposed for their own guidpromotion of scriptural knowledge and ance."* But they had not been long piety, according to the doctrine and in operation, when the fourteenth rediscipline of the Established Church, port of the Education Commissioners was regarded even by Roman Catho- of 1812, made its appearance, in which lies with esteem and favour, the Lon- the commissioners, amongst whom we don Hibernian Society, which made find the names of the Primate, the an ostentatious disclaimer of any in- Archbishop of Dublin, the Provost, the tention to interfere with the religious Archbishop of Cashel, and the Bishop tenets of those under their care, and of Killala, state, that they had applied from whose schools all catechisms, and their efforts to the framing of a systein, books of controversy were most rigidly which, whilst it should afford the opexcluded, had no sooner entered upon portunities of education to every detheir labours, than the cry of prose- scription of the lower classes of the lytism was raised against them ; and people, miglt, at the same time, by they found, that, so far from winning keeping clear of all interference with the regards, they had to contend the particular religious tenets of any, against the prejudices and the bigotry induce the whole to receive its benefits of the people. It would almost serm as one undivided body, under one and as if they were suspected, in proportion the same system, and in the same estato their anxiety, to avoid all causes of sus-blishments.” In order to produce this picion ;—while the inore open, straight- desirable result, the commissioners proforward, and ingenuous, conduct of the posed, that, in any system to be deother society, whose object it was “10 vised for that purpose, “all interference do good unto all men, but especially with the particular religious tenets of unto them that were of the household those who were to receive instruction, of faith,” secured to them a degree of shoulıl, in the first instance, be unconfidence and love, which has to the equivocally disclaimed, and effectually present day, notwithstanding all the guarded against. causes that have been in operation to diminish or to pervert it, enabled them

“ We conceive this,” they add, “ to be to extend the blessings of their institu

of essential importance in any new esta

blishments for the education of the lower tion far beyond the limits of their own

classes in Ireland; and we communion. Next followed the Kildare-place In- express our unanimous opinion, that no

such plan, however wisely and unexcepstitution. It was established in 1811, tionally contrived in other respects, can and was intended to do, upou a large be carried into effectual execution in this scale, what the London Society had

country, unless it be explicitly avowed, been attempting upon a small one. and clearly understood, as its leading prin. There can be no doubt whatever of the ciple, that no attempt shall be made to zeal, the benevolence or the piety of influence or disturb the peculiar religious its founders. As the cooperation of tenets of any sect or description of Chrisall sects was earnestly solicited, and as tians.” the leading directors of this society consisted of individuals who might be This report was under the consideraconsidered as representing the various tion of the government, who were, no religious bodies into which the con- doubt, auxious to carry its recommen. munity was divided, so it was hoped that dations into effect, when their attenits operations iniyht go on unchecked tion was attracted by the Kildareby any adverse influence, and that all place Society, whose principles and might work together for good. whose practice approached so nearly

This society first held its meetings to those recommended by the cominisin School-street, an obscure and incon- sioners, that it was resolved, instead of venient situation in the Liberties of appointing a new board, lo try the exDublin, “but to which they liad been periment which had been proposed, by attracted by the circumstance of a making a grant to a society already in

• First Report of the Commissioners of Education Enquiry, page 39. June 3d, 1825.



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