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This, therefore, in a peculiar tliongh limited sense, is the national system of education in the United States.

Massachusetts.--Horace Mann was in a sense the apostle of the enlarged public school systems of the day, and the historian of the schools of Massachusetts as they were when he was connected with them. In his lecture 5, Historical View of Education, 1810, he says: “As educators, as friends and sustainers of the common school system, our great duty is to prepare these living and intelligent souls; to awaken the faculty of thought in all the children of the Commonwealth; to give them an inquiring, outlooking, forthgoing mind; to impart to them the greatest practicable amount of useful knowledge; to cultivate in them a sacred regard to truth; to keep them unspotted from the world—that is, uncontaminated by its vices; to train them up to the love of God and the love of man; to make the perfect example of Jesus Christ lovely in their eyes, and to give to all so much religious instruction as is compatible with the rights of others and with the genius of our Government, leaving to parents and guardians the direction, during their school-going days, of all special and peculiar instruction respecting politics and theology; and at last, when the children arrive at years of maturity, to commend them to that inviolable prerogative of private judgment and of self-direction, which in a Protestant and a republican country is the acknowledged birthright of every human being."

In his first annual report, dated January 1, 1838, Mr. Mann says:

"In regard to moral instruction, the condition of our public schools presents a singular and, to some extent at least, an alarming phenomenon. To prevent the school from being converted into an engine of religious proselytism, to debar successive teachers in the same school from successively inculcating hostile religious creeds, until the children should be alienated, not only from creeds but from religion itself, the statuto of 1826 specially provided that no schoolbooks should be used in any of the public schools •calculated to favor any particular religious sect or tenet.' The language of the Revised Statutes is slightly altered, but the sense reinains the same. Probably no one would desire a repeal of this law while the danger impends which it was designed to repel.”

He regrets that in all the libraries of books none have been found without a sectarian bias in favor of tenets or sects that puts them under the prohibition, so that there is an entire exclusion of religious teaching.

In his second annual report, dated December 26, 1838, Mr. Manu says:

“In my report of last year I exposed the alarming deficiency of moral and religious instruction then found to exist in our schools. That deficiency, in regard to religious instruction, could only be explained by supposing that school committees, whose duty it is to prescribe schoolbooks, had not found any books at once expository of the doctrines of revealed religion and also free from such advocacy of the 'tenets' of particular sects of Christians as brought them, in their opinion, within the scope of the legal prohibition.

Of course, I shall not be here understooil as referring to the Scriptures, as it is well known that they are used in almost all the schools, either as a devotional or as a reading book.”

In his report for 1818 (twelfth annual) he uses 49 pages in the defense of unsectarian religions teaching in the schools and cities. lle cites the eighth report (1811) of the State board of education as "a document said to be the ablest argument in favor of the use of the Bible in schools anywhere to be found.” That document (p. 16) says: “The Bible has nothing in it of a sectarian character. All Christian sects regard it as the text-book of their faith.”

In the report for 1818 he repels earnestly all representations that he has ever opposed its use. He points out how recent is the unsectarian freedom which he claims is represented by the use of the Bible without note or comment.

It was not, indeed, until a very recent period that all vestige of legal penalty or coercion was obliterated from our statute book, and all sects and denominations were placed upon a footing of absolute equality in the eye of the law. I'ntil the 9th day


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of April, 1821, no person in Massachusetts was eligible to the office of governor, lientenant-governor, or councilor, or to that of senator or representative in the general court, unless he would make oath to a belief in the particular form of religion adopted and sanctioned by the State. And until the 11th day of Noveruber, 1833, every citizen was taxable by the constitution and laws of the State for the support of the Protestant religion, whether he were a Protestant, a Catholic, or a believer in any other faith. Nor was it till the 10th day of March, 1827, that it was made unlawful to use the common schools of the State as the means of proselyting children to a belief in the doctrines of particular sects, whether their parents believed in those doctrines or not.

“The Bible is the acknowledged expositor of Christianity. In strictness, Christianity has no other authoritative expounder. This Bible is in our schools by common consent. Twelve years ago it was not in all the schools. Contrary to the genius of our Government, if not contrary to the express letter of the law, it had been used for sectarian purposes, to prove one sect to be right and others to be wrong. Hence it had been excluded from the schools of some towns by an express vote. But since the law and the reasons on which it is founded have been more fully explained and better understood, and since sectarian instruction has, to a great extent, ceased to be given, the Bible has been restored. I am not aware of the existence of a single town in the State in whose schools it is not now introduced, either by a direct voto of the school committee or by such general desire and acquiescence as supersede the necessity of a vote."

After saying that the State of Massachusetts as an alternative for the course pursued "might establish schools, but expressly exclude all religious instruction from them, making them merely schools for secular instruction,” he says: “I do not suppose a man can be found in Massachusetts who would declare such a system to be his first choice.

Conditions in Massachusetts have changed but gradually in the last sixty years, though even there the views which Horace Mann held as the broadest, unsectarian liberality are not uniformly accepted as liberal enough for present conditions.

American Association for the Advancement of Education.-At the meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Education in 1855 tho retiring president, Prof. A. D. Bache, made some remarks upon a national university in which he referred to moral and religious education as the better part of the work. Thereupon the following resolution was offered:

Resolved, that the sentiments expressed by our late president, Professor Bache, in his recent address, that moral and religious instruction should form a prominent part in all our systems of education, in accordance with the firm belief and earnest convictions of this association."

This gave rise to a discussion as to the Bible and religion in public schools which occupied parts of three sessions and in which substitutes of similar purport were offered in the effort for a harmonious expression of opinion, all ended by laying the subject on the table. Prof. Charles Daviess, S. S. Randall, superintendent of public schools in the city of New York, Rev. Gorham D. Abbott, Prof. Alfred Greenleaf, Amos Perry, Caleb Mills, superintendent of public schools of Indiana, Gideon F. Thayer, Prof. E. A. Andrews, President Henry P. Tappan, of Michigan University, Prof. James N. McElligott, and others spoke with earnestness favoring such a resolution. Bishop Alonzo Potter, of the Protestant Episcopal Church, stood nearly alone in opposing it, Erastus C. Benedict supporting him in a degree. The Bishop spoke at great length, including the following sentences:

“The fact is that in this country the subject is surrounded by the greatest practical difficulties. Yet I think these difficulties are destined to be overcome, and we are in the way of overcoming them.

If the question was distinctly at issue whether we should have schools with no Bible, no religious instruction in them, or no public schools at all, I would say that I would surrender the Bible. There are


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other places where the Biblo can be taught. Give me a place where the children shall be taught to be ablo to read the Bible, and I will take care that they shall read the Bible out of school, if they do not in school.

“It is the proposition that in all schools the Bible should be daily read. I have no doubt that it ought to be read in all schools where it can be read without the sacrifice of an interest greater than that which you can gain from it. Suppose that the only teacher you have to fill the place is one who demonstrates by his daily life that he is godless, without the fear of God before his eyes, who can not help, by the process of unconscious tuition, proclaiming the fact in his school that he does not fear God, that he does not in his heart regard the Bible. Now, will that man perform the duty you would impose upon him by law in such a way as to promote reverence for the Scriptures, in such a way as to deepen in the hearts of those little ones the fear of God and the love of Christ? I say no. The whole process will be regarded by them not as a solemn mockery but as a farce. A worse impression upon the religious character and associations could not well be produced.”

The incident is noteworthy for the date, 1855, over forty years ago; for the educational position of the speakers; for their representative position as Protestant citizens, and for accepting by the leading speaker one as a teacher who “does not fear God” or “in his heart regard the Bible.”

New York.–The first general act for the establishment of common schools in the State of New York was passed in the year 1812. In 1813 a supplementary act relating to the schools of the city of New York directed the payment of school moneys to such incorporated religious societies in said city as maintain charity schools. An act of 1822 gave funds for building schoolhouses to the Bethel Baptist Church, under which act gross abuses occurred, so that in 1824 an act was passed placing the selection of schools and institutions to receive public money in the common council of the city. This was held to exclude churches as such. In 1840, eight Catholic churches, a Jewish congregation, and a Scotch Presbyterian church petitioned the council for a share of the public money for schools under their care—the latter two basing their action on the report that a Catholic petition was to be presented. Remonstrances came in from the Public School Society, one from the Methodist Episcopal Church, with a contingent request that, if the moneys asked for were granted, a grant should also be made to restore a school formerly maintained by the Methodists.

In the remonstrances of the trustees of the Public School Society the distribution to churches for their schools is called : “Unconstitutional

that the community should be taxed to support an establishment in which sectarian dogmas are inculcated.

“Inexpedient, because the question was fully examined by the common council in 1822, and all the church schools, including the Catholics, which had previously drawn from the school fund were cut off, and the great principle of nonsectarianism avlopted as the basis for subsequent appropriations from this fund.”

Remonstrances from Reformed and Baptist churches and from citizens discussed various phases of the question. The petition for division was not granted.

The University of the State of New York has granted allowances from public finds to academies attaining its standards. In 1893 there were 69 undenominational, 22 Protestant, and 33 Catholic academies and academic departments that received such allowance. The constitution of 1894 prohibits the appropriation of public noney to any institution under sectarian control. The regents of the university, citing the Wisconsin decision that King James's version of the Bible is a sectarian book, state that they do not so consider it under conditions in New York. The parallels between practice in New York and English practice are evident, as well as the recent departure from English practice by cutting off from “Grants-in-aid” all schools that have a denominational character. A peculiar discrimination is likely


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1 Report for 1893.

to develop in present conditions in New York. A devout Christian teacher may conduct his school to all outward appearance just like that of his fellow-churchman across the way, but if one is formally indorsed by his denomination he can not receive the allotments of public funds still available for one not so indorsed.

Cities.-Not to follow the question of custom in the use of the Bible in the common schools State by State, it will be sufficient to cite conditions in some of the great cities of 1856—Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and New Orleans. In the schools of Boston the Bible was in use. In some schools of New York and Philadelphia it would have been found, but not uniformly. In Cincinnati it was in use, though one might have detected the indications of the contest in which its use was discontinued a few years later (1869). In tho public schools of St. Louis the Bible was not used, notwithstanding something like a wholesale importation of New England teachers in 1853, notably from the Bridgewater Normal School, for superintendent, principals, and high-school teachers, to give character to the city system. The Bible had been in use in the schools of New Orleans, but was not in use there in 1856.


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Persons who have carried in their impressions the ideal of tho Massachusetts common school have very generally regarded the question of the Bible in the schools as a question of defense, as though it were in general nse, and not as an aggressive question that it might be adopted. In point of fact, it has not been in any such general use as assumed by a multitude of writers and speakers. When Calvin E. Stowe addressed an Indiana audience in 1810 it was clearly the New England custom of using tho Bible that he was defending. The common schools of Indiana at that date were very primitive, and could hardly be said to have a prevailing custom in any detail. Professor Stowe uttered similar views before the American Institute of Instruction, Portland, Me., 1844, in a region where his statements fitted the conditions. He was willing to have Protestants and Catholics each use their own Bible. In the Indiana address he said: “Every attempt to pervert the common-school funds so as to accommodate children of different languages or different religions with a separate education should be steadily resisted by every true friend of his country.”

The lack of definition of terms, or of the sense in which they are used, has led to much confusion in the discussion of the proper functions of the public school, and the variable meanings authors attach to "sectarian,” “public school system,” and other expressions give a character of unstable equilibrium, as it might be called, to many of the arguments regarding the functions of the schools. As an example, the royal commission of 1888 to examine the condition of elementary schools in England and Wales sent circulars to various foreign countries, and to each of the States and Territories of this country. The replies were condensed into tabular form in the report of the commission. In the column for religious instruction the word “None" appears against every State reporting except Florida, “Devotional exercises, nonsectarian;" Maine, “General, not sectarian, optional;” Michigan, “Nonsectarian;" New Jersey, “ Bible read without note or comment, not obligatory;" Oregon, "Given by teacher, not compulsory, no special provision;" Vermont, “Bible read in most schools, not compulsory;" Virginia, “Not required by State, teachers usually give unsectarian religious instruction.” The facts are not clearly shown, by reason of the varying significance attached to the term “religious instruction” by the officials who filled out replies. Massachusetts has a formal requirement that the Bible shall be read daily in all public schools, yet in the table cited eight States less stringent on the point have some entry indicating attention to religious instruction, while against Massachnsetts is entered “None,” as well as against other States in which the use of the Bible is favored.

Wisdom and Knowledge the Nation's Stability. An address before the Euphonian Society. Wabash College, July 7, 1810.


Some allowance is to be made for the changes in the use of terms as the years go by. When all accept a dogma it is hardly sectarian, but when a community is divided in the acceptance of the same article of belief those who accept it or its opposite form a sect as related to their neighbors.

The Douay (Catholic) version of the Bible was judicially called sectarian in Nevada some years ago (State of Nevada r. Hallock, 16 Nevada, 373) and more recently came the Wisconsin decision that the King James version of the Bible was sectariali.

Tho discussions cited convey widely different impressions of the writers' views according to the sense in which they appear to have used terms that have come into the variable use indicated.

In the New Englander (Congregationalist), April, 1818, was an article conteniling for the common schools as against parochial schools advocated by Old-School Presbyterians. The author assumes that the common school is in accordance “with the comprehensive character of Christianity,” but after a number of pages he says:

“IV. The preceding course of argument fully evinces the duty of good citizens to sustain the common schools rather than introduce the church schools, provided the varieties of religious belief in our communities do not render any safe and valuable system of instruction in tho former impracticable.

“This brings us to the great, and, so far as appears, the only objection to the common-school system-the religious objection. “If the several religions denominations will act with an enlightened public spirit, the practical difficulties will be found very few and small.

In common schools, schools under State and civil patronage, all religious denominations should stand on the same footing.

The opposite principle which has been so extensively adopted in the discussion of this subject, that in this country the Stato or civil power is Christian and Protestant, and therefore that schools sustained and directed in part thereby are Christian and Protestant, and that whoever attends them has no right to object to a rule requiring all to study Christian and Protestant books and doctrines, we wholly disbelieve and deny. The State, the civil power in whatever form in this country, is no more Protestant, or Christian, than it is Jewish or Mohammedan. It is of no religion whatever.

“We fully admit, and, if necessary, would strenuously contend, that of a complete education the religious instruction and influence is an essential part, and far the most important part, and that it should be given in all the periods of a child's life. Any educational institution, therefore, which assumes for any considerable period the whole education and training of a child or youth

and yet gives no religious instruction and training, is justly said to give an irreligious and godless education. But to say the same of a day school which gives only secular instruction-instruction that does not discredit or interfere with, but prepares the way for, and indirectly aids, religion-during only four or six hours in the day, avowedly leaving religious instruction to other and better teachers, is palpably illogical and unfair.

There may be a division of labor, and secular teaching may be the exclusive department of the day school, while religious teaching is provided in other and better ways.

“Very little jealousy has been encountered with regard to religious influence in the common schools of New England.”

After stating that ministers are often on school boards, and usually find no difficulty on their visits to the schools in giving religious instruction approved by their judgment, the writer goes on to say: “If there should be districts, as probably there would be a few, in which the members of different religious denominations, not satisfied with the teaching of the common Christianity, should insist on the teaching of their distinctive doctrines, even so let it be. Let each scholar read or study his own Bible and his own catechism. The pupils might, if it should be thought most convenient and wise, when the time for religious instruction arrived,


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