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“ away. But the duty of keeping or causing 1" his parish come to him to learn the same, “ to be kept an English school, I conceive to “ taking for the keeping of the same school “ be still in force under the statute. The mis.“ such convenient stipend or salary as in the “ take that has prevailed on this head seems to “ said land is accustomably used to be given.”
be, that the clergy are bound by this act, and We cannot see in these provisions, that the “ the oath prescribed by it, to keep a free obligation is limited to the mere teaching of the “ school; whereas the act expressly describes English language. It appears that the better " the school to be kept not as a free school, but, knowledge of God and the civil and moral duties 6 on the contrary, as one in which a stipend is of the people, were equally the objects of the 6 to be paid by the scholars resorting to it, con- legislature. Although the Reformation subse. “ ditioning only that the stipend shall be such quently rendered obsolete the direction, that the " as is usually paid by scholars in English clergy should “bid the beads in English," we “ schools in that district of the country; at the see nothing to annul the obligations imposed by 6 same time I conceive that the clergy are to the other provisions of the act. But whatever “ the utmost of their power bound to keep, or doubt might be entertained, if the question “ see that there be kept, an English school for rested upon the construction of the act of Henry “ the instruction of the poor, although they Eighth alone, we agree with his Grace the Arch“ are not bound to see that it shall be a free bishop of Dublin, in thinking, that any such “6 school. The true intention of the law I con. doubt is removed altogether by the act of “ sider to be conveyed and enforced in the act William Third, which enjoins the strict exe. “ of the 7th of William Third, intituled “ An cution of the act of Henry Eighth, with respect “ Act to restrain Foreign Education. In this to schools. " act it is declared that the clergy shall, in their Every clergyman accordingly is still required “ respective parishes or districts, keep English by law to take an oath at institution to that “ schools, or cause them to be kept, according effect, which is in the following terms : “ to the true intent and spirit of the act of “ I do solemnly swear, That I will teach or “ Henry the Eighth ; and this, I conceive, sets" cause to be taught an English school within “ aside all those minor considerations growing “ the vicarage or rectory of
as “ out of the change of times, and brings the “ the law in that case requires." “ matter to the fair honest equity of the case, Under these circumstances, a responsibility is “ that the clergy were intended to be the imposed on the clergy, which is the more incon. “ guardians of the education of the country, venient, as its limits and nature are but imper. " and to promote it in every fair and practi- fectly defined, though it certainly exposes them “ cable way. I have always felt it as such, and to the liability of being deprived of their bene“ considered that the oath imposed on the clergy fices, if convicted a third time of not complying " at institution bore broadly upon this, without with the provisions of the act. We therefore “ entering into the minutiæ of the legal consi-recommend, that this uncertain duty should “ deration which admit of, and have led to, a hereafter be limited to their personal superin. “ great deal of special pleading ; but which, tendence of the religious instruction to be given 66 when gone into, even with a liberal interpre- to the Protestant children of the Established “ tation, seem decidedly to preclude the idea Church in the public parochial schools which we " that the clergy are bound to keep free schools." shall hereafter recommend to be established.
It is obvious to us, that the intention of the The careful instruction of the children in the statute of Henry Eighth was not pecuniary con- Bible, not merely by making them read it, but tribution, but superintendence, and that it did by fixing their attention to its doctrines and impose the latter duty. This act, after reciting, precepts, and by exercising their minds in the amongst other things, “the importance of a perception of their true force and meaning, is “ good instruction in the most blessed laws of the first and most important object of Protestant “ Almighty God;" and further reciting His religious education. In addition to this, the Majesty's disposition and zeal, that " a certain teaching one catechism to the children of the “ direction and order be had, that all we his Church of England, and one also to the Presby. < subjects should the better know God, and do terians, is the course which appears to be ap" that thing that might in time be and redound proved by persons qualified to form an opinion " to our wealth, quiet, and commodity," pro.on the subject. The mode of giving religious ceeds, after a variety of enactments tending to instruction, by teaching in succession a variety the suppression of the Irish, and the introduc-of catechisms, has been condemned to us by high tion of the English language and customs, to authority, and has, we believe, deservedly fallen require an oath to be administered to every into disrepute. clergyman at ordination, and another at insti. It is stated by Mr. Daly, as the result of his tution, that amongst other things “he should practice in the schools superintended by him in * keep, or cause to be kept, within the place, his parish of Powerscourt, that he finds the *territory, or parish, where he shall have pre- children who attend to the comment and er. * eminence, rule, benefice, or promotion, aplanation of a limited portion of the Scriptures,
school for to learn English, if any children of which are given by him at certain periods of the week, make more progress in religious / " such a system as should unite children of all knowledge than others who range through a" religious denominations in the same schools, greater extent, without the advantage of expo-" except when it should become unavoidably sition. The nature and extent of the religious" necessary to separate them for the purpose instruction to be administered to the children of religious instruction. of the Established Church will, however, be " They observed, that they considered this more properly arranged by the clergy, under“ a point of great importance to the interests the direction of their respective diocesans. " of the state, as it was only by training up
In many parts of Ireland it would occur, that " the youth of all persuasions in habits of early a very large proportion of the Protestant child " intercourse and attachment, that they could ren in attendance on the schools would be of hope to establish among them those recipro. the Presbyterian church; the care of the Pro- " cal charities upon which the peace and har. testant children would, in these cases, respec- “ mony of society must depend. tively devolve on the clergymen of the Esta I “ The Commissioners then stated, that they blished Church, and the Presbyterian ministers, “ could not consider any system of education whose inclination we are assured it would con- “ as deserving that name which should not tinue to be, as it now is their practice, to attend seek to lay the foundations of all moral obli. particularly to the instruction of the children “gation in religious instruction; and that with of their flock, in their catechisms and other respect to the religious instruction of Roman religious exercises. To afford facilities for this Catholic children, they were anxious to ascerpurpose, we recommend, that in those parts of " tain the sentiments of Dr. Murray and of Ireland where the Presbyterians are found in the Roman Catholic clergy. considerable numbers, provision should be made “ They therefore inquired whether there in each of the public parochial schools of united“ would be any objection to common literary general instruction, for the appointment of a " instruction being received by Roman Catho. teacher of that communion, who, besides his “ lics, as well from a Protestant as a Roman services in the common instruction of the “ Catholic master; and whether religious in. school, may assist in the separate religious in. " struction could be given to Roman Catholics struction of the Presbyterian children, under" by a Roman Catholic layman approved of by the superintendence of the minister.
" the proper Roman Catholic pastor. Having thus far explained our views as to “ Dr. Murray stated, that there could be no the religious education of the different classes “s possible objection to Roman Catholics reof Protestant children in Ireland, we now come “ ceiving literary instruction from a Protest. to the consideration of the religious instruction | “ant, nor to their receiving religious instruc. of the Roman Catholics. We had learnt that “ tion from a Roman Catholic layman approved they not only wished that their children should “ of by the proper Roman Catholic pastor; and receive instruction in the doctrines of their “ he added, that the providing of proper persons faith, but were also anxious that such instruc- “ for such purpose would be a great relief to tion should not be left in the hands of persons " the Roman Catholic clergy. prosessing a different belief. In the reasonable I“ The Commissioners then suggested, that ness of this desire we could not but acquiesce. “ schools might be established, in each of
We therefore felt it necessary to have an in- " which there should be both a Protestant and terview with the four archbishops of the Ro- " Roman Catholic lay teacher, by whom edu. man Catholic Church in Ireland, for the purpose “ cation in common might be administered; so of ascertaining their opinions in what manner " that the children, united in the same classes, religious instruction ought to be provided for | “ should learn from the same masters, and use the children of Roman Catholics. The sub-" the same books; that for the remuneration stance of our conference will best be understood " of such teachers, adequate means might be from the minute made upon the occasion, which “ provided ; that the Roman Catholic teacher we shall here insert.
“ might assist in the general literary instruc* Minutes of a conversation between His “ tion, and might give separate religious in" Majesty's Commissioners of Education In “struction to the Roman Catholic children, " quiry, and the most reverend Dr. Murray, " subject to the direction of their pastors, and “one of the archbishops of the Roman Catho | “ that the school-room, for a reasonable portion " lic Church in Ireland.
66 of time, on one or two days in the week, “ Board of Education Inquiry, “ might be appropriated exclusively to that “ Dublin, Thursday, 16th December, 1824."" object.
“ In these suggestions for uniting Protestant “ The Commissioners being desirous of as." and Roman Catholic children in literary, and * certaining the views of Dr. Murray, and separating them only for religious instruc
of the Roman Catholic clergy in Ireland, on" tion, Dr. Murray expressed his concurrence. * some important points connected with a “ The Commissioners then observed, that * general plan of education, stated to Dr. " separate religious instruction should not " Murray that they were anxious to establish" commence until the difference of religious “ belief should make it impossible for instruc-1" the separate religious instruction of Roman “ tion any longer to be received in common; “ Catholics meant, that the proper Roman " and they inquired whether it would be ob-" Catholic pastors should have the right of “ jected to, on the part of the Roman Catholic “ being present on those occasions, and giving « clergy, that the more advanced of the Pro. " such religious instruction as they should “ testant and Roman Catholic children should, " think proper, and that what was said of “ at certain times during school hours, read “ masters applied also to mistresses. The « portions of the Holy Scriptures together, “ archbishops who were not present on the " and in the same classes, but out of their “ 16th, expressed a wish to consider the mat“ respective versions, subject to proper regula-" ter until to-morrow.” “ tions, and in the presence of their respective
" January 8th. “ Protestant and Roman Catholic teachers ; “ The Roman Catholic archbishops mentioned “ suggesting, at the same time, that opportuni." above, having met the commissioners this “ ties might be afforded to the teachers of each day, expressed their concurrence in the views “ persuasion to explain to the children se.“ already expressed by Dr. Murray. “ parately the portions so read.
(Signed) “ PATRICK Curtis, D.D. “ Dr. Murray answered, that serious diffi.
66 OLIVER KELLY, D.D. “ culties would exist in the way of such an
“ ROBERT LAFFAN, D.D.” “ arrangement; and in lieu of it he proposed, “ that the Holy Scriptures should be used After a careful review of the whole of this « only when the Roman Catholic children subject, the delicacy and embarrassments of “ should be taken apart for the purpose of which are exceeded only by its importance, our “ receiving religious instruction, and he said, minds have been led to the conclusion, that “ that there could be no possible objection to no better system for providing a general and “ the Roman Catholic children then reading united education can now be adopted than that " out of the sacred volume itself, the gospels which we proceed to recommend. It is not " and epistles of the week : he added, that no possible for us, in the present Report, to define “ objection would be made to an harmony of every part of its details ; it will, we trust, be “ the gospels being used in the general educa- sufficient to point out the leading principles on " tion which the children should receive in which the system should rest. “ common, nor to a volume containing extracts We propose that public schools of general “ from the Psalms, Proverbs, and book of instruction shall be established, one at least in “ Ecclesiasticus, nor to a volume containing each benefice, in which literary instruction shall “ the history of the creation-of the deluge be communicated to children of all religious “ – of the patriarchs- of Joseph - and of the persuasions; that two teachers, to be appointed " deliverance of the Israelites, extracted from by the general superintending authority, (the " the Old Testament; and that he was satis establishment of which we shall subsequently "fied no difficulties in arranging the details of recommend,) shall be employed in each school, “ such works would arise on the part of the where the extent of attendance shall be suf. “ Roman Catholic clergy.
ficient to justify the expense; that they shall “ The Commissioners then stated, that they each of them be laymen, and that one of them “ considered it of the utmost moment that no shall be a Roman Catholic, where any consider“ books or catechisms should be admitted either able number of Roman Catholics are in attend. “ in the course of the literary or religious in- ance on the school; and that a Presbyterian “ struction, containing matter calculated to teacher shall be provided in those schools, where “ excite contempt, hatred, or any uncharitable the number of children belonging to that com. “ feeling in any class towards persons of a dif. munion shall render such appointment necessary “ ferent religious persuasion.
or expedient; that on two days in the week " To this Dr. Murray cordially assented. the school shall break up at an early hour, and
(Signed) “ D. MURRAY, Abp. the remainder of the day be devoted to the se(Signed) “ T. FRANKLAND LEWIS. parate religious instruction of the Protestants, “ J. LESLIE FOSTER.
the clergyman of the Established Church attend. " W. GRANT.
ing for the purposes at once of superintendence " James GLASSFORD.
and assistance; and the Presbyterian minister “ A. R. BLAKE."
likewise, if he shall so think fit, for the child.
ren of his communion. That on two other “7th January, 1825. days of the week the school rooms of general “ The Commissioners having had an in- instruction shall in like manner be set apart for “ terview this day, with the most reverend the Roman Catholic children; on which occa. " Doctors Curtis, Murray, Kelly, and Laffan, sions, under the care of a Roman Catholic lay “ the four archbishops of the Roman Catholic teacher, approved of as mentioned in the mi. “ Church in Ireland, the minute of the 16th nute which we have given, they shall read the “ of December last was read; and it was ex-epistles and gospels of the week, as therein “ plained, that the passage which related to mentioned, and receive such other religious in. struction as their pastors (who may attend, if | system proposed. It will be for the Roman Ca. they think fit) shall direct. It may be right to tholic clergy to supply such other books for the notice, that in the Roman Catholic church there purpose of religious instruction as they may are epistles and gospels appointed, not for Sun- desire. We would suggest, however, that many days only, but for almost every day in the year, forms of catechisms are now in use amongst the and they comprise altogether a large portion of Roman Catholics in the different districts of the Old and New Testament.
Ireland, and that it would be expedient that If the attendance on a school should be so some one or two should be selected or compiled limited as to render both a master and usher for general use. unnecessary, the master might be permitted to It will be necessary also to provide a volume take charge of the school of general instruction, compiled from the four gospels, in the manner and be also the religious teacher to the children adverted to in our conference with the Roman of the same persuasion as himself. In such a Catholic archbishops. Such a book, together case, however, a person of a different religion, with the Book of Proverbs, and the work con. duly qualified and properly remunerated, might taining the history of the creation, the deluge, attend at those periods in the week when the and other important events, extracted from the school is set apart for the religious instruction Pentateuch, may be profitably used in the of children of a different persuasion from the schools during the period of united and general master, and perform, under proper superintend-instruction. We by no means intend such works ence, the duty of religious teacher to those of as substitutes for the Holy Scriptures, although his own communion; and it might be possible we propose that the reading of the Scriptures for the individual appointed to this duty to themselves should be reserved for the time of take charge of the religious instruction in more separate religious instruction. schools than one in a parish or district. We The means by which a system of general in. suggest this arrangement, however, as one which struction can be properly enforced and adminis. is possible rather than desirable ; and express tered are hardly of less importance than the our opinion, that the establishment of parochial system itself. That object has not hitherto schools, sufficiently large to occupy a master and been accomplished by any one of the institutions usher, is much the most eligible course.
which have been supported by the public funds We think it further necessary, that means in Ireland. should be provided for supplying Testaments, The members of the Incorporated Society, the according to the authorised version, for the Pro- | Association for discountenancing Vice, and the testant children. With respect to the Roman Society for the Education of the Poor, all distri. Catholic children, an edition of the New Testa- bute the money granted to them under rules ment for their use has been submitted to us laid down by themselves, the execution of which, by the Roman Catholic prelates. The text of it does not appear to us, they have adequate this edition is the Douay version ; almost all the means of enforcing. The latter society, by the notes, however, originally annexed to that ver- employment of inspectors, have done more tosion have been omitted. We find, in fact, that wards the accomplishment of this object than there are only sixty-three notes altogether to the others. Their schools, however, as we have the four gospels; and these, with the exception already observed, are often in connexion with of an inconsiderable number, have no peculiar other societies, which establish rules incompareference to the doctrines of the Roman Catho- tible with a strict compliance with their own, lic church, as distinguished from those of the and practical evasions of their rules are daily Protestant churches; and such as have this pe- occurring. Of the talents, industry, and inaliar reference are expressed in a manner tegrity of the gentlemen who compose the acting which ought not, we think, to be offensive to committee of the Kildare-street Society, we en. any description of persons. The summaries tertain the highest opinion ; but we think they prefixed to the different chapters are in like have not the power to effect all the objects which manner, as it appears to us, unobjectionable. they are desirous of accomplishing. We are of To this edition is also annexed a table of the opinion, that any society consisting of a large epistles and gospels throughout the year, speci. and fluctuating body of subscribers, who are fying the portions of the Scriptures appointed to be read for those purposes by the Roman Ca • A work of this description, entitled, " An Evangelical tholic church.
| Life of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, forming an Deeply impressed with the importance and
“ Harmony of the Four Gospels," sanctioned by the Roman
Catholic prelates, has been examined by us. It consists necessity of introducing the Scriptures into all
of the text of the four gospels, according to the Douay
version, interwoven into one consecutive narration. The a fundamental part of the instruction, we re.
order pursued is chronological. Where any particular oc
curs in one gospel that is not to be found in the others, it Comatoend that copies of this edition of the Testa- | is inserted. Where the same particulars are stated in two
or more, the statement is inserted from that gospel in but retaining the notes, should be furnished for
which it is the most full. the religious instruction of the Roman Catholic
The notes, originally annexed in an Appendix to this
work, have been omitted in an edition which we have exchildren, in every school established upon the amined.
bound by no other rules than those which they as little delay as may be ; and, secondly, that impose upon themselves, cannot permanently be there should be no new admissions of children the most proper instrument for directing and until the total number be so far reduced that the controlling a system of general education, main- establishment can be maintained by its own pri. tained principally by the public money, in a vate funds. It will then be for the Society to country which unfortunately abounds in distrust judge in what manner they can most usefully and jealousy on account of religious opinions. apply the large revenues which have been en.
For the foundation and management of such trusted to them by the donation or bequests of schools of general instruction as we recommend, charitable individuals, and to decide whether it we think that a distinct Board should be ap- be still expedient to maintain boarding-schools pointed by Government, of persons responsible at so large an expense, and, as we think, to for the execution of the duty committed to their so little purpose. They have already acted upon charge ; and who should be invested with suf the principle of establishing day-schools ; and if ficient authority to control the application and hereafter they should determine to extend their expenditure of the public money appropriated application of that principle, the superintendence to the purposes of general education. The and management of the schools maintained by Board should, we think, appoint inspectors, who them might readily be brought under the powers should be enabled to examine upon oath. The of the Board which we have recommended to be schoolmasters, also, we think, should be sworn established. A more desirable course, and, per. to conform to the rules laid down by the board haps, still more conducive to the interests of the for their guidance. It will be necessary for this Established Church, would, in our judgment, be Board to have the entire control of all money an application of their funds to the assistance of to be applied to the maintenance of the schools the Association for discountenancing Vice, in under their care, from whatever sources it may the distribution of religious books, and the probe derived ; – to have a legal right to the school. motion of catechetical instruction. house, either by a permanent grant in the case We have next to consider of the course which of a parochial school, or by possession being it is desirable to pursue, with respect to the transferred to them, for a period not less than Association for discountenancing Vice. Of this a year, in the case of a school belonging to a society, the objects are threefold : to promote private patron receiving aid from the Board. catechetical instruction; to distribute Bibles, They should have the sole power also of appoint- Prayer-books, and other books of religious ining and dismissing all masters and assistants, struction; and to give assistance to schools estaand of admitting or rejecting all books or papers blished by the clergy. We have already stated which may be read in their schools.
our opinion, that the obligation of providing The establishment of such an authority, for schools should be removed from the clergy, and the purposes we have mentioned, renders it that they should be charged only with the duty necessary to consider what course should be of personally superintending the religious eduadopted with respect to the societies now sup- cation of children of the Established Church, in ported or assisted by public grant.
their respective schools of general parochial inThe first which presents itself to our notice struction. With that duty, the distribution of is the Incorporated Society. It has been our Bibles and Prayer-books, and the promotion of duty to give so detailed an account of the schools catechetical instruction, strictly conform; and under its direction, that little more can be now we think the Association would constitute a necessary than to state our conviction, that no most useful auxiliary to the clergy of the Estacare or anxiety, however great, on the part of the blished Church in those objects. With respect many benevolent and distinguished persons con- to their present schools, we think it desirable cerned in its management, can ever successfully that they should be transferred as much as possi. counteract the defects inherent both in its plans ble to the general control and inspection of the and constitution; and we are therefore obliged new Board, and that every facility should be to suggest the expediency of gradually with given for that purpose. drawing the public aid from that Society, and of The Kildare-place Society directs its atten. leaving it to the management of its own funds, tion to the publication and sale of cheap and which we conceive considerably exceed £7,000 useful books, a model-school for the training of per annum.
masters and mistresses, and to the maintenance We think that these schools are now to be of schools for instruction. The selection and judged of, not as institutions for conversion, but arrangement of the books have been extremely rather as places of education : and as such we well conducted, and we have no doubt, that the are clearly of opinion that, under all the circum. various works which they have prepared are as stances which it has been our duty to detail, well calculated as any can be for schools of genethey ought no longer to derive aid from the pub- ral instruction, from which every thing is to be lic revenue. The course which we think should excluded which can offend the religious tenets be pursued, with respect to the reduction of of any persuasion of Christians. We think, these schools, is, first, that all children who are therefore, that the arrangement and circulation fit to be apprenticed should be disposed of with of such books for the use of schools, and the sale