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appeared best suited to the purpose. Six months have scarcely elapsed from the commencement of these measures, yet a school has been built and already opened in Baldwin's Gardens, in which a thousand children are now instructed, and where masters and mistresses are now in training, according to the system of Dr. Bell. Dr. Bell himself has for this purpose passed the winter in London, employing his time and talents without other remuneration than what arises from the consciousness of doing good. We have, with pleasure, surveyed the progress already made in this charitable seminary; and if a doubt should still be entertained whether writing and arithmetic, as well as reading, are patronized by the National Society, and taught in the schools of Dr. Bell, that doubt may be removed at the seminary itself, which is open to the curiosity and to the instruction of every visitor.
Having assigned the motives for the formation of the National Society, given some account of the steps which were taken for that purpose, and briefly stated the nature of its operations, which greatly exceed what the novelty of the institutiou might have led us to expect, and for which we are highly indebted to the conduce tors of it, let us now take a review of the principles on which the society is founded, with reference to the various objections which have been made to them. These principles were stated in the prospectus originally communicated to the archbishops and bishops, and of which we have already quoted the material parts. Wien the society was formed, the same principles were adopted as the charter of the institution; and the public address, in which the terms were explained on which contributions were solicited, bore the title of Education in the Principles of the Established Church. The professed object, therefore, of the institution, the avowed purpose for which the friends of the establishment were requested to contribute and co-operate, was not merely to espouse or to oppose the cause of an individual; it was not merely to enter into party views or party spirit; it was not merely to elevate one name or to depress another; it was not nierely to proclain that the mechanism of the new system was more skilfully conducted in one school than in another, Much higher ground was taken by the National Society, which was founded on the unalterable basis • Education in the Principles of the Established Church.' It was the religious combination of the new mechanism, as practised by Dr. Bell, which determined the National Society to adopt his system in preference to the other. This indeed is expressly declared in the public address prefixed to the primary resolutions. The members of the establishment (it says) are not only warrauted, but in duty bound, to preserve that system, as originally practised at Madras, in the form of a Church-of-England education.' And that nothing might be wanting to explain what was meant by a Church-of-England education, the liturgy was expressly mentioned in the same address as affording the distinguishing mark of that education, which the society was established to maintain. We all want the Bible to make us Christians, but we want also the liturgy to make us churchmen.
That, in the present state of religious opinions, when not only dissentients from the established religion must view with an eye of jealousy every attempt to support it, but churchmen themselves promote what is termed the liberal basis, a society, so constituted, should be exposed to numerous objections, is nothing more than might be naturally expected. But as the support of this society is materially connected with the support of the establishment both in church and state, we feel it our duty to refute those objections. The
very first position in the public address, (reprinted at the head of the present Report,) that the national religion should be made the foundation of national education,' has been subjected to various animadversions. Even the existence of a national religion in this country has been questioned; and if there is no such thing as a national religion in England, an institution which is formed for the support of it must have merely an imaginary object. But it will probably be allowed that there is still such a thing in England as a religion by low established, and that this is the religion which it is the object of the society to support. Whether this religion shall be called also the national religion is a mere dispute about words; but we apprehend that common usage will warrant the application of the term national religion'as synonymous with 'established religion. In the United States of North America there is no established religion, and consequently no national religion. But where there is an established religion, whether Catholic or Protestant, Lutheran or Calvinian, Episcopalian or Presbyterian, whether in France or Denmark, in Sweden or folland, in England or Scotland, the religion by law established in that nation is the national religion. In all countries there are dissenters from the established religion; and though with us they are protected in the free exercise of their own worship it is still only protection and not establishment. Another objection has been made to the term " National Society,' because its influence does not equally extend to persons of all descriptions throughout the nation. It has been compared with the term · National Treasury,' and other terms of the same extensive import. But here again the objection is merely a verbal one. Had the society in question been called simply a ' Society for the education of the Poor in the Principles of the Established Church,' it would have borne no mark of distinction from provincial societies which might be formed for the same purpose. Some epithet, therefore, was absolutely necessary. Now, as the society was not limited to a single county or a diocese, but was designed as a rallying point, as a centre of union for similar institutions which might be formed throughout the nation, no epithet could be more appropriate than that of national. In another sense, likewise, it is entitled to the epithet, as its avowed object is the education of the poor in the principles of the established or national church. But as Scotland has its own national church, the operations of the society were expressly limited to England and Wales, where the religion is established, which the society was founded to support. Where then is the absurdity of applying to a society an epithet co-extensive with its operations ? That its object is not to promote indiscriminate education throughout England and Wales, but solely education in the principles of the established church, is surely no reason for the rejection of the epithet which has been assumed. Its absurdity, however, has been argued on the ground that Christianity is the national religion of this country. So indeed it is; and so it is in every country where Christianity is established. But is not Christianity established in different countries under different forms? Is it not established under one form in Spain, under another form in Denmark, under another form in England, under another again in Scotland? And do not these peculiar forms of Christianity constitute what is meant by the national church in those respective countries ? Christianity is, without doubt, the religion established in England:
but then it is Christianity as expressed neither at the Council of Trent, nor at the Synod of Dort, nor in the Confession of Augsburg, but in our Liturgy and Articles. To say, therefore, in general terms, that Christianity is our national religion, is to speak without any precise meaning; and we must either deny that there is a religion by law established in England, or we must admit that the religion so established is that particular kind of Christianity which our liturgy and articles distinguish from other kinds. On the other hand, if Christianity be used as a generic term, on the ground that the word ' national applies only to a religion which
individual in the nation, it is in this respect not general enough. If the expression must include both established and tolerated religions, we must say that revealed religion is the national religion, or we shall exclude a numerous class of the community, the Jews. Nay, we must generalize still more, and use religion without any epithet whatever, if the term national can be taken only in such a sense as to include every individual in the nation.
But since an appeal has been made to Dr. Paley on the subject of national religion, it is necessary to lay before our readers the sentiments of that eminent writer in respect to the riame as well as the establishment of a national religion. In his Moral and Politi
cal Philosophy, Book iv, ch. 10, which is his celebrated chapter on religious establishments and toleration, there are numerous passages which clearly shew in what sense he understood the term national' when applied to religion. For instance, Vol. ü. p. 336. • The notion of a religious establishment comprehends thiee things; first, a clergy, or an order of men secluded from other professions to attend upon the offices of religion, a legal provision for the maintenance of the clergy, and the confining of that provision to the teachers of a particular sect of Christianity. If any one of these three things be wanting, if there be no clergy, as among the quakers, or if the clergy have no other provision than what they derive from the voluntary contributions of their hearers, or if the provision which the laws assign to the support of religion be extended to various sects and denominations of Christians, there exists no national religion or established church, according to the sense which these terms are usually made to convey.' Again, at p. 353, he
says, If it be deemed expedient to establish a national religion, that is to say, one sect in preference to all others, some test, by which the teachers of that sect may be distinguished from the teachers of different sects, appears to be an indispensable consequence. The existence of such an establishment supposes it: the very notion of a national religion includes that of a test. These passages very clearly shew the sense which, in the opinion of Dr. Paley, attaches to the term national religion;' they clearly shew the impropriety of using it in so extensive a sense as to include Christians of every denomination. Dr. Paley manifestly considers the terms established religion' and national religion' as synonymous. Further, in respect to the necessity of an established or national religion, he argues it (p. 353) on the three points above-mentioned; the knowledge and profession of Christianity cannot be upholden without a clergy; a clergy cannot be supported without a legal provision; a legal provision for the clergy cannot be coustituted without the preference of one sect of Christians to the rest.' Having argued these three points, he comes, at p. 367, to the following inference: 'That when the state enables its subjects to learn some form of Christianity, by distributing teachers of a religious system throughout the country, and by providing for the maintenance of these teachers at the public expense, that is in fewer terms, when the laws establish a national religion, they exercise a power and interference which are likely, in their general tendency, to promote the interests of mankind.' Lastly, when there are several religious parties in the same state, he considers (p. 368) which of them should be preferred by the legislature; and he comes to the same conclusion with Bishop Warburton that the preference should be given to that religious party which is more
numerous in the state than any other. It is true that the connexion thus formed between the state and that religious party to which the preference is thus given, Dr. Paiey does not express with Bishop Warburton by the term 'alliance, and that he seems even to disapprove the application of the term. But, if he approves of the thing, it is in material how it be called. If, according to his own words, the state shews ó a preference of one sect of Christians to the rest,' this preference cannot fail to produce a closer connection or alliance (call it what you will) between the state and the party so preferred than if no such preference had been made. In the very principle on which a church establishment is founded, those two eminent writers agree. The authority of a church establishment (says Dr. Paley, p. 336) is founded in its utility. So says Warburton; and as the most numerous religious party is likely to be most useful to the state, he hence argues to the party with which the state should more immediately connect itself. Again, says Paley, in the same place, · Whenever upon this principle (utility) we deliberate concerning the form, propriety, or comparative excellence of different establishmenis, the single view under which we ought to consider any of them is that of a scheme of instruction; the single end we ought to propose by them is the preservation and communication of religious knowledge. Now this really is the single end,' which, according to Warburton, the state has in view when it gives a preference to, or forms an alliance with, any religious party. The utility which it expects from such preference and connection is entirely of a religious nature; the single view under which it considers the propriety of the establishment is that of a scheme of instruction; the religion thus established is established with the very view of strengthening the sanctions of human laws, and promoting the ends of civil government by those additional sanctions which alone can be afforded by religion. That this alliance may be abused, that it may be perverted to other purposes than that for which it was intended, that in despotic governments the clergy of the establishment may be occasionally converted into instruments of oppression, is certainly true; and this possible abuse is what Paley had in view when he objected (p. 336) to the representation of the church as an engine or even an ally of the state; for he explains himself by adding, 'converting it into the means of strengthening or diffusing influence, or regarding it as a support of regal in opposition to popular forms of government.' Every one will subscribe to his opinion that such an application of a religious establishment serves only “to debuse the institution.' But these are not the objects which the state has in view in giving a preference to, (as Paley would say,) or on making an alliance with, (as Warburton would say,) any particular religion; and if we