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in circulating the Holy Scriptures, and together with them, issuing by way of interpreter, the Book of Common Prayer, with many orthodox and scriptural Tracts. We are aware that those who differ from us in opinion, whom we should fain call our fellowo-helpers in the work of the Lord, but to whom we cannot concede this title in the extent, we would wish as long as we see them maintaining opinions which to us appear at variance with the Gospel of Christ, will retort upon us, and demand whether the Bible be not sufficient to find its own way, and uirfettered with creeds or dogmas of man's device?
But in answer to this, we would produce among many other instances that of the Ethiopian eunuch, who though he had the Bible in his bands, (such part of it at least as God theu thought proper to commit to his Church,) would not it is probable Lave been led to embrace the Christian faith by the allusions of the Prophet, without the interpretation of the Apostle. All the difference in this point about which our adversaries quarrel with us, appears then to be, that we sometimes interpret Scripture by writing, instead of by word of mouth; and we really do not see why in all cases it may not be interpreted as well at least the one way as the other. This, perhaps, may not be conceded so readily by those of our opponents, who lay claim to the benefit of immediate inspiration.
“ For," as the Dean of Christ Church justly remarks in the discourse before us, “ if the doctrine of immediate inspiration be true ; if men are at this day receiving new revelations from heaven, and the Holy Ghost speaks in them as He did in the Prophets and Apostles, it is not necessary for them to consult either the Scripture or the Church; for they are independent of both, and have a higher rule in themselves."
But it is conceded to us by their own example, for while they profess to be actively engaged in circulating the Bible without note or comment, they are full as equally active in distribuiting books of prayers and tracts, both instructive and explanatory, noi indeed from one and the same Society, but from innumerable others; and really the mischief (if it be a mischiet) appears to us to be equally great, whether it issues as with us from the same Society as the Bible, or from a different one, as with them. The truth is, God has in his wisdom appointed bis ministers to
preach the word of reconciliation, to expound it to his people, · and to bring it down to a level with their understandings, and if
it be more convenient to do this (as it frequently will) by preaching in writing, if we may be allowed the expression, rather than from the pulpit, we conceive that God's glory will be equally promoted.
These These then are the primary benefits resulting from the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, that through its means the Scriptures are circulated, and out of the Scriptures the people are instructed. In prosecuting this object, many others will be found to present themselves. The Christian is enabled to draw from the ainple stores furnished him by the Society, means whereby his faith may be protected; his pious intentions pro- -moted, his devotions assisted, his knowledge and practice of the Scriptures will be enlarged and directed, and he will be taught to give to every man a reason of the hope that is in him. It circulates no Tracts but such as undergo the ordeal of a minute and particular investigation, thereby testifying its readiness to abide by the Apostle's command, to hold fast the form of sound doctrine ; and thus does it furnish tbe poor man with such a body of divinity as is calculated to his wants.
But among the secondary advantages derived from this So. ciety, we must not pass over the many pious and enlightened discourses produced by the occasion of its annual meeting at St. Paul's. Among those who have displayed their talents on this occasion, we find the memorable names of Stanhope, Gastrel, Sherlock, Waterland, Wilson, Secker, Butler, Glocester Rid. ley, Porteus, Horne, Horsley, Tomline, Howley, Marsh : neither must we withhold this fair proportion of praise to the very reverend Author of the Sermon yow before us.
His text. is from Proverbs iv. 12. Take fast hold of Instruction, let her not go, keep her, for she is thy life. From this the subject divides itself into two parts ; the 1st, considering the propriety of educating in any degree the children of the lower classes ; the ed, the expediency of instructing them in some particular system of Religion. In confirmation of the former of these points, the Dean produces his text, to which may be added many others of the Royal Sage.
“ We require not, however, his high authority to sanction so unquestionable a truth. It is a lesson of practical wisdom we can all understand. But more than this, to cultivate the understand. ing with a view to improve the moral habits, to instruct the poor that they may become better and happier men, and more useful members of society, is not merely an act of political wisdom, inasmuch as in its consequences it tends to maintain the good order and happiness of the community at large ; but is also, in the strictest sense of the word, a religious duty. If any man can improve the condition of his fellow creatures, more especially their moral con, dition by instruction, by advice, or by assistance of any kind, it is not a matter of choice whether he shall grant that assistance or not; it is the positive command of God, that he should grant it te the utmost of his ability."
This extract we think must have been in unison with the sentiments of all who heard it. “Every populous village," as the Bishop of London has excellently observed on a similar occasiun," in which a school is not established, may be considered as a strong hold abandoned to the enemy.” And so, indeed, it is. The mind iuto which no good principles of sound religion and moral virtue have been introduced, the great destroyer of mankind considers as peculiarly his own.. When our blessed Lord gave commission to his disciples to go and preach the Gospel to all nations, surely he did not mean to exclude children from hearing it any more than he meant that they should be denied the Sacrament of Baptism. Any one who has it in his power to promote the cultivation of the infant mind may con. sider, that he is rescuing at least three-fourths of the community from probable ruin. Weeds will naturally spring up in the soil where good seeds have not been sown : weeds will also sometimes appear among good seed, but the husbandman does not consider this a sufficient reason for leaving the soil uncultivated. The contrast between a field entirely overrun with weeds, and one covered with corn, with here and there a noxious plant shewing its upseemly head among the ears, will not be greater than between an iostructed and an uninstructed boy. We speak generally-instances may occur, nay, and do often occur, where a man, whose education should have taught him better, will be a worse man and a worse citizen than one who has received no education at all, but who, from a sort of mechanical impulse, or, from mere moral feeling, has been brought into regular habits of industry and sobriety. But what does this prove? not surely that education is bad because we have met with an instance where it has been thrown away; but it proves, that in every system of education pains should be taken to instil such a firm religious principle, such a knowledge of the practical doctrines of religion, such a habit al fear of God, as, by the blessing of Providence, may be productive of good, and leave as little probabihty as possible of their failing away. But as well might we make it a plea of withholding our support to an infirmary, or a hospital, - because a patient may occasionally die, or a disease sonretinies resisi a cure. We speak of religious education.
" True it is,” says the Dean, “ that the mere exercise of the intellect, the discipline of regular and habitual learning, whatever be the subject, to which the efforts of the mind are directed, may eventually lead to good; because, whilst it invigorates the intellectual faculties, it may imperceptibly tend to form virtuous habits. But remember, it is not morully certain that it will do so ; and if it Fére, habits which, in one sense of the word are virtuous, may, however, be combined with other dispositions, and other inclina
tions VOL. VI. SEPTEMBER, 1816.
tions unfavourable to that frame and constitution of society, which it is our interest and our duty to support; and it may and will happen, in the various exigencies of human life, that the pressure of poverty, and the want not of the luxuries or comforts, bat even of the necessaries of life, will stimulate an improved intellect to acts fatal to itself, and dangerous to all around it. --Looking, there fore, to our welfare as a nation, it is our duty, in any system of parochial education, to provide against these dangers which may eventually threaten our national security.” P. 6.
From this the author enters into the second point of conside ration, viz.
“ The very false and dangerous hypothesis, that the young mind ought not to be prejudiced in favour of any particular system of religious belief; or, in other words, as it was applied to them, i. e. the Society for promoting Christian Knowledge, that members of the Church of England are not at liberty to make the articles of that Church the basis of their education."
P. 7. We are wearied in refuting the hacknied objection, that this is to trap the mind in favour of a particular system of religion. True; but that system we believe to be the system of the Gospel; and if there be harm in this, we are content' to plead guilty to the charge. We believe that we are consulting the best interests of the rising generation in so doing, with the hope, that He who commanded little children to be brought unto him, will approve
and assist our work. But let us suppose a child sent to school with many others, with a Bible in his hands, a strict charge is given to the preceptor to teacli only its general doctrines, injunction is laid upon the parents to keep any particular system out of his sight, (for unless this be done, why send him to such a school, and not to one whose plan accords more with the parents own ideas?) when he comes out into the world, can it be supposed that they who are stirring heaven and earth to gain one proselyte, would leave this child to follow its own inclina-" tions, and not set before it the peculiar 'excellencies of their own creed. It may be, the person who first gets hold of him is a Churchman; but whoever it be, it comes to a particular system at last, and it may come to one which we do not think so good as our own. Let those who dissent from us educate their cbildren in the way they think best. We blame them not for it, all that we require of them is to be conscientious and consistent. But let them permit us to do the same. We conclude these remarks with the following extract, in which we perfectly coincide.
“Never let it be forgotten, that our primary object is to give them (the children of the poor) religious instruction, and that in
struction the religion of Jesus Christ, as taught by the Church of England; for our own sakes let this never be forgotten. Let not either the threats or the sarcasms of modern theorists intimidate, or seduce, us. We know our duty, and let us perform it. We have to guard from corruption, in our national faith, the pure worl of God; to uphold our ancient institutions, and to protect a civil and ecclesiastical constitution, whose inseparable union has secured to this country, and, under the blessing of God, will, I trust, continue to secure it, more public and private virtue, and more real practical happiness, than it has ever fallen to the lot of any other country to enjoy. For the accomplishment of all these great and important objects, what better method can be devised than to teach pur people to love and revere our National Church, to respect her ordinances, and regularly to frequent 'her decent and holy services.". P. 13.
Art. IX. The Cambriun Popular Antiquities; or, an Ac
count of some Traditions, Customs, and Superstitions of Wales, with Observations as to their Origin, &c. &c. Illustrated with Copper Plates, coloured from Nalure. By Peter Roberts, A.M. Rector of Llanarmon, Ficar of Madeley, and Author of Collectaneu Cambrica, &c. Svo. 368 pp. 18s. Wil
liams. 1815. THE peculiarity of the Welch customs is well worthy the notice of the traveller, the antiquarian and the scholar. We are bappy to see that Mr. Roberts has dedicated his attention to these points, and produced a book in which the reader cannot fail to find much amusing matter. The wakes, the festivals, the marriages, the burials, the fairy tales, and all the other superstitions of this ancient nation are separately treated of in a manner that shews the Author well acquainted with the antiquities of his country. As a specimen of the work we shall present our readers with part of the chapter on Marriage Ceremonies.
" When a marriage was to be celebrated, a bidder, that is, one whose charge was to bid or invite the guests, was appointed; a person of respectable character, and as well gifted with eloquence and address as could be procured, as on his success the number of the guests chiefly depended. He was also to be sufficiently skilled in pedigrees and anecdotes of families, to be able to introduce compliments derived from these sources occasionally. As ensigns of his office, his bonnet and staff were adorned with wedding garlands ; -and, thus arrayed, he visited the halls, and other dwel. lings of the vicinity. This character was formerly undertaken by & chieftain, in favour of his vassal ; and his person was respected by hostile claps, as that of an herald. The pwport of his bidding x 2