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are as many schools and children professing the principles of the church of England not in union with them as there are in union. This inference was drawn from returns, the accuracy of which there was no reason to doubt. The National Society therefore concluded that there were about one million children brought up in connexion and out of connexion according to the principles of the church of England. Lord Brougham, alarmed at the vast influence of the church which this number manifested, was provoked to accuse the society of exaggeration, and to intimate that there were as many brought up not according to the principles of the church society. And how did he attempt to make this as clear to others as was to himself? Because, says he, “ if there be now a million of children taught on the principles of the church society, there must be an equal number in all the other schools, endowed and unendowed, taken together." Do I rightly understand Lord Brougham in this argument? Because the church has a million of children, therefore dissenters of all kinds, taken together, must also have a million! This seems to me to depend on fact, the result of inquiry, and not on necessity. I see no natural consequence, no demonstrative conviction, resulting from the proposition, nor what connexion there is which insists upon such an equality. We shall at once refer to the true records, by which we must form our judgment. The government returns furnish us with the number of dissenting children in day schools, and what number attend their Sunday schools. Thus there are in 925 infant and daily schools “established ? by dissenters"
51,822 children In 6247 Sunday schools
Majority on Church principles.. 3946 230,433 So that, in fact, all the dissenters together do not equal, as stated by Lord Brougham, the “ estimates” of church children made by the National Society.
But perhaps Lord Brougham did not mean to contrast the church with the dissenters, but spoke generally, that if there were a million taught on the principles of the church society there must be an equal number in all others, whether they were church schools or not. Amongst these he includes “ endowed” schools; but it is notorious that all these, almost without exception, are on church principles. If, however, he spoke thus generally, the fact proves that his calculation was equally inaccurate ; for, after the schools in connexion with the National Society and the dissenting schools shall have been deducted from the aggregate at present under instruction, there would still remain unappropriated to any religious profession the following numbers :
Scholars 34,185 901,080 8883 606,647 43,068 1,507,727 So that the National Society, in calculating that there might be as many more on their principles who were not united with them, instead of exaggerating,
were, in my opinion, far too moderate. There are nearly a million day scholars, nearly all of whom may be reckoned as more or less instructed in accordance with the church,—at least they do not attend schools “established by dissenters."
III. We come now, in the third place, to the conclusion which Lord Brougham deduces; and that is, that if two millions of children are under instruction, there is “a complete provision for educating all children from seven to fourteen years” old, “ which no one pretends to believe is the case;" and therefore, he argues farther, in the estimates of the National Society, which form the ground of this calculation, there must be “ some exaggeration.” Now, we have already shewn that the statements of the National Society are true to the very letter, and that, from the government returns, the number of day scholars (1,276,947) and of Sunday scholars (1,548,890), amounting together to 2,825,837, far exceeds what Lord Brougham said was incredible. He, indeed, seemed amazed at the extravagance of the notion which could imagine that there could be 14,000 schools ; but there are in reality four times that number (55,799) in actual operation! But still it by no means follows, that therefore there is already secured a “complete provision for all children from seven to fourteen years of age.” Lord Brougham calculates the proportion of these at one-seventh of the population--viz., 2,000,000. Now the returns shew that the actual number of day scholars is 1,276,947, which, in a population of 14,000,000, is about one in eleven, or, if infants (89,005) are deducted, nearly one in twelve. With respect to day schools, then, there is a very great deficiency-between 7 and 800,000. The proportion in Sunday schools is about one in nine. I cannot, however, regard the Sunday scholars (those who attend on that day only) as receiving a sufficient education; nor do I think Lord Brougham meant to include them in his calculation. It is clear the other Sunday scholars (who attend weekly schools) have no right to be reckoned twice over. What numbers may be in this condition cannot be ascertained. It is a great pity that the government queries were not submitted, before their distribution, to the revision of some practical and disinterested men, who would at once have foreseen and obviated the difficulty which has rendered the Sunday returns not merely useless, but unjust. Where the suggestions of the dissenters were received, it was not to be expected that precision on this point would be enforced. But, at any rate, though the number of schools and of scholars, in daily and Sunday schools, exceed together 2,000,000, yet there is still great need of further exertions before we can approach to any prospect of a “complete provision :” and so the argument fails entirely.
I think every one will perceive that Lord Brougham's accusation against the National Society, of exaggeration, was gratuitous, unjust, and illiberal. I am, Rev. Sir, yours respectfully,
R. W. B.
“ CATHOLIC SCHOOL BOOK.” We are often told in these days that Romanists no longer teach the unscriptural absurdities with which they might once have been justly charged, Let those who think so read the following extracts from the Catholic School Book,” now used in the school at Gloucester, and noticed in an excellent pamphlet called “Considerations for the Protestant Inhabitants of Gloucester.”
OF DEVOTION TO THE BLESSED VIRGIN. “One of the last means which I assign, but also one of the most effectual, for acquiring Virtue in youth, is devotion to the Blessed Virgin. It is infallible to such who assiduously employ it, because it affords at the same time The Most powerful intercession in the sight of God for obtaining his favour, and THE MOST perfect model for our imitation. Vol. IX.-Feb. 1836.
“ Next to God, and the most adorable humanity of his Son Jesus Christ, it is she whom we must chiefly honour and love, by reason of that most sublime and excellent dignity of Mother of God, which raises her above all creatures which God has ever createid.”
By her we may receive all the assistance which is necessary for us.” “ She is most powerful with God to obtain from him all that she shall ask of him. She is all goodness in regard of us, by applying to God for us.'
“ Being Mother of God, He cannot refuse her request : being our Mother, she cannot deny us her intercession, when we have recourse to her."
“ Our miseries move her, our necessities urge her ; the prayers we offer HER FOR OUR SALVATION, bring to us all that we desire.”
“ And St. Bernard is not afraid to say, that never any person invoked that Mother of Mercy in his necessities, who has not been sensible of the effects of her assistance.”
“ Although the Blessed Virgin extends her goodness to all men, yet we may say she has a particular regard for young people, whose frailty she knows to be greatest, and necessities the most urgent, especially for the preservation of chastity, which is most assaulted in that age, and of which she is a singular protectress."
“ History is full of examples of Saints, who have preserved this great virtue in their youth by the assistance of this Queen of Virgins, and experience affords us daily examples of those who have gained great victories by the recourse they have had to her intercession, and who have happily advanced themselves in virtue, under the protection, and by the graces she obtains of God for them.”
“ Be therefore devout to the Blessed Virgin, dear Theotime; but let it not be the devotion of many, who think themselves so, in offering some prayer to her more by custom than devotion; and on the other side exceedingly displease her by a life of mortal sin, which they commit without remorse. What devotion is this, to desire to please the mother, and daily crucify the son, trampling his blood under their feet, and contemning his grace and favour. Is not this to be an enemy both to son and mother?”
“ O dear Theotime, your devotion to the Blessed Virgin must not be like that; it must be more generous and more holy; and, to speak plainly, if you will be a true child and a sincere servant of the Blessed Virgin, you must be careful to perform four things. 1.-Have a great apprehension of displeasing her by mortal sin, and of afflicting her motherly heart, by dishonouring her son, and destroying your soul; and if you chance to fall into that misfortune, have recourse readily to her, that she may be your intercessor, in reconciling you to her son, whom you have extremely provoked.”.
“ She is the refuge of sinners as well as of the just, on condition they have recourse to her with a true desire of converting themselves, as St. Bernard says."
“ 2.—Love and imitate her virtues, principally her humility and virtue. These two virtues, among others, rendered her most pleasing to God; she loves them particularly in children, and is pleased to assist with her prayers those whom she finds particularly inclined to those virtues, according to the same Saint.'
“3.--Have recourse to her in all your spiritual necessities; and for that end offer to her daily some particular prayers.”
“ Say your beads, or the little office, sometimes in the week; perform something in her honour every Saturday, whether prayers, abstinence, or alms ; honour particularly her feasts by confession and COMMUNION.
" 4.-Be mindful to invoke her in temptations, and in the danger you find yourself in of offending God. You cannot shew your respect better than by applying yourself to her in these urgent necessities, and you can find no succour more ready and favourable than hers.” “ It is the counsel St. Bernard, • If the winds of temptations be raised against you, if
you run upon the rocks of adversity, lift up your eyes towards that star, invoke the Blessed Virgin. In dangers, in extremities, in doubtful affairs, think upon the Blessed Virgin, let her not depart from your mouth, nor from your heart, and that you may obtain the assistance of her intercession, be sure to follow her example.”
* If you perform this, you will have a true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, you will be of the number of her real children, and she will be your mother, UNDER WHOSE PROTECTION
“ Remember well that most excellent sentence of Saint Anselm, who feared not to say, That as he must unavoidably perish, who has no afection to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and forsakes her; so it is impossible he should perish who has recourse to her, and whom
“ I shall conclude with an excellent example, which I shall produce for a proof of this truth. St. Bridget had a son who followed the profession of a soldier, and died in the wars. Hearing the news of his death, she was much concerned for the salvation of her son, dead in so dangerous a condition; and as she was often favoured by God with revelations, of which she has composed a book, she was assured of the salvation of her son, by tuo subsequent revelations. In the first, the Blessed Virgin revealed to her, that she had assisted her son with a particular protection at the hour of death, having strengthened him against temptation, and obtained all necessary graces for him to make a holy and a happy end. In the following
YOU SHALL NEVER PERISH.
SHE REGARDS WITH THE EYES OF MERCY.
she declared the cause of that singular assistance she gave her son, and said, it was in recompense of the great and sincere devotion he had testified to her during his life, wherein he had loved her with a very ardent affection, and had endeavoured to please her in all things."
“ This, Theotime, is what real Devotion to the Blessed Virgin did merit for this young man, and for many others; she will be as powerful in your behalf, if you have a Devotion to her, if you love and honour the Blessed Virgin in the manner we have mentioned.”
MORALITY TAUGHT AT MAYNOOTH. Tue Rev. Alex. Irwin, secretary to the Society for Suppressing Vice in Dublin, has published a very valuable pamphlet, containing, some most curious extracts from the class books at Maynooth, which certainly ought to be made known very widely.
There is not space here for the extracts themselves, and Mr. Irwin's book costs only 6d. The sum of the first portion is this :- :- [The reader is aware that mortal sins must be confessed, while venial sins (though it is proper to confess them) may be concealed without blame, and expiated in many other ways.]—Under the head of the 8th command, the doctrine taught is, that it is only a venial sin to steal very small sums from those who are rich, and that the exact sum which makes a mortal sin has not been defined. Then, as a guide, men are divided into four classes, and it is mentioned that some have made it a venial sin to steal under fifty or sixty pence from the first, forty from the next, and so on. Mr. Irwin sums up the whole thus :
“ So then the doctrine taught at Maynooth is this,-that any person may steal 48. 11.1d. or thereabouts, from a nobleman, without losing the favour of God, or at all risking the salvation of his soul, or its being necessary to make confession of the theft to a priest. After thus injuring his neighbour his superior, perhaps his benefactor, he is not obliged to acknowledge to him the fault he has committed, for this would be to incur disgrace. Nor need he restore the stolen property to him, or compensate him in any way, if there should be a difficulty in doing so unknown to him. All that is required, in order to have a clear conscience, is to give the amount to the poor, or expend it in some good work. And as to this sort of restitution, it is but a venial offence, after all, if it be omitted! And further, it is here gravely taught that a wife may steal, actually steal, without the knowledge of her husband, and contrary to his known and reasonable wishes, a greater quantity of his property than is mentioned in the preceding scale, without committing more than a mere venial sin. And she may steal as much as will support any of her near relatives, without being guilty of ANY SIN. Provided, indeed, that after her husband's death, if she outlive him, she deducts the amount from her jointure, without assigning her reasons for this deduction, or making any acknowledgment of what most people would consider a fraud, but wbat the Maynooth class-book pronounces “is not a theft!!
“ And finally, a servant may pilfer any common food, in order to eat moderately of it. No leave need be asked ; it may be taken for granted that leave would be given, which is quite sufficient. Can we be surprised if servants who have such notions instilled into them by the priests educated at Maynooth should not turn out to be very trustworthy ? On whom ought the greater blame to fall, on the teachers or on the taught? This question, however, carries us back to another, namely, Who have been the teachers of the priests themselves? Who have sanctioned their receiving such instructions ? The answer is evident--the president and professors, and the Roman-catholic prelates, who are trustees and visitors of the college-of these, Archbishop Murray is one, and he was for some tiine himself the president of Maynooth. Archbishop Crolly had been the Professor of Logic, and Archbishop M'Ilale had been one of the Professors of Theology."
The next matter is one of far more serious complexion :
“ The subject to which the attention of the reader is now directed, is brought before him with much reluctance. But it is right that the public should know that a part of the instruction given to the priests at Maynooth, relates to the questions which are to be asked by them when hearing the confessions of the female portion of their flocks. It is only fair towards protestants to make them aware that the accoinplished, fashionable, and apparently refin :d members of the Roman-catholic church,
whom they are accustomed to associate with, are in the habit of hearing and answering the most indecent interrogatories put to them by unmarried men; that is to say, if the priests fulfil what they are taught is their duty. And before protestants receive at their houses any of these popish ecclesiastics, and allow their families to form acquaintance with them, it is only kind to warn them that they are a class of persons whose minds have been sullied by a systematic instruction in the various modes in which impurity can be committed; and that they have learned at Maynooth to put questions without a blush to married females, which any man ought to be ashamed to ask a woman.
“In the appendix will be found some extracts from the • Treatise on Matrimony,' which forms part of vol. iv. of the Moral Theology. From these the reader who understands Latin may satisfy himself of the truth of the foregoing statement; they are not fit to appear in English."
The only extracts which can be given here are (1) the 3rd direction to confessors :
“ A prudent confessor will, as far as in his power, by kindness of language, increase the confidence of his penitents, will advance from more general statements to more particular; from the less shameful to those which are more so; nor will he take his commencement from the external acts, but from the thoughts. Has not the penitent revolved some improper ones in his or her mind ? Was this done advertently? What kind of desire was it? Has he or she felt unlawful passions ? But if the penitent shall declare that he or she has not felt them, the confessor ought usually to stop there, unless the penitent be very ignorant and dull. But if the penitent shall answer that he or she has had improper thoughts or irregular desires, the confessor shall ask whether any improper actions followed? But if the penitent shall confess this, the confessor shall ask again, what were those actions ?"
And (2) the directions for dealing with a woman whose modesty induces her to write rather than speak the sins she has committed :
“We are of opinion that everything may be safely managed by adopting this middle plan ; namely, that the confessor should receive the written declaration of sins, read it, and afterwards prudently question the penitent concerning them, whose answer in the words yes, or no, should be received as a true accusation of herself made viva voce ; as indeed is the case in common confessions, when the priest questions the penitent whether she has committed certain sins. Doubtless it is not to be credited that a woman or girl, however modest she may be supposed, would not accede to this condition, which the confessor will make as easy as he can by the dexterity of his questions. But, if the penitent shall refuse, after she has been warned of the danger to her salvation of confessing in any other manner, it does not appear how she can be considered not to be guilty of perverse obstinacy, which renders her unworthy of the benefit of absolution.”
Mr. Irwin proceeds :
“ Protestants have so little notion of what is told, or ought to be told, in confessing to a priest, that it becomes necessary to inform them that the confessor regulates even the intercourse between husband and wife, and is directed to make inquiry from the penitents on this subject."
The Roman-catholic directions are omitted; for they are disgusting. Mr. Irwin sums up all thus :
“ Can it be possible that questions such as this are actually put to respectable females—the wives of our Roman catholic nobility--the gentlewomen whom we meet in the circles of cultivated and select society? Is it to be believed that those who appear to be so modest and decorous, are thus insulted and outraged by their unmarried confessors? They alone can tell. But their husbands know that such questions are put to their wives ? And do they submit to this disgusting system, and approve of it? All that the protestant public can know on the subject is, that the theological class-books of Maynooth teach the young priests that it is their duty to make these inquiries, and give these matrimonial instructions."
The shameful questions which are directed to be put shall not be given here, even under the cover of Latin. What can excuse such a system as this ?