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· The sixth chapter is devoted to a discussion on the best mode of applying the Madras system to the education of the female poor, who are much indebted to the author for the very close attention which he seems to have paid to this part of his subject. Indeed the minute information about“ straw plat, coarse and fine marking, binding petticoats, sewing gathers,” &c. would have led us to suspect that the title of M.A. included arts not strictly academical, had it not been for an acknowledgment of advice and information from some female friends in this part of the “Suggestions." We really think no part of the volume more creditable to the author than this, because it marks so decidedly his paramount wish to be useful; and we can assure those of our readers, who are anxious to form schools on the new system for the benefit of the female sex, that they cannot apply to a better source for guidance as to their mode of proceeding. In the account of different female schools, which forms part of this chapter, we meet with a phenomenon which puts in a strong point of view the great leading feature of Dr. Bell's improved system (p. 157). “ It is a remarkable circumstance, that the mistress of this (the Hereford) school camot herself read. She was elected from her knowledge of work, and the excellence of her general character.” The fact also bears pretty strong testimony to the diligence of the ladies who superintend this establishment, as well as to what we may call the judicious boldness which marked their choice.
The seventh chapter affords good instruction as to the best mode of deriving benefit from endowed schools. The making admission into them a reward of good conduct in the new schools, which thus assume a probationary character, seems a particularly desirable one. The author here also, with that evident feeling of real interest which gives a pleasing character to his whole work, follows the scholars beyond the walls of the school, and points out a method of retaining a hold upon them after their entrance into life, and influencing them to ihe practice of the good principles which have been inculcated upon their minds. It is not a matter of mere speculation, but has been adopted in the Circus-street school at Liverpool; the regulations of which, on this point, will be found in the 179th page of the “ Sugges tions."
The remainder of this useful volume contains a great deal of matter calculated to obviate the difficulties which are often met with in the first institution of schools on the improved system, and also to prevent the evils arising from their mismanagement. In the first class may be reckoned the hints on the subject of building school-rooms, which are accompanied by a drawing of some plans, with accurate estimates annexed. The latter consists of directions in the choice of schoolmasters, an exhortation to unwearied attention on the part of the visitors, and some very necessary advice with respect to the prejudices of parents, not the least of the stumbling-blocks, which caution only can avoid, and discretion surmount. The miscellaneous observations in the tenth chapter have the same character, and its concluding pas,sages relate to a subject of such importance in the present day that we are tempted to quote them.
“Want of room in the places of worship belonging to our established church has long been an acknowledged and lamentable fact, and though, in some few instances, individual munificence, or public spirit, may have been the means of diminishing the evil, still its existence at all, where so close and indissoluble a connexion subsists between the church and state, is a mortifying and painful reflection. To cement and strengthen, if it were possible, this union, should be the object of all who are concerned in our present national undertaking, and there is surely an imperious call on the constituted authorities of every town, where a school on the new plan is established, to give it their decided support and sanction. It is thus, by cordially co-operating with the clergy, and exerting their influence as well as the means they possess, of extending and encouraging the pious work, that its success may be materially forwarded. When they witness, as they may do at the present moment, in many of the large towns, the want of sufficient room to admit into our churches the children now under instruction, when they look forward to the daily increasing numbers brought up in the doctrine and discipline of the established church, they may, in their corporate capacity, assisted by the representations of the clergy, second and promote any legislative measures for the removal of this growing evil, attended as it is with so many mischievous consequences. If any consideration were wanting to awaken, and to bring into action the energies of those who can by their influence, by their situatiorf, or by their authority, conduce to the attainment of this desirable object, it is the reflection, that we are now most laudably engaged in attaching the rising generation to our established church, in bringing them up from their earliest years, habitually to frequent our public worship, and shall we leave them, in after life, for want of the proper means of attendance, to desert that very establishment to which we are now teaching them to cling, as to an affectionate parent? Shall we leave them, after they have been accustomed to adore their Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, according to the liturgy of our most excellent church, to go whither inclination or chance may lead them, because we are unable to provide room for them? Let us not be such enemies to ourselves, but let us follow up the good work we have begun by providing in time against an evil, which, if suffered to continue, may prevent the very end we are so anxious to produce! We should invariably bear in mind, what was the original object in the formation of the national society-it was not merely to give education, abstractedly considered, to the rising generation, it was not merely to extend and prompte a system of education, far surpassing any previous mode of instruction, but, in a more important point of view, it was to employ that excellent system to the best of purposes, viz. the training up the infant poor of this country in the sound and genuine principles of the established church. On this ground, if on no other, it cannot be too strongly urged, that every school, conducted on Dr. Bell's system, should either, by immediate correspondence with the general committee, or through a diocesan or district institution, connect itself with the national society. Their plan of union is before the public--they seek no control over the internal management of any school--they ask only concurrence with their general principles. Our end is the same, and should not the means we take to effect that end be uniform? Should not the accumulated wisdom and experience of those, who have bestowed their time and talents on this laudable object, be employed, in order to bring it to as great a state of perfection as possible? Can the extent to which it is carried be either known, or appreciated, except by having one central point to which we can all have recourse ? one standard erected around which we can all flock? Those little deviations, which fancy may suggest, or local circumstances will require, though it may be advisable
to check them as much as possible, do not in the least prevent the friends of the establishment from co-operating as a body, and by putting forth their whole strength, to ensure the ultimate and entire success of the great end proposed. To the national society should be confided the means of perfecting the work that is begun; supported and assisted by the collective abilities of the managers of the different societies already established, they will rejoice to accomplish their great work on a scale commensurate with its importance, and to produce that peace and prosperity within the walls of our Jerusalem, which can alone be procured by its being at unity in itself !” P. 252.
A clear synopsis of the Madras system in question and answer, and a catalogue of all the schools formed upon it, conclude this volume, which forms a valuable accession to the stock of information before the public on this interesting subject, and will be found particularly useful as a guide by those, the remotepess of whose situation renders access to the primary sources of information difficult.
Art, XIII.-Memoirs of the Life and Ministry of the late
W. Huntington, S. S. with an Estimate of his Character. By Onesimus. London. 1813.
Tue dignity of our undertaking in the cause of the public would assuredly have kept us from contaminating our pages with the trash of which the pamphlet before us consists, did it not bring across our minds with irresistible force the twenty-first article in our last number on the admirable address of Dr. Middleton to the parishioners of St. Pancras, Middlesex, on the subject of the intended application to parliament. There is no vanity in thinking that we put the case in that article forcibly to our readers. We had little else to do than to state in appropriate terms the unavoidable inferences arising from the melancholy fact, that in Pancras parish there are nearly fifty thousand souls (we mean to lay some stress upon the word “souls”) out of whom the church establishment of England has provided a regular place of worship for two hundred only; and that a district in the same parish containing eight thousand out of these fifty thousand has no place of worship in the communion of the mother church, being divided between catholic and dissenting congregations,
That in a parish so circumstanced, self-constituted preachers should abound, can only surprise those who are ignorant of the greatness and littleness of the mind of man; great in its aptitude to receive spiritual instruction, little in its liability to be made the sport of religious imposture and impudent pretensions.
The church of England was designed to be a visible church: it is in vain for it to say to the people-You that cannot worship within my visible pale for want of room, you must worship towards my porch, as the Moslems turn towards the tomb of their prophet; make your houses your exterior sanctuary; so long as you offer up to God your prayers and praises in the faith and formularies of the church of England, you are members of that church :--but this the church does say in effect in the parish of St. Pancras; adopting a mystical divinity in its most practical
The most fanatical sect that ever existed could not impose upon its followers greater absurdities, or lay a better foundation for a wild and distempered creed. What are we then to think of those sons of the church who have opposed in parlia: ment the erection of a church more proportioned to the popu. lation of this parish ; or of the gross mockery of educating the poor in the established religion without providing accommodation for them within the walls of the establishment,
We were thrown upon these reflections by an accidental
perusal of the little work, whose title stands at the head of this article. We have often looked with mortified and indignant feelings at the new and spacious structure raised by the very low, illiterate, and presumptuous person whose memoirs we have alluded to, but a little before the unhappy failure of the application to parliament on behalf of the church and sound religion in the same parish. And upon reading of the success of this preacher calling himself a prophet, and comparing it with his deserts, we have blushed for human nature, and almost wept at the torpid indifference of the professed friends of the church concerning her vital interests.
Whatever space the church of England does not cover (we do not mean with its glebe, or its tenths,) but with its pastoral cáre, falls to the self-constituted preacher as a sort of derelict portion, an hæreditas jacens. It is his by right of occupancy: He finds the people reduced by spiritual famine to the necessity of taking up with an unwholesome aliment, which, in their forlorn state, is received by them as manna miraculously afforded them. We have called these preachers self-constituted ;-they are more properly the creatures of necessity; they stand upon that authority with which the right to be instructed invests the poor: they receive a sort of negative ordination from the church herself: if she refuses to shelter her brood under her wings, and to point out to them their proper nutriment, they will seek for warmth in the dunghill, and rake in rubbish for the supply of their necessities,
We have spoken our minds already in our last number on the inadequacy of the chapel system as a supplement to this lamentable deficiency of our church establishment. It is infinitely better than nothing—it is infinitely better than a meeting-house, like that of “ Providence chapel;"_but it is shocking to reflect that it is all. The church of St. Pancras is in some respects worse than nothing. It stands more “in mock than mark.” Like the sepulchre of our Lord amidst mosques and minarets and domes and crescents, it stands a melancholy and frowning witness of man's ingratitude and inconstancy.
We have been, indeed, by these considerations, induced to say something on the pestiferous success of this preacher of preachers, who has happily preached his last. Those who are curious to look into the particulars of his life, or into any of his numerous and mischievous writings, will find him to have been a man of strong natural parts, and of singular dexterity in availing himself of that gross ignorance in which the lower orders, till lately, have been left by those who are the legitimate sources of instruction. Very illiterate, but quickenough at seizing, appropriating, and accommodating the