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NOTES ON THE MONTH, AND MISCELLANEOUS
YOUNG MEN'S SOCIETIES.
WE feel much pleasure in calling the attention of our friends to these Societies. They appear to attempt the co-operative principle for mutual improvement; and though they aim not at the end, nor aspire to the honour of the name of learned Societies, they have taken very excellent means of acquiring really useful knowledge. It has always been our object to unite science and religion, and to make it a running context upon the word of God. The Young Men's Societies would consecrate science at the foot of the cross. Science and Christian truth may and ought to go hand-in-hand: and these Societies are formed for the express purpose of considering them together, and viewing God as his perfections are illustrated-by creation, providence, and redemption.
The Young Men's Societies have attempted the publication of a little Magazine, called "The Monthly Chronicle," which contains articles communicated by members of the Society and others on various topics, all of which are extremely creditable to the views of the writers. They embrace subjects of natural philosophy, moral philosophy, and religion; treated in a simple but yet an intelligent manner. The No. for January contains reports of the various Young Men's Societies in and near London, exhibitory of their plans, success, and future prospects, which are in every way encouraging. The names of the associations in London are as follow:-London Wall, Spitalfields, Islington, Russell-square, Old-street, West Kent, Peckham, and Finsbury. To show more particularly the objects these Societies have in view, we subjoin a list of the essays, &c. delivered by the members of the Western Association.
Religious.-On Prayer: On Faith: On the Divine Institution of Marriage, our duty concerning it, and the responsibility involved: On the Resurrection: Religion Essential to the Prosperity of a Nation: The Being and Existence of a God inferred from the Judgments which have followed the dreadful Transgressions of Mankind: The Being and existence of God consistent with Reason: On Attendance at Public Worship: On the Sabbath, its Origin, Observance, Distinction, and Duties: On the Benefits of Christianity: On the Excellency of the Scriptures.
Moral, &c.—On Punctuality: On Prudence: On Humility: On Friendship. Scientific. On the Elements of Thunder and Lightning: On the Atmosphere: The Deluge confirmed by Heathen and Historical Testimony: On the Utility and Medium of improving the Mind: Arguments to prove that the Universe cannot have been eternal.
Lectures have also been delivered by the members upon the following subjects: "The Atonement," "The Principles of the Gospel," "The Evidences of Christianity." "The Excellency of the Scriptures," and "The Nature, Sources, and Results of Infidelity."
We cordially recommend the establishment of similar Societies every where ; they are calculated to be of the most extensive benefit, and we shall feel a pleasure at all times, while they are conducted in the spirit in which they have commenced, to give them our support.
EDUCATION OF FEMALES.
An Institution for the Education of Young Ladies has just been established in Edinburgh. It may be termed a ladies' university, as the subjects taught within its walls include all the usual branches of female education. What
we are best pleased with in the arrangements of the founders of this school, is, the introduction of popular lectures on science: young ladies are therefore presumed to have brains, and to be capable of taking an active interest in the works of nature; lectures on natural philosophy, chemistry, and natural history, are to be delivered by Mr. Lee, Dr. Reid, and Mr. M'Gillirray. The public is indebted to the promoters of this institution, for having given this enlightened example; an example for the encouragement of which, the public must be pretty well prepared, since it has already given birth to another rival institution, to be conducted much on the same principles. We believe there is plenty of scope for both, and our wish is, that according to the enlightened zeal in carrying their objects in to effect may be their success.
We have lately had our attention directed to a number of schools which are sprung up in various parts of the metroplis, under the name of Rational Schools. They are connected with the institutions formed by the followers of Robert Taylor, Richard Carlisle and others, holding sentiments in opposition to Christianity; and, as might be supposed, religion does not form any part of the instruction afforded the scholars; indeed it is systematically excluded, and even the being of a God is not allowed to be taught. We have visited one of these schools, and questioned several of the children; and they appear to be quite deficient in a knowledge of a Divine Being. We also had some conversation with the master, who openly professed his disbelief of every thing except of what he had ocular and demonstrative evidence: referring all that was to the term "necessity" and "circumstances," he candidly confessed he did not believe in a God; and that it was the rule of his committee, that the children should be taught nothing of the kind. This school contains about ninety children, and is supported by the weekly subscriptions of the parents, many of whom are unaware of the real nature of the establishment, and by more wealthy individuals of known deistical opinions. The school was partly on the British and Foreign system; Cobbett's spelling book was used, and a few infant school lessons; lectures were delivered in the room three times a week, by Robert Taylor and other atheistical professors, at which the children were allowed to be present. We hope to be able to furnish farther evidence of these schools, and shall defer further remarks, till we can lay a more particular account before our readers.
The school at Ealing, lately established with a view to give the rising population a true notion of the rights of property, and to impart a sound and comprehensive education, affords an excellent opportunity for parents who may have children of talent, to place them in the school designed for the education of teachers. The terms of this school are £14 per annum; and for this sum an education of a superior kind will be obtained. The children are admitted between the ages of eleven and thirteen; and there is no further charge; boarding, washing, books, lodging, being all supplied for the economic sum above mentioned. It is an institution worthy the attention of all parents who value a good education for their children, and who would have them brought up in habits of strict morality and usefulness.
JUVENILE TEMPERANCE SOCIETIES.
We would recommend that all National and British and Foreign Schools should form Juvenile Temperance Societies among the monitors and elder boys. We were at a school lately in which no less than 23 children, under twelve years of age, confessed to having been in the habit of drinking gin,
from half a glass to a glass, with their parents on Sunday morning. We immediately thought of forming a temperance society among them, and succeeded in getting about 40 boys to sign the declaration; not however without forcibly impressing them with the sin of intemperance, and its dreadful effects both on body and soul.
JUVENILE GUARDIAN SOCIETIES.
There has been formed at Uxbridge a Society attached to the British School there with this title; the object of which is to encourage provident habits among the scholars after they leave the school. The boys pay into a School Savings' Club, under the condition that they are to receive 25 per cent. for the money so paid in, if the money is kept for seven years by the committee. The wholesome effect of this is evinced in a variety of ways: first, the guardians of the boys, who are composed of some of the most respectable gentlemen of the town, are enabled to keep sight of those they have educated. If the boys should be sick, out of place, or in any immediate illness or difficulty, they find advisers and friends in those to whom they have been taught to look up in the period of their education. If they, through idleness, fall into temptation and vice, they meet with admonition and advice; in fact, the school committee keep hold of the lads during that most dangerous of all periods of life, viz. that between boyhood and manhood. The results of the society are highly encouraging, some of the boys having laid the foundation of their future savings, and all more or less been stimulated to good conduct, knowing that their superiors are watching over them. A library is attached to the Society, and the boys willingly subscribe to it. It is calculated that many of the boys will have from £10 to £20 when they arrive at manhood, by this scheme; and the subscriptions to support it are by no means large. We will supply all information on the subject to those wishing to institute a similar plan.
WEST OF ENGLAND DEAF AND DUMB INSTITUTION.
A public examination of the pupils of this most admirable Institution, took place on Wednesday last, at the Royal Subscription Room, before a numerous and highly respectable auditory. The examination of the children consisted of the usual routine of questions and answers, through the means of signs, writing, &c.; and was conducted in a very able manner by Mr. Gordon, successor to Mr. Bingle, late master.
In this examination, Mr. Gordon entered rather more into details than his predecessor; and one part of the proceedings was particularly striking: this was the speaking of three of the children, who answered questions put to them by Dr. Tennell and several of the auditory, merely from observing the action of the lips of the speaker. "How old are you?" and other simple questions, were readily and clearly answered; and one boy repeated the Lord's Prayer in a style of clearness and distinctness which astonished the auditory. But the most wonderful part of the exhibition was the repetition of several connected sentences from a sermon preached by the Rev. Mr. Bouldock, at St. Leonard's church, which were taken down by the boy entirely from watching the lips of the Rev. Gentleman. Mr. Gordon, in an interesting manner, explained the method of teaching sounds by the vibration of the muscles. The pupil places his hands on the throat of the speaker, and in this attitude he attempts an imitation of the motions of the teacher, till he finds, by sensation, that the imitation is tolerably perfect. The voice, of course, is harsh and discordant, for want of exercise, but the advantage to the pupil in his intercourse with the world is immense.
The auditory were highly pleased at the examination, and the rapid progress made by the pupils. The collection was £24, being double the sum contributed at any former examination.
EDUCATION IN ENGLAND.
No. 2.-THE NATIONAL SYSTEM.
THE National Church and National Schools, from the very laws which govern each, must ever go hand in hand; and ecclesiastical authority never received so great an accession of strength as when the National Schools were established. When we reflect that above one million of children are at this moment receiving instruction through the medium of the Clergy, we cannot accuse them either of want of zeal or want of care for the instruction of the people. Indeed, up to the com.. mencement of the present century, the Church exercised an influence of the highest kind over the middle classes, as it does at the present time over the lower. The earliest of schools for the instruction of the people, from the times of King Alfred, downwards, has been under their control. To the Reformation may be traced the principles of that religious instruction which it is the object of the National Society to promote. The Monasteries, indeed, afforded instruction of some kind to a few; but before the invention of printing, which gave the death blow to superstition, it was of the most absurd and contemptible kind. It is probable that every Cathedral Church had a school for poor scholars; but it is to be observed, that the expression "poor scholars," did not refer to the children of the labouring poor. From Stow, we learn that there were three principal schools belonging to the three principal churches in the time of King Stephen, A. D. 1140. It is also upon record, that a petition from the parsons of Great Allhallows; St. Andrew, Holborn; St. Peter, Cornhill; and St. Mary, Colechurch; addressed to the Parliament and King Henry VI., had the effect to procure the establishment of Grammar Schools in these parishes; and nine years afterwards, at the recommendation of the Archbishop of Canterbury, schools of a similar description were established in St. Paul's Church-yard, in the Collegiate Church of St. Martin-le-Grand, at St. Mary de Arcabus, or Bow Church, Cheapside, at St. Dunstan's in the East, and the Hospital of St. Anthony. Of the continuance of these we have little information: in the last-named, however, Sir Thomas More was educated; and this school was still carried on in the time of Queen Elizabeth. The great foundations of Winchester, by William Wykeham, Bishop of the See, A.D. 1382, and of Eton, by King Henry VI., offered, of course, no benefit to the humbler classes; and St. Paul's School, founded by Dr. John Colet, A.D. VOL. I.-March, 1835.
1508, although it was for a class lower than that of the other named institutions, went no farther than to give instruction to the children of tradesmen, &c. Christ Church School, founded by Edward VI., 1553, for 400 children, at the suggestion of Bishop Ridley, was but in a small degree removed from that of St. Paul's; and the same observation will apply to the Merchant-Tailors' Free School, established at first for 100 boys, and various other endowments of a similar kind, which, at this period, arose in some few places in the kingdom. It was not, however, till a century after the reformation, although it was the wish of the early reformers to give information, particularly of a scriptural kind, to the people, that Grammar Schools were multiplied in the kingdom, and the middle classes were enabled to obtain instruction near home for their children; and many of the endowments then founded, had their rise in the pious beneficence of those who had acquired fortunes by trade, and retiring in their decline of life, to their native towns, founded schools as one of the best means of doing important service to their townsmen.
A school, strictly speaking, for the lower orders, was not set on foot until the year 1698: this was opened in Westminster, as an antidote to the Jesuit's Charity Grammar School, established during the preceding year, in the Savoy; and soon afterwards others were established, including that of St. Botolph, Aldgate, and Norton Falgate. Shortly following, the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge appeared as the great promoter of the Education of the poor, which tended much to the encouragement of schools, and what is almost as important, the circulation of useful and religious books. It advocated, as an especial means, the system of annexing habits of industry to religious learning; and the effects of its early labours may be seen in the following results :
REPORT.-At the last date, in 1714, the numbers in England and Ireland were reported to be............ 1073 Schools
In these charity schools the children were often lodged and boarded, and always clothed. But the funds requisite to do this to any very great extent, rendered the patrons of so excellent a scheme unable to do what they wished. But the zeal and earnestness with which the design was prosecuted, especially by the clergy, the following facts will testify. For the general encouragement of the work, the children and patrons of charity schools, assembled together annually, and a sermon was preached in aid of the cause by some eminent divine. On the first occasion in 1704, 2000 children met together in St. Andrew's, Holborn, and a sermon was preached on Genesis xviii. 19. Afterwards the anniversary took place in St. Bride's, then in St. Sepulchre's, where, in 1716, 5000 children were assembled, and on the