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ened quotation from the composition of one who on this occasion proved the bulwark, as on every occasion he has been the ornament, of the Church of Ireland. The reader, we are sure, will admire, with us, the sagacity with which the views of the Romish bishops are detected, and the admirable temper with which they are exposed. Whether the eyes of the commissioners were opened by this letter, or whether they felt that now to accede to the wishes of the Roman Catholic ecclesiastics would be to appear to the public as their willing slaves, it is not for us to say; but they did see the propriety of not insisting upon the adoption of the "Christian Lessons" as a schoolbook; and as it would be fruitless to look for any departure from the principle upon which it was composed in its compilers, or any acquiescence in the views, in this respect, of the Established clergy, their projected system of national education was abandoned.

In this state matters have remained until the present period,-the institutions which it was the object of the late commissioners to supersede, still continuing to furnish the country with the means of moral and li terary improvement. The Primate's letter shewed so clearly that the objections of the Popish bishops could not be admitted, or their proposal acceded to, without compromising the legal and constitutional rights of the Established Church, and bringing its authority into contempt, that it would be vain to expect a submission to the first, or a compliance with the second, on the part of the Establish ed clergy; and although it formed no part of the object of the commissioners to repress the insolent spirit of Popish domination which was so offensively exhibited, yet they felt that the time had not yet come when it could be encouraged to manifest itself in all its extravagance. The Catholic Association was, indeed, agitating the country, and causing much annoyance to a Government which, however able, was unwilling to put it down. But the Catholic Bill had not at that time passed, and the Popish prelates were not possessed of that substantial power in the British senate, which has since proved so truly formidable. To that, no doubt, they then looked forward;

and, while the commissioners felt unfeigned regret at the frustration of their favourite scheme, they rejoiced as at the birth of hopes of which they are now, it would appear, about to experience the reali

zation.

Had the commissioners of 1825 proceeded to act upon the view which they entertained, notwithstanding the opposition of the Roman Catholic bishops, we believe that the latter would have had cause to rue their temerity. The people of Ireland would have seen clearly, that, upon all points concerning which they had a right to expect to be attended to, they received a most respectful attention; that, while provision was made for the education of the lower orders, nothing seemed less to be meditated than any invasion of the rights of conscience; that the religious school-book which was adopted, did not contain a single passage which could possibly offend the feelings, or militate against the principles, of any member of the Church of Rome; and this, notwithstanding the hostile spirit that breathed in their catechisms against all Protestant dissenters. They would have perceived, moreover, that if the most zealous or captious of their priests could point out any thing which, by the remotest implication, could be construed as insulting or dangerous, there was every disposition on the part of the commissioners, and of the Established clergy, to give the promptest attention to their suggestions. They could not but recognise in all this, an evidence of the most hearty desire to go to the utmost verge of liberality, in affording those facilities for education which the people required; and it would be curious to see how far they would have gone in foregoing the advantages of such a system, if in practical operation, because of a merely speculative objection, implying no thing less than an insolent assertion of the peculiar claims of the Church of Rome, and a no less insolent denial of the national rights and privileges of the Church of England.

We are persuaded that the people of Ireland, in proportion as they really desired education, would not have sympathized with their bishops on this occasion. And if they did, it would only prove that no sincere

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disposition existed on their part to profit by any system that could be devised. In such a case, the horse might be brought to the water, but he could not be made to drink. As long as a speculative and almost evanescent distinction in theology, outweighed their practical concern for the improvement of their children, the labour of any set of educa tion commissioners must be in vain. And it is because we have abundant evidence to prove, that the people did really desire to have their children well educated, that we believe, that if the commissioners had had the wisdom or the firmness to persevere in their original plan, they would have had the satisfaction to find that the denunciations of the Popish bishops would have been, generally speaking, disregarded.

The objection of the Popish bishops was, that the work from which the "Scripture Selections" were taken, was a Protestant translation of the Holy Scriptures. They did not object to the correctness of the translation, nor to the words or spirit of the extracts. But the mere fact of its being a Protestant translation, was sufficient in their eyes to render it unfit to be admitted into the proposed national schools. Now, when it is considered, that, by acquiescing in it, they need not, necessarily, have felt themselves called upon to pronounce any decision respecting its authenticity, while the clergy of the established religion, by acquiescing in the objection which denied its authenticity, would be abandoning all claim to consideration as a National Church, it may readily be understood how far their conduct was consistent with that spirit of fairness and cordial good-will with which they professed to co-operate in the great work of promoting a system of national education. The people, we are persuaded, would have felt all this. They would have felt that there was nothing in the proposed system, by which they would be called upon to abjure or to compromise any of the principles of their religion; that, against any interference from the teachers of a different creed, they would be sufficiently guarded; that the book from which the Scripture Selections were taken, was one, the correctness of which was admitted as a translation, and that their

children might read it with profit, without being called upon to pronounce any opinion respecting the authority upon which it was made; they would have felt, moreover, that to expect Protestants to sink their respect for that authority, merely for the purpose of gratifying the theological aversion of the Roman Catholic clergy, would be both indelicate and unreasonable; that it would be to expect a degree of compromise on the part of others, which was not expected from themselves, and to appear captious, if not bigoted, in proportion to the kindliness and liberality which was exhibited towards them. All this the people would have felt,-and it would have produced its natural effect, that of causing them to avail themselves fully of the advantages which would have been within their reach, without being over scrupulous respecting the scandal which was apprehended by their theological guides from the use of a school-book, which admitted, by implication, the existence of the Church of England.

But it is abundantly evident, that, throughout the whole of the negotiations upon this subject, the Roman Catholic clergy have been considered rather as the leaders of a party than the teachers of a sect, and that a deference has been shewn to them much less proportioned to their civil claims than to their political importance. They were considered to pos sess the power either of exciting or allaying the passions of a turbulent and uneducated people; and it was accordingly thought that any boon, by which they could be propitiated, would be well and wisely bestowed, if it purchased the tranquillity of the country. There were, at that time, a large party, who had a particular theory respecting the necessary effect of concessions to the Catholic body, which considered it impossi ble for them to see the conduct of their clergy in its true light, and this body accordingly commanded a degree of consideration, and possess ed a species of power, which enabled them to appear as high contracting parties in the presence of commissioners appointed by the Crown, and caused them to regard the projected system of education important only as it furnished occasion for a compact between them

and the British Government, to which they would only accede, upon condition of obtaining for the creed which they professed important religious and political advantages.

If they were then powerful as agitators, they are now powerful as politicians. If they were then powerful in exciting discontent without, they are now powerful from the influence which they undeniably exercise within, the walls of Parliament. Truly may it now be said, "Illiacos intra muros peccatur et extra." The concession of the Catholic claims, which it was said would extinguish, has only increased, the spirit of discontent; and the whole power of the Popish Church militant seems now to be embodied in battle array, for the purpose of breaking the connexion between Church and State, and obliterating every vestige by which it might be discerned that we once had a Protestant constitution.

Ireland is the ground upon which this battle will be fought; but its consequences will not be confined to that country. The principle which it is sought to establish there, will eventually be applied to the empire at large. Mr O'Connell, who is unimportant except as the organ of the Popish clergy, at present contents himself with contending for the perfect equality of every mode of faith, and the unreasonableness of making the members of one religion contribute to the maintenance of the pastors of another. It will be time enough, when he has succeeded in this object, to disclose those ulterior views in which the Romish clergy are more especially interested; and of his future success, he must regard it as a flattering earnest, that, during the present session, his power has been acknowledged, and his suggestions have been attended to, by the Secretary for Ireland.

Nothing more clearly proves the weight of this individual in the present House of Commons, than the new project of education which has, at length, been disclosed. It differs from former projects, inasmuch as it is not liable to the reproach of satisfying nobody; for it would, indeed, be surprising if the Popish clergy were not marvellously well pleased. The Government have deliberately turned their backs upon the Church, and invited its most wily and inveterate

adversaries to join with them in Burking the Bible! The project, of course, cannot work. No Protestant minister will be found so basely recreant from his principles, or SO slavishly submissive to the dictates of unprincipled authority, as to join with Roman Catholics in soliciting aid for a system of education from which the Bible is pointedly to be excluded. And Parliament will not, cannot, shall not grant a sum of money, to be appropriated to the peculiar purposes of the professors of a creed which was, until lately, branded by the Legislature as damnable and idolatrous, and which no consistent Protestant can acknowledge to be agreeable to the Word of God.

But the commission has issued, and the commissioners are appointed. And such commissioners! Alas! how forcibly have they reminded us of the words which fell from the lips of the late lamented Mr North, upon the night of the debate on the withdrawal of the Kildare Place grant; and a very few days before his death, he said, that "he no longer looked forward with the hopefulness which once attended his anticipations respecting the religious or the political wellbeing of Ireland; but, nevertheless, he earnestly conjured Mr Stanley to appoint none upon his intended commission, but men who had evinced, by the devotedness of their lives, that they felt more than a passing interest in the moral and religious wellbeing of their fellow-creatures. Be assured," said the learned gentleman, "that if you act otherwise, your commission will fall to the ground." But nothing like consistency in evil. The advice was disregarded. As our governors have begun, so they have ended. gentlemen who have been chosen to execute the important trust of providing for the education of a Christian people, are carefully selected from different denominations of believers, in such a way as to checkmate each other at every step of their progress, and render their efforts to compile a work which should contain the rudiments of Christian knowledge, as fruitless as the labour which was bestowed upon Penelope's web; so that if the reader can calculate in what time Sancho Panza could contrive to eat a hearty dinner, with Doctor Don Pedro Periwig Snatch

The

away by his side, he may be enabled
to form some idea of the time that
it would take, under the present
commissioners, to communicate to
the Irish the elements of religious
education.

The commission consists of equal
proportions of Socinianism, Popery,
and the religion of the Church of
England. Now, upon what one
question respecting revealed reli-
gion is it possible that its members
can agree? Will the Socinian consent
that the children should be taught
any thing relating to the divinity of
Christ? Will the Church of England-
man consent to ground their reli-
gious knowledge upon the doctrine
of his mere humanity? And will the
Papist tolerate any allusion to the er-
rors of the Church of Rome? These
are things which cannot be expected.
The courtesies of society forbid that
thegentlemen composing the commis-
sion should obtrude upon each other
their peculiarities as believers. And
while they thus hesitate to advance
the pretensions of their respective
creeds, what is to become of the
poor children? Are they to remain
suspended, like Mahomet's coffin,
between the opposing attractions of
error and orthodoxy? or, is their
moral nature to depend, for its pre-
servation, upon the neutral salt en-
gendered by the acids and the alka-
lies of conflicting opinions, the on-
ly species of salt which is known
never to preserve its savour," and
which is, in fact, "good for nothing,
but to be cast out and trodden under
the feet of men ?"

The commissioners, in fact, seem to have been chosen in the same spirit, and with the same view, which actuated Pharaoh in the choice of his midwives, by whom the children of the Israelites were to be put to death. They proved better than their employer, who, as the first suggester of the Burking system, has obtained so infamous an immortality. Our rulers have improved upon the hint. He would only have applied it to the bodies; they have applied And our hope is that, in this case also, the instruments will prove better than those by whom they have been appointed, and, either feeling it impious, or finding it impracticable, to keep the children, for whose spiritual welfare they are called upon to provide, from the well of life, abandon the fruitless

it to the souls of men.

labour" of hewing out for them broken cisterns that hold no water."

public school-room is to be excluWe will be told, perhaps, that the sively appropriated to literary inbe instructed in their respective struction; and that the children may creeds by their pastors or parents, at periods and in places set apart for that purpose. All this may be very true; but what, then, becomes of the acknowledged necessity for making religion the basis of their united public instruction? To this the former commission, out of which the present has arisen, was distinctly pledged. It was, in fact, as has been already shewn, the difficulty which they found in agreeing upon a school-book which might be satisfactory to all parties, that rendered their labours unavailing. If, therefore, the united public instruction of the children be carried on without any reference to the inculcation of Christian principles, not only is what ought to be deemed the first object of national education overlooked, but the fundamental principle of the late commissioners has been practically abandoned.

"To this complexion things have come at last." Our liberal Government has proceeded to that extreme of liberality, which renders it necessary that Christianity should be in a children, when associated publicly for manner proscribed! And our little purposes of instruction, are forbidden to name the name of Christ, lest they should offend the ears of those who would rob him of his glory!

Now, what can all this mean? Or, has it any meaning? Does it portend Nay, does it not directly tend to its any good to the Established Church? subversion?

the events that are passing before us, We are solemnly admonished, by that nothing less is meditated by the present Administration. The systematic deference with which every suggestion of Mr O'Connell is received, and the great influence which he is now acknowledged to possess in the House of Commons, render it impossible for us to come to any other conclusion. He is the mere creature of the priests-they have

breathed into him the breath of his

political life. They will continue to gratify his enormous vanity, and to applause, just so long, and no longer amuse him with the rattle of popular

than he subserves their interests. All his efforts will therefore be directed to their substantial aggrandizement; and nothing will be left undone by him, by which it may be effectually promoted. The degree in which he has already succeeded must have satisfied his most sanguine expectations.

Nor can we come to any other conclusion, when, to the favour which is shewn the Roman Catholic, we couple the discountenance which is experienced by the Established clergy-established, alas! no longer but in name. It is announced to them that the grant which has hitherto been made for the support of an institution peculiarly under their patronage, is about to be withdrawn. This institution, entitled, "The Association for discountenancing vice, and promoting the knowledge and practice of the Christian religion," has now been in operation for nearly forty years, and its labours, which were silent and unostentatious, have been most wisely and beneficially directed. It was distinguished from all other societies by this peculiarity, that it was under the exclusive direction of the Established clergy, that its masters were all appointed by them, and that the religion of the state was publicly taught the children of the Established Church, who were educated in its schools. It is interesting and instructive to note one other peculiarity, namely, that its schools, notwithstanding their apparently obnoxious regulation, were frequented by almost equal numbers of Protestants and Roman Catholics, and that no charge was ever brought against it, from its foundation to the present hour, of any attempt at proselytism on the part of its conductors. In every instance where compromise was resorted to for the purpose of conciliating the Roman Catholics, the charge of proselytism has been loud and frequent. In this instance, where no compromise was made; where the Established clergy insisted upon their rights, and performed their bounden duty honestly and publicly, by instructing the children of their own communion in the catechism of the Established Church, the Roman Catholic children continued, and do to this hour continue, to attend the schools in equal numbers with the Protestants, and without the

slightest suspicion that by so doing, they run any risk of being perverted from their faith. The schools are of a better description than those which they should otherwise frequent; the literary instruction which they receive at them is more valuable; and the positive advantages thus derived have been found abundantly sufficient to overcome a prejudice arising from a suspicion which, however plausible, long experience has proved to be groundless. But this society is now to be discarded; a Protestant Government (as it is called) outstripping even the prejudices of the Roman Catholics, and refusing any longer to continue to support it, because it is strictly in connexion with the Church of England!

We were in the House when the Kildare Street grant was debated, and were not a little gratified to hear Mr Frankland Lewis bear the amplest testimony to the utility of " the association," and to the respectable character of its schools. He indeed only echoed the commendation bestowed upon it in the report of the education commissioners; all of them, more or less, imbued with prejudices against the Established Church. He turned round, and appealed to Mr O'Connell, who was sitting behind him, for confirmation of the fact, that in the very tempest and whirlwind of agitation, no charge of proselytism was ever brought forward against it. And he then besought Mr Stanley to continue the grant (it was, he said, a small one) by which it was upheld. But in vain. Its doom was sealed. To support it any longer would afford some countenance to the exploded notion of a connexion between Church and State, and as it is not at present expedient openly to avow the only connexion of that nature which is hereafter to subsist, his Majesty's Government are at least determined not to recognise what are now considered as hostile pretensions.

Another of the signs of the times by which we collect the intentions of Government towards the present Established Church, is the intimation which has been given respecting Church property. Lord Althorp has announced it to be the intention of Government to take the estates of the bishops into their own hands, and, after paying them a certain sum, which may be deemed sufficient, ap

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