« PreviousContinue »
explanation of the word. That you may understand my case, I will lay it before you in detail, and relate my grievances in handling these Lessous.
I was teaching one day last month the First Lesson in the New Testament, and after the boys had read it and closed their books, I began to ask the ques. tions printed at the end of it; and in due course, says I, “How did the Angel address her ? '* (meaning the Blessed Virgin.) Hail, Mary full of grace,' an. swers Tim Flanagan. . As one peculiarly blessed of God,' says Jack Smith, the water-guard's son, “amn't I right, and may I go up ?' 'You are both right,' says I. “But which is to go up?' says they. *Jack Smith is more exact,' says I, and accordingly he took Flanagan's place. Well, the school was not broke up an hour, wben Mrs. Flanagan-she's a Carmelite,- -came to ask me if I had put down her grandson for saying The Angelical Salutation. Ma'am,' says I, “I adhered to the strict letter of the Scripture Lessons.' 'Sir,' says she, “I'll complain of you to the Bishop for punishing my boy for confessing the true faith. are a renegade and an apostate from your religion for doing what you have done.' The next week I was teaching with much fear over me on account of Mrs. Flanagan, when in came the minister, and with him an Evangelical gentleman that. opposed the school, whom he thought to win over by shewing him how well the children were taught to read the Scriptures. As ili luck would have it, I was hearing the boys the Lesson in which you have marked the word 'repent,'t to be • explained.' So taking your note at page 14 to help me, I said, says I, 'repent means do penance, and that means a great deal ; for example, it means peas in the shoes, and a pilgrimage to Lough Dearg, and saying seven hundred A ves and a hundred Pater Nosters fasting.' I saw the minister wriggling as I went on explaining 'repent;' and the Evangelical gentleman grinned. And when school was over, the minister in a high rage set upon me, and rated at me for teaching Popery, as he called it, in school hours. 'Sir,' says I, the Board put down the word “ to be explained,” and I believe in no other meaning.' 'I won't leave my children here,' says he, 'to be corrupted by you, and I'll report you to the Board for giving peculiar instruction before the proper hour for it is come.' 'Sir,' says I, “it is not peculiar instruction; I am bound to give an explanation, for the Board has marked it for me to explain, and I will do my duty. May it please your Honourable Board, I have found it a hard and vexatious thing to do that
After Mrs. Flanagan blew me up, I made a rule that in reading the Lessons the children should not take each other's places when they missed. But it was not long till, as I was hearing them read the 19th Lesson, I asked them, as you directed me, I. : How must we be justified ? By my good works,' says Jem Flynn. By faith,' says Bob Jones, amn't I right ?' By faith and works,' says Darby Morris, “amn't I right?' By faith without works, amn't I right,' says Miles Johnson. 'O! you're all right,' says I,more or less : but no tak. ing of places, as I commanded you already.' The boys looked at each other, as if they would determine, by a fight after school, which was right, since I would not decide it for them. And I thought to myself, anyhow it is mighty little knowledge they'll get out of these Lessons, if I'mustn't help them and put them right. However, as that was one of the days set apart for separate religious instruction, when the school was dismissed, the Protestants went home by themselves, and the Catholics remained to say their catechism, which prevented a fight on that day; and I took the opportunity of telling them that justification means sanctification,' and so we are justified by our good works.
But five days after, when they came to the 24th Lesson, I asked them 'what does the word Paradise mean?' 'Limbo,' says Phil Scratch. “Heaven,' says Tom Whack. What was I to do now? The boys looked angry, and were waiting for me to decide wbo was right, when in came Father Finnerty, and, without more ado, Phil appealed to him. “You are right,' says his Reverence. Tom's eyes flashed fire, and he muttered something between his teeth, that came out afterwards when the school was breaking up. For he set upon Phil as he went out of the door, and said, “You unmannerly cur, do you mean purgatory? I do,' says he. • There's no such place in the Bible,' says Tom. • There is, you bloody, Protestant,' says Phil. "You lie,' says the angry fellow, Paradise is Heaven.' • It is Limbo,' says Phil, and gave him a punch in the ribs. 'Heaven,' says Tom, and hit him a blow in the eye. A ring was now formed by four or five Protestants and about tifty Roman Catholics, and the shouts were loud on both sides,
* New Test. No. 1, p. 5. † Old Test. No. 1, p. 41,
I New Test. No. 1, p. 98.
Ib. No. 1, p. 133.
one bawling for Limbo and the other for Heaven. And I saw the Evangelical gentleman riding by, and he shook his head, as much as to say our system of united instruction was making fine harmony in the country. He complained of it, however, to the minister, and so he came up along with him next day, and taxed me with setting the boys fighting. “Sir,' says I, I only asked the question wbich the Board bid me ask : and I gave no explanation of my own. You were angry with me the other day for explaining a word ; and now you're angry because I can't keep the boys from controversy, and all the controversy was brought in by the Board.' • But look at the lesson of love and charity that's hanging upon the wall ;' says he, 'why did you not enforce it?' • Is it with a rattan ?' says I ; ‘am I to fog them to make them love one another? And as to the lesson of charity that is hung up, it's a different lesson they hear at home; and one can't expect all at once that they will give up the old plan, and be persuaded that it is not right to punish a heretic for reviling the true faith,' 'I will not have these Scripture Lessons read any more in the school,' says he ; 'they only drag the children into controversy by the notes and questions they contain. * The Board “earnestly recommend the use of them, Sir,' says I. And if you do not use the Lessons,' says the Evangelical gentleman, "you can't have any Scripture read in the school. 'I will take away my children,' says the Minister, and send them to the Bible School in the next parish.' This is the state of the case.
And I humbly pray your Honourable Board to tell me how I am to explain justification, and • Abraham's bosom,'t without giving a particular religious instruction, and without teaching them wbat I believe myself to be their true meaning. And
In duty bound, both night and day,
Thady Brady will ever pray. November 1, 1836.
Minute of the Board on the foregoiug Memorial. Mem. That the Secretary write to Brady, thanking him for the friendly and
confidential manner in which he has consulted the Board in bis difficulties, thereby showing that he gives credit to the Commissioners for the good wishes and affection wbich they expressed for the teachers of schools, in the Preface to
the Lessons from Old Testament, No. 1. Mem.—That the Duke of Leinster will communicate to Brady a brief account
of the late " Mr. Boothroyd," and his merits as a translator and commentator
on the Bible. Mem.---That the Archbishop of Dublin will explain to him that " Bishop Hors
ley” was a Protestant Bishop in England, very famous for making guesses at what might probably be the inspired words of the original text of the Bible,
although not yet discovered in any manuscripts. MEM.—That the Rev. Dr. Sadlier will inform him that “ Kennicott" was an
English Protestant Clergyman, who examined a great many Hebrew Maniscripts; and that Mr. Carlile, when preparing the Scripture Lessons, forgot that De Rossi had examined many more.
Also, that “ Griesbach Protestant divine who collated a large number of Greek MSS. ; and Mr. Carlile forgot that Scholz had collated a great many more MSS. since Griesbach's time. For which forgetfulness the Board mean to deduct a small
fine from Mr. Carlile's salary, as resident commissioner. MEM.–That Archbishop Murray will write to the respected Roman Catholic
Prelate, whose subject Brady is, to avert any unpleasant consequences, should
Mrs. Flanagan prefer her complaint. Mem.-- That Mr. Blake will draw up a letter of instructions to him respecting “ justification, repent,”
," and other words marked in the Lessons “to be explained,”-intimating that the Board, by thus particularizing them, intended merely to point out that they are words that require explanation,
but did not intend to convey the impression that any explanation ought to MEM. That Mr. Holmes will, at his leisure after the next circuit, direct
Bradly not to allow the boys to cross-examine him in the manner they are
* New Test. No. 1, p. 139.
† Ib. p. 91.
represented in the memorial as having done—scholars being in the position of witnesses, who are to answer and not to ask questions, and to answer only such questions as are put to them. Mr. Holmes will also instruct bim how to proceed in cases of assault being made, such as that detailed of Scratch
v. Whack. MEM.– That Mr. Carlile will consider the best mode of constructing a dictionary
or glossary with “safe” meanings of controverted theological terms, such as those referred to by Brady; and prepare a draft of a work of this kind for the
consideration of the Commissioners. MEM.—That the Commissioners by thus individually communicating with Brady
wish to evince still more plainly that they are a Board that honestly desires to promote the well-being of the teachers of schools, and to be on the most friendly and affectionate terms with them.” Preface to Lessons from Old Testa
ment, No. 1. MEM.–That, as thegeneral Lesson on Charity hung up in the schools seems to have
failed in producing good will among the scholars, a new Lesson will be framed out of Miss Martineau's Works on Political Economy, explanatory of the waste of breath, the useless consumption of strength, and the injurious effect on the health in after life, tbat result from boys quarrelling and beating each other before the muscles and bones have attained their full growth. And that this lesson be hung up on alternate days with the lesson from the Bible, and that the comparative effect of each be noted in the Report-book of the school, so as
to enable the Board to ascertain which is the more effective of the two. Mem.—That Brady's Memorial and a copy of the Minute of the Board thereon be
printed and distributed among the teachers, to shew them the benefit to be derived from the use of the Scriptural Lessons in the National Schools.
LORD BROUGHAM, KING'S COLLEGE, THE UNITARIANS, AND
THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
For the Christian Observer.
At the last anniversary of London University College, Lord Brougham boasted that in the examinations for degrees at the London University, a much larger number of young men from University College had distinguished themselves, than from King's College. Beside his Lordship's statement, I beg leave to place the following advertisement issued by the “Unitarian Association."
“ University of London. At the fourteenth annual meeting of the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, It was resolved, That this meeting rejoices in the recent establishment of the University of London, as an institution by which the youth of England are admitted to the honours and distinctions awarded to suc. cessful study and intellectual acquirement, free from the imposition of a religious test; and we regard such institutions as eminently favourable to the integrity and improvement of the national character, and conducive to unbiassed scriptural inquiry, and to a sincere and rational devotion."
I think there is no need, after copying this advertisement, to shew why it is that King's College has not distinguished itself so much as University College has done at the London University, without there being the smallest reason for Lord Brougham's insinuation, that it is because the pupils of King's cannot vie with those of Gower Street. The contrary is notoriously the fact; but every body who knows any thing of the matter, knows that King's College being in connexion with the Church of England, and the Somerset House University being more pleasing to " Unitarians," and to all other sects which do not think that places of education should be conducted upon religious principles, there are two circumstances which neces
sarily give a preponderance in the examination to Lord Brougham's institution.
The first is, that a very large and valuable portion of attainment, possessed by the King's College students, and not possessed by the Gower Street students,* is not called into play in the examination. All that is learned at University College tells; whereas a very considerable part of what is learned at King's College is not inquired into; so that, as respects the two institutions, the new University holds very unequal scales.
But there is a second and still more important reason. The London University is, for the most part, the only one in which the Gower Street students intend to take a degree ; so that the prime young men of all the dissenting bodies, and all of those professed churchmen who do not think religious education in such institutions necessary, appear on the lists of these new honours; whereas at King's College, a large number of the students, including most of those of the highest attainments, are drafted off to Oxford and Cambridge, and only a small proportion have been competitors for the new University honours. I intend no disparagement to those who have applied for them ; but I mention the fact, that the number has been small; and that it has not included the great majority of the most able young men, of whom considerable numbers have repaired to the old Universities. And how have they fared there? Was Lord Brougham ignorant, that both at Oxford and Cambridge the standard of attainment of the King's College young men at entering, their measure of success during the course, and their final honours, have been not merely marked and decided, but extraordinary and unprecedented ? I have not a list of their honours at hand, but ample samples have appeared at different times in the newspapers. And be it remembered, that at Oxford and Cambridge the contest is with several thousands of the most highly educated and “well-talented” young men of the age ; with the sons of the nobility, gentry, and clergy; the sons of professional gentlemen, and the higher classes of the commercial circles; and with the alumni of Eton, Winchester, Westminster, and other eminent schools and colleges throughout the land; and if the King's youths have succeeded so nobly where the competitorship was so wide and formidable, Lord Brougham will find it difficult to convince the public that they would have succumbed to Gower Street, had they entered the lists man to man, and competed under equal advantages. The King of Prussia had two regiments of tal! grenadiers. The town of A. annually sent its contingents to it; and a large number of its young men not only passed muster, but were found to be above the standard stature. The town of B. sent no recruits to the giant grenadiers; but it sent a great many to a newly-raised ordinary regiment, to which resorted only a few from
I mean no offence, as some have been charged with intending, by saying the Gower Street students; but the collision of names is perplexing. There is not one reader in many of the news. papers who does not blunder between the London University and London University College ; and there is a cross
play of perplexities by the former and King's College being both at Somerset House. I used Gower Street for popu. lar distinction; but had I said Somerset. House students, I should have created confusion between King's College and the London University.
the town of A.; whereupon the town crier of B. boasted that the B. men were a taller race than the A. He forgot the grenadiers.
I have no wish to be satirical or uncivil : and Lord Brougham ought not to have dragged me over such invidious ground. I have no doubt that the University College young men pursue their studies with diligence, and make corresponding progress; as I know the King's young men do; though the line of reading is different. There is at present no fear of there being any lack of talent or attainment in such establishments; there is rather fear that zeal, emulation, the urgency of friends, the love of attainment, and anxiety in regard to the future prospects of life, will induce many young men to labour beyond their strength of body or mind, and to injure themselves by over-exertion. A diligent, but inordinate, prosecution of study is what is generally desirable ; and I dread lest both for rich and poor intellectual pursuits should be pressed beyond their due measure. My argument with Lord Brougham would rather be as to religious instruction than as to intellectual. He doubtless has not forgotten the first answer in the Assembly's catechism, which every Scotchman learns from infancy, that “ Man's chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him for ever;" and if he could prove that the exclusion of religious instruction from the Gower Street system is calculated to promote this end, I should not heed his decking it with a few jack-daw feathers, except for its own sake when the spoliation was discovered. He would prove nothing to the purpose, even if he could demonstrate, which he cannot, that his young men turn out better-furnished students than those of King's College ; for the essential difference between the two establishments is antecedent to any question respecting intellectual attainment. On this matter he has provoked a comparison not by any means to the advantage of his favourite institution; but the absorbing question is, whether such a system as the abovequoted advertisement eulogizes as promoting what Unitarians consider “unbiassed scriptural inquiry and a sincere rational devotion;"- that is, Arianism, Socinianism, Neologism, Infidelity, and the like-is that which is calcnlated to bring glory to God, and to train up the growing population in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
ANOMALIES OF THE FESTIVAL SERVICES: MICHAELMAS-DAY.
To the Editor of the Christian Observer. In looking forward to Michaelmas-day, which occurs this year on a Sunday, I am reminded of an anomaly in the calendar which I do not remember to have seen noticed in your pages. My remarks will be too late for any practical purpose this year; but I should be glad if they should lead to a general consideration of the clashing lessons on other festivals, in the hope that the clergy might be induced to adopt, or the bishops tu enjoin, one uniform practice. At present, where a Saints' Day and Sunday coalesce, the minister is puzzled which line of service to pursue. The canonists I believe incline to the opinion that he should prefer the Sunday service ; giving this among other reasons, that as some of the Saints'-day lessons are taken from the