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a part, this or that article be not more or less un fit to be placed upon a level with the undisputed words of the discourses, and the undisputed narratives of the acts of Jesus,—will thus be rendered needless.
On the other hand, a consequence, which cannot be thought of without regret, is—that, by this means, an exclusion, and that an insuperable one-seems to be put upon the whole race of the Jews: more particularly when it is considered, in how large a proportion in this fraternity are to be found those members, who, but for this means, are likely to remain altogether destitute of so many invaluable benefits: destitute not only of instruction in reading and writing, but even, with the exception of a few burthensome and worse than useless rites and ceremonies, (in a considerable proportion of modern date) from instruction in all religion--from instruction in the very religion, of which their parents are nominally professors.
On the part of the bulk of the population-on the part of the Christian subscribers to these schools,—at least without some assistance and cooperation on the part of those dissidents themselves -it appears not how this cause of exclusion can admit of any remedy.
On the part of the Jewish parents themselves—that is to say, on the part of such of them, if any, as have strength of mind sufficient for the application of it—a remedy, by which the
force of the exclusionary principle might, without a departure from the line of probity, be eluded, might be applied.–Fables—under the name of fables—other fables under the name of histories—such are the discourses, which, in every school, in which in. struction is given in the learned languages, are employed as sources and vehicles of instruction: among these, if you are true children of our Father Abraham, will you rank whatsoever they put into your hands to read or hear, concerning that Jesus, whom with such good reason our forefathers hanged upon a tree? _To some such effect as this is, would the caution, which, on sending his child to any such place of Christian instruction, might, for keeping the imagined tares from mixing themselves with the undisputed wheat, be given to him by a conscientious and consistent father.
True it is, that, on the part of the rulers of the Christian Church of England, for leaving the door completely open to the use of any such expedient, a departure in some sort from the present practice would be necessary. At present—such is the form of words in which the instruction is administered on this subject, whatsoever is delivered to a child as true, he is all the while, not only taught, but compelled to declare, that he believes it to be true. Though (what in this or that part may be the case) in his eyes it may be false—though (what in a great part cannot but be the case) in his eyes it may be inconceivable—still what he is always forced to do is
over and over again, and in relation to every part without exception, to declare, that, in his eyes, it is true. But this is neither more nor less than to take the child in hand, and force him to tell lies : and not only, as in the case of subscription to Articles,--at some one moment, to utter in the lump one enormously extensive lie, but to contract the habit of lying: yea, and in that most mischievous of habits, to persevere, till all regard for'truth has been expelled, and the poison of mendacity has worked itself into the very marrow of the bones.
If these observations be correct, then, to make the only advance, requisite to the opening the door of any such school, to the child of a conscientious and consistent Jew, all that is necessary on the part of the rulers of the Church of England is to cease acting in the character of suborners of juvenile mendacity. But, on this subject, , occasion will present itself for speaking more largely in the sequel of this work. This is no greater nor other concession, than that which would be necessary to the removing of the bar, by which an exclusion is endeavoured to be put, even upon all Christian children, whose lot it has not been, to have had for their parents members of the Church of England.
§ III. No substitute to the Bible should be there taught—the Catechism is made a substitute to it.
The sacred text ought not to have a substitute. The reason is simple enough : and as conclusive as it is simple.. In so far as it is different from the genuine and sacred original, by this difference, and by the whole amount of this difference, the substitute stands condemned: in so far as it is not different, there is no use in it.
Whether as a postulate, or as a thing proved, in a Protestant Country, may not then this position be stated as uncontrovertible ? - In a Christian and Protestant Free School, the book in which is contained the whole religion of Jesus, ought not to have a substitute.
In the Central Free School, conducted in the name of the National Society, the Bible has a substitute. The Catechism—that formulary, the poisonous nature of which it is the business of this tract to lay open to view, is made to operate as this substitute.
By the proof that follows, the truth of this position will be seen manifested : manifested to a degree beyond any, which, by a person who had not scrutinized into the documents, and with this particular view, could easily have been imagined. With the single exception of the very short prayer, called the Lord's Prayer, which it was impossible to
put aside,—of the sacred text, not a syllable is administered, --if indeed it be administered,—but for show and to save appearances. The only matter of a religious cast which is really intended to be administered with effect—the only matter of that description, which is so much as professed to be administered, in a manner calculated to produce the effect—is the matter composed of the words of Holy Mother Church: and this, in the instance of this Catechism, in such a manner as to throw all the rest, even of that pretious matter, into the back ground.
“ Our Saviour's Sermon on the Mount-Dis
courses of ditto-Miracles of ditto-- Parables of “our Blessed Saviour"-these collections have already been stated as really proper for the purpose. * It was even from the list of Books recommended in the Report, styled the National Society's 2d Report, that these titles have been transcribed. Had this been all, in no other character than that of an object of approbation and applause, would this part of the management have here been mentioned.
But these discourses and acts of this “ Blessed Saviour," are they so much as read? Perhaps so: though scarcely even of this is any altogether unequivocal assurance to be found.t
190, 193. + In the National Society's Second Report--in that article of