Page images
PDF
EPUB

Under the system, here styled the system of imposition,—the acts being all along ascribed (it will be seen) to sets of persons by whom they were not performed,-came of course the question-by whom then have they been performed ? In answer to this question, lights will be afforded from the matter of the above mentioned Reports, elucidated by such observations as have seemed requisite.

III. Short title repeated— Proofs, shewing the real actors in the system of imposition.

§ IV.-1. Proofs of the System of Exclusion. So openly and repeatedly avowed, and even so ostentatiously displayed, is the design there indicated,—that, but for the ardency of the exclusionary zeal so expressed, and the inferences, for which, as above, that ardency forms so strong and conspicuous a ground, it might have been waste of time and space, thus to bring the evidence of it to view.

It blazes forth in the very title-page, and at the very first sentence of that page." First Annual

Report of the National Society for promoting the Education of the Poor IN THE PRINCIPLES OF " THE ESTABLISHED CHURCH."

Thereupon, after one unnumbered page, in which nothing is contained, but the words “ Account of 'the Proceeding for the formation of the National Society," comes another 'unnumbered page, (it stands the fifth) at the head of which stand these words, viz. Education in the PRINCIPLES of the ESTABLISHED CHURCH. Thrusting itself in immediately after the simple and characteristic title just now mentioned, this uncharacteristic phrase it is, that, like a Lottery.Office puff, serves instead of a title to what follows.

Thereupon follow three paragraphs, which, all of them boiling and flaming with that same zeal, present an indubitable claim to a place under this head, and will accordingly be found, in the margin:* and, immediately after the sort of intro

* National Society's Report I. Last date, 5th August,

1812. That the NATIONAL RELIGION should be the foundation of NATIONAL EDUCATION, and should be the first and chief thing taught to the Poor, according to the excellent Liturgy and Catechism provided by our Church for that

purpose, must be admitted by all friends to the Establishment; for if the great body of the people be educated in other principles than those of the Established Church, the natural consequence must be to alienate the minds of the people from it, or render them indifferent to it, which may, in succeeding generations, prove fatal to the Church, and to the State itself.+

It

(State itself.] For their object, howsoever covertly aimed at, this and the two next paragraphs have (it may be seen) the justification of the Exclusionary system.

In

duction so composed, comes thereupon the above promised “ Account,"—the Account, such as it is,

It must indeed be admitted in this country of civil and religious liberty, that every man has a right to pursue the plan of education, that is best adapted to the religion which he himself professes. Whatever religious tenets therefore men of other persuasions may think proper to combine with the mechanism of the new system, whether tenets peculiar to themselves, or tenets of a more general nature, they are free to use the new system so

combined,

In Part II. the objection, urged against that system by Sir Thomas Bernard, in the name of the Poor-bettering Society, have been seen already. Three years, or thereabouts, had they stood full in the view of the penners and sanctioners of this Report. To these objections,- they being in their very nature unanswerable,-no answer is here, any more than elsewhere, so much as attempted. No notice is here taken of it.

Note well the principle, upon which this justification grounds itself. It is--that if, at a time of life, at which it is not possible for the human mind to form any judgment at all on the subject of a system of religion, with the system of history it depends upon, and the system of morality which it includes, nor consequently to entertain any real belief on such a subject, the great body of the people have not been made to get by heart the formulary, containing the system in question of religion,declaring at the same time, all along, that they do firmly believe it,—the Established Church, as established, will not be able to stand its ground :-in short, that it will fall :—and from thence the inference is that the State, i.e. the Constitution of the State, will fall along with it.

Note

of the proceedings, by which the Society of invisi. bles will presently be seen to have been formed.-

combined, without reproach or interruption,* from the members of the Establishment. On the other hand the

members

Note, moreover, that, by this same course support equally effectual might be given to the religion of the Church of Rome, to the religion of Bramah-or to the religion of Mahomet. That by this same coursesupposing it to be, with relation to the end it aims at, an effectual one,-any system of religion, or no religion whatever-one as well as any other-might with equal success be forced into the minds of the rising generation—this the authors and sanctioners of this paragraph, whoever they are, cannot deny. That, unless this same course be taken, the Church they are thus labouring to support, will not be able to stand its ground -this they here declare themselves apprehensive of.

[Without reproach or interruption.] Without reproach, viz. from such of the Members of the Establishment as do not reproach them, true :--but not without reproach from such as do reproach them : for example the present Bishop of London: by whom, from the pulpit bis Clerical subordinates, and from the press all who read English, are informed that all tenets different from those of the Church of England are schism, and that all schism is guilt: (Charge, p. 1.) and by whom the system of instruction in question is expressly referred to, in the character of an instrument, and that a most desirable one, for the applying of these principles to practice.-See below § 9, and Appendix, No. I. Without interruption, yes.

But why? Because they chose not lo offer it? No: but because they durst not. Witness the Secretary of State, Lord Viscount Sidmouth : who, with Bil in

duction so composed, comes thereupon the above promised “ Account,"—the Account, such as it is,

It must indeed be admitted in this country of civil and religious liberty, that every man has a right to pursue the plan of education, that is best adapted to the religion which he himself professes. Whatever religious tenets therefore men of other persuasions may think proper to combine with the mechanism of the new system, whether tenets peculiar to themselves, or tenets of a more general nature, they are free to use the new system so

combined,

In Part II. the objection, urged against that system by Sir Thomas Bernard, in the name of the Poor-bettering Society, bave been seen already. Three years, or thereabouts, had they stood full in the view of the penners and sanctioners of this Report. To these objections, they being in their very nature unanswer. able,—no answer is here, any more than elsewhere, so much as attempted. No notice is here taken of it.

Note well the principle, upon which this justification grounds itself.—It is--that if, at a time of life, at which it is not possible for the human mind to form any judgment at all on the subject of a system of religion, with the system of history, it depends upon, and the system of morality which it includes,-nor consequently to entertain any real belief on such a subject,—the great body of the people have not been made to get by heart the formulary, containing the system in question of religion,declaring at the same time, all along, that they do firmly believe it,—the Established Church, as established, will not be able to stand its ground:-in short, that it will fall :—and from thence the inference is—that the State, i. e. the Constitution of the State, will fall along with it.

Note

« PreviousContinue »