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sponsible publick functionaries. But to return to the two Societies.
We have mentioned one very obvious limit to their benevolent operations. As the great desideratum is schools in places where there are none, and as it appears not only that in country districts those societies never profess to attempt planting any, since there the new methods do not apply, but also that in large towns they have not the means, both together, of planting half a dozen in the course of a year--it may be asked in what their usefulness consists, and how so many schools have been founded within the last fifteen years upon the New Plan, all stated to be the work of one or other Institution? The Education Digest unquestionably states a large number of new schools in all parts of the country. In England, there are 1122 Day schools and 404 Sunday schools on the New Plan--and about 70 in Wales making a total of about 1600 schools. This is considerably under the numbers reported by the two societies as in connexion with them; and very possibly the clergy may have omitted some in their Reports, that is to say, may have omitted to mention that a given number of schools were conducted upon the new methods. But then as those returns contain all schools so conducted, whether in connexion with the two societies or not, it seems impossible to doubt that the Reports of those societies take credit for more schools than are actually connected with them. But a further remark is necessary upon this point. It is not pretended that all, or even any considerable number, of those schools, admitted to be in their connexion, have been founded by their means. They have encouraged the foundation, by giving advice and information upon the subject generally, and by corresponding with the local asssociations; and, above all, they have educated teachers at their central schools in London, where many country schools have thus been able to obtain masters. They have also occasionally given them a number of books and lessons. But the substantial work has, of course, been done by the activity, charity, and resources of the local subscribers-except in the very few instances where assistance in money has been lent by the Societies. As soon, however, as a considerable number of new schools are established in different parts of the country, the principal use of the Societies ceases : Because the funds for educating masters, as well as for paying them when they are placed, come from the local subscribers, it is far better for them to send masters to be educated in some neighbouring new school than in London.
Thus, suppose a new school is devised at Bolton, and a fund provided for planting it the first step is to procure a master, Now, no one will at the present day pretend, that there are numbers of masters ready taught either at the Borough Road or in Baldwin's Gardens, one of whom can be despatched at a call, to take the school under his care. Once we thought such a magnificent scheme practicable; and as we trusted both Societies would confine themselves to qualify masters, so we had hoped their funds would have enabled them to have a succession of these always ready. The event has not realized those hopes. In the Borough Road Establishment, above all, the boarding and lodging a small number of such masters was found to exhaust all the funds, and involved the Establishment in considerable difficulties. The good men at Bolton must therefore, at their own expense, send a young man to be qualified for his new office. There is an excellent school at Manchester, a few miles off, where he may learn the art as well as in London, and be boarded much cheaper. Why must they equip him for a journey to London and back, merely that it may be said that their school is founded by one of the Societies? In a word, it seems to us self-evident that those two excellent Institutions will commit a great error if they do not now confine their operations to the Metropolis. They have propagated the method, and, thanks to their zeal and skill, it is sufficiently known, to render any further expense ill-judged, except for local purposes. London, with a million of inhabitants, for only one half of whom there exist the means of education-London within their reach, before their eyes, spreads out to their humane and enlightened view a scene of ignorance, vice, and misery, which might appal others, but ought to encourage them. It affords an ample field for all their exertions; and they may rest assured, that the glory of reforming such a community, or of putting it in the way of being reformed, is far greater than that of most imperfectly, and indeed nominally, superintending the improvement of the whole kingdom.
But if this remark applies in some measure to both Societies, how much more cogent is its application to that whose very name reminds us of the degree in which it is rising, from excess of humane and expansive zeal no doubt, against all fitness and moderation ! The British and Foreign School Society is founded in that very London which we have been describing as in absolute want of schools, and more destitute of them than any portion of the Island. Meeting in the very worst parish of all this metropolis, in St Giles's, where they cannot boast of more than the pittance of revenue already so frequently deplored, they listen to reports of the progress which they are making with the new method-in St Giles's?
-in any part of London?-in the Country ?-in Ireland ? No; but in France-Spain, Poland-Russia-Finland-even on the shores of the Euxine and the Caspian ! Not that we undervalue such a large philanthropy—but we maintain it to be far from being appropriate to the means of the Society, or judicious in the ignorant state of their immediate neighbourhood. Then, is the statement quite free from ridicule which represents the Society as educating, or even aiding in the education of France, when there is a most regularly arranged Association there so fully adequate for the purpose, as its labours above detailed, during the last four years, have shown it to be? But the British and Foreign Society may be the parent of this Gallican Association. We do not say that there has been no connexion between them; we believe that the labours of Lancaster, and of the two Societies in this country, and the success of the system here have had a most beneficial effect in stirring up the spirit now prevailing among our neighbours, and in directing their zeal in a right course. But we can hardly allow it to be seriously maintained, that the French Society is a branch or a shoot of the British and Foreign Society, when we recollect that in all its Reports the name of Bell is uniformly coupled with and placed before that of Lancaster; and that the French writers, after their usual manner, deny to both our countrymen the merit of the invention, which they ascribe to their own pious and enlightened fellow-labourer, Father De la Salle, who flourished a century ago.
One word more may be added before quitting this subject, The British and Foreign Society objects vehemently to the plan of exclusion adopted more or less by the other Institution; and its members are apt to complain that any churchmen should show repugnance to send their children to the Lancaster schools. Our opinion in favour of the universal system has been already
We desire to have it distinctly understood that our objection here is confined entirely to this excursive philanthropy, when made the object of such societies as the one in question. Upon individuals, it must ever reflect the highest honour. Thus, no one can hear of the labours encountered by William Allen in his long and perilous journies in the East and elsewhere, for the purpose of propagating the new method, without feelings of the deepest gratitude. He is a man almost without parallel for genuine philanthropy, in an age of benevolence. But all the good that can be done abroad by communications from this country, is effected by one such person ; and a Society devoting itself to the same pursuits, is sure of distracting and weakening its effects at home, without rendering any perceptible service abroad.
given, both now and upon former occasions ; but we must protest against the blindness which can induce any one to charge churchmen with bigotry and intolerance for preferring schools where the doctrines of the Church are taught. Nothing in the history of controversy ever was so unreasonable. A churchman as naturally prefers a school where the catechism is taught, as a sectary prefers one where it is excluded. Nor is it any answer to say, that the dissenter cannot send his child where it is taught, while the churchman may send his where it is excluded. He may, undoubtedly; but he may also prefer the other; and this preference produces no sort of evil effect, unless in the single case of the community he lives in not being large or rich enough to support schools on both plans. As to the charge which was brought against the National Society at first, that they were taking the work of education into their own hands in order to mar it;—they may now safely despise it; they have long outlived it; and, very early in their career, they triumphantly put it down with the strong arm of Good Works. It was an outcry, indeed, never encouraged by the truly respectable leaders of the rival association, whose toleration is in proportion to their wisdom and their benevolence. But we feel the more anxious to state our own sentiments on this subject, because we were among those who really did at first regard that Society with a certain distrust, from the intolerance which some of its advocates displayed. A more serious charge, however, remains to be brought against some of those excellent persons; we mean against their good sense,- for of their pure intentions no man can doubt. Symptoms have appeared of their aversion to any Parliamentary proceedings connected with Education. And the one which we single out as the most remarkable, is the entire silence of their yearly Reports upon the subject of the Education Committee. There is certainly in those documents no lack of detail upon all matters connected with Education. Every little anecdote is with laudable industry picked up, and with examplary minuteness detailed, from all parts of the country having any bearing upon the subject. Hardly a circumstance occurs respecting any school in any part of the empire, that is not recorded. All the proceedings of foreign societies and foreign princes in favour of popular instruction, are enumerated. But year after year has passed, during which one trifling event has been taking place, which all those Reports have passed over in profound silence-probably because it happened in the immediate neighbourhood, and was therefore of no account to a British and Foreign Society ;-we mean a Parliamentary Inquiry concerning the Education of the Poor in the British Dominions —and measures founded upon that Inquiry, and receiving the sanction of the Legislature. If we were speaking of any other men and any other association, we should be tempted to ask whether they are jealous of Parliament-whether they will let nobody educate but themselves—whether they dread the number of reapers becoming too great for the extent of the harvestwhether, in a word, it is the instruction of the people, or the glory of teaching them, that they have at heart? But the well known character of those worthy persons precludes the possibility of harbouring any such suspicions, and we are inclined to believe, that the extraordinary appearance in question is referable to jealousy of another description, -- we mean the dread of Parliament acting upon the exclusive principle which the British and Foreign Society has certainly opposed with most consistent perseverance. Upon this we shall hereafter offer a few observations, after developing the plan now before Parliament. In the mean time, we cannot better close these preliminary remarks, than in the words of an eminent writer, whose speculations upon the “ Civil and Christian Economy of large Towns,' cannot be too highly commended, for the sound practical sense, as well as the large and enlightened views of human nature, which everywhere distinguish them. The following passages, from the last number of this excellent little work, strongly illustrate both the arguments which we have now been maintaining.
• It is with common, as it is with Christian education. There is not such a native and spontaneous demand for it in any country, as will call forth a supply of it at all adequate to the needs of the population. If the people are left to themselves, they will not, by any originating movement of their own, emerge out of ignorance at the first; nor will they afterwards perpetuate any habit of education to which they may have been raised in the course of one generation, if, in all succeeding generations, they are left wholly to seek after scholarship, and wholly to pay for it. To keep up popular learning, there is just the same reason for an establishment, as we have already alleged in behalf of an establishment for religion. The article must be obtruded upon them, and, in some degree, offered to them; and if the best way of so obtruding it is, that there shall be one fabric of general repair for the people of each distinct locality, to which parents, under the impulse of near and surrounding example, may send their children for the purposes of education--then let these fabrics be multiplied to a sufficient extent; and under a right management will, the security be complete, both for the people attaining a right place in the scale of mental cultivation, and, after they have attained it, for never again descending to the low state out of which they had been called.
• Voluntary associations have come forward in the cause of educa.