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Charter School ; where did he learn this ? Not from the Charter, for that, in specifying the objects of the Charity, says explicitly, they must be the Children of Papists, and other poor natives of Ireland," clearly including the Children of poor Protestants; nor could he draw this conclusion from the conduct of the Committee of Fifteen, who alone can grant admission. They have uniformly acted according to their Charter, and regularly admit the Ch re3 of such indigent Protestants as appear to them qualified, and in numbers much greater than the proportion of Protestants to Roman Catholics in the districts from whence the Schools are supplied. According to our Register, which is kept with the strictest regard to truth, the number of the Children of Roman Catholics in the Schools on the 5th of January, 1807, was 1465, that of Protestants at the same period, was 379, which numbers are nearly in proportion of 39 to 10; now, I doubt much that there are in the very poor and wild districts from whence the Schools are supplied, 10 Protestants to 39 Roman Catholics. I am certain that Dr. Milner and his friends will not admit it. There were at the same period 228 children, one of whose parents was a Protestant, the other à Roman Catholic.
The Doctor says that the Parliamentary Grant, levied in a great measure on Catholics themselves, is for the purpose of purchasing their Children. How far that august Body, the Imperial Parliament, may think themselves obliged by Dr. Milner, for his charitable developement of their motives and purposes in this assertion, is their business, not mine ; but as far as the Incorporated Society is concerned in it, I will affirm that it is a charge most certainly false. - Many of the children educated in the charter schools, are either orphans, or children deserted by their unnatural parents, who, falling into the hands of persons of humanity, are by them presented to the board for admission ; but one purchased child has never yet, “I can with confidence affirm, entered a chartered school. In truth, such a proceeding is totally unnecessary, it would be a crime without temptation, as of the numbers of Roman Catholic children voluntarily offered, nay pressed upon the society, many, very, many are annually rejected for want of room.
In fact, the committee of fifteen, so charitably represented by Dr. Milner as KIDNAPPERs, are, in the admission of the children of Roman Catholics, cautious to a degree of scrupulosity, and, it is morally impossible for men to be more anxious in avoiding any thing like an inducement to a parent to give up his child; on the contrary, great pains are taken to explain and make him comprehend the consequence of his resigning it. He is informed that our schools are scattered over the kingdom, and that his child must, after a short residence in Dublin, be removed to some one of them; and that it will certainly be educated in the Protestant Religion. He is asked has he consulted his relatives and friends on the expediency and propriety of his intentions? If he appears able to support his child, he is advised to take it back; if he presents several for admission, more than he appears able to provide for, one or more of the younger and more
hrefpless are admitted, and the elder, whose assistance may be more useful to him, are returned. He voluntarily, and in the presence of one or more witnesses, signs a Petition which is first carefully expaierl to him, in which he entreats the Committee of fifteen 10 receive his Child into one of their Schools or Nurseries, and gives his free consent that it should be educated in the Doctrines and Principles of the Protestant Religion. If in any moderate time afterwards, his friends come forward and pledge themselves to support the Child, or if any change in his own circumstances enables him to do so, the Child is restored to him, on his paying the expence the Society were at in maintaining it; and if he appears unequal to this expence, it is generally remitted. The nearest living relative must always present the Child for adımission. If the Mother presents a Child whose Father is living, it is uniformly rejected, unless he signs the petition for adımission; and should it be admitted in consequence of a false stateinent of his deaths, it is always restored to him on his demanding it. Now, Sir, I leave you to judge if these poor Children are pirrchased victims.
The Child, when admitted, is received, according to its age, into a School of Nursery; if into the laiter, it is treateu with a tenderness suited to its years, and permitted to remain there until it attains a proper age to be drafted to a School, which is always performed in the warm summer months, in open day, and on appropriate Cars, covered with an awning open on one side, and not in covered waggons wiih an intent of concealment, as stated by Dr. Milner with his Dexual correctness. While the Child continues in the nursery, the parent or nearest relative is permitted to have free intercourse with it, on every Thursday from eleven until two o'clock, where he enjoys, not ouły the paternal embrace, but frequently experiences the heartfelt pleasure of beholding his once-squalid and half-fami-hed infant, renovated by confortable clothing and wholesome food. This interview, according to the printed orders of the Society, ought to take place in the presence of the Master or Mistress ;. but the observance of this restriction is almost universally dispensed with, and the communicatiou between Parent and Child is never interrupted by the interference of the Master or Mistress, except in cases where they have reason to suspect that the Parent visits his child with dishonest views. The day or hour of renova) is indeed not communicated to him, in order to avoid the intolerable inconvenience and embarrassment which must necessarily arise from the interference and interruptiou of the relatives of perbaps twenty Children ; the School, however, to which the Child is drafted, is never made a secret; here, on any day of the week, and on státed hours, the Parent or nearest Relative has the same free intercourse with it; but as a journey to any considerable distance nay, from his poverty, be seldom in his power, he may, by applying to the Society's Secretary, at his office, Learn four times in each year, his Child's state of health, with a particular account of its progress in learning As to the assertion, that the Cisild's name is changed, in order to elude the Parent's search, it
is a groundless assertion, and consequently unworthy of the Irish Member in the Imperial Parlianient to whom it has been ascribed in. the public papers.
Doctor Milner says, that the Society, in violation of the law of Nature, uniformly transports these purchased victims to the greatest possible distance from the Parent's residence, in order that the Parent may never have the consolation of embracing his Child. The fact as stated is certainly untrue: this, removal takes place seldom not uniformly, and never from the diabolical notives he assigns, it is always the result of necessity on the part of the Society, and its sole and iavariable cause is the frequently insolent, disingenucus, and dishonest conduct of the profligate Parents themselves, who often in violation of the indulgence of the Society, not only offer the most gross and unprovoked abuse to the Master and Mistresses, but employ the hours of free intercourse which they are permitted to enjoy with their Children in éndeavours to infuse a deadly hatred of the Institution into the minds of those very persons whom they, but a few years before, entreated the Society to take under their care, and educate as Protestants. To prevent the interruption of business by preserving peace and harmony in their Schools, to disconcert the plans of seduction thus repeatedly formed, and to prevent the numerous clopements which from experience they know would otherwise most assuredly follow, the Society are absolutely forced to adopt the measure so distressing to the feelings of Doctor Milner. The Children admitted in Dublin are necessarily seut to Country Schools, which, with this exception, are almost uniformly filled from the immediate vicinity, or from the Counties contiguous to each; but as to transportations to distant Schools, they can occur rarely, and only in cases, as above stated, of unavoidable necessity, a necessity originating with the Parents themselves..
The Doctor has insinuated that religious impressions are wrought on these purchased victims at a great expence; and from his exaggerated statement it would appear, that the Incorporated Society has been shamefully lavish of the public money. To this insinuation I shall oppose a simple statement of facts: never did there exist any Corporate Body from which any thing like jobbing is more completely excluded: in consequence of the indefatigable and unremitting exertions of the Comınittee of fifteen, the very complicated business of the thirty-four Schools, and four Nurseries, under its direction, is managed by a Secretary and two assistant Clerks, the entire of whose salaries amount only. to 4131. 155. per annum. These Schools have not been at any period of their existence in so Bourishing a state as at present; the Commissioners appointed by the Board of Education to take an actual, suryey of them have returned, having executed the trust committed to them with great ability and fidelity, and from
appears that the greater number of them are in an excellent state of discipline, and 'under the immediate direction of Masters or Mistresses who, both from purity of morals, and extent of information, are competent to the trust reposed in them; the
their report it
remainder appear to be in a progressive state of improvement, and such is the economy that pervades every part of the system, that including rents, salaries, buildings, repairs, apprentice fees, bounties, with every other item of expenditure, the average annual expence of clothing, maintaining, educating, and apprenticing a Child is nearly 141. sterling, a sum that must appear very moderate when we consider that the expence of a similar education at the best regulated and most economic of our Dublin Charity Schools is seldom under 151. and in some instances exceeds 20l. per annum. Lest Dr. Miloer, however, should doubt the truth of a statement in direct opposition to his assertion, I will supply him with data to enable him to draw the conclusion himself. The Children in the Schools and Nurseries in the year ending 5th January, 1808, were 2251, the expenditure for that year 31,7221. 176. 8d.; and of course the average for one Child is 141. ls. 10 d.
As to the Protestant Catechism, I can only say that it was written at a period when religious differences dictated a language perhaps less conciliating than could be wished by sincere Christians; it is however a blunt assertion of truths which, with possibly one or two exceptions
, every Protestant must avow; in consequence of these objections (which, perhaps, are not sufficient to justify the out-cry raised against it in the Imperial Parliament) this Catechism was long since referred to a Committee, who unanimously recommended a substitute in its place, which, while it answered the original intention more fully, should be as free as the nature of the subject can admit, from every objection which reasonable and religious men could raise against it, as being deficient in liberality and christian charity : I say reasonable and religious men, because there are gentlemen, who though nominal Protestants, have really no religion, and who are ever ready to raise unfounded objections, and to be immensely liberal, even at the expence of truth and religion. The substitute recommended is the six sermons of Archbishop Secker on the errors of Popery," abridged and reduced into the form of a Catechism, and the Sermons of this excellent Prelate were selected, not only from the established orthodoxy of his doctrines, but from his conciliating language with regard to the members of the Church of Rome.
Dr. Milner asserts, that in the Charter Schools the Children are taught to hate and persecute their Fathers, Mothers, and Brothers; this is most certainly a falsehood; the Sacred Scriptures, and particularly the New Testament, the vital principle of which is mutual love and forbearance, are continually in their hands; they form the ground work of their Instruction, all their Catechisms uniformly
. speak the same language, enforcing with energy filial duty and affection. Even in the Protestant Catechism, Dr. Milner may
find these words, viz." Have Christians a right to persecute and destroy any person on account of religion? Answer, “ No; the religion of Christ is a religion of peace and charity. Christ says, by this shall a}} men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another ; Saint Peter says, love one another with a pure heart fervently.". The
assertion therefore is an unchristian calumny, though I scarcely hope Dr. Milner will have the candour to retract it.
The books put into the hands of the Charter School Children are Sellon's Abridgement of the Holy Scriptures; Explanations of the Catechism, by Doctors Mann, Stopford, and Crossman; Hannah More's Moral Tracts ; Selections from the Old Testament, by Mrs. Trimmer, with the New Testament;, from these are the moral and religious principles of our Children derived, and with these Dr. Milner may compare Dr. Butler's Catechism. The triumphant parallel which he draws between the latter and the Protestant Catechism, is manifestly absurd, these Works being perfectly dissimilar in their subject matter and end. I shall, however, present to the Reader that passage from each which I think most reprehensible, that he may
be able to decide what is the amount of that superior liberality and Christian Charity in Dr. Butler's Catechism, so boasted of by Dr. Milner. In page 8 of the Protestant Catechism, we read thus:--
-Q. May salvation be had in the Church of Rome? Answer, They who live in that communion and cannot get better information, we doubt, not will be accepted by our all-gracious God, but they who can, and yet will not use it, are most assuredly in great hazard of their souls.* . The latter part of this answer is neither Christian nor Protestant, and the Catechism that adopts such a doctrine, has been judiciously suppressed. In Dr. Butler's Catechism, p. 16, we read :--6. Q. Are all bbliged to be of the true Church? (meaning the Church of Rome.) Answer, Yes, no one can be saved out of it.”' This Catechism is put into the hands of the Children of all Roman Catholics, who are thus taught to believe that all Protestants, however otherwise amiable and excellent, are, without exception, in a state of reprobation, at enmity with God, and condemned by him to the torments of hell, and the society of devils to all eternity. This is not an old exploded doctrine, it stands in a book printed in 1807, arid sanctioned by the four Roman Catholic Archbishops of Ireland ; and if Dr. Milner adopts it, as no doubt he does, I cannot conceive how he can coine forward to questhe liberality or charity of even the Protestant Catechism.
Two of the Schools under the care of the Incorporated Society, it should be observed, were endowed by the last Earl of Ranelagh, and by his will have been appropriated to the Children of poor Protestants exclusively; to which I shall add, that Lady Louisa Conolly, endowed with a mind superior to the impressions of prejudice or bigotry, reflecting that she was the last surviving trustee of the Charitable Foundation at Celbridge, and anxious to secure permanent prosperity: to an institution, to the interests of which she has so long attended with a solicitude truly maternal, has, after mature deliberation, transferred to the Incorporated Society that fine school, capable of accom
* To render the latter part of this Answer unobjectionable, it might be altered thus : “ but they who can hau information which they are conscious is better, and yet will perversely reject it when offered, are most assuredly in great hazard of their soul