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We can assure our readers that the editor has well fulfilled the task **she has undertaken. In her introduction, she establishes the fact that a
conspiracy has been raised against christianity and social order; one object of which was to poison principle at its source, and under the pretence of preserving the young mind unprejudiced, to render it a prey 10 scepticisin first, and finally to insubordination and to infidelity. This faci she supports by the evidence detailed by the Abbè Barruel and Proles:01 Robison, who totally unknown to each other detected and disclosed the plot which had been formed.
Before she proceeds to shew what measures are necessary to defeat the nelarious designs of the enemy, she gives a very good detail of the iveans hitherto employed for the early cultivation of religion and morality " in the minds of children of protestant parents, members of the Church of England?;" and also of the alterations which have unhappily tüken place in the original system of religious education. ..". The first regular method of religious instruction for the young members of the Protestant Church in this kingdom, was the CHURCH CATECHISM, as set forth in the reign of EDWARD THE Sixth, a monarch renowned for his early piety, which led him to attend in a par ticular manner to the interest of the Reformed Religion, of which he was himself a zealous professor. The Church Catechism at this time, contained only the repetition of the BAPTISMAL Vow, the Creed, the LORD's PRAYER, and the TEN COMMANDMENTS. This compendium of the Christian Faith was commanded by the King's authority, as head of the church, to be learned by every person before he was brought to be confirmed by the bishop; and the ministers of the church were directed to make use of it in their respective congregations, at stated tines, for the public examination of their flocks.
" Another CATECHISM was afterwards set forth by the same king, in the seventh year of bis reign, to be used in all schools; this, which was called King Edward's Catechism, therefore, made a part of the general system of religious instruction, and was probably taught also in all families
i During the time of Queen Mary, the Roman Catholic religion once more prevailing, the course of instruction for Protestant children was interrupted ; and whether King Edward's Catechism was afterwards used or not, is uncertain ; but when Queen Elizabeth caine to the throne, the Church catechism was restored, and two other catechisms were composed, one entitled The Declaration of Doctrines, in Bishop Jewell's apology, and the catechism commonly called Dean Nowell's; the first is an account of the grounds of separation from the Church of Rome, as maintained after the separation had finaliy taken place; the other of the doctrines of the Church at the same period, when it had been restored and established under Queen Elizabeth. Both these works were publicly received and allow ed * ; but the CHURCH CATECHISM remained peculiarly attached to the Church establishment, as the standard of uniformity of opinion; it was, however, enlarged by the part which relates to the doctrine of the Sacraments, and with these additions it has been handed down to the present times, and still continues an essential part of the Protestant religion, as by law established ;
* The conductors of a recent periodical work, called The CHRISTIAN OBSER. VER, propose to publish these two catechisins at lengtis ; it will therefore bo suficient for us to mention where they inay readily be found.
of course it ought to be the basis of religious instruction for all the members of that Church. Of the proper time for teaching and ex plaining this catechism, we shall have occasion to treat in another part of our work. How long the two other catechisms continued to be uscd in schools, we are not able to ascertain; but most probably they were not laid aside till they were superseded by explanations of the Church catechisin, more suited to the times in which they were severally written; some of these were composed by eminent divines. Sucli was the provision made at first for the early initiation of the members of the Protestant church, into the knowledge of it's doctrines ;' and the general course of religious instruction was conformable to the evident intentions of the government. After the people of this kingdom were allowed the free use of the SCRIPTURES in the English translation, the general system of school education was nearly as follows." First, the HORN-BOOK, containing the alphabet, and the LORD'S PRAYER : then the PRIMER, in which the CATECHISM was included ; then a SPELLING BOOK, in whieh the lessons for reading chiefly consisted of texts and sentences from the Psalms; and Proverbs : next followed the, NEW TESTAMENT, and afterwards the OLD TESTAMENT. The two tast were accompanied by the COMMON PRAYER Book, in the reading of which, children were greatly exercised; as it was the general practice of the nation to go to church on Sundays, and children and youth were also frequently catechized by their ininisters at church; and by their parents at home, as well as by their masters and mistresses at school : and that children of all ranks might be trained entirely in the principles of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND, every school-master and private tutor was required by the act of uniformity, made in the first year of Queen Elizabeth, to take out a license, and enter into a solemn engagement to conform to the liturgy, as by law established *.' .
* The times being serious, and the Scriptures held in very high estimation, as a great national blessing newly obtained, after having been long denied to the people, we may conclude that young persons, having the additional advantage of verbal instruction on religious subjects, were brought up in a knowledge and regard for the Scriptures, which influenced their future lives.
.« In the succeeding reigns, the unhappy disputes and controversies which were carried on with the Puritans and the Papists, greatly disturbed the peace of the Church ; and many who dissented from its ettablishment, educated their children according to the opinions of their respective sects ; but the mode of religious education for those whose parents adhered to the Church of England, did not undergo any material alteration.
« Every one who is acquainted with the History of England, knows how the Puritans gained ground during the unfortunate reign of Charles ube First, and the usurpation of Cromwell; and that a great revolution both in principlesand manners took place in the kingdom, after the restoration of Charles the Second. From that period we may dáte the rapid decline of piety, which, during this reign, was discountenanced by the great, who, led on by the king's example, became very licentious in their principles and morals; and all who wished to be thought well-bred, affected a disregard for religion, from the fear of being stigmatized as puritanical. Many persons of rank, who had been abroad during the late troubles, had acquired a great taste for French manners ; and in consequence of this, they sent their sons to France
This act is prefixed to the COMMOx Prayer, and is still in force.
to finish their education at certain academies, instead of sending thert to the English Universities and the Courts of Law, as had been the custom with people of condition formerly. A rage for learning the French language soon became general amongst those who could afford the expence of it, and the consequences were such as might naturally be expected. Young men, who had gone out without any fixed principles, learnt in a Roman Catholic country, from observing the super. stitious ceremonies of popery, to despise religion, and returned home with corrupted morals, a taste for frivolous amusements, and a levity of conduct which changed their national character, and made them the very reverse of what young men ought to be, and of what the British youth had formerly been *.
" In the course of a few years the knowledge of the French language was considered as an indispensible part of a polite education, and French masters and governesses were encouraged to come to England as adventurers; these were frequently very low bred persons, of depraved morals, and ignorant of every thing essentially requisite for the impor. tant task of educating youth ; but they were eagerly engaged by an infatuated people, both for schools and private families; and it was not very long before there were nominal French academies and French board. ing schools (so called from the circumstance of having French taught by a foreigner) in the heart of Great Britain !---How these schools have multiplied of late years, and how the learning of the French language, which was at first confined to the great, has become almost universal among the middle ranks, we need not point out.-It is but too obvious!"
She notices Mr. Locke's treatise of education; and observes that “ there is not much said expressly in Mr. Locke's book upon the subject of RELIGION, but more is implied; for all that relates to the forming of the minds of children to virtue by checking the growth of unruly passions, and teaching them to govern their appetites, may be referred to this head, as it is conformable to Christian principles; this learned author also strongly recommended the teaching children the CREED, the LORD's PRAYER and the TEN COMMANDMents at an early age; and there are reasons to believe, that by his attention to these material points, Mr. Locke's system was productive of great benefit to the establishment, though in some respects his orthodoxy has been called in question. But though written by a philosopher, this system was not adapted to the new philosophical school which was a few years afterwards set on foot."
Mr. Locke's treatise is not very systematically drawn up. It consists rather of a series of hints detailed in several letters to a gentleman who had consulted him on the education of an only son. This treatise there fore, broken into small sections, is not to be acted upon generally, it is adapted to the education of a young man of fortune.
The Editor gives a brief but a true and clear account of the first orga. nization of the conspiracy against our holy religion, and that submission to the powers which be, which it uniformly enjoins, by those three co-adjutors of the grand deceiter, Voltaire the chief: Frederick II. king of Prussia, the protector; and D'Alembert, the agent; to whom was added afterwards a fourth, though last not least in infamy, Diderot; of
+ In our next we shall produce the authority of a very great man who lived in the age we are speaking of, for the truth of this representation.
whom it is said in the preface to a posthumous work, that " he thought it a duty through life to contend against God!!!”
Rousseau's specious system of education in the history of Emilius, is duly characterised; as is that of the famous philanthropist Basedow, the president of an academy, opened at Altona, in 1774, “ called a PHILANTHROPINE; which he announced to the world as the professed seminary of practical ethics; this institution was very different from other academies and universities; for languages, sciences, and the ornamental exercises were here considered as accessories only, and the great aim was to form the young mind to philanthropy and the love of virtue by a. plan of mere moral instruction, that would equally suit persons of every religious persuasion. This plan appeared specious and practicable, and many parents, both Lutherans and Calvinists, were induced to send their children to the PHILANTHROPINE, but no Catholic could be prevailed, upon to do so.”
This last is a curious fact.
We can promise our readers much gratification in perusing this intro- ; duction at length.
In pp. 21-47. are some interesting extracts translated from M. De Luc's letters on the religious educution of children; which putting the reader on comparing the progress and effects of Rousseau's system of education in Germany, with the present state of education in England, cannot fail to “serve as a warning io parents of this country not to suf. fer Ineinselves to be deluded by the specious arguments of fake philosophy, into the adoption of a system so destructive of morals, and so detrilental to the interests of revealed religion."
"Next follow, (pp. 27-34.) extracts from a sermon by the Rt. Rev. Richard IVillis, (the predecessor of Bp. Houdley) Bp. of Winchester, on the duties of parents to children.
In p. 34, commences a most admirable original Essay on Christian Education, continued through sixteen numbers of the work, and concluded in the Number for August last, which finishes the second volume. - Our limits will not permit us to give any extracts from this most judicious performance; we must content ourselves with enumerat. ing its several Sections. § 1. « On the Sacrament of Baptism, as preparatory to a Christian Education.” This Section made our hearts burn within us. There is a typographical error in p. 41; which may be rectified by striking out the sixth line from the bottom. $ 2.“ Cautions to young mothers respecting Systems of Education.” § 3. “ On the spiritual condition of baptized infants, and the first parental duties.” The Writer's Orthodoxy is as fully manifested here, as her modesty is displayed, § 4. " On the management and instruction of infants in the first year of their lives.” 8 5. “On the cultivation of virtuous principles in the infant mind.” $ 6. “On the cultivation of the social and benevo-. lent affections in the infant heart, with a view to the future, perform. ance of the relative dulies. $ 7." On the cultivation of the pious and devotional affections in the minds of young children." § 8. " On the means to be employed by parents in the education of their children, for improving the gift of faith bestowed in the sacrament of baptism.”Here the reader will meet with much admirable discrimination, grounded on this assertion, viz. “ by an attentive perusal of their wril'ol. V. Churchm. Mag. Dec. 1803.
tings, we may learn that Faith is spoken of by the Apostles, both as a Gift and as a Virtue.” § 9. “ On The first means to be used for leading children into the practice of religious obedience, and on the proper studies of infancy." § 10. “ On the means to be used for initialing young children in the doctrines of the Christian religion.” § 11. “ On the means to be employed for exciting children to the performance of the duties of Christianity” § 12. “ Corroborating opinions of learned Authors, on the expediency of making children acquainted with Scriptute History at an early age, and teaching them to govern their appetites and passions." § 13. “ A method proposed for communicating the knowledge of the scriptures to children and youth, in a progressive course of instruction by means of Selections from the Bible." Here our good Editor is perfectly at home., Nobody has succeeded better in communicating the knowledge of the Scriptures to young minds than Mrs. Trimmer. Her elementary works on this important branch of education are before the world, which appreciates them most highly; and that family must be blessed with a mother of superior talent and piety indeed, which needs not their powerful assistance. § 14. “ Farther means proposed for carrying on the religious instruction of children." $ 15. On the practicability of making the various branches of a liberal education subservient to the great ends of religious instruction; and on the care which is requisite in the choice of books for children.” § 16, « On the spiritual staie of children to the time of confirmation ; on preparation for confirmation, and the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper." (To be continued.)
: L. C.
A Dialogue between di Country Gentleman and one of his poor Neighbours,
who had been led away from the Church under the Pretext of hearing the Gospel, and attending Evangelical Preachers. pp. 56. 1803.
W E gave an account of this little publication, at its first appear.
ance, in 1801. Being persuaded, however, that, in the present situation of religion among us, it is a very proper book for distribution, we think it right to notice it again in this new and improved edition. We are of opinion, that Country Gentlemen in general would do a very iinportant service to the Church, and eventually to the State, if they were to sanction the sentiments here attributed to a respectable individual of their order, by that approbation of them, which would be implied by the dispersion of this sixpenny pamphlet among their poorer neighbours ; and if, in addition to this, they were to pursue such a method as is recommended in the first part of the following extract, they would still further contribute, by giving stability to our excellent constitution, to promote the permanent prosperity and happiness of their country.--
MatthewmIf every gentleman in his neighbourhood was as zealous as you are, we should see a world of difference.