Page images

believe that wherever exists the spirit of Christianity, there is Christ present in his spirit and in his power-not only to apostles and evangelists, but to all his disciples who, in every age and in every nation, meet each other with devout hearts and benevolent aims; and that he is the object of reverential love and attachment to all who practically believe in his name, honouring and obeying the Son of God, because he was the Messenger of the universal Parent. In scriptural senses such as these, and not according to the definitions of a precise dogmatic theology, do we recognize in Jesus Christ his supremacy, his omnipotence, his omnipresence, his unrivalled wisdom and goodness, without infringing on the absolute and infinite perfections of that Being from whom he derived all that he possessed-life, spirit, power, excellence, the capability of teaching, of regenerating, of dying, rising and ascending for, a guilty race. ....

* We can therefore easily conceive that the Holy One of God,--though one of God's own creation,-should have been the theme of prophetical song and apostolic praise ; and that, from the imperfection of human language adequately to convey just notions of the character and perfections of the Deity, the apostles should, in the fulness of their burning hearts, have sometimes used expressions, in relation to their Lord and Master, which approximate to those employed of God himself. But we cannot shut our eyes to the fact, that the mightiest of the epithets and characters attributed to Christ are qualified by language, clearly shewing that Jesus was regarded by the sacred writers and speakers, and that he regarded himself, as a being infinitely inferior to God; we cannot shut our eyes to the fact, that the whole tenor of the Bible, from Genesis to the Revelation, is fraught with declarations and clear implications, not of a Triune God, but of THE SIMPLE AND UNDIVIDED ONENESS OF THE SUPREME BEING,—THE INFINITE SUPERIORITY OF THE GOD AND FATHER OF JESUS CHRIST.”—Pp. 323, 324.

The third chapter of the first part is devoted to an examination of the scriptural meaning of the terms “Spirit,” “Holy Spirit,” “Spirit of God." The result of the inquiry is to shew, that when these terms are understood of a person or intelligent agent, they are equivalent to the Almighty, the Divine Mind, the Father; that in the great majority of cases they denote various manifestations of the Divine power or wisdom, or the communication of supernatural knowledge or power to the prophets of God, particularly to the Lord Jesus Christ, and through him to his apostles; while in other cases they are employed in describing the purifying influence of the Gospel on the minds of men, or the prevalence of affections and dispositions becoming the Christian profession. In the corresponding chapter of the second part, we have a more particular examination of those passages which are supposed to favour the notion of a separate person or agent, called the Holy Ghost or Spirit, distinct from the Father, the third person in the Trinity, and the ascription to this Spirit of divine characters or attributes in a distinct and peculiar form. He endeavours to shew that none of these passages, when rightly understood, require or even countenance the doctrine it is proposed to deduce from them, and that they are in no degree inconsistent with the inference derived from the more general induction previously given.

We have not space to enter into the particulars of this inquiry as stated by our author. Those who are desirous of pursuing it at greater length will derive great assistance from the work itself, which we earnestly recommend to their attention for that purpose. We are apt to think that his investigation would have been somewhat simplified, if he had adverted to the frequent unauthorized insertion of the definite article by our translators where it is not found in the original. Thus, Rom. xiv. 17, “ The kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost;" rather, “in a holy spirit ;"—that is, peace and joy inspired and animated by a consciousness of the Divine presence and favour, and by the habitual influence of the spirit of the gospel inciting and directing to all righteousness. The insertion of the definite article is to be ascribed, we think, in this and many other instances, mainly to the influence of theological prejudice; and the effect has certainly been to encourage in those who form their notions of Scripture language and Scripture truth entirely from our public version, an idea of the distinct personality of this holy spirit, and of divine attributes and functions ascribed to him, to which the genuine and unperverted expressions of the original writers afford no sanction or countenance.

We cannot conclude our remarks without again expressing our obligations to Mr. Wilson for the pleasure and information he has afforded to many readers already, and which we trust he will continue to afford to a still increasing number,--and our hope that we may again meet him in a walk where he has shewn himself so well qualified to render eminent seryice to the cause of Scripture truth.

On the Means of rendering more efficient the Education of the People. A

Letter to the Lord Bishop of st. David's. By Walter Farquhar Hook, D.D. Second Edition. 8vo. Pp. 71. London-John Murray.

This able pamphlet, coming as it does from one hitherto reputed to be the highest of High-churchmen, is one of the most extraordinary and interesting signs of the times. It is, so far as Dr. Hook is concerned, (and we may be sure that a man of his position and ability will not stand alone in this matter,) a candid and manly surrender of the dogma, the maintenance of which has hitherto been so pernicious, that to the Church and the clergy belongs the exclusive right of teaching the people. Dr. Hook's residence in Leeds has satisfied him of the pressing importance of popular education, and of the utter insufficiency of existing institutions to meet this national want. He sees that the jealousies of Churchmen and Dissenters are the great obstacle to the State's undertaking the education of the people. Believing as he does that no agency less powerful than the State is equal to the great work required, he with true patriotism comes forward and makes a public sacrifice of his own feelings and wishes as a Churchman, and invites both Churchmen and Dissenters to act in the same spirit, and unite in the only way in which union is practicable, in asking from the State a system of secular education. We rejoice to perceive that Dr. Hook's appeal to the good sense and kind feeling of the community is receiving very general attention. It is admirably timed, and finds the public mind at leisure for it. The anger which it has excited in such journals as the Morning Herald and the Standard is only a proof of their conviction, that whilst they have lost, the friends of liberal education have gained, a most important ally. In making our quotations from this pamphlet, we shall find our chief difficulty in selecting, so much is there in it worthy of attention. In the present article we shall not enter into the statistics and details offered by Dr. Hook, but our extracts will chiefly be designed to illustrate the general principles on which he conceives national education may be conducted. Dr. Hook speaks of the notion once prevalent, that the immortal minds of the great mass of mankind were given not to be exercised, as an exploded “heresy," and assigns to the clergy the merit of having effectually preached it down. Without detracting from the merit of the recent efforts of the clergy in respect to education, we must demur to the justice of Dr. Hook's praise of them in this particular. Their zeal is of but recent date.

Thus earnestly does Dr. Hook plead for the right of the poor to education :

“That ungodly selfishness is now exploded by which the upper classes of society were induced to suppose that mental pleasures were a luxury reserved for their exclusive enjoyment, although they were often forced to adopt the dog. in-the-manger system, and neither taste of those pleasures themselves nor permit them to others. Whatever may add to the innocent enjoyments of our poorer brethren, we are bound by common feelings of charity to procure for them if possible, and this duty becomes the more important when the object in view is to call them from the world of sense without, by opening to them the world of thought within, and by adopting those means which cannot fail to soften, refine and humanize the character.”-P. 5.

On the diffusion of education, Dr. Hook maintains, the very maintenance of Christianity in our land depends.

“I do believe that it is impossible for us, except by miracle, to sustain Christianity in this country, unless very decided and very energetic measures be speedily adopted to secure for our manufacturing population that moral training which is the basis of all good education, and without which religion becomes a mere dogma-an illegitimate mode of expressing political sentiment. Although I would not confound moral training with what I consider to be religious education, yet such training may be used as the handmaid of religion, and for want of it thousands of our fellow-creatures are relapsing into barbarism, and becoming worse than heathens."-P. 6.

As a necessary part of his subject, Dr. Hook sits in judgment on the doings of the National Society, and while he gives praise for the good done, he does not withhold censure where it is deserved. He professes little confidence in their “Reports," which he characterizes as "advertisements," in which failures are passed over and the success is exaggerated. The National Society at the present time professes to have upwards of 10,000 schools, containing 911,834 scholars. But Dr. Hook intimates that this return is unduly swelled by schools in hired rooms, by "dame-schools held in rented cottages,” by evening and Sunday schools, and by the double enumeration of children in attendance both on evening schools and Sunday-schools, &c. He complains that, in the majority of the schools erected by Parliamentary assistance, the salaries of the masters barely amount to the level of the wages of a skilful mechanic; that no provision is made for the payment of apprenticed pupil-teachers, and consequently the education of the mass of the people is entrusted to monitors whose age does not average more than ten years; that there is a miserable lack of books and apparatus, in consequence of which the Bible is desecrated by “being used as a mere class-book.” He exempts from these censures some of the schools in wealthy localities where the clergy are numerous and the laity zealous. But he points to the poorer districts and the manufacturing villages in proof of the alarming extent of educational destitution.

“ Education is at the minimum there, where it is wanted most. It is a gross delusion to represent the great mass of the people of this country as being under a state of efficient education; and from the want of education the condition of the working classes is every day growing worse."-P. 16.

On the subject of " compulsory education," Dr. Hook's observations are very judicious. Whilst he admits that no compulsion can be resorted to which would interfere with the liberty of the subject, he advocates the use of “ indirect and constitutional methods of forcing unwilling parents to extend to their children the blessing of education. Children found begging, he recommends, should be sent to the industrial school attached to the workhouse, there to be fed and clothed as well as educated. While he vindicates the application of the compulsory principle, in respect to education, to manufactories which employ children, he urges the extension of the principle to children engaged in rural employments. Unlike most party-writers of the clerical order, who enjoy an opportunity of writing bitter things against the manufacturers, Dr. Hook candidly defends the manufacturers of the Northern counties against the charge of peculiar negligence. He thus sums up what he wishes to see done:

"Education is now general: we should endeavour to make it universal ; and this I feel sure cannot be accomplished without more direct interference on the part of the State than any which now exists. Unless there be State schools, any such compulsory education as that to which I have alluded would be utterly impracticable. But, even setting aside this important consideration, it is impossible for voluntary associations to meet the wants of the nation by a sufficient supply of school-rooms and competent masters." (P. 21.) “In parishes of 1000 inhabitants, there ought to be a boys' school and a girls' school. In parishes of 2000, there should be, in addition, an infant school. No master should have charge of more than 60 scholars, unless aided by an apprentice. In every school containing more than 80 scholars, the master should be aided by an apprentice; and for every additional 80 scholars, by a junior master trained in a Normal school, and by an apprentice also."-P. 23.

Putting aside, for the present, Dr. Hook's calculations of the probable cost of his plan, we ask particular attention from our readers to the extracts that follow.

“And now, having stated what has been done, what our probable resources are, and what is requisite to be done in order to place the education of the people of our own country in the same advantageous position as education in other nations, I think that we must come to the conclusion, that without some more direct interference on the part of the State than that which now exists, we can. not succeed in the great object which every patriot, as well as every Christian, must have at heart. Upon the present system of educating through the instrumentality of voluntary associations, assisted by the State, there is no probability of our obtaining a sufficient number of efficient primary schools, or that systematic training for the great mass of the people which is an essential part of education. That the present system has been tried, every one must be glad, because unless the experiment had been made, the persons in this country, whether Churchmen or Dissenters, who are earnest in their religion, would never have been satisfied. With one voice, the Church and Dissent demanded that they might be permitted to attempt that universal education of the people to which both parties had directed their attention before the question of educa. tion became a popular one. The two parties have acted not so much in a spirit of opposition to each other, as in a spirit of generous rivalry. The experiment has been made, and it has failed; I mean failed so far as to convince practical men that further measures are absolutely necessary, and that the State must effect what voluntary associations will never accomplish."-Pp. 32, 33.

Dr. Hook next considers what steps may be taken without violation of religious principle.

“It is abundantly clear that the State cannot give a religious education, as the word religion is understood by unsophisticated minds. The assertion that it is desirable that the State should educate, and that its education must be a religious one, which is, as I shall shew, in one sense true, must greatly awaken suspicion when the assertion is made by those who are known to have no religion, properly speaking, themselves. It is suspected that an evasion is intended, and that it is meant to keep the word of promise to the ear, but break it to the hope. There is an instinct in the religious mind, which excites a suspicion that the principle is enunciated merely to silence opposition; and the question at once occurs to the practical English mind to which religion is not a sentiment, but a reality), When you speak of religion, what religion do you intend ? The Churchman asks, Is education to be based on my religion? If it be, I am ready to sacrifice every thing in order to work with the State. But no, this cannot be; for this would exclude a large and influential portion of the community, the Protestant Dissenters. And then comes the question from the Dissenters, Will you base education upon Protestantism, or the admission of every species of doctrine and opinion except those which are peculiar to the Church of Rome? This cannot be ; because it would lead to the rejection of Roman Catholics. Will you base religion, then, on the Bible and the Bible only? The difficulty now occurs as to the version to be used, whether the Authorized Version, the Roman Catholic, or the Unitarian' Version?"-Pp. 33, 34.

We will not stop to remark on the singularity of a scholar (like Dr. Hook) falling into the popular but ill-founded prejudice, that Unitarians in their schools and chapels use a peculiar version of the Scriptures.

“I believe that all religious sects and parties will on this ground” (viz. the impossibility, as Dr. Hook conceives, of separating the morality from the doctrines of the Gospel) “resist any State education which is professedly religious; and I believe that it is because statesmen have supposed it necessary, in order to conciliate religious persons, which they have entirely failed to do, by talking of their education as based upon religion, that the strong feeling of opposition to State education has been excited. But their position will be changed, if they tell us that while the State recognizes the necessity of a religious education, it can

itself only give a literary and scientific education; and that it will obtain from others a blessing which it cannot confer itself. It makes an essential difference whether a part is put for the whole, which is the fact under the systems hitherto proposed ; or whether the literary education of the State be declared of itself insufficient, and only one department of a great work. If the State says that it will make provision for literary or secular instruction, calling in the joint aid of the Church and Dissenters to complete the education ; if it divides education into two departments, assuming one to itself, and offering every facility to those who labour in the other department, a great portion of the objections to which I have alluded will be annihilated."-Pp. 36, 37.

Some remarks which follow, on the subject of the Church of England and the prevalent notion of its being established by law, will surprise not a few. Dr. Hook, as a High-churchman, professes to have a little or no sympathy with mere establishmentarians," and intimates that it is very difficult to say “in what way the Church of England is established.” More positively he presently adds (p. 38), It is a pure fiction to assert that the State by any Act of Parliament has established the Church of England." There are some awkward facts in the way of Dr. Hook's theory—such as, that the ritual of the Church of England is fixed and can only be altered by Act of Parliament, that the Bishops' incomes are regulated by Act of Parliament, — that the law enforces the collection of tithes and church - rates; and remembering these things, we cannot for a moment assent to his doctrine, which is a little bit of High-churchism — in fact, an unconstitutional assertion of the independence of the Church on the State. But we are bound to concede to Dr. Hook the merit of being prepared to carry his theory out more consistently and fairly than is usual with High-churchmen. He says,

"To call upon Parliament to vote any money for the exclusive support of the Church of England, is to call upon Parliament to do what is unjust. The taxes are collected from persons of all religions, and cannot be fairly expended for the exclusive maintenance of one."

Dr. Hook takes a very effectual method of putting down the cry, of which we heard so much when the Whigs formerly brought forward their scheme for establishing Normal schools, viz., that the Church of England has an exclusive right to educate the people. “If this be so," argues Dr. Hook, “ the Church must supply the necessary funds, and must appropriate her property, including the Bishops' estates, to this purpose."

Dr. Hook demands then that the State shall provide for each district a school in which literary and scientific instruction alone shall be given by the Government schoolmaster, and that religious instruction according to the tenets of the several parents shall be secured—1st, by requiring every child to bring on the Monday a certificate of his having attended some Sundayschool, and also of his having attended for religious instruction at some period set apart during the week ; 2ndly, by there being attached to every school a class-room in which the clergy may give religious instruction to their people during two afternoons in the week, "another class-room being provided for a similar purpose for Dissenting ministers." Practically, we believe it impossible to carry out in England any system of this kind. One class-room for all the sects of Dissenters is a sorry provision ! To carry out Dr. Hook's principle of equality, there should be a separate room for every existing sect. Nor would the evils be small of introducing so unnecessarily these sectarian divisions and separations. Let religious instruction be given, not in the walls of the general school-room, but in the vestry or the school-room connected with the several places of worship. Numbers and fashion have their influence over the minds of children, and how shall the religious liberty of the few be preserved, be they Catholic or Protestant, orthodox or heterodox? Having gone so far, let not Dr. Hook stop short of the only practicable and really fair plan, of confining the instruction of the State schools to secular know, ledge, and leaving religious instruction to parents or the ministers of religion. VOL. II.

3 s

« PreviousContinue »