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“considering how prejudicial the want of schools in many congregations hath been, and how beneficial the providing thereof will be to the kirk and kingdom, do, therefore, statute and ordain, that there be a school founded, and a schoolmaster appointed in every parish not already provided, by advice of the presbyteries; and that to this purpose, the heritors (landholders) do, in every congregation, meet among themselves, and provide a commodious house for a school, and modify a stipend to the schoolmaster, which shall not be under 100 merks(£5 11s. 1zd.) nor above 200 merks, to be paid yearly at two terms,” etc. 1693, an act had been passed, entitled: "An act for settling the quiet and peace of the church,” which declared, among other things," that all schoolmasters and teachers of youth in schools are, and shall be, liable to the trial, judgment and censure of the presbyteries of the bounds, for their sufficiency, qualifications and deportment in the said office.” The whole system was arranged and completed by another act of the Parliament of Scotland, in 1699.

The object of these various acts of the government was happily attained. For more than a century after the enactinents, the great body of the people in Scotland were better educated than in any other division of Christendom. The power to read and write, and an acquaintance with the elements of arithmetic were placed within the reach of almost every individual; while all classes of the people were enabled to read the Bible from their earliest years, and, with the assistance of the catechism (which was regularly taught in every school), have received the rudiments of a religious education, such as they could not have had the same means of attaining in any other country of Europe.*

During a large part of the last century, the schoolmasters, in many parishes, were qualified to give instruction in the Latin language to such as were desirous to acquire a grammar school education. A very considerable number of individuals, throughout the kingdom, have been prepared for the Universities, in the schools of the parishes in which they were born. In 1836, there were 916 separate parishes in Scotland, and the total number of schools was 1162, there being 146 endowed schools over

A Brief Account of the Constitution of the Established Church of Scotland, by the Rev. Sir Henry Moncrief Welwood, Bart., D. D. 1833, pp. 103.

and above one school for each parish. These latter are termed secondary or side schools. Generally there is but one secondary school in a parish, sometimes more. Taking the average income of these 1162 schools at £27 10s, which is about the sum, the annual endowment amounts to £31,955, exclusive of schoolhouses, dwelling-houses for the teachers and a garden. The ministers of parishes, and the landholders have the power of determining the branches which a schoolmaster, on induction, must be competent to teach. These, of course, vary somewhat in different parishes. In burghs, there is often a separate school for classics only, sometimes classics and French. Most of the teachers have received a university education. In the three counties, for example, of Aberdeen, Banff and Moray, according to a report presented in 1835, out of 137 teachers, there were only 20 who had not studied at college. The law makes no provision for the payment of assistant teachers. No person can act as schoolmaster, until he has undergone an examination before the presbytery, which has the power, should he be found unqualified, or if his moral character be objectionable, to nullify the election. The decision of the presbytery is final in all matters relating to schoolmasters; unless when a civil question arises, which may be carried by the teacher before the court of session. All parochial schoolmasters must be members of the established church, and are required, on induction, to subscribe the confession of faith and the standards. Every presbytery is understood, by means of a deputation of their members, to visit and examine the various schools within their limits, once every year. This, however, is not uniformly done. The landholders and minister have the right of fixing the fees which the scholars are required to pay to the teacher. These fees are, generally, very low. The annual income from salary and fees may be about £55, exclusive of a house and garden. In the majority of parishes, however, the schoolmasters have slight additional emoluments, arising from their being session-clerks, and, in some instances, precentors. They have, also, small perquisites for making up militia lists, enrolments under the Reform part of the men who conquered under Lord Wellington in the Peninsula and at Waterloo, were trained under the conjoint influences of the kirk and the school. The British lines were not a mere aggregation of brute force. It was intelligence, and, in some degree, moral principle, which made their onset so often irresistible. The benefits of this general education may be seen, somewhat, in softening the rigidity of the Scottish character ; in polishing, in a degree, its roughnesses; and in imparting some show of reason, even where physical obstinacy was the predominating element. The two and a half millions of North Britain enjoy a reputation, and exert an influence, to which no other six millions of the population of the empire can make any pretension. One main ground of this distinction is the early education in the one case, and the want of it in the other. What a blessing beyond all computation would it have been to Ireland, if a parochial school-system had been, for two centuries, transforming her wretched potato-diggers into intelligent and independent yeomanry!

This system, however, was found, at an early period, insufficient to meet the wants of the people. The grand object of the Society for Propagating Christian Knowledge, as described in the patent in 1709, was, and it still is, “ the increase of piety and virtue, within Scotland, especially in the Highlands, islands and remote corners thereof, where error, idolatry, superstition and ignorance do mostly abound, by reason of the largeness of the parishes, and the scarcity of schools.” The society has accumulated a capital of about £100,000. Of the 340 functionaries of the society, all are stationed in the Highlands and islands, with the exception of six teachers and one missionary. When the society was instituted, neither the Bible, nor any religious book, had been translated into the Gaelic language. This great deficiency is now supplied.

Notwithstanding the labors of this society, much ignorance still remained. In 1824, a committee of the General Assembly discovered, that in the northwest parts of Scotland, there were not fewer than 10,500 children, under fifteen years of age, destitute of the means of education, and that not less than 250 additional schools were necessary; and they have since ascertained, that the total number of persons of both sexes, of six years of age and upwards, in all the parishes of the Highlands and islands, unable to read either in the English or Gaelic languages, amounts to 83,397. The Rev. Dr. Gordon stated at the last meeting of the Assembly, that there were 90,000 persons in Scotland who were unable to read. The Rev. Dr. Paterson of Glasgow testified at the same meeting, that there were 80,000 persons in the limits of one synod, who could not read the Bible, and that Glasgow has a population of 60,000 persons, and Edinburgh of 50,000, not one of whom has any connection with the public worship of God, and among whom there is no reading of the Bible at home, and no catechetical instruction of children. It was also mentioned that the town of Peterhead, with 6000 inhabitants, had no place until recently for parochial education, except a single small apartment. From the report of the committee, it appears that there are now, (May, 1840) 120 schools, with 12,000 pupils, all of whom are instructed in English, and more than 2,500 in Gaelic. The annual income is between five and six thousand pounds sterling. A majority of the committee were in favor of accepting the government-grants on the conditions annexed by the privy council. The resolution of the committee was approved by the General Assembly, with the additional clause, that nothing shall be done by the government inspectors, prejudicial to the interests of the established church.

The Secession church has, like the establishment, shown an interest in the cause of education. The number of schools, owing their origin to this church, exceeds 100. They are established, on a large scale, in the great cities, and form models of good tuition. The number of Sunday schools in Scotland is about 600, two-thirds of which belong to the Dissenters. The whole number of schools in Scotland may be estimated at about 4,600, of which 3000 are private, or voluntary schools. It is supposed that about one ninth part of the population are in the process of education.

There is a species of school established within the last thirtyfive years, called academies, in the larger burghs, such as Edinburgh, Dundee, Perth, etc. They are under the direct care, either of the subscribers by whom they have been founded, or of the magistrates. These academies, and the ancient burgh schools, such as the High School of Edinburgh, are regarded as the best seminaries in Scotland, embracing all the necessary and ornamental branches of education, each taught by a separate master.*

Our account of the state of the schools in Scotland, and our estimate of the influence of education in the formation of the national character would be incomplete, without some notice of the Universities. And here we are glad to avail ourselves of the very voluminous and enlightened report, made to king William IV., by a royal commission of inquiry into the state of the universities of Scotland. These universities are not now of an ecclesiastical character, or, in the ordinary acceptation of the term, ecclesiastical bodies. They are connected, indeed, with the established church of Scotland, the standards of which the professors are required to acknowledge, though this is now, often, practically set aside. Like other seminaries of education, they may be subject to the inspection of the church in relation to any religious opinions which are taught in • them. The professors of divinity, whose instructions are intend

ed for those connected with the established church, are, in their character of professors, members of the presbytery of the bounds; and each university returns a representative to the General Assembly. But in other respects, these universities are not ecclesiastical institutions, not being more connected with the church, than with law or medicine. They are intended for the general education of the country.* All the classes may be taught by laymen, with the exception of those of divinity; and in no part of the system, except in theology, is any distinction observed with reference to the views or pursuits of those intended for the church. It is also very important to observe, that they have, in no respect, been framed or modified, with reference to the means, or pursuits, or habits of the aristocracy. The system is that of a general plan of education, by which persons of all ranks may be equally benefited. It is the peculiar and beneficent character of the Scottish universities, that they are intended to place the means of the highest education in science and philosophy within the reach of persons in bumble ranks of life, while, at the same time, they are equally fitted to educate and enlighten the youth of the highest class in society. The Scottish universities have always embraced students of every variety and description. Men advanced in life, who attend some of the classes for amusement, or in order to recall the studies of early years, or to improve themselves in

* Not a few of the dissenting ministers of England have been educated at the Scottish universities.

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