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purposes; it is this, How far it is the duty of Christians, and espeocially of our sex, in the middling and higher classes of society, to condescend to the lower, for furthering their temporal and spiritual good, without leaving the station Providence has assigned them; and whether the wife of a minister, for such is your correspondent, is bound by any peculiar obligations I know that you will naturally refer me to the example of Him, whom when we call Master and Lord, we say well, for so he is, and who yet took upon himself, not the form of a serwant only, but also the office, and left us an admonition on the services we ought to render to our brethren, sanctioned by his authority and example. Now really, Mr. Editor, I do hope and believe that I would on no occasion refuse any menial office to the meanest of my neighbours around me ; but it is not here that the inconvenience lies: there is an old saying, which I remember, when a girl, writing in my copy-book, in large text, “Familiarity breeds contempt.” And where I was lately settled, I cannot but think that my sharing a meal with a cottager's family, or their partaking a cordial cup of tea at the vicarage, rendered my advice less influential, and made them much more ready to give Counsel than to take it. There is also, I presume, a marked difference in dress, which becomes Christians of different stations in life; but, from frequent intercourse with them, I found many young women who copied the pattern of my hat or gown, with far greater accuracy than the model given them in some "act, or explanation, I employed myself in reading to them. Besides, One liberty introduces another; and where are we to stop If any familiar request is refused, serious con*{uences may be apprehended, and Pride imputed so repeatedly as at length, perhaps, not to be quite un* Redeemed by the blood of “hrist are the rich and poor, with

out distinction of any kind; and if there be a partiality, it is doubtless in favour of the latter, on whom our blessed Master pronounced his earliest benediction: but my wish is to ascertain in this case the path of duty; and having ascertained it, cheerfully to pursue it, and to submit to all the contingencies attending it, whether it continue to present such vexatious circumstances as those to which I have alluded, or open, as I proceed, to fairer prospects, which may abundantly compensate for my past disappointments. I am, &c.

LOUISA,

To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

Perceiving, from your last Number, the lively interest which you take in what concerns the education of the Irish poor, I have thought it would not be unacceptable to you, or to your readers, to receive some account of a Report, addressed to the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, by the Commissioners of the Board of Education in that country, in November last, and recently laid on the table of the House of Commons. The Report respects the state of the parish schools. The number of benefices in Ireland is 1122. Returns have been made to the commissioners from 736 of these : by which it appears, that in this number of benefices there are only 549 parish schools at present kept, at which 23,000 children receive instruction. In some parts of Ireland, the number of schools has been declining. On the whole, however, there has been an increase, since the year 1788, in the proportion of about five to three; and the number of children under instruction has more than doubled in the same time. The present course of instruction at these schools, comprises reading, writing, and arithmetic. The chil- . dren, for the most part, pay for their tuition at rates, which vary from two shillings and sixpence, to five

shillings and fourpence, and even as high as eleven shillings, a quarter. These schools are open to children of all religious persuasions; but there are many instances in these returns, and particularly in those from the dioceses in the South and West, and in some from the province of Leinster, of Roman catholics refusing to send their children to be instructed at them, in consequence, as is said, of an order to that eflect given by the Roman catholic clergy. Throughout the returns, there is a general complaint of the want of school-houses, and of the difficulty of procuring properly qualified masters. In one return, it is stated, that many of the poor were averse from sending their children to school, conceiving that the sedentary habits of school unfitted them for bodily labour. “But we are persuaded,” the Commissioners go on to observe, “that, generally speaking, a very great and almost universal desire exists at this moment, among the poor of this country, to give their children some kind of school education. Among the many instances of this general inclination stated in the returns, we shall select the following. In the return from the union of Castlemore, diocese of Killalla, in which benefice there are ten schools, one of which is a parish school, it is stated, that six hundred children attend these different schools, “but that double the number could and would attend, were they not prevented by the poverty of their parents, who cannot afford to pay for their instruction.” The curate who makes the return from the parish of Upper Langfield, in the diocese of Derry, states that in his parish, “the population,though poor, is numerous, amounting to nearly fifteen hundred souls, about threefifths Romanists, the remainder composed of the Established Church, and Dissenters, all striving to a degree at once exemplary and affecting, to give their children as much learning as possible; so that if there

were a roomy and commodious school-house, it would quickly be filled. The present school is kept in a small dark and inconvenient building lent by a farmer.' ...And in a return from Drumaul (diocese of Down and Connor) the general disposition in the lower orders for educating their children is mentioned, and as a proof of it, it is stated, “that in two or three instances the poorer parishioners have erected schoolhouses by a voluntary subscription among themselves.' And in the return from the union of Kilbride and Multifarnham, in the diocese of Meath, a more remarkable fact is stated, namely, that a night school was kept at Multifarnham, “to accommodate the children obliged to labour in the dav :’ at which school one hundred and thirteen children are returned as attending. The clergyman who makes this return, gives it as his opinion, “that the parents in the choice of a master, are governed more by his merit and proximity, than by his religion, though, all circumstances equal, they would prefer a master of their own religion.” And in a return from the parish of Lea, diocese of Kildare, a fact is stated, which seems to corroborate this opinion, viz. “That the parish school was flourishing, until a Roman cauholic priest encouraged a Roman catholic to set up a school in opposition to it, and was at first successful in drawing off such pupils as were Roman catholics. And further, that charges having been fabricated against the Protestant parish schoolmaster, which occasioned his dismissal, another was appointed, who shortly after dying, the former master was recalled, and replaced at the request of

those very people who had exhibited

the false charges against him, and who solicited his return, as the Roman catholic schoolmaster had disappointed their hopes.’ It certainly, however, appears from our returns, that religious prejudices in too many parts of this country,

but more particularly in the south and west, have operated against the attendance on the parish schools. For very many instances are stated of Roman catholic children who had attended them having been withdrawn by order of their priests, and never suffered to return; and a very strong instance of a mutual religious prejudice in this respect, is stated in a return from the parish of Ballesidare, diocese of Killalla, namely, “that there seems to be a general determination in that parish on the part of the Roman catholics not to send their children to Protestant schools, and vice versa.” But we observe in the other returns from the same diocese, that Protestant and Roman Catholic children are mixed in the parish, as well as in the other schools; we find also in the other dioceses, Protestant children returned as going to schools kept by Roman catholics; and from the general returns from all the dioceses, it is evident that a large proportion of the children attending the

parish schools throughout Ireland.

are of the Roman catholic religion.” The commissioners, after giving it as their opinion,that in those parishes where parochial schools are already established, or could be so, it would be proper to adopt every practical measure for their support and encouragement; but that even if it were practicable to establish an efsective school in every benefice, such institutions would prove very inadequate, as a general system of education, to the wants of the Irish poor; thus conclude their report. “And this inadequacy is the reason of our not entering more fully into the consideration of any plan for Putting them into a more effective situation, as such a plan might possibly interfere with, or be superseded by, a general system for the education of the poor, the consideratiou of which is reserved for the conclusion of our labours. We shall mevertheless at present observe, that not *y funds, however great, or the best considered establishment, can sub“antially carry into effect either any Chiust. Observ. No. 113.

improvement in the parish schools, or any general system of instruction of the lower orders of the community, until the want of persons duly qualified to undertake the education of the lower classes he remedied, and till some institution be formed to prepare persons for that important office.” I would entreat your readers to compare this conclusion, with the information which you have communicated to us at the close of your Review of Mrs. Leadbeater's dialogues in your last Number (p. 240.) They will then be better able to judge of the justice of those claims which the institution, youthere recommend, for the education of Irish schoolmasters, has upon their benevolence. I cannot believe that those claims, binding as they have been stated by you to be, and strongly enforced as they are in the official paper which has now. been brought to your notice, will fail to excite the general attention, and to engage the requisite assistance, of at least the religious public. I am, &c. -To the Editor of the Christian Observer.

As I perceive you have correspondents of every clime and race, many of whom never before dreamt of turning letter-writers, I have thought that I also might venture to address. you. I am a Skate, sir, living in hourly expectation of being crimped, and thus have all the pretensions of a dying martyr to be heard. But think not, sir, I mean to complain merely of my individual grievances. I wish to plead the cause of all our tribe. It is highly probable that some of the great public will soon pick my bones; but,in the mean time, I have a bone to pick with them. The case is this, sir:-of late, the fondness for fish in the Protestant countries is so wonderfully increased, that really the Resormation, though it abolished those Wednesday and Friday fish-dinners which were the terror of our species, has been of little use to us. What with hooks, nets, lines, and harpoons, 2 to

we have little rest day or night. To secure my life, I myself was accustomed to dodge from sea to sea, and wave to wave, till I had scarcely strength left to master a shrimp. In this state of continual anxiety, think, sir, with what joy I and my brethren learned, by the happy sinking of a Lisbon packet with its letters, that a general fast was proclaimed throughout Great Britain on the 20th of March. “Now (said I to my friends), we are at least secure for a time. On a day of general fasting, of course, every man will deny his appetite; and as fish is the general favourite, no man will touch fish, unless, perhaps, thornbacks or sea hedgehogs—bristles and all.” The fish, of course, devoutly wished my doctrine true; and therefore, like some wiser folks, directly thought it must be so. The week before the fast, accordingly, was appointed to be kept as a jubilee by us. Every fish took his own way. The seals went on shore. The oysters went to sleep. The torpedoes stunned one another. The crabs ran backwards. The porpoises rolled. The whales ran races across the frozen ocean. I, with a few select friends, went down to dine upon the leg of a fat boatswain. All was peace, and joy, and love. I actually saw a shark }. a whiting without swallowing im. But how did all this end ? You shall hear. I had finished my meal, and being a lover of fresh air, I went up to get some and look about me. But guess, sir, my astonishment when, instead of seeing the waves relinquished to our race, I actually saw our old enemies of all kinds drawn up in greater number, and more deadly force than ever. Every scale of me shook, sir. I at once saw the fatal consequences of our error, and lamented that we had put any confidence in man. O, sir, how many friends did I soon behold struggling in the net, and writhing on the hook. Never, never did I know our ranks so thinned, and the sea so purpled with the blood of its inhabitants. Knowing the peril of my *ituation, I naturally tried all means

for security; but at last, seeing ao enormous net advancing on one sid" I unfortunately darted in an opposite direction, entangled my fins in the meshes, and there hung the sad victim of human brutality and irregion. Not less than one hundred and fifty fish were captured by the same cast. What happened to me afterwards I can scarcely tell, but I believe I fell into a trance. At least, I know nothing of my state, till I awoke upon the very same leaden scorching slab on which I now lie. I have been here, I think, three days, on each of which my owner has in vain protested to some customer, that I am “this instant out of the water.” And this indeed, is no more than what, in the market phraseology, is termed a white lie; for the fact is, that when he sees me just about to escape by death from my torments, he plunges me into a tub, where, in spite of myself, I regain just enough of life to know the miseries of my situation. But, sir, it is not merely what I have suffered myself, it is the sufferings of my friends, which break my heart. I have positively seen an eel skinned alive. I have seen a lobster plunged, in the prime and vigour of life, into a boiling saucepan. I actually saw an old woman, who, by the bye, said she had just come from nursing a parish child, and whipping a pig to death, crimp my first cousin for a dinner at the Chancellor of the Exchequer's. But you will ask, sir, what I wish you to do for us. Now, I fairly consess, I do not require you to convince mankind they have no right to eat fish; for I question whether this point could be made out. We eat them when we can catch them, and they have a right to return the compliment, and eat us if they can lay hold of us. But what I beg of you is, to press two points upon them. First, tell them that a right to eat is no right to torment; and though they may catch a skate and boil a skate, they have no right to crimp him. Secondly, tell them they have no right to practise the ruse de guerre upon peaceful fish, of proclaiming a fast, and converting it into a feast; of vowing they will deny their appetites, and then dressing double quantities of what they love the best. Tell them, that Cayenne pepper is not the dust and ashes of penitence; that self-denial does not mean, confining ourselves to a favourite dish; that shrimp or egg sauce do not peculiarly dispose the mind to humiliation; that boiling lobsters alive is not the same thing with crucifying the flesh, nor skinning eels the same thing with rending the heart. If, sir, I should live long enough to hear from you, there is also a general question of great importance to my posterity, which I could heartily wish you, who seem to be a very sound Protestant, to settle ; and this is, why fish is at all substituted for flesh upon a fast day. I certainly have never heard, nor could I find in the great shipload of Bibles, which went to the bottom a month ago, a single text to prove it. Nor will good Protestants say, that they do it merely because good Catholics did it before them ; for the first seem to think it a high duty to hate all that was loved or practised by the last. Nor will they say, that it is for self-denial, since very many of them prefer fish to flesh; and, whatever the fish may be, the sauce is o no very heavy mortification. or, sir, can the salt which may be rubbed into us make the difference; for this, you know, is only to add good salt to good fish. If, indeed,

they would eat us, after letting us lie the same length of time, without salt, I might discover some propriety in the proceeding. After all, therefore, I am inclined to think, that the reformed churches are either unreformed, or are fast falling back into Popery; or rather, I suspect, that if you are resolutely keeping hold of the spoils of the clergy, you are sanctioning both clergy and laity in those evasions, which, while they adhered to the letter, destroyed the spirit, of religion. Let me entreat you then, sir, to endeavour to turn a part of the popular antipathy to Popery into an useful channel ; so that men may get a good title to abuse the creed of the Papists, by avoiding their vices. I will merely add one other request. If you could contrive to pass through Billingsgate this evening, and, looking about for a large skate at No. 1, lying upon a slab, fronting, to my sorrow, due south, with one broken fin and a bruised back, and would just slip me into the river, you would much oblige, sir, Your obedient servant, A YET UNCRiMPED SKATE. Billingsgate, March 21, 1811.

Although we must profess ourselves no violent admirers of the style of the above communication, we nevertheless insert it, in the hope that the hints which it contains, on the subject of cruelty to animals, and on the superstitious substitution of fish for flesh, as if this constituted a fast, may have their use.

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REVIEW OF NEW PUBLICATIONS.

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A Sermon preached in the Parish Church of Stony Stratford, at the Visitation of the Archdeacon of Bucks, on Thursday, June 28, 1810, and published at the request of many of the Clergy present. By the Rev. 1st HaM WAINewRight, M. A.

F. A. S. of Emanuel College, Cambridge, and Rector of Great Brickhill, in the County of Bucks. Hatchard. 1810, 4to. pp. 20.

The chief object of this sermon is

to vindicate the importance and

utility of a learned priesthood. A

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