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point for each such school a Priest for the instruction of the children in the principles of religion." When that is not practicable, "this object may be taught by a lay instructor;" but, even then, as before mentioned in regard to day schools, the Priest is bound to verify and complete the instruction given. In Sunday as in day schools, the instruction is to be according to class books approved by the Ministry of Public Instruction. "Sunday schools are established exclusively for the education of one sex alone, [that is, of the two sexes separately,] and therefore the pupils in them are not limited in respect of age."
It will be perceived, therefore, that Sunday schools are not so much a special institution, having relation to the holy use of the Sabbath and to religious teaching, as a supplementary system, by means of which those who, from poverty, occupation, distance, age, or other circumstances, cannot be embraced by the National day schools, may receive some amount of elementary instruction of a secular as well as of a religious character.
In considering what relates to education in Russia, we must never lose sight of what is peculiar to the government of the country. The people are so rude, of so many tribes, and scattered over so wide a surface, that, but for such efforts as their rulers have made, they might have waited, no one can tell how much longer, for any civilization or instruction at all. Yet, the late Emperor Nicholas, in a manifesto dated July 13, 1826, evinced a clear perception of the necessity for natural fatherhood co-operating with his paternal authority as Czar, in order to the production of really good moral effects. "Let the fathers of families," he said, "direct all their attention to the moral education of their children." Here was a glimpse of truth, at least; though, when, against moral training, the Emperor sets up as antithesis, "the demoralising tendency to extreme theories and political visions," one cannot help suspecting that he was thinking more of keeping down popular aspirations than of elevating national character.
It is of little moment to recur to the pre-existing state of education in Russia, since the system of re-construction now proposed alters little except in arrangement and detail, little or nothing in respect of cardinal principles. In considering the effect of religious teaching by authority, we are to bear certain facts in mind: such as, that the Czar is head of the church; that its Supreme Council, "the most holy governing Synod," consists of five clerical and a larger number of lay members, the chief of whom can suspend its decisions, pending the Emperor's pleasure, besides one of the priests being his own chief chaplain and confessor;" that the sons of the clergy, as a rule,
become clergymen themselves; that Dissenters (called Raskolnicks, or splitters,) are numerous, and of numerous sects, from the monk Andrew's attack on image-worship in the year 1003, to the Chinkmen of the Don, so-called because, in addition to other peculiarities, they pray with their eyes directed towards a chink admitting the light; and that Dissenters are only tolerated, not legally acknowledged.
The best-instructed body in Russia are the higher office-bearing classes, not deeply imbued, we fear, with religious sentiments of any sort. Next to these, perhaps, come the priests, who have doubtless the opportunity of being well educated, and yet so little avail themselves of it, that they have the reputation of being the most ignorant clergy pretending to the Christian name. How carefully soever, therefore, the Project above described may appear to provide for the religious instruction of the people, of what great value will that instruction be, if conferred by priests themselves but slightly informed, and still less enlightened as to the real nature of Christian truth? In all probability, it is in reference to the Raskolnicks that directions are given to clear the pupils' minds of prejudice and superstition; but they must be prejudiced and superstitious indeed, if in these respects they are one whit worse than the most orthodox. With great respect for good ministers of every class and country, we must be permitted to doubt whether they are the fittest persons to convey what they know, be it little or much, right or wrong, to young minds. And yet, in a country like Russia, where the official religious teachers are so backward in point of knowledge, it is scarcely to be supposed that those laymen who may, in the parish clergyman's default, give the religious instruction, will be very efficient substitutes. It is evident, however, that a slender amount will satisfy the requirements of the new law. But three hours a week are to be given to religion, which will be taught within a narrow and formal range, and out of books approved by the Synod we have described. Perhaps the Russian Government will be surprised to be told, that not only do our Sunday schools wholly exclude secular subjects, but the religious instruction given in them turns as little as possible on forms and catechisms, or on any book but the Bible; and on that, with a view much less to the communication of mere biblical knowledge, than, under God's blessing, to the touching of the children's hearts by means of familiar and affectionate exhortations from their teachers.
The ideas apparently entertained in Russia as to adequate religious instruction, somewhat remind us of the preparation which sometimes takes place for the rite of confirmation here. The can
didates for public functions in Russia must be able to read and write, and know the principal prayers. No doubt, many of the English clergy are at pains to ascertain that the young people about to be confirmed are advanced beyond a mere parrot-like repetition of certain formularies, human or divine; but we fear this cannot be said of those who are to teach Russian policemen their prayers.
Nevertheless, candour must admit that some parts of the scheme show an honest and earnest desire to raise the character of the people. It has been perceived that the superseded system tended to make a nation of dependants, all looking out for Government bread. The avowed object of the new method, therefore, is to nourish the true life of the nation, by fitting the young for those spheres of life in which their lot is cast. Their rulers see, on the one hand, that education is the principal support of a State (which is something for authority in Russia to acknowledge); but, on the other hand, they see, and insist, that a really useful education should both reconcile men to, and fit them for, the battle of life as it lies before them, in town or country, workshop or field. Yet, this scheme goes so completely upon the principle of State control, that whatever good it may produce, will be surely liable to the drawback of evil inseparable from that system. Private education, for example, is barely permitted, and private teachers are subject to Curators, &c. Everything is to be conferred by authority,-titles, rewards, uniforms, elevation from grade to grade, or from "personal honorary citizen" to "hereditary honorary citizen!" The projectors have the usual dreams about "connexion," "unity," "sound pedagogic ideas," &c. It looks well in print, to be told that the children are to be instructed in the appreciation of both "rights and duties;" but the association under such circumstances does not excite large expectations as to the range of immunity. Still more admirable and hopeful is the total prohibition of corporal punishment, especially when supplemented with directions to be careful in cultivating the moral sentiment. Yet, several things make it clearly manifest, that the authors of the Project are depending upon coercion as their sheet-anchor. What but this underlies the provision, that individual subjects, unfurnished with an educational certificate, shall be liable to double charges for passports, trade certificates, and other necessary authorisations? Premiums on education are of like tendency: as when young men, trained in the Institutes, are not merely eligible to the rewards and distinctions already named, but will be exempted from military service, taxation, and other disagreeable incidents? We suppose that the
trained teachers in our own country would not at all object to those features in the Russian scheme which open to persons of their own order the way to Inspectorships, and would loudly applaud the requirement that even university men should have acquired practical experience in the art of teaching before being eligible for appointments in the department of Public Instruction; but they would think it strange to be told, that, even during vacation time, the Students in Training Institutes must be under the eye of the Council, and spend it here or there, according to their direction. The fact, we suspect, is, that State Education appears more plainly confessed in connection with a government like that of Russia, than it can be in a country like our own, or even in States much more decidedly monarchical and autocratic, though not quite so despotic as the Empire of the Czar. In other countries, for example, the doctrine laid down is one of proportion between patronage and control. But, at St. Petersburg, the question is first one of control, all else being subordinate and apart from that inflexible rule. The Czar will order everything; but, as to support, he will give it or withdraw it at his discretion. Even the most private teacher and the most private school are not exempt from his supreme authority. And then, instead of municipalities having the rule where they provide the means, they have no more rule than if they did not; and not only may, but must pay the charges, and that to whatsoever amount shall be dictated from above; the instruction, moreover, being gratuitous or otherwise, at the Imperial Minister's discretion.
Upon the whole, therefore, we are compelled to regard the new scheme of Public Education in Russia as in greater harmony with the well-known autocracy of the Czar, than with the interests of a great nation rightly understood; though we readily admit that it has some good features, and will be productive, with whatever mixture of evil, of considerable good. J. M. H.
NEW WORK FOR THE POLICE.
ONE of the most evangelically useful men in Boston, United States, is Rufus Cook, a policeman. Mr. Cook is a Methodist, but he labours most successfully as a canvasser on behalf of Sabbath schools, without regard to sect, only that in them "Christ and Him crucified" be taught. During the last year over eighteen hundred children, and more than sixty adults were, through his instrumentality, gathered into Sunday schools in Boston, and its neighbourhood.-Sunday School World.
DR. MERLE D'AUBIGNÉ.
AFTER I had begun to preach Christ, I was so assailed and perplexed on coming into Germany by the sophisms of rationalism, that I was plunged into unutterable distress, and passed whole nights without sleeping, crying to God, or endeavouring by arguments and syllogisms without end to repel the attack and the adversary. In my perplexity I visited Kleuker, a venerable divine at Kiel, who for forty years had been defending Christianity against the attacks of infidel theologians and philosophers. Before this admirable man I laid my doubts and difficulties for solution; instead of solving them, Kleuker replied, "Were I to succeed in ridding you of these, others would soon rise up. There is a shorter, deeper, and more complete way of annihilating them. Let CHRIST be really to you the Son of God-the Saviour-the Author of eternal life. Only be firmly settled in this grace, and then these difficulties of detail will never stop you; the light which proceeds from Christ will dispel all darkness." This advice, followed by a study with a pious fellow-traveller at an inn at Kiel, of the Apostle's expression, "Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think," relieved me from all my difficulties. After reading together this passage, we prayed over it. When I arose from my knees in that room at Kiel, I felt as if my wings were renewed as the wings of eagles. From that time forward I comprehended that my own syllogisms and arguments were of no avail; that Christ was able to do all by His power that worketh in me; and the habitual attitude of my soul was to be at the foot of the cross, crying to Him, "Here am I, bound hand and foot, unable to move, unable to do anything to get away from the enemy that oppresses me: do all Thyself: I know that Thou wilt do it; Thou wilt even do exceeding abundantly above all that I ask." I was not disappointed. All my doubts were soon dispelled, and not only was I delivered from that inward anguish which, in the end, would have destroyed me had not God been faithful, but the Lord extended unto me peace like a river. If I relate these things, it is not as my own history alone, but that of many pious young men, who, in Germany and elsewhere, have been assailed by the raging waves of rationalism.-Bible Inspiration.