HC Deb 18 May 1843 vol 69 cc529-64
Mr. Roebuck

rose to bring forward the motion which he was now about to submit to the House in consequence of the measure which had been introduced by the right hon. Secretary of State for the Home Department (Sir J. Graham) relating to the Education of the people. He would ask the House to consider this question calmly and deliberately; and he would promise the right hon. Baronet, that in discussing the subject he would give him (Sir J. Graham) full credit for the intentions with which he had introduced his measure. He would abstain from imitating the conduct of parties out of doors, who in discussing this question had evinced an utter absence of charity. His object in bringing forward this motion was not to introduce a discussion which might give occasion for the display of any asperity or bitterness. He would be the last person in the world to excite any ill-feeling on a subject of such vast importance—one which involved the rescue of a vast portion of our fellow-countrymen from the thraldom of ignorance. If he thought that the resolution he was now about to propose would throw any difficulty in the path of the right hon. Baronet, he would not press it; but he believed his resolution would afford them the only possible means of escaping from the difficulties by which the subject was encompassed. No system of education would be concurred in by the people which recognised the predominance of any one sect. But, before he went into the discussion of that portion of the subject which was connected immediately with the proposal of the right hon. Baronet, he would ask the House to bear with him while he invited their attention, in a form not usually employed in discussions in that House, to several points respecting education. He knew that the subject was dry and uninteresting, and, therefore, he could only hope for the indulgence of the House for a short time. When they set about forming a plan of national education, the first inquiry they should address to themselves ought to be " What have we in view when we set about framing a system of national education 1" and, having clearly placed before their minds the object they had in view, then they ought to analyze and arrange the various means which might be at their disposal for carrying that object into effect. Now, it appeared that a portion of the population of this country was unable or unwilling to give their offspring that amount of education which society, as at present constituted, thought requisite for the wellbeing of the children themselves and the security of society at large. If, then, the object of national education was what he took it to be,—if national education consisted in the endeavour to impart the knowledge to children which might enable them to do their duty in that station of life in which Providence placed them, which might enable them to consult their own happiness consistently with the happiness of others; and in the endeavour also, whilst they gave the knowledge which taught children to know what was right, to give that knowledge which would enable them to follow what was right—then any person who applied himself to the formation of a plan of national education ought to institute an accurate analysis of the means by which he was to workout this problem, —how to give the knowledge it was requisite for each child to receive, and how to form the habits of mind which would enable each child to follow out that knowledge when given. He was not about to enter upon that analysis; he should only observe, that their objects in national education ought to be, first, the mere knowledge to be given; second, the habits of mind to be formed. Now, as to the knowledge to be given there was no dispute; all were agreed as to the sort of knowledge which ought to be given, but, with regard to the habits of mind, there were various sanctions, the knowledge and importance of which were to be made apparent to the mind of the child. For example, he might teach a child that it was not to steal, but, then, he had to teach it why; he had to show that it was for the happiness of others that no violent abstraction of their property should take place, and for its own happiness that no other practice than that of perfect purity in this respect of stealing be established. But he had another thing to do—he had to create the habit of mind which should induce the child not to desire stealing. Now, of the means of creating this habit a vast portion was beyond the reach of Legislation. When they spoke of education, they should recollect that properly education reached from the cradle to the grave; that it consisted not merely in that which was taught at school, but that it was the same of circumstances in which an individual was placed, and which reached (as he had said) from the earliest birth of the infant to the latest hour of life. Now, there were a hundred circumstances of health and habits of early youth which were beyond the reach of legislation; but, on the other hand, there were many circumstances of early youth which were within the reach of those who directed their minds to the subject. Of these, again, some were within the reach of legislation; others were beyond their grasp. All those effects which scholastic discipline could produce were within the power of legislation; all that part of education which consisted in merely learning duties raised no dispute—all which related to the various sanctions of society, as, for example, the sanctions of law and the sanctions of public opinion, all that might be taught by any person without any fear that any danger or ill-will should accrue. But there was one of the sanctions which was found to create the greatest possible doubts, animosities, and ill-blood among mankind. Let it be observed, that to create proper habits in the child sanctions were necessary, one of which, the religious sanction, was surrounded with difficulties in its application. Now, then, the Legislature had to ask itself this question, " I may impart all necessary knowledge; I may give all that, and no dispute will arise about it; but there is one sanction, that of the mysterious future, that which religion teaches, over which there has been unfortunately cast, from the world's foundation to the present time, much rancour and dispute; how am I to dispose of that?" Now, there was no dispute that the Legislature might take into its own hands the management of this sanction in a community where there was only one religion; but in a community where there were many religions this difficulty arose. From the commencement of the history of mankind, persons had been dedicated to the task of teaching religion, and by its ceremonies and observances creating that habit of mind of which he had spoken. That was their special business; the creation of that habit of mind was the business of the priest; and the question the Legislature had to ask itself in a community consisting of various sects was, whether all the other sanctions might not be employed, and taught the child, and whether the sanctions of religion might not be safely left to the teaching of those who were dedicated to teaching religion, each in his particular sect or division. He was not, let it be observed, endeavouring to get rid of religion, but, on the contrary, to make out a way by which to increase the knowledge, and alleviate much of the miseries of a great portion of the population. He would now proceed to support his proposition, and he should do it in this way; he should endeavour to show, that in a country where various religions co-exist, and the great doctrine of reliance on private judgments is introduced, any way of education which sought to make poverty the means of instructing children hi doctrines which the parents don't desire they should be instructed in, was an infringement of that great doctrine of private judgment, and therefore unjust; and he should next shew that, wherever there were various sects, it must be impolitic as well; and he thought that, from the circumstances which they witnessed in the House and oat of it, any such attempt must frustrate itself, and that every measure based on such a principle would be found to be utterly impracticable. He came to that conclusion with regret; he said it knowing what would be said of him in return, but he was so familiar with calumny that he was hardened to it; at any rate, many persons might wonder at such a sentiment coming from him, but he could not help perceiving that every rude and ignorant people must be excited if they were to be instructed, and from the times of Greece and Rome down to John Wesley, they had been excited; and it was a means of instruction which, if the condition of the many would permit, he should be happy that the state should employ. But it was impossible that the state should employ it among a people like our own. He did not mean, however, to say, that the state should exclude completely religious instruction in giving that knowledge which the parents should wish; but having a state church, all he asked was, let us not have a state school. If it were necessary to have a state church, they must assume that it did its duty. But they knew that religion was taught by separate sects; all he asked, therefore, was, " let the children learn all that is requisite for them to know, at the expense of the state, but do not interfere so as to create ill blood and asperity by teaching religion." His first proposition then was, that the interference of the state in this matter was unjust, and ought not to be perpetrated; he meant the word " perpetrated" in no offensive sense—he would say, ought not to be done. It must be borne in mind, that the great principle of private judgment was admitted by the law, and was the foundation of the Protestant religion. He knew that proposition was now called in question, and he was very much grieved to see that the mode in which it was called in question was one of the great causes of the extraordinary explosion which had taken place on the subject of this bill; but the doctrine of the right of every man to form his own opinions on religious subjects was acknowledged by the law, by the Protestant religion, and by all sound morality, if he asked the question, he found that it appeared that some part of the population from poverty were unable to give their children that secular instruction which it was for the happiness of the children, and for the happiness of society that they should have, and which they ought to receive. Then the State said, "I perceive the want, I perceive the inability of these people, but at the same time I cannot give them secular instruction, without instruction in religion, which will hurt the feelings of the parent in many cases, and make him feel himself an insulted and degraded person." The poor man said, " I should be glad; but I find the schools closed up, that I cannot send my child without some distinction from the others, and I find that arises out of the teaching religion." This was what was said, and he found, that the compromise offered by the right hon. Baronet (Sir J. Graham) was scouted by all sects in every part of the country. The conclusion, therefore, which he drew was, that the State should leave the teaching of religion to the pastors of the various sects, and confine itself to secular instruction. But he was here met by an objection, where he did not expect it, from a portion of the religious world—namely, who said we can make an arrangement which will be quite pleasant to the majority. He could not understand that. If he was to make any compromise, it should be that of the right hon. Baronet, and he would make the state religion be taught. He should be carrying out the opinion of the majority by doing so, for there could not be a doubt that the Church of England in England comprised an enormous majority of the population. But if any body doubted it let him look to the return which had been moved for by the hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford University (Sir R, Inglis) of the number of marriages, and he would find that the Dissenters married were in proportion to the Churchmen as one to four; but if he was to follow out the principle of private judgment, he claimed it for all sects—for Jew, Turk, and Deist, and, if there were such a being, for him who was of no religion. If that was denied him, he went back to the proposition of the right hon. Baronet. He had shown then, that this religious teaching was but in aid of all other teaching, and that they did not lose by allowing it to be taught by the various sectaries to their children, but, on the contrary, gained by adopting that course, the benefit of the principle of co-operation of all sorts of persons as well as a healthy emulation. Bnt if, on the contrary, they gave the power of instruction to any one sect, then they were sure of a snappish, snarlish contention, instead of a generous emulation. He said, then, that it was unjust to interfere in the case of the poor with private judgment, and as unjust as in the case of the rich. He next came to his second proposition, that in any community in which there were various sects, it was quite clear that such an interference was impolitic. Supposing they had not had the experience of the last few weeks, this was clear; and then did the right hon. Baronet believe that any plan of taxing the people for the establishment of national education on the principles of the Church of England could be viewed with pleasure and complacency by the great body of the people? But he asked, why raise the question? What mischief was not done by raising it? You wanted co-operation—you wanted to instruct the people. How were you to gain co-operation? By giving no offence. You would give no offence if you would put all parties on an equality on a matter on which you had no right to say that you were better than your neighbour. If ever there was a case on which the experiment might have been made with safety, the right hon. Baronet bad that case before him. What was it? A noble Lord (Lord Ashley) had drawn a picture of great misery — horrible ignorance amongst a large portion of the population. The House was naturally struck by the description and was anxious to endeavour to relieve and to rescue the people. All the sympathies of the House were raised on the part of the children, whose lot was principally in the hands of the Government, and if ever there was a case in which that sympathy would have reached out of doors and have influenced Churchmen as well as Dissenters that was the case. The right hon. Gentleman had tried the experiment. If he (Mr. Roebuck) were to point to the scenes which had been described by the noble Lord (Lord Ashley) on a former occasion, he Would go over them again, but he could not give expression, as the noble Lord had done, to the dreadful darkness of that ignorance which prevailed, or the mischiefs which it entailed on the moral and physical condition of the poor of this country. If, however, he were an orator, he would attempt again to depict those facts, in order to make clear before the House the horrible scenes which the noble Lord had described. And why would he do so; Why, to show the favourable circumstances under which the right hon. Baronet might have brought forward a measure based on just principles. If beforehand he had been asked what would be the probable consequences or course of proceeding under such circumstances, what should he have said? He would have said, that the Church should have been particularly careful to abstain from all attempts to seize upon power; the Church should have shown no desire but that of co-operating in the benevolent and enlarged principle of humanity on which the noble Lord had acted. The Church like that noble Lord, should have shown itself above all petty distinctions, it should have shown itself the friend of peace and goodwill to the people. The Dissenters should hare shown themselves above all sectarian principles, or at least above those disputes which in other cases might be stirred up; they should throw themselves hand and heart in zealous co-operation with the Churchmen, though they differed from them on religious points; they should have shown that they had but one object in view, that of raising the manufacturing population of this country out of that ignorance into which they were sunk. Bat had the result of the right hon. Baronet's measure answered these expectations? Had the Churchmen on the one hand abstained from grasping at power? And had the great Dissenting body shown themselves ready to participate in the benefits which they might have been instrumental in carrying out? He thought he had shown that the Church was desirous to grasp at power—[No.] You cry no; and when I come to the Dissenters I shall be told no, by hon. Gentlemen on this side. And yet I say with regard to the Dissenters, that I do see on the other hand an unwillingness to enter into any accommodation expressed by the Dissenting body a cry of no surrender. They would not attempt to enter into a discussion, and they said of the bill, "Though you may alter and amend it from its commencement to its last section — throw out the bill—do not for a moment discuss it." That was the feeling expressed by the great body of the Dissenters. If he thought it necessary, he might be tempted to go at large into this view of the case; he might show that whatever might be the wishes of these parties, it was equally clear that the immense power connected with the machinery of this bill was thrown into the hands of the Church. There were two distinct things which showed a want of judgment in the framing of this measure. It was founded on the narrow basis that education should depend upon the accidental circumstance, or test of employment. When there was no employment there was to be no instruction. It was a partial measure—it was not for the extension of education, but for a system of education dependent on the merest chance in the world — namely, that of employment. So far then the measure was defective in the first place,— it rested on a narrow basis—on a narrow principle of education, dependent on a test, that test being employment, and did not apply, moreover, to the first eight year of the child's life. In the next place, the working of the machinery was thrown into the hands of Churchmen. First, from the Secretary of State to the very teachers, they must be members of the Church of England. The Secretary of State was a portion of the machinery —Privy Councillors in the same way— and then came the teachers—[Hear]. What, must they not also be of the Church of England by the bill? Was not the instruction to be given by teachers of the Church of England? Was not the appointment of the teachers dependent on the bishops of the Church of England? They could not stir a step in the bill but they met with some wonderful attempt on the forbearance of the people. He should show that in a moment. Supposing a child to gain the ill-will of any of the persons connected with the school or of the teacher; he could not come to school, he could not work, therefore he could not get his bread, so that they made the life's blood of the child depend on his creed, and might not that be a matter of daily occurrence? They were, in fact, employing the bill as a test of the religious belief of the community, and were about to create distinctions among them as a means of earning their bread. The grand faults of the bill were, that it went first on a narrow basis, and next on a sectarian basis; and when he saw this narrow, grasping disposition manifested on one side, and on the other a feeling so averse to conciliation that conciliation would not be listened to, he had no hopes of the measure. The Govern- ment would do wisely in putting themselves at the head of public opinion, and in acting as its guide, and not its follower, in showing themselves above sectarian feelings, and in setting a great example of forbearance and toleration. The Government ought to show that it had what he should call a Catholic feeling—that it allowed itself not to be influenced by any party, petty faction, but that in its wide benevolence it would teach what it could with safety, and say to all contending sects, " teach your religion as you are able; each sectarian come and teach his own peculiar tenets; let there be no 'let or hindrance' to anyone to teach. All we do is to prepare the children for you to enable them to understand such religious instruction." To the Church it should say, "Your ministers are many and mighty, come and aid us in our teaching; but do not interfere." To the Dissenter it should say, "Teach the children for their eternal welfare; but while I am endeavouring to assist the unfortunate parent unable to instruct his child as he ought to be instructed, while I am pursuing that benevolent purpose, and doing my duty, as a Legislature do not interfere, but follow in my steps." If the Legislature would do that, it would prove what it ought to be, the leader, the guide, and instructor of the people, and not one that hunted after public opinion, but in its own opinion would guide, direct, control. He would have the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government aspire to that high position, and in terms and language better than he could employ, say to the country, "follow in the right path, where complete unshackled freedom directs you—be you a wise and patient follower." He believed that the opinion of the people of this country would bear them out in pursuing such a course; he believed that the country would say that they set a wise example as legislators and would support them. Therefore, wishing to heal all differences—wishing to instruct and guide the people in all that related to their temporal welfare, wishing to cast no obstruction in the way of instruction, but to aid and assist the teacher, he should ask the House to come to the resolution which he should now conclude with moving:— That in no plan of education maintained and enforced by the State, should any attempt be made to inculcate peculiar religious opin- ions; because, as such an attempt would be considered a plan for maintaining and strengthening an undue superiority of one sect over all others, the animosities and strife already existing among different religious denominations would thereby unhappily be greatly increased, and the cordial co-operation of all sects and denominations, which is absolutely necessary to insure the success of any plan of public education, rendered impossible.

Sir James Graham

said; I know not that under any circumstances, or on any occasion, I should be competent to follow the hon. and learned Gentleman who has just resumed his seat, through the philosophical disquisition in which he has brought before the House, with that perspicuity which he so remarkably exhibits, the subject of education; but, at present I am placed under an additional disadvantage, for, I must confess to the hon. and learned Member, that I did not altogether expect that his motion would come on this evening; and I must frankly tell the House, that my various pressing avocations have prevented me from bestowing that attention on this proposition which the vast importance of the subject requires. The hon. and learned Gentleman at the commencement of what he addressed to the House, made two important admissions. He said, that this was an abstract resolution, and that the matter which it contained, was surrounded with great practical difficulties. Now, an abstract resolution of this nature necessarily carries with it, if adopted, consequences of vast importance, and I shall consider it my duty to resist the resolution which is proposed. I am bound to believe from the assurance which the hon. and learned Gentleman gave to the House, that it is far from his intention by the present resolution, to prejudice a practical measure which 1 have submitted to the House, which is now on the Table which has been partly considered, the principle of which has been adopted, and the details of which only remain for discussion. I am satisfied that whatever may be the intention of the hon. and learned Gentleman, yet the House not being to-night prepared for the discussion of that measure I should do infinite injustice to the subject, which has hitherto been treated with remarkable forbearance, if I proceeded prematurely to the defence of its provisions. Therefore, I shall not follow the hon. and learned Gentleman through all that part of his speech in which he particularly dealt with the bill to which I have referred. But I must, injustice to myself and to the Government, set the hon. and learned Gentleman right upon one or two material points. He has treated the measure as if it were propounded by the Government as a scheme of national and general education. Now, the hon. Gentleman will do me the justice to remember —and I am sure the House will agree with me in what I say—that I specifically guarded the Government against that construction. I distinctly said, that the measure never was intended as a scheme of national education; that it was meant to grapple with difficulties confined within certain limits, which are specified by the bill itself; which are limits not now newly invented or discovered, but which have been already laid down and marked out by the wisdom of Parliament. I proposed to deal with that portion only of education, which in this country is compulsory by law as a condition of the employment of children in the three great branches of our staple manufactures, I mean our cotton, woollen, and flax manufactures. In my bill I propose somewhat to extend this plan to the silk, and possibly to some other trades; but I distinctly stated to the House that which I now beg to repeat, that I did not propose a scheme of education to be applied to the nation at large, as the hon. and learned Gentleman has contended, but that I made the proposition only as an amendment of the existing system, in respect of the quality of the education which the State now provides as a condition to the employ. went of children. As a specimen of the inaccuracy of the hon. and learned Gentleman, if he will pardon me for so saying, I may refer to the observation which he made, that the bill is framed with the exclusive spirit of a churchman in every minute detail, and be says that the whole machinery must belong to, and must fall into, the hands of churchmen; and he begins with the highest offices, and says, first of all, that the Secretary of State must be a churchman. Now, it so happens that there is, at this moment one of her Majesty's Secretaries of State (the Earl of Aberdeen) who is a Presbyterian. Next, the hon. and learned Gentleman says, that the Privy councillors must be Churchmen. There is, however, now present a remarkable exception in the person of the right hon. and learned Gentleman who sits opposite (Mr. Sheil) who is not a member of the Church of England; but, who, nevertheless, by his learning and ability, has risen, to the position of a Privy Councillor. These are specimens of errors into which the hon. and learned Gentleman, in his zeal of attack, has been led. 1 may observe, also, that some of the topics which he has introduced into his speech have no immediate bearing upon my bill. He spoke of the force of public opinion, of the influence of domestic habits, of various sanctions more binding than school discipline, in training and educating youth. He said, that religion was one of these sanctions, and I. say, and with deference, that I consider it the first and most important of all; and although this country at the present moment is disturbed by the heat of religious dissension, yet I do believe that upon this, the cardinal point, there is a strong—an almost universal—concurrence of opinion, that education, to be sound, to be safe, nay, to be useful, must be based on a knowledge of the scriptures. Churchmen differ from the Dissenters upon the precise doctrines to be inculcated, we differ with respect to the judgment to be formed, but we agree that the distinguishing mark of Protestantism in this country is perfect freedom of private judgment; and entertaining this opinion, speaking generally, I affirm, that both Churchmen and Dissenters are equally desirous that the private judgment should be formed when a man arrives at the maturity of discernment upon an early knowledge of the scriptures as taught in schools. The hon. and learned Member will excuse me if I call his attention to what I must say appears to roe an error in fact on the face of this resolution. It is comprised in the first line and a half of the motion. That which we are called on to affirm is, "That in no plan of education, maintained and enforced by the State, should any attempt be made to inculcate peculiar religious opinions." What follows is matter of reasoning, and the point and real pith of the resolution consists in the word "peculiar." If the hon. and learned Member would put to the House a resolution excluding the word "peculiar," I am satisfied that an overwhelming majority, not only of this House, but of this great community, will be found arrayed against it; for I am sure that the vast majority of the people of this country are prepared to negative the assertion "that in no plan of education maintained and enforced by the State should any attempt be made to inculcate religious opinions." What then is the force of this word "peculiar?" Having dealt with the proposition of the hon. and learned Gentleman, I will proceed to his reasoning: and it does so happen that there are two instances in the United Kingdom which completely negative the induction which this motion seeks to establish. In Scotland it does so happen that, with the greatest possible advantage, with the greatest possible harmony, the State does impart to the people peculiar religious instruction; and this is a circumstance which, to a great extent, negatives all the reasoning of the hon. and learned Gentleman; because, so far from discord raging, though they do qnarrel in that country upon points of discipline with respect to their Church, perfect unanimity prevails with regard to doctrinal instruction. In every parish there is a school, which is superintended by the minister of the parish, and whatever doubt there may be with respect to any other part of the discipline of the Church of Scotland, it is universally admitted that the parish school system is a great ornament and a great blessing to that country, and is highly conducive to the civilization as well as the welfare of its industrious people. This circumstance, therefore, refutes part of the argument of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The attempt, however, has been made in another part of the kingdom to avoid the evil which it is said is likely to arise from the inculcation of peculiar religious instruction. An attempt has been made in Ireland to avoid this difficulty, and to teach scriptural religion without imparting peculiar doctrines. I will not here pronounce an opinion on the success of this experiment; but it has failed to produce concord and religious peace. I do not wish to follow these two points further, but they occur to me as affording a strong illustration of the fallacy of the arguments of the hon. and learned Gentleman. The hon. and learned Gentleman said that religion had been at all times used as an incentive to knowledge, by reason of the excitement which it produces. I say that when a human being believes in the great truths of Christianity, that which touches his eternal interest will excite much deeper feelings than that which is limited to his temporal concerns; but Legislators in directing the operation of those truths should bear in mind that they are not the means of excitement; they are the blessed means of eternal salvation. The hon. and learned Member says, that the measure of the Government, to which he has particularly referred, savours of preference to what he terms "one sect," for that is the expression used in the resolution. I beg to state to the House what I strongly feel on this subject. I am sincerely attached to the Church of England. It is established by law, and, being so established, has obtained a preference at the hands of the Legislature; but I never can forget that the principles of toleration are also established and sanctioned by law; and the moment it became my duty to deal with a scheme of compulsory education, and the bill is strictly so limited, from that moment I felt it my duty to endeavour to combine the two principles of respect for the claims of the Established Church on the one hand, and of equal respect for the conscientious scruples of Dissenters on the other. The hon. and learned Member, and I am afraid the Dissenters both in and out of the House, are not satisfied with the term toleration, but they contend for the principle of perfect equality. Now, I do think that while the Church of England remains established, the preference must be given in favour of that Establishment, and I am entitled to argue the case thus: I will put the case that there is a school established, which is presided over by one master; (I assume, for the reasons which I have already stated, that it is the imperative duty of the Legislature to adopt a system of education by which the Scriptures must be taught) there being, then, children of Churchmen, professing the religion favoured by the State, and it being necessary that the Scriptures should be taught, the question remains—every care being taken that no particular tenet on which any doctrinal difference exists shall be inculcated, and it being necessary also that the master shall be of some creed—is it too much to ask that the creed professed by the master shall be the creed of the Established Church? I say that as a Minister of the Crown —that Crown being the head of the Church established by law, I should be- tray my duty if I made any concession on this point. Conscientiously I cannot do it—as a Minister I believe it would not be consistent with my duty—as a Member of Parliament I should not be true to my private judgment. To every security that can be given, or can be asked, where education is compulsory, to prevent the undue inculcation of peculiar tenets, I think the Dissenter is fairly entitled, and such securities shall have my cordial support. Nor have I shown myself unwilling to make concession for that object. The Roman Catholics object to the reading of the authorised version of the Scriptures; they have conscientious scruples on the point, and it has been thought necessary to admit such scruples. But on the part of the great body of Dissenters, so far from their objecting to free access being had to the Scriptures, I do not believe that they would be satisfied with any system of education which debarred them from their free use. The whole difficulty turns on this point; can you find security against the undue inculcation of peculiar tenets, if the master shall profess the religion of the Established Church? I believe that my bill provides sufficient security. I shall be ready to discuss that point when the measure shall be in committee; but I do not think it advisable to dwell further upon it now. I should be grieved if anything that I have now said should aggravate the difficulties of the question, when it shall be brought forward. I am anxious to discuss it in the most frank and cordial spirit; but I must repeat to the hon. and learned Gentleman that by forcing on this discussion, on the present occasion, he has much increased the difficulties of the future consideration of the measure, and has, I must say, offered some obstruction to its further progress. The hon. and learned Member says, that he was forcibly struck with a statement made by my noble Friend, the Member for Dorsetshire (Lord Ashley) when he enlarged upon the gross unhappy, and heathenish ignorance which prevails among the lower classes in some parts of the manufacturing districts. The desultory and uncombined efforts of Churchmen and Dissenters, have not been sufficient, to prevent this unhappy state of things. The safety of the community demands that some attempt should be made to penetrate the darkness which prevails. I should have neglected my duty if I had not called upon the Legislature to sanction a combined effort to attain so desirable an object. Whatever may be the result of the attempt, I, for one, shall not regret that it has been made. The hon. and learned Gentleman has made use of an expression which is extremely happy in itself, and which has fully conveyed to the House my feelings upon this subject; he said that the Legislature, as a Legislature, should be the guide of the people, and that we should endeavour to lead them the right way. That is exactly what I hold to be the duty of the House. We are bound to guide the people and to lead them in the way that they should go. Upon this subject the immortal Hooker has truly said:— There is a politic use of religion. Men fearing God are thereby a great deal more effectually than by positive laws, restrained from doing evil, for these laws have no further power than over our outward actions only: whereas unto men's inward cogitations, unto the privy intents and motions of their hearts, religion serveth for a bridle. What more savage, wild, and cruel than man, if he see himself able either by fraud to over-reach, or by power to overbear the laws whereunto he should be subject? Wherefore, in so great boldness to offend, it behoveth that the world should be held in awe, not by a vain surmise, but by a true apprehension of somewhat, which no man may think himself able to withstand; and this is the politic use of religion. I say, that if you would restrain the people from the commission of crime, it must be by such means. But I do not believe, that any exertions of man, or of human knowledge, can succeed, if we neglect that which is the great guide to truth, I mean the Holy Scriptures; and I am satisfied that in England, whosoever attempts to proceed on the assumption that the people of this country could be educated without the aid of the Scriptures, and that it would be wise to exclude the Scriptures from a system of national education, would commit the grossest error. I may have erred in the mode of carrying out my views; at the right time I shall be prepared to enter into a discussion upon that point; but, for reasons which I have already frankly stated, I am bound to assure the House that it is impossible for me to assent to this resolution: and I hope the House will agree with me in this view. I do not think that the resolution is accurate in point of fact—that it will be politic to agree to it—that it can be practically carried out. It is certainly at variance with the proposition which 1 have submitted to the House, but it is not. on that ground that I propose to reject it; I reject it on the grounds put by the hon. and learned Member himself—that it is an abstract proposition—an abstract proposition fraught with great practical consequences, and my belief is, that those consequences would be injurious to the country. Entertaining this opinion, I am bound to meet the motion with a direct, negative.

Mr. Sheil:

The Roman Catholic population of this country is already so considerable, the Irish immigration into the factory districts is so great, that being a member of that Church, to which there exists in this country a tendency to revert, I think myself not unauthorised to take part in a discussion, with which the merits of the Factory Bill are so intimately connected, I frankly acknowledge, that considering the difficulties with which the Government have to contend in reference to all questions relating to the Roman Catholic religion, a concession by no means unimportant has been made to us. It is not rendered imperative on Catholic children to read and to learn the authorised version of the Scriptures, as we entertain the opinion that the sacred writings ought not to be used as a school book, that the rudiments of literature ought not to be taught through its intervention, that an irreverent familiarity with holy writ may lead to its degradation; that the perusal of the bill, unaccompanied with that interpretation which our Church has from the earliest foundation of Christianity, as we conceive, put upon passages which are either obscure or doubtful, is not judicious, and that the unqualified exercise of the right of private judgment must conduce to error, as we hold besides, that facts are recorded in the history of an exceedingly carnal people, which it can answer no useful purpose to bring within the cognizance of childhood, and from which modesty should instinctively turn away,— these, I say, being our sentiments upon a question of much controversy, though differing from our view, you have been sufficiently just to make allowance for what you consider to be our mistake in this regard; and notwithstanding that in this country there prevails a very opposite opinion, although it has been made a point of Protestant honour, that without distinction of age, of sex, or circumstance, the sacred writings shall every where, and by every body, be indiscriminately perused, you have taken our conscientious difficulties into account, and have not insisted that against the will of Roman Catholic parents, their children shall be subjected to the compulsory acquisition of elementary knowledge through the medium of holy writ. That concession having been made, 1 own, that bearing in mind the incalculable importance of applying a remedy to the evils which result from the ignorance which is submitted to prevail in the factory districts, 1 felt that the measure proposed by her Majesty's Government ought not to be resisted on any light and trivial ground, that it ought not to be made the subject of a mere political or sectarian struggle, and that a perverse ingenuity in devising arguments against it, ought not to be indulged. I asked myself whether there was any real practical evil to be apprehended by those who are not in communion with the establishment, and I was anxious, if possible, that my own judgment should yield an acquiescence to the reasons which were urged in favour of the scheme propounded in its ameliorated form, by the right hon. Baronet. It is matter to me of unaffected regret, that after giving the plan the best consideration in my power, I have not been able to arrive at a conclusion favourable to the measure; for while I am aware that the professors of my religion are exempt from the necessity of receiving instruction, in the sacred writings in a form to which they object, I feel, in the first place, that an unnecessary and therefore illegitimate predominance was given to the Church, and that it was my duty to look to the Government plan, not merely with reference to the manner in which my own individual religion was affected, but to the general usefulness of the scheme, to its compatibility with the principles of religious liberty, the maintenance of which is as important as the diffusion of knowledge. Not only is the Board constituted in such a way as to deprive Dissenters, although a majority of the rate-payers, of their just share of influence, but the master of the school, by whom the Scriptures are to be taught, must be ex necessitate a member of the Church. Now, if it be right that Catholics should be exempted from the necessity of reading the Scriptures at ell, is it just that Dissenters should be exempted from instruction through the medium of an episcopal delegate, in the Scriptures, of which the exposition is confided to him. The right hon. Baronet took a distinction between expounding and interpreting, but it is of a character so subtile that no ordinary casuist could have struck upon it. Not only is an ascendency given to the Church against which a not unnatural pride on the part of Dissenters revolts, but opportunities of proselytism, the more dangerous because the better disguised, are afforded. The more accomplished, the more skilful, the more zealous the churchman is, the more likely he will be to avail himself of the facilities with which he will be obviously supplied. Would the right hon. Baronet permit an adroit, persuasive Catholic to teach the Scriptures to a child in whose orthodoxy he felt a concern? I very much doubt it. He should, therefore excuse Dissenters for objecting to the influence with which men will be endowed in public schools, whose dogmas are almost as much at variance with those of Dissenters as "the doctrines of the Church of Rome. Putting all considerations of the progress which has been made by the dogmas of men who, to the honour of Dr. Pusey, are designated by a reference to his name, there is so signal a difference between the opinions of Dissenters and those of genuine Churchmen upon the doctrine of succession and the power of the priesthood founded on the Scriptures, that if there were nothing else, it would afford a reason for objection. The Bishop of Exeter, who is not, I believe, as yet attached to the Oxonian school of Theology, has, in his charge, claimed prerogatives and powers as great as any to which the most absolute prelate of the ancient Church could put in his title. If even to the assumptions of that conspicuous Pontiff a Dissenter might reasonably object, the spread of Puseyism must awaken and, fortiori fear. It is notorious that although the external aspect of the Church remains superficially the same, it has undergone a great internal change. Men of distinguished talent, of exemplary lives, of great learning and piety, have from motives the best and purest, made an eloquent announcement of opinions, in more strict conformity with the tenets of the Catholic church than with the principles of the Reformation. Those opinions have been adopted by laymen highly born and bred, remarkable for their proficiency in literature, for the gracefulness of their minds, and their persuasive manners. The new, or rather the revived doctrines have made great way among the clergy, who have begun to display the zeal, the energy, the devotedness and enthusiasm by which the missionaries of that church to which they have approximated, are distinguished. As yet these tenets have perhaps made no considerable progress among the mass of the people, but for the people those tenets possess great allurements. If Protestantism, says Madame de Stael, appeals to the understanding, Catholicism addresses itself to the heart. How largely have the Puseyites borrowed from that portion of our religious system, which truth exalts, consoles, which raises us above the sphere of ordinary thinking, chases despair from anguish, restores to us "the loved, the lost, the distant and the dead," pours into minds the most deeply hurt the most healing balm, ministers to the loftiest hope, and awakens those imaginings, which to use the Miltonian phrase, "brings all heaven before our eyes." Aware of the attractiveness of our tenets, those who regard them as a delusion, not unnaturally conceive that against these allurements, more than ordinary caution is necessary, and tremble at the influence which may be exercised with so much facility at a period of life when the first and the most permanent impressions are confessedly made in the inculcation of doctrines for which they conceive that no scriptural sanction can be adduced. It may be said that their apprehensions are ill founded, and that care will be taken by the prime minister that no heterodox ecclesiastic shall be raised to the episcopal dignity; but, sir, we must bear in mind that proof is almost every day afforded us of the appositeness of Lord North's remark, that "the first thing a bishop does is to forget his maker." Witness Dr. Daly, who was named a bishop in Ireland the other day, and immediately after poured out an anathama against, the Government scheme of education in Ireland. But even with regard to the prime minister's nomination, what security have the Dissenters got, beyond such intimations as a cheer affords? Among the supporters of the right hon. Baronet, are there not men distinguished by their talents, with more than a leaning to the new theology. Nay, was not Lord Morpeth himself sternly reproved on one remarkable occasion for railing at the Oxonian Professors, by a distinguished gentleman, who is favourable to freedom in trade, but a monopolist of truth? And if it be thought that I ought not, to refer to an incident so remote, and before the hon. Gentleman was in office, let me be permitted to ask, whether not many nights ago, there were not remonstrances addressed to the Member for Kent of a very significant sort, by Gentlemen whom the cheering of the Prime Minister did not deter from a confession of their creed? The fact is, it is hard to know who is, or who is not a Puseyite. I have even heard it made a question whether the Representative of Oxford himself does not to a certain extent, and more especially on the eve of a dissolution sympathize with the divines, by whom so great and just an influence is enjoyed in the learned localities where their talents and their devotion are pre-eminently displayed. I have heard it said that he must have a most difficult card, which few but himself could play; for my part, I do not believe that he is a Protestant in one college, and a pseudo Catholic in another, I do not believe that he adopts any of those amenities for which a celebrated order in the Catholic church, distinguished by their genius and erudition, are supposed to have had recourse for the advancement of truth: my opinion is, that while he adheres to the principles of genuine Protestantism, he is forgiven on his canvass for the sake of certain associations with Popery which are irresistibly suggested by the hon. Baronet. But whatever may be the religious predilections of the representative of Oxford, of the inclinations of Oxford itself there can be little doubt. Can we wonder then that the Dissenters should object to a surrender of their schools to the Church, when the Church itself derives its own instruction from what Dissenters consider a contaminated source? It is from these considerations that the fears of the Dissenters originate, and to those considerations we must ascribe the extraordinary excitement which has been manifested through the country, and the enormous mass of petitions with which your Table has been loaded. The Church-rate agitation was not comparable in its fervour to that which we have lately witnessed. The Dissenters were far more disposed to give you up their money than their creed. Besides the payment of Church-rates is an abuse which the law has long sanctioned, which time has consecrated, and which if not venerable is at all events hoary: but in the present instance you propose an innovation against the liberty of conscience, and utterly at variance with the spirit of modern legislation. This is a relapse into intolerance. Before the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts, it might have been reasonable enough—no it would never have been reasonable, — but it would have been consistent enough to have claimed this exclusiveness for the Church:—but now it is anomalous indeed. The Tory party resisted the repeal of the Test and Corporation Act as long as they could: at length in 1828 the right hon. Baronet at the head of her Majesty's Government gave way, and passed a measure which was the precursor of emancipation. Having passed that measure why does he upon a collateral question adhere to a policy wholly inconsistent with it? But on the part of the Home Secretary the incongruity is still more glaring. He was not driven into the repeal of the Test and Corporation Acts: he supported the noble Lord on his first introduction of the bill. You will tell me perhaps, that the Test and Corporation Act has nothing to do with this bill. I answer that the great principle on which it was founded, of removing every obstruction which religious differences had created, is in direct antagonism to the basis of your scheme, and that it is most absurd that Dissenters should be admissible to this House, to every office of dignity and of influence under the Crown, to the highest place in the Cabinet itself, and yet should be excluded from all influence in those schools which are to be sustained by rates raised from those very Dissenters; upon whom this most offensive disqualification is to be inflicted. The schools are local, are to be supported by a local rate and not a national fund—the district, not the state, is to be taxed for their maintenance; is it not monstrous, then, that in those localities where these Dissenters constitute a majority, they should be made the object of this wanton legislative affront— you don't pursue this course in Ireland— Why? Because the majority of the people are Catholic. But in the districts where local schools are to be supported with local imposts, the majority are in many instances Dissenters. The Church, there-fore, cannot insist that in right of their general tutelage of the national mind,! they are entitled to the control which is given them by this bill; and I am at a loss to discover what they conceive it will profit them to exercise a power so invidious as that which they are now seeking to obtain. What have they to dread from the imaginary influence of dissent in the schools which it is proposed to establish? Let them consider the bulwarks by which the Church, in reference to national instruction, is already sustained, and let them dismiss their fears of any evil effect which these schools can have on its stability. Is not Cambridge, is not Oxford theirs? In Durham have they not gained an university? Are not all the great seminaries in which the gentry of this aristocratic country are educated, in their keeping? Have they not a direct Masterdom over almost every place of public instruction, where the men, who are to will the destinies of England receive the elements of instruction? Do not a vast body of the middle classes draw their first intellectual nutriment from the bosom of the Church, and can you turn your eyes to any part of this great kingdom, in which you do not find the Church already exercising an influence over education, which it is impossible to distrust? With these vast advantages is not the Church contented, but must she needs, after having herself most reprehensibly neglected the education of the poor, when a measure is proposed to rescue the infant operative from the degradation and the depravity of ignorance, is she to come forward with her pretensions, and claim, as a matter of ecclesiastical prerogative, the instruction of the factory infants, on whom she never cast a thought away before? What has the Church to dread? Has she reason to tremble at the influence of dissent among the lower classes of the manufacturing population? If she is in the possession of the truth, wherefore does she not manifest the security which the consciousness of its possession should inspire? If she is built upon a rock, why should she dread that the gates of Gehenna shall prevail against her, and as she has retained so much of the old religion (the Americans call England the old country, you should call the Catholic, the old religion), as she has retained so much of its doctrines, and prefers the title of Anglo Catholic to any other designation, why does she not copy her great predecessor in that attribute, which a convert from your establishment, and one of the greatest ornaments of your literature so well ascribed to her? Without unspotted, innocent within, She feared no danger, for she knew no sin. If there be any danger which she has cause to apprehend, it is that which must result from the hostility which she will produce among all classes of Dissenters by the unjust assumption of antiquity, who will beyond all question be arrayed against her, if she has the misfortune to succeed in her unjustifiable pretensions. She will embody and array together all those sects which have now no common bond of union, and even among the Wesleyans, who are supposed to adhere to her by some sort of ligament or other, she will produce an antipathy which it is most unwise to create. I have often heard the Wesleyan Methodists made the theme of conservative panegyric. The most distinguished tories, especially at the eve of a general election, have been lavish in their encomiums on this powerful body: what a mistake it is to enter into a quarrel with them upon what is a mere point of punctilio with the Church? Instead of trespassing upon their rights, why does not the Church follow their example, and become their honorable competitor in the work of education? If it be of importance that the lower orders should cling to the Church, has not the Church some better expedient for the retention of its adherents than the invasion of religious freedom? Monopolies in religion are like all other monopolies—they retard improvement. It will do no harm to put the Church upon the necessity of exertion, and teach her that instead of relying on any unjust predominance, she should resort to more legitimate endeavours to secure an honorable influence among the humbler classes of the people. It is by piety, by benevolence, by zeal, by meekness, and by humility, by the association in the primitive doctrine of primitive practice, that an influence most useful to the country and most honorable to the establishment will be extended. Let the Church herself with the opportunities, incalculably great, which her affluence affords her—let her prelates—be distinguished for munifi- cence: let them look on the noble structures which the Bishops of the olden time have left as monuments of their pious disinterestedness through the length and width of all the land; let them in raising many a great moral edifice emulate that generous example: let her priests become the associates, the friends, the auxiliaries, the protectors, the Consolers of the afflicted, the humble and the poor; let them not only by their persuasiveness, allure to brighter worlds, but let them by their example "lead the way." Let religion be recommended by the practice of the Church, and in the Christian assemblage of persuasive virtues let the Protestant Propaganda be found; but let not the Church from a sacerdotal passion for ascendancy, from a love of clerical predominance, thwart the great work of education, and incur the awful responsibility of becoming instrumental in the propagation of all the vices, which ignorance has spawned upon the country'. At the conclusion of the very remarkable speech in which the. Secretary for the Home Department introduced the measure which was so ably propounded by him, he called on us to "raise up our hearts," and to rise above all lowly prejudice in the achievement of a great moral purpose. It is to the Church itself that this " sur-sum corda," this invocation, taken from the antient ritual of Catholicism, should be addressed; he should adjure the body over which he exercises so great and natural an influence, and for which he has made great sacrifices, to ascend above every inferior consideration, and to regard the instruction of the people as paramount to every other object. The right hon. Baronet has again and again protested his strong anxiety to render his measure acceptable to the great mass of the community, and to introduce such modifications as should meet all just objections. I trust that his professions may be realized, and as he told us that he wonld send forth his bill in the hope that it would receive the public sanction and indicate that the "waters of strife had subsided," let me be permitted to hope that he will associate with that image another incident connected with the primeval history of mankind, and bear in mind that every colour was united in distinctness without predominance, that token of peace which God set in the cloud, as a covenant of his reconciliation with the world.

Mr. M. Milnes

regretted that the present discussion had taken place, as he did not conceive that it was calculated to promote the object which they all ought to have in view. The right hon. Gentleman who last addressed the House had adopted a most unfounded and mistaken opinion as to the view taken by the Church of England on this subject. As an humble Member of that Church, he would say that the Church had no thought or notion of wishing to obtain power by supporting this or any other political measure. While the Dissenters had expressed their opinions so loudly, as to this measure, the opinion of the Church had been given passively, and passively only—and this was because the Church conceived that this was a measure with which it had no right to interfere. It was a measure brought forward as one of State policy, and only on this ground he supported it. He was sure that the only object of the Government in bringing forward this bill, and in giving power to the Church under it, was because the Government was convinced that that body alone could successfully work it out in consequence of the superior organisation of the Church. If this were not to be done what was the use of a Church establishment at all. He did not understand what the right hon. Gentleman meant by some peculiar and internal change in the structure of the Church of England. He really could not contemplate, in his imagination, what the right hon. Gentleman alluded to. All that could here be meant was, that there had been a revival in the energies of the Church of England, and that it had reestablished some of its ceremonies, and brought forward some of its doctrines, which had laid for some time, historically speaking, dormant. No doubt the new energies which had shown themselves in the Church, had been accompanied in their development with a certain degree of violence and exaggeration, which it could be wished had been avoided; but these temporary incidents could not affect the utility of the general result. There had been this internal change in the Church of England; a change such as Wesley and Whitfield would have been delighted to see. There had been an advance made by its members, not only in personal piety but in historical learning; a great advance also in many matters that involved great hopes and schemes of public good. This was the change, the only change which he could recognise in the Church establishment; and he was sure it was the only one which her Majesty's Government had in their contemplation when they framed the present measure. He must say that the way the present measure had been received throughout the country was, in his opinion, a subject for the profoundest sorrow. He could not say which party was in the right, the Churchmen or the Dissenters; but he did say that lit was sad indeed, when they saw any Government, whether the present Government or their predecessors, coming forward with a scheme of great public utility, and meeting, instead of co-operation, the most pertinacious religious animosity. It was hard to say, if such a line of conduct were systematically to be pursued, whether it would not become necessary to adopt the measure of the hon. and learned Member for Bath, as the sole resource which was left them to mitigate the mental and moral destitution of the country. He only expressed his own opinion, but he did think that if public opinion remained so divided, and if both parties continued so obstinate, if the Dissenters would yield nothing towards the superior organization of the Church, and the Church would yield nothing to the peculiar sentiments of the Dissenters, he did not see that they could come to any other alternative but some such scheme as that proposed by the hon. Member for Bath. He called on Hon. Members on both sides, who saw this necessity before them, and saw in it a virtual abrogation of the national profession of Christianity, to come forward and unite in endeavouring to frame some scheme to avoid such an event. For his part, Churchman as he was, he would rather that the people should be educated in any creed of dissent, than that the factory children throughout the land should be left in their present state of mental destitution; and with this feeling he did earnestly call upon the House to avert from them the danger of perpetual darkness which now threatened them. The Members of her Majesty's Government had shown great willingness to hear anything that could be urged against this plan, and to concede to many things that might seem almost to savour of prejudice. There was every desire to meet the wishes of the great mass of the people throughout the country upon this important subject; and, therefore, he again adjured every Member of the House, ex- cept the very small minority who would vote with the hon. and learned Member for Bath on the present occasion, to avert from the country the mournful alternative which was now proposed to them, but which, as he had already said, he would rather accept than see a continuance of the total ignorance and mental depravity which prevailed throughout the factory districts of this country.

Mr. Hawes:

as he could not give his vote in favour of the motion of the hon. and learned Member for Bath, wished to state shortly his views upon this subject. In the first place, he must confess that what had been said by the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, and by the right, hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department, in reference to the conduct of the Dissenters on this subject, had a little surprised him. All that could be said of the Dissenters was, that they had refused to accept the particular plan which had been proposed by the right hon. Baronet. They had not been asked to propose any measure of their own, and because they had not offered any such, they were accused of intolerance and impracticability. On the subject of education, he maintained that the Dissenters were entitled to tolerance and equality. There were, undoubtedly, some matters in which the Church of England was, entitled to peculiar privileges, but, in the matter of education, Dissenters were entitled to perfect equality. The hon. and learned Member for Bath contended, that because of the difficulty of teaching peculiar religious opinions, without involving an increase of religious animosities, that the instruction of the public should be of a purely secular nature. He was not prepared to come to this conclusion. Whilst he admitted the first part of the premises, namely, the difficulties which would attach to any attempt to teach peculiar religious opinions, he still thought that the Bible ought to be the basis of any national system of education. He was glad to hear from the right hon. Baronet the Secretary for the Home Department a contradiction of the impression which had very generally prevailed, that the national system of education in Ireland had entirely failed. Upon this subject he would beg to refer to the report of the commission on schools in Ireland, published in 1812, which stated that they had, Applied their best efforts to frame a system which would afford the opportunities of education to every description of the lower classes, keeping clear of any interference with the peculiar tenets of any particular sect, and induce them all to join as one undivided body in the same establishment. He was glad to hear from the right hon. Baronet that this laudable project had not failed, whilst the reports showed that those who participated in the advantages which it offered were increasing. With this example before him, he would not give up the hope that some combined system of education might succeed in this country, and he was not prepared to yield to the hon. Gentleman who had just sat down, that amid the difficulties which surrounded the question of national education, there was no other resource but to adopt a scheme in which the course of instruction should be confined to purely secular subjects. He should refer, as an instance in point, to the British and Foreign School Society. There they had a combined system of education, of which the Bible was the basis; and he hoped that the time was come when the Church of England would take a more enlarged and liberal view of the subject in regard to this country. They saw that in Ireland the Protestant and the Catholic combined in the cause of education, and they were told that the system succeeded; and he could not see why in England a similar scheme might might not be adopted with similar results. But as the right hon. Baronet said, that the schoolmaster must be a member of the Church of England, he presumed that this was the determination of the whole Cabinet; and he (Mr. Hawes) believed that he spoke the sentiments of every Dissenter throughout the land, when he said that they could not accept this proposition as a measure of conciliation, or as one likely to carry out the scheme of national education on any principle of liberality or public utility. On the other hand, with regard to the motion of the hon. and learned Member for Bath, he would venture to say, that throughout the wide extent of the country, no system of education could be acceptable to the great body of the Dissenters, which excluded the Bible from its course of study; and he for one hoped he should never see any system adopted which attempted to exclude from the pupil a free and entire access to the truths of Holy Writ, [Cheers.] He knew the meaning of that cheer. It was implied that the Dissenters were already provided with pastors and instructors on the subject of religion. He admitted the merit and the industry of those reverend pastors in their several occupations; but he knew also the importance of early impressions and trains of thought on such subjects, and he thought that if the Bible were excluded from the ordinary course of education and left only to a collateral share in the instruction of the people, they would not have that security of a scriptural basis for their education, which he for one wished to see. He looked upon the Bible as the best foundation, not only of religious but of civil liberty, and he appealed to all the momentous struggles in the cause of constitutional freedom in this country, where the Bible had always been the basis and the text-book of our greatest patriots. He did not wish to anticipate the discussion which might take place on this important subject. He feared, from the tone and temper of the public mind, which had, he thought, been somewhat justly excited by the speech of the right hon. Baronet, that there would be much difficulty in bringing it to a calm and satisfactory issue. He agreed with the hon. and learned Member for Bath that, in matters of education, there should be a strict equality. Education implied equality and they could not do justice to that proposition without giving the pauper the means of education, and of an education such as he could accept; and, therefore, he, on behalf of the poor man, would not waive a single claim which he could have on the community for the means of education.

Sir R. H. Inglis

said he could not shrink from the challenge cast at him by the right hon. Member for Dungarvon [Mr. Shell.] Whatever other faults might be attributed to him (Sir R. H. Inglis), at least it could not be said that he had ever shrunk from an open declaration of his opinion, or from his openly recording his vote, whenever any question came legitimately before him in that House. But whilst he was always prepared to do this, he would resist any attempt to interrogate him as to his private opinions upon religious subjects. The right hon. Member for Dungarvon himself, he dare say, would not allow him (Sir R. H. Inglis) to ask him what was his opinion in respect to the dispute between the Jansenists and the Jesuits, or that other dispute between the Franciscans and Dominicans, in respect to which the church of Rome to this day never pronounced an opinion. He (Sir R. H. Inglis) claimed for himself the selfsame right to hold his own opinions upon matters of religion without interrogations from the right hon. Member or others in that House. The right hon. Member could not accuse him of having wavered in his opinions as to the impolicy of admitting persons holding the religious tenets of the right hon. Gentleman within the walls of that House. He gloried in the name of Protestant, and that was the only answer he could give to any catechetical address the right hon. Gentleman might put to him. Having now been called upon his legs, he would state in few sentences his opinions upon the subject of national education. He thought that nothing could be worthy the name of education which did not bring out the higher qualities of man, and promote his eternal destinies; and he did not see how this could be done without some definite form of instruction on the subject of religion. To supply this sort of education he thought the Church of England was best adapted, whilst she was also constitutionally and historically entitled to claim this high authority and privilege, of instructing the people of this country, not only in what would make them good subjects here, but also in what rested their hopes hereafter. Stripped and spoiled as the church had been in the lapse of time, still she was complete in her organization, and would be prepared to meet the exigencies of the present case, if the state would give back to her the means which it had taken from her centuries ago. If the state would give up to the church such means as the education of the people would require, he believed that the church would prove itself the best medium of conveying throughout the land the advantages of education. He could hardly believe it possible that the House, which had received with such enthusiasm the address of the noble Lord the Member for Dorsetshire, describing the state of almost heathenism which existed in the northern districts of the country, would now refuse the means of giving vitality to the philanthropic views propounded by the noble Lord, in the form of a proportionate grant of public money. He should observe that it was quite as easy to carry out the proposed system of christian education, as that now proposed by the hon. and learned Member for Bath. He would entreat the House not to suffer the speech of his noble Friend, made two months ago, to pass from their recollection. Had a vote been proposed at the conclusion of the speech, the House could not have resisted an appeal so made and so sustained. But he would go further and say that, if the right hon. Baronet had proposed a grant of the public money for the purpose, he might have obtained it without difficulty. Of this he was quite sure, that, if the right hon. Baronet had proposed a grant for the purpose of carrying out a system of church education, he would have obtained to such a proposition quite as much support from his own side of the House, while he would have excited no more opposition from the other side than he had already experienced to his mitigated plan of church extension, which had occasioned so much horror in the minds of hon. Members opposite. He believed the hon. and learned Member did not intend to divide upon his resolution. [Mr. Roebuck: "Yes I do."] Then he should give to that resolution his most cordial opposition.

Mr. Ewart

thought, although he should vote for the motion, that the course adopted by the hon. and learned Member for Bath was not the most judicious that could have been adopted. He objected to the phraseology of the right hon. Baronet opposite (Sir J. Graham), which was not such as was likely to conciliate the dissenters and dispose them favourably towards his measure. The founder of the Wesleyans had been alluded to, but he knew that that body would be the last persons to agree to the right hon. Baronet's bill. The schism at present existing in the Church of England had awakened a feeling of distrust on the part of the Wesleyans towards the establishment, which it would be impossible to allay. He would not, however, enter into the question of the educational clauses; the time for that would be when the right hon. Baronet brought on his amended bill. The dissenters would maintain the position which they held; it was a defensive, not an offensive one, against the aggressive principle of the Government education scheme.

Mr. Roebuck

objected in reply to the language of the right hon. Gentleman opposite. That right hon. Gentleman had stated that he (Mr. Roebuck) proposed to exclude all religious education from the national schools. Now, he had taken care to guard himself most pointedly from any such imputation. What he had said, and what he would still say, was, that so far as the state was concerned it might prepare the youthful mind for the reception of peculiar religious views, which should be taught by the pastors of the sect to which the child belonged. He wished for no sectarian teaching in schools. He would not be a party to making the school-room a scene of the domination of one sect over another, or an area in which to struggle for religious supremacy. The hon. Baronet the Member for Oxford had talked of his consistency. Yes, the hon. Member was consistent. He began as an opponent of religious liberty, and he would die as he had lived. He had boldly proclaimed that he would maintain the domination of the church, the spirit of which he so fairly represented. The right hon. Baronet opposite, too, had uttered sentiments which would seal the fate of his bill. There was now no mistake in the matter. It was sought to establish the domination of the established church in the schools which were to be paid for by all. He did not mean, as the hon. Member for Lambeth seemed to suppose, to exclude the Bible from schools. He might as well say that he intended to exclude any other book. Those who taught in the national schools would teach in accordance with the general opinion and sentiments of the community. He contended that they must not infringe upon the right of the father to judge for himself and his children. If they did so, they would be breaking down the first principle of Protestantism, that of the recognition of the right of private judgment. He would adhere strictly to his resolution, warning the right hon. Baronet opposite that if he persisted in his bill he would rouse a fearful feeling of opposition to the Church, a feeling which was already sufficiently manifested against the supremacy given her by the Government scheme of education, and which was in great part owing to her Puseyite tendencies. He warned them to be wise in time—to be prepared to admit equality in the schoolroom, whatever they might do in the church, and to say we will commence, not by sowing discord, but by instilling into the people feelings of friendship and good-will towards one another, by ex. eluding from schools the great cause o national discord and heart-burnings.

Lord John Russell

said, that as his hon. Friend's explanation ([Mr. Hawes had said a few words which the House would not attend to.] had not been fully heard, he was anxious to say a few words in ex planation of the vote he meant to give —that though there was nothing in the words of the motion before the House to show that peculiar religious opinions meant more than differences between various denominations of Christians, ye' as the hon. and learned Member had intended to move this resolution as are amendment upon the third, fourth, and fifth of those of which he had given notice, the first of which three stated that the Holy Scriptures ought to be read in schools, it became impossible not to conclude, that though according to the hon. and learned Gentleman's speed extracts might be allowed to be read from the strictly historical parts of the Old and New Testament, yet that in fact the motion before the House went to prevent the Bible from being read as a school-book.

The House divided:—Ayes 60; Noes 156; Majority 96.

List of the AYES
Archbold, R. Hill, Lord M.
Barnard, E. G. Hindley, C.
Blewett, R. J. Hutt, W.
Bowring, Dr. James, W.
Brocklehurst, J. Jervis, J.
Brotherton, J. Marsland, H.
Browne, hon. W. Mitcalfe, H.
Busfeild, W. Morris, D.
Chapman, B Napier, Sir C.
Colborne, hn, W. N. R. Norreys, Sir D. J.
Colleltt, J. O'Brien, J.
Collins, W. O'Connell, M. J.
Crawford, W. S. Pechell, Capt.
Dennistoun, J. Philips, M.
D'Eyncourt, rt. hn. C. T Plumridge, Capt.
Divett, E. Pulsford, R.
Drax, J. S. W. S. E. Ricardo, J. L.
Duncan, G. Ross, D. R.
Duncombe, T. Russell, Lord E.
Ewart, W. Scott, R.
Fielden, J. Sheil, rt. hon. R. L.
Forster, M. Strickland, Sir G.
Gibson, T. M. Tancred, H. W.
Gill, T. Thorneley, T.
Gisborne, T. Trelawny, J. S.
Hallyburton, Ld. J. F. Villiers, hon. C.
Hay, Sir A. L. Wall, C. B.
Heathcoat, J. Wawn, J. T.
Heron, Sir R. Wemyss, Capt.
Williams, W. Roebuck, J A
Wood, B. Hume, J.
List of the NOES.
Ackers, J. Greene, T.
Acland, Sir T. D. Grey, rt. hon. Sir G.
Acland, T. D. Grimston, Visct.
Acton, Col. Hamilton, G. A.
Adare, Visct. Hamilton, W. J.
Allix, J. P. Hamilton, Lord C.
Antrobus, E. Hampden, R.
Ashley, Lord Hanmer, Sir J.
Bagot, hon. W. Hardinge, rt. hn Sir H.
Baillie, Col. Hawes, B.
Bankes, G. Hayes, Sir E.
Baring, hon. W. B. Heneage, G. H. W.
Barrington, Visct. Henley, J. W.
Baskerville, T. B. M. Hepburn, Sir T. B.
Bateson, R. Herbert, hon. S.
Bell, M. Hope, hon. C.
Bentinck, Lord G. Hope, A.
Blackburn, J. I. Hope, G. W.
Boldero, H. G. Howard, Lord
Borthwick, P. Ingestre, Visct.
Broadley, H. Inglis, Sir R. H
Bruce, Lord E. James, Sir W. C.
Bruce, C. L. C. Jermyn, Earl
Cardwell, E. Johnstone, Sir J
Chelsea, Visct. Jones, Capt.
Chetwode, Sir J. Kemble, H.
Cholmondeley, hn. H. Knatchbull, rt. hn. Sir E
Christopher, R. A. Knight, H. G.
Clayton, R. R. Law, hon. C. E.
Clive, Visct. Lawson, A.
Clive, hon. hn. R. H. Lefroy, A.
Colquhoun, J. C. Legh, G. C.
Colvile, C. R. Leslie, C. P.
Corry, rt. hon. H. Leveson, Lord
Courtenay, Lord Liddell, hon. H. T.
Cowper, hon. W. F. Lincoln, Earl of
Cresswell, B. Lockhart, W.
Cripps, W. Lowther, J. 11.
Darby, G. Lowther, hon. Col.
Denison, E. B. Lygon, hon. Gen.
Dickinson, F. H. Mackenzie, T.
Dodd, G. Mackenzie, W. F.
Douglas, Sir H. MoGeaehy, F. A.
Douglas, J. D. S. Mahon, Visct.
Drummond, H. H. Mainwaring, T.
Duffield, T. Manners, Lord C. S.
Ebrington, Visct. Manners, Lord J.
Egerton, W. T. Master, T. W. C.
Egerton, Sir P Masterman, J.
Eliot, Lord Maxwell, hon. J. P.
Escott, B. Meynell, Capt.
Evans, W. Miles, W.
Fellowes, E. Milnes, R. M.
Ferrand, W. B. Mundy, E. M.
Flower, Sir J. Neville, R.
Ffolliott, J. Newport, Visct.
Forbes, W. O'Brien, A. S.
Gladstone, rt. hn. W. E. Pakington, J. S.
Gladstone, Capt. Palmer, R.
Gordon, hon. Capt. Peel, rt. hon. Sir R.
Goring, C. Peel, J.
Graham, rt. hon Sir J. Pennant, hon. Col.
Plumptre, J. P. Tomline, G.
Pollock, Sir F. Trench, Sir F. W.
Ponsonby, hon. C. F. Trevor, hon. G. R.
Pringle, A. Trollope, Sir J.
Rashleigh, W. Turnor, C.
Rendlesham, Lord Tyrell, Sir J. T.
Rushbrooke, Col. Vesey, hon. T.
Russell, Lord J. Vivian, J. E.
Sandon, Visct. Waddington, H. S.
Sheppard, T. Walsh, Sir J. B.
Sibthorp, Col Welby, G. E.
Smith, rt. hon. T. B.C. Wilde, Sir T.
Somerset, Lord G. Wood, Col. T.
Sotheron, T. H. S. Young, J.
Stanton, W. H.
Stuart, H. TELLERS.
Sutton, hon. H. M. Freemantle, Sir T.
Talbot, C. R. M. Nicholl, rt. hon. J.