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BANGOR SCHOOL BOARD ELECTION.

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BANGOR SCHOOL BOARD ELEC- TION. A splendid opportunity is now afforded the Cathedral City of showing its attach- ment and fidelity to the principles of religious liberty and progress. There is throughout the country an ominous 6 y conjunction of the Papacy and the Church of England to secure for the so-called Voluntary Schools a larger share of the public fund swithout any increased share by the public in the control of the expendi- ture of such funds. There is also a deter- mined attempt by these combined parties to "capture the School Boards as advised by the Prime Minister, the object of such a step being, of course, to cripple the effic- iency of the Board Schools and to reduce them to the level of those "managed en. tirely by the priests of the k oman Catholic body and the clergy of the Es ablished Church. The great cry of these partisans is for a more definite religious teaching." They are dissatisfied, forsooth, with that given in the Board Schools, though in numberless cases, when the Church and Board Schools have come into competition, in Liverpool for example, the prizes for proficiency in religious knowledge have been gained readily by the scholars' taught in the latter. But what is meant by these clamourers by definite religious teach- ing" ? Does it mean that there shall be clearer statements that the Bible is the word of God, that repentance and faith and a godly life are necessary to salvation, that man has duties to perform towards God and his fellow-men, the strongest in- citements and sanctions to which are to be found in the precepts of the Bible ? Nothing of the kind. In the mouth of the Roman Catholic priest, it means teaching that salvation is to be found within the pale of his church alone, that the orders of the Church of England from those of the estimable bishop of the diocese down through the ranks of the canons, &c., to those of the vicars, are utter shams and vile delusions, and as destitute of all efficacy as if the services and sacraments were ad- ministered by the town clerk or town crier. In the mouth of a clergyman of the Church of England, it means the right to teacb in his school, attended mainly, in many instances, by th" children of Non- conformists, that Dissenting ministers, how- ever pure and holy their lives may be, are, to use the language of a clergyman known to many of our readers, "leading their flocks to hell" that they have no right to preach the gospel, that it is blasphemy on their part to administer the sacraments, &c. That our readers may see that we are not exaggerating, we will quote passages from the writings of another well-known clergyman, the Rev Sidney Boucher, the late able Principal of the North Wales T rainigg College for Schoolmasters, for- merly located in Carnarvon. He would probably have remained in this important post until now, had not Mr Gladstone, with commendable courage and justice, insisted upon his removal in consequence of his teaching his students doctrines like the above. The fact of :his removal, and the cause of it, are well known. It was not because the supporters of the college, the clerical section especially, disapproved of such instruction, but simply because of the threatened withdrawal of the Govern- ment grants from the institution. Mr Boucher subsequently became Rector of Gedding and in a paper on The im- portance of Definite Religious Teaching in > chools." read by him before the Church Teachers' Association for the Archdeaconry of Sudbury," on June 27, 1885, and pub- lished 'by '"request, and which, by the bye, was highly praised by our contemporary, the North Wales Chronicle," I and re- commended to the attention of clergymen generally, occur the following choice passages[;— Schoolmasters shall teach that Sacraments not Sermons are the 'Means of Grace' ap- pointed by Christ as necessary to Salvation (St John iii„51; vi., 53), and that genuine Sacraments cannot possibly be had outride the Church inasmuch as Priesthood' is essen- tially necessary for their life-giving ministra- tion whereas the various sects reject it utterly, and thus have lost touch' with the great High Priest above, by wilfully cutting them- selves off from fellowship with His own or- dained successors below. Hence, it follows, as a matter of course, that Sacraments as ministered'by Dissenters cannot be anything more than a sacrilegious outward show, and as much a. mockery and delusion, as grace without meat, a shell without a kernel, or a knife without a blade," Again, take this passage :— "Now, when people voluntarily band to- gether, select their own doctrines, make their own laws, invent their own mode of worship, and appoint their own teachers, &c., this is in reality choosing Christ instead of being chosen by Hirn. And accordingly, the societies so formed, having wilfully separated from the visible church which is the body of Christ, having deliberately cut themselves off from the Divine Presence promised by Christ to His apostles and their successors, and having therefore no divine gifts and graces to be- stow, these Societies, whether calling them- selves Presbyterian, Independent, Baptist, Methodist, or anything else, are not, and cannot be. "Churches" of God, but merely Sectarian Clubs." N6w, many similar and equally objection- able passages might be quoted from these writings so highly praiseel by the Chronicle," but this is enough to show to what lengths sincere clergymen can go. And such bigoted, narrow-minded stuff was not repudiated with disgust by this body of Church teachers, but was published at their request, and they presumably pro- ceeded to teach it to the young Noncon- formists under their charge, who had no other school to attend, and to which they were compelled to go. We should like distinctly to state that we do not find fault with Roman Catholics or Churchmen for believing and teaching the doctrines they do. But we, and thou- sands of sincere and zealous Churchmen, do object to such doctrines being taught, at the public expense, to children whose parents loathe and abominate teaching of this type. The great plea at Bangor is ostensibly we understand, the School Board rate; and a good deal is made of a speech made by Principal Price as far back as 1871. Mr Price is, no doubt, a very estimable man, but we presume he does not. lay claim to infallibility, and our advice to him is to acknowledge freely that he made a mistake. He sinned in excellent com- pany, the eminent statesman, the late Mr Forster, being one of them. It was, how- ever, very wise on his "part and that of the Board, not to sacrifice the efficiency of the sshoolsand the best interests of the children to the foolish desire of not appearing incon- sistent. That the members of the Board have a sufficient defence against the charge of extravagance, we are sure. From the joint address issued by the Nonconformist candidates we make the following extract: Those of us who have been members of the Board now coming to an end, confidently challenge your attention to the record of our administration in the past. We hive greatly improved the school buildings under our charge, and have endeavoured to supply them with more modern furniture and teaching ap- pliances. The proportion of children in aver- age attendance to the whole number of child- ren in the dist-ict has greatly increased. The teaching staff is more numerous and efficient than ever it had been before. An Evening Continuation School has been established by the Board, and has been conducted with marked success during the past three winters. To these improvements the reports of Her Majesty's Inspectors have borne repeated testimony. We are given to understand that amongst the heaviest items of expense are the amounts involved in repairs and altera- tions of the buildings, an expenditure that could not by any means be possibly avoided, and also the rise in salaries, which again is due to a corresponding rise all over the country, and is an increase not due to any extravagance on the part of the Board. Should;the economizers, as they style them- selves, succeed in "capturing the Board, they will find it impossible to make any very great reductions in this section of ex- penditure. The prospects of the Nonconformist can- didates, we are glad to learn, are very hopeful. The various denominations are zealous and united, and cordially working together, and there are many liberally- minded Chutchmen, who totally disapprove of the retrogressive policy of their more short-sighted brethren, and who will give their cordial support to the Progressive candidates. The importance of the ciisis is to a large extent realised, and unless we are very much mistaken,victcry will crown the efforts of the supporters of the School Board system. But this means loyalty to their principles, trust in each other, hard work and inceasmg perseverance. They certainly, cannot afford to despise their opponents, but with courage and dete/mi nation, they, as certainly, need not fear them, Nonconformists and enligbtened Churchmen of Bangor, act manfully and conscientiously on this critical occasion. Do not forget that the friends of religious liberty throughout the whole country are I carefully watching your course of action, and are anxiously expecting every man to do his duty."

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BANGOR CITY COUNCIL.[