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THE REYEREND~IRGRIFFITIIS AND THE EDUCATIONAL QUESTION. TO THE EDITOR OF THE PRINCIPALITY. Cr-o Mr. Rees, of Llanellv, has not replied to Mr. •ka0e XJ-ccon letter, which appeared in the PRINCI- 44 I trust it will not be deemed improper to offer a few remarks on that letter through your column-. Had Mr G. confined lnmsolf to the questions proposed bv Mr il«es I would not have taken up my pen on the sub- by MI. > forward with a theory of popular to opinion, with Government ddi'ul' 'roli'«™s liberty, I thiuk it demands a candid Summation." btt two years many eonfceting opinions have been stated on the subject of education, and party spirit may have occasionally embittered the contro- versy. Much as I value the peace of the denomination, and the welfare of Brecon College, yet I do not wish any man to In 'forego the expression of his opinions in order to preserve the one or the other; and I believe it is not necessary to be of one mind on the educational question in order to co-operate on other matters more purely religious. However, if unani- mity be attainable, it is much to be desired. If, therefore, a friendly statement of the difficulties and objections which rise up in my mind on perusing Mr. G.'s ]etter will draw from him a farther explanation of his views, I may aid somewhat to bring about that unanimity which we all desire. Respecting the province of the schoolmas: er, he says, "The children are his only so far as they arevleft him by their natural and religious guardians. His work is purely reversionary, that is, it begins precisely where the others end." With this definition before me, I concluded,-the parent is o teach virtue, the pastor is to communicate reli- gious instruction, and then the schoolmaster to teach those branches of secuiar knowledge, which do not interfere with the province of the parent or the pastor. But proceeding a little fur- ther, this conclusion was forced away by the following definition of the schoolmaster's problem:—"How, without entrenching on the special relationships of individuals, or interfering with any ex- isting organizations, we can best promote the cultivation of virtue, manhood in its widest sense, so as to fit our children for the mul- tirlex requirements of life." Here man is to be taught virtus, manhood in its widest sense, without considering him in relation to God or immortality The scheme appears to me very undesirable if it be practicable. I do not wish to make day-schools arena s for theological controversy or denominational instruction, but I think the schoolmaster should so teach and so discipline the children as to think that they are responsible to God for their conduct, and that the Holy Scriptures is God's revealed rule of conduct for man. Although our country is richly blest with scriptural information," yet the immoralities which everywhere abound prove that the scripture is not generally used as a rule by which to judge of per- sonal and relative duties. As a minister, I should feel that a schoolmaster, whose primary object was the formation of character on New Testament principles, would contribute much to my com- fort and usefulness, and would consider that day one fraught with peril to the church and nation that made it the duty of th e school- master, as such, to do nothing for the children commit edlo his charge as immortal and responsible spirits. We find parents commanded to bring their children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord." Mr. G. says, Itelation- ships cannot be delegated, nor can the obligations they involve be encroached upon with impunity. Is it meant to assume that as the parents, who preside over the HEARTH, are to provide for the physical wants of their children, so the priests, who minister at the ALTAR. are to give religious instruction to all children without ask- ing any parent's consent ? We find it necessary to have the con- sent of the child's religious guardians" before the schoolmaster can act. I cannot bring myself to believe that Mr. G. is ready to assert scch powers for the priesthood, and yet I can make no- thing else of those expressions in his letter. Supposing the parent delegates to the pastor, what prevents his delegating to the school- master, or the Sunday-school teacher as wall, without considering the one or theother his rival or substitutesurely the Dissenting I ministers do not consider that their teaching supersedes the neces- sity for religious instruction e\y/families and why should it super- sede the necessity of mli.guius training in day schools, unless to make out a ,-nlausible case for State aid ? I, for one, think there cacnot be too many agencies at work (provided they be of the right sort) in training children and men for another world. Mr. G. objects to the schoolmaster's being an ecclesiastical officer." If by "ecclesiastical" is meant belonging to a church, I agree with him but if it be meant to say, that he has no mo e to do with religion than a parish surgeon or town police, I differ. A schoolmaster, whose office is not more religious than that of a policeman, cannot promote virtue, manhood in the widest sense of the word." But this secular teaching of virtue, according to Mr. G., should be undertaken by Government; therefore let the work be left to it, for "it is of utmost importance that it should clearly understand the nature of its work, for the moment it attempts to go beyond it, it falls into danger. Let it not be forgotten, others have their mission as well as itself, and with their duties it should not intermeddle." But Mr. G. will not allow us thus to particu- larize his general principles, for, speaking of local committees, he says, Where it can be done effectively by voluntary subscriptions, I trust our friends will not think of applying to Government." Why? Of Mr. G.'s r'ght to act on his conscientious convictions I have no doubt, and hope I mny never blame him for doing so and if he can produce a scheme of State education compatible with she strictest of religious liberty, which I very strongly doubt, he would again have to show that such scheme was consis.. tent wiih religious liberty before he could command our adhesion. The Normal School at Brecon is a religious institution. Those who supported applying for Government aid did not propose to se- cularise that iristitutioil and if they had done so, I am confident they would not have a third of the subscribers to support them. I should like to see more from Mr. Griffiths's pen. I am open to conviction. Three years have not yet passed since he expressed his regret that the committee of the British and Foreign School Society had been persuaded to accept £ 750 annually from Govern- ment for the Borough-road Normal School. At that time he ad- vocated the Welsh Normal School as a religious institution, with- out hinting any dislike to its constitution. If, therefore, by reflec- tion and reading, his views have undergone a complete change, let him state his views and reasons, and the more frankly and unre- servedly he expresses them the greater respect will I feel for him as a man and a tutor. Yours, &c., July 29th, 1848. S. EVANS, Penygroes.








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