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4!t\e CtatUtff 2ttibtrtiOcr…

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OPPOSITION TO THE EDUCATION AND FACTORIES' BILL AT MERTHYR. Considerable excitement having existed among the Dissc?j ters in this town since it became known that the above bill has been read a second time in the House of Commons, and 011 Friday evening, the 31st ult., a large meeting of Dissenting parties in the town and neighbourhood, was he' at Zoar Chapel. The Rev. Abel Jones, Baptist, havivg commenced with prayer, the Rev. William Evans, Wesleys," was unanimously voted to the chair, and stated the objects of the meeting; they were not against government, rior against the church, but as they thought the bill now passillg through the Commons had a, tendency to infringe 011 the'f liberties, they thought it a duty they owed to themselves the rising generation to give it their decided opposition, *n(l called on the Rev. B. Owen, Independent, who commeJicea by congratulating the chairman, that so many were present* They felt much attached to Sunday schools, thousands t{1 Merthyr were indebted to these noble institutions, for bei" £ taught to read God's holy word, consequently they were de3f with them. Lord Ashley's object undoubtedly was go<>^» but the bill brought to the House of Commons by Sir Graham was too much in favour of the church, at the e' pense of the Dissenters and country at large. A Dissenter may be a mayor, an M.P., and eligible for other civil office9' but of course will not be school master under the provision3 of this odious bill, when the whole power will be in the hands of the clerical trustee. He concluded by moving the following resolution: that while this meeting is impressed with the importance and desirableness of affording a sound and useful education to the labouring classes of the commo* nity, views with surprise and alarm the educational princ1" pies and provisions of a bill for regulating the employ- ment of children and young persons in factories, and for the better education of children in factory districts," now before parliament, as utterly incompatible with the rights of con- science and with civil and religious liberty. The Rev. Edward Griffith, minister of the English Inde- pendents, was glad to learn that the Dissenters of Mertby* would not be imposed upon by any administration to forfeit the rights and liberties left them by their iion-conforalist fathers, for they were dissenters from principle, as well As their fathers. They considered it more in accordance with the new testament, than a church in connexion with the state. But they were opposed to measures, not to niell- They all knew of the benefits that education, free, scripturalv and unsectarian, would confer on the public at large, but they were met there that evening to petition against a mon- opoly in education by the Church of England, at the expenle of Dissenters as well as others. He knew that those who attended the national schools were bound to attend church on Sundays, whatever might be the religious scruples of their parents. There were six in the Sunday school where he superintended who could bear testimony to that violation of religious freedom. The bill they were met to oppose gave the whole controul to the hands of the church party, and a celebrated writer had declared that seven of every nine of the clergy of the Church of England were Puseyites. The bill also conferred the whole power of the admission or dismissal of the scholars into the hands of the church the board consists of the clergyman, the two eburchwardt-ug, and the manufacturer, &c., but the bill secured that the church party is to have the majority, and will, of course think of their friends who may want a situation of emolu- ment. The inspectors of the schools also were to be ap- pointed by the Archbishop of Canterbuiy. Such a flagrant attempt to infringe on the liberties of the Eissenting portion of her majesty's subjects was not made since the accession of the House of Brunswick to the throne of these realms. He cordially seconded the resolution. The Rev. B. Williams, of the Tabernacle, Baptist, ill supporting the same, remarked, that thousands had learnt to > read the holy scriptures in Sunday schools, and had been taught to fear God and honour the King in these glorious institutions, and if this bill will pass, the act of toleration* in a period of ten years will be merely a dead letter. The Rev. T. Davies, Baptist, of High-street chapel, in moving the second resolution, viz., that this meeting rewh-ts that prompt and active measures be adopted by aU the friends of civil and religious liberty to prevent the educa- tional clauses of the bill from passing into a law, and with this view urges the ministers of the various dissenting con- gregations in Merthyr Tydfil, and the neighbourhood, unitedly to petition parliament to the effect, without delay. and that petitions be also sent from every congregation, and Sunday schools also unite in a general petition of a similar nature. The Rev. gentleman asked How came such a bill before the ligislature 1 are not five or seven millions of money enough to the Church of England without having another act of parliament cannot the clergy do anythin I without an act of parliament 1 it seems they cannot preaciH pray, nor walk, ere long, without an act of parliament." He then analysed the bill, eulogizing some of the clauses pertaining to factories, and strongly condemning the church extension, and sabbath school--destroyiiig clauses, and said that they had not assembled against the government of the country, but against a measure having a direct tendency to violate our liberties, extend the power of the church, rob the poor, and the whole at the expense of John Bull. Was he-" or any one else obliged to have Parr's Pills forced down his throat against his will! was it right in the promoters of the present measure to take so much out of the hands of the dissenters, who have done so much to promote virtue in the land he called upon the vast congregation in the name of Christianity—in the name of the rising generation—and in the name of everything that was good to oppose the educational clauses of this bill. D. W. James, Esq., merchant and chief constable of the borough, on being requested by the chairman to second the resolution, remarked that he was embarassed, not having the least intention of taking a part in the proceedings, but hoped that he should not say anything derogatory to the sacredness of the place where he stood. The inhabitants of Merthyr, and the county at large, were greatly indebted to the self- denying and christian efforts of Sunday school teachers, in diminishing crime, and instructing the rising generation ill their moral duties. He was really glad to see his feliowf townsmen making such an opposition to such Fk sgctwieA- bill, and acting legally and constitutionally; let tfeem frus- trate its becoming the law of the land by every means in their power, as the Covenanters and Secellers of Scotland. He most cordially seconded the motion, and the Rev. W, IR. Davies, Baptist minister, of Dowlais, briefly supported the same. Mr. W. Morris proposed, and the Rev. Dan. Jones, of Bethesda, seconded, that a committee, composed of the min- isters of the congregations and superintendents of Sabbath schools, shall, at the close of the public meeting, take into consideration the form of petitions, which may be submitted to them, and to prepare such as may be approved, for their respective congregations and schools, by next Sabbath. A vote of thanks having passed to the chairman, and the Ret- Joshua Thomas, of Adulam chapel, having closed with prayer, the meeting, which was conducted throughout with great solemnity, quietly dispersed. We understand tha,t the different congregations are to word their several petitions as they deem most proper but the following is a copy of the one to be signed by the females of Merthyr To the Honourable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in Parliament assembled. The humble petition of the undersigned females interested! in Sabbath-school instruction, residing in the town and! neighbourhood of Merthyr Tydiil, in the County of Glamor- gan, sheweth, That your petitioners have heard with surprise and alvm the provisions of A Bill for regulating the employment of children and young persons in Factories, and for the better education of children in Factory districts," and of caliev in- tended measures relating to the Education of the, Workirig Classes. That this Bill appears to your petitioners to involve ft flagrant violation of the principles of civil and religious li. berty; and will, if carried into a law, have the effect "f breaking up Sabbath and other Schools, supported by volun- tary contributions and will place under the controul of the Clergy of the Established Church the Education of the Working Classes, and add to the expense of the the cost of Sectarian Education, and will unjustly tax all classes and denomination to extend the influence of the Church, Your Petitioners, therefore, earnestly pray your Honour- able House that no such Bill or Bills may pass into law.. And your petitioners will ever ptay., The petitions to be in at the Tabernacle on the morning of Easter Monday, before eight o'clock to be forwarded to London at once; and that no children of tender age are allowed to sign the petitions. The Whigs have petitioned against the return of Mr. Fitzroy Kelly for Cambridge,