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NATIONAL EDUCATION. MEETING AT USK. On Wednesday last, pursuant to advertisement, a publio meeting was held at the To m Hall of Ugk, for the purpose of forming a Diocesan Society for the Education of the Poor in the Principles of the Church of England; The BISHOP OF LLANDAFF in the Chair. The meeting was most numerously and respect- ably attended. Nearly all the Clergy of Mon- mouth were present, as well as a great number of the laity,—ladies, and gentlemen. Amongst them we observed—Jenkins, Esq., of Chepstow; Wm. Morgan, Esq., and Charles Wheeley, Esq., Aber- gavenny Alexander Jones, Esq., and Thomas Rees, Esq., of Usk Rev. J. A. Gabb, Vicar of Usk; Wm. Williams, lisq., jun, of Newport; Rev. Roberts, of Christchnrch; Rev. A. A. Isaacson, of Newport; Rev. F. Lewis, of l,anvaer;-Nlauglian, Esq., of Pontvpool; Richard Fothergill, Esq of Tredegar; William Brewer, Esq., of Newport; Rev Williams, of Llangibby; William Steele, Esq., of Abergavenny; llev. D. Jones, of Pen- teague; Rev. T. Jenkins, Dowlais, &e. &e. &c.; in- dependently of those whose names appear prefixed to the speeches. At 12 o'clock, the time appointed, his Lordship arrived, and said that as they had met for a most sacred and solemn purpose, the assembly would agree with him, in the propriety of opening the meeting with prayer; which was done by the Rev. T. Williams, of Llanvapley, in a most impressive manner. His Lordship then rose and said, that it was un- necessary to expatiate much on the general object for which that meeting was convened. It was one in which all present had taken a long and lively interest,—the education, not only of the poor, but of the middle classes of society. About 25 years ago the national system of education was established, and the feeling which then pervaded the community, pervaded it now,-a feeling of the necessity of instructing all classes in the principles of the Established Church. Large sums had been subscribed for that society; and since he had resided in London, he had observed the assiduity with which the managers of its affairs dis- charged their duties; but the results were not com- mensurate with the hopes which had been enter- tained though this was common to all societies, and it should not be allowed to operate against that So- ciety. Let them aim to remedy the defects. Let them not cast anyreflection on it,but come in as auxiliaries, and carry on its operations with greater efficiency. That was the design of this and similar ineeiings. They came to offer themselves as agents and instru- ments, to enable the National Society to realize its benevolent objects. And if there had been any omission, they should be doing it good by suggest- ing improvements. The poor were chiefly the ob- jects contemplated by that Society, but not the only objects; there were classes above these, who were not possessed of the means of acquiring useful knowledge, and of rendering themselves acquainted with the principles of the Church of England. They came there that day for the purpose of form- ing a plan, which would extend the benefits of a religious education to the middling classes of the community. Among the resolutions that would be proposed for their acceptance, one especially con- templated this improvement; another referred to the necessity of creating diocesan bodies, who should take on themselves the management of the schools within their own provinces. There were gentlemen present who seemed willing to devote all their energies to the promotion of this object; but it was impossible that any one man could do much unless he was aided by subordinate societies. The third particular was the establishing of a training school for masters. It had generally been found that there was a difficulty in obtaining proper per- sons for masters and mistresses of the schools. This again was a sort of evil which was common to societies generally. The central school could not be held responsible for this. They had no favourites, and they could not send to every place the best persons. It was unfair to throw the blame on the managers of that institution, when the masters were deficient in proper qualifications. They could go to London always for a proper person; but if they had a training school they might go to that school, and select a fit instructor. This advantage might be gained by establishing a training school for masters. His Lordship brought forward one or two other points; and concluded by saying, that he had now just opened the subjects to be discussed at that meeting. They would be more fully illustrated by the gen- tlemen who would speak when they proposed the several resolutions which had been put into their hands. Sir Digby Mackworth, Bart., begged to lay be. fore the meeting two or three letters, which he had received from some of the leading gentle- man of the county; whose opinions would be deemed important, not only by himself but by all present. He had received a letter from the respected High Sheriff, who regretted that busi- ness called him from home, and that it was, therefore, impossible for him, to attend that meeting; he, however, most cordially concurred in the objects for which it was convened. Lord Granville Somerset had written twice to him; and this very fact sufficiently indicated the deep in- terest he took in the subject. In reference to that meeting for educating children in the principles of the Established Religion of the country, he eX- pressed great iegret in not been able to be present and as far a that object could be effected on such principles as might not take from other Christians any privileges which they possessed, it should receive every aid and encouragement from him. Sir Charles Morgan had also written to him on the subject: he deeply regretted his absence, and suggested, what it might be well for the meeting to consider, that as a college was already esta- blished for the education of young men, he thought that a school for superintendents might be in- stituted in connection with that college. He (Sir Digby) considered the suggestion a very va- luable one, and trusted that it would not be overlooked by them, in their future arrangements. The Chancellor of the Diocese regretted, that in consequence of domestic affliction, he was pre- vented from assisting on the present occasion. He was not connected with this county, either officially or by preferment; still it was apparent that he was willing to aid them, in giving effect to the plans they then had in contemplation. Mr Blakemore rose to propose the first resolution, and said that he was ill prepared to do justice to the sentiments it contained. He lamented that he only knew about two or three minutesago, that he was expected to take such a part as that now as- signed to him. He could not enter into any minute details, nor did he think it necessary that he should do so. Their Diocesan would be ready to supply any lack of information on the very interesting subject now brought under their consideration. In enforcing his own religious opinions, he wished it to be distinctly understood that he did not throw, any imputation on the motives of any man who might seek salvation in any other way. He did not call in question the principles of any persons who felt themselves attached to the system they professed. Every christian man of a different persuasion from I their own, was entitled to as much respect as any of themselves. But, at the same time, it was incum- bent on all connected with the Establishment, to give every possible efficiency to the principles of the established religion of the country. Others might take what steps they thought proper to further their views. But as members of the Establishment of the country, they had a right to call on the Legis- lature of the Country, to give every possible support to that system, which had conferred such invaluable benefits on their native land. The religious instruc- tion of those classes of society which had hitherto been much neglected, should be gravely brought before their lawgivers. To education without re- ligion, he did express his conscienclous and decided objection. To instruct the youth of the land in their general duties, without at the same time teaching them the paramount duties of religion,-to enable them to acquire a species of knowledge and science, without coupling it with that knowledge which leads to everlasting life, must produce consequences the most injurious to society. If they brought up their young men, without endeavouring to impress on their minds their responsibility, they would be left open to seductions, and to defections of the most serious kind. They ought ever to couple education for temporal purposes, with that which concerned their eternal welfare. The resolution which had been entrusted to him, referred to that religion which had put into their possession the liberty they elljoyed- which had shed on this country its brigbtent glories aud had made it an example to the world. Their domestic and social comfort was derived from the same source. But all present were so deeply con- vinced of the value and excellency of that religion he need not, therefore, urge upon their attention further that part of the resolution. He felt great pleasure in moving that A Legislative support being demanded in the present day for systems of edtication, whereby for the religious training in pure faith and sound doctrine afforded by the Established Church, it is proposed to substitute a com- pulsory intellectual culture, or merely moral instruction, (from which shall be excluded the peculiar and dis tinguishing doctrines of christianity) -Resolved, that the endeavours thus made to conciliate a specious liberalism, are unworthy of a Christian nation, which has recognised the solemn obligation to instruct the young of all classes in the fear of God, as well as in their duty to man," I'he Rev. Thomas Williams, of Llanvapley, then came forward and said, that he rose with pleasure to second the resolution which had just been proposed. They were not met there to decide whether the people were to be educated or not, but on what prin- ciples they were to be educated. He would call upon them to consider the three systems which were already proposed, aud to determine which of them it was their duty to adopt. There was a wide and serious difference between those plans. The first proposed to give a secular education merely to the people. The second, was that of the British and Foreign School Society, which admitted the children both of Church- men and Dissenters into a participation of its patronage. The third was that of the National Society, which provided for the religious, as well as secular instruction, of the youth committed to its charge. By the first, useful knowledge was given to the people. Bui "useful" was a term employed in a most abused sense; for no knowledge call be useful, in a safe sense, unless it be joined with religion. This sanctified the other. "Knowledge is power'' was a maxim frequently quoted but it was a power which might be either a good or an evil. For instance, there was a power which united the old and new worlds together; it was a useful power when property directed but if it broke loose, it would scatter ruin and dismay. They were told that intellectual culture was sufficient for the moral improvement of man but this was contrary to Scripture and to fact. If they referred to the history of ancient nations, they would perceive that their highest and most spendid attain- ments were connected with the deepest degredation. It they looked to modern nations they might find an ample number of facts, which shewed an intellectual culture was not a proper basis on which to rest a people's religion. It was not by this, that they would be effectively taught their duty towards God and their neighbours. It was not byachymical disquisi- tion on the deleterious effects of ardent spirits, that the drunkard was to be reformed. It was not by exposing ihe dishonourable character and in- juriousness of theft, that rapine was to be re- strained. It was not by discoursing on the nature of the bond which unites a man to his wife, and the duties which it involves, that the mar- riage vow would be preserved inviolate. There must be an appeal to higher considerations. But they were told that the advocates of the system referred to, did not wish to exclude religion. Those who wished the scholars to be brought up reli- giously, might attend to that matter themselves, and come to the school and call them out to re- ceive such religious instructions. But when they remembered the multiplicity of religious denomina- tions, they would perceive that the confusion which would be created by such a procedure, would render this impracticable. The second system al- lowed the Scriptures to be read, And its advocates exclaimed that they, therefore, did not exclude religion but no exposition of the Scriptures was permitted. The assembly would recollect one who read, but did not understand for how could he, (he said) except some one taught him? The Scriptures were to be read, but there was no note uor comment- there was no explanation to be given. All prejudices, in short, would be consulted, cxcept the prejudices of those who believed that it was their duty 10 instruct the children in the truths of the Christian religion. Here the Rev. Gentleman read several extracts from the report of the Society, to shew how strictly the instructors adhered to this rule; and further observed, that it was said that this system was one of the greatest impartiality; but the very existence of an Established Church shewed partiality and it was treason against the Establish- ment to speak of impartiality. It had been made the Religion of the couutry-aild it was the duty of the Legislature and of this country to enforce and diffuse its principles. And this wa" the ground the third sys- tem occupied, and the ground ou which they proceeded in that meeting. It had been said that it was very hard that the various religious sects were excluded; hut it was not so hard as they might at first sight sup- pose. At several schools inquiries had been made, and it was found that many of the children who at- tended, were the children of Dissenters. Some- times there were more than half of them the children of Dissenting Christians; for the fact was, there were many Dissenters who had not a very great prejudice against the Church. Many were Dis- senters, he ventured to say, in some cases, because there was no room in Church. Another objection which had been made against them was, that they were indifferent to the children of the poor; but this was not founded on fact. Lately there had been rapid advances. The number of children was greatly increased; and the proportions of the grants made by Parliament, were sufficient to rebut the charge. Those who made this charge were like the Egyptian taskmasters, they demanded the talc of the brick, but refused them the straw. The Church was not to blame in this matter. She had exerted herself. Let Parliament aid her etforts; at least let them not impair her exertions. The people of England would let the Legislature understand, that it was in vain for them to form any plan of education which excluded religion. He hoped that the spirit shewn to-day, would not be allowed to evaporate after that meeting but that every Clergyman aud Layman would cherish the spirit, and aim in their respective spheres to diffuse it abroad. He had endeavoured to bring before them the three systems, and he knew there would be no difficulty in deciding in which way the choice lay. Let them act with promptitude and with energy, and exercise withal, as much as in them lay, a spirit of charitable forbearance. It was the duty of the Church to ward off blows, not to strike them and the Church he would say, was an anvil which had worn out ma y a hammer. He cordially seconded the resolution. As we have ueither room nor time to give this week, the remainder of the proceedings, we' affix the whole of the resolutions; reserving the speeches of the movers and seconders till next Saturday. That scripural knowledge cannot be advantageously conveyed, nor instruction in the doctrines of Christianity duly given, in schools devoted to the joint instruction of the various denominations of Christians, among a peo- ple exhibiting so much diversity of religious opinions as exists in this country." • 7,rhat ^roin period of the Iteformation, and espe- cially in the present age, the Church has exerted herself in educating the people committed to her charge, and has done much to promote the cause of national educa- tion, but that the means at her disposal are become wholly inadequate to enable her to meet the growing wants of a rapidly increasing population, congregated in masses in the densely peopled districts of the king- dom." J r That the communication of religious knowledge is one of the main functions of the National Church that apart from the knowledge of true religion secular edu- cation is nothing worth that it is the duty of the Clergy and Laity of these realms to provide for all who may be willing to receive instruction in connexion with the National Church, and under the superintendence of the National Clergy, a moral and religious cduca'ion, and that the territorial division of our country into parishes affords a simple, economical, and suitable machinery, for extending such education, as well among the middle as among the working classes of the people." That this meeting is desirous to use all practicable means to extend and improve the system of National Education in the principles of the Established Church, in union with the National Society, and invites the in- habitants of this county to unite in forming and sup- porting, by donations and annual subscriptions, a Society to be called "Fhe 31onmouthshire Diocesan Society for Promoting Education in the principles of the Church of England. That the Right Rev. the Lord Bishop of the Diocese be the President of the Society that every Clergyman who may become an annual subscriber, and every Layman who shall subscribe a guinea annually, be con- sidered a member of the Society and that the members shall form a general meeting to make rules and regula- tions for the future government of the society and to choose a Managing Committee for the efficient conduct of its proceedings in connection with the National Society." "That the petition to Parliament, now submitted to the meeting, be approved of, and presented to the House of Commons by the Right Honourable Lord Granville Somerset, Member for this County." That the best thanks of this meeting be tendered to the Lord Bishop of the Diocese, for his laudable ex- ertions in calling this meeting, and for his able and dignified conduct in the chair.



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