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And in accordance with this inquiry is contained in the same Minute the following Resolution:
"That on these facts in relation to each case being presented to the Committee, and their Lordships being satisfied that the regulations of the 24th of September will in all other respects be fulfilled, they will limit their aid to those cases in which proof is given of a great deficiency of education for the poorer classes in the district; of vigorous efforts having been made by the inhabitants to provide funds, and of the indispensable need of further assistance; and to those cases in which competent provision will be made for the instruction of the children in the school; the daily reading of a portion of the Scriptures forming part of such instruction."—Ibid. p. 14.
If any doubt could remain as to the sense of this Minute of 1839, in limiting the aid from the Parliamentary grant to schools imparting scriptural, and therefore, of necessity, Protestant instruction, and that this was all along the recognised and understood principle of the annual Parliamentary education grant, such doubt would be completely done away with by a Minute of the Committee of Council of June 28th, 1847, which distinctly and expressly treats of the interpretation of the former Minute, In the first place, this Minute embodies a letter addressed to the Wesleyan Education Committee by the Secretary of the Committee of Council, in which he says, that he is "directed to furnish them with the following explanations on the several matters to which they relate, resulting from recent deliberations of the Committee of Council." The first of these explanations is as follows:
"Schools not connected with the National and the British and Foreign School Societies have been admitted to the benefits derivable from the Parliamentary grants, by means of the Minute of the 3rd of December, 1839. It was their Lordships' intention, when they adopted the Minutes of August and December, 1846, to remove the stringency of the preamble to the Minute of the 3rd of December, 1839, which declares, that if the school be not in connexion with either of those Societies, the Committee of Council will not entertain the case, unless some special circumstances be exhibited to induce their Lordships to treat the case as special. This part of the preamble having been removed, the schools recognised by the Education Committee of the Wesleyan connexion would be admitted to the benefits of the public grants on the conditions observed in common, both by schools connected with the National and with the British and Foreign School Societies.
"But no school would be admitted to the enjoyment of these advantages which did not fulfil the requirement contained in the Resolutions with which the Minute of the 3rd of December, 1839, concludes,
namely, that the daily reading of a portion of the Scriptures shall form part of the instruction in the school.
"It has always been intended by the Committee of Council that these words should be understood as requiring that THE ENTIRE BIBLE, IN THE AUTHORIZED VERSION, should be required to be in use in schools aided by public grants, so far as such a condition did not interfere with the constitution of the schools of the British and Foreign School Society, as founded under the patronage of his late Majesty George III., and subsequently sanctioned by Parliament since 1833, and which constitution includes the use of the Holy Scriptures, or extracts therefrom.
"Their Lordships have not superseded the operation of their Minute of 3rd December, 1839, by their Minutes of August and December, 1846. The whole series of Minutes are connected, and are to be deemed mutually explanatory."—Minutes of Committee of Council, 1846, vol. i. pp. 20, 21.
Besides placing this letter on their Minutes as an official record, the Committee of Council, as if to make assurance doubly sure, added, in the Resolution confirming the explanations given in the letter, the following declaration :—
"Their Lordships understand, that by the Minute of the 3rd December, 1839, the use of the entire Bible in the authorized version was intended to be required in schools aided by public grants, so far as such a condition may not interfere with the constitution of the British and Foreign School Society."—Ibid. vol. i. p. 24.
Now we conceive that if upon this emphatic assertion of a constant determination to insist upon the daily reading of the Scriptures," and that "in the authorized version,” as a sine quá non of State assistance to schools, we had suggested that the Committee of Council entertained an intention, at the very same time, of granting aid from the Parliamentary fund to Roman Catholic schools (from which not only the authorized version is banished as a heretical book, but which discountenance the reading of the Bible in any version), and that with an express understanding that no question whatever should be asked as to the religious instruction imparted in those schools, we should have laid ourselves open, most justly, to a charge of dealing in calumnious insinuations of the very grossest and most unfounded nature. How the Committee of Privy Council came to establish a charge of such monstrous and incredible inconsistency against itself,-how it was possible for the same men to proclaim with one and the same breath the principle of Protestant scriptural education, and the principle of Popish education without any guarantee for the use of the Scriptures, is an enigma which, we confess, surpasses the limits of our capacity. We feel most par
ticularly thankful that we are not placed in a position in which it might be incumbent on us to explain the principles, or to account for the proceedings, of the Committee of Council on Education. Our humble duty, happily, will be satisfied by a simple statement of facts; and these we now proceed to set forth in all their nakedness. On the 15th of April, 1847, Lord John Russell, being called upon by Sir James Graham in the House of Commons to explain a somewhat unintelligible explanation given by Lord Lansdowne in the House of Lords, a short time before, expressed himself to the following effect. Speaking of his noble colleague in the other House, he said that
"He referred to the decision of the Committee of Council in 1839, in which it is declared that in all schools so aided the authorized version of the Scriptures must be used. That was the decision made in 1839, in which I believe, though there have been some two or three cases of Roman Catholic schools brought under the consideration of the Committee of Council, has not since 1839 been departed from. But Lord Lansdowne thought it necessary to add, in order to prevent any misconception on the part of those to whom that answer was given, that although the Minute declared that the authorized version of the Scriptures must be used in its integrity in any school to which such aid was given, neither he, nor, he believed, the Committee of Council, would feel themselves at all precluded from preparing or agreeing to other Minutes by which aid might be given to Roman Catholic schools, in cases where they thought fit, from the constitution of such schools, that such aid should be granted. . . . . I am not prepared to say that there may not be certain cases of Roman Catholic schools in which it might not be fit to give aid. But the terms of the limits to be set require very deliberate consideration, and these terms of the Minute will be maturely considered, and will be submitted to the House before any aid is asked for educational purposes from this House."-Hansard, 3rd Series. Vol. xci. col. 820, 1.
The intimation thus thrown out gave rise to repeated questions, in reply to all which Lord John Russell declared that no part of the money to be voted that year should be applied to Roman Catholic schools; and, in particular, in answer to certain questions put to him by Sir B. Hall, his Lordship said, on the 19th of April:
"With respect to the grant of the present year, we do not propose that any part of the 100,000l. we shall now proceed to ask from the House, should be applied to these Roman Catholic schools. If we are able to frame a Minute which shall appear to us satisfactory on this subject, we shall either propose some additional grant in the course of the miscellaneous estimates, or reserve the subject for the grants of education proposed in another year. As I have stated, from 1839 down
to the present time, no grants have been given to Roman Catholic schools, as such, and at present we make no change on the subject."Hansard, 3rd Series. Vol. xci. col. 952.
In conformity with this intimation in Parliament, the letter to the Wesleyan Educational Committee before quoted, bearing date April 7, 1847, contains, in immediate connexion with the extract given (p. 37), in which the constant intention of requiring the use of the entire Bible, in the authorized version," is asserted in terms as plain and strong as any which the English language supplies, the following intimation:
"Their Lordships have hitherto made no provision for the extension of aid to Roman Catholic schools; but they have not by their recent NOR BY ANY PRECEDING Minutes precluded themselves from presenting to Parliament further Minutes, by which, upon a full consideration of the wants of the population and the constitution of the school, they may be enabled to grant such assistance. These further Minutes, when presented, will make a separate provision for Roman Catholic schools, and will in no degree unsettle the basis on which aid is now granted to other schools. Full opportunity will be given for the consideration and discussion of such Minutes before Parliament is called upon to carry them into execution; and no one who agrees to accept aid under the present Minutes will be thereby in any degree pledged to approve these future Minutes, or precluded from offering to them such opposition as he may think expedient."-Minutes of Committee of Council, 1846, vol. i. p. 21.
The Minute thus heralded by the Premier in Parliament, and by the Secretary of the Committee of Council, in his correspondence with the Wesleyans, was at last concocted on the 18th of December, 1847, when the Committee came to the following Resolutions:
"1. That the Roman Catholic Poor School Committee be the ordinary channel of such general inquiries as may be desirable, as to any school applying for aid as a Roman Catholic school.
"2. That Roman Catholic schools receiving aid from the Parliamentary grant, be open to inspection, but that the inspectors shall report respecting the secular instruction only.
"3. That the inspectors of such schools be not appointed without the previous concurrence of the Roman Catholic Poor School Committee.
"4. That no gratuity, stipend, or augmentation of salary be awarded to schoolmasters or assistant teachers who are in holy orders; but that their Lordships reserve to themselves the power of making an exception in the case of training-schools, and of model-schools connected therewith."-Minutes of the Committee of Council, 1847-8. Folio Edition, presented to Parliament, p. xxvi.
Inconsistent as these Resolutions are with the whole ténor of the previous professions and proceedings of the Committee of Council, though certainly not with the known sympathies and the avowed intentions of its members, they do not, after all, disclose the whole of the mischief that is intended. On the contrary, there is a scheme on foot which these Resolutions seem expressly to guard against, but for which, nevertheless, a loophole is left in them; and if the statements of a Roman Catholic gentleman of high standing and respectability are to be believed, that scheme is neither unknown to, nor unsanctioned by, at least the official organs of the Committee. By the fourth Resolution there is a special provision-which no doubt it was, for obvious reasons, expedient to insert-that no part of the money is to be applied to the payment of teachers in schools who are "in holy orders;" with a reservation, however, of the case of training schools and model schools, which is wide enough to admit the payment out of the Parliamentary grants of no inconsiderable number of Popish priests, and especially of such as may be appointed to act as rectors and tutors of Jesuit training schools. But this reservation is not the only weak point in the provision introduced with such apparent jealousy in the fourth Resolution; for it does not exclude the employment, as Roman Catholic schoolmasters, at the expense of the State, of men belonging to religious orders, and more particularly of the members of an order which, from its devotion to the cause of popular education, and its connexion with the Jesuit order, is one of the most dangerous bodies to be introduced into a Protestant country. This point is strongly and pertinently urged in the Address of the National Club (No. 5, at the head of this article), where an extract is given from a speech which was delivered by the Hon. C. Langdale, at the "Carlisle Catholic Soirée," in January last, and which was originally reported in The Tablet. The extract is as follows :
"I believe we have the means within ourselves of having the most perfect and efficient schools that can be found in the country. And for this very reason—' -Those who are best calculated to know this subject, namely, those who are employed under the Government Council of Education, have more than once told me that the most efficient schools known to exist are in France, where they are under the superintendence of the Christian Brothers. I will explain to you what we mean by Christian Brothers, or teachers. . . . The religious orders are bound by solemn vows or promises to dedicate themselves to the education of the poor. That is what we mean by religious Brothers. . . . In some of our manufacturing and commercial towns, such as Liverpool, where there are public schools, taught by Christian Brothers, so deeply sensible are the merchants of the benefits the children receive, that there