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SEPARATE RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION AUTHORISED BY
THE BOARD OF NATIONAL EDUCATION,
( From the Christian Examiner.)
As it is a part of the system that “one or two days in the week be set apart for giving, separately, such religious education to the children as may be approved of by the Clergy of their respective persuasions,” the nature of the instruction given on these occasions, must be inquired into by all who wish to form a just view of the effects which these schools are likely to produce in the country. For it is manifest, that if bigotry and superstition are inculcated on the Roman Catholics during the hours of sepa. rate religious instruction, very little beneficial result can be looked for from the mere literary information and the vague morality which may be set before them during the ordinary school hours. It is required by the Board, that no books shall be employed for the separate religious instruction of the children, " but with the approbation of those members of the Board, who are of the same religious persuasion with the children for whose use they are intended.”
The following list is copied from the return made to the House of Com. mons, August 17, 1833:
“List of all Books and Tracts employed in the Schools, in the sepa rate religious instruction, with the sanction or approbation of those members of the Board who are of the same religious persuasion with the child. ren for whose use they are intended.
For Protestant Children.
For the Roman Catholic Children.
We are furnished in this list with some authentic and most important information, by which we can form a judgment of the kind of. instruction given to the Roman Catholic children, on the occasions when they are separated from the Protestants for the purpose of being instruc. ed in religion
Let'us see, then, what is “approved” of by Dr. Nurray and Mr. Blake,
and, being thus“ sanctioned,” is “ required” by the Board to be taught to the Roman Catholic children, on one or to days in each week. The following extract is taken verbatim from Gobinet's “ Instruction of Youth.”-p. 80–83.
“ CHAP. xix. Of devotion to the Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph.
“ One of the last means which I assign, but also one of the most effectual for acquiring virtue in youth, is derotion to the Blessed Virgin. It is infallible to such as assiduously employ it, because it affords, at the same time, the most powerful intercession in the sight of God for ob. taining his favour, and the most perfect model for our imitation.
“ Next to God, and the most adorable humanity of his Son Jesus Christ, it is she whom we must chiefly honour and love, by reason of that most sublime and excellent dignity of Mother of God, which raises her above all creatures that God has ever created,
“ By her we may receive all the assistance which is necessary for us. She is most powerful with God, to obtain from him all that she shall ask of him. She is all goodness in regard of us, by applying to God for us. Being Mother of God, he will not refuse her request; being our mother, she will not deny us her intercessivo when we have recourse to her. Our miseries move her; our necessities urge ber; the prayers we offer her for our salvation, bring to us all that we desire ; and St. Bernard is not afraid to say, that never any person invoked that mother of mercy in his necessities, who has not been sensible of the effects of her assistance.'
“ But, in speaking of the devotion of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I cannot pass by her blessed spouse, the glorious St. Joseph. This great saint having had the singular happiness of being chosen to have the care and guardianship of the Son of God in his in faucy and youth, it must needs fol. low, that he will be favourable to young persons, and cherish them ten. derly in that age which he saw sanctified by the Son of God. He served him in all the necessities of life, to which he was pleased to submit bim. self for our love ; he freed him from the persecutions of his enemies; be bred him up in his infancy, governed him in his youth; he saw him submit to his commands; he was a continual witness and admirer of his graces and virtues, appearing from day to day in his tender years, as the sun discovers its light as it rises higher.
“Ought we not to believe that this saint, who had so much familiarity with Jesus Christ when a child, loves with a singular tenderness the child. ren of Jesus Christ, and particularly those who endeavour to conform themselves to that divine youth by the imitation of his virtues, and that he will be their protector and intercessor before Jesus Christ.
“ Fix your affectior, Theotime, upon this great saint, and honour him with a particular respect; take bim for your patron, and for the protec. tor of your purity. Pray to him daily with much confidence, and above all in your necessities, and you will receive wonderful help. Ask of him, by the care he had of the divine infancy of Jesus Christ, that he would preserve your youth from the dangers to which your salvation is exposed ; and that he would aid you to retain in your soul ibat divine Saviour, as be was employed in taking care of him whilst he was in the world.”
Again at p. 406, cf the same volume, we find the following unqualified statement of exclusive salvation.
“ ARTICLE III. - What we are obliged to believe concerning the Church."
“We must first believe, that it is the mystical body of which Jesus Christ is the head ; or a congregational of the faithful holding the same doctrine or faith which he taught, using the same sacraments which he instituted, living under the conduct of the apostles and sacceeding pastors, acknowledging the same visible head, the vicar of Jesus Christ, the chief bishop and true successor of St. Peter.
Secondly-That there is but one Church, as there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism,' as St. Paul says.
“ Thirdly—That this only true Church acknowledges the Pope for her visible head, whom Jesus Christ has appointed to govern her, and to be the source and centre of her unity here on earth.
“ Fourthly-We are obliged to believe that there is no salvation for any one out of this one true Church. This is an article of faith, which every true Christian is bound to believe."
The same doctrine is taught in Butler's, Reilly's, and Doyle's Cate. chisms. Thus,
“Q. Is there any other true Church besides the holy Catholic Church? A. No; as there is but one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, and Father of all, there is but one tr ue Church.
" Q. Are all obliged to be of the true Church ? A. Yes; no one can be saved out of it.
“Q. Why do you call the Church Roman? A. Because the visible head of the Church is Bishop of Rome ; and because St. Peter and his successor fixed their see in Rome.
"Q.' Who is the visible Head of the Church ? A.The Pope : who is Christ's vicar on earth, and supreme visible Head of the Church.”.
Jo the little work by Dr. Chaloner, entitled, “ Think well on't," under the head of Penance, the following extracts are given from St. Cæsarius, of Arles, p. 64:
“As often as we visit the sick, or those that are in prison, or reconcile together those that are at variance with each other; as often as we fast on days commanded by the Church, -give alms to the poor, that pass by our door, &c., by these, and such like works, our small sins are daily redeemed. But this alone is not enough for capital crimes ; we must add tears, lamentations, and long fasts; and give alms to the utmost of our power.” Thus, as the same saint tells us. Hom. I. “By present mortification will be prevented the future sentence of eternal death; thus by humbling the guilty, will the guilt be consumed ; and by this voluntary severity, the wrath of a dreadful Judge will be appeased. These short penitential labours will pay off those vast debts, which, other. Wise, everlasting burning would never have discharged.” Christians, let 'us follow in practice these excellent guides."
On this subject we meet with the subjoined passage in “the Catholic Christian Instructed," by the same author, p. 102.
*Q. Would it be a crime to negleet the penance or satisfaction en"joined by the Priest? A. Yes, it would ; the more because we ought to regard the penance enjoined as an exchange which God makes of the eternal punishments, which we have deserved, by sio, into these small peni. tential works.”
The following piece of superstition is extracted from the same volume. p. 118;
“Q. What is the meaning of the lighting of a blessed candle, and keeping it burning during a person's agony? A. This light represents the light of faith in which a Christian dies, and the light of glory which he looks for. Besides, these candles are blessed by the Church with a solemn prayer to God to chase away the devils from those places where they shall be lighted.
“Q. What is the form of blessing candles ? A. The ritual prescribes the following prayer.
“ V. Our help is in the name of our Lord. R. Who made heaven and earth.
" Let us pray.-0 Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God bless → by our prayers these candles, and pour forth upon them, by the
virtue of the holy + Cross, thy heavenly benediction, who hast given :hem to mankind to chase away darkness ; and may they receive such a blessing by the sign of the Holy + Cross, that in what place svever they shall be lighted or set up, the rulers of darkness with all their ministers may depart, and, trembling, fly away from those dwellings ; nor presume any. more to disturb or molest those that serve thee, the Almighty God, who livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen."
A little further on in this same volume, the following passage occurs, (p. 148) with reference to Protestants and to the Authorised version of the Scriptures.
“ What a melancholy case it must be, that so many thousands of well meaning souls should be wretchedly deluded with the pretence of God's pure word, when, instead of this, they have nothing put into their hands but corrupted translations, which present them with a mortal poison, iostead of the food of life !!
Since the days of Queen Mary, until the present time, no Government in Great Britain " required that any subjects of the Crown should be taught such doctrines. The regulation of the Board of Comraissioners declares that “they will require that one or two days in the week be set apart for giving, separately, such religious education to the children as may be approved of by the Clergy of their respective persuasions.” The foregoing are specimens,-undeniable specimens, of the instruction sanctioned, approved of, and given on these occasions. That is, in other words, the Board "require” that superstition and bigotry be inculcated on the Roman Catholics on one or two days in the week; and they “permit and encourage” their inculcation before and after the ordinary school hours on the other days of the week. Such is the system of the National Schools in Ireland. Is it to be expected that the minds of Roman Catholics will be enlightened, and their feelings towards Protestants liberalised by such a system.
THE THREEFOLD CORD BROKEN;
OR, THE DEAF AND DUMB, AND THE BLIND.
EVERY philanthropic mind must be greatly delighted with the exertions wbich have been made, and are still making, to advance the education of our vast and valuable population,--to emancipate immortal minds from the thraldom of ignorance and superstition, and to eradicate from society the baneful effects of mental imbecility and moral degradation. But while this grand movement was going forward in behalf of general education, there was one field of enterprise-one realm of mental sterility and stillness, towards wbich one effort was scarcely directed, and over which one cheering ray scarcely beamed,--there was one region of human destitution and depravity deemed so arid in its soil, and so cold in its temperature, that cultivation scarcely dared try there its reclaiming and fertilizing process. In the outburstings and onward-boundings of benevolence, however, the attempt has been made, the process begun, the experiment tried, and the result has been far beyond the anticipations of the warmest friends of humanity. The deaf, the dumb, and the blind, have already exclaimed with joy, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” We know not whether the achievements of art and ingenuity, or the efforts of Christian benevolence, have the greater share of praise in the successful results of a literature for the blind, and a common language for the deaf and dumb; but we hesitate not to predict, that the discovery of a system of rational, religious and extensive education for these poor and, hitherto, neglected beings of our kind, will occupy a proud and prominent part on the page of the future historian of this age. The name of Gall, and those of his worthy and warm-hearted co-operators, will be remembered with gratitude, and lisped with praise, when many a now high-sounding name will be fameless and forgotten. But we stop not to eulogise these benefactors of mankind:
“ Their praise is bymned by loftier harps than mine," There are those already around the throne of God, who, looking back to the mighty and majestic doings of God in the dark wilderness of time, recognise them as the instruments of mercy, and remember them with the glowings of celestial gratitude. There are many still travelling Zionward, in whose memories their names are embalmed, and who, as they lean upon their pilgrim-staff, associate their deeds with the doings and designs of the God of mercy.
Melancholy and distressing, indeed, was the condition of these poor unfortunates but a very few years ago. By 80ciety at large they were looked upon rather as objects of Divine indignation, than as children of that gracious Parent, who, in the beautiful language of Scripture, is " the father of all the families of the earth,'--rather as the aliens of our species, than as rightful participants in the common sympathies and sociabilities of civilized humanity; and more fitted to awaken the 'ludicrous and lighter emotions of the mind, than excite the tender feelings of the generous heart. Let us look at the state of the blind before charity had erected her asylum, or benevolence had gathered them together like an orphan family