« AnkstesnisTęsti »
ART. VII.-RAGGED SCHOOLS.
Ragged Schools: their Principles and Modes of Operation By a Worker. London: Partridge and Oakley, Paternoster Row.
IN strange, gentle and hopeful contrast to the Latter-Day Pamphlets of Mr. Carlyle, appears this cheap little Book on Ragged Schools, by a Worker. Children who are brought up and taught, by those whom Nature constitutes their guardians and guides, to lie and steal, to be filthy and idle, are not criminals. They obey in this conduct the instincts of ambition and even duty. They are subjects of a Reformatory-punishment is only due when that has failed. As they have taken one set of notions that have been taught them, see if they will take another by teaching. Thus the fit objects of restraint and severity will be distinguished from the unfit. But if ever there was a class of human beings, for whom a merely intellectual training is insufficient, this is the class. Simple schooling will only fit them for entering the higher ranks of their profession-render them more largely, powerfully mischievous. There may be unwisely conducted ragged schools, then. The discriminating and Christian-hearted writer of this book is fully aware of this fact.
"We know that unwise efforts to do good, do harm, unmixed harm it would be if the love which prompted them did not soften it: we are now fully assured that the abundant alms-giving of our ancestors fostered the mendicity they would have destroyed; and that the gigantic and costly efforts of our country to repress the slavetrade by armed force, are fearfully aggravating the evil;—it is worse than useless to have zeal without knowledge, and we must try 'who loving best, can wiseliest love.'"
But where, as in the course recommended in these pages, the miserable children are only taught reading and writing as one among several instruments of changing the current of their thoughts, habits and ambition-where they are led to imbibe a disgust for filth, and a shame of dishonesty,
when a new standard of honour and duty is created in their minds by a new code of morals-we cannot see how they can avoid returning at least a balance of good. Even the honest poor, living in the same neighbourhood, and paying for the education of their own children, must feel the benefit of benefitting these outcasts, and making them a little less fierce, a little less dirty, and a little less dishonest and must rejoice in the proximity to their own households and families being an improved one. No doubt therefore in doing something for the "young scoundrel-class," we are doing much for the young honest-class, -and (a consideration that appears to occupy a conspicuous place in our tax-hating days) much also for the taxpaying class-as such. Mr. Burnall is here declared to have stated that the 18,000 prisoners in the prisons of Middlesex alone (1849) cost, on an average, first and last, £120 to £150 each.
Why, then, will the public continue to support thieves, at a cost of £150 per annum, and the government to maintain them, if committed to its charge, at an expense of from £20 to £30 per annum, besides the enormous cost of prosecution; while the young offender, if placed at once in a Reformatory School, and retained there until he had given evidence of altered conduct, would not be a third of the expense, and would restore the wandering to be useful members of society?"-P. 93.
It may be further asked, How long will the public consent to devote large sums annually to army, navy and prisons, and to require that the comparatively trifling sums required for reformatory-schools shall be painfully and uncertainly collected by amateur labourers in their spare hours from door to door, by half-crowns and sovereigns-and the salary offered to the Teacher be such at last as will rarely enlist the services of any persons with feelings, education and objects much above those of an ordinary workingman? If ragged-schools do not answer, it is because the right persons are not sent to conduct them. If "workers" like the present writer could be procured in sufficient abundance, the letters in the Morning Chronicle had never been written. But people so highly endowed with united judgment, charity and piety as this "Worker" are rarely to be met with in our present state of society. Let this CHRISTIAN TEACHER.-No. 48.
Worker's Book, then, go forth, if not to make others as good, to make them at least much better, than they would have been without it. We fear that most of the Ragged Schools are taught by mere routine, with all the effects of routine, and not by love and piety, with all their effects. And yet
"It is necessary that those who commence Ragged Schools should be in the highest sense religious; should be actuated by so strong and earnest a desire for the glory of God, and for the extension of his kingdom, as to seek that end only, and employ those means alone, which are in accordance with his known and revealed will ;that they should be ready to sacrifice self, to take up the cross daily, if need be, in the work; that they should have a firm and everacting faith in God, and in the power of his might, which will sustain them under apparent want of success, and frequent disappointment, by the conviction that all that is good in the seed they are sowing, will, in due time, spring up and bear rich fruit.”—P. 23.
The withered formal Catechism of the English Church will not answer the purpose of religion. The Teacher and pupils must form between them a living Catechism. Those who wish to see what we mean may apply to this Manual of a "Worker."
In the article, in our last Number, on the Relation of the Second to the First and Third Gospels, the reader is requested to make the following corrections :
P. 61 and elsewhere, for epitomater read epitomator.
P. 64, the foot note belongs to p. 62, l. 16, “Nothing either in its opening or elsewhere has any reference to a future reader."
P. 66, for Luke (Matthew ix. 1) is here very concise, read Luke (Matthew ix. 1 is here very concise).
ART. I.-BUSHNELL: GOD IN CHRIST.
God in Christ. Three Discourses, delivered at New Haven, Cambridge, and Andover : with a Preliminary Dissertation on Language. By Horace Bushnell. London: John Chapman. 1850.
HERE is another of the many indications that daily meet us, of wide-spread dissatisfaction with the existing state of theological opinion, in bodies reputedly orthodox. From the heart of the Calvinistic section of the New England Congregationalists, Mr. Bushnell has put forth doctrines that vibrate with a deep undertone of the newest philosophy and shake the old dogmatic system to its centre. With all the qualities that are wanted for a stirring reformation of old and stagnant opinions, his mind, as expressed in the work before us, seems richly endowed. His bold and somewhat dashing treatment of his subject, though seasoned throughout with great warmth of devotional feeling the quaintness and originality of his copious illustrations-the juicy freshness and vigour of his style, not without a native roughness which enhances its poignancy-bespeak no ordinary man, and must ever have secured interest and attention to a book like this, apart from the remarkable circumstances which attend its publication. That he is often inconsequential and open at many points to the attack of a rigorous logic, follows inevitably from the union-indispensable to one who would act CHRISTIAN TEACHER.-No. 49.
strongly on popular sympathies-of profound religious susceptibility with intellectual acumen. Perhaps no writer could be more constantly quoted against himself than Paul; and yet to this apparent want of logical consistency -a result of different tendencies developed in their utmost force-he owes no small portion of his extraordinary spiritual influence.
Our readers are probably aware, that the descendants and representatives of the old Puritan stock which originally colonized New England from this country, have not all adhered with equal tenacity to the Calvinistic standards of their forefathers; and that while the settlers in Massachusetts have cast off their ancient creeds and gone through nearly the same course of theological development with the English Presbyterians, the churches of Connecticut have hitherto preserved in its integrity their original profession of orthodoxy. The consequence has been a general suspension of ecclesiastical relations between the two bodies-the chasm widening with the continuance of the controversy. But a reactionary tendency is already perceptible. The spirit of the age-breathing direct from the schools of Germany, or qualified in its passage through the writings of Emerson and Carlyle-has swept with no slight influence over the cultivated minds of North America, and softening down the sharp and rigid lines of previous separation, appears to be awakening a desire for mutual approximation. The rationalists thirst after more spirituality; the orthodox demand larger sympathies and greater freedom of mental expansion. Mr. Bushnell's book is a herald of this auspicious movement. He professes respect and sympathy for the Unitarians, without participating in their doctrinal views: and of the three discourses which constitute the substance of his volume, while the first and the third were prepared for the orthodox Academies of Yale and Andover, the second was delivered by request in the Divinity School of Harvard University, where an Unitarian theology is publicly taught.
These discourses are preceded by a preliminary dissertation which takes up the subject from a deeper and more fundamental principle, and assumes as an essential condition for the adequate treatment of the questions involved, a previous determination of the necessary limitations of