« ForrigeFortsett »
book-teaching may be performed so expeditiously, that before the age at which
any trade should be learned, boys may be dismissed from school, and will learn their trade better with an ordinary master. Other consequences, though somewhat more distant, are too important to be overlooked. When boys take to trades according to the individual impulse of themselves and their parents, all trades are sure to be proportionably provided; because the demand effectually regulates the supply. But if boys are made shoemakers, or any thing else, in clusters, • according to the fancy or convenience of diocesan or district societies, the proportions of supply are sure not to be preserved ; and the constant result will be, that some trades will receive too many hands, others too few; and youths will be turned out taught to work at trades in which they will find no occupation. No: if any thing is done to prepare them for manual'industry, it should be--and we strongly suspect should only be--in giving that general kind of manual skill and dexterity which is useful in all manual occupations, Exercises might, no doubt, by men capable of the proper degree of abstraction and combination, be invented, which would be highly useful for this purpose ; which would increase the facility of learning all mechanical arts, and the power of acquiring in them the highest perfection.
By way of appendix to these observations upon the Report of the National Society, there are a few particulars of which mention deserves to be made.
One is the erection of a new school, upon a grand scale, in Westminster. The intention of it was to supersede the school in Orchard-street, which was too small, and situated inconveniently. A vacant space of ground was obtained, upon appli-, cation, from the lords of the treasury, on the west side of St. Margaret's church, adjoining the sessions house. A corporation was institute, by the name of The Patron, President, and Vicepresidents, of the Westminster National Free School." On the 21st of July a magnificent display was got up, for laying the foundation stone. It was performed by the duke of York, and in the presence of the archbishop of Canterbury, the bishops of Salisbury and Peterborough, the Speaker of the house of com: mons, the lord high steward of Westminster, and many other noble and distinguished persons. The erection was performed with so much expedition, that on the 30th of November the children were removed from Orchard-street school and took possession of it, with rather the inappropriate appendage of a feast of roast beef and plum-pudding.
The school for the boys, 58 feet by 57, is destined for 600;
the school for the girls, 54 feet by 41, is destined for 400. Both schools are on one floor; and a communication by means of double folding doors enables both to be seen at one view, on days of exhibition. The building comprehends apartments for the master and mistress, with a committee-room and secretary's room. The expense of the whole (furniture included) is stated at 50001. The rules for the conduct of the school are pretty nearly the same as those in other schools under the National or Established Church Society, One circumstance deserves to be mentioned, and to be mentioned with praise ; and that is, a degree of relaxation in their sectarian strictness. Children of dissenters are to be admitted, without being compelled to attend the established church. But it appears to us, though the regulation is ambiguously expressed, that they will still be compelled to get by heart and to repeat the church catechism, which containis declarations of belief that many a conscientious dissenter would not permit his child to make. This is bad—very bad. It is unphilosophical and weak—to a degree that makes one ashamed. How little does the church make itself, and religion too, appear, under the display of such pitiful jealousies !
The following important statement is subjoined, as belonging to the grand subject of the diffusion of education in generalnot te the progress of the “ National Society," whose ground is so much narrowed by a false religion, as, to be incapable of a noble expansion to all the regions of the earth, and all the children of men. The passage is extracted from the Calcutta Gazette, under date the 7th of October, 1813:
“On the 1st of September died, in the 56th year of his age, the Rev. Dr. C. S. John, Senior of the Royal Danish Mission at Tranquebar ; where he had fulfilled a long laborious ministry with great acceptance amongst his own countrymen, and the surrounding natives. By tbese--Christian and Heathen-his loss will be felt and bewailed deeply and extensively, beyond that of most, perhaps of any, former Europeans in India, with the exception, it may be, of the late excellent Swartz and and Gericke. Scarcely less known amongst them than Swartz himself, he was every wheru equally beloved ; his heart, it may be truly said, was wholly devoted to them- his mind continually engaged in forming plans for their benefit-and all his powers to do them good. The Father of the Mission, in the fullest and best sense of the term, and as such revered by all the native Christian con- • gregations, he possessed in a scarcely less degree the confidence and esteem of the Heathen, as the common friend of them all. But the object which above all others occupied his attention, was the education of the native children. To this he had applied himself from the beginning with great success — and feeling more and more sensibly,
with his advancing years, its great importance, as a means to effect a Tadical improvement in the moral and religious state of India ; and assured of the general acceptableness, even to persons of the highest casts, of the system of education invariably pursued by the Mission Schools ;--he had matured and drawn up a plan for the establishing of native free schools throughout the country, to be open to children of every cast and religion, which he was preparing to submit to the different Governments in India. Dr. John was no theorist-his plan was the result of many years study-of the freest communication with natives of every rank-and of actual experience in six schools, established and long supported at his own expense, in which even Brahmin children take their places, and learn the same lessons as any. other children.
"On this, as an improved means of doing the greatest possible moral good, of imparting the greatest possible benefit to the natives, his heart was particularly bent through the last closing years of bis valu. able life. It was the matter of experiment from day to day, with still accumulating proofs of its practicability, and its desirableness to persons of all casts--the subject of his correspondence with his friends, and of his prayers to God.
“His schools, increased lately through the liberality of some friends in Calcutta, remain, and may they remain with increasing prosperity, monuments of the wisdom and piety of their excellent founder, the guide and encouragement of the benevolent who wish well to india, and the blessing of long succeeding generations. Dr. Jobn was a man of a liberal and bighly cultivated mind, rich in human learning and acquirements, and full of the word and grace of God-of a disposition niost affectionate, and abounding in good will to all men, and of unwearied industry and activity: For some years previous to his lamented death, he was nearly blind : yet still he maintained, through an amanuensis, an extensive correspondence throughout India and Ceylon, and continued his ministerial duties to the last, in preaching, superintending the schools, and directing the general concerns of the Mission."
TO THE EDITOR OF THE PHILANTHROPIST.
Hints for improving the Condition of the Poor,
Chichester, March 8, 1815. It is only of late years that the true principles of bettering the condition of the poor have been developed, and they are still far from being generally comprehended. Every reflecting person who has witnessed the operation of the poor laws acknowledges there is something wrong about them,- that they do not answer the benevolent intentions of those by whom they were framed. But the failure is often attributed to a defect in the detail rather than in the principle. It is not yet fully perceived that the increase or decline of poverty depends mainly upon the extent of moral and intellectual cultivation prevailing among the labouring elasses, and is therefore as much beyond the reach of a book of rates, or an act of parliament, as the balance of trade, or the price of commodities, which “ the wisdom of our ancestors” attempted to regulate by the fiat of the legislature. In the course of their speculations some of our Philanthropists have noticed, with admiration not unmixed with surprise, the compe. tence enjoyed by the lower orders of the Society of Friends *. Finding that the poor of this persuasion are maintained exclusively by contributions raised within the Society, and that the indigent members are comparatively few, these benevolent writers have been ready to suspect the existence of some valuable nostrum, some secret cause of so strange a phænomenon. The following facts were collected for the purpose of elucidating this difficulty, and at the same time of illustrating those general principles by which alone one of the most difficult and important of all political problems can be solved.
T'he statements which will be first introduced are drawn up from very accurate registers of deaths in different districts. They are intended to show the superior longevity of persons of this persuasion.
* Vide Sir F, M. Eden on the Poor, vol. i, p. 588.
Table of the Probabilities of Life among the Members of the Society of Friends in the Counties of Surry and Sussex, from 1797 to 1812.
90 91 92 93 94 95 90 97 98 99 100 101
37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 46 49 50 51 52 53
62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71
2 3 1 3 4 4 2 4 4 1
12 13 14 15 16 17
29 30 31 32 33 34 35
o 1 3 0
Table of the Probabilities of Life among the
Members of the Society of Friends resident in Bristol, from the Year 1795 to the Year 1813 inclusive.
6 1 3 8 5
70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77
6 5 3
83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94
57 58 59 60 61 62 63
5 2 5