[blocks in formation]

School by confiding its management to the Religious Communions; for to enforce religious doctrine by law, would be to interfere with conscience.

The traditional claims for the maintenance of the religious government of Schools are mingled with others of recent origin, which it is one of my chief objects to set forth.

Such Schools as now exist have been established by the Religious Communions, aided, of late years, by the State.

The character and number of elementary Schools, if abandoned to voluntary support, may be inferred from the condition of public education in 1833, and its subsequent progress and improvement, especially since 1846.

To define the province of voluntary agency, in the creation and maintenance of a system of National Education, is, therefore, one main part of my design. I neither join those who would repudiate such aid, nor those who would reject that of the State; but I would earnestly co-operate with all who desire to rescue from neglect or abuse the endowments founded by the piety of our ancestors.

Worn with work, scathed by former controversies, and slowly restored to life after four years of suffering,

[blocks in formation]

I am conscious that I tread on the ashes and scoriæ of unexhausted fires, and that it may seem vain to desire

to convert this crater into a garden. But I remember the warning, that "no man, having put his hand to the plough, look back."

« ForrigeFortsett »