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JOURNAL OF EDUCATION.
A NEW VOLUME, OR A NEW SERIES ?
Some apology is due to our readers for taking them by surprise, as regards the outward appearance of this number of the Journal, which they will have observed is printed in a new form, to admit of its being stamped, for free circulation throughout the United Kingdom and the Colonies, at the same time securing greater regularity as well as dispatch of transmission. There is also a considerable enlargement in point of size, or rather in amount of letter press, the number of pages being increased, and each page lengthened and widened. As, then, we are thus commencing, along with the fifth year of our existence, what may not unfairly be called a new series, our readers will probably look for a few remarks as to what change, if any, is to be made in the conducting of the Journal; and particularly, whether the new dress-we might almost say, new face-is meant to set off their old acquaintance, or to introduce a fresh one. They will be desirous to know what they are to expect for the future. May we, however, first say a few words concerning the past?
It will be remembered that this magazine was started, not as a commercial speculation, but simply for the purpose of supplying a want felt by many earnest persons then and now engaged in the promotion or in the work of education. In this point of view, then, it has met with as much success, upon the whole, as was hoped for. At the same time it must be allowed, that in some material respects it has failed of its original design. Happily, however, the experience of four years may be turned to account, not only in avoiding the recurrence of past errors, but also in suggesting means of future improvement. The main difficulties, then, of which we have hitherto had to complain, not to say, faults to confess, have been the following:
1. In our anxiety to advance education in the large and only true sense of the word, as more concerned with the formation of character than the communication of knowledge, we have somehow been led-perhaps in some measure compelled by the narrowness of our limits—to exclude more than one range of subjects which, to say the least, have a direct bearing upon real education, e.g., social improvement and general literature.
2. Again,-while it has been steadily kept in view that, whatever may be the rank or condition of the recipients, the main principles of education are the same, the difference consisting, for the most part, in the extent to which it can be carried; and while it is acknowledged that national educa
VOL. V, -NO. I,
tion must always have reference chiefly to the masses of the population ;still there is some room for the charge, that too little space has been allowed to the middle and higher orders of society. At the same time, the lower orders have been losers rather than gainers by the almost exclusive possession of the field, in proportion as the national schoolmaster has had less assistance afforded him in the way of self improvement. 3. But the main defect of which we are conscious is this :
:-that we have aimed throughout at too narrow a range of readers. Careful as we have been, at every fitting opportunity, to recognise the duties and the rights of parents as the most influential as well as the most responsible agents in the work of education, the circulation of the Journal has been chiefly confined to the parochial clergy and professional teachers. The work, however, is but half done, or rather, half attempted, unless we can carry along with us heads of families; more especially of that class for which least provision has been made in the matter under consideration, and which, it is worthy of remark, seems likely to give most trouble both to Church and State, namely, the lower division of the middle orders.
Having thus freely made our confessions, we must be allowed to plead, that one main cause of these defects has been the narrowness of our limits. as compared with the wide range of our subject. It has not been altogether our fault, that some objects with which we started have been for months together in abeyance, for instance, reviews and notices of books. The Journal, certainly will be capable of being made more useful in many ways now that it is considerably enlarged without any increase of price. It is hoped, too, that the issuing of a stamped edition will be felt by our friends to be an improvement, particularly in rendering the Journal more available as a medium of communication between school-managers in want of teachers, and teachers in want of appointments. As a further help in this last respect, it is proposed to open a sort of registry on a small scale, of which the particulars will be found in another part of this number.
As regards the future, then, our subscribers will by this time pretty well see what they are to expect. The new volume (or new series, if any one prefer the term) will not materially differ from the preceding, except that the range of subjects will be considerably wider, and each number will contain on an average half as much letter-press again, and at the same time be more easy of transmission. The principles will remain the same; in this. respect experience has suggested neither change nor modification. One word, and it shall be but one, on a somewhat delicate point in these troublous times :-we are plain, straightforward churchmen; we know no party but the Church, and in order to this no party in the Church. Certainly we have no leaning towards either Rome or Geneva. But enough of this.—The main object will still be, as stated in the original prospectus, " to show that education in the school room is connected with that in the family and in the Church; that it is most liberal when based upon catholic principle; that it is most useful when not limited by merely mercantile notions ; that the cultivation of the taste and the imagination improves at the same time the reason and the intellect; that when human studies take precedence of natural science, then science is most effectually advanced ; that the more importance we attach to language as a discipline and as an instrument, the more clearness we give to our treatment of all other subjects, and particularly of religion; and that an education of this kind is adapted to the whole nation, and would greatly tend to the promotion of unity both in the Church and in the State."
THE EDUCATION QUESTION IN 1847.
My Dear Sir, I was glad to observe the temperate and respectful language in which you spoke of Dr. Hook's pamphlet upon its first appearance. I thought you might have commented more strongly on what seems to me (and I suppose to you) its radical error, especially as that error concerns the nature of education itself, not the hands by which it shall be administered. But I heartily sympathized with you in your expressions of respect for the writer, in your admiration of the manliness with which he exposed himself to the risk of being called inconsistent, and of offending friends, rather than suppress what he believed to be truth; and in your conviction, that a letter written in such a spirit, would do more good than evil.
I was therefore grieved at the very different tone of the letter which you inserted at the beginning of your number for November. I do not think that a person writing with or without his name is justified in applying the epithet 'canting,' to the Vicar of Leeds; above all, for the utterance of a sentiment which might be imprudently expressed, but which did honour to his heart, and must have been suggested by anything but a desire to win favour in high places.
But it was not chiefly on this ground that your correspondent's letter gave me pain. I think that it sets the whole question in a wrong point of view. Following a writer in the 'English Review,' he considers the great offence of Dr. Hook's pamphlet to be, that it treats the right of the Church to some special consideration from the state, as obsolete and unreal, and that it urges the wisdom, the necessity, the honesty, of allowing all religious bodies to claim a share in the parliamentary grants according to their actual doings. Now if this is all that Dr. Hook contends for, his demands, I think, have been granted already; granted with the express consent of the heads of the Church, with the implied concurrence of a great body of the clergy, who have asked and received a portion of the funds administered on this principle. To say that this course seems to me the only equitable, the only desirable one in our present circumstances, would be nothing; but I have a strong persuasion that this opinion is entertained by churchmen of the most opposite tempers and parties. I have been surprised at the general consent with which I have seen propositions of this kind received :
-That if the clergy of the Church of England bargain with the state for help on any other ground than the common one of citizenship, they must submit to very ignominious and dishonourable conditions; that if they receive it on this ground, they will be able to use their own moral and spiritual powers freely; that the subscriptions we have raised for our schools do not warrant the state in trusting the intellectual and spiritual provision for our flocks to our spontaneous liberality, any more than the condition of the poor in England and Scotland warrants it in trusting their bodily wants to spontaneous liberality (according to the dream of Dr. Chalmers); finally, that the state inspection of our schools, much as we dreaded it and disliked it, has proved a blessing to us, and if more fully carried out may prove a still greater one.' To these doctrines I have heard churchmen assent, who have the largest views of the divine powers with which the Church is entrusted, for other purposes and for the purposes of education especially. For, say they, 'it There may
indicates the greatest confusion of mind to identify the existence of these powers with some right the Church may have to insist upon the state's recognition of them. If they are there, they can be exerted; so they may come in due time to be recognised. But meanwhile, what do we gain by vapouring about claims which are not believed in, which we scarcely believe in ourselves ? We gain this only; we force the state to take measures which will effectively destroy our capacity of being useful, not merely to those classes of the community which do not own us, and over which we have at present only an imaginary jurisdiction, but over those which do own us, and for which we are, in the strictest sense of the word,
This seems to me the language of common sense, and, I will add, of sound principle likewise. For let the assertors of antiquarian rights say what they please about their determination to resist expediency; they are in fact compelling churchmen into a sacrifice of the most precious principles. If the government is not allowed to assist all parties in maintaining their own kind of education, it has no alternative but to originate an education of its own. That education will be for all classes indifferently, and it must be based either upon the principle of dividing special from general religion, to which Dr. Hook so reasonably objects, or upon the principle of dividing religious from secular education, to which he has unhappily given the weight of his authority. To resist one or other of these separations was the object of all the most earnest men, whether churchmen or dissenters, who opposed the government measures of 1839. have been party men who disliked these measures, because they proceeded from Whigs; there may have been a few state church men who disliked them because they wished that the church should be used as the one favoured instrument of the government in working its system; there may
have been some like Mr. Baines, who thought all contributions from the government an infringement upon the voluntary principle. But the strength of the opposition lay not in any of these, however much their phrases may have been adopted or sanctioned by those who in their hearts acknowledged an entirely different set of maxims. Dr. Hook, it seems, looking at the subject from the purely dogmatic theological side, dreaded only the admission of a general christianity, as distinct from a peculiar christianity; so long as he thought that peril lay in the establishment of state schools, he would die to prevent it; supposing it averted, he is ready to urge the government to set them up. There are others who, while they felt the absurdity of a state turning logician, and pretending to divide theological accidents from essences, and felt, too, the dishonesty which must ensue from the attempt to make such distinctions practical, yet were convinced that a still graver violation of the idea of education, a still more momentous practical result lay in the attempt to treat a human being as composed of two entities, one called religious, the other secular.
They were quite aware that it was possible to produce most orthodox precedents for this division ; that it had been often recognised in reports of the National Society, perhaps in the charges of dignitaries. They knew further, that it could be traced in actual operation through all parts of our English education, from the university to the dames' school. But then they believed, that the theoretical admission of it had been the cause of all our confusions respecting the nature and ends of education, that the practical adoption of it accounted for its grievous inefficiency. At first they were struck by the discovery, that neither in theory nor in practice did