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279 THE PROTESTANT.No. VII. The rejection of the Roman-Catholic Bill by the House of Lords has given great satisfaction to the large proportion of our fellow-subjects, and we trust many of them have not failed to offer up their thanksgivings to the Author and Giver of
every good. We must not, however, forget that the Popish party are ever alert and active, that they never remit their exertions ; that though defeated again and again, there is always some fresh scheme and machination which they have in view; and if their efforts are checked in one instance, they will endeavour to seize the moment when victory renders their adversaries incautious, to aim a blow at the vitals, or at least, to wound some unguarded member.
We have been the more impressed with this idea, because we find, that since the defeat of the Papists in the House of Lords, the first Report of the Commissioners of Irish Education Inquiry has been presented to both houses of Parliament, a Report which, if received and acted upon, will, in our opinion, prove more injurious to the empire at large than the conceding to the Papists all they have hitherto demanded in their emancipation petitions.
The Report condemns all the existing establishments in Ireland for the education of the poorer classes : The Protestant Charter Schools--the Association incorporated for discountenancing Vice and promoting the Knowledge and Practice of the Christian Religion—the Parochial Schools—the Kildare Street Society for the Education of the Poor--the Lord Lieutenant's School Fund—the London Hibernian Society--the Baptist Society—the Irish Society, &c. all come in for a greater or less degree of censure; with perhaps the exception of the Sunday-School Society,
All the institutions to which Government give assistance, are to be gradually dropped, and a new plan to be tried, in order, practically, to render the rest unnecessary that is really voluntary :--charity is to be discouraged, and a new system to be adopted, supported at the public expense, after the Commissioners have themselves demonstrated how little has been done for Ireland, by the proper distribution of the public money. The Hibernian Society, with its scanty income of 8 or 9,0001. a-year, has educated more children than the institutions supported at an expense of 20 or 30,0001. per annum, out of the public purse.
The Commissioners' plan is as follows :
“ We propose that public schools of general instruction shall be established, one at least in each benefice, in which literary instruction shall be communicated to children of all religious persuasions; that two teachers, to be appointed by the general superintending authority, (the establishment of which we shall subsequently recommend), shall be employed in each school, where the extent of attendance shall be sufficient to justify the expense; that they shall each of them be laymen, and that one of them shall be a Roman Catholic, where any considerable number of Roman Catholics are in attendance on the school; and that a Presbyterian teacher shall be provided in those schools, where the number of children belonging to that communion shall render such appointment necessary or expedient; that on two days in the week the school shall break up at an early hour, and the remainder of the day be devoted to the separate religious instruction of the Protestants, the clergyman of the Estabīished Church attending for the purposes at once of superinten. dance and assistance, and the Presbyterian minister likewise, if he shall so think fit, for the children of his communion. That on two other days of the week the school rooms of general instruction shall in like manner be set apart for the Roman-Catholic children, on which occasions, under the care of a Roman-Catholic lay teacher, approved of as mentioned in the Minute which we have given, they shall read the Epistles and Gospels of the week, as therein mentioned, and receive such other religious instruction as their pastors (who may attend if they think fit) shall direct. It may be right to notice, that in the Roman-Catholic Church there are Epistles and Gospels appointed, not for Sundays only, but for almost every day in the year, and they comprise altogether a large portion of the Old and New Testament.
“ If the attendance on a school should be so limited as to render both a master and usher unnecessary, the master might be permitted to take charge of the school of general instruction, and be also the religious teacher to the children of the same persuasion as himself. In such a case, however, a person of a different religion, duly qualified and
properly remunerated, might attend at those periods in the week when the school is set apart for the religious instruction of children of a different pursuasion from the master, and perform, under proper superintendance, the duty of religious teacher to those of his own communion; and it might be possible for the individual appointed to this duty, to take charge of the religious instruction in more schools than one in a parish or district. We suggest
this arrangement; however, as one which is possible rather than desirable; and express our opinion, that the establishment of parochial schools, sufficiently large to occupy a master and usher, is much the most eligible course. “We think it further necessary, that means should be provided for
supplying Testaments, according to the authorised version, for the Protestant children. With respect to the Roman-Catholic children, an edition of the New Testament for their use 'has been transmitted to us by the Roman-Catholic prelates. The text of this edition is the Douay version; almost all the notes, however, originally annexed to that version, have been omitted.
“Deeply impressed with the importance and necessity of introducing the holy Scriptures into all institutions for the education of the people, as a fundamental part of the instruction, we recommend that copies of this edition of the Testament, omitting the Address thereto prefixed, but retaining the Notes, should be furnished for the religious instruction of the Roman Catholic children, in every School established upon the system proposed. It will be for the Roman-Catholic clergy to supply such other books for the purpose of religious instruction as they may desire. We would suggest, however, that many forms of Catechisms are now in use amongst the Roman Catholics, in the different districts of Ireland, and that it would be expedient that some one or two should be selected or compiled for general use.
“It will be necessary also to provide a volume compiled from the Four Gospels, in the manner adverted to in our Conference with the Roman-Catholic archbishops. Such a book, together with the Book of Proverbs, and the work containing the History of the Creation, the DeJuge, and other important events, extracted from the Pentateuch, may be profitably used in the schools during the united and general instruction. We by no means intend such works as substitutes for the holy Scriptures, although we propose that the Reading of the Scriptures themselves should be reserved for the time of separate religious instruction."
We shall have occasion to refer again to this Report ere long.
intimacy with Zuinglius, who, perJOHN A LASCO.
suaded him to study Scripture for The true Christian is the best of himself, and, laying aside undue patriots. As in other parts of his deference for Romish authority, to character he is conformed to the examine into the nature of the image of his Saviour, so when he simple Gospel. Afterwards, staying beholds the Redeemer weeping over at Basle, he was privileged with the that city which was about to fill conversation of (Ềcolampadius and up the measure of her crimes, and Pellican, lodging under the same be visited with swift destruction, he roof with Erasmus; but quitting that learns to regard his native land with city on the 8th of October, 1525, particular interest. His interest, he returned to his own country, however, is not a mere wish for her where his personal talents and faterritorial aggrandizement or com- mily connexions soon conspired to mercial prosperity, but such politi- raise him first to the deanry of cal feeling as is connected with the Gnesna, in the palatinate of Kalreligious and moral welfare of her litz, and secondly to that of Lenzitz.
At the same time he is a He was designated at this period by member of that family, whose re- a contemporary writer as a the sinlations are not limited by geogra- gular ornament of the kingdom of phical boundary; and therefore, Poland." He appears, however, to while his heart's desire and prayer have been but partially enlightened to God is, that his countrymen may in the best knowledge ; for he subbe saved,” he is ready to discharge sequently confessed to his friend the office of a good citizen on any Pellican, that “ he had spent all soil on which his foot may be cast.
that time miserably in disputes, Few individuals have better claim hostile tumults, and courtly pride ; to be distinguished in this respect which he might have employed than John, of the illustrious family much more happily in his studies; of Lasco, in Poland, whose brothers, but that a good God restored him Jerome, Ladislaus, and Stanislaus, to himself, and at length marvelwere all men of consideration; the lously called him out of the midst first known as ambassador from the of Pharisaism to truly Divine knowEmperor Ferdinand to the Ottoman ledge.” These dignities were sucpower. After an education suitable ceeded in 1536, by his nomination to his rank, he visited the principal to the see of Wesprim, in Hungary universities of Italy, France, Ger- but when Sigismund the First offered many, and Holland. At Louvain, him a mitre in Poland, he went to in 1523, he formed acquaintance that monarch, and freely explained with Hardenberg, a friend of the to him his reasons for wishing to Reformation and of literature; and, resign all those honours, which he passing on to Zurich, contracted an could not hold as a prelate in the AUG. 1825.