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nobility, and it en courages men of learning and talents, in the middle or lower orders of life, to instruct themselves, and become fit for Such employments, and worthy of such rewards. Parliamentary interest, influencing the distribution of clerical honours and em.oluments, is also beneficial, as it tempts parents of good families and fortunes to educate younger sons for the Church: they give, as it were, a family pledge for the good conduct of their children, whoat the same time ma y,by their manners and rank, raise the whole profession, in the esteem and respect of the public. Church benefices may thus be considered as a fund for the provision of the younger sons of our gentry and nobles; and, in this point of view, it cannot surely be a matter of complaint to any of the higher and middle classes of the community, that the clergy enjoy a large portion of the riches of the state.'—p. 59. ,:.■•
No reader, it is presumed, can permit himself for one moment to dotrbt, whether all these arrangements can fail to keep in view, as their grand object, the promotion of primitive Christianity among the people, or to prove the best possible means of teaching and exemplifying it ; whether the men from the inferior classes, thus seeking and attaining the preferments of the church through the medium of tutorships in noble families, be secure against all possibility of becoming s3'cophants in the course of their progress, and political tools at its conclusion; or whether zealous piety, and a dereliction of the spirit and fashions of the world, be the necessary inheritance of the younger sons of the nobility and gentry. On these points there ean be no doubt; and therefore it is clear that thus far the parliamentary interest in question is highly beneficial to the Christian cause. But'the' subject has a dark side as well as a bright one; and every reader will be at once grieved and astonished on reading the next paragraph, in which our author says, in so many words, 'But parliamentary interest is not always employed in this manner; it is sometimes exerted to obtain livings for the mean hanger-on of one Lord, or the drinking, or the profligate companion of another.' These are literatim the words, as they stand in the book before us ;but how is it possible they can be true? How is it possible that any bishop will suffer such a man to declare before hin» that he is moved by the Holy Ghost to enter the sacred function? Or, if it is. after his entrance into the church that he becomes such a character, how is it possible an institution framed purely in aid of Christianity should fail to have the most peremptory regulations, not oyly for interdicting such a man from preferment to larger emoluments and more extensive cure of souls, but for expelling him from the ministry altogether?
If parents have resolved to devote a son to the church, a
Vol. VI. C
judioibtis education Will) according; to the essayist, infallibly make him a person to do honour to the sacred vocation.'-rh order 'to determine the 'right method of education for t^iseSpecific''^uipose,'^iir anther delineates at length the required ./character, in the siioccssi ve official stages of curarej rector,- "and. prelajta He'jrifarms us that 'a good curate'is not the .iuann.\vho boasts :afVb,eing the boon companion of the jo^ly. gq»ire> who is seen following hiniand his hounds at £ull erv'.^.-ieaipihg -five bailed gates, the admiration of the hallooing her«ies:of die cbace, or, floundering in the mud, their sport<ai?d-derisioo-: he-is .irot the ^nan set officially at the foot of his patron's table, ".-to Smack his whre, and rule, bis ronst :?r: he neitlher.drinks , n ox swears: he scorns to become. *the tauftbon, land.; never'e ah become tliebutt, of the company. Indeed, he. does noit feel it absolutely necessary to be-,eo!>tkniaHy in company'. The character which our author; .proposes, to create, is extremely J,amiable in. all the sittiatipjos $uu offices in -which it is represented. The reader >• ill btSi prepared, not to expect any very strong empkasiftjto.be -laid on religion, in the strict sense of the word; fce.tijay supply, that, desideratum, from his own mind, to a $ketei» .of;;exemplary prudence* dignity, kindness to the poor.,itnd sixth* diligence, propriety in the performance of tlie public; ©fiaees >of the church, and moderation on advancement .-66, superior, station. There seems a material omission in tfcie.description of a good rector. After the melancholy pittttfite given of the misery and degradation suffered by amny ©urates from extreme poverty, we confidently expected to find; it made an essential point, in the good chatwet-er of the .rector, never to. suffer his curate to be in this situation from the parsimony of the stipend. As the legislature has deelined to interfere ia this, concern, it lies with the holders of livings tq give tl^ir cimues ■ that com,placency in their office which acconipflnies a respectable competence, or to gall them with ihg^Biortificatian, impatience, and disgust, inflicted by a lyngyvtoilsome, and hunger bitten apprenticeship to some better, station,,towards.whkhj they will be continually looking with a loathing and ab-? horrence of their present condition, and vyhwh they, will be tempted to practise the grossest servility in order^ to obtain. What .must be the natural effect, o'n tlie state of the church, of perhaps, several thousands of its ministers having their characters and exertions subjected for many years, it' not for life, to the operation of such feelings as these h And what are all the gentlemanly qualities of a recto* worth, if he can be content i<v«ee% .fellow-clergyman, uud his fa^
mily half starving on the five per cent which the said rector affords him from his ecclesiastical income, for taking the work of the parish off his hands?
Having exhibited the model of excellence in the different clerical ranks, in all of which he says it is the very same character that is required, and the highest of which none should attain without having commenced with tfie lowest, the writer proceeds to the proper training for making the good curate, rector, and bishop. And the plan includes something extremely specific anil peculiar, for it proceeds on the principle that 'the.virtues of a clergyman should be founded on religion;' a foundation, which we cannot, from this work, ascertain to be necessary to the virtues of other professional characters, or necessary to man in general as a moral agent. We are not distinctly informed whether religion, that is, of course, Christianhy", is to be considered as any thing more than a convenient basis for a profession, with its .appropriate set of peculiar decorums; or whether it is really a system of truth communicated by divine revelation. Nor are we taught to comprehend how, if Christianity be to be.regarded as such , a system, education in general, and education .for the other particular, professions, can be safely and innocently conducted under the exclusion of this divine system of doctrine and moral principles; and not only an exclusion, but, in some of the departments of education, a most pointed and acknowledged opposition. Possibly the light, in which the subject is regarded is this,—that it is a very trifling question whether Christianity be true or false: but that it teaches some principles and modes of action, the prevalence of which to a certain extent would be useful in society, and therefore it is desirable they should be inculcated; while, on the other hand, the condition of society requires the prevalence also, to a certain extent, of directly opposite principles, and therefore the same regard to utility requires that other professions should support, and be supported by, those opposite principles.—With entire gravity our author takes quite the Christian ground, in 'settling the moral principles of the youth destined to the church. It is while deciding whether, his education should be iu a great measure private or at a public school.
* Tlie moral principles of men in other professions spring often from different sources ; from interest, ambition, or honour; but the virtues of a clergyman ought not to be founded on any of these temporal passions or worldly systems. His virtues should, be founded on re'-ijjion.' 'In our public .schools, however well conducted they maybe, toasters- have it in their power to give only general 3116*01190 to the morals and religion of their numerous pupils. They can have prayers regularly attended, they can have portions of the Scriptures read, and fan undertake that boys shall be taught the church catechism; But this general instruction is not sufficient to form the character of a clergyman. At public schools, boys of different tempers, and destined to different professions, live together, and catch one another's notions and habits; they acquire, at best, but a mixed kind of mo
..rality, far inferior to that standard which ought to distinguish ecclesiastical purity. Emulation is the universal motive in public seminaries; it is„a powerful engine, but its basis is in this world : and
_ it should not be the chief instru'ittent employed in education for the .church. Those who are governed, when boys, by emulation, when men, are apt to become slaves to ambition, and" fools to fame." p.
This should be a clear assertion, that being " slaves to 'ambition and fools to fame" is incompatible with the spirit of religion; but, in subsequent parts or the book, it is shewn that some men should be expressly educated to be slaves to ambition and fools to fame; therefore, some men ought -not to be religious.
The private education recommended is not to be a recluse education; the youth is to see the friends and acquaintance of the family, and mis in general conversation. He is to be . led gradually, and not with too much haste, into a comprehension of the principal truths,—perhaps we should rather . »ay propositions or notions,—of religion, and into a firm faith in them, founded on the ' broad basis of evidence.* A devotional taste is to be created by * letting a child have opportunities of observing the sublime and be autiful appearances of nature, the rising and the setting sun, the storm of winter,' and the opening flowers of spring,' to all which, however, . compared with the ' top and apple-pie,' most children will , probably manifest the utmost indifference. The impressions .are to be reinforced by Mrs. BarbaukTs beautiful hymns, by good descriptions of the striking objects in nature, and by good church music. The most simple and affecting narrative parts of the Bible are to be added a» soon as they can be clearly understood; but the author strongly disapproves of children at an early age being set to read the Bible at large, when » great" portion'of it must be unintelligible to them, when the irksomeness of having it for a sort of task-book, and the carelessness resulting Jram constant familiarity with it, may predispose the pupil to regard it with dislike, and disqualify him for feeling the full impression of its sanctity and grandeur in subsequent life. Instructors, are admonished to be cautious of giving ihe child erroneous and mean ideas of -the Divine Being by minute illustrations or> trivial and dreeptive analogies y of habitually threatening
his vengeance on their faults, in the form either of immediate judgements or future retribution; and of describing the future state with the particularity which must divest the idea of all its sublimity. Considering it as impossible, by the nature of the youthful mind, that very young children can be effectually governed by ideas of a remote futurity, our author advises not to make use of these ideas in governing them, ' till reiterated experience shall have gi-' ven them the habit of believing that what was future has* become present.' With regard to attempting to connect, in the minds of children, ideas of the divine anger, and the1 punishments of a future state, with their faults and vices,' we t!iiijk there are pious parents and teachers that heed some admonition. To resort, with a promptitude which has at last the effect of profaneness, to these awful ideas, on every recurrence of carelessness or perversity, is the way both to bring those ideas into contempt, and to make all faults appear equal. It is also obvious, that, by trying this expedient on all occasions, parents will bring their authority into contempt, Ifsthey would not have that authority set at defiance) they must be able to point to immediate consequences, within their power to inflict on delinquency. Perhaps one of the most prudential rules respecting tfie enforcement on the minds of children of the conviction that they are accountable to an all-seeing though unseen Governor, and liable to the punishment of obstinate guilt in a future state, is, to take opportunities of impressing this idea the most cogently at seasons when the children are' not lying under any blame or displeasure, at moments of serious kindness on the part of the parents, and serious inquisitiveness on the part of the children, leaving in some degree the conviction to have its own effect, greater or less, in each particular instance of guilt, according to the greater or less degree of aggravation which the child's own conscience can be made secretly to acknowledge in that guilt. And another obvious rule will be, that, when he is to be ♦solemnly reminded of these religious sanctions and dangers in immediate connexion with ah actual instance of criminality in his conduct, the instance should be one of the most serious of his faults, that will bear the utmost seriousness of such an admonition. As to how early in life tins doctrine may be communicated, there heeds no more precise rule than this; that it may be as early as well instructed children are' found to shew any signs of prolonged or returning inquisitiveness concerning the supreme Cause of all that they behold, and concerning what becomes of persons known to them in their neighbourhood*