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Letter to Richard Bethell, Esq. From Exercises, with an Explanatory ParaHenry Hall, Esq. 8vo. 6d. sewed. phrase of the Gospel Narrative. By C.
A Letter to Viscount Milton, M. P., on C. Sturm. Translated from the German, the Catholic Question. By one of his by W. Johnstone, A. M. 8vo. 38. Constituents. 28.
A Course of Sermons preached before Plain Statement in Support of the Po- the University of Cambridge in the Year litical Claims of the Roman Catholics, in 1825, illustrative of the Patriarchal, Moa Letter to the Rev. Sir George Lee, saic and Christian Dispensations, of the Bart. By Lord Nugent. 28. Od.
Origin of the Mosaic Ritual, of the ChaTheology.
racters of Melchisedeck and St. John the
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of the New Church of Frimley, in the A Comparison of certain Traditions in County of Surrey, on the 18th of Oct. the Thalmud, Torgamin, and Rabbinical 1826. By the Rev. H. T. Austen, A. M. Writers, with Circumstances that occur- 8vo. 18. 6d. sewed. red in the Life of our Saviour. By the The Duty of holding the Traditions Rev. D. G. Wait, LL.D. 8vo. 48. which we have been taught, asserted
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CORRESPONDENCE. The Conductors hope that their attempt to give the Monthly Repository more literary character will not operate as a restraint upon Miscellaneous Correspondence, from which they are fully aware that a periodical publication must derive much of its spirit and variety. Discussions on topics of interest will always be welcome ; as well as articles of Intelligence, on subjects which are consonant with the objects of the work.
Mr. Holland will perceive that his communication has been anticipated by an article of Review in the last Number.
The paper of R. M., dated from Cork, is uuder consideration. The subject had already engaged the attention of the Conductors. They are very desirous of obtaining a good account, drawn up with care and temper, of the state of religion and of religious parties in Ireland. ‘R. M.'s communication, though it contains many valuable observations, does not come fully up to their wishes on this interesting topic.
The Conductors cannot forbear expressing their gratification at the success which has falready attended their labours. The increased sale of their work may be considered, they trust, as the earnest of a still wider circulatiou, and of more extensive usefulness,
Page 49, line 39, for « leading" read binding.
50, 21, for “ Wagscheider" read Wegscheider.
THE MONTHLY REPOSITORY
NEW SERIES, No. III. .
ON A SCIENTIFIC EDUCATION AND THE UNIVERSITY OF LONDON.
THERE is nothing more remarkable in the history of Protestant England, than the neglect with which she has treated education.
It is well known, however, that of the wise men who have left us their sentiments on the subjects most interesting to human kind, there is hardly one who has not represented education as the principal source of all that is to be wished, or all that is to be deprecated, in behalf of our species. A few names may be adduced as a specimen. Plato, with whom may be joined his master Socrates, whose sentiments he professes to deliver, Aristotle, Cicero, Quintilian, Bacon, Milton, Fenelon, Locke, are among those who have treated of education as the first of all sublunary interests.
Of education, it is necessary to distinguish two species ; one, the object of which is, to impart the qualifications required for the ordinary purposes of life; the other, the object of which is, to impart the higher qualifications of intellect, and train the human mind to its greatest excellence.
The qualifications chiefly aimed at by the first species of education, are reading, writing, and arithmetic. As these are of indispensable necessity for all the pursuits of life, except the very lowest, an adequate interest compelled the provision of means sufficient in extent to supply that large portion of the population by whom these qualifications were required.
The higher qualifications of intellect, the object of the second species of education,
appear to have been regarded in England as interesting but a small part of the population; and as worthy of very little care on the part either of the community or its rulers. Two seminaries only, for the higher branches of instruction, exist in England, the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge. These, however, existed in Popish times; they are the result of Popish wisdom and philanthropy; and no addition, notwithstanding the increase of population, notwithstanding the invention of printing, the multiplication of books
, and the progressive importance of literature, has been made to them since the Protestant era.
One thing deserves to be remarked with respect to schools. The revival of letters, as it is called, or the passion for the study of Greek and Roman literature, which was diffused in Europe after the fall of Constantinople, gave rise to the formation of grammar schools, in which the rudiments of the
Latin and Greek languages were taught, and the study of them carried on to more or less of proficiency.
Of these several were erected in England, mostly at private charge; and the example of these schools, which were resorted to in preference by the sons of the more wealthy classes, was followed by the more numerous schools set up by individuals, and destined for the several gradations of the middle ranks. In most of these, to reading, writing, and arithmetic, Greek and Latin were added, though the instruction in these languages seldom proceeded beyond an early stage.
With the exception of the individuals destined for the clerical profession, a few of those destined for the medical and legal professions, and a few of the sons of the nobility and higher gentry, who alone resort to the Universities, the education of Englishmen stopped at this point. For all those classes of Englishmen, in whose hands, with the above exception, the business of the country, in all its departments, from the farm and the shop to the highest enterprises of industry and the highest functions of Government, is placed, no better education has been provided than a knowledge of reading, writing, and accounts, a smattering of Latin and Greek, and of late years a little geography
In this respect England exhibits à contrast, by no means honourable to its people or its government, with every other civilized country in the world. Scotland, for a population not a quarter of that of England, has more than double the number of Universities; and so situated that a great proportion of its middle classes may and do obtain the benefit of a liberal education.
It is well known that Germany abounds with universities; and that the means of instruction in the higher branches of knowledge are brought within the reach of a great proportion of the population, who do, in fact, reap the advantage of them. The same encomium belongs to Holland, Sweden, Denmark, and even Norway; though of most of these countries the youth could with so much facility resort to the Universities of Germany.
France, even before the Revolution, by its established universities, and by the institutes of education set on foot by the Jesuits and other religious orders, had the means of a superior education diffused so generally as to reach even the lower classes; a fact of which a very interesting illustration is afforded in the Memoirs of Marmontel, who, though born in a very low situation, obtained in his native province, along with others of the same level with himself, the education which enabled him, at an early period of life, to rank high among the literary men of his age and country.
The mode in which the Protestants in England have neglected education ; and the mode in which the Dissenters from the Church of England have neglected it; compared with what appears to have been done for education by the Protestants in France, who were there the Dissenters from the Church, suggest reflections greatly to the honour of the Protestants in France, and very little to the honour of the Protestants and Dissenters in England.
The state of education among the Protestants in France, during the first century, and a litle more, from the period of the Reformation, is proved to us chiefly by its results : these results are so extraordinary, that it is difficult to conceive how an education, so perfect as to produce the great men who sprung from that stock, could at that time, and in such circumstances, have been brought into existence. The appearance of one extraordinary man at almost any time, or in any country, may be accounted for by accidental circumstances. But the number of men, among the Protestants of France, who, about the end of the seventeenth and beginning of the eighteenth cen
tury, stood in the highest rank among the men of intellect and literature in the world, can only be accounted for by general causes; and is one of the most interesting facts in the history of human kind. The following list, made at the moment from memory, and of course very imperfect, will, nevertheless, suggest to our readers convincing evidence that it must have been a fine system of instruction to which so great an amount of intellectual superiority can be traced.
We shall place at the head of the list of the men of eminence, educated among the Protestants of France, the first name, perhaps, of his
age, Bayle; then followed Beausobre, Basnage (Jacques), and Basnage (Henri), Lenfant, Barbeyrac, Claude, Dacier, Lefevre, Le Clerc, Saurin (Jacques), Saurin (Joseph), Abadie, Daillé, Bochart, Rapin, Laplacette, Pelisson, Jurieu; a catalogue which it is not easy to parallel
, and which leads decidedly to the conclusion, that a system of education, equal to, if not better, than existed any where else in the world, was at that time established among the Huguenots of France; for it is not the mere number of the men of eminence which deserves to be considered, but the proportion which they bear to the population which produced them. If Catholic France, with a population ten times as great, or England, with a population five times as great, produced an equal number of eminent men, the fact would bear but one-tenth in the me case, and one-fifth in the other, of the wonderful character which belongs to the production of so much talent among the Huguenots of France.
Circumstances have, in several most important respects, been more favourable to England than to other countries in Europe. One of the most remarkable results of the peculiar circumstances of England has been the raising up of a middle class, placed sufficiently above poverty to be exempted from those continual cares and toils which preclude the exercise of intellect, and sufficiently below that degree of opulence which substitutes the influence of wealth for the effect of personal qualities ; a middle rank, more numerous, compared with the whole population, than any other country, perhaps, has ever possessed; a middle rank, whose energy and ingenuity have been the exclusive source of all the power and all the glory of England; and to whom the community must look for all that hereafter is to improve their happiness, and maintain their rank as a portion of the human race.
Another result of the peculiar circumstances of England, which also we pronounce on the ground of irresistible reason most fortunate, is, that a very great and a continually growing proportion of her population are Dissenters from the Established Church. On the importance of this fact it is not at present our province to enlarge. We mention it in conjunction with the fact immediately before adduced, of the amount in England of the middle rank of the people, of whom the Dissenters form a very great proportion, in order to remark the lamentable coincidence of both in one fatal mistake ; we mean, the neglect of education; that unaccountable contentment, which up to this moment they exhibit, in the want of the means of imparting to their youth the higher branches of instruction, and all the more eminent distinctions of the human mind.
Remarkable enough it is, that the middle classes, and the Dissenters, though they have displayed the strongest spirit of rivalry with those to whom they look respectively as objects of competition ;—the men of the middle class striving to approach, or to equal those of the higher class in the possession of wealth, and all that distinguishes it, the magnificence of their establishments, the elegance of their mode of life, even their share in the Legislation and Government of the country; the Dissenters striving to exceed,
and often successfully, their competitors of the Church in their influence on the minds of the people, and in all the qualities and appearances which are calculated to gain that influence ;-have never yet shewn any considerable disposition to excel, or even to equal, the higher ranks and the Church in the means of education.
To constitute this a subject of rational wonder, it is not necessary to suppose either that the means of superior instruction provided for the higher ranks and the priests of the establishment are good, or that one or the other make a good use of them. The supposition would want much of being true in either case. But it is true, that the higher ranks and the Church have institutions which profess to teach the higher branches of education; and that the middle ranks and the Dissenters have no such institutions. At this we are not contented to wonder, we are indignant and mortified; and if we did not think that the time was come when the reproach would be blotted out, we should be grieved beyond what we can easily express.
This neglect, or rather this self-abasement, is not to be excused on the pretext that the youth destined for the business of ordinary life have not time to evote to the higher branches of instruction, and are without the means of defraying the expense which it requires. The pretences are groundless. The time which is now wasted in learning but little, would be amply sufficient for the learning of much. It is not the want of years, at the age of fifteen or sixteen, which hinders a young man from understanding a difficult subject, but the want of the previous training which his years, had they been well employed, would have amply afforded. The years which are now given to a most imperfect education by the sons of the middle classes, the years which are spared from the money-getting occupations to whicli these young persons are destined, or might be spared with little disadvantage, in the most sordid sense, either to their parents or themselves, would suffice to lay the foundation of a good education ; an education which would initiate them fully in the mysteries of science, which would give them a taste for mental pursuits, endow them with the power of unravelling intellectual complexities, and prepare them to improve the reach and the force of their minds, not only by every moment which, during the whole course of their lives, they could spare for study, but by the intellectual observation of the very objects about which their business is conversant, and the events, ordinary or extraordinary, which are passing around them.
And with respect to the supposed difficulty of expense, one of the great objections to education as now practised, is, that it is not only bad, but more expensive than the best education has occasion to be. Where the resort of pupils is considerable, a moderate fee to the professors constitutes an adequate reward; the use of a public library diminishes greatly the expense of books; the cost of living to pupils within a certain distance of the seat of education would be reduced to its lowest terms, by their living, as in populous towns would most commonly be the case, in the houses of their parents; but even where they could not live in the houses of their parents, if collegiate living were not a part (always a noxious part) of the order and discipline of the seminary, each pupil might provide accommodation for himself on as economical terms as his circumstances should require. The poorest would associate in the halls of instruction with the most opulent of their fellows, would partake with them in the reception of those ideas and the acquisition of those habits and tastes which would enable them in after life to place themselves on a level with the most exalted of their species; and in retiring to a modest apartment and simple fare, they would more naturally feel a