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of all the Scriptures. And it should for ever settle the question, when it is written, " All Scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
IV.-The Scriptures of the Old and New Testament are canonical. The term canon signifies a reed, such as was used for the purpose of measuring. When applied to the Scriptures, it implies, that all books claiming the authority of inspiration, were carefully tried and examined, and were admitted to be authoritative rules of faith and practice only on the plain nest and fullest testimony. Under this head there are two questions of great practical importance. The first is, what is the evidence that the books acknowledged by us to be inspired, were really delivered to the church as such ? That evidence is quite satisfactory, They are all treated with the utmost respect by the earliest Christian writers—they are quoted by them as authority in all matters of faith and practice-they were, at a very early period, collected into one volume, stamped with di. vine authority—they were distinguished by names pressive of the veneration in which they were held—they were publicly read in religious assemblies-comments were written on them and they were alike acknowledged by the different sects that arose in the church. Hence we have the most satisfactory evidence, that the books acknowledged by us to be inspired, were really those delivered to the church as such by the prophets and apostles. The second question is, what evidence have we that the original text has been preserved pure as it came from the inspiration of God's Spirit? With regard to the text of the
Old Testament Scriptures, let the following statement suffice. A distinguished scholar, Dr. Kennicott, formed the purpose of examining all the Hebrew manuscripts he could find, of carefully comparing them with one another, and of determining the correctness of the received text. He spent ten years in the work. £10,000 were subscribed lo defray the expenses-he was patronized by seven crowned heads-he was assisted by many men of the greatest learn. ing-and although he discovered an immense number of different readings, yet they were so insignificant as to call forth the following observations from Bishop. Marsh, in his lectures at Cambridge:-“You will be ready, perhaps, with me to say, how many learned lives, and what a vase sum of money has thus been expended in comparatively fruitless labour; for
no controversy of importance, either
between Jews and Christians, or any of the sects into which they are respectively divided, has been effected by them. No; it was worth all their lives and labours to know there was nothing to do.” Add to this that Christ and his apostles gave the Scriptures of the Old Testament their fullest sanction, and the evidence is complete. With regard to the Scriptures of the New Testament, inquiries have been made by Griesbach, similar to those of Ken. nicott, and the result is not different; for although different readings have been discovered, yet are they not such as materially to effect any of the disputed doctrines of theology. We cannot but conclude, that the preservation of the text of the Scriptures in its native purity is a stand. ing miracle. Nothing but the care of God could have so preserved it in the midst of human wickedness, and folly; and sinfulness.
Such is a brief outline of the evidence by which it may be proved, that the Scriptures of the Old and New Testa ment are genuine, authentic, inspired, and canonical. Let us, in conclusion, remember for what purposes the world has been blessed with such a revelation.* “ All Scriptare is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect; thoroughly fur. nished unto all good works." It is designed for profit, not for entertainment; not for the mere communication of knowledge, but for the purification and salvation of the soul. It is profitable for doctrine, teaching us all things necessary to be known; for reproof, showing us our sins, and humbling us on account of them; for correction, healing our spiritual diseases, by the application of the grace which it reveals ; for instruction in righteousness, teaching us to “grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Its design is to perfect the man of God, conforming him more and more to the image of his heavenly Father, and furnishing him with every grace, and supplying every motive whereby he may abound in every good word and work.
NEW SYSTEM OF NATIONAL EDUCATION. REPORT AND BILL.
We do not hesitate to denounce the Report and Bill as the most cunning, the most specious, the most daring, 'and the most determined attempts that have been made against Protestantism, since the day when James II. sent his Ambassador to Rome to reconcile the nation to the Pope; accordingly we have given our time, and our thoughts to them with earnestness, if by any means we may show to our brethren the nature of the yoke that is preparing for them and their children. Our earnestness is increased ten-fold when we consider how near the danger is. Had not the last Parliament been suddenly prorogued, there is reason to believe the Bill would have now been the law of the land. There is little doubt of its speedy re-introduction. There is, therefore, no time to be lost in exposing its'abominations. We shall, accordingly, lay before our readers a few extracts from the Report, though they are already, generally known to the public.
THE REPORT recommends, that “the course of study for four fixed days of the week, should be exclusively moral and literary. And that of the two remaining days, the one should be appropriated solely to the separate religious instruction of the Protestant Children, the other for the separate religious instruction of the Roman Catholic Children... That in each case, no literary instruction should be given, or interfe. rence allowed on the part of the Teacher, but that the whole of this separate religious instruction should be placed under the exclusive super. intendence of the Clergy of the respective communions. That it should be the invariable rule in such Schools of general instruction, that the Scholars should attend on Sunday at their respective places of worship, unless prevented hy some sufficient excuse."
“ That certificates should be required from every child, of attendance both at divine worship, and at the times appointed for separate religious instruction; and that the fact of such attendance should be entered regutarly in the School register.”
Tbat it should be part of the duty of the proposed Commissioners ‘of Education, to receive returns, duly certified, of the attendance of the children at School, and of their attendance at divine worship, and at the times appropriated to separate religious instruction.!'
That, in order to provide suitable books for the instruction of the chilo dren, it was the opinion of the Select Committee, “That copies of the New Testament, and of such other religious books as should be printed in the manner therein mentioned, shouid be provided for the use of the children, to be read in School at such times of separate instruction only, and under the direction of the attending Clergyman."
That the Commissioners should “edit and print all books for the gene• ral literary instruction of Scholars, and supply such books to Schools.” That theyshould “print all books for the separate religious. instruction of Scholars, which should be approved of by the Commissioners."
That “the books for separate religious instruction of the children should be recommended by the Episcopal authority of the Church, and by the Roman Catholic Bishops in Ireland ;'*
That the Commissioners should “receive a return of all Books used in Schools, supported in the whole or in part at the public expense.'. And should “have a power of rejecting any disapproved of by such Commissioners,"
* No right of Presbyterian interference.
After many efforts, we have succeeded in obtaining the Bill, and are now able to anthenticate our statements with extracts from its most im. portant clauses. Meantime we have found that an abstract of the Bill has already been published in the Belfast News-Letter of the 25th Oetober, with an observation by the Editor, that she had reason to believe the Bill would be brought forward next Session with the approbation of Government.” We know not, nor do we think it would be fair to ask, upon what information this belief was founded. We suspect it rests upon the authority of the framer of the Bill, who is not a member of Goyernment ; and who so speaks, relying upon the opinion of merely one member of the Government, to whom we have referred as his patron in the production. The Government, we believe, stand, as yet, quite unconnected with either Report or Bill. And until we see it, we shall not willingly believe that they have determined openly to become the patrons of Popery and the enemies of Protestantism. We have, therefore, written of the Report' and Bill as merely the productions of the respective authors, and not of the Government. But should it be found that GQ vernment are so far infatuated as to sanction the one or the other; there is, therefore, the more reason why Protestants should be on the alert. We have not wards strong enough to express our detestation of the Report; nor is our opinion more favourable concerning the Bill. For nothing is the Bill so remarkable as the true spirit of Jesuitism. It cunningly omits to men, tion the most obnoxious details of the Report, which have already been criticised and reprobated in various publications, while it carefully provides a power and a machinery by which they must eventually be realized.
* THE BILL.--Section 4 provides, that “the Board shall be a corporate body, and have all rights and power usually enjoyed by corporate bodies.”
Section 9 enables laymen holding in fee simple, fee tail, or for life, to grant, sell, or exchange their lands, or any part thereof, to the Board.
Section 10 enables any Ecclesiastic to sell or make an absolute grant of any quantity of church lands for the purposes of this Act.
Section 16 provides, that the said Board may found, build, and fully outfit any number of Schools in any Parish."
Section 17 provides, that " the said Board direct and superintend the Purchase and Publication of any Book or Books whatsoever which they shall deem necessary or expedient for the use of the said Schools, from Parliamentary or other Funds, and distribute the same among all or any of the Schools to be hereafter established or maintained under the provisions of this Act.”
Section 18“gives power to the Board to examine Candidates for the situation of Schoolmaster or Schoolmistress to any School under the jurisdic. tion of the Board, and to ascertain their fitness in point of morality and re. ligious habits."
Section 20. We have said that the Bill prerposes to destroy all power over Schools in their local supporters and patrons.--Accordingly it provides, "that whenever any Schoolmaster or Schoolmistress shall prove either»incompetent or unfit for such situation, it shall be lawful for the said Board to censure, suspend, or altogether to remove such Schoolmaster or Schoolmistress.”
Section 22 provides a more efficient instrument of despotism over the Schools. According to this proposal it is lawful for the “ Members of said Board, from time to time, and at all times that they shall judge proper so to do, to visit each and any of the Schools under their jurisdiction by virtue of the provisions of this Act, either in person or by Deputies and Inspectors, to administer Oaths, and to call and examine on oath or otherwise all and every person and Persons, and to call for all Vouchers, Books, Evidences, Maps, and all other Documents whatsoever, and to examine and to inquire into all matters and things whatever rohich the said Visitor or Visitors, or their Deputies or Inspectors shall deem requisite."
Section 25 transfers all local power over teachers, houses, gardens, and manner of teaching, from Parents, Patrons, &c. and gives it to the Board, who receive “ full power to correct, order, and regulaté as they may judge best.”
Section 26. To make assurance of absolute power double sure,” this Section provides, that “the Board may make any bye-laws, orders, or regulations for the education and government of all persons to be educated in, or to be appointed to the superintendence of the Schools under their jurisdiction.”
Sections 40 and 59 provide for Parochial Assessments, for Teachers' Salaries, fuel, &c. which, once granted, can never be afterwards altered without the approbation of the Board.
Section 70 completes the despotism of the Board, and the servility of all Teachers. It provides, " that the Masters or Mistresses of all Schools to be hereafter established under this Act shall be under the immediate controul and direction, and subject at all times to the visit and inspection of the Members of the Board, or of the Deputies or Inspectors delegated by the Board for that purpose, and shall be required to conform to and observe all and every such orders and regulations in the manage. ment and conduct of their respective Schools as shall from time to time be transmitted to them, and to furnish such reports and information as may be required from cach, under pain of censure, suspension, or dismissal from their respective situations, whichever, on a due investi, gation of the case, shall seem needful or expedient."
P. S.-We care little about a word, a title, or a name; yet it is wor. thy to be considered as “a sign of the times,” that throughout this Bių the Romanists are invariably called " Catholics” i. e. Universals-The Universal Church-which every child knows they are not : but which they would fondly be supposed. It is still more remarkable that it calls Dr. Murray “Catholic Archbishop of Dublin," a title which, we think, he is prohibited from employing by one Act of Parliament, and is thus illegally bestowed on him by, another. It is also worthy of remark, that throughout the whole details of the Bill, providing for national education, there is not one word of the Bible !! while there is an abundance of power and will provided for its sacrifice and exclusion. And this is what liberalism would do for the education of our children! For a local influence over our own Sehools, it consigns us to Dublin, to oaths, and a law,suit. The license of all School-books it transfers to the hands of the Italian Hierarchy, and a Protestant Bishop and a Presbyterian Minister it would convert into watch-dogs for Rome. Base and degrading proposal!! Degrading to whom? To the men that dared propose it. Fabricius was not degraded by the offer of a bribe, but Pyrrhus was degraded, who would have bought like a slave-merchant the men he could not conquer as a soldier,