網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版
[ocr errors][merged small]

A LETTER,

&c. &c.

My LORD BISHOP,

In the speech addressed by your Lordship to the House of Lords on the 10th of May, in which you pleaded earnestly, as the case requires, in behalf of the uneducated population of the Principality of Wales, you justly remarked that the question is not as to the deficiency of the means of education, a point which must unfortunately be admitted by every one, but as to the mode in which the acknowledged evil is to be remedied. You added that you did not entertain any hope that Government would provide any general measure for educating the people of Wales, after so many measures with reference to general education in England had failed, and that such a result from any inquiry which might be instituted you did

not anticipate.

Now, my Lord, upon this subject I have thought deeply, and for many years, and I have arrived, myself, at the conclusion that some very general measure for the education of the people must be, ere long, adopted by the State ; and I think that among the

M195006

working clergy of the manufacturing districts this opinion is every where gaining ground, although we are all of us anxious, in any suggestions we have to offer, to act consistently on the principles of the Church.

I am, as a churchman, and a high churchman, addressing your Lordship to prevail upon you to apply the great powers of your mind to this momentous subject; and, distinguished as you are for energy on the one hand, and for prudence on the other, I cannot but hope that some measure may be devised by your Lordship such as may meet the wants of our increasing population, and commend itself to the judgment of good men of all parties, willing to make great sacrifices, in order to accomplish so great an object.

Your Lordship seems to be admirably fitted for such an office, not only from the circumstances to which I have before alluded, but because you have the confidence of opposite parties. Your political principles are, as we all know, liberal, and

you

have adhered to them consistently, though meekly, through life; at the same time, those who have adhered with equal firmness and consistency to the principles of the Church of England have always met with that justice from your Lordship which they have sometimes looked for in vain in other quarters. It is as a devoted minister of the Church of England, that I now write; and though I write with the desire of ascertaining what concessions, consistently with those principles, we can make, I am aware that proposals made by me will be received with suspicion in some quarters, and it is with a view of obtaining for them

[graphic]
[ocr errors][merged small]

working clergy of the manufacturing districts this
opinion is every where gaining ground, although we
are all of us anxious, in any suggestions we have to
offer, to act consistently on the principles of the
Church.

I am, as a churchman, and a high churchman, addressing your Lordship to prevail upon you to apply the great powers of your mind to this momentous subject; and, distinguished as you are for energy on the one hand, and for prudence on the other, I cannot but hope that some measure may be devised by your Lordship such as may meet the wants of our increasing population, and commend itself to the judgment of good men of all parties, willing to make great sacrifices, in order to accomplish so great an object.

Your Lordship seems to be admirably fitted for such an office, not only from the circumstances to which I have before alluded, but because you have the confidence of opposite parties. Your political principles are, as we all know, liberal, and you have adhered to them consistently, though meekly, through life; at the same time, those who have adhered with equal firmness and consistency to the principles of the Church of England have always met with that justice

from your Lordship which they have sometimes looked for in vain in other quarters. It is as a devoted minister of the Church of England, that I now write; and though I write with the desire of ascertaining what concessions, consistently with those principles, we can make, I am aware that proposals made by me will be received with suspicion in some quarters, and it is with a view of obtaining for them

education anticipate results from it which we know, as Christians, can never, through this instrumentality alone, be accomplished. To the unsanctified heart education may often be a bane and not a blessing ; but I do believe that it is impossible for us, except by miracle, to sustain Christianity in this country, unless very decided and very energetic measures be speedily adopted to secure for our manufacturing population that moral training which is the basis of all good education, and without which religion becomes a mere dogina—an illegitimate mode of expressing political sentiment. Although I would not confound moral training with what I consider to be religious education, yet such training may be used as the handmaid of religion, and for want of it thousands of our fellow-creatures are relapsing into barbarism, and becoming worse than heathens. I say worse than heathens, because, as your Lordship well knows, one of the evidences in favour of Christianity is this, that he by whom it is rejected when offered has no alternative left : he must accept Christianity, or he can have no religion; he becomes the worst sort of infidel. A heathen has a religion, though a corrupt one: a corrupted or apostate Christian is without any God in the world, except his own belly.

I admit with gratitude the good which has been accomplished through the instrumentality of the National Society. I concede with pleasure the credit which is due to dissenting societies, especially to the Methodists. I demand the praise of all unprejudiced men for the indefatigable zeal in the cause of education, speaking generally, of the clergy. But, my

1

N

11

« 上一頁繼續 »