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POPULAR EDUCATION vs. SECTARIANISM. PERHAPs upon no other subject has the civilization, and well-being of the compublic mind in every section of the Uni- munity. ted States attained to greater unanimity, It has also been quite as unanimously within the past few years, than that of decreed by the sovereign authority in the necessity and desirability of UNI- the respective States that this education VERBAL and Free Education. The New shall be provided for every child within England States were the first to recog. its jurisdiction, at the expense, solely or nize and carry into practical effect this chiefly, of the State itself or its several great principle. Their example was fol. municipalities, by means of public funds lowed by the Middle and Western States; specifically or generally appropriated to and since the rebellion, all, or nearly all, this object; or, in conjunction with such the Southern States have ingrafted it funds, by local or general taxation upon upon their Constitutions and fundamental the real and personal estate of every laws. It rests upon the broad foundation citizen, in the same manner as all other of a representative Democracy. Every general or local taxes are imposed. Every citizen, high or low, rich or poor, being a citizen, therefore, is called upon to conconstituent element of the Government, tribute bis proportional share of the exupon his education, character and gene- pense incurred in educating all the chilral intelligence, capacity and integrity, dren of the community in which he depends the aggregate of public wisdom resides, and in turn is entitled to share and public opinion, which, in its turn, re- in its benefits, in the education of his acts upon the practical administration of own or such as may be placed in his the Government. Ignorance is the fertile guardianship and charge. This educasource of crime, poverty, and degrada- tion includes full instruction in all the tion; intelligence, of wealth, order, pro- elementary branches of learning, and in ductiveness, and happiness. Ignorance such advanced studies as are ordinarily necessitates the police, the penitentiary, pursued in common schools, and in aca-. the criminal court, the prison, and the demical and even collegiate institutions, gallows; education and intelligence not where included within the scope of difonly insure order, quiet, and peace, but ferent systems of public instruction. It add immeasurably to the material wealth, does not, however, embrace professional Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by CHARLES SORTBNER & Co., in the Clerk's
Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York. Vom XI.-1
or artistic culture in any of its branches- are now in progress, for the introduction the law, medicine, theology, merchandise, of a new and alien element. Each sepaagriculture, military or naval science, rate religious denomination, it is contendpainting, sculpture, or any other technical ed, shall be authorized to establish its
od art or science. It provides only general own schools, in which, in addition to the instruction in all those branches of learn- ordinary common school studies, shall ing which may enable their recipients to be taught the special doctrines and dogfollow out the principles thus inculcated, mas of its own special faith, and to reand the methods thus furnished, in any ceive its proportionate share of school profession or calling, art or science, to money according to the number of chilwhich they may elect to deyote them- dren so educated. In the lower branch selves in after-life. It lays the broad of the Missouri Legislature such an act foundations for all future culture, fur- has already been passed, the inevitable nishes the elementary principles at the effect of which, if adopted by the Senate, basis of all science and art, and so disci- it seems to be conceded, would be the deplines and trains the various mental facul- struction of the coinmon school system. ties as to afford every requisite facility In New York City a similar movement for mastering all the details and principles has been initiated, and is strongly urged of every profession and calling. Instead by the Roman Catholics, the success of of dealing with all the intricacies of in- which would be equally fatal to the magternational, common, statute, and muni- nificent public school system of our me. cipal law, it inculcates the broad princi- tropolis. Its adoption would, of course, ples at the foundation of all law and all lead to the general establishment of secgovernment, with a general knowledge tarian schools of every denomination, and of the Constitutions and fundamental the consequent abandoument of those laws of the nation and State in which now in existence. It may be worth the pupil resides. Instead of medical while to trace the origin and progress of therapeutics and the details of medical this latter movement, with the view of and surgical science, it teaches physio- exposing its utter fallacy, and its inevitalogy, chemistry, and their kindred branch- ble consequences in the deterioration of es; instead of military and naval science, scholarship and the demoralization of the higher mathematics; instead of the those to whom its interests are commitvarious manufacturing branches, a gene- ted. ral knowledge of technology and natural On the organization of the common philosophy; and instead of the mysteries school system of the State, in 1813, that of exchange and merchandise, political portion of the school fund applicable to economy and a thorough knowledge of the city of New York was directed to be arithmetic. Instead of a complete course apportioned and distributed to the trusof theology, including the distinctive re- tees of the Public School Society, the ligious faith, forms, and practice of a Orphan Asylum Society, the African Free hundred different and conflicting sects, it School, “and of such incorporated religi. inculcates that morality and those teach- ous societies as supported or should estabings, of both the Jewish and Christian lish charity schools, who might apply for Scriptures, recognized in common by all the same, in proportion to the number of religious creeds, with few and inconside- its pupils on register." Under these prorable exceptions.
visions, most of the religious societies Within these limitations and restric- established parochial schools, and received tions the various systems of public instruc- their proportionate share of the public tion, organized and established through money. They were also authorized to out the Union, have accomplished, and apply any surplus in their possession, afare accomplishing, an immense amount of ter paying teachers, to the erection of good. Recently, however, in different sec- new buildings. After the expiration of tions, strong efforts have been made, and ten years, it was discovered that several of the church schools thus organized and professing the same faith." In 1841 he endowed had not only induced great num- reiterated the same sentiments, disavowbers of the pupils of the public schools to ing, however, any design to recommend leave their own schools and join theirs, the inculcation of any particular religious but had employed incompetent and un- faith in the public schools. The various qualified teachers, at nominal salaries, and petitions and memorials were referred from the avails of the public funds erected by the Legislature to the Secretary of churches, the basement stories of which State and Superintendent of Common only-dark, gloomy, and ill-ventilated— Schools, the Hon. John C. Spencer, who had been used for school purposes. On reported adversely to the application, but a representation of these facts, the Legis- recommended the organization of ward lature, on the unanimous recommendation schools, in addition to the public schools, of the Common Council, transferred to to be conducted, however, upon the same the latter body the apportionment of that principles, and expressly prohibiting the portion of the school moneys due to the payment of any portion of the public city, "deeming that the school fund of money to any school in which “the relithe State was purely of a civil character, gious doctrines or tenets of any particular designed for civil purposes, and that the Christian or other religious sect should be intrusting it to religious or ecclesiastical taught, inculcated, or practised, or in bodies was a violation of an elementary which any book or books containing principle in the politics of the State and composition favorable or prejudicial to country," and prohibiting its distribution the particular doctrines or tenets of to any institution other than the public any particular Christian or other relischools and orphan asylums.
gious sect, or which shall teach the On this basis the question was suffered doctrines or tenets of any other relito rest for upwards of a quarter of a cen- gious sect." This recommendation was tury, until, in 1840, the Roman Catholics, adopted hy the Legislature, with the under the lead of the celebrated Arch- additional proviso that nothing in the bishop Hughes, applied to the Common act contained should 16 authorize the Council for a proportionate share of the exclusion of the Holy SCRIPTURES, withcommon school fund, in behalf of the out note or comment, or any selections charity schools supported by their organ- therefrom.” The principle of this act is ization, and in which their peculiar reli- still the recognized law and policy of the gious tenets were taught. After a full State; nor has it ever been infringed hearing on both sides of the question, in until the appropriation at the last session which the highest talent and ability of of the Legislature of a sum equal to the city were enlisted, Archbishop Hughes $200,000 annually to sectarian schools in person conducting the argument in be- and private institutions. This approprihalf of the application, and Hiram Ketch- ation, although nominally not affecting um leading the opposition, the Common the public school fund, in reality does so, Council unanimously rejected the peti- by increasing the annual taxation for the tion, and declared their intention to support of the public schools. adhere to the principles settled by the The exclusion of the Bible, without Legislature of 1824.
note or comment," from the public schools, The theatre of controversy was then wherever it has been introduced, can only transferred to the Legislature. Governor be effected by the repeal of the express Seward, in his message of 1840, recom- provision of law which has been in force mended the establishment of schools in for the past thirty-five years. It is not which "the children of foreigners found demanded, either by public opinion or by in great numbers in our populous cities the conflicting sects for whose benefit the and in the vicinity of our public works appropriation referred to has been made. might be instructed by teachers speaking What the Catholics require is not the the same language with themselves and exclusion of the Bible—for in all or nearly
part of the
all the schools chiefly occupied by Catho- land, Ireland, and on the Continent? lic children and teachers, and under the How has it worked here, whenever it control of Catholic trustees, the Douay has been temporarily adopted ? edition of the Bible is regularly read On the other hand, what are the rewithout objection—but the permission to cords of the public school system ? Nearteach the peculiar religious tenets of their sect ly one million of children annually pre
ular course of instruc- paring themselves, in our own State tion. And so with every other sect par- alone, for future usefulness, honor, and ticipating in this movement. The legiti- happiness ;-one hundred thousand in mate consequence would be the general daily attendance in the public schools of substitution of sectarian schools, under the city of New York, including fourthe exclusive charge of sectarian officers, teen or fifteen of the largest schools in for our present excellent public school which more than four-fifths of the pupils system, in which every child is furnished and all the teachers and trustees are with a sound and thorough practical edu- Roman Catholics or Jews. cation for all the ordinary purposes of To us it would seem either madness or life, including the essential elements of folly to make the change. We trust, the Christian religion from the purest therefore, that the Legislature, in accordsource, leaving all theological distinctions ance with the petitions loading down its and sectarian differences of interpretation tables, will see the importance of at once to be adjusted in the family or the church, repealing every provision for the encourwhere they properly belong.
agement of sectarian schools of every deWhich of these two systems is most in scription, confining its bestowments of accordance with sound reason and the public money exclusively to institutions spirit of the institutions under which we for the care of orphans, the deaf, dumb, live — universal education, free from blind, insane, and idiotic, and leaving the every taint of sectarianism, or a cramped education of every other class of children development of the mental and moral to those institutions, profusely scattered faculties under a hundred distinct sys- over every portion of our territory, ortems of religious faith? How has the ganized and endowed for this special purlatter system worked in England, Scot- pose.
"Go forth under the open sky, and list
To Nature's teachings."-WM. CULLEN BRYANT. Tae unceasing life of our Mother Earth the rigors of Northern winters. Six produces and requires motion, not only months later he took them out, and exin the birds of the air, the fish of the sea, amined the dust that had fallen on them, ard the larger animals of field and forest, through imperceptible cracks and crebut even in the smallest created beings. vices, with the microscope. The result Currents of air carry myriads of vegeta- was, that he discovered in this dist the ble seeds, and with them countless eggs pollen of eight distinct plants, the spores of insects and infusoria, all over the of eleven varieties of fungus, the eggs of world. To settle this formerly disputed four higher infusoria, and living individufact, a German naturalist, Unger, placed als of at least one kind! several plates of glass, carefully cleaned, Minute and almost invisible as insects between the almost air-tight double sashes are, they never seem to be too small not with which be protected his study against to wander over the earth after the manner