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of the knowledge of whom, the Apostle declared that he esteemed every thing as loss.

But I pass on towards a brief conclusion of my discourse.

For if the Duty of communicating the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures to the young from their earliest childhood be such as I have described; and if the inestimable BENEFIT arising from the right discharge of it be the making them wise unto salvation, then I can have little to add on the particular object of charity for which I am now to plead.

For I am persuaded you will agree with me in considering the NATIONAL SCHOOLS as a national blessing. The design of these noble institutions is, to supply the want of ability or consideration on the part of the parents of the poor, as to the religious instruction of their children-a benefit of quite incalculable moment. It is doing the most important good at the proper, and indeed only, opportunity for doing it. It is taking advantage of the opening years of childhood to give a right direction to the entire life. It is educating those who will be the parents of the next generation. For it is a profound thought, I think of Bishop Butler, that the character of every succeeding age is left, under the ordinary blessing of God, to the example and labours of the foregoing. We cannot then engage in a work where all the

principles of religion and humanity more strongly unite, than in national religious education. We are to recollect, besides, that the crowded families of the poor in this vast metropolis, necessarily place the

young almost constantly in the view of their parents; and that therefore where unhappy examples of prophaneness, irreligion, violation of the Sabbath, evil passions, or discontent, occur at home, vice and corruption must be propagated with increased rapidity. I will not then stop to ask you, whether this be not an additional motive to take the young by the hand, place them in your schools, and not only train them in habits of piety, but send them back as silent teachers to their less thoughtful relations and friends.

How nearly the topic of general education touches on the tranquillity and happiness of the community, is quite obvious. Conscience is the foundation of law. A doctrine of future retribution is the support of social order. No human statutes can control the heart. It is only when you inscribe an inward law—when you erect a voluntary self-command—when you raise up a secret tribunal—when you implant a fear of that Almighty Lord, who, after he has killed, has power to cast into Hell, that the frame of civil society can be cemented together. In every country, but especially in this free

state, the mass of your poor, like the base of the cone, if it be unsteady and insecure, will quickly endanger every superincumbent part. Religious education, then, is the spring of public tranquillity. It not only cherishes the interior principle of conscience; but by infusing the higher sentiments of penitence and faith and gratitude and the hope of salvation and the love of God, communicates the elements of a cheerful and uniform subjection to all lawful authority. The uneducated and irreligious, on the contrary, are a ready prey to every seducer, whether in politics or religion. They have no steady principles of morals. Their rule is habit, their guide passion, their controul selfishness, their end pleasure or power or gain.

But, indeed, if, independently of the safety of the community, our own domestic happiness only were concerned, who does not perceive how largely his personal comforts are derived from the fidelity and good principles of bis servants, especially those with whom his children are most conversant. Now the schools you are establishing are to train up these future inmates of your families—the very nurses and attendants, of whose defects you are now so ready to complain, and whose piety you should cheerfully purchase, by bestowing on them in early life the means of a religious education. For in what way can a succession of intelligent, mo

dest, obedient, faithful, pious domestic servants be nurtured, but by implanting early the seeds of all these Christian graces and virtues-not to speak of all the other situations in your families and establishments for trade and commerce, into which the present children of the poor will hereafter be introduced; and where they will bring, and will act upon, the principles of conduct with which you now familiarize them.

And amidst all the methods of instructing the young, especially in populous neighbourhoods, none appears so admirable as the NATIONAL SCHOOLS. The happy invention of teaching children by means of themselves, the surprising measure of attention and interest which is excited in their minds, the accuracy with which their lessons are acquired and retained, the rapid proficiency which is made, and the comparatively trifling expense at which the whole is achieved, seem to unite the very points most desirable in education, and yet hitherto the most unattainable; whilst the only serious objection—that of a dangerous spirit of emulation,-appears not to deserve a comparison with the actual benefits conferred—to say nothing on any doubts as to the validity of the objection itself.

Nor is it a small matter that our population should be trained from their earliest years in a decent reverence for the services of our

Church, and a conscientious observance of the duties of public worship, together with that early acquaintance with the elementary principles of the Christian faith, which may associate the formularies of our devotion with the first principles of their knowledge, and prepare them to become enlightened and well-informed members of the national Church. Nothing can be more certain than that a neglect of the ordinances of piety in the children of the poor, can only lead to confirmed indifference or hostility in advanced life. And, on the contrary, it is surely the bounden duty of the members of the Church to nurture the young in that pure form of religion which has blessed their own hearts, which they engaged to bestow on them when they presented them at the font of baptism, and which they can only effectually communicate by connecting early and devout habits of piety with the progress of their knowledge. Indeed, it would be more than surprising if, whilst all confessions of Christians in this country, as well as every other, including the Roman Catholics and every description of Protestants, educate their offspring in the peculiar tenets of their own belief, we alone should be found so unfaithful to our trust as to omit the inculcation of religious principle in the instruction we convey, and leave the young exposed to all the possible forms of error in other

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