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now. You may assume that it is ours already. Go on." Another question which his Majesty put to the Count was: "What course ought, in your opinion, to be taken respecting our concessions in Corea?" The Count's reply was framed on the same lines as his answer to the first query. The question was not pressing, and the Japanese were still in Corea. But Nicholas insisted that they were going out again very soon. In a word, as he was, he is, and, unhappily for us, will continue to be. Our people have a saying that the tomb alone can straighten a hunchback.
To the acts of such a prince we need not look for signs of those unsuspected gifts which God sometimes bestows on a man in secret, and circumstance brings to light in a day or an hour. As in the past, so in the present, he makes laws which he will not respect; he convokes councils whose advice he declines to follow; he appoints minis
The National Review.
ters whom he forbids to speak or act; substitutes for them favorites to whom in turn he offers a deaf ear, and is now trying almost alone to force our whole nation to bleed to death for himself and a parasitic brood of human bloodsuckers. But hither our people will probably refuse to follow him. They already deny his right to send them thither.
Yet he still insists with the serenity of the somnambulist and the smile of the seer. Whether ruler and ruled will yet try issues is now immaterial, because autocracy, as the Holstein-Gotthorp dynasty understands it, is at its last gasp. Whatever else may survive the coming storm that monstrosity must surely go, and one fervently hopes that the autocrat will not cling more closely to it than he has clung to the mane of fleeting time. Fata volentes dvcunt. nolentes trahunt. The Author of "The Tsar"
in the Quarterly Review.
THE CHURCHES AND THE CHILD.
The time has arrived for a frank consideration of the whole question of the relations of the Churches to education. Living facts only, apart from all past traditions and practices not essential to the real issue, are relevant to the Inquiry. I shall deal chiefly with the claims of the Roman Catholic Church; for that Church has taken up the most extreme position in regard to education. Any argument that tells against her position applies with equal, if not greater force, to the other Churches. The Catholic Church has often shown herself capable of adapting her methods to the conditions of the age, when these conditions can be moulded to help her in her spiritual mission. In view of the disturbance in England
over the Education Act, and the present dibdcle in France, it may be well, perhaps, for the Church to consider whether she could, without sacrificing any essential principle, adopt an educational policy that would meet the needs of Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States.
Those who have watched the trend of events in these countries must acknowledge a growing dissatisfaction on the part of the people with the present interference of the Churches in secular education. England Is In an uproar against the last Education Act, which has already become so unworkable in Wales that the Government which introduced the law is said to be about to amend it. The Liberal Party, when it gets into power, is unlikely to stop short at mere amendment. In Ireland, a strong party, including many practical Catholics, is dissatisfied with the clerical management of primary schools, and is unwilling to give the Church any large share in the control of the proposed university for Catholics. In the United States, many leading Catholics have openly opposed the Church-school system; and still larger numbers consider it an intolerable burthen on the Catholic middle class and poor. In English-speaking countries generally, the Catholic Church seems to be in opposition to the State on the school question, and without the support of many of its own best church attendants. Unless the question at issue is an essential one, this is an unusual position for the Catholic Church, which does not usually fill the role of a Quixote tilting against windmills.
In discussing the relations of the Church to education, a distinction must be made between religious and secular education. Few will deny the right of the Church to educate the child in its religious belief. The fight of the Roman Catholic Church to maintain this right, in the face of persecution and suffering, is one of the noblest and most striking events in history. A fight for conscience' sake, although often bitterly opposed at the moment, has always commanded the respect of the world. But the right to control the religious education of the child differs widely from the right to control its secular education, which can only be urged, even by the Church, on the ground of extrinsic considerations endangering the child's faith or morals. A Church conscious of the reality of her divine mission could never relinquish her right to religious education; but, according to her own theory, the Church might waive her claim to control secular education, if
the assertion of the claim led to a greater moral evil than a possible danger to the faith and morals of the child. The danger to the faith and morals of the child under a State system of secular education in the United Kingdom and the United States is extremely problematical; indeed, in the minds of many Catholics, it is non-existent, especially if the Church makes use of other means readily at her command to secure the religious teaching of her children. On the other hand, an attempt to enforce the claim of the Church to control secular education is certain to provoke grave breaches of Christian peace.
The claim of the Church to the control of secular education seems to be based, not so much on the facts and conditions of the day, as on the desire to preserve historical continuity. In medieval times, the Church controlled all education, secular as well as religious. It was an age when the clergy were almost the only educated men; therefore on them naturally fell the duty of teaching. As a rule, medieval education was confined to the teaching of polite letters, in so far as these were necessary for the culture of the gentleman of the day. The old monasteries were filled with men capable of imparting this learning. They gave the little the age demanded; and everybody was pleased. After the Reformation, there was little change. In Roman Catholic countries, education still continued in the hands of the clergy. The Reformed Churches adopted and continued the old traditions. In England, America, and Scotland, the university was dominated by the local form of religion. In Ireland, an attempt was made to force a Protestant university on a Catholic people. Each church had its secondary schools. With the growth of industrial life, a new view of education grew up. It was no longer regarded as a luxury
of the well-to-do, but took its true place as an integral element in national development. The State, which hitherto had left education to individuals, was forced to consider its position in regard to the education of its citizens. The view began to prevail, that the future of democracy lay in better education, and that the ideal State was a highly educated people. This principle led to the establishment of the public school system, with the intention of bringing education to the doors of the poorest. Difficulties with the churches at once arose. Their influence was threatened in a field in which they had reigned supreme. What came to them largely by custom was claimed as a right more or less essential to the teaching of the Church. The State was torn by party conflicts. To-day the following not very satisfactory result prevails. In the United States a frankly undenominational State system of primary education, side by side with an expensive Church system supported by voluntary contributions; in Ireland, an undenominational system that, with the connivance of the Government. Is practically denominational; in Great Britain, an undenominational system with certain denominational rights, which practically places the British Church school in the same position as the Irish National school. The solution is hardly satisfactory, from the point of view of either Church or State.
The supporters of an undenominational system of State primary secular education have a strong case. This is a democratic age. In the United Kingdom and America, the will of the people is the law of the land. Democracy, in its present form, Is not perfect; but the fact is becoming more and more evident, that it is the form of government likely to prevail in the world. The aim of all who are interested in good government should be to make democracy perfect, if perfection is
humanly possible; if not, at least to aim at its perfection. The first step towards a perfect democracy is the education of the suffrage. It is now a commonplace, that every child has a right to receive a thoroughly sound elementary education from the State. The State has the duty of instructing each child, so as to fit it for its important office of a ruler in civil life, which is really the position of a voter in parliamentary and municipal elections in a democratic State. Since the success of the modern State depends largely on its success in industry, this idea must also influence education. Church and State agree that the State has power to raise funds to secure these educational ends. The point of dispute between the church and the supporters of State control narrows itself down to the administration of the funds raised by the State, and to the immediate local control of educational schemes. The State seems to have the exclusive right to administer and direct secular education. The object of the State is to maintain efficiency of citizenship. To be certain of attaining this result, control of the education of its citizens seems to be necessary. Money, too, is raised from the people for a specific purpose. The State is bound to see that this money is spent economically and efficiently. These rights and duties of the State to the citizens generally would not preclude it from delegating authority, even in secular education, to any particular Church. But the onus of proof certainly seems to be thrown on the particular Church, to show that this delegation is called for because of grave reasons; that in present conditions it is possible; and, if it is called for, that the ends of the State are likely to be carried out efficiently. It may be well to examine these three points in some detail. The main reasons advanced by the Catholic Church in claiming a controlling voice in the secular education of the young are: first, that, unless the Church has this control, the faith and morals of the children will be seriously endangered; therefore, as the spiritual end of the child must be looked to rather than the civil, the State ought to give way: second, that the parent's right to decide the form of his child's education is inviolable, therefore the Church ought to have control.
If It were clearly proved that a State system of secular education would seriously endanger the faith and morals of children, the Church would have a strong claim on the consideration of all who believe, as I do, that, without the reality of a spiritual life, all else is gray and barren. But the statement that State secular education has this effect is an assertion that has never been proved. In fact, when one tests it by one's own experience in the immediate circle of one's acquaintances, the assertion proves baseless. Several of my friends were educated in nonCatholic schools and colleges, without the slightest injury to their faith. A cause that has to be backed up by vague or untrue assertions is, if not weak, at least likely to be suspected of weakness.
The right of the parent to decide on the education of his child may be viewed in different lights. The right of the parent to decide on the religious education will be conceded by all who believe in religion. Religion is too intimate a thing, too personal a relation between the individual and God, to be submitted to State interference. With secular education, it is different. The individual to a certain extent merges in the State, and becomes one with it. The individual forms the State and controls it; but he is bound to regulate his life by its laws. Owing to the close connection between good government and the education of all
citizens, the parent's right to decide on the question of his child's secular education seems to merge in the State. No one now questions the right of the State to insist on the attendance of children at school for a specified number of days and hours. This right of the State would be useless if it could not prescribe the course of instruction. But, even if the parent's right were conceded, it would by no means follow that control ought to be given to the Church. Not all Catholic parents prefer Church schools.
That it is possible in present conditions for the State to delegate authority in secular education to the Churches, is not clear. In the abstract, the State has the right to choose the best agencies through which to act Provided the Churches were efficient educators, the State could delegate to them the control and administration of education. In the concrete, difficulties arise. For Roman Catholics the Church is one; but for the modern State the Church is diverse and multiplex. In Great Britain, Ireland, and the United States, the Roman Catholic Church is not only not in a majority, but is a comparatively small minority of the whole, having a majority only in Ireland. In America and England, besides the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Presbyterian Churches, there are a number of other sects which form no inconsiderable proportion of the population. In England there is an Established Church which has a close connection with the State, and which managed to secure the passing of the last Education Act. But the days of Establishment are threatened; and a permanent settlement of the Education Question must be effected independently of Establishment, and in the light of its non-existence. Apart from the question of efficiency, the difficulty of the State in delegating educational authority to a Church or Churches lies in their number and diversity. To whom is control to be given? From whom is it to be withheld? The difficulty will further increase with Disestablishment; for, within the Church of England to-day, there is such a diversity of opinion as to doctrine, that, with Disestablishment, will come a break-up and a further increase in the number of Churches. The State has to deal with all Churches alike. It cannot be supposed to share in the religious convictions of individuals who themselves differ widely. Direct control delegated to one Church or sect will be resented by the rest. Control given to a few will arouse the anger of the many. The ideal State would surround the child with religious influences all through its education. But what is the concrete State to do? Diversity of belief makes its choice of a Church almost impossible. A recognition of all forms of belief would Introduce a system impossible because of its complexity. With all these difficulties in view, it is not easy to see how the State is to delegate its power over secular education to the Churches.
There still remains the question of efficiency. What reason is there to believe that the Church school would prove an efficient secular educator? It is here that the claim of the Churches can be judged apart from abstract reasoning, by the test of facts. It may be urged, by the supporters of the Church school, that it cannot be judged by the past, that want of the necessary control or lack of funds was a bar to its efficiency. These reasons cannot be given in favor of the American Church schools, which are entirely under the control of the clergy, nor of the Irish National schools under clerical management. Taking these two classes of schools as a whole, they do not give as efficient secular instruction as the ordinary American or English State school; nor do they give such re
ligious instruction as would justify their separate existence.
In almost every American diocese there is an expensive Roman Catholic school system, side by side with the State schools. The Church schools are maintained on the so-called voluntary system: that is, by money raised by the pastors from the laity by annual subscriptions, often not voluntarily, and in very many instances grudgingly given. A number of these subscriptions are given by the poorer and more ignorant members of the Church, generally by Irish emigrants, whose feelings are excited by vigorous sermons portraying in vivid colors the dangers to Catholic faith and morals of State school education. Enthusiasm for the Church-school system is generally confined to priests and nuns and other religious, the lay element in the Church being mere subscribers to a system they often condemn in private conversation. The richer and more independent Catholics, while on the best terms with the Church authorities, send their children to non-Catholic schools. Many of the more intelligent Catholics, even among the poorer classes, refuse to send their children to the Church schools, preferring the State schools because of the better education given there. As one woman who sent her children to the State school said: "The teaching is better; and my children have to make their way in life." It Is an extraordinary organizing power that has enabled the Roman Catholic Church in America to collect millions of pounds to build up its Church-school system, and to expend enormous sums yearly on its up-keep, in order to carry out an idea the majority of educated laymen do not approve of, and some of the more intelligent American bishops discountenance. One of the most prominent American Catholics, who possesses in a high degree the confidence of his co-religionists, expressed