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must not alienate their funds to religion, —either to maintain his own, or to oppose that of others. He feels, at once, that what would be his personal, is not his relative, duty. He has deprived himself of all power, choice, liberty.—It is sometimes asked, and in a triumphant tone, Is it not the office of government to do all the good it can 2 We answer, that it must attempt no good in contravention of its true purposes, or by illegitimate means. But this question is intended to reduce the opponent to dilemma. Government should do all possible good: the enforcement of universal education is a good: therefore, government should enforce universal education. The major premiss assumes a questionable proposition, a perfect fallacy, as to the kind and limit of good: it must do evil, that good may come. The minor premiss is as gratuitous, for whether this enforcement of universal education be, or be not, a good, is the moot matter in debate. The conclusion is nugatory, for it depends upon nothing. The whole, indeed, is vicious, for it begs the question, -it asserts that government education is a good,—the point in dispute, -the point under denial. “Certainly, the great multiplication of virtues upon human nature, resteth upon societies well ordained and disciplined; for commonwealths and good governments do nourish virtue grown, but do not much mend the seeds: but the misery is, that the most effectual means are now applied to the ends least to be desired.”

* Bacon.

If the duty of the individual and the government be coextensive, the Christian will often spurn in his philanthropy the frontier of his country, and seek the moral illumination of the world. He is a debtor to the wise and to the unwise. He feels it to be his duty to consecrate his property and his influence for the mental and spiritual benefit of mankind. Must the State imitate his example? Is it to exercise intervention with foreign countries for these purposes? Is it to drain its coffers for them? It is the duty of the Christian, as far as he can, to Christianise the whole species. Does it follow that the State ought to attempt the same 2

None can deny to the opinions of Dean Swift great force and acuteness. They are not affected by the vehicle he chooses to employ. In the parable of Lilliput he sets down profound remarks and satires worthy of the statesman and the philosopher. In that State, he declares it to be the fixed conviction, “that parents are the last of all others to be trusted with the education of their own children.” It is provided with “male and female nurseries.” If the cost be not punctually paid, it is “levied by the emperor's officers.” The very poor are, however, released from this necessity of resorting to the nurseries at all. “The cottagers and labourers Keep their children at home, their business being only to till and cultivate the earth, and therefore their education is of little consequence to the public." After this information, we wonder not at the follies of this “terra incognita:” its commotions: its factions:—the moral conclusion is, that such means could only produce a pigmy race. The asserted claim of any government to educate the people, may not, at first, appear to involve any serious evil. But no pretension can contain so distinct a principle and means of tyranny. It is grasping the whole intellect of a country. It says, in impious rivalry of the Father of spirits, “All souls are mine.” Its right being so far acknowledged, it knows no definable limit. What shall be taught, lies in its behest. A just consequence of its prerogative is the censorship of the press. All literature it must control. Every expansion of opinion it must liberate. It stereotypes the public mind. The education is doomed to be always under the State: it must never be directed to bear upon it. These are not improbable evils: though, were they simply possible, the sagacious and the provident of the future would resist a principle which could be so applied. But experience is not silent upon these effects. The Executive Government of this kingdom, in taking up the matter of national education, has been severely blamed. We deem it capable of some defence. We are quite sure, save towards a certain department, that the blame has been too unmeasured. We ask, Was it not again and again urged upon the attention of the State? Was not the neglect of it as often laid to its charge? Was it not provoked into it by taunt and invective 2 Did not a moral impeachment hang over it? R

All sides, all parties, averred the duty of the government to interfere. Besides, it was the less blameworthy in that the principle had been already enacted. Compulsory education was recognised in the Factory Bill. That clause might be of very contracted power. The complaint was very general, not that the clause was legislated, but that it was so inoperative. All the while, that which we condemn was largely approved. The grievance was felt, not that it was done at all, but not done with a just efficiency. Our rulers might well rebuke us for suffering them to assume a false, as the public, opinion, —for silently and unreproachingly beholding the germ of what we allege to be so immense an evil,—for our inconsistency, or our cowardice. “We do remember our faults this day." It may now be proper to expose, by facts, the reasoning which we have assailed in abstractions. National education does exist in many of the Continental States. It has operated long enough for decided effects to be seen. There is abundance of organization. There are grand Referendaries. There are portfeuilles and bureaux. Local check is unknown. Self-government is repudiated. All hangs upon one centre. Let us examine the great scholastic regimen of France. There is a Minister of Public Instruction. He is the Master of the University, which is the keystone to the whole edifice of education. It has dependent upon it, academies, royal colleges, communal colleges, institutions, pensions, primary schools. A Royal Council assists the Minister. The seven functionaries, of which it is composed, divide the faculties and departments of education among them. Under them are inspectors-general. Then the Heads of the academies are constituted over their respective provinces. All is detail and surveillance. There is nothing which can elude the jealous care of the most balanced system. But freedom is sacrificed on the elaborate altar. Teacher and pupil cannot know it. The school is the ward of one great, panoptic, prison-house, with the keepers before the door. The work of Professor Lorain gives a deplorable account of the state of things. He was one of four hundred and ninety inspectors sent forth by Guizot to examine into the primary schools. He proceeds upon their general reports.” The tale is almost incredible of the miscreants who were called schoolmasters, and the hovels which were called schools. The incapacity, the vice, the squalor, the audacious dissimulation and deception, nearly surpass the power of belief. The moral influence is too apparent. It is the characteristic of the brave and free to rest upon themselves. The desire of the true patriot is in every thing to circumscribe the province of government, where it can be done by extending the sphere of individual action. In our country, the loan of the State is generally deprecated. We

* The original work is largely quoted from in a Publication of 1843: “Reasons against Government Interference in Education: by an Observer of the Results of a Centralised System of Education during Thirteen Years Residence in France.”

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