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then we have the lengthened and unreadable lucubrations of W. Saxon, (of whose state and condition we know no. thing,) who writes against the unanswerable and most eloquent arguments of the Rev. Robert M'Ghee; and, finally, one and all of us have to endure the whole vengeance of the ruffian philosophy of George Ensor, Esq.
For all these things we know not any remedy but patience, prayer, and good courage. There is cause of fear, but there is still hope. If Protestants stand firm, we believe they need not yet despair. Some great points are already gained : in Ğod's good time others will follow.
It may be useful hereafter to have on record the senti. ments of the Synod of Ulster on the subject of national education; we therefore subjoin the following resolutions and petition. Should all their apprehensions turn out groundless, the documents preserved will merely convict them of a very venial mistake; should they turn out wellfounded, as we believe they will, they will serve to commemorate their watchfulness and their courage; and should the present experiment, as we farther believe, be merely “the beginning of sorrows,” these documents will be valuable, as constituting the first act in the drama of their struggles for "civil and religious liberty," against the conjoint powers of Popery and Infidelity.
SPECIAL MEETING AT COOKSTOWN-1832.
1.-" That as Christian Ministers and Elders, we pray that divine grace and blessing may descend abundantly upon the person and government of our Sovereign, King William IV.; as dutiful and loyal subjects, we declare our uoshaken attachment to the constitutional principles which called the Illustrious House of Hanover to the Throne; and, as Presbyterians, we rejoice, with gratitude to Almighty God, in the distinguished part taken by our forefathers in the advocacy of the principles, and the promotion of the measures,
which happily terminated in that great national event. “II.-That we feel grateful for the countenance and support which the Presbyterian Church, in this country, bas long continued to receive from Government, and more especially since the accession of his Majesty's august family.
“]Il.—That nothing can be farther from our thoughts than to embarrass his Majesty's Ministers, by any demand upon their time and atten. tion, in the present critical state of the empire; nevertheless, the principles and measures relative to education, embodied in a letter from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, dated October, 1831, and addressed to his Grace the Duke of Leinster, compel us to approach the Government and Legislature with a dutiful and faithful statement of the scriptural principles adopted by us, as a Church, upon the subject of popular instruction.
“IV.-That it is our deliberate opinion and decided conviction, that, in a Christian country, the Bible, unabridged and unmutilated, should form the basis of national education, as we learn from Deut. vi. 6, Psal. cxix. 9, John xvii. 17, 2 Tim. iii. 14, 15, 16; and that, consequently, we can never accede to any system that, in the least degree, interferes with the unrestricted possession and use of the Scriptures in our schools.
“V.—That we have heard with deep regret, that his Majesty's Government have proceeded to erect a Metropolitan Board of Education, vested
complete control over all schools and teachers receiving public aid, and an “entire control” over all school-books, whether for literary or religious education.
6. VI.-That such " an entire control” as, by the constitution of the Board, the Government have vested in the hands of one member of this body over all school-books employed by Ministers in the religious instruction of such children of their congregations as may attend the national schools, cannot, in our opinion, be transferred to, nor be exercised by, any one, without innovating upon our constitutional principles, and creating a supremacy over a church, the absolute parity of whose Ministers is, and ever has been, one of her distinguishing and essential characteristics.
“VII.-That we cannot contemplate without peculiar disapprobation, that part of the proposed system which requires any member of the Synod, that may be called to the Board, to " encourage" religious teachers in the inculcation of doctrines which he must conscientiously believe to be directly opposed to the Sacred Scriptures.
“VIII.-That for the reasons embodied in the four preceding Resolutions, the Metropolitan Board has not received the approbation, and does not possess the confidence, of this Synod; and that our Ministers and people are earnestly entreated to keep themselves totally unconnected with it.
“IX.—That being aware of the difficulties and embarrassments of his Majesty's Government, arising from the conflicting opinions, claims, and interests of Protestants and Roman Catholics, which we believe it impracticable for the Legislature ever to combine under one system of education, except by concessions of principle upon our part, which we feel it to be impossible for us ever to make; yet feeling anxious respectfully to suggest a plan that seems to us calculated to remove the difficulties and embarrassments of the subject--we do resolve earnestly to entreat of his Majesty's Government, that if they cannot patronize an unrestricted scriptural education, (the only system founded on divine authority,) they will be pleased totally to abstain from establishing any monopoly of control over teachers and school-books, leaving these matters in the hands of parents, to whom the Allwise God has primarily committed the trust; and if they cannot devise a plan of granting pecuniary aid without requiring such “complete and entire control” in return, that they will be pleased to leave the support of schools for the poor to the voluntary contributions of the friends of education, by which means, both we and our people will be preserved from every compromise of religious principle, and by which we doubt not that, under the blessing of God, the progress of national education, as in many instances experience has already proved, will be happily and efficiently promoted.
“X:-That we shall, by a loyal, and dutiful, and earnest address to the Lord Lieutenant, and humble petition to the Commons' House of Parliament, endeavour to dissuade his Majesty's Goveroment from the establishment of a system founded upon a supreme Board, vested with absolute and despotic power ; a measure which we believe to be contrary to the soundest principles of political economy, and which, by its contemplated interference with the integrity and unrestricted use of the Scriptures, we believe to be opposed to the positive declaration of the word of God.
The Synod, at a subsequent sederunt, adopted the following Resolution, and ordered it to be forrarded to congregations in conjunction wilh the preceding resolutions :
Being instructed by the word of God, that whilst it is the duty and privilege of the church, at all times, by prayer and supplication, to make her requests known unto God; her members are especially encouraged to call upon him in perilous times, that he would be pleased to avert threatened judgments, or over-rule them for the furtherance of true religion ;-and looking upon the present to be such times of peril, this Synod recommend it to all their Ministers, Elders, and people, that, in their public, domestic, and private devotions, and, where it may be practicable, by special prayer-meetings appointed for the purpose, they wiil especially bear upon their hearts before God, the present momentous situation of the church and of the world, praying that the Lord would graciously direct our Rulers into wise and godly counsels, and mercifully teach the people to lead quiet and peaceable lives, in all godliness and honesty.
“JAMES MORGAN, Moderator.
To the Honorable the Commons of the United Kingdom of Great Bri
tain and Ireland in Parliament assembled, the Petition of the Rev. the Moderator, the Clerk, and other the Ministers and Elders of the General Synod of Ulster,
“HUMBLY SHEWETH, “That Petitioners feel sincerely grateful for that liberal provision which, during the last twenty years, your Honorable House has been pleased to extend towards the support and advancement of the education of the poor in Ireland.
• Petitioners, however, have learned, with deep regret, by means of an official letter from the Chief Secretary for Ireland, that a great change has lately been adopted by the Government, in the management of this parliamentary provision.
“ Petitioners, therefore, being specially convened to consider this inportant change, beg leave to approach your Honorable House with an humble statement of their principles on the subject of edncation, and also of the constitution of the Presbyterian Church, which render it impossible for them to comply with the conditions upon which alone grants of assistance from the parliamentary fund are, in future, to be made to public schools.
“ Petitioners, in common with all Protestant Churches, maintain, that every man is endowed with an indefeasible right to possess and read the whole Scriptures; and that it is every man's bounden duty, as a being accountable to God for the use or abuse of his gifts, to examine and judge of their requirements, and both to “teach then, and have them taught diligently to his children,” for their “ instruction in righteousness, that they may be thoroughly furnished to all good works."
“Petitioners farther believe and maintain, that no man or body of men possess right or authority to expurgate or mutilate the Bible, or to presume to approve and license, as a school-book, one part in preference to another, seeing that God has inspired and delivered the whole under one equally divine authority.
“ Petitioners, professing and holding the Presbyterian discipline, farther believe and maintain, with all possible respect to those who support another order of church government, that all Ministers of the word are perfectly equal in point of rank and degree, each individual being Presbyter or Bishop of his own particular Church ; that all ecclesiastical power, under Christ the Head of the Church, is lodged in the hands of the Presbytery, or united council of Ministers and Elders; and that no one can receive, claim, or exercise any power over his brethren, in matters of conscience or duty.
By the newly adopted system of national education, the Government have, in the judgment of Petitioners, seriously interfered with the foregoing principles, which, whether common to them as Protestants, or peculiar to them as Presbyterians, they hold as matters of conscience, from which they are not at liberty to recede. To a Board professedly consisting of three Protestants of the establishment, two Roman Catholics, one Unitarian, and one Presbyterian, Government have committed an “entire control over all school books—the Bible, consequently, included. This Board propose to confine the scholars, during the period of literary and moral instruction, to read only as much of the sacred writings as they may approve-exercising a decided veto over the remainder ;-a power which Petitioners can never concede, so long as, by the grace of God, they continue to be Protestants. Farther the Government have proceeded to invest one member of the Synod with a similar "entire control” over all books employed by his brethren, for the religious instruction of the children of their congregations who may attend any of the endowed schools,—an arrangement which destroys their essential ministerial parity, and establishes a spiritual supremacy over them, to which they can never subinit, so long as, by the grace of God, they continue to be Presbyterians.
“Petitioners beg leave farther to state to your Honorable House, that the plan of education adopted by the Government of Ireland, deprives parents of all real power in the election or removal of schoolmasters, vesting the whole in the hands of the Board. Now Petitioners have ever been accustomed to consider it as one of the soundest principles of political economy, that, in every concern, whether public or private, men should always possess an influence of manageinent proportionate to their interest ; and to hold it as a fundamental principle of Scripture, that parents standing directly accountable to God for the education of their children, possess, therefore, an absolute right to the choice of books and teachers, with which no free and Christia state should ever authoritatively interfere.
“Petitioners beg leave to state to your Honorable House, that the system of education adopted by the Government in Ireland, absolutely cuts off from participation in its benefits, all cousistent Protestants, whetber of the Established or Presbyterian Churches. Petitioners would therefore humbly entreat, that if your Honorable House be pleased to patronize any plan of education, it may be one which, adopting as its basis the Scriptures complete and unmutilated, will proceed upon divine authority, and to which they can render a conscientious approval. But should the difficulties, in the way of such a system, be pronounced insurmountable, Petitioners then pray, that your Honorable House may be pleased to ab. stain from all legislative interference, leaving the choice of teachers and books in the hands of parents, to whom the Allwise God has primarily committed the trust; and the ordinary support of schools to parents who are able to pay; and, the case of the really poor, to the voluntary contributions of the friends of education-an arrangement by which Pctitioners and their people will be relieved from any compromise of religious principle; and by which, as has been abundantly proved by the experience both of education and missionary societies, the great cause of national instruetion may be happily and efficiently promoted.
Petitioners farther beg leave to state to your Honorable House, that they undoubtedly speak the sentiments of the great body of the Presby, terians of Ulster, holding the doctrines of the Church of Scotland ; and do confidently hope, that the divine authority of the principles they have pleaded, the interests of that scriptural education which they are anxious to retain and promote, the number of the people amongst whom they minister, characterized by loyalty, peaceableness, and industry, will obtain for their requests a favourable consideration.
And Petitioners, as ia duty bound, shall pray. Of the foregoing resolutions we will only say, that the greater part were passed unanimously-and that when not unanimously, the minority consisted but of one-the Rev. James Carlile, one of the Government Commissioners.
The petition, so far as we know, has not yet been presented. When an arrangement had been made to present it at an early hour on the night of the principal debate on the education question, the arrangement was defeated by one of the Graitang---we believe the hero of Coldblowlane. The substance of the petition was, however, twice repeated by Lord Acheson, to whom it had, most unhappily, as we think, been intrusted for presentation. We Àuow not his lordship; but he seems to us to possess, in great perfection, that useful statesmanlike quality of blow. ing hot and cold with the same mouth. We are not cognizant of parliamentary etiquette; but we think his lord. ship treated the Synod of Ulster rather unkindly. We believe it is a kind of parliamentary law that members should present any respectful petitions intrusted to them; yet we believe it is not uncommon, where they do not concur with a petition, to tell the petitioner their objection. His lordship did not do so; but contrived, as we understood him from the report, to pour out upon the Synod a quantity of oblique and most undeserved abuse. In a subsequent explanation his lordship denied the imputation of impro