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The Parish Priest, however, is to examine the children when he visits the place, and to supply whatever he may find deficient.
The conditions of holding teacherships in national schools are, that the males shall have Teachers' Institute certificates, and the females be certified as knowing the course, and being practised in tuition. Till such teachers can be provided in sufficient numbers, other persons of approved learning may be appointed, including, in rural districts, priests and deacons of parish churches.
Corporal punishment is to have no place in the discipline of the schools. "The measures which the teacher may find it necessary to adopt for the correction of offenders, must be such as to develop and cherish in them the moral sentiment; and, therefore, corporal punishments are in no possible case permitted." The enlightened considerations under which this unqualified interdict is introduced in a country unenviably famous for the "Knout," are ably stated in an Explanatory Note, and may be regarded as indicative of great general advance in Russian ideas.
The national schools are not necessarily supported by the State, although, in every case, under its supreme control. They are established at the desire of "the local, municipal, or rural communities, without assistance from the State or with such assistance, which is given only in such cases where the local community shall appear to be actually destitute of the means required." The General Assembly of the town or village desiring a school must agree to afford a locality, to supply fire and light, with all needful apparatus and furniture-to pay salaries, in towns, of 250 roubles to the master, and 80 to the religious instructor; in villages, 200 to the one, and 50 to the other, besides due payment to the teacher of singing. Private individuals may both found national schools and teach in them, subject to the regulations. Unaided schools may be opened without preliminary permission, the masters being duly authorised to teach. Rotation, or itinerant, schools are to be provided for wider districts thinly peopled. Two such districts may unite for this purpose. Special school funds are, as far as possible, to be established in every community.
For the purposes of management, each school is to have a Curator chosen by his community for three years, when he will be eligible for re-election. These, it is expected, will often be landed proprietors or parish priests; but any one is eligible who can read and write, and dwells near the school. These Curators, though not accounted in the service of the State, are, for the time, to be exempt from all other communal service, and may, if nobles or merchants, wear the undress uniform coat of the eighth class of the
Ministry of Public Instruction; or, if simple burgesses or peasants, a blue kaftan, with silver lace on collar and cuffs. After twelve years' service, national school teachers, originally belonging to the peasant or the burgher class, are to be raised to the rank of "personal honorary citizen;" and, if they distinguish themselves by zeal for twenty years, they may, on the intercession of the authorities, attain to the grade of "hereditary honorary citizen." Pensions and medals of certain orders also are within their reach.
We observe, that, in the oversight of the teachers under his charge, the Curator is to take with him "the consent of the community" when reporting decisively against "the incompetent and negligent." It is part also of his duty to see that the funds to 66 at least four months in advance." pay expenses are Further, he is to exercise his supervision over "as well day as Sunday schools;" and, as the ability to read and write becomes disseminated, to connect with each school "a library of books calculated for general perusal."
It is provided, that, in provinces where the national schools are more than seventy, an Inspector shall be appointed to assist the Provincial Director in yearly visiting and examining both public and private schools; two Inspectors where the schools exceed 150; and three where they reach 200. Observers familiar with the mode of appointing Inspectors in England, will remark, that, in Russia, Provincial Directors are hereafter to be selected from among Inspectors, and Inspectors from among trained teachers who have served ten years with credit. In the mean time, even University men are not to fill these posts unless they have also served ten years in the Education Department. Directors are to be nominated or dismissed by the Curator of the Circle, subject to confirmation by the Minister of Public Instruction; they are to superintend Training Institutes as well as Schools; and they are to make yearly a full report to the Curator above them on every branch of the subject. They are empowered to confirm appointments and dismissals of Teachers and Assistants by local Curators; to appoint eligible Teachers at the Curator's request; and to present for "rewards and gratifications" the names of deserving Inspectors, Curators, and Teachers. In the internal economy of schools exclusively supported by the local community, the Director must not interfere; yet is he bound to see that they actually receive the income guaranteed, and, should that be insufficient, to communicate with the proper authority, in order to obtain more.
The Training Institutes for Teachers are described as "close institutions on a family footing, to give the pupils the example of a
modest, tranquil, yet active mode of life." They are to be supported by payments from the Imperial Treasury four months in advance. But communities or even private individuals may found them, with the same privileges as if founded by the State. There will be a Teacher to each class, such teachers forming the directing council, under the presidency of one of them, selected by the Circle Curator, as Inspector of the Institute. This functionary will select the others, who, reported by the Council, through the provincial Director, to the Circle Curator, will be confirmed by authority. The duties of religious instructor are confided to one of the local clergy, elected by the Institute Inspector with the concurrence of the diocesan authorities, and confirmed by the Circle Curator. An "agro
nomist" will have charge of the gardens and model farm, and will instruct the pupils in such occupations. Sixteen is the minimum age of admission. Each candidate must have been vaccinated, and be free from such defects as epilepsy, scrofula, weak chest, imperfect sight, and stammering speech. Pupils belonging to the class of subjects liable to taxation, are to be exempt from the payment of imposts, from military service, and from other burdens. The pupils are to live five in a room, the senior superintending. Having completed the Institute course, they will be bound to teach in national schools for not less than six years. Those who are indigent will be clothed at the public expense. The teaching in the Institutes is to correspond in range (for the most part) to that in national schools, and not to be extended until it shall be found expedient to raise the standard in those schools. "The instruction in religion," for example, "is limited to the course of the national schools, and therefore consists equally of the historic and dogmatic portion of theology; but, at the same time, the age of the pupils, and their future professional destination, allow of the possibility of uniting to the dogmatic part further and more detailed explanations, and enlarging the historical portion by the reading of selected extracts from the Russian translation of the Bible." As one means of teaching the art of teaching and of discipline, "on particular occasions, the teacher discusses with the pupils the conduct of the younger scholars, [in the practising schools,] and especially their infractions of discipline, pointing out the means of preventing or of correcting them."
[To be continued. |
J. M. H.
THE PENTATEUCHAL NARRATIVE VINDICATED, from the Absurdities Charged against it by The Bishop of Natal. By John Collyer Knight. London: Samuel Bagster & Sons. pp. 16. Price Eightpence. GOD'S WORD DEFENDED, and Infidelity Repulsed; being an Answer to Bishop Colenso. By William Cooke, D.D. London: H. Webber. pp. 16. Price Twopence. AN ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THOSE OBJECTIONS of Dr. Colenso which are contained in the Second Chapter of his Work. By Daniel Benham. London: Printed for Private Circulation. pp. 18. BIBLE INSPIRATION: What it Is, and What it Is Not. By the Rev. Charles Bullock, Rector of St. Nicholas, Worcester. London: Wertheim, Macintosh, & Hunt. pp. 51.
THESE four pamphlets are amongst the many publications which Dr. Colenso's attack on the Pentateuch, and the Book of Joshua, has been the means of bringing out. The first deals with the Bishop's objections to the Book of Exodus, going through them seriatim, and answering them so far as they are capable of being answered; but concluding with the very judicious remark—
"The text from which our common English version of the Bible was made, is the text of some of the very earliest printed copies; and this text, Kennicott, and some others, have represented as being especially faulty with regard to the numerals and proper names. How far a corrected text may remove any of the Bishop's numerical or genealogical objections, we cannot pretend to say."—p. 16.
Dr. Cooke's examination of Dr. Colenso's objections is somewhat fuller, and in a more popular style. It will, we think, carry conviction to the mind of every reader, that the objections made are without any solid foundation. He refers very justly to the searching examination which the Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua had to undergo, not only from those who yielded to their authority, but from those who would have been glad to be able to show that they were without historical authority,-such as the idolatrous worshippers in Israel, the Samaritans, the Sadducees; and he justly appeals to the Septuagint translation, made 280 years B.C., as a proof of the estimation in which those books were then held.
"The migratory Jews, who used this version, were familiar with all the facts. Among them were men of enquiry and research. Travel and intercourse with Gentile nations sharpened their judgment, and inspired freedom of thought; yet they were one with the Jews of Palestine in their belief of the Pentateuch and the inspiration of the prophet Moses."-p. 14
We think our readers will thank us for quoting an extract from the concluding portion of this pamphlet, as to the opinion formed by the ancient Jews on the subject.
"What is the testimony of the ancient Jews, especially of those whose education, and life-long residence in Judea rendered familiar with all the facts to which Dr. Colenso objects? The Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua were not written merely for remote nations and foreigners, who had not the best means of testing their truthfulness, but for the Jews themselves, who lived in
Judea, who knew all about the wilderness and the scenes of Israel's encampments, marches, and sufferings; whose religion and habits of life entered largely into all the institutions, festivals, and ceremonies of the Mosaic law; and who had access to all the genealogies of their ancestors. The five Books of Moses and the Book of Joshua were constantly accessible to them. The people were commanded to read them, and they did so. These books, indeed, were almost the only literature they studied. They wrote out copies for themselves; they scrutinized every page, they numbered every word, every letter. A thousand times over they must have compared the records of Moses and Joshua with the scenes around them, and with the ceremonies of their religion. A thousand times over every fact objected to by Dr. Colenso must have passed under their review; and yet, with all their knowledge, with all the advantages of their position, with all their facilities to detect errors, to find out discrepancies in dates, numbers, or facts, they found none; and they found none, because there were none to be found. They believed the record because it harmonized with nature, with facts, with genealogies, with history, with everything. It bore on its face the evidence of truth and the visible stamp of Divine authority. Yet there were strong inducements to disbelieve and deny, had not overwhelming evidence restrained them. The Levitical code was burdensome and expensive. There were rival sects, and there were dark apostacies. Jeroboam set up a rival worship in Samaria, and guilty Ahab and Jezebel multiplied the priests of Baal, and four hundred and fifty of them at one time danced frantically around the altar of their god, and loudly importuned his interposition to defend his cause. How easy for those wily priests to have alleged the inconsistencies and contradictions of the Books of Moses and of Joshua, had not facts, stubborn facts, and overwhelming evidence forbidden the attempt."—pp. 13, 14.
The third pamphlet on our list consists of an Essay read before the Christian Union Institute, and the Chronological Institute of London, by Mr. Daniel Benham, of whom Mr. Mann spoke in his address delivered at the commemoration of the Jubilee of our periodical, as one "who was a very interesting companion at their early breakfasts, and contributed paper s of great historical value to the Magazine, for which he possessed a peculiar aptitude." Mr. Benham's object is to shew the fallacy of Dr. Colenso's calculations, as to the history contained in the Pentateuch, of Judah and his family.
The last work we have to notice is the largest of the four, and takes a wider range than any of them, and is well worth the perusal of our readers. The writer thus states his design:
"I.-To offer a few general remarks on the question of BIBLE INSPIRATIONWHAT IT 18, AND WHAT IT IS NOT.
“ II.—To point out the FALLACY OF SOME OF THE PRINCIPAL DIFFICULTIES AND OBJECTIONS ADVANCED BY DR. COLENSO.
"III.-To commend as the very pivot of the whole controversy OUR LORD'S CONCLUSIVE TESTIMONY TO THE INSPIRATION OF THE PENTATEUCH; and in conclusion:
"IV. To press upon my readers THE MOMENTOUS PRACTICAL BEARINGS OF THE SUBJECT."-p. 8.
Mr. Bullock thus deals with one of Dr. Colenso's numerical "impossibilities."
"He finds repeated commands in Exodus and Numbers that all the congregation' shall appear before the door of the Tabernacle' or before the Lord;' and he reads that Moses and Joshua addressed all Israel.' He measures the tabernacle, and he estimates the power of the human voice; and he pronounces the words 'impossible!-'inconceivable!'
"A Reviewer comments on this objection with an allowable degree of severity: "Not more inconceivable,' than that a grown man, who has hitherto been supposed to have an average knowledge of ordinary affairs, should complacently