Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

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." Pensione 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 pay expenses are at least four months in advance." 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 In. spectors, 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 ou a family footing, to give the pupils the example of a An "agro

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. 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.

J. M. H.

To be continued.)

Reviews.

THE PENTATEUCHAL NARRATIVE VINDICATED, from the Absurdities Charged

against it by The Bishop of Natal. By John Collyer K’night. London : Samuel Bagster & Sons. pp. 16. Price Eightpence. God's WORD DEFENDED, and Infulelity 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 INSPIRATION-WHAT IT IS, 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

print and publish such trash as this! Where can this writer have been living, that he should be so entirely in the dark as to the comwonest usages of mankind? Matthew of Westminster tells us, that in A.D. 1297, the king, being involved in two wars and finding it necessary to lay heavy burdens on the people, summoned the people of London to meet him at Westminster Hall, when he addressed them and explained his position. Bishop Colenso might take out his pencil, demonstrate that 50,000 or 100,000 people could not stand in, or in front of Westminster Hall, and that the king's voice could not reach them, and so prove-to his own satisfaction—that the story was 'inconceivable,' and that Matthew's Chronicle was “unhistorical,' i.e. untrue! But all common-place people could tell the bishop that such things occur in common life every year; that 20,000 men are frequently gummoned to meet in Guildhall which could not admit one quarter of them. To urge objections of this kind against the Pentateuch is the very wantonness of scepticism."-p. 25.

As to the Bishop's objections to the march out of Egypt, it is remarked

“The movements of so large a body of people seem incredible to him. We may remind him, that Herodotus records the march and passage across the Hellespont of the army of Xerxes, numbering 1,700,000 foot, and 80,000 horse. Bishop Thirlwall remarks—There seems no sufficient ground for supposing that these estimates are greatly exaggerated.' Would Dr. Colenso conclude, because of the number of Xerxes's army, that Herodotus has palmed fiction upon us in the place of history?"-p. 26.

The writer's design is admirably carried out, and it would afford us pleasure to present to our readers numerous specimens of the manner in which the very important subjects referred to are treated. But this the space at our disposal will not permit, and as the argument is much condensed, it becomes very difficult to select where all is so interesting and valuable. We have probably done enough to induce many of our readers to read this pamphlet with care; and we would commend to them the concluding portion, on the “ Practical bearings of the Subject," as being especially valuable. We would also recall to their attention the article in our last Number on the "Historic character of the Books of Moses," as well adapted to remove any difficulties which may have been raised in their minds by the extraordinary statements of Dr. Colenso.

DAILY BIBLE ILLUSTRATIONS. By John Kitto, D.D. Antediluvians and

Patriarchs. Edinburgh: William Oliphant & Co. pp. 434.

This is the first volume of a re-issue of this useful work. It will be completed in eight monthly volumes, Six Shillings each. Four of the volumes are designed for morning readings, and four for the evenings. In this way, the whole Scripture is gone through in the course of the year; and any individual or family steadily pursuing this course of reading, would find themselves possessed gradually of a store of information on all Biblical subjects that would assist them wonderfully in reading the Bible themselves, and in the hearing it expounded from the pulpit. The work is already well-known and highly esteemed, and we hail with pleasure this attempt to increase its circulation.

MORNING. A Book for Mothers and Chillren. Edinburgh : William

Oliphant & Co. pr. 108.

This is an elegantly printed little volume, in which an American mother gives some account of the earliest years of her two little girls. The inci.

« PreviousContinue »