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cal Philosophy, Book iv, ch. 10, which is his celebrated chapter on religious establishments and toleration, there are numerous passages which clearly shew in what sense he understood the term 'national' when applied to religion. For instance, Vol. ii. p. 336. The notion of a religious establishment comprehends three things; first, a clergy, or an order of men secluded from other professions to attend upon the offices of religion, a legal provision for the maintenance of the clergy, and the confining of that provision to the teachers of a particular sect of Christianity. If any one of these three things be wanting, if there be no clergy, as among the quakers, or if the clergy have no other provision than what they derive from the voluntary contributions of their hearers, or if the provision which the laws assign to the support of religion be extended to various sects and denominations of Christians, there exists no national religion or established church, according to the sense which these terms are usually made to convey.' Again, at p. 353, he says, If it be deemed expedient to establish a national religion, that is to say, one sect in preference to all others, some test, by which the teachers of that sect may be distinguished from the teachers of different sects, appears to be an indispensable consequence. The existence of such an establishment supposes it: the very notion of a national religion includes that of a test. These passages very clearly shew the sense which, in the opinion of Dr. Paley, attaches to the term 'national religion;' they clearly shew the impropriety of using it in so extensive a sense as to include Christians of every denomination. Dr. Paley manifestly considers the terms established religion' and national religion' as synonymous. Further, in respect to the necessity of an established or national religion, he argues it (p. 353) on the three points above-mentioned; the knowledge and profession of Christianity cannot be upholden without a clergy; a clergy cannot be supported without a legal provision; a legal provision for the clergy cannot be constituted without the preference of one sect of Christians to the rest.' Having argued these three points, he comes, at p. 567, to the following inference: That when the state enables its subjects to learn some form of Christianity, by distributing teachers of a religious system throughout the country, and by providing for the maintenance of these teachers at the public expense, that is in fewer terms, when the laws establish a national religion, they exercise a power and interference which are likely, in their general tendency, to promote the interests of mankind.' Lastly, when there are several religious parties in the same state, he considers (p. 368) which of them should be preferred by the legislature; and he comes to the same conclusion with Bishop Warburton that the preference should be given to that religious party which is more
numerous in the state than any other. It is true that the connexion thus formed between the state and that religious party to which the preference is thus given, Dr. Paley does not express with Bishop Warburton by the term alliance,' and that he seems even to disapprove the application of the term. But, if he approves of the thing, it is immaterial how it be called. If, according to his own words, the state shews' a preference of one sect of Christians to the rest,' this preference cannot fail to produce a closer connection or alliance (call it what you will) between the state and the party so preferred than if no such preference had been made. In the very principle on which a church establishment is founded, those two eminent writers agree. The authority of a church establishment (says Dr. Paley, p. 336) is founded in its utility. So says Warburton; and as the most numerous religious party is likely to be most useful to the state, he hence argues to the party with which the state should more immediately connect itself. Again, says Paley, in the same place, Whenever upon this principle (utility) we deliberate concerning the form, propriety, or comparative excellence of different establishments, the single view under which we ought to consider any of them is that of a scheme of instruction; the single end we ought to propose by them is the preservation and communication of religious knowledge.' Now this really is the single end,' which, according to Warburton, the state has in view when it gives a preference to, or forms an alliance with, any religious party. The utility which it expects from such preference and connection is entirely of a religious nature; the single view under which it considers the propriety of the establishment is that of a scheme of instruction; the religion thus established is established with the very view of strengthening the sanctions of human laws, and promoting the ends of civil government by those additional sanctions which alone can be afforded by religion. That this alliance may be abused, that it may be perverted to other purposes than that for which it was intended, that in despotic governments the clergy of the establishment may be occasionally converted into instruments of oppression, is certainly true; and this possible abuse is what Paley had in view when he objected (p. 336) to the representation of the church as an engine or even an ally of the state; for he explains himself by adding, converting it into the means of strengthening or diffusing influence, or regarding it as a support of regal in opposition to popular forms of government.' Every one will subscribe to his opinion that such an application of a religious establishment serves only to debase the institution.' But these are not the objects which the state has in view in giving a preference to, (as Paley would say,) or on making an alliance with, (as Warburton would say,) any particular religion; and if we
found our reasoning, not on the utility of an establishment, but on its possible abuse, we shall at length have no establishment either religious or civil. If the alliance between church and state is to be considered as nothing more than an alliance of religious abuse with political abuse, the inference will be no less subversive of our civil than of our ecclesiastical establishment. These remarks we have thought it necessary to make, because Paley's sentiments have been lately so represented as if an alliance between church and state must lead to the corruption of both, or as if the principles maintained in his Moral Philosophy were inconsistent with an established or national religion.
But even were it true, that in reference to the state, all religious parties in this country were on an equal footing, one consequence at least would follow, namely, that the party constituting the Church of England had the same right to associate among themselves for the promotion of their own cause as any other party. If the old dissenters in this country, namely, the Baptists, the Presbyterians, and the Independents, may associate without reproach for the furtherance of their own systems; if the modern seceders, called Methodists, may do the same; if the same privilege is not denied even to the Catholics; surely the members of our own church may likewise associate among themselves, for the purpose of self-defence, without being exposed to the reproach of their neighbours. The circumstance that this church is in fact the established church, cannot place them in a worse condition than those who are not of the establishment. But the circumstance that they are still the stronger party may excite the jealousy and apprehension of the weaker parties. Now jealousy will always subsist between similar societies, whether civil or religious; but the dissenters have surely nothing to apprehend for their own safety from the establishment of the National Society. All intentions of interfering with their religious concerns were expressly disavowed, both in the prospectus and in the address to the public. It was formally declared, that 'whatever religious tenets men of other persuasions may think proper to combine with the mechanism of the new system, whether tenets peculiar to themselves or tenets of a more general nature, they are free to use the new system so combined without reproach or interruption from the members of the establishment.' We claim, therefore, no more than we are ready to grant; nor can it be considered as an offence that a society established to promote what Dr. Paley himself calls the National Religion should be entitled the National Society.
Having shewn that the appellation is justified by that very authority to which the adversaries of the society appeal, we must now endeavour to guard against an error, to which a misapplication of it
might lead, in respect to the object of the society. The avowed object of the society, the very condition on which subscriptions have been solicited and received is, Education in the Principles of the Established Church.' In the address prefixed to the primary resolutions, the friends of the establishment throughout the kingdom are earnestly requested to associate and co-operate for the purpose of promoting the education of the poor in the doctrine and discipline of the established church.' This society therefore, like the society for promoting Christian Knowledge, is altogether an association of members of the establishment; consequently the funds of the society are wholly derived from the contributions of those members who have subscribed for the specific object above stated. Hence it follows, that in estimating the claims upon those funds, we must never lose sight, either of the persons who have contributed, or of the purpose for which they have contributed. We must not consider the funds of the society as being national in that sense, which applies to a national treasury, consisting of contributions from men of every description in the state. When a fund is raised from the contributions of one party, for the avowed purpose of educating the poor in the principles of that party, it is evident, that they who refuse to conform to those principles, can have no claim on such a fund. This reasoning applies equally to every society; it applies equally to the churchman and to the dissenter. The term exclusion, which has been invidiously applied to this society, belongs not to this society alone. For every society, whether civil or religious, which requires from its members any kind of qualification to entitle them to admission, (and this is the case in most societies,) necessarily excludes every candidate in whom the qualification is wanting. Now the qualification required by the National Society, and which it must require from the very nature of its constitution is, that the children for whose education it provides, should be brought up in the doctrine and discipline of the established church. Here then is an association of churchmen, providing, in the first instance, for the education of children belonging to parents who are likewise churchmen, but whose children, for want of such provision, might either have no education at all, or an education different from that of the established church. The society was founded, not in the spirit of proselytism, but of self-preservation. Its primary object was to retain in the establishment the children of churchmen, by an education in the principles of the established church. Its adversaries indeed contend, that if the established religion is really more excellent than any other, it cannot need the bias of early instruction to secure adherents; and hence conclude, that they who are solicitous to communicate this early bias, imply at least a doubt on their parts, whether the established
religion really is so excellent as they pretend. But would it not be more reasonable to conclude, that solicitude for the promotion of an object shewed rather a conviction, than a doubt, of its excellence? When a father educates a son in habits of industry and honesty, no man concludes that he doubts the real excellence of those qualities. In like manner, if we think that education in the church is necessary for the purpose of preserving our children in the religion of their fathers, it is not because we doubt the excellence of that religion; it is not because we think it has nothing to recommend it beside an early prepossession, but because the very best of principles, if not instilled at an early age, are seldom or never instilled at all. Considering our own doctrines as couformable with scripture, and our discipline as consistent with it, we promote an education which is suitable to such doctrine and discipline, wellknowing that the education which we give to our children must determine the religion which they will profess as men. Christianity itself, when taken in its broadest sense, would not be secure without a Christian education; for if the children of English parents were sent to Turkey for religious instruction, they would become not Christians but Mahometans. The insinuation, therefore, in respect to the Church of England, that a solicitude for education in its principles is an argument against its worth, not only applies to every other religious party, but to Christianity in its widest extent. And as our adversaries themselves would certainly not carry the insinuation so far, they must admit the injustice of its application to the Christianity which is established in this country. They must admit that the zeal of the National Society, in promoting an education adapted to this religion, is no argument against the excellence of the religion itself, but is simply founded on the maxim, that as we sow, so shall we reap.
The specific object of the society being education in the principles of the established church, the children of churchmen, who would otherwise remain uneducated, or be educated in other principles, are of course the immediate objects of its attention. But they are not the only objects of its attention, provided the parents of children, who ask for admission, consent to those conditions, on which alone admission can consistently be granted. Every one who confers a voluntary boon, has a right to annex to it what conditions he pleases: if there is no injustice in withholding a favour altogether, there can be no injustice in withholding it, if the appli cant refuses what the donor requires as a qualification for the grant. Now the subscribers to the National Society might have withholden their subscriptions without injustice to any one; consequently they had a right to prescribe such conditions as they pleased to the gratuitous education which they intended to provide. But