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England and Wales for the instruction of the poor, letters have been addressed by the writer of this article to the ministers, or other respectable persons, in this connexion, in all the principal towns of the kingdom ; and from the answers received, the following returns have been made out. So far as we have been able to ascertain, the Unitarians in England and Wales have 205 congregations; and with respect to 173 of these, either there have been actual returns made of the number of children taught, or such information has been received as may be relied upon, as affording an approximation to the truth. Connected with 117 of these congregations there are Sundayschools, in which 13,070 poor children are taught, and connected with 30 there are day-schools, in which 2,725 are taught. The latter number does not, however, by any means, fairly represent what is done by the Unitarians for the instruction of the poor in the week-days, for the members of this denomination have always been most liberal and zealous supporters—in many instances, the founders—of Lancasterian or British schools, in which children are received without reference to their religious creed ; and in some of their Sunday-schools there is a provision for teaching writing and arithmetic, on one or two evenings in the week, to those who have not the opportunity of availing themselves of more regular instruction; in others, these branches are taught on the Sunday to those who have no time to learn them during the week. It must also be stated that as, in some few instances, the children returned as attending the day-school are probably the same who have been enumerated as belonging to the Sunday-school, so it is the case, that nearly all those who are returned as only attending the day-school, do, in fact, both attend Unitarian worship and receive religious instruction from Unitarians on the Sunday.
It is not our intention to specify what is done for education by each Unitarian congregation, but it would be an act of injustice not to mention that the Sunday-schools at the Hanover-square meeting-house, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, were the first established in that district, namely, in 1784; that at Flowery-Field, near Manchester, there is a Sunday-school containing 750 children, and another at Hyde, with 300; that the schools attached to the Unitarian chapels at Liverpool were reported, by an impartial witness to the Corporation Commissioners, as the best of the kind in the town; that there are 539 children
in the Sunday-schools connected with the Old Meeting, at Birmingham, and 718 in those at the New Meeting, in the same town, as well as a school in which 43 girls are boarded, clothed, and educated, and fitted for
and that at Belper, near Derby, the Messrs. Strutts have 700 children in their Sunday-schools, and 260 in their day-schools, besides a school from seven to nine o'clock in the evening, and another for young children, within the walls of the mill; and, further, that there are at Milford, two miles from Belper, 400 children in the Sunday-schools, besides week-day, evening, and mill schools, all supported by the same firm. Nor should we omit to state, as an instance of liberality, that although accommodation is provided in the Unitarian chapel, at Belper, for about half the scholars in the Sunday-schools just referred to at that place, yet the older children, or indeed any of the younger, whose parents wish it, are allowed to attend whatever place of worship they please.
In 39 Unitarian congregations in England there are no schools, and of 17 in Wales there is only one, which has a charity-school connected with it; but many of the Unitarian ministers in the principality have week-day schools, the terms of which are so low, that even the small farmers can afford to send their children. Respecting the remaining 32 congregations we have not received any precise information, but we may estimate the Sunday scholars in them at 530 and the day scholars at 175.
In the Unitarian General Baptist connexion, there are 40 churches, viz., 28 in England, and 12 in Wales. Of the 28 in England, 13 have Sunday-schools, the number of children in which is about 750, and the other 15 have no schools, so far as our informant is aware; there are none attached to the congregations in Wales, on account of their poverty. The result may be stated thus :
Sunday scholars. Day. In Unitarian schools, according to actual
13,070 2,725 returns, or good information, there are Estimate of schools, from which there
530 175 are no returns . General Baptist schools
14,350 2,900 To these must be added some thousands taught in the week-days in British schools, to which Unitarians are liberal contributors.
MANCHESTER COLLEGE, YORK. MANCHESTER COLLEGE, York, was founded at Manchester in 1786, and removed to York in 1803. The immediate occasion of its being founded was the dissolution of the Warrington Academy, in which Dr. John Taylor, the author of the Hebrew Concordance, Dr. Aikin, Dr. Priestley, Mr. Wakefield, and Dr. Enfield had been tutors. Its primary object, and that to which alone its funds are devoted, is the education of ministers among the English Presbyterian Dissenters, but lay students are also admitted into it, and the course, which extends to five years for divinity students, is so arranged, that during the first three years, with the single exception of Hebrew, all the lectures are attended alike by both classes of students. There are three tutors, one of whom gives instruction in Theology, Hebrew, and Ecclesiastical History; another in the Classics, Ancient and Modern History, and Belles Lettres; and the third in Mathematics and Mental and Moral Philosophy. The present number of students is twenty-three, of whom fifteen are divinity, and eight lay students. The College is supported partly by annual subscriptions, donations, and congregational collections, partly by the rent of landed and other property which it has acquired. No declaration of religious opinions or subscription to articles of faith has ever been required from the students. We have extracted the following account of the plan of study for lay students, from the fortyeighth report of the College, just printed, and we are indebted for the brief statement of the theological course to the institution itself.
OFFICERS FOR THE YEAR 1834.
DEPUTY TREASURERS. Charles Kinder, Esq. London.
John Bell, Esq. York. Rev. William Turner, Newcastle. Henry Martineau, Esq. Norwich, John Ashton Yates, Esq. Liverpool. Rev. Robert Cree, Bridport. Wm. Benj. Kennaway, Esq. Exeter. Robert Heywood, Esq. Bolton. Rev. Thomas Johnstone, Wakefield. William Enfield, Esq. Nottingham. Rev. George Lee, Hull
Rev. R. B. Aspland, Bristol. Rev. John Kentish, Birmingham. William Rayner Wood, Esq. ManR. Philips, jun. Esq. Heybridge, Staff. chester. Rawdon Briggs, jun. Esq. M.P. Halifax. Rev. John Gaskell, Dukinfield. Thomas Jevons, Esq. Liverpool.
Darnton Lupton, Esq. Leeds. Oftley Shore, Esq. Sheffield.
Holbrook Gaskell, Esq. Warrington. Joseph Strutt, Esq. Derby.
C. C. Denby, Esq. Chichester. Thomas Eyre Lee, Esq. Birmingham. Geo. Talbot, jun. Esq. Kidderminster. Rev. Charles Berry, Leicester.
John Grundy, Esq. Bury,
COMMITTEE. John Touchet, Esq., Broomhouse, near Manchester, Chairman. T.B.W.Sanderson, Esq. Chowbent, Do. Mark Philips, Esq. M.P. The Park, Geo.Wm. Wood, Esq.M.P.Manchester. near Manchester. Rev. John Gooch Robberds, Ditto. Isaac Harrop, Esq. Altringham. James Darbishire, Esq. Ditto.
John Edward Taylor, Esq. Ditto. Samuel Kay, Esq. Ditto.
J. A. Turner, Esq. Ditto. S. D. Darbishire, Esq. Ditto.
Samuel Allecock, Esq. Ditto. Rev. R. Smethurst, Stand, near Ditto. Rev. C. D. Hort, Gorton, near Ditto. Rev. John J. Tayler, B.A. Manchester. W. Rayner Wood, Esq. Ditto. Richard Collins, Esq. Ditto.
Henry M'Connell, Ditto. Nathaniel Philips, Esq. Dales, near Rev. J. R. Beard, Ditto. Manchester.
John Grimshaw, Esq. Ditto.
• For some years past it has been the custom of the committee to annex to their report a view of the plan of study pursued in the Institution, in order to afford an opportunity of judging how far it was adapted to furnish a suitable education to laymen preparing themselves for civil life. They have thought that for various reasons the present would be an appropriate time for laying before the subscribers a more detailed account. Education, in all its branches, occupies at this moment a prominent place among the topics of general interest, and academical institutions are rising up in various parts of the kingdom. Knowledge is so rapidly progressive, that a course of instruction, which a few years ago seemed ample, would now be thought very defective, and the changes of taste, of opinions, and manners, produce corresponding changes in the value which is attached to different kinds of knowledge.
• The following course of study has been arranged upon the supposition that three years will be devoted to it, and that every student will go through all its parts in succession. It has been thought better thus to lay down a general plan, comprehending what seems essential to the idea of a liberal education, than to leave the selection of particular branches of study to individual judgment or caprice. The rule, however, though founded upon experience and strongly recommended for general adoption, is not so rigidly adhered to, as to exclude, all variation, when sanctioned by the judgment of parents, and rendered desirable by the previous attainments, or probable destination of the student. If two sessions be the longest practicable term of residence, it will be necessary that the course should be proportionably shortened.
•The course of CLASSICAL Reading comprehends, in Latin, Cicero, Livy, Tacitus, Quintilian, and the works of the poets who are less commonly read in schools ; in Greek, Herodotus, Thucydides, the Attic Tragedians and Orators, Plato and Pindar. It is calculated for the usual length of a Divinity student's course which extends through five years, but there are commonly three classes and the students are distributed in them according to their proficiency and ability, rather than their age and academical standing. The practice of composition and translation in both languages is constantly kept up; and a separate course of lectures is devoted to the illustration of the affinities and etymology of the Greek, its prosody and metre, and some of the more difficult parts of its syntax.
ANCIENT HISTORY occupies the first, and MODERN HIstory the second
of the course. In the former, after an introduction comprehending a view of the materials and sources of history, the sciences which are immediately connected with it and the principles of historical criticism, the history of the principal nations of antiquity is treated of from the commencement of their civilization to the overthrow of the Western Empire. The course of modern history begins at this point, and is brought down as nearly to the present time as may be done without venturing into the ground of recent politics. It has seldom been found practicable to include any larger portion of Modern Europe than France and England; their history, however, treated in detail comprehends, directly or incidentally, the most important events; it shows by an instructive contrast the opposite influence and tendency of constitutional and arbitrary monarchy, and the changes by which the modern state of property and law, in two of the principal countries of Europe, has gradually arisen out of the institutions of the middle ages.
· The History of Literature, a subject not very exactly expressed by the term BELLES LETTRES, forms a part of the business the third year. Instead of considering the different species of literary compositions, of various ages and countries, in classes, it has been thought more instructive and more impartial to treat of them historically, to view every distinguished writer of ancient or modern times in connexion with the circumstances in which he lived, and the people among whom and for whom he wrote. Literature is thus exhibited in its proper combination with history, as serving to complete the picture of the people to whom it owed his birth; and as its various productions successively appear, an opportunity is afforded for introducing those principles of taste by which the merit of literary works is estimated. This course of lectures comprehends the Greek and Roman literature, the state of learning during the middle ages in the East and West, the formation of the modern languages, and the history of French, English, and occasionally Italian literature.