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the court, in learning therefrom, how much the valuable institution, over which you lately presided at Madras, has benefitted by your labours and talents.
I am further commanded to convey to you the courts thanks for the perusal of the documents in question, which are herewith returned. I have the honour to be, Sir, your most obedient humble servant, JAMES COBB, Asst. Secretary. The Rev. Dr. Bell. East India House, the 13th of Oct. 1812." The next address of my dutiful and pious pupils is dated 1811,' and accompanied with a set of resolutions and presents, for which see Elts. of Tuition, part 1, p. 110-114. The following are extracts from my reply.
Having explained my wish to decline the presents, and the reason of my yielding to the importunity of Captain Raitt, whom they had commissioned to carry their resolutions into effect, my letter proceeds as follows:
"What then could I do? To you-to your name, I could refuse nothing!-It is the best proof I can give of my esteem and regard for you, that I have granted to you, what I had often refused to great and good friends. I have consented to sit for my portrait to an eminent artist, fixed on by Captain Raitt,and I now feel a secret complacency in having indulged all your wishes. It cannot indeed but be grateful to me, that when all hope of our meeting again in this world is at an end, you should desire to have a likeness of your old preceptor and friend, which may remain with you, after that period, (which cannot be far distant) when he shall be no more seen -It is also most pleasing to me to think that I shall have in the medal, which you have presented, a perpetual memorial of your duty and affection, a token of the first-fruits of the new system of éducation, and an earnest of its future effects on those, who shall enjoy the benefit of the same mode of instruction. But it is above all gratifying to me, that among your gifts you should have fixed upon an offering of sacramental plate-an offering which is peculiarly emblematic of the sacred bond of union between you and myself-of my having trained you up in the principles of the gospel of Christ, for the commemoration of whose dying love, these are presented to a christian minister, who, in the office of his ministry, is to shew forth his death, even until he come again. I consider your choice of this gift, as a proof that my labour in the Lord has not been in vain,-as a proof that you continue to act upon the christian principles in which you were early instructed; and that you not only know what is most valuable in this world, but, after an absence of 15 years, can duly estimate, what I should deem most valuable at your hands.
It will also be acceptable to you to be informed, that this sys
Reply to Pupils.
tem, of which you, with myself, laid the foundation, has spread of late to such a degree, as to hold out a good promise that in due time it will carry with it over all the world the knowledge of the Bible, and of our holy religiou-enabling all the inhabitants of the earth to obey our Saviour's injunction, "Search the scriptures;" to peruse the oracles of the living God; and to reap the holy fruits of life and immortality, which they were given to afford; and thereby hastening the period, when all the king-. doms of the earth shall be filled with the glory of our God, when all the children in the world shall be taught (as you have been taught) of the Lord and of his Christ.
Such are the signs of the times.
Happy indeed, happy beyond imagination for you and for me, if, under the good providence of God, we should, in any degree, be made the lowly instruments of his grand designs. In this light I regard what is passing in the world, and especially the progress of the discovery made by me at Madras. I connot forbear continually dwelling on the prospect, which, day and night, is present to my mind; and which my letters, by every post, seem to bring nearer and nearer to my grasp. You will share in the joy, which I have in telling you, that, it is likely that the new system of education will, at no distant period, not only give instruction to all the poor of this kingdom, but slso gain a footing in our superior and grammar-schools,-an event which must lead to its early as well as universal adoption in the education of the people all over the world A commanding and illustrions precedent is exhibited in the conduct of this country, to which it seems given by Providence to dispense its richest blessings to all the nations of the earth.
With the gracious sanction of his R. H. the Prince Regent, his R. H. the commander in chief has established regimental schools for the moral and religious instruction of all the children of the army, according to this system. And under the same exalted patronage, the National Society, consisting of the primates, bishops, and the first men in the kingdom, has taken measures to instruct the children of the poor on the same principle. It is to you then,-to, the success of the measures contrived, and pursued in your early education*, and to the results in your lives, conversation, and fortunes, that the world is indebted for the facts and events, on which the new system rests its solid and permanent basis; and which has given birth to the great work now
* With such an instrument in our hands, and such a precedent before our eyes, can a doubt be entertained as to the most effectual means of spreading christianity in the East, as well as the West; for which see the pastoral letter of Dr. Porteus, late bishop of London, with the Appendix written by me at his lordship's desire. Cadell and Davies, 1808.
carrying on, over the world, of most effectually supplying, together with the distribution of the Bible, the most ready and cheap means of making the life, doctrines, and miracles of our blessed Saviour and his apostles visible, as it were, to all the nations of the earth, and thereby completing the glorious work of the blessed reformation, and with an effect, of which no conception could have been formed previous to the experiment made in your educa
§ VII. THE IMPORTANCE OF THE NEW SYSTEM OF EDUCATION TO THE AMELIORATION OF THE PEOPLE, AND THE COMPLETION OF THE BLESSED REFORMATION.
The Rev. F. Iremonger, in his "Suggestions," has summed up this argument:
P. s. "The author (says he) cannot conclude this introduc tory chapter without congratulating the original inventor of the system, DR. BELL, on the realization of his anxious hopes, on the reward of those labours which will, under divine Providence, prove a lasting blessing to posterity, and call forth the gratitude of thousands in this country, stimulated by the same feelings of affection, which, after eleven years silence, produced from his Indian pupils a letter, fully proving, (as Dr. Bell says) 'that the sentiments, which it was his incessant aim to inspire, had not evaporated; and that the principles which his dutiful pupils had imbibed had taken deep root, and continued to yield their natural fruits.'
This pleasing instance of gratitude, as well as satisfactory practical proof of the strong hold which the new system takes on the mind, is signed by nearly 50 of his pupils [in the name of the whole body] at Madras, and while it shews a becoming gratitude on their part for the unwearied assiduity shewn by their benevolent pastor, it enumerates the respectable situations in life, in which they are placed, ascribing to his paternal care, under the great Disposer of events, their preservation, their comfort, and all the valuable advantages they enjoyed. They have since presented Dr. Bell with a service of sacrament plate, and a gold chain and a medal, and have begged that 100 copies of his miniature, on copperplate engravings, may be sent to be distributed amongst them. When the total ignorance of those children, at the time of their first being instructed by Dr. Bell, is considered, the lamentable want of early good impression, and their exposure to vice, and particularly deceit of every kind; and when we compare their subsequent moral and religious improvement, and the respectable places in society which they afterwards filled; when too there was more to undo, before sound principles could be imbibed, than can be the case in this happier country, an undeniable proof is afforded of the excellence of Dr. Bell's mode of instruction; nor can
Completion of the Reformation.
1 there be the smallest reason for doubting, that, whenever the same measures are steadily and perfectly adopted, they will be attended uniformly with the same lasting good effects."
To the first disciples of our Saviour was given the miraculous gift of tougues, for the immediate promulgation of the gospel by the hearing of the ear: To us is given the scarcely less marvellous gift-the providential art of printing-for the universal dissemination of the gospel by the seeing of the eye. But this latter gift is rendered of no avail, not only to those to whom the bible is prohibited by authority, or locked up in an unknown tongue, but also to those who have no bible to read, and to those who cannot read the bible.
Happily the reformation has withdrawn the prohibition, and given to all the people of this and of other protestant countries, free and individual access to the oracles of the living God. And (says the Rev. N. J. Hollingsworth, with a perfect knowledge of the subject, in an able and perspicuous Address to the Public on the Madras System of Education. Rivington, 1812, p. 2.) " the societies, which have been established for the dispersion of copies of the sacred scriptures, and other religious publications, to an extent before unthought of, abundantly assisted by the invention of the stereotype, together with the beneficial introduction of Sunday schools, have greatly promoted this. But the recent discovery of a mode of facilitating education, by lessening the time, the labour, and the expense attending it, appears to hold forth the means of conferring upon every other advantage tenfold efficacy." P. 17. "But that which I am anxious to recommend to general adoption, and with a view to the promotion of which the several societies [National, Diocesan, &c] have been formed, is not a collection of so many beneficial parts but one uniform and consistent whole, which is admirably calculated to cause religious and useful knowledge to flourish, and to prevail, to an extent hitherto unheard of, and never entering into the coutemplation of mankind, till the discovery made by Dr. Bell, in a distant land, most providentially pointed out the means of effecting this."
"The man (Barrington school, p. 47,) who first made a practical use of the division of labour gave a new power to the application of corporal strength, and simplified and facilitated the most irksome and laborious operations. To him we are indebted "for the greatest improvement in the powers of labour, and for the greatest part of the skill, dexterity, and judgment, with which it is any where directed or applied." Smith's Wealth of Nations. But that man, whatever was his merit, did not more essential service to mechanical, than Dr. Bell has done to intellectual operations. It is the division of labour in his schools, that leaves the master the easy task of directing the movements of the whole machine, instead of toiling
ineffectually at a single part. The principle in manufactories and in schools is the same. The practical application, in each instance, has required the same acuteness and perseverance of mind, to correct the wanderings of theory and conjecture, by repeated trial and continued attention."
Extract of a letter from James Allan Park, Esq. king's counsel, to G. W. Marriott, Esq. dated 29th Dec. 1812.
"Your account of Dr. Bell's success, and of the advancement of his good scheme, is highly interesting to me. I really think, that his plan, if rightly conducted, is one of the most stupendous engines that ever has been wielded, since the days of our Saviour and his apostles, for the advancement of God's true religion upon earth. It never has been my opinion, that Dr. Bell is infected with vanity; but there never was a man, who, from seeing his plans taking a wide and deep root in the earth, has had more just cause to be vain than our excellent friend. I am not sure that this is not the commencement, by his means, of that glorious æra, when the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the seas."
"No plan has yet heen proposed, from the general application of which so much and such unmixed good can be expected, as that for which this country and many other parts of the habitable globe are indebted to the piety, philanthropy, and unexampled labours of Dr. Bell." Report of the Clergy Orphan School.
Such are the reasons which weighed with me, and have led to all that I have written and done, in this country, in illustrating the theory, and following up the practice, of the EXPERIMENT IN EDUCATION, made at Madras.
But after all, if I wanted an apology for the number of years, which I have devoted to the rudiments of letters abroad and at home, for the toils which I have endured in contriving, maturing, demonstrating, aud disseminating a new system of education, I might appeal to the high and venerable authority of a great and good father of the church, Archbishop Tillotson, for the correctness of the principles which I have inculcated, as well as for the unparalleled usefulness of the active pursuits, in which I would engage the friends of religion and humanity.
"There are several ways (says the pious primate in a sermon on the education of children) of reforming men: by the laws of the civil magistrates, by the public preaching of ministers. But the most likely and hopeful reformation of the world must begin with children. Wholesome laws, and good sermons, are but slow and late ways: The timely and most compendious way is a good education. This may be an effectual prevention of evil, whereas all after-ways are at best but remedies, which do always suppose some neglect and omission of timely care."