10 MARCH 1906, Page 16


your issue of February 24th you contend that it is possible to agree on a fundamental Christianity to be taught in all schools, and you instance as a case in point the Free Church Catechism. But admirable as this Catechism is, you

will hardly give it such high commendation as you bestowed not many months ago on the English Church Catechism in an article which the National Society has, with your Permission, been glad to publish and stamp with the imprimatur of the Church. It seems to me that "fundamental Christianity" or "simple Bible teaching" is just another way of writing "Free Church Catechism " ; and I wonder why it should be con- sidered just. and right for the one Catechism to be taught at the public expense, and not the other.—I am, Sir, &c., , [It is a question of agreement. We, of course, very greatly prefer the Church Catechism ; but we would infinitely rather that the Free Church Catechism should be taught in the schools than that they should be secularised and no religious instruc- tion given in them whatever. (As a matter of fact, we believe that the Free Church Catechism contains little or nothing that a Churchman need object to.) No such dilemma, however, as "the Free Church Catechism or nothing" is presented to the nation. Fundamental or Bible Christianity should, in our opinion, be part of the teaching given in every school supported by the State. In addition, there should be access by the denominations ; and finally, there should be a provision under which Roman Catholic and Jewish schools, or indeed those of any religious body, should be able to contract themselves out of the Act and revert to the old system of grants.—ED. Spectator.]