13 JANUARY 1906, Page 16


SIR,—Allow me to add an argument and a fact by way of enforcing your most timely warning (in the Spectator of December 30th, 1905) of the danger of a pagan education as the consequence of the regrettable wrangles of ministers of religion. You point out that religious education is not merely an affair of the clergy, Established or Nonconforming, whether in Sunday-schools or elsewhere. Might you not further argue that in any case the Sunday-schools do not and cannot reach more than a minority of the children of the English people ? Think of the vast numbers of children who never were and never will be inside a Sunday-school or church, and would never, in their homes or elsewhere, see the inside of a Bible if it were banished from the State-schools. And, as to the giving of religious instruction in the State-schools by ministers of the various denominations, let me assure you that you are quite right in anticipating that such a proposal would be futile. During a quarter of a century in the Wesleyan ministry I have seldom found a Wesleyan minister willing to give religious instruction regularly in even our own Wesleyan day-schools, and have found many who would no more think of doing so than they would think of dusting the pews in our