Classic History Books


Great Britain and Her Queen - by Anne E. Keeling

preachers, and, taking them as a whole, they do not come short of their predecessors in any necessary
qualification for their work.

Their culture must not be judged by the scantiness of their literary production. The empress Catherine
once said to a French savant, "My dear philosopher, it is not so easy to write on human flesh as

on paper." Much more difficult is the task of our ministers, whose religious, social, and financial work

leaves them little of that learned leisure enjoyed by Anglican divines, who by their masterly works have

made the entire Christian Church their debtor. But in the period we are reviewing, despite the demands

made on the time of the ministers, many have written that which will not easily be forgotten. The Church

that nurtured Dr. Moulton, whose edition of Winer's "Greek Grammar" is a standard work, used by all

the greatest Greek New Testament scholars, need not be ashamed of her learning. Dr. Moulton and Dr.

Geden were on the revision committee which undertook the fresh translation of the Old and New

Testaments. Other Wesleyan ministers have made their mark as commentators, apologists, scholars, and

scientists in the last few decades. The Fernley Lectures have proved the ability of many

Methodist preachers; we lack space to refer to the many able writers who have ceased from their labours.

The London Quarterly Review has kept up the literary reputation of Methodism: nor are we
behind any Nonconformist Church in journalistic matters. Two newspapers represent the varying shades

of opinion in Methodism, and give full scope to its expression. A high level of excellence is seen in the

publications of the Book Room, and our people when supporting it are also helping important

Connexional funds, to which the profits are given.

While increasing care has been taken with the training of the ministry, lay education has not been
neglected. Kingswood School, founded by Wesley, continues, as in his day, to give excellent instruction

to ministers' sons. In 1837 a Methodist school, Wesley College, was opened at Sheffield, and a few years

later one at Taunton, well known as Queen's College. The Leys School at Cambridge, under the

head-mastership of Dr. Moulton, was opened in 1874, and has shown "the possibility of reconciling

Methodist training with the breadth and freedom of English public school life." There are in Ireland

excellent colleges at Belfast and Dublin.

In 1875, a scheme for establishing middle-class schools was adopted, resulting in the opening of such
schools at Truro, Jersey, Bury St. Edmunds, Woodhouse Grove, Congleton, Canterbury, Folkestone,

Trowbridge, Penzance, Camborne, and Queenswood; all report satisfactorily.

Elementary education, which has made such great progress during the Queen's reign, engaged the
anxious attention of our authorities long before the initiation of the School Board system, under which

the average attendance in twenty-five years increased almost fourfold. Methodism has been in the

forefront of the long battle with ignorance.

The establishment of "week-day schools" in connexion with this great Church owed its origin to the
declaration of the Conference in 1833. that "such institutions, placed under an efficient spiritual control,

cannot fail to promote those high and holy ends for which we exist as a religious community." The object

was to give the scholars "an education which might begin in the infant school and end in heaven," thus

subserving the lofty aim of Methodism, "to fill the world with saints, and Paradise with glorified spirits";

a more ambitious idea than that expressed by Huxley when he said, "We want a great highway, along

which the child of the peasant as well as of the peer can climb to the highest seats of learning."

In 1836 the attention of the Conference was directed to education in general, and especially to Wesleyan

 

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