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luously styles “a mutually beneficent partnership’ with certain laborers in Spain. These laborers produced from the earth, annually, a certain number of bottles of wine. These productions were sold by my father and his partners, who kept nine tenths, or thereabouts, of the price themselves, and gave one tenth, or thereabouts, to the laborers. In which state of mutual beneficent my father and his partners naturally became rich, and the laborers as naturally remained poor. Then my good father gave all his money to me."
Ruskin's “ Munera Pulveris" and life of kindness were an atonement for his father's avarice. This little work on political economy was an indignant protest against English theories and methods of business, insisting that the ethical not the non-ethical spring should have the first place in determining the so-called economic laws; and although his views may not be justly claimed as the source of the revolution going on in economic and social questions, the moral spirit represented by them is the basis of modern socialism, now leading a formidable reaction against Ricardianism in its very home. But the passage we have quoted is simply a single instance of what nearly all commercial transactions are, and the injustice indicated by them is so palpable and obtrusive that the old distinction between ethics and economics must suffer for its failure to specify the limitations under which it was true. The future will be given to consider them materially identical even when it formally distinguishes them. The solidarity of “interests” and duties, of relations, economic, social, and ethical, renders any other view impossible. Both their differences and their inseparable connection are shown by the fact that economic laws are nothing more than the uniform consequences attendant upon human actions, their effects, and that ethical laws are concerning the causes of the same phenomena ; for the springs of conduct involved in “ interest” and duty are the sources of what are called economic phenomena. The two sciences, then, deal with correlative facts, and as arts they are the application of precisely the same principles when economic action is to be regarded as legitimate at all. But the very fact that ethics may justly arrogate to itself the right to control and regulate all socalled economic action evinces the connection we have claimed, and is a justification of the present well-organized efforts in behalf of the brotherhood of man.
J. H. Hyslop.
THE PUBLIC SCHOOLS AND RELIGIOUS EDUCATION. This subject is of growing importance. Its practical difficulties are constantly increasing as the population becomes more heterogeneous. It enters periodically into municipal politics, and has recently, in respect to denominational schools, been a leading issue in state politics. Differences of opinion about it seem to threaten the very existence of the public school system. Any discussion of the subject, even among Protestants, as at a recent conference in New York city, brings out conflicting and confused views concerning the function of the schools in respect to religious education.
That the schools do not, as a matter of fact, provide a sufficient religious education is acknowledged by all those who think that children should be taught in the Christian religion. But it is also true that the schools would not afford adequate religious instruction, even if they should attempt the utmost that comes within their reasonable right in this respect. If the strongest advocates of religious teaching should define the extent to which it is permissible in public schools, specifying subjects and methods, they would have to admit that the children, even then, would not be thoroughly, or even adequately, instructed. This fact has been strangely overlooked in nearly all discussions of the subject. If it were clearly seen and generally recognized, both the necessity of other plans for religious teaching would be felt, and also some grounds of objection to the school system would be removed. We wish to call attention to this most important consideration, and to some of the conclusions which flow from it. There is a vague notion that although the schools do not, yet they can, or should, or will, teach religion, and therefore there is little systematic effort, beyond the rather desultory teaching of the Sunday-school, to provide suitable instruction.
Now, in the first place, there need be no question about the right of the State to teach Christianity in the schools. The real question is how much it may teach, and in what way. The State is, indeed, separate from the Church in the sense that it may not support any organized ecclesiastical institutions, but it is not separate from Christianity. A State which administers religious oaths, legalizes and protects the Lord's Day, exempts churches from taxation, appoints days of thanksgiving and prayer, and accepts clergymen as its officials in respect to the sanction of marriage, is a Christian State, and may properly recognize and even inculcate Christianity in its schools.
But, quite as evidently, it may not teach the tenets and doctrines which are peculiar to any sect. It may not teach, as the Baptists do, that immersion is the only valid baptism ; nor that the Church is the infallible interpreter of the Bible, as the Catholics held ; nor that an order of bishops is necessary to the well-being or the being of the Church, and that a ritual of worship should be employed, as the Episcopalians contend ; nor that Calvinistic theories of divine decrees, original sin, and particular election are the correct interpretation of the gospel, as Presbyterians and others maintain ; nor that Jesus Christ is truly divine, as so-called evangelical Christians believe ; nor that Jesus Christ is only a created being, as Unitarians teach; nor that Christ will come again to reign on earth, as some insist ; nor that He will not, as others affirm ; nor that the punishment of sin will be everlasting, that is, retributive ; nor temporary, that is, remedial ; nor that the wicked will cease to exist, that is, that immortality is conditioned on character, since none of these opinions about the future are universally accepted. What, then, do all Christians accept? They all accept the Bible. They all agree that the Bible is the source of correct knowledge concerning Christianity. Therefore the Bible may be read in the schools. But it must be read without comment, for comment is interpretation, and interpretation is doctrine. The State has the right to insist on the reading of the Bible, even if objection is made, although it may be expedient, under strong opposition, to relinquish it. Objections so trivial as those made recently in the London School Board against reading portions of Leviticus, because it tells about a redistribution of land once in fifty years, and against reading the book of Nehemiah, because he was a land-leaguer, should not, of course, be regarded. There may also be the use of the Lord's Prayer, or of other simple prayers which are according to the spirit of the gospel. And there may be the singing of hymns, provided they do not involve a definite theology. There would be, however, no direct religious instruction in such Bible-readings, prayers, and hymns as are suitable to opening the sessions of a school. No one would contend that these, although they have a certain value and impression, provide religious education such as children need. The studies of primary and grammar schools, in which nearly all children remain till the age of fourteen, have so remote a relation to religion that they may be said to have none. In higher schools, certain studies, such as history and moral philosophy, include some reference to Christianity. The history of the Puritan founders of our nation, and of the causes which brought them to this country, the history of the Protestant Reformation, and of the beliefs which led to it, are so much a part of secular history that it would be absurd to ignore them. And ethics cannot be entirely separated from some of the precepts of Christianity. But the amount of religious instruction which would be provided through these more advanced studies of the public schools is a small part of that which is needed. We do not see how the State would be justified in attempting more than this general teaching concerning religion. And to so much as this we believe there is likely to be little opposition. The Catholics, for example, complain, not that there is so much religion in the schools, but that there is so little. The schools, they say, are godless. And even if the teaching were enlarged to the full limit just indicated, they would still be of the same opinion. Their real objections, which need not be considered in this connection, probably lie at another point, namely, the tendency of daily mingling with children from all classes and churches to weaken allegiance to the Catholic Church. But this Americanizing, as it is sometimes called, is one of the principal objects for which the system exists, and is an argument in its favor. This tendency, however, is due in a very small degree to the slight modicum of religious teaching provided.
We have no dispute with those who attach importance to that amount of Christian instruetion which is, or may be, provided by the schools, and we are quite willing that they should contend for it. But we repeat that it is not enough, that in no proper sense of the term can it be considered the religious education which is needed. In this respect we are in full agreement with the Catholics. We also agree with them that thorough religious instruction for all classes is of the greatest importance. The purity and stability of social and national life, to say no more, are directly dependent upon it.
The real and practical question is, therefore, how a more definite and thorough education in the truths and realities of the Christian religion may be made general. We must turn away from the schools, not because they have failed in this respect, but because, except in a limited degree, it cannot be their function.
A possible method is the establishment of schools by the great Christian denominations, which, like existing parochial schools, should provide both a secular and a religious education, and should take the place of the public schools. In that case a common fund, raised by taxation, would be divided pro rata among the schools, and the State, contrary to the Constitution of the United States, would be supporting establishments of religion, which in one community would be chiefly Catholic, in another Methodist, in another Episcopalian. And if the entire support of the schools were laid on the churches, there would be no guarantee that a suitable secular education and a training for citizenship would be provided. State supervision of denominational schools would have little effect, for the schools would not look to the State for their support, and so would be practically independent. The State also would do itself an injury by separating children into groups and classes. The public school is one of the most important agencies of a democratic State. This abandonment of the common school system is impracticable and theoretically incorrect.
Another method is to leave things as they are, depending chiefly for religious instruction on the home and the Sunday-school and other voluntary agencies for religious teaching. In all probability this course will be followed, at least for the present. For children who live in Christian homes, and are taken regularly to church and Sunday-school, this arrangement is a good one, and is capable, with suitable effort, of yielding the best results. It makes almost no provision, however, for children less favorably situated.
There is still another method by which more may be accomplished than is possible on Sunday alone. Some systematic religious instruction may be provided during the week. The first difficulty would be to gain the time necessary. The best hours of the day are monopolized by the public schools. But if definite and satisfactory arrangements for religious instruction could be made, some of this time might be surrendered. Some of the second sessions might be given up for the purpose of allowing the various churches to teach the children in religion. Indeed, we think there are other reasons for the surrender of part of the time. Children spend too many hours over their text-books. They have to be excused from all other responsibilities so as to be in school and learn their lessons. No work may be exacted of them. Their parents have almost none of the use and very little of the enjoyment of them. Time is needed for manual training in trades and skilled arts. We hope the good day is coming when the public schools will have single sessions of three or four hours in the morning, and the rest of the time will be at the disposal of families and churches to train children in the things which are practical, useful, and religious. If so much time were set free, the Catholics could gather the children in their schools, as they do now, to inculcate loyalty to their church, and would have no reason to complain of taxation for the support of the secular schools. Protestant churches could unite in providing a place and a method of religious instruction, associated perhaps with manual training in workshops, sewing-schools, and the like. It has been proposed that the Protestant churches of the country should come to some definite agreement concerning the elements of Christianity which should be taught in the public schools. The result would be, at the best, no more than has been already stated, in view of the restrictions of the State. But some agreement might be reached as to religious teaching outside the schools, if time could be assigned for that purpose. Christian unity may yet be hastened by the necessity of giving children a better religious education than the schools can provide, and by the necessity of preserving the schools for the secular education of chil. dren from all classes and churches. If so general a scheme could not be devised, the churches of a town or city could combine, with success, for such a purpose. Of course, there would be the disadvantage which attends all voluntary work. Attendance would not be compulsory. Money would be required, and might not be forthcoming, and other practical obstacles would have to be overcome. And, in any event, it will be only under some sort of severe pressure that new methods will be adopted. The danger of losing the attendance of all Catholic children on the schools, and the demand for exemption from taxation in their support, may become a very strong motive to a release of time for religious teaching, and to a limitation of the schools to secular education. The