The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 55
Scene. State School, not a hundred miles from Dunedin. Bible Lessons being given by the Headmaster.
Pupil reads Matthew xxii., verse 21 : "They say unto him 'Cæsar's.' Then he saith unto them, 'Render therefore unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.'"
Master (examining the class): What is meant by Cæsar and Cæsar's?
Pupil A : Cæsar was a Roman Emperor.
Master : But what is meant by rendering unto Cæsar the things that are Cæsar's?
Pupil B: Giving to him all that belongs to him.
Master : What belonged to him?
Pupil A: A coin, with his head on it.
Master : That may have once belonged to him. But this verse has a particular meaning. Cæsar here stands for Government, and in some things we must recognise the Government. What things do the Government do?
Pupil D : They look after the Railways
Pupil E : They look after Schools.
Pupil F : The policemen are Government men.
Mastkr : Can you tell me some things that we are not to look to Government to?
Pupil A: Food.
Pupil G : Religion. Government, papa says, should never meddle with Churches and Religion.
Master : Yes, boys, our Religion is a matter between us and God alone; and that is what is meant by rendering unto God the things that are God's.
Pupil G holds up his hand.
Master : Well, Gilbert, what is it?
Pupil G : Please, sir, is this a Government School?
Master : Of course it is.
Pupil G : Is the Bible a religious book?
Master : Profoundly so; but what makes you ask these questions?
Pupil G : Please, sir, papa says that the Government should not teach Religion.
Master : Well, boys, that is a question I cannot say anything about. All I know is that some years ago some people thought that folks would get mad if the Bible was not taught in schools.
Pupil G : Please, sir, is that fulfilling the verse?
Master : Well, boys, I cannot say.
Pupil H : Please, sir, why does Thomas Jones not come to Bible lesson V He is out in the shed now, and it is cold and wet.
Master : His papa objects.
Pupil H : Is it naughty not to read the Bible? We all like Thomas Jones, and his father is very good to US.
Master : Boys, it is time for writing lesson.