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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1


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As further proof of the prevailing desire for the re-introduction of the Bible into the day schools throughout New Zealand, I adduce the following:—

Auckland, December 29, 1883. New Zealand Free Press.—It is altogether a momentous theme, affecting as it sooner or later must do, the moral and social standing of this young and growing nation . . . Education, of itself, will never form a sure safeguard for society, unless it be diffused with sound moral and religious principles, and where are such principles to be obtained excepting from the Word of God.

Napier Bible-in-Schools' Association. A meeting of the Bible-in-Schools Committee was hell on June 27, 1880, in the Council Chamber. The Bishop of Waiapu was in the chair. The Secretary, the Rev. J. Spear, read a statement of the result of the canvass for signatures to the Bible petition; the number amounting to 1400 . . . The result of the canvass of Napier showed that, in the vast majority of instances, parents, and especially those of the working classes, were extremely desirous that their children should be instructed in the Word of God in the public schools.

Christ church, December, 1, 1883. Proposed New Zealand Bible-in-Schools Association. Constitution.—The object of this Association is to secure the reading of the Bible, without Denominational teaching, as part of the regular State School course, subject to a conscience clause; it being distinctly understood that this Association disavows all intention of advocating any interference with the Education Act in any particular, save that herein specified.

Dunedin. At a meeting of the Education Board of the Provincial District of Otago, held 26th June, 1879, the following resolution was passed, only one dissenting; 'That, in the opinion of this Board, it is very desirable that the Education Act be amended with the view of allowing the introduction of Bible reading in the public schools.

Bible in Schools Association constitution.—(2.) The object of the Association shall Le to obtain the sanction of Parliament to the reading of the Bible daily in the public schools of the Colony, with the provision of a conscience clause.

Southland.—In the report of the Southland Education Board for the year ending December 31, 1879, the following paragraph appears:—"The Bible-in-Sohoo's,—This question was brought before the Board, at a meeting held on the 6th June end, after considerable discussion, a motion was carried almost unanimously, declaring it to be the opinion of the Board that the Bible should be read daily in the schools without comment. Copies of this motion were forwarded to the Government, and also to all the School Committees, accompanied in the latter case with the request that they should give an expression of their opinion on the subject. Out of 55 Committees, only 8 were against, 37 were in favor, and 10 sent no reply.

In the compilation of the foregoing statements I have consulted the following:—The Bible at Home and in the Schools.—A sermon preached in the Presbyterian Church, Milton, on the 30th September, 1877, by the Rev James Chisholm, and published by request. The History of the Cincinnati Case.

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Bible Beading in the Public Schools. A sermon preached in the Presbyterian Church, North Dunedin, by the Rev Dr Copland, and published in the Christian Record, June 6, 1879. Primary Education in New Zealand:—1880. Bible-in-Schools: Extracts from Speeches, Letters, etc, collected and compiled by Prophetes, published in Wellington, 1880. The Bible-in-Schools—read at the ordinary meeting of the Otago Schoolmasters' Association, 7th September, 1872, by J. B. Park. Published under the auspices of the Bible-in-Schools Association, Dunedin, 1879.

Napier Bible-in-Schools Association. Letter of Ven. Archdeacon Maunsell, to the New Zealand Herald.—The only resource now left to those who wish to remove the present great blot from our school laws is to organise, and to take steps for ascertaining the views of parents on the subject; and I will frankly confess that my object in asking you to make this movement at Napier known, is to stir up those who have leisure and ability to take steps for organizing a similar movement in Auckland—I am &c, R. Maunsell.

Mr Macandrew was intimately acquainted with the Scriptures, and held that their acceptance as the guide of life is indispensable to the production of that 'righteousness which exalteth a nation and is the glory of any people.' Hence the passion with which he desired to have Bible-reading in the schools of the people. I have reason for saying that it was his belief that our representatives are coming round to the right views on this subject. He thought that the new parliament would give school districts option in regard to this important matter. Mr Fulton, M.H.R., has just informed me that Mr Macandrew, on the very morning of the accident, had made arrangements for calling together a meeting of the members of both Houses of the Legislature in Otago, who are interested in Bible-reading in schools, for the purpose of deciding what should be done. I understand that the following were among his reasons for seeking the Bible in schools:—(I) It is honoured by many as the word of God. (2) It has created our civilisation. (3) No man is educated who is ignorant of its contents. (4) The consciences of minorities can be protected by a conscience clause, by time-tables, by denominational gran's. (5) The conscience of the nation forbids continuance of the barbarism in having the Book of books alone in an index expurgatorius of democracy.

The Ashburton Publishing Company, Printers, Burnett Street.