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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 1

The London School Eoard

The London School Eoard

system has worked remarkably well, and here the testimony of one of its late members on his arrival in Australia, may be given. Dr Barry, of Sydney, on his arrival at Melbourne, spoke on this subject as of the highest importance and affecting the future of a great community. He had some experience in England of public elementary education, more especially as a member of the London school Board, and what struck him most emphatically was the almost unanimous verdict of the country in favor of making religious instruction—i.e., the Bible freely read and taught—an integral part of the system. A fairly efficient scheme framed for that purpose was largely adopted, and he was not aware that a single case of proselytism had manifested itself. In Birmingham, the home of the secular system, they had actually been obliged to have the. Bible read in the schools from which they had formerly banished it. So far as he knew, no denominational antagonism had ever interfered in carrying out this work. If we could only get over our political and sectarian differences here, he thought there was no reason why the same great object should not be achieved here in the same way. This is an interesting confirmation of what has been understood regarding the London School Board system that it has worked without a hitch.

All the elements of sectarian differences and denominational distinctions were surely as rife in England or Scotland as here. Yet the great lessons of divine wisdom may be taught to the young there, as part of the school course, without any hurtful consequences, and even with great success—Why not here?