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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 75

Inductive Ethics, — Moral Teachings in the State Schools of New Zealand

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Inductive Ethics,

Moral Teachings in the State Schools of New Zealand.

Teachers and friends of the Southland Educational Institute,—As yon are aware, an interval of a twelvemonth has elapsed since I last had the honor of appearing before you in the capacity of your president; plainly, therefore, before I do anything else to-night, it will be my duty to inquire what are the educational events of the pasty year, and which of them, if any, require notice and comment at my hands ? With one exception, however, the year seems to me to have been singularly barren of events from the educationist's point of view, no burning questions have come from the front in discussion—I hope certain gentlemen who flooded the newspapers of Dunedin with educational letters, lectures, and leading articles for some weeks in the early part of the year won't consider I am putting any slight upon them by that remark—no burning questions have come to the front in discussion, and the teachers of the colony generally, as far as I know, have been of that happy people which produces no history. Especially is this true here in Southland, where, like Nature's own beat work, the teacher's labors have been of that quret order by which mind is most wisely developed and character most healthfully built up. Even the monthly meetings of your Institute here in Invercargill have passed almost unnoticed by the newspapers, whilst as far as I am aware, not a single school committee has ventured to raise a dissonant voice, or dared to question the schoolmaster's sacred authority in any particular. Congratulations to you, teachers of Southland, on this happy state of things. Long may it continue, and that to your honor and comfort. But I said there was one exception to this holy and somewhat unusual calm; and, indeed, it is impossible to forget that between this time and last June a General Election has taken place in New Zealand—a new House of Representatives has been constituted for the colony—an event, I need hardly tell you, which can never happen without producing some effect, positive or negative, on the educational interests of New Zealand. It is plain, therefore, that I should not be doing my duty to-night if I failed to assess the educational significance of this great political fact.

As you may expect, however, it is not my intention to do more than merely allude to the subject in passing, and that for the simple reason that to do more would be very difficult, if not impossible. Parliament has not yet had the opportunity to organise itself educationally, no divisions have yet taken place in the House on the subject of education, and until the division lists appear it is not easy to say with precision how parties stand on any subject. Various questions then, you will remember, were propounded to parliamentary candidates by the different branches of the Teachers' Institute throughout the colony, but of these I will only refer to the three proposed by this branch, of which, unless I mistake, one was directed to remedy that financial injustice under which many other teachers throughout the colony as well as yourselves suffer: the fact that salaries for the same work done vary largely—one might almost say arbitrarily—throughout New Zealand, according to the Board under which the teacher may be serving; a second question referred to a corresponding variation in the fulness of the education given in the different Board districts, and the importance of making this uniform throughout by transferring the school inspectors from the boards to the department; whilst a third related to the subjects of instruction themselves—to the characteristic feature of our system, in fact—and invited the candidate to pledge himself to resist all attempts to degrade our own system to the level of that established in the Old Country, all attempts to violate the first principles of civil and religious liberty by introducing a theological element into our present secular system, and so setting up a State church in this new and free land. The first two questions related, therefore, to matters of administration only, and these in consequence, there can be little doubt, will be settled ere long, in the present or at least some early Parliament, to page 6 the satisfaction of the teachers of the colony. On them accordingly I do not propose to say another word. The third question, however, refers to a matter of deeper and more general interest, and on this account, as well as from the fact that the discussion of it makes a most suitable introduction to my subject of this evening, I will spend just a moment in recording its fate. In one word, then, it seems pretty certain now that the Bible-in-schools party at the last General Election received a severe check, The question of Bible in schools, it is true, was not made a capital or crucial one; it was not a question on which individual elections were won or lost, but those who favored the ecclesiastical view found that their advocacy of it did them no good with the constituencies, but that, on the contrary, it placed them at a disadvantage, and even contributed in some cases to their overthrow. This was particularly visible in the election for the City of Dunedin, where a member of the former Parliament, who had himself introduced a Bill in its last session to destroy the secular character of the Education Act, and to which mischievous attempt of his I called your attention, you will remember, in my presidential address to you a twelvemonth ago—this gentleman failed to secure his reclection, and that in spite of all the churches could do for him. A similar remark, too, would apply, you are aware, to the Mataura electorate; whilst, on the other hand, here in Invercargill the fact that the old member for our town remained faithful to the principle of secular education was a circumstance which did him no harm, but, on the contrary, appeared to commend him all the more to our fellow citizens, so that he again headed the poll by a large majority. And, further, as far as we can at present tell, the view taken on the subject by the constituencies of Dunedin, Mataura, and Invercargill was also that adopted in by far the greater number of electorates throughout New Zealand, so that there is reason to believe that the majority in the House of Representatives to-day in favor of our present secular system of education is greater than it has ever been at any previous stage in the history of the controversy. This surely is a matter which we ought not to pass over unnoticed, but one on which we should congratulate ourselves and the colony, and that with the warmest felicitations. We might say more on this point, but it will be better to wait till the division lists assure us we have not misinterpreted the results of the last General Election.

On one point, however, there is little doubt. If the victory to-day is with the supporters of the present system of education, as it appears to be, that victory is probably a final one; the question is substantially settled. It is an open secret that the clerical party had placed great reliance

on the woman's vote in connection with this subject; the hopes of ecclesiastics were high that they had sufficient influence with the female population of the colony to secure its adoption of their views on this burning question. It is well known, too, that many advanced politicians who supported the extension of the franchise to women did so in spite of deep misgivings as to the use the women might at first make of their vote to destroy the Education Act. But now it appears to have come out plainly that these hopes and fears were alike groundless. The women have not lent themselves to the retrograde action proposed to them by ecclesiastics, but, on the contrary, have proved themselves capable of appreciating those great principles of civil and religious liberty for which the men have contended so earnestly in these latter ages. Apparently the battle is finally won; for I need hardly say that when a cause has once secured the deliberate approbation of good and gentle women that cause is safe beyond the power of harm, whether from ecclesiastics or the Devil himself.

But now, at this point, you will see there naturally arises another question, and it is this : what should be our attitude towards the defeated party, if, indeed, it be safe yet to speak of it as the defeated party? Are we at liberty to neglect it henceforth altogether, or even to sing paeans of vulgar triumph over it? It undoubtedly contains many good and worthy men, and, what is more, men who have not been indifferent in the past to the cause of popular education, whilst it is still further to be noticed that the opposition was at least professedly made in the highest interests of man—those of morality and religion. Shall we ignore all this, and go on our way in brutal indifference to it all; or shall we take this opportunity of expressing our own sympathy with these high aims, and of making it plain, at least to our own satisfaction, that the fears of our opponents have been groundless, that the interests of morality are perfectly safe in our hands, and that the children of the colony, when they issue from our schools, may be expected to show that conscientious regard to duty, that abhorrence of all wrong-doing, and that respect for the rights of others which their best well-wishers desire to see in them. That, at least, is the high task I propose to myself to-night, and deeply, I had almost said bitterly, do I wish that it had fallen into more capable hands.

For, indeed, there are other and lighter themes on which I could willingly have addressed you, and more particularly one belonging to that special walk of study which I have of late years made more exclusively my own. I allude, of course, to the topic of the ancient history of our race, the science of Eastern antiquities, the story of early Egypt, Assyria, Greece, and Rome, and the desirableness of introducing into the highest class of our schools some small primer or reading book on the subject. page 7 It isn't right that children should imagine themselves educated when all they know of the race to which they belong is, at most, a few facts in illustration of the rise and progress of their own cation; and the long martyrdom of man, as revealed in the heroic story of antiquity, is to them as though it had never been; whilst, still worse, they are insensible to their own ignorance in the matter. This is undoubtedly a defect, though, perhaps, a small one, in our present By a tern, and one, too, of which educationists would do well to take note. Nevertheless, that man can not be said to have discharged his duty to society who prefers the smaller and the easier task to the more imperious one, and so I bequeath the claims of ancient history to a place in our curriculum to the advocacy of some future president in those happy years to come when the mightier issues which now engage our attention shall, along with ourselves, have passed into oblivion.

For the last twelve months, indeed, I may tell you, I have had no hesitation whatever as to the topic on which I should address you to-night; that was settled for me in my mind in this very hall a year ago, when a Presbyterian clergyman of this town, held, and, I believe, deservedly held, in honor and respect by all who know him, in a paper he read to you on a similar occasion to the present, made the extraordinary allocution that he objected to our present system of primary education because there was no moral teaching in our schools. I thought at the time that waa the moat extraordinary statement I had ever heard in my life, and, I may add, I think so still—a statement too that should never be forgotten and never allowed to pass into oblivion. Understand, however, I don't for a moment impugn the bona fides of the gentleman who made the statement, I have no doubt at all he meant what he said in all sincerity of purpose; he believed he was enunciating a fact, and it ia just that circumstance which constitutes the extraordinary character of the phenomenon. You may remember, however, that I took occasion at the time to deny tbe accuracy of the view thus enunciated, and I will only add now that, if that statement were accurate, there would at least be one Rationalist as well as many Presbyterian ministers objecting to the New Zealand system of primary education. But this charge brought against us thus formally in our last Conference demanded, in my judgment, a fuller retutation than was possible to give it on the spur of the moment—a refutation, too, which it was incumbent on me to attempt on the first opportunity, and to this purpose therefore I now devote the remainder of my address this evening-Accustomed, then, as are the majority of my hearers to deal in the close examination of words, and the fallacies that are apt to underlie human speech, it will be no news to them when I say that in my judgment the explanation of the extraordinary statement I have just referred to lies in the fact that the speaker was using language in an entirely different sense from that which the words employed ordinarily bear, and I will even venture to say, thus early in our discussion, from that which they ought to bear. He spoke of moral teaching, whilst, I venture to say, he meant all the time religious teaching. Indeed, I should not be surpriaed if I heard him claiming that the two phrases were substantially synonymous, and that in fact there could be no moral teaching if there were no religious teaching. This, at least, is how I explain to myself the position the speaker took up last year; but whether I am right or not in that explanation, the solution I have just suggested of the anomaly before us brings me at once to the very heart of my subject to-night, so that I need no longer delay you with any further preliminaries.

What, then, we may ask now, is the real basis of morals? Why is it wrong to commit theft, adultery, murder ? And how are yon going to stop people from committing these crimes? What is the origin and what are the sanctions of morality; and how, besides, are you going to ascertain both the one and the other? Those are the questions we have got to answer, and, in order to answer them, the best plan, perhaps, will be to ask some similar questions in another department of human knowledge. For instance, what are the laws of physics? How about gravitation and all that? And how did we find those truths out? Well, we all know that physics forms the subject matter of a science—a science which man has slowly elaborated through the ages, and that too by his own unaided efforts; so that nowadays, when we want information on the material laws of the universe we betake ourselves to the science of physics, and so accomplish our purpose.

Well, then, not otherwise is it in the world of mind. As every cultured man knows, there is mental science as well as physical science, and, such being the case, morals is, of course, just one branch of this mental and social science. Morals is the science of society and the art of living in society. Moral philosophy, as some of you know by personal experience, is one of the branches of science taught theoretically at our univereity colleges, one of the subjects you take up when preparing for your university degree—one of the favorite subjects, in fact, as it is generally thought, whether rightly or otherwise, to be not quite so difficult as some others. Aristotle, Cicero, Paley, Butler, Kant, Bain, Herbert Spencer, and a host of other names equally honorable have each provided us with a text book on the subject, so that the science is one of the oldest and beat established in the whole circle of human knowledge; it has its principles, its practical applications, and even its history, the best instance of this latter fact, at least as far as I know, page 8 being that most valuable and interesting work—produced in our own day—Lecky's 'History of European Morals.'

But we have not yet answered that question which we enunciated just now, or pointed out the fundamental principle at the basis of moral science, why, for instance, it ia wrong to steal another man's goods, Were there, indeed, an individual of cynical tendencies in my audience to-night I can quite conceive he might be disposed to interrupt me at this poin, and in view of recent politics in New Zealand and recent disclosures in business circles suggest to me the necessity of considering first a still more fundamental question—vi., is it wrong to steal another man's goods? You will agree with me, however, that such cynicism doss not deserve an answer, and certainly must not be allowed to delay us to-night, Briefly stated, then, right and wrong are no mere arbitrary abstractions, no merely ideal conceptions; virtue, at least, in the first inatance, is that conduct which is favorable to the life and health of society, whilst crime is that class of actions which is injurious, or, still more, that which is fatal to the existence of man as an organised collection of individuals. And so to appropriate that which belongs to another against his will is to do that which would make it impossible for men to live side by side with one another in peace. Theft, therefore, is immoral, not because of any authoritative statement to that effect, whether on the part of a finite or even an infinite being, not because it is written in some ancient Eastern literature "Thou shalt not steal," but because, if stealing were to become general, human society would become moribund; if stealing were to become universal, society would cease to be. The laws of morality are founded, not on hypotheses of any kind, but on facts, on the actual necessities of human society, Men only live together in groups because an understanding exists throughout the members of the group, As long as that understanding holds—as long, that is, as the confidence of the members in one another is strong, in fact so long as there is good reason to believe that each member of society will respect the rights of all the others, so long men will continue to live together and enjoy all the unspeakable advantages of universal co-operation. So long and no lorger. Whatever tends to increase this mutual confidence therefore stimulates the vitality of society, and so constitutes virtue. Whatever, on the other hand, impairs such mutual confidence strikes at the very life of society, and so constitutes crime. Wrong, immorality, crime is just an unsocial act, and therefore Is properly branded by universal consent as utterly loathsome and essentially bad. It is high treason against society, and, like all treason, is, in the first instance, a capital offence. It is these hard, stupendous, vital facts which are the basis of the science of morals.

These utterances of mine are, of course, well known to most of you, but they will bear repetition and even illustration. Our beet illustrations must, of course, be takes from human life, but it is not impossible to find illustrations, strange as the statement will doubtless sound to many, in the habits of the inferior creation—our irrational fellow-creatures, as we are accustomed to call them. Many of the lower animals, we know, live together in society, and, of course, on the very same principles as ourselves, only in a far more elementary stage of development—though even here, perhaps, my cynical friend might again put in a caveat. Anyway, as one clever writer has pointed out, even a park of wolves on the snow-covered plains of Russia is only able to hunt its prey in concert bj mutual understanding amongst the members of the pack. There ia an agreement recognised, however unconsciously, by every welf in the pack that during the hunt not one of them is to attack and devour his brother wolf. And, further, in those packs in which this mutual confidence is strong the hunt will be keen and successful, the food consequently plentiful, and the pack will flourish and increase. On the other hand, should there be a pack in which bad habits have grown up, one in which this unconscious bond of mutual confidence is weak, so that each individual wolf as he runs can only afford to keep one eye on the quarry, whilst, alarmed for his life, the other is engaged in watching his neighbor, that pack will undoubtedly be at a great disadvantage in the struggle for existence, the hunt wilt often be unsuccessful, so that famine will frequently thin in ranks. In fact, it is an immoral pack of wolves, doomed in time to extinction. The mutual confidence of its members in one another has been impaired. Or, if anyone objects to such a lowly illustration as this on such an important subject as savoring of frivolity, let us take another from human life and human history—the history of our own day. We have had an object lesson in this subject in the present century, and that within the memory of many of us here to-night. We have atually seen a human society grow up from chaos to order before our own eyes, and hence we need have no difficulty in recognising what it is makes the fundamental distinction between the two conditions. Anyone who has ever come into contact with the pioneer settlers of the State of California, in North America, will understand my allusion at once. When the discovery of gold was first made in the valley of the Sacramento River, in the year 1848, there immediately flocked in thousands to the spot the wild spirits of every country on the face of the earth. Not a few of these were lawless as well as wild, some of them, indeed, being criminals of the deepest dye. There was of course, for a time, no authoritative government on the goldfield, and certainly no page 9 government possessed of Adequate powers to enforce its authority, and, in consequence, human society to the strict tense of the term was at first impossible. There were vast numbers of human units in close contact with one another, but, all the same, there was no organised society, there was no State, Each man had to take care of himself, and you had in consequence the extraordinary spectacle of a being who was the product of society, and who could not live long except in society, here attempting to live alone, and that amid thousands of others bent on the same project, and amid temptations of the most powerful order. What, then, happened under these extraordinary conditions?

Well, here is one of the things that happened as the regular custom of the country. Every man, of course, went about armed to the teeth; and, did two travellers on the high road loom into one another's sight as they Approached each other from opposite points in the horizon, neither of them hesitated for a moment as to what he should do, hut each immediately drew his shooting-iron and imperiously waved the other off the high road. If both obeyed, and so were able to pass one another at a considerable interval of space, all was well; nothing further was done by either party. Did either traveller, however, show any inclination to persist in maintaining "the crown of the causeway "he was a dead man in a moment; the other shot him down as he would a wild beast. Nor was that all Did the little affair become known throughout the district? Nobody resented what had been done, the shootist was held guiltless, as every man on the goldfield knew that he himself would have done the same under the circumstances. The inference is inevitable. Morality is founded on the imperious necessities of human society. There can be no society until human beings are able to trust one another. Mutual confidence in the forbearance of each to the other—that is the adamantine bond that holds all the units together; that, and that alone. Just as our bodies live on the physical atmosphere by which the earth is surrounded, and would at once cease to be as a vital organism if that atmosphere were removed, so organised society exists on the atmosphere of strong mutual confidence in which our civilisation is bathed, and would at once break up into its component units if that atmosphere should by any mischance disappear. And as man is essentially a social being, and is what he is to-day simply as the product of society, even the individual units must disappear and die out when society is no longer possible. This then is why theft, adultery, murder are wrong and criminal, because their existence is inconsistent with the existence of man in society; this is why these acts have come to be abhorred and loathed with ever-increasing repugnance by the great majority amongst us—why, in fact, man has learned to hate these deeds as intrinsically foul and vile, apart even from their conaequences. It is thus that there has been evolved in the course of those untold millenniums that constitute the history of'our race those intuitions of right and wrong that now appear to us as almost innate and independent of experience altogether. They are the sum total of the experience of the race through all past time, and their strength is accounted for by the myriads of ages through which their roots extend unseen right down to that border time in which rational man originated from his irrational ancestor—a tolerably strong foundation for the vital interests of humanity.

So moon, then, for the fundamental principle of morals, the discovery of which to, as you see, the natural outcome of reason, as much so, indeed, as is the science of gravitation, or physics in general. But now, assuming all that—assuming, that is, the natural genesis of morals and the natural authority of the moral law—how are we going to vindicate that law, or, rather, how are we going to show that Nature herself has provided for the vindication of that law? In other words, what are the natural sanctions of morality? How do the wicked get punished and the good rewarded ? That, you will acknowledge, is the real crux of the question; that is what men have been puzzling overall down the stream of time, even from the days of the patriarch Job up till now; indeed, the patriarch Job might almost be considered as the founder of the science we are considering to-night. He did not get very far into the solution of the problem, it is true, but it must certainly be acknowledged that he stated the case very powerfully. Indeed, one would like to have had a short discussion with him on the subject—i.e., of course, after he had got well again, so that the personal element no longer vitiated the equation. Whilst he was scraping himself with that potsherd of his he could hardly be expected to maintain a very philosophical tone of mind.

Well, then, as everyone sees, the first great natural agency for enforcing the moral law is the institution of civil government; a rude and imperfect agency, no doubt, but powerful in its way, and often even fatal to the wrong-doer. As an Australian judge, travelling in New Zealand, once said to me : "I feel myself all right as soon as I see a gallows. A gallows is the symbol of civilisation, the supremacy of law and order." What we mean, of course, is this: The worst forme of immorality we call crime, and crime is stamped out by the civil power. As soon as the Califorman pioneers had succeeded in establishing a civil government they no longer waved one another off the high road with their revolvers. The bad were put out of the way by the representatives of the combined force of the community; page 10 the strength of all was used on behalf of each as long as he lived the life of a lawabiding citizen; the good enjoyed all the advantages of life in Co-operation. That was their reward.

But this, though an exceedingly important factor in the solution of the problem before us, is so self-evident that we need not dwell upon it at all. Everyone knows that in the case of flagrant crime punishment, and even adequate punishment, as a general rule, overtakes the wrong-doer by means of the natural agency of the State. Right and wrong are not left unvindicated in this world. What men complain of is, not that there is no enforcement of the moral law, but that so far as the State is concerned the enforcement is of such a rude order that not, only do many criminals escape the allotted penalty for their crimes, but that there is a vast amount of wrong-doing of which the State does not and cannot take cognisance at all. How can you pretend there is any moral government in this world worthy of the name, men say, or how can you expect society to flourish and make progress under a constitution of things so imperfect as that? If you cannot back up your civil government by something behind it which is infinitely more far-reaching than the arm of the policeman, your society is little better than moribund, and you will never get far beyond the stage of barbarism.

Well, we all know there is another natural and most powerful agency abroad in society, ever working on the side of justice, ever sapping the strength of the wrongdoer, and so ready to make good the failures of civil government. I allude, of course, to the force of public opinion, "the collective conscience of the community," as Cotter Morison would have us call it. A Christchurch lawyer may succeed in embezzling the money of his clients all round, and, after being delivered to a jury of his fellow-colonists for trial, may be acquitted by them of the crime, and that in spite of his actual and well-known guilt; he is not sent to gaol; justice fails of her victim; and so far a blow is struck at the vitals of society. But will anyone venture to say that that man escapes punishment altogether ?—a man with the brand of the criminal on him for life, who will be boycotted and sent to Coventry wherever he goes; a man who has been stigmatised before all the world as a fraudulent trustee ! The lady with the halting foot overtakes him, though no doubt it is a pity she halts all the same. In short, the most powerful incentive to action known to human nature is the approbation and esteem of the community in which a man lives, whilst the loss of that esteem, and still more the presence of its converse, is an evil to eat the heart out of any human being. Behold then again the natural sanctions of morality.

You see I am only just enumerating the heads of my subject. I am not dwelling upon them at all, and this partly because time forbids, aud still more because the matter is so well known to you already. But though it is quite true I am only enumerating the natural sanctions of morality, I must mind and enumerate them all, and certainly must nob omit the most powerful of them, even though it he also the most secret. I must not omit to refer to the happiness or misery of the individual dependent on the testimony of his own conscience to the character of his actions. That marvellous faculty we call conscience, whatever it may be in itself, seems at all events to be the invariable concomitant of life in society. Society, duty, conscience, all go together; and this to such a degree, indeed, that even some of the lower animals—the domestic animals, at all events—occasionally seem to show signs of the possesion of a conscience, A dog, for instance, who has transgressed his master's command, will often, when he enters that master's presence, betray by his manner the fact of his misconduct. The drooping, motionless tail, the slinking gait, the unwillingness to meet his master's eye, all bear involuntary testimony to the fact that he has yielded to temptation, and that he knows it; in other words, that he has a conscience. "Ah," you say," I am sure that Carlo has been worrying the sheep again "; and so, later on, you find it. Returning, however, to our featherless bipeds, or, as they are sometimes described, to our artificial ungulates, a wrong doer, we know, may occasionally escape both the law of his country and the condemnation of his neighbors—his guilty secret may be known only to himself—and in such case : superficial philosopher might jump to the conclusion that the moral government of the world is here altogether at fault. Now, of course, it is quite true that [unclear: whenever] criminal escapes punishment a blow is struck at the vitals of society—even the superficial philosopher is right so far Where the superficial philosopher is wrong is in supposing that the secret criminal does escape scot free, suffers no retribution at all, but lives on, the name happy being as before. And yet we know this view is refuted by the whole round of criminal experience; that even the daily newspapers frequently furnish us with overwhelming evidence to the contrary; that loss of innocence is always accompanied by loss of inward happiness, and that this loss, though it sounds so small a thing, is proved by experience to bo sometimes so terrible that the patient will not unfrequently surrender himself for punishment, yea, even for capital punishment, if he may only thereby get rid of the intolerable burden of remorse There is no greater reality in this work than the human conscience—a fact so patent that we are not surprised at the utterances of the great German philosopher Kant when he said : "There are only two objects of study worthy of an intelligent man—the one is the starry heavens above him, and the other the human conscience within him." For myself, page 11 I would add, conscience is the faculty that conjugates the verb "ought," that inflects the noun "duly," the last and greatest sanction known to moral philosophy. It is the voice of society inside of us, proving to all gainsayers that the claims of society upon us permeate us through and through, and that we are the absolute property of the community in which we live, As an example, take the case of Constance Kent, the Kent road murderess, who, subsequent to the commission of her crime, lived as a nun for a large part of a Lifetime in a holy house amongst good women, and even then found that her only road to inward happiness lay through the police court. Morality, then, I say, is built up on the most terrible realities of which the human mind is cognisant.

I have thus briefly enumerated the most important of those natural sanctions of morality by which the practice of it is enforced in human communities, Were I, however, to leave the subject at this point I should certainly be culpable, inasmuch as I should have represented it only in the most inadequate form, an inadequacy, too, which would be especially apparent to my audience of to-night irom the particular profession to which those of whom it is chiefly composed belong. Such are well aware that the larger part of the world's work is done under other influences than those that proceed from any system, of rewards and punishments. For the coarser natures of the human race no doubt the coercion implied in such a system is absolutely indispensable, as probably it was equally indispensable to all in the earliest stages of human development, But it is plain that any community which is to last must ultimately be able to produce a race so well adapted to the conservation of the social organism as to be largely independent of all selfish considerations whatsoever—a race intelligent enough, and, what is more, noble enough, to be sensible of the fact that the relation of each individual to the whole society is the worthiest factor in that individual's nature. Just as physically we are conscious of the blood of our own organism circulating through our veins, so, speaking more metaphorically, we are equally conscious of a social life throbbing in our hearts. The meanest soul amongst us will put forth all the strength that is in him to conserve that bodily life of his, and with equal strenuousness will the nobler organisms amongst us struggle for the conservation of the community of which he feels himself a part. A social instinct is in him as strong and at times even stronger than that love of the bodily life which we share with all the lower animals. In times of social quiet and safety these facts, it is true, are not so apparent. If men show themselves, then, altruistic at all, their public spirit is chiefly seen in the work which they voluntarily take upon themselves as members of local public bodies; but in times of public excitement and danger, say, when the blast of war sounds in our ears, the case is far different. Then the social instinct lying more or less latent at the basis of so many characters becomes apparent enough. The idea of individuality fades into the back ground of the mind, and that of the common life, the claim of society upon us, absorbs the whole consciousness of the mind. All this is perhaps most clearly seen on the field of battle, where, under a sense of duty to country—i. e., to the community to which he belongs—the soldier will charge straight up to the cannon's mouth, and, even if he escapes the first time, do it twice or more times on the same day. It isn't that he has reasoned all this out consciously—not at all; it is simply that in him his country has bred a man with the Social instinct overwhelmingly strong within him, so strong, indeed, as to triumph entirely over the feeling of individuality. All communities—i.e., all countries—breed such men; the country that breeds most of them will survive amongst the nations. And what is true of the military hero is still more true of the saintly hero, the martyr, he who will go even to the rack or the stake from a sense of duty, that others may in time come to know and feel the grand thoughts to which the martyr himself has attained. It is then this secondary growth of the moral nature that is the moat important factor for my argument, this realisation of the fact that virtue is a good in itself apart from all consequences, nay, the highest good of which man is capable—it is on this that the stability and permanence of society really depends. This marks a later and more complex growth in human nature, a higher order of society—an order independent of any theory of rewards and punishments. The one plausible objection, therefore, to the secular demonstration of morality is here refuted. We Can no longer be impaled upon the dilemma, either to prove that the administration of justice in this world is perfect or else to abandon our argument altogether. Let the imperfection in question be granted, at least for the sake of argument, the cause of morality and society is no longer lost on that account. "Better fifty years of Europe than a cycle of Cathay," said Tennyson at his best, and it is plain that some future Tennyson will yet put into undying verse the sentiment: Better one throb of the heroic ecstasy than a long lifetime of dishonor. The evolution of heroism, which is only the highest form of morality, has made the State immortal.

And now I have mapped out as well as time will allow me the fundamental principles of the science of ethics. I have shown that it is a natural product of the position in which man finds himself, and that whilst on the one hand there is nothing arbitrary about it, so, on the other, it is in no danger of decay, but that society possesses the most powerful agencies for enforcing it. In the words of Professor Bain, in his well-known page 12 work on 'Education' (p. 421): "The precepts of morality must be chiefly grounded on our human relations in this world, as known by practical experience; the motives, too, grow very largely out of these relational." Or if a still higher authority be wanted you have it in that of the greatest of the Germans, Kant himself, who says : "The first and most necessary instrument for conveying ethical information to the altogether untutored would be an ethical catechism. It ought to go before the religious catechism, and to be taught separately and quite independent of it, and not, as is too often done, taught along with it, and thrust into it, as it were, by parentheses; for it is singly on pure ethic principles that a transit can be made from virtue to religion, and when the case is otherwise the confessions are insincere."

I have now done with general principles, and come at last to my particular application. My proposition, then, is this: that in the very nature of things the school, including the State school of New Zealand, furnishes us spontaneously with the best object lessons in the science of morality we could wish to have; that there is not the slightest occasion for us to wander outside the limits of the natural into those of the supernatural in order to guard the interests of morality, but that from the very necessity of the case these are adequately safe-guarded in every efficient school. Nay, I will even venture to go further and say that every school teacher who is worth the name is in the daily and hourly habit of inculcating moral truths, and that without any reference at all to his own theological principles, He may be as ecelesiastically-minded as you like; he may even be a clergyman in full orders if you like; nay, he may even at times impress his own theological convictions on his pupils, and yet you shall find him, if he knows his trade at all, and is not altogether inefficient, you shall find him appealing repeatedly to just those principles to which I have referred in my address to you to-night. Practical teachers find no difficulty at all in enforcing morality on a secular basis. The fact is, as indeed you all know quite as well as I do, the school is a little world in itself; it is human life and human society in miniature; it exhibits the principle of government, and that in its simplest form, and consequently it presents you in & primitive way with all the problems that arise in human society as a whole. The school is a kingdom of which the teacher is king—despotic King, of course; he is called upon to govern as well as to instruct, and hence he is forced to have a philosophy of morality and carry it out in his practice; he can't help himself; he finds himself shut up to discuss and enforce the principles of morality, and that, too, on the most secular basis. For instance, to take the simplest and most common example of all—that furnished by the law of silence imposed upon pupils during school hours. Every wise teacher—surely I might say is this case every teacher—when referring to this law, is careful to point out to his litle subjects that this law of silence, naturally so irksome to young people! is not the ooutcome of the teacher's perverseness and us kindness, as might perhaps at first appear-not just the teacher's "cussedness," if I may so express myself; it is an absolute necessity of the situation, [unclear: ina] much as the work of the school can only be efficiently done as long as silence is maintained indeed, it is easy to show that the teacher's voice cannot be heard at all, and so the children can learn nothing, amid a babel of sounds such as would be produced if this law were not enforced. In other words, the school as a school would cease to exist. All this I know my hearen of to-night have themselves had to repeat of ad nauseam, and I only refer to it now is order to point out that it is in reality neither more nor less than the secular teaching of morality, though in this case, of course, only school morality; it is a natural law, for which a reason can be given in the circumstances of the case, and for which the circumstances of the case also provide authoritative enforcement. It is an object lesson in the science of secular morality.

But that, as I have said, is of course only school morality after all. We must have something better than that if I am to make good my contention that school life is essentially an object lesson in ethics. Well then, I venture to say there is [unclear: no] more fundamental principle in moral science than this, the duty of every citizen to obey lawful authority. In deed, the practical recognition of that principle in his daily conduct makes the good citizen, whilst, as to early life, the whole difference between a right minded youth and a larrikin is that the [unclear: on] has learnt this lesson of cheerful obedient and the other has not. But what, I [unclear: ask] the corresponding difference in the natural history of these two types of youth ? What shall we learn by studying the biography [unclear: o] each? What but this, indeed: [unclear: the] one is the product of the school and [unclear: the] other of the streets? The one has [unclear: lear] from his earliest youth the blessedness of obedience to his schoolmaster, the blessed ness of submission to wise discipline : the other has known no will but his own, and no law but his own selfish [unclear: impulmse] The school, then, is the natural nursery of morality, and cannot be anything short of this ae long as it is an efficient school. [unclear: O] again, what is the most prolific source of immorality, the fountain-head of evil, which breeds wrong-doing worse than anything else, wbnh makes its victim incorrigibly and hopelessly bad? Surely, before everything else, it is idleness, fully formed habits of indolence, a truth so obvious that it [unclear: ha] found a place even in the nursery rhymes [unclear: of] Dr Isaac Watte, from whom, 1 suppose, [unclear: w] all learnt in our childhood page 13

That Satan finds some mischief still

For idle hands to do.

Indolence, then, is immorality, whilst, on the other hand, industry, though not the whole, is certainly a very large part of morality. The place, therefore, where children are kept hard at work all day long and alt the year round, so that the most industrious habits are necessarily formed in them, so that mental activity is fully awakened in them, and even a love of hard work at last produced, that is pre-eminently the place where morality is taught. Nobody, I take it, can deny that, and nobody therefore can deny, who knows anything about our New Zealand State schools, That every one of them is, in the best sense of the phrase, a nursery of molality—a temple devoted to the god Work, and Work with a capital W, too. How often, in fact, does not every teacher now before me tell his pupils that his school is a workhouse, and must be treated as such, too, by all who come to it. But if this be so, surely the science and art of morality, so far from being absent from your schools, is the very first subject in your curriculum, the one subject you teach more than any other. In fact, should anyone he found of temerity so great as to affirm that there is no moral teaching in your schools, such a person must surely be in the unhappy plight of that man of whom it was said "he couldn't see the wood for the trees."

And that I am not alone in this view of the subject will appear plainly from an ejctrikct from that work of Professor Bain's which I quoted just now :—

The schoolmaster, in common with all persons exerising control for a particular purpose, is a moral teacher or disciplinarian, contributing his part to impress good and evil consequences in connection with conduct. For his own ends he has to regulate the actions of his pupils to approve and disapprove of what they do as social beings related to one another and to himself. He enforces and cultivates obedience punctuality, truthfulness, fair dealing, courteous and considrate behaviour, and whatever else belongs to the working of the school. Whoever is able to maintain the order and discipline necessary to merely intellectual or knowledge teaching will leave upon the minds of his pupils genuine moral impressions, without even proposing that as an end. If the teacher has the consummation of tact that makes the pupils to any depree in love with the work, to as to make them submit with cheerful and willing minds to all the needful restraints, and to render them on the whole well disposed to himself and to each other, he is a moral instructor of a high order, whether he means it or not.

Nor let it be replied to this that after all it is only what may be called the more prudential virtues that are thus necessarily taught in our schools, whilst the nobler traits of human character may at ill be left uncultivated in the children. Anyone practically acquainted with our school life knows better than that. As I have already said, school is a little world in itself, and consequently in its humble way provides exigencies involving the whole gamut of the virtues, so that the secular basis of each of them can in turn be easily demonstrated to the little citizens. Take, for example, the virtue of veracity. Surely it will never be said that no opportunities occur in school life for bringing the claims of this virtue to the notice of the children, or that teachers are at liberty to neglect such opportunities if they choose. How long would a school-master continue to give satisfaction to committee, parents, or Board who should allow a habit of mendacity to grow up in his school unchecked ? Even if we were to suppose, for the sake of argument, that neither the parents nor the committee of that school had any particular prejudice in favor of truthfulness as a virtue, we know that a teacher could not afford to be indifferent to the lack of it in his scholars; that the general prevalence of the vice of deceitfulness so demoralises a school that the ordinary work of the classes could hardly go on under that condition of things, the school would be bound to be inefficient and to be reported as such.

But, of course, the consequent inefficiency of the school in the contrary case is neither the only guarantee nor the chief guarantee we have that the virtue of veracity, and many another virtue also, will be duly instilled into our scholars. Although the test-tube of science has at last abolished religious tests as applied to candidates for the office of teacher in our schools, we alt know, and rejoice to know, that a high moral character is still demanded by boards of every applicant for the teacher's office. He must himself be a conscientious man in all respects, or the Board will have none of him if it knows the fact. Well, then, what teacher is there, himself a conscientious and therefore truthful man, would tolerate for an hour the vice of inveracity in any of his scholars? His determination would be inflexible to stamp out all such immorality as soon as it should come to his knowledge. And inveracity being, as we know, a fault to which children are especially liable, instances of it do from time to time come under the notice alike of the teachers and the school. Now, without going so far as to say that all teachers do their duty lit such times, we know aa a matter of fact That wise teachers—that all teachers, indeed, who know their business, avail themselves of every such opportunity for inculcating the virtue of truthfulness upon the whole school.

Nor, indeed, will it do, in view of what has already been said, to assert that the teacher is tongue-tied by the fact that the school is conducted on secular principles, that he can neither appeal to the fear of God nor the fear of hell fire in his pupils. If he cannot resort to these primitive arguments we have seen already that there ia another and a scientific basis for his teaching. He can show first that this particular virtue of truthfulness is absolutely essential to that mutual confidence without which neither school children nor citizens at large can live in society page 14 or carry on the work of life; and he can show, secondly, that in consequence of that fact a liar is held, not simply in abhorrence, but contempt by all the right-minded, whether juveniles or adults; that, in fact, an in veracious man is such a provoking and unsatisfactory person altogether to have to do with that no one will have anything to do with him if he can possibly help it, but that, on the contrary, the man who is found to be habitually untruthful is put into a State of ostracism and not tolerated in decent society at all. And finally, as school is a little community in itself, and governed, like the great world outside it, on the principle of rewards and punishments, the administration of which is in this case in the hands of the teacher, he can show practically that falsehood leads to suffering; or, on the other hand, that the boy who is courageous and speaks out the truth, perhaps at the risk of penalties, is a boy whom his teacher loves and of whom he is proud.

The point of my observations thus far is this : If what I have described is your daily experience, as we all know it to be, then morality, and that in all its developments, ie being taught in our schools, daily and hourly. You have the opportunity, you have the necessary philosophy, and you are armed with the sanctions of the law; you do your duty, and consequently the children are not only taught morality in these our secular schools, but, what is infinitely better, they are growing up into the likeness of moral beings by the course of action which they find themselves constrained to follow. They become virtuous from habit, and that because through long years they have never been permitted to do a vicious act unchecked. Nor must I omit to notice a third principle in operation in our schools, a third guarantee that they are the nurseries of the moral life. Not only have we, as I have shown, the necessity of morality to the efficiency of the school, not only have we the character of the teacher himself, we have also what is perhaps more powerful than either of these in the feelings which gradually spring up in the heart of the child towards the teacher with whom he is brought into contact day by day, the feelings of affection with which he comes ere long to regard the man or woman who formsthe sun of his little universe. Children on their introduction to school life soon come to learn that their teacher only loves those pupils who are morally good, and that settles the matter with them. They feel themselves beginning to love their teacher, and very much wish him to love them in return, and as the only condition on which this pleasure is to be enjoyed is by themselves becoming good, they begin, consciously and definitely, to aim at this, and so the moral life in them originates. Nor do I think that even that exhibits the whole of the case. The principle of imitation, so strong in children, especially where their affections are concerned, comes in at this point, contributing powerfully to the [unclear: resu] desired. How strong this principle of [unclear: im] tation is in early life my audience [unclear: wel] knows, especially the tody teachers, who [unclear: ma] have often noticed that the girls, if they [unclear: lib] their teacher, will even want to arrange their hair as Miss XYZ does hers. And to in [unclear: fy] more important matters, and universally the children want to be like their teacher and thus gradually become transformed [unclear: in] what he is already—a lover of goodness [unclear: f] its own sake, a scorner of moral evil [unclear: as] intrinsically loathsome thing. Wherever [unclear: th] teacher is a man of high character the school is necessarily a training ground for morality and nothing can make it otherwise. [unclear: S] true, indeed, is that statement that should there be a teacher with faculties so [unclear: humbl] that even the little modicum of [unclear: philosoph] I have stipulated for in this [unclear: address] wanting to him, even the school of [unclear: such] one will yet be the nursery of noble [unclear: cha] acter, provided he is himself the [unclear: possessor] the same.

And before I pass away from this subject altogether I must not omit, even at [unclear: th] risk of some repetition, to emphasise [unclear: dis] tinction with which all my [unclear: schola] hearers at least are perfectly familisr, [unclear: th] distinction I mean between teaching [unclear: a] training, and especially between [unclear: mo] teaching and moral training. As [unclear: you] know, this is the first principle to which [unclear: the] young pupil-teacher is called to give [unclear: hi] or her mind when commencing professional studies, the vital distinction, [unclear: he] is taught to consider it, between teaching and training. Naturally, therefore, in [unclear: th] presence to-night, and at this late stage [unclear: i] my discourse, I am not going to [unclear: dilate] the topic, or at least not further [unclear: than] make this assertion : that, whilst on [unclear: the] one hand teaching is of no use without training, so on the other hand [unclear: th] latter implies the former. Training is teaching, and something very [unclear: mu] more besides. It is teaching plus learning nay, it is even more than that; as [unclear: mu] more, in fact, as wisdom is greater [unclear: thu] knowledge. Training is knowledge [unclear: redue] to action, an assertion I will even [unclear: suppo] by an illustration.

I once knew a lady teacher—it wasn't [unclear: i] Southland—a teacher who was a university graduate, and had obtained her [unclear: degr] largely through her knowledge of ths science of chemistry. Now, as some of you [unclear: m] perhaps remember, I have always [unclear: had] strong predilection for ventilation in shcool buildings; I like to see the top sashes of [unclear: th] windows lowered a little way. The [unclear: ca] and the strap are not so much in requisition in those class rooms in which [unclear: the] sashes have a chronic quarrel with [unclear: th] lintel of the window, I have never had much difficulty either in [unclear: getin] this prejudice of mine indulged; indeed the only person who ever [unclear: persisted] opposing me on this point and [unclear: rigorou] excluding the outside air from her [unclear: cla] page 15 room was this graduate of the New Zealand University, who got her degree by reason of her knowledge of chemistry. Now, that is a beautiful illustration of the radical difference between theoretical and practical knowledge, between teaching and training, or, say, between giving a fine lecture on the principles of bicycle-riding and actually being able to ride a bicycle yourself.

Well, then, what we claim for our schools is this: that we give our children that practice in morality which constitutes training as opposed to mere teaching; that we don't so much hold forth to them on the duty of obedience to constituted Minority, we require them actually to obey constituted authority, day by day and hour by hour; if we don't draw for them pretty pictures of the abstract worth of industrious habits we do what is far better : we ensure the actual formation in them of industrious habits by keeping them always hard at work during school hours. Perhaps we don't say to them often "if you want to get on in life you must be punctual in keeping all your appointments; "but that doesn't matter as long as we insist on every child being present to the moment at the hour for opening school. And so on with the higher virtues. We are not contented with giving them an occasional homily on the necessity for honesty, modesty, and truthfulness, we check by very stern mea [unclear: ures] of repression all instances that come to our notice of the violation of these virtues. To accuse our system, therefore, of tailing to teach morality is not only to bring an unfounded charge against it, it is to show a misapprehension of the subject altogether. The charge may be agratuitous one, and yet our system may be culpable. The question should be not do we teach morality to our scholars, but do we impart a moral training to them ? And if we do that, and I have shown that we do, the other charge falls to the ground. The greater includes the less; right conduct on the part of the children implies moral tenching on the part of the schoolmaster and, in presence of the fact that our schools are the nurseries of right conduct, the charge of defect in moral teaching necessarily vanishes.

But what I am bent on showing is this : not merely that our school system is not defective in a most radical point, not merely that our schools are not inferior to those of preceding generations, but that in them the teaching of morality has now for the first time in the history of primary education been placed on its proper and most solid foundation. We do not excuse our school system before the world, we challenge for it the admiration and enthusiasm of humanity. When the New Zealand Parliament in the year 1877 passed this Education Act for establishing a national system of secular education throughout the colony, it in reality wrought a far greater work than ever it dreamt of. It aimed at accomplishing a great task, that of establishing a system of education that should embrace the whole population of the colony. As things have turned out, it has done that and far more. It has called the popular attention to a truth the knowledge of which was confined previously to the minds of the cultured few—viz., that morality is a science, a system founded on secular principles, the principles of sociology and human nature, and hence a system not at all necessarily dependent on theological considerations. It is only the ignorant and uneducated man who is incapable of teaching morality on a secular basis, a man who has never impartially studied the subject, whether in books or men—a man therefore who has no business at the teacher's desk in any case. It is a favorite fallacy of the pulpit that morality can only be properly based on theology, and that a secular system of education must necessarily be an immoral system; that even if it is not positively immoral it must be negatively so, in the sense that morality must be absent from its curriculum. Now, I repeat it is the glory of our Education Act that it has exploded this fallacy, and that "before all Israel and the sun"; it has strewn the land with institutions, each one of which is an object lesson in the science and art of morality, and that because in every one of them right conduct is expected from all the scholars; every one of them is a training ground in right conduct, in obedience to lawful authority, in punctuality, in industry, inveracity, in modesty, in honesty; in all the virtues, in fact, by which life in society is made possible for man. At the same time it ts all done on secular principles, and therefore I maintain that, by confining our schoolmasters to secular arguments, and forbidding the introduction into our schools of the theological element in any shape, the Parliament of 1877 achieved a task far beyond its ken at the time, and placed morality in the eyes of the whole community on that scientific basis on which it can be most efficiently taught. It is a change which involves, as a very few words will now show, not a loss, but a vast gain to the whole community. For, as everybody knows, and as I have already hinted, there is another way of teaching morality, a more primitive way, a method prevalent, indeed almost universal in the past, one, too, that many amongst us even yet much prefer, finding it an easier way, a way that comes to them more readily and naturally. Put into philosophical language it is this : they base their moral teaching on their theory of the universe. This, of course, is the theological method, the only method available when science was not, as it is still the only method available where science is not now. Man has been always predisposed to believe, what most of us, including myself, believe still, that there is at the baits of all things in this universe an intelligent principle, infinite, perfect, selfexistent, absolute, the Life of all things, and the Ruler of all things, the most glorious page 16 object of human thought. That is our hypothesis of the universe; that is the theory on which we solve the awful problem of existence. It is a theory highly probable in itself, and on behalf of which many cogent arguments can be urged, Now, on that theory, that hypothesis, it has been a very general custom in the past to base all moral teaching, especially in primiry schools. "You mustn't tell lies," said the teacher to his pupil, "because God will punish you if you do; you must always speak the truth, because then God will love and reward you." That, as you all know, is a very fair illustration of moral teaching as it has existed in the schools of the past. On the other hand that order of thought, though it is still possible in the moral teaching of the pulpit, the Sunday school, and the home, is forbidden, at least theoretically, in the State schools of this colony. The Education Act of 1877 forbids it, and throws the teacher back, as I have shown, on the first principles of social science—forces him, in fact, to teach the subject scientifically, and not theologically. "You mustn't tell a lie," he says, "because the vice of lying is fatal to human society, and even to the efficiency of the school. You must tell the truth, for only thus can you enjoy the love and honor of all the good, and especially of your own teacher. "That is the change, and in making this great change I maintain the Parliament of 1877 conferred an inestimable boon on this community, and, through it, on mankind at large. It has placed morality on firmer foundations than those on which it formerly stood.

The distinction, as you see now, between the two systems is this : The old method, the primitive method, the theological method, based morality on a hypothesis; a probable hypothesis, I grant: a highly probable hypothesis, if you like; a hypothesis that I myself accept. I believe in a moral governor of the universe, but it is a matter of belief with me, and with all of us, not a matter of knowledge, not a matter of certainty; it is a hypothesis, and, more than that, it is, alas ! an unverifiable hypothesis; unverifiable from the days of the patriarch Job to the present hour. "Oh ! that I knew where I might find him, that I might come even to his seat," says the patriarch. And as with Job, so must it be with all the sons and daughters of man for ever. The finite can never know the infinite; the relative can never know the absolute; the phenomenal can never know the real. To base your morality on a hypothesis, and anyway on an unverifiable hypothesis, is an inferior policy to that which bases it on facts—on the hard, stern, relentless facts of human life. To represent the laws of morality as the arbitrary utterances of a Being who transcends knowledge, when you might show them to be the necessary outcome of the circumstances in which man finds himself, is, to say the least of it, unwise; and to refer the enforcement [unclear: of] code to the action of an [unclear: intangible] when you might easily show that [unclear: the] a self-acting law, an [unclear: automatic] to the administration of [unclear: which] Nature conspires, is [unclear: something] short of culpable. It is culpable [unclear: to] the highest interests of society [unclear: to] uncertain and the contingent, [unclear: culpa] echo the cuckoo cry that the [unclear: moral] society is in danger as often [unclear: as] dogmatism of the churches is [unclear: attan] culpable, and more than culpable, [unclear: to] sent the fate of morality as [unclear: subject] fluctuations of that fight which science now carrying on everywhere [unclear: wit] theologies of the past, [unclear: Undoubtedly] suppose that the New Zealand [unclear: Parli] of 1877 was fully aware of the [unclear: mighty] with which it was dealing at [unclear: the] passed the Education Act would be [unclear: ab] it simply adapted what appeared [unclear: to] wisest course under difficult [unclear: circumsta] The faithful discharge of duty, [unclear: hov] is a proceeding ever fruitful [unclear: in] and on this occasion it [unclear: enabled] Slate to take a new [unclear: depart] mental development, to place morality more secure has is than before, [unclear: and] open the eyes of the community in [unclear: g] to one of the most profound [unclear: truth] philosophy. The colony [unclear: universally] been taught that the laws of [unclear: morality] the result of an arbitrary decree on [unclear: the] of any being, finite or infinite; [unclear: are] pendent for their sanctions [unclear: o] hypothesis of the universe, but [unclear: that] form a science built up on hard [unclear: facts] on the necessities of human [unclear: nature,] enforced by the primitive [unclear: instincts] human race. The idea that [unclear: morality] pendent on theology is now an [unclear: exp] error, one of the many [unclear: exploded] originally generated by human [unclear: ignor]

Plainly, however, I should be [unclear: leavi] subject in a very unsatisfactory position concluded my address without a [unclear: w] tow on the real relation of [unclear: religio] morality—if, having shown that [unclear: m] can be independent of theology, I [unclear: to] notice of the long connection [unclear: tha] actually existed between them. [unclear: w] then, does theology come in in [unclear: the] scheme of the universe ? What is [unclear: the] place of religion in the new [unclear: philos] We know there are those who [unclear: would] theology a place altogether in [unclear: the] order of thought, who [unclear: would] its long encouragement of [unclear: credul] eternal banishment from the mind [unclear: of] With such extremists, however, [unclear: we] never been able to sympathise. [unclear: To] seems that this is merely [unclear: shirki] final problem of existence, [unclear: and] (as Saint Augustine said long [unclear: age] human mind will never rest [unclear: satisfied] thought short of the Infinite. [unclear: "Our] is unquiet," he says, "until it [unclear: re] Thee." Religion, then, as [unclear: Mattew] has told us, is morality [unclear: touched] page 17 [unclear: otion!] Theology supplies the explanation of phenomena—only a hypothetical [unclear: planation], it is true, but all that we are [unclear: ar] likely to get, and one that has ever [unclear: en] consolatory to the human mind. In [unclear: present] divided state of opinion od the [unclear: object] it is impossible to touch upon it in [unclear: tional] school, but the difficulty, as we [unclear: ve] said, is uot present id the home, the [unclear: nday] school, and the pulpit. There, in [unclear: equence], it may be ahowu not only thai ciety works automatically for the vindica-[unclear: n] virtue, but, that it does so because [unclear: d] Himself is on the side of virtue, because [unclear: ciety] it God in action, and moral progress [unclear: elf] simply the necessary evolution of [unclear: ity] law not merely of the Divine Will, [unclear: t] of the Divine Nature. Theology may [unclear: us] made to supplement morality, and [unclear: t] both by the intellectual satisfaction it [unclear: ords] and the comfort it imparts to the [unclear: vout] mind. The child will see that [unclear: nscendental] ideas, with all the emotion [unclear: d] enthusiasm they awaken, work in har-[unclear: eny] with the secular philosophy he learns [unclear: school], and come as a reinforcement to [unclear: pport] him in his choice of the right, in [unclear: determination] to live the noble life of [unclear: lf] restraint and altruism. Theological [unclear: otion] go deeper than all others; there [unclear: work] and efficacy therefore in the [unclear: istance] which theology cao still render [unclear: the] cause of right in that spiritual [unclear: arfare] from which none of us can escape. [unclear: Morality] may exist without theology; it [unclear: id] so in Homer's time, and, as pessimists [unclear: think] may have to do so again. Most of [unclear: however,] are not pessimists; on the con-[unclear: ary] to us it seems that theology has its [unclear: phere] ae well as morality, and may yet do [unclear: oman] service in the good cauae of human [unclear: ogress.] If the preacher has but a [unclear: hypothesis] to offer, it is a hypothesis which [unclear: t] persons in the future as in the past [unclear: will] gladly accept—it is the ideal of virtue [unclear: corporated], enlisting the feelings as well as the intellect on behalf of that life of wisdom, that culture of the conscience, which alone can lead to happiness.

Without, therefore, saying aught to [unclear: little] claims of theology and religion, [unclear: those] august names which must ever [unclear: remain] sacred in the eyes of all the wise and [unclear: good,] I have shown, I think, that our [unclear: present] education system is founded on the [unclear: right] lines—is, in its principles at least, in [unclear: the] highest degree wise and beneficial, even [unclear: to] an extent far beyond the thoughts of its founders. A final question, however, is [unclear: whether] its present application of those [unclear: principles] the system is equally worthy of [unclear: limited] commendation; whether it is [unclear: perfect] in all its parte; or whether, like all other human institutions, it is not still [unclear: pable] of improvement. Such a question, [unclear: of], course answers itaelf, and it only remains [unclear: for] me to show the particular improvement [unclear: which] seems to me to be required [unclear: in] connection with the subject I have [unclear: treared] of at such length tonight. I have already shown that the daily routine of school life is a splendid training in the first principles of morality, especially developing that ready obedience to lawful authority which is at the basis of social well being. I have also called public attention to the circumstance, already so well known to school teachers, that incidents in the internal life of the school are continually bringing moral subjects, such as truthfulness and honesty, under discussion and so furnishing the teacher with an opportunity of inculcating conscientiousness in all these particulars on the school as a whole. Probably, however, it has long been clear to many of my hearers to-right, as it has been to myself, that something more even than all this is wanted in order to meet the full requirements of the case—something more systematic, something that would enable the teacher to work through the whole subject in order with each class separately in some simple, pleasant manner; that what we need, in fact, is a text book or reading book on the subject of morality, consisting, not of a whole national literature, still leas of some ancient Eastern, and therefore polygamous literature, with all its indecencies, but rather of a series of beautiful stories—stories, if possible, founded on fact, each one illustrating some important principle in morals, or holding up some virtue attractively to the youthful mind. Such a book, read in class two or three times a week, and that for the sake of the subject matter only, would supply the teacher with just those opportunities for discussing frequently and freely with his scholars the great principles of right and wrong, and the theory as well as the practice of morals, which experience has taught us it is bo desirable to keep constantly in the foreground of a child's mind. As we have already said so often, in the great sphere of the world human life is carried on on a great scheme of rewards and punishments, and what we as teachers have to do is to familiarise our scholars with this great truth in their school years t that when their childhood is completed they may go forth into the world with a full knowledge of this vital fact, with a full recognition of its supreme importance in relation to conduct, that so they may not need to learn it later in the stern school of bitter experience, but may be enabled to escape the evil and attain the good which life has to offer them, their minds already bent to choose for themselves that path of rectitude which atone can lead to happiness. Something of this, I know, already exists in our schools. The general reading book usually contains a few moral stories, and thus supplies in some sort the want I have indicated. Moreover, I am aware there are teachers who set apart an hour once a week, usually on Friday afternoons, to be employed, if the conduct of the school has been satisfactory during the week, in the teacher himself reading to the children some beautiful story which he has page 18 himself discovered in the course of his private recreations—say, the story of 'John Halifax Gentleman, or something similar. All this is well; but, nevertheless, the whole of it does not so fully meet the requirements of the case as not still to leave & strong necessity for a class reading book of the kind I have described to ensure the systematic study of the subject and a more complete discussion of its theory. Such reading books are already in use in Europe, and, were the editorship of such a work entrusted to some practical lady teacher amongst us, whether an M.A. of the New Zealand University or not doesn't matter, 1 am well persuaded an excellent manual of the kind might be obtained for our own schools.

And thus at last I reach the end of my address, aod will conclude by epitomising what I have already said :

When, in the year 1877, the New Zealand Parliament resolved on establishing a national system of popular education in this colony, two courses were open to it, It might have adopted the denominational system, which would have allowed of religious instruction being given in the schools in school hours, as in the past, without wronging anybody. Practically, however, this was impossible, as in the present divided state of opinion in the colony on the subject of religion the number of schools required would have been indefinitely large; in fact, altogether in excess of the resources of the colony. Only one alternative remained if the principles of civil and religious liberty were not to be violated; it was to exclude religious teaching altogether from the schools of the State. Naturally, however, in adopting this latter course the Parliament found its action disapproved of by a considerable portion of the clergy in the colony, who at once raised the cry they have persisted in ever since, that in forbidding religion to be taught the Parliament had banished the teaching of morality also from the schools. In this contention, as I have endeavored to show to-night, the ecclesiastics of the colony were laboring under a great mistake. They were simply misled by the popular error on the subject of moral science; they assumed, though they ought to have known better—they assumed that morals had no other foundation than the theological one, a fallacy contradicted by the whole history of philosophy from the days of the ancient Greeks to the present hour; contradicted, too, by the experience of the whole pedagogic profession, whose members, whatever their theological opinions, constantly appeal to secular considerations in enforcing school discipline. Some may not appeal to these exclusively, but all do appeal to them more or less. Recognising, therefore, the fact that each school is a little world in itself, repeating the great outside world in miniature, a microcosm in the midst of the macrocosm, school life see, necessarily furnishes admirable [unclear: ob] lessons in the theory and practice morality on secular principles. [unclear: Not] therefore, is it an error to say [unclear: th] is no moral teaching in our [unclear: school] there is that and something [unclear: infin] better as well, there is moral [unclear: t] ing, training in obedience, in [unclear: i] try, in punctuality, in [unclear: veracity], honesty, in modesty, and all the [unclear: hund] virtues required by social life. All [unclear: th] instead of being founded, as [unclear: represented] the past, on an un verifiable [unclear: hypothesis] shown to be based on the necessities [unclear: of] Life, being vital to its existence, [unclear: whilst] are backed up by natural and [unclear: secular] rities omnipotent to enforce their [unclear: cl] Our schools therefore are doing a [unclear: wor] behalf of morality superior and not [unclear: inf] to that of their predecessors. [unclear: They] forcing upon the whole social [unclear: commun] knowledge, hitherto confined to [unclear: school] that the true basis of morals is, and [unclear: al] has been, the secular one; the basis [unclear: of] fact, not hypothesis; the knowledge [unclear: t] the foundations of morality are [unclear: not] paired by changes in theological [unclear: opi] that the authority of morality [unclear: does] vary with the fluctuations of [unclear: theological] cussion; and they are thus [unclear: making] prosperity of society more secure [unclear: in] future than it has ever been in the [unclear: p] Plainly we have secured for our [unclear: school] principle that should kindle [unclear: enthusia] their behalf in every friend of [unclear: man;] teaching is an earnest of nobler and [unclear: happ] Lives for the human race in the ages to [unclear: co] the visions of the optimist may [unclear: yet] realised, and countless generations [unclear: of] Lightened and prosperous men and [unclear: wom] length banish from universal [unclear: memory] barbarism, the cruelty, and the [unclear: suffering] the past. And, finally, there is no [unclear: d] about it that those colonies which, like New Zealand, have instituted a [unclear: thoro] secular system of popular [unclear: education] done far more and far better [unclear: than] they intended at the time—they have [unclear: st] the world on a new and higher [unclear: platform] it has ever moved on before. [unclear: This] showed, you will remember, in one [unclear: respec] twelvemonth ago, when I pointed [unclear: out] our system requires us to [unclear: cultivate] intelligence and the reason of the [unclear: chili] the supreme mental faculty he [unclear: posse] the intellectual test of truth and [unclear: erro] knows no superior. The teacher in a New Zealand school is thus not called [unclear: upo] eulogise the principle of reason one [unclear: house] subordinate it to that of authority [unclear: the] but one consistent tone runs [unclear: through] whole of his teaching from [unclear: years] to year's end. His system [unclear: is] the result of a compromise, [unclear: that] stroyer of all enthusiasm; it is [unclear: buil] science alone, so that mental [unclear: activity—] saviour of society—will never be [unclear: de] welcome at its hands. My address [unclear: to-n] therefore, is but the supplement [unclear: of] page 19 address a twelvemonth ago, showing, as it does, that Reason is the universal arbiter, as applicable to conduct as to thought, as able to vindicate duty as to discover truth. And in view of these great ideas you will allow me, I am sure, to add the remark that I know of no higher work-none that can kindle your enthusiasm more, and summon every power you possess to your aid—than that which you, teachers of Southland—you, the army of Light, have chosen as your life's task. When entering on the poet I have now the honor to vacate I concluded my address, you will remember, by a reference to the Battle of Waterloo and the ever-memorable order given by the great Duke at the close of that awful day. "Advance ! the whole line !" he said; but that was not his last order given that night. As the shattered squares of the British fighting line obeyed the command and rapidly descended the long incline, which he who addresses you to-night has himself seen, and remembers so well, disorder not unnaturally arose in the ranks of the victorious army, and that indeed to such a degree that it threatened soon to become little better than an armed mob. On noticing this, as you may suppose, several English officers anticipated danger, especially in view of the fact that it was quite possible the French might yet make a final stand. One distinguished soldier in particular, Colonel Colborne, was so impressed by this idea that he actually halted his regiment and began getting his men into proper order. Not long, however, was the advance delayed; somebody had seen and understood the proceeding; the voice of Wellington himself rose above the confusion in terms which, I venture to think, are, mutatis mutandis, not inapplicable to the present position of the educational fight in this colony. What he then called to Colonel Colborne, referring to his enemy, I venture to say to you to-night in reference to your opponents : "Go on, Colborne, they won't stand." They won't stand.

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