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to the judgment of the State compulsory, and then pay the expense out of the public treasury? Why stop half way with the work? The argument

which declares that the State should have a conscience toward God, and then give expression to it by religious instruction and worship in the public school, if good at all, is good to prove more than those who use it are willing to admit. Generalize their logic, and, unless they believe in the doctrine of Church and State, they at once abandon it themselves, notwithstanding their zeal for it in a particular application.

There is, moreover, no reason why the State should tax the people to teach a given system of religion to children that is not just as good to show that it should do the same thing in order to teach religion to adults. The latter need it as really as the former; and, hence, if the business of religious teaching belongs to the State, as a duty which it owes to God, then it should be done on a scale as comprehensive as the wants of the people. To confine the effort simply to children is to fall very far short of its whole duty. Carry out the principle, and this State conscience toward God will not. stop with the public school, but will extend to the entire people. It need hardly be said that this would most radically change the nature and purposes of our whole system of State governments. We do not believe that it is the province of the State, as such, to do the work at all, either in the

public school or anywhere else, and, hence, we reject as both false and dangerous all State consciences toward God that make the State a religious propagandist. Individual consciences toward God there should be. State consciences toward God, in the sense of giving to individual consciences the authority of law, there should not be.



Mr. Gladstone, in his work on "The State in its Relations to the Church," reasoning from the postulate of State personality, in distinction from that of the people composing the State, derives therefrom the doctrine of State religion as a duty. The kind of religion to be established by the State "must be that of the conscience of the governor or none." Though meaning the parliamentary and royal conscience in favor of the Church of England, he, nevertheless, admits that the same principle would equally apply to the conscience of a Mohammedan or Pagan prince. Not what is true, but what "the governor" thinks, furnishes the rule for a State religion. He must, of course, follow his own opinions, and, hence, place the seal of his authority upon the religion which he thinks to be true.

Some who have participated in the discussion of the School question in this country claim for the

so-called "majority conscience," as compared with that of a dissenting minority, just what Mr. Gladstone so strenuously asserted in behalf of "the conscience of the governor." They simply substitute the former for the latter conscience. In both cases the conscience is legal and official, and not simply advisory and argumentative.

Stated syllogistically, the argument stands thus: The majority ought to rule; those Protestants who demand religious instruction and worship in the public schools by reading King James's version of the Scriptures are the majority; therefore, these Protestants ought to rule. Nothing can be more conclusive than this reasoning, if we admit the premises. But if either premise is false or needs to be materially modified, then the conclusion is not quite so obvious.

There is no doubt that Protestants, taken as a whole, are much more numerous in this country than any other class of religionists; and in this sense there is no objection to calling it a Protestant country. Christianity under the Protestant form is the prevalent religion of the land. We should, however, bear in mind that Protestants, understanding by this term the church-membership of the various Protestant sects, do not embrace one-quarter of the whole population of the United States. If they were unanimous in the opinion that Biblereading and religious instruction should be had in the public schools of the country, this would by no

means establish the truth of the minor proposition in the above syllogism. It is well known that they are not thus unanimous; that large numbers of them adopt the theory of an exclusively secular education in any School system which the civil authority establishes, regulates, and supports by general taxation; that infidels and free-thinkers hold the same view; and that Jews and Catholics object to being taxed for the maintenance of public schools that are Protestant in their character or tendency. The public mind is greatly divided, and so is the Christian mind of this country divided, in regard to the School question; and what is the preponderant opinion of the people is very far from being settled. It will be time enough to reason from the majority conscience, as claimed by a certain class of Protestants, when the fact is established that this conscience represents the majority of the American people.

It is well also to remember that our public schools are not institutions of the General Government at all; but of the several State governments, under whose authority they exist. The majority conscience in New York State has nothing to do with the School question in Pennsylvania. It cannot overleap State boundaries without overleaping its own jurisdiction. At the most, it is a majority State conscience. And if the States, as is the usual fact, remit under general laws the management of public schools to local agencies, as boards of educa

tion in cities and trustees in school districts, chosen by the people, then this majority conscience narrows itself down to a city majority conscience or a school-district majority conscience, as the case may be. It does not even reach a whole State, to say nothing about the whole country, except by adding all these local majority consciences together.

Whether, then, King James's version, or the Douay version, or neither shall be used in the public schools would depend either upon the majority State conscience or upon that of local majorities. Hence, before the minor premise which we are now considering can be affirmed as the basis of a general conclusion in regard to our school system, we want to understand by a thorough canvass of all the States what the majority conscience really demands. We commend this item of statistical labor to those Protestants who assume for this conscience a specific character as the means of proving a corresponding conclusion.

It often happens that by simply changing the minor premise of a syllogism, while retaining the major, we not only entirely change the conclusion, but also reveal the true character of the latter premise. Take the following example: The majority ought to rule; the disciples of Thomas Paine, who demand that his "Age of Reason" shall be read and taught in the public schools, are the majority; therefore, these disciples ought to rule. Here we have the same major connected with a different

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