Изображения страниц



more than many public school boys. No one is a keener critic of its affectations, and even of mannerisms. All these facts may help as guides. Parents ought never to forget them. If then, religion is to be made operative for the normal English youth with growing capacities and increasingly complex psychology, it will not be a religion expressing itself in any great outward show of feeling. Above all, appeals to excitement at the time of adolescence must be avoided. Even moral dangers lurk in their wake. Efforts at religious emotionalism at that age are an error, and may easily prove disastrous error. To

what is needed—a religious atmosphere, objective, natural, but universal and penetrating—the experience of the world, concentrated in the life of the Catholic Church, is unrivalled. The system of the sacraments, if made real and central, will make religion as natural to the boy or girl as the air they breathe, i.e., they will take it for granted. This will avoid the danger of a religion mainly subjective. It will embrace the normal youth no less than those with marked religious temperament. In its continued presentment of grace, whether in Confirmation, Penance, or in the Holy Communion, it will afford precisely the help he needs in moments of stresswithout any fuss—and it will guard him from further perils alike of self-sufficiency and of despair. Christ will be there without any peculiar effort, and no boy wants to be peculiar. Apart from this you can have genuine religion, and of a high order. But it will be the religion of a few. A religion without institutions, sacraments, discipline, entirely of the inner life, spiritual in the narrower sense, will not be easily grasped by the average youth at the time when bodily development is rapid and the world is all before him. It must result inevitably in a small class, a spiritual élite, with the rest, the profanum vulgus, outside, the majority indifferent or unbelieving. All systems which reduce religion to mystical states or to subjective feeling are oligarchic.

That has been true of every phase of Puritanism—which is an eternal temptation of the pious. The system of the sacraments then is to be natural to boy, so that he may feel in the Church

of God the home of the soul. For their end to be reached the life of his own home is of capital importance. Upon his father, no less than on his mother, will depend whether he sees the sacraments inwoven with the texture of daily life, or whether they appear as a rare adventure, or a hard duty. I am persuaded that only through this strong social and sacramental system of the Church can we expect religion to become real to the normal boy with bodily powers developing and his perceptions laying deeper and deeper hold on the world of sense. This, too, will prevent the religious-minded boy being self-centred. Above all, it will avoid the supreme danger—that of making religion into sentimentalism. Facilis decensus Averni. Easy and alluring it is to attract to religion youth of a certain kind of temperament by the soft side. 'He gets hold of a boy for religion on his weak side,' said one to me in condemnation. The worst of it is that this method is often successful. It acts on the kind of boy who needs not so much subjective stimulus as a robust sense of reality, and it acts by refusing what he needs and supplying what he wants. It may be successful with any kind of boy in certain moods. This generation has a hatred of sentimentalism. It is so deep that it amounts to sentimentalism on the other side. Nothing is so likely to disgust the young with religion as an attempt on the part of older people to make play with the Victorian appeal to sentimentalism. Let us shun it like the devil. Here then, is the first duty of the parent to make religion natural and not to make it sentimental. The method of this is a full reliance on the positive sacramental system, and the idea of a great corporate society and a real historical synthesis. This is but the beginning. Secondly, religion must be seen to be a thing of joy. If youth is to care for religion it must cease to be a dismal thing. That is what it is to the majority, whatever it is to you and me. Too long have the British people and its historians and its interested politicians done homage to Puritanism, an idol, not of the market place nor yet of the cave, but of the holiest of holies, the temple of God in the soul of man. Even when, to-day, the nobler Puritanism has gone, or almost gone—that ardour of its pursuit of God, the flight of the alone to the Alone, the grand insistence upon duty, the fearlessness of its discipline, its fire and sacrifice -there still lingers around English religion a certain aroma which is its final legacy; and that in places which reject the name. Gaiety of heart and religion ought to dance together.

Yet to many the religious person is feigned still as screwing his pursed lips into 'No, I disapprove.' Our modern youth is generous, lavish in self-sacrifice, but it is avid of joy. The Christian Church will have no place in its scheme unless it appears as a thing of joy. To us who know her, the Church, as has been well said, is the greatest treasury of joy in human history. That is not the impression she makes on men at large, even upon communicants. If youth is to be won for Christ he will not be deterred from that allegiance, rather will he be attracted because it is hard and means the Cross. But he will be deterred if religion comes to him mainly in negatives. Here again, parents have the remedy in their own hands. If they think or speak of religion as a bore; as a dull duty, how can you expect their sons and daughters to find their joy therein ? So long as religion is presented as the corner stone in the temple of respectability it cannot be joyful. Let them hear more of the saints, not of the saints of popular misapprehension-anæmic, languorous, inhuman—but the saints as they - humorous, statesmanlike, quarrelsome, chivalric, adventurous, and always unexpected. It is a good practice to have half-holidays on the Feasts of Saints. Lastly, religion must be seen to be instinct with the real interests and living forces of the world; our world, the modern world, not the ancient, the mediæval, the seventeenth century beloved age, or the Victorian, but ours. One complaint of your modern religion is that it is an exotic, an interest selfabsorbed, ministering to certain states, embodying a beauty of historical culture, fragrant like the scent of an old garden, reminiscent, suggestive, devotional, but to the mass of men detached, occult, turned away from the effectual movements of men's life. This is not all true, but some Church circles and people make

it seem as if it were true. Religion must take account of all the critical and intellectual results of the day. It is concerned with the highest culture. One reason why that is not always said is that many of us take it for granted. To tie Christianity down to the history or cosmogony of the Old Testament or to the genuineness of i Peter or the Johnannine authorship of the Fourth Gospel, seems to us so ridiculous that it seems hardly worth saying so. But it is very much worth saying so when you have to do with growing youth, which is at this age extremely literalist. Some help must be given to the elder boys, and even more to the girls, by way of an authoritative apologetic. The Catholic Church has a magnificent cumulative case-historical, psychological, philosophic, social and personal, intellectual and practical-a case which can be stated to anyone. All will not accept the case, but all educated people ought to know it. And all educated people ought to know something of the critical analysis of the case of our opponents. Half of apologetic can well be employed in knocking the heads together of the various substitutes for Christianity, agnostic, positivist, theosophic, atheist, unitarian. So soon as a. youth gets to college, if he be at all of the scholar type, he will encounter an active and relentless and skilful propaganda—that, too, at a time when the kingdoms of the world and all its glory are opening before him. There is a strong tendency at that age to see all the good a man can need in the pursuit of human culture. Also there is the natural drift of the young in any age to throw over the conventions of its immediate predecessor. If the youth is to encounter this with any prospect of success he must be provided with something more efficient than the ordinary Confirmation preparation and the perusal for examination purposes of the Cambridge Bible for Schools. Moreover, this process begins at school. It does not do to wait till the 'freshman’ years; elder boys at school do not live in the dark. If you doubt this, read that convincing work · The Loom of Youth.' Surely a little effort ought to be made to prevent the shipwreck of faith before they are old enough to know what they are losing." What do our readers say to such views as these?


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]



[ocr errors]

MISCELLANY. “ The Times History and Encyclopædia of the War,” printed and issued in weekly parts by the Times Publishing Company, Ltd., Printing House Square, E.C. (price, 8d. net each number), is serving a great patriotic purpose. We would particularly direct attention to Part 177, Vol. 14, for January 8. It is devoted to a consideration of " The War and National Education,” The cover bears a striking portrait of Mr. H. A. L. Fisher, our Minister of Education. There are numerous fine illustrations of scenes relating to child welfare and educational work in war time. The text is informing, suggestive, and a stimulating contribution to constructive educational endeavour. Every teacher and all workers for child betterment should make a point of securing a copy of this highly instructive and serviceable number.

Dr. Walter S. J. Peiris, of Colombo, has sent us a booklet which is perplexing to an English reviewer, for it is printed in Cingalese. It bears the title of “Hints on Mothering and Rearing of Infants," and we gather that it is a Handbook and Directory for Expectant and Actual Mothers. Such a little manual should be of much assistance in furthering the cause of maternal and child welfare among the native population of Ceylon.

The American Library Association, 78, East Washington Street, Chicago, U.S.A., are placing all librarians and book lovers under a heavy debt by the periodical issue of “ The Book List : A Guide to the Best New Books.” This periodical is issued monthly, except in August and September (annual subscription $1), and has been adopted in America for State use by the League of Library Commissions. It is not only a valuable bibliography, but a reliable guide to the most serviceable works among new publications.

“ History : The Supreme Subject in the Instruction of the Young," by Frederick J. Gould, published by Watts and Co., Johnson's Court, Fleet Street, E.C.4 (price 3d.), is a suggestive essay which we commend to the consideration of teachers. The author holds “that history, understood in a broad, liberal and modern sense, can be, and should be,

treated as the supreme subject in the instruction of the young, and that the studies, exercises, and activities which have figured as subjects' in the timetables of the past can be grouped around, and connected with, this supreme subject.” Mr. Gould claims that “the aim of education should be the service of family and commonwealth, based on industry, inspired by history, and perpetually responsive to the claims of the whole circle of humanity.” The scheme which this essay explains deserves fullest consideration, free from bias and all prejudice. Mr. Gould will be glad to receive expression of opinion if sent to him at ‘Armorel,” Woodfield Avenue, Ealing, W.5.

“ The Thistle Souvenir Book (No. 2) in Aid of N.U.W.S.S. Scottish Women's Hospitals for Foreign Service” is issued from 16, Lynedoch Crescent, Glasgow, W. (price is. 6d. net), and forms an attractive collection of articles, pictures and other items contributed by well-known men and women. The frontispiece is a striking reproduction of Robert Gibbs's fine war picture, “ Communion at the Front.” Among the contributors are W. Pett Ridge, Marie Corelli, “Taffrail,” J. A. Hammerton, Mary Stuart Boyd, John Fergus, John Geddie, and Mrs. F. A. MacCunn. We advise our readers to lose no time in getting a copy of this war-time collection of good things and so serve a worthy cause.

The Leicester Head Teachers' Association have recently published a suggestive brochure with the title, “An Educational Programme" (price 6d.). It is the work of a special representative committee appointed “to review the work of the primary schools of Leicester, and to consider what steps should be taken, by a closer co-operation with the local education authority, for furthering primary education in the town, and for the physical, moral and intellectual welfare of its children." The Report presents in diagramatic form a school system, and a practical scheme is outlined. We would particularly direct attention to the helpful suggestions formulated in the section on Child Welfare. The example of Leicester might well be followed by other towns, and

commend this helpful “programme” as serviceable model.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Copies and all particulars may be obtained from the Hon. Secretary, Mr. A. J. S. Cannon, 97, Winchester Avenue, Leicester.

Workers among adolescents would do well to procure copies of the “Liverpool Handbook of Organizations for Boys, 1917-18," and the “Liverpool Handbook of Organizations for Girls, 1917-18,” issued respectively by the Liverpool Union of Boys' Clubs, and the Liverpool Union of Girls' Clubs, and published by Messrs. Gledsdale and Jennings, Ltd., 29 and 31, North John Street, Liverpool (price 3d. each). These practical handbooks provide particulars of agencies for welfare work among boys and girls in the City of Liverpool, and might be taken as models which other cities and large towns should speedily imitate.

The General Education Board of New York City, 61, Broadway, are accomplishing valuable educational services by the issue of “ Occasional Papers.” We have received copies of the latest issues. No. 5, by President Charles W. Eliot, is on “Latin and the A.B. Degree”; No. 6, by Viscount Bryce, 0.M., is entitled “The Worth of Ancient Literature the Modern World."

The Archives of Psychology, edited by R. S. Woodworth, is issuing, as “ Columbia University Contributions to Philosophy and Psychology," a series of monographs which will be of value to educationists on both sides of the Atlantic. They are published by the Science Press of New York, and may be procured in this country through Messrs. G. E. Stechert and Co., 2, Star Yard, Carey Street, London, W.C. We have received copies of No. 39, “ The Mechanism of Controlled Associations," by Mark A.

May; and No. 40, "Recitation as a Factor in Memorizing," by Arthur I. Gates, Ph.D.

From Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass, U.S.A., come two monographs of interest to educationists. The one “Scales for the Measurement of English Compositions," by Frank Washington Ballon, Ph.D., Director of the Department of Educational Investigation and Measurement in the Boston Public School, is published as No. 2 of “The HarvardNewton Bulletins." The other provides “A Descriptive Bibliography of Measurement in Elementary Subjects," and has been compiled by a number of wellknown educational experts. It is issued as one of the “Harvard Bulletins in Education,” continuing the series begun as “ The Harvard-Newton Bulletins.”

The Eagle and British Dominions Insurance Company, Ltd., 3, Old Broad Street, E.C.2, have issued in particularly attractive and artistic binding a charming illustrated manual, “ Links with the Past.” The work has been skilfully prepared by Mr. A. F. Shepherd, and Mr. E. Coffin has provided a series of dainty sketches. There are also numerous excellent reproductions of photographs. The book is a notable chronicle of the development of insurance enterprise, and also supplies biographical data and historical references which all lovers of London and admirers of its enterprising citizens will know how to appreciate.

The Carnegie United Kingdom Trust have just issued Vol. III of the “ Report on the Physical Welfare of Mothers and Children." It is entitled “Scottish Mothers and Children,” and has been prepared by Dr. W. Leslie Mackenzie. We hope to give a lengthy notice in our next number.


[ocr errors]


In this section are inserted records of the progress of Child Welfare Work as carried out by various

State Services dealing with Health, Education, Industry, Delinquency, Defectiveness, and other questions relating to the care and control of the young. We shall be glad to receive copies of reports and all other official publications as soon after issue as may be possible.


In view of the continuance of war conditions Lord Rhondda has issued particulars of a model municipal scheme for securing an adequate milk supply for young children. The following appeared in the official National Food Journal for January: The Ministry of Food, in anticipation of a shortage of fresh milk, purchased some months ago large supplies of full cream dried milk suitable for infant feeding. Medical officers of health and secretaries of infant welfare centres have been informed by a circular letter that they can obtain this milk for distribution to children at cost price, and many have availed themselves of this supply. Recently, several local authorities have taken steps to ensure a sutticiency of milk for young children by the initiation of priority schemes of milk distribution under Clause 9 of the Milk (Prices) Order. These priority schemes have been in most cases organized by the local food control committee, in co-operation with the public health committee of the borough council. The priority instructions now issued by Lord Rhondda in a letter to local food committees are accompanied by a model scheme for adoption by those municipalities who have not yet made use of their powers in this matter. An interesting example out of many recent proposals with regard to milk supply in connection with infant welfare, more especially among children of the poorer class, is that put forward by the Public Health Committee of the Lewisham Borough Council. posed scheme is designed to secure priority in the supply of fresh milk to mothers, invalids, and young children, and, in the case of necessitous persons, to provide milk at a reduced price or even free. The Medical Officer is of opinion that a sufficiently wide interpretation can be given to the word “ necessitous” to enable him through the health visitors and in

fant welfare centres to supply all those really needing milk and unable to obtain it through the ordinary channels. Applications for milk must be signed by the Medical Officer of Health, the medical officer of one of the infant welfare centres, or by a general practitioner. Cards showing the weekly allowance of milk allotted will be issued to the applicants, who will present them to the dairyman chosen by the Health Committee. All milk will be fetched from the dairyman's premises, and the amounts supplied marked on the card. The excellent organization for infant welfare available in Lewisham will no doubt contribute to the successful working of a scheme of this kind. There are six whole-time municipal health visitors and five voluntary infant welfare centres working under the direction of the Medical Officer of Health. Next March a municipal centre will be opened, and an assistant medical officer of health will be appointed to supervise all the centres --voluntary and municipal. Every inducement will be given to the mothers receiving milk for their children to bring them to the infant welfare centre, where their health and progress can be watched. Supervision of children who are not brought to the centre will be undertaken by the health visitors. Municipal provision for infant welfare exists in nearly every part of the London area, and in many cases schemes for the provision of milk, similar to those just described, are already in existence or are in preparation. Under the Ministry's model scheme priority tickets will be issued only to the following classes : (a) Children up to 5 years of age; (b) any person holding a qualified medical practitioner's certificate to the effect that such person is entitled for reasons of health to a certain specified quantity of milk per diem; (c) any class of persons medically recommended. The amount of milk to be supplied will be : (a) For children, not more than it pints

The pro

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »