The Parents' Review

A Monthly Magazine of Home-Training and Culture

Edited by Charlotte Mason.

"Education is an atmosphere, a discipline, a life."
The "P.R." Letter Bag.

Volume 11, 1900, pgs. 62-63

[The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of Correspondents.]

Dear Editor,--Although I heartily approve of fostering a kindly, helpful spirit in our children towards those who are less happily placed than ourselves, I fear that by such letters as that in the October number of the Review we are in danger of letting them forget the spirit of the words, "Let not thy left hand know what they right hand doeth." There are so many little "hidden and unnoticed ways" in which children can learn to feel for others, that to parade their good deeds in public is unnecessary and apt to undo the good intended, at any rate to the donor. I feel this more strongly because I think the tendency amongst our young people of to-day is to overlook the work that lies around them in their eagerness to be helpful in the world. For my own part I find that encouraging nice manners and thoughtful ways toward the servants, the making of a frock or pinafore for the child of a former maid, the gift of a disused toy or a bunch of flowers to their poorer neighbours is enough to cultivate in the little ones the spirit which finds joy in the happiness of others.
A Mother.
Nov. 21st.

Dear Editor,--If any of your readers feel as I do the difficulty of securing really excellent instruction for their children in religious subjects, and are dissatisfied with their present standard, even though it may be entirely in their own hands, it is possible that the French Catechetical system, known as the "Method of St. Sulpice," may point the way to something better. In the matter of instructing their flock in the doctrines of their Church, the Roman Catholics set us a good example, and we might benefit by making ourselves acquainted with the very thorough and carefully worked out details of this particular scheme.

The "Method" was first started about 300 years ago at the Church of St. Sulpice, in Paris, but it was not until the year 1859 that Bishop Dupanloup, of Orleans, promoted it in his diocese by Conferences, which nine years later were expanded and published under the title of "The Ministry of Catechizing."

This work has been adapted to the requirements of the English Church by the Rev. Spencer Jones, Vicar of Moreton-in-the-Marsh, in a book called The Clergy and the Catechism, and the author kindly presented a copy to the P.N.E.U. Library in 1896, so that any member can apply for the loan of it if desiring to know more about it.

If we parents could train the generation now entrusted to us, in more defined ideas of theology, Bible criticism, Church doctrine, the history of our Liturgy and Prayer Book, the origin and succession of the heresies which arose in the Church from the earliest times; if we gave a reasonable amount of study and attention to even the rubrics of the Prayer Book and conscientious exposition of the Church Catechism, we should bequeath to our country a stauncher race of Churchmen, with a more united convergence of opinion in matters which now cause much controversy, and what is more important, with a rule of conduct in religious duty that would be based on principle and not dictated by the vagaries of inclination.

That the clergy should awake to their proper responsibilities as teachers of the young, and should discontinue to ignore the rubric which provides that they shall instruct and examine the children of the parish sent unto them, is a consummation devoutly to be wished. Even where this does not seem practicable, those teachers who feel it desirable to equip children with a reason for the faith that is in them, will probably find help in the Manuals published in connection with the Method of St. Sulpice. Messrs. Griffith and Farran, Mowbray and Skeffington can supply various books on the subject.
Faithfully yours, I. B. S.

Dear Editor,--I should like to call the attention of your readers to the notice of the Education Exhibition, under "Our Work." At the request of the Education Department, we have arranged for a lecture to be given by Mrs. Clement Parsons, on "Education as understood by the Parents' National Education Union," on Wednesday, January 24th, at 3.30, Rev. T. W. Sharpe (Principal of Queen's College, and late Senior H.M.I.) in the Chair. The lecture will be in the East Conference Hall, to which admission is free. It is hoped that many members will use this opportunity of introducing the work of the Union to their friends. The Hall holds 400. There will be an Exhibit from the House of Education in the Exhibition itself.

H. Franklin
Hon. Organizing Sec.
30, Porchester Terrace, W.

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