SERMON BY THE EIGHT REV W. SADLER, BISHOP OF NELSON.
The Bishop cf Nelson preached two eloquent and impreEsive sermons on th> subject of the i ible in-diaie Schools on Sunday last. ;He eajd that Parliament was now us trial, and he demanded courtesy niid faithfulness to their t net of whom bad referred to the subject as -deviltry." and had denounced the &«gn 9M »J fanatics. The present system was not a .enutlve one, but h«d been tried for years and failed: The Bill for a referendum to allow the people to «p»ess an "P'mon on he pro posed measure, was now before the Hour c, and it behoved th.m all not to gi wout J expressions, but to pray earnestly that their rulers might be guided aright he«|de l,ber ations. The proposed measure would io.no way interfere with or add to, the present Bvllrbus. It merely substituted one reading lessoa for another with the noh*ot entry of authorised persons at a specified time, not at any hou; The four leading denomioationß -the Episcopal, Presbyterian, Wesleyan, and Salvation Army, were all in accord on the matter ; and 144.000 electors had signed cards pledging thrives o vote foiv£ »easure and asking for the referendum to be granted. If it would be a terrible oheok Gospel of Christ in this land, and the death knell of the national system. It ™sf range that the religion of Confucius, of Mahomet, of Buddha of Japan, might be explainedto our children, but that of our o»n race should be excluded The system had been tr-ed for nearly 50 years in New South Wales and Tasmama, for lesser periods » Western Australia and Queensland: in all of which it las been found to work admirably, and with excellent results. , . , , ._»i,,, e ! Throughout the history of the Church there have been many instances of enthusiiasts in religious matters. Such people have often been terriblypersecuted i «d were called fanatics. We now hear it said that they were guilty of "deviltry." lhe factoi'the matter is we can be enthusiasts or anything else but religion. For the wo yeari that-he had been in this diocese, be had never imputed motives to any opponent, and bad desired above all things that the truth should be brought to light. There was no need 'or such terms as bigotry, fanaticism, deviltry, and it was not Christian to indulge in suchl a.buso. The Church of England, f'getber with the Presbyterian.and Methodist Churches and the Salvation Army had come to an agreement with regard to the teaching: ot «*ild»n in State schorls. The question they had to decide was not; Have the people any right to determine the religious instruction of the child ? But: Have the people the light to determine the educaiion of the child ? But these two were inseparable. For the last twenty month* the Bible in Slate Schools League had »»»d before it a a finite scheme. The same scheme had been tested and proved m most of the Australian States for a great many yeara. In New South' Wales all sorts of Ministries have been tried ; either Liberal, Kef.rm, Labour, or a combination of two ofmoie ol them, and no Ministry ever dared to suggest an alteration of me Act. A thing was either true.or not true, and there was no need for abuse. The Act decreed that selections from the Pib c and Biblical history were to be read in school, ihe same as any other le*son. lhe iJiDie in State Sc ools League did not say whioh version it must be from. One might say that this was sectarianism. But they asked for the > ame right for all, and all denominations alike. The Koman Catholics and other sects nbould have precisely the same right that they possessed. This surely was not sectarian snv. Th \well mown oonsoience olau c also called a proßelytising clause, was drawn i p by none other than the Roman Cathoho Archbishop of Dublin. Under * conscience clause the subject of history need not in New * eal Th d eir e opposition ftl came from two sources (1) The Eoman Catholic Church This had made great sacrifices for its children. It would not have secalar education. It was logical in its conclusions, but it* justice failed n one place. The Roman Catholic Church claims a special State grant for its schools, a- d, because it oannot get this it says # We cannot get what we want, so you cannot get wmt you want." . . . • (2). The Defence League. On July 3rd, 1910, Joseph McCabe lectured in W- lima, ton on "Secular Education." He said "Some people believe that such a person as Jc-sus Christ did exist!" and other such things. As a result of, this meeting the Defence League was formed. Some of its assertions were absolutely false. ._,,.., w m ,, Qt The Bill is now before Parliament, The r-sult we leave in God a hands. We must thank Him for the magnificent work which Oinon Garland has done, in that 144,000 people of the Dominion have combined t-..g0 her to place the pressnt Bill before tne x-iouse. It is not the League which w,!l h\ >i-the right, to deal with this, but it is the public men who are put to trial. It is oui- LoaEted demteraey, and our ideas of common iustic which will now be put to the test. _, . We ought to obey God rather than men, and whatever the issue it is tae will or. boa. It is not a time for m to boast, but for earna c prayer for the country, for ourselves and for our children, and that God will uphold tl c right.