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Girard College

Brownson's Quarterly Review, April, 1849
Art. II. - 1. The Will of Stephen Girard, with a Short Biog­raphy. Philadelphia, 1848. Final Report of the Building Committee of the Girard College. Philadelphia, 1848. Ar­guments of the Defendants' Counsel and Judgment of the Suprtme Court, U. S., in the case of Vidal versus The Mayor, &c, of Philadelphia.    Philadelphia, 1848.
2. Reports of Cases argued and adjudged in the Supreme Court, January Term, 1844.
Seventeen years have elapsed since the death of Stephen Girard, the Philadelphia banker, who, having left France, his native country, in the humble capacity of a cabin-boy, succeed­ed, by his industry, enterprise, and good fortune, during a long life, in amassing many millions of dollars. It is very generally believed that deposits made by his countrymen, the white in­habitants of St. Domingo, in the intention of emigrating to the United States, which the subsequent massacre prevented them from reclaiming, formed a considerable part of his capital. His wealth, however it may have been acquired, gave him influence and importance in society, which generally estimates merit by the success which crowns exertion.

Quandoquidem inter nos sanctissima divitiarum
Majestas: etsi funesta pecunia templo
Nondum habitas, nullas nummorum ereximus aras.

Banks were unknown in the days of Juvenal : else he could not have affirmed that money was without temple or allars.   Of the modern worshippers of this divinity, Girard was one of the most devout.    lie was ever at her shrine, which he would not abandon even on the Lord's day, to kneel at the altars of the Eternal.    Yet he never formally renounced the Catholic relig­ion, in which he had been baptized, and, as we must suppose, instructed in his early years ; he occasionally professed, with a Frenchman's pride in a national inheritance, Je suis Catho-lique ; and although his death-bed was attended by no priest, and he departed unshriven and unabsolved, his friends sought and obtained for his mortal remains the privilege of interment in a Catholic cemetery.    It is due to those concerned to state that the interment was not accompanied by any religious cere­monies.
We are not disposed to deny Mr. Girard any praise which is due him, although we believe he was not at all remarkable for amiability of character, or the general charities of life. It is cer­tain, however, that, during the prevalence of the yellow fever in Philadelphia in the year 1793, he united with other citizens in the adoption of measures for the relief of the sufferers, and he is believed to have distinguished himself by his activity in their behalf, even at the risk of his own health. He also distributed from time to time alms to the poor, although not with a liberali­ty proportioned to his wealth. The disposition of his property which lie has made in his will is indicative of a humane feeling for the sick, and for distressed widows, but above all, for or­phans. He was not distinguished by tender attachment to his relatives, to whom he left but a fraction of his immense estate ; giving almost the entire sum to the city authorities for the improvement of certain localities, and especially for the erection of a college for poor orphans, and bequeathing no less than three hundred thousand dollars to the State on condition of the enactment of laws for the execution of his designs. The direc­tions which his will contains for the better order of the city po­lice, and for certain changes to be made in Water Street and on the wharves, are specimens of his peculiarity of mind. The de­tails of the College buildings show his confidence in his own judgment, and his unwillingness to leave any thing to the discre­tion of others, if he could possibly arrange it by his own fore­sight. The result has been in one instance no way creditable to his science, since the vast College halls, which he directed to be built with groined ceilings, are utterly useless for the pur­poses for which he designed them. " The reverberation of sound in these rooms, inconsequence of their magnitude and their arch-formed ceilings, renders them wholly unfit for use ; and unless a level ceiling is thrown in at the top of the cornices, or some other means adopted to destroy the reverberation, they can never be used for the purpose of school or recitation rooms." Such is the report of the architect who raised this splendid edi­fice. It is remarkable that the city councils, whilst thus scru­pulously exact in following out the plan, although advised of the defect, availed themselves of some loose words of the will, which gave them a certain discretion in points not deemed by the testator capable of specification, to surround the building with a magnificent portico, the columns of which added im­mensely to the cost of the structure. Hence the two millions, which Mr. Girard left for the erection of the building and for the support of the College, have been almost entirely absorbed in its erection ; and the residuary estate, which he allowed to be used in case of deficiency, becomes the sole resource for the support of the institution.
Although the mental capacity of Mr. Girard was chiefly man­ifested in the closeness of his commercial dealings, and his fore­sight and sagacity in money concerns, we cannot deny him the praise of having conceived a project of a noble and benevolent character, which, if unalloyed, would have deserved general admiration. He designed to erect a home for three hundred orphans, and furnished funds from which that number could be at all times supported. To this princely munificence, to use a European phrase, he added a provision for their instruction in practical science, so as to qualify them for the various stations which might be allotted to them in society.    The restrictions, with which he accompanied this generous bequest, take from it much of its grandeur, and give it the character of an experiment to train youth independently of religious influence. The ob­noxious clause is couched in these terms : u I enioin and re-quire that no ecclesiastic, missionary, or minister ol any sect whatsoever, shall ever hold or exercise any station or duty what­ever in the said College ; nor shall any such person ever be admitted for any purpose, or as a visitor, within the premises appropriated to the purposes of the said College. In making this restriction, I do not mean to cast any reflection upon any sect or person whatsoever ; but, as there is such a multitude of sects, and such a diversity of opinion amongst them, I desire to keep the tender minds of the orphans, who are to derive advan­tage from this bequest, free from the excitement which clashing doctrines and sectarian controversy are so apt to produce ; my desire is, that all the instructors and teachers in the College shall take pains to instill into the minds of the scholars the purest principles of morality, so that, on their entrance into ac­tive life, they may from inclination and habit evince benevolence towards their fellow-creatures, and a love of truth, sobriety, and industry, adopting at the same time such religious tenets as their matured reason may enable them to prefer."
There can be no difficulty in ascertaining the meaning and intent of Mr. Girard. He wished the orphans to remain stran­gers to religious controversy until their entrance into society. He professed no desire that they should be educated in a spirit hostile to revelation, which would dispose them to reject for ever revealed doctrines ; on the contrary, he supposed that they would adopt them, and only desired that their choice should be freely and maturely made, after their departure from the Col­lege. Within its precincts he wished no doctrinal teaching, but the purest moral discipline. By what standard this was to be regulated, and by what sanction it was to be enforced, he neglected to state. He seems not to have thought that the moral law, in its practical details, abounds with matters of con­troversy ; and that a law without a sanction, in the shape of a penalty to be incurred by the transgressors, is nugatory. He neglected to state whether the code of morals was to be deter­mined by the unassisted instincts of reason, or by the dicta of philosophers, or by the decalogue and other precepts of the Mosaic dispensation, or by the maxims of Christ as recorded in the New Testament. He forgot to say whether the highest rewards, with which its observance should be recommended, should be the approbation of the superiors of the institution, marks of distinction and privileges, with the hopes of a favor­able position on going forth from College ; or whether the glory of heaven should be painted to the orphan's imagination to stim­ulate him to virtue. He did not perceive that the future pun­ishment of sinners is a subject of vehement controversy, and that the harmony of sentiment which he wished to exist might be disturbed as well by a discussion as to the eternity of tor­ments as by adverse discourses on the Trinity or Transubstan-tiation.
We may appear unjust to the memory of Mr. Girard in charg­ing him with an antichristian design, especially as the highest legal authority has decided that such a construction of his will is inadmissible ; but we are not here concerned with the legal interpretation ; we speak of its plain common sense meaning. For the sake of our country, its institutions and laws, we are glad that the provisions and injunctions of the testator can all be literally observed in a way to defeat his professed object, and that Christianity is still recognized as the basis of our common law so far as to authorize the infusion of some portion of its vivi­fying spirit into an institution which was meant to exclude its influence. The orphans for whom Mr. Girard designed his College were to be chosen between the ages of six and ten, and were to remain in it until between the ages of fourteen and eigh­teen, to be trained in the mean time in morality, but kept free from doctrinal bias, so that after their entrance into society they might embrace such religious tenets as their matured judgment might prefer. Before this period their education was manifestly to be unchristian.
The heirs of Mr. Girard were led to believe that the bequest was assailable on many grounds, but especially from its appar­ent opposition to the Christian religion, which is the basis of the common law as received in Pennsylvania. Accordingly, a suit was instituted in the District Court of that State in the name of Vidai and others against the city corporation ; but the decision was adverse to the pretensions of the claimants. The case was brought by appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States, and was ably argued by Messrs. Jones and Webster on the part of the appellants, and by Messrs. Binney and Sergeant, as counsel for the city corporation. We regret that we did not preserve the papers which contained the arguments of the learn­ed counsel, since those urged by the appellants are omitted in the report published by the Trustees of the College.    We recollect well the impression produced on the public mind at the time by the eloquent tribute paid by Mr. Webster to Christian­ity, as the guiding star of youth, and the bond of society.   Had it been shown that the will was antichristian, not merely in its spirit and design, but also in its positive injunctions, the objec­tion might have proved fatal, unless indeed the Court, borrow­ing the principle of the civil law, should regard the irreligious restrictions as null, and maintain the bequest stripped of these odious appendages ; but the counsel for the corporation con­tended that the object of the testator was not to exclude Chris­tian influence from education, and at all events that  the provi­sions of the will could be literally complied with, without such exclusion.    This latter position was  adopted by the  Court, which also countenanced the benign interpretation of the intent of the testator.    In the absence of the Catholic Chief Justice, who was suffering from sickness, the eminent constitutional ju­rist, Mr. Justice Story, delivered the unanimous judgment of the Court, by which the validity of the bequest to the city is irrev­ocably settled.
In the motives of the decision, it is explicitly stated that re­ligious instruction may be given by laymen employed in this in­stitution, and that the Bible and other religious books may be used for that purpose.    "The testator does not say that Chris­tianity shall not be taught in the College.    But the  objection itself assumes the proposition, that Christianity is not to be taught, because ecclesiastics are not to be instructors or officers.   But this is by no means a necessary or legitimate inference from the premises.    Why may not laymen instruct in the general prin­ciples of Christianity as well as ecclesiastics ?    There is no re­striction as to the religious opinions of the instructors and offi­cers.    Why may not the Bible, and especially the New Testa­ment, without note or comment, be read and taught as a Divine revelation in the College, - its general precepts expounded, its evidences explained, and its glorious principles of morality in­culcated ?    What is there to prevent a work, not sectarian, upon the general evidences of Christianity, from being read and taught in the College by lay teachers ?    Certainly there is noth­ing in the will, that proscribes such studies."    Having quoted the injunction of Mr. Girard, that pure morals should be incul­cated, the learned Judge continues : " Now, it may well be asked, what is there in all this, which is positively enjoined, in­consistent with the spirit or truths of Christianity ?    Are not these truths all taught by Christianity, although it teaches much more ? Where can the purest principles of morality be learn­ed so clearly or so perfectly as from the New Testament ?" This legal interpretation of the will defeats the manifest inten­tions of the testator. If the Bible become a class-book, as is in fact already the case, it is impossible to restrict the inquiries of the pupils as to the doctrines which it contains, and religious opinions will necessarily be formed long before their minds are matured, as Mr. Girard expresses it. If laymen may instruct in the general evidences of Christianity, they may unconsciously bias their pupils in favor of special doctrines. Is it possible to inculcate the moral maxims of Christ, without indicating to the pupil his authority, whether he was a sage who drank deeply at the fount of reason, or a messenger from God to men, or a Divine person incarnate ? The doctrines which He taught will be inquired into by those who respect His moral maxims, and the conflicts of opinion may be great, notwithstanding the ab­sence of authorized instructors. But we rejoice that such is the legal construction of the will, and that the light of Christian truth, as well as the pure influences of Christian morals, may pen­etrate the walls of the College, despite of all the restrictions of the testator. In this sense we understand Mr. Joseph R. Chandler, President of the Board, who, in an eloquent address, pronounced on the occasion of placing the crowning stone on the main building, August 29, 1846, ventured to offer a solu­tion of the difficulty, which, however, is far from being satisfac­tory : " But is religious instruction, then, to be excluded ? Is the pupil of the Girard College, an institution directed by the councils of Philadelphia, to be kept in ignorance of a God ? of his duties towards his earthly companions, and his Heavenly Father ? God forbid ! I trust that a spirit of vital piety will pervade every lesson that falls upon the ear and the heart of the pupil, and that all the atmosphere of the place will be im­pregnated with the spirit of religious truth ; so that, if not the invigorating streams of Christian instruction, by the ministers of heavenly doctrine, at least the refreshing dews of grace, may be hoped for, from the constantly instructive precepts and exam­ples of those to whose plastic influences shall be committed the minds of the orphans, to be fashioned to the means of individ­ual usefulness, public benefit, and eternal happiness." This splendid verbiage can mean only that the light and grace of God can penetrate the walls of an institution from which His ministers are excluded. It offers no apology for the intolerant proscription ; it suggests no means by which the provisions of the will may be reconciled with the necessity of religions ministrations ; and is, on the whole, less creditable to the respected speaker than the significant silence of Mr. Nicholas Biddlc, on occasion of laying the corner-stone.
The Bill of Rights in Pennsylvania says : u All men have a natural and unalienable right to worship God according to the dictates of their own conscience and understanding." Judge Story remarked : u It is said, and truly, that the Christian relig­ion is a part of the common law of Pennsylvania ; yet it is so in this qualified sense, that its Divine origin and truth are admit­ted, and therefore it is not to be maliciously and openly reviled and blasphemed against, to the annoyance of believers, or the injury of the public." With these principles before the Court, we are somewhat surprised that the provision of the will which prevents the exercise of the duties of the Christian ministry within the College premises should not be deemed a nullity. Accord­ing to the almost universal belief of all sects, the ministry is of Divine institution, and some acts are so peculiar to it that they can be performed by persons of no other class ; there are also duties to be practised by believers which require ministerial aid. We can easily understand how ministers may be excluded from all offices in the institution, and may be denied the privilege of preaching within its walls ; but we do not conceive it compati­ble with the Bill of Rights to deny orphans the spiritual aid of the ministry in any circumstance when their conscience dictates to them that it is necessary.
There are duties of religion to be performed by youth as well as by those of advanced age ; and it should not be supposed that Mr. Girard meant to prohibit their performance, when dic­tated by conscientious conviction, for he has expressly enjoined that the orphans be impressed with a sacred regard for the rights of conscience. " I desire," he says, " that by every proper means a pure attachment to our republican institutions, and to the sacred rights of conscience as guarantied by our happy con­stitutions, shall be formed and fostered in the minds of the schol­ars." Among these is to assist on the Lord's day at the pub­lic worship of God celebrated by an authorized minister of relig­ion. Mr. Binney, the other counsel of the corporation, remarks that Mr. Girard " has not prohibited the trustees from sending the pupils to their respective churches, if they or their friends have any, without the walls." If this be done, much of the objectionable character of the institution would be removed. But if this privilege be denied the orphans who may demand it, how can it be pretended that the rights of conscience  are re­spected ?

In order to bring the institution into harmony with the public policy of Pennsylvania, and the spirit of our constitutions and of our age, and to harmonize the provisions of the will, it is not suflicient that a vague system of Christian ethics be taught in the College ; freedom of religious belief and practice must be ad­mitted. Did we hope that our words could have any influence, we would respectfully suggest to the directors of this institution, that, to secure the rights of conscience, the religious profession of the surviving parent of the orphan, or of other nearest rela­tive, should be marked on the College-books, and entire liberty allowed to such relative to place in the orphan's hands a cate­chism, or other doctrinal or devotional book, and to procure for him at suitable times religious instruction, outside of the College precincts. Mr. Sergeant, in his able argument before the Supreme Court, observed : " The Bible may be used, and so may all devotional and religious exercises which pious lay­men think conducive to the welfare of youth." Doctrinal dis­cussions, either by teachers, or between the pupils, may be pro­hibited ; but how can the rights of conscience be said to be respected, if the orphans be prevented from seeking instruction in the failh which they may prefer ? By denying to the parent, or relative, the privilege of providing for the religious instruc­tion of the orphan, even in the imperfect manner now indicated, every one who sets value on the Christian doctrines, as pro­fessed in the society to which he belongs, is debarred from the advantages of the benefaction of Mr. Girard, which he can enjoy only on sacrificing his religious predilections. The bounty is proffered on the condition of consigning the orphan to those who will studiously conceal from him the Christian tenets, how­ever earnestly they may inculcate a system of morality derived from the Gospel. Thus all conscientious professors, who hold the necessity in order to salvation of believing any revealed doc­trines beyond the existence of God, are denied the benefit of this charity. Catholics especially, who cling with so much tenacity to faith, and consider it the most precious treasure they can leave to their children, are placed in the necessity of foregoing any participation in an institution founded by one who was nom­inally a member of their communion. Is this the respect for the rights of conscience which the Pennsylvania Bill of Rights demands, and which Mr. Girard insists shall be inculcated by the teachers in his College ?

Notwithstanding the protestation of Mr. Girard that he meant no disrespect, the exclusion of clergymen, even as visitors, from the premises appropriated to the purposes of the College, indicates that he cherished a horror of all who appeared in a sacred garb, and repelled them as profane intruders from the favored seat of his power :
Procul, O! procul este profani,
Et toto discedite luco.
Yet here, in behalf of the orphans, and of all connected with the institution, we would invoice the application of the rule which determines the meaning of a particular clause by reference to the whole context and object. His design was to prevent doc­trinal contentions, for which purpose he would have no clerical professors or visitors. Visits with a view to inculcate religious opinions by occasional addresses on religious topics are plainly forbidden ; but did the founder mean that clergymen should be denied the mere gratification of treading the grounds attached to the institution ? The general principle, that enactments of a painful and odious nature are to be reduced to the narrowest possible compass, - odia sunt rcstringenda, - should be here applied ; and the term visitors taken in its technical signification, as official superintendents, or occasional instructors. Even if the words appear too definite to be explained away, they are so inconsistent with the spirit of our country that they should not be reduced to practice. Is it fit that any class of citizens be excluded from any public institution by a general ban ? Every American, surely, must feel mortified when he is repelled from one of the institutions of his country, merely because he is a minister of Christ. We know of a recent instance, in which an American gentleman, who had left the bar for the altar, present­ed himself in company with some ladies to visit the Girard Col­lege. One of the Trustees - a most liberal gentleman- met him at the gate, and told him that duty compelled him to exclude him, whilst the ladies whom he accompanied were admissible. A French clergyman, who with some strangers went merely to see the buildings, met with a similar repulse a short time before, and could not penetrate into the vast mansion which the munifi­cence of his countryman had erected. Was this truly the will of Mr. Girard ? If it was, it is too intolerant to be reduced to practice. The brother of the President of the College is, we are informed, a Presbyterian minister. Must he be denied the privilege of visiting his brother ?   In sickness and in death must the President be restricted in his intercourse with so near a rel­ative ? No high-minded man would purchase the office at such a sacrifice. Will the directors risk any thing by forbearing to inquire into the profession of their visitors whilst they do not attempt to preach, teach, or otherwise disturb the harmony of the institution ? This proscription is felt most in regard to the sick and dying, who may desire the consolation, advice, and aid of a minister of religion. Not only the orphans, but all the in­mates of the institution, will be deprived of religious succour in death, if the literal interpretation of the term be strictly insisted on. In the name of liberty of conscience we enter our protest against it. In Scotland, so long distinguished for its intolerant spirit, a Catholic clergyman, as well as any other, can now penetrate wherever his ministry is sought, and can call on the public authority to support him in the exercise of his functions. In the vicinity of the city of Penn, no clergyman is allowed to pass within the precincts of the Girard College, even although his ministry is called for by the dying. This should not be. If the orphans have forfeited their religious rights, on receiving the bounty of the founder, the President and officers of the in­stitution, and even the domestics, have rights which must be respected. The Trustees will deserve the thanks of all the friends of liberty of conscience by restricting the meaning of visitors to those who come to instruct in doctrine, and leaving the silent exercise of religion, as well as the intercourse of life, unrestrained. If they do otherwise, it is mockery to speak of the rights of conscience.
The ingenuity of Mr. Binney suggested a device for meeting this formidable objection. "The power of the Trustees, for the accommodation of the pupils, to erect an infirmary without the walls, is left by the will without restraint, either express or implied." Is there any probability, we would ask, that this power will be exercised ? Is it not cruel to leave so great a number of orphans in a state in which, if any of them be attack­ed by sickness, he cannot receive the aid of a minister of relig­ion, even for rites which the vast majority of Christians deem of imperative necessity ? The infirmary outside the walls has not been erected, and the suggestion of Mr. Binney, having served its purpose, is not likely to be attended to. With all deference to the high legal knowledge of the learned counsel, we would suggest that clergymen might be admitted to an infirmary within the walls, as long as no other exists, on the principle that the rights of conscience must be respected.    Whatever power Mr. Girard could exercise in regard to teachers or visitors, he had no right to interfere with the necessary offices of religion. The minister of Christ may penetrate into the deepest dungeon to give to the most abandoned culprit religious consolation, and may accompany him to the scaffold, to impart to him in death the pardon which human justice denies him. Shall the College walls be more impenetrable than the prison gates, and the dying orphan less comforted than the expiring criminal ? If Chris­tianity be, even in the most qualified sense, the basis of the law and policy of Pennsylvania, what spot in this free State can there be on which the exercise of the Christian ministry, in the imminent danger of death, is wholly prohibited ? Let the Bill of Rights, and the injunction of Mr. Girard of pure attachment to the rights of conscience, be present to the minds of the directors of this institution, and'they will find no motive for hesitation, when the dying orphan calls for the minister of religion.
It is a principle of the civil law, that immoral and impossible conditions in marriage contracts and wills should be disregard­ed. If this were applied to the will of Mr. Girard, the chari­table object would be attained, without inflicting on the orphans the calamity of an unchristian education. Understanding the testator as directing that they should be trained in moral princi­ples without any doctrinal bias, - that is to say, that they should be taught to be just, pure, temperate, and beneficent, without any instruction in the revealed mysteries as believed by any portion of the Christian world, - we hold the prescription to be essential­ly immoral. In inculcating morality, it saps its foundation ; it leaves it to rest on mere reason, without any supernatural sanc­tion ; it gives no standard by which it may be ascertained ; it points to no means by which it maybe practised. Whilst profess­ing zeal for morals, it levels a deadly blow at them, by depriv­ing them of the support of religion, which alone can declare with certainty what is lawful and what is forbidden, and furnish aid to fulfil that which is beyond the natural strength of fallen man. It may be contended that Mr. Girard did not mean to exclude religion from the home of the orphans, but sought only to prevent strife and contradiction. His words clearly show that he wished them to remain free from religious predilections until they should enter into society. It is plainly immoral to leave youth without religious guidance and aid until such an age, since the passions will necessarily become excited, as the human body acquires strength and develops itself, and the untaught youth may ask himself to no purpose how he can repress the tumults in his veins. Besides, the injunction is impossible to be executed. In order to prevent the doctrinal collisions which shocked his imagination, it was not enough to exclude religious instructors, whose office binds them to incul­cate doctrinal views ; all the professors and inmates of the insti­tution should be rigorously bound to observe the strictest silence on all differences in doctrine ; the Bible, which is the great field of controversial strife, should have been excluded from the schools ; and all books treating of doctrine, whether incidentally or professedly, should have been kept out of the hands of the orphans. In whatever way they may become acquainted with the varieties of Christian sects and opinions, they may form their own views, and enter into society with prejudices as strong as those of persons familiar with the discordant sounds of the pro­fessed ministers of the Gospel. There is only one way of pre­serving the minds of youth from doctrinal collisions : it is by instructing them in the truth as it is in Christ, - as taught by the Church, which is the pillar and ground of the truth.
We are far from seeking to introduce the Catholic religion into this College as a general standard ; but we have a right to demand that its professor be not virtually excluded by the re­strictions put on the practice of religious duty. Catholic or­phans should not be denied admission, unless they consent to peril their faith, and forego the exercise of their religion. Cath­olics should not be deprived of a share in the offices attached to it, unless they consent to run the risk of dying without bene­fit of clergy. We ask no liberty to teach or propagate our doc­trines within the College, although we cannot understand how the Divine commission to preach the Gospel to every creature can be restricted by the will of a wealthy banker. We do not seek to erect our altars on the unhallowed spot which he desired should be trodden by no minister of God; but it is our duty to give the Christian sacraments to those who seek them at our hands, as they have a right to demand them. To restrict them, or us, in the peaceable exercise of these Christian rites, is to trample on the manifest rights of conscience.
We have written this article from a sense of the injustice done to Catholics especially, by the construction practically put on the will of Mr. Girard. The directors of the College have adopted the Protestant version of the Bible, and have thus vir­tually made it a Protestant institution. Protestants feel little difficulty in placing their children there, because their latitude of sentiment contents them generally with a vague doctrinal system, particularly when it is united with good living, that is, with all those earthly comforts which are needed for our bodily well-being.    Protestants eagerly seek and cheerfully accept office in it, since they are not generally under a strong feeling of con­scientious duty to avail themselves of the aid of the ministry in life or death.    Faith alone - reliance on Christ - will, they believe, save them, without ministerial interposition.    The in­stitution was designed to be unchristian ; it is now Protestant. There are, indeed, in it some few children of Catholic parents, whose surviving parent or relatives have not paused to reflect on the guilt of abandoning the orphan to infidelity or Protestant­ism, for the sake of some worldly advantages.    There is one Catholic among the teachers of a secondary rank, and perhaps some others in inferior employment, who most probably have not calculated on their being denied the last rites of religion, if death should assail them within the walls of this establishment. It is right that the public should know these facts, and that the directors should be held responsible for the practical construc­tion which they have given to the will, defeating without scru­ple the intentions of the testator, to the prejudice of that body of Christians to whom he should be supposed to have enter­tained no hostile feeling.    It may seem that a review is not the most suitable medium to procure a remedy; but it were lost labor to address the city councils, or the directors of the Col­lege, who, although all honorable men, cannot understand the conscientious scruples of their Catholic fellow-citizens on mat­ters connected with education.    The management of the public schools continues to be the same, notwithstanding the efforts made to obtain due consideration for the religious scruples of the children of Catholics.    If there arise not among Protestants some generous man, whose rule is not self-interest, public preju­dice, or  momentary expediency, Catholics cannot hope lor equal justice in any department, until their numbers may force the respectful consideration of their rights.    Yet we do not de­spair that such an advocate will be found, whose talents will be employed  to enlighten public opinion, and to obtain merely what we seek, - that conscience may be subject to no restraint, and that the child or the adult may, in no public institution, or in private, be compelled to do that which he conscientiously scruples, or be withheld from performing that which he feels bound, to perform.