Home Site Map Back
Source: The Illustrated London News, May 1, 1852
On Tuesday week, April 20, the inauguration services of the Training Institution of the Congregational Board of Education took place at the premises of the board, in Homerton, and were most numerously attended. The proceedings, after the introductory services, were opened by an inaugural discourse by the Rev. John Harris, D.D., Principal of New College, London. This was Dr. Harris's first appearance in the field of education on the principles of the board. Mr. Samuel Morley, the treasurer, presided, and conducted the business with characteristic spirit and urbanity. To a considerable extent the chief localities of England were represented by the company; and the mighty metropolis was not wholly wanting. Dr. Harris's oration was the object of intense and universal admiration. The rev. doctor drew attention to the leading characteristics of the movement which led to the present result, showing the objects to be education, the special training of the educator, education inseparable from religion, religious education sustained by voluntary or social benevolence, parental responsibility, and the rendering of the day-school auxiliary to the Sunday-school, and especially to the Christian Church. Such are the heads of the oration, which is reported in full in the British Banner of April 21. At the close of Dr. Harris's address, a hymn was sung; and the Rev. John Kennedy concluded the service with prayer. The company then dispersed In groups over the buildings, minutely inspecting the school premises. The entire arrangements frequently called forth expressions of the highest admiration. Au excellent cold collation was provided in the College at three o'clock, which was served in two of the largest rooms in the building; Samuel Morley, Esq., presiding at one table, and John Crossley, Esq., at the other. The tables having been removed, both parties assembled in one room, and the business of the day proceeded, under the presidency of Mr. Morley, who, in his introductory address, stated, as a most hopeful circumstance, that they had been able to purchase and extend the building in which they were then assembled at a coat of £10,000; and that they took possession of it without one shilling of debt. The chairman concluded by tendering the thanks of the meeting to Dr. Harris, who acknowledged the same, characterising this voluntary project as one of the greatest movements of the present age. The company were then addressed by Mr. Milligan, M.P.; Edward Baines, Esq., of Leeds; Josiah Conder, Esq.; Dr. Campbell, Dr. Cox, and Professor William Smith. Mr. Conder alluded to the many pleasing reminiscences connected with Homerton College, and the joy which would be generally felt that the building had not become alienated from the congregational body. It would be consecrated to purposes quite in harmony with those to which it had been devoted for nearly a hundred years. (Hear, hear.) He strongly advocated religious education, bringing forward instances in proof of its great superiority over any mere secular system. He was an old warrior in the cause, and it was his duty to oppose the bill of Lord Brougham...