Page images
[ocr errors]

professor of religion, that what the mammon of unrighteousness," the scriptures chicfly intend by Luke xvi. 9. and“ being rich togood works, are the works of mer- wards God," ch. xii. 21. Paul cy, and the exercise of liberality says, that those who do good, and to the poor and afflicted. Much are rich in good works, ready to has also been said to distinguish a distribute, willing to communiliving from a dead faith, by the cate, are laying up in store for

sercises of the mind; but it is themselves, a good foundation very manifest that the apostle against the time to come, that James distinguishes a true froin a they may lay hold on eternal life. dead faith, by the good works of 1 Tim. vi. 18. 19.

There are mercy to the naked, or hungry many different religions in the brother or sister, and considers world, and many

distinct denomievery pretension to faith without nations of the Christian religion; this as nugatory and vain. James but the apostle James assures us, ii. 14-17. Multitudes profess that “ pure religion, and undefiled great love to God, and judge of it before God and the Father is this : by their pathetic feelings and the to visit the fatherless and widows warmth of their devotion; but the in their affliction, and to keep ourapostle John says, “Whoso hath selves unspotted from the world, this world's good, and seeth his Jam. i. 27. “To do good and to brother have need, and shutteth up cominunicate,” says Paul, “ forhis bowels of compassion from get not; for with such sacrifices lim, how dwelleth the love of God God is well-pleased,” Heb. xiii. in him?" 1 John iji. 17. The 16. apostle writing to the Hebrews, We come now, in the last place, mentions some very high attain- to consider the happiness connectments, such as being enlightened, ed with the performance of this tasting of the heavenly gift, par- duty. The person who considertaking of the Holy Spirit, tasting eth the poor is declared to be. of the good word of God, and the blessed; even as the apostle, quotpowers of the world to come; yet, ing the words of our Lord Jesus after all, he supposes that such Christ, says, “ It is more blessed may fall away,

and therefore he to give than to receive,” Acts xx. mentions their work of faith and 35. The truth of this will appear, Jabour of love to the name of if we consider, that, Christ, in ministering to the saints, 1. There is a blessedness in as a more solid evidence of their obeying the commandments of christianity, than all those splen- God from a proper principle; for, did attainments, Heb. vi. 4,9, 10. it will always be found to hold true, These things abundantly evince that Wisdom's ways are ways how important this duty of con- of pleasantness, and all her paths sidering the poor is, in the christian are peace.” The man who is posHise. No pretensions to faith, sessed of true benevolence and love, or high attainments in Chris humanity, must always be gratifitian experience are, by the inspir-ed in relieving objects of distress, ed writers, sustained as genuine There is a noble pleasure in it, without it.

which the sordid mind of the avas Our Lord, in the days of his ricious and selfish is a stranger to, public ministry, forcibly inculcat- because the hearts of such are not ed this important duty of liberali- formed for that enjoyment. But ty in almsgiving to the poor. He he who is not a forgetful hearer, terms it laying up for ourselves, but a doer of the word, that man treasures in heaven.” Matt. vi. 20. is blessed in his deed," Jam. i. 25, Making to ourselves friends of 2. When this duty is done cheerfully, and from pure motives, the just. Luke xiv. 14. A cup of it is attended with the approbation cold water given to a disciple, beof a man's conscience, which can- cause they belong to Christ, shall not fail to be a source of happiness not go without its reward in that to him. Even the great apostle day. God is not unrighteous to of the Gentiles, was not above the forget such works, fleb. vi. 10. consideration of the testimony of And Christ hath faithtully prohis own mind; “Our rejoicing,| mised to recoinpense them when said he, “is this; the testimony he comes again in his glory to gaof our conscience, that in simpli-ther his saints, and put them in city and godly sincerity, we have possession of the kingdom that is had our conversation (or behavi- prepared for them. Matt. xxv. our) in the world.” 2 Cor. i. 12. 34-37. See also Gal. vi. 2-4.

3. It is a solid proof of the sincerity of our faith and lovc, 2 Cor. To the Editor of the New Evangelical viii. 8. It is expressly termed

Magazine. “ the work of faith and labour of Sir, love,” as being the genuine fruits HAVING, in my former letof both, 1 Thess. i. 3, 4. It is not ters, endeavoured to draw the at. by shutting up our bowels of com- tention of your readers to the vast. passion from the needy, or merely importance of Education, and loving in word and tongue, but by stated the great advantages of the abounding in the substantial fruits British System of instruction, of mercy, that we come to know which I feel the fullest confidence that we are of the truth, and shall | in, as providing the means of eduassure our hearts before God, cation for the poor, on a plan the 1 John iii. 17-20. This furnishes most expeditious and economical, a more decisive evidence of our

ever presented to mankind ; I having the Spirit of Christ, than would now beg permission to any transient frames and feelings, glance at the rapid success of the Heb. vi. 9, 10. And whatever in- National Institution for educating creases the evidences of our hav- the poor. Although I never can ing passed from death unto life, be brought to approve of that part must proportionably increase our of its plan, which excludes the happiness. It is only in the way children of such parents as disapof abounding in the work and la- prove of the church catechism, or bour of love, that any Christian their not worshipping God in the can attain to the full assurance of established church, from the benehope. Heb. vi. 11.

fits of education; yet I must and 4. The Lord frequently repays will rejoice in perceiving a great in kind, the works of mercy and number of children, daily taught liberality to the indigent. "There to read and write, and supposing is that scattereth and yet increas them the children of churchmen, eth--the liberal soul shall be made I even rejoice in their religious infat; and he that watereth shall be struction. However sectarian the watered also himself,” Prov. xi. principle of exclusion may be, on 24, 25. “ He that giveth to the which that respectable Society poor shall not want,” ch. xxviii. 29. acts, it must be admitted that they See also 2 Cor. ix. 6-11.

are rendering a most important be5. And to crown the whole, nefit to Society, in rescuing so great He who performs the works of a number of children from ignomercy and liberality from christian rance, and its dangerous conseprinciples, will undoubtedly be re- quences. compensed at the resurrection of From the Reports of the Society


it appears that 100,000 children army and navy, and in the Isles are reaping the benefits of the of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. Madras system, in schools patron- In Ireland, also, a few schools ized by, or which have voluntarily have been formed, but it is eviadopted that mode of instruction. dent that in so far as they are The schools in London receive Church of England Schools cxabout 5000; and the number of clusively, they cannot answer in schools in immediate connection that country, or in other parts of with the Society are represented at the world where there are various upwards of 360.

different religions. For universal We are informed that several of adoption, it must be evident, that the schools have been built for the British and Foreign plan, 1000 children, which is greatly to which requires only the reading of be regretted, as these large schools the Scriptures, is the only method are never filled, and the expense which can be accepted universally. of the building is greatly enhanced. The report of the Society contains I am led to this remark from the the pleasing information, that Naaccount of the National School tional Schools are formed in the in Westminster, which appears, Cape of Good Hope, Nova Scofrom the reports, to have cost no tia, Ceylon, Gibraltar, &c. And less than 46361. sum which it may afford great pleasure to might have built nine schools, for every philanthropist, that the Na350 children each, and were tional Society has engaged in the they judiciously placed, might arduous task of enquiring into the embrace a great proportion of the state of the kingdom at large, poor children in the neighbour- with regard to education, which, hood. Both societies have erred when accomplished, will prove in this point of view. Joseph that we, as Englishmen, are verily Lancaster, when he proposed his guilty as to our brethren, in havplan, recommended large schools ing so long withheld the greatest on the principle of making one blessing which man can possibly master teach 1000 children, and bestow on his neighbour. reducing the expense of teaching If we look back to the first thereby to 3s. or 3s. 6d. per head. humble efforts of Joseph LancasBut, sir, this project has never ter in a small room, scarcely afbeen realized, nor has so great a fording accommodation for one number of children ever been hundred children, and barely shelbrought into one school. The tered from the weather; if we Westminster National School is consider with what difficulty he considered as full with 350 boys raised the means, as his school inand 320 girls, so that any addi- creased, to add a miserably built tional children who apply must shed from time to time, till it was wait for admission; and if the sufficiently enlarged to receive interest of the money sunk in about 700 boys and 200 girls, unbuilding, was paid, in addition to der a cover scarcely sufficient, at the other expences of the school, this time, to keep out the weather: the average charge would be about That the youth training under his 10s. per head. This great ex-care, were frequently so short of pence is chiefly to be regretted provisions, as only to know the because it can only be by acting taste of meat occasionally, when on the strictest economy that edu- a handsome subscription or donacation among the poor can ever be tion' was received : That the


tronage of our beloved sovereign National Schools have been was afforded at a moment when, successfully established in the otherwise, his plan, as well as himself, must have sunk for ever: 1 scriptures alone, would tend to Moreover, when it is duly con- produce indifference as to religion, sidered, that under difficulties of Socinianism, and even infidelity. every kind, the cause has been | In the National Schools, the visisupported till it engaged the at- tor will be delighted with this tention of men of every rank and part of the children's instruction, station, in church and state: That and that which was condemned in it has produced what, in all human the British system, is become their probability, never otherwise would own most prominent and interesthave been produced, the NA- ing feature. TIONAL SOCIETY : How are we The same reasoning in favour struck with admiration of the of the distribution of the scripwisdom and goodness of God, in tures alone, will apply to the indirecting all these occurrences for struction of children in the scripthe extension of knowledge. We tures alone, and no other plan can may well enquire, “ What hath be devised, which will include the God wrought ?

children of every denomination, The mechanism of the two so- without offering violence to cieties, varies considerably. In conscientious principles. To those reading by the Madras plan, a who still press the necessity of very distinct articulation is ac religious instruction in a catechetquired, and the unpleasant tone ical form, we would recommend SO frequent even in respectable the perusal of Freame's Scripture schools, is altogether avoided. It Lessons, (the lessons used by the is therefore but justice to Dr. British and Foreign School SoBell to acknowledge the excellen- ciety) and let them venture, if су of his method in regard to read they dare, to affirm that catechisms ing. In writing and arithmetic of human devising are essentially the British and Foreign Society better. I believe, sir, on this have the advantage, which will subject, many out of the church evidently appear to the attentive have never taken due pains to asobserver. Indeed it can scarcely certain, how nearly their objections be expected that children can are allied to those which are made write so well on slates held in to the use of the scriptures withtheir left-hand, and standing, as on out note or comment. In short, desks fitted for the purpose. And whatever be the form in which as to reading on the British plan, such objections are brought forit will be found, that children read ward, it appears to me that man quite as correctly, if not so dis- is venturing to set up his own wistinctly, and in less time.

dom in opposition to the wisdom It will afford matter of curious of God. speculation to the enquiring mind,

I remain, sir, to observe how excellently the

Your most obedient seryant, children exhibit their progress in reading the scriptures at the National Schools; and compare the exhibition of their improvement SOUL INFERRED FROM THE ACT

THE IMMATERIALITY OF THE in reading and reciting portions of OF SUICIDE. that sacred book, which is “able to make them wise unto salvation,” with the high-flown decla

“ Optimum est aliena frui insania." mation of those reverend gentle

CONTINUED alterations appear mea who, in their zeal to oppose on the face of nature. Joseph Lancaster, affirmed, that teracting or preventive principle, to teach children to read the / in a passive resistance to alteration,



A coun

is equally conspicuous : and these, alteration in the sufferer; and, observations, connectedly consi- likewise, that nothing can exercise dered, imply

a greater degree of power than In the First place, The necessity itself possesses, the superiority of an existing power to produce which produced the change must any change whatever : and, be attributed, of course, to the

Secondly, That the productive power of another subject, and alpower in every alteration must together distinct from, and foreign have been proportionably superior to that in which the change liad to any previous power of resist- been produced. ance in the altered subject; for, A little attention to these prinindependent of such an existing ciples, will naturally lead us to the difference, it would have still con- following simple and decisive colltinued in its first condition. clusions; viz.

Partial effects, indeed, may be That the various and successive produced by inferior powers : poi differences exhibited in the appearsons limited to a certain degree, ances of nature, and in which every may incommode, although anima- species of decay and destruction tion prove victorious ; yet, as far are evidently included, cannot be as any alteration, however minute, rationally imputed to any active has taken place in the struggle, the power whatever in the subjects of Tesisting power must have been alteration ; but are necessarily the less than that by which it has been the fruits of a foreign agency. overcome; for one subject can Again : That the power so exnever prevail against another but erted must have been superior, in on the ground of superiority. degree, to that of any resistance in

Simple as these principles must the subject which has been thereneeds appear, the resolution of in- by overcome; and from which it numerable problems, and the es naturally follows-That concern. tablishment of important theories, ing the species of alteration which are wholly dependant on them; takes place on the destruction of and, instead of being slighted for any being, that being itself could the artless perspicuity of their evi- never have been its efficient cause ; dences, additional weight should and which, therefore, must be as. rather be attached to their infer- cribed to another agent, distinct ences, for Simplicity is the test of in its existence, and superior in Truth.

power to the subject so altered or From these very plain and self-destroyed. evident propositions, then, we To apply these simple remarks learn, that to effect any alteration as concisely as may be to the subin our nature, the degree of power ject of Suicide ; it will readily be required in the agent must be, ne admitted, cessarily, superior to that upon In the first place, That the which the present situation of the abandoned wretch, who has laid sufferer depends: and that the violent hands on himself, or, in subsisting relation between the other words, has deprived his subject of action and the subject body of its animal existence, by of resistance, is naturally of an having destroyed the functions, or external or foreign nature ; or that, powers, upon which its animation in the nature of things, one indi. depended, must necessarily bave vidual cannot be the subject of exerted an adequate degree of both at the same time; for, ad power for that purpose. mitting, as before, an indispensa. Secondly, That such a sufficienble exertion of a superior power incy of power must needs have been the agent, to have produced any superior to that which the subject

« PreviousContinue »