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professor of religion, that what the mammon of unrighteousness,". the scriptures chiefly 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 exercises 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 from 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 communicate," says Paul, "forhis bowels of compassion from get not; for with such sacrifices him, how dwelleth the love of God God is well-pleased," Heb. xiii. in him?" 1 John iii. 17. The 16. apostle writing to the Hebrews, mentions some very high attainments, such as being enlightened, tasting of the heavenly gift, partaking of the Holy Spirit, tasting of the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come; yet, after all, he supposes that such may fall away, and therefore he mentions their work of faith and labour of love to the name of 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 poslife. No pretensions to faith, sessed of true benevolence and love, or high attainments in Chris- humanity, must always be gratifitian experience are, by the inspired 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 avaOur Lord, in the days of his ricious and selfish is a stranger to, public ministry, forcibly inculeat-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 terms it laying up for ourselves, treasures in heaven." Matt. vi. 20. "Making to ourselves friends of
We come now, in the last place, to consider the happiness connected with the performance of this duty. The person who considereth the poor is declared to be blessed; even as the apostle, quoting the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, says, "It is more blessed to give than to receive," Acts xx, 35. The truth of this will appear, if we consider, that,
he who is not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, that man is blessed in his deed," Jam. i. 25.
2. When this duty is done
the just. Luke xiv. 14. A cup of cold water given to a disciple, because they belong to Christ, shall not go without its reward in that day. God is not unrighteous to forget such works, Heb. vi. 10. And Christ hath faithfully promised to recompense them when he comes again in his glory to gather his saints, and put them in possession of the kingdom that is prepared for them. Matt. xxv.
cheerfully, and from pure motives,
3. It is a solid proof of the sincerity of our faith and love. 2 Cor. To the Editor of the New Evangelical viii. 8. It is expressly termed"the work of faith and labour of love," as being the genuine fruits of both, 1 Thess. i. 3, 4. It is not by shutting up our bowels of compassion from the needy, or merely loving in word and tongue, but by abounding in the substantial fruits of mercy, that we come to know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before God, 1 John iii. 17-20. This furnishes a more decisive evidence of our having the Spirit of Christ, than any transient frames and feelings, Heb. vi. 9, 10. And whatever increases the evidences of our having passed from death unto life, must proportionably increase our happiness. It is only in the way of abounding in the work and labour of love, that any Christian can attain to the full assurance of hope. Heb. vi. 11.
HAVING, in my former letters, endeavoured to draw the at tention of your readers to the vast importance of Education, and stated the great advantages of the British System of instruction, which I feel the fullest confidence in, as providing the means of education for the poor, on a plan the most expeditious and economical, ever presented to mankind; I would now beg permission to glance at the rapid success of the National Institution for educating the poor. Although I never can be brought to approve of that part of its plan, which excludes the children of such parents as disapprove of the church catechism, or their not worshipping God in the established church, from the benefits 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 benefit to Society, in rescuing so great a number of children from ignorance, and its dangerous conse
5. And to crown the whole, He who performs the works of mercy and liberality from christian principles, will undoubtedly be re-quences. compensed at the resurrection of
From the Reports of the Society
it appears that 190,000 children army and navy, and in the Isles
are reaping the benefits of the Madras system, in schools patronized by, or which have voluntarily adopted that mode of instruction. The schools in London receive about 5000; and the number of schools in immediate connection with the Society are represented at upwards of 360.
We are informed that several of the schools have been built for 1000 children, which is greatly to be regretted, as these large schools are never filled, and the expense of the building is greatly enhanced. I am led to this remark from the account of the National School in Westminster, which appears, from the reports, to have cost no less than 46367. a sum which might have built nine schools, for 350 children each, and were they judiciously placed, might embrace a great proportion of the poor children in the neighbourhood. Both societies have erred in this point of view. Joseph Lancaster, when he proposed his plan, recommended large schools on the principle of making one master teach 1000 children, and reducing the expense of teaching thereby to 3s. or 3s. 6d. per head. But, sir, this project has never been realized, nor has so great a number of children ever been brought into one school. The Westminster National School is considered as full with 350 boys and 320 girls, so that any additional children who apply must wait for admission; and if the interest of the money sunk in building, was paid, in addition to the other expences of the school, the average charge would be about 10s. per head. This great expence is chiefly to be regretted because it can only be by acting on the strictest economy that education among the poor can ever be universal.
National Schools have been successfully established in the
of Man, Jersey, and Guernsey. In Ireland, also, a few schools have been formed, but it is evident that in so far as they are Church of England Schools exclusively, they cannot answer in that country, or in other parts of the world where there are various different religions. For universal adoption, it must be evident, that the British and Foreign plan, which requires only the reading of the Scriptures, is the only method which can be accepted universally. The report of the Society contains the pleasing information, that National Schools are formed in the Cape of Good Hope, Nova Scotia, Ceylon, Gibraltar, &c. And it may afford great pleasure to every philanthropist, that the National Society has engaged in the arduous task of enquiring into the state of the kingdom at large, with regard to education, which, when accomplished, will prove that we, as Englishmen, are verily guilty as to our brethren, in having so long withheld the greatest blessing which man can possibly bestow on his neighbour.
If we look back to the first humble efforts of Joseph Lancaster in a small room, scarcely affording accommodation for one hundred children, and barely sheltered from the weather; if we consider with what difficulty he raised the means, as his school increased, to add a miserably built shed from time to time, till it was sufficiently enlarged to receive about 700 boys and 200 girls, under a cover scarcely sufficient, at this time, to keep out the weather: That the youth training under his care, were frequently so short of provisions, as only to know the taste of meat occasionally, when a handsome subscription or donation was received: That the patronage of our beloved sovereign was afforded at a moment when, otherwise, his plan, as well as him
self, must have sunk for ever: | 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 struck with admiration of the wisdom and goodness of God, in directing all these occurrences for the extension of knowledge. We may well enquire, "What hath God wrought?"
The same reasoning in favour of the distribution of the scriptures alone, will apply to the instruction of children in the scriptures alone, and no other plan can be devised, which will include the children of every denomination, without offering violence to their conscientious principles. To those who still press the necessity of religious instruction in a catechetical form, we would recommend the perusal of Freame's Scripture Lessons, (the lessons used by the British and Foreign School So
The mechanism of the two societies, varies considerably. In reading by the Madras plan, a very distinct articulation is acquired, and the unpleasant tone so frequent even in respectable schools, is altogether avoided. It is therefore but justice to Dr. Bell to acknowledge the excellen-ciety) and let them venture, if cy of his method in regard to reading. In writing and arithmetic the British and Foreign Society have the advantage, which will evidently appear to the attentive observer. Indeed it can scarcely be expected that children
write so well on slates held in their left-hand, and standing, as on desks fitted for the purpose. And as to reading on the British plan, it will be found, that children read quite as correctly, if not so distinctly, and in less time.
It will afford matter of curious speculation to the enquiring mind, to observe how excellently the children exhibit their progress in reading the scriptures at the National Schools; and compare the exhibition of their improvement in reading and reciting portions of that sacred book, which is "able to make them wise unto salvation," with the high-flown declamation of those reverend gentlemen who, in their zeal to oppose Joseph Lancaster, affirmed, that to teach children to read the
they dare, to affirm that catechisms
I remain, sir,
SOUL INFERRED FROM THE ACT
AN ORIGINAL FRAGMENT.
CONTINUED alterations appear on the face of nature. A counteracting or preventive principle, in a passive resistance to alteration,
is equally conspicuous: and these observations, connectedly considered, imply
In the First place, The necessity of an existing power to produce any change whatever: and,
Secondly, That the productive power in every alteration must have been proportionably superior to any previous power of resistance in the altered subject; for, independent of such an existing difference, it would have still continued in its first condition.
Partial effects, indeed, may be produced by inferior powers: poisons limited to a certain degree, may incommode, although animation prove victorious; yet, as far as any alteration, however minute, has taken place in the struggle, the resisting power must have been less than that by which it has been overcome; for one subject can never prevail against another but on the ground of superiority.
alteration in the sufferer; and, likewise, that nothing can exercise a greater degree of power than itself possesses, the superiority which produced the change must be attributed, of course, to the power of another subject, and altogether distinct from, and foreign to, that in which the change had been produced.
A little attention to these principles, will naturally lead us to the following simple and decisive conclusions; viz.
That the various and successive differences exhibited in the appearances of nature, and in which every species of decay and destruction are evidently included, cannot be rationally imputed to any active power whatever in the subjects of alteration; but are necessarily the the fruits of a foreign agency.
Again That the power so exerted must have been superior, în 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 asrather 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 which the present situation of the sufferer depends: and that the subsisting relation between the subject of action and the subject of resistance, is naturally of an external or foreign nature; or that, in the nature of things, one individual cannot be the subject of both at the same time; for, admitting, as before, an indispensable exertion of a superior power in the agent, to have produced any
In the First place, That the abandoned wretch, who has laid violent hands on himself, or, in other words, has deprived his body of its animal existence, by having destroyed the functions, or powers, upon which its animation depended, must necessarily have exerted an adequate degree of power for that purpose.
Secondly, That such a sufficiency of power must needs have been superior to that which the subject