Page images
PDF
EPUB

PUNCTUALITY. Method is the very hinge of business, and there is no method without punctuality. Punctuality is important, because it subserves the peace and temper of a family; the want of it not only infringes on necessary duty, but sometimes excludes that duty. The calmness of mind which it produces is another advantage of punctuality: a disorderly man is always in a hurry; he has no time to speak to you, because he is going elsewhere; and when he gets there, he is too late for his business, or he must hurry away to another before he can finish it. Punctuality gives weight to character. "Such a man has made an appointment—then I know he will keep it. And this generates punctuality in you; for, like other virtues, it propagates itself. Servants and children must be punctual where their leader is so. Appointments, indeed, become debts. I owe you punctuality, if I have made an appointment with you, and have no right to throw away your time, if I do my own.- -Cecil.

John Newton is said by one of his biographers to have been distinguished by his punctuality to his engagements; and that he has been known to keep his watch in his hand when it drew near the time of appointment, lest he should fail to keep his promise. In one of his letters he thus addresses a young friend: “I much wish you to acquire a habit of punctuality with respect to time, as the want of this is very inconvenient in the person who fails, and gives trouble to others. If you follow my advice, you will find the advantage long before you are as old as I am. I began to aim at this almost fifty years ago, and I have seldom, if ever, been five minutes behind my time, unless unavoidably prevented, for nearly fifty years past.'

REVIEWS: The Question, Is it the duty of Government to provide the

means of Education for the People?examined. By George Payne, L.L.D. London: John Gladding, pp. 32.

We have already congratulated our readers on the fate of the Factories' Education Bill. Never was there a more signal display of the might of moral power. Let us thank God and take

courage. Our great business now is rightly to improve the power which we possess, and to use it for the most important practical purposes. Amongst the useful results which the agitation of this question has produced, is a more extended inquiry as to whether a provision for the education of the people properly constitutes a part of the duty of a civil government. Our firm conviction is, that the more thoroughly and impartially this subject is investigated by the friends of truth, the more clearly will it be seen that the education of the people forms no part of the work that government was instituted to accomplish.

We recommend the pamphlet before us, by Dr. Payne, on this interesting subject; here will be found, in a narrow compass, a clear and forcible exhibition of the arguments which we consider fully establish the position we have laid down. The principles against which Dr. Payne contends are these :—“ It is the duty of government to provide the means of education for the operative classes ; this education must be based on religion; it must be carried on by the agency, or under the control and direction of the established clergy--the body to which the state has entrusted the religious instruction of the whole population; and finally, the religious principles taught must be those of the church established by law.”—p. 7.

The very plausible notion which prevails amongst a certain class of persons,

" that all education should be based upon religion,” is thus met by Dr. P.

“ What is meant by basing education on religion ? How can the arts of reading, writing, arithmetic, &c., or the knowledge of those arts be based upon religion ? Is there any religious mode of teaching these arts ? or is it likely that any such art will be discovered ? Or, whatever meaning the words may bear, where is the greater necessity or propriety of basing these arts upon religion than those of the joiner, the glazier, the miller, the ploughman ? The words under consideration seem to imply that religious instruction must precede all other; in that case the latter might, indeed, be figuratively said to be based upon the former. Few, however, would venture to maintain this position. The possible meaning of the words, in this case of their occurrence, is that secular education should be accompanied by religious instruction ;-that, at the earliest possible period of life, the mind of the child should be brought under the all-pervading and all-powerful influence of divine truth. Now is there, I ask, any necessary difference between the

churchman and the dissenter on this point ? Does the churchman think the religious education of children should be attended to, and the dissenter that it should be neglected ? Both, if religious men, -are united here. The question is not, shall the child receive a religious education, but by whom ?"'--p. 17.

Contemplating the possibility of Sir James Graham's bill becoming the law of the land, Dr. Payne boldly declares :

“No government in the world has any right to bind any man to support the “ism” of another. To God he is in bondage, to man he is free. And we, the nonconformists of this country, would sacrifice life rather than this freedom which God has given to us. Let the law become what it may, we will still hold ourselves morally free. And should the contemplated act of oppression—the bill of Sir James Graham-be added to other acts of oppression under which we have long groaned; should the threatened attack upon our civil and religious liberties—upon all that is dear to us as men and as christians-be actually made upon us, by carrying that bill into law, it must become a question-in my view of the case it ought to become a question-whether we shall not avail ourselves of the option, which, according to Blackstone, we have by law, in reference to all actions which do not bind the conscience, i. e. (which have no moral character, per se) the option whether we shall obey such law, or quietly suffer the consequences of disobedience. On that question we need not now pass an opinion. “Sufficient for the day is the evil thereof."

Let us be thankful to the great ruler of all that we have not been called upon practically to decide this important question. We trust that the mighty movement which caused the abandonment of this bill has taught our rulers a lesson which they will not soon forget, and that in future they will tremble ere they touch the ark of our liberties.

The Signs of the Times :" or, the present position of the

Established Church, considered in relation to the grand Interests of the Protestant Reformation. By John Morison, D.D. London: T. Ward and Co., Paternoster Row.

Another attempt to direct the minds of christians to the great practical improvement which they are bound to make of the fearful signs of the times. The beautiful passage extracted in another part of our columns will shew the lovely spirit and powerful style in which the appeal is made.

THE

INDEPENDENT MAGAZINE.

SEPTEMBER, 1843.

A SHORT ADDRESS TO OUR READERS. The present Editor of the Independent Magazine, in commencing his labours, cannot forbear addressing a few words to his readers. It is not without a sense of the responsibility of his office that he has consented to accept it. His object is to benefit the more advanced amongst the young of the Independent denomination. The magazine is not intended for children, but for our rising youth of both sexes; and his aim will be to furnish them, from month to month, with a variety of matter, adapted especially to their age, growing intelligence, and important position in society. He hopes to confirm them in the pure faith of the gospel-in the leading principles of congregationalism-in the love of everything that is truthful, beautiful, and heavenly—in the pursuit of wisdom and honour --and in zealous, enlightened devotedness to the cause of Christ.

In conducting the Magazine, the Editor has sketched out for his own guidance the following plan—to admit no article which breathes a bitter, or sectarian, or unchristian spirit---to furnish his readers with as much original matter as possible--to afford variety in every number—to suit his pages in due proportion to all the respective aspects in which the young may be regarded, as individuals, as members of churches and families, as sunday school teachers, and as component parts of a great communityto impart information, discuss difficulties, confirm principles?

[ocr errors]

refute errors—to mingle history and biography, spiritedly written, with shorter articles on moral and religious topics, and such as are likely to promote a pure and healthy taste-in brief, to make " the Independent” answer all the ends of a literary, moral, theological, and practically religious magazine. His aim is high, but not too high for the class for whom he is willing to labour. He earnestly invites the cooperation of others, that his object may not fail. Ministers and our intelligent laymen may assist him by their pens; and the readers of the magazine by aiding its circulation. As there is no other magazine of precisely the same order amongst us, it is to be hoped that the denomination at large will smile upon our efforts to indoctrinate the rising generation in the principles of evangelical truth and congregationalism.

We have commenced in the present number a series of lessons for classes in our sunday schools. It is our intention to continue them monthly. There is one feature in the part of our plan to which we call the attention of our sunday school teachers. Now and then we propose to insert a catechetical lesson on some of our distinctive principles, as a substitute for the usual ones explanatory of scripture. Those principles are in the New Testament, and it is high time that sunday scholars learnt them. We will do our best to assist our teachers in this important part of their labours.

[ocr errors][merged small]

FIRST PERIOD-OR PREVIOUS TO HIS CONVERSION. The subject of this biography was born in the year 1628, at Elstow, a village near Bedford. His father was a tinker ; but nevertheless an honest man who “ bore a fair character.” By his care young Bunyan was sent to school to read and write, according to the rate of other poor men's children. It seems that at school he did not learn good manners, although he must have got on pretty well with his grammer. He says of himself : " from a child I had but few equals for cursing, swearing, lying, and blaspheming the holy name of God.” .

« PreviousContinue »