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days. But a short time before his death he applied himself, with all the ardour of early life, to the invention of a machine for mechanically copying all sorts of sculpture and statuary,- and distributed among his friends some of its earliest performances, as the productions of a young artist, just entering on his eightythird year. This happy and useful life came at last to a gentle close. He had suffered some inconvenience through the summer, but was not seriously indisposed till within a few weeks from his death. He then became perfectly aware of the event which was approaching: and, with his usual tranquillity and benevolence of nature, seemed only anxious to point out, to the friends around him, the many sources of consolation, which were afforded by the circumstances, under which it was about to take place. He expressed his sincere gratitude to Providence for the length of days, with which he had been blessed, and his exemption from most of the infirmities of age, as well as for the calm and cheerful evening of life, that he had been permitted to enjoy, after the honourable labours of the day had been concluded. And thus, full of years and honours, in all calmness and tranquillity, he yielded up his soul, without pang or struggle,—and passed from the bosom of his family to that of his God!






Being Extracts from a Sermon, preached in St Paul's Chapel, Edin

burgh, on occasion of a collection for behoof of the Edinburgh Sessional School, and the other Parochial Institutions, of the City.

You are all aware of the great efforts, which have been lately made, and are now making, for the education of the lower orders of our people,-for their instruction in the elementary principles of science, and the communication to them of that philosophical knowledge, which has hitherto been confined to the learned and the affluent. Of the purpose of this benevolent attempt, or of its consequences in improving the intellectual character of our people, it is impossible to speak without respect and approbation. But there is another view of the subject, which every wiseand thoughtful man will take: there is a danger, I fear, which experience will but too well justify, that will immediately suggest itself to every pious and Christian mind.-That every science leads naturally to religious belief, I am most willing to allow. But it cannot be said that it leads necessarily to it; or that to give the young the principles of science is, at the same time, to give them the principles of religion. On the contrary, if the system of education is entirely scientific,-if the minds of the young are not directly led to the religious conclusions which the subject suggests,—they will, in most cases, be either unobserved, or unfelt. And, at all events, even although this higher object of education were pursued, it is to the conclusions of natural religion alone they lead, and the young would necessarily remain altogether ignorant of all that constitutes the religion of the Gospel. It might happen, therefore (and who will say that it would not happen), in these cases, as it has so often done in the education of the higher orders of society, that knowledge would be acquired at the expense of religion ;--that the pride of science would obliterate the humility of piety :—that, while the intellectual powers of the young were thus artificially improved, their moral and religious powers would, in the same proportion, be neglected ;-that the light of revelation would be quenched amid the glare of human knowledge ;—and that society, at last, would arrive at its most brilliant and its most disastrous state, that -of external splendour and refinement, and internal infidelity and corruption.—Now, it is to meet this great, and not imaginary danger, that the institution you are now called upon to befriend, is wisely calculated; and, in the peculiar circumstances of the time it comes, I may say, with providential mercy. It lays its hands upon

the young in the very cradle and outset of their being; and, while the tablet of their hearts is yet susceptible of every impression, it writes upon them the name of God, and the words of eternal life. Even in the midst of poverty and obscurity, it raises their young hearts, while it tells them that they are the members of Christ, and the children of the living God; and, ere they enter upon the dark and dangerous path of life, it unveils to them that final kingdom, of which, in the might and mediation of their Master, they are promised an eternal inheritance. It is in this high and holy discipline, that, laying the foundation of religion deep and strong in the very elements of the infant soul,in awakening, with its earliest dawn, the manifold hopes and affections, which the gospel is fitted to excite, -in beginning that blessed communion with the God and Saviour of the human race, which even infancy can feel, and without which maturity is miserable, it is in these various and important methods, that the system of education I am now attempting to illustrate is so singularly and so essentially valuable; and, were it universally adopted, the dangers to which I havealluded, wouldtime. ly and effectually be prevented. From the great school

of the gospel,---from the school in which they were brought up in the nurture and admonition of their Lord, -the young might then, with safety, advance into the schools of human art and human science. In possession of the mighty key, which opens up to them not only life but immortality, they would see all the knowledge of time as introductory only of the knowledge of eternity. In acquiring a knowledge of the laws of nature, they would acquire, at the same time, a deeper conviction of the wisdom and goodness of the God of their salvation : and every acquisition of scientific knowledge, would lead them only more fully to understand, and more deeply to feel, that the system of the gospel was, in truth, the one thing needful to satisfy all the wants and desires of their nature; and to comprehend, with the great apostle, that it, and it alone, was the power of God, and the wisdom of God, unto the salvation of the immortal soul. In such a discipline of education, all the moral and religious powers of our nature would be cultivated along with the intellectual: the expanding mind would expand in faith, as well as in knowledge : and, under the guidance of the Spirit that is from above, the people of our land would rise, we may trust, into that highest state of Christian character, that of being a peculiar people, zealous at once in the maintenance of religious faith, and in the practice of all good works.

Nor is it possible, my brethren, while we are sitting, as it were, beside that well of living water, which is now opening to the infant flock of Christ, to resist some very enthusiastic anticipations of the course, which its waters are to pursue, and of the fertilities, which they are finally to produce. One of the noblest features of the age in which we live, is that of its zeal and activity in disseminating the light of the gospel throughout all nations: and there is not one, I am persuaded, who hears me, who is not, in some way or other, associated in this high and holy ambition. How beautifully, then, and how providentially, does this institution for infant education, rise up before you to assist you in this great pursuit, and to co-operate with you to this generous end ! There is no country, to which it may not be ex





tended. There is no tongue, in which it may not be taught. There are no litile children so far from the kingdom of God, to whom it doth not open its arms, and whom it is not willing to receive into the household of salvation. It is now, indeed, only in the hour of its birth,-in the act of springing from the rock of ages. But it carries in its waters the spirit of healing and of power; and if our hands receive it with the faith, and distribute it ith the charity, of the gospel, who shall

say where its course is to stop? Where is the wilderness of nature, which may not be gladdened by the sound of its living waters ? Where the desert place, which they may not make to bud and to blossom as the rose ? The seed which you are now planting, small and unnoticed as it may seem, is yet the seed of the word of God; and, under the dew of his blessing, it is fitted to grow up in that tree of life, whose branches are to overshadow the world, and whose leaves are to be for the healing of the nations !



It is allowed on all hands, that the books, which we call the four Gospels, were written by the persons, whose names they bear, and nearly about the date, which is usually assigned to them. It is clear, too, that we possess them at present in the same state, in which they existed nearly eighteen hundred years ago ; for ever since their publication, they have been in the hands both of friends and foes, who could not unite in any mutual plan for altering them; and who never would have allowed any change to be made by each other unchallenged. Each of these Gospels is a history of the same events,--the events of the life of Jesus Christ.When we read a simple narrative of matters of fact, the natural tendency of our mind is to believe it; provided we see that the writer had access to sufficient information on his subject, and are satisfied that his intentions were honest. Our belief, of course, would be much strengthened, if no less than four writers, properly qualified for the task, should be induced to write

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