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after in your own line. It may be the foundation upon which you will build up as you go along through life. It cannot be supposed that in the country of Eeid and Stewart—the philosophy of mind should not form an object of attractive study, and of investigations which will tend to open the mind, to enlarge the faculties, and to improve that understanding of which you are studying the theory and the philosophy. The Scotch mind, also, which is a very reasoning one—a mind that loves investigation and .the pursuit of truth— is well known to be peculiarly adapted to mathematical science. In a country that gave birth to the man who invented logarithms it is useless to inculcate anything upon that subject—but, depend upon it, there is nothing which gives greater accuracy to the operations of the human mind than the study of mathematics. Gentlemen, we Bhould have lived in vain, or at least the purposes of existence would only be partially accomplished, if we were to stint our minds to the present, regardless of what has passed before our time, and the study of history is therefore a most useful and necessary part of the accomplishments which youth ought to acquire. History will not, indeed, give you materials which by a geometrical proposition you can apply with accuracy; but it is of great service for those who have to act, to know what have been the failures and successes, what have been the errors and achievements either of men or nations in times past, and these examples may serve so far as to exemplify principles of action— may serve as guides to every man, either in private or in public. Gentlemen, we have talked here of the works of man, and they are well deserving of your investigation; but yon would fall short of that which I recommend to you if you did not devote a portion of that period of study and leisure to the contemplation of the works of God. That branch of knowledge has in many respects made
wonderful progression of late years, and by the labours of others it is easier for you to acquire a share in that knowledge. There is this remarkable difference between the present and former ages. In former times there were men of genius and of research, who made greatprogress in the study of the laws and phenomena of nature. In those days men of science contrived to give the results of laborious years in so short, compendious, and intelligent a manner as that you are able to profit by the labours of others, and by those pursuits which other men havo worked out by a long and laborious study. The first object of study ought to be comprised in chemistry, including the operations of nature in all those elements in whioh we live and with which wo deal—a knowledge of which is useful to every man in his individual condition, and on the Btudy of which depend the industry, wealth, and prosperity of nations. It is not, of course, expected that those who are destined for the Church or the bar, that they should become skilful chemists; but even they should be acquainted with the general methods in which substances act upon each other, for this knowledge will be found useful in every position in life. Gentlemen, it is only comparatively of late years that men have turned their attention to acquiring scientific knowledge with regard to the crust of the globe on which we live, and certainly Scotland has contributed its full share towards the knowledge and information thus gained. It is only after the great knowledge which we have obtained that all your mineral experiments have been conducted with the success which has attended them. Well, then, rising from the crust of the earth, and all those numerous phenomena and arrangements connected with the atmosphere, the ocean, and the various circumstances belonging to the surface of our globe, we naturally turn our thoughts to the position and action of our globe, and that system of which our sun is the centre; and that knowledge of astronomy connected, at all events, with the solar system, is so easily acquired, and so interesting when known, that no man who has an opportunity of investigating could for a moment neglect these opportunities and remain in ignorance. It is admirable to think that all the varied arrangements upon which day and night and the succession of the seasous depend have been so beautifully adapted to the purpose of those who inhabit this globe; and a knowledge of these things, I trust, no man who hears me will fail to acquire, so far as opportunity offers. But there is a wider range with regard to that great and extensive study. Our solar system, as is well known, forms but a comparatively insignificant part in that great universe of which, on a starlight night, we see Borne portion exposed to our view; and the study of the mechanism of the universe is oce which leads the mind to the most exalted thoughts— . hich expands our considerations more than any other - and although it has not arrived at certain results, such as have been attained in the study of our own solar system, yet I believe enough is known to excite the wonder and admiration of those who are acquainted with it. Let it not be said that those studies divert the mind from the practical precepts of religion. On the contrary, I maintain they tend to strengthen and confirm that faith which is inculcated by our revealed religion. If when, on the one hand, we contemplate those marvellous arrangements, extending over space indefinite, and comprising worlds innumerable, with order and arrangement that nothing but the most supreme wisdom could have established—when we contemplate, in the first place, the arrangement for one system—when we consider the multitudes of suns and worlds even beyond the range of the telescopic power of man, and are made sensible of the comparative insignificance of everything that belongs to this earth, this species of creation,—then if
there is a man who, in the consciousness of genius, in the enjoyment of wealth, in the possession of station, is inspired by feelings of vanity and pride, when he reflects that the world which he treads upon is a mere speck in creation, and that he himself is an immeasurable atom in that speck, these thoughts must tend to lower that pride, to divost him of that vanity, and to teach him veneration and humility in his position. But, gentlemen, when he turns his thoughts to the other scale—when he thinks and considers the infinite variety, the inconceivable ingenuity and wisdom with which everything in this earth has been adapted to specific purposes and to the enjoyment of created beings—when he sees that even in those smallest and most minute animals of creation, which are hardly perceptible, and some not perceptible, to the naked eye, there is most admirable adaption of every detail for the purpose of the enjoyment of that creature so long as it is to live—when he reflects on the constitution of his own frame, when be considers the powers which have been given to man to extend his ken far away from the globe which he inhabits, and to acquire a certain amount of knowledge of things so distant that even, it is said, millions of years are required to bring to us the light which flows from their centre—he must be persuaded that those arrangements were not intended in vain. He must be convinced that those powers which have been given to his mind, those moral and intellectual powers with which he has been endowed, have not been given simply for the purpose of a day, and that day the life of man. He must be convinced that they are designed to fit him for some better and future state, and therefore I assert that these great, exalted and sublime contemplations are calculated to strengthen and encourage that faith of which it is said that parting for a happier state, it deems death but nature's signal for retreat.
NOTES OF A SUNDAY SCHOOL TOUR.
Amongst the various efforts put forth by the Sunday School Union for the improvement of Sunday schools, the visits paid by various members of the Committee to the provinces are not the least important. They have thus an opportunity of seeing how the schools are conducted, and of talking over with the teachers the suggestions which have resulted from those visits. The value of these efforts is seen, not only in the pleasure with which such visits are received, but by the adoption of similar plans by other bodies. The Church of England Sunday School Institute and the Friends' First-day School Association have both followed the example thus set, and, we doubt not, with much benefit to the schools associated with them.
During the last few years, teachers in different parts of the country, finding so much benefit arise from mutual intercourse, have gathered together in counties or districts for the discussion of practical subjects, and Good Friday has been found very convenient for such assemblages. The attendance of some member of the Committee of the Sunday School Union is generally solicited, and we believe that no less than seven such applications were received this year. The difficulty of supplying the demand thus made, led to our being requested to undertake one of these missions at Easter last. It would probably be more 'correct that our report should appear in the "Union Magazine," as the official organ of the Committee by whom we were sent forth ; but the Editor will doubtless thank us for relieving him from some of that embarras ties richesses which the number of such communications will occasion.
Our first destination was Doncaster, where the Seventh Yorkshire and Lincolnshire Sunday School Teachers' Conference was to be held; but on our way we stopped at Grantham, and saw the statue of Sir Isaac Newton, who, though born about six miles off, received his education at the grammar school of that town. The statue was cast out of the metal of a large bell taken from the Russians during the Crimean war; it is of full life size, and is placed on a green by the high road leading into the town from the south.
We reached Doncaster in time to attend the prayer meeting, held to supplicate the Divine blessing on the proceedings of the following day. Mr. Joseph Marsden presided, and delivered an address on the importance of prayer, adverting to the difficulty of the teacher's work as arising, not merely from the depravity of the human heart, but still more from direct Satanic agency. The prayers were short, earnest, and to the purpose. About ten brethren engaged in prayer during the meeting, wliich did not last more than an hour and a-half.
On Good Friday morning, the delegates assembled in Priory Place Chapel to commence the proceedings of the conference. The Rev. Dr. James Campbell, of Bradford, presided. The subject for the morning conference was introduced by a paper on "Sunday School Classification," in which a three-fold division of the school, into infant, scripture, and senior classes, was recommended. This formed the topic for a lively discission, in which fifteen delegates and the chairman took part; and it appeared in the course of the afternoon proceedings, that a large school in Sheffield, called the Wicker School, comprising above 400 infants, partly taught in a gallery and partly in olasses, about the same number of Scripture readers, and senior scholars, raising the total to about 1,100 scholars, was so classified.
After dinner, Mr. Sissons, of Sheffield, took the chair, and in his opening address adverted to the importance of the subject appointed for consideration—" Select Classes." He said, that his own class of young men disappeared on one occasion, having gone to hear some infidel lecturers. He determined not to take any notice of the circumstance, but to leave it to the lads to introduce the subject. This they soon did, by requesting him to enter upon the discussion of the evidences of Christianity. A time was fixed for the purpose, and then all the arguments of the lecturers were brought forward and urged with much energy. He met the difficulties as well as he could, and the result was a declaration on the part of the young men—" You have beat us; we determined to beat you, but God has helped you."
The paper was read by Mr. Adam Wood, of Sheffield, and met with very general acceptance. Thirteen of the delegates took part in the discussion, which principally turned on two subjeots: first— whether select classes should meet with the general school in the opening and closing exercises, or either of them? secondly—whether superintendents should resort to such classes to supply the lack of absent teachers? On the first question great difference of opinion prevailed; but on the latter, the preponderance of sentiment seemed to be, that it was unwise to disturb such classes by making such demands upon them.
In the evening the Annual Meeting of the Doncaster Sunday School Union was held, when E. Dannatt, Esq., of Braithwell, presided, and the Eev. Messrs. Britcliffe and Jubb, with others, addressed the assembly. Mr. Jubb very kindly, but firmly, expressed his doubts as to the propriety of separate services, which had been incidentally referred to in the afternoon conference. One of tho speakers in urging the importance of home visitation, cautioned teachers against speaking unfavourably of their scholars on such occasions. Ho referred to himself as having been a very troublesome scholar, and as being always afraid to see his teacher coming to tho house, lest he should report unfavourably of him. On one occasion, when he had transgressed more than usual, ho saw his teacher approaching, and being otherwise unable to avoid meeting him, he rushed to the top of the house, and hid himself on the roof. When the object of his terror had left, ho desoended with alarm, expecting to receive punishment for the offences which ho had no doubt his teacher had laid to his charge. He, however, found that nothing unfavourable had been said of him. This melted his heart, and proved the turning point in his moral history.
Tho Committee of the Union appeared to be zealously employed in carrying out its objects.
As our next engagement was at Halifax on Monday evening, we determined to spend our Sunday at Doneaster. This afforded us an opportunity of visiting, in conjunction with Mr. Hughes, one of the secretaries, several of the schools; amongst others, one conducted in the Friends' Meeting-house; this was small, and wholly composed of adults; two of whom are Eoman Catholics. There is a school for children containing about 100 scholars, which meets in tho evening, and which we were pressed to visit, but had not an opportunity of doing. The chief deficiency in the schools visited was an adequate provision for the infants, whose teaching was consequently unsatisfactory. The Church of England schools, which were held in day school-rooms, had, however, ample accommodation, if it had been suitably employed. In one school not connected with the Union, enquiry was made, what scheme of Scripture lessons was employed, and it appeared none was used. The following conversation then ensued:—
"Do the teachers select their own lessons?" "No; we choose their lessons." » "Do they know beforehand what lessons they will have to teach?" "No; wo tell thom when they come. We used to put them on a board, but wo have given that up."
"Your teachers must be wonderfully clever." "What do you mean?"
"Why, you expect your minister to study his subject during the week, but your teachers are able to take any part of the Scripture