Page images
PDF
EPUB
[blocks in formation]

versal law, will not be limited in its results to the immediate objects of your charitable exertions, but that it will prove the means of diffusing untold blessings among the most remote generations. For you, Mr. Rogers, who have been mainly instrumental, and at great personal sacrifice, in bringing about this great good, and for those who have stood by you, and contributed by their support to the success of your efforts, there

I

am sure, be no higher source of gratification than in the contemplation of your own work. The reflection that you have been the instrument, under Divine Providence, of conferring upon the poor and needy in this vast district that greatest of all boons, the means of obtaining for their children the blessings of education and of religious instruction, without which any lasting success in life or any permanent amelioration of their lot would seem hopeless; and still farther, the feeling that this inestimable blessing will be secured in a yet higher degree to their children's children, will carry with it its own best reward. Still it will be a source of legitimate pride and satisfaction to you to know that your labours have not been unobserved, but that your noble and Christianlike exertions to benefit those who cannot help themselves have attracted the notice and admiration of your Sovereign, and of those who are deputed under her to watch over and promote the education and moral welfare of her people. The means which you have adopted to effect your work of benevolence appear no less deserving of commendation than the object itself. You have not been content with the bare attempt to force, perhaps upon unwilling recipients, a boon, the value of which might not be appreciated, but you have wisely sought to work upon the convictions of the parents of the children you wish to benefit, by extending your assistance only to those who, by a small contribution out of their hardly-won earnings, have proved that they are awake to a sense of the vast importance it is to their offspring that the means of being fitted to pass successfully through life, and by honest industry to better their worldly condition, should be brought within their reach. It is a source of high personal gratifica

can,

[blocks in formation]

tion to me that I have been enabled, by my presence here this day, and by that of the Prince of Wales, to mark, not only my own appreciation of your labours, but also the deep interest which the Queen takes in the well-being of the poorest of her subjects; and that gratification will be greatly enhanced if by this public expression of the sympathy of the Queen and of her family and Government this noble cause shall be still further advanced. Most earnestly do I pray that the same success which has hitherto blessed your labours may continue to attend your future progress, and that your example may stimulate other localities to emulate your useful efforts.

THE NATURE OF SCIENCE.

To define the nature of Science, to give an exact and complete definition of what Science is and means, has, as it naturally must, at all times occupied the Metaphysician. He has answered the question in various ways, more or

I

less satisfactorily to himself or others. To me, Science, in its most general and comprehensive acceptation, means the knowledge of what I know, -the consciousness of human knowledge. Hence, to know is the object of all Science; and all special knowledge, if brought to our consciousness in its separate distinctiveness from, and yet in its recognised relation to, the totality of our knowledge, is scientific knowledge. We require, then, for Science—that is to say, for the acquisition of scientific knowledge—those two activities of our mind which are necessary for the acquisition of any knowledge-analysis and synthesis: the first to dissect and reduce into its component parts the object to be investigated, and to render an accurate account to ourselves of the nature and qualities of these parts by observation; the second to recompose the observed and understood parts into a unity in our consciousness, exactly answering to the object of our investigation.

TENDENCY TO CREATE NEW SCIENCES.

The operation of Science has been, systematically to divide human knowledge, and raise, as it were, the separate groups of subjects for scientific consideration into different and distinct sciences. The tendency to create new sciences is peculiarly apparent in our present age, and it is perhaps inseparable from so rapid a progress as we have seen in our days; for the acquaintance with and mastering of distinct branches of knowledge enables the eye, from the newly gained points of sight, to see the new ramifications into which they divide themselves in strict consecutiveness and with logical necessity. But in thus gaining new centres of light, from which to direct our researches, and new and powerful means of adding to its everincreasing treasures, Science approaches no nearer to the limits of its range, although travelling further and further from its original point of departure. For God's world is infinite; and the

« EelmineJätka »