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THE DUTY OF THE RICH.
Our Heavenly Father, in His boundless goodness, has made His creatures that they should be happy, and in His wisdom has fitted His means to his ends, giving to all of them different qualities and faculties, in using and developing which they fulfil their destiny, and, running their uniform course according to his prescription, they find that happiness which He has intended for them. Man alone is born into this world with faculties far nobler than the other creatures, reflecting the image of Him who has willed that there should be beings on earth to know and worship Him, but endowed with the power of self-determination, having reason given him for his guide. He can develop his faculties, place himself in harmony with his Divine prototype, and attain that happiness which is offered to him on earth, to be completed
The Duty of the Rich. hereafter in entire union with Him through the mercy of Christ. But he can also leave these faculties unimproved, and miss his mission on earth. He will then sink to the level of the lower animals, forfeit happiness, and separate from his God, whom he did not know how to find. I say man has no right to do thishe has no right to throw off the task which is laid upon him for his happiness; it is his duty to fulfil his mission to the utmost of his power ; but it is our duty, the duty of those whom Providence has removed from this awful struggle and placed beyond this fearful danger, manfully, unceasingly, and untiringly to aid by advice, assistance, and example, the great bulk of the people, who, without such aid, must almost inevitably succumb to the difficulty of their task. They will not cast from them the aiding hand, and the Almighty will bless the labours of those who work in His cause.
THE REAL MAGIC WAND.
No human pursuits make any material progress until science is brought to bear upon them. We have seen, accordingly, many of them slumber for centuries upon centuries; but from the moment that science has touched them with her magic wand, they have sprung forward and taken strides which amaze and almost awe the beholder.
Look at the transformation which has gone on around us since the laws of gravitation, electricity, magnetism, and the expansive power of heat have become known to us. It has altered our whole state of existence—one might say, the whole face of the globe. We owe this to science, and to science alone; and she has other treasures in store for us, if we will but call her to our assistance.
DETERMINATION TO AVOID POLITICAL
I REMEMBER well with what regret, when, shortly after I came of age, the Companies of the Goldsmiths and of the Fishmongers offered me their freedom, I found myself compelled to decline this honour, being informed that, identified as they were by historical tradition, and still representing two opposite political parties, I could make a choice only of one of them, and fully sensible that, like the Sovereign to whom I had just been united, and to devote my whole existence to whom it had become my privilege, I could belong only to the nation at large, free from the trammels and above the dissensions of political parties.
I well remember, too, how much pleased I was when the two Companies, waiving some of their statutes, finally agreed both to receive me amongst them.
IMPROVEMENT OF THE LABOURING CLASS.
WHEN the Society for the Improvement of the Condition of the Labouring Classes was first established on its present footing, I accepted with great pleasure the offer of becoming its President.
I saw in this offer a proof of appreciation of my feelings of sympathy and interest for that class of our community which has most of the toil, and least of the enjoyments, of this world. I conceived that great advantage would accrue from the endeavours of influential persons, who were wholly disinterested, to act the part of a friend to those who required that advice and assistance, which none but a friend could tender with advantage.
This Society has always held this object before its eyes, and has been labouring in that direction. You are all aware that it has established model lodging-houses, loan-funds, and the system of allotments of ground in different parts of the country ;