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THE POOR MAN’S CHILDREN. What measures can be brought to bear upon the other root of the evil is a more delicate question, and will require the nicest care in handling, for there you cut into the very quick of the working man's condition. His children are not only his offspring, to be reared for a future independent position, but they constitute part of his productive power, and work with him for the staff of life; the daughters especially are the handmaids of the house, the assistants of the mother, the nurses of the younger children, the aged, and the sick. To deprive the labouring family of their help would be almost to paralyse its domestic existence. On the other hand, carefully collected statistics reveal to us the fact that while about 600,000 children between the ages of three and fifteen are absent from school, but known to be employed, no less than 2,200,000 are not at schools, whose absence cannot be traced to any
ascertained employment or other legitimate cause. You will have to work, then, upon the minds and hearts of the parents, to place before them the irreparable mischief which they inflict upon those who are entrusted to their care by keeping them from the light of knowledge, to bring home to their conviction that it is their duty to exert themselves for their children's education, bearing in mind at the same time that it is not only their most sacred duty, but also their highest privilege. Unless they work with you, your work, our work, will be vain ; but you will not fail, I feel sure, in obtaining their co-operation if you remind them of their duty to their God and Creator.
ALTHOUGH this wise and benevolent measure * has been enacted so long ago as the third year of the reign of King William IV., I find, to my deep regret, that during the whole time, only
* The “Deferred Annuities Act."
83 about 600 persons have availed themselves of its provisions. I can discover no other reason for this inadequate success, but that the existence of the Act is not generally known, or that people are afraid of Law and Acts of Parliament, which they cannot understand on account of their complicated technical wording. I have heard another reason stated, to which, however, I give little credit, namely, that servants fear lest a knowledge that they are able to purchase annuities by savings from their wages, might induce their masters to reduce them. I have a better opinion of the disposition of employers generally, and am convinced that on the contrary nothing counteracts more the liberality of masters than the idea, not wholly unfounded, that an increase of means, instead of prompting to saving, leads to extravagance.
NEGLECT OF SCIENTIFIC STUDIES.
Is it to be wondered at, that the interests of science, abstract as science appears, and not immediately showing a return in pounds, shillings, and pence, should be postponed, at least, to others which promise immediate tangible results? Is it to be wondered at, that even our public men require an effort to wean themselves from other subjects in order to give their attention to science and men of science, when it is remembered that science, with the exception of mathematics, was until of late almost systematically excluded from our school and university education ; that the traditions of early life are those which make and leave the strongest impression on the human mind, and that the subjects with which we become acquainted, and to which our energies are devoted in youth, are those for which we retain the liveliest interest in after years, and that for these reasons the effort required must be both a mental and a moral one ?
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND.
Whilst we have to congratulate ourselves upon our state of temporal prosperity, harmony at home, and peace abroad, we cannot help deploring that the Church, whose exertions for the progress of Christianity and civilization we are to-day acknowledging, should be afflicted by internal dissensions and attacks from without. I have no fear, however, for her safety and ultimate welfare so long as she holds fast to what our ancestors gained for us at the Reformation, the Gospel and the unfettered right of its use.
The dissensions and difficulties which we witness in this as in every other Church, arise from the natural and necessary conflict of the two antagonistic principles which move human society in Church as well as in State ; I mean the principles of individual liberty and of allegiance and submission to the will of the community, exacted by it for its own preservation.