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And then the future was more dark than the present. In fact, I was almost in
despair, and began to wish I had never been born, and especially to mourn
that my little ones had so gloomy a prospect. "They have," said I, "no'fortune,
and the world is cruel and hard-hearted." I will not, however, dwell on so pain-
ful a subject, or else I could fill pages with the tale of my sorrow.
But now
it was all banished; the robin was to me an angel of mercy, and its song acted on
my mind as the lyre of David on Saul. The evil spirit of discontent, unbelief,
and despondency, was chased away, and I was another man. The texts, "Your
Father feedeth them; are not ye much better than they?" "He shall dwell on
high, his place of defence shall be the munitions of rocks; bread shall be given
him, his water shall be sure;" "I have been young, and now am old, yet never
saw I the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread;" came to my mind.
I blessed God for the robin and his sweet song, for it was the song that did it all.
If the redbreast could sing so merrily, why should not I? And then, above all,
I praised him who had given us the Bible, with all its store of promises and
consolations, to cheer and comfort us. I looked on every bird, beast, fish,
and insect, as a missionary intended to teach us some great and important
truth. Solomon spake "three thousand proverbs;" that is, three thousand wise
and instructive sayings. "And his songs were a thousand and five; and he spake
of trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, to the hyssop that springeth out
of the wall; he spake also of beasts, and of birds, and of creeping things, and of
fishes." I have sometimes been afraid that we are become too exclusively
spiritual in these days, and thus rob ourselves of a very large amount of know-
ledge and happiness, which nature and providence were intended to impart. At
any rate, I am not ashamed to say, that I was taught "faith by a robin," and
even to sing also; for after hearing his sweet song, I could not help cheering up
my own spirits with the verse,-

"The birds without barn or store-house are fed;
From them let us learn to trust for our bread;

His saints what is fitting shall ne'er be denied,
So long as 'tis written, 'The Lord will provide.'"

JUVENILE DEPARTMENT.

METAPHYSICS FOR CHILDREN.

CONVERSATION WITH SOME LITTLE BOYS AND GIRLS.

VISITOR. Good morning. I said the last time I saw you, that we would, some day, have a little talk about metaphysics.

ISAAC. What an odd mixture, meat and physic!

VISITOR. NOW, Isaac, you are not to indulge your disposition to laugh. For though your name means "the Laugher," yet you really must be a little more

serious.

HARRY. Well now, really, Sir, does it not mean meat and physic?

MARY. If it does I am sure I should not like it. I am very fond of meat, but as for physic, I wish I was never going to taste it again.

SOLOMON. I heard a clergyman say the other day, “that he had thrown all physic to the dogs."

SALLY. What a shame, to give the dogs physic. Better have thrown it away altogether. However, I don't believe the dogs were so foolish as to take it. Only think of a dog taking Morison's Pills.

VISITOR. Well now, I have left you to yourselves, to hear what you would say. If you had only stopped to spell the word, you would not have talked at such a random rate. Those who can spell the word, hold up their hands. Here all the hands were held up, and Betsy was called upon to spell it. BETSY. M-e-t-a-p-h-y-s-i-c-s, Metaphysics.

ISAAC. The word is nearly as long as my finger.

VISITOR. As you can all spell it, perhaps you can tell me whether it is simple or compound.

ALL. Compound, Sir.

VISITOR. Tell me what it is compounded of.

MARY. "Meta, beyond, or above," and "Phusikē, Physics."

VISITOR. Where did you learn that?

MARY. In Butler's spelling-book.

ISAAC. Well done, Mary. "Meta, above," and "Phusike, Physics," means "above physic;" that's right. That's better than meat and physic. Let us all learn Metaphysics, and then we shall all be above physic, and never take any more.

VISITOR. You may laugh, but perhaps I shall be able to show you presently that if all people were better metaphysicians, the doctors would have less to do. HARRY. Then I am sure I shall learn, for I have taken such a quantity of rhubarb, salts, and camomile tea, and other bitter things, that I am never well. I am sure so much of it does no one any good.

SOLOMON. Why, if we learn Metaphysics, we shall then be above all the physicians.

VISITOR. What language does Metaphysics come from?

HARRY. From the Greek, Sir. We obtain nearly all those words from the Greek.

ISAAC. What long tongues they must have had.

VISITOR. What number is "physic?"

HESTER. Singular, Sir.

VISITOR. What number is "physics ?"

SOLOMON. Plural, Sir. I declare we are wrong again.

VISITOR. So I thought. Is there no difference between physic and physics ? MARY. Physic is medicine.

HARRY. I know the meaning of that very well, I have taken so much.

ISAAC. I am a metaphysician, for I never take any; so I am above physic, and I hope I always shall be.

VISITOR. You told me the meaning of "physic," but you did not tell me the signification of physics.

BETSY. Physics is the science of bodies, and teaches all about their nature, properties, relations, operations, and a great deal more; so the book says. VISITOR. What does physics come from?

MARY. From Phuo, to spring up, produce, &c.

VISITOR. The word "physics" then, refers to matter, or bodies?

SOLOMON. Yes; and to their growing up, bearing fruit, and decaying; and, indeed, all about them.

VISITOR. If physics refers to bodies, what do you think meta-physics

means?

ISAAC. I can't answer that, unless it means beyond the body; but people that are beyond the body, are dead.

VISITOR. Is there any thing in man above his body?

HARRY. Of course there is. The soul, or mind, is above the body.

MARY. One soul is worth all the bodies in the world.

VISITOR. If physics teaches us all about bodies, then what does metaphysics teach us?

SAMUEL. All about minds, or souls.

BETSY. Now I understand it; metaphysics is the science of mind, as physics is the science of bodies.

ISAAC. I declare that's better than meat and physic, or than being above physic. I am sure I shall like this, for I should like to know what kind of thing my mind is, especially as our friend says, that if people understood metaphysics they might do with less medicine, for I am sometimes afraid I may have to take some, and Harry says, 'Tis so bitter.

VISITOR. I can tell you more than that; if people generally were thoroughly practical metaphysicians, they might not only do without physic, but also have plenty of meat.

ISAAC. That would be of no use to the vegetarians, because they never eat any meat at all.

VISITOR. Does meat always mean animal food?

SOLOMON. Oh no. All kinds of food are called meat.

VISITOR. We must not forget the meaning of metaphysics. say it was?

MARY. The science of mind.

VISITOR. How many substances are there in the world?

BETSY. Only two.

ISAAC. Only two! Why, I know a thousand.

What did you

VISITOR. You may know thousands of things, but you only know two sub

stances. What are they, Harry?

HARRY. Matter and mind.

VISITOR, What do you mean by matter?

SOLOMON. All kinds of bodies,

VOL. I.

VISITOR. What by mind?

SAMUEL. All kinds of souls or spirits.

VISITOR. Who is the greatest spirit in the universe?

SAMUEL. God.

VISITOR. Which are the next?

BETSY. Angels and demons.

VISITOR. Are there any others?

MARY. The souls of men and women.

All of us here have souls.

VISITOR. We have now then learnt that metaphysics treats of the mind or soul. A thorough metaphysician knows all that can be known about minds, souls, or spirits.

BOYS AND GIRLS, ALL. But children cannot understand this.

VISITOR. Children can apprehend this subject if they like; and, as every one has a soul, every one ought to understand all about himself.

ISAAC. But there are so many hard words.

VISITOR. So there are, but you can understand them as well as King Solomon.

ISAAC. What do you think of that, Solomon?

VISITOR. I must go now, but we will try another day whether we can't understand all about such words as Ontology, Cosmology, Anthroposophy, Psychology, Theology, &c., &c.

SOLOMON. We hope you will soon come again.

VISITOR. As soon as possible. Farewell.

ISAAC. I am sure we shall want our tongues made longer.

BETSY. Perhaps we may have our minds strengthened and lengthened, and then we need not fear about our tongues.

RELIGIOUS INTELLIGENCE.

SURREY CHAPEL.

STATE OF THE CHURCH AT SURREY CHAPEL, ABRIDGED FROM A REPORT READ ᎪᎢ THE ANNUAL CHURCH MEETING, SEPTEMBER, 1849.

We cannot meet to commemorate the anniversary of the union subsisting between us and our pastor, without indulging in feelings of the liveliest gratitude to our Divine Benefactor, through whose loving-kindness and care we are permitted, notwithstanding much prevailing sickness and sorrow, again to assemble on one more of these interesting occasions. It is no small mercy that we have been assisted to keep the unity of the spirit, in the bond of peace; that the health of our beloved minister has been continued amidst many visits to the sick and dying, and that none of the elders have resigned the sword for the

crown.

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The number of church members at the close of August, 1848, was
Candidates for church membership from Sept., 1848, to Aug., 1849. 136
Of which number were declined
Now under consideration

Total number registered during the year

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5

1414

2- 129

1543

41

69

Have died, or removed from the locality, their present residence being unknown

20

Of which number have died, as by notice sent to the elders
Have been transferred to other churches

69

Have withdrawn from the church, either by notice, or by absence from the communion for two years

Were excluded

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Emigrated

Leaving members in actual attendance

12-166

1377

Of the 129 members admitted, there were 38 males, and 91 females, 15 of whom were received from other churches, and 114 from the world. Their ages - Under 20 years of age

were:

19

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53

28

9

10

7

3

129

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389 members of other churches who broke bread with us at the Lord's table

during the year, were of the following denominations :

From Independent churches

From the Establishment

From the Wesleyan

From the Baptist

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