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THE NEW CONGREGATIONAL COLLEGE.

PROVIDENCE AND SELF-HELP.

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PROVIDENCE AND SELF-HELP. Though many of the ills of life are the result of circumstances pver which individuals have little control, many also are caused by the want of proper reflection, care, foresight, and economy on the part of those who suffer. We are all too much disposed to blame others rather than ourselves. We blame, above all things, Go- vernment, forgetting how very small a part of the ills of life Government Can either cause or cure. A Government cannot make a drunken man sober, a thoughtless man prudent, a waste- ful man thrifty. It cannot make him moral, virtuous, or reli- gious. The highest sources of human happiness and improve. ment lie altogether beyond its reach. These are within the power of the people themselves, and they, as individuals, can bring im- proved circumstances to bear upon their own social condition and well-being for, each man has within himself the capability of free will and of free action to a large extent- to a much larger "btent than most men are disposed to admit, or at least to act upon and the fact is proved by the multitude of men who have successfully battled with and overcome the adverse circumstances of life in which they have been placed, and who have risen from out the lowest depth of poverty ,\nd social abasement, as if to prove what energetic man. resolute of purpose, call do for his own elevation and advancement. Now, we would not ignore the abuses and oppressions of Go- vernment—far from it; but to discuss such matters in these co- lumns would be out of place. Our object at present is, to point out what individual men can and ought to do for themselves. And the greatest of all reforms-the reform of a nation -must be effected through in (livid rotigh individual improvement, individual reform, individual elevation. Nations are made up of peisons; and as the individuals are, so will the mass be. Every man's first duty is, to improve, educate, and elevate himseif in the social scale, helping forward his brethren at the same tune by nil reasonable means. Let him resolve and determine that lie will advance, and the first step of advancement is already taken. The first step is half the battle and in the very fact of advancing himself, he is in the most effectual possible way advancing others. He is giving them the most eloquent of all lessons—that of exam- ple which always teaches far more emphatically than words can do. He is doing what others are by imitation incited to do. Be- ginning with himself, he is in the most emphatic manner teaching the duty of self-reform and of self-improvement; and if the ma- jority of men acted as he did, how much wiser, how much hap- pier, how much more prosperous as a whole, would society soon become. For, society being made up of Ulllts, will be happy and prosperous, or the reverse, exactly in the same degree that the individuals which compose it are. Society only reflects individual conditions. If we are bad as men, we are also bad as society and if we are good as men, so will society be good in th" same degree. We spy again then. that the reform and elevation of society is to be accomplished by the reform and elevation of and if men would really ad- vance society, they may begin at once—with themselves. We fear that most men are readier to begin with their neighbours while some are particularly anxious about persons, communities, and tribes, very much further off. Let us reiterate the maxim — that the tirst thing for the zealous reformer to do is, to resolve well astohisownimoroyenient.and then perform resolutely what he has so resolved. Tlie first thing which a man so resolved has to do, is, to prac- tice self-denial. "A h." says some one, I have enough of that already!" Well, perhaps this one is right but there are others. 'many others, among the working classes, who have yet to learn what self-denial means. Think of the millions of pounds sterling spent by the working class every year in drink and tobacco, and how very far this means, so wasted, would go towards enabling individuals to improve themselves, and to Jay the basis of inrie- pendence and comfort for I Ife. We know of several institutions, in one large town in the manufacturing districts, where, for three jiftillirigs a year, or one shilling a quarter, working men may secure admission to excellent lectures, a library, a news-room, and mutual improvement classes. A shilling a quarter is less than half a far- thing a day; and yet all these benefits are given for so small a Mm'. Such are the advantages of co-operation for a noble object, Why, an ounce of tobacm, -or a glass of beer weekly, costs four times more than the admission to all the high and intellectual advantages just named. If you take the intrinsic value, they are worth one hundred times the sum charged f)r them. If we look rilso at the excellent mechanics' institutions throughout the couitr' l-y -and here is now scarcely a town or village in which such institutions are not now founded-we find that advantages of the same kind are given at not much higher charges. The admirable institutions of Manchester, Liverpool, and Leeds offer advantages superior to those of many of the best colleges of the olden times and they are open to the working classes, at rates, the highest of them, not above threepence a week The excellent Mechanics' Institution at Leeds, containing a library of 7,000 volumes, sup- plied with the leading periodicals of the day, with its varied lec- tures and classes, is open to the use of working men for less than threepence a week, or less thau the cost of a pint and a half of beer! Then arithmetic, algebra, mathematics, and mensuration, are taught for a penny a week extra, in the evening classes, or for less than the cost of half an ounce of tobacco! Grammar, and composition, geography, and history, are also taught for a penny a week; and so on with other branches of knowledge. Nearly the same advantages are now offered by other first class mecha- nics' institutions throughout the country. Now, to have access to these branches of education—to have a free admission to the mighty store of knowledge that lies in books —to hold communion with the great spirits of this and of past ages-to cultivate the mind under the direction of competent in- structors-is it not a very small sacrifice to ask of a working man that he should give up one glass of beer daily, or say three glasses weekly, when, by so doing, he can accomplish objects so great, so truly elevating and ennobling ? What will he lose by giving up the one indulgence, and how much will he gain by entering on his new pursuits P He will lose headaches, but he will gain self-re- spect. He will deny his throat some unnecessary moisture, but he will elevate his calling, and improve his character by the culti- vation of his mind and the acquisition of knowledge. And let a man be once well educated, and he cannot be deprived of its con- sequent advantages. He must rise, as an individual and let all working men become so educated, and they, in like manner, can- not fail to rise as a class. An enlightened people must be an ad- vancing people; a people possessing intelligence must be superior to any other power, and their progress and advancement cannot be withstood. Another important point for working men to aim at is, to place themselves in a position above the accidents and ills of 1ife- above poverty, and all the misery and evil that it produces. It must be admitted that men of all classes are, as yet, too little pi- fluenced by this consideration. We are all apt to live beyond our incomes-at all events, to live up to them. The upper classes live too much for display they must keep up their position in society"—they must have fine houses, horses, and carriages—give good dinners, and drink rich wines-their ladies must wear costly and gay dresses; and thus the march of improvidence goes for- ward, over broken hearts, ruined hopes, and wasted ambitious. The vice descends in society-the middle classes struggle to ape the patrician orders; they flourish crests, liveries, and hammer- cloths their daughters must learn accomplishments"—must see" society '-play at cards-frequent operas and theatres. Dis- play is the rage-ambition rivalling ambition—and so the vicious folly runs on like a tide. The vice still descends-the working classes, too, live up to their means—much smaller means, it is true, but even when they are able, they are not sufficiently care. ful to provide against the evil day and then only the poorhouse offers its scanty aid to defend them against total want. Now, we are not blind to the numerous instances of working men acting the part of prudent and far-seeing economists. If we look to the savings banks, to the building societies, to the benefit societies of the Odd Fellows Order, we indeed find the most cheer- ing examples of provident economy on the part of working men. But we say it advisedly, and it will be confessed to be true, that a very large proportion of the working classes allow their means to run to waste and that a very large number of them, who, by frugality and careful economy, might lay up a store of savings, which might secure for themselves an honourable independence for their old age, waste their means, often spending them on drink and when their years of health and strength have passed away, they are left stranded on the stern shores of poverty and want, destitute and desolate. The gains reaped in times of prosperity are not garnered up, but spent nothing is saved, and what is the consequence? Frightful misery in the time of need. Instead of its being one of the first thoughts, when a man marries, and in- volves others in his fate, it is one of the last-that he should make such a provision for these other beings dependant on him for their subsistence, as his means will fairly allow. From the very first earnings of every man a small portion should at once be set apart, as a matter of course, as a fund for misfortune, sickness, or old age. And those who have not observed, would be astonished to find what a few pence set apart weekly will do towards establish- ing the perfect and noble independence of the working man in all the vicissitudes ot life, and, on the failure of his strength, in its decline. A saving of sixpence a week will amount to forty pounds in twenty years, and to seventy pounds in thirty years. By pru- dence and economy, it would not be difficult for many working men to save that sum, or double, or treble that sum and such a sum, as a capital, would add to his self- respect, to his dignity and independence, and remove the evil day far from him, or keep it away altogether. There is a dignity in the very effort to save with a worthy purpose, even though the attempt should not be crowned with eventual success. It produces a well-regulated mind -it gives prudence a triumph over extravagance; it gives vinue the mastery over vice. it puts the passions under control; it drives away care it secures comfort. Saved money, however little, will serve to dry up many a tear-will ward off many sorrows and heart-burnings, which otherwise would prey upon us. Possessed of a little store of capital, a man walks with a lighter step-his heart beats more cheerily. The face of nature will assume, in his eyes, a more joyous character the fields will appear more green the groves more vocal. When interruption of work or adversity comes, he can meet them he can recline on his capital, which will either break his fat!, or prevent it altogether. By such prudential economy, we can thus realise the dignity of man, life will be a blessing, and old age an honour. We can ultimately, under a kind Providence, surrender life, conscious that we have "been no burden on society, but rather, perhaps, an acquisition and ornament to it conscious, also, that as we have been indepen- dent, our children after us, by following our example, and avail- ing themselves of the means we have left behind us, will walk in like manner through the world, in independence and happi- ness.—Eliza Cook's, Journal.

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BROUGHAM IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.

MR. HUDSON IN PARLIAMENT.

PARLIAMENTARY PERFORMANCES.

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ON PLOUGHING UNDER GREEN CROPS…

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