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vail; and that many of our most important improve. ments in mechanic arts, have been produced by men in humble conditions of life, whose talents have been called forth by education and industry.

We could bring forward a very great number of examples of the good produced by Sunday School instruction among those who had no opportunity of receiving an education in any other way; but our ļimits oblige us to stop.

V.

PENNY CLUBS.

We are much pleased to hear that these little clubs, for encouraging frugal and thoughtful habits among children, are becoming common in many parts of the country; and they seem to have been attended with the best success: the penny, which the child brings, is increased by the sums added by the subscribers, and the whole sum is laid out in clothes, purchased by wholesale, and consequently at the most advantageous rate; and thus the most industrious people are encouraged, by the assistance of their richer neighbours. To encourage industry, is the best sort of charity to the poor; whilst to encourage idleness, is often their ruin. Teach a man to be industrious and thoughtful, and you teach him to be prosperous; teach him to beg, and you are teaching him to be poor. It is wonderful the effect that is produced on the character of the man, by the regular careful habits taught him when a child. I am aware that there are some excellent people who think that this constant attention to gains and savings, is calculated to produce a worldly and selfish disposition, and consequently to be a check to the growth of piety, and Christian affection, in the mind. This is certainly a very important consideration: but still, -when we see the misery, the impiety, the temptations

6

Penny Clubs.

111 to sin, and the dreadful crimes which poverty and bad nanagement lead to, we cannot help thinking that a very great deal of evil is actually prevented by the encouragement of frugal and careful habits. There is, however, scarcely any disposition of mind, or any

condition of life, which does not expose us to temptations of some kind; and if a selfish disposition is growing within us, it is needful that we should most anxiously and watchfully guard against it, and pray against it.

We were much pleased with an anecdote, which we not long ago heard from a friend who encourages a penny club among the children of his village, which leads us to believe, that his club, at least, had not checked the devout feelings of the members of it, but that it had encouraged such a feeling, and had supplied them with the means of gratifying it. Several of the children begged of him to allow them to purchase a Bible and a Prayer-book, instead of clothes, with the money they had saved.

This moreover proves, that they were not in want of clothes; which shews that they were supplied with them, without having recourse to their money saved in the club; and this proves that the family, instead of feeling the loss of the weekly penny, had got such careful habits, that they could clothe their children well, even when their income was lessened by the money put into the club. And it is indeed true, that when once a habit of careful industry has got into a family, distress and want generally leave it, and this must be a great blessing to any family. May this be in every family in the kingdom, and may the best of blessings be with them also!

V.

QUESTIONS FROM THE HISTORY OF

ENGLAND.

(See page 74, Vol. III.) Who was King of England after the death of Edward the First?

How old was Edward the Second when he began to reign ?

In what year did he come to the throne * ?
Where was he born ?
What name was he called by?
What was his personal appearance ?
What was his disposition ?

Do you remember what was his father's dying request respecting Scotland ?

Did Edward the Second act up to his father's desire on this point?

How did he succeed in his war against the Scots?
Who beat him?
In what battle?
Did his affairs at home go on well?
By whose advice was he chiefly guided ?

Were the people offended at his weak conduct, and his attachment to unprincipled favourites?

Who were his chief favourites?
What became of them ?
What happened to the King ?

After the King was taken prisoner, where was he confined ?

Who had the custody of him at Berkley Castle ? How was he treated there?

What particular acts of cruelty did they shew to the King ?

Was the King ever released from this imprisonment?

What death did he die ?
What became of his murderers?
In what year was this murder committed + ?

* 1307.

+ 1327,

Scripture Characters.

113

66

SCRIPTURE CHARACTERS,

(NO. VII.)-REHOBOAM. The history of Rehoboam, which is recorded in the First Book of Kings, and in the 10th and two foħlowing chapters of the Second Book of Chronicles, is well deserving of serious consideration. The outline of it is this : On the death of Solomon, Rehoboam his son, succeeded to the throne of Israel. On this occasion we find that the Israelites came and spake to him, saying, ease thou somewhat the grievous servitude of thy father, and his heavy yoke that he put upon us, and we will serve thee To this reasonable entreaty, seconded by the counsel of the sage advisers that had stood before his father, it appears that he would not listen ; but, absurdly, taking the advice of the young men that had been brought up with him, he spake roughly to the people, and threatened to lay upon them severer burdens+! The consequence of this harsh treatment was a revolt against his authority; “ To your tents, O Israel !” So all Israel went to their tents; and the power of Rehoboam was from that time confined to those who dwelt in the cities of Judah. To reduce his rebellious subjects to obedience, the king gathered together his warriors, when Shemaiah the prophet came to him, saying, “Thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not go up, nor fight against your brethren I." To this voice Rehoboam was obedient, and he dwelt in Jerusalem, and built cities of defence for Judah ; and “he and his people setting their hearts to seek the Lord God of Israel, and to sacrifice unto him were strengthened and blessed.” But it came to pass when Rehoboam had established the kingdom, and had strengthened himself, that “he forsook the law of the Lord, and all Israel with him. Then (because they had transgressed against the Lord) did Shishak, king of Egypt, come up against

• 2 Chron. X. 4.

| 2 Chron. v. 14.

# 2 Chron. xi. 4.

Jerusalem.” Then came Shemaiah the prophet, and declared to the king, and to the princes of Judah, “ Thus saith the Lord, Ye have forsaken me, and, therefore, have I left you in the hand of Shishak. Whereupon, it is said, the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves, and said, The Lord is righteous. And, when the Lord saw that they humbled themselves, the word of the Lord came to Shemaiah, saying, They have humbled themselves, there. fore I will not destroy them; nevertheless they shall be the servants of Shishak, that they may know my service, and the service of the kingdoms of the countries ;” that is, that they may experience the different effects of keeping close to the worship of God, and of renouncing his service. After this, we only read of Rehoboam, that “ he strengthened himself in Jeru

alem and reigned ;" the record of Scripture concerning him, closes with this sad declaration," he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord.”

The character of Rehoboam may be summed up in few words. His religion seems to have proceeded from his fears of being given up into the hands of Jeroboam. When, therefore, he was become so strong, that, as he supposed, he had nothing to apprehend from that quarter, he became openly irreligious and idolatrous. His religion was, in its best estate, an unwilling formal service; his heart was not engaged; he never called upon all that was within him to praise the Lord: he neither desired, nor endeavoured after, that preparation of a humble, believing, and pious disposition of heart, which is requisite in order to worship God in spirit and in truth. This was the source of his instability; and thus he was easily drawn into open ungodliness and wickedness; “ he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the Lord." Reader! there can be no true religion without the preparation of the heart; in other words, [those of Paley,]." the first requisite in religion is seriousness.”

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