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SCHOLARS' SERVICES. ---All who are acquainted with the working of Sunday Schools must know the difficulty of taking the scholars, either altogether or in part, into church or chapel, and the advantage of having a short, separate service conducted for them in the school room. But this is difficult, because the minister is not at liberty to conduct it, and the teachers are sometimes reluctant. This reluctance may often be removed by the use of printed prayers and sermons; the latter being not read drily, but used as giving hints for simple and friendly addresses. Such prayers, or liturgies, have been prepared by Dr. Greenwood, of America ; by Rev. W. H. Crosskey, of Glasgow; and by Mr. Samuel Robinson. All these-varying in lengththe first being the shortest, and the last, containing four forms of prayer, almost suitable for congregational worship, may be obtained, at prices varying from ld. to 1s., from Mr. Whitfield, London. Suitable sermons are more difficult to procure. One or two may be found in our own pages. Dr. Greenwood's little volume is well known. The Inquirer, of March 3, adds to these the following, viz., “Six Simple Sermons for Children at Church," price is. London: Partridge and Oakey. These are by the Rev. J. E. Clarke, of Derby, who read a paper on this subject at the Social Science Meeting at Bradford. “Luccock's Lessons on Moral Culture." Belcher: Birmingham, 1817. “Sunday Services at Home, for Young Children," published by Hughes, 120, Ave Maria Lane, containing thirty addresses and short prayers; and “Todd's Lectures for Children."
MANCHESTER UNITARIAN SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.The first Annual Meeting of the Manchester Unitarian Sunday School Union was held on the evening of March the 5th, in the Lower Mosley Street Schools. A large number of teachers from the five schools in the city were present, and a social evening was spent; the Rev. E. W. Hopkinson, the President for the past year, being in the chair. During the proceedings addresses were delivered by the Revs. James Drummond, B.A., and J. C. Street, and Messrs. Holmes, Lowe, Wade, Smith, &c. Throughout the year monthly meetings have been held alternately in the various schools for the discussion of different social and religious questions. The Rev. Dr. Beard has also conducted a mutual improvement class for the benefit of teachers. Dr. Beard is to be President during the next year; and Mr. Jesse Pilcher succeeds Mr. George Payne as Secretary; the latter gentleman having accepted office as one of the Secretaries of the Manchester District Sunday School Association.
SUBJECTS FOR SUNDAY LESSONS.
THE TEACHINGS OF CHRIST.
4th. The Nature of Religion. April 1st.-An inward principle
..St. Lukexvii., 20-21. 8th. Love to God
.St. Mark xii., 30. 15th.--Communion with God
.St. Matt. vi., 5-15. 22nd.-Trust in God..
.St. Matt. vi., 24-34 29th. Love to man
..St. Matt. V., 43-48. THE WORKS OF GOD. April 1st.--Natural Theology
The five Senses. 8th.-Zoology
The Lark. 15th. The Months
..April. 22nd. The Flowers
.The Primrose. 29th.--The Heavens
.Saturn. OUTLINE LESSON ON TRUST IN GOD. 1. Show what is not meant by trust in God. The subject, and the passage of Scripture from which it is taken, are capable of great abuse. A true trust in God does not encourage idleness, imprudence, or thoughtlessness. An entire carelessness about the future is as sinful as undue anxiety. 2. Carefully picture out and show the evils of that moral condition which Jesus Christ was so anxious that the people should avoid. An undue anxiety about worldly prosperity has a withering influence upon the spiritual affections. What a fearful mistake to be anxious and distressed about temporal things, and careless about the things of the spirit. None saw this so clearly as Jesus Christ, and therefore did he speak so emphatically. 3. Show the conditions necessary to a true trust in God. We must have right views of life; must see that its main object is to develop the higher parts of our nature, and prepare for immortality; must do our duty in whatever circumstances we may be placed, and then we may trust in God, and feel assured that the general arrangements He has made, and the particular events of life, have been and will continue to be for the best. No event will happen which may not be made a blessing to the soul. 4. Show the beneficial influence which a proper trust God has upon life and character. It prevents a great amount of needless unhappiness; gives resignation in afflictions, calmness in adverse circumstances, 'and general tranquillity and peace of mind. To have an unwavering conviction that God is good, and that he is our Father, is indeed a blessing. 5. Show how beautifully Jesus Christ himself manifested this trust in God. He laboured ‘much and suffered much : was persecuted by his enemies, and forsaken by his friends; yet did he ever feel that God was with him, and that his ultimate triumph and glory was certain.
Get up, get up, for shame; the blooming morn
See how Aurora throws her fair
The dew bespangling herb and tree;
Nay, not so much as out of bed,
Nay, profanation to keep in ;
And sweet as Flora. Take no care
Gems in abundance upon you;
Come, and receive them, while the light
Retires himself, or else stands still
ON PLAN TS.
“ Earth holds us by a slender thread,
And 'tis our life,--our root;
Towards our bright home, the azure sky." The more we learn to understand the wonderful works of God, in the creation and support of the living objects we see around us, the more proof shall we find of His tender care and loving watchfulness, in providing for the wants of the very humblest of His creatures. Even in the root of the commonest plant, that you would throw carelessly aside when you drew it from the dark earth where it had been hidden, you will find the wonderful contrivances of His wisdom, providing not only for the growth of the plant itself, but very often also for affording use to man.
Nothing in creation is formed to live and die for itself alone. It is one of the great lessons that God is ever teaching us, which we are yet slow to learn, that true life is not living only for ourselves, but that our time and powers of usefulness were given us to be employed for others as well as ourselves.
I am going to try to show you, in the history of plants, how the root, the stem, the leaf, the flower, and the fruit, are not only needful to the plant itself, but grow and blossom, and ripen for use as well as beauty.
There are four different kinds of roots : the fibrous root, composed of a number of small threads or fibres, such as the primrose; the tuberous root, such as the potato; the bulbous root, like that of the onion; and the fusiform, or spindleshaped root, like that of the carrot. The root not only keeps the plant firm in its place in the ground, but draws its nourishment from the soil by means of small cells or mouths that can be seen with a microscope, placed at the end of each of the little threads that grow down into the earth. They seek the food that is proper for them, for every different sort of plant requires a different food.
Most of our earliest spring flowers are bulbous-rooted plants, such as the snowdrop, the crocus,
&c. unwrap fold after fold of the warm cloak that has been their shelter during the cold of winter, and see how beautifully it has been contrived to guard the young plant, and keep it alive during the frost and snow, till the warmth and light of the first spring days draw out the young green shoot. Thus you may learn to trust and love that kind Father who has guarded the little plant during its winter's sleep, and feel sure that He will never forget the children whom He has made capable of knowing and loving Him.
In tuberous-rooted plants like the potato, the food and moisture necessary to nourish the young plant till it is strong enough to send down roots of its own, are stored up in the tubers. The young plant, which we call the eye, is cut out and set in the ground, and it is in this way that our potatoes are grown. But the plant bears seed in the autumn, contained in the green bail we call the potato-apple ; and when
gardeners wish to obtain fresh sorts these seeds are sown, as the potato-eye always grows up like the parent plant. It is a very curious fact, too, that though the root is so wholesome, the potato flower and apples are extremely poisonous.
Common as potatoes now are, and strange as we should think it to meet with a person who had never seen one, they were only brought into England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth, in the year 1586, by Sir Walter Raleigh, on his return from one of his voyages to America, and for many years it was only used at the tables of the Queen and the richest people of the land.
Sir W. Raleigh had the roots he brought planted in his garden at Youghal, in Ireland, and when the apples were formed the gardener brought them to his master, and asked him “whether that was the fine fruit that he had brought all the way
from America ?” Sir Walter looked at it, and pretending to be much dissatisfied, ordered the man to root the weed entirely out of his garden. The gardener obeyed, but in rooting out the weed found, to his surprise, a bushel of fine potatoes.
At first, indeed, from not knowing how to cook them, potatoes were much disliked. The roots were merely warmed through, so that they stuck to the teeth like glue. It was not till rather more than a hundred years ago that they were at all generally cultivated in Scotland, and even at the present day the poor people prefer their oat cakes and porridge to a potato.
A cottager, named Thomas Prentice, was the first person who tried to cultivate it in Scotland, and his first crop being a good one, his neighbours were all eager to supply themselves with this useful vegetable. He continued to cultivate it very carefully, and being a frugal and industrious man, in a few years he saved quite a large sum of money, upon which he lived in comfort to the age of 86, happy in witnessing the good effects of the blessing he had been the means of introducing into his country.
But still the potato was not generally grown in Scotland till after the year 1742, when the harvests failed almost entirely, and flour and meal were so dear that many poor creatures died from starvation. It was in Ireland that the potato spread most rapidly, and became the chief food of the