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terests of the poor were most near-of a man who incessantly put forth the powers of a mighty and most enlightened understanding in schemes for the instruction, the reformation, and the employment of the poor-of a man who, amidst the glare of station and the din of politics, was most deeply impressed with the truth and importance of Solomon's declaration, that “in all labour there is profit.”

From the incidental mention of this worthy personage, I am led to point out another circumstance very deserving of your attention. In the religious house of a neighbouring country, the lowest classes of the people met with relief; and whether it were owing to the importunity of suppliants, or to the difficulty of procuring intelligence about their characters, or to the stubborn regulations of founders, or to the mechanical influence of mere custom, they who asked for alms received them, with little or no discrimination. If hungry they were fed, if naked they were clothed. But they were not instructed (as the objects of your charity are) in any useful art. They were not trained up to the duties of society. They received a temporary, not a lasting benefit. Nay, they were fostered in idleness, rather than encouraged to industry. And of this misplaced succour what was the consequence ? Mark it in the ingratitude of these miscreants towards their benefactors the clergy. Mark it in the contempt of every pious office which those benefactors performed; and in the disregard of every holy truth which they inculcated. Mark it in their caprice, in their licentiousness—their unbridled, though not unprovoked ferocity; and in all those sanguinary excesses, which, having been inflicted, are retaliated, and deepen the horrors of war. These things are mentioned for your instruction. I would turn your thoughts to them, not for political but for moral purposes-not for the gratification of any national prejudices, but for the encouragement of your personal virtues—not to excite any one ungenerous triumph over the sufferings and the crimes of your neighbours, but to make you thankful to Almighty God, that the wiser direction of your own charity has a tendency to avert similar sufferings. and similar crimes from your own country.

Believe me then, my brethren, for your own sake, and for the sake of the poor. He that turning aside from the babble of sciolists, and the altercations of partizans, studies the force of moral causes on the heart of man, extensively in the records of history, or profoundly in the researches of philosophy, will be too well acquainted with the brighter side of things, “ to fear where no fear is.” He knows that the religious character of man is not to be separated from the social; nor the social from the intellectual. He knows, that to dread the progress of reason is a base insult upon his own rational nature; and that to resist it amounts to a high act of rebellion against the sovereignty of God, as our moral governor. He knows, that from a deluded, not an enlightened multitude—that from the sudden influx, not the gradual diffusion of knowledgem that from the jealous suppression, not the liberal en

couragement of public improvement-errors and discontents and tumults are to be apprehended. He will look for good citizens in good men, and good men he will form by giving them possession of those truths “ which," as a great writer says, “are the only source of public happiness, and to which the order of society should be conformed."*

In addressing the inhabitants of a larger, and, as I suspect, a more corrupt town than your own, I once took occasion to unfold the general principles of benevolence in such a manner, as to animate my hearers in particular exertions of it for charityschools. But I am unwilling to repeat what I then advanced; and from the information I have received about the rise and progress of the institutions over which you preside, I believe that no such discussion is at this time, and at this place, necessary. You deserve to be praised for your general design. Upon some few particulars you may without impropriety be informed, or I should rather say, reminded of your duty; but you stand not in any need of elaborate arguments to convince, or of impassioned exhortations to persuade you, that charity holds an illustrious rank in the catalogue of christian perfections; and that the education of the poor and friendless forms a very important part of that eminent virtue.

Your school I understand has been flourishing for the space of eight years ; and in eight years experience must have proved to you the usefulness of your plans, while observation must have enabled you to supply defects, and to rectify errors in carrying them into execution. The objections which perhaps the seeming novelty of the experiment, rather than any criminal perverseness of temper, may have formerly suggested to some inhabitants, at length I am told, are entirely removed. Instead of being compelled to receive strangers into your families, you now meet with sober and honest domestics, who come to you not with the jealousy and coldness of eye-service, but with habitual sentiments of respect and confidence. Even in those who are not admitted into

* Turgot.


houses you must have seen many favourable traces of diligence in their callings, and regularity in their morals. Surely I am not visionary in thinking that the example of the persons for whom you provide instruction, has not been without some kindly influence upon the disposition and behaviour of their comrades, who could not be comprehended in your plan. At all events I am justified in saying, that the parents of these children owe you most sincere thanks; and that if they have themselves been addicted to idleness or vice, they may find incentives to reformation in the better conduct of their offspring.

Some years ago I laid before the public my thoughts on the necessity of training up children in the fear and the love of the Lord. And though the length to which this discourse has already extended will not permit me to enlarge on the benefits of a religious education, I will take the

liberty of offering a few remarks upon a subject beyond all others most interesting to the wise and good.

I observe with great satisfaction that you insist on the regular attendance of the children at Divine worship. Permit me, however, to suggest to you, that in books intended for their private reading I should wish many distinctions to be made. Some pathetic parts of the Book of Genesis, all the Psalms of David, all the Proverbs of Solomon, select portions from the Prophets, and the whole of the four Gospels, should again and again be perused by these children. But in the Revelations of St. John, and the Epistles of St. Paul, there are many things too hard to be understood by unlearned, and especially by young readers. And as for the historical parts of the Old Testament, give me leave to say that they may be studied with less difficulty and more edification in some excellent and cheap books, which have been published by the celebrated Dr. Watts, in question and answer; and by the judicious Mrs. Trimmer, in continued and explanatory narrative.

Your own good sense will inform you how dangerous it must be to let in doubts and perplexities upon the first trains of our religious sentiments; and

my habits of reading have long convinced me that many formidable evils will be prevented by the books which I have often recoinmended.

I should hope that, in the hearing of their parents and benefactors, these children sometimes repeat the catechism in the house of God. And though

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