« ForrigeFortsett »
“ One, out of many millions, may be sensible of his fins, and favoured with a call from the spirit; but the rest are consigned over to perdition.*
“ How dreadfully this doctrine must operate in the conduct of life, I need not obferve to you.
“ I have heard of instances of elect parents, cafting off their children, and eleet children separating themselves from their parents, as from lost souls. I have known huibands, among the Lord's people, who have abandoned their wives to perdition,t though virtuous and religious women, and refused to admit them even to family prayer, because they professed themselves insensible to the operations of the Spirit!
“ You, Sir, I perceive, are acquainted with numerous inftances of this fort. Alas! is this the word of the merciful God, who is not willing that any mould perih, but that all should come to repentance ?
“ In the mean time, those of the other class, who are either expeéting, or have received, an assurance of salvation, are not, at all, better qualified for acceptance with heaven, on the score of morality; nay, it should seem, that they are not lo well qualified in this point as their fellow mortals in general.
“! With you, it seems, the tests of Chritian rectitude are 'a horrible dread, overwhelming the spirits;' the agonizing cry for mercy; and the tremblings of suspense, or hope deferred,' perhaps, through life; and the transports of expe. Tiences, and visions, and conferences with God!
“ With us, however, the reprobate and the damned,) thc tests are chafrity, fobriety and honety, humility and love unfeigned.' By these, 'Thall all men know, that we are Chrift's disciples.' With us, Christianity is a religion of ace tion, not of speculation. Instead of elevating us above the duties of our ftation, it enforces the stricteft attention to our several callings. It teaches us, for instance, that the poor labourer in the fields, who serves his master with fidelity, carries home the produce of his industry, for his wife and family, and chearfully Tharing with them the comforts of his cottage, looks up to Providence for a blersing upon his honeft exertions, and trusts, for the pardon of his . human errors,' in the mercies of his Savivur; has a fairer prospect of an inheritance with the saints in light, than he that neglects his labours and deserts his dwelling, led aftray by tome itinerant preacher, and hungering and thirtting after righteous. ness,' whilft his offspring arc crying to their mother for bread, naked, cold, and destitute !
* “ That infants, who die before baptism, will be damned, is a tenet of the rigid Calvinift ; and, it is perfectly confiftent with the doctrine of original sin. Yet how full of barbarity and blasphemy, to damn to the flames of hell those little children of whom our Saviour faid, that their's is the kingdom of heaven!' Surely, it was its natural, not its acquired, disposition, which our Saviour bade us imitate, when he enjoined us to receive the kingdom of heaven as a little child. Nevertheless, if its spirit escape from it without the form of baptism, it is condemned, with all its fimplicity and innocence, to everlafting torments ! Rather, indeed, than have specified a doctrine, more wild and extravagant than that of the Limbus Infantum of Virgil, we should have observed, with Plato, of its advocates : Και ολιγον χρονον Bιουντων περα αλλα ελεγεν ουκ αζια μνημης. De Rep. 1. 10. P. 615. Ser. Ed. From John ix. 2, 3, where our Saviour's disciples ask him who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?' &C. We may draw an inference, I think, that the Calvinistic doctrine of original fin, is false. For, if it were true, our Saviour would have immediately resolved the doubts of his disciples, by recurring to it. A Calvinift would have answered, that the punishment of blindness inflicted on the child from its birth, was owing to its own lins, transmitted to him, through his parents, from Adam.”
+ « Because their wives resembled too much the innocence and fimplicity of little children to be sensible of pollution from sin, and, consequently, were never drawn (by the Spirit) unto Christ, to be cleansed from such a leprosy,"
“ The diftreffes introduced into families by Methodism ftand so prominent n almost every town in the kingdom, that I need not adduce infances to erince
“ If the latter, at length, return to his wretched habitation, he will returne, perhaps, groaning under the weight of his fins, and trembling from the apprehension of the wrath to come, and fitted only to add despair to misery. But, for the other cottager he sanctifies, with gratitude, his humble meal, and the little blaze that illumines his walls, in the circle of his helpmate and his innocent children. He enjoys the present huur; and (pardon me, Sir, the expretiion, the assurance of blettedness, hereafter! Yes! he hath an afsurance, the most infallible in the world—an assurance, by which we may live and se in peace with ourselves, our fellow-creatures, and our God--the assurances which arise from the testimony of a good conscience. "For, (says the apofuie, referring us to the law of nature, which is prior to the law of revelacion,) beloved, it our heart condenın us not, then have wc confidence towards God.'*
The facts here advanced by Mr. Polwhele are of such a natures that, were they not fanctioned by his authority, we could scarcely be brought to give credit to thein. They speak, however, fo strongly for themselves, that any comment which we could add, would only leffen their force, and diminish that impreffion which they must un. avoidably make on the minds of our readers. We shall, therefore, dismiss ihis article, for the present, without farther observation, and resume our consideration of it in a future number.
(To be continued.)
ART. XXII. The Ninth Report of the Society for bettering the Con
dition, and increasing the Comforts, of the Poor. 8vo. Price is,
our fellow creaturcs as an imperative duty prescribed by the holy
the juftness of the above picture. Were it necessary, I could mention a cobbler, at no great di' ance from this place, who used to live contented and happy with his wife and little family, till the woman was leduced by a young Methodist preacher, both from his bed and board,' The man, poffeffing no very quict Ipirit, often expoftulates with his wife (on her return to him, perhaps, at two or three o ciock in the morning, on her disorderly behaviour, and sometimes has recouise to the strap for a little wholesome correction. But her attachment, I believe, to her daily and her nightly instructor, is too strong to be overcome by remonttrances, menaces, or blows. Her children, before neat and clean, and blooming with health, are now yellow with misery.' Nor can her huíband, full of resentment and jealousy, pursue, with any comfort, his folitary labours. I am acquainted with a similar instance of aberration in another neighbourhood, where the hutband has had the most subftantial proof in the world of his wife's devotion to her spiritual guide. But Methodism does not stop here. It plunges its votaries into every vice. In its føber moinents it is polluted with adultery :In its frenzy it is imbrued with murder. Very lately, in this part of Cornwall, a poor man having heard a Methodift preacher on the text, “ I will wash my hands in innocency,' went home, and seized his infant child, then asleep in its cradle, and murdered it, and washed his hands in the innocent's blood !"
* “ According to Dr. Clarke, and other rational divines, the only way to underftand the Scriptures rightly, is to explain one text by another, and to as that none thall contradict the great law of nature, which is, likewise, the law of God.' Does not our Saviour himself refer the Pharisees to the religion of nature, when he alks them, “Why, even of yourselves, judge ye not what is right?'
founder of our religion. Confidered merely in a political point of view, if there can be a mind so strangely formed as to extend its confideration no farther, it is an object of the first magnitude to devise all practical means for meliorating the condition of those who are, by the dispensations of an all-wise Providence, placed in such a situation, in this world, at to render the attainment of the ordinary comforts of life a matter of extreme difficulty. In every society it is unquestionably the duty of the governing power to afford the means of subsistence to all its members ; that is, to provide work for such as have the ability to obtain a livelihood for ihemtelves, and to maintain those who, from age or tickness, are destitute of that ability. It must be a matter for self-gr-tulation to every Englishman, that, in no country whatever, have so many charitable inftitutions been founded, as in England ; in no country are the funds appropriated to the support of the poor, so ample; and in no country is the difpofition to better their condi.ion and to increase their comforts more generaily prevalent.
But, notwithstanding there advantages, much certainly remains to be done in order to render this extensive and useful class of the community as comfortable as their fitnation will allow; and the means taken by the fociety, whose report is before us, appear to be admirably calculated for effecting this desirable purpose. One thing, however, strikes us as extraordinary, viz. that the attention of the society appears to be limited to the poor in villages and coun. try towns, but chiefly in the former ; whereas, as far as our observation has extended, the village poor, generally, are more comfortable, and certainly less addicted to inebriety, or any other vice, than the lower clailes of people in the metropolis and large provincial towns. We have also had frequent occasion to observe, that, in many places, where manufactories are establithed, there is a greater appearance of misery in the families of the lower classes, than in villages where the poor are almost exclutively employed in agricultural pursuits. To what cause is this to be ascribed? In the former, the means of subsistence are more numerous than in the latter, and the wages much higher. Are we to suppote then, that, in proportion to the facility with which money is earned, the disposition to squander it is increased? We much fear that this is really the case ; in the metropolis we know it to be so; there men, who can easily carn from forty to fifty shillings a week will frequently work only half the weck, spend the remainder in drunkennels and diflipation, and meanwhile dishonestly neglect the business of their employers, and balcly leave their wretched families to Itarve. The man who could devise any means for supplying a remedy to this spreading evil, which tends materially to promote the growth of immorality, would render a most essential service to the community.
We approve bigbly of the plan, adopted by Lord Carrington, of allotting to every cottager on his ettate lufficient land to enable bim to keep a cow; and we heartily with it were generally adopted throughout the kingdom. Its effect on the peasantry must be highly bencficial; as it tends to connect more firmly the links of the
social chain; and to encrease that attachment to bome, which is the source of much individual comfort and of infinite public good. In tort, while it betters the condition, it meliorates the mind of the poor. We cannot, however, see the necessity, nor even the propriety, of fupprefling village-alchouses; never having witnefled any of the evil effects which are here stated in the note to P. 189,) to result from them. On the contrary, we conceive them to be highly neceflary on various accounts; and surely the power vested in magistrates to refuse licenses is fully sufficient to correct all such abuses as those here complained of. It thould not be forgotten that the abridgement of rational recreation is not very compatible with the augmentation of comfort; nor yet that comfort is a relativ term. It is needless to enlarge on this topic; as the grounds of our opinion must be obvious to every one. While every effort to excite a spirit of industry, to diffuse moral principles, and to propagate sound religious doctrine, thall have our determined support; we fhall enter our protest against all attempts to introduce the revolting fternness of puritanical manners ; we neither with to fee our peasantry turned preachers, nor our country-alehouses converted into conventicles.
Dr. Ferriar is entitled to the thanks of the country for the excellent institution of the House of Recovery, which he was the means of establishing at Manchester. This house is exclusively appropriated to the reception of patients afflicted with infectious disorders; it was erected in 1796, and has already produced the most benefis cial effects, the nature of which is explained in P. 224, et seq. ol the present report. Similar institutions ought to be adopted in all the principal towns in the kingdom.
This report contains several other papers, replete with useful information, respecting the means of promoting the grand object of the society, whose farth.r progress we shall watch with infinite pleasure, and to whose future reports we shall pay particular attention,
ART. XXIII. Information for Oversiers, publifbed by ibe order of the
Society for bettering the Condition of the Poor. 1200. Pp. 48,
Hatchard, 1799. THE following table of contents will suffice to demonstrate the utility of this publication which every Overfeer Ghould procure.
“ Of a spinning school at Oakham, in the county of Rutland. By the Earl of Winchellea.
“Of a parish wind-mill on Barham Downs, in the county of Kent. By Thomas Bernard Elg.
“Of the manner and expence of making stewed ox's head for the poor. By Mrs. Shore, of Norton-Hall, Derbyshire.
“Of the expence and benefit of frequently white-washing the rooms of a poorhouse By William Emm, Esq. Secretary to the Bishop Durham.
" Of the benefit of the use of rice. By the Matron of the Foundling.
“ From the Rev. Mr. Gilpin's account of the new poorhouse at Boldre, in Hampinire. By the Bishop of Durhain.
"Of a parish dinner for poor children, at Epping. By Thomas Bernard, E! « Of a mode a loptei in the parish of Hadhan, in the cousty of Hertford, for fupplying the poor with flour of the best quality, and at a reasonable rats. Bythe Rev Dr Hamilton.
** Charge to Overseers of the Hundred of Stoke, in the county of Bucks. By Thomas Bernard, Elq.”
The article on the subject of white-washing is particularly curious. The importance of attending to this practice is much greater than is generally imagined. It is highly conducive to the prefervation of health. It appears, by the following account, that the expence is very trifling indeed.
“ The poorhouse at Bishop Auckland has been, during the preceding summer, white-washed every fix weeks. The method of preparing the lime, (which is rock or stone lime from Coxhoc, about ten miles from Auckland, and coits, including carriage, four-pence a bushel,) is as follows:--a large tub is procured to shake it in, and this is filled with lime nearly to the top, cold water being poured upon it by degrees, and it being stirred with a stick that is broad at one end, until the tub is filled with lime : when the lime and water are well incorporated, and of the consistence of mud, it is to be taken out of the tub with a wooden scoop, and strained through a hair or fine wire reve into another vessel, where it settles to the bottom in a solid mass of white-wash. There will be some water at the top, not imbibed by the lime; this should be skimmed off. It is then to be mixed with cold water, till it is of the consistence of thin paint, being stirred occalionally while it is using. In this state it is to be laid on with a whitening brush by the man and bis wife who have the care of the house.
“ The quantity ufed, for white-washing the fifteen rooms at Auckland poorhouse, is ha!f a bulh el, which costs two-pence; the expence of the four white-washings being, in the whole, not quite EIGHT-PENCE A YEAR. This trifling expenditure has produced a very great benefit to the poor in the work-house, to those who visit it, and, indeed, to the parish in general, that is not easily to be calculated.--I have the pieafure of being able to say, that there is neither disease nor vermin in our poora houfe at present ; but that the inhabitants are very comfortable and happy."Pr. 12, 13.
In the observations on this arricle we find the following very curious fact :
• The penitentiary house in Cold-Bath Fields was white-washed in 1796. The charge for the work was fairly made, according to the ordmary course of trade, and amounted to one hundred and one pounds. In 2787, it was white-washed again; the materials were bought, and a pritoner in the house employed in the work, which, as far as I am a judge, was extremely well done : the expence of the materials was f1.7s.6d; the donation to the man for his trouble, £2. 125 6d; in all TOUR PJLAD.-P. 14."
At Epping an ordinary has been provided, on week days, for the children of the poor, at which they dine for fixpence per week; and are allowed to eat as much as they chuse. We are told that fince this establishment, the children are greatly improved in health, good habits, and happiness; and their parents find it the cheapeti way of providing them with a comfortable meal. In order to extend the knowledge, (and we hope the use,) of such an useful innftitution, we ihall transcribe the weekly bill of fare :
“The following is an account of the week's fare of 77 persons, from Monday the 12th to Saturday the 17th oi February, 1798, both days inclusive, with th: experte of each article.