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christianity, the character of the reformed church is best known, and the evidence of its intrinsic purity most completely established.
neither inducement, nor inclination. I will, therefore, only refer to some of the MOST EMINENT INSTANCES OF HEATHEN VIRTUE,-Scipio Africanus, Paulus Emilius, Titus, and the elder and younger Cato.-The CONTINENCE OF SCIPIO has been a fruitful and unexhausted theme of panegyric to some writers; and to others, from improbable excellence, the subject of disbelief and incredulity:-I would ask what our gallant officers would now say of the General, who should assume merit for not having forcibly violated a young Princess, whom the mere chance of war had placed in his hands ?—Or, to take the example of the best of the Roman Emperors, I would enquire what opinion the Christian world would now form of a Prince, emphatically called "the delight of the human race," who should display that indiscriminating and unrelenting cruelty, which TITUS exercised over the captive Jews?—or who should imitate the conduct of PAULUS EMILIUS in Epirus; who in one day while he was holding out the promise of peace and protection, sacked and destroyed seventy cities, and reduced to slavery 150,000 persons-To offer only two more examples,-let us consider what language would be held to the most avaricious slave-driver of the present day, who, to the example of CATO THE CENSOR, should add a public avowal of his precept,-that, after slaves were worked as long as could be done with profit, they should be
Under these impressions, I shall venture to submit to you, as my first prin- The principles of action ciple, that no plan for the im- stated. provement of the condition the poor, will be of any avail, or in any respect competent to its object,—
UNLESS THE FOUNDATION BE LAID IN THE MELIORATION OF THEIR MORAL AND RELIGIOUS CHARACTER. The seeds of evil must be eradicated, before the soil can be enriched to advantage, and prepared to produce the abundant and acceptable harvest. This is essential to the improvement of the conditition of the poor. Without it, the increase of means of subsistence to the labouring class, and even industry itself, will often administer a supply to vice, rather than a relief to necessity. Artisans may be industrious and ingenious, and at the same time profligate, immoral, and worthless, in all the
sold off, and not kept, when old and useless?-Or what would now be the public opinion of that nobleman, who should, like CATO OF UTICA, transfer his wife to a wealthy and aged citizen;-and afterwards, upon his death, reclaim the infamous adulteress, enriched with the dotard's testamentary plunder ?
relations of life. Their profits may be doubled, or even trebled, and we have numberless instances in our manufacturing countries, and yet there may be no increase of the comforts which the artisan and his family enjoy the frequent consequences of excessive profits, being the periodical return of idleness and inebriation, suspended only by the necessity, which goads him back to his labour.
My second fundamental axiom is, that no 2nd. Not to project respecting the poor can alienate him be admissible, IF be admissible, IF IT TENDS TO
from his cot
ALIENATE HIM FROM HIS COTTAGE,
AND HIS DOMESTIC ATTACHMENTS.-There is no principle of action more deeply engrafted in the human heart, not even the preserving instinct of self love, than THAT AFFECTION, which unites the poor man to his cottage and family. They are endeared to him amid the snows of Nova Zembla, and the burning sands of the Equator;—in the noxious marsh, and upon the steril mountain. Incessant labour and scanty food are
are submitted to, so long as the mere wants of nature can be supplied, and life preserved. The cottager, unused to change of place or condition, centers all his desires to the spot where he was born, and the family to which he has given birth. Necessity may drive him, and extraneous circumstances may seduce him, to wander to other soils, and to other climates; but the heart will be always tremblingly alive to the call, which summons him back to his home, and his family; and renews the sweetest sensations, which we ever enjoy in this sublunary world.
With this natural and instinctive sentiment impressed on his heart, I
But to in
Crease his domestic
trust it will appear, not only to be true policy to leave him in the undisturbed possession of his cottage and his family, and of that impulse which nature has given him for their support and protection; but that it is our first duty, and our nearest interest, to sweeten and encourage his toil, and to attach him to his condition and situation. This may be done, by affording E
him the prospect of acquiring property;by supplying the means of education for his children, and of religious duty and consolation for himself and his family;—and by giving him occasional aid and kind assistance,* when age, infirmity, or any domestic calamity requires it.
In this, however, and in every thing which 3d. Not to may be done for the poor, we should be carful never to remove
spur to exertion.
the spur, the motive, and the necessity of exertion. No charity which we can administer, can ever compensate for our rendering them helpless and useless to them
* It is indeed a pleasing circumstance, that those measures, which are conducive to these important objects, will tend to promote every thing which can be desired by social and civilized man. That melioration of character, which promotes the cottager's present comfort, will tend to his future happiness, and will contribute to the welfare of his wife and children,and by example and influence, to the improvement of his neighbours. The advantages which he receives from the fostering care of government, and from the kind attention of the other classes, will help to strengthen the social tie; and to unite all the different members of the community, in bonds of brotherhood and