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schools be discussed at these meetings, and any useful proposals be suggested on the subject,
7. That the objects of charity proposed, and all the proceedings of this meeting, be laid before the Rev. Mr. Ormerod for his approbation.
8. That any ladies not wishing to join this Society, but at the same time being desirous to contribute to the fund for the benefit of the poor, be requested to send their subscription to Mrs. Ormerod; and if they desire any particular mode of employing it, they signify the same in writing.
13th Feb. 1805.
The following Paper is the production of our
late excellent friend, Mr. Gilpin. We have in
serted it in the Appendlx, in order that the members of the Society and others may be enabled, if they think fit, to print and distribute it among their poor neighbours.
An old man, whose name was Jonas Hobson, had supported a large family with industry; and had endeavoured to bring them up in the fear of God. He instructed them with all the knowledge he had himself, but chiefly gave them that best instruction,-a good example. He went constantly to church, read his Bible. on Sundays, was gentle and kind to every body; was never known either to swear or to get drunk, and prayed morning and evening, for God's blessing on himself and his family.
Being worn out at length by age and hard labour, and finding death approaching, he called his sons together, who were now young men, and raising himself in his bed, he thus spoke to them:
"What little advice I could give you, my
dear children, has, I hope, by the blessing of God, kept you, thus far, honest and sober., I am now going to be removed from you; and as I have no, worldly goods to leave among you, I have called you round my death bed, to
give you my last blessing and advice; which will be a better legacy to you, if you will keep it, than if I had left you my house full of riches.
"This is a very wicked place in which you live. People seem to have lost all fear of God. What swearing, what drinking, what lying, and wickedness, of all kinds do we see! when I was young, there were no such doings. The church was then followed more, and the alehouse less. Justices, then, would not suffer such shameful work; and inn-keepers durst not entertain a guest in church time.
"But now, as if ale-houses were not enough, what a number of wicked pot-houses has the devil set up in every part of the parish! Good Lord! it is enough to make one's hair stand on end, to hear of such doings. There is hardly a part of the parish, where you may not find one of these bad houses. Here the devil keeps school. Here he gets together wicked people; who draw in poor lads, and
teach them to curse and to swear; to go after cock-fights and barrels of beer; and to neglect both their business and their church. Good Lord! I often wonder the earth does not open and swallow them up; as you read in the Bible it once swallowed up some wicked people.
"I have often, my dear sons, warned you against these vile houses; and I believe you have yet never frequented them. But I am now going to leave you. What temptations you may afterwards meet with, God knows ; but, I hope, my dying words will sink deep into you. Depend upon it, these bad houses are the beginning of all wickedness. Many a poor lad might have done well, if he had not been drawn into these wicked places.
"Look at those, I beseech you, who frequent them. You will always find them idle profligate people; esteemed by nobody, and doing good to nobody; suffering their poor families, if they have any, to grow up in rags and nastiness.
"Then again, look at those who frequent the church. Generally speaking, you will see them orderly industrious people, who have either led good lives, or have left off their wickedness and become good,
"I beg of you, therefore, my dear sons, and charge you, on my blessing, that, while you live in this world, you will observe these two things: FOLLOW THE CHURCH, and Avoid THE POT HOUSE. You will then be in the way of learning good, and out of the way of learning evil. And, though you have but little of this world's wealth, I hope God's blessing will attend you, and, when this world ends, he will carry you to a better."
The old man, having said these words, shook his sons affectionately by the hand, prayed for God's blessing upon them; and then desired that nobody might interrupt him in his last moments. He then turned his face to the wall, lay quiet and composed; was often seen to lift his hand gently to heaven, and once or twice to stretch it out, and grasp the hands of his sons, who sat round him in silent sorrow. Thus he lay about two hours; and breathed out his pious soul at nine o'clock that evening.
He had been so good a man, that the parson, without being desired, gave him a fine character on Sunday: and, as they were going out of church, one of the people said, he wished that character was his. The parson, overhearing him, turned round and asked, Why then Thomas