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in general. My Christian Friends, I find no difficulty in replying, but that of making my reply sufficiently emphatic and effective. Every day only widens the cvidence, only deepens the conviction, that such a ministry is the directest remedy, which, in the existing state botli of government and education, can be applied to the vices of ignorance and the sorrows of poverty. The plan, it appears to me, has not yet been devised, which, while the light of society is so partially distributed, can reach the miseries that are produced in its shadow. 1 have myself seen enough to make me unntterably thankful that I have been called upon to take here the executive part of this solemn and trying, yet glorious and blessed work; and could I communicate to you a few of the scenes of which I am often a witness, you would, I am sure, bless God with
have sent forth a friend among those who have no other friend or help under heaven.
Forgive me, if the better to illustrate what I have been saying, I adduce a single instance of what I bave seen this last week. I extract it, with some little alteration, from the hasty memorandum which I made of it in my journal:- December 29th.--I have received this day an awfully affecting proof, how necessary it is that the poor, the friendless poor, should have a friend sent a mong them. Visiting a cellar within my district, I heard that a poor woman, in a street a little beyond it, bad been driven by severe want to attempt her own life that morning. Hastening to the spot, I found such a scene of deep and real suffering as baffles all description. The woman was a widow with three or four children. She lived in a cellar, or rather had been dying daily in it. She had no allowance, no employment, and no friend. Her eldest daughter had returned to her, baving left her place through illness; and she herself had been laid up in an ague, during which her youngest ebild, born the day after its father's death, hail died. She had wandered to Kent, and back again, vibrating between two distant parishes, and rejected by both. Almost every thing they possessed had been parted with to the pawnbroker, to keep them from starving. A neighbour had given them the coals they were then burning, and the cold coffee which they were warming to break their fast. The grown-up daughter stood on one side, and a younger ane sat on the other, weeping more and more bitterly, as every fresh question of mine to their poor mother seemed to draw forth some fresh sorrow. I went to the house above, when I found a respectable looking labourer at his dinner. He told me that the case was one of extreme and afflicting distress; that he had never asked them, nor meant to ask them for their rent, and that, though a poor man himself, with a large family to maintain, he had saved and sent them all the fragments that they could spare. I suppose I need not add, that before night they were in a more comfortable condition ; and I hope, under the blessing of God, that the dreadful rumour which led me to their céllar, may be the means, not only of rescuing them for the present, but of raising and bettering them for their future lives. I adduce this fact, because it is at once so recent and so striking, and, as such, so well calculated to make
feel more strongly assured, that the day, the hour, the very moment is come, for Christian Philanthropy to take up what every thing else has cast away.
Do not, however, suppose, that in dwelling upon this incident, I am making too much of a solitary example. My notes indeed can tell but a small part of the misery I see; but I hope, in the course of the coming year, to put such a portion of them into your hands, as may enable you to form a juster estimate of the nature and extent of the work in which I am engaged. Mine is, as yet, but a kind of Baptist's office, to act as a voice from the wilderness of human misery, and to prepare the day before the advent of brighter and better days. The misery must be seen, before it can be described ; the evil must be made known, before the remedy can be suggested ;-and I rejoice in the thought that I have been called to act in a sphere, the importance of which will draw attention to the communications which I am preparing
That these expectations are not wholly chimerical, enough has already passed to make me calmly confident. Not only has the circulation of a brief and simple report drawn upon me, within our own circle, a great, 1 had almost said an overpowering mass of approbation, of sympathy, and of assistance; but it bas had the effect wherever it has been sent, of exciting a spirit, the most favourable to the cause itself at large. I have heard from Bristol, that it has quickened the existing, but too dormant desire of setting on foot a ministry to the poor
in that city; and a copy of the Birmingham Journal was last week sent me, in which, along with a most unexpected notice of myself, is sown, I trust, the first seed of a similar ministry there. These are things which make me magnify mine office; and felicitate myself on the good fortune-or, rather, bless the kiud Provi. dence-which called me to exercise it here; for well do I know, that had I done all that I have done in a city of meaner note, the same attention would not have been drawn to my printed statements, nor the same respect shown to the opinions I have formed. As minister to the poor, my voice, I fear, would scarcely have been heard so far, if it had not been deepened by the murmurs of the Mersey. The magnificence of the scene has drawn attention upon the actor ; but it will be bis endeavour so to avail himself of that circumstance, as to make it conducive to the glorious cause with which he now identifies the course of his future life.
On this day, my Christian Friends, twelve months ago, I made my first visit to a Liverpool cellar. It would be vain for me to attempt to describe to you the forlornness and the despondingness of my then existent feelings. I am glad, however, that I can so vividly recall them, since they serve to enhance by the contrast, the extent and brightness of the change. I am now known, and kindly known, to some bundreds of the struggling and the suffering. I have the power to correct some evil, and the joy of producing some good. I become daily more reconciled to the melancholy parts of my duty, and more attached to the happy ones; and I have every evening the rewarding consciousness that the day has not passed without some good done to my kind.
The conclusion of the resolution, to which I rose to reply, demands a few words. It conveys to me the assurance of your freshened sympathies and earnest cooperation. This part of the resolution gives me all the guarantee I can devise for the future, as the former, all the gratification I could expect from the past. I should indeed have been sorry for you, for myself, and for the objects of our common care, to have thought it possible that any thing less than the total failure of your great experiment could occasion the decay of those syinpathies, and the falling away of that co-operation. From the first, believe me, I did you nobler justice ; I expected that, of which yon have now assured me. I calculated
steadiness and consistency of feelings, which could only do you honour, in as far as they were steady and consistent; and while I thank you for the expression of your fixedness of sentiment and purpose, I beg you in return to receive my assurance, that I did not believe you
would go forth upon this most glorious of warfares, only to gather shells on the sea shore, and return. On the contrary, I expected, and I feel assured, I shall find that you
look upon it as a crusade, whose cross you have taken upon you, and from which you feel that there would be dishonour in retiring, while the crescents of vice are glimmering over one spot that may be made more holy.
In return, my Christian Friends, let me assure you of my hope, that my silent pledge will also be redeemed. What I have done is, I trust, but the beginning of the end.' I cannot, indeed, point you to any cloudland visions—to sudden emanations of virtue from the haunts of guilt, of knowledge from the abysses of ignorance, of pure and undefiled religion from the regions of spiritual darkness and desecration. But I can point you to gentler and juster hopes, which it should be your pleasure to indulge, as it will be mine to endeavour to fulfil-to hopes, which, as they lie within the bounds of possibility, may certainly be realized, and which demand I believe but time, the dismissal of all unrightful expectations, the continuance of confidence and sympathy on one side, of diligent effort and steadfast hopefulness on the other, to make them the things which you
your children will see, and of which your children's children will possibly reap the advantage.
THE POWER OF PREJUDICE. Tue Apostle Paul says “prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” A much greater than Paul says, “ yea, and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right.” It is strange how zealous some men are in pressing these sacred injunctions upon others, and how reluctant they are to attend to them themselves. Calvinists are perpetually sounding these commands in the ears of both Jews and Gentiles; but when Unitarians call upon them to do as they say, they are deaf to the voice of both reason and revelation, and assume an air of in. fallibility, as an apology for their stiff-necked behaviour. The substance of what most of them say, in reply to
the plainest arguments, is, “ Can any good thing come out of Nazareth ?" This mode of treating evidence would, if followed by Roman Catholics or Methodists, be deemed by Calvinists a miserable way of proving the truth of their respective systems. Who or what was John Calvin, that his dogmas should supercede the instructions of the Apostle Paul, and those of Jesus Christ, “ the author and finisher of our faith ?" John Calvin ! he was, at one time, a Roman Catholic monk, was never inspired, and was accessory to the murder of Servetus. Does his name sound more sweetly in the ear than that of Faustus Socinus ? No. Why is it, then, that his memory and opinions are so much more popular with the multitude than those of the Polish reformer? Not from any comparison of their peculiar theories—both of which I deem wrong-but from blind admiration of the one, and deep-rooted prejudice against the other. The same observations hold good regarding the opinions of Athanasius and Arius-regarding the popular notion of the sun's motion round the earth, and the Newtonian system of the earth's round the sun.
A thousand distinct cases might be selected to prove the
power of prejudice ; but, lest I should fall into localities and personalities, I beg you to insert the following one, which I have selected from The Independent Messenger, of the United States of America, a periodical of extensive circulation.
A BELIEVER IN CHRIST.
ORIGINAL ANECDOTE." " When the venerable Murray resided and preached in Boston, a young man, from the interior of Massachusetts, went into that town to establish himself in business. On leaving the paternal mansion, the father was, above all things, very particular in charging his son to beware of that dreadful Murray and his more dreadful doctrine. Dr. Stillmau was a great favourite with the father, though it seems he was not sufficiently acquainted with him to recognise his person. On his meeting he charged the sou to attend, and in his senti. ments to have implicit confidence--adding, 'go not near that Murray, on the peril of your soul's eternal destruction, for his doctrine is the snare of Satan.' When a person is prohibited in that which he sees free to others, a greater desire is generally created, by the very pro