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words, to the guidance of a corrupt nature in a corrupt world.
If these observations be at all applicable generally to the subject of the National SoCIETY, they acquire an additional force from the circumstances of this particular School for which I now solicit your charitable bounty. In a large manufacturing parish of seventeen thousand inhabitants, where the proportion of poor is so immense, and where the means therefore of education on the part of the parents must be so inadequate, no call of Christian charity can be more importunate. The schools which are now erected are designed to instruct one thousand or twelve hundred children. A plain but beautiful edifice has been raised by the munificent contributions of the various persons connected in different ways with the chief manufacture of the neighbourhood, aided by the donations of several dignitaries and distinguished persons in Church and State. Already has a temporary room been employed for several months, and three hundred and fifty children have been receiving education, whose progress and good behaviour give some pledge of the benefits likely to result from the present design. On visiting this school during the last week I was delighted in examining the several classes, and in observing the good order and proficiency which were apparent. The accuracy with which the highest class, including some who had not been in the school more than eight or nine months, read a chapter from the Old Testament, and replied to all the questions which I proposed to them from it, surpassed my highest expectations, and confirmed the judgment Į had previously formed of the tendency of these admirable establishments. The moral effects also which I was informed had already appeared in the children and in the families to which they belonged, and wbich were beginning to have an influence throughout the parish, may encourage the hope that many of these scholars will not only attain to a knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, but will be thereby made wise unto Salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus. And when it is considered that five thousand children, in this parish alone, were found to be without the means of education, and that the majority of those already admitted were previously allowed to wander through the streets of the neighbourhood in negligence and vice, it may easily be imagined what the real amount of ultimate good may, under the blessing of God, eventually be.
Yield then, my brethren, to the holy emotion which I cannot but hope has been excited in
your minds, by these plain but affecting statements. It is God who has appointed the various orders of society, and appointed them for the very purpose that the affluent may assist the indigent and distressed. Nor is there any mark so appropriate to the disciples of Christ as that of loving one another. And if the principles I have endeavoured to enforce in this discourse, be so high and holy as I am-assured they are; if the Holy Scriptures be the book bestowed on man to teach him the way to Heaven; if this book is to be communicated to the young from their earliest childhood; and if it be able to make them wise unto salyation; then all the ordinary motives to Christian benevolence acquire, in this instance, a double force.
Nor let us fear to act nobly on an occasion like the present. Few persons have ever lost by their charities. The blessing of God maketh rich. Economy is the spring of real benevolence. We are injured indeed by negligence of our affairs, by prodigal expense, by pride, by ostentation—but no man was eventually the poorer for what he gave away–Honour the Lord with thy substance and the first-fruits of all thine increase; so shall thy barns be filled with plenteousness, and thy presses burst out with new wine. He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord; and, look, what he layeth out, it shall be paid him again. Need I add, that the best evidence we can give of our gratitude for the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, with which God has blessed us, and for that eternal salva
tion to which he calls us by faith in Christ Jesus, is to assist others in attaining these blessings; which, if God had pleased, we might bave been under the necessity of supplicating ourselves, and which we have received freely that we may freely communicate them to our more necessitous brethren.