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sumed by a philanthropic individual, for the purpose of its moral and economical cultivation, contains 219 families, of which there were 23 Temovals at the last term, or about one-tenth of the whole. It will, speaking generally, be found not to exceed this fraction, in small contiguous districts of such a population; and even from this, there ought to be an abatement, in estimating the number of yearly removals from a parish: for many of the movements are internal, being from one small district of the parish to another. And besides, even though there were removals out of the parish every year, at the rate of one-tenth of all the families in it, we are not to infer, that, in ten years, there is a complete change of families ; or that the old parish is thus scooped away by so many liftings of the people who live in it. The truth is, that the movement is far more a vibratory than a successive one. The families that leave a parish this year, are, in a great measure, the very families that came to it last year. There is a certain number, and those chiefly of the worse-conditioned of the population, who are constantly upon the wing; and they alternate from one parish to another, over the heads of a stable population. A locally parochial system, would serve, in the long run, to retain even these ; but, even in their present amount, they leave the great bulk of the inhabitants of every parish, in a fixed and permanent state for any species of cultivation that might be applied to them. We believe, indeed, that the families of a city parish are less given to change than those of an agricultural parish, from the expiry of leases, and, above all, the yearly fluctuation of farm servants. So that there is scarcely any department, however poor, of any city, however crowded, which would not, in the course of time, be turned into a home walk." (P. 124-126.)

Another difficulty is that which is apt to arise from an apprehension that to carry forward a system of moral reform, very superior talents are requisite. This is met by Dr. Chalmers in the following manner.

“ It is a very great mistake, to think that any other peculiar power is necessary for such an operation, than peculiar pains-taking. It is not with rare and extraordinary talent conferred upon a few, but with habits and principles which may be cultivated by all, that are linked our best securities for the reformation of the world. This is a work which will mainly be done with every-day instruments operating upon every-day materials; and more, too, by the multiplication of labourers, than by the gigantic labour of a small number of individuals." (P.121.)

We are sorry to observe, that the doctor speaks in rather a desponding way of the prospect of working any effectual reformation in the present race of grown people; and looks forward to the coming in of a better order of things,” only “ with the coming up of another generation." He gives his opinion that the existing habit of alienation from ordinances, instead of being altogether reclaimed by exertion, will, in fact, need to be removed by death.” We are unwilling, however, to permit ourselves to think this; because such a

it as

presumption would go far towards paralysing our exertions for the benefit of the race of grown persons. Much has been done, and much more, we believe, may be done by adult schools. We are of opinion, that, through the universal and strenuous adoption of such moral resources as God has given our land to possess within herself, a moral change might, by his grace, at any time be effected over the whole face of the country within a very small number of

years.

At any rate, let us not put our grown population on a footing with the condemned Israelites in the book of Numbers, and suffer ourselves to believe that all above the age of twenty are to die in the wilderness.

It will be seen that one leading feature of the portion which Dr. Chalmers has yet published of his work, is the recommendation of the aggressive and the local systems of benevolence. He condemns, as equally inefficient and inoperative, the mere stationary plan, which limits itself to attraction; as well as the ambitious and expansive plan, which grasps at more than it can manage. With regard to the former system, we agree with him entirely; and we join with him in most strenuously advocating the aggressive mode of warfare. With regard to the latter we: have already expressed our sentiments, to which, we imagine, on a little consideration, he will not materially object. We most cordially recommend his work to the attention of the mere graspers,--the men who can listen to no scheme of improvement which takes in less than a 'hemisphere; as well as to that other congenial race, the mere committee-men, the mere men of public meetings; the men who would do good by proxy, and act, by pulling the wires from behind the curtain, upon misery in the mass, without going forth into the details, and bearing their portion of the burthen and heat of the day. Most of us, we fear, partake a little of one or both of these characters. Most of us would devise something large and comprehensive. Most of us would direct the operation in the gross, without burying ourselves in the toil and obscurity of the details.

Still we shall not shrink from maintaining, and we can hardly think that Dr. Chalmers will disagree with us, that much good is effected by societies of a less particular and aggressive character: societies which merely provide moral and spiritual aid without obtruding it, and offer, to those who seek, what they do not force upon those who are indifferent. "The church which stands open on the sabbath to all who chuse to enter, the school which offers instruction during the week to every applicant, the saving bank which receives the contributions of

every one who comes with a deposit, the district society which furnishes bibles and other good 'books, without possessing within itself any provision for forcing them into general circulation, all have their use. To perceive this, it is only necessary for a moment to suppose them taken away. Good is done ; and good for which there is a demand, and which ought to be done ; and not good the less, because done to those who will come to seek it. To think this circumstance an objection, would be like the errors of those ministers who conceive that their only business is with the sabbath-breaker and the profligate ; and deem but lightly of that other important branch of their duty, the feeding of the flock of Christ,---of those ministrations of the word and ordinances, which are for the benefit of the devout and constant attendant on their ministry. We think Dr. Chalmers has occasionally expressed himself as if he were writing with this branch of ministerial duty not sufficiently in view. We believe and trust, that, in the actual discharge of his functions, he never has it out of sight.

Add to this, that many will lend their aid to institutions which are attended with no call on their individual exertions, who would never think of lending their aid where personal activity was wanted. Perhaps Dr. Chalmers might be surprised, could we estimate how much aid to the cause of good is extracted in this country from such characters. With us, comparatively speaking, the difficulty is to call forth exertion, and the facility is in raising contributions. Many will give their guineas; few will work. We do not mean at public meetings.-- But few, comparatively speaking, will work at the details. Perhaps in Scotland the case may be quite the reverse.

But with us, many

will set down their names with a liberal contribution towards some charitable object, who would no more think of going into the hut of the

pauper, and looking misery in the face, and taking it by the hand, than they would think of going to a methodist meeting. In the way of active' benevolence they will do nothing themselves, but they are glad enough to settle the business with their consciences, by making a scape-goat of their more active christian neighbour, and sending him forth to make atonement for their deficiencies, by doing the rough work of actual beneficence and intendence, with the aid of their means,

and on their account. Hence arises one of the excellencies of religious societies. Through their instrumentality, many a theological sensualist, whose personal christianity extends not beyond the religion of the library, is sending forth, in these days, the missionary to the African, and the Bible to the Hindoo. All such institutions, then, in addition to their general usefulness, have a special usefulness in those places where there is not a sufficient degree of christian energy for good of any other kind to be done: so that in a place, where there is not a minister, or a parishioner, who will go out aggressively upon the uncultivated mass, and bring himself into contact with the surrounding evil, and engage it at close quarters, - even there, may be the dispensary, the saving bank, the school, (not to say the church); even there, some misery may be receiving relief; even there, some inducement and encouragement may be held out to habits of industry; even there, in some cottages, the Bible may

be in a course of reading, and the unlearned may be growing wise to salvation ;-even there, some good may be in progress, where otherwise there would be none.

The danger is, that the philanthropist should be contented with seeing this; should console himself for the thought of how much requires to be done, by the thought that something is doing ;--should so far pacify himself with the reflection that the work is going on, as to abstain from active exertions towards forwarding it to its conclusion. Over the whole face of the country there is yet much good that requires to be done, and much that nothing but a system directly aggressive and obtrusive ever can do. The Bible Society, we think, has the peculiar excellence of combining the advantages of both systems. Including in the list of its contributors every class and denomination, and in the objects of its exertions the whole world, it has all the advantages of the general system in their fullest perfection. Sending its agents from house to house, and investigating the spiritual wants of the community upon a plan of individual inquiry and inspection, it has also, in equal perfection, all the advantages of the particular and obtrusive system. No wonder that such a society has been the object of so much opposition and obloquy?Especially when we take into the account, that it has the additional advantage of tending, by its very constitution, to put an end to those divisions in the Christian church, which are such a standing and effectual obstacle to the success of every scheme of Christian benevolence. *

• We are here inclined to say a word in favour of visiting societies. These may be formed upon various plans. The best would be that where all the members, or a large portion of them, would work and visit. But this cannot always be. The following plan we have seen to be attended with its advantages. Each of the subscribers contributes a quarterly sum, and is entitled to recommend objects of relief in proportion to the amount of his subscriptions. The sick person to be relieved receives a ticket, which is addressed and presented to one of ihe ministers of the place. This ticket authorises the minister to bestow a sum of money, at four weekly payments, and thus afford's him an opportunity of pastoral visitation, and prea sents an opening for that counsel which is often most readily received in the hour of sickness and affliction. The advantage of the plan is, that it gives the minister access into many bouses, where otherwise he mighi find no opportunity of admission. An acquaintancesbip is thus commenced, which he may afterwards keep up and improve.

We would recommend, first, that the minister be authorized and enabled by the Society lo bestow such a sum at each visit, as shall amount to an effectual relief : secondly, that he wake a rule of bestowing it as soon after he enters as he con

At a time when there exists so general a desire to bear a hand in the great work of ameliorating the condition of the poor, we are not to wonder that we observe various abortive, and some mischievous attempts at usefulness. Among these, the worst, perhaps are those where there is an endeavour to carry on a plan of personal visitation, among the dwellings of the lower orders, and where the plan is not suggested and regulated by Christian principle. We know not in what terms to reprobate those visits of inspection and interference to which the poor are sometimes compelled to submit from busy triflers, and misses in office, which begin by an act of intrusion, and are occupied in scolding. The poor ought not to be oppressed, surely, by the tyrannical benevolence of every dabbler in philanthropy. There is no reason why they should be made the subjects of these harassing experiments. They can feel like other men: are disgusted by intrusion, annoyed by inspection, irritated by scolding, spoiled by interference. The interference is the worst part of the whole. Then there is another plan :-chat of dealing. out a pittance of money, and then going to look after it, and asking after it, and meddling with the disposal of it, and watching for the effects of it, just as boys put an egg into a hen's nest, and watch for its producing another. Nothing short of a sound, genuine, vital, cordial Christianity, can restore and maintain a well-regulated intercourse between the rich and the poor. Where this is wanted, even if we seem to set out well, we shall soon break down:-we shall soon begin to tire with the toil, the attention, the detail of particular superintendence:-a few casual, and hurried, and intermitting exertions will take the place of a regular system of visitation :--and the end will be that we shall drop, and finally abandon our unsupported scheme of usefulness.

From all that has been said this conclusion seems to follow, and the present publication of Dr. Chalmers tends strongly to confirm it;-that before philanthropy can do good, it must be baptized ; before a man can go forth effectively as the reformer and regenerator of his neighbourhood, he must be imbued with the spirit of the Gospel, and be brought under the influence of Gospel motives. The work must commence within. Ere he enter on the undertaking, his “ feet must be shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace.” This must be the first object of his meditations, his purposes, and his prayers. The lesson is an important one, to all who are desirous of doing good. Should they neglect it, their efforts may prove unavail

veniently may, so that the thought of temporal may not interfere with things eternal; and, thirdly, that the subscribers to the society do not imagine, that by making their quarterly payments and disposing of their tickets, they have done their duty by their poorer neighbours..

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