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ed to establish one similar to the churches of the first christians.
Believing himself called to the ministry, he propagated his principles both by preaching and writing; and although he was persecuted by the clergy, he found many to join him. By way of derision they were called Saints.
On account of ill treatment from their neighbours many of the society sold their possessions, and found it necessary to live more closely together. They devoted their property to the service of the Lord, for the purchase of books, for the relief of the needy, and for the spread of the Gospel principles. Some of them became merchants and traders, their numbers increased, and they became a respectable body of people. But they were traduced and misrepresented; the magistrates were stirred up against them, and their leader was imprisoned in Christiana. He was denied the company of his friends, the use of the Bible, and of pen and ink; nor was he even permitted to speak to other prisoners. His hands and feet were put in irons; and when this was done he said "I rejoice that I am worthy to suffer persecution for the Lord's sake; and though you have taken away my outward property, you cannot take away my inward peace." This had such an effect on the multitude who stood by, that many of them became converts to his religious principles.
In 1813 he was still a prisoner. Many of his followers were obliged to give up their books, to leave Bergen, and to live separtaely. They were threatened that if they presumed to preach, circulate, read or keep any books concerning their opinions, they also should be imprisoned. If any person should purchase any of the books that treated of their principles, they were to be subject to a severe penalty. Those of their number who had not resided wholly in Bergen were not deprived of their property, and they were enabled to assist those who were driven from thence. Notwithstanding all these restrictions and abuses, this people still continued to propagate their principles, and when they had opportunity they met together, in one another's houses.
of the scriptures and could refer to any part of the Bible in their preaching. This Society retain the ceremonies of baptist and the Lord's supper, but in many respects their principles accord with those of the Society of Friends. Like the Friends they are opposed to war as antichristian; yet some of them have been known to take up arms in obedience to the commands of magistrates.
During the late war between England and Denmark, board of a prison ship off Chatham two Norwegian prisoners became seriously impressed with the sin of swearing, to which they had been accustomed, and deeply humbled in view of their depravity and guilt. One of the Society of Saints was brought on board as a prisoner; they observed that he was not in the habit of swearing and soon became acquainted with him.
ON THE COMPLACENCY WITH WHICH INFANTS ARE CONTEMPLATED.
On yon cane-planted clustering shores
'Tis MAN that lifts,'tis MAN it wounds!
Whence the delight, sweet infancy,
This scene of things indignant scan, See MAN throughout the pest of MAN!
This they considered as a great blessing, for he instructed them in his religious sentiments, and endeavoured to promote the principle of truth in their hearts. After a while they were removed to another ship, where they found Barclay's Apology in the hands of a prisoner, and adopted the opinions of that writer. One of them wrote a letter to the people called Quakers, and gave directions to the bearer that it should be delivered to the first person he should meet of that persuasion. This occasioned the inquiring prisoners a sup ply of books, as well as visits from Friends. Other prisoners observing their serious and exemplary deportment united with them till their number amounted to 28.What a happy sight to behold men who had been brought up as warriors transformed from lions to lambs by the power of the christian religion!
'Tis not disease, 'tis MAN confines ! Those corses, yonder plain that strew, 'Twas man and not the tiger slew! Fir'd cities blacken heaven with
And strain their powers but to destroy; Complacence turns her view from thence
To feebleness and innocence.
EXTRACTS from a Report to. the "New-York Society for the prevention of Pauperism."
Bur with a view to bring the subject committed to our charge, more definitely before the society, we have thought it right, distinctly to enumerate the more prominent of those causes of poverty, which prevail within the city; subjoining such remarks as may appear needful.
1st. IGNORANCE, arising either from inherent dullness, or from want of opportunities for improvement. This operates as a restraint upon the physical powers, preventing that exercise and cultivation of the bodily faculties by which skill is obtained, and the means of support increased. The influence of this cause, it is believed, is particularly great among the foreign poor that annually accumulate in this city.
2nd. IDLENESS. A tendency to this evil may be more or less inherent. It is greatly increased by other causes, and when it becomes habitual, it is the occasion of much suffering in families, and augments to a great amount the burden of the industrious portions of society.
3d. INTEMPERANCE IN DRINKING. This most prolific source of mischief and misery, drags in its train almost every species of suffering which afflicts the poor. This evil, in relation to poverty and vice, may be emphatically styled, the Cause of Causes. The box of Pandora is realized in each of the kegs of ardent spirits that stand upon the counters of the sixteen hundred licensed grocers of this city. At a moderate computation, the money spent in the purchase of spirituous liquors would be more than sufficient to keep the whole city constantly supplied with bread. ViewVol. VI.-No. 3.
Since eagles dip their beaks in blood, And make their meat in throbbing food;
From them the falling eye of love Drops to the weak but harmless dove. FAWCETT.
ing the enormous devastations of this evil upon the minds and morals of the people, we cannot but regard it as the crying and increasing sin of the nation, and as loudly demanding the solemn deliberation of our legislative assemblies.
4th WANT OF ECONOMY. gality is comparative. Among the poor, it prevails to a great extent, in an inattention to those small, but frequent savings when labour is plentiful, which may go to meet the privations of unfavourable seasons.
5th. IMPRUDENT AND HASTY MARRIAGES. This, it is believed is a fertile source of trial and poverty.
6th. LOTTERIES. The depraving nature and tendency of these allurements to hazard money, is generally admitted by those who have been most attentive to their effects. The time spent in inquiries relative to lotteries, in frequent attendance on lottery offices, the feverish anxiety which prevails relative to the success of tickets, the associations to which it leads, all contribute to divert the labourer from his employment, to weaken the tone of his morals, to consume his earnings, and consequently to increase his poverty. But objectionable and injurious to society as we believe lotteries to be, we regard as more destructive to morals, and ruinous to all character and comfort, the numerous self-erected lottery insurances at which the young and the old are invited to spend their money in such small pittances, as the poorest labourer is frequently able to command, under the delusive expectation of a gain, the chance of which is as low, perhaps, as it is possible to conceive. The poor are thus cheated out of their money and their time, and too often left a prey to the feelings of desperation : or, they are im:
pelled by those feelings to seek a refuge in the temporary, but fatal oblivion of intoxication.
7th. PAWNBROKERS. The establishment of these offices is considered as very unfavourable to the independence and welfare of the middling and inferior classes. The artifices which are often practised to deceive the expectations of those who are induced through actual distress, or by positive allurement, to trust their goods at these places, not to Kention the facilities which they afford to the commission of theft, and the encouragement they give to a dependence on stratagem and cunning, rather than on the profits of honest industry, fairly entitle them, in the opinion of the committee, to a place among the causes of Poverty.
8th. HOUSES OF ILL FAME. The direful effects of those sinks of iniquity, upon the habits and morals of a numerous class of young men, especially of sailors and apprentices, are visible throughout the city. Open abandonment of character, vulgarity, profanity, &c. are among the inevitable consequences, as it respects our own sex, of those places of infamous resort. Their effects upon the several thousands of females within this city, who are ingulphed in those abodes of all that is vile, and all that is shocking to virtuous thought, upon the miserable victims, many of them of decent families, who are here subjected to the most cruel tyranny of their inhuman masters-upon the females, who, hardened in crime, are nightly sent from those dens of corruption to roam through the city, "seeking whom they may devour," we have not the inclination, nor is it our duty to describe. Among "the causes of poverty," those houses, where all the base-born passions are engendered-where the vilest profigacy receives a forced culture, must hold an eminent rank.
9th. THE NUMEROUS CHARITA
BLE INSTITUTIONS IN THIS CITY.
The Committee by no means intend to cast an indiscriminate censure upon these institutions, nor to implicate the motives, nor even to deny the usefulness, in a certain degree, of any one of them. They have unques
tionably had their foundation in mo tives of true Philanthropy; they have contributed, to cultivate the feelings of christian charity, and to keep alive its salutary influence upon the minds of our fellow-citizens; and they have doubtless relieved thous ands from the pressure of the most pinching want, from cold, from hunger, and probably in many cases, from untimely death.
But, in relation to these societies, a question of no ordinary moment: presents itself to the considerate and real philanthropist. Is not the partial and temporary good which they accomplish, how acute soever the miscries they relieve, and whatever the number they may rescue from sufferings or death, more than counterbalanced, by the evils that flow from the expectations they necessarily excite; by the relaxation of industry, which such a display of benevolence tends to produce; by that reliance upon charitable aid, in case of unfavourable times, which must unavoidably tend to diminish, in the minds of the labouring classes, that wholesome anxiety to provide for the wants of a distant day, which alone can save them from a state of absolute dependence, and from becoming a burden to the community?
To what extent abuses upon our present system of alms are practised, and how far the evils which accompany it are susceptible of remedy, we should not, at present, feel warranted in attempting to state. The pauper ism of the city is under the management of Five Commissioners, who we doubt not, are well qualified to fulfil the trust reposed in them, and altogether disposed to discharge it with fidelity. But we cannot withhold the opinion, that without a far more extended, minute, and energet ic scheme of management than it is possible for any five men to keep in constant operation, abuses will be practised, and to a great extent, upon the public bounty; taxes must be increased, and vice and suffering perpetuated.
LASTLY. Your committee would mention WAR during its prevalence, as one of the most abundant scurces of poverty and vice, which the list of
human corruptions comprehends. But as this evil lies out of the immediate reach of local regulation, and as we are now happily blest with a peace which we hope will be durable, it is deemed unnecessary further to notice it.
The present tranquil state of the public mind, and the almost total absence of political jealousy, indicate a period peculiarly favourable to internal improvement and reformation.
We therefore proceed to point out the means, which we consider best calculated to meliorate the condition of the poorer classes, and to strike at the root of those evils which go to the increase of poverty and its attendant miseries.
1st. To divide the city into very small districts, and to appoint from the members of the society, two or three visiters for each district, whose duty it shall be to become acquainted with the inhabitants of the district, to visit frequently the families of those who are in indigent circumstances, to advise them with respect to their business, the education of their children, the economy of their houses, to administer encouragement or admonition, as they may find occasion; and in general, by preserving an open, candid, and friendly intercourse with them, to gain their confidence, and by suitable and well timed counsel, to excite them to such a course of conduct as will best promote their physical and moral welfare. The visiters to keep an accurate register of the names of all those who reside within their respective districts, to notice every change of residence, whether of single or married persons, and to annex such observations to the names of those who claim their particular attention as will enable them to give every needful information with respect to their character, reputation, habits, &c.
It may fairly be presumed, that if this scheme of inspection can be carried into full effect; if visiters can be found, who will undertake the charge, from the pure motive of philanthropy, and if, on the principles of active concert, a reference be always had to the books of the visiters, before charStable relief is extended to any indi
vidual, by any of the institutions already established, and due notice taken of the information they afford, a change will soon be perceived in the aspect of the poor. Finding that they have real friends, that their conduct is an object of solicitude, that their characters will be the subject of remark, a sense of decency, and a spirit of independence will be gradu ally awakened, the effects of which, must eventually be perceived in the diminution of the poor rates of the city.
2nd. To encourage and assist the labouring classes to make the most of their earnings, by promoting the establishment of a Savings Bank, or of Benefit Societies, Life Insurances, &c. The good effects of such associations have been abundantly proved in Europe and in America. Boston, Phila delphia, and Baltimore have each a Savings Bank.
3rd. To prevent, by all legal means, the access of paupers who are not entitled to a residence in the city. The plan of inspection before described will furnish the means of entirely preventing those disgraceful encroach ments upon the charity of the city, which it is believed have been prac tised to no inconsiderable extent.
4th. To unite with the corporate authorities in the entire inhibition of street begging. There can be no rea sonable excuse whatever, for this practice, more especially if the course of inspection, now recommended, be kept in operation.
5th. To aid, if it shall be deemed expedient, in furnishing employment to those who cannot procure it, either by the establishment of houses of industry, or by supplying materials for domestic labour.
6th. To advise and promote the opening of places of worship in the outer wards of the city, especially in situations where licentiousness is the most prevalent. This subject is considered as one of vital importance. If, as we believe, nine tenths of the poverty and wretchedness which the city exhibits, proceeds directly or indirectly from the want of correct moral principle, and if religion is the basis of morality, then will it be admitted, that to extend the benefits of re