صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني



We announced, in our Number for November 1822 (p. 726), the intended formation of this Society, and presented an outline of the prospectus issued by its Provisional Committee. The Society was shortly afterwards formed, and has published its First Report, from which we copy the following passages, which will give a general idea of the nature of its operations.

In drawing up a summary of their proceedings since the commencement of the Society, the Committee have the satisfaction of observing that the energy with which their suggestions have been acted upon by ladies in Ireland, has been most encouraging. The anxiety manifested by those ladies to minister to the wants, and to awaken the industry of the peasantry around them, whilst it redounds to their own credit, gives the liveliest promise of an essential improvement in the principles, manners, and habits of the lower classes in that country. Such have been their exertions and activity, that Ireland has now to number above a hundred and thirty Associations, the fruits of their beneficent labours.

The prospectus of the Society was no sooner issued, than letters flowed in to the Committee from all quarters of Ireland. Those communications have been very various in their character, some giving a very pleasing account of the improvements that have been made in the state of the poor, in consequence of the superintendence of resident ladies, and others depicting a degree of misery that calls upon every feeling of humanity for succour.

In Cork, the reception which the ladies have met with in their visits of charity has been gratifying and encouraging, though they were unfortunately restrained from extending them to many parts of the county, by the prevalence of insubordination among the lower class of people. They found misery surpassing description, and are now devoting their time, their talents, and what means of pecuniary assistance they can afford, to relieve the sufferings of the poor through the medium of their own industry. A most hopeful circumstance is the ardent desire for employment which the women have manifested. Want of materials and implements for work, and of markets for the produce, alone present obstacles to the advantages which might result from this spirit of industry. In one district in Cork, 984 women were found able and willing to

spin, and the Association could only distribute 64 wheels among them. In other districts, however, the supply has been more adequate to the demand.

The county of Clare was found to be labouring under peculiar difficulties, almost all the persons of rank and fortune belonging to it being absentees, and the residents generally in very distressed circumstances. A letter, written a few months only after the plans of the Society were formed, will shew the effect which even in so short a time had been produced by their adoption. The letter concludes thus:

"I know of no circumstance which has ever united the ladies of Clare in labours for their fellow-creatures as your society has done. Many are now not merely denying themselves, but, even at the risk of health, going in all weathers, to stand the whole day in an indifferent cottage, to give out work with their own hands; and these, persons of delicate habits, totally – unaccustomed to such an employment. And when I see this exertion persisted in, week after week, at this inclement season, I cannot but believe they will cordially and steadily unite in the more grateful and pleasing labours we shall call them to, as soon as our poor are brought out of that dreadful state of destitution, which English persons, who have not been in Ireland, cannot even so much as picture to their imaginations."

The Committee state, that the hopes expressed in this letter have been more than realized. In a letter since received from the same lady, she says; "Did health and time permit, I should feel great satisfaction in contrasting the state of those districts in which Associations have been formed, with those continuing as they were; for, in spite of all the difficulties the Associations have to contend with, it now becomes evident that it requires only perseverance to render this system one of infinite utility to Ireland. I can truly say that the improvement in my own neighbourhood is far beyond my expectation."

An Association comprising five districts has been formed for the city of Limerick. In one of these Associations, an idea was suggested, by a benevolent co-operator, that a village-shop might be established, in which the manufacture made from the yarn spun by the women might be received, and the women again employed in making it into articles of female attire, to be afterwards sold to them at the shop, at one third less than the original cost, for some months, in the hope that industry

might supersede the habit of begging, which she represented as too prevalent. The following extract from a letter to the secretary, will shew the success of the scheme :

"We have had a five-days' sale, which has been very well attended by the most industrious of those to whom we have given work, and whom we persuade to save a part of their earnings to buy clothes for themselves and children.

"A poor woman yesterday fell on her knees, in spite of my endeavour to prevent her, and loaded me with her blessings and prayers for me and my family, because I told her I would give her a stone of wool to spin. This will give you an idea how willing they are to work, and how scarce work is. I beg leave to assure you, that if the ladies in this part of the country have been late in directing their attention to the wants of the poor, they seem very anxious now to make amends for this lost time. They are straining every nerve to relieve them; and it must be said on their behalf, that they have more to contend with than any English lady, who has not lived in Ireland, can imagine. Should the reformation of the peasantry be ever effected, it must be by very slow degrees. If the ladies persevere in the work they have begun, much may be expected from the next generation: the docility and gentleness of the children shew what a superior people the parents might have been, if they had had but a tolerable education."

The first letters received by the Committee from the county of Tipperary presented a distressing picture of its misery, combined, as in the county of Cork, with great want of the means of employment, and with willingness to work; all the women were able to spin both flax and wool, but scarcely one in ten was in possession of aspinning-wheel; and many of them were incapacitated for work by the want of necessary clothing. There is cause to hope that progressive improvement will be the consequence of the present system of benevolent attention to their wants.

Three district Committees have been formed in Galway. The following communication from this county will shew, that, with good management, much benefit may accrue from the most trifling sums of money :

[blocks in formation]

long ago; but I was so ignorant on the subject, that I thought it would require a great deal of money to attempt any thing of the kind. The happiness of so materially benefiting our poor, was reserved for your Society. I went and sent round the country, to tell the people to prepare their ground; and sent for a hogshead of flaxseed, which I expect to-morrow, to be distributed the day after at fivepence a pottle, that is, something more than half the price the retailers sell it for; and any who cannot afford to pay so much, are bound to return the value in spun yarn in the autumn."

The Committee add a few extracts from communications from other counties, and then proceed as follows:

"The chief object of the British and Irish Society has been, and still is, to draw the attention of the superior classes to the situation of the peasantry: and as far as its influence has extended, the Committee have the gratification of seeing that object accomplished; and they trust it will eventually lead to a progressive improvement in civilization and comfort.

"Great indeed and difficult, as the task may be, of reforming the habits and correcting the moral feelings of the great mass of a whole people, the Committee cannot but think that their endeavours, through the active and persevering exertions of the Irish ladies, are calculated to attempt many things with peculiar advantage. By the influence of the ladies over the female peasantry in their respective districts, they hope that not only ideas of comfort and cleanliness, hitherto little known, may be introduced, and industry excited by the prospect of due remuneration; but that likewise benefits of a higher nature may be conferred, by the improvement of moral principle and the repression of mean, degrading, and vicious habits and though the reformation may be gradual, and the immediate change not strikingly apparent, yet every real advancement in moral feeling, on the part of the future mothers of the families of Ireland, is calculated to have the most extensive and durable effects on the habits of the rising generation. It is from them that their children must derive those early principles and feelings which, well or ill directed, lay, in ordinary cases, the foundation of the conduct of future life,"



In an Act of Parliament passed last session, is the following important clause:

"And whereas doubts have arisen whether the Bishop of Calcutta, in conferring holy orders, is subject to the seve ral provisions and limitations established by the laws of this realm, or canons ecclesiastical, as to the titles of the persons to be ordained, and as to the oaths and subscriptions to be by such persons taken and made; be it further declared and enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for the Bishop of Calcutta for the time being, to admit into holy orders of deacon and priest, respectively, any person whom he shall, upon examination, deem duly qualified, specially for the purpose of taking upon himself the cure of souls, or officiating in any spiritual capacity,within the limits of the said diocese of Calcutta, and residing therein; and that a declaration of such purpose, and a written engagement to perform the same, under the hand of such person, being deposited in the hands of such bishop, shall be held to be a sufficient title with a view to such ordination; and that, in every such case, it shall be distinctly stated, in the letters of ordination of every person so admitted to holy orders, that he has been ordained for the cure of souls within the limits of the said diocese of Calcutta only; and that, unless such person shall be a British subject of or belonging to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, he shall not be required to take and make the oaths and subscriptions which persons ordained in England are required to take and make."

CHURCH MISSIONARY SOCIETY.. The following is an extract from a letter. lately written by the converted Hindoo, Abdool Messeeh, to the Rev. D. Corrie. We quote it chiefly as one among innumerable proofs of the incorrectness of the statements so zealously urged into: publicity of the utter uselessness of Missionary efforts in India. Such incidental notices, not perhaps each individually of very extensive import, but multiplied and perpetually recurring in our missionary annals, furnish ample proof that the labours of the Christian teachers in India are very far indeed from being " in vain in the Lord."

"I, your unworthy scholar, according to your desire, submit an account of the affairs of the church at Agra.

"By the favour of the Lord Jesus Christ, all the Hindoostanee and English Christians at Agra continue to pass their time, as usual, with thanksgiving. Several persons have fallen asleep in the Lord Jesus, of whom I will give a separate account.

"In the first place, I will give you an account of our public worship. Morning and evening prayers are attended by twenty-one men and twenty-two women daily; and, on Sunday, by the grace of God, the whole place of worship is filled, and often it will not contain all who attend. When General Shouldham comes from Muttra to Agra, he and his lady and all the Christians who attend him, come to our place of worship; and when the board of commissioners was here, and when the judge of circuit held his court here, all the writers belonging to them attended public worship; and many Hindoos and Mussulmans come occasionally, as if to see what is going on.

"Since my return to Agra five men and five women (Hindoos) have been admitted by baptism to the profession of Christians.

"Mr. Cannor is dead; and Gorgeen Beg and three women of the Kuttra are fallen asleep in Christ. Gorgeen Beg died rejoicing and praising God; and the three women seemed to exceed one another in their confidence in the Lord Jesus at the time of death.

"A parcel containing the First Book of Moses, and some poetry of Fuez Messceh, duly arrived. On beholding the beautifully printed book, I was exceedingly rejoiced, Praise to God, that my pastor Henry Martyn's labours in the cause of religion are so published abroad, that profit results to many, and will extend far and wide; for this translation is intelligible to all.

"Now may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fel-. lowship of the Holy Ghost, be with you and with us all."


Several individuals, interested in the welfare and extension of charitable societies,, at the west end of the metropolis, having experienced much inconvenience, from the want of some common and central point of communication, have arranged a plan for affording accommodation to such so-; cieties as may wish to avail themselves of the advantage of possessing established offices, and a fixed place for holding their committee meetings, without separately incurring the expense and responsibility of hiring detached houses or apartments. The house, No. 32, Sackville Street, Piccadilly (formerly occupied by the Board of Agriculture), has been taken, and invested in a body of highly respectable trustees, who consider it in every way.

calculated to afford the desired accommodations. The trustees holding the house solely for the use of religious and cha, ritable institutions, have the full power of negativing all applications which, in their judgment, may not be in unison with the objects of the establishment. Ten or eleven societies may be accommodated, each with a separate apartment for an office, with the necessary arrangements for their books and papers, and the periodical use of a spacious committee-room, as often as required, upon terms and under regulations to be agreed upon. The committee room, which is large and convenient, will be open to the use of charitable societies not occupying an office in the house, for occasional meetings, upon moderate terms. A waiting room will be opened for the accommodation of persons frequenting the house, or interested generally in the concerns of charitable institutions, where opportunities of mutual intercourse will be afforded, and the Reports and

papers connected with charitable societies may be consulted. It is also in contemplation to form a library of Reports and official documents, connected with the objects of charitable institutions.

As the expense of providing furniture, and other necessary equipments for the house, will be considerable, and as the rent to be derived from letting separate offices, and the general committee-room, will by no means be adequate to the charges on account of rent, taxes, insurance, and other incidental expenses, the trustees confidently make their appeal to the public, to assist, by means of donations and annual subscriptions, a charitable establishment, from which extensive advantages may be anticipated.-Contributions will be received by the treasurer, Henry Drummond, Esq. at Messrs. Drummonds, Charing Cross; by any member of the body of trustees; or by the Secretary, at No. 32, Sackville Street, Piccadilly.



SPAIN. The accounts from Spain during the month have not added very considerably to our knowledge of the state of the country, or the intentions of the court. Barcelona has surrendered, and the opposition of the Constitutionalists has every where ceased. The populace, incited by the priests, are vehemently petitioning for the restoration of the Inquisition; a fit accompaniment for the reign of absolute power. The king has decreed the "Christian and appointment of a monarchical junta" of censors, who are to proceed to "the examination of all known works"-a somewhat formidable task-with a view to determine what are proper for forming "worthy supporters of the altar, the throne, and the country." General Riego, one of the chief friends and restorers of the late Constitution, has been condenied and executed for his political offences. His execution has excited great sympathy throughout Europe; and the more so from the humiliating manner in which he was treated by the dominant party, and the disgraceful adjudication of a hurdle and gibbet, instead of the mode of death usual in the case of persons of high civil or military rank. With these exceptions, the conduct of the

court has been, upon the whole, somewhat more moderate than during the first two or three weeks after the king's liberation. Owing, it would appear, to the urgent representations of his French restorers, and the danger of a re-action, the king has arrested the progress of the official dismissals which were denuding the land of almost all its functionaries: he has ceased also, it is said, to act so implicitly as before upon the suggestions of his ultrabigotted father confessor; and hopes are thrown out that he will be induced to grant at least the shadow of a constitution.

FRANCE. The health of the king of France is stated to be in a declining condition, which serves, together with the general aspect of European politics, to keep up a considerable degree of excitation among all parties in the state. The chamber of deputies, it appears, is speedily to be dissolved; and one of the subjects anticipated to be proposed to the next chamber is the introduction of a septennial bill.-The state of South America seems to excite great interest in France. There appears to be a party in that country, as well as in Spain, Portugal, and some other European states, who are most anxious to crush the nascent liberties of that rising continent.

DOMESTIC. Parliament has been prorogued to the 3d of February.

Many rumours are afloat, in consequence of some naval preparations which have been ordered by government. Several frigates and ships of the line have been commissioned, but for what purpose can only be matter of conjecture. It has been stated, that the object is to prevent any infringement upon the rights of British commerce, should any of the European governments see fit to combine against the freedom of South America. Our government has clearly no intention of plunging into a war with any of our continental neighbours: the best interests of the country, as Mr. Canning has recently affirmed in a splendid speech delivered at Plymouth, demand a scrupulous care to maintain peace.. At the same time, the spirit evinced by some of the European governments, and which, having completed its work in its own quarter of the globe, seems to be bending its attention towards the West, requires that our navy should be in a condition to maintain our commercial rights.

The whole kingdom has been agitated during the month, in consequence of certain awful disclosures which have been elicited by the murder of a Mr. Weare, at Gill's Hill Lane, about six miles from Watford in Hertfordshire. Three persons, named Thurtell, Hunt, and Probert, are in custody, under very strong suspicions (we ought not in justice, previously to the decision of a jury, to say more) of being principals, or accessaries, in the perpetration of this atrocious deed. The whole of the circumstances are so generally known that we gladly refrain from the painful task of detailing them; but, as Christian observers, we should not satisfy our own minds if we did not avail ourselves of the intense feeling produced by this fearful deed, to utter a few reflections suggested by the appalling statements which have so tremendously struck upon the public ear. To our younger readers, for whom chiefly we pen these remarks, they may not be useless or uninteresting; and others. will, we trust, pardon us if, in the present dearth of domestic political intelligence, we occupy a portion of this department of our miscellany in following up the monitory strain of remark which has issued from so many of the pulpits of the kingdom on the

occasion. The daily press, that engine of gigantic power, we regret to say, seldom exerts its moral and religious influence as it might do, and ought to do, when circumstances peculiarly prepare the public mind to receive its instructions; otherwise what an important opportunity for incidentally pointing out to the world "the exceeding sinfulness of sin," would the circumstances to which we are alluding have afforded. So fraught has the subject been with deep interest, that even the conductors of some of the theatres have, most improperly and unwarrantably, endeavoured to allure popular curiosity by dramatic exhibitions founded upon, or pointedly alluding to, the circumstances of this barbarous murder, and have found their account in so doing, by the crowds whom those revolting exhibitions have collected together. Surely, then, a Christian observer may be justified in endeavouring to turn the painful topic to a better and more useful account.

The crime of murder stands promirently forward in the universal detestation and horror which it has ever excited in all ages and countries. True it is, that in many parts of the world, human life has been held in too little estimation; sanguinary wars and barbarous customs, have been, in innumerable instances, allowed to waste it; caprice, tyranny, and judicial executions have been suffered to sport with it; it has been profusely shed on the sanguinary altars of pagan superstition; and private revenge itself has, in some instances, particularly in savage nations, heen tolerated as a lawful cause for its destruction. But, even in those extreme cases, even among nations in which these recognized murders have been most familiar, murder, in its ordinary acceptation, has still been regarded with the utmost abhorrence.

Almost every

other crime has been more or less palliated in different ages and nations; even theft has been legalized, and the grossest licentiousness vindicated; but murder has no advocate: so far from it, we instinctively shrink from the very thought of it; we cannot without pain speak of it, or allow the mind to dwell upon its atrocity. We view it as a crime peculiarly inhuman, and proceeding directly from the suggestion of that evil spirit who was a murderer from the beginning." Against a crime so utterly abhor

[ocr errors]
« السابقةمتابعة »