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fame fort to relate. Several
The fubject of this paper may, perhaps, appear ftrange to fome who have never met with any thing of the kind: many, however, I am convinced, will feel its importance.
that celebrated divine, the Rev. ROBERT HALL, founded on Jer. viii. 6. entitle them to distinguifhed notice.
"A lax theology is the natural parent of a lax morality. The peculiar motives, accordingly, by which the infpired writers enforce their moral leffons, the love of God and the Redeemer, concern for the honour of religion, and gratitude for the ineftimable benefits of the chriflian redemption, have no place in the fashionable fyftems of moral inftruction.'
The motives almoft exclufively urged, are fuch as take their rife from the prefent ftate, founded on reputation, on honour, on health, or on the tendency of the things recommended to promote, under fome form or other, the acquifition of worldly advantages. Thus even morality itfelf, by diffociating it from religion, is made to cherish the love of the world, and to bar the heart more effectually against the approaches of piety." P. 34, 35. "We fhall ill confult the true interefts of revelation, by diftinguifhing its peculiarities, in hope of conciliating the approbation of infidels, and of adapting it more to their tafte; a miltaken and dangerous policy, by which we run imminent rifque of catching their contagion, without impart ing the benefit of its truth. Let us not for a moment blench from its myfteries: they are myfteries of godliness; and however much they may furpafs human reason, bear the distinct impress of a di
It is impoffible not to feel the force of O. R's animadverfions. No small portion of blame, how ever, attaches to thofe clergymen, who, by their carelefs and incorrect manner of reading, furnish matter for ludicrous anecdote. It is hoped Americans will profit by the above remarks, to whom they are as applicable, as to the English.
THE important and feasonable truths contained in the following extracts from a Faft difcourfe of
"If the reader wishes for a further Statement and illustration of those melancholy facts, he may find it in Mr. WILBERFORCE's celebrated book on re
ligion, an ineftimable work, which has, perhaps, done more than any other to route the infenfibility and augment the piety of the age." p. 34. NOTE.
vine hand. We rejoice that they are myfteries, fo far from being afhamed of them on that account; fince the principal reafon why they are, and muft ever continue fuch, is derived from their elevation, from their unfearchable riches, and undefinable grandeur. In fine, let us draw our religion and morality entirely from the word
land for propagating Chriftian Knowledge.", It was drawn up by the late Dr. KEMP, their secretary, in the form of an Address, and by request was delivered to the company affembled at the Crown and Anchor Tavern in London, May 18, 1803, being the anniversary Festival of this Society in London. The Duke of Atholl in the
In fulfilment of our promife, we lay be, have been fuperfeded. It falls to fore our readers the following inter- my lot, the furviving brother fecefting account of The Society in Scot-retary of that gentleman, to fupply his place until it fhall be filled up by a new election. Had eloquence like his, been mine, I should have rejoiced to employ it in giving to his memory a wellmerited tribute of praise; my talents fuffice for nothing more than the statement of a few plain wellknown facts; but the perfonal knowledge of many among thofe whom I have now the honour to addrefs, will fupply my deficiencies. You, gentlemen, well know the genius and talents of the late Dr. Hunter, the activity, and comprehenfivenefs, and benevolence of his mind. Few men ever employed greater exertions or with happier fuccefs in promoting the intereft of a variety of charitable inftitutions. To the friends of these charities his memory will long be dear; nor are we, of the Society in Scotland for propagating Chriftian Knowledge, an exception: we feel and acknowledge the obligations, which he laid us under.
At a period when the intereft of our inftitution had declined, and was indeed at a low ebb in London, his vigorous and active mind devifed and executed liberal plans for its revival, and procured
MY LORD AND GENTLEMEN,
By the appointment of my conftituents, "The Society in Scotland for propagating Chriflian Knowledge," I wait upon you at this time, to give you their beft thanks for all your former favours, of which they are impreffed with the greateft fenfe, and to folicit the continuance of your patronage and fupport.
You have been accustomed annually on the day of the anniverfary, to receive an account of that extenfive charity, and its immediate purfuits and objects. Had it pleafed God to have prolonged the life of him from whem you were wont to hear it, my vifit to London on this occafion would have been unneceffary, and would
of God, without fecking any deep-
See last No p. 78,
for it many zealous friends; he had the happiness to leave it in a oft flourishing condition.
What his powers of eloquence were, I have no occafion to ftate; for within these walls you, gentlemen, have often heard them called forth in behalf of the charity, on account of which we have this day affembled; and the effects afforded fufficient evidence of their influence.
The Society in Scotland for propa gating Chriftian Knowledge derived its existence from the benevolence of a few private gentlemen, who in the beginning of the last centu ry had made themselves acquainted with the melancholy condition of the inhabitants of the remote districts of Scotland, and were deeply affected by the profound ignorance and grofs barbarifm in which they were buried. They found that thefe poor people were utterly deftitute of almoft all the means of knowledge and improvement. The few proteftant minif ters fettled among them, were thinly fcattered over an immense furface of rugged country; divided indeed into parishes, and each provided with a protestant minifter, but these parishes refembling rather fhites, or provinces of great extent. Even at this day, when the numbers of minifters is greatly increased, fome of thefe parishes which I have travelled through, are fixty miles in length by forty in breadth. Others of them confift of feveral islands detached from each other by miles, and in fome cafes, by leagues of a boifter
Bear with me, gentlemen: fome of you, I know, will fympathife with me, while I mourn over his lofs, not as a publick man only, or as the benefactor of fociety at large, and of this fociety in particular, but as a private friend, than whom never one was bleft with a kinder heart or warmer affections, more ready to enter into the feelings, or with more active exertion to promote the intereft of every man whom he accounted a friend, and ftood in need of his af
tance. Not a few of you, I am perfuaded, will concur in the feniment, when I fay, that I loved him while alive, and mourn over him now that he is gone.
Permit me now to attempt to fulfil that duty of the fecretary of the fociety, which Dr. Hunter was wont to perform.
origin, progress, and prefent objects.
Accounts of the fociety in Scotland for propagating chriflian knowledge have been repeatedly publifhed to the world, and many prefent are well acquainted with the hiftory of an inftitution which has fubfitted for near a century. But there are probably fome prefent, and thefe of the higheft confideration, who may not have had an opportunity of reading thefe publications, or having their attention particularly directed to this inditution. I fhall be forgiven then, I hope, if in this addrefs, I bellow a few fentences upon its
The parishes on the main land of the highlands, are for the moft part interfected by arms of the sea reaching far into the country, or by rapid rivers deftitute of bridges, and in the winter generally impaf fable; many of them by high mountains, which for months together are covered with fnow; fo that all intercourfe is prevented between the feveral parts of the fame parith, and of courfe, between the minifter and the people, except in the district in which he happens to refide.
The body of the people were
by these means not only deprived justice of this last affertion, and of the then difpofition of the highlanders.
in a great measure of the benefit of the inftructions of their ministers, but were almost totally deftitute of schools and feminaries for the education of their children.
Few comparatively of the parifhes in the highlands and iflands at that time enjoyed the benefit of parochial fchools (there are too many in the fame fituation at this day), and of the few which had fchools, the benefit, from the caufes I have already mentioned, extended but to a fmall portion of the inhabitants. Add to thefe unfortunate circumftances, that the language of the people was, and ftill is the Gaelic, in which there were then no books, and though there had, they could have been of no use, for none of the people could read.
From thefe caufes combined, it is certain, nor is it to be wondered, that intellectual darknefs, the groffelt and most profound, brooded over this unhappy country, that its inhabitants were ignorant of the first principles of the christian fyltem, and that what notions they had of a religious nature were a mixture of popish and pagan fuperftition.
We may july add, that thefe poor people were as ignorant of the arts of civilized, as they were of the principles of the religious life; their minds were fierce, their manners barbarous. The feuds of their clans were endlefs, and their quarrels bloody. They were plunderers of the loyal and peaceful inhabitants of the low lands of Scotland; and in general (for there were exceptions) they were hotile to the happy conftitution of government established at the revolution. Succellive rebellions from that era to the year 1745, furnish melancholy proofs of the
It was impoffible that cultivat ed and benevolent minds could contemplate without commiferation, a people, and those their own countrymen, in fo unhappy a condition. The generous founders of our fociety pitied them, and formed a noble plan for their relief. Their perfonal funds were narrow, but they exerted them to the utmoft. They made known their intentions to the publick; they were approved, and numbers entered heartily into the plan which they formed. The General Af fembly of the church of Scotland, by repeated acts in fucceffive years, recommended it to the liberality. of their people. It was made known to Queen Anne, of pious memory; her majesty's approbation of it was published by a roy al proclamation in the year 1708; and in 1709, the Queen was gracioully pleafed to itfue her letters. patent, conftituting the fubfcribers a body corporate by the name and defignation, which they have ever fince borne. The objects of the fociety are defined in their charter, "for raising a voluntary contribution towards the farther promotion of chriftian knowledge, and the increase of piety and virtue within Scotland, efpecially in the highlands and islands and remote corners thereof, where idolatry, fuperftition, and ignorance, do moftly abound by reafon of the largeness of parifhes and fcarcity of fchools: giving and granting to the fociety full powers to receive fubfcriptions and donations of money, and therewith to erect and maintain fchools to teach to read, especially the holy fcriptures and other good and pious books; as alfo to teach
writing, arithmetick, and fuch like degrees of knowledge."
The fubfcribers and firft members of the fociety were, many of them, of the highest rank and moft diftinguished characters in Scotland. Permit me to read from an authentick lift publifhed by authority, a few of their names -James, Duke of Queensbury and Dover: John, Duke of Atholl, (the great grand father of our prefent noble chairman ;) David, Earl of Buchan; Thomas, Earl of Haddington; John, Earl of Laulerdale; James, Earl of Seafield; David, Earl of Glasgow; Charles, Earl of Hopetoun; Archibald, Earl of Inay. Befide thefe noblemen, there occur on the lift the names of many gentlemen of rank and fortune; the judges of the fupreme court of judicature in Scotland, all the minifters of Edinburgh and its vicinity, and a great number of its most respectable citizens.
Four thoufond pounds were raifed, and immediately the fociety began their operations as defcribed in their charter. By eftablifhing fchools for the inftruction of youth, they wished to rescue their as yet uncorrupted minds from the ignorance and barbarifm of their fathers, to imbue them with the first principles of fcience and religion, and to open to them the channels of farther improvement, by teaching them to fpeak and to read the English language.
Need I fay to well-informed men, acquainted with human nature, that the inftruction of youth, is of all methods the most effectual for conveying knowledge and improvement to an ignorant and uncivilized people?
The fuccefs which attended the
first beginnings of the plan adopted by the fociety, foon gave to it celebrity, and brought a large addition to the lift of its patrons and friends. Its funds rapidly increafed, and in exact proportion to their increase, the number of schools upon its establishment was augmented.
In the year 1738 they amounted to an hundred and twelve.
At that time, the fociety, deeply regretting the idleness and ignorance of the common arts of industry, which generally prevailed in the highlands and islands, and being perfuaded that idleness and vice commonly go hand in hand, refolved to do what in them lay to cure this evil. They applied for, and obtained from his late majesty king George IId, a new patent, authorizing them to erect fchools of induftry for teaching the youth of both fexes, and particularly females, its more common branches. Upon this part of their plan, as well as upon that of the first patent, they have ever fince proceeded, and now the number of their fchools of induftry amounts to above an hundred, at which are taught above two thoufand young perfons, chiefly girls.
In confequence of thefe fchools, the women of the remote parts of the highlands and islands, who, as ufually happens in rude countries, were chiefly employed in the labours of the field, are now occupied in employments befitting their fex, in fpinning, fewing, knitting, and the like appropriate arts, while at the fame time they learn to read the fcriptures, and to un derstand the first principles of religion.
(To be concluded in our next.)