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Advantages of studying the Scriptures. 77 Newgate, in London, there is not even a single case which does not appear to have been derived, more or less directly, from the daily reading of the Holy Scriptures.” With respect to the prisoners in Irish jails, Mrs. Fry says, “ We believe we may safely assert, that the greater part of the criminals whom we saw in the jails were, before they came into the prison-schools, unable to read or write.” “ Abundant evidence is, indeed, afforded to the visitors of prisons, that brutal crime is almost always connected with brutal ignorance." " Of all the means which Providence has placed in our power for putting a check to crime, the most important is, the education of the people.”. “ The only complete remedy for the evil propensities of men, is religious principle.” “It is our decided opinion-an opinion founded on long observation and experience that every system of national instruction ought to have the Holy Scriptures for its foundation," “ Nor are we to look at the subject as a matter of prudence and policy only. To the national education of the poor, there ought ever to be the higher and nobler purpose of so training them up in a sober, righteous, and godly life, that, through the mercy of God, they may become heirs of eternal happiness. Now, how can this great object be so well promoted, as by a Christian and scriptural education ?”
We are very glad to find that it is the opinion of Mrs. Fry and Mr. Gurney, that " there has been, for some time past, taking place, in all ranks of the Irish population, a gradual, yet very material improvement.”
REMARKS ON THE LETTER OF HAN
To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, I THINK the character of Hannah Saunders, given in the Cottager's Monthly Visitor * for August, most excellent; and I wish there were many such servants to be met with ;---and let us hope and trust that there are—though one cannot help grieving to think that there are many of a very different kind. How many young girls are there, who are led to their ruin by this one temptation-a love of dress! This tempts them to expenses beyond what they can afford; and they are either led to dishonest practices, or to accept money from those who bestow it only that they may seduce them from the paths of virtue. This love of dress, besides, shews that a young girl wishes to be admired; and, as it were, invites the enemy, who, in the likeness of a friend, will bring her to misery and ruin. Oh! could these thoughtless young women be aware of the sad fate of those who have thus begun in folly, and ended in the bitterness of sorrow! Well would it be for them, if they could see how short, how miserable, how fatal, is the career of young women who listen to the tempter! If they could see this, surely they would shun the first steps which lead to it.
The public newspapers have lately given several instances of young women who have been left by their seducers to want and infamy; and have been afraid and ashamed to return to their friends and their homes. These wretched and heart-broken creatures have been driven to the dreadful crime of
* Page 347, vol. vii,
Remarks on the Letter of Hannah Saunders. 79 self-destruction and have put an end to their miserable existence! The beginning of these evils is often the love of expensive finery. In small families the mischief may, perhaps, be not quite so great ; but, where there are many servants, one bad example does much to corrupt the whole; and, in many families, from the lady's-maid to the kitchen-maid, all are drest beyond their station. I lately saw one of the last mentioned in a satin dress with many flounces. Seeing this sample of tawdry finery pass my window, and thinking she more resembled the poor unfortunate creatures who walk London streets than the neat country--girls I was accustomed to see, I enquired who she was, and the answer was she is the kitchen-maid at , naming the house of one of my neighbours. It would be kind in any one to explain to these silly young women the danger into which they are rushing, without seeming to be aware of it. Ladies who have maids are doing them a great kindness by giving them such of their clothes as are likely to be of use to them ; but they are doing them a great injury when they give them such as it is ridiculously beyond their station for them to wear. If these dresses are given as a matter of perquisite, and, if the selling of them brings a profit, let this be properly understood between the parties; but it certainly should be required that those things which are so completely out of character should not be worn. A discreet lady, too, who is anxious for the good of those about her, will be glad to set a good example by her own moderation in these particulars, though what may, on some occasions, be required in her situation, may be perfectly ridiculous in that of her maid. . I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
M. T. E.
... OBSERVANCE OF THE SABBATH.
· We have taken the following account from a London Newspaper:* At a meeting of the inhabitants of Saint Neots — the Rev. Geo. Freer, M.A., in the Chair-It was resolved, That this meeting do cordially agree, that means ought to be taken to prevent the profanation and abuse of the Sabbath. That we witness, with extreme concern, the violation of the Lord's Day, by persons in almostevery rank of life employing themselves in those things which are the business of the week. That we feel ourselves called upon, as men and Christians, to use all the means in our power to check these abuses ; and we are of opinion, that much progress may be made towards the attainment of this desirable object, by the force of example, by recommendation, by persuasion, and remonstrance. That, as the accomplishment of this object cannot be hoped for without the cooperation of the respectable inhabitants, such cooperation is earnestly requested from persons of all denominations; and that a society be now formed, to be denominated “The St. Neots Society for promoting the Observance of the Sabbath." That this parish be divided into districts, and that two respectable inhabitants, members of the society, be monthly appointed, whose office it shall be to visit every part of the same once or twice on each Sabbath, to use persuasion, distribute such addresses as may be voted by the committee, to suppress tumult where practicable, and to call the attention of the thoughtless to the duties of the Lord's Day. That the committee assemble once every fortnight, or at such times as they may deem expedient, to receive the report of the visitors, vote addresses for circulation, and to transact the business of the society generally. That a fund be now opened to de.
· Obseroance of the Sabbath. fray the necessary expences attending printing, &c.; that contributions be solicited ; and that the Rev. G. Freer be requested to act as treasurer and secretary. That the following address be adopted and signed by this meeting, and presented to the other respectable inhabitants of this parish for their signatures; that it be then printed and circulated, together with the above resolutions:-"Among the evil practices by which this place is dishonoured, scarcely any is so prevalent or offensive to every Christian mind, or more certainly the source of every evil word and work, as the profanation of the Sabbath; and although it is by no means intended to assert, that the Lord's Day is either more generally or more flagrantly violated in this neighbourhood than in other places, and although we have abundant cause for thankfulness to Almighty God for the manifest change of life and habit in many families around us, yet it cannot be denied that the evil still exists to a very serious extent; that it calls imperiously on all, as they regard the honour of God, and the welfare of their fellow-creatures, to use their best endeavours, at least, to repress, if they cannot altogether subduz it.-We, therefore, the undersigned, believing and hoping that much progress may be made towards the attainment of this desirable object by the force of example, recommendation, persuasion, and remonstrance, do pledge ourselves to discountenance in our own persons, and to exert whatever influence we may have over others, to restrain the too common abuses of the Lord's Day. And we do earnestly entreat our fellow Christians, laying aside all considerations of private interest and indulgence, cordially to unite with us in our endeavours to obtain a more decorous. and sacred regard to the Sabbath, which our God has required us to sanctify, not merely by abstaining from our common and usual labours and occupapations, but by refraining from doing our own ways,