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in such undertakings, and they will at least deserve the praise of combating, and, we trust, of conquering difficulties.
We take great pleasure in again calling the attention of our readers, and requesting their patronage to a society, in the organization and conduct of which there appears to have been thus far an uncommon union of zeal and discretion. Without any extravagant expectations of operating an immediate and violent change in the moral babits of the lower classes of the community, the Society for Employing the Poor have undertaken what, it seems to us, will, upon their plan, be neither difficult in the execution nor doubtful in its success. They propose to furnish employment for those of the poor who may be disposed to request it;--not at the usual rates, for it would be impossible in that case to supply all who would make application, but at something less than the ordinary wages of labour; thus offering a resource to the destitute, without presenting a temptation to those who are in regular employment. “On the other hand, the common standard price will be charged by the Society for the labour done. Were it not so, a temptation would be offered to withdraw work from the valuable class of labouring poor, and bring it to the Society, thus depriving many industrious persons of the occupations on which they depend. Such an effect, it is manifest, would increase instead of diminishing the evil, and would be directly opposite to the main design of the Institution." This appears to us exceedingly judicious. We are indeed compelled to yield our unqualified approbation to the whole theory of this excellent Institution, and we have only to hope that its operations may be guided by the same zeal which led to its establishment, and the same skill which dictated its provisions. There are two points only to which we wish to direct the attention of the managers. The first is, the selecting and retaining of a judicious and attentive agent. It is obviously of the last importance to the usefulness of the society, that the agent should be both able and willing to carry its plans into effect, and it requires no small share of discretion and diligence to do this in the best manner. happy to learn that such is the character of the present agent, and we trust such a one will always be found, for upon that, we conceive, rests in a great degree, the success and usefulness of the society. The other is, the prudent regulation of the quantity of work distributed. There is a strong temptation in a new institution like this, to make unnecessary and injurious exertions in the outset. It is far better that the quantity of work should at first be less, than that it should be greater, than the society can continue to supply. A steady and regular in
crease is an object to be particularly desired any diminution in the quantity, is not merely a diminution of the good accomplished, but a creation of positive evil, producing new disappointment and suffering in those who have been benefited by the existence of such a society. It would be better that such a one should never have been formed, than that in its commencement it should furnish a considerable quantity of material for exercising the industry of the poor, which should gradually decrease with the cooling zeal of the members. It seems particularly desirable, too, at first view, to furnish employment for as great a number as possible ; but the same quantity of work, which, distributed among many, will be productive of little benefit to each individual, might be so arranged as to give important relief to a smaller number; and thus produce, as we think, the greatest good on the whole.
We would caution our readers against running into the error of supposing that they will acquit themselves of all their obligations to the poor by giving them something to do, or that by sending work to this society they can at once be charitable and thrifty. The following extract from the Explanation of the View of the Society, sets in a just light what should be the object of every subscriber.
These charitable purposes will, it is hoped, be kept constantly in view by those, whose humanity may induce them to become contributors. They should remember, that however their own convenience may sometimes be promoted by employing the labour of the poor, it is not for that purpose the Society exists. Jo sending work, let them consider rather the good that may be done for others, tban the advantage that may result to themselves. Let them study to select such kinds of employment as will best answer the benevolent design of the Institution. Let them not confine themselves simply to what their own occasions may demand, but often send their work with no other view, than to encourage and assist the poor. It is especially desirable, that the employment given should be something added to the stock of labour, demanding the services of the poor, and not a portion taken from some to be given to others. Hence, if the work hitherto done in families, whose circumstances are easy, should hereafter be done through the Society, its design will be most effectually promoted. Hence too the importance of devising new modes of employment, of introducing arts and fabrics which before have been unknown or little used among us. Every such addition enables some one to provide more easily for himself or his family.'
To those who have such views, and who are willing to de. vote their time and attention to such objects, we most cordially wish success; and we view as a pledge of success the happy union of ardour and prudence, which has marked the commence
ment of the institution. It has been begun and is principally supported by individuals of that sex, one of whose distinguishing excellences is a charity which never faileth.'
They may be encouraged to perseverance, we think, by the result of the many and laboured investigations into the causes of pauperism and the means of its relief which have been made in England. All that has been ascertained there tends to show, that the curest and best mode of giving assistance to the poor,
is to afford them the materials and the inducement to labour; and we are happy to perceive, that the attention of our own legislature has been directed to this important subject, by an able and judicious report made, during the session of this winter, by the present speaker of the House of Representatives. This report, with the accompanying documents, abundantly confirms the conclusion which we cannot but regard as established ; and we recommend the perusal of it to those who have any doubts as to the expediency or the practicability of giving employment to
The ladies who have instituted this society for the purpose, may justly boast of having acted upon a principle which is now sanctioned by legislative wisdom, and we do not feel it necessary for us to exhort those to perseverance, who seem to have so well considered what they were undertaking. We would only do what in us lies, to urge and excite many to follow the admirable example which a few have given. We understand that the funds of the society are yet inadequate to the accomplishing of all that the benevolent projectors are desirous of performing, and we should be much gratified to observe a few more names of those of our own sex on the list of subscribers. We think they will rarely find a better opportunity for charity; and we would remind all, both the wise and simple, the prudent and the undiscerning, that he who giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord.'
[We have received the following communication from a member of the Rev. Mr. Peabody's Society at Springfield, relating to a sort of excommunication of his church by their brethren of the first church in that place ; according to the advice of an ecclesiastical council. Viewed merely in relation to those who are the
objects of this vote of the first church, the affair appears to be of a character to be laughed at and forgotten. "But it has another aspect. Nothing subjects men to more contempt than the impotent expressions of ill will having its origin in any unworthy feelings. If any portion of the clergy will be engaged in transactions of this sort, that portion of the clergy cannot hope to retain the respect of the community. They are bringing disgrace upon themselves ;-—and that any of the ministers of religion should disgrace themselves, we do not think a slight evil. But, what is far worse, they expose religion itself to contempt; for men are too ready to believe, that what is done by its professors, and especially what is done in its name, is conformable to its spirit. It is therefore because we wish the clergy to be respectable, and religion to be respected, that we view the transaction at Springfield with somewhat different feelings from what it might otherwise excite.]
In January 1809, the Rev. Samuel Osgood was with great unanimity ordained pastor of the first church and parish in Springfield. Soon after his ordination, he began to advance doctrines which many of his people considered unscriptural, and inconsistent with those he had avowed in public and private, while preaching on probation for settlement. In consequence of this and sundry other things, which I forbear to mention, there was in a few years, a strong and growing disaffection to Mr. Osgood in the parish. In June 1818, a petition was presented to the legislature, signed by a respectable number of the church and parish, to be incorporated into a separate society. The reason assigned was, that Mr. Osgood had changed his theological sentiments, and that they could not profit by his ministry. At a parish meeting however, in December 1818, the ag. grieved, (for so I think they should be denominated) presented a memorial to the parish stating the reasons of their proceedings ; and being very unwilling to separate from their brethren, desired the majority to unite with them in adopting measures for an amicable dismission of Mr. Osgood, and the settlement of another man, in whom they might all be united; but this was refused. The petitioners for a new society then requested an equitable division of the parish fund, which consisted of nine thousand dollars; but this was not granted. They then requested that as the parish were about to erect a new meeting-house, the old one might be sold to them at a fair price. This was also refused. An individual of their number then made a proposition to the other petitioners, that if they would provide a fund for the support of a Minister, he would build a meeting-house at his own
expense, and present it to the society. The proposal was immediately accepted, and an elegant house was erected (which was dedicated in January 1820,) and a permanent fund of sixteen thousand dollars established, for the support of a minister. The society was incorporated during the session of the General Court in January, 1819. In August, 1819, those members of the second society who were members of the first church, presented the following request : To the Reverend Samuel Osgood and the Church under his pas
toral care. REVEREND AND BELOVED, We the subscribers, members of this church, having become members of the second Congregational Society in this parish, and being desirous of uniting with sundry members of other churches in said society, and to be gathered into a regular Christian Church, that we may enjoy the benefits of divine ordinances, do bereby request your certificate that we are members in full communion with this church, and also that you would recommend us to the fellowship and christian watch of God's people ; wishing you grace, mercy and peace from God, we subscribe ourselves your friends and brethren in the faith and fellowship of the Gospel, (Signed)
and twenty-four others.
No answer could be obtained, although repeatedly solicited. After waiting about two months for an answer, an Ecclesiastical Council was called by the advice of the Rev. Dr. Lathrop, who would have met with the council, had it not been for his age and infirmities, but afterwards expressed his full approbation of their proceedings, of which the following is a copy.
" At an ecclesiastical Council, convened by letters missive, in the first parish in Springfield, October 27, 1819, for the purpose of organizing several members of churches in this neighbourhood into a Christian church, were present ;
Delegates. From the Church in Suffield, Rev. Ebenezer Gay. Br. Howard Alden.
Westfield, Rev. Isaac Knapp. Br. Augustus Collins. West Springfield, Rev. W. B. Sprague. Deacon Peletiah Bliss.
and the Rev. Danl. Huntington. The Rev. Mr. Gay was chosen moderator, and Rev. Mr. Sprague scribe. The Council was opened with prayer by the Moderator. The Committee by whom the letters missive were signed, then proceeded to make a statement of facts, which have resulted in the convocation of this council. Nero Series-ool. II.