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is the last thing, which needs to be thought of? And is it, indeed, of such little importance ? O, Son of God, who, when on earth, tookest those little ones in thine arms, gatber these launbs of ours in thine arms, for their parents too often refuse or neglect to bring them!
But I feel checked in this career of advice, wben I see whai you bave done, and what you are still disposed to do for the best interests of humanity and religion, and begin to fear, that I have been presumptuous. I look at these orphans, and see their grateful eyes directed to you, their patrons and deliverers; and I feel a degree of shame and of impatience to turn to my own sex, and beg them, in the words of my text, to help these women, who bare thus laboured in the best of causes. Ye rich men, when you observe these few children rescued from want and destruction, or, what is more, snatched from the arms of fathers and mothers, who, with grief and rage, witnessed their undesired birth, and, with insensibility, saw them perishing by their own parental example and neglect; nay, when you are told, that many more such little creatures are now knocking for admission at the gates of this blessed asylum, and waiting for the first opening which this day's generosity may make for them, can you turn away with disdain from this call of compassion, honour and religion? Can you, by withholding your bounty, leave to perish in the wide common of a vicious world a multitude of female orphans, whom these goud women are willing to receive! Wait but a few years, ye rich men, and
? a some of those, whom you refuse now to provide for, will have grown up into life; they will have entered, perhaps, into the service of your own families accompanied with all their ignorance and original depravities; they will be the occasional companions, perhaps the instructers of your children, , diffiising vulgarity and corruption over the tender minds of your offspring, disturbing the peace of your families, and even dishonouring the purity of your domestic life. Wait but a few years longer,
a and you shall see some of these same orphans, whom your want of cbarity shall have, in their infancy, shut out from this asylum, patrolling our streets in all the effroniery of mature vice, and with all the secret misery of lost virtue, gnawing consciences, corrupted health, and impending dissolution. Wait yet a little longer, and you shall see these same victims carried, in the arms of charity, to die in the infirmaries and bospitals, which you may be compelled, at last, to provide for the wretched and the guilty, whom a little additional bounty to this institution might have saved from the ruin of their health and morals, from a long life of sin, and from a death of horror and despair.
It would seem, indeed, that all exhortation, on a subject like this, ought to be superfluous. The su: preme value of that charity, which is bestowed upon the young, is too plain to be enforced upon such an audience. In comparison with it, every other mode of charity shrinks into unimportance. In the bounty, which is bestowed upon old age, infirmity, pain and sickness, the good is too often at an end, when their immediate relief is effected; but, for the good consequences of such an institution as this, we may look as far as the eye can reach in the long perspective of distant years and successive generations, and yet see new blessings continually evolved. For this is an asylum for the mind, as well as for the body. Its excellence consists, not
. so much in relieving or correcting, as in preventing evil; not so much in saving a child from want, as in rescuing it from the vices of a corrupt world ; and, therefore, if you would know the full effects of such an institution as this, you must extend your view to the regions of eternal blessedness and charity, where, I trust, these children, and many more will live to bless you.
Look up, ye little ones, and let your countenances tell us, what these mothers have done for you. When you go out into the world, tell those, who will hear you, from what you have been saved, and to what you have been educated. May your good example, when you grow up, be felt among the numerous ranks of domestics, whom our riches and our luxury are continually multiplying. May you remember the story of the little Hebrew maid, who waited on Naaman's wife, and who was made, in the hand of Providence, an instrument of so much good to her master. Forget not the lessons of neatness, industry, , frugality, honesty and piety, which you have been receiving here, and remem
; ber, that the only way, in which you can ever hope to repay your patronesses and benefactors, is, by preserving all the good, which you have learned here, and by imitating, as far as you can in your stations in life, their generous goodness.
What remains, then, my christian hearers, but that you should help these women? I beseech you, in the name of that sex, whicb you profess to admire ; in the name of that religion, which has given you wives, whom you can respect, and children, of whom you hope every thing, send them not away empty. I beseech you, in the name of these little ones, of whom Jesus would say, Suffer these children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for of Buch is the kingdom of heaven ; I beseech you, in the venerable name of Jesus bimself, the affectionate friend of this sex, who was always ready to lay bis hands on their orphans and bless them, hear what our blessed Lord saith : Take heed, that ye cause not one of these little ones to offend-how much more, then, to perish—for, verily I say unto you, their angels do always behold the face of my Father, who is in heaven. What! their angels do always behold the face of God? Perhaps, tben, they are witnesses of this scene. Perhaps they
will carry up with them to their blessed seats the story of this hour's bounty. Perhaps they may consent to join in the songs of thanksgiving, which we send up to the ear of the Most High, in joy of this day's charity. Do you say, that these are only illusions of a heated or a benevolent fancy? Be it som But this, at least, is certain, that, in a very few years, these orphans will themselves bid adieu to this world and its neglect, to this world and their benefactors. Children, may you carry with you to
, heaven the remembrance of this day's goodness; or, if your hopes and mine should now be disappointed, plead for us, dear children, at the feet of ihe God of mercy, and obtain our pardon from the Fatber of the fatherless, and the widow's Friend.
2 PET. 1. 5-7.
ADD TO YOUR FAITH, VIRTUE ; AND TO VIRTUE, KNOWLEDGE; AND TO KNOWLEDGL,
TEMPERANCE; AND TO TEMPERANCE, PATIENCE ; AND TO PATIENCE, GODLINESS ; AND TO GODLINESS, BROTHERLY KINDNESS; AND TO BROTHERLT KIKDN688, CHA
This enumeration of graces or christian accomplishments gives us a fine picture of the various excellencies of the christian character, and particularly of the character to which the apostle wished his converts to attain. Though the text is not liable to any considerable misapprehension, yet, as the manner of expression appears to be, in some respects, tautological, it may not be amiss, to offer some remarks on the separate clauses.
As the text now stands, when the apostle exhorts his converts to add to their faith, virtue, and to virtue, temperance and patience, it would seem to be a looseness of expression, which we should not expect, because our definitions of virtue include the subsequent qualities of temperance and patience. In the same general English word, too, are included brotherly kindness and charity ; and these