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door of her cell, I held out my hand—but such a hand grasped mine—that clay will not be colder, when laid in its last bed. She flew past me to the fire, urged by instinct, though deserted by reason. She asked Mrs. S— for her dead child, and begged she would take her home to live in her yard. But it is not necessary thus to harrow up your feelings. I left her, convinced she could never recover there; and without a hope of bettering her situation. Not so, the dear ladies I have named; they rested not until they had provided a place, a nurse to attend her, and every comfort her situation could admit of. She had been five weeks in the Hospital, when she was removed ; fifteen weeks she was at private board; during which time she recovered daily. She is now at her own home, in the bosom of her family, perfectly restored to reason, and recovering health daily.
Let us now turn to a brighter scene, for the God of providence has not withheld from us our pleasant things. Every year he opens some new channel of usefulness, and hearts expand to embrace the opportunity. The Society has always been industrious in filTing up every vacancy in the different Charity Schools, and have got a great number provided among them, whose parents were members of no Church; still a very great number remained without the means of education. Idleness is the mother of vice, and the Society had reason to apprehend, and indeed to observe, that many were already initiated, and to fear that many more would, before its funds were in a situation to prevent it. But our gracious God, who has well verified his promise, ask, and ye shall receive, appeared in this also; and our dear Mrs. Hoffman, whose labours this winter have been indefatigable, was made the honoured
instrument. She collected seventy dollars for the express purpose of supporting a school; and emboldened by this unremitting success, and presuming on the continued benefaction of the public, the Society placed. twenty-two children at school, fourteen with Mrs. L--, and eight with Mrs. C . They are both the Society's widows, so that a double end is gained.
Some members of the Society conversing on the subject, were expressing their thankfulness for this provision, indulging their hopes, and sometimes their fears, respecting those still unprovided for, when a young Lady in the company made the following proposal, That herself, and as many more as should find their hearts so disposed, should associate for the purpose of teaching a select number of little girls, a certain number of hours every forenoon. The patroness of the school was fired with zeal, and remitted not her exertions till she had obtained the end. On Saturday, the 17th of February, thirty young Ladies had given in their names, and met Mrs. Hoffman and myself at Mr. Ogden Hoffman's, Wall-street, for the purpose of being organized.
What a sight! From families, in rank the first in the city, in the very bloom of life, and full of its prospects, engaged in those amusements which fascinate and engross the mind, tending in general to shut out every idea unconnected with self! A society of young Ladies in these circumstances, coming forward, and offering their own personal services, to snatch these little innocents from idleness, ignorance, and vice-to teach them to know their Father, God; to tell them of a Saviour's love; to point out the example he set, the precepts he recorded for their observance, and his promises for their comfort, and by teaching them to read,
enable them to retrace all their instructions when their eyes should see them no more.
This indeed is a Labour of Love, as superior to the institution which gave it birth, as the interest of the soul is to that of the body.
Let us, Ladies, yield the palm of excellence, and give them the praise. Many daughters have done virtuously, but these have excelled them all. Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.
Mrs. Hoffman and myself have visited the school every Saturday, with the two who finish their week's attendance, and the two to commence the week following. It is with delight we can assure you the children make rapid improvement. We also visit the other schools, and can report that they also give us satisfaction.
Years and seasons roll on-the wheel of Providence keeps turning, bringing round great revolutions in the world, smaller in narrower societies, and changes in the lot of individuals, all equally under the direction of the great Maker and Governor of the universe, who rules in the armies of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of this world.
On opening a School for poor children ; addressed to the
Teachers who volunteered their services.
MY DEAR YOUNG LADIES,
Every thing new becomes matter of speculation, and variety of opinion.
An association of ladies for the relief of destitute
widows and orphans, was a new thing in this country. It was feeble in its origin; the jest of most, the ridicule of many, and it met the opposition of not a few. The men could not allow our sex the steadiness and perseverance necessary to establish such an undertaking. But God put his seal upon it; and under his fostering care, it has prospered beyond the most sanguine expectations of its propagators. Its fame is spread over the United States, and celebrated in foreign countries. It has been a precedent to many cities, who have followed the laudable example. This fame is not more brilliant than just. The hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, and shelter is provided for the outcasts; medicine and cordials for the sick, and the soothing voice of sympathy cheers the disconsolate. Who are the authors of all these blessings? Your mothers, ladies, the benevolent members of this, so justly famed Society. But, who are these children, that idly ramble through the streets, a prey to growing depravity and vicious example ? hark! they quarrel, they swear, and such, no doubt, will lie and steal. And that group of dear little creatures, running about in the most eminent danger, apparently without protection : are they under the care of this, so justly famed Society? They are !—They are fed, they are clothed, their mothers' fire-side is made warm for them; but, no culture is provided for their minds, nor protection from baneful example. These will in time follow that of the older ones, and grow up the slaves of idleness, and vice, the certain road to ruin.
Alas! alas! and is there no help? no preventive? Yes, there is ! Behold the angelic band ! -hail, ye virtuous daughters! worthy of your virtuous mothers !
come forward and tread in their steps! Snatch these little innocents from the whirling vortex; bring them to a place of safety; teach them to know their Father, God: tell them of their Saviour's love; lead them through the history of his life; mark to them the example he set, the precepts he recorded for their observance, and the promises for their comfort. And by teaching them to read, enable them to retrace all your instructions, when their eyes see you no more.
My dear young ladies, the sacrifice you have made to virtue, shall most assuredly meet its reward: but, like your mothers, you will experience much painful banter, you will be styled school-madams. Let it pass-suffer it quietly; when your scheme begins to ripen, and the fruits appear, who shall be able to withhold their praise? Only be steadfast, draw not back, and justify the prophecies of many.
A great general, in ancient times, in search of glory, landed his troops on the hostile coast, and then burnt all his ships: it behooved them to conquer or die. You have, ladies, already embarked in this design; there is no remaining neuter now; your names and undertaking are in every mouth; you must press forward and justify your cause; and justified it shall be, if you persevere: it cannot be otherwise. The benevolence you contemplate, is as superior to that already in circulation, as the interest of the soul is to that of the body; and it is your own; the very scheme originated in a young mind in this company. The Society were contemplating mercenary agents; schools for pay, and one is already established.
But this labour of love! who could have hoped for it? A Society of young ladies, in rank, the first in the city, in the very bloom of life, and full of its