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T O T H E
G O V E R N O R S
Of those well-intended Charities, and beneficent Institutions
The Asylum—Misericordia—Magdalene—and Loci-Hospital,
TH E Author of the following Treatise cannot six on a more proper patronage for a work of this kind. than that of those noble and honourable persons, whose compassion on the miseries of the female sex, has led them to institute public charities for its preservation and relief.
As our laws are at present framed, women are exposed to seduftion, prostitution, and ruin, almost without controul $
—they seem to be looked upon as lawful prey to the lust, treachery, cruelty, and mean artifices of licentious and profligate men, who can seduce and then abandon them at their will.
That a want of good government among us in these respects, is one source of all those evils, which your disinterested and humane endeavours are intended to prevent or remedy, is surely apparent on the flightest consideration.
A system of laws which leaves the horrid crime of adultery not only out of the list of its capital punishments, but even exempts it, as a public offence, from any animadversion whatsoever in our courts of criminal judicature, must be attended with all those mischiefs that arise from the encouragement which impunity affords to vice.
The fame may also be observed, with respect to the defenceless state, in which the weaker sex in general is left against the stronger so that any man may seduce, 3 .and
and abandon at his pleasure, the unhappy and deluded objects of his brutal appetite.
To exhibit a system far different from this—to set forth the divine law as the / contrivance of infinite wisdom, for the security, peace, preservation, and protection of the female sex, is the purpose of the following pages.—Were this to be made the basis of our municipal lawsr it would prove an adequate remedy for all those mischiefs, which, in comparatively few instances, can now only find a partial palliation, from benevolence like yours, but which must, in general, be still the portion of those, whom God's law was formed to protect.
Many of you, my Lords and GenTlemen, are members of the LegislaTure; and if, from what shall be said on the matters treated in this book> they should become the subjects of your serious consideration in your legislative capacity, the author will gain one desirable end of his labours.
Vol. I. a This
This surely must be allowed—that, in point of fact, the alarming increase of female prostitution and ruin, calls loudly for some remedy: the self-evidence of this, is the very foundation of those benevolent designs, which distinguish the several public charities to which you so generously contribute.
Let Government adopt the system of heavenly wisdom, which adorns the pages of the Sacred Volume, and it will find a remedy in its own hands—what that system is, it has been the author's most serious endeavour to enquire, and to recommend it to all, but more especially to the consideration of those, whose care, expence, and vigilance, for the good of their fellow-creatures, has occasioned them the trouble of this address from
Their most humble servant,
THE subjects of the following treatise, being of the utmost importance, have been considered with the most serious attention, and are laid before the reader on the highest authority, that is to fay, on the authority of the holy scriptures. *
Nothing less than this ought, or can, determine on the points herein treated, because they concern, not only the present, but future welfare of mankind: these, as taken in connection together, must depend, first, on knowing, and then on doing the will of God. What His will is, can only be known from the several revelations, or discoveries, which it hath graciously pleased Him to make of it, by men, who spake not of themselves, but as they were moved by the Holy Ghojl. 2 Pet. i. 21.
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