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and that your souls may live! To-day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts."
2. We address those who are paying regard to religion.
Reader! do you belong to this class ?-Have you forsaken all evil courses ? Are you striving, through divine grace, faithfully to serve God, -to adorn the gospel of Christ,--and to secure the salvation of your soul?- Is this really true of you? Then happy are you-you have chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from you. You need not fear death, in whatever shape it may come: still you may learn an important lesson from the sudden death of your neighbour. That event shews the value of the choice you have made,-it calls you to increased watchfulness,--it exhorts you to perseverance in well-doing,it warns you against relaxing in your zeal and diligence. May this lesson be deeply imprinted on your heart! Pray earnestly for the grace of God to preserve you from backsliding,-from coldness,-and from indifference! Ye know not what a day may bring forth. “Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord ; forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” “ Watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is.”
Ye living men survey the Tomb,
Where you must quickly dwell;
A LANCASHIRE CURATE.
ON CRUELTY TO ANIMALS.
What can be more delightful than the cheerful sound of birds, with which a gracious Providence has filled our woods and groves ? And, when we obNO. 31.- VOL, III.
serve the wonderful care with which these little crea, tures build their nests--the skill, the contrivance, and the beauty of them--we cannot belp thinking it a grievous thing that any one should, for mere wanton sport, destroy the work of these patient little labourers.
If any cruel boy would take the trouble to observe the old birds, when their nests are taken away -to see their earnest activity and watchful care all lurned into blank disappointment, and their chearful notes changed into dismal moanings, he would never, I think, wish to plunder a bird of its nest again. It is of very great consequence to encourage
feelings of tenderness in children; for a boy who is suffered to indulge in cruel practices, whilst he is young, is almost sure to turn out afterwards an unfeeling, savage, and ferocious man.
It is sometimes said, that the inferior animals were given for the use of man, and that man is therefore allowed to destroy them, as his necessities require. This is very true: but there is a great difference between putting animals to death from necessity, and harassing and tormenting them without any reason at all. When it is needful to put an animal to death, it should be done in the easiest and shortest way possible, and every unnecessary cruelty should be particularly avoided.
We often see cruel boys tormenting animals for no purpose wbatever ; seeming to take a pleasure in giving the poor creatures pain.
Many children will tie strings round the legs of birds, or mice; or will put a pin through a poor cock-chafer; or tie a weight to a dog's tail; and all this for the pleasure of seeing the painful struggles of the poor animals. These are the children that afterwards indulge themselves in cock-fighting, or bull-baiting, or any savage amusements, where a poor animal is to be tormented. We live in a Christian country! But of what advantage is this, if we have not Christian dispositions And what disposition can be more contrary to the mild and gentle disposition taught in the Gospel, than that savage spirit which delights in giving pain?
LETTER FROM A PAUPER. We think the following letter well worthy the attention of our readers. If we are not mistaken, the writer of it is a near relation of the poet of humble life, the Author of the “ Farmer's Boy,” &c. To the Editor of the Cottager's Monthly Visitor.
SIR, In your capacity as Editor of that useful and entertaining work, the Monthly Visitor, doubtless you have many who contribute their thougbts in aid of that truly humane undertaking. I am, Sir, an old man; I never learned a rule in grammar, am incapable of writing correctly, and most likely I am the first pauper who has presumed to address you. It is not in my power to write in a way fit for publication. My object is to point out a class of men who stand much in need of advice, to caution them from running into positive ruin.
Sir, I beg leave to say, that a lady is so kind as to constantly lend me the Visitor, and my children and grand-children are highly gratified by its perusal. The Essays are excellently adapted to our class, (I mean the unportioned poor.) To those who are employed they teach economy in worldly affairs, and hold out the comforts of religion. But, Sir, I am sorry to say, in this corner of the country, great numbers of the poor are unemployed; our news, papers say that, in the parish of Elton, Huntingdonshire, 57 men were out of employ all the winter, and were supported by the parish rates!! Doubtless,
many poor men, thus circumstanced, see your ex cellent Visitor, and to such I beg leave to call your attention ; dreadful is their danger of rain both in this world and the next; 1600 poor men (mostly out of employ) have been committed, under the game laws, in this district in less than 2 years!! In no way, I think, could men of education and leisure employ their labours more charitably, than in warning such unfortunate persons against breaking the laws of society. I think it may be demonstrated to them that even now, when the market for Labour is so bad that hundreds and thousands, are working on the roads for 3 or 4 shillings per week, when our tread mills and work houses are full, still the condition of the unportioned poor, in England, is, compared with any other country on earth, THE BEST IN THE WORLD. It might be demonstrated, too, that their present sufferings do not arise from the mal-administration of Government, or defects in our laws, but from the natural increase of population; a cause over which the rich part of society have no controul, a cause which government itself cannot controul. Dibdin has said, “ D'ye see the world's wide, and there's room for us all,” &c. But, it is not clear that government can plant the surplus of the labouring class on foreign shores, to give them employment. But, if it is admitted that there are defects in the laws under which we live, this only goes to prove, that those laws are, like every thing human, imperfect; still it might be fully demonstrated, that our laws make better provision for the upportioned poor than those of any other'on earth.
The men in our class of society have a far greater degree of information than our gentlemen Essayists could suppose. The Bungay press has inundated this district with works published in weekly numbers; and our Radical politicians take infinite pains to gain proselytes, by lending the works of beditious writers.' The Visitor need not be afraid of his readers not understanding him in his narrations of those facts which would have a tendency to convince the poor man that he ought to rejoice that he is an Englishman, and not, by breaking the laws of society, endanger his own life, and the happiness of all. In that class of society to which I belong, I often meet with men whose understandings are clear as day-lig!t.
Strong manly sense I've often seen
In rough, untutor'd minds,
Had they been labouring hinds."
In the foregoing hints, which with submission I have offered, I am ajvare that persons of education and leisure, and possessed of better sources of information, may view my notions as eccentric; perhaps some would say my notions are sheer prejudice : be it so, it is a point I am unable to contest. Perhaps it will be a loss of time to read what follows, (i.e.) a statement of how I came by these notions. The errors of my life might be a warning to the poor, though my ideas may be fallacious.
At 9 years old, I lost my father. My excellent mother became alarmed on discoveriug that. I possessed a most insatiable curiosity for reading the weekly paper, which I saw at her Cousin's, my mind being possessed with the fine things said by old Pitt, by Junius, Dr. Price, Dr. Priestly, &c. &c. and all the hubbub about John Wilks. She cautioned me, endeavouring to arm my youth against what appeared to her to be Loss of time in reading those things; she endeavoured to convince me that the poor should read their BIBLE, that on God they should depend, that Wilks and his liberty was a quarrel amongst the rich, that I should be industrious, and endeavour to improve my condition, and