Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

benign and salutary influence, which is the brightest gem in her diadem. This influence bas mellowed down the asperities of orthodoxy—has purged away the offensive grossness of former ages—has softened the virulence of sectarian antipathies, and meliorated the baneful influence of party spirit. Yes, Sir, darkness has filed before the light of her countenance. Intolerance bas relaxed his iron grasp, before ber benignant spirit. At her forcible appeals, bigotry is abashed_at her consistency, prejudice melts away—at her charitable views, persecution lays aside his unballowed scourge.

The moral influence of Unitarianism, directly and indirectly, exerts itself over the Pulpit, the Press, and the Legislature, and by the purity, justice, and benevolence of her principles, she will, with the blessing of God, ultimately achieve the regeneration of the buman race.

Yours truly,

R. P. X. PAISLEY, July 21, 1830.

Dr. Tuckerman of Boston, U. S. and the Moral and

Religious Instruction of the Poor of Cities.

[In the Third Volume of the Christian Pioneer, p. 143, 146, 147, as also in the Fourth Volume, p. 65, 207, we gave some account of the design and effect of the labours of the Rev. J. Tuckerman, as Minister at large in Boston. To those pages we refer our readers, for an account of the origin and intention of the efforts of this benevolent individual, whilst with pleasure we insert the following letter lately received from him, and continue our notice of bis indefatigable exertions, by extracts from the Reports with which he has favoured us. The Glasgow City Mission is on a somewhat similar plan; but it does not embrace so many objects, nor is the necessity and importance of appropriate labourers sufficiently perceived. It has often been made more a mission of proselytism than one of moral and religious edification. We rejoice, that at the meeting of the British & Foreign Unitarian Association at Manchester, a resolution was passed in approbation and recommendation of such missions as those of Dr. Tucker

We fervently join in the prayer of this righthearted man, “God grant that it may

be established in

man.

all the cities of Christendom.” And not less fervently would we add the aspiration, that the all-righteous Father may bless his labours of benevolence, and pour into his soul those rich consolations which are derived from witnessing ignorance instructed, and misery relieved, and vice reclaimed.-Edit.]

To the Editor of the Christian Pioneer. DEAR SIR,

One of my friends, a few days since, directed my attention to a paragraph in the Pioneer, in which there is a notice of my service as a Minister at large in Boston. As I know not whether

you have seen my Reports, I take the liberty to send to you the five last of them. I entered upon

this service with but little knowledge of its extent and claims; and it was not till the beginning of the second year

of it, that I felt the importance of a permanent ministry for the poor of cities. This object is, I hope, now attained here, though not to the extent that is to be desired. A similar ministry is begun in Philadelphia. God grant that it may be established in all the cities of Christendom!

Very respectfully,

J. TUCKERMAN. Extracts from Dr. Tuckerman's Reports to the Executive Committee of the American Unitarian Association:

“ There always has been, and there will be, a very large number in cities who are very poor; who will feel, as it is not felt, because it is not so manifest, in the country, how wide is the distinction of their condition from that of the rich; and who either cannot, from feebleness, or sickness, or the want of suitable apparel, unite with us in worship in our churches; or from pride, or the influence of passions and habits not more commendable,will not join with us in our public religious exercises. The question, then, arises, and it is a very solemn one, what are our duties in regard to the moral, the spiritual wants, of this very large class of our fellow-beings around us? If we have the means, to a very great extent at least, of meeting and supplying these wants, of rescuing many, who are very near to us, on our right hand and on our left, from the degradation, and misery, and ruin of sin; of sending to very many, who otherwise will not have them, the regenerating instructions and excitements, the supports and consolations of our religion; I would ask, is our worship, or are our offerings to God in our churches what they should be, while we are there blessing him for that dispensation of his grace and truth which he has given to us by bis Son, which, however, we are ourselves withholding from multitudes, who can receive them only through our Christian sympathy and benevolence?”

“Here permit me to remark, that the hope of rescuing a fellow-creature from sin and misery, is never to be given up, while God shall continue to spare bim. The most depraved and debased being in society, who has apparently cast off all fear alike of God and of man, is to be an object of strong compassion and interest. Nor is the repeated failure of endeavours for bis recovery, to justify discouragement. I have seen cases of apparent total depravity, a more intimate acquaintance with which has brought to my knowledge some spring of feeling, or of desire in the soul, which, with God's blessing on the labour of cleansing it from its defilements, has sent forth the sweet waters of virtue and peace. I have even seen him, who was babitually profane and intemperate, a most wicked and cruel child, husband, and father, and early broken down, and apparently brought near the grave, by bis irregular and abandoned life, restored to bealth by the means by which he was restored to virtue; restored to bis mother, bis wife, and his children, to whom he bad been lost, as far as respects all that is interesting and happy in these relations; and, by penitence and prayer, as I believe, recovered to God, and to the hopes of the life to come.'

“Let these men be—not narrow-minded sectarians, but-men of enlarged and generous minds; and let them establish among themselves such principles, as men of this character may establish, of union and of co-operation, and I believe that multitudes may be rescued from the gulf, into which they must otherwise fall; an impulse may be given to the poor, by which their best efforts for self-support will be secured; and relief will be administered in a manner at once the most economical and effectual, to those who, if unrelieved, will either become a still beavier burden upon the charity of the community, or by their very wants be driven to crime. This office, indeed, like any other, may be abused. Let it fall into the hands of those who are not fitted for it, and it will become despicable; or of the faithless, and it will increase the evil wbich it is intended to remedy. But appoint for it men who shall

D

be

be qualified for all its services, and then will the agents of our benevolent societies, as well as other benevolent individuals, know where to apply for the information, by which they may be most effectually secured against the impositions to which they are now constantly exposed."

« Our Lord Jesus Christ came to seek, as well as to save, them that are lost. ' And, let it not be forgotten, that in the cities of Christendom there are hundreds of thousands, who, if they are ever to be brought within the saving influences of Christianity,—if the Gospel is to be preached to them-must be sought out. The cry is indeed repeated every week from the corners of our streets, and so it should be, “come in, that my

house

may filled.” But there are many by-paths, many lanes and alleys, many abodes of want and suffering, to which it reaches not. And is it the will of our Father in heaven, who regards not the rich more than the poor, that one of these little ones—who cannot, or it may be are not disposed to, enter our templesshould perish? And how shall the Gospel be preached to them, but by a ministry that shall be exclusively devoted to them? In a city like ours, there should not be a habitation, wbich is not visited by a Christian pastor; not a family, to which the services of a Christian pastor are not offered.”

“ I have the gratification to be able to inform you, that by a subscription that was obtained for the purpose, a new lecture-room, or chapel, has been built for me, and will very soon be used for our evening's service. Since the heat of summer has passed, our present lectureroom bas been well filled, inconvenient as is the access to it, and poor as are the accommodations with which we are furnished there. To the subscribers for our new place of worship, I beg leave to offer my very sincere gratitude. I believe that they have done an important service to the cause of our religion among us. Many have been gathered for worship with us on Sunday evening, who would otherwise have worshipped no where; and I doubt not whether there are those among them, who bave thus been advanced in their preparation for a better world. I owe also, and will not fail to pay, my thanks to the gentlemen, without whose assistance in the conduct of them, the exercises of the lecture-room could not have been maintained. To my whole services, indeed, through the two past years, I recur with the warmest thanksgiving to God, in the conviction that these bave been far the most useful years of my life. The harvest in the field in which I am employed is plenteous, and rich are the compensations to be found in it. May the Lord of the harvest send forth other labourers, by whose devotion to the work of saving and blessing the poor, our city may be made glad in all its families, and be a mountain of holiness, and a light to the world!”

In May 1829, Dr. Tuckerman thus writes;—“In reviewing the last few months, my heart is filled with gratitude to God, for the privileges of the ministry in which I have been engaged. Two years and a half ago, when I began this service, I had a very inadequate idea of the condition of the poor in a city. I had passed the preceding five and twenty years in a small parish in the country, where, as in all our country parishes, the poorest are equally objects of pastoral care and interest as the rich. I knew, indeed, that this could not be the case, to the same extent, in the city. But I had no conception that the number was so great as I have found it to be, of those who have no regular connection with our churches; and who have lived, or are living, wholly without a ministry, except when they ask for the performance of a funeral service; or, it may be, when they send for a minister to assist them in their preparation for death. In passing from house to house, as I did through the first six months of my ministry, to seek out this class of our population, and to offer to them my services as a Christian pastor, I was encouraged, at almost every step of my way, by the gratitude and affection of those whom I visited; and I soon received the most satisfactory evidence, how much this ministry was needed, and to what important good it might be conducive. I found that there were those, who required only this pastoral care to bring them into a connection with our churches, from which would result the most important benefits to their characters and happiness. But I found also that there were very many, for whom it would be quite as practicable to build palaces for their residence, as to bring them into any permanent union with our religious societies. There are many widows who have

young children, whom they cannot leave on Sunday. There are wives who are deserted by their husbands, and wives whose husbands are at sea, who are equally kept at home by the same cause. There are many also who

« FöregåendeFortsätt »