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Such being the motives to a faithful plead the cause, indeed, of such a charity discharge of our ministerial duties, let as this, (a task whose pleasure I could not us, from this moment, with increasing forego) is now no matter of laboured
rhetorick. It demands the mere delineadiligence, engage in the performance of tion of its real character, and the simple them. By intense and ceaseless study statement of its operations and its influ-by fervent and effectual prayer-by ences. These alone bring with them to the unremitting cultivation of personal the heart of the Christian an appeal which piety--by a requisition on all our men
it cannot, and which it would not resist. tal resources—by a skilful division and be expected to estimate arighit this cha
It is the Christian, indeed, alone, who can application of the word, let us so dis-rity. But while to him it belongs to enter charge our duties, that we may realize into its interests with all the animation the Divine promises : they that sow in and the energy which are implied in the tears shall reap in joy; and they that real of good works, to which, by his rebe wise shall shine as the brightness of demption unto Jesus, he is pledged to the the firmament; and they that turn
patriot, and the political economist also,
it comes with well founded claims on many to righteousness, as the stars for
even their regard; for it exhibits to them ever and ever.
means of good to the social and the civil And to facilitate the accomplishment state which cannot be extravagantly estiof so desirable an issue, the laity ought
The charity, which it is the business, to be workers together with the minis
my friends, of our present meeting. tb try. By a devout and punctual atten- promote, is entitled, in qur consideration, dance on all the means of grace; by to a high rank among the many means countenancing an earnest and faithful which God, in his mercy, has put it into exposition of the truth; by a respectful the heart of man, in our day, to devise, for and friendly intercourse with its sacred giving increasing influence and efficacy to
the religion of Jesus Christ, and amelioheralds; and by a liberal appropriation rating the moral state and character of of their earthly goods, they ought to our species. The benevolent individual, assist in the furtherance of the great in whose active zeal it originated, looked work in which the Christian ministry not, in his enterprise, beyond the relief of is engaged—that the word of God may him, and the correction, in some happy
present wretchedness that surrounded have free course, run, and be glorified. degree, of the pernicious malignity of the So shall both ministers and people, impious and profligate principles with when the chief Shepherd shall appear, which, as with an overwhelming Hood, his receive from him a crown of glory that country was threatened to be inundated. shall fade not away.
But the Spirit of Grace, from whom alone this good purpose came, had ulterior aims in the employment of his humble and mo.
dest'instrumentality ; for, even now, when . In Allress delivered before the Charleston scarcely five and thirty years have elapsed
since its first fountains were opened, it is Protestant Episcopil. Sunday School Society, at their third Anniversary, being field in its whole extent, carrying on its
seen irrigating the divine householder's ?'uesday in Whitsun-Week, 1822. By Vuthaniel Bowen, D. D. Bishop of the pure and wholesome stream, an influence Protestunt Episcopal Church in South- joice. The need of such an institution
in which millions of immortal souls re. Carolina.
would seem to have been precluded in the Unnen circumstances admitting of too country where it took its rise, by the ittle preparation for its suitable per abundant ability of its government to proformance, it has become my duty to ad. vide for the right education of all its peo. dress you on this occasion. Happily, my ple. While we wonder, that amidst the friends, the charity whose interests and proud expenditure of its national great. claims, it is the purpose of this celebra- less, and the wealth lavished in support tion of the anniversary of our Sunday of the magnificence of its religious and School Society, to bring closely under re- civil institutions, there should have been, yiew, is in such estimation with all who in a country so eminently Christian, so can be expected to give their presence to much occasion left for the spirit of indi. a scene like this, that a kindly sympathy vidual benevolence to direct its attention awaits the sentiment to be uttered in its to a work like this, and, while we equally behalf, and forbids alike on the hearer's wonder, that such a work should have been part all fastidious sensibility, and on the so long deferred, we yet cannot but be speaker's, any peculiar solicitude as to thankful for the noble exemplification thus the manner in which it is conveyed. To given there, of the love which is the great
chancteristic of the true disciples of condition of moral being there are always Christ, and rejoice in the lesson which many of our species—and would be more, there was set for the learning of all other but for the interpositions of that sensibi. Christian communities under heaven. lity to the miseries of his fellow-creatures,
There is, I believe, at the present day, which, whether formed into a regular scarcely any portion of the Christian principle of action under the authority of world, however small, or however long divine command or not, cannot, in a unknown and neglected as such, or how greater or less degree, but minister to ever recently added to it, in which the their relief. To this condition very many institution of schools like these may not are born and in it are nurtured up to be found, at once an honourable memorial all the horrors combined of natural and of their first founder, and a depository of moral evil. In this condition infancy respiritual food and clothing for the spiritu. ceives its first impressions, and the mind ally poor, famishing, and naked. A cha. and heart open to the conception and the rity which has thus readily approved it feeling of ihe interests of being. Chil. self to the people of Christ of all deno. dren thus are trained to no interest but minations, and the real friends of man in that of relief to the present craving exi. all countries, where the religion of Christ gency. They know no good but that is known, brings with it, to every mind, which this implies—they feel no impulse elaims too strong, in their own manifest but that which it imparts--they aspire to intrinsic merit, to require argument or no condition but that of a little less pre. persuasion to enforce them. Consider, sent wretchedness. Parents knowing noonly for a moment, what the intent of this thing of God, but as the avenger of the charity is
evil, whose consciousness they carry with In every community of men there are, them through all their deeds of profij. and in the nature of things, under the pre- gacy and crime, cannot teach their offsent çircumstances of human nature, there spring to know him thus; and they are must be, many poor. It is part of the left to acquire the knowledge of him in penalty of sin, applicable alıke to everytheir bitter and remorseful experience in nation of men, thai, as the Scripture es. the miserable progress of their own life. presses it, " the poor shall never cease out The case of the poor is stated thus, I am of the land." Temporal poverty, where it sensible, in an extreme, in which you are is extreme, almost unavoidably associates not often personally acquainted with it. with it that other, and more miserable But it is an extreme in which you cannot species of penury, for which it was hea. but know of its actual existence : and in ven's gracious purpose to provide, in or. which you cannot but be desirous to predaining in so especial a manner, the vent its existence by the most effectual preaching of the Gospel to the poor. It is application to the moral misery of poverty the want of means of intellectual and mo- which presents itself in your way, of the ral culture that renders a state of abject species of charity with which we at pretemporal depression a state of real mi. sent are concerned. There are always sery. The life of man is, in his best es. poor, and children of the poor, who, hat. tale, a scene of sorrow and ever varying ing learned but little of God and his law, travail. But there is a resource for the litile of the nature and design of their ex: alleviation of trouble, ‘and pain, and sore istence, little of their moral obligations row, and all the numberless nameless ills and their destiny, are liable at least to that flesh is heir to, in mental occupation, all the misery which, whether tempted to and the discipline and right exercise of vice or not, their 'state of life implies, the affections. It is education which gives without the consolutions and the aids ne this resource. Extreme poverty admits cessary to its alleviation 'or endurance. not of it, because it denies the privilege There are always poor, 'and children of of any knowledge but that of its own the poor, who have not learned to be con. misery; and the devices which the great tent and humble ; who know nothing of the tempter too often successfully suggests to sacred obligation which Providence im. it, and which a depraved nature helps it poses on them of industry, and patience, too soon to learn for the daily support of and cheerful submission to their lot; and its existence. Hence, among the class of who know not of the reward there is laid our fellow-beings whom we call the poor, up in heaven for them, when they shall to the natural ills of life to which all are have been called to rest from their labours born, is added a vast amount of moral in the Lord. There are always, besides wretchedness. The natural sense of good these, many poor, my friends, whose case and evil is not extinguished in them; yet, must more directly claim an interest in to the constant violation of this, they are your hearts : poor even of our own parti. tempted, until the sense of crime and cular household of Christian faith, who, vice, dwelling habitually with them, ag. with humble patience endure their lot, gravates the misery of poverty into the yet have neither the capacity nor the opmisery of conscious exclusion from the portunity to instruct their children in the friendship alike of God and man. In this principles of their duty and their happi
ness. These, then, are variously objects may impart instruction, good and suffiof your charity. These are they for whom cient as to the temporal objects of educa. you are bound to care ; for whom you are tion-and we cannot be unaware how bound to provide the means of that Chris. much is thus effected even of moral betian instruction in which is the best relief nefit to the poor. But there still remaing of poverty. Among these, whether you much, to whose necessity and importance admit the extreme, of the case of the the Christian can in no wise be insensible, poor, which I have stated, to be imaginary The poor, and children of the poor espe or not, there are enough to exercise your cially, are necessarily, as to their moral benevolence and your obedience to the and spiritual condition, and its necessi, precepts of your Lord. Among these are ties, the peculiar charge of their more fa. innumerable young, who, without your aid, youred brethren : and, if the Christian may enter into life as a scene to them only cannot for one moment admit the idea, of crime and misery. Among these, too, that there is no care for them in heaven, are adults yet practised in vice, and suf. then can he not for a moment be at a loss fering the remorse which is its temporal to know where the care for them, corres. penalty, whom you may reclaim, through pondent to that which is entertained by the your Christian lessons, to virtue and to common Father of the rich and poor, peace. Among these may even be found should be cherished into a principle of aged sinners and sufferers, to whom you active conduct among men.
This, my may convey, in the rudiments of Christian friends, in our country, as to their moral knowledge, never had before, the call, yet wants, is the only resource of the poor. It not too late, of the grace of God, which is amply adequate to their wants, if we bringeth peace through the penitential fail not in the attention which we know seeking of the salvation that is in Jesus. the commands of Christ to require Sunday Schools are the means by which Rightly applied, it may fill the habitations you may exercise such important charity of poverty with thanksgiving and the voice They have been the means of its effectual of melody for a knowledge of glad tidings exercise to thousands; and who shall say of joy, brought even for them from the we indulge vain imaginations only, when presence of the Eternal; and may nourish we say that, through them, thousands from up very many of the children of the poor, among those who have already been sub- whom it finds ready to perish, both temjected to their influence, have been set for- porally and spiritually, to usefulness, to ward into the path of life as a scene of mo, honour, and to immortality. ral probation, happy and rejoicing; thou. To every portion of the family of Christ sands enabled to bear, in that path, the in our land there pertains its own peculiar burden of sorrow which it had pleased the portion of this most interesting and most Lord of their being to impose on them; necessary duty. We have undertaken our's, thousands helped to gain the end of it I trust, in the spirit of love to Christ, and with gladness, and there rest in the peace of the brethren, for his sake. The inof their Lord and Redeemer!
struction of the poor of our own houseThe claims of this charity, thus strang hold of faith is our unquestionable dutyin the fact of the great amount of moral and so is the instruction, in the principles wretchedness upon which it operates in of the faith we hold, of those of our fellowevery community, derive peculiar force creatures, whom no other religious comfrom some circumstances characteristic of munity claims for its proper and peculiar our civil institutions. Religion here is charge. We can apprehend no question universally alike free from any restrictive to be made of the scriptural wholesome. interpositions, and denied the patra ng ness of such instruction; and, deeply perand protecting provisions of government. suaded in our own minds, of the soundWhatever, therefore, may be the care ness of the doctrine of Christ, as it here which the Legislature may extend to the is held, we cannot be justified in an indifpoor, with respect to general education, ference whether it be taught or not-nor it is denied the power to institute any sys. can any reproach of illiberality towards tem of moral instruction founded in Chris. any of our brethren who are not of our tian doctrine. Hence, as in all conditions communion, attach to our concern, that of life, men are left to provide themselves, the children of our poor should be reared at their own expense, the privileges of re. in its peculiar nurture and admonition. We ligious instruction and worship, so, in know scarcely any of our brethren who those conditions which deny the power of will question the soundness of the doctrine providing them, because of temporal of Christ as we hold it; and, there can be penury, their enjoyment must, in every no persuasion more reasonable, than that case, be the gratuitous result of charity. of the higli advantage which consists to Circumstances such as these impose upon such as are subjects of this charity, in religionists of all denominations and sects, their being trained to the use, and the
the obligation of exerting their benevo- love, through hahit, of a Liturgy which, lence for the religious and moral instruc. like our's, is the repository of nothing but ţion of their poor. Our common schools what the word of God plainly conveys of
authorizes, for the counsel, the admoni. terested, it would oftener seek its object! tion, the reproof, the encouragement, or The friend of the people bears an honour the consolation of man.
able title; but the name assumed often It is, however, a peculiar practical cha. imports no real good to the people, either racter of Christian instruction, which it contemplated or done; and we may, withis most solicitously, I trust, the business out provoking any feeling in contradictioa of Sunday Schools, where we are concerned to it, at least hazard the assertion, that in them, to impart; an instruction which he is not half so much the friend of the may powerfully constrain the conscience people who inflames them to the strife of with respect to the obligations of domes party questions or who drags them from tic, social, and civil duty. Įt is their first their labour, or their solitude, where they business to send the influences of Chris. sit brooding over the misery of wanting tian virtue into the family scenes of the labour to assert their universal privilege hovel and the cottage, and substitute the of suffrage, and contentiously prefer the graces of obedience, and love, and gentle. pretensions of one to another patron of ness, and faithfulness, for their horrid op. their rights, as he who firmly and steadiposites of filial impiety and parental cruel- ly, but quietly faithful, to all their other ty, reciprocal violence and brutal anger, seemingly greater, because more conspiand all the habits of mutual infidelity and cuous interests, dedicates a portion at fraud. It is their business next to trans- least of his time, and solicitude, and lafuse the influences of habitual religious bour, to the real and important interest of virtue from the domestic scenes to the so- the people and the state, which consists in cial conduct of the poor, in all their in- creating, by means of religious and moral tercourse and transactions with the world; instruction, a character of peaceable, conto exhibit them there contented, humble, tented, industrious, upright, virtuous, and honest, pure, and apt to discern between happy poverty." moral good and evil; and then to capaci. You are labouring, then, permit me to tate and dispose them to bear their part say, gentlemen, who are engaged in ad. in the civil state, with that quiet peace. yancing, by your countenance and perableness and contentment, that will frus- somal participation in its business, the trate the machinations of evil men willing charity of Sunday Schools, you are labour, to employ the instrumentality of profligate ing for the best interests of society and and abandoned, because wholly unin. your country. The essential services which structed poor, for purposes of sedition, you are rendering to the people may not strife, and tumult. Such effects of Sun. be a subject of popular acclamation, por day School instruction, we cannot doubt, find the public favour and applause await. bave, in a great degree, been produced; ing them. Such a reward, however, you and you, doubtless, may witness them, if are not looking for. It makes to you no you personally, inspect the scenes of life object of desire. The private conscious on which these institutions are intended peis of the pure intent of these services, principally to take effect. And who would directed only to the best, the moral, afid not be a sharer of the happiness of wit. immortal interests of your brethren by nessing such benefit done to society and creation and by grace, is far preferable to his fellow-creaturesThe man, whose it; and, even if this were not of force happy lot it was to have first set on foot enough to encourage you to persevere in this charity, when only twenty years of a work so arduous, and often exhibiting its course had been run, by personal ina so little promise of present reward, yet vestigation ascertained that only one of the sense of obedience rendered to the the numerous inhabitants of the public commands of the Author and Lord of prisons of bis country had ever been a your faith, whose will it so plainly is, that member of a Sunday School. Who would the poor, and the children of the poor, not hold the happiness of such a discovery be made, in such respects our charge, will precious beyond the price of any that not suffer you to be without inducement earth and its interests can afford?' Who adequate to its demands. Most honour. that has a heart capable of entering into able is your work ! Most ornamental to the real interests of humanity and his the profession which, as disciples of country, would not find a gratification in having thus largely ministered to the din
* It is our earnest desire, to the utmost possiminution of crime and its misery, not to ble extent, to make this cha'ity available to the "he exchanged for all that riches or ambi. improvement of the moral state and character: tion could supply him? Ambition ! 0 of people of colour; whose case is, of course, that here, ill the enterprises of a benevo- involved in the general tenor of these refleclence as eficacious, as pure, and disin. tions.
of While to highly respectable male menibers
of our churches we are thankful for their su * Robert Raikes, Esq. a respectable member perintendence and instruction of these schools, of the Chureh of England, whose name may There has not been wanting in their service the still be unknown to some into whose hands this patient persevering charity which characterizes little publication may chance to fall.
the other sex,
Christ, you bear; and certainly, may we them to meet and endure them. And by not presume, acceptable in his sight, who what means can they so well be fortified has said, that a cup of cold water only, to meet and endure temptation and trial given to one of the least as such as theie, in as by the spirit and habit of prayer? This the name of a disciple, how much less the spirit and habit they can derive from no nourishment of the soul for life and for better source of earthly instruction than heaven, which you are imparting, shall in the Book of Common Prayer. From this no wise lose its reward!
you may fill their memories with sentiOn the particular conduct of our ments and words of devotion suited to schools, I would beg your permission to every conceivable exigency of their moral submit, on this occasion, some reflections life; and from this you inay convey to in the way of counsel, were I not fearful them that ability to pray, the want of of abusing the indulgence of your atten. which is often a most unliappy hindrance tion; and, were I not sincerely persuaded to the sinner, exhorted and almost perof the better capacity which those indi, suaded to repent and turn to God; which vidually experiencd in it possess, than is always the best solace of the wounded myself, in most respects, to judge of that and contrite spirit; and which, under the which appertains to its usefulness and ef- sorrows of life, is the soul's best means of ficacy. I would but suggest, that while holding fast its integrity, and staying we receive as subjects of Sunday School upon the Lord as its sure and steadfast instruction (for the sake chiefly of counte- trust. Amidst all the varieties, too, of re. hance and example) the young, whose pa ligious opinion and conduct, to which, in rents and pastors are most properly, and a manner, in our estimation, to say the by indispensable obligationi, their religi- least, unnecessary to their good, they may ous instructors, it were well always to be tempted, what fortitude and encoua bear most anxiously in mind, that the ragement to continue in the faith of primis great primary design of these institutions, tive, sober, scriptural, sound, and practic and that from which they mainly derive cal Christianity, may not be furnished theit interest, is the religious instruction them in the labit of resorting to this reof the poor, and most especially the chil. pository, instituted by the most learned dren of the poor. We shall thus be led and pious of the earliest days of the reto estimate our numbers in a manner less formation, of all that is good and necessary likely delusively to satisfy us with the ex- to the use of edifying! ertions we have made ; and shall find I will not detain you longer, except to much left for us to do in gathering into exhort that you be not weary of well-doing our schools the proper subjects of their in the service of this charity. That the influence : I mean, such as have no resort burden of it should rest upon so few in except such schools for any religious in comparison of those who might be exstruction, or any knowledge of their pected to be willing, if not glad to share Maker and their happiness. There is rea. it, is a circumstance deeply to be lamentson to apprehend, that we have far fewer ed: and most earnestly would we beseech of this description of pupils than we all who would testify ibeir love to Christ ought to have ; and I could wish to urge as his disciples, or their love of their felthe seeking of them as a laudable and low-men, as brethren of the same family most important exercise of active benevo. of nature and of grace, to be persuaded to lence.
give evidence of it in this excellent work May I be permitted further to suggest of charity. Unquestionable as is its merit, the great utility of familiarizing the young and universal as is the testimony which in these schools (care being first laken, experience bears in its favour, it has not that, by means of judiciously selected among us its due portion of regard. Very portions of them well learned, “they many scarcely yet know of its existence: know the Holy Scriptures, which are able and very many of those who at our altars to make them wise unto salvation”) with make public declaration of their faith in the various use of our Liturgy, and charg. Christ, and their sense of the obligation, ing their memories with much of its läni. “ while they have time, to do good to all guage of prayer, adoration, and praise. men,” yet withhold their attention from While we thus may induce an attachment the repealed calls which have been ad. to it, not easily to be lost, as the best dressed to them to patronise and promote epitome of Christian truth and duty which it. Is this because of insufficient pains we know, we shall possess them with the taken by ourselves personally to interest capacity, of all times and in any varying more of our brethren in its objects ? OF circumstances of their life, to address is it because of a real incapacity on their themselves suitably to their Maker. The part to care for them? The latter, surely, temptations and trials of life will await cannot be admitted. Let us endeavour them when they are no longer objects of that the other be not verified by our too your attention and care. Against these little or too easily wearied or discouraged you will not have guarded thein; althouglı zeal. you may, to a great degree, have fortified