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justice, the disadvantage of a young man's joining an old society is so great, that rather than do it, he would combine with others of nearly the same age, to form a new one; this in its turn becoming poor as the members grow infirm, must expire with the generation which gave it birth.

Another objection arises from the management of the property, which is generally employed in loans on very slender security, by which means great losses have frequently been sustained. This evil, however, admits of being easily remedied, since the Act which encourages the establishment of Banks for savings, affords an opportunity to Friendly Societies to invest their subscriptions as often as they receive them, on the best security.

We trust that the Writer's fears, respecting the encouragement of these Banks at the expense of Friendly Societies, are void of foundation ; since, if our views are correct, they will found suited to distinct classes of society, and so far from interfering, are adapted to assist each other. The poorer classes having once experienced the benefit of prudence and foresight in a small degree, will be easily induced to make still greater exertions to improve their condition. A labourer who receives the advantage of a sixpenny weekly payment to a Friendly Society, will not, if he be wise, be content with this only resource, but will take care to provide bimself a fund that shall be entirely his own, and to which he may have recourse upon any emergency. It must not be expected, however, that the first contributions to the Banks will be weekly savings, for this result is the perfection of the system. Should the time ever arrive, when such a practice shall become general, so entire a change must have taken place in the morals and habits of the poor, as will supersede the necessity of compulsory laws to provide for their relief. We are not, however, so sanguine as tu bope that either Friendly Societies or Savings Banks, will prove to be the specifics for delivering us from the calamities which have originated from the poor-laws. Mr. Malthus (whose opinion on such subjects is of the greatest weight) has expressed his conviction, that as far as the Saving-Banks go, they appear to be much the best and inost likely plan which has been proposed, if they should become general, to effect a

permanent improvement in the condition of the lower classes • of society. But the question is, Cau they, while the system of indiscriminate relief prevails, ever become general ?' Will the distant and contingent benefit they present, predominate in the miods of the poor over that which is immediate and certain ? It is a prevalent mistake, into which the Reverend Author just quoted bas himself fallen, that the Act to establish Savings Banks, authorises magistrates to order persons to receive parochial assistance, although they may have funds of their own in one of these institutions. No such clause exists, the one which proposed it having been very wisely rejected by the Legislature. Indeed, the giving the magistrate such a power would be highly reprehensible; it would have at once thrown down the only separation that has been maintained entire between pauperism and independence. Hitherto the law, however improperly administered, has only gone the length of requiring that the property of the industrious should be sacrificed to the maintenance of the really impotent and destitute; but in this case, we should be called upon to relieve bot the destitute, but the pertinacious, the covetous, and those who being regardless of the sacrifices and sufferings of others, grasp at all their needy hands can reach.

Mr. Cunningham deserves the thanks of the public for having stepped forward on this occasion, as the advocate of the best interests of the poor. Although our view of the subject is in some respects different from his, he commands our respect for the benevolence of his intentions, and always interests us by the vivacity of his composition.

Art. X. 1. A Sermon occasioned by the Death of Her late Royal

Highness the Princess Charlotte of Wales. Preached at Harvey Lane, Leicester, November 16, 1817. By Robert Hall, A. M.

8vo. pp. 63. price 2s. 2. A Sermon delivered in the Tron Church, Glasgow, on Wed

nesday, November 19th, 1817, the Day of the Funeral of Her Royal Higliness the Princess Charlotte of Wales. By Thomas Chalmers, D. D. Minister of the Tron Church, Glasgow.

price ls. 3. The Sorrows of Britain, her sad Forebedings, and her only Refuge ;

a Sermon, &c. By John Pye Smith, DD. Third edition. Svo.

pp. 32. ls.

TIERE

4. A Sermon on the sudden and lamented Death of Her Royal Highness

the Princess Charlotte. By J. W. Cunningham, A.M. Vicar of Harrow, &c. Fourth edition. 8vo. pp. 27. Is. 6d.

are various points of view in which the sermons published on the occasion of our late national bereavement, may be regarded as possessing an interest independent of the intrinsic qualities of their composition. Many of them are, of course, hasty efusions of the most unpretending character ; but yet, as separate expressions of the national feeling, they all serve in some measure to indicate the tendency of opinion, and the state of the public inind. Feathers as they may be in specific weight, they shew the direction of the current. The cireumstance, too, of their unprecedented number, considering the extensive sale which many of them bave found, speaks the depth of the general emotion, and the religious character which, for the most part, that emotion assuined. It is computed that more persons attended Divive worship in the various churches and chapels, throughout the kingdom, on the day of the funeral of our lamented Princess, than are to be found assembledon any Sunday throughout the year. One feeling seemed to pervade the nation; a feeling which claimed, which demanded that the doors of the sanctuary should be thrown open, in order that it might find vent in the actions of piety, and be soothed by the congenial accents of religion. There was no other direction which seemed left to the miad on that occasion, and it took that of soleinu meditation as by a sort of necessity. The'suspension of all business by the spontaneous act of the nation, closed every other door, but thuse of the house of God; these stood open, and to what other place could even the most thoughtless resort, but to the refuge of the disconsolate, and the Christian's home? The situation of the preacher was in the bighest degree advantageous. He had to

originate nothing,' it was not so much he that spake, as the events which spake for themselves; he only presumed to

interpret their language, and to guide the confused emotions • of a sorrowful and swollen heart into the channels of piety.” In like manner, it has seemed, from the sale of these publications, that a sermon was the most appropriate, and welcome form in which the subject could be brought home to the feelings; as if the only comment of which the event admitted, was to be supplied by the ministers of religion; as if, under such a calamity, it only remained to inquire of the Lord by the mouth of his prophets. And the various interpretations which have been put upon the language of the voice which has thus spoken in thunder, is another circumstance which renders it interesting to collate these serinons. All have seemed to see the handwriting, but who shall claim to have decyphered the characters! We think that no ordinary responsibility has attached under these circumstances, to those who were entrusted with such an opportunity of striking in with the current of emotion, and by giving a beneficial direction to the thoughts, of turning to a lasting account the transient excitement. Upon them it mainly depended, we might almost say to give effect within the respective spheres of their influence, to this awakening dispensation of the Almighty, and to determine what should be its issue, as regards any beneficial inpression upon society at large. It would be sad indeed, if all this emotion were to pass away, and to leave no effect

upon the national character; if no moral resułt were to attend this. unusual concentration of the public attention on the solemnities of death and the concerns of eternity. The general east of these

sermons is such as forbids us to entertain such apprehensions, and we would fain persuade ourselves, that the circulation they have obtained, will go some way towards producing a sum of moral good, which may forro the only possible compensation for the political calamity with which we have been visited.

Those preachers acted wisely who confined themselves conscientiously to that view of the melancholy event, which lay distinctly within the compass of their vision, and who abstained from mixing up with the fact they were called upon to improve, any uncertain speculations, which, by distracting the attention, might dissipate the emotion they were employed to heighten. The event itself is so solemn, so purely melancholy and affecting, so sublimely impressive, that there was scarcely occasion, in order to the full lesson being received, to advert either to its moral causes, or to its possible consequences. These are considerations which are at the arbitrary disposal of opinion, and the feelings connected with them, are of too mixed a kind, too indeterminate a vature, to blend with those simpler einotions of grief, and pity, and awe, which have occupied the imagination. We have been much pleased with many of these sermons in this respect, that they exhibit so direct and exclusive an aim at usefulness, and that the preacher has been eontent, from this motive, to avail himself of the more obvious suggestions of the dispensation, as better suited to his purpose, instead of taking a range of thought more comprehensive, but reinote from the sympathies of ordinary persons. Such a view of an event, frauglit with possible consequences of so vast importance, is confessedly inadequate ; but it required no ordinary hand so to fill up the outline, as not utterly to deface its character.

• There never was an occasion,' says Dr. Chalmers, on which a matter of deep political interest was so blended and mixed up with matter of very deep and affecting tenderness. It does not wear the aspect of an affair of politics at all, but an affair of the heart; and the novel exhibition is now offered, of all party-irritations merging into one common and overwhelming sensibility. Oh! how. it tends to quiet the agitations of every earthly interest and carthly passion, when Death steps forward and demonstrates the litileness of them all—when he stamps a character of such affecting insignificance on all that we are contending for-when, as if to make known the greatness of his power in the sight of a whole country, he stalks in ghastly triumph over the might and the grandeur of its most august family, and singling out that member of it on whom the dearest hopos and the gayest visions of the people were suspended, he, by one fatal and resistless blow, sends abroad the fame of his victory and his strength, throughout the wide extent of an afflicted nation. He has indeed put a cruel and impressive mockery on all the glories of mor, tality. A few days ago, all looked so full of life, and promise, and

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security-when we read of the bustle of the great preparation-and were told of the skill and the talent that were pressed into the service —and heard of the goodly attendance of the most eminent in the nation—and how officers of state, and the titled dignitaries of the land, were chariotted in splendour to the scene of expectation, as to the joys of an approaching holiday-yes, and we were told too, that the bells of the surrounding villages were all in readiness for the merry peal of gratulation, and that the expectant metropolis of our empire, on tiptoe for the announcement of her future monarch, had her winged couriers of despatch to speed the welcome message to the ears of her citizens, and that from her an embassy of gladness was to travel over all the provinces of the land ; and the country, forgetful of all that she had suffered, was at length to offer the spectacle of one wide and rejoicing jubilee. O Death ! thou hast indeed chosen the time and the victim, for demonstrating the grim ascendancy of thy power over all the hopes and fortunes of our species ! Our blooming Princess, whom fancy had decked with the coronet of these realms, and under whose gentle sway all bade so fair for the good and the peace of our nation, has he placed upon her bier! And, as if to fill up the measure of his triumph, has he laid by her side, that babe, who, but for him, might have been the monarch of a future generation; and he has done that, which by no single achievement he could otherwise have accomplished-he has sent forth over the whole of our land, the gloom of such a bereavement as cannot be replaced by any living descendant of royalty-he has broken the direct succession of the monarchy of England-by one and the same disaster, has he wakened up the public anxieties of the country, and sent a pang as acute as that of the most woeful domestic visitation, into the heart of each of its families.” pp. 7--9.

Politics, the politics of the day, the narrow, sordid, angry spirit of party, had indeed no business to associate themselves with such a subject as the present, and any individual who could so far vioiate the sanctity of the occasion, as to attempt, by taking advantage of the softened and excited feelings of an audience, to render it subservient to a political purpose, grossly abused his office. A few attempts of this kind were made,-to affix to this general calamily the character of a specific judgement for certain political as well as moral delinquencies. No expedient could have been devised, more adapted completely to neutralize whatever beneficial impression the event might bave produced. Upon this subject, the remarks of Mr. Hall are highly deserving of attention.

• You will perceive, my brethren, that I have confined my attention, in this discourse, to such reflections as we would wish every individual to indulge, in the contemplation of this great national calamity, without adverting to its aspects, on the political prospects and interests of the country. The discussion of the subject, in that view of it, is equally unsuited to my province, and to my talents. I leave

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