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nature and inclination could have any part in their crime: and it is greatly more than probable, that of these objects, fixty in an hundred, or more, would have been dead in less than two years; that many of them who are now healthy and happy in the house, would have been now fuffering in the miseries of future condemnation !
To prevent this, as far as you may, and to provide fome relief for sufferers so truly pitiable, is the benevolent and humane motive, which hath engaged you my worthy Friends and Brethren, the GOVERNOR$ and PROMOTER'S of this design, to unite your generous efforts, and to join hand and heart in the good cause.
And what cause can more deserve encouragement what charitable institution be calculated to do greater good ? for this extends itself to the souls as well as the bodies of our fellowcreatures: and as much more noble and excellent as an immortal soul is, chan a perishing body; so much more noble every institution which extends to the welfare of the former, than those which extend only to the welfare of the latter. The great success this charity hath hitherto met with, abundantly confirms this opinion.
Permit me sincerely to congratulate you on the success, which hath thus far crown'd your commendable undertaking. If they, who turn one foul to light and to righteousuels, caufe joy in heaven, and shall shine as the stars for ever and
ever ; what may they reasonably expect, whở, mov'd bỳ the juftest motives, actuated by a fin-, cere love to Christ, and a true compassion to their fellow-creatures, are happily inftrumental in the salvation of many souls, are happily instrumental in saving numbers from that death eternal, which without their kindly assistance, they could never", humanly speaking, have avoided ?
And such, we have the utmost reason to hope, will be, | already is, the consequence of your charitable provision for these unnappy daughters of woe and distress. I doubt not, it delighes your hearts---for it must delight every heart-to behold and observe the striking contrast, when you visit the dwelling and the House of God, where these rejoicing Penitents share the blessings of your mercy. To behold the decent and orderly behaviour of so many fellow-creatures, late abandoned to every calamity, who of their own free will have fought this retreat, and thus shew their disapprobation of Vice, by the only method in their power ;-to see them cloath'd in health and neatness, who but now were languifhing under disease, and covered with foulnefs and filth ; to hear the tongues sweetly tuning forth the praises of the Redeemer, which late were hoarse with oaths, and empoisond with lascivi. ousness i to hear from their mouths earnest prayers and joyful thanksgivings; to see from their eyes the fowing tears of penitence and
remorse, and to behold in their hands th: instruments of chearful industry and labour ; inftruments of industry in hands, which were wantoning in pernicious indolence, and impelled perhaps to the extremities of theft. To see these things, must convince you of the great utility of your design, and chear you wich this comfortable reflection, “ that already you reap fome fruits of your beneficence.” May those fruits be increased ten-fold here and hereafter !
Nothing great and good can be carried on without some oppofition : nothing great and good was ever attempted in any age, but madevolence would find something to object, and Envy, with her jaundic'd eyes, would spy out something to caluminate and censure. But this, fo far from cooling our ardour in honourable pursuits, should enkindle and enfame it. And I am perfuaded, that you, Gentlemen, have too much fortitude and true elevation of heart to be moved from any good purpose, by the weak founding of caluminous breath.
In truth human works are so imperfect, and the very best inftitutions fo liable to some defects and abuses, that nothing can be attempted or proposed, wherein some evil may not probably mix itself with much good : and whoever should refuse to enter upon any excellent work, till every possible objection was removed, would hang in the hesitancy of doubt all the days of
his life, and waste useful time and talents in fruitless enquiries and empty speculations. We must advance to action with all reasonable precaution; proceed with all imaginable activity and care; and obviate with all wisdom and sagacity every objection, which experience may find prejudicial to the progress of the purposed institution.
The objections* indeed raised against this undertaking have been, and are fo Night and insignificant, that they deserve not to be mentioned. Its utility and present great advancement, above all other arguments, answer every cavil. And whoever are yet but ill convinced of its advantage, will be far more strikingly, far more feelingly convinc'd of it by a sight of the comely order, and decent appearance found in the public worship, at the Chapel of the House (where many have lost their objections, and felt its utility) far more than from any thing I can urge on its behalf. Yet, surely, if any thing be useful; if any thing be excellent; if any thing be praiseworthy; if any thing becomes us as men; if any thing becomes us as members of civil fociety; if any thing becomes us as Christians; it is, to save, from utter and inevitable misery, the souls of poor, abandoned, wretched
* These, however trifling, it hath been thought proper not to pass over entirely; and therefore they are obviated in the Preface, to which the reader is referred.
fellow-Christians, who have no other resource, no other means of relief: It is to preserve from present, and afflictive death, the bodies of mary young and perishing fellow-creatures ; it is to take from our streets, the shame of our community, the instruments of foulest pollution, and most poisonous contagion: it is to restore to the ftate many useless members; and to introduce to health and to induftry, to happiness and to heaven, many, who could otherwise, neither ever have been employed, nor ever restored.
Let me not doubt then, that all of you who hear me this day, will readily and chearfully join in the beneficent work, and contribute as much as you can towards the perfection and support of so useful a defign. At least, if you mean not to promote, do not injure it, and endeavour to prevent its salutary effects by futile objections and useless insinuations: For as, beyond all controversy, the intention of the worthy persons who have engaged in it, is excellent, and deserving the highest applause, as their characters are the most respectable, and, permit me to say, not only an ornament to this noble undertaking, but to this Metropolis also, which is itself an ornament, in its public charities especially, to human nature, and to Christianity; As these things are so, every good and generous heart should tenderly consider their motives, and with well to their design ; and with a candour, which F