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others, and propagate still wider and wider the fatal malady.
There is therefore scarcely a motive that can influence the feeling heart, which does not powerfully urge us to attempt something in order to remedy, or at least to check the progress of, this most enormous evil. Compassion for the poor wretches themselves; the desire both of their temporal and eternal welfare; love to society, and to our connexions and relatives; together with regard to the interests of religion and morality; with united energy constrain us to wish that something effectual could be done.
But the mischief is so deeply rooted and so widely diffused, that a radical cure may perhaps be in its own nature impracticable: at least nothing more than a partial redress can be expected from any single expedient, or any private society. But, in such a case, no degree of success should be despised, nor any expedient slighted, which reasonably promises it. On the contrary it behoves evexy one, whose situation, ability, or influence enable him, to devise, propose, and apply some remedy, whether of a more public or a more private nature: for a multiplicity of expedients, except they interfere with each other, will not be found too many; and each may have its peculiar usefulness.
These observations regularly introduce the de sign of this pamphlet. It has pleased God, in his wise and righteous providence, to chastise this species of vice by a very loathsome and dreadful disease; which yet admits of a ready and effectual cure, when properly treated ; but, being neglected, produces the most fatal effects. Now both the divine precepts and example instruct us to attempt the relief even of those very miseries which are the immediate effects of sin. At a time therefore when persons labouring under this dreadful malady were inadmissible into other hospitals; and consequently when numbers, through poverty, were incapable pf obtaining effectual relief: compassion for the miserable induced many of the nobility and gentry to found and support by subscription the Lock Hospital, purposely for the reception and cure of such persons. Aware of the objections that might be urged against, and the abuse that might be made of, such an institution, many salutary arrangements were made to obviate such objections and prevent such abuses :—as may be seen in the annual reports and other papers circulated by the governors. Especially one part of the plan has ever been, to convert the hospital into a sort of penitentiary: and while the patients were under cure, and feeling in the most sensible manner the bitter effects of vice, that they should be attended by a minister of the establishment, and instructed from the word of God in such things as were directly suited to their character and situation: such as have a tendency to convince them of their wickedness, of the displeasure of God against them on that account, and of their being exposed to an unspeakably severer punishment hereafter, unless they repent of and forsake their sins, seeking for that forgiveness and salvation which the gospel proposes.
It is not easy to ascertain the success of these endeavours; as persons, to whom we are utter strangers, after six weeks or two months contimiance in the hospital, are dismissed to all parts of the kingdom, and we see them no more. But, as the instructions are given them privately in their wards, in the plainest and most familiar style, and upon the most interesting and uneontroverted subjects; and are accompanied with earnest exhortations, warnings, and persuasions, as well as supplications to God for them; we may reasonably hope for the divine blessing on our endeavours: for we are assured by the highest authority, that publicans and harlots are brought to true repentance, and do find admission into the kingdom of God. And indeed the general attention of the patients, the seriousness observable among them, and the grateful acknowledgments which many of them make; with the hope they express that they have received real and durable advantage; are sufficient encouragements to proceed. Nor should it be forgotten that serious impressions, when not immediately effectual, nay after having lain dormant for many years, do not unfrequently at last spring up and produce the happiest effects.
In full confidence that these endeavours will by no means be in vain, I should have proceeded in the discharge of the duty of my situation, without seeking to attract the notice of any one, or asking any human assistance, were there not one discouraging circumstance, which I am incapable of removing, but which may be removed by the united efforts of others.
It is, I suppose, generally known that the patients in the Lock Hospital are both male and female, in separate wards: but their cases are widely different. The men have their places of abode, or their occupations, to which they mayreturn when cured: and, as wickedness (in this particular at least,) is not their maintenance, should any serious reflections be excited in their minds, they would in general meet with no other obstacles to a change of life, than such as are common to them with others who have contracted vicious habits. However all that is properly in our power, or can be expected from us, has been done in order to their reformation.
But the most of the women are of that class whose misery and baleful influence have been hinted at. Many of them, when discharged, have no method of subsistence but by prostitution; nor can procure any lodging but in a house of infamy. These have scarcely any alternative but starving or a prison, on the one hand, or. returning to their former practices, on the other. Should therefore any serious impressions be made upon them, they would need the faith and constancy of a martyr, in steadily preferring the greatest hardships to a ready relief by sin, in the very first onset of a reformation!
It is indeed with sensible pleasure I observe, that some few have been fetched out of the hospital by their relations, upon application made to them; and I have reason to believe that some others have been induced to return home, and have been received. But there have been parents who have positively refused to harbour their own children, after repeated application. Others have no relations who are in circumstances to relieve them: and doubtless some would gladly enter an asylum among strangers, who would recoil at the idea of appearing, emaciated by disease, and covered with infamy, amongst the companions of more creditable and prosperous days.—And, though the lamentable truth be allowed, that few in comparison seem disposed to forsake their licentious practices except they could otherwise lead a life of indolence and indulgence; yet we must deny the gospel to be any longer " the power of God unto "salvation," if we conclude that none will ever be influenced by it to a sincere desire and purpose of forsaking their former sinful courses and connexions, should a place be prepared and opened for their reception.
By this time I suppose the reader will have turned his thoughts to the Magdalen Hospital. Far be it from me to depreciate the excellency and utility of that truly benevolent institution, which is, I believe, always open to such persons as from the Lock properly apply for admission. But there are reasons why it cannot answer the end here proposed, or supersede the necessity of such a private asylum as I would recommend. I shall mention but one, which is of such a nature as renders it needless to assign any other. The Magdalen admits persons only once a month: patients are discharged from the Lock every week. During the intermediate space, whether one week or three, which the most would have to wait previously to admission into the Magdalen, they must and will generally return to their former abodes, connexions, and practices. When this is the case, reflection will studiously be stifled by every dissipation and excess, and before the time is expired every serious impression will be effaced. In order to do