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of the strongest proofs of the power of religion upon the heart. At Dorchester, a village six miles from Boston, Dr. Reed observes, “there are Sabbath schools and an Academy for superior education. The ignorant are taught, the sick find medicine and sympathy, and the poor are promoted to adopt methods of domestic thrift and decency. The whole village presents an example of the effect of religion, so administered. No children are left to grow up in ignorance; few persons abstain from a place of worship; and here, where every thing else is on a small scale, the schools and churches assume an imposing character.” How many villages of this description can be pointed out in Great Britain and Ireland 7 and is it not owing to our apathy and avarice, that so few scenes of this description should meet our eye? “I know of no country,” says Dr. Reed, “where there are more examples of beneficence and magnificence, [than in America.] The rich will act nobly out of their abundance, and the poor will act as nobly out of their penury. There are refreshing instances of individuals sustaining schools, professorships, missionaries, and evangelists. Ministers are repeatedly making movements, in which it was evident that every thing was to be sacrificed to usefulness. I have seen the pastor, at sixty, beloved and happy in his people, give up all to go forth into the wilderness, because he thought that his example more than his labors, might bless the West,--while the church has been as ready to relinquish him, though with tears, when she has been satisfied that it was for the good of the church catholic. I have seen a band of students, careless of ease and reputation at home, forsake the college at which they had passed with honor, and covenant to go forth together, some 2000 miles to rear a kindred institution in the desert. And I have seen the aged man kindle at their enthusiasm and support them with his purse, when unable to be their companion.*
* “Narrative,” &c. volii, p. 282. While returning thanks to Drs. Reed and Matheson for the entertainment and the valuable informa
As an evidence of the liberality displayed in the Northern States of America, there are no less than twenty-one Theological colleges, all of which have been instituted since the year 1808; they contain 853 students, and have accumulated 57,000 volumes. There are seventy-five colleges for general education, most of them with professional departments; and they have 8136 students; and forty of these have been erected since 1814. Altogether there are ninety-six colleges and 9032 students. In the state of New York alone, besides all the private seminaries, there are 9600 schools sustained at a yearly expense of 1,126,482 dollars | Most of the above mentioned seminaries, with the stately edifices connected with them, have been reared and established by voluntary donations. The “American Sunday School Union” is likewise a noble example of Christian activity and beneficence. In 1832, the eighth year of its existence, it had 790 auxiliaries; 9187 schools were in connection, having 542,420 scholars and 80,913 teachers. The expenditure for that year was 117,703 dollars:–For 1833, it was 136,855. The most vigorous efforts of this society have been directed to the valley of the Mississippi. In 1830, it was resolved unanimously,–" That in reliance upon Divine aid, they would endeavor within two years to establish a Sunday School in every destitute lace where it is practical, throughout the valley of ississippi,” that is, over a country which is 1200 miles wide, and 2400 in length. There are thirty-six agents wholly employed in this service; and, during 1833, they established 500 schools and revived a thousand.
tion which their “Narrative” affords—the writer of this cannot but express his regret that their work was not published in a more economical style. Had it been published, as it might have been, at half its present price, and comprised in two meat 12 mo, volumes, it would have been purchased by three times the number, and have been read by tentimes the number of individuals who will be likely to peruse it in its present state. The price of such books prevents their being generally read by the mass of ğ. society, and consequently forms a barrier to the general diffusion of knowledge. Has covetousness, on the part of the publishers any share in this matter? o,
The following examples of covetousness and liberality are extracted from an American periodical entitled, “The Missionary,” for May 2, 1835; published at the Missionary Press, Burlington, New Jersey, by members of the American Episcopal Church. “A gentleman having called, the preceding autumn, to obtain aid for hiring a missionary in Tennessee, I thought I would go and introduce him to our congregation; and we called first on Squire L–, as he is the richest man in town, although I had little hope of success from that quarter. He put us off, as usual, with an account of his numerous family expenses, the frequent calls upon him for money, the duty of seeing our own church free from debt, and our clergyman well provided for, before we assisted others, and concluded with his old, thread-bare proverb, “Charity begins at home.” We then called on his neighbor, Mr. S 5 a man of considerable wealth, and no children to inherit it. He read the paper, said it was a deserving object, but that he felt too poor to contribute. He colored slightly, as he said this, and then, as if ashamed to ive nothing, and anxious to rid himself of such troubi. visitants, handed us 25 cents, (two shillings,) and we took our leave. We met with various success; some gave cheerfully, and liberally; others grudgingly, and not a few declined altogether. Our last call was on Mr. R—, the shoemaker; we found him, as I expected, busily engaged at his work. He received us kindly, made inquiries about the state of the church in Tennessee, which showed that he felt a lively interest in the subject, lamented his inability to do much, but said, he would do something. He then stepped into the house, and returned immediately with two dollars, which he begged my companion to accept as an expression of his good will. Knowing him to be what is called, in the language of the world, a poor man, [though in gospel phrase he is eminently rich;] I asked him how he contrived to subscribe to each one of our benevolent institutions, to take a weekly religious newspaper, to contribute liberally to the support of our clergyman, and yet have so much to spare for a
distant church 1 He told me, it was easily done, by obeying St. Paul's precept in 1 Cor. xvi. 2. In other words, he was systematically charitable. He made it a point of duty always to consecrate a portion of his weekly income to the Lord. “I earn,” said he, “one day with another, about a dollar a day, and I can, without inconvenience to myself or family, lay by five cents of this sum for charitable purposes; the amount is thirty cents a week, (half a crown.) My wife takes in sewing and washing, and earns something like two dollars a week, and she lays by ten cents of that. My children, each of them earn a shilling or two, and are glad to contribute their penny ; so that altogether, we “lay by us in store,” forty-five cents a week. And, if we have been unusually prospered, we contribute something more. The §§ amount is deposited every Sunday morning in a box kept for that purpose, and reserved for future use. Thus, by these small savings, we have learned, that it is more blessed to give than to receive. The yearly amount saved in this way is about twenty-five dollars; and I distribute this among the various benevolent societies, according to the best of my judgment.” Now this man is a consistent Christian, a bright example of Christian benevolence. He looks upon his little earnings as a talent lent him of God, a part of which should be sacredly appropriated to his service.” - In the same “Missionary Tract,” it is stated, that the Treasurer of the “Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society,” on April 10th, received 477 dollars and 41 cents,” of which 5 dollars are the avails of needle work by four little girls, from four to eleven years of age, for the church at Jacksonville, Illinois; and 35 dollars from the Sunday school of St. Luke's church, New York; 15 of them in redemption of a pledge for the education of an Indian child, named Levi Silliman Ives, in honor of their former rector, now the excellent bishop of North Carolina. s
* A dollar is equal in value to about four shillings and six pence, and a cent to one half-penny English. -
In our own country, we have likewise many characters distinguished for Christian beneficence. Mr. John Lloyd of Nelson square, London, who died in June, 1835, was a liberal contributor to the cause of religion, under the signature L. He was civil engineer, employed at the government dock yards. He retired from business four years before his death, devoting his large fortune to the glory of God, and the good of men, both at home and abroad. More than £12,000 are known to have been distributed among different societies under the letter L; nor was he unmindful of them in his will, having bequeathed to the missionary Society £4000; the Home Missionary Society £4000; the British and Foreign Bible Society £3000; Religious Tract Society £3000; the Southwark Sunday School Society £1000; Surry Chapel Benevolent Society £1000; the Christ church Surry School in Marlborough street, £500; the London Hibernian Society £500;" in all £29,000 ! What an example to wealthy Christians l and how much good may such an individual be instrumental in communicating to the church and the world ! The concealment of his name in the numerous donations bestowed in his life time, arose from his retiring habits, and a desire “not to let his left hand know what his right hand did,” and a hope that others would follow his example.
The Rev. Richard Knill, in the Evangelical Magazine for November, 1835, mentions a Welsh gentleman who has 200 sovereigns ready to be given for introducing more of the piety and talent of our churches into the work of the ministry; and a minister, once a student at Homerton, who proposes to assist four, six, or eight students in their preparatory studies, gratuitously. In the same number of this Magazine, Mr. Rathray of Demarara, mentions that the negroes are beginning to make monthly contributions for the purchase of Bibles, and other religious purposes, and that their first monthly collection amounted to 123 guilders, or £8 15s. and that they make a point of giving something for their
* See Evan. Mag, for August, 1835.