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the highest satisfaction, while you enable them to say, “Lord, it is enough: Let thy fer. vant now depart in peace : ' ny unhappy, but beloved child, is recovered and restored : Lord It is enough, that I have thus seen her before I die *.?
III. Were it only (right noble and illustrious hearers) to relieve the distress, and remove the anguish of one such parent, I persuade myself, you would think the present design most worthy your attention : and 'cis with pleasure we can observe, that this is no imaginary supposition T. No heart can be unconscious of, or unaffected by, the tenderness of parental regards nor can any earthly amiction be supposed, superior to that which wounds the affectionate parent's heart, thro' the offence and fuin of a beloved and unhappy child. By restoring them, and recovering such children, the most noble and commendable of human affections, the parental, is comforted and relieved : and not only the child, but the parent too, shares in the generous mercy.
But not in this view only, under whatever circumstances we consider it, every laudable mo.
* See Gen, xły, 28,
* † Several parents have already been reconciled to their children: one, in particular, at an affecting meeting, made use of nearly the same words with those above.
tive, every sentiment of religion, of virtue, of humanity, pathetically pleads for this undertaking; and we are satisfied will not now plead in vain. From the survey we have taken of the grand design of Christianity, and the benevolent purpose of the Son of God in coming among us, to seek and to save that which was loft, we have seen abundantly, how conformable the present infticution is to that design : founded as it is upon the same godlike principle of seeking and saving those who were lost; who must otherwise (it is more than probable) have been left for ever : lost in the very beginning of life ; lost in the bitterness of distress. For what greater distress can even imagination fancy, than that of a wretched female, plung'd, by one false step, perhaps, into irretrievable suffering : despoiled by sickness, by forrow, and by shame, of all that loveliness, which, posibly, had been the fatal cause of her undoing , and finking into everlasting misery, amidst want, and cold, and nakedness; deserted by every friend ; deprived of every confolation ; and unable to support at once--for, alas ! who can support ?--the insufferable load of an agonizing body, and a con: demning conscience !
If Rome decreed a Civic crown, and public honours to him, who saved the life of a single citizen ; of what honours may not they be thought worthy, who shall conduce not only to
save so many lives, to their country * ;
; but also to rescue fouls, the souls of many fellow-creatures and fellow-Christians, from death everlafting? If any thing be praise worthy, such benevolence hath the justest claim to that praise ; assuredly, it is most becoming the Christian character, most becoming the noblest virtue, the best and most generous humanity : For, shall
In this single view, independant of their parents, families, and their own eternal salvation, that the present design takes out of the public streets, so many objects, who are the peft and the reproach of the metropolis, who exift by making a prey of the thoughtless, and unwary, the maudlin husband, and the unguarded apprentice ; and that it renders them happy, healthy, useful members of the society. Surely in this fingle view, it merits every commendation, “ But, fay fome, the streets are not less pestered now, than before this institution.” This, we are informed, is not quite true : and we apprehend it cannot be true : the diminution of so many women as are now in the Magdalen House, cannot fail to be perceived, in some quarters of the town at least : and mischief is indisputably prevented; as they must have been employed in their dire trade, had they not been sheltered there ; tho' alas, poor wretches ! many of them had certainly been no longer nuisances in this world. But, supposing this fact true, we observe, that it reflects not at all upon the charity, nor the worthy supporters of it; who have not the immediate power to cleanse the streets. They should look to that, whom it directly.concerns ; and we have gooui hope they will do so : exerting all their influence, which surely every well-wisher to Society should exert,
to expel this fcandalous defilement from the grand and most public freets of our city. A defilement, we remark, with some concern, not found in any other civilized city upon earth. And, pleased as we are to conceive our own one of the most civilized, and the most Christian, how can we suffer such a reproach to disgrace at once our Police, and cur Chriftianity?
we suffer such miserable unfortunates to perish unpitied, nor attend to the cries of those, who; in the most exquisite calamity, call aloud for our relief; the cries of that fofter * and more helpless fex, who seem peculiarly to claim their protection, to whose comforts in life they so eminently administer ; the affecting cries of. those, who have no other means of redress, who have no other power of return į Mall we suffer them to perish, caft off, abhorred, and neglected by all ; and, steeled to pity by their faults, not be melted by their mifery and distress?
And yet, perhaps, for their faults, (to foften the rigour of obdurate Virtue ; tho', indeed, true virtue less requires to be softened: the moft virtuous are always the most compaffionate : yet); perhaps, to extenuate their faults, much they might have to plead; nay, much they have to plead : the complicated arts of seducers, the treachery of perfidious friends ; the softneffes and infirmities of our common nature: Some the early loss of parents; others the deficiency of religious principles and serious education ; and
* We hope the poet's remark will be verified in respect to these poor creatures.
-When women sue, Men give like Gods: but when they weep and kneel, All their petitions are as truly theirs, As they themselves would owe them. See the Beauties of Shakespear, vol. 1. p. 41.
many, too too many, the refiftless calls of hunger and of thirst ! One false step too, they might urge, plunged them in a sea of difficulty ; barred up every avenue of return;
* and left them a fad prey to inevitable ruin : while the source of their misery felt neither remorse for their reduction, nor found a single stain on his reputation; though, theirs unhappily blasted, every eye beheld them with scorn t. O let them then, for
* It is a fa&t, which hath undeniably been proved fince the establishment of the Magdalen House, (tho’ indeed, I beTieve, rarely denied) that far the greater part of these miserable women have both been introduced by others into a ftate of prostitution ; and have been unavoidably detained in that course of life, fhocking to themselves, some by debt, fome by downright despair, fome merely to supply their: bodily necessities, and some by the absolute impossibility of procuring a reception from their distress, and the means of honest support.
† It is said, that a law formerly prevailed in Tuscany, in order to prevent robberies, that in case a man should suffer himself to be robbed by a single man, (unless, we presume, by surprize, or manifefly superior strength) the person robbed thould himself suffer the ignominious punishment due to a robber. However hard and barbarous this custom may ap. pear, there is a fimilar one, but in a higher degree, which now prevails in one of the most civilized nations in the known world. Where a man has the privilege of arming himself at all points ; may use every stratagem and artifice, nay, and even engage others to assist him, in order to violate the most valuable property of another, however weak, and incapable of resistance (with this proviso only, that main. ruffian force is not absolutely used, tho' this not unfrequently is the cafe) yet the plunderer not only escapes unimpeach'd