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the wickedness begins. The slaves, torn away man slavery, and since these, the feudal tyranny, frx parents, wives, children, from their friends has declined before it. And we trust that, as the and companions, their fields and flocks, their knowledge and authority of the same religion adbure and country, are transported to the Eu- vance in the world, they will banish what remains tepran settlements in America, with no other ac- of this odious institution. connodation on shipboard than what is provided for brutes. This is the second stage of cruelty; from which the miserable exiles are delivered, enly to be placed, and that for life, in subjection
CHAPTER IV. to a dominion and system of laws, the most merciless and tyrannical that ever were tolerated upon
Charity. the face of the earth; and from all that can be karned by the accounts of the people upon the spot, the inordinate authority which the planta This kind of beneficence is chiefly to be ex. tion-laws confer upon the slave-holder is exercised, pected from members of the legislature, magis. by the English slave-holder especially, with rigour trates, medical, legal, and sacerdotal professions. and brutality.
1. The care of the poor ought to be the prinBut necessity is pretended; the name under cipal object of all laws; for this plain reason, which every enormity is attempted to be justified that the rich are able to take care of themselves. And, after all, what is the necessity? It has never Much has been, and more might be, done by been proved that the land could not be cultivated the laws of this country, towards the relief of the there, as it is here, by hired servants. It is said impotent, and the protection and encouragement that it could not be cultivated with quite the same of the industrious poor. Whoever applies himconveniency and cheapness, as by the labour of self to collect observations upon the state and saves: by which means, a pound of sugar, which operation of the poor laws, and to contrive remethe planter now sells for sixpence, could not be dies for the imperfections and abuses which he afforded under sixpence-halfpenny ;-and this is observes, and digests these remedies into acts of the necessity.
parliament; and conducts them, by argument or The great revolution which has taken place in influence, through the two branches of the legislathe Western world, may probably conduce (and ture, or communicates his ideas to those who are who knows but that it was designed ?) to accele- more likely to carry them into effect, deserves rate the fall of this abominable tyranny: and now well of a class of the community so numerous, that this contest, and the passions which attend it, that their happiness forms a principal part of the are no more, there may succeed perhaps a season whole. The study and activity thus employed, for reflecting, whether a legislature which had so is charity, in the most meritorious sense of the long lent its assistance to the support of an insti- word. tution replete with human misery, was fit to be 2. The application of parochial relief is intrusted with an empire the most extensive that trusted, in the first instance, to overseers and conever obtained in any age or quarter of the world. tractors, who have an interest in opposition to
Slavery was a part of the civil constitution of that of the poor, inasmuch as whatever they allow must countries, when Christianity appeared; yet them comes in part out of their own pocket. For no passage is to be found in the Christian Scrip- this reason, the law has deposited with justices of tures, by which it is condemned or prohibited. the peace a power of superintendence and conThis is true; for Christianity, soliciting admis- trol; and the judicious interposition of this power sion into all nations of the world, abstained, as is a most useful exertion of charity, and oft-times behored it, from intermeddling with the civil in- within the ability of those who have no other way stitutions of any. But does it follow, from the of serving their generation. A country gentlesilence of Scripture concerning them, that all the man of very moderate education, and who has little civil institutions which then prevailed were right ? to spare from his fortune, by learning so much of or that the bad should not be exchanged for bet- the poor-law as is to be found in Dr. Burn's Juster?
tice, and by furnishing himself with a knowledge Besides this, the discharging of slaves from all of the prices of labour and provision, so as to be obligation to obey their masters, which is the con- able to estimate the exigencies of a family, and sequence of pronouncing slavery to be unlawful, what is to be expected from their industry, may, would have had no better effect than to let loose in this way, place out the one talent committed to one half of mankind upon the other. Slaves him, to great account. would have been tempted to embrace a religion, 3. Of all private professions, that of medicine which asserted their right to freedom; masters puts it in a man's power to do the most good at would hardly have been persuaded to consent to the least expense. Health, which is precious to claims founded upon such authority; the most all, is to the poor invaluable: and their complaints, calamitous of all contests, a bellum serrile, might as agues, rheumatisms, &c. are often such as yield probably have ensued, to the reproach, if not the to medicine. And, with respect to the expense, extinction, of the Christian name.
drugs at first hand cost little, and advice costs noThe truth is, the emancipation of slaves should thing, where it is only bestowed upon those who be gradual and be carried on by provisions of law, could not afford to pay for it. and under the protection of civil government. 4. The rights of the poor are not so important Christianity can only operate as an alterative. By or intricate, as their contentions are violent and the mild diffusion of its light and influence, the ruinous. A lawyer or attorney, of tolerable minds of men are insensibly prepared to perceive knowledge in his profession, has commonly judgand correct the enormities, which folly, or wicked- ment enough to adjust these disputes, with all the ness, or accident, have introduced into their public effect, and without the expense, of a law-suit; and Establishments. In this way the Greek and Rol he may be said to give a poor man twenty pounds
who prevents his throwing it away upon law. Al his subsistence, or the means of procuring it: and legal man, whether of the profession or not, who, as no fixed laws for the regulation of property together with a spirit of conciliation, possesses the can be so contrived, as to provide for the relief of confidence of his neighbourhood, will be much every case and distress which may arise, these resorted to for this purpose, especially since the cases and distresses, when their right and share great increase of costs has produced a general in the common stock were given up or taken from Dread of going to law.
them, were supposed to be left to the voluntary Nor is this line of beneficence confined to arbi- bounty of those who might be acquainted with the tration. Seasonable counsel, coming with the exigencies of their situation, and in the way of weight which the reputation of the adviser gives affording assistance. And, therefore, when the it, will often keep or extricate the rash and unin- partition of property is rigidly maintained against formed out of great difficulties.
the claims of indigence and distress, it is mainLastly, I know not a more exalted charity than tained in opposition to the intention of those who that which presents a shield against the rapacity made it, and to his, who is the Supreme Proprietor or persecution of a tyrant.
of every thing, and who has filled the world with 5. Betwixt argument and authority (I mean plenteousness, for the sustentation and comfort of that authority which flows from voluntary respect, all whom he sends into it. and attends upon sanctity and disinterestedness The Christian Scriptures are more copious and of character) something may be done, amongst the explicit upon this duty than upon almost any lower orders of mankind, towards the regulation other. The description which Christ bath left of their conduct, and the satisfaction of their us of the proceedings of the last day, establishes thoughts. This office belongs to the ministers of the obligation of bounty veyond controversy ;religion; or rather, whoever undertakes it, be- “When the son of man shall come in his glory, comes a minister of religion. The inferior clergy, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit who are nearly upon a level with the common sort upon the throne of his glory, and before him shall of their parishioners, and who on that account be gathered all nations; and he shall separate gain an easier admission to their society and con- them one from another - Then shall the King tidence, have in this respect more in their power say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed than their superiors : the discreet use of this power of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you constitutes one of the most respectable functions from the foundation of the world: For I was an of human nature.
hungered, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: naked, and ye clothed me: I was
sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye CHAPTER V.
came unto me.-And inasmuch as ye have done
it to one of the least of these my brethren, ye have Charity.
done it unto me."* It is not necessary to under
stand this passage as a literal account of what will 1. The obligation to bestou relief upon the poor. scenical description of the rules and principles, by,
actually pass on that day. Supposing it only a II. The manner of bestoving it. III. The pretences by which men excuse them- regulate his decisions, it conveys the same lesson
which the Supreme Arbiter of our destiny will selves from it.
to us; it equally demonstrates of how great ralue
and importance these duties in the sight of God 1. The obligation to bestow relief upon the poor. apostles also describe this virtue as propitiating
are, and what stress will be laid upon them. The They who rank pity amongst the original im- the Divine favour in an eminent degree. And pulses of our nature, rightly contend, that, when these recommendations have produced their effect. this principle prompts us to the relief of human It does not appear that, before the times of Chrismisery, it indicates the Divine intention, and our tianity, an infirmary, hospital, or public charity duty. Indeed, the same conclusion is deducible of any kind, existed in the world; whereas most from the existence of the passion, whatever accountries in Christendom, have long abounded count be given of its origin. Whether it be an with these institutions. To which may be added, instinct or a habit, it is in fact a property of our that a spirit of private liberality seems to flourish nature, which God appointed: and the final cause amidst the decay of many other virtues; not to for which it was appointed, is to afford to the mention the legal provision for the poor, which miserable, in the compassion of their fellow-crea-obtains in this country, and which was unknown tures, a remedy for those inequalities and distress- and unthought of by the most humanised nations es which God foresaw that many must be exposed of antiquity. to, under every general rule for the distribution of St. Paul adds upon the subject an excellent property.
direction, and which is practicable by all who Beside this, the poor have a claim founded in have any thing to give :— Upon the first day of the law of nature, which may be thus explained :— the week (or any other stated time) let every one All things were originally common. No one be- of you lay by in store, as God hath prospered ing able to produce a charter from Heaven, had him.” By which I understand St. Paul to reany better title to a particular possession than his commend what is the very thing wanting with next neighbour. There were reasons for man most men, the being charitable upon a plan; that kind's agreeing upon a separation of this common is, upon a deliberate comparison of our fortunes fund; and God for these reasons is presumed to with the reasonable expenses and expectation of have ratified it. But this separation was made and our families, to compute what we can spare, and consented to, upon the expectation and condition that every one should have left a sufficiency for
* Matthew, xxv. 31.
to lay be so much for charitable purposes in some within our private knowledge and observation, muwe or other. The mode will be a consideration which does not happen to all, a second method of afterwards.
doing good, which is in every one's power who The effect which Christianity produced upon has the money to spare, is by subscription to pubSorne of its first converts, was such as might be lic charities. Public charities admit of this arlooked for from a divine religion, coming with full gument in their favour, that your money goes force and miraculous evidence upon the con- farther towards attaining the end for which it is sciences of mankind. It overwhelmed all worldly given, than it can do by any private and separate considerations in the expectation of a more im- beneficence. A guinea, for example, contributed portant existence :—“And the multitude of them to an infirmary, becomes the means of providing that believed, were of one heart and of one soul; one patient at least with a physician, surgeon, neither said any of them that aught of the things apothecary, with medicine, diet, lodging, and suitwhich he possessed was his own; but they had able attendance; which is not the tenth part of all things in common. -Neither was there any what the same assistance, if it could be procured among them that lacked; for as many as were at all, would cost to a sick person or family in any possessors of lands or houses, sold them, and other situation. brought the prices of the things that were sold, 3. The last, and, compared with the former, and laid them down at the apostles' feet; and dis- the lowest exertion of benevolence, is in the retribution was made unto every man according as lief of beggars. Nevertheless, I by no means he had need." Acts iv. 32.
approve the indiscriminate rejection of all who Nevertheless, this community of goods, how- implore our alms in this way. Some may perish ever it manifested the sincere zeal of the primitive by such a conduct. Men are sometimes overtaken Christians, is no precedent for our imitation. It by distress, for which all other relief would come was confined to the church at Jerusalem; con- too late. Beside which, resolutions of this kind tinued not long there; was never enjoined upon compel us to offer such violence to our humanity, any (Aets v.4. ;) and although it might suit with as may go near, in a little while, to suffocate the the particular circumstances of a small and select principle itself; which is a very serious considerasociety, is altogether impracticable in a large and tion. A good man, if he do not surrender himself mixed community.
to his feelings without reserve, will at least lend an The conduct of the apostles upon the occasion, ear to importunities which come accompanied with deserves to be noticed. Their followers laid down outward attestations of distress; and after a patheir fortunes at their feet: but so far were they tient audience of the complaint, will direct himfrom taking advantage of this unlimited confidence, self, not so much by any previous resolution which to enrich themselves, or to establish their own au- he may have formed upon the subject, as by the thority, that they soon after got rid of this business, circumstances and credibility of the account that as inconsistent with the main object of their mis- he receives. sion, and transferred the custody and management There are other species of charity well conof the public fund to deacons elected to that office trived to make the money expended go far: such by the people at large. (Acts vi.)
as keeping down the price of fuel or provision, in II. The manner of bestowing bounty; or the case of monopoly or temporary scarcity, by purdifferent kinds of charity.
chasing the articles at the best market, and retailEvery question between the different kinds ing them at prime cost, or at a small loss; or the of charity, supposes the sum bestowed to be the adding of a bounty to particular species of labour,
when the price is accidentally depressed. There are three kinds of charity which prefer a The proprietors of large estates have it in their claim to attention.
power to facilitate the maintenance, and thereby The first, and in my judgment one of the best, to encourage the establishment, of families, (which is to give stated and considerable sums, by way is one of the noblest purposes to which the rich of pension or annuity, to individuals or families, and great can convert their endeavours,) by buildwith whose behaviour and distress we ourselves ing cottages, splitting farms, erecting manufactoare acquainted. When I speak of considerable ries, cultivating wastes, embanking the sea, drainsuns, I mean only that five pounds, or any other ing marshes, and other expedients, which the sum, given at once, or divided amongst five or situation of each estate points out. If the profits fewer farnilies, will do more good than the same of these undertakings do not repay the expense, gum distributed amongst a greater number in shil- let the authors of them place the difference to the lings or half-crowns; and that, because it is more account of charity. It is true of almost all such likely to be properly applied by the persons who projects, that the public is a gainer by them, whatreceive it. A poor fellow, who can find no bet- ever the owner be. And where the loss can be ter use for a shilling than to drink his benefactor's spared, this consideration is sufficient. health, and purchase half an hour's recreation for It is become a question of some importance, himself, would hardly break into a guinea for any under what circumstances works of charity ought such a purpose, or be so improvident as not to lay to be done in private, and when they may be made it by for an occasion of importance, e. g. for his public without detracting from the merit of the rent, his clothing, fuel, or stock of winter's pro-action, if indeed they ever may; the Author of our vision. It is a still greater recommendation of this religion having delivered a rule upon this subkind of charity, that pensions and annuities, which ject which seems to enjoin universal secrecy :are paid regularly, and can be expected at the - When thou doest alms, let not thy left hand time, are the only way by which we can prevent know what thy right hand doeth; that thy alms one part of a poor man's sufferings,—the dread may be in secret, and thy Father, which seeth in of want.
secret, himself shall reward thee openly.” (Mat. 2. But as this kind of charity supposes that vi. 3. 4.) From the preamble to this prohibition proper objects of such expensive benefactions fall | I think it, however, plain, that our Saviour's sole
design was to forbid ostentation, and all publish-, which are needful to the body; what doth i ing of good works which proceeds from that mo- profit?" (James ii. 15, 16.) tive. “ Take heed that ye do not your alms be 4. “That giving to the poor is not mentioned fore men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have in St. Paul's description of charity, in the thirno reward of your Father which is in heaven; teenth chapter of his First Epistle to the Corintherefore, when thou doest thine alms, do not thians." This is not a description of charity, but sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do, of good-nature; and it is necessary that every in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may duty be mentioned in every place. have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they 5. " That they pay the poor-rates.” They have their reward,” ver. 1, 2. There are motives might as well allege that they pay their debts: for the doing our alms in public, beside those of for the poor have the same right to that portion ostentation, with which therefore our Saviour's of a man's property which the laws assign to rule has no concern: such as to testify our ap- them, that the man himself has to the remainder. probation of some particular species of charity, 6.'“That they employ many poor persons;”and to recommend it to others; to take off the for their own sake, not the poor's otherwise it prejudice which the want, or, which is the same is a good plea. thing, the suppression, of our name in the list of 7. *** That the poor do not suffer so much as contributors might excite against the charity, or we imagine; that education and habit have reagainst ourselves. And, so long as these motives conciled them to the evils of their condition, and are free from any mixture of vanity, they are in make them easy under it." Habit can no danger of invading our Saviour's prohibition; reconcile human nature to the extremities of cold, they rather seem to comply with another direction hunger, and thirst, any more than it can reconcile which he has left us: " Let your light so shine the hand to the touch of a red-hot iron : besides, before men, that they may see your good works, the question is not, how unhappy any one is, but and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” If how much more happy we can make him. it be necessary to propose a precise distinction 8. "That these people, give them what you upon the subject, I can think of none better than will, will never thank you, or think of you for it." the following: When our bounty is beyond our In the first place, this is not true: in the secor:d fortune and station, that is, when it is more than place, it was not for the sake of their thanks that could be expected from us, our charity should be you relieved them. private, if privacy be practicable: when it is not 9. “That we are liable to be imposed upon." more than might be expected, it may be public: If a due inquiry be made, out merit is the same: for we cannot hope to influence others to the imi- beside that the distress is generally real, although tation of extraordinary generosity, and therefore the cause be untruly stated. want, in the former case, the only justifiable rea 10. “That they should apply to their parishes." son for making it public.
This is not always practicable: to which we may Having thus described several different exer- add, that there are many requisites to a comforttions of charity, it may not be improper to take able subsistence, which parish relief does not sup notice of a species of liberality, which is not ply; and that there are some, who would suffer charity, in any sense of the word: I mean the almost as much from receiving parish relief as by giving of entertainments or liquor, for the sake the want of it; and, lastly, that there are many of popularity; or the rewarding, treating, and modes of charity to which this answer does not maintaining, the companions of our diversions, relate at all. as hunters, shooters, fishers, and the like. I do 11. “ That giving money, encourages idleness not say that this is criminal; I only say that it is and vagrancy: This is true only of injudicious not charity; and that we are not to suppose, be- and indiscriminate generosity. cause we give, and give to the poor, that it will 12. “ That we have too many objects of charity stand in the place, or supersede the obligation, of at home, to bestow any thing upon strangers; or, more meritorious and disinterested bounty. that there are other charities, which are more use
III. The pretences by which men excuse them- ful, or stand in greater need." The value of this selves from giving to the poor.
excuse depends entirely upon the fact, whether 1. " That they have nothing to spare," i. e. we actually relieve those neighbouring objects, nothing for which they have not provided some and contribute to those other charities. other use; nothing which their plan or expense,
Beside all these excuses, pride, or prudery, or together with the savings they have resolved to delicacy, or love of ease, keep one half of the lay by, will not exhaust: never reflecting whether world out of the way of observing what the other it be in their power, or that it is their duty, to half suffer. retrench their expenses, and contract their plan, "that they may have to give to them that need :" or, rather, that this ought to have been part of their plan originally.
CHAPTER VI. 2. That they have families of their own, and
Resentment. that charity begins at home.” The extent of this plea will be considered, when we come to explain RESENTMENT may be distinguished into anger the duty of parents.
and revenge. 3. “That charity does not consist in giving By anger, I mean the pain we suffer upon the money, but in benevolence, philanthropy, love to receipt of an injury or ailront, with the usual efall mankind, goodness of heart," &c. Hear St. fects of that pain upon ourselves. James: “If a brother or sister be naked, and By revenge, the inflicting of pain upon the destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto person who has injured or offended us, farther them, depart in peace; be ye warmed and filled; than the just ends of punishment or reparation notwithstanding ye give them not those things require.
Anger prompts to revenge; but it is possible to justify the conduct in ourselves which we beto suspend the effect, when we cannot altogether fore blamed. Add to this, the indecency of exquell the principle. We are bound also to en- travagant anger; how it renders us, whilst it lasts, deavour to qualify and correct the principle itself. the scorn and sport of all about us, of which it So tirat our duty requires two different applica- leaves us, when it ceases, sensible and ashamed; tions of the mind; and, for that reason, anger and the inconveniences and irretrievable misconduct terenye may be considered separately.
into which our irascibility has sometimes betrayed us; the friendships it has lost us; the distresses and embarrassments in which we have been involved
by it; and the sore repentance which, on one acCHAPTER VII.
count or other, it always cost us.
But the reflection calculated above all others Anger.
to allay the haughtiness of temper which is ever “Beye angry, and sin not;" therefore all anger finding out provocations, and which renders anger is not sinful; 1 suppose, because some degree of it, so impetuous, is that which the Gospel proposes; and upon some occasions, is inevitable.
namely, that we ourselves are, or shortly shall be, It becomes sinful, or contradicts, however, the suppliants for mercy and pardon at the judgmentrule of Scripture, when it is conceived upon seat of God. Imagine our secret sins disclosed and slight and inadequate provocations, and, when it brought to light ; imagine us thus humbled and continues long
exposed; trembling under the hand of God; cast1 When it is conceived upon slight provoca- ing ourselves on his compassion; crying out for tions : for, "charity suffereth long, is not easily mercy; imagine such a creature to talk of satis provoked.”—“Let every man be slow to anger. faction and revenge; refusing to be entreated, Peace, long-suffering, gentleness, meekness, are disdaining to forgive; extreme to mark and to enumerated among the fruits of the Spirit, Gal.resent what is done amiss ;-imagine, I say, this, v. 22. and compose the true Christian temper, as and you can hardly frame to yourself an instance to this article of duty.
of more impious and unnatural arrogance. 2. When it continues long: for, "let not the The point is, to habituate ourselves to these sun go down upon your wrath."
reflections, till they rise up of their own accord These precepts, and all reasoning indeed on when they are wanted, that is, instantly upon the the subject, suppose the passion of anger to be receipt of an injury or affront, and with such force within our power ; and this power consists not so and colouring, as both to mitigate the paroxysms much in any faculty we possess of appeasing our of our anger at the time, and at length to produce wrath at the time, (for we are passive under the an alteration in the temper and disposition itself. smart which an injury or affront occasions, and all we can then do, is to prevent its breaking out into action,) as in so mollifying our minds by habits of just reflection, as to be less irritated by
CHAPTER VIII. impressions of injury, and to be sooner pacified. Relections proper for this purpose, and which
Revenge. may be called the sedatives of anger, are the fol All pain occasioned to another in consequence lowing: the possibility of mistaking the motives of an oflence or injury received froin him, further from which the conduct that offends us proceeded; than what is calculated to procure reparation, or how often our offences have been the effect of promote the just ends of punishment, is so much inadvertency, when they were construed into in- revenge. dications of malice; the inducement which prompt There can be no difficulty in knowing when ed our adversary to act as he did, and how power- we occasion pain to another; nor much in disfully the same inducement has, at one time or tinguishing whether we do so, with a view only other, operated upon ourselves: that he is suf- to the ends of punishment, or from revenge; for, fering perhaps under a contrition, which he is in the one case we proceed with reluctance, in ashamed or wants opportunity to confess; and the other with pleasure. how ungenerous it is to triumph by coldness or It is highly probable, from the light of nature, insult over a spirit already humbled in secret; that a passion, which seeks its gratification imthat the returns of kindness are sweet, and that mediately and expressly in giving pain, is disthere is neither honour, nor virtue, nor use, in re- agreeable to the benevolent will and counsels of sisting them :-for, some persons think them- the Creator. Other passions and pleasures may, selves bound to cherish and keep alive their in- and often do, produce pain to some one : but then dignation, when they find it dying away of itself. pain is not, as it is here, the object of the passion, We may remember that others have their pas- and the direct cause of the pleasure. This prosions, their prejudices, their favourite aims, their bability is converted into certainty, if we give fears, their cautions, their interests, their sudden credit to the authority which dictated the several impulses, their varieties of apprehension, as well passages of the Christian Scriptures that condemn as we: we may recollect what hath sometimes revenge, or, what is the same thing, which enjoin pressed in our minds, when we have gotten on the forgiveness. wrong side of a quarrel, and imagine the same to We will set down the principal of these pasbe passing in our adversary's mind now; when sages; and endeavour to collect from them, what we became sensible of our misbehaviour, what conduct upon the whole is allowed towards an palliations we perceived in it, and expected others enemy, and what is forbidden. to perceive; how we were affected by the kind "If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heaness, and felt the superiority, of a generous re- venly Father will also forgive you; but if ye forgive ception and ready forgiveness; how persecution not inen their trespasses, neither will your Father revived our spirits with our enmity, and seemed forgive your trespasses.”—“And his lord was