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The following Advertisement, by which the subject of the Prize Essay was first introduced to Public notice, appeared in Ten London Papers :
£100. PRIZE ESSAY.
THE fearful and growing prevalence of Juvenile Depravity, and the inadequacy of the various means hitherto employed to meet the evil, have long challenged inquiry, both as respects its causes, and the nature of the most probable and efficient remedies. No one conversant with the evidence furnished by our judicial tribunals, and with that accumulation of facts which is now accessible to every inquirer, can fail to corroborate the testimony of the highest authorities in the land, that the monster evil of our country, and the source, directly or indirectly, of the greater portion of Juvenile Depravity and Crime, is Intemperance. It is this tremendous agency which perverts, where it does not prevent, the benefits of Education, and is continually training up a succession of victims for the jail and the scaffold. It is a
vast national evil, which, in whatever light it is viewed, has long demanded a searching investigation. With a view, therefore, to engage an amount of labour and talent commensurate with the importance of the inquiry, a premium for the best Essay on the subject, is offered, of One Hundred Pounds.
THE circumstances in which this Essay originated are stated in the preceding Advertisement. Having consented to read the Essays which might enter into the proposed competition, we considered our duty to consist in the selection, not of such an one as should advocate the particular opinions which we might entertain on any of the subjects discussed, but of that which best satisfied the conditions stated in the Prospectus. In no other sense than this, do we hold ourselves responsible for the opinions advanced in the successful Essay.
Fifty-two Essays were sent in; and the usual precautions were taken for preserving the incognito of the writers, till we had given our decision. Some of the treatises were found to be elaborate and valuable, and it would give us pleasure to hear of their publication. But, taking into consideration its merits as a whole, and especially its general adap
tation to the avowed purpose of the liberal projector of the Prize, we had no hesitation in giving the preference to the following Essay; which we trust will prove serviceable to the great object contemplated by the Donor,—the direction, namely, of public attention to the fearful prevalence, and the possible amelioration, of the evil here exposed.
CHARLES JOHN VAUGHAN, D. D.
JOHN HARRIS, D. D.