« 上一頁繼續 »
tions, I would refer the reader to the 5th Chap. of my Beauties of Philanthropy, 2nd edition; and the 3d Department of my Charms of Benevolence, 5th edition, for more copious arguments in favour of the above society; and also, the Female Hospitable Society, the latter of which bas, in a few years past, expended 13,000 dollars in relieving many thousand poor families, and establishing a judicious Cotton Manufactory, for the employment of female orphans, widows, and soldiers' wives; and may the , source, and sum total of benevolence, reward them here and hereafter, for their labour of love! May their death-beds be reudered beds of roses, and their graves the gates of paradise !
Notwithstanding my unspeakable unworthiness, and base ingratitude to the best of Beings, I feel impelled by some good spirit, to send these expostulations in the form of letters, to a number of individuals who are intrusted with wealth, for the relief of their indigent fellow-creatures, but have purloined the same, and keep it in reservation for heirs, who do not stand in need thereof, and will not thank then therefor; and who now perhaps, wish them dead, that they may in. herit their riches : and when they do possess their enormous wealth, which may now be a blessing to thousands of weeping wi.
dows, naked, cold, and hungry orphansit will be their snare and their destruction, unless they use it as merciful almoners of a merciful God. Thus, by a just re-action of Divine Providence, a curse attends that which is purloined from the poor, both to him who accumulates and hoards it'up, and he who spends it: and oft-times, those heirs, who were pious when poor, become penurious when rich. I know a man, who, when worth about half a dozen dollars, paid regularly to our benevolent institution, his fifty cents per quarter, and since he was left half a million by his rich uncle, I believe he has not paid half a cent. Another poor rich man, worth a hundred thousand dollars, was entreated by a friend of mine, a pious preacher, for a small lot of his extensive farm on the banks of the schuylkill, to erect a meeting-house upon, but he refused, and soon after he died, and left his wealth to distant relations, who pitied and despised him while living, and disregard him now he is dead. Many more such cases might be adduced.
Ye wealthy men, to whom I intend to send these expostulations, I call upon you in the name of your POOR UNHAPPY FELLOWMORTALS! And, I adjure you in the name of that GOD, before whose bar you will soon and shortly be arraigned, to give a strict account
of your stewardship, to distribute a little of your superfluous wealth for the support of the above society, which is nodding to its fall for want of your assistance. Sickness will seize, and medicine will soon fail you, and you will be compelled to leave your wealth, to be a curse to some unthankful heir, which would now be a blessing to thousands of your poor unhappy fellow-more tals, and bring their grateful benedictions upon your head, and the pleasures of bene yolence would be your sure reward: For,
"No greater pleasure man on earth can know,
Than that of feeling, and relieving woe !". and to crown all, conscience would smile, and create an intellectual heaven to your supreme consolation. You may, and many of you no doubt will, throw these lines from you with contempt, but rest assured, you will think of them on your dying beds, or, at least at the BAR of your Plaintiff, Judge and Witness, and that sooner than you now apprehend.
Are they not a disgrace to the best of causes, who profess religion, and yet, by their actions, demonstrate, that they are devoid of common benevolence. In ono word, are they not IMPOSTORS! without any manner of doubt. See Walker's dictionary, for the etymology of the word IMPOSTOR, viz. “ One who cheats by a fictitious charuc. ter." He who professes to be religious, and of course a saint, and yet lives in the habit. ual breach of the seco;d commandment, is he not a mental liar, a sinner, an impostor? And he who keeps all but the second one, and breaks that, is he not guilty of the whole? Will not one leak sink a ship? One sin offend God, in whose sight we are always pleasing or displeasing?' When we cease from sin, pleasing-when we coinmit it, displeasing: and no sin is more hateful to Hiin, than inhumanity; the same as a kind father would abhor nothing in his children so much as a want of brotherly kindness. Can a man love his neighboar as himself, and of course do as he would be done by, and yet feed and pamper with needless luxuries himself and children, and know at the same time, his neighbour and his children are suffering for want, without relieving their necessities? Or can that professor who has hoarded up thousands of dollars, and a superfluity of food, fields, furniture, &c. possess religion? (I mean that charity which seeketh not her own, is more willing to give a gift than receive one, and receive an injury thian give one) and know in his soul, that many of his fellow citizens and their children are suffering for want of his superfluities ? It is impossible.
A man may possess benevolence, and be devoid of a spark of pure religion! (I mean a total annihilation of selfishness, which is the general idolatry of the world, for the dawn of religion, is the denial or mortification of self, but its meridian is a total crucifixion, or annihilation of self ;) But it is impossible to possess a spark of religion, and be devoid
a benevolent disposition! I feel a spontaneous, propensity to compassion, but there is no religion, no virtue, no merit in it-it is natural to me. The native language of my heart is
“ And Oh my God is there no hour
To make me greatly bless'd,
To succour the distress'd.
“ In vain, alas! my heart o'erflows
With useless tenderness;
Nor cannot make them less.
“ But I this torture must endure;
'Tis not reserv'd for me,
And set the pris'ner free!" If a person has not grace to keep all the commandments, is it not better for him honestly to take the station of the publican in the gospel, and humbly pray, “God be merciful to me a sinner," than to act the im