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Theatre, with an address previously published in the " True American,” intreating him to have an oration delivered in behalf of the poor; after which I wrote the following for a Circular, but it being too lengthy for a newspaper advertisement, I had another circular published in a handbill, as well as in the news-papers, and which follows the one first proposed.
With the most pleasurable sensations I read a few minutes ago, an advertisement of the Theatrical Managers in this city, purporting their intention to appropriate the profits of next Monday evening, for the relief of the poor this severe and distressing winter. They liave nobly imitated the example of the actors of New York, and merit the applause of all the friends of humanity. I have not learned how much the Managers of the New York Theatre collected for the poor, when Mr. Simson delivered his address on the stage in their favour; but this I know, that if the house was not full that night, it is a popular animadversion, and pointed reflection on the humanity of those who habitually attend theatres. That person's hcart must truly be inhuman, who
would not participate a favorite amusement, because perishing old age, and starving infancy, was to be relieved with the profits thereof. However the Managers of the New York Theatre merit as much admiration for their distinguished liberality, if they only collected seven cents for the poor on the above occasion, as if they collected seven thousand dollars, which a full house would have afforded. And the same may be said of Mr. Scudder, who most generously gave a night of his grand panorama, and one of his museum, for this godlike purpose, without any deduction. And Mr. R. Peale has informed me, that he will consult his father, and if it will
advisable on consulting him, he will also exhibit his admirable museum for the relief of the poor; and from the well-known urbanity and generosity of this respectable and ingenious family, I am morally certain, that this favour for the poor, which on my simple solicitation, was forthwith granted by the above establishment, will not be refused by Mr. Peale, unless there is some admissible cause therefor, should le grant my request, I hope his museum inay be crowded, as, if otherwise, while the act exhibited in glowing colours the donor's liberality, it would be a burlesque on the taste, and a pointed reflection on the humanity of 30,000 of the citi
zens of Philadelphia, who have not yet condescended to view this great school of nature; where an atheist was actually convinced of the absurdity of his doubts, by viewing the amazing architecture of Jehovah, displayed therein. I expect a short, but pathetic address prepared for the occasion, will be delivered next Monday evening by some of the Theatrical orators.
Before I close this circular, I would beg leave to suggest a thought to the clerical orators of Philadelphia in general. I will not say any thing relative to the extreme sufferings of the poor this winter. It would be an insult to the reader's understanding to suppose that be did not very well know the melancholy fact himself. But I would ask, is it not enough to manufacture whole corps of Deists, when they see the ministers and professors of the holy religion of our blessed Redeemer, look with a callous heart, dry eyes, and inactive hands, upon perishing humanity, while those who make no pretensions to sanctity are on the alert, like the good Samaritan, to relieve their poor miserable fellow worms? Can any reflecting mind help recollecting the beautiful parable of the good Samaritan, when they view the above contrast? or can the Almighty look upon such apathy, such paralizing insensibility in pitiless professors,
and especially ministers of his religion, without disgust, abhorrence and a frown? Although too many ministers richly merit this reproof, thousands of the citizens of Philadelphia have to their immortal honour be it spoken) most benevolently come forward, and largely contributed to the reJief of their suffering fellow-citizens this winter. I saw a list of poor families, visited and relieved by one of the managers of of the Female Hospitable Society,(Mrs. Baker, this winter, amounting to 165, and this amiable association, I expect, will relieve this winter 5,000 individuals. The Harmonic Society, as also the Male Hospitable and Benevolent Societies, as well as an as. sociation of “ Friends," have greatly contributed to alleviate the miseries the poor have endured through the calamity of war, and the extreme severity of this winter; and although too, too many clergymen have not delivered one charitable discourse in behalf of the poor, much less lave given a cent or a tear; there are others who have largely contributed by their private liberality as well as public oratory, to ease the sighing
of the poor.
It gives me delight to have it in my power to mention the names of Dr. Staughton and Brodhead in particular, who have been the faithful patrons and advocates of the amiable Female Hospitable, as well as other charitable societies; may kind heaven smile upon these lovely women and benevolent men. Yes, most assuredly if any thing can attract the approving smüe of God, it must be such disinterested philanthropy. I wish I could speak thus honorably of the clergy of New York, I waited upon some, sent private letters to others, and published four thousand lengthy and pathetic addresses to them all in behalf of the poor in vain, they heard my tale of woe, but would not understand; particularly one, whom I called upon, when he was putting on his sacerdotal silk and cambric, and going to personify our benevolent Redeemer, he treated my request with contempt, though a short address from him would have gained 1500 dollars for the poor, many of whom were perishing that time; particularly, a child who was absolutely frozen to death, begging from door to door in Cherry-street, New York, for a little food, perhaps to save a sick and perishing parent. Yet no doubt the professors, at whose doors she was begging relief in vain, and the ministers with whom I was humbly pleading, that they might plead the cause of the poor before their rich auditors, I say, no doubt, they have not the least apprehension that the Almighty, who counted the hairs of this little mendicant's head, såw