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sist the people of colour to learn trades ; and to promote their improvement generally. The Cooper's business is already estab. lished with a view to that object, and several boys are learning to work at that employment. A primary school, supported at the publick expense is kept in the Reading Room by Miss Jeffries, a woman of colour belonging to Rev. Dr. Baldwin's church, com. posed of children picked up in that neighbourhood, and drawn out of the most degraded and wretched situations. A Sabbath School for adults is also taught there. A Sabbath School for coloured peo. ple has likewise been taught at the north part of the city by our Brother EDWARD Smith, under the patronage of this Society, a report of the state of which has been communicated by the Superintendant.* Many tender and affecting scenes have occurred during our labours among this portion of society :-Some times at the sight of the sick and miserable; , some times at funerals; and at other times in witnessing the hardness aod unfeeling hearts mani. fested in the abandoned lives of once apparently delicate and well bred females.
O! it is enough to affect the heart of a stone to witness the scenes of iniquity which are committed in our city. One case of an amiable youth, educated at a respectable Acadamy in Essex County in this state, was peculiarly affecting. During her linger. ing sickness she manifested the most distress of mind I ever wit. pessed, on account of her past conduct, and died overwhelmed with the most poignant regret ; but of doubtful repentance.
I have attended most of the monthly prayer-meetingscontinued my meeting at the Saii-loft, in the vicinity of Fort-Hill, on Lord's. day evenings-occasionally associated with the Rev. Mr. Jenks and others, in religious meetings, under the Bethel Flag-visited the Penitent Females' Refuge, and regularly performed any duties as
* Brother SMITH observes, in his communication to the Society, respecting the school in Robertson's Alley, “ It is now almost twelve months since the voice of prayer has been beard in the School Room every Sabbath, and the children, with adults, have assembled for instruction. The largest number that we have had since our last report, at any one time, is thirty-five. The whole number that we have on our roll is sixty-one. From that number, one has died; a man about thirty years of age. He hore his last sickness with christian fortitude, and appeared to be perfectly resigned to the will of heaven. He, I believe, gave good evidence to all in the neighbourhocd, ibat he died a Christian. Thus he has gone where he needs no more Sabbath School instructions. Since this school commenced, there has been a weekly school for the children supported by the town, and is under the direction of the School Committee. It is kept in the same room that we have for the Sabbath School. The Instructress is a professor of Religion, and closes her school with prayer. Our school has been visited by several gentlemen. Among the number, was Deacon Moses Grant, who appeared lo take a great interest in the school. He made us a present, to purchase some tickeis and small books for Rewards. Mr. HENRY J. OLIVEK has taken a deep interest in the school, and has visited it more or less ever since we conimenced. It is now under his direction for a few months, and I hope it may be more prosperous, that we may in future have something more pleasing to state to the Society. " From your Humble Servant,
66 EDWARD SITH.'
Chaplain of the State Prison. The limits of this commuication de not permit me to remark particularly upon these services. I would, however, observe that, there is evidently an increasing attention to the Gospel, among the Convicts in the State Prison. The Services in the Chapel are attended with interest. More than twenty of the Prisoners, by their diligence in business, redeeming time for that purpose, associate daily, for prayer and exhortation, in a room by themselves; and are desirous of distinguishing themselves by a conversation and a deportment becoming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Before I close this already too protracted Report, it may not be improper for me to say a few things relative to the work which is before us, and the future operatioas of this Society.
First. The preaching of the Gospel is the great mean, according to the appointment of Heaven, by which sinners are reconciled unto God. We should prudently do every thing in our power to promote this work—and that whether in large or small assemblies.It is an erroneous opinion that the gospel cannot be preached, except Meeting-houses first be built and great congregations established. Let us collect the people together in private or public houses, and gratefully improve such opportunities as Divine Providence inay afford us, to shew unto few or many the path of life. To point them to the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin nf the world. .
Second. In this work, so far as we, unitedly are concerned, spe. cial reference should be had to the condition of the poor, forlorn and outcast of society. Let no one object that this is a low and servile work. “It is a great thing," says an eminent Theologian, 66 to preach the Gospel any where," to any people. And in my opinion, the more ignorant, vicious and miserable the people, the more especially should our attention be directed to that people, and unremitted our exertions for their reformation. Never give up the case of a single individual as hopeless. The grasp of the Lion of the tribe of Judah can arrest the prey from the mighty, and the lawful captive shall be delivered. Let as then go to their houses, carrying the reproofs and instructions of the Scriptures to the haunts of vice and iniquity, and its consolations to the abodes of peniteni wretchedness, from which poverty and shame prevent the miserable occupants from going to places where the Gospel is preached, and its Sacraments administered. Many of those poor forlorn creatures would often listen to your instructions, and their countenances brighten at the annunciation of pardon through the merits of a compassionate Redeemer, conferred upon the wicked and uprighteous, wben they forsake their thoughts and ways, and return to the Lord for mercy and salvation.
Third. Constant exertions should be made to save the children from temptation, idleness, and iniquity. Evil communications corrupt, even, good manners. I have no doubt many a child has been lost upon the Hill through the criminal neglect of the people of God. And be assured many more will be lost there if we neglect our duty in this respect. I koow of no objects of usefulness in which we can more successfully engage than to snatch these tender flowers from the devouring Aames. O! my friends, do not leave these dear children for whom I now plead in their present situation-you can help them-you must help them. And could you see them I know you would help them. Corne, go with us and visit them. Let us see that they go to schools, to Sabbath Schools, and to meeting—that they have places for service and to learn trades, &c. The best way to bestow your charity upon the poor is to give them useful employment. Teach them the value of time and property, and to live by the industry of their own hands.
Fourth. In addition to the meetings in the Reading Room, let it be daily occupied from the time the primary school is dismissed until 9 o'clock in the evening, as a place of religious instruction for adults. It is an advantageous post. It is now and might be rendered still more so, a terror and dread to the wicked. Many youth and citizens and sailors who pass by that way might be inclined to listen to the words of life and turn away from the paths of death. If it could be known that there was a religious meeling held in that Room every pight in the week the effects would soon be visible upon the state of society in that part of the city.
Fifth, Exertions might be advantageously made by this Society, especially though the medium of the Reading Room, to accommodate seamen with suitable Boarding Houses, and induce them to save their wages, avoid bad company, form connexions and live respectably in the world. Some person should be employed to visit all the vessels in our harbour, and on every arrival be on board as soon as the custom-house officers are ; converse with the Captain and Officers-get the confidence of the Sailors-see that such as would associate with respectable people had every facility afforded them to such an intercourse. lo performing such services as those in which brother B. and myself have been unitedly engaged, and much of the service here narrated is lo be considered in that point of view, in which he has often stood in the front of battle and fearlessly attacked the consciences and crimes of the wicked and the services here recommended it is particularly desirable that they should be undertaken in union with other societies of a similar tendency, that the servants of the Lord might go out, at least, two by two. In such cases the prospects of success would be great.
Sixthly. Encourage, by our individual influence correct Discipline in the Churches. This is a very important subject in relation to these labours.
If these things are duly attended to, it is not a vain confidence to expect that we shall ineet some of the objects of our pity and subjects of our care in a state of future blessedoess-prepared by our humble efforts being made efficient through the influences of the Holy Spirit to join the song of the redeemed in glory :-Uoto him that hath loved us and washed us from our sins in his own blood.
Brethren, time is short! The year on which we have just entered is short-life itself is too short to accomplish the work before us. Let every heart be warm, and every band diligent. Amen.
SINCE the foregoing communication was written the state of things at West-Boston is increasingly favourable. A large house situated on the corner of Southark and Garden streets, nearly opposite the Reading Room, has been totally changed as to the character of its occupants : and a School established in the front shop which used to be much resorted to for ardent spirit and loose company. The feelings of the publick are more alive, and the prayers and labours of the pious more abundant, in relation to the state of society on the “Hill” as it is sarcastically and vulgarly called, than at any former period since the attention and efforts of a portion of the community have been specially directed to that object.
I regret extremely that the Ministers of the Gospel of all denominations, and christians generally, do not take a different view of the evils here referred to, and their appropriate remedies, than what some of them have hitherto done. With a view to encourage the friends already engaged, and to interest others in the same good work, I would respectfully invite the attention of the publick to a few extracts from the life of the Rev. Dr. Scott, in relation to his labours of a similar character.
Before I introduce these extracts, I take leave to make one remark, and from my connexion with the State Prison, as Chaplain of that Institution, and labour, among the poor and wretched since my residence in this city, I hope I shall not be thought intrusive when I apprise the reader that my judgment upon this subject is certainly entitled to some consideration. I do therefore say, in so many words, my opinion decidedly is, that the sink of iniquity at West Boston is the nost prolific source of PAUPERISM and CRIME that can be found in the state of Massachusetts..
DR. Scott, speaking in relation to the Lock Hospital says:
" On my return home from one of my irregular excursions, in September, 1785, I found a letter from the Secretary of the Lock Hospita!, written in the name of several governors, saying, that it had been resolved' to appoint a person to the office of morning preacher in the chapel, and visiting chaplain to the patients; that, from what they had heard concerning me, they were of opinion that I should be a very suitable person for the situation; and that it was their request that I would come to London, and give them the opportunity of hearing me. Nothing could be more contrary to my own views of what my peculiar talent, whatever it was, qualitied me for, than this proposal except as the poor patients were concerned. I therefore wrote a very plain answerį stating my views of the gospel, and my determination to speak my mind in the plainest language, wherever I might be called to preach; and my consciousness of being totally destitute of those attractions of manner and elocution, which such a situation demanded. My friends, who afterwards saw the letter, approved it inuch, except the last clause, in which I consented to come and preach, if the governors still desired it.-Accordingly I did go, and preached two sermons, in as plain and faithful a manner as I possibly could; without attempting any thing different from my homely style in other places. I really thought that this specimen would be sufficient; and I hoped good might be done to some individuals, by such addresses delivered in that place.
"In a few weeks the election took place: no other person was proposed ; and I was appointed, with only three opposing voices. This was unexpected; and I saw more and more reason on every consideration and inquiry, to conclude that, if I acceded to this appointment, I should be plunged into difficulties and trials of a most dismayiog nature. Yet I did not dare to give a direct refosal, without taking further advice on the subject. It might be an open. ing to more enlarged usefulness: and my own personal feelings must not be allowed much weight in such a case.
“I did not give any answer to the governors of the Lock till the last day, and almost the last hour, allowed me for deliberation.
" Whatever others jurged, my own people, who were most attached to me, and most grieved to part with me, were convinced that I was called by providence to remove, and that I did my duty in complying with it. I am not, however, myself to this day satistied on the subject. When I consider what a situation I inadvertently rushed into, I fear I did not act properly, and I willingly accept all my unspeakable mortifications and vexations as a merciful correction of my conduct, which, though not, in one sense, inconsiderate, yet shewed strange inattention to the state of parties, and other circumstances at the Lock; which, had I duly adverted to them, would have made me think it madness to engage in such a service.
"I had indeed imagined that I should, without much difficulty, procure a lectureship on the Sunday afternoon or evening, and perhaps one on the week-day; and I stood ready for any kind or degree of labour to which I might be called. But, wbilst almost all my brethren readily obtained such appointments, I could never, during the seventeen years of my residence in town, procure any lectureship, except that of St. Mildred's Bread Street, which, in ir manner, came to me, because no other person thought it worth applying for.
"Almost my whole comfort, as a minister, arose from my labours in the hospital, which, with all the disgusting circumstances of the service, were far more pleasing and encouraging to me, thau preaching in the chapel. I constantly attended twice in the week, each time preaching first in the women's wards, and then in the men's. I took the plainest portions of scripture, and spoke in a strain of close address to the conscience, and altogether in a manner, which I could never equal in any other place; and so as always to fix the attention, and often greatly to affect the hearts, of my poor profli. gate auditors. I concluded each address with an appropriate prayer. I was restricted by no rules : indeed I could not have acted to my