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Life and Letters.
BY VICESIMUS KNOX, D. D.
MASTER OF TUNBRIDGE SCHOOL, AND LATE FELLOW OF
ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, OXFORD.
Hæc, ubi quid datur oti,
IN TWO VOLUMES.
No. 110 PEARI-STREET:
Life and Letters. .
ON RECENT INSTITUTIONS FOR CHARITABLE
Sui memores alios fecere merendo. Virg. F any one should be disposed to censure with uncha
I should wish to lead him through the environs of London, and point out to him the modern palaces erected for the poor and afflicted of all denominations. These, I would say, are the trophies of Christianity; and these, we are taught to hope, will cover a multitude of sins, and plead powerfully in favor of transgressors at the mercy seat of the Most High.
I was walking one fine morning in St. George's Fields, when the sun shining delightfully, gilded, the spires of the numerous churches in my view, and seemed to smile on the windows of the various public edifices devoted to charity around me; when I could not help exclaiming, Surely the great Father of us all, when he looks down with indignation on the crying sins of yon great city, will turn with complacency to these monuments of charity, and blot out whole pages from the tremendous volume, where he records the offences of his favorite creature.
I went on musing on the multitude of charitable institutions by which this country is honorably distinguished ; and, though former times have many illustrious exVOL. II.
amples of munificence to produce, yet I congratulated myself on beingborn in an age in which Christian charity never shone in works of allowed public utility with greater lustre.
I confined myself, amidst the multitude of noble examples which occurred, to those which have appeared with. in a few years, and which have been seen in their origin, by the race of mortals now alive.
One of the first which was suggested to my memory was that of Mr. Hetherington. I do not recollect that any particular provision had been made for the necessitous blind, laboring under the additional burden of old age; though, from the dictates of common sense and the example of our blessed Saviour, it might obviously have been concluded, that the blind are in a peculiar manner objects of Christian charity.
Mr. Hetherington has provided comfort for fifty of these objects in perpetual succession, by an annuity of ten pounds a year each, during the remainder of their dark pilgrimage. He set a noble and almost singular example by bestowing his benefaction while he was yet alive, and the example has been most honorably followed by Mr. Coventry, who has made a similar provision for thirty more, with a like exemplary bounty during life.
He again has been imitated by a benefactor, who chusing to do good clandestinely, has alleviated the misfortune of an additional thirty, and left it to heaven only to record his name. Others also have added to the store.
At the very mention of Jonas Hanway, all that is benevolent rises to the recollection. The Marine Society has two effects so important, the providing for the poor vagabond, and the raising of a nursery of seamen, that it is no wonder the name of Hanway, to whom it owes its greatest obligations, is held in high rank among the charitable benefactors to this country.
Who ever ventured to appear the public advocate of the chimney-sweeper but Jonas Hanway ? The poor infant of five or six years old, without shoes or stockings, almost naked, almost starved, driven up the narrow fue of a high chimney, driven by the menaces and scourges of an imperious master, and sometimes terrified with flames! Think of this, ye mothers who caress your in. fants in your laps; and, at the same time, exert your