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Treatment, when they attempted to destroy the Works of the Devil, by teaching the Ways of Righteousness and Salvation to Mankind, They were despitefully ufed, contemptuously reviled, and cruelly persecuted. But still they went on, and in fpight of all Opposition, God working with them, they gained their Point, and the World was converted from Darkness and Idolatry, to Holiness and to the Worship of the true God. You are in a much better Condition than they were in this one Respect; They had the Powers of this World, who were against them, to contend with ; the Chief Priests and the Rulers of the People were their bitter Enemies. Whercas you have the Countenance and Encouragement of our most excellent KING, who has frequently, since he came to the Throne of these Kingdoms, caused it to be given in Charge to those in Authority, that they should see to the Execution of the Laws against Immorality and Prophaneness ; and you
have the sincere Wishes of all Good Men, for the Prosperity of your righteous Undertaking. They that are for youl, are more than they that are against you.
Even the Great God, and our Blessed Saviour, those lincere Lovers of Souls, are certainly pleased in beholding your pious and charitable Endeavours, to snatch unthinking and desperate Souls from the very Brink of Destruction. And since the holy Angels do rejoyce at the Conversion of one Sinner, how much, may we imagine, muft their Joy be encreased, to fee great Numbers of profligate Sinners, that were in the high Road to Ruine, reformed and amended by your prudent Care ; and by your charitable Concern for their Good and Safety, taught to be Holy and Wife and Happy? For as great as the Numbers of the Wicked and Prophane still are, it must be acknowledged to your Honor!r, and to that of several worthy Magistrates, that by your Vigilance and Care, and their hearty Concurrence with you in the Execution of the Laws against the Prophane and Ungodly, great Checks have been put to the Encrease of them.
Nor ought, other Good Persons, that have contributed to the maintaining of the CharitySchools, and the Governours of them, go without their Share of just Praise and Commendation on this Account. By the Means of which, notwithstanding all the Objections that have been inade against them, either by Persons peevishly disposed to find Fault, or else being evil-affected to Religion it self, are griev'd to see it prosper and flourish in the World; I say, notwithstanding all the Objections which have been made against them, I do not doubt to affirm, that many, very many of those fortunate Children, who have had their Education in them, and would otherwise have been in the greatest Danger of being carried away in the common Stream of Ungodliness, to their utter Ruine, (as other poor ignorant and neglected Children I fear too frequently have been) I say, many of them are now, by their Modesty, Sobriety, and Virtue, and Diligence in their Callings, great Ornaments to Religion, to the
Publick, and to the Places of their Education ; and I trust will hereafter make no incontiderable Number, in the general Assembly of the Blessed Saints above. For which Reason, I cannot but express it as my most earnest Wilh, that fo noble, so excellent, and so truly Christian a Design, may never be laid alide, so long as there are poor ignorant Creatures in the World to be taught and instructed, notwithstanding some smaller Inconveniencies that it may possibly be attended with.
While I joyn with great Numbers of Good Men in your just Praises, for the many excellent Services you have done, for the Honour of Ged, and for the Sake of declining Religion and Vertue ; Give me Leave, my Brethren, just to. mention one Great Scandal, worthy of all Good Mens most serious Thoughts, and most vigorous Endeavours to remove. To which if some timely Remedy be not applied, it will go near to blast all other the most laudable Attempts, to further a Reformation among the meaner Sort of People ; and that is, the vast Numbers of Shops for the selling of spirituous Liquors, in every Corner of the Streets, being of late Years encreased to an amazing Number. If these are permitted to go on uncontrolled, it is impossible for me to set forth to you the innumerable ill Consequences that will attend it. When instead of that Diligence in their Callings, that Sobriety and Vertue, which are yet to be found among many of them, nothing but Drunkenness, Uncicanness, Prophaneness, Dishonesty, Curling and Swearing, Ungovernableness, and what
ever else has an ill Name, and ought to b. dreaded by a wise People, as the Bane of Re ligion and Good Manners, and even of Societ itfelf, will in Time corrupt the Generality them to such a Degree, as will make it ver difficult ever to bring them to Sobriety as Temperance again, or to be so serviceable : the Publick, as they still are.
I most heartily with, therefore, that som Cure could be found out for this great, ani itill growing Evil, which every Body, wh thinks seriously of these Matters, cannot bu be sensible of the Necessity of.
I have nothing more now to add, but to recommend you, my Brethren, and all you most excellent Designs and Undertakings to the Favour, Prote&tion, and Blessing of Almighty God; and to pray that you, who have been the Instruments of promoting his Glory in this World, may in his good Time be made Partakers of his most gracious Promise, whereby he has assured us, that They, who turn man 10 Righteousness, Mall shine like the Stars fi ever and ever. Amen.
Now to God the Father, &c.