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We were somewhat surprized to find, that our laws relating to these subjects are so full and so judicious, knowing how little is really done by those who have the charge of their execution. The appendix to Dr. Holmes' sermon, contains an address from the selectmen of the town of Cambridge to the citizens, in which we find a complete account of the laws of the commonwealth, accompanied by some extremely pertinent and sensible observations on the motives for their execution, and the proper method of treating, the poor in general. They have given an example well worthy of imitation in the vigorous measures they have taken to carry the legal provisions into full effect, and the success, we learn, is such as their exertions so well deserved. It must undoubtedly be a more difficult uadertaking to carry the same principles into operation in a place like this metropolis. The poor are in some respects of a different character from that which belongs to them in the country; their comparative numbers are greater ; a larger proportion of them are vicious and profligate ; and there are, besides, among them, crowds of foreigners of the very worst description.
With such materials it is difficult to determine, what arrangeinents can be made, wbich shall give to all constant and suitable employment. There must be in a crowded city a competition for all kinds of labour even among those who are able and industrious ; and those occupations, which most naturally offer themselves for that class of subjects of whom we are speaking, are apt to have an unfavourable influence on their health and habits. To the cultivation of the soil, however, in the present state of our country, there are no limits, and this ought to be the resort of those who have crowded other occupations beyond their means of support, or who, from their inisconduct or imprudence, have failed in obtaining a livelihood in their original pursuits. This in fact is the natural employment of man in his civilized state, and it is the foundation upon which all the other professions, which constitute the edifice of society, are reared.
We can only suggest the adoption of this expedient for the employment of the poor, as there may be objections which do not at present occur to us. It appears, however, to be recommended by some important considerations. But whatever me. thods may be devised, it ought to be an important part of any systematic attempt, not only to ameliorate ihe condition of the poor, but to raise the standard of character among them, to elevate their views, to keep them in remembrance--for too many seem inclined to forget it-that they have still some relation to human society, and are within the pale of social feeling ; above all, that they are still accountable moral agents to God as well as to man. There is a strange idea which seems frequent
ly to take possession of the minds of this class of people, that they are considered by the world as outcasts; that every thing which is afforded them, is given grudgingly, and slowly wrung from the unwilling hand of avarice. That it is given ihem because it is their right, and not from any motive of benevolence or compassion ; and they may therefore claim it without shame and receive it without gratitude. It would be difficult to eradicate such impressions from the minds of all, but something might gradually be done by employing only men of humane and liberal and enlightened feelings, in all the offices copnected with their superintendence and governinent, and by carefully directing the education of those who are born into a state of poverty and dependence,or whose situations in life render them finally liable to the same fate,
Our views as to education, are perhaps, io general, too entirely confined to the literary acquisitions of the young, and not sufficiently to the influence, which a variety of circumstances may have in preparing them for the fortune they are to meet with in life. The original education of all children seems to us too much alike. In our established institutions, those of all parents, of all ranks, and destined for all the gradations of society, are brought up together, and receive the same impressions both with respect to matters of knowledge, and the conduct of life. Their characters will probably therefore be formed from the same views, the same associations, and the same expectations. These circumstances alone cannot be supposed to have an exclusive influence, yet perhaps more than we should readily believe. Were a difference of education, between the children of different classes, established upon judicious principles and with regard to proper points, we feel assured that good effects would result froin it in the end. Education ought not merely to consist in the acquisition of a certain knowledge of letters, or of numbers, or of the art of writing; but also in the forination of such a character, the cultivation of such feelings, the establishment of such principles of conduct, as will prepare the individual for that rank in life which he is probably destined to maintain. In this way it might probably be made more interesting, as well as more profitable. Emulation would be confined to equals, and the children of all stations be fitted to become useful members of society; wbile at the same time a just regard would be maintained for the spirit of our republican institutions, and for the promotion of that laudable ambition, which encourages the efforts, and keeps the virtue, of the very humblest.
There seems to us scarcely any subject which so much deserves the attention of the legislator and the politician, as that
which we have just been considering. There is in the natural .constitution of society, no necessity for any pauperism, except such as is the inevitable consequence of misfortune, sickness, or old age. All other is 'produced by a departure from this constitution, and indicates some defect either in the moral, or political character of the cominunity. So far as the latter is in fault, it is certainly possible to amend it, and political regulations may also be so adapted as to have a powerful effect upon the former. It is melancholy to reflect, that so large a class of our fellow-beings, thus drag out their existence in dependence; to a certain degree, degraded below the level of their species, and this principally in consequence of their own follies or vices ; and that the evil instead of decreasing, is advancing with regular and rapid strides, whilst comparatively little is done to check its progress. That those measures, to which we are prompted by ibe natural benevolence of our nature, are totally inadequate, that they in fact only add fuel to the flame, is, we presume, without dispute ; that those of a different and more effectual nature ought to be adopted and carried into execution is, we hope, equally evident, and ought to meet with no opposition from those mistaken views of the nature of real benevolence, which continue to exist, only because they bave never been opposed.
From French Religious Magazines.
IN our last number, we communicated some extracts from two religious periodical publications, which have recently been commenced in Paris ; the one a Protestant, the other, a Catholic work. The following paragraphs are further selections from the same.
In the seventh number, of the Chronique Religieuse, there is a notice of the History of the Spanish Inquisition, by M. Llorente, just completed in four volumes. The reviewer speaks of it as a very valuable work. “Favourable circumstances," he says, “ have brought to light the secret, and most secret records of the Holy Office-deplorable monuments of a tribunal, whose existence is a scandal to the gospel. Thanks to a trust-worthy and courageous writer, we possess at last a History of the Spanish Inquisition.”
In the same number, there is a complaint respecting the representations made of the religious state of France, in a report delivered to the Missionary Society in London, September, 1813. The authors, it is observed, “ say, that ibey searched four days without finding a bible in our bookstores." "Where," it is asked, “ did they search? Without doubt in those bookstores where only medical or mathematical works are sold.” In others, some of wbich are specified, it is said they might have found immediately perhaps a hundred bibles, and some hundred copies of the New Testament.
The following is taken from the eighteenth number.
“ In our last number it was stated, that in Spain the custom had been suppressed of having a priest ready with the consecrated oil, in an apartment adjoining the avenue, when the bull. fights are carried on, in order to administer extreine unction to those combatants who should be mortally wounded. This statement was erroneous. Our latest accounts from Madrid attest that the custom still continues. Nothing more is wanted but to extend it to duellists ; and to place by the side of two men who are attempting to murder each other, a priest with the consecrated oil, in order to administer it to the one who shall be wounded ; who, without doubt, will be prepared by the action in which he has been engaged, to receive the sacrament in a very christian manner. Such customs are wortby of a country where the Holy Inquisition bas been reestablished for the purpose of maintaining purity of morals and doctrine.”
In the fifteenth number, there is some notice of the present state of Hayti. It is observed that in both divisions of the island, there is a zeal for establishing schools of mulual instruction, colleges, and Lyceums for instruction in ihe learned languages and bigher branches of knowledge. “Several works which deserve to be mentioned with respect, bave been published by blacks and men of colour."
“I am ignorant," says the writer, “what periodical works are published in the northern part of tbe island; but in the western, besides the Bulletin of the laws, there are le Telegraphe and l'Abeille Haitienne, (a political and literary journal, a miscellany of prose and verse) which would prove the aptitude and capacity of the children of Africa in literature and science, if these had not for a long time been made evident. The 21st number of l'Abeille Haitienne contains a poem on the immortality of the soul against the Materialists and other unbelievers.”*
The facts mentioned in the following paragraph show the liberal feelings with which the Protestants in France are regarded by the members of the royal family.
“ M. Marron, President of the consistory of the reformed church in Paris, having bad the honour of putting into the hands of the king, and of each of the members of the royal family, the peroration of his discourse on charity, recently delivered, has enjoyed the inexpressible satisfaction of announcing to the consistory, in the name of these august personages, the following benefactions for the poor of his church, viz. 1000 francs from her R. H. Madame, 800 francs from his R. H. Monsieur, 500 loaves of bread during each of the months of January, February, and March from his R. H. the Duke of Angouleme, and 500 francs from his R. H. the Duke of Berri. Our readers, touched by this act of benevolence, will perceive in it a proof of the interest, which our princes have wished to manifesi for all the Protestant Christians of the kingdom.”
The following notice is from the number of the Archives for April.
“ Mr. John Henry van der Palm, pastor at Leyden, and professor of the Oriental languages and of Hebrew antiquities in the university in that city, baving issvedeproposals during the last year for a new version of the bible into Dutch, in 3 vols. quarto, has had the satisfaction of obtaining in a short time 2200 subscribers for this honourable undertaking; a fact which proves equally the religious character of his countrymen, and ihe esteem and confidence with which he is regarded by them. These sentiments are justified by the numerous preceding works of this distinguished scholar, particularly his new Dutch translation of the Prophet Isaiah in 3 vols. 8vo. ; and several volumes of sermons. At the epoch of the reformation, there appeared a Dutch version of the bible, very remarkable for the time when it was made, and which the Dutch appear disposed to retain in use as a respectable model. Mr. van der Palm announces that he shall preserve its language as much as possible. During the last quarter of a century, various undertakings similar to that of Mr. van der Palm, that is to say complete translations of the bible, have been executed in Holland. We shall mention only those of Van Nuys Klinkenberg, Van Vlooten, and Van Hamelsveld.
* We should be much indebted to any friend and correspondent, who would furnish us with any number of the above-mentioned works, directed to the Editors of the Christian Disciple, care of Messrs. Wells and Lilly, Bostop,