Page images

Euseb.-For that very reason I am so unwilling to trust to my own medicines. But I leave you till our next opportunity, with a sure persuasion, that prayer will place you in better hands.

J. B, S. .


O God, that fair land is defiled with fire,
That land which thy promise convey'd to our sire ; ,
And the infidel foot in thy Temple hath trod, :..
And in ruin lies Salem, thy seat, O my God!

For the flesh of thy saints hath been thrown to the beast,
And thy servants are slain that the vulture may feast :
Round Salem their blood rolls its dark-swelling wave;
There was no one to lay their remains in the grave,

We hear but the voice of reproach from the foe,
And Insult laughs loud at the sight of our woe ;
O God! shall thy wrath ne'er be turned to peace?
Burns the fire of thy jealousy never to cease?

Oh pour on the Heathen the flood of thy wrath,
Who own not thy law, por delight in thy path;
On the nations that never have call'd on thy name;
They have laid waste thy dwelling with sword and with flame,

We are low and in misery ; hear then our cry,
Oh forget our old sins, and in mercy be nigh; ;
For thy glory, O God, be thou mighty to save,
And snatch thy lost flock from the jaws of the grave.
Oh, why are the Heathen in triumph to boast?, "
Where now is that God who should lead on their host?
Let thy vengeance descend on each infidel head,
In the sight of mankind, for the blood they have shed.

Let the sighs of the captive ascend to thy throne,. .
And preserve thou that flock thou hast called thine own; .
Let the insults the heathen have heap'd on thy name
Be return’d on themselves, bringing ruin and shame..

So we that adore thee, and walk in thy ways,
Shall hymn the glad song to thy glory and praise ;
That while earth shall remain, and the heav'ns shall endure,
Thy glory, thy praise, may be lasting and sure. -

[blocks in formation]
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

A Conversation between Colonel English and Corporal Kent..?

Kent.-Mr. Brown, foreman to Clarke and Kennet, was telling, me the other day, please your honour, that the Poor Laws were the cause of all the distress, because they filled the country too full of people ; and that we should be much better off if they were put down. It is hard to come at the rights of things!

Col.-It is, indeed, Kent; but I am much inclined to think your friend, the foreman, not far from right. I am well convinced that the poor, instead of being really benefited, are essentially injured by the operation of the Poor Laws, as they are now administered."

Kent. And yet, your honour, there has been a Poor Law as long as I can recollect.

Col.-Yes; and beyond the times of your recollection, or of your mother's either; for there has been one ever since the time of Queen Elizabeth. It originated in the most benevolent intentions ; but the end proposed to be effected by it is one which in time must become utterly impracticable. It professes to supply with employ.. ment and support all who may be destitute of them. Now you must at once perceive, that after a certain time this becomes impossible." When a country is become so populous that every branch of trade is overstocked with hands, the supernumerary population can only be supplied with work at the expense of the others : that is, instead of every man having full and regular employment for every day of the year, so as to bring in for him and his family a comfortable provision, it must be divided between him and his neighbour, that all may have a subsistence. And yet this delusive promise of support held out by the Poor Law, has a powerful effect in producing this superabundant population. Do not you think yourself, that many marry in a most improvident way, without any thing before them, or even a bed of their own to lie upon, in the foreknowledge that the parish is bound to support them and their children, if they cannot support them- : selves ? ·Kente- I know it is so, your honour. There is Bates's son, Will, only just nineteen, declares as soon as eyer work is brisk again he will marry Sall Wilmot, an untidy hussey of a girl, that knows how to do nothing but stick pins in a paper, with a slut of a mother, that never taught her even how to steam a pot of potatoes. His father wants him to wait two or three years, till he has got something before

VOL. 1.


him to furnish a room with, instead of going into lodgings ; but he says he can do that as well after they are together as before ; and that if he gets into trouble, the parish is bound to help him as well as another. So there is no making him take warning. And there was Frank Williams did just the same last year ; but his poor wife died this winter in her lying-in of twins, for want of proper comforts they said, and one of the babes' with her; the other poor thing is left to pine a little longer: it would be a mercy if it was taken, for there is nobody to look after it but a little sister of his, that is not big enough to go to the factory. But, your honour, I am thinking, that for all there has been a Poor Law ever since I can recollect, it was not always the custom for every body to look to it as they do now. As the old lady, my mother, says, people make no more now of receiving from the parish, than in her young days they used of receiving a piece of beef at Christmas from the Squire. In her youth, parish pay was altogether looked upon as a disgrace ; while now the wonder is if a person does not receive it. I don't seem to make that out; is it altogether on account of the increased population, your honour ?

Col.-Not altogether, I conceive. You remember the distress of the year ninety-five ? ·Kent.--Aye, sure, your honour; it was the year I listed, owing to the scarcity and the hard winter, that turned so many out of work.

Col.-Well; the very high price of the necessaries of life during the whole of the year 1795, particularly of bread-corn, produced a general demand for parochial assistance; which was granted at that time, not only to the aged and infirm, but to the strong and indus. trious; of whom few had ever before applied to the parish for relief; and that only during temporary illness. It was at this time of aca knowledged difficulty, that the Magistrates of Berkshire introduced the system, which has since become general in the country, almost throughout England, of relieving the poor, according to a scale regulated by the price of bread and the size of the family. . .

Kent.--I think, your honour, that was what my son George, that is settled in Somersetshire, wrote to me about. He said his wages was but ten shillings a week from the farmer, but they made it up from the parish to fifteen ; for he has but himself, and his wife, and three children : but he said they that had larger families got more, for they reckoned they must have in the proportion of six gallon loaves for five people. I thought it was very well, but he did not write contented; for he said on this plan the idle were as well off as the industrious, and that there was a fellow in the parish that was so idle and dishonest nobody would employ him; yet, because he had five children and a wife, got from the parish what lie ought to have earned, and the allowance money besides ; so that he received a pound. He said that in some of the neighbouring parishes they were not so liberal, and the people were discontented.

Col. And he did not tell you, that in others the high rates neces. sary to supply this ratio of relief had ruined the farmers ; for this has been the case in some places : and where the farmer is ruined, the effects must be felt through the whole community. In the first place, for the time that the farm remains untenanted, its produce is lost to the country; then the landlord loses his rent; and there is so much the less demand for the different articles of trade or manufacture, upon which he had been used to expend it. But the worst effect of this system is in the exuberant population which it creates ; and which presses into the towns, furnishing a supply of hands, beyond any possibility of demand, in any species of employment or manufacture; and lowering wages, by destroying all kind of compe. tition for labour.

Kent. And yet, your honour, we did not seem so overstocked ; people seemed to find something to do till the peace came. i Col.-Yes ; because the continual demand for men for the army and navy, for the last twenty years, carried off the superfluous hands; and also, because from a combination of circumstances, arising out of our peculiar situation during the war, there was an extraordinary demand for our manufactures. Both of these causes acting together, prevented the ill effects of the system your son wrote, to you about, from making themselves felt in the degree they would otherwise have done. Now, that things find their natural level, its evils are felt in their full extent; together with those arising from that thoughtless improvidence indulged in by the manufacturers, when wages were high and labour in demand.

Kent.--Some people talk a great deal of the benefits of emigra. tion; but I don't know, your honour, I don't seem to fancy leaying my own country for any other.

Col. To be sure, my good fellow, it is more desirable, if people can at all contrive to make all ends meet, to stay at home; but it is better than starving, and will be better still for their children : and after all, it is no more than many of their superiors are obliged to submit to. Of those who go to India, how large a part of their lives is spent in a most enervating climate, without half the comforts and advantages held out by Government to those who settle in New Holland or at the Cape. They go, it is true, with the hope of return ing ; but if they do live to return, it is but to a joyless life : health shattered ; old connexions gone, and broken up, and forgotten. Believe me, Kent, the middle ranks of society undergo quite as severe privations to maintain their place in the community, in a fully peopled country like this, in which God shas cast our lot, as those in the lower classes are called to, to preserve their independence. Look at my three sons, for instance; they would have been as glad to have settled earlier in life, as any of their inferiors; but they knew they could not do it, and support the women of their choice in the rank in which they had been accustomed to move. We do not ask you to practise in this, or in any other respect, more self-denial than we set you the example of, nor than is absolutely necessary for those who do not wish to see their children, suffering from squalid and unwholesome poverty in a populous country like this. One

great part of the compensation of a new country is, the facility it affords for marrying at an early age, and bringing up children. . * Kent.— Yes, please your honour, I have heard that in America the larger the family a man has, the better it is for him. " · Col. Or rather, was ; for the recent accounts from that country represent it to be suffering as greatly as our own. Without capital, new lands cannot be taken into cultivation, nor the produce, when settled, disposed of.

Kent. -The people from Botany Bay write home very fine accounts.

Col. They do so ; but you will qualify them by recollecting tbat we have them principally from those interested in making the best of it; from men who, if they could persuade their wives to come out to them, would become free settlers. At the same time, they would not wish for this, if the country did not hold out advantages. But all who emigrate should prepare themselves to expect difficulties : new complaints; a new climate; a different state of society; the very change in the articles of diet, and in the general face of the country, is trying, particularly to women. In America, there is in addition to be encountered, the narrow jealousy of a cold-hearted people, who particularly hate the English; and the want of religious ordinances, to which, in all probability, the Cape settlers will not be exposed. But after all, Kent, this world is not our rest; it is a world of difficulty and trial : we must expect to meet them in one shape or other, all through our pilgrimage ; and any unlawful and upscriptural methods of attempting to get rid of them, originate in a very partial view of the value of this life, compared with that of the next. You know the Apostle says, 6 I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to be revealed.”

Kent.-- Very true, your honour; and I often think to myself that, with all the national trials that are laid upon us, there is one compensation, if we did but think of it rightly, that should make us bless God that we are born Englishmen; and that is, that we have the Gospel preached so plainly, and the Bible in our hands; for what do all the comforts of this life signify, if a man dies without the knowledge of Christ, and sinks into everlasting misery?


To the Editor: Sın,-There is nothing more salutary in prosperity, or more consoling under misfortune, than a practical conviction of God's superintending care of his creatures, or in other words, the belief of a special Providence. Every one who can think or feel, and who knows how to exercise himself in the review of his past life, must often be struck by the ropéátéd proofs of Divine interference in the regulation of his

« PreviousContinue »