Page images

siderable town in this country, in which such a fund might not easily be raised for such a purpose.

On the whole, it may confidently be expected, that a system so fraught with advantages, and so clearly tending to the diminution of crime, and the peace of society, will gradually become prevalent amongst us ; a system of order, employment, classification, and instruction, protected by the judicious superintendence of benevolent and unpaid visitors. It were greatly to be lamented, should indolence on the one hand, or prejudice on the other, prevent the progress of so beneficial and so interesting a work. If the visiting committees, which this chapter is intended to recommend, be formed under the immediate notice of the magistrates, which must of course be the case ; and if their proceedings be conducted with prudence and perseverance, the feelings of distrust and jealousy, if any such be entertained, will soon make way for decided approbation and liberal support. All classes of society may surely be expected to unite, in promoting an object, in which they are all alike most deeply interested.

The great question is, Where are the laborers ?

Surely they may be found amongst benevolent and practical Christians of both sexes in every part of the kingdom. To them the appeal is made. If they feel it to be their duty to make the efforts which are here recommended ;--if they know it to be a duty (as indeed they must) perfectly consistent with the will of Him, who came " to seek and to save that which was lost,” they will be animated by that spirit, which will enable them to cope with difficulties, and they will depend upon that blessing, before which all difficulties will subside.

It must be repeated, that there, is indeed much evil and much affliction in the world, which loudly demand the kind attentions and sedulous exertions of all, who wish well to their fellow creatures.

Our Divine Master has declared to us a sufficient motive to all such efforts. “I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat ; I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink; I was a stranger, and ye took me in; naked, and

clothed me;
I was sick, and

visited me; I

ye was in prison, and ye came unto me. Verily, I say unto you, inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these.


brethren, ye have done it unto Me."

? In the confidence, that this appeal to Christian feeling and principle will not be in rain, I venture to suggest the following Resolutions as proper to be adopted on the formation of an Association to visit any prison.

1. Permission having been obtained from the magistrates, it is agreed, that an Association be now formed for the purpose of visiting the prisoners in the jail of

[ocr errors]

2. That the Association consist of two committees ; one of ladies, to visit the female prisoners; and another of gentlemen, to visit the male prisoners.

3. That the two committees consist of the following persons. 4. That both classes of prisoners be visited daily; and that the members of the committees visit in rotation and two together.

5. That the attention of the visitors be directed principally to the making of suitable arrangements for the instruction of the ignorant and the employment of the idle.

6. That a time be set apart every morning for the reading of the Holy Scriptures with the several companies of prisoners.

7. That the most orderly of the prisoners be appointed to act as monitors

that regulations be made by the visitors to prevent all swearing and gaming in the prison--and that no effort be spared to promote, amongst its inmates, the habits of quietness, regularity and submission.

8. That the committees endeavour to exercise a kind care over those persons who are discharged from the jail, and to assist in procuring, for such of them as appear deserving, some respectable means of maintaining themselves and their families.

9. That a fund be now raised to defray the expenses which will be incurred by this Association.

10. That the two committees submit a quarterly Report of their proceedings to the magistrates who superintend the jail.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]


&c. &c.


WE, the Commissioners appointed by Your Royal Highness for the purpose of considering how far it may be practicable and advisable to establish, within His Majesty's dominions, a more uniform systein of Weights and MEASURES, having obtained such information as we have been able to collect, beg leave to submit, with all humility, the first results of our deliberations.

I. We have procured, for the better consideration of the subject referred to us, an abstract of all the Statutes relating to Weights and Measures, which have been passed in the United Kingdoms from the earliest times; and we have obtained from the County Reports, lately published by the Board of Agriculture, and from various other sources, a large mass of information, respecting the present state of the customary Measures, employed in different parts of the United Kingdom. We have also examined the Standard Measures of Capacity kept in the Exchequer, and we have inquired into the state of the Standards of Length of the highest authority. Upon a deliberate consideration of the whole of the system at present existing, we are impressed with a sense of the great difficulty of effecting any radical changes, to so considerable an extent, as might in some respects be desirable; and we therefore wish

« PreviousContinue »