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may do something towards banishing poverty and its woes. For this end, let him steadily exert his influence to discourage sloth. intemperance, extravagance and dissipation, and to promote industry, sobriety, economy, habits of order and self command, and that honorable independence of mind, which disdains to receive from bounty what it can obtain by its own exertions. Contributions to this moral improvement of society are of more value than contributions of wealth. By these, and these alone, we may carry comfort, health and cheerfulness, into dwellings, which now repel us by their filth and misery.

It is not however possible that by these or any efforts, poverty will be wholly banished from the earth. Do what we will, some will be reduced by their vices, and some by the hand of God. To this last class, who are impoverished by events beyond their control, we owe a tender sympathy and liberal aid. If possible, we should place them in a condition which will enable them again to support themselves. Dependence is a wretched and debasing state, and when a poor man is disposed to rise above it, we should, if possible, give him the means by one great act of bounty, instead of dispensing alms in trifling sums, which, hardly supporting him, accustom him to lean on charity. Where this is impracticable, we should relieve the virtuous poor in methods which tend least to degrade them. We should treat them with tenderness and reVol. IV. No. 4.


spect, and help them to maintaiu a just respect for themselves. We should enable them to appear with decency in the streets and in the house of God, and by furnishing a degree of occupation, should save them from the dangers of idleness, and from the humiliating consciousness of a wholly useless and dependeut life.

With respect to that class of poor, who are reduced to want by vice, our duty is much more difficult. Because guilty, they must not be abandoned; but relief must be communicated with a cautious and sparing hand, so as to afford no encouragement to improvidence; and it should seldom or never be given in the form of money, for this would furnish fuel to their worst vices. Christian benevolence should spare no effort to awaken moral and religious feeling, a fear of God,


sense of their degradation and danger, and a strong purpose of amendment and virtue in the breasts of this most miserable portion of our race. All of them are not hardened beyond hope. Some have fallen through inconsideration. Some have received early impressions of piety, which vice has not wholly erased. Some have abandoned them. selves to an evil course through despondence; and tenderness and encouragement may recal them to an industrious, sober and upright life.

One other mode of benefiting the poorer classes of society remains to be mentioned. Attention should be given to the education of their children. The

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condition of the children of the vicious poor has been adverted to, in the course of this essay. Helpless! beings what heart, which has human feeling, does not bleed for them! Living in filth, breathing an atmosphere which is loaded with the fumes of intemperance, left to wander in the streets without restraint, never perhaps hearing the name of God, but when it is profaned, what misery awaits them! Even the children of the virtuous poor are sometimes of necessity neglected. Should not the diseiples of that Saviour, who took little children into his arms and blessed them, be solicitous to provide some shelter and protection for this exposed and tender age? One excellent method of saving from destruction the children of the poor, is to open schools for them, under the care of prudent and well-principled teachers. In this way they are taken from the streets, are accustomed to restraint, are taught the decencies of life, and receive


instruction, which though it may seem limited, yet serves to quicken their minds, aids their future occupations, and may be a foundation of great future improvement. The mode of teaching introduced into England by Mr. Lancaster, and which is now extended to many thousands of poor children at a wonderfully small expense, might be very advantageously applied in this country. The more that we are conversant with the poor, the deeper will be our conviction, that their children deserve our first attention. The parents, advanced in life, have formed a character, which cannot easily be changed. But the child, untainted by bad habits, and open to new impressions, may be moulded, may be improved. What better work can benevolence perform, than to rescue the neglected child from degradation and misery, to train it to a useful and holy life, and thus to direct it to a blessed immortality.


To the Editor of the Christian Disciple.

I BELIEVE there are sentiments in the following poem, not only congenial to your private feelings, but also coincident with the great object, to which, as a "Friend of Peace," you have devoted your heart and pen. If the effusion can cooperate in the least degree with your laudable plans to diffuse a pacific spirit, I have no doubt the author will pardon the liberty which I take, in enclosing it for the Disciple. It should be previously observed, that the lines were written in October, 1813, when news had just arrived of some bloody successes on our frontiers.


Oн, welcome the warrior, who proudly advances,
Victorious from battle, a lord o'er the foe!
As the sun o'er a darken'd creation he glances,
For the strong and the valiant his arm has laid low.

Oh! haste to the warrior, with bright laurel grace him,
For the mighty are vanquished, the timid have fled,
As a chief of the earth, as a savior address him,
And let haloes of glory encircle his head!

He has brav'd as a rock all the force of the battle,
And foes from his side fell like showery foam;

Around him has sounded war's thundering rattle,
But he stood in the storm like the sky-threatening dome.
Men, raise your deep voices in praise of his glory!
And women, in reverence, bow at his name;
Children, in lispings, reecho the story,

And nations, attend to the trump of his fame.

His praise shall extend over land and wide ocean,
And princes will listen in wonder and joy ;
In ages to come 'twill be heard with emotion,
And youth sieze the sword all his foes to destroy.
Already your shout heaven's concave is rending,
And the hero's great name is repeated around!-
But hark! as I listen, a wild shriek is blending!
Another! another! increases the sound.

Oh heaven! the moans of the wounded and dying,
Are mix'd with the plaudits that swell in the air;
Wife, children, and friends, mid the tumult are crying,
"Death, death, to the conq'ror, who makes our despair."

I listen-and fancy assists the faint mourning

Of an infant, whose parents are torn from the world,
Again-but now hoarser the sound is returning-
A sinner's dark soul from its mansion is hurl'd.

Again, a wild shriek! 'tis the grief of a lover,
Who, a maniac, wails for the youth of her heart,
In fancy she seems his cold body to cover

With the sear leaves of autumn that fluttering depart.

And is it for this that the laurel is given?

When man turns a murderer and foe to his kind?
For this does the shout of applause reach to heaven?
From creatures for reason and virtue design'd?

Blush, hero, blush, while thou fancy'st before thee
The beings thy conquering arm has annoy'd,
Who frantic with want and affliction implore thee,
To give back the happiness thou hast destroy'd.

See fatherless infants that cling to their mothers,
While mothers stand shuddering and pale at thy name:
See groups o'er the embers their eagerness smothers,
Who wail at thy praises, and weep at thy fame.

And what is the glory resplendent around thee?

A glittering meteor that fades in its blaze:

The light foam of waves whose bright sparkles surround thee, Then dash on the shore, and disperse at thy gaze.

'Tis a rainbow, which brilliant near twilight appearing, For a moment is form'd by the sun's friendly ray,

But the orb disappears with its brightness so cheering,
And darkness succeeds to the splendor of day.

Will the proud shout of triumph give joy to thy heart,
When misfortune or sickness has prey'd on thy frame!
The charm is but transient, its spell will depart,
And successors more honor'd arise to thy farne.
Be a patriot at home, and assist in those laws,
Which teach us religion, and virtue, and peace;
Be just to thy country, and warm in her cause,
But spill not her blood, and bid battle to cease.

Be a hero in virtue, and stars shall appear,

That will sparkle around thee in life's darkest day,

And though shouts of applause may not welcome thee here,
The praises of angels are sweeter than they,

Oh, conquer THYSELF, and a sun shall be given,
That will gild with its brightness thy life to its close,
Direct its full rays of devotion to heaven,

Till there they are kindled to know no repose.

Watertown, October 15th, 1813.


A Circular Letter from the Massachusetts Peace Society, respectfully addressed to the various associations, presbyteries, assemblies and meetings of the ministers of religion in the United States.

Respected fathers and brethren,

THE Massachusetts Peace Society now addresses you on a subject of the first importance to the interests of Christianity and the happiness of the world

The crimes and desolations of war have long been a subject of deep regret and lamentation to reflecting Christians. The incessant havoc of human life and human happiness, produced by the custom of settling controversies by the sword, must shock the mind that is not dead to benevolent sympathies and deaf to the cries of suffering humanity, or bewildered by some deplorable delusion.

How great a portion of the history of Christendom is filled with narratives of sanguinary dee !s, at the thought of which benevolence recoils and religion weeps! How have thousands af ter thousands, and millions after mil. . lions, bearing the name of CHRISTIANS, been sacrificed on the altars

of military ambition and revenge! How have provinces been plundered and depopulated-cities laid in ashes or sacked, unoffending men, women, and children exposed by thousands to indiscriminate butchery, brutality and insult, to gratify the savage and licen tious passions of conquering and ferocious armies! Can any intelligent Christian reflect on the immense slaughter, desolation, opppression, and distress occasioned by the wars of Christendom, and not be compelled to exclaim, Does our benevolent religion justify such scenes of wanton barbarity! And "shall the sword de vour forever!"

Whatever diversity of opinion may exist among Christians, as to the right of self defence, must they not all ad mit, that the spirit of war and revenge is the reverse of the spirit enjoined by the gospel? When the benevolent, peaceful character of our Lord is com pared with the warring character of

the nations professing his religion, how awful is the contrast! Must it not fill the mind with astonishment, anxiety, and alarm? Could a spirit more hostile to the gospel have been exhibited by these nations, had they been avowedly Pagans or Mahometans?

By reflecting on the present state of the Christian world and the causes and effects of war, the members of the Massachusetts Peace Society have been led to hope, that something may be done to correct public opinion, and at least to diminish the evils of this Scourge of nations and of humanity. Encouraged by this hope, they have been induced to unite their exertions in diffusing sentiments of "peace on earth and good will among men." In this great work they need, and they earnestly invite, the aid of the ministers of religion of every denomination. The objects of the society and the means to be employed for their attainment, are stated in the Constitution, which will accompany this Letter. If the following inquiries and observations should seem to imply a fault on the part of Christian ministers, still nothing of the nature of reproach is intended Many, who are represented in this address, have known by expe⚫ rience the power of education and of popular custom; and they can sympathize with others, who have been subjected to the same influence. Such candor as they need, they are disposed to exercise. If in any instance the language which may be adopted shall appear too strong, you are requested to impute it to an abhorrence of an unchristian custom, and not to disrespect towards Christian brethren.

From the history of mankind it is clear, that whether a nation be professedly Pagan, Mahometan, or Christian, the acknowledged ministers of religion have an extensive influence in supporting or reforming popular cus toms. And may it not be said, that according to their influence must be their responsibility?

The Mahometan Priests may encourage war, and not be chargeable with violating the principles of their own religion; but can this be affirmed

of the ministers of the Prince of peace? Does not his heavenly religion lay the axe directly at the root of that tree, whose fruit is war? Does it not require of all his disciples a temper as opposite to the spirit of war, as light is to darkness, or as love to hatred?

May it not then be feared, that from the influence of education, or some other cause, the ministers of religion in Christendom have failed of duly perceiving and exposing the odious nature of war, and its contrariety to the peaceful spirit of the gospel?

It may indeed be true, that in every sermon which they have preached, something has been expressed or implied in opposition to war But have they been sufficiently careful to make it understood, that the spirit of war, and the spirit of the gospel, are at variance? Have they indeed clearly understood this themselves? And have not many of their hearers been left to imbibe or retain the Mahometan doctrine, that those who die in battle, whatever their characters may have been, are safe and happy?

By doctrines and promises of this import, the Mahometan Priests and military Chiefs have excited soldiers to the most bloody and desperate enterprises. And indeed it seems almost impossible that rational beings, who expect a future retribution, should be induced to hazard their lives and their eternal destiny in battle, except under the influence of this or some similar delusion? But have the cler gy of Christendom been sufficiently careful to expose and to eradicate this antichristian principle? Have due exertions been made to impress on the minds of soldiers, as well as others, the danger of dying either in bed or in battle, with a temper the reverse of H18 who died for them? If the watchmen in Zion neglect to give warning, and the sword continue its hovoc, at whose hands will the blood be required?

The friends of peace, who now address you, are aware, that strong prejudices exist in the minds of many in favor of war, as a necessary and justifiable mode of settling controversies; and that it must be a work of time to

The Constitution was published in the Number for February last.

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