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and exposures we owe so many of the comforts and gratifications of life? We may ask, since it is ascertained that our tracts are sought by seamen, and actually read by them with interest, is there not ground for belief that some good effect may be produced by them? But we will lay before the Society extracts from a letter, written by one of the masters of our merchant ships.

"SEPTEMBER, 1816. Rev. Mr. Channing,-Sir, On sailing from Boston a few months back, I bad put into my hands an address to masters of vessels, and likewise a book of prayers, a Bible, and sundry tracts, all being for the particular use of seainen. On perusing the address, I inquired for the author; and having a (circular) letter at the same time, and finding your name, with others to it, wishing for our assistance in aid of your praise-worthy design, I have taken the liberty to address to you this letter. In the first place then sir, please to accept my best wishes, for your happiness in this world, and the reward of a friend of seamen, (and all mankind) in the next. 1 perfectly agree with you, that if your advice was put in practice, it would produce much good, not only in saving some souls from destruction; but present and daily good, in the social love and good order between masters and crews. I have made it a practice, for ten years back, as master of a vessel, to read prayers night and morning; and I have seen some good effects from it. I never found it ridiculed, but always attended with cheerfulness; and to appearance, with as much real devotion, as in any places of public worship on shore. On this my present voyage, which I must call a rare instance, I think we have more religious books than men; and with these, and the tracts presented as above, on Sunday, if bad weather, under the lee of the long boat, -if good, on the windlass, they appear to enjoy themselves; and if called to pump ship, obey with a smile. One thing I must remark of my present ship's company, which is, that among fifteen, the number on board, and in a passage of twenty eight days, in which we experienced much trouble, and bad weather, I heard one impure word, and one only, escape from the lips of one on board. Therefore I think your socie⚫ ty may place some credit to the account of their tracts. 1 only beg you sir, to

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We add also, an extract from a letter, received from an officer in one of our pablic ships.

JUNE 4th, 1815, "There are many opportunities here of doing good; and I believe that any exertions of this kind would be suc eessful to a great degree. The tracts

which are published for seamen, are read by many of the sailors with consid erable interest, and will undoubtedly have some good effect on their conduct."

We have now therefore, very earnestly to solicit the public patronage of our endeavours, in extending, as far as we can, the means of moral and relig ious improvement, to the seamen of our metropolis. Let it not be said, that they are constantly changing, and that there is therefore no distinct class, which calls for our peculiar attention. This is not entirely correct. Many, in whatever part of the world they be, consider Boston as their home; and a great portion of the seamen of the state, in seeking here for employment, feel an interest in the place in which they find their means of subsistence, scarcely less than is felt by our native sailors. And will it not strengthen this attachment, and increase their interest in our service, to extend to them here in the hour of leaving port the means of improving, and of finding new pleasure in their hours of leisure at sea. Such hours have sailors in every vessel. Or, at least, they are called to no unnecessary labour on the Sabbath. And if on these days only they sit together, and read useful tracts, suited to the variety of their tempers, characters and circumstances, is it not probable that some will become better men? that they will be restrained from some vice? that they will feel happier at the close of the day, than if their time had been passed in profane, or indecent conversation. And in becoming more cheerful in duty, will they not become better seamen? we cannot but rely on a continuance of the patronage which we have received; and if our objects shall obtain the atten

tion they deserve, that the number of our society will be increased.*

Your committee have passed a vote, that in future, a copy of every tract which shall be published, shall be sent to each subscriber. We are desirous

of giving to the society an opportunity
of judging for themselves, of the means
by which we propose to promote the
improvement of seamen. We indulge
the hope, should one tract be approved,
that an increasing interest will be exci-
ted in a cause, which we deem of very
great importance.-At least we hope
under the auspicious circumstances of
peace, that a fair experiment may
made, whether the characters of our
seamen may not be improved; and to
those who have formed a just estimate
of the importance of religion and virtue
to man, we trust that this appeal will
not be made in vain.


Report of the Committee of the Society in Portland for suppressing Vice and Immorality, made at the fourth annual meeting of the Society, holden at the Friend's meeting house, April 27, 1816.

The Committee of the Society in Portland, for suppressing Vice and Immorality, beg leave to present the following, as their fourth annual Report:

THE object, which in the opinion of your Committee claimed their more immediate attention during the past year, and which seemed imperiously to demand their exertions, was the suppression of intemperance by procuring the execution of the law respecting retailers of spirituous liquors. It is deeply to be lamented that the usage of many years should in any measure have sanctioned the violation of the law, and afforded facilities to the indulgence of a most degrading vice, the parent of so many others. This melancholy proof of the influence of unlawful custom, has naturally excited the less surprise in proportion to its almost universal prevalence We have seen that many respectable retailers have been in the habit of disregarding the statute in question, while under a recognizance entered into in open court to obey it, and while under the sacred obligation of

* Any one becomes a member, by the Canadà.

an oath to defend the constitution and
government of their country: men, who
in all their other dealings with the world
are strictly moral and upright, from the
mere influence of custom, have violated
without scruple, because without exam-
ination and reflection, a law which was
intended, and is competent, if duly ob-
served, to secure most important public
and private blessings. Laws to regulate
innholders and retailers, of the same
character with ours, exist, we believe,
in most, if not all, of the United States;
and have recently been found expedient
in a neighbouring foreignt State. They
have existed in this State from the year
1680 to the time when the present law
was enacted. If any argument for the
wisdom and policy of such laws can be
derived from the united opinion of the
most enlightened men in our country,
during the period of more than a cen-
tury, the concurrence of a majority of
our legislature for one hundred and
thirty-six years, seems to be unanswer-
able in favour of the restraints imposed
ers of ardent spirits.
in this commonwealth upon the retail-

In the course of the past year, the whole subject was carefully examined and minutely investigated in our legislature, upon the request of many respectable individuals, who wished to have some provisions of the statute modified or repealed; but the legisla ture, after full deliberation, negatived the application, and this investigation served to convince a number of the ap plicants, if we have rightly understood the fact, that their object was not founded on sound policy or expediency; and were it not for the influence of custom, your Committee are convinced, that most of the retailers themselves, as well as the community in general, would be of the same opinion.

It will be recollected that your Com mittee have aimed by persuasion and advice, to induce the retailers voluntarily to abandon the practice of selling liquors to be drank in their shops, and once entertained the hope that their endeavours would have succeeded. They are still convinced that some of the most respectable of them are desirous of discontinuing it.-Some persons, to our knowledge, have voluntarily abandoned it from a sense of duty, and a full conviction of its deleterious consequen annual payment of twe dollars.

Ces. How pleasing would it be if all were similarly disposed! How conducive to the comfort and happiness of their thoughtless customers, and of those who are connected with them by domestic ties! But there are some of a different character who seem unhappily resolved to disregard not only the laws of the Gountry, but every sacred and social principle, whose shops and houses are the resorts of gamblers and drunkards where the miserable victims of vice are pillaged, without shame or remorse, of the scanty earnings, scarcely sufficient even when frugally husbanded, to supply the wants of their families.-Were it not that offenders of this character have increased, not only in number, but in their contempt of law and disregard to the peace and happiness of their nearest friends, the attention of the sober part of the community would not so often have been directed to us for relief; nor called forth such exertions on our part, as an imperious sense of duty has dictated.

The Committee feel in common with the members of the Society, great regret for the inevitable consequences in a pecuniary point of view, which have resulted from the prosecutions they have been instrumental in commencing; but they feel much greater regret for the necessity, which made a recourse to these measures an incumbent duty, in consequence of the failure of more mild and friendly steps; and in particular of their expectation, through the undertaking of a friend, to impress upon the publick mind, the destructive effects of intemperance, and to point out remedies for it through the medium of one of the public newspapers; but from an improper influence, this privilege, though at first granted, was (reluctantly however, as we believe) withheld.

Much good, however, we apprehend, has been done by holding up the terror of the law, as well as by awakening the attention of many to the evils it was designed to eradicate.

It has been urged by some, that an universal observance of the law would be productive of many inconveniences; but to say nothing of an argument which favours a violation of law, your Committee are perfectly satisfied that these in

convenienees are magnified, and are of no weight at all when put in competi tion with the deplorable evils which have long resulted from the unlicensed sale of spirituous liquors. The incon veniences alluded to are those to which country people would be subject, who have been in the habit of bringing their food from home and buying their drink in town; or who when wet and cold have been accustomed to purchase a small quantity of spirit at the stores where they were transacting their business. This is really the most plausible argument we have heard against the policy of the law. Surely if many country people have by degrees contracted a habit which constitutes a continual temptation to the retailers to violate their duty, it is time they began to form another, which would remove it. It would be but a very short time that our country brethren would suffer inconvenience on this account; they would soon find a satisfaction in reflecting on the good which the relinquishment of such a habit would produce.

Your Committee bave thought it unnecessary to enumerate the many evils which flow from the vice we are aiming to suppress.-These evils are generally well known and much lamented. They think it proper, however, to mention one thing which may not have been sufficiently considered-and which concerns the town at large. It is the expence of supporting those whose poverty has been produced by the too frequent and excessive use of spirituous liquors. We find upon enquiry, that out of eighty-five persons now supported at the work house in this town, seventy-one became paupers in consequence of intemperance; being seven eighths of the whole number; and of one hundred and eighteen, mostly heads of families, who are supplied at their own houses, more than half are of that character. The expence of supporting that number, the year past, amounted to upwards of 6000 dollars.-Now, were it not for these persons, or rather that vice, the expence of supporting the town's poor, instead of six thousand dollars,-would have been less than two thousand.*

* Upon the reading of this Report, the Society appointed a special Committee to enquire into the accuracy of the circumstances here stated.-For their Report, see Appendix.

The Appendix is omitted in the Christian Disciple for want of room; but we may briefly say, that the Committee expressed their belief that the, circumstances stated in the Report were "substantially correct." Ep.

They would further observe, that the law for regulating licences has not only been in substance of long standing, but as it now exists, is wisely calculated to effect its original design. Were it suitably attended to by those whose duty it is to observe the regulations it contains, and particularly by selectmen, in duly regarding the character of the persons who apply to them for approbation-in limiting the number "necessary for the public good," instead of recommending any merely for their private emolument -in causing "to be posted up in the houses and shops of taverners and retailers, a list of the names of all persons reputed common drunkards, or common tiplers, or common gamesters, mispending their time and estate in such houses," and by forbidding such taverners and retailers to sell spirituous liquors to such persons, under the penalty which the law provides, there would be fewer instances of the breaches of that law, and a better disposition in the per sons licensed, to comply with its saluta ry provisions. If selectmen would also (as another law requires) see that guardians were appointed to every person who, "by excessive drinking, gaming, idleness or debauchery of any kind, so spend, waste or lessen his or her estate as thereby to expose himself or herself, or his or her family or any of them to want or suffering circumstances, or the town to which he or she belongs, in their judgment, to a charge or expence for their maintenance or support," much evil would be avoided and much good produced. In short, the legislature as well as the people, rely almost entirely on these fathers of the town for the benefits which these laws were intended to produce. With their faithful attention, the endeavours of others to secure those benefits to the community would be much encouraged; without it, they must be arduous if not ineffectual.

They conclude by expressing their ardent wish that the time may soon come when a due sense of the evils we deplore will be duly felt by all who now (perhaps thoughtlessly) encourage them

when the blessed effects of good order and sobriety will be experienced-and when we shall have the satisfaction to reflect that we may have been in some degree instrumental in producing them. It is consoling to reflect upon appearances of moral and religious im provement among us. How far societies like ours may have produced

a serious consideration in the minds of any, we presume not to determine. But have we not reason to believe that the disposition of a few to promote the cause of virtue and religion would stimulate others to join in the attempt? Happy, thrice happy, would it be to all, were these principles prevalent in every heart. It may be unbecoming to express sanguine expectations that an immediate and great reformation will attend our efforts, though we have already reaped some reward of our labours. Yet the generations to come may derive incalculable benefits from them; and it should be considered that all experience declares that most important and blessed effects are frequently the result of limited and feeble undertakings. Reflect on the astonishing increase of moral and religious societies in Europe: Bible Societies, Missionary Societies, Tract Societies-all designed to spread the knowledge and promote the principles of christianity-many if not all of which sprung from the laudable zeal of a few individuals. "Look at the wonderful efforts to do good which our own country exhibits.-Eight years ago there was not a single Bible Society in the United States, now there are upwards of an hundred. Three years ago there was scarcely one Moral Society, now there are hundreds." In addition to these, contemplate the highly important alliance or religious treaty, recently formed and ratified by three great potentates in Europe, and the intended establishment of Peace Societies. All designed and suited to diffuse the spirit of the gospel and increase the happiness of man. These are considerations which should strengthen our hands and encourage our hearts.

To help, in some degree, this great cause, we wish to support the salutary laws of this state, to produce a reformation in those who are in the habit of violating them; and we cannot but think that those who disregard or encourage crimes which are against the laws of God and man, are in some degree partakers in the guilt. He whose government is without defect, and whose sacred word, contains many warnings and prohibitions against intemperate drinking, and declares that drunkards shall not inherit the kingdom of God, will, if we seek his blessing, and possess a becoming prudence and zeal, unquestionably prosper our well meant exertions. Let us, therefore, not relax or

look back, but conducting with deliberation and discretion, "let us stand to our work and go forward;" yes, let us persevere in the undertaking we have begun, until few be found who will not patronize our design, and rejoice in our


SAMUEL FREEMAN, Chairman. At the annual meeting of the Society for suppressing vice and immorality, holden at the Friend's meeting-house, in Portland, April 27, 1816, the foregoing Report was read and accepted. T. BROWNE, Secr'y.

From New Orleans.

IN the month of August last the Philadelphia Bible Society forwarded an order to England for 300 Spanish Testaments, designed for distribution among the Spaniards at New Orleans. Upon hearing of this order, the Committee of the British and Foreign Bible Society voted 1000 Spanish Testaments, 500 French do. and 100 French Bibles, to be forwarded to the Louisiana Bible Society for gratuituous distribution among the destitute in that quarter. These books arrived at New Orleans in January last, and have since been distributed, and received with gratitude and joy by the inhabitants of that city. About 600 of the French Bibles printed in New York have also been rapidly distributed, and very generally read, particularly by the youth in schools.

From Natchez.

A letter has been received, dated Natchez, March 4, from Mr. Daniel Smith, a missionary, who left Boston for New Orleans in October last, with about 1000 English Bibles, and a large number of religious tracts and other books for gratuitous distribution; twenty-five of the Bibles were deposited at the Custom-House in New Orleans, for the use of the shipping that clear out from that port, and 225 were distributed among 8 or 900 troops in New Orleans. A Bible Society has been organized on the Amite, called "the Amite and West Florida Bible Society." Its subseriptions are large already. The ladies at Natchez have formed a charitable Society for the instruction of poor children. The subscription amounts to 500 dollars, and it was expected that a charitable School would soon be established, The English Bibles sent on to the Missouri Territory, have all been distribated, and more are wanted.

From Erie.

A letter from a Clergyman of Walnut Creek, Erie County, Pennsylvania, to the Editor of the [Chillicothe Weekly Recorder, dated February 16, 1816, says "Moral Societies have been formed throughout Erie Presbytery generally. We have formed one in each of my congregations. We have also formed a Female Cent Society in each, to which there is a respectable number of Subscribers-the funds of these are to be appropriated solely for the education of poor, pious youth for the Gospel Ministry-the first donation will be made to the Theological School at Princeton." Recorder.

From India.

Extract of a letter from the Rev. SAMUEL NEWELL, Missionary to India, to the Rev. Edward D. Griffin, D. D. dated

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BOMBAY, June 11th, 1815. Dear Sir-By the present opportunity I send to Dr. Worcester my journal, which contains the history of all my wanderings and afflictions from my arrival in India till I came to Bombay. I have requested Dr. W. to let you see it This will supply the place of many letters. You will also learn, from our communications to the Board, from time to time, the history of our Mission, and its present state. We have been carried through a series of afflictions, painful and distressing in the extreme, and have often been ready to say, "The mercies of God are clean gone, and the Lord will be favourable no more." But we can now sing of the goodness and faithfulness of God, and say, "Hitherto the Lord hath helped us.' We are now permanently established in this important place, and have, through divine goodness, made so much progress in the language as to be able, though with stammering lips, to preach the good news to a people to whom Christ was before unknown. Mr. Hall and myself are the only Protestant Missionaries on this side of India, except an Armenian brother at Surat, in connexion with the Serampore Mission. The Mahratta language, which we are learning, is the language of many millions of people in this region. There are two hundred thousand in Bombay alone.

[Newark Centinel.

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