Page images

of sorrow, disgrace, and infamy is followed with an existence far more deplorable,—the heart melts in the review, and every energy of the soul wishes to go forth in the prevention of such accumulated evil. It is a circumstance perhaps but little known, but yet too true, that by far the greater part of those miserable outcasts of society die at an earlier period than that in which multitudes begin to enter into life. Few of them attain their thirtieth year ; but, like the horses of the team, unmercifully worked to death by their unfeeling owners, they fall a sacrifice to the dreadful effects of disease and intemperance; and die as they lived, unpitied, unnoticed, and unknown.

Never did I before feel, in an equal degree, the force of the Prophet's question, — Have we not all one Father ?--hath not one God created us?' And never did the appeal of the Apostle come home with more energy to my heart : Who maketh thee to differ from another?'

I felt my mind led forth in the exercise of compassion still further, from considering how many and how various the predisposing causes are, which, in numberless instances, occasion the ruin of young females! Added to the inexperience of their youth, common to all, it is more than probable that many have been totally void of any religious education. Some from the early loss of parents, others from the negligence of parents, and others from the cruelty of parents, fall victims to the snare of the deceiver : and what a train of various temptations, corresponding with the various dispositions of the human mind, and the different effects with which it is captivated, arise from the love of dress, amusements, novelreading, play-houses, dancing, and the like!

Oh, ye happy female children of gracious parents, whom a bountiful God, in his providence of you,

hath given to watch over and guard your younger years, allow me to remind you of your privileges, and in the recollection of your mercies, may your hearts be directed to a just appreciation of their value, in thankfulness to the Author, in commiserating the state of those who are not so happily circumstanced! It is impossible, indeed, fully to calculate the distinguishing love of God in his appointments of preventing and restraining grace; but their blessed effects never appear more illustrious than in the contrasts of chastity and uncleanness.

Could your imagination but represent the horrid features which, for the most part, mark the whole character of the Magdalene, how would all the tender feelings of your minds be called forth in pity toward such! And if it could be supposed (as it may very well be supposed, without the smallest impeachment of character) that the discountenance of places of amusement, and the discouragement of the novel publications of the day, which tend to corrupt the female mind; nay, that the very simplicity and chastity of dress, were they more attended to by our virtuous and amiable young women, the example would be followed with the most beneficial consequences among those, who are for ever attempting an imitation of the great ; and therefore shut up some of the avenues which, in their lower circumstances, become the helps to seduction? In short, if there be a method in all the plans of conduct, by which the unsullied graces of young women can minister to prevent the loss of chastity on one of their own sex, or when that loss cannot be prevented, to raise up any when fallen,-how shall a sense of divine love or human affection be more gracefully shown than in such acts of mercy ? Might not an angel be supposed commissioned to do so much good, though an angel, in his own nature could never be liable to a participation in such misery?

We at length arrived, (the poor afflicted mother and myself) at the sick room of her poor child. She was sitting by a miserable fire, in a room marked with as much misery as need be ; and every thing around alike indicated the wretchedness of the inhabitant. Her sickness preyed upon her too much to leave her alive to the full feelings, which her mother's presence and her own conscious heart would, no doubt, otherwise have called forth. Tenderness and affection, on the part of the poor old woman, was all that, in the present state, could be shewn; and the object I had to accomplish, was to adopt the speediest methods for her removal.

But it was impossible, in rescuing one pour unhappy female from such a state of complicated misery, to behold the many left behind to perish, nay to recollect the thousands continually hurried into this whirlpool of iniquity, but with the most painful sensation. The Asylum for the reception of such poor deluded outcasts appeared in all its loveliness to

Indeed, it were most devoutly to be wished, that its ability of admission within its hospitable walls, were equal to all the wants of the multitudes that are perishing without: and, like the city of the ransomed which is above, the Asylum for the miserable below had 'the gates of it never shut, day nor night.'

So many strong and irresistable arguments unitedly concur for the universal protection of a charity replete with so much good, that it may reasonably be expected, every hand will be stretched forth to the

my mind!

support of it.

I think the parents of young men must rejoice in the prospect, if by such means those nightly street-walkers were removed, who go forth full of disease and corruption to allure the unwary youth to ruin : and I conceive also, that the mothers of our young ladies would feel joy in the hope, that the offences continually offered to the eyes and ears of their daughters, in the unchastity of dress, not to say almost nakedness, in which those immodest women appear; and the language, not unfrequently, uttered by them as they pass, would be done away. And who shall estimate the general cause of delight in the breast of every feeling mind, in bringing back the lost to society, and becoming instrumental, in the hand of God, to the salvation of their souls !

The Asylum can never merit, in a single instance, an indignant eye; for it never was intended, neither can it be said in truth to minister, to the encouragement of that sin, which it is its great object to prevent! It is to open a door of refuge, to shelter the miserable creature from her infamy; and by providing for immediate want, to do away the dreadful necessity of continued prostitution, which multitudes, whose hearts revolt at the deed, are yet nevertheless constrained to pursue for their daily support. Let any man figure to himself a poor broken-hearted female of this description, with a mind deeply smitten with the feeling of her situation, and misery, longing to escape from a life of such infamy, but void of all resources of friends or maintenance to accomplish it :-let him only fancy such a case, and there are multitudes to realize the picture,) and then let him say, whether he would not feel joy that there is an Asylum open to receive her?

R. H.

EARLY DEVOTEDNESS TO GOD. If the devotion of any part of our existence to religion be acceptable to God, much more must the devotion of the whole be acceptable to him.

When the day has risen in mists, and past in blue rains or dark storms, it is gratifying to see the sky become bright, and to behold the sun going down in glory; but it is more gratifying when its dawn is unclouded, and when every part of its progress to its termination, is through regions of serenity and beauty; so, though it affords delight to see a life which has been spent in the service of sin end in the fear of God, much more is that delight enhanced when we perceive the whole life, from the first dawn of reason to the last dying inspirations of faith, consecrated to God and his cause. And can any thing be more reasonable ?

If any part of your existence is to be devoted to God, why not the whole of it? Is not the whole His, as well as the part ? Are you not guilty of the worst species of sacrilege in giving your affections, and time, and talents to Satan, the enemy of God and of all goodness ? Is there not something peculiarly insulting to the Divine Majesty, in proposing to reserve the latter part only of your lives for God? Is he worthy only of the dregs and lees of your being ? Shall the bloom and vigour of life, the joyousness, the morning, the inspiring May of your days, be spent and wasted in he cause of evil, in the service of the Prince of darkness :—and you

think it will be time enough to serve God, when the dull, hacknied ways of the world have destroyed the fineness of youthful feeling, or the perplexing cares of a family have frozen the genial current of the soul," or, “the grasshopper has become a burden, and desire has failed ?” Shall the


« PreviousContinue »