Page images

Christian Knowlege among the poor: Thousands

and ten thousands of children have been snatched from the jaws of ruin, from ignorance and vice, and educated in the fear of God, in the CharitySchools originally foftered and reared, through Great-Britain and Ireland, by their parental care, and which at this time contain above forty thoufand. To this part of the plan the following teftimony is borne by a celebrated prelate, in a charge delivered fo long ago as the year 1716, though published only a few months fince. He is speaking of the great and neceffary duty of catechifing" The "late encouragers of Charity-Schools are never "enough to be commended for their care and dili*i gence on this head, by which they have deserved "well of God and man, and have done the church "of England and the pure religion of Chrift ex"cellent service; and verily they shall not fail of "their reward ‡."

A multitude of Bibles, Common-Prayer-Books, and a variety of Religious Tracts, adapted to the

The learned and eloquent Bishop Atterbury's Charge to the Diocefe of Rochefter, in Mr. Nichols's publication of The Epiftolary Correspondence, &c. Vol. II. p. 260.




capacities and fpiritual exigencies of the poor,
amounting, within the space of the last fifty years
only, to near three millions, have been printed and
diftributed by the Society, not only through Eng-
land and every part of Wales, the ifles of Scilly,
and of Man, but their care has been extended to
the Greek church in Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia,
Arabia, and Egypt, as well as to the converfion of
the Heathens in the East-Indies, where Schools and
Miffions have been established for that purpose.
Tranflations of the proper books having been made,
the inhabitants of these different countries have had
opportunities of hearing and celebrating, every
"one in his own language, the wonderful works
" of God,"


I do not enlarge upon these feveral objects of the Society's bounty, because, in general, the world is now well acquainted with the nature of them; and the particulars may be seen in the annual account of it's proceedings. That much good has been effected, is known to all those who have been concerned in carrying these benevolent designs into execution, or who have by any means happened to fall

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

fall within the reach of their influence; but how much, it never will, nor can be known, till manifefted by that day, which fhall manifeft all things. The diligence of the husbandman, with the quantity and quality of the feed fown, will then best appear, when the harvest shall crown his toil, and "the valleys ftand fo thick with corn, that they "shall laugh and fing."

Thus engaged in well-doing, be not ye, therefore, "for in due time weary; ye fhall reap, if ye faint "not." Look back with joy and pleasure on what has been done; look forward with hope and confidence on what may be done. The adversary is not weary of exerting his endeavours to fupprefs and extinguish the religious fpirit among us; be not ye weary of exerting yours (as they always have been exerted) to cherish and support it. Consider the profpect which presented itself to the first preachers of the Gospel, when they entered upon the task of promoting Chriftian Knowlege; and confider the event: remember the mustard-feed, and view the tree which it has produced. Ye are fellow-labourers with them and according to the measures of his grace, and the courfe




course of his dispensations, Chrift will be with YOU,
as he was with them. Apoftolical is your work, and
suitable will be your reward. Go on, then, and
profper, in the name of the Lord; looking forward
to that triumphant hour, when the scene shall open,
of which that now before us may ferve to convey
fome faint refemblance; when the innumerable
company of those rescued by your charity from the
hands of the destroyer, and numbered among the
children of God, fhall be feen clothed in the robes
of righteousness and falvation, arranged in shining
circles around the throne, and heard finging Glory
to their Redeemer, who fitteth thereon, for ever
and ever.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »