« ForrigeFortsæt »
system, and seeing this, it was your own great man (Dr. Chalmers) I think, who said " that the way to prevent poverty was to abolish poor laws." I admit the truth of this remark to some extent ; but after all, the best way, as I conceive to provide for the poor, is to get rid of the poverty, and this can be done by getting rid of its cause, which I can prove is mainly drunkenness.
I need scarcely quote testimony as to the correctness of this statement. It has been admitted, and I may say proved, by the existing testimony of all who are familiar with the facts. As a guardian of the poor I am able to testify that, at least, three-fourths of the pauperism that comes before the Board of Guardians with which I am connected, for relief, is caused by the drink traffic and the drinking customs. In round numbers, the cost of our poor law system is seven and a half million pounds a year, and this is expended on, say one million of paupers ; and here I wish you to note that not only does the nation lose the amount thus expended in relief, but it also loses the value of the labour that would otherwise be a source of wealth ; and in addition to this, there is a deterioration of national character where a large portion of any population depends upon charity or rates. Those men will therefore deserve best of their country who labour most earnestly and successfully to dry up the sources of pauperism and poverty. In these remarks I am not aiming at the Utopian and the impossible. I am only asking your co-operation in the promotion of a great social reform that is attainable and practical.
I believe that at least £5,000,000 a year of the amount now spent in the relief of the poor might be saved, and that in itself would be a great national gain. There are very few men not actually disabled or diseased who have not opportunities at some period or other of their lives to improve their condition. I believe there is a “tide in the affairs of most men ” which, if it does not lead to fortune, may, at any rate, save from absolute dependence and want. Whenever I see an old man, after a life of toil, come to the parish for relief, the thought immediately crosses my mind that his personal habits, the sad social evils we have, or the want of right feeling on the part of his children and relations are at fault. And I am anxious to encourage our working men by a manly resolve to "put by something for a rainy day," take care of the “ littles,” save the pence, and thus to avoid the degradation and sorrows attendant upon ending life in a workhouse.
THE WINES OF THE BIBLE.
By MOSES STUART, D.D. Wherever I find declarations in the Scriptures respecting any matter, which appears to be at variance with each other, I commence the process of inquiry by asking: Whether these declarations respect the same object in the same circumstances? Wine and strong drink are a good, a blessing, a token of Divine favour, and to be ranked with corn and oil. The same substances are also an evil; their use is prohibited ; and woe is denounced to all who seek for them. Is there a contradiction berea paradox incapable of any satisfactory solution ? Not at all. In the light of what has already been said, we may confidently say, Not at all. We have seen that these substances were employed by the Hebrews in two different states; the one was a fermented state, the other an unfermented one. The fermented liquor was pregnant with alcohol, and would occasion inebriation in a greater or less degree, in all ordinary circumstances; and even where not enough of it was drunk to make this effect perceptible, it would tend to create a fictitious appetite for alcohol, or to injure the delicate tissues of the human body. The unfermented liquor was a delicious, nutritive, healthful beverage, well and properly ranked with corn and oil. It might be kept in that state by due pains, for a long time, and even go on improving by age. Is there any serious difficulty now in acquitting the Scriptures of contradiction in respect to this subject? I do not find any. I claim no right to interfere with the judgment of others; but for myself I would say, that I can find no other solution of the seeming paradox before us. I cannot regard the application of the distinction in question, between the fermented and unfermented liquors of the Hebrews, to the solution of declarations seemingly of an opposite tenor, as any forced or unnatural means of interpretation. It simply follows suit with many other cases, where the same principle is concerned. Wine is a blessing—a comfort-a desirable good; when, and in what state? Wine is a mocker-a curse—a thing to be shunned; when and in what state? Why now is not the answer plain and open before us, after we have taken a deliberate survey of such facts as have been presented ? I can only say, that to me it seems plain; so plain, that no wayfaring man need to mistake it. My final conclusion is this ; viz., that wherever the Scriptures speak of wine as a comfort, a blessing, or a libation to God, and rank it with such articles as corn and wine, they mean--they can mean only such wine as contained no alcohol that could have a mischievous tendency; that wherever they denounce it, prohibit it, and connect it with drunkenness and revelling, they can mean only alcoholic or intoxicating wine.
THE WEEPING BOY.
By, a GOOD PARSON. At nine o'clock on Saturday evening, I heard pitiful, subdued Bobs and crying outside. I know the kind of thing that means some one fairly beaten. Not angry, not bitter ; smashed. I opened the front door, and found a little boy, ten years old, sitting on the steps, crying. I asked him what was the matter. I see the thin, white, hungry, dirty little face. He would have slunk away if he could; he plainly thought his case beyond all mending. But I brought him in, and set him on a chair in the lobby; and he told his story. He had a large bundle of sticks in a ragged sack-firewood. At three o'clock that afternoon he had come out to sell them. His mother was a poor washerwoman, in the most wretched part of the town; his father was killed a fortnight ago by falling from a scaffold. He had walked a long way through the streets; about three miles. He had tried all the afternoon to sell his sticks, but had sold only a half-penny-worth. He was lame, poor little man, from a sore leg, but managed to carry his heavy load. But at last, going down some poor area stair in the dark, he fell down a whole flight of steps, and hurt his sore leg so that he could not walk, and also got a great cut on the forehead. He had got just the half-penny for his poor mother; he had been going about with his burden for six hours, with nothing to eat. But he turned his face homewards, carrying his sticks, and struggled on about a quarter of a mile; and then he broke down. He could go no further. In the dark cold night he sat down and cried. It was not the crying of one who hoped to attract attention; it was the crying of flat despair.
The first thing I did (which did not take a moment) was to hank God that my door-steps had been his juniper tree. Then I remembered the first thing God did when Elijah broke, down was to give him something to eat. Yes, it is a great thing to keep up physical nature. And the little man had had no food since three o'clock till nine. So there came, brought by kind hands (not mine) several great slices of bread and butter (jam even was added), and a cup of warm tea. The spirit began to come a little into the child. And he thought he could manage to get home if we would let him leave his sticks till Monday. We asked him what he would have got for his sticks if he had sold them all: ninepence. Under the circumstances, it appeared that a profit of a hundred per cent. was not exhorbitant: so he received eighteen pence, which he stowed away somewhere in his rags: and the sack went away, and returned, with all the sticks emptied out. Finally, an old gray coat of rough tweed came, and was put upon the little boy, and carefully buttoned: forming a capital great-coat. And forasmuch as his trowsers
were most unusually ragged, a pair of such appeared, and being wrapped up, were placed in the sack, along with a good deal of, bread and butter. How the heart of the child had by this time revived ! He thought he could go home nicely. And having very briefly asked the Father of the fatherless to care for him, I beheld him limp away in the dark. All this is supremely little to talk about. But it was quite a different thing to see. To look at the poor starved little face: and the dirty hand like a claw: to think of ten years old : to think of one's own children in their warm beds: to think what all this would have been to one's self as a little child. Oh, if I had a four-leaved shamrock, what a turn-over there should be in this world !
SHAM PLEASURES.--I have been into some of the music halls in London, in Liverpool, in Leeds, and now I must confess that came away without feeling heart sore. I know people will be amused, and after all there is some philosophy in manly sport and a merry laugh. But can't you open a music hall without converting it into a tavern? Can't you give us the voice of song, and snatches of celestial harmony, without the temptation of drink, and away from the company of harlots and knaves? We have some sham ways of enjoying ourselves most truly. Last night I saw a poor woman, with a white face, peeping round the door of a public house a little before twelve o'clock. “My lord" was enjoying himself within. Was it any enjoyment to his wife to watch and wait there in the cold, dreary rain, her patience perhaps rewarded presently with curses and blows? You call yonder man a jolly good fellow. Do his children feel very jolly when they are hungry and there is no food? Is that manliness to steal a little child's bread to feed our selfishness, and buy brass and mahogany for the “Green Swan" “ Cow and Pigeons ?” There are young men out to-night to “ see life" they say; but far away in some quiet home, unknown to you and me, tears will start from fond eyes, and this “ seeing life" will pierce with sorrow many a mother's heart—that sacred temple of almost unspeakable and unchanging love. Oh, if there were not a sham at the bottom of our young men, they would “see life" in something different to that which broke mothers' hearts, and snapped the dearest and most blessed of all human ties. From a Lecture on “ Shams," by John De Fraine.
Impure WATER.—A vessel filled with water and placed in a room where persons are present will, in a few hours, have absorbed nearly all the respired and perspired gases in the apartment, the air of which will have become purer, but the water utterly impure. The cooler the water, the greater is its capacity to contain the gases. A pint of water at the ordinary temperature contains a pint of carbonic acid gas (a deadly poison to animal life) and several pints of ammonia. This absorbing capacity
is nearly doubled by reducing the temperature of the water below thirtytwo degrees Fahrenheit. Hence it follows that water, kept in a room but a brief space of time, becomes utterly unfit for use. All water, to be pure, must be freshly drawn from the well or spring Impure water is quite as injurious to health as impure air.Herald of Health,
CHEAP AND SIMPLE MODE' OF PURIFYING WATER.–Persons cannot be too cautious in the use of water, particularly London water, which is more or less impregnated with offensive matter held in solution, or mechanically mixed with it. The following mode of purifying it-being accessible to all classes—would, if acted upon generally, greatly tend to the improvement of health :--Take a large sized garden-pot, and having plugged the apperture in the bottom with a piece of clean sponge, break up a few sticks of charcoal into small pieces, which strew over the bottom to the depth of an inch and a half or two inches; place the pot over a pitcher, or other clean vessel, and let all the water used for culinary purposes be filtered through it. By ordinary attention in keeping the garden-pot constantly dripping, a considerable quantity of water, in a perfectly pure state, may thus be obtained. Fresh charcoal should be used every other day, and the sponge cleansed. If dispatch is required. strew charcoal over a very fine sieve or milk strainer, and let the water be passed through it; this will answer the same purpose, but the water will
not be quite so clear, :.: OTAHEITE. The following particulars are from an officer on board the Salamander, stationed at the island. "" The natives are greatly altered since I first landed on the island, three-and-a-half years ago. Virtue and morality are at a very low ebb. The natives are nearly always drunk day and night, prowling about and howling like wild beasts. Men may be seen beating their wives, women abusing one another at their revels, in language too obscene and degrading to be mentioned. Three years ago the natives were quiet and orderly, their houses clean and neat. Had you walked on a Sabbath, you would have heard the old men and women reading their Bibles, or singing their hymns and how beautifully they do sing! Many an hour have I listened with delight to a group of young native girls singing their cheering hymns. They attended chureh regularly; but the picture is different now, very."
THE NEGLECTED JUVENILE POPULATION.-Both the Ragged-school Union and the Sunday-school Union are taking active measures to bring under instruction large masses of children in the metropolis. The Sunday-school committee consider that there are 400,000 young persons (not including those of the upper classes) who ought to be in schools on the Lord's-day, whereas there are only 200,000 at present under instruction. The Ragged-school Union committee find that, of the special class which they seek to bless and save, while there are nearly 30,000 in the schools, there are nearly other 30,000 not brought under training or education of any kind.
“ ANOTHER NAIL IN YOUR COFFIN."-A young nephew of my father's captain sailed with them a long voyage around the globe, and was a