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force they can use e-obedience more lasting and sincere, from the fact that it springs from affection instead of fear. I know that passion may intervene, and render it difficult to practice the law of kindness; that temper flies and the impulse of revenge says, "destroy," but over these we must throw a bridle, and learn to “overcome. evil with good." There is not a nobler sight in the moral world, than that of an individual subduing his passions, repressing the desire to revenge, and acting on the principle, "love your enemies." The case of Stephen, though surrounded by his enraged murderers, who hurled the stones of death at him, yet in his magnanimity of purpose, praying that the sin of murder might not be laid to their charge, is infinitely more ennobling than Alexander amid his wealth, or Napoleon in all the pride of military conquest.
It is not often remembered that society, as composed of individuals, is frequently actuated by revenge, and that much of the evil which exists in it, may be clearly traced to its neglect of the law of kindness. Society, or a community, or a nation, becomes unkind when it gives no heed to the education of the poor; when it raises such walls of distinction as to discourage and shut out from notice the humble in life, however worthy and virtuous; when it makes a god of riches and fashion, to frown upon even the industrious and to set them aside like worthless weeds, because they can not shine in silks and revel in luxury; when it crushes the feeble person for the least deviation from the path of
rectitude, chasing him or her to desperation with unrelenting severity, while at the same time it will receive with open arms the rich villain into its highest circles; when its laws are oppressive, cruel, and without a tendency to reform the criminal ; when its legislation becomes encumbered with volumes of useless laws, so enveloping justice with technicalities, and forms, and multiplied modes of procedure, that if justice is obtained, in many cases the costs eat up the proceeds; when the rich and influential practice such conduct as seduces the poor and lowly into vice; and when established custom sanctions sin in a variety of its forms, thus leading multitudes on to ruin'; in all these, and in many other things, a nation or a community may be unkind and walk contrary to the Chris
overcome evil with good.” What is it but the unkindness of community, which suffers an unnatural speculation to raise provisions above the price of labor, grinding the laboring classes in poverty and sorrow, and through absolute want, driving many of them to beggary and theft? What is it but the unkindness of community that takes from multitudes of the pooier people all hope of rising in prosperity, and by condemning them to perpetual drudgery, causes many of them, through mere despair, to become thieves and prostitutes ? What is it but
the unkindness of community that, because an individual female has made one mis-step, she is driven deeper and deeper into the foulest dens of vice, even when exhibiting an earnest repentance and a strong desire to return to virtue ? What is it but the unkindness of community that winks and smiles at the wickedness, vice and dissipation of the rich knave, a known gambler, seducer and oppressor of the weak; yet on whose arm females will lean in confidence at their parties, and whose money gets him notice, even when an individual in humble life, though rich in virtue and knowledge, will be unnoticed by what are called the great ? Oh, there is so much misery to be traced directly to the customs and fashions of life, that many a poor man may date his ruin at the door of society, by being pressed into vice by the follies, examples and oppression of those who always owe to the poor a good example.
I was much impressed with the following extract from Mr. Ainsworth's work entitled “ Jack Shepard."* A benevolent individual urged upon a woman cast in the lowest dregs of life, and whose husband had been hung for house-breaking, to give him her infant. She refused; and
*A work, by the way, whose general tendency is unques tionably evil, especially upon the minds of youth. Even the good passages in it will not divest it of this tendency.
when she saw that he was angry at her refusal, she said—“Don't be angry with me, Sir;" cried the widow, sobbing bitterly, “pray, don't. I know I am undeserving of your bounty ; but if I were to tell you what hardships I have undergone--to what frightful extremities I have been reduced-and to what infamy I have submitted, to earn a scanty subsistence for this child's sake-if you could feel what it is to stand alone in the world as I do, bereft of all who ever loved me, and shunned by all who have ever known me, except the worthless and the wretched-it you knew (and Heaven grant that you may be spared the knowledge !) how much affliction sharpens love, and how much more dear to me my child has become for every sacrifice I have made for him if you were told all this, you would, I am sure, pity rather than repmach me, because I can not 'at once consent to a separation, which I feel would break my heart.”Many a female, like the one here represented, has been plunged deeper and deeper in infamy, because society has had no smile to win the wanderer from sin, but rather has frowned her away from repentance.
How vividly the following passage portrays some of the ruin caused by the modern arrange