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creased, by the errors into which he might have fallen in early life. And who does not guard more carefully in future against the excesses of passion, from the pangs which he has sometimes suffered, and the dangers to which he has been frequently exposed ?
On a further view of the subject, as applicable to the vices and virtues of mankind, we shall perceive how intimately the tares are blended with the wheat; and admit, that they must necessarily “ both grow together until the harvest."
Every one naturally, and commendably, feels a considerable degree of self-satisfaction in the exercise of those virtues, which are suitable to his character, and condition of life. This, indeed, ever was, and ever will be, the great practical duty of morality and religion. But let him consider what it is that furnishes him with a field for the display of these virtues; and what gives him an opportunity of shewing his sincerity in the sight of God and man. Has he courage? How is it to be made known in a state of undisturbed peace, happiness, and security? It cannot be; but if it lead him to rescue a fellow-creature from the waves, or the flames ;-to arrest the arm of the assassin,
when about to perpetrate the crime of murder; or to join the patriotic host, with fearless resolution, in order to repel the daring invader from his native shores ;-then indeed he may feel the merit, and enjoy the reward, of this manly virtue. Direct your attention to fortitude, patience, or resignation ; and, in the absence of what we deem evil, they are mere names, and nothing more.
The soil in which they grow, and the aliments, which give them life and vigor, are difficulties and dangers, pain, disease, and sorrow ;-in short, the numerous, but unavoidable calamities of life, and the severe visi. tations of Providence. The exertions of industry and superior talents are oftener stimulated by the dread of such evils as poverty, and want, than by the love of virtue, or the ambition of excellence; and the great Christian duty of forgiveness, it is evident, must be immediately connected with the experience of outrages, injuries, and wrongs. Were we to go through the whole course of human virtues, nearly the same mode of argument would apply.
Having, therefore, sufficiently illustrated the point under consideration, I trust, it might not be necessary to say any thing farther on this part of the subject: but it does seem expedient,
and may, perhaps, be profitable, to give some distinct attention to that very important and extensive virtue in the Christian code, which, we are told, “ is the bond of perfectness," and which“ never faileth."-Of course, I mean Charity. Blessed be God, owing to the right interpretation, and better practice of the Gospel of Christ, mixing with all our notions of sound policy, and legislative wisdom, the want of Charity, whether considered as a private, or a public virtue, is not to be numbered, in the present day, among our more sinful omissions and transgressions of duty! But, not to dwell on the particular occasions, which require the exercise of it from individuals, within the circle of their own acquaintance, what are many of our public hospitals, and asylums, but so many standing monuments of evil, in the form of pasť vices and follies, misfortunes and crimes ? The protection and relief, which the respective sufferers receive, who crowd their walls, and the opportunities, which are afforded many of them for repentance, and newness of life, furnish a glorious proof of the triumph of Christianity over that unrelenting justice, which admitted of no compromise, and those rigid laws, which left no room for pity, and no time for amendment;
while those who are diligently employed in the exercise of this cardinal virtue, may perceive, that, as good and faithful servants, they are cooperating with the Divine Wisdom and Mercy in rendering evil subservient to good, without removing the criminality of vice; and may rest assured, that, on such occasions, “it is," as our heavenly Redeemer observed, “ more blessed to give than to receive.”
Not to go farther for illustration on this head than the roof under which we are now assembled *. - There is necessarily a tale of frailty, suffering, and transgression, connected with the history of every one of those children that are before you. Evil always preceded, and often followed their birth; but it was the deep and lasting conviction of this evil, which led our humble, and humane, our zealous and indefatigable Founder to make such efforts in the cause of Charity, as must immortalise his memory, and have already proved a blessing to thousands. The holy flame once kindled, it has
ntinued to burn with purer lustre, by the providence of God, and successive generations of young persons are returned to the bosom of society healthy, innocent, and happy ;-above all, thoroughly grounded in their duty towards
* The Foundling-Hospital.
God, both by precept and example, furnished, also, with such knowledge, as must render them more useful, and prepared, it is hoped, according to their respective opportunities, to shew hereafter some portion of that Christian love to others, which they have received themselves.
I should not advert any farther to their unhappy mothers, if it did not afford me an opportunity of saying, in connection with the present subject, that, if it were possible to feel, for one hour, that deep sense of sorrow, indignation, and shame, which pierces a woman's bosom, on first knowing that she has been betrayed, and deserted, it would speak more than volumes in defence of that honor, which, once sullied, can never be restored, and against those transgressions, which, however lamented, can never be entirely done away.
Let us now consider, more distinctly, some of the advantages resulting to society from the warnings and examples, which vicious men hold out to the virtuous and the good. Viewing this part of our present subject on an extensive scale, we may observe, that the purity of Christ's holy religion never acquired its full lustre, till it had been tried in the furnace of affliction ;-till the zeal and sincerity of its disciples had encountered all the sophistry and opposition of