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In the abstract, idleness is the great producer o pauperism—the reservoir of vice and crime.
A minor secondary cause of Pauperism, is improvidence, or a want of judgment and experience in doing business, and using money. A system of education should be introduced, to remedy this evil.
Another minor cause may be found, in the liberal provision made by the benevolent, for paupers. In many persons, this has induced idleness, and an expenditure of money for articles not indispensably requisite, knowing, that some of the benevolent institutions would provide for their wants. If we had no almshouses, Dorcas Societies, or Soup Associations; there are many who would lay up a store for winter, that now depend upon them, and even speculate from them. I remember a case in point. A woman, a beneficiary of a Soup Society, called in the afternoon of a day, for four quarts of soup. She was reminded that she had been served in the morning—" True," said she—“ but sure, haven't I taken four boarders since ?"
Another cause of increasing Pauperism is, the large number imported from Europe. Congress should prevent this. I would not dispense with eleemosynary institutions, but I would recommend a more rigid discipline. We have long been devising and adopting plans of relief, but a remedy has but recently been suggested, that seemed to promise success—that remedy is the Bible, and the religion there inculcated. It is a fact worthy of notice, that more than ninety-nine out of a hundred of the paupers in this city, are not members of Bible churches. This fact has more force, than à volume of fine-spun arguments. Virtue and industry are the necessary results of pure Bible religion. St. Paul said.
he that will not work shall not eat. If all will work, who are able, and make a judicious use of their earnings, we should have but few paupers, and those, the really unfortunate. Bring all under the influence of the Bible, pauperism would be reduced ninety per cent., the day that is accomplished. Let the philanthropist look around in the churches where the Bible has free course, and he will be astonished to find scarcely a pauper there, and that pauper supported by the church of which he or she is a member, and not a beneficiary of any other institution.
A GLANCE AT HUMAN NATURE-SELECT AND ORIGINAL.
SOME make large figures on a public subscription, who spurn the famishing poor from their door. Some enter zealously into laudable plans, if originated by themselves, not otherwise. Some are greatly moved by trifles, who bear heavy calamities with fortitude. Some preach virtue, but practise vice. Some censure pride in the devotees of fashion, and are themselves just as proud, in being out of fashion. Some husbands and wives are all love, dove, dear, and honey, when abroad; their ill-nature they keep for domestic use, and go abroad but seldom. Some are so uneven in their temper, that at one time, nothing can anger them, at other times, nothing can please them; others are like punk-wood, quick to take fire, and quick to go out; others are slow to anger-but when offended, usually stay so for life. Some feel deeply their own misfortunes, but those 'of others, they view with calmness. Some are free to volunteer their own advice, but spurn the advice of others-being overwise in their own conceit-more hopeless cases than fools. Those who crouch and fawn to superiors, are usually tyrannical masters. Some change their friends often, and like the last ones best. Some practise affectation to appear large, and render themselves ridiculous. Some base their faith and opinions on some leading star, or the multitude, not on their own judgment and reflection. Some create suspicions of dishonesty, by too great professions of honesty. Some mistake taciturnity for wisdom, and stupidity for gravity.
Some ladies of fashion affect extreme sensibility by their looks, manners, and tones of voice; and are so tender hearted, as to weep over high-life scenes of fiction, portrayed in a novel; but can view, with stoic indifference, the vulgar poor, objects of real distress, that have legitimate claims on their charity. Cosmopolite philosophers have a large fund of speculative benevolence, consisting in words—not deeds. They are true to their prototype, SENECA, who was very wealthy, wrote an admirable essay on charity, but never gave any thing to the necessitous.
We have another class of bipeds, who seek to ease their guilty consciences, by commuting for neglects and trespasses, hard dealing and close shaving, by a grave and punctilious attendance at church on Sunday. Distance, mud, and storm; are no barriers. The devil delights in such servants. Some have too much religion in theory, and too little in practice. Some will wrangle for it, others will write for it, some will fight for it, others will die for it; but there are too few who live for it; after the precepts and examples of its great Author. In two things, false professors of all religions have agreed—to persecute all other sects, and plunder their own.
The pillow is the throne of conscience, and the citadel of reflection. It is there, that the world is shut out; there, conscience will be heard; there, reflection enforces attention. There, the grand review of life, and especially of the past day, week or month, takes place. There, errors are corrected, or plans laid to increase them—there, resolutions are formed-good or bad; but there, more than any where, conscience corrects the bad, and enforces the good. On the pillow, we analyze our plans of business, our judgments are more settled, we discover what is wrong, and abandon it; and are more strongly confirmed in what is right. The good man buries his resentments in the pillow, and the wicked are often conquered by reflection, and, on the pillow, nobly resolve to forsake their wickedness, and return to the paths of virtue. The pillow often cools burning revenge, and drives anger from the heaving bosom.
On the pillow, the Christian delights to hold communion with Him who protects him by day, and guards him by night. He can there review the numerous blessings of which he is the happy recipient, reflect upon the immortality of the soul, offer up his silent and undisturbed prayers for himself, his relatives and friends, and the whole human family. The philanthropist can there devise and digest plans for the amelioration of the human family, undisturbed and in quiet. But, oh! the thorns that are in the pillow of him who is steeped in crime, unless he has seared his conscience, and strangled reflection. And to the awakened sinner, how dreadful is the pillow! In the darkness of night, he seems to see the gleaming fires of vengeance, blazing from the throne of an offended Deity. But, from that same pillow, he can look to a bleeding Saviour, find pardon for all his sins, and bathe his enraptured soul in the fountain of redeeming love. On the pillow, the good man commends himself to God for safety while he sleeps, and awards to Him his gratitude when he wakes. On the pillow, nature is refreshed by sleep, let that pillow be of feathers, wood, or stone-sleep, the semblance of death, but the preserver of life. Let all make good use of the pillow.
PRESENCE OF MIND.
This is a rare and useful quality, constitutional with some, and greatly improved in others, by frequent and repeated exposure to danger. This is strongly exhibited by our Aborigines, who are trained to perils from childhood. Long familiarity with persons and things, often changes their first appearance materially. The principle of self preservation, the first law of nature, is the main spring of presence of mind, in time of personal danger. A naturally timid person may become so accustomed to danger, that what he once dreaded, he no longer fears. The reverse sometimes occurs-exposure to perils increases fear and paralyzes all the powers of the man. Some men can never be depended on as soldiers or sailors—owing to constitutional fear.