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age when men's minds are taken | eight years that this society has been up with large and comprehensive in operation, there have passed from schemes and plans, such an institu- out of the school one hundred and tion as this is likely to be overlooked thirteen girls, taken from the scenes and forgotten. But, my brethren, let of profligacy that I have described; it be remembered that no comprehen- and that of those, one hundred and sive plan can ever be matured into thirteen, there have been only two available performance, except by di- instances of re-commitment to prison. ligent and persevering labour in the Now I appeal to those who are acminute details. The details of this quainted with the common history of little institution supply most encou-juvenile offenders, whether this fact raging particulars-instances which does not speak volumes for this little would delight the heart of the Chris-institution? It will show that the tian philanthropist to meditate on, in- discipline to which they were substances of little children, who hadjected, while within the walls of this been arrested and carried as thieves little seminary-that the Christian to our common prisons, and who, after attention of the ladies who visited it, a short confinement there, instead of and the Christian watchfulness of the being thrown back into the society of matron who presided over it-that their former vile companions, have the prayer and reading which has been taken by the ladies forming the been carried on amongst them-that committee of this little institution, the regularity of the work in which have been sheltered, fed, and clothed, they have been engaged, has been so have been instructed, made to work, far blessed to them, that though we argued with, and prayed with, affec- hesitate to pronounce, because we tionately entreated, and the ferocity would not speak without a reason, of their little manners has yielded that they have been thoroughly Chrisunder this gentle process, and the vi- tianized, yet to society they have been rulence with which they have scowled changed, for they have been moralupon their kind guardians, during ized, that one hundred and eleven out the first few days, has given way to of one hundred and thirteen, have all the gentleness that belongs to, at not yet, at the end of the space of least, a penitent, if not a truly Chris-eight years, re-appeared within the tian state of heart. Some of these precincts of a prison.
persons have afterwards been recommended to service, some have been restored after a considerable season to their parents; and, my brethren, whatever may be thought of the actual personal transformation of character that may have occurred in some of these instances; however difficult it may be for us to examine truly, and to pronounce truly as to that personal transformation, yet there is one fact connected with the history of this little institution, which will speak volumes to those who are acquainted with the habits and history of juvenile offenders-it is this, that during the
My brethren, some of these girls, as I have already mentioned to you, have been put to service, and it will be gratifying, I doubt not, for you to hear that, in one instance, a young person in service has continued in the same family now for four years, and bears the highest possible character as a diligent and obedient servant. That another has returned from her service in order to nurse an aged sick parent, which she does, combined with reading of the Scriptures to that parent. That in this latter work she feels her inefficiency, and has lately called in a member of this Society to
bed, in reading the Word of GOD. These are simple instances-they are simple annals of the poor; but they are such as the angels in heaven rejoice over, because they are instances of one sinner repenting upon the earth. They are instances such as your hearts will rejoice over, in the same proportion that you have imbibed the principles which angels delight to live in, the principles which Jesus delights to inculcate. They will engage your attention in proportion as you remember truly the Lord, who said, "It is more blessed to give than to receive;" in proportion as you agree thoroughly with the disciples of the Lord, who "would that we should remember the poor," the same which let us also be forward to do.
supply her place at her mother's sick | support let it have it, if not let it cease altogether; but let it not be said of a little seminary of this sort, that it shut up its doors and refused applications because not supported by the public. The funds in the hands of the treasurer are only sufficient to go on a few weeks more, certainly not sufficient to meet the exigencies of the winding up at the end of the year. Surely it cannot be necessary to urge such a cause as this upon the hearts of Christian brethren? Nay, surely, if it were lawful for me to take lower ground, I might appeal to the prevalent temper of these times of reform in the various directions of society itself, independently of the higher and everlasting transformation of heart; but to appeal even to the reformers of human society, I say here is a little child that hath put forth its first efforts, and it has proved itself capable of restoring one hundred little criminals to good order in society. Come, help, that it may add hundreds to the one it hath already given, to reclaim the multitudes of young helpless thieves and prostitutes that abound in our streets. My brethren, liberally contribute to this, and GOD will bless you in the deed; and grace and mercy be administered to you all from God our Father, and Jesus Christ our Saviour.-Amen.
Come forward then, my friends, and help this little institution. Are there not some here most suitable to be enrolled as subscribers to such a little seminary as this? I doubt not, there are persons in this congregation who, perhaps, have been ignorant of the details of this; I would rejoice if they would come forward and enquire more particularly into it than I can explain from the pulpit. Let the merits of it be examined-let the operations of it be enquired into-let it not dwindle for want of support; if it deserve
SERMON BY THE REV. R. ROBINSON, A. B.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 1832.
DELIVERED BY THE REV. R. ROBINSON, A. B.
AT THE COLLEGIATE CHURCH, WOLVERHAMPTON, ON TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 6, 1832, BEING THE DAY APPOINTED IN THAT TOWN FOR A GENERAL THANKSGIVING.
2 Samuel, xxiv. 25.-" The Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed in Israel."
WHEREVER we trace the dealings of GOD with man, the end and design of every operation of his mighty hand seems to be intended for the happiness of man. Various are the methods he pursues in reclaiming the scattered and wandering sheep of his fold-in bringing them back from the wilderness of sin, and restoring them in safety to the shepherd and bishop of their souls. "All things work together for good to them that love God." When he visits with affliction-when he sends through a country the plague or the pestilence--when he pours out upon us the vials of his wrath, and threatens us with all his storms-it is that he may bring us nearer to himself that we may "remember that GOD is our rock, and that the high GOD is our redeemer." The mercy of Jehovah appears to be his most glorious attribute the brightest and the richest gem in the celestial crown. The day dawns upon the darkness of nightthe spring smiles upon the dreariness and deadness of winter;-the wilderness and the untracked forest, in their season, blossom as the rose, and the
universal earth sends forth its increase. The hours of sickness and sorrow are changed for days of health and happiness-the house of mourning for the house of joy-the arm that guides the pestilence for the hand that breaks the storm. And besides all, and above all, redemption rules the powers of darkness, and the "sun of righteousness" has arisen on a benighted world "with healing on his wings." These-the mercies of GOD-can never be exhausted; the loving kindness of the Lord can never be subdued. Before time was, and when the creation of the world was in the womb of thought, there was one attribute in heaven more resplendent than all; and when eternity has rolled and rolled on,-ages without number,—that attribute will remain still as bright, still undimmed
the attribute of mercy. "The stars may fall from their courses," and worlds may be crumbled into nothingness, and still there will exist in heaven mercy in the creation, preservation, and redemption of man. The history before us is a manifest
fulfilment of the declaration I have
even in those days, was boundless and incessant, and that there were some, who could feel the full effect of its force, and be subdued by its power. What a lesson is this to us? Compared with this-what a humiliating picture does Christendom of the present day present to our view? we have men who, when even the chastisement of God was upon them,when the angel of destruction was slaying its thousands-not in the camp of the Assyrians, but on British land,
refused to acknowledge the visitation of heaven, and questioned the message of the most high.
In further pursuing the history of David, as connected with this subject, we are informed that "he built an altar to the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the Lord was entreated for the land, and the plague was stayed in Israel." And may we not hope-notwithstanding the infidelity that stalks the length and breadth of this nation that the prayers and petitions that have ascended from every temple of the land to the throne of grace-that the voice of multitudes as the voice of one man
may have entered into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and that the GOD of heaven may have relented, and said, as he once did before, to the destroying agent, "It is enough: stay now thine hand."
The mercy of GOD in attending to the petitions of the truly penitent, has been conspicuous in all ages and at all times. In the thirty-fourth chapter of Exodus, Jehovah represents himself "the Lord, the Lord GOD, merciful and gracious, long suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands." Survey him in his dealings with the Israelites of old: follow him into Egypt-see him by his representatives, Moses and Aaron-pleading for his people in the royal courts of Pharaoh ;
enter with the camp of Israel the separated waves of the Red Sea; travel with his chosen people through the wilderness, and view him "in the daytime leading them with a cloud, and all the night through with a light of fire." And when "they provoked him in the wilderness," when "they grieved him in the desert," hear him affectionately expostulating with them, "Oh that my people had hearkened unto me that Israel had walked in my ways." In the times, too, of the prophet Jeremiah, when the idolatry of Israel had overspread the landwhen they bowed the knee to the idols which their own hands had made -when they prostrated themselves before stocks and stones-when they polluted themselves in the sight of the heathen-when the prophets of Baal were more in number than the prophets of God,-listen to him speaking by the mouth of that holy seer, "Return, thou backsliding Israel; and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful," saith the Lord," and I will not keep anger for ever." In former times, when Sodom was doomed to destruction, the voice of the Lord GOD is heard declaring, that if ten-only tenrighteous persons could be numbered within its walls, the city should be saved from ruin. The mercy of GOD dwelt in the bosom of the deity from everlasting. It rested in heaven before the world existed. It appeared on earth at the creation. It entered the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve. It followed them from paradise. It was an inmate with Noah and his family in the ark. To the patriarchs --Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob-it was exhibited in a peculiar manner. It was with Joseph in Egypt, it illumined the ark of GOD in the wilderness, and settled with the Israelites in the land of Canaan. It appeared again, in all its brilliancy, at the coming of Christ.
It shed its rays over many a dark and benighted mind, and gladdened many a desponding soul. Since then, eighteen centuries have measured the boundary of time, and many thousands of our fellow creatures have rejoiced that they felt it, and have gone down to the grave in the blessed hope of seeing it hereafter. Many a time has the cot of indigence found in it an abundance of wealth. Many a visit has it made to the wretched cabins of penury and want-where disease and sorrow sate coiled together-where affliction deep and dark settled on the soul and gathered on the brow of the humble occupants; and many a time has it wiped away their tears. Elijah felt it by the brook Cherith. The widow of Zarephath witnessed it in "the barrel of meal, and in the cruse of oil." Lazarus in his grave; the malefactor on the cross; besides thousands whom it has guided in time, and gladdened in eternity.
The heavens above-the earth beneath-proclaim the mercy of God. The beautiful orbs that adorn the boundless sky, and stud the bosom of the trackless firmament, declare, in their majesty and splendour, the clemency of their Creator. "There is neither speech nor language, yet their voices are heard among them." The bright and revolving worlds hanging in the immensity of spacethe sun that "rejoiceth as a giant to run his course"-all, all pronounce that the mercy of GoD reacheth unto the heavens, and his faithfulness unto the clouds." The earth, too, sends forth in abundance food for the sustenance of man. This lower world speaks, in its teeming produce, that great is the mercy of God. While man-busy man,-occupied with a thousand cares-distracted by many an anxious thought, is heedless and inattentive to the giver of all good, the tender herb rising from the clod, and