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and at whatever cost to all or to any, it should declare in an imperative tone, declare with a voice of thunder, that this shall not be; the season of tender youth, or the inferior strength of woman, shall not be so applied. Let the one perform the lighter duties that naturally fall to her share ; let the other be at their proper post of instruc. tion; and whatever may be said to be the false political economy of the measure, whatever may be said to be the injury to any of the commercial interests of the country, there are the paramount interests of humanity above all. Children shall not be so tasked, parental feeling shall be shielded from such revulsion.
Another unfavorable circumstance is, that the poor are eminently subjected to the influence of other classes. There exists among themselves a class of demoralized paupers, living in comparative idleness, and often living and thriving better than the most hardy industry. There exists amongst them a class of dishonest persons; for thieving appears in our day to be rather a profession, than a violation of the law to which honest but poor men are tempted by the pressure of necessity. They have continually before their eyes these classes of people, doing better than themselves, having more abundant fare, and of a better quality;. what wonder if, with minds unformed by instruction, they sometimes approximate towards the one or the other, and overpass the boundaries of a strict integrity. They are subjected to the influence of politicians. If war is to be waged, their passions are to be stimulated; their ignorance is to be misled ; their poverty is to be bribed ; their bodies and their consciences are to be bought; and they are to be made the living machinery of shedding those torrents of blood, which ambition, or any other evil disposition, may will should flow to drench and desolate the earth. If political bigotry wants a victim, they are to be excited to acts of riot, and then turned loose, often to destroy the property and to endanger the lives of the very best of men, and of their noblest benefactors. And so, on the other hand, there are acting on them the influences of those, who, on their heads, would rise to personal emolument and advantage: the political demagogue, who tells them of all sorts of golden prospects, and by the most absurd means ventures to assure to them the realization of blessings, which may be far beyond their reach by any means, but which assuredly can never be achieved by any panacea in his possession. All bear on the poor, all are continually operating on their ignorance, and perverting their minds. The bigot addresses himself to them, in order to strengthen his bigotry; to give the spirit of sectarianism more power; to roll its thunders with a louder crash against those whom he denominates heretics; and to dart his lightnings with a clearer and more fatal aim. Even the philanthropist very often inakes their condition worse, and aggravates their sufferings by a misdirected charity, which increases the evil it endeavors to alleviate ; and thus, what is meant for their good, is continually perverted for their evil. Even religion, as presented to them, often assumes the character of darkness and of gloom, adding to all their other apprehensions, while it ought only to approach them as an angel of light, guiding them to peace and to cheerfulness here, and pointing them to to a better world hereafter.
0, how strong is humanity! What a grand, what a majestic thing is that constitution of sentient nature, which does not break down under all this suffering ; which manifests its tendency, which breathes its aspirations, which shows its origin from the Father of truth
and light and goodness, even amidst all the clouds that time and circumstances cause to brood over it, and dim its brightness ! For so it is, that in the favorable circumstances of poverty, we must advert first to the native tendencies of humanity. They are often displaying themselves with a power which shows their beneficent and their everlasting nature. Rightly has the most philosophical of living poets declared, that
6. Man is dear to man. The poorest poor
That we have, all of us, ONE HUMAN HEART." There is the great source of strength and hope, in that universal oneness of the human heart; there is the origin of what is justly denominated natural sympathy, the craving for it from others, and the innate propulsion towards its exercise in every individual; there is the great pledge which man gives to man, and which God gives to man, that, so long as our nature is continued in existence, manifestations of goodness shall not be wanting to vindicate its moral dignity, and eventually its happy destiny.
Another favorable circumstance is the comparative self-dependence of poverty. For children in other ranks everything is done ; amidst all the lessons that are taught them, there is too commonly a neglect of the most important lesson that a human being can learn, and that is, how to help himself; everything is done for them: whilst on the other hand, the child of poverty must speedily learn that most things are to be done by him for himself. And hence, as he grows up, and his mind haply takes a good direction, all moral qualities acquire peculiar energy and firmness. This very feeling
of self-dependence generates power; the power of acquiring knowledge; the power of adding one acquisition of information to another acquisition of information ; the power of exercising more and more clearly the reasoning faculties with which he is invested ; the power of turning more and more to account the different circumstances by which he is surrounded. And as his character unfolds itself, there is this addition to every attribute
—that it is not as a reed shaken with the wind; that it is not as a chance production having no deep root, nor strength of stem, which any passing foot may trample in the dust, and crush for ever; but has the quality of strength, and with that the property of endurance, so that all is compacted with a solidity which seems to scorn the boast of ancient genius, that it was raising works on which the showers shall beat and the winds shall blow in vain, and which may defy the eating rust of time; for there is somewhat in it more enduring still, there is the strength of eternity in the moral virtues generated by poverty.
Another favorable circumstance is the stronger sympathy that is elicited by their own experience, or their closer observation of the extent of suffering that is endured; and the higher gratification of benevolence, when that benevolence has to be manifested, not by a mere pecuniary donation, but, as in their case, by personal assistance to the sufferer. That experience is essential for the most efficient sympathy has always been remarked, and it is true alike of all classes. Whatever may be the calamities which befal a man, he finds most eloquence in the tongues of those who have themselves endured similar disasters. “He speaks to me who never had a child,” is the almost scornful repulse of the bereaved parent, turning away from what seems to him the cold language of one who, never having been placed in like circumstances, can have no conception of the agony of his bosom. And so it is with reference to all the calamities which afflict human life, and the mode in which those calamities can best be alleviated.
Now the poor are to other classes too often but as the inhabitants of a remote and unexplored country. Comparatively little can be realized, by the children of affluence, of their state who are exposed to the mischiefs which I have just enumerated, and to these mischiefs in coinbination with sickness—with protracted sicknesswith bitter privations, and with the other ills which flesh is heir to, but which in this combination fall upon them with so much peculiar bitterness. There then springs up amongst themselves a sympathy which has been exercised to an extent which does them honor. Talk what we will of charity, and of kindness, the great alleviator of the sufferings of the poor is the sympathy of the poor. There are immense loads heaved off by this power, the pressure of which would defy any other interposition, and baffle all the philanthropy, of those who are most active and most energetic in their philanthropy, but who do not belong to the class, to the good of which they earnestly desire to minister.
“I love," said Robert Robinson in one of his beautiful Village Sermons, “the soul that must and will do good ; the kind creature, that runs to the sick bed, I might rather say bedstead, of a poor neighbor, wipes away the moisture of a fever, smooths the clothes, beats up the pillow, fills the pitcher, sees it within reach, administers only a cup of cold watcr ; but in the true spirit of a disciple of Christ, becomes a fellow worker with Christ in the administration of happiness to mankind. Peace be with that good soul! She also must come in time into