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the gentle little creature who had so interested me was a skilful and accomplished dissembler. And oh! it is a heart-rending spectacle to see childhood thus corrupted; to see the ingenuousness and simplicity that naturally belong to its tender years, supplanted by precocious cunning and deceit; and that, too, by the teaching of those whom Heaven designed to be the guardians of its loveliness and innocence. Nothing of all the painful and revolting scenes I am called to witness, is so saddening to my mind as this, alas! too common sight."
Another incident connected with this subject I cannot forbear mentioning. One evening in the latter part of the summer, I was walking in a street near my district, when, hearing music and sounds of merriment proceeding from a court, I walked up the passage to see the cause, and there found upwards of twenty beggars of both sexes, their ailments all thrown aside, the piteous tones with which during the day they had appealed to the benevolent, all forgotten, shouting and dancing with the greatest hilarity, to the strains of a merry-looking fiddler. The drollery of the scene was irresistible. Hogarth might have painted it, but I will not attempt to describe it. One of the party came forward, and with eyes brimful of fun, demanded of me a penny as the price of admission to the 'ball!'"
"I have generally found, too, that where there is the most distress, there is to a hasty observer the least appearance of it. There is often much squalidness where there is no poverty. I believe that there are more aching heads and hearts, chilled by penury and want, vainly seeking repose at night in clean and well-ordered rooms, than are to be found in the squalid abodes of the ragged and dirty; and I fear that it is but too true, that the delicate woman who, by hard labour and much painful self-denial, just manages to clothe a family and feed them, is many times passed by, by those who desire to do deeds of charity, because she will not live in filth; whilst the hearty man and woman who spend their all in a gin-shop, and whose children are graduating in vice, receive, because their dwellings are foul and wretched, profuse and ready help."
"In the course of my visits. I have been struck with the close connexion between the Sanitary and the moral condition of a district. The court that is clean, and open, and well ventilated,-the houses that are freshened by the breeze and brightened by the light of Heaven, are generally inhabited by tenants, superior in intelligence and moral worth to those who dwell in dark and murky abodes, where the senses of a visitor are offended almost beyond the power of endurance. There are of course exceptions to this, but the rule is commonly as I have stated.”
THE CHRISTIAN PILOT,
AND GOSPEL MORALIST.
"THE CHRISTIAN PILOT, AND GOSPEL MORALIST," is designed to illustrate and defend the Heaven-ordained and Miraculously-attested Christianity of Christ; to promote Christian Reformation, personal, domestic, social; and forward every Movement tending to the Education. Temperance, Peace, Healthfulness, Brotherhood, the lasting improvement, freedom, virtue and happiness of the people.
Amidst the progress of Infidelity, and the ignorance so generally existing as to the real nature, principles, morality, and spirit of the Gospel of the grace of God, ignorance, in consequence of which so much of that Infidelity has arisen, it is essential that efforts should be made to spread abroad the knowledge of the genuine character of Christianity, its vital principles, its moral laws, its true freedom, its benevolent tendencies. Such duty is incumbent on Christian Unita
rians. Nor less incumbent, as means to this end, the removal of misapprehensions as to the great principles of "the Faith in Christ" which they really entertain, and the exposure of the misrepresentations of that faith which are currently and confidently circulated. The indissoluble connection of their principles with all that is noble, free, elevated, benevolent, pure and holy, should be incessantly inculcated and enforced. A new generation is constantly springing up, to whom the Principles, byepast history, and the present condition of Christian Unitarian Congregations are wholly unknown. Numbers likewise are frequently, through the influence of Scriptural inquiry, joining themselves to Christian Unitarian Societies, and to them such information is peculiarly valuable and acceptable.
To supply in some degree the wants thus indicated, will be amongst the objects of "The Christian Pilot, and Gospel Moralist." It is intended to comprise statements and illustrations of the evidences of Natural and Revealed Religion, the authenticity and credibility of the Books of Scripture, the principles and morality of the Gospel of Christ, and the application of those principles and that morality to the evolvement of the character, and the guidance of the actions of individuals, families, Nations. Interpretations of passages of Scripture will be given; biographical notices of those who have laboured for Christian Reformation; Anniversaries of Associations, Congregations, Schools, intelligence of the condition and diffusion of Christian Unitarian principles in other Countries, will find their place. Record also will be found for Domestic Mission, the Sunday School, the Sanitary, Antislavery, Prison, Temperance, Peace Reforms. The Christian philosophy of Politics, unentangled by the meshes of party, or class, or faction, will not be forgotten. Reviews of Books will have their page. All that can promote the reception and ensure the practice of Christian principle and morality will have advocacy. That advocacy will be presented in original and selected articles, in the contributions of Correspondents and from Works not commonly accessible. Wherever assistance can be obtained, or by whomsoever it may be proffered, welcome will await it.
The response which has been given to the Prospectus has been frank, cordial, cheering. It has manifested the conviction existing in other minds as well as in that of the Editor, as one of his Correspondents has truly expressed it, that there is room, nay that there is a pressing want of such a Publication, without at all crossing the path, or interfering with the work of our existing Periodicals." Such interference no one would more deprecate than he; though gladly would he co-operate in all righteous and benevolent labour. Difference of opinion he anticipated, and is thankful to those who have expressed it. The objections offered he had considered before he issued the Prospectus, and they did not appear to him of sufficient weight to stay the proposal. Various prices have been suggested, but after careful consideration he keeps to that proposed. The failure of less priced works, though with large circulation, is warning. It will be easy to lower the price should the sale warrant it.
The Editor offers thanks to one and all the friends who have written to him for their letters, suggestions, papers. With good heart and hope is "The Christian Pilot" launched on its course, trusting to the individual efforts of those who wish it success. Their aid can make it so. Six copies taken in each Congregation in the United Kingdom would ensure it.
The Editor stated in the Prospectus each Number of "The Christian Pilot" "will contain at least 36 pages." He has given 48, many pages in smaller type than that in which the Prospectus was printed. ther he can continue this number, must entirely depend on the support the Work may receive.
THE Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament, are rendered in a great degree familiar to all, or most, who are taught the arts of reading and writing in this country, from their earliest years. Bibles and Testaments have been widely distributed, and they have long been regarded by all ranks, as books abounding in sacred wisdom, on the true understanding of which, consequences the most momentous both as it respects our present and our eternal welfare depend. But is there not too much reason to fear, that the very circumstance of their extreme familiarity at ages and under circumstances in other respects ill adapted to the discernment and appreciation of the truths they contain, of the sublime prospects they open, and the moral obligations they enforce and exemplify in the leading Scriptural characters, tend greatly to neutralize, and in many instances strangely to pervert, their best effects? There is much indeed in all the historical books of Scripture, of which an occasional perusal for the purpose of conveying its information and impressing it sufficiently on the memory to cause its recurrence on all proper occasions, that will be felt to be interesting and instructive at almost every period of life, in degrees with which narratives from other sources of information will not bear a comparison. They are moreover penned in a simplicity adapted to the most ordinary capacities, and yet with a dignity and majesty commensurate to the importance and magnitude of the matter; so that nothing seems necessary to its reception but minds sufficiently opened and docile, to lend a listening ear to it. And yet, perhaps, there are no books of general interest and importance read with less earnestness and discrimination than the historical books of Scripture,
and more especially those of the New Testament; infinitely as they exceed all others in value, admitting their authenticity; and if I do not greatly mistake, no less exceeding any similar documents in a corresponding propriety and majesty of style. This state of mind appears to me evident from the great indefiniteness and discrepancy, which a very little intercourse may enable us to perceive in the minds of persons of very different ages and grades of intellect, upon some of the most prominent facts and statements they contain. Indeed there prevails a very general indisposition to venture any opinions upon the purport of passages of Scripture and of the Gospel histories; proceeding in part perhaps from an impression of the sacred sublimity of the subjects, but I much fear in a yet greater degree from the want of interest felt in them, in consequence mainly of an early familiarity with the words without any sufficiently clear or adequate corresponding ideas; and that this has arisen from their first use as School books in which the reading of the words only was the main object of both the child and his teacher, both alike glad to acquit themselves of the undertaking to this extent, without either of the parties giving themselves the least concern as to the sense the words were intended to convey!
Simple as is the language of Scripture, it must be apparent to every reader of tolerable intelligence that its Eastern phraseology is of a very different cast from that which is more generally prevalent in this Western part of the world. Its figures of speech are of so lofty and peculiar a description, that nothing but an intimate acquaintance with them, can, in many instances, render them sufficiently intelligible even to a well-informed European reader, and its sublimely simple, though often singularly expressive and beautiful statements are often regarded as of a mystical character. It is also to be considered that the Bible though presented to the mind in a state of childhood or youth, or the grown person who has perhaps barely attained the art of reading with tolerable facility, in a portable Volume, is in reality a Library applying to the different grades of human society from its most infantine to its most matured and advanced intellectual and moral state; and that it is in every respect adapted to those successive states; to the casts of mind, pursuits, and moral sentiments which are respectively prevalent in the several communities; such as we now actually find the human family as it is scattered over the different parts of the globe.
As subjects of the Christian Dispensation, or aspirants to its privileges and blessings, we are more immediately concerned with the concluding volume or collection of writings, which we term the New Testament, or more properly the New Covenant of God with such as are qualified and disposed to conform to its requisitions. The world, or a leading portion of it, having made sufficient advances to be introduced to a purer and more elevated form of religion and morals than that of Judaism; an Individual of the most distinguished excellence, who had been formed under that Dispensation, was selected to lay the foundations of one, which should be more immediately adapted to that advanced and advancing state of the human mind, and of its social relations. Nothing can be of greater importance to our well being, both in the present, and the future world which it was the principal object of his mission to open to our knowledge, than that we should become well acquainted with its true purport; with that light of life everlasting to which he gave the epithet of the Gospel or glad tidings (the evangelion) by way of preeminence; that in conjunction with it we should regard him as the greatest of Legislators, looking to his "sermon on the mount," as the primary rule of our moral and religious life; and to the pattern which he presented before us from the commencement of his public ministry, to his resurrection to angelic blessedness, and his elevation to the heavenly sovereignty on the right hand of God; and endeavouring above all things to imbibe that spirit of true piety and goodness which everywhere breathes throughout his doctrine, life and manners.
It is an important question, how the indisposition which fixes itself upon very many minds to read the Scriptures, particularly the historical books of the New Testament, at all, for a considerable number of years after their School education has terminated, and the listlessness which is felt in their perusal from the extreme familiarity of the words, without any corresponding or adequate ideas accompanying them, can best be remedied in after life. The improved and improving mental and moral state of the world, will no doubt, in time, furnish the best corrective of the puerile conceptions of childhood upon Scriptural, as upon all other subjects. The man of large experience in human life, who regards the day of rest, as such by Divine appointment, sitting down to the perusal and consideration of almost any portion of the Old or New Testament, must soon find ample scope for the exercise of his faculties, in proportion as they are unshackled