« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
annually increased, and the tax upon the benevolent public for the support of medical and other charities, already excessive, promised soon to be wholly inadequate to the increasing demand upon it for the maintenance and relief of the diseased and destitute.
For the interests of the poor, and, as time will ultimately show, for the interests of the wealthy and rate-paying classes themselves, it is fortunate that the revelations made during the existence of the last cholera panic were not wholly unproductive. The office of chief secretary to the English Poor-law Commission happened to be filled by a gentleman, who, to great natural ability, and an extensive official acquaintance with the actual condition of the poor, added a considerable knowledge of the principles of medical science, and an earnest conviction of the importance of applying those principles to the prevention of disease, on a grander scale than had hitherto been attempted. Having obtained the requisite authority from Government, and being ably seconded by some distinguished members of the medical profession, among whom may be mentioned Drs. Southwood Smith, Arnott, and Kay, Mr. Chadwick issued a series of questions to medical practitioners and other competent persons, resident in various parts of Great Britain, and the answers to these inquiries were subsequently embodied in the first "Report of an Inquiry into the Sanitary Condition of the Labouring Population of Great Britain," published by the Poor-Law Commissioners in 1842. Almost simultaneously with the preparation of this Report, Mr. Chadwick, instituted "a special inquiry into the practice of burials in towns,' which in the following year appeared as a supplementary report, and which, both as regards the demonstration of the evils suspected to exist, and the suggestion of practicable measures for their prevention, completely exhausts the subject. These reports, and the startling facts which they revealed, led to the issuing of a commission, composed of various noblemen and gentlemen, selected without reference to party, who in 1844-5 presented reports comprising a mass of evidence on the actual state of the dwellings of the poor in the large towns, and embodying the results of the commissioners' personal inquiries and observations, in a series of recommendations for the improvement of the law in various particulars affecting the health of populous districts. And it is upon these recommendations of the Health of Towns Commission that all the subsequent efforts of various parliamentary leaders to obtain the enactment of a general Sanitary measure have been founded. The Bill which has recently received the sanction of the Legislature, and which is but a very imperfect realization of the wishes of sanitary reformers, is the fifth project that has been submitted in recognition of the necessity for accom plishing this long neglected act of national duty.
We cordially concur with Dr. Robinson in opinion that the chief points to which the attention of Sanitary Reformers should be directed are these:
1. The establishment of a local board of health in every town containing more than a certain number of inhabitants (say 10,000.) 2. The sanitary supervision of the small towns and rural districts by some existing machinery, such as that constituted by the boards of guardians and parochial boards, aided by medical and other superintending inspectors.
3. The extension of the Public Health Act in a more perfect form to the whole of Scotland and Ireland, and to the metropolitan districts. 4. The substitution of compulsory for permissive powers, in cases where the latter shall prove to be ineffective.
5. The abolition of the tax on light, and the diminution of the smoke nuisance.
6. The investment of the Central Board of Health with a general power of superintending the administration of the Act by the local boards,
and of compelling the latter to discharge actively and faithfully the duties which they have undertaken.
7. The appointment to every sanitary district of a medical officer of health, and the establishment throughout the country of a system of medical police.
RELIGIOUS AND PHILANTHROPIC.
UNITARIANISM AT BOSTON, UNITED STATES.-The first of a series of Sunday evening meetings to excite deeper practical interest in the principles of Christian truth and righteousness, through the free expression of thought by different Ministers and Members of Churches, was held in the Federal Street church on Sunday evening, December 31. The services began by a solemn and touching prayer from the Minister of King's Chapel, the Rev. Dr. Peabody. The Mayor, Mr. Quincy, made the opening address. Rev. S. K. Lothrop, the chairman of the Committee of arrangements, presented to the meeting the following propositions as suggestions and hints to those who felt moved to speak, accompanying them with suitable remarks:
To Man and to Society, spiritual interests are real and supreme, the basis of all individual happiness, and of all permanent social prosperity and progress.
At the present day these interests are peculiarly exposed, liable to be overlooked, disregarded, neglected, in the multitude of material agencies that are in operation, and in the increased social comforts these agencies supply and diffuse.
While the "care of this world" has its place, and industry and enterprise in earthly affairs are both obligatory and worthy of praise, the higher uses, the ultimate results of both should be spiritual, and all that is done on earth should be done to the glory of God, be impregnated and pervaded by a religious motive and end.
Christianity is a religion of the social affections, as well as of the intellect and the conscience. It cultivates the element of sympathy in our nature, and makes it an instrument for the diffusion of truth and the promotion of righteousness.
In the individual heart and in our Churches, there is need of a higher tone of spiritual life; a quicker, deeper, broader flow of Christian sympathy; more consecration of time, wealth, talent, influence to spiritual purposes, and more zealous, earnest, united efforts in all the ways of a practical wisdom, to advance the cause of the Gospel, and to spread the accomplishment of those great objects for which Christ came into the
Looking with high respect and an enlarged charity upon the zeal of other denominations, and accepting it as an example and a stimulus, we should recognize, and by large contributions and strenuous efforts, seek to meet and discharge, the solemn obligation which rests upon us, to diffuse Christian truth as we gather it from the Scriptures, that truth, which to us is the life and light of the soul, whose quickening power we should feel more deeply ourselves and extend widely and freely to others. The Revds. Dr. Gannett, R. C. Waterston, F. W. Holland, and Messrs. B. Seaver, and G. W. Warren spoke, and Mr. Quincy concluded the meeting by expressing his satisfaction that having presided at meetings of nearly every kind during his official course, now, at its close, with the closing hours of the year, he was permitted to lend his help to a meeting for the noblest purpose which could engage the attention of man.
The second meeting was held on Sunday evening, January 7. Prayer was offered by Rev. R. C. Waterston, and the Hon. James Savage opened the addresses of the evening. Revds. A. B. Muzzey, of Cambridgeport, C. Brooks, Dr. Peabody, J. N. Bellows, Dr. Gannett, and Messrs. Spear, Deacon Grant, and G. W. Warren, also offered remarks, and the meeting closed by singing "From all that dwell below the skies. The third meeting was more numerously attended than before, and was held January 14. It began with prayer by Rev. Mr. Huntington, the Hon. James Savage presided. The meeting was addressed by Messrs. R. Apthorpe, and Revas. Lothrop, T. S. King, Holland, and Macintosh, a Scottish Orthodox Minister Such meetings rightly conducted, and their true purpose kept faithfully in view cannot but prove eminently useful. Few things are more essential to the healthful action of our Congregations, than the active exertions and co-operation of individual members. Without that co-operation and activity, the labours of the most energetic and devoted Ministry must fail of producing the good they might otherwise accomplish.
DIED, January 19, at Diss, Norfolk, Thomas Dyson, Esq., aged 81. Descended from, and closely connected with, families warmly attached to Civil and Religious Liberty, he gave the ame cause his steady and consistent support. The respect in which he was held in the town where he spent his life was manifested in an unusual degree at his interment. The shops were shut, all business was suspended, and the inhabitants of every class and denomination followed his remains to their quiet resting place at Palgrave, about a mile from the town. The long course of unostentatious usefulness which occasioned this expressive tribute, was appropriately closed by numerous bequests to the poor and industrious, to various charitable institutions, to seven ministers who had officiated in his place of worship, and to many friends, old and young, whose society he valued. Mr. Dyson was never married. His partner for many years in the Diss Bank was Meadows Taylor, Esq., who married one of his sisters, and whose death, ten years ago, called forth similar marks of respect. To these venerated men the neat Unitarian chapel at Diss chiefly owes its existence. May a remembrance of their consistency and their generous efforts lead many to follow in their steps, and at length receive the joyful sentence Well done good and faithful
DIED, at Maidstone, Kent, January 28, Miss Pine. We have known and valued this estimable woman from our childhood. Of amiable and benevolent character, of enlightened mind, of generous sympathies, her life gave evidence of the power of Christian truth to stimulate to the attainment of every Christian excellence. Earthly comfort and happiness led her to the throne of God, acknowledging his goodness; sorrow disciplined and purified her spirit for its eternal home. There was a kindliness about her that won affection, a soundness of judgment that ensured esteem. Her faith in the wisdom and mercy of the Infinite One never wavered. The Resurrection of Christ was the anchor of her soul. Her remains were attended to their earthly resting place in the beautifully secluded spot set apart by her ancestors, by friends and relations who appreciated her moral and spiritual goodness. The Rev.
William Stevens, on whose ministry she attended as long as health and strength permitted, preached on the following Sunday a discourse appropriate and useful. We have been favoured by an esteemed Friend with some reminiscences of the religious communities with which Miss Pine had been from her earliest years associated.
66 The name of Mr. John Wiche, the intimate friend and correspondent of Dr. Nathaniel Lardner, the author of the Credibility of the Gospel History, is still, pretty extensively known in the Unitarian Con
gregations. During more than fifty years he was the enlightened and candid instructor of a small body of General Baptists in the town of Maidstone. In the reign of Charles II, the General Baptists separated from the Episcopalian church, and had formed a community upon the principle of the obligation of the baptism of believers by immersion. It appears to have had its commencement in Maidstone, with a Mr. Simon Pine, somewhat prior to the beginning of the reign of James II. The Parish Church Register brings down the family of Pine to very near that epoch, but breaks off about the time when the Baptist church dates its origin. Mr. Simon Pine, whose death in the year 1682 is recorded on the head stone over his grave, took the step with others, of setting apart a piece of ground forming an equilateral triangle, in a very secluded situation, about a mile from the town, in the hamlet of Tovil, for the sepulture of himself and Christian brethren There seems reason to conclude that it must originally have stood in connection with a farm house belonging to one of the body, at a short distance, through a valley adjoining it. There is a large room in that house, in which the Rev. Beale l'ost, its present occupant, who is an ingenious antiquarian, has discovered in the compartments around the walls, texts of Scripture inscribed; also a concealed enclosure, which must have been intended to receive the Preacher, or such other person as might be most endangered by attacks from some of the Tyran's' minions. At their assemblages, predecessors of Miss Pine have stated, that Thomas Pine, son of Simon Pine, in his youth was employed to watch, and give notice of any approaches of the adversary, they being subjected probably to the legal atrocities of "the Five Mile Act."
From the time of release from its operation, an occasion of the accession of the last James to the British throne, they appear to have met more openly, having addressed him with their thanks for the liberation, by a deputation of their members. A Dr. W right, whose monument still forms a prominent object on the ground, was their first Preacher, as named in their written Record. After an interim, in which the services were conducted by brethren from different, and sometimes distant quarters, about the year 1745, Mr. Wiche became their permanent instructor in the place of worship, and of their children and others at School. A change of sentiment went on as it respects the Object of devotion, in what as Unitarians we consider as an advance to Scriptural simplicity and truth. Simon Pine, and his immediate descendant, Thomas Pine, were zealous Trinitarians; but his son, Thomas Pine, being a man of much reflection, became a decided Antitrinitarian, acknowledging the Father only as God. Ann Pine, just deceased, was a daughter of John Pine, brother to the last mentioned. These were brethren in every point of view, in piety genuine, but unostentatious, holding all points of doctrine in their just subservience to their duty to God and man; actuated by benevolence towards all persons, and an ardent desire to witness the advancement of true religion and goodness. On the death of Mr. Wiche, the Baptist Society became one with that of the Protestant Dissenting Congregation, under the pastoral charge of the Rev. Abraham Harris. The two daughters of John Pine, long resided on the same spot in which they both closed their earthly career. They were of congenial sentiments and feelings. With those habits of free, serious reflection, which had been instilled into them by their predecessors, they were ever kind hearted, conscientiously endeavouring to discharge the duties and yield the friendly offices which devolved upon them. In their grave, on the spot selected by their ancestor, they are united, to be for ever associated at the resurrection of the just."
CHRISTIAN UNITARIAN CONGREGATION ALNWICK.-Mr. Harris, as will be seen by the following extract from the Third Annual Report of the Newcastle and North of England Unitarian Christian Tract and
Missionary Society, July, 1848, has for some time engaged in a Monthly religious service with the Congregation at Alnwick, Northumberland. This society originated in 1815 in a secession from the Methodist New Connection, then under the pastoral care of the Rev. William Probert, worshiping at Bethel Chapel. Having been dissatisfied with the proceedings of the Conference, about three fourths of the Methodist Congregation, with their Pastor, withdrew peaceably, and formed themselves into an independent church. Amongst them there were several Universalists and Unitarians. Free Scriptural inquiry was encouraged, and after meeting in the Town Hall for a season, a Chapel was erected for their accommodation. The people being mostly poor, they could contribute not more than £117 to the building, and a debt was consequently contracted, the cost being £450. The society has undergone many vicissitudes in consequence of removals and deaths. It has had for its successive Ministers the Revds. John Wright, J. S. Hyndman, W. McKean, J. T. Cooper, and has been kept together by the assiduous efforts of devoted men among its members, the religious services for years having been conducted by a truly estimable individual who during the week labours with his hands for the meat which perisheth, and on the Sunday dispenses with simplicity, plainness, and Christian fervour, the Bread of Life, Mr. James Stott, a gardener. The friends being desirous of exciting greater public attention to the monthly services of Mr. Harris requested him to give some Lectures on the Love of God in connection with universal salvation. Efficient notice was given of the subject to the general public, and the first discourse delivered January 9. A larger audience attended than had before been witnessed since the alteration of the chapel some years since, and great interest was manifested. That interest drew together still greater numbers February 6, and it is hoped will continue. The misrepresentations indulged in by the Rev. George Richards from the pulpit of Zion Meeting on Sunday evening, February 11, and to which Mr. Harris will reply in his next lecture, March 6, will not tend to diminish that interest. Few Congregations have done more for the diffusion of Christian Unitarian principles than that of Alnwick. Many are the friends in various congregations of the Kingdom who there first heard of Scriptural truth, and were induced to prosecute its inquiry. The congregation is deserving of aid in its efforts, and it is hoped will meet with it. We recommend the following extract from the Report already noticed to the members of Fellowship Funds in different sections of the country. Donations will be gladly received by Mr. William Davison, bookseller, Alnwick, who thankfully acknowledges £1 from the Fund of the Old Meeting, Birmingham. "The meritorious and steadily united little flock at ALNWICK, having in conversation with the Secretary readily entered into plans seemingly essential to the permanent stability and success of the Society, and aid in carrying forward these plans, having been immediately promised by the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, your Secretary, with the sanction of the Committee, has begun a series of Week-day evening services once a inonth in that Town. At the close of the last Sermon he preached in Alnwick, [June 19, 1848], a Collection was made towards effecting the liquidation of a debt of £70, which presses heavily on the Congregation, and the liberal contribution of £22 10s. 6d. was raised. There has since been an addition of £7 from friends at Alnwick, made to this sum; and the Committee indulge the confident hope that by the aid of friends here and elsewhere, conjoined with the contingent grant of £10 from the British and Foreign Unitarian Association, the burden will be removed, and the praiseworthy labours of the excellent Individual who has so faithfully conducted the religious exercises of their House of Prayer, be encouraged, and the hearts of all the Members be strengthened in the maintenance of unpopular Truth." It will be seen that about thirty pounds are required to free the Society from this burden.