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cents ? Either power is here assumed without right, or there is a very sorry trifling, in our legislation upon this subject, with right, and power, and responsibility. Much has indeed been done in the cause of temperance, and much more I trust is to be effected, through an enlightened public opinion. But our halls of legislation have yet done nothing in this good work. Have they, however, nothing to do in it? And, have they not all the requisite power to do much in it; and thus more, perhaps, than by any other single restrictive right and power which they possess, to secure order, and happiness, property, liberty and life? *
* We have recently seen not only our city government, but our public at large, awake to the duty of doing all that could be done for security against the disease, of the ravages of which we have heard so much in the other cities and nations of the world. And when it was found impracticable to prevent its irruption, the most prompt and energetic measures were taken to arrest its progress, by removing the causes by which it was supposed that it might have been generated. But is the intemperance which prevails in our city, in our commonwealth and our country, a smaller, or is it an incomparably greater evil, than the cholera ? And if equal solicitude were felt by the government of our city, and state, and nation, and a proportionally united and resolute effort were made by the temperate in our land, for the absolute suppression of intemperance, as has been made in Boston for protection from the cholera, how long would intemperance continue to be as it is among us? May God' open our eyes to the true character of evils, and unite our hearts in the cause of correcting, and of preventing them!
“In solemn truth, there is nothing of more serious consideration, nor which more loudly calls for a remedy, than the evil now complained against,” drunkenness. - For what can be more worthy the care of the Legislature, than to preserve the morals, the innocence, the health, strength and lives of a great part,
I will repeat, the most useful part, — of the people? So far am I, in my opinion, from representing this in too serious, or too strong a light,
In my last Report I expressed “my strong desire, that some one should take my place in this ministry, to whom I might act as an assistant, and on whom might devolve the whole duties of the chapel.” That desire has been accomplished. My young friend, Mr Charles F. Barnard, has entered upon the service in the fulness of its spirit; and I look with great confidence and happiness to the results of his labors. You will join with me in the fervent prayer, that he may be an instrument of extending widely among us a christian 'sense of human relations; of doing much to ameliorate condition through the improvement of character; and thus, of advancing the cause and kingdom of Christ. Of the patrons of this ministry, I entreat for him a full portion of the sympathy and aid, which have been so generously accorded to myself.
A very few words more, and I have done.
“Men have outgrown the other institutions of that period when Christianity appeared ; its philosophy, its modes of warfare, its policy, its public and private economy. But
that I can find no words, or metaphor, adequate to my ideas on this subject. The first invention of this diabolical liquor may be compared to the poisoner of a fountain, whence a large city was to de. rive its waters; the highest crime, it has been thought, of which human nature is capable ; a degree of villany, indeed, of which I cannot recollect any example. But, surely, if such was ever practised, the governors of that city would not be thought blameless, did they not endeavor, to the utmost, to withhold the citizens from drinking the poisonous draught. And, if such a general thirst after it prevailed, as we are told possessed the people of Athens at the time of the plague, when, as Thucydides saye, they ran into the wells, being constantly possessed by an inexhausted thirst, what could justify the not effectually cutting off all the aqueducts, by which the poison was dispersed among the people ?”.
"Z" Causes of the Increase of Robbers.” Fielding's Works. Vol. x. pp. 365, 6.
Christianity has never shrunk as intellect has opened, but has kept in advance of men's faculties, and has unfolded nobler views, in proportion as they have ascended."
Let these nobler views, then, engage the thought and interest of those who may, if they will, do much to bring the institutions of our city far nearer than they have yet been brought to the purity of character, and to the happiness in their results, which Christian principles only will impart and secure to them. There is too much of a disposition among us to overlook the great interests which are comprehended in our schools, our penitentaries, and our public charities. But is it not, comparatively, a matter of very light concern, whether a few thousand dollars more or less shall annually be appropriated for the clearing of sewers, or the widening of streets ; or, whether a few dozens or scores, more or less, shall annually be added to, or taken from, the number of our paupers and criminals? Whence, then, is it, that there is among us so many, from whom an exalted public spirit might have been expected, so much disregard of our institutions for education, and for penal and charitable purposes? These institutions are now young; and we may prune them, and engraft upon them, with a confidence that they will reward us with the genuine fruits of justice, and of benevolence. But let them become entangled in their growth, and acquire obduracy and stubbornness from time, and the evils connected with them may be irremediable. I beseech, then, the intelligent and moral among us, to look carefully to the character, the condition and prospects of those institutions, which they are taxed to support, and which will bring increasing weal,
* Channing's Discourses, Reviews and Miscellanies. p. 35
REPORT OF THE MINISTER AT LARGE.
or wo, upon themselves, and their descendants. To whom shall the charge of these institutions be committed ? This is an inquiry of solemn import to the well being of our community; and every elector answers this inquiry for himself, by the vote which he casts into the ballot box. And, does not he incur a fearful responsibility, who, professing to comprehend the value of these institutions, does not give his vote in our public elections; and thus withholds his suffrage from those, to whom a little reflection would make him even solicitous that these great interests should be entrusted ?
I have had no interruption in my ministry for the last six months from ill health ; and I look back to this term with equal gratitude and happiness, as to any equal portion of the time which I have passed in this service. I trust that this ministry may now be considered as established among us. May it go on increasing in its beneficial results, and commending itself alike to the rich and the poor. It must, and it will, if it shall be wisely conducted, be one of the most important of the instruments which can be employed, in cities at least, to extend most wisely the purifying and saving influences of Christianity, and to advance social order, security and happiness.
November 5, 1832.