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that condition, with respect to immediate want and suffering, is essentially unchanged. 'There are cases, too, in which improvement of character, and an advancement of the best happiness, are most obvious and unquestionable. There are some,-not many, indeed, but there are • some,—who are now industrious, and temperate, and are comfortably supporting their families, and who know by their own experience how great are the blessings of domestic union, and order, and peace, with whom it has been a solemn question within the past year, whether their families must not be broken up ? But without referring to these cases, it should be enough to know, that, by this ministry, the light, and consolations, and encouragements of our religion are carried to many, who otherwise would not have received them; that the gospel is thus preached to those in the midst of us, to whom otherwise it would not have been preached; and that the seed is thus sown, which it may be hoped will spring up to everlasting life. The influence of pastoral visits among the poor may be, and is, to a great extent, of a most salutary character, even where. no great and striking changes are produced by them. And in the cases in which such changes are made, I am quite sure that they who are the subjects of them would not be benefited by a publication of them to the world ; these are private concerns, and, however such narratives might be relished by those who have an appetite for this kind of excitement, I cannot bring them into my reports. But if this influence can be exerted only by a permanent ministry at large for the service of the poor, should not this ministry, to an extent somewhat at least proportioned to the wants of the poor in our city, be immediately appointed ?
REPORT OF THE MINISTER AT LARGE.
The service of the lecture room has been continued ; and has, I think, been very useful. The room is well filled by a very attentive, and apparently a very serious audience. A subscription has lately been taken, the interest of which, as a fund, is to be appropriated to the rent of a Lecture room, and its incidental expenses. We greatly need a more convenient place for this service than we now have; but there is no small difficulty in procuring
I hope you will not think that I overrate the importance of this ministry. I would not ask for it more than it deserves. But so strong is my own impression of its usefulness, that, if I view it only as an expedient of political economy, I think its claims to be as unequivocal, as are those of any prudential measure that can be proposed. But when I think of it in its infinitely higher relations and objects,—that is, as a means of bringing many, who are otherwise in a condition but little better than that of outcasts, within the circle of christian influences, and of strengthening them in christian principles, and of doing what may be done to prepare them for the Christian's final blessedness, -it seems to me that no service will give a better compensation for the sacrifices that are required to maintain it; and that no one who is alive to christian obligations, and who is able to aid in its maintenance, can view it with indifference, or withhold from it his support.
JOSEPH TUCKERMAN, Boston, May 5th, 1828.
SECOND SEMIANNUAL REPORT
SECOND YEAR OF HIS SERVICE
AS A MINISTER AT LARGE
BOSTON, BOWLES & DEARBORN, 50 WASHINGTON STREET, DEPOSITORY OF THE AMERICAN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION
The Executive Committee of the
AMERICAN UNITARIAN ASSOCIATION.
In my last Report, I asked your attention to the objects of the service of a minister at large in the city ; and I endeavored to show that the labors of at least four ar five are required, in any suitable manner to meet the moral wants of the poor among us.
That Report, I have reason to believe, has been favorably received by those to whom you sent it. But the importance of this service is not get felt, as it should be ; for if it were, the demand for laborers in it would not only have been clearly and strongly expressed by those, by whom the office, if it is to be made permanent, is to be maintained, but it would have been repeated, till the call was answered. It is not, and it cannot be, that men are not to be found, who are most thoroughly qualified for this work. The truth on this subject is, that public sentiment among us is as yet far too low, respecting the nature of the work, its true character, and the greatness of its obligations. A very general approbation is expressed of it, and a readiness by some to contribute to its permanent establishment. But the question is at the same time proposed,