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quences, of the ignorance, transgression, and exposures in which we find them.

I could neither satisfy myself, nor others, by any general language upon this topic. The principal cause, I am persuaded, of the little interest which is felt in it, is, the vagueness of general conception concerning it; and this is to be obviated only by a statement of facts, by which the character and extent of the evil to be reme

died may be distinctly seen. I rejoice indeed to know, that there is in our community a very widely extended, and an active sympathy, as well with the moral, as with the physical condition of the poor. But this sympathy is not yet, by any means, what it should be. It is too general, where it should be particular; and therefore too indefinite, to awaken the strong sense which should be felt of personal obligation in the cause. It has indeed provided two ministers for the religious instruction of seamen, and five others exclusively for the service of the poor. Nor is this all. To myself at least, and I know not how far to others, it has most liberally extended the means of adding to moral and religious instruction, the relief, to large numbers, of pressing want, and of severe suffering. Yet this ministry will very partially accomplish the objects which ought to be comprehended in it, if it shall fail to call forth in its supporters a stronger feeling of their moral relation to the poor; if it shall fail of bringing them into a closer connexion with the less prospered classes of their fellowbeings; and if it shall be viewed, and maintained, as a substitute for the personal services, which might otherwise, perhaps, be thought obligatory. I should indeed look with no pleasure upon this ministry, if I must feel

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that its tendency will be to lessen the sense of obligation in its patrons, according to their means and opportunities to do what they can, not only for the temporary relief, but for the permanent improvement and the salvation of those, to whom they may extend their personal interest, and care, and kindness. I have endeavored, therefore, in my Reports, to call forth in those for whom they are intended, a feeling of personal responsibleness in the work of improving the condition, by improving the character of society among us. On the topic upon which I would now address you, this feeling is of an importance which can hardly be exaggerated. If the evils of which I am to speak be in any due degree apprehended, they will, and they must, excite this feeling in the breast of every Christian, of every philanthropist

among us.

I have said, that the prevailing conceptions respecting these children are vague. That I may do what I can to awaken the interest that should be felt in them, I will attempt to classify them. There is a great difference of condition, and of character among them, and very different measures are to be taken for their rescue, and happiness. In regard to these measures, in certain cases, there may be a diversity of opinion; and if any may be proposed, that are wiser than those I shall suggest, I shall heartily rejoice in the preference which may be given to them. But I think there will be no difference of opinion upon the question, should these children, or should they not, be disregarded by us? As citizens, as philanthropists, as Christians, can we justify our neglect of them?



Of the children of whom I have spoken, let me first call your attention to those who are between seven and fourteen years of age. And of these, I would first speak of the boys, whom I would divide into three classes.

The first class consists of those who cannot read, and who therefore cannot obtain admission into our grammar schools.

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It may be asked by some,- have we, in truth, children in our city, who are at an age to be in our graminar schools, but who cannot read well enough to enter them? I answer, we have. Four years ago there was a school in Scott's court, supported by private contributions, expressly for children of this description. This school was so maintained for eighteen months; and there were in it, during that time, seventy children, about three fourths of whom were boys. In that school, thirty children were fitted to enter a grammar school; of whom, twentyfour were placed in one or another of our grammar schools, and employment was found for the remaining six, either in the city or the country. And had there been three similar schools in other parts of the city, I have no doubt they might have been supplied with an equal number of children, as unqualified as these were for our free schools. Some of these were the children of parents who had neglected to send them to our preparatory, or primary schools. But a still greater number were the children of foreigners, or of parents who had removed from the country to the city; and they were brought here unable to read, at an age at which they could not be sent to our primary schools. Now it is v very absurd to say, that this is an

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unavoidable evil; that we have no accountableness for the ignorance of these children; and that they must therefore be left to take the consequences of the poverty and crime into which they may fall. The truth is, that, to a great extent at least, the evil may be remedied. Besides, let it be considered, that these children are to continue with us, and are by and by to form a part of our efficient population, for weal or for wo. And it is not only probable, but almost certain, that if they shall be left to grow up in their ignorance, they will not only be poor, but a large, and probably the largest, part of them will be grossly vicious. Nor can it be, that we should not be partakers of the consequences of their poverty and vice. They must, should they fall into want, or crime, be supported from our property, either through charity, or taxation, or theft. There is then a strong immediate interest concerned in the question, should we, or should we not, make some provision for these children?

Of this class, however, I would make two divisions. The first division consists of those who are profane, and vulgar in conversation; impertinent in manners; regardless of parental authority; fond of ardent spirits; accustomed to falsehood; and, as far as they can be at their age, to petty gambling, and to pilfering. - The second division consists of those, who, either from having been under less unfavorable influences at home, or from less natural strength of propensity and passion, have not fallen into the vices of the first division. These, if brought under the instruction which will qualify them for our grammar schools, by this care alone might be recovered, and probably be trained to be worthy citizens,

and good men. But other measures are required for the salvation of those of the first division. These measures, however, are within the scope of our power; and ours will be the fault if we fail to enforce them.

The second class consists of those, who, although they can read, and might therefore be in our grammar schools, either have not yet been placed in them, or from various causes have been taken from them by their parents.

Of those who can read, but are not known to our instructers, and are idlers and vagrants when they should be at school, some by reason of the poverty, but a greater number through the inefficiency, or the vicious habits of their parents, were either allowed to run at large at the time when they should have been transferred from the primary to the grammar schools; or they were kept from school for the sake of the occasional services they could render, in obtaining food and fuel for their families. Some of these are also the children of foreigners, and of parents from the country, who have neglected to avail themselves of the privileges of our free schools. And of those who have been in these schools and have been taken from them, some are the children of parents who could not, or who, at the expense of the least self-denial, would not, obtain the books that were required for them. Some, as I have been told by parents, were allowed to leave school, because it was intended to send them into the country; an intention which has been delayed, till it has been forgotten. And some have been removed from school, to be placed in shops and offices, from which they have been dismissed

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