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not think the most happily chosen to throw light upon it. Dr. Geddes tells us that he had a long labour in this difficult place, and they who are not pleased with his translation may lie among the pots' as long as they choose.
We will dwell no longer on what seem to us to be blemishes in this valuable production of a scholar, whom we highly respect: but will only add a regret, that in a few instances he has not sufficiently distinguished his own judgment from that of the writer whom he quotes. Michaelis' opinion of the plastered stones in Deuteronomy xxvii. contained in his Commentaries on the Laws of Moses,' is really the most strange that is to be found in that very strange and unequal work. Yet it is given without any other comment than a counter opinion from Dr. Geddes. A part of what is said on the 175th page, of the plague of frogs, creates no surprise, as coming from Dr. Adam Clarke: but it is only doing justice to Dr. Harris to declare, that he is himself utterly incapable of saying any thing so silly.
The indices that are placed at the end of the volume deserve notice, as they are drawn up with faithful accuracy, and at no small pains, and contribute to the utility of the work. The first index is a list of the articles according to the English translation; with the original names, and the Linnæan or scientific appellations, in parallel columns. The second refers to a number of articles incidentally mentioned; some of which are curious, and some really important. The third points out the passages of which either a new translation is given, or a particular illustration is attempted.
The public is indebted to the author for a work excellent in its kind. Perhaps he has made it too learned to suit the great mass of the reading community; and if it should prove so, he will not probably be disappointed at it. By those, however, who feel an interest in the subjects of which it treats, it will be consulted with pleasure; and the critical student of the Bible will find it an agreeable accession to his books of reference.
Explanation of the views of the Society for employing the poor; with the Constitution and By-laws; and an extract from the report of the Managers, for the first three months. Boston, July, 1820.
It is mortifying to the hopes of the philanthropist, and puts a check upon the exertions of the charitable, to observe how rarely an
intimate knowledge of the vices and the wants of our fellow creatures is connected with the desire of aiding in the correction of the one or the relief of the other. It is discouraging to mark how seldom they who are thought, or who think themselves practical, judicious men, skilful in judging of the motives and character of those about them, and able to avail themselves of the good or bad qualities, the strength or the weakness of others for their own purposes, are willing to engage in any project which has for its end either the moral or the physical improvement of mankind. They fancy themselves to know too well the incorrigible and obstinate nature of men to expect to improve them by their feeble efforts, and they are sure that every shilling which is bestowed upon a mendicant in whatever form, the price even of the Bible itself-only goes to swell the profits of the licensed retailer of spirituous liquors. The more they have known of mankind, the worse have they found them; and forgetting that the worse men are, the greater efforts are requisite for their reformation, they content themselves with exhibiting their knowledge at the expense of their wisdom, and muster up their philosophy to bear with the world as they find it. They are apt to leave the merit of establishing and conducting many of the institutions for charitable purposes to those who have less knowledge of human nature, and less skill in managing it, more enthusiasm, and strength of feeling, with less of judgment to direct it. Thus it has happened that the character of the object has become associated with the character of those who are willing to devote their time and labour to the promotion of it, and charitable and visionary have become almost convertible terms. This reluctance to benevolent exertion, which is so obvious and so lamentable in men of prudence and worldly wisdom, has been very much strengthened by the general reception of the modern theory of population and political economy; and because it has been satisfactorily proved, that suffering must exist in the world, it has been thought futile to attempt to relieve it, or to prevent its increase. It has even been seriously urged, that by saving men from the consequences of vice and folly, we are running counter to the disciplinary designs of Providence, and that true benevolence is that which leaves men to the bitterest effects of guilt and error. This unfeeling and unchristian doctrine has not seldom been maintained since the publication of Mr. Malthus's work, and thus an argument, which would have disgraced the thirteenth century, has been deduced from the philosophy of the nineteenth. It is an argument which must rest for support. on a proposition, which seems itself to require proof, that the
human race is not designed by its Marker to improve in physical, intellectual, or moral condition by their own exertions, and that it is their duty to submit to whatever evils they may be suffering, without an effort or a wish to remove them. It is an argument, too, which makes the world a scene of probation in this respect for only one portion of its inhabitants,-those, who are wicked enough to bring calamities upon their own heads, or so unfortunate as to be weighed down by the misconduct of others and the various accidents of life, or who are too weak, or unskilful, or ignorant to avoid them. But if it is the duty of these to gather instruction and to improve under their bitter experience, what is the duty, and what is the proof of the virtue of those, who possess the means and opportunity of lessening the severity or the length of their trials? who might inform the ignorance which allows, or relieve the wants which urge them to be guilty and miserable? Is there no correspondence between the situation of the poor, and the duty of the rich? between the necessities of the ignorant, and the abilities of those who are better informed? For what purpose are the goods of this world unequally bestowed, but for the trial of the virtue of both classes, those who abound, and those who suffer need? If we are to avoid relieving the necessitous, till we are sure that we are not encouraging vice, till it is ascertained to be a fact that every man has learnt from experience that wickedness brings misery in its train, we fear that the evils incurred will be infinitely greater than those which are avoided. The vices of one class will not be prevented, while the peculiar virtues of another will be annihilated. The true inference from the unquestionable fact, that benevolent exertions are frequently unavailing and perverted, and that kindness is sometimes requited by obstinate villany, is, that these efforts and this liberality have been misapplied and ill-judged; not that it is unnecessary to be benevolent, much less that it is wrong, but that it is equally necessary to be cautious as to be kind, to be prudent as to be generous. And will the rich and the wise sit down contented to be surpassed in ingenuity by the poor and the ignorant? or should they not rather be excited, by the perversion of their bounty from its intended course, to devise new expedients to benefit those who are their own worst enemies? Will they be persuaded that because their indolent and ill-directed, or even their more judicious and considerate efforts at charity, have been unavailing, therefore no ingenuity can devise and no patience execute a more effectual plan? The more difficult it is, the greater is the necessity and the stronger the call upon men of talents, of practical skill, and of sound judgment, to engage
in such undertakings, and they will at least deserve the praise of combating, and, we trust, of conquering difficulties.
We take great pleasure in again calling the attention of our readers, and requesting their patronage to a society, in the organization and conduct of which there appears to have been thus far an uncommon union of zeal and discretion. Without any extravagant expectations of operating an immediate and violent change in the moral habits of the lower classes of the community, the Society for Employing the Poor have undertaken what, it seems to us, will, upon their plan, be neither difficult in the execution nor doubtful in its success. They propose to furnish employment for those of the poor who may be disposed to request it--not at the usual rates, for it would be impossible in that case to supply all who would make application, but at something less than the ordinary wages of labour; thus offering a resource to the destitute, without presenting a temptation to those who are in regular employment. "On the other hand, the common standard price will be charged by the Society for the labour done. Were it not so, a temptation would be offered to withdraw work from the valuable class of labouring poor, and bring it to the Society, thus depriving many industrious persons of the occupations on which they depend. Such an effect, it is manifest, would increase instead of diminishing the evil, and would be directly opposite to the main design of the Institution." This appears to us exceedingly judicious. We are indeed compelled to yield our unqualified approbation to the whole theory of this excellent Institution, and we have only to hope that its operations may be guided by the same zeal which led to its establishment, and the same skill which dictated its provisions. There are two points only to which we wish to direct the attention of the managers. The first is, the selecting and retaining of a judicious and attentive agent. It is obviously of the last importance to the usefulness of the society, that the agent should be both able and willing to carry its plans into effect, and it requires no small share of discretion and diligence to do this in the best manner. We are happy to learn that such is the character of the present agent, and we trust such a one will always be found, for upon that, we conceive, rests in a great degree, the success and usefulness of the society. The other is, the prudent regulation of the quantity of work distributed. There is a strong temptation in a new institution like this, to make unnecessary and injurious exertions in the outset. It is far better that the quantity of work should at first be less, than that it should be greater, than the society can continue to supply. A steady and regular in
crease is an object to be particularly desired any diminution in the quantity, is not merely a diminution of the good accomplished, but a creation of positive evil, producing new disappointment and suffering in those who have been benefited by the existence of such a society. It would be better that such a one should never have been formed, than that in its commencement it should furnish a considerable quantity of material for exercising the industry of the poor, which should gradually decrease with the cooling zeal of the members. It seems particularly desirable, too, at first view, to furnish employment for as great a number as possible; but the same quantity of work, which, distributed among many, will be productive of little benefit to each individual, might be so arranged as to give important relief to a smaller number; and thus produce, as we think, the greatest good on the whole.
We would caution our readers against running into the error of supposing that they will acquit themselves of all their obli gations to the poor by giving them something to do, or that by sending work to this society they can at once be charitable and thrifty. The following extract from the Explanation of the View of the Society, sets in a just light what should be the object of every subscriber.
These charitable purposes will, it is hoped, be kept constantly in view by those, whose humanity may induce them to become contributors. They should remember, that however their own convenience may sometimes be promoted by employing the labour of the poor, it is not for that purpose the Society exists. In sending work, let them consider rather the good that may be done for others, than the advantage that may result to themselves. Let them study to select such kinds of employment as will best answer the benevolent design of the Institution. Let them not confine themselves simply to what their own occasions may demand, but often send their work with no other view, than to encourage and assist the poor. It is especially desirable, that the employment given should be something added to the stock of labour, demanding the services of the poor, and not a portion taken from some to be given to others. Hence, if the work hitherto done in families, whose circumstances are easy, should hereafter be done through the Society, its design will be most effectually promoted. Hence too the importance of devising new modes of employment, of introducing arts and fabrics which before have been unknown or little used among us. Every such addition enables some one to provide more easily for himself or his family.'
To those who have such views, and who are willing to devote their time and attention to such objects, we most cordially wish success; and we view as a pledge of success the happy union of ardour and prudence, which has marked the commence.