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ADVERTISEMENT

FROM THE

PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY.

THE following pages were written, in consequence of two sums of money having been offered by an Individual, for the best and second best Essays on the subject proposed :-should any pecuniary benefit arise from the publication of the best Essay, the same to become the property of the PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY, ST. George's Fields, London.

The selection of this Society, by the above Individual, was founded on the following reasons:

1st. That in the Society's proceedings for the benefit of the miserable offspring of convicts,—the helpless objects for the reception of whom this Society was founded in the year 1788, the dreadful effects of Sabbath-breaking and Intemperance, the principal sources of all crimes, are most painfully striking and apparent; often descending from father to

son.

2nd. That the peculiar feature of this Society, viz. of fully instructing the boys in five distinct trades, in addition to the religious education afforded to both boys and girls, renders it most appropriate to the subject of the Essay.

One of the peculiar characteristics of the Philanthropic Society has always been, that of enabling boys to perfect themselves, under competent masters, in the several trades taught within the walls, and under the protection of the Society. While they are thus placed out of the way of temptation to the evils detailed in this volume, the stigma which

would have attached to them at an earlier period is prevented, and they are empowered, if they please, to commence the world with good characters, untainted by the crimes of their parents. Nor should it be forgotten, how many poor, and most pitiable children, have, during the last forty or fifty momentous years, been snatched from the jaws of destruction by the instrumentality of the Society; and while numerous crimes have thus been prevented, to the great advantage of the Public, the individuals have been saved from ignominious punishment in this world; and, it is humbly trusted, from eternal punishment in a future state, through the mercy of God, and the merits of the Redeemer.

A debt of gratitude has been hereby in a great degree entailed on the Public, and the Committee feel confident this debt will be cheerfully met; so as to enable the Society to continue those exertions, which have hitherto been crowned with success.

The funds of the Charity now imperatively require a reinforcement; as, with the utmost attention to frugality, the annual expenses attending the clothing and entire maintenance of one hundred and sixty children, and the instructing a great portion of them in five distinct trades, are very considerable. On these special grounds, then, the Committee would plead with a generous Public; and they trust they shall not plead in vain.

It may not be considered a mark of overstrained anxiety, for the Committee to remind the numerous philanthropists, who form one of the greatest ornaments of this hitherto favored country, that the very nature, and peculiar recommendation of this Society, preclude it from forcing itself into popular notice by means of ELECTIONS, which operate so powerfully in favor of other excellent Institutions.

ADJUDICATION OF PRIZES.

TO THE

COMMITTEE OF THE PHILANTHROPIC SOCIETY.

GENTLEMEN,

We, the under-signed, having carefully examined the Seven Compositions submitted to us by you, beg to inform you, that we unanimously consider that, on the first page of which is the motto

"Latiùs regnes avidum domando
Spiritum, quàm si Libyam remotis
Gadibus jungas, et uterque Pœnus
Serviat uni."

HORAT. Od. ii. lib. ii. 9.

to be in every respect the best.

We have had more difficulty in forming an opinion, as to that which we might recommend to you as the Second: but, upon the whole, we coincide in thinking, that that inscribed No. 7, if not the best in point of style and talent, is most in accordance with the printed directions, in conformity to which the compositions were to be written, and on which, we conclude, our judgments were to be formed.

We have the honor to be,

GENTLEMEN,

Your obedient humble Servants,

WILLIAM PACE, Chaplain to the Philanthropic Society.
AUG. P. SAUNDERS, Head Master of Charter House School.
EDWARD RICE, Head Master of Christ's Hospital.

Memorandum on opening the Letters at Sub-Committee, Dec. 11, 1838 : 1st No. 4. Rev. ROBERT WHYTEHEAD, B.A. late Incumbent of St. Peter's, Ipswich.

2nd No. 7. Mr. H, F. J. MACNAMARA, Hammersmith, Middlesex.

b

PREFACE.

THE object of the following work is, perhaps, sufficiently explained by its Title; but a few words may still be added, explanatory of the view here taken of the subjects under consideration.

The first Section treats of National Religious Education, as the imperative duty of every Christian Government; a subject which is now deservedly occupying a large share of public attention. Among so many jarring, and, it is feared, erroneous views, the Writer ventures to offer the following suggestions, based upon Scripture truth; humbly desiring that they may be blessed to promote a sounder and more serious view of this momentous question. While endeavouring to keep clear of the influence of party feelings, he has felt it his duty to state, with plainness and faithfulness, what he conceived to be the true light, in which the subject ought to be regarded ; and he trusts, that in so doing, he has not exceeded the bounds of that Christian freedom, which every honest man may fairly claim for himself, and, at the same time, allow to another.

The next Section treats of Inordinate Competition in Trade, as productive of Cruelty to Animals, and other evils, fatally subversive of the end of moral and religious education;—a term which is by no means to be limited to

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