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I fear that he will take offence at the frequent charity sermons I preached, during my short stay in the retropolis, for the public schools of this description. But in defence, I would beg to say, that if the annual display of the charity schools, all congregated together under the dome of St. Paul's, be (as it is said to be) the noblest sight in the whole world, it will require but little apology for stretching forth the helping hand in the individual instance of each school to keep up the mass: and if the education of children be essential in a state, the education of the children of the poor in that state, according to the rank in which they are hereafter to move, will be equally essential. It is said of Augustus Cæsar, that after he had mastered the world, he sat down himself to the instruction of children; and we know, that the Emperor Constantine constantly made it his custom to convey pardons to those he forgave, and favours of kindness to those he loved, through the medium of his son, at the earliest age, by way of training him to acts of clemency.
The charity school of Bethnal Green is conducted, I believe, under the eye of the magistrates. It contains sixty children; and is supported by voluntary contribution. The plan of education is similar to that of others, in the usual mode of reading, writing, and arithmetic. The school house is on the Green, where subscriptions are received.
It was on the Wednesday evening, May 25th, 1803, that the sermon was preached at St. Matthew's church, from the words of the Psalmist, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee,” Psalm cxvi. 7.
ST. JAMES'S CHURCH, DUKE'S PLACE. Preached in this church on the Thursday evening, May 26, a charity sermon for the Willow Walk So
ciety, from these words, “ The faithful God !” Deut. vii. 9. This institution is formed on principles like the Lazarus; and, as I was informed, hath been made eminently useful, both in temporal and spiritual concerns, to a number of poor diseased families and individuals. Benefactions for its support are received at the place, where the committee for the government of it meet, in the Willow Walk, St. Agnes le Clair.
FRIDAY, MAY 27. The time of my departure from London drawing nigh, I appropriated this and the following day to the taking leave of friends. I forbear to particularize in my acknowledgments to those who honoured me with their attention during my visit, lest I should err, and give pain where I meant to shew thankfulness. Some minds are so exquisitely formed, that like the plant which shrinks from the gentlest touch, their sensibility would feel hurt even at the smallest notice. There is one class, however, whose kindness I must not pass over in silence; I mean, my brethren in the ministry. Not to make mention of their condescension and liberality would be as unbecoming in the respect that is due to their feelings, as it would be injurious to my
The handsome way in which they first opened their pulpits to me, and the very gracious manner in which they afterwards accepted my poor services, will long live in my remembrance. And I venture to persuade myself, that the same inviolable affection and friendship which Plutarch tells us subsisted between Pelopidas and Epaminondas, will distinguish our attachment; for sure I am, the motives to it are infinitely more interesting, as the cause in which we are equally engaged is infinitely more important. The cause (saith this historian) of their conduct was the respect they had to the common weal, which kept them in all their actions from aiming at wealth and glory, which fatal contentions are always attended with envy; but being both equally inflamed with a divine ardour to make their country prosperous and happy by their administration, they looked upon each other's success as their own.'
ST. SAVIOUR’S CHURCH.-LORD'S DAY MORNING, MAY 29.
It was Whit-Sunday, and the prayers of the faithful, no doubt, throughout the christian world, had gone up with an earnestness of supplication before the throne of God for the renewal of Pentecost. The service this morning became truly interesting, and the ordinance of the holy supper, with which the service closed, I found to be sweetly refreshing. My preaching was from those words of the Lord Jesus, 66 And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you,” &c. Luke xxiv. 49. In what an elegant strain hath our great English poet conveyed his ideas on this most important doctrine :
But say, if our Deliv'rer up to heav'n
THE CHARITY SCHOOLS AT WAPPING.
In the afternoon of this day, my services were called forth for these schools, in the parish church, when I preached from those words, “ It is the Spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." John vi. 63.
This is another of the noble institutions which form the truest monuments of national glory, in its care for the rising generation. To the general principles of education, which it possesseth in common with the other charities of a similar nature, it hath in addition this peculiar excellence, that, notwithstanding it is a parochial seminary, it forbids not to adopt the children of other parishes. The highly esteemed friend, at whose instance I preached for this charity, put into my hand a paper to this effect before sermon, which I here transcribe. These schools differ from most of this description; they not only educate a greater number in proportion to the size of the parish, but the charity is not confined to the parishioners.' For in case of a vacancy, and there are none suited to fill it in that parish, any other poor child may be made the subject of its liberality.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL, AND SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY, ROTHER
HITHE. I finished my public labours in the ministry, during my stay in town, on the evening of this day, in preaching for the Sunday School, and School of Industry, at St. Mary's Church, Rotherhithe. And as an appropriate subject at the same time for a farewell sermon, I chose those words for my text, “ Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever!” Heb. xiii. 8. Precious thought! amidst the changeable state of things every where around, and the movements in the world, to have this unchangeable Rock of Ages to live upon.
I pause in this place - in the recollection of that grace and mercy which hath conducted me safely through so many labours, I would imitate his example,
" the stone of help !" for surely, I have equal cause to ascribe deliverance to the same source ;
who set up
and say, as he did, “ hitherto hath the Lord helped,” 1 Sam. vii. 12. Perhaps, I shall in some measure be speaking the reader's experience, when I describe it as my own; that the mercies of our God are very often unacknowledged by us, because his providences are unobserved. The mercies drop in every direction, as the “tender rain and the showers upon the grass ;" but the cloud hides from our view the gracious hand which causeth them to fall. I
pause again--to bend the knee in prayer, while offering thanksgiving, in the remembrance of the mercies to this ministry, to beg the Lord to forgive the errors and imperfections of it. And if the Lord would add one mercy more, it would be that he would bless it to much good! To preach the word and not to follow it with prayer (saith the great Dr. Owen) is to disbelieve its use, neglect its end, and to cast away the seeds of the gospel at random. May the divine strength be perfected in human weakness, and human labours be made instrumental to the promotion of the divine glory!
THE DEPARTURE.—MONDAY, MAY 30.
The morning of our departure being arrived, we took leave of London, after having sought the continuance of his presence and protection, whose favour we had so graciously experienced all the
Our first day's stage ended at Reading, having engaged to preach (D. V.) at a church in that neighbourhood, on the following morning. And here I stop to pay the well-earned tribute of praise to the hostess of the house where we slept. I did not particularize all the circumstances which occurred in my journey upward in order to avoid the tediousness of recital. But I think it will be a subject of pleasure to the pious mind, who may condescend to peruse my journal, when I inform