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believer, the scoffer, all partake in this unhallowed exhibition; and the inference that will be drawnor, at best, the representation made, will be, that whatsoever of spiritual thought and feeling shines forth in Cowper's writings must have been but the ravings of what may appear a monomania. His learning, his taste, his judgment, his sweetness of disposition will all be admitted, as forming the man's actual character in seasons of sanity—his religious breathings they will point out as betraying the mental aberration. Who can calculate the extent to which the advantage so very improperly given may be carried, in hindering the spiritual good that has hitherto abundantly resulted from the introduction of elegant compositions to the notice of young people altogether ignorant of gospel truth !
We regret exceedingly-beyond expression—the publication of these letters, written by Cowper under the influence of his grievous malady, in a book otherwise unexceptionable : but it is, unhappily, no singular case. There are many wellmeaning people who think they are doing God service, or at least consider it a harmless proceeding, to hand about similar productions. We were pained, sone ten or twelve years since, by seeing a memoir, the work of the afllicted individual himself, in print; being well assured that it never could have been intended to meet the world's gaze. We were somewhat more than pained, when a pious gentleman noticed it as being a very profitable book;' recommending it to the perusal of some young inquirers. Not to speak of the disastrous effects likely to result from placing such details within the reach of persons already in a state of nervous excitement, we
deprecate it on the ground of common feeling. We turn to the touching lines of this afflicted child of God,
'I seem forsaken and alone ;
I hear the lion roar ;
And that is mercy's door.
• There, till the dear Deliverer come,
I'll wait in humble prayer;
The Lord shall find him there.'
And we ask, how can any one have the heart to make a public show of those secret paroxysmsthose dreadful strugglings with constitutional madness, in the remembrance of which, and in the fearful anticipations of their return, the gentle sufferer breathed these pathetic complaints in his Father's ear?' The eye of that Father is still upon us : let us take heed, and beware.
Our Reprover must be content to accept this expression of unfeigned regret for the inadvertence alluded to : with a promise of future watchfulness, in examining thoroughly what we undertake to recommend.-ED.]
A WORD BY THE WAY.
The readers of our Magazine would find upon its cover an appeal which, when it met our eye, excited feelings too strong to be resisted. Those who hare perused the Chapters on Flowers, who have traced in some of them the work of mercy wrought by the hand of the indefatigable D. among the poor little outcasts who thronged his own dear school, will be ready to make allowance for this emotion. They will perceive the girls' school already abandoned; the boys' and the infants' schools about to be given up, notwithstanding the generous acquiescence in the loss of £100. on the part of the late treasurer, unless British humanity stand forth and forbid it. • What schools, what society are these ?' may be asked by some benevolent Christian who loves to know how his bounty is to be applied, before he bestows it: the question we will undertake to answer, from an intimate knowledge of, and a privileged companionship in the labours of those wbo conduct them.
The schools are situate in George-street, which runs from Holborn to Great Russell Street, not far from St. Giles' church. The building has three floors: that on the ground is appropriated to infants, of whom as interesting an assemblage as any similar institution can boast, may daily be found, under the care of a kind, able master. The first floor had a well-conducted school for girls : and we
can ill brook the reflection that it is now empty. It was so sweet to behold those young, and often very lovely creatures, gathered out from the most dreadful receptacles of misery and vice, instructed in useful work, introduced to the ways of industry, propriety, and regularity, won to adopt habits of cleanliness, and, above all, fully taught the sanctifying truths of the gospel from the pages of holy writ. It is past now: the lack of a little gold bas compelled those who cared for the souls of poor Irish girls reluctantly to close the doors against them; and they are given over, a prey into the hand of the spoiler. On the second floor are the boys : every week-day free admission is granted to all who will accept the offered boon of solid instruction; and a more extraordinary spectacle even London cannot afford than that on which we have pondered there. Forms more than half naked, looks and manners wild as untamed colts, with such surprising quickness of intellect, capacity seemingly bounded but by the capricious will to exert it or not, and affections so warm towards those who, by taking an evident interest in them, are happy enough to engage their love, that no really intelligent Christian spectator can long behold the scene without a fervent desire to cultivate that rich and promising soil. But few, very few are they who turn aside from the path of pleasure or business to bestow a look, and a thought, and a prayer on the unutterably desolate recesses of St. Giles'. There is now every prospect of being compelled also to turn these poor boys loose into the haunts of early crime, stripped of every safeguard with which it has been the zealous aim of D. and of his surviving fellow-helpers, particularly those of the interesting Sunday, school, to surround them. Yet a little while, and the Christian philanthropist may turn from the closed and silent school-house, to seek its present inmates at the bar of justice, or in the hulks. We fain would avert this : but alas ! we can only.weep over it. :'
The District Visiting Society acts upon a principle generally understood, of seeking out and relieving the very destitute poor in their own wretched abodes, adding spiritual to temporal help. But there is one feature in this particular branch, that must not be passed over. The Wednesdays and Saturdays are half-holidays at the free school, in order that the building may be used for a purpose hardly less sacred. On these afternoons the infants' room is fitted up with a temporary apparatus for dispensing medicines ; the girls'- what was alas! the poor girls' room, has a bath and a little surgery placed in it, while a physician, who counts not his own life dear unto him so that he may fulfil his voluntary office of unpaid, compassionate love towards these succourless beings, stands ready to receive in succession the miserable objects coming to claim his care. - Let the reader imagine a room, on the low benches around wbich are seated a company of the most squalid creatures that can be conceived, labouring under every variety of bodily ill; each waiting, like the poor at the pool of Bethesda, the sommons to relate some tale of suffering to the pitying ear of one who never fails to preach Jesus as the true Physician for sick souls, while he gives his best skill to mitigate the agony of their tortured bodies. During the two hours that must intervene, ere all can be attended to, this compassionate society em