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of all sinners to come, the result of his election to life; namely, that in his salvation, who was the chief enemy of the Cross, there would be an illustrious proof that the Gospel was indeed faithful and true in declaring that the design of Christ's coming into the world was "to save sinners." And inasmuch as of all sinners he was the chief, surely, he says, it must have been for this very purpose that he obtained mercy; namely, that in his salvation there might be made known something of the extent of the long-suffering of Christ, which must needs be without limit, seeing that it extended even to the persecutor Saul. He was snatched as a brand from the burning, and obtained mercy, that he might be "a pattern to all those that should hereafter believe."
It is a great satisfaction to the writer of this paper to have just met with a confirmation of a material part of his view upon this question, in a lecture by the present bishop of London. Speaking of St. Paul, his lordship writes, "Yet this we may safely say, that St. Paul's ignorance was culpable, when in zeal and rage he persecuted the church of God; because there was evidence enough within his reach to prove the truth of the Gospel, of which he did not avail himself: yet this ignorance, though sinful, lessened the malice of its effects, and disposed him towards pardon; that is, to find it, not to deserve it."-Twelve Lectures on the Acts of the Apostles. Lect. iv. p. 62.
ON THE MORALITIES OF THE CHARITY-BAZAAR SYSTEM.
We received the following communication as long ago as last July, as our readers will see by our Answers to Correspondents for that month; but we hesitated as to in serting it, lest it might pain the minds of any pious and benevolent persons who, from the best of motives, had been contributing their diligent exertions to furnish bazaars for religious or charitable objects. We have, however, received so many inquiries from various quarters respecting the good and evil of what our correspondent calls "the bazaar system," that we have at length consented, onlyomitting some portion of the writer's strictures, to admit the paper, for the sake of the salutary cautions and valuable suggestions which it conveys. Many bazaars for objects of secular charity, such as hospitals, political emigrants, patriotic funds, and "the
poor Irish," have been conducted much upon the same plan, and by the same leaders, as charity-balls, concerts, and theatricals for the same purposes; in all of which the Christian must strongly object to the spirit of gaiety and display-not to say the indecorum-which too often prevail: but the same censure is not applicable to the sales in our religious societies, the conductors of which we fully believe are actuated by the spirit of one of whom it was said, "She hath done what she could;" and such shall not lose their reward, however much they may have to lament the absence of a kindred spirit in any who outwardly join their labours.
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
It is immaterial, Mr. Editor, to my present purpose, to say more of myself, by way of introduction, than that, as the wife of an affluent solicitor in full practice, and as the
mother of a large family of grown-up children, I rank among the noblesse of a certain third-rate country town; and possess at least so much influence among my neighbours, as to render our family's concurrence with any new plan generally essential to its success. Within the last few weeks, the usual monotony of the place has been disturbed by an effort to raise a bazaar - that mighty measure of modern finance, which seems equal to all emergencies; reviving, in extremis, every expiring society; building, as by magic, schools, dispensatories, and infirmaries; and I suppose, in due season, mausoleums, chapels, churches, and cathedrals; aiding a thousand subordinate schemes, sacred and secular; and being able, like the steamengine-which, as Mr. Jeffrey said in his eulogy on James Watt"lifts men of war into the air, cuts steel into ribbands, and yet weaves lace, and embroiders muslin,"-to do whatever is wanted, through every gradation, from the insignificant to the sublime.
The expectation of a bazaar at the small town of L, is, to its wondering inhabitants, something like the approach of the first discovery-ships to the Esquimaux. The chief difference is, that we have long heard of such things; and there is one lady among us, who is never tired of describing the delightful sensations of suffocation she endured at the bazaar in the Hanover-square rooms for the Spanish refugees. We have, however, at length sent in our adhesion to the financial system of the times. Nothing of course could be done, without attempting to secure the countenance and active co-operation of your correspondent and her daughters; and as soon as leave was given, by the female legislature of the town, for a bill to be brought in for the establishment of a repository, my drawing-room was filled for many evenings by a crowd of ladies, young and old; and the bill, to keep up the allusion, was formally committed
It however speedily appeared, that the worthy members of the senate of L, (you may call it Lilliput, if you please,) were but a counterpart in miniature to the high court of parliament, in one of its busiest and least pacific sessions. There was the Ministry and the Opposition. We had our Mrs. Peel, our Mrs. Brougham, and our Miss Hume; besides an independent party, upon whose votes neither of the previous classes could well calculate. In our instance also, as in higher assemblies, there was evidently a love of place and power, indicated by a wish to expel the ministry, on the plea of its being an anomalous and inefficient body. The main symptom of disunion among us was a rather stormy discussion as to the person or persons in whom was constitutionally vested a right to dispose of certain situations in the executive; as, for example, the nomination of the ladies who should preside at the stalls, receive entrance-money, or act as inspectors of the general arrangements. All these stations had their advantages in the estimation of candidates for influence; and were claimed, if not in express words, yet by such eloquence of look, manner, and insinuation, as was perfectly intelligible to the house.
There were some other circumstances about this time which I need not detail, but which had led to a considerable degree of excitement among the neighbouring families, and to many gay assemblages. As a wise and prudent matron, I was anxious to turn aside the menacing evil by such measures as might protect my younger friends against their own thoughtless gaiety; and I had some fears as to whether our bazaar might not rather impede than further my object. At the risk, therefore, of unpopularity, and the loss of a place in the cabinet, I moved, and was seconded by a matron on the same side of the house, that no lady should be allowed to take office in the arrange
ments of the bazaar, on the days of sale, under the age of years; the blank to be filled up by the committee. Will you believe, sir, that this discrect clause was represented as something extremely like an insult; and that, after much debate whether the space should be filled up by the term twenty-five or sixteen, the latter was voted by a considerable majority consisting chiefly, I allow, of persons who had seen only from fifteen to eighteen summers; for there was unaccountably no restriction placed upon the age of our members of committee, as such.
I was not however disheartened, but proposed several other measures: one of which was, that no article should be admitted for sale which some lady would not state she believed had some possible use; another, that no article should be marked at more than twice its fair worth; and another, that if a gentleman tendered a sovereign for a five-shilling article, he should not be laughed at and told (as I have actually known at some repository sales not religious) that the ladies kept no change, and that it was all for the good of the charity. But in each of these amendments, I found myself in a minority; and, at the close of the session, was compelled to retire from the administration in which I had long held a high station, and without a single effort on the part of the ultras to pass a vote of thanks for what my few remaining friends kindly term my long and active services.
But what has my fall taught me; or rather, the knowledge acquired before that fall, of the interior of the courts and cabinets connected with the reigning system of bazaars? The lessons have been many; and one is, that it is not safe to support a good cause by dubious means. The mother of Mrs. H. More's Calebs told him, that, though he must not look for perfection, he had a right to expect consistency; a maxim which no Christian will deny.
But the immediate inquiry is, whether a bazaar-not as it might be conducted, and as it might be composed, in respect to its manage. ment and to the articles usually offered for sale, but as these things often are-is an unexceptionable source of profit to an institution of a decidedly religious character? In the first place, the articles prepared for repositories too generally par take, not only of the merely orna. mental, but of the puerile and the frivolous. The prevailing passion for decoration must also be inflamed by novelty; and if utility can be combined, in the formation of trinkets, with show and inventiveness, the useful is borne for the sake of its accompaniments. But the matter is, further, made worse by the frailty of the materials of which numbers even of useful toys are framed. You, sir, would not understand me, if I illustrated this in the language of the millinery and fancy-shop; but you have doubtless heard of what the ancients-as my son at Oxford tells me--called
woven wind;" you have doubtless read also, in your younger days, Shakspeare's description of the equipage of Queen Mab. Now half the baubles in question are made of gossamer, the wings of insects, film, and cobweb; and the consequence is, that after the purchasers have brought them home-provided they have borne the motion of carriage
and handed then round the teatable among the children, they have lived out, on the average, the first half of their existence; and, by the next evening, have become so much soiled and abraded as to be no longer producible. But they have answered two important ends: one of them, the proceeds of their sale; and the other, the creation of an appetite for more baubles: and, accordingly, their possessors drive to the next week's bazaar to replace their losses*. Is this result favour
Bishop Heber, when alluding to the spoliations committed upon the sculptures in the caves of Elephanta, speaks of “that
pitals and charity schools, as such, are not formally beyond the reach even of an infidel's philanthropy; and are frequently supported by all parties, both in politics and religion. We cannot, therefore, quarrel with their patrons, if, after the world's fashion, they will take money, however obtained, and even flatter the public to lend them aid on principles avowedly not Christian. The sale of fancy work at the Mansionhouse in May last, netted upwards of 2000l., for the benefit of the Ophthalmic Institution. But no one inquired on this occasion, into motives; or examined how far the machinery was worked by Christian impulses. There was no test; for, although an oculist can neither cure nor mitigate diseases of vision, without the direct blessing of the Almighty on his experiments, yet his means of making such experiments are provided by those who merely furnish the funds, superintend their disposal, and do nothing more. These philanthropists, in fact, occupy a neutral station with regard to religion; they profess benevolence, which is in this case considered to be merely a social virtue, independent of every form of Chris tianity. But if I am justified in saying, with relation to philanthropists supposed to be acting in obedience only to the sensibilities of nature, "Let the dead bury their dead;" I may certainly say to the enlightened Christian, "But go THOU, and preach the kingdom of God:" and the paraphrase might be, "If the world perform its acts of kindness, in relieving the temporal wants of mankind, as stimulated by compassion or the expectation of popular applause; you, in addi
able to the mind's health? To be sure they are trifles; but, in this sense, as Dr. Young says, trifles make life; and we know that there are insects which will honeycomb the bottom of a seventy-four.
But I would rise to a higher point in my remarks. Let me ask, in the second place, are we justified in bribing the gay and the fashionable to support our spiritual institutions, by offering them baubles in exchange for their sovereigns and bank-notes? I will instance, in illustration, a society for missionary purposes; either at home among our domestic hea then, or abroad among actual idolaters. The object, therefore, of the association is, to convert men from the world to God; to teach them to deny worldly lusts; to warn them against "the pomps and vanities of this wicked world;" to exhibit the Gospel as able to win their attention from the desires of the eye, and the pride of life, and to fasten it upon eternity. Yet we go to this very world for its assistance in an enterprize against itself! I doubt whether we might not, with almost equal consistency, take fees from the pilgrims who flock to Juggernaut-yes, and directly encourage the system of pilgrimage-and then pour all the rupees and pagodas into the treasury of Bishop's College, at Calcutta; or send them home to Salisbury Square, for the Church Missionary Society. What a start. ling item would this form in the statement of receipts at the end of the annual report! I am not now interfering with the arrangements of bazaars set on foot for objects purely secular; or, at least, for objects not positively of a religious kind. Hosvulgar love of knick-knacks and specimens which prevails among the English, more than most nations of the world." Charitybazaars, I am informed, are as popular in
India as at home. It is wonderful that no
repository has been set on foot to support
tion to the first of these motives and against the second, must have higher aims and employ instruments purified from secular pollutions; and must beware of repairing to an enemy to provide weapons which are ultimately to be used against himself. Take to you the whole armour of GOD!"
It will indeed be easily foreseen, that if the muddy streams which at present so largely fill the reservoir of religious associations be dried up, or diverted into other channels, there may be what some will consider an alarming deficiency in the funds of moral charity: but it will be well worth inquiry, whether, in such circumstances, we shall not be gainers. The co-operation of the world with genuine Christians, in religious objects, is, in its own nature, embarrassing. "Thou shalt take no gift; for the gift blindeth the wise, and perverteth the words of the righteous:" "Many will entreat the favour of the prince; and every man is a friend to him that giveth gifts." So spake the Hebrew legislator, and the wisest of the princes of Judah; and the spirit of their remarks may be applied, without violence, to the difficulties incurred by some of our popular societies, the managers of which have felt themselves fettered by the patronage of men, who have given their names and donations, with something like a tacit understanding, that the institutions so honoured must in consequence beware of enthusiasm, and of a surplus righteousness-and this, on pain of the patrons' disgust or desertion. We have an example, in the Apostolic age, of the injurious effects of the union of persons of worldly character with the church; namely, in the intrusive munificence of Ananias and Sapphira. These persons presented what was most probably considered to be a very generous con. tribution to a cause, which in reality they never loved; and St. Peter gave them plainly to understand. that the Gospel did not demand their subscriptions, and the sale of their property: Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power?"
The course, sir, of the present communication may perhaps bias my mind towards too exclusive a view of the subject; but I yet suspect, that the Apostles would have
CHRIST. OBSERV. No. 328.
preferred a denarius (equivalent, I see, in the table of weights and money, at the end of my Bible, to 74d. of our coin,) if given by a true disciple, to a mina (64s. 7d.) or even to a larger sum, if offered by Demas and converts of his class, or by individuals who made no profession of Christianity at all. It would seem that any cause must prosper, in some degree of correspondence to the purity of the hands employed in its management. The question is indeed one of degrees; and we cannot reason about it with what you gentlemen call mathematical severity. We can examine it only on general principles; and beyond these I ask no one to extend the consideration. The morality of the Gospel usually offers itself in the shape of broad maxims. Our wisdom is, to apply them to current occasions; and if the application be faithfully made, real Christians will seldom be at variance.
It is conceded, and with all cheerfulness, that a bazaar has no inevitable connexion with evil; but neither has a cellar of claret, or a depot of Congreve rockets. Yet these are not only capable of wondrous mischief; but, according to the established ways of mankind, their powers are seldom suffered to lie dormant. I observed in an advertisement from the Home Missionary Society, that on the 21st of May last, a bazaar was opened at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, under the title of " Sale of Ladies' Useful Work." Useful-this is exactly, sir, to the point. Much of my querulousness arises, as before intimated, from the utter unprofitableness of the bagatelles ordinarily accumulated on the tables of these Vanity Fairs, as one of your correspondents once called them. I do not deny but that our habitations may have, each their share, of consistent decoration. My own diningroom is hung with engravings from Bartolozzi, Sherwin, Sharpe, and Heath; and we have a fine copy of Hogarth's March to Finchley. In