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wife and mother long that the reckless father of her children might that day take it into his head to pass by the gin-shop and come straight home, that they all might enjoy each other's society, and that their pittance might, in its just distribution, contribute to the vigour and happiness of all, instead of all but one pining for want, that that one might indulge in what degrades him below the brute. Ah! that our governors would turn the great energies of their noble minds to this subject, and by discouraging drunkenness, theft, idleness, and immorality, which debase and afflict our halfdestitute population, contribute to their utmost in promoting social order and propriety, and thereby exalt the nation in all its real interests, and that in proportion to their relative values !
Some people, it is to be hoped that their number is few, rail against the government, and exhibit what they call a certain proof of its imperfections, by observing what to them is unaccountable, that while thousands are really suffering for want of food and raiment, others are going to ruin for want of customers 49
for that very food and raiment, notwithstanding that the industrious classes, both masters and servants, are desirous of employment; but the secret appears to lie in a very narrow compass, and chiefly attributable to the mismanagement of the sufferers themselves; and if the remedies here pointed out were heartily followed up, every class would be benefited except that which can only imagine enjoyment in the distance between themselves and the sons of want and toil; for though all would be gainers, yet, unquestionably, the latter would be chiefly benefited by the additional comfort and respectability that would be spread among them; who, with such habits, and corresponding feelings, would be, beyond any moderate comparison, more powerful, more happy, more enlightened, more loyal, more virtuous, and more substantially religious, than any nation on the page of history; for there is a religious blessing in the fruit of moral duties, and a moral blessing in the fruit of religious duties.
But if those who are dissatisfied towards government would bestow their energies to
reform the vestries of their respective parishes, they might find far more profligacy in proportion to their means, and a far greater proportion of funds diverted from their original purposes, than our government has ever exhibited under the present family.
Notwithstanding we may generally admit that virtue produces happiness, and vice misery. And although there can be no consistent lover of his country, but must like to see others take the needful care to secure happiness from that unalloyed and inexhaustible source, yet are there not many amongst us who feel ardently for the welfare of England, in whom greater care in individual practice and in influence would be promotive of a better and sounder state of society? Now although good laws cannot actually produce virtue,-nor, indeed, can that which is far better, because more effectual, the good administration of them,-yet simple, intelligible, tangible laws, might be so administered, as to produce a greater tendency to virtue than any mere human laws yet have, and which, having Christian maxim for its
chief basis, and Christian conduct for its chief object, might promote morality, and all the comfort and respectability so intimately interwoven with it, First, by opposing some of the practices which most obviously separate and remove man from his MAKER, and promote in their stead sobriety, honesty, industry, all which are so favourable to that acquaintance with the will of Divine PROVIDENCE, which tends to faith, peace, love, and to every good work; Secondly, by promoting the prosperity of the nation generally, and of the present evil doers more particularly. Neither would the probability be small, or of small moment, that a code of laws, just in principle, simple in practice, effectual in application, benignant in effect, would find admirers in every civilized country, and, in various degrees, converts in most of their governments.
This government, in its laudable desire to promote the useful employment of the population, has granted loans to many public works, and they have afforded temporary relief to a comparatively small number; but if (by punishing; as near'as possible, every public instance of
drunkenness, of gambling, of prize-fights, whether by dogs, or by their more brutish masters; of that vagabond idleness exhibited by thieves, and the numerous gangs of idle boys who are evidently training for the same lamentable employment; and of prostitution; and seize, and let for three years, towards the reduction of the national debt, all houses of ill-fame, as they are called, as promptly as possible, on satisfactory proof, promoted by a vigilant police and constabulary) they could apply permanent remedies, at no expense but what would be restored to them in revenue by the industry and honest consumption of those very people; surely, the trouble would be abundantly counterbalanced by the satisfaction of beholding the increased virtue, wealth, strength, comfort, and respectability of the nation; neither would it be a small matter, but best of all, that the JUDGE of heaven and earth would look down with approbation.
It seems generally, though not universally, considered, that the wants of our population exceed the productive powers of our land,