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they pleased, in money or goods, if they came to me to ask for it, unless they were those who had worn out their welcome by fraud. I was enabled to do this by pecuniary assistance from the late Sir W. Pepys, Barto.Money, when rightly directed, puts fraud to a discount; nay, even the distresses of the poor, when judiciously considered, may tend to the improvement of their moral condition. But the arbiters of relief must not be a board of commissioners, or of guardians, or a district union officer, but some one who is constantly at hand, and who has time and patience to treat the several cases as they arise. There is no cure of our social evils by wholesale. No poor law can be a substitute for the energy of Mr. Whateley, and the munificence of Sir W. Pepys, but it would, indeed, be useful if it could bring such principles into general action.

Great stress was laid upon Mr. Whateley's evidence, as having done so much for the improvement of his parish. This example would of itself authorize a severe censure upon that part of the Poor Law Commissioners' report, which questions the propriety, even where great care and discrimination is exercised, of adding small sums to a man's wages'', to enable him to maintain a large family''.

9 Extract from Minutes of Evidence given by the Rev. T. Whateley, Vicar of Cookham, Berks.

10 “ From 1720 to 1750 the labourer earned about a full peck of wheat a day. Since that period, I believe, he has never for five years together earned so much as a peck, hardly so much as

" Poor Law Report, 1841, p. 222.

Let the legislature, then, at once confess, that evils are in existence which it cannot remedy. Let the bill have a well-digested preamble, embodying the principles of the law of Elizabeth, both upon the questions of assessment and of relief; let it recognize the claims of the industrious, and of those who have not worn out their welcome by fraud ; let it lament the severe unequal pressure of poor-rates in certain cases, and remind all citizens, that however the law be unable to tax their property, upon the principles of the established religion of the country, they are under the indispensable obligation of giving liberal alms to the poor. Should it seem advisable to Her Most Gracious Majesty, the speech addressed to members of parliament at the conclusion of the session might express similar sentiments, and enter into the detail of social duties.

Such a declaration of principles by the sovereign and the legislature would be of great importance in the present condition of the country. The mere discussion of them would be productive of advantage. A real attention, in practice, to the wants and condition of the poor would become more and more the grounds of soliciting the suffrages of electors, and no

five-sixths of a peck."--Mr. Malthus' Letter to Mr. Senior. Appendix to Mr. S.'s Lectures on Political Economy. Now the labourer earns but little more than half a peck per day. So that political economists have not yet done much for the poor. On referring to Mr. Senior's ingenious lectures, I find him observing that saving habits are a sign of virtue in the poor, but I do not find him ever condemning saving habits in the rich as a sign of vice.

undue importance would be attached to any opinions on the subject of the Poor Laws. We might then hope that a Sir William Pepys would be found in many parishes. The Poor Law Commissioners' Reports would contain histories differing from that of “The Charity Boy,” and that false philosophy would be at a fearful discount, which discourages alms-giving, by representing the mischief which it is supposed to inflict on the community.

There might be also an express enactment, authorizing trustees of the property of minors to expend upon any charitable purpose the tenth of its annual proceeds. Such a clause, as I may speak from my own experience and observation, might be productive of great good in particular places. The death of an influential landlord, where the property is bequeathed to a minor, may put a stop to the charities in a parish. If the trustees continue them, the Court of Chancery, I conclude, will bear them harmless; but the law affords too ready a shelter to trustees of contracted views, and, perhaps, no adequate security to those who are alive to the duties as well as the rights of property. But independently of any local advantage, such a clause, without infringing upon any right, would be another wholesome memorial of social duty. Thus we might establish the principles of the old system, and still preserve the strict provisions of the new. This feeling consideration for those in distress, may be reasonably expected from the legislature in the present relations between the poor and the state.

But having made these observations upon legislative enactments, I must now proceed to say a few words about the offertory.

Four years and a half I have partially, and one year and a half entirely, observed the rule of the Church. My satisfaction at having recently discharged this part of my duty is only exceeded by the painful recollections that I should for so long have neglected it. One hundred pounds was thus collected during the past year', many of the poor contributing considerably more than their proportion. This sum, with a benefaction from a non-resident landlord, has saved several of the poor from the necessity of breaking up their establishments, and being immured within the walls of a workhouse. If compulsory payments, and a legal title to relief, estrange the poor from the rich, giving and receiving charitable gifts cements the bonds of society. The distribution of the alms of the Church, as I can testify from my own experience, may have a very beneficial influence upon the character of the poor. The clergy complain, with justice, of unfair assessments and breach of contracts; the offertory, I believe, would ultimately afford a much more substantial remedy than the legislature : but however this may be, all whose property is assessed have a reasonable ground of complaint against the clergy for not putting forward the Church principle, which requires of all, indiscriminately, contributions according to their means. The present Poor

· The sum formerly collected amounted to about twenty pounds per annum.

Law, perhaps, in existing circumstances, may be good if we use it lawfully, but surely the Church does not authorize us to surrender the education of her little children, or the care of her poor, to the state. If the Church rule be tried as a mere experiment, probably there may be, as there ought to be, a failure; but if it be perseveringly observed, as an essential part of the Church-service, it will prove its wisdom by its results. The habit of reading the offertory sentences has had a most salutary effect upon my own mind, and certainly it must go towards confirming the faith of all in the apostolic character of our Church, by shewing how she inculcates the apostolic precept, REMEMBER THE POOR. Truth will spread by degrees; the responsibilities of property, wherever invested, will be more readily acknowledged; conscience will more frequently levy a proportionate alms-tax; and though many will evade the duty and lose the reward, yet the gracious promises of Scripture to those who consider the poor and the needy, will be more and more seen and felt to have a real and substantial meaning. The Church will appear the real Friendly Society, with the offertory and the poor-box for the treasury, and the curate and churchwardens for the almoners. We shall have the Gospel for the rules, and those who have much must give plenteously ; those who have little will still give their little; while the present societies?, which virtually

Most persons would acknowledge in theory that the chief part of the fund raised for supporting the poor in sickness ought to be provided by the rich. Compare the amount raised in clubs by ·

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