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674 Society for preventing Pauperism in the City of New-York.
although no certain data can be found on which accurate estimate may be made of the quantity of ardent spirits annually retailed and consumed. It appears that a sub-committee appointed by a general meeting of the wards, on the 7th day of last March, made a judicious report on that subject, with sundry calculations and facts worthy of public attention; which report is hereunto annexed, to which the committee beg leave to refer. It is there presumed, on probable ground, that the annual amount expended on ardent spirits in this city is not less than $1,642,500. The expenditure of so great a sum is indeed a matter of serious consideration; but when it is remembered the people who spend this sum are generally those who want it most, and the ruinous consequences thereof which involve certain misery and human wretchedness, surely it is time to endeavour to avert the dreadful evil.
It is believed that if government had excluded or totally prohibited the use of ardent spirits, such prohibition would have been a blessing to this country: but the evil is entailed upon us; all that we can do to endeavour to limit the extent thereof, and diminish the furioaffect.
The present system of retailing liquors, and the manner of granting the licenser singular.
The Mayor grants a license to retail and sell liquors which may be drank on his, the retailer's, own premises. The commissioner of excise gives license to a person to retail and sell liquors which must not be drank on his own premises. It is difficult to perceive why one person might not grant both licenses, or why one license might not be made to answer the purpose of both, for it is said all those who get the Mayor's license, get, also, the license from the commissioner of excise, who may charge for such license any sum not less than $5, nor more than $50.
The revenue arising from licenses granted by the Mayor amounts to $7,225 annually. The amount collected by the commissioner of excise is about $10,000.
The labouring people, who are most in the habit of drinking spirits, are those who attend the masons and bricklayers, woodsawers, and other labourers, cartmen and mechanics, and the grocers or retailers are many of them in the practice of drinking, and some of them become habitual drunkards, by which they have ruined themselves and families.
The kind of spirits generally retailed is West India rum, home made rum, whiskey, and apple brandy, and cordials; the prices are. various, from 2 to 3 cents for a common wine-glass full.
It is the practice of labourers in the morning to drink one or two glasses of spirits, and this is repeated about 11 o'clock; and sometimes two or three glasses are drank before 12 o'clock; and the same practice closes the day. Some of them drink much more, and are often too drunk to do their work properly ; others drink less; and some there are who drink no spirits ; but these are few in number.
That class of grocers, or retailers of liquors which may be considered most injurious, are those who act on a small scale, and live among the poorest people. Many of these will commence the business with a capital of less than $100; and some, without any capital, will procure a few groceries and a jug of spirits, on the sale of which they chiefly depend for their support. It must be remarked, that those who drink the most ardent spirits are generally the most ignorant, most idle, most immoral and irreligious, and seldom attend public worship.
On this painful view of the subject, your committee are deeply impressed with the indispensable necessity of calling the public attention to the consideration of such measures as will most effectually resist the enormous evil.
We are aware of the difficulties that must be encountered, and see no hope of success without the united aid of the Legislature, the Common Council, and the serious exertions of disinterest citizens. First-the aid of the legislature must be solicited, by sting, that not more than persons shall be licensed or permi retail distilled liquors in this city; who shall act as inn-keepers, or tavernkeepers, and shall be men of fair moral character, and obliged to keep a good, convenient house, properly furnished, with suitable accommodations for travellers and lodgers; and such inn-keepers shall be bound in recognizance in the sum of dollars, to keep a quiet, orderly house, and to conform to the laws and ordinances, and not to permit cock fighting, gaming, or playing with cards or dice, nor keep a billiard table, or other gaming table, or shuffle board,” nor to sell liquor to any intoxicated or idle person. Each inn-keeper shall annually pay for his license the sum of dollars. Also, that
persons be licensed to sell ale, beer, and all other liquors, excepting spirituous liquors, and the latter in quantities not less than
gallons. The benefit that would probably result from this regulation seems so obvious, that few arguments are necessary to show the expediency and propriety thereof. Diminishing the number of those who now retail liquors, and placing that privilege only in the hands of men of respectability, is an important measure, and would nearly in the same proportion diminish the evil of drunkenness, or the inordinate use of ardent spirits. Notwithstanding the measure is supported by every principle of religion, morality, and political economy, it will be
opposed by individual interest and ancient habits. The opposition will no doubt arise with the people who are now licensed to sell liquors. But what can be said in their behalf? Will they claim the privilege of retailing liquors as a prescriptive right!-That cannot be admitted. Will they contend that they shall be legally authorised to abandon all useful and necessary occupations which might tend to enrich the community and increase human happiness, and to place themselves at the head of a hogshead of spirits, to retail it to their indigent neighbours, spreading among them the evils of intempem rance and poverty, with all the miseries which flow from such vices. We wish not to reflect on those citizens who are now retailing liquors, nor impute to them improper motives. We have no doubt but a great proportion of them are worthy, honest people, who wish to support themselves by what they conceive to be an innocent and honest occupation, without reflecting on the injury that is done to the community. It is believed that many of them would abandon the business if they were duly impressed with the calamity and , mischief it produces. In a pecuniary point of view, the public would not be injured by this measure, for the sum paid for each license might be increased to a sum that would exceed the amount now received for licenses granted.
Secondly-Application ought to be made to the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty to amend these ordinances so as to more efiectually restrain and punish intemperance.
Thirdly-Every citizen should remember, that intemperance, iga norance, and idleness, are the prolific parents of pauperism, and that every exertion
should be made to exterminate those dangerous vi
og religion, morality, sobriety, and industry; and by diffusing i knowledge among the indigent and labouring *peop! In
portion as these principles prevail, pauperism will disappear.
All of which is respectfully submitted-By order of the Committee!
ces, by inct
EDUCATION SOCIETY. A Society was lately instituted in Philadelphia, called “The Education Society of the Presbyterian Church in ihe United States, under the care of the General Assembly.” Its object is “to furnish pious and indigent youth of the Presbyterian denomination, who have the gospel ministry in view, with the means of pursuing their Acadeinical and Theological studies." A subscription of two dollars a year, constitutes a member of the Society; and twenty dollars a member for life.--Its business is conducted by a Board, consisting of a President, seven Vice-Presidents, a Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, and twenty-four other Managers, of whom one half ministers, and one half lay members, to be annually elected. This Board "shall devise and execute measures for obtaining funds; shall select young men to be objects of their bounty, direct their studies, and provide for their support; shall take measures to organize auxiliary Societies, and empower them to select and educate young men; and shall make a report of their proceedings to the Society at every Annual Meeting."
" It shall be the duty of the Board of Managers every year to communicate to the General Assembly, for their information, a copy of the Report required by the last article, as soon as possible after it shall have been laid before the Society." "The Annual Meetings of the Society shall be always held in the city of Phila
delphia on the Tuesday next after the commencement of the Annual Sessions of each General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church." " It shall be regarded as a fundamental principle of this Society, that no young man sball, in any case, be selected for education, who does not possess good natural talents, and hopeful piety, who is not in communion with the Presbyterian Church, and who does not express it to be his intention to enter the ministry in said church: and in case any young man who may receive the pecuniary aid of this Society shall, by his own fault, fail of entering the gospel ministry, he shall, when able, refund to the Board of Managers the whole amount of expense incurred by them in his education, if called upon
for that purpose.
The following is an address from the Managers of the Education So
ciety above mentioned to the Churches under the care of the Ge
neral Assembly. DEAR BRETHREN, - Never, perhaps, have the inhabitants of any christian country had more reason than we, to adopt the language of our Lord, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few. Were it possible; within the limits of the present address, to state, in detail, ihe facts which lead to this conclusion, their impression on the pious mind would be equally distressing and alarming. Suffice it to say, that the population of our country is making progress with a rapidity altoġether disproportioned to the provision of able and faithful ministers to supply its wants. In less than twenty years its amount will probably be doubled ; and yet the candidates for the ministry who are coming forward, are very little more than sufficient to supply the places of those who are removed by death. What, then, is to become of the tens of thousands, the hundreds of thousands, who are annually spreading themselves in every part of our extended territory ? And besides this, what is to become of all those applications for labourers in foreign missions, which are every day becoining more numerous ? If we bad four or five, nay, even ten times as many candidates as we'has they would be still insufficient to answer the demand. Calls ofAhe most urgent and affecting kind, both for stated Pastors and for Missionaries, are received from almost every part of our country, without the possibility of furnishing them. Unless prompt and energetic means are adopted to obtain a supply, greatly beyond what has been bitherto obtained, the consequences must be, so far as human foresight can anticipate, that many important congregations must soon either be without ministers, or fall off to other denominations; and that many districts of country, the population of whicli most naturally belongs to our Church, must either be left to seek a supply as they can from other churches, or to grow up in practical heathenism,
We rejoice, indeed, in the mighty plans for disseminating the Scriptures, which so remarkably and gloriously characterize our day; and we calculaté largely on the benefits likely to arise from the
execution of these plans. But we acknowledge it lessens our joy when we reflect that there are so few living teachers to accompany the written word. For we are assured by the Word itself, which we circulate, that the living teacher is as fixed and as necessary a means of carrying on the dispensation of mercy to our fallen race, as that sacred Word, which is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. How shall men hear without a Preacher ? and how shall they preach except they be sent ? If the world were filled with Bibles, there must still be ministers to explain and enforce tbeir precious contents. Of course, wbile to spread the former is an object of so much laudable exertion, it is certainly to be lamented that the friends of piety have not been proportionably roused to the deep importance of providing the latter.
The attention of the friends of religion has indeed been, for several years past, partially called to this object. Different measures have been proposed, and some actually adopted, to remedy the evil. But, though all useful, and some of them important, they have still been found insufficient to meet the exigencies of the Cburch. Amidst all the has been done, and is doing, the deficiency complained of is every day becoming more serious and apalling. To sit still, and attempt nothing further, is really little less than abandoning a large part of our country to a famine of the Word of Life. Can Christians consent to an alternative so disgraceful and destructive?
In these circumstances, it has appeared to some judicious friends of religion, that the formation of societies for the special purpose of selecting, and gratuitously educating poor and pious youth for the gospel ministry, is a peculiarly well adapted and important means of attaining the desired end. Some societies of this kind have actually been organized several years ago, and are making laudable exertions to supply the wants of the church. Among these, the American Education Society, in New-England, is worthy of particular notice, and of high commendation. That Society, including its several auxiliary associations, is said to have, at this time, more than two hundred young men under their care, in different stages of education for the ministry. That respectable institution, however, besides that all its resources will be required for supplying the demands of New-England, cannot, on other accounts, so well answer the purposes of the Presbyterian Church as an association within our own bounds, and directed by our own members.
A plan for the formation of a Society, such as that which now salicits the patronage of the Presbyterian Church in the United States, has been in the contemplation of a number of the ministers of that church, for some months. It was their wish that the Society should be, as far as possible, a representative of our church ; that it should combine her strength, and be rendered, in all respects, subservient to her interests, For this purpose, they deemed it of great moment that it should be permanently located at Philadelphia, and that its annual meetings should always take place in that city, and during the ses