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´╗┐Title: A Sermon Preached on the Anniversary of the Boston Female Asylum for Destitute Orphans, September 25, 1835
Author: Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew, 1792-1854
Language: English
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                       A

                     SERMON

          PREACHED ON THE ANNIVERSARY

                     OF THE

              BOSTON FEMALE ASYLUM

                      FOR

               DESTITUTE ORPHANS,

              SEPTEMBER 25, 1835.


 PUBLISHED BY REQUEST OF THE BOARD OF MANAGERS.


        BY JONATHAN M. WAINWRIGHT, D. D.
       Rector of Trinity Church, Boston.


                    Boston.
        DUTTON AND WENTWORTH, PRINTERS,
         Nos. 10 & 12, Exchange Street,
                     1835.



TO THE BOARD OF MANAGERS.


LADIES,

Upon your first application to me for a copy of this sermon to be
printed, I respectfully declined giving it, because it was not prepared
with the slightest reference to such a result, and more especially
because it has been my uniform practice to abstain from appearing in
this way before the public, when I could with propriety do so. To your
renewed request, and the reasons you state for making it, I feel myself
constrained to yield, although my own conviction in regard both to the
character of the discourse itself, and to the inexpediency of such
publications, except in very special cases, remains the same. If,
however, its possession, as you imply, can afford gratification to any
one interested in your most excellent institution, I ought not perhaps
to be longer influenced by a consideration which relates merely to
myself in withholding it. I therefore commit it to you, and am,

                    With the greatest respect,

                        Your friend and servant,

                            JONA. M. WAINWRIGHT.

BOSTON, OCTOBER 6, 1835.



SERMON.

PROVERBS, XXII. 9.

    "He that hath a bountiful eye shall be blessed; for he giveth of his
    bread to the poor."


How merciful and gracious is our Heavenly Father in presenting to us his
commandments, united with the promise of ample rewards to those who will
obey them. As the author of our being, the creator and preserver of our
means of existence, and our sources of happiness, he has an unqualified
right to our constant obedience and our best services. Yet he treats us
as if we were in a measure independent of him, and as if our faculties
and possessions were an underived property, for he demands of us no duty
or sacrifice for which he does not offer an abundant remuneration. And
even to the performance of those duties which are in themselves a source
of gratification to the well regulated mind, the inducements are greatly
increased by appendant promises. We might not think it remarkable that
labor and sacrifices, and self-denial, should be encouraged by the hope
of reward; but even the delightful offices of mercy and charity will be
remunerated, and heavenly blessings will hereafter be showered upon the
heads of those who may now be enjoying the luxury of doing good. Surely
I address myself to those who know that there is a pleasure in deeds of
beneficence,--a pleasure the noblest and most delightful of which our
nature is susceptible. And you my brethren, must have had experience of
this sentiment, or vain will be my efforts to unfold to you the subject
that is before me. I appear in behalf of the destitute orphan, and if I
thought I had need to convince you that there is a sweet and abiding
satisfaction in relieving those who are truly objects of charity, I
should be utterly discouraged at the outset. But such is not to be my
ungrateful task; for I see around me those who I doubt not have often
realized the pleasures of beneficence, and have often bestowed their
charities upon the simple impulse of generous feeling. I would now,
however, present to you a more exalted motive to beneficence than its
secret pleasures. I would show you that it is not simply a gratification
you can enjoy, but a solemn duty which you must perform; and therefore
that your charities are not to be governed by momentary impulses, but by
settled principles, and that you are to do good not merely because you
take delight in it, but that you may secure the favor of God who has
commanded this service. And as I have observed that where our Heavenly
Father has put forth a commandment, he has also annexed a reward to
induce us to obey it, so in our text the duty of beneficence is
presented in the form of a beatitude, like the introductory precepts of
our blessed Lord's sermon on the mount. "He that hath a bountiful eye
shall be BLESSED."

I propose, first, briefly to explain this duty, then to state its
obligation, and lastly to allude to the blessing promised in connexion
with it.


1. The expression of my text is peculiar. We hear in common speech of a
liberal or open hand as the characteristic of a benevolent man; but the
phrase, a bountiful eye, belongs alone to the sacred scriptures. There
also the opposite character of avarice and cruelty is represented by a
figure drawn from the same source. In the book from which my text is
selected, we are warned not to partake of the offered banquet of him who
spreads his table by constraint, and with ostentatious or mercenary
views, and not from the impulse of an hospitable spirit. _Eat thou not
the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty
meats: For as he thinketh in his heart so is he: Eat and drink saith he
to thee; but his heart is not with thee._[1] And again the character
and punishment of the man who is so anxious to acquire wealth as to
disregard the principles of honesty and the claims of charity is thus
described. _He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth
not that poverty shall come upon him._[2] In the book of Deuteronomy too
where the law of conduct towards the poor is laid down, and the rich are
commanded not to take advantage of their necessities we read--_If there
be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates,
in thy land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden
thine heart, nor shut thine hand, from thy poor brother. But thou shalt
open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for
his need, in that which he wanteth. Beware that there be not a thought
in thy wicked heart, saying, the seventh year, the year of release is at
hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest
him nought, and he cry unto the Lord against thee, and it be sin unto
thee. Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved
when thou givest unto him._[3] As the evil eye was descriptive of a
selfish, hard hearted, avaricious temper, so the bountiful eye was meant
to represent the virtues of a humane and generous man. A phrase more
expressive, could not be selected to describe an ardent and enlightened
beneficence. A liberal hand, signifies merely generosity in giving, but
_a bountiful eye_ implies not simply this, but also industry in looking
about for objects of distress, and discrimination in the mode of
relieving them, and tenderness and kind expressions accompanying our
charities. All these are essential features of true christian
beneficence.

1. To give of our money, is perhaps, the very least praise-worthy part,
and certainly the part of easiest performance in the way of charity.
Many there are who yield to the solicitation of an object of distress,
or to an application from the agent of some charitable society merely
that they may escape from painful importunity. Others again, who feel
and acknowledge the obligation of sharing a portion of their wealth with
the poor, are yet glad to appease the monitions of conscience at the
least expense of time and thought. They therefore give freely, but with
too little attention to securing a proper channel for their bounty. The
consequence is that it often runs in waste places, and feeds
intemperance and dishonesty when it might be made to revive and nourish
the hapless victims of an unmerited poverty. He then, who hath _a
bountiful eye_, will not only be _ready to distribute and willing to
communicate_,[4] but will also industriously look about for proper
objects. He will cheerfully yield a portion of his time as well as of
his wealth to the work of charity. Remembering who hath set him the
example of _going about doing good_, he will not remain inactive upon
his station, and _give_ only _to him that asketh_, he will in person
seek out the habitations of distress, or will at least aid with his
counsels and labors some of those benevolent societies, which are now
established in every christian land.[5] I know that the avocations of
business in a mercantile community are oftentimes urgent, and that time
is more valuable than the small contribution by which exemption from
actual labor in the cause of charity may be procured. Still however,
the truly benevolent man will not refuse his personal exertions when he
is convinced they can be serviceable, and the sacrifices he makes and
the interest he feels in the work in which he is engaged, will afford
him pleasures that the passively generous can never comprehend.

2. But the _bountiful eye_ will not only industriously search for
occupation, it will also exercise a discriminating watchfulness. How
essential is this to a profitable exercise of charitable distribution.
He who is not aware of the deceptions which are constantly practised by
many of the poor, and of the injudicious modes which are often adopted
for relieving their wants, must have had but small experience in this
duty. Sound judgment is required, and without it a liberal and active
charity may produce evil rather than good. Evil to the community, not to
the benevolent individual. If our alms are given with proper motives, we
shall not fail of our reward from our Heavenly Father, though we fail of
doing the good we intended. We are often deceived; but this should not
be made an argument, as is frequently the case, for contracting our
bounties. It should only excite us to greater caution. The common
applicants at our doors and in our streets, are in general, undeserving
of the alms which they entreat. This however, is by no means uniformly
their character, for I have known the most worthy objects, those whom
modesty and a laudable pride had restrained, until acute distress had
fairly driven them forth to seek needful comforts for the destitute
sick, or perhaps, bread for their famishing children. We must not, with
cruel indifference, drive such away in the common herd of undeserving
beggars. We must _consider the cause of the poor_,[6] as respects their
characters and their condition.

Perhaps the most discriminating mode of exercising charity, and one
which, if generally adopted, would almost preclude the necessity for
giving to unknown objects would be this. Let all persons desirous of
performing works of mercy from christian principle, make an estimate of
what they ought to contribute from the stores with which God has favored
them.[7] Let them duly consider the various claims that are presented to
them, and from amongst the many charitable societies with which we are
surrounded, let them select the depositaries of their bounty. Let each
family also, according to their means, select one or more of the poor
whom they can know, and to a certain extent, follow through their good
or ill conduct. These let them regard as a charge peculiarly committed
to them. Let them become acquainted with the wants, the infirmities, the
troubles, the sorrows of these the poorer members of their families,
united to them by the bonds of christian relationship. The intercourse
will be mutually salutary. It will produce a fuller and healthier
developement of the christian character than can be brought out where
the ranks in life are kept in a state of separation by the stern
despotism of artificial distinctions, where there are no opportunities
of passing from one to the other the softening influence of sympathizing
feelings, and where on the one side pride, luxury and selfishness are
nurtured, and on the other, envy, hatred and discontent. Were the custom
I recommend universally adopted amongst a christian people, would not
extreme distress from poverty be almost banished from amongst us? Should
we ever be called to endure the pain of beholding destitute and
miserable persons, except where incurable vice had made them such?

3. Would not this custom also bring into more general practice the other
characteristic I mentioned of him who hath _a bountiful eye_,--giving
his charities with benevolent feelings and kind looks? We should ever
remember, my brethren, that poverty, though it may clothe a person with
rags, does not always kill the sensibilities of the heart. The poor are
of like passions with ourselves, they like ourselves, can feel the sting
of unkind words, and the cruel piercings of an evil eye. If we are
satisfied upon any occasion that duty to the general interests of
society requires of us to reject their petitions, let it never be with a
scornful countenance or angry words. Let our rebukes, if they are
needed, be tempered with mild expressions--they will be felt with
tenfold power. And when we feel called upon to relieve one who asks for
charity, let us not do it as though our alms were extorted. There are
those who in performing an act of kindness, yet do it so ungraciously,
that it is felt to be no kindness. And there are on the other hand
those, who in giving a refusal, yet give it without causing
pain--sometimes even they communicate pleasure by showing sympathy where
they cannot administer relief. The phrase in my text expresses admirably
the influence of such amiable conduct. It is the eye that speaks cruel
sentiments more powerfully than the tongue, and it is the eye also that
reveals the movements of a noble and generous sympathy. The _bountiful
eye_ then, is the evidence of a humane and benevolent heart, prompting
its possessor to thoughts and deeds of charity.


2. Need I state to a christian assembly the necessity laid upon us all
to cultivate the character I have thus attempted briefly to describe? To
feed the hungry, to clothe the naked, to visit and comfort the sick and
the afflicted, is incumbent upon every man endowed with moral
perception, but the obligations of the christian to pursue this course
of conduct, are most weighty and inalienable. He cannot shut out from
his attention the sufferings and misfortunes of his brethren of the
human family without renouncing his name, and without forfeiting his
rights to the hopes and promises of the gospel. Our religion is
emphatically the religion of love. Love is the end of the commandment,
the perfection of the christian character, and the most acceptable
offering we can present to Almighty God. Upon this principle the poor
have a claim,--a claim stronger than human law could establish upon
their fellow men. We are all the stewards and almoners of Providence,
and a rigid account will be demanded of those means which were given to
us in trust for the purposes of beneficence. Let the rich man ask
himself by what means he has been prospered in life, and inhabits the
splendid or the commodious habitation, while another has been condemned
to eat the bitter bread of poverty. He may reply that he has been
industrious and provident, that he has passed a life of anxious labor to
amass the wealth or the competency he enjoys. But can he forget that all
his success must at last be referred to the great disposer of events?
Can he be ignorant that it is God who has filled his basket and his
store, who has given the genial heat and refreshing showers to his
harvest, and guarded them from blasting and mildew, who has commanded
the favoring winds to blow upon his richly freighted vessels, and has
saved them from rocks and tempests, who has bestowed upon him his powers
of mind, and afforded him health and opportunity to employ them? Can he
be unmindful of all this when he beholds the fluctuations of prosperity,
and the sudden and unexpected manner in which it is both given and again
taken away? Surely then the thoughtful and conscientious man will esteem
his possessions, not so much a right which he has obtained as a trust
committed to him, and he will acknowledge that the strictest justice
approves what religion emphatically demands, that with _a bountiful eye_
we should look upon the poor and destitute.

Such is our solemn duty; and it is important that it should be regarded
in this light. Beneficence should not be merely the overflowing of a
generous heart. This would be an unsafe and uncertain ground on which to
place the principle of charitable distribution. Interesting objects
indeed might not suffer from it, the orphan, the afflicted widow,
decayed and broken age. Cold and insensible must be the heart that could
shut up its sympathies from such petitioners. True beneficence however,
cannot always be a delight. "It is not," says a powerful writer,[8] "an
indulgence to the finer sensibilities of the mind, but according to the
sober declarations of scripture, a work and a labor, a business in which
you must encounter vexation, opposition, and fatigue, where you are not
always to meet with that elegance which allures the fancy, or with that
humble and retired adversity which interests the more tender
propensities of the heart, but as a business, where reluctance must
often be overcome by a sense of duty, and where, though opposed at every
step by envy, disgust and disappointment, you are bound to persevere in
obedience to the law of God, and the sober instigation of principle." Is
it not well then, my brethren, to establish beneficence upon the broad
ground of christian obligation, rather than commend it to you by the
high gratifications which it sometimes affords? Are not the interests of
the poor in this manner more effectually secured? If the grand principle
can be established in your breasts, that you are to do good not simply
because you delight in this work, but because the dictates of justice
and the laws of God require you to be charitable, will you not be
preserved from the indiscretions of a heated benevolence on the one
hand, and from the cruelty and consequent punishment of selfishness and
avarice on the other?


3. But are there then any demands made upon our charity, which when
answered can yield us no reward or blessing? Surely not. Has it not
already been declared that God demands of us no duty or sacrifice for
which he does not offer us an abundant remuneration? And does he not
emphatically pronounce his blessing upon the virtue I am now attempting
to explain and enforce? "_He that hath a bountiful eye shall be_
BLESSED." The scriptures are filled with motives, inducements, promises,
encouragements, addressed to every generous, nay to every interested
feeling. _The merciful man doeth good to his own soul.[9] He that hath
pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given
will he pay him again.[10] If thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and
satisfy the afflicted soul, then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and
thy darkness be as the noon day. And the Lord shall guide thee
continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones;
and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water
whose waters fail not.[11] Blessed are the merciful; for they shall
obtain mercy._[12] Are there not then abundant rewards promised to deeds
of beneficence?--rewards, how far transcending our best services, how
more, infinitely more than adequate to our most painful labors, our
greatest sacrifices. God has a right to all we have, for he only lends
us all, yet he condescends to receive a portion from us again, as if a
favor were conferred upon himself, and he has put in his stead the sick,
the naked, the hungry and the afflicted, and says, _inasmuch as ye have
done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto
me_.[13] And not only does he condescend thus to accept our charitable
deeds, but gives them his blessing and reward. _Blessed is he that
considereth the poor; the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble._[14]

While then, my brethren, we have every encouragement to persevere in
works of beneficence, though they may be accompanied with labor, and be
repaid with human ingratitude, let us be duly thankful that there are
other occasions on which we can discharge duty, and at the same time
open a source of the purest and noblest gratification. Yes--painful as
may be some of those walks of charity which the christian must pursue,
and revolting as are some of those objects which he must encounter, we
know that there are paths for the benevolent where their footsteps fall
pleasantly, and a refreshing fragrance surrounds them, and smiling
objects meet them, and satisfactions the most delightful, urge them
forward. We can sometimes give, and pleasure shall accompany the act,
and unmingled good shall follow it, and gratitude shall reward it, and
God himself shall crown it with the brightest wreath. Say I not true
when I speak of giving to the destitute orphan? Is not this a deed of
unalloyed satisfaction, is it not one upon which the _bountiful eye_ may
look to fill the soul with an unrestrained generosity? Here is required
no cold calculation of the amount of good to be effected, here is no
room for anxious doubt concerning the result of the benevolent act.

Asylums for the destitute orphan are among those institutions which even
the severe, and in some respects, the cold and selfish principles of
Political Economy cannot justly disapprove of. To the truly benevolent,
and to the pious christian, they have always been, and must ever be,
objects of deep interest. Other charities may be perverted in some
degree to evil purposes. Their effect may be to encourage idle and
dissolute conduct, and to increase the evil they would remedy, by
operating as a bounty upon pauperism. To some extent this has been the
effect of alms-houses, and of many of those societies which, with the
best intentions, have been administered to adult persons. We
acknowledge, indeed, that protection, shelter, and subsistence for the
aged and decrepit, who are past the ability to labor for their own daily
food, medicine and medical advice, and in cases of absolute poverty, the
retreat of the hospital, are real charities, such as suffering humanity
requires, and pure benevolence will provide for. But in other cases, it
is questionable whether relief can be given without ill effects, except
it be accompanied with the opportunity and the necessity for bodily
labor. I am not, however, upon the present occasion to discuss the
general question of charitable societies. It is one of great importance,
and one which we think is not yet generally understood. Much light has
recently been thrown upon it, especially in this city, by the active and
intelligent exertions and experiments of some of our fellow
citizens,--and it should continue to occupy the serious attention of
our civil authorities, and of every benevolent and public spirited
person.

But who can doubt about the expediency, as well as the mercy and
christian obligation, of fostering the poor and helpless orphan, whose
natural protectors have been removed by the Providence of God? Naked, we
must clothe them, for their helplessness cannot provide for their own
covering; hungry, we must feed them, for they appeal to us with the
moaning cry and innocent tears of childhood; strangers in this world,
but just entered upon it, and left without a home to receive, or a
parent's fostering care to protect them, we must take them in. We cannot
resist or evade such an appeal, we know that it comes from a guileless
petitioner, whose distresses no vice of its own has produced, and no
exertions of its own can relieve. Should any one of you in your walks
through our city during its inclement winter behold a child almost
naked, shivering with cold and fainting with hunger, and did you learn
that it had wandered unprotected from the home where its only surviving
parent had just expired in all the wretchedness of poverty and disease,
and finding its mother's voice silent, her hands that had cherished it
cold, and her eyes closed, the little one had gone forth weeping and
alone, would any of you refuse it a home, and food and protection?--It
is this sacred duty which our Institution has performed for many such
suffering and innocent beings. Where, if not to such an object, can the
heart send forth its sympathies without restraint, and give itself to
all the delights of a glowing generosity?

But I need not tell you of these heavenly satisfactions as I see around
me those who have long known and shared them, for this Institution has,
from its foundation, been a favored and fostered one in our community.
Many are the labors that have cheerfully been bestowed upon its
interests, many and generous the contributions given to it, and many and
ardent the prayers offered up in its behalf to the throne of grace. Of
those who first united themselves in this work and labor of love, I find
that all have been removed, and have gone to receive their eternal
reward.

The last of this respected and excellent band has recently been summoned
away from us, and she went gently and peacefully, in a blessed old age,
in full preparation, followed by the tears and benedictions of the widow
and the fatherless whom she had relieved, and in beautiful accordance
with the meek, the honorable, and useful existence, which she had
mercifully been permitted to accomplish. One of the earliest founders of
this Asylum, and for many years its first Directress, she had uniformly
given to it her countenance and assistance; and dying, bequeathed to it
a generous evidence of her attachment. Long will her memory be cherished
in this community, as a model of the efficient but unassuming and lovely
graces that constitute the character of the christian matron; long will
it be cherished--and especially by you, Ladies, the present Managers of
the Asylum, who have been witnesses of the fidelity, the courtesy, the
discretion, the zeal, with which her duties as associated with you were
discharged.[15] The Institution has descended to you, the successors as
it were of a blessed company who are now we trust, in communion with
that Saviour, whose precepts of benevolence they so faithfully
fulfilled, and with that blessed company of the spirits of the just made
perfect, who now surround the throne of God and the Lamb. You need not
our exhortation that you should walk worthy of their example, but you
will not reject our devout wishes and prayers, that an equal measure of
success may attend your future labors, and that a heavenly and eternal
reward may hereafter crown them.

To you, my hearers generally, who have assembled in honor of the
anniversary of our Institution and to encourage it in its pious labors,
would I address a few words in conclusion. We doubt not your
benevolence, we know that the orphan can never plead to you in vain, we
believe that your hearts will ever be enlarged in proportion to the
urgency of the claims of the Institution. Its necessities must of course
increase with our rapidly increasing population, and be assured it can
well and judiciously employ all the bounty you will bestow upon it.
Should it be possible for any one here present to feel cold and
indifferent to the claims of this Institution, I would say, realize the
pitiable condition of an orphan infant. To you who are parents and are
watching over your growing offspring, and can imagine how bitter would
be your distress at the thought of being torn from them--remember, that
these are destitute of a father's protection and a mother's anxious
love. Be ye then their comfort and their stay. As you look upon your own
offspring, and reflect with gratitude that you are yet preserved to
watch over their tender infancy and dependant youth, and as you pray
that you may still shelter them until they can withstand the storms and
adversities of life, think how you may repay your Almighty Benefactor in
the persons of those, who are also his children; think also, how deep
will be your ingratitude, if while so blessed, you can "despise these
little ones." Your children are yet around you, and you watch over them,
but you cannot pierce into the solemn darkness of futurity--they may yet
be helpless, parentless, friendless,--_as ye would that men should do to
you, do ye also to them likewise_.[16]

Ye also, who have experienced, and perhaps still enjoy, the watchful
care and affectionate caresses of devoted parents, forget not that there
are those, who have never rejoiced in the sound of a father's voice, or
a mother's gentle embraces. And can you, who have known such delights
refuse your sympathy to these children of the most cruel privation? No.
You will remember those, who have been for ever cut off from the
sweetest pleasures of life; whose lips have never learned to
say--"father"--"mother,"--and to behold the countenances of these
dearest friends lighten up with joy at the sound, and their arms
extended for the fond embrace. You will,--yes my brethren,--will you not
all,--all here present,--remember them? The _bountiful eye_, which looks
upon their sad condition, and relieves them, shall be blessed--blessed
of men in their full applause--blessed in its own soothing approbation,
and more than all, and above all, blessed of the God of all blessing,
now and for ever more. Amen.


FOOTNOTES:

[1] Proverbs xxiii. 6, 7.

[2] Proverbs xxviii. 22.

[3] Deuteronomy xv. 7-10.

[4] 1 Timothy vi. 18.

[5] The Board of Visitors of the Poor, as established in this city, is
one of the most practically useful institutions which the modern spirit
of enlightened charity has devised. Its object is not merely to search
out the sick and needy and to relieve them, but also to investigate the
claims of any applicants for charity that may be recommended to it, and
thus to prevent impositions as far as practicable. Every family that has
not time to disburse its charities under the superintendence of its own
members, should be in communication with this Board. Measures are now in
progress to organize a system, which shall render this Institution more
effective even than it has yet been, in accomplishing the important
purposes for which it was established. When completed, public notice
will be given. Let every benevolent individual in our community then
come forward and give this system his countenance and pecuniary support;
and let all resolve by a united effort to do away the baleful influence
of a tolerated pauperism, by detecting and discountenancing every
vicious and unworthy applicant for charity, and by industriously
searching out and promptly relieving every real and deserving object of
distress.

[6] Proverbs xxix. 7.

[7] The custom recommended by St. Paul to the Galatians and Corinthians,
as we learn from 1 Corinthians xvi. 1, 2. has recently been brought into
prominent notice, and begins to be practiced in the Episcopal Church,
especially as applicable to the cause of missions. Why should it not be
adopted in all Christian families, and thus let the principle--the sound
and effective principle--of _systematic_ charity be extensively
established amongst us.

[8] Dr. Chalmers.

[9] Proverbs, xi. 17.

[10] Same, xix. 17.

[11] Isaiah, lviii. 10, 11.

[12] Matthew, v. 7.

[13] Matthew, xxv. 40.

[14] Psalms, xli. 1.

[15] Mrs. SARAH PARKMAN, the relict of Samuel Parkman, Esq., one of the
most distinguished of the merchants of this city. Those who knew her,
and have seen how faithfully, affectionately, and judiciously she
discharged the duties of a daughter, a wife, a parent to her own
offspring, and a mother to many others, who with her own children, have
abundant reason to "rise up and call her blessed;" or who have learned
from report the leading events of her virtuous, benevolent and active
life, will esteem the humble tribute thus paid to her memory, as
proceeding from an estimate of her excellencies by no means exaggerated.
As an evidence of the value of her services to the Asylum, the following
extract has, by permission, been taken from the Minutes of the Board of
Managers:--

_At a meeting of the Board of Managers of the Boston Female Asylum, held
on the last Tuesday of July, 1835,--_

VOTED, That the Managers are deeply sensible of the loss sustained since
the last meeting, in the death of their excellent First Directress, Mrs.
Sarah Parkman, the last who remained at the Board, of its original
members, and for the last fourteen years its presiding Officer. That
they hold in affectionate remembrance her gentleness, her charity, her
thoughtfulness for others, her constant endeavor to do good; and it may
be permitted to add,--for it was a conspicuous trait in her
character,--the sincerity of heart with which, in all her varied
intercourse, she followed the apostolic injunction, "be courteous."

Also, that they acknowledge with much gratitude to her, and to the
children by whom her wishes were so promptly fulfilled, the receipt of
Five Hundred Dollars, the last testimony of her interest in an
Institution, which, from its foundation, has owed so much to her labors,
her counsels, and the liberality, which even in death, did not fail.

       *       *       *       *       *

Since the establishment of the Asylum in 1800, 357 children have been
admitted. Of these, 273 have been placed at service, or otherwise
removed; 13 have died, and 71 remained in the Asylum, on the 35th
anniversary.

[16] Luke xvi. 31.



Transcriber's Note:

    Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note. Archaic
    and variant spellings have been retained. Capitalisation of
    religious terms remain as printed.





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