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Amount brought forward, ..
$321,641 49 Fire at Hamburg (Germany).
900 00 Pittsburg
15,000 00 Roxbury.
1,000 00 Church Street.
2,859 33 Statue of Washington
7,276 17 Monument to Franklin
940 00 John Harvard.
433 75 Hannah Adams,
300 00 J. S. Buckminster
500 00 Dr. Murray.
300 00 Dr. Tuckerman, about.
1,000 00 Dr. Spurzheim
1,076 00 Dr. Kirkland, about.
1,000 00 Dr. Bowditch, about.
4,000 00 Dr. Channing
1,800 00 Bust of Dr. Freeman, in King's Chapel.
486 00 Bust of Dr. Greenwood, in King's Chapel.
410 00 Fence, Trees, &c., for Granary Burial-Ground
2,936 65 Total
$2,938,021 63 Besides those above enumerated, application has been made to the officers of several other institutions and societies known or believed to have received aid from Boston ; but, from some cause, the information has not been received in an authentic shape, and all mention of it is therefore omitted.*
As long as there are differences in the tastes and powers of men, there will be great differences in the modes in which they will dispense, as well as in those by which they acquire, abundance; and while one will encourage only institutions for the relief of physical wants, another will give no support to any thing but promoting the progress of Christianity, and a third esteems nothing of so much importance as the cause of education. We should learn to think respectfully of every form in which charity displays itself, and not allow ourselves to say, “How useless is this or that object! what a waste of means upon an unattainable end!” We can not know enough of the operation of causes to justify the cavil ; and there is one branch of utility, in every mode of giving, which is often overlooked ; and that is the utility to him who gives. It is comparatively of little consequence to what a man gives. The choice is merely an exercise of his understanding. But it is of great consequence that he should give to something; and the greater the diversity of objects for which he can feel a sympathizing interest, the greater is bis sphere of usefulness to himself as well as others, the more he is enlarging both his mind and his heart, and the more does he deserve the appellation of a liberal-minded man. At the same time, it can not be denied, that the mode in which a man should attempt to benefit others ought to be a matter of careful attention and study. It should not be left to the hazard of impulse and accidental predilection, but should be made the subject of reflection, and investigation into the actual wants of society. It is very easy to give money in such a manner that it shall not only be comparatively useless, but shall be even a burden and a tax; and the greatest sagacity will not prevent such results, if the ambition to leave a long-enduring impression on society should exceed the ability to produco it. The best guide to the true course in such cases is undoubtedly experience; and although new provisions must, of course, be made for new circumstances as they arise, yet there can be no great fear of going wrong when we make arrangements for the occurrence of events which have happened so often already that the probability of their occurrence in future amounts almost to certainty.
There is one error so frequently repeated, notwithstanding the perpetuallyrecurring proofs of its being a great mistake, that it will not be superfluous to utter a caution against it. It is limiting and restricting the uses to which funds may be applied, to such a degree that, when the circumstances of society change, even but slightly, the means provided for a previous state of things are no longer applicable to the corresponding wants of the present and succeeding times.
* From the Methodist communion and the Catholics no returns have been obtained. Sev. eral literary and theological institutions in the West, besides those mentioned in the list, are believed to have received assistance from Boston ; but the amount has not been ascertained.
The only way in which a man can do permanent good with the money which he must leave behind him is to trust something to the discretion of those who will follow him. Let him describe his wish and his design in so general a way, tbat, while it may be clearly understood, it shall not be confined within such straight lines, that it can incline neither to the right hand nor to the left. Circumstances do not move so; and if a man's will cannot be bent to accommodate it to them, it must be broken.