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suitable room lately occupied by the Philosophical Society, has been engaged for the purpose. On Sunday, April 19th, the Rev. C. Chapman opened the place with a discourse on "God's condescension to human weakness," which riveted the attention of all present. He dwelt with affecting earnestness on the wide departure from duty and holiness-the foul idolatries-the infamous crimes of which man had been guilty, and the inexhaustible love of the Father, which still appeals to every principle of our nature, to foldow on in the ways of wisdom and happiness. In the evening of the same day, Mr. Chapman delivered a discourse on "Reason as necessary to the reception of Revealed Religion;" it was powerfully but temperately urged, and so truly evangelical, in the proper sense of the word, as, whilst calling upon the hearers to respect, dewvelop, and vigorously apply their best powers to the study of religious subjects, it tended equally to the warming and strengthening of the devotional feelings, and to the invigoration of Christian practice. The attendance, though not large, was encouraging, and it is hoped that by zeal and perseverance a congregation may be here established, which may be a centre of usefulness throughout the district. In the meantime, the requisite funds for so extensive an undertaking as the supply of a minister throughout the year are not provided, and the friends of religious truth are earnestly requested to aid this most desirable object. Contributions will be thankfully received by the Rev. E. Kell, and the Rev. H. Hawkes, Secretaries of the Southern Unitarian Fund Society, with whom any minister willing to undertake a mission of so uncertain yet interesting a nature, is requested to communicate. Contributions may also be forwarded to Mr. P. Brannon, 25, Carlton Place, Southampton, Treasurer of the Congregation, and any further information may be obtained from Mr. Joseph Sayer (of the same address), Secretary.
PETITION FOR THE ABOLITION OF CAPITAL PUNISHMENT.
To the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty.
The petition of the undersigned Inhabitants of London and its vicinity, agreed to at a public meeting, convened at Exeter-hall, London, on Wednesday, April 29, 1846.
Humbly showeth,-That a very general repugnance to the infliction of death as a punishment of crime has long been manifesting itself among your Majesty's subjects, in unison, as they believe, with the genuine spirit of Christianity.
That the partial abrogation of this awful penalty for offences formerly capital, has not endangered, but, in the confident belief of the petitioners, has increased the security of society; and that there is no valid reason why the same results which have justified its partial abrogation should not follow its entire repeal.
That it is shown by a parliamentary document (No. 36, Session 1842), that during a period of three years, 1834-5-6, in which there was no execution whatever in London or Middlesex, the commitments on the charge of murder were fewer than during any similar period, with executions, before or since; and that in those three years there was not a single conviction for this crime.
That from another parliamentary paper (No. 618, Session 1843,) extending over England and Wales, for the eight preceding years, it appears that in those counties where there had been a mitigation of the capital sentence, the number of murders diminished materially; but that the number did not so diminish in other countries where the sentence was inexorably enforced.
With the evidence of facts established upon such undoubted authority, and so conclusive in its character, it is matter of regret to your Majesty's petitioners that instances of capital punishment should of late have been multiplied; especially as these sanguinary examples, instead of answering the design intended, appear to have been followed by an increase in the crime of murder.
They would further earnestly entreat the attention of your Majesty to the fearfully degrading and demoralizing effects of public executions upon the community-to the circumstance that numerous robberies are perpetrated even at the foot of the gallows, where arrests are almost invariably made by the police; whilst ribald jests, disgraceful language, and brutal conduct, usually attend the hurrying of a wretched being, prepared or unprepared, into an awful eternity. Nor does the spectacle of blood excite a horror of the crime for which the malefactor suffers. On the contrary, with the beholders, whose better feelings are not yet hardened by such scenes, he is an object of sympathy from the very character of his punishment.
Moreover, it is well known that many criminals escape all punishment, from a reluctance of witnesses to give evidence, and of jurors to convict, on capital indictments, lest they should be instrumental to the death of a fellow-being. The protection due to society is thus diminished by frequent impunity to crime.
On the other hand, it is a solemn but indisputable fac', that many individuals, though condemned upon what appeared conclusive evidence, have, after all atonement had become impossible, been proved to have perished innocent of the charge imputed. Many more have been sent out of this world with their latest breath protesting their innocence; the question of whose guilt can only be known to the Great Searcher of hearts. From this it is humbly urged that the power of an irrevocable punishment should not belong to a fallible tribunal.
Upon these grounds-that the punishment of death is opposed to the spirit of Christianity; that it does not answer its design; that its effects are demoralizing; that it sometimes involves the destruction of the innocent by judicial process; and at others favours the escape of guilt-thus promoting the crimes it was meant to repress your Majesty's petitioners implore of your Majesty that some other penalty, befiting a civilized and Christian state, may be provided.
And your Majesty's petitioners will ever pray, &c
Chairman of the meeting.
CAUSES OF JUVENILE DEPRAVITY.
For a considerable time past, we have been convinced through the light thrown on this subject by the operations of the Temper
ance Society, that the use of strong drink by our adult population is the occasion of most of the juvenile delinquency in this country. In proof of the correctness of this opinion, we shall refer in the first place, to the facts elicited in connection with the establishment of an institution at Glasgow, for the reformation of juvenile offenders. A few years ago, the number of such delinquents in that city became alarmingly great, and imprisonment, in company with adult offenders, made them yet more vicious and depraved. To promote their reformation, a large establishment was built, at a cost of £10,000,-a sum which was raised in the course of a few weeks, among benevolent individuals in that city, so urgent were the necessities of the case considered to be.
At the end of the year, an interesting Report was given of the institution, in which the following conclusive testimony appears, as to the immediate incentive to crime by the youths who had been confined there, and into the particulars of whose cases a most searching inquiry had been made.
"We have no hesitation (observes the Report) in speaking positively of the existence of want, or actual destitution, as the cause of causes, above and inclusive of all others that can be named, impelling to the commission of crime."
The destitution of the parents, it will be observed, drove the children to thieve, in order to supply the wants of nature. It becomes, therefore, a question of the deepest interest to ascertain by what means the parents were reduced to this state of destitution. On the authority of Sheriff Allison, as given in the "Report on the proposed Inquiry into the present state of the poor in Scotland," it appears, that a sum very little short of a million sterling is annually expended by the labouring classes of Glasgow in the purchase of intoxicating drinks.
When we examine further into the subject, and find that, throughout the entire kingdom, good wholesome grain, sufficient to supply one tenth of our population with bread-food, is annually destroyed in the manufacture of a hurtful and demoralising drink, -whilst, in the city of Glasgow alone, the pecuniary resources of the labouring classes are grievously misapplied, to nearly the amount of a million sterling per annum, in the purchase of that drinkthere surely is nothing surprising in the statement, that large num'bers of its juvenile population are impelled to the commission of crime through actual destitution, and that their parents are debased and demoralised, and neglectful of their social and parental duties.
"The existence of want, or actual destitution," is not, therefore, "the cause of causes, impelling to the commission of crime." Such want is an effect of the use of strong drink by the parents, which should be regarded as "the cause of causes above and inclusive of all others that can be named," and must be removed before the effects will cease, that is, as respects the nation at large. Individuals among the working-classes may, and do, use intoxicating drinks without such results following; but in regard to the nation generally, we know, by the experience of centuries, that there is no rational ground to expect it will be the case.-Bristol Temperance Herald.
WORSHIP-STREET SUNDAY SCHOOL.
The twenty-eighth anniversary of this Institution was celebrated on the evening of the 29th April. At nine o'clock, about one hundred and forty friends took tea in the Chapel. After the social repast, Dr. Bowring, M.P., who had kindly consented to preside, took the chair. In introducing the business of the meeting, the chairman expressed his gratification in having acquiesced to the earnest wishes of the Teachers of the School, to preside over this anniversary. "The path of life," he said, "was strewed with many pleasures and duties, but there was none of a higher kind than to aid the cause of education, and seek to benefit the young. The children we now instruct will be the future parents and teachers, and will exert a powerful influence, either beneficially or injuriously, upon the next generation. There is no mission more important than teaching the young. All may aid its progress, and there is no individual so humble, that he may not make himself useful to others." The Secretary, Mr. Edmund Brad, then read the Report* of the past year.
The Rev. J. O. SQUIER proposed, "An increasing attention on the part of our more wealthy friends, to the wants and improvemens of our poorer brethren."
Seconded by Mr. S. BRIGGS.
Mr. HENRY PRESTON, "Education of all Classes, as the direct mode of raising man to the rank for which his Creator designed him."
Seconded and responded to by Mr. THOMAS DICK.
Rev. J. C. MEANS, "The Cause of Plain Scriptural Religion throughout the World."
Seconded by Mr. JAMES RICHARDSON.
Rev. WILLIAM VIDLER, "The Sunday School Association."
Mr. HILL, "Success to the Domestic Missions established amongst us."
This sentiment was responded to by the Rev. R. K. PHILP.
Mr. ANDERSON, "May the Teachers in our Sunday Schools be careful to acquire useful knowledge and virtuous dispositions themselves, as the best means of benefitting those whom we wish to
Mr. G. SMALLFELD, Sen., in responding to this sentiment, observed, "that by teaching we learn, but we must learn before we can teach."
Mr. SCOTT gave interesting particulars relating to 'Ragged Schools," and of the success attending the exertions which had been made in that with which he was engaged.
The Rev. BENJAMIN MARDON proposed, and Mr. SMALLFIELD seconded the following resolution "Best thanks to our philanthropic friend, Dr. Bowring, for his kind attention in presiding over our meeting this evening."
Dr. BOWRING acknowledged the resolution with considerable feeling.
We have been favoured with a copy of the Report, and it is with much regret that our space will not permit us to insert it; but feeling as we do its intrinsic value as a public document, we trust that we shall be permitted to use it in our Magazine for July.
A hymn was sung, and the meeting was closed, all present highly delighted win the evening's engagements.
SUBSCRIPTION FOR MR. WILDERSPIN.
"A subscription has been commenced originating, we believe, in Yorkshire with a view of offering a national tribute' to Mr. Wil derspin, the amiable and indefatigable founder and promoter of infant-schools. Most sincerely do we regret to say, that the cir cumstances of the good old man render this act of justice an act also of necessity. Mr. James Simpson, in Edinburgh; Mr. J. Terrington, in Hull; and Mr. E. P. Lamport, in Manchester, act as secretaries pro tempore to the fund. On taking up the subscriptionlist, one looks first for names from the manufacturing districts; for there, if anywhere, Mr. Wilderspin's value ought to be known. The Marshalls, of Leeds-Yateses and Gladstones of Liverpool and Heywoods, of Manchester-are there, as every one would anticipate; but where are the rest of our manufacturing millionaires and merchant-princes? The zealous and benevolent clergyman is, of all men, most apt to sympathise with labours like Wilderspin's; and some clerical names are sprinkled through the list-the Dean of Canterbury, the Vicar of Batley, Mr. Sharp, the Vicar of Wakefield; Mr. Bray, the Vicar of Coventry; and the Rev. T. Dykes, of Hull: still we must take the liberty to say, the Church is inadequately represented. Gurneys there are, of course: on what occasion of sympathising with, or actively assisting benevolence and the benevolent, is that name missing? Lord Morpeth's and Earl Fitzwilliam's donations are forthcoming. There is a whole posse comitatus of Gaskells. Mr. Monckton Milnes is where a poet, possessed of the means, is always seen to most advantage; Mr. Rowland Hill's name, too, is there. The work is well begun, but much more is yet required. That no one may have the apology of being able to say he did not know where to send his money, we add, that subscriptions are received at the banks of Denison, Heywood, and Co., London; Leatham, Tew, and Co., Wakefield; A. Heywood and Sons, Liverpool; Sir B. Heywood and Co., Manchester."-Spectator.
WESTERN UNITARIAN CHRISTIAN UNION.
The first meeting of this society was held on Tuesday, the 21st of April, at Taunton-many friends from the adjoining towns were present. Among the ministers were the Reva. M. L. Yeates, G, Armstrong, T. Hincks, F. Bishop, W. J. Odgers, J. M. Montgomery, R. L. Carpenter, H. Solly, J. Murch, J. G. Teggin, D. Harwood, A. Lupton, S. Walker, R. M. Montgomery, W. James; and, among influential laymen of the district, J. B. Estlin, J. Browne, D. Blake, J. Warren, H. E. Howse, J. Terrell, B. P. Pope, W. Blake, S. W. Browne, R. Leigh, E. Bagehot, J. Lawson, J. Hill, &c., &c. Esqs.
The Rev. F. Bishop, of Exeter, introduced the service, and the Rev. G. Armstrong, preached the sermon. After divine service, the Rev. J. Murch was called to the chair-and called upon the Rev. W. James to read the Report of the Committee.
The Report stated, that at Torquay, a room, not very commo