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presented in the manner here prescribed, it will be time to attend to them. It will be time to enquire seriously, whether the implicated individual is guilty or not. But it is remarkable that we hear no charges alleged, in this definite, tangible shape. They have, so far as I know, been uttered uniformly in a very different manner. Some guess that the money which is contributed is misapplied; others have heard a flying report, to the discredit of some unknown, unnamed, and totally undefined individual; others still do not know what becomes of the contributions, but do not believe that they ever reach the object for which they were bestowed.-The manner, my friends, in which these surmisings are uttered is to me sufficient evidence of their falsity. If they were founded in truth, they certainly could, and they certainly would, be brought forward in a very different man
3. The known character of those who are entrusttd with the Missionary funds is a sufficient security that these funds are faithfully applied. It is no disparagement to others to say, that these are among the best and most distinguished men of our own, or of any country. Some of the most distinguished Divines and excellent civilians of which America can boast, have the care and management of all our principal charitable concerns. Are not these men worthy to be trusted? Were it necessary, I would gladly read over their names, and ask, which character among them is not above suspicion ?—And in order to make out the charge of fraud, it is not enough to suppose that some individual among them is capable of practising it. The truth is, no individual can practise it, without the knowledge and concurrence of others. If there is fraud, all are accessary to it; and we
must suppose that twenty or thirty men, such as compose, for instance," the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions," are cuddleing together for what? To defraud the Lord's treasury -to enrich themselves from those consecrated funds which have been generously contributed by industrious people for the spread of the gospel!!-I envy no man his disposition, who will allow himself to suppose, or even to suspect such a thing, when there is no evidence in favor of the supposition, but the most abundant and satisfactory evidence against it.
4. I see no way possible in which those who are entrusted with religious charitable funds can practice fraud, if they are disposed to do it, and not be discovered by the whole Christian public. For all that is contributed, a fair receipt is given, and in all the societies, these receipts are published. In some they are published monthly, in some quarterly, and in some annually. These publications are examined by thousands, and may be examined by all who are wirling to take them. What opportunity then for fraud in regard to the subject of receipts 2-But there is every way as small an opportunity in regard to expenditures. Every article of expenditure, even the most minute, is carefully noted, and the general result published; and the whole account is declared, under the band of an auditor, to be correctly cast and well vouched. If people will not examine these accounts, the directors of our charities certainly are not in fault. They publish them-lay them fairly open for examination, and what can they do more?
5. It is evidence that the funds of our charitable institutions are faithfully applied, that the complaint of mismanagement is not made by those who are best able and most deeply interested to detect and ex
pose it. It is not made by those who are in the habit of examining candidly the religious publications of the day, and whose continued and liberal contributions have in fact constituted, and do constitute, the charitable funds. These persons make no complaint, and are perfectly satisfied that there is no ground for any. The complaint is made by those who read little or nothing on the subject, and who give, if possible, less than they read by those who know scarcely any thing about it, and only wish to bring it into discredit and reproach.
The persons who contribute to our public charities, and who carefully examine all their accounts, are not of a character silently and tamely to suffer imposition. They are a people of many eyes, and ever watchful, if not for their own interest, at least for the interest of their beloved Zion. The moment any considerable fraud is practised upon them, they must discover it; and whenever they do discover it, rest assured, ten thousand tongues and pens will be employed to condemn it. Ten thousand voices will be raised at once to blast with eternal infamy him who has done it.-Till such as have the best means of knowing, and are most deeply interested, begin to complain; it is of little consequence for those to murmur, who, though ignorant of the subject, are yet its inveterate opposers and enemies.
6. The great things which have been accomplished by those who are entrusted with the public charitable funds, are a living, standing proof that these funds are faithfully applied. The American Bible Society has printed and prepared more than two hundred and fifty thousand Bibles and Testaments. The American Tract Society has published, and to a great extent circulated, between three and four mil
lions of Tracts. The American Education Society have supported, and are partially supporting, several hundreds of pious, indigent young men, in their preparation for the gospel Ministry. By "the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions," large and expensive establishments have been formed, in distant wildernesses, and in various parts of the heathen world; more than a hundred Missionaries have been sent out and are supported, in remote and opposite quarters of the globe; several printing presses have been purchased and are in successful operation; more than fifty schools have been established; and several thousand heathen children are now instructed in a knowledge of our arts, and of the Christian religion. Many have been hopefully brought to a knowledge of the truth, and some have already commenced preaching the everlasting gospel. A variety of smaller associations have been, it is believed, equally diligent, and in proportion to their means, equally successful.
No considerate person, I boldly maintain, can examine what has been done by the directors of our charitable institutions, without being satisfied that they have accomplished all that could have been expected; have turned the means entrusted to them to the best account; and have managed, not only with integrity, but with great wisdom and economy.
7. It may be observed again, if farther proof is wanting on the subject, that those who have the care of the charitable funds are themselves principal contributers to these funds. Much time and service are contributed by all of them; and in addition to this, if a fair estimate were made, I am confident they would be found to have contributed more, in proportion to their ability, than an equal number of any
other class. Now these persons, who have the management of the funds, must know whether they are disposed of prudently or not; and the fact that they are themselves in the habit of making fre quent and liberal contributions to them, is good evi-. dence that they know they are disposed of in such manner. Would they continue to bestow their property where they knew it would be misapplied ? Would they knowingly be the instruments of wronging and defrauding themselves?-We may apply this reasoning to a single case. The late Gov. Boudinot was for several years President of the American Bible Society, and was most intimately acquainted with all its transactions and concerns. Had there been any fraudulent practices, any misapplication of funds, he must have known it. Yet, at his decease, he left to that Society a very considerable part of his large estate. Is not this conclusive proof that the concerns of that Society have been, and are, managed with integrity and wisdom?
8. I add still again, as evidence of the fidelity with which the religious charitable funds are disposed of, the well known fact, that those to whom they are entrusted are not enriched by them. So far from this, they have in some instances, through their devotedness to the cause, empoverished themselves and their families: more probably than was just. We have a striking instance of this in the late lamented Dr. Worcester. He was, from the first, a principal officer of "the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, " and was entrusted, more than any other person, with the direction of their numerous and important conHe devoted himself to the work with a zeal and constancy, which broke down his constitution, and brought him to an early grave. If any person could