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suffer such a noble, and rational charity to perish now at its birth? Will you turn back these half reclaimed women, when you have taught them the full measure of their sin, and wretchedness? Or, if a human being say to you, I am doing wrong; I am sinning against God, and man; I am wretched; I know not where to turn; pity me, and show me the paths of eternal life; will you drive back the penitent to her sins, and rage with all the severity of law, and censure, when you have refused the benefit of preventive instruction?
I could speak to you for hours on this charity; but I have the firmest reliance on that rational goodness, so characteristic of this country, and before which no true object of misery ever presented itself in vain. Let me beg of you to take the nature, and views of this Society into your most serious consideration, and only to promote them as in your cool judgment you shall deem them important to the interest of true religion, and social order, and sanctioned, as I most firmly believe them to be, by every moral probability of success.
But do not trust to the faded impressions of representation: Scenes of moral improvement are always gratifying, and always instructive: view with your own eyes the strict order, and decency which pervades this institution; converse with the humble penitents, and hear what they will tell you of the horrors from which they have been rescued, of their present comfort, and their hopes of immortality revived. The most delicate, and amiable woman need not blush to countenance with her presence, this school of moral emendation: To be noticed by their superiors in rank, animates the exertions of these women, and lightens the task of reformation; and there is something in the sight of living purity (such as it does often live in gentle, and gracious women,) that makes the heart wiser, and better in an instant, than the most spirited harangues on harangues on the nature, and glowing descriptions of the excellence of virtue.
My fellow Christians, and my brothers, hear now my last words before you quit this solemn place, and return to the busi
ness, and bustle of the world: Half a century will scarce elapse, and every being here present will be dead; new men, and new events will occupy the world, and the dreaded pit of oblivion will shut over us all. Is the thought of an hercafter dear to you? Is it your care to meet the great God with good deeds? Have pity then on these forlorn women; for if you have no pity on them; they will speedily be forsaken by all: lay up a sweet remembrance for the evil day; and know, that the best mediation with God Almighty, the Father, and his Son of mercy, and love, is the prayer of a human being whom you have saved from perdition.