Page images
PDF
EPUB

and countenance, to propose it thus publicly to the humane, the generous, and the pious; to all who are glad to advance the interests of mankind, by promoting religion and morality.

No more than the outlines of the plan need here be mentioned, which are as follows. It is proposed to raise a sum of money by subscription, and with it to provide a place contiguous to the Lock, into which any of the female patients who have behaved well in the Hospital, and have not (for the latter part of the time at least,) been guilty of indecent and profane conversation, but who seem hopefully disposed to change their course of life, may be admitted ; and there maintained, though without indulgence, yet at a distance from any severity or hardship—which in this case would be peculiarly improper: that they should be employed in some kind of work, according to their ability, a certain number of hours every day ; and continued in the house till application can be made to their friends to receive them, or some proper situation can be found for them; but liable to be expelled for ill behaviour-such as lying, dishonesty, profane and indecent language, being seen in improper company, being absent from the house without leave or contrary to rule, resorting to improper places, slothfulness, &c. : that they attend regularly the public worship at the Lock Chapel ; and also be instructed by the minister, in the same manner as the patients in the Hospital are.

I am aware that the ingratitude and ill behaviour, which some have witnessed in attempting the reformation of such women, will discourage them : and I have armed my own mind, and would arın the minds of others, to expect multiplied instances of this kind. But, if amidst reiterated disappointments we are successful only in a few instances, and but a very small number are indeed brought to true repentance, and a Christian conversation, the honour done the gospel, the benefit accruing to society, the comfort and advantage afforded to an afflicted family, added to the salvation of an immortal soul, in every such instance, will be an abundant compensation. And, if we consider that some of these poor creatures are not above thirteen or fourteen years of age ; and that others have but just entered upon this abandoned course of life, and directly feel the painful effects ; I shall scarcely be deemed too sanguine, if I express a strong confidence that we shall have at least thus much success, if the plan be adopted. But, after all the pains bestowed upon them, to be under the necessity of turning them, however reluctant, into the streets, is a discouragement of such magnitude, that there nceds no eloquence to evince that the removal of it is a proper object of charity: while the readiness of the public on other occasions inspires a confidence that it will be removed.

And probably the expense will not be heavy. The number of those who will durably prefer such a life may never be great : but, if God should beyond expectation prosper the attempt, the charges will then be more easily provided for. However, it is proposed to begin upon a small scale, in order to make trial how it answers, before any large expense be incurred. And it should also be observed, that, though it is intended, in order to encourage their industry; that a portion of their

earnings should be at their own disposal, yet the remainder will in part defray the charge of the Institution.

N.B. It is proposed to be a subscription entirely separate from that to the Lock Hospital. Many subscribers to that Charity may not choose to support this design by any additional subscription : and it is hoped that many who do not choose to become governors of the Lock will subscribe a smaller sum to this design.

It is also proposed to confine this asylum entirely to the patients cured in the Lock Hospital, that it may more evidently appear in no respect to interfere with the Magdalen.

On Wednesday, April the 18th, (1787,) at twelve o'clock in the forenoon, will be held in the Board Room, at the Lock Hospital, a Meeting of such of the nobility and gentry as may wish to forward this design: when the further particulars of the plan will be laid before those who favour us with their presence.

[blocks in formation]

APPENDIX.

SELECT INSTANCES OF THE SUCCESS ATTENDING

THE LOCK ASYLUM.

N. B. The additions in italics were made or confirmed at

Midsummer, 1800.

LADY-DAY, 1788. ONE young woman of decent family and previous good character, having been seduced, and finding herself both pregnant and diseased, was strongly tempted to destroy herself; and, when about to leave the Lock Hospital, upon some new aggravations of her distress, had actually formed her determination to do so. This was discovered by the fixed melancholy of her countenance, which excited attention and compassion ; but, being spoken to in a friendly manner, and the proposal being made to her of retirement, refuge, and necessary provision, she was brought to confess and give up her desperate purpose ; and has ever since behaved with such decorum, fidelity, and industry, as entitle her to the most entire confidence in a situation, in which she is enabled to support both herself and the child of which she has since become the mother. This person still continues to fill her situation with the greatest propriety, and becoming the character of a true Christian.

Another young person, of reputable parents in the country, came to London, went to service, was speedily debauched, and in a few weeks came into the Lock Hospital. When she was discharged cured, she was admitted into the Asylum : and her father being applied to willingly received her, and some months after expressed his entire satisfaction in her conduct, and his gratitude to the charity in the strongest terms; his daughter having (as he said,) taken care of his household affairs ever since her return in the most prudent and commendable manner; and had at that time a prospect of being married and settled to advantage, and to the completion of his wishes on her behalf.—She has since been married as was expected.

Another, who had been a prostitute for a considerable time, was in the Lock Asylum so affected by witnessing the death of one of the young women, that she has ever since behaved with the utmost seriousness and apparent piety: she has been in service about half a year.--After continuing above a year with credit in her place, she married, and still bears a very good character.

LADY-DAY, 1792. Upon a careful inquiry it is found, that twenty of the young women who have been received into the Lock Asylum are now in place, with their friends, or married. They all behave properly in their situations; and several of them have for two, three, and four years given satisfactory evidence of true repentance. Seventeen more of those who

« PreviousContinue »