From the summit of a lofty hill, the spectator beholds so extensive a prospect, that he scarcely knows Where to fix his attention; and he who contemplates the corruptions of government experiences a similar difficulty. In the list of pensions, in the management of charities, in the representation of the people, are such glaring abuses, such abominable perversions of justice, that he must be an arrant knave or a consummate idiot, who does not strenuously and unremittingly demand reform.The necessity of reform is now generally admitted; but by whom is it to be brought about? (“Ah! there’s the rub) It will not be effected by men in power. Their efforts lend to increase abuses; and their “selfish interests” stimulate their exertions. If reform take place, it will be by the people. But when will they be awakened to a sense of their duty?—and their duty is to demand imperatively, and by means practical and just, to obtain the restitution of their rights.Benevolent individuals and public bodies have, at different periods, left property for the establishment and support of schools in almost every city and town. During the years that have elapsed since the formation of the schools, abuses have crept in, and perverted the original intention of the founders of such noble institutions. Mr. Brougham has called the attention of the public to the consideration of this subject, and the investigation of it has proved that some who desire to be esteemed noble Lords, dignified Bishops and clergymen, and honourable gentry, have not boat ashamed, have not deemed it ignoble, have not thought it disgraceful and impious, have not considered it dishonourable, to rob the poor of that which was intended for their education.There is abundant proof to establish the assertion; “that reform will not be effected by men in power;” take, for instance, the conduot of these men respecting charitable foundation 354concerning which the respectable Editor of the “Black Book,” (a work that all should read) says,—“How utterly hopeless the reform of any abuse is under the present system, we shall fully demonstrate in the exposition we are going to give of the robbery of Charitable Foundations. A more flagrant, more widely diffused, and more unprincipled abuse, was never brought to light. On the fall exposure of this impious robbery, a government with the least sense of shame or justice, if it had not brought the illustrious, the sanctified, and the magisterial robbers to punishment, for the violating of their trust, would at least have compelled the restitution of their plunder. Instead, however, of either punishment or restitution, every artifice was resotted to, to shield the memorable fraud from investigation. A commission was appointed, composed of men, who from prejudice, family connexion, and education, were more likely to screen than to bring to light the abuses they were appointed to examine. Their powers were limited; the most aggravated cases of abuse they were wholly restrained from investigating; and they were so ingeniously subdivided into Boards, that they might examine the fewest number of cases in the longest time!”This extract, that speaks the truth, and only the truth; which Mr. Brougham has publicly confirmed; and which the enemies of justice have, notwithstanding their evasive answers, and sophistical reasoning, admitted as correct;—evinces that reform will never he effected by men in power. It remains, then, that the people rescue the spoil from the grasp of the spoiler, and that they restore that which was intended for the poor and needy to the lawful owner.Britons! have ye any reverence for religion ?—Have ye any respect for justice ?—Have ye any feeling for the poor ?—Can ye be roused from your lethargic state, and stimulated to exertion in behalf of the much injured children of, poverty ? Oh, listen! It is the voice of little helpless children calling to you for assistance, while Religion and Justice imperatively command you to help them.Have ye, Britons, any reverence for Religion? Religion teaches you to restore to every individual his right.—How notoriously is the right of the poor perverted, or destroyed? Of all the crimes that our nation has to answer for at the bar of an omniscient and inflexibly just Jehovah, there is, perhaps, none so heinous as the robbery of the poor; and, from the various public charities that are notoriously abused, those that were intended for the education of the lower classes of 355society are prominently conspicuous. Here, then, is a field in which you can give full exercise to your religious principles, The restoring the stream of benevolenee into its proper channel, is as much the duty of man, as the prevention of murder; is as insoparably connected with religion, as is the worship of our Creator.Have ye, Britons, any respect for Justice? Justice teaches you to restore to every individual his right; and, assuredly, it is the right of the poor to enjoy the benefit of those institutions which were solely intended for them. Ye pretend to be lovers of justice, you may now demonstrate the sincerity of those professions, by effecting the restoration of the rights and property of the poor. Britons have been very reprehensible in their culpable indifference to appeals of justice. Let them “turn from the error of their way and do that which is lawful and right.” Religion and Justice, pointing to certain dignitaries of the established church, noble-men, and “dealers in justice,” say, “ It is lawful and just that you make them restore the property of the poor:” and they also point to the helpless child, saying, “Means are provided for its being trained up in the way it should go. Prove your reverence for religion, your respect for justice, your feelings of humanity,—by letting it enjoy those means.”