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There were two officers of the court who were placed in that prison, whose dreams Joseph was supernaturally enabled to interpret. One was to be restored to his office; and him Joseph intreated to represent his hard case to the king. But the unthankful butler, when delivered, forgot him; and it was not till two years after, that, on Pharaoh's dreaming two remarkable dreams, Joseph was thought of, and brought to stand before the king.

deliverance of the youth: he had not the courage of his youthful gladness, and longed to be deliboldly to remonstrate against the wickedness in-vered from his present bondage. tended: he thought that he could come afterwards when none was by, take up Joseph secretly from the pit, and restore him, unobserved, to his father. His plan shared the fate so general with deceitful propositions; for, when he was out of the way, a company of Ishmaelites passed by; and Judah, who had no mind to shed blood if gain could be otherwise got, proposed to sell Joseph to these migratory merchants. They might make a profitable bargain, and with equal certainty, it seemed, frustrate Joseph's prognostications. To this proposal all agreed. Their brother was lifted from the pit, and sold for twenty pieces of silver. Again we see in Joseph a type of Christ: Christ was sold, and at the instigation of a Judas -sold into the hands of strangers; his nearest kinsman, according to the flesh, abetting the deed.

When Reuben returned and found Joseph gone, his grief was bitter. "He returned unto his brethren, and said: The child is not; and I, whither shall I go?" But his character was unstable as water; and he weakly yielded to the purpose of the rest to deceive their father. He had not the moral courage to tell the truth; else search might have been made, and Joseph ransomed and restored to his home. A long tissue of evil consequences thus resulted to himself and to his father's house. Let us learn that honest frankness and bold determination in the straight path is the course which alone befits the professing servant of God.

When Jacob's sons returned to him, they exhibited Joseph's garment of many colours steeped in blood, and pretended that they had found it. This seemed convincing proof that his beloved child was devoured by some evil beast; and the affectionate parent grieved deeply for his lose. Perhaps he yielded too much to the affliction which oppressed him; for he refused, we are told, all comfort, and seemed to "sorrow as those that have no hope." Religion does not forbid our tears to flow; but it will check an exuberant grief: i must testify that God, even when he smites, is very merciful: it will teach us to lay our griefs before his throne, and humbly submit to his chastening hand.

Meanwhile Joseph had been carried into Egypt, where he was sold again to Potiphar, the captain of Pharaoh's guard. He entered that land a captive, which he was afterwards to rule. God had humbled him, but intended to exalt him in due time.

His conduct in his new situation was so praiseworthy that his master distinguished him with special favour, and placed him over his household. There, too, his behaviour was unexceptionable. He had learned in the school of affliction, and was profited thereby. But his trials were not at an end: a sore one still awaited him. Pleasure spread her snares for him; and sin allured him by sensual enjoyment. But Joseph was sustained by divine grace: "How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" His refusal exposed him to calumnious accusation; and his master, too easily believing the charge, cast him into prison. Here, too, he found favour with the keeper, and was entrusted with a kind of authority. But his soul yearned for freedom: he thought of the days


BY THE REV. BEAVER H. BLACKER, M.A. "Whither shall I go from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me."-Ps. cxxxix. 7-10.

IT is evident that this psalm was composed at a time when David was greatly persecuted and calumniated by his enemies. For, if you are acquainted with its contents, or if you read it through, you will at once perceive that his distress of mind was unusually severe. Yet observe, his sorrows did not assume the character of despair. On what, then, did he found his hope? Where did he repose his grief? Whence did he draw comfort to his soul in this season of deep affliction? It was on the fixed belief that the God whom he loved and served was every where, was omnipresent, "beholding the evil and the good;" that in vain will man seek a spot in the whole creation, where the divine protection is not felt, or whither the divine anger does not follow; that heaven is the seat of God's glory; that this world, in all its wide extent, is the scene of his providence; and that even hell (i. e., the grave) must at his command give up its dead, and, consequently, is the theatre of his power, and under his absolute control.

Thus did the psalmist declare his belief in God's omnipresence. And this doctrine is as clearly taught in other parts of scripture. For example, we read in the Proverbs of Solomon, "Hell and destruction are before the Lord; how much more then the hearts of the children of men?" (xv. 11). The prophet Jeremiah likewise asked whether any man can hide himself in secret places that God shall not see him; adding, "Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord" (xxiii. 24). And St. Paul declares that "neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight; but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do" (Heb. iv.). Conceiving it unnecessary to multiply passages of similar import, I shall merely remind my readers of that encouraging promise given to the faithful of every age and nation, that "where two or three are gathered together" to worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, there in the midst of them is the Saviour of the world, to hear and answer their supplications.

In addition to these most convincing proofs from the word of God, our own unassisted reason tells us that the Ruler of the universe, whatever other attributes he may possess, sees all things, and is in every place; for, as David did, I may appeal to his works, I may appeal to nature as a testimony that the Author of nature is omnipresent (Ps. xeiv. 8-10). Yes, the wonders and harmony of creation, from the meanest insect to man, God's noblest work, even were there no revelation upon the subject, prove, beyond all controversy, the universal presence, as well as the power and wisdom, of our Creator. His watchful care also, which supplies our various wants, and preserves us in the midst of danger, and which suffers not a sparrow to fall to the ground without his permission, shows that he, in whom "we live, and move, and have our being," is not far from any one of us. And, further, the inward conscious-human conduct, how much greater and superior ness of a future trial, which even the most hardened mind at times is forced to feel, is an undeniable proof of the creature's knowledge that his Creator is ever close at hand.

on, and observing what they did." In his ignorance of the divine nature, he gave this precept, hoping to encourage his followers in the pursuit of what was honourable, and to deter them from what was mean and wicked. And the advice he gave, no doubt, was founded on an accurate knowledge of human nature; for he knew that the presence of one who is superior in rank, wisdom, or piety, has always a strong influence on our life and manners; that we stand in awe, and are fearful to offend; and that we are careful to observe at least the outward appearance of virtue, and to avoid any thing that might render us contemptible or disagreeable. His precept, therefore, we must admire; but, how different are our own circumstances! If the supposed presence of a good man, who himself is necessarily prone to err, could be expected to have influence over must be the influence of the real presence of a perfect, all-wise God; of that holy Being, who not only views every action in its proper light, but is intimately acquainted with the motives from which they spring!

But perhaps some may wonder why I strive so earnestly to prove what all, most probably, are But there is another, and a very useful conready and willing to admit. Are any disposed to sideration, which should be ever keep in viewask why I seek to establish what they never dared that he who overlooks us, and witnesses all that to deny; what no member of Christ's church pre-passes here below, is no idle or unconcerned specsumes to doubt? Alas! I know too well the tator. If he was, it might be held of little moment dark deceitfulness of the human heart; and, whether we believed or disbelieved his continual wishing to guard you against its dangers, my fears presence. But, from revelation we learn that, as have urged me, at the risk of being tedious, to our watchful Guardian, who "neither slumbers establish, fully and beyond all reasonable contra- nor sleeps," is acquainted with every thought, diction, the doctrine of the omnipresence of the word, and deed of his countless creatures, so he Deity. I judge of others by myself. I cannot, in- preserves of them all an imperishable record. A deed, recollect the time when I seriously ques- fellow-creature may observe our conduct; but he tioned or disbelieved the truth which I would now may be too weak either to recompense what he enforce upon the minds of others; but I can well approves or to punish what he condemns. The remember when it had no more influence on my life case, however, is far different with Almighty God: and feelings than if I never had been taught it. he observes minutely; he regards deeply; he will Now, ask yourselves whether it has been so, or is reward or punish abundantly; and he "will still so with you. Ask this question seriously, and bring every work into judgment, with every examine into the state of your hearts as in the secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be presence of him whose eye is ever fixed upon you; evil." Convinced, then, of this, there is surely for, be assured, if your hearts do not feel the con- no consideration more likely to excite our revetinual presence of your Maker, you have had from rence, or to restrain us from sin. I appeal to my me no proof that was not absolutely required. readers whether one can be charged with taking You may indeed confess with your lips, as Elihu unnecessary pains if he endeavour again and again confessed to Job, that "God's eyes are upon the to urge upon your consciences what, as each man's ways of man; and he seeth all his goings (Job experience must show, too easily escapes the recolxxxiv. 21); but such verbal acknowledgements will lection. A serious and realizing belief that the be of no avail. Satan, in his craftiness, can spare eye of God is ever fixed upon us is, therefore, this empty tribute of respect to the holy Being most important, not only because an upright witwhom he opposes, since well he knows that if your ness to our actions, even were he merely a fellowrespect proceeds no further, and if your minds are being, would have considerable effect in restrainnot practically convinced, you are still in dark- ing our conduct, but because to him, who never ness, still "in the gall of bitterness," and are leaves us, even our hearts are open; because he, not renewed in the Spirit," or converted to the knowing all our iniquities, can and will reward ways of God. O let it then be the burden of your us as he thinks proper. O, how the certainty prayers to heaven, that you may be enabled not and accuracy of this future judgment, when many merely to understand, but powerfully, effectually, who enjoyed this world's applause shall stand and continually to feel in your hearts, the omni- trembling and condemned before Jehovah's throne, presence of the Deity. And may the Holy Spirit should force us to consider our ways! It appals be with me whilst I endeavour to point out the the mind even to think upon that day; for all importance and beneficial effects of rightly en- past events will then be present to our Almighty tertaining this awakening truth! Judge; present to him who now is here, either First, with respect to its importance. It was grieving over our impenitence or rejoicing at our the advice of a celebrated heathen philosopher, faith. Truly it is an awful consideration, cheernamed Seneca, that men ought always to acting to the righteous, but terrifying to the ungodly, as if an eminent and virtuous person was looking that a day will come when there can be no decep


tion, and when he shall judge us who well knows our state. If, therefore, you expect to enjoy his protecting favour then, keep in mind that he is now collecting facts which can never be forgotten, and which will either save or condemn you: keep in mind that not a faithful service is overlooked, that all sins are noted in the book of judgment, and that every omitted duty and all impure desires are likewise most carefully recorded in it.

I shall now endeavour to point out the beneficial effects. First of all (for there are several), it gives great and unspeakable comfort to the believer, who through the mercy of God has delightful evidence that he is a member of Christ Jesus by adoption and grace. The Christian (I mean one who is really a Christian) considers himself poor, ignorant, weak, and insignificant. When he views himself, as it were, in the mirror of truth, and beholds in the pages of the gospel the image of the holy Being, whom he is required to imitate in purity, he at once exclaims, in the language of the psalmist: "I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people" (Ps. xxii. 6). When he reflects upon what perhaps he once considered to be holy services, he pronounces them too worthless to be remembered by God, who "perceives iniquity even in our holy things;" and, when he thinks upon his sins, both of omission and commission, the thought necessarily arises that they are too many and too great to be forgiven. But what consolation does he now derive from the reflection that God is, and always has been, present? It gives comfort to his soul to think that he, who graciously accepted the widow's mite, and was pleased to say that even a cup of cold water given in his name shall have a full reward, knows every prayer that was sincerely offered, remembers every temptation that was resisted, has marked them with delight, and will openly acknowledge them at the final day of judgment. What great support does this knowledge impart to the true believer in the season of sorrow, sickness, bereavement, or desertion! When death has separated us from those we love, when former friends and companions forsake us, when the world seems a desert, and life becomes a burden, O is not God, our omnipresent God, our everlasting Friend, better to the believer than even sons and daughters? His promises can raise the drooping spirit, and enable the broken-hearted to exclaim: Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? Hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance" (Ps. xlii. 5).

King David declared that it was his chief delight to think that God was with him; and this mighty privilege-to have the Lord as our companion-was vouchsafed by our Saviour to all true believers, when he said to his bereaved disciples: "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world" (Matt. xxviii. 20). When, therefore, we are deserted by mankind, when human friendship proves fallacious, and when our faith is persecuted and our rights invaded, let us ever remember that God is always near, beholding our sufferings, permitting our trials, ordering all our goings, and guarding us against destroying evils. Our afflictions, though apparently heavy, are of short continuance, and therefore in reality

are light; and, if we receive them patiently, and use them properly, they shall "work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory" (2 Cor. iv. 17).

Above all, what an inducement have we, in the omnipresence of God, to resist temptation, and to be "zealous of good works"! We all know that it is a great encouragement to virtue to perceive that those whom we admire and esteem are spectators of our actions. But how infinitely superior is the inspection of God! A fellow-mortal may for many reasons withhold his approbation: sometimes success is not in proportion to merit; and sometimes virtue is the object, not of reward, but of envy. This is the state of things below; but above it is far different. There God remembers what we are, and makes due allowance for our weakness and imperfections. He looks well to the motives, he examines minutely the principles, and perceiving the full guilt of disobedience. How cogent, then, should be the reflection that we are running our appointed race in his presence, who shall one day himself award the crown; and that our daily contest with ourselves, the world, and the devil is maintained in his immediate view, who, calling himself the Captain of our salvation, bears witness to our faithful struggles, takes notice of every honest effort, successful or unfortunate, and will proclaim and repay them publicly before the assembled universe! "Wherefore," as the apostle says, "seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Heb. xii. 1, 2).

This ought to be a most awakening consideration; and would to God we could each one of us realize to our minds that his eye is ever fixed upon us! What increased and indefatigable vigilance would our lives display! Were Immanuel now visible to our eyes, as the object of adoration, how different would be the scene from what we so often witness! Every knee would be bent in humble prayer; every ear would be open, and eager to listen to his gracious message of glad tidings; and every tongue would loudly proclaim his praises, confessing him to be the Lord. Why is it not always so? Why is not his holy worship conducted always in this solemn manner? for Immanuel is, and has been present, visible to the eye of faith, which, as it has been so well defined, is "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Yes Immanuel is present, when wandering thoughts, disrespectful attitudes, and silent tongues pretend to offer the only sacrifice he will accept-the sacrifice of contrite, faithful, and obedient hearts. God may not be mocked. You cannot elude his allsearching eye; for, be assured, if he is present to see and approve your faithful yet imperfect service, he is also present to mark and register every wicked action, every impure thought, every wilful slight, and every omitted duty.

I wish that I could deeply impress this fearful


truth upon your minds; because it is the want of it which causes so much wickedness, so much coldness in religion to prevail. Ye, who indulge in secret sins; ye, who cherish impure and unholy thoughts; ye, who habitually and wilfully break any of God's commands, how would you tremble at the sure and certain consequences, if you did but pause a little, and seriously consider that in every corner of the earth, in darkness and in light, God marks every thought, word, and deed, in order to bring them into judgment, and to impose an awful retribution! Is there, I would ask you, one human being, who could behold the countenance of his almighty Judge turned towards him in anger, and not shrink back with fear and trembling?

Such being the uses, the important uses, of truly and continually believing in the omnipresence of our God, can I state too strongly or too fully the necessity of cherishing an abiding sense of the divine continual watchfulness? You must perceive that a doctrine so well calculated to influence the temper, to cheer the desponding, to encourage the virtuous, and to restrain the wicked, deserves ample_consideration; and happy should I feel were I convinced that my efforts to establish it have not been made in vain.

you weep bitterly for your sins, and seek by
God's grace to amend your lives, you shall be
cast into outer darkness, and your portion shall
be hereafter with the devil and his angels.
Dear readers, consider seriously what I have
said: it affects your eternal welfare. May God,
who sees us now, forgive our past neglect, for the
sake of Jesus Christ. O may the Spirit, "without
whom nothing is strong, nothing holy," carry us
through all temptation, and guide us into the
ways of truth!

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(From a Correspondent.)

"THE objects of Sunday-school teaching-what are they? In laying your hands on these intelligent, these immortal beings, what is your purpose and aim concerning them?" (the lecturer is addressing the members of the Church of England Sunday-School Institute). "Is it less than this, to form in them such a character as that God may be glorified in them while they are here, and that they may be glorified with God hereafter and for ever? If we teach human beings at all, we must remember the claim which God their Maker asserts concerning them: All souls are And does not this consideration cast a mine.' special lustre round your work? Think what it is to have for the end of that work the honour of God in the present holiness and everlasting glory of the creatures whom he has made. Surely you cannot deem too loftily of your occupation. In very truth are you not 'workers together with God'? But then the means to be employed in your work. These two are of the noblest and most sacred kind: they are provided for you by the inspiration of God himself, in his own records of eternal truth. Your bibles are the instruments, the divinely-appointed and prepared instruments of the work wherein you are engaged. All other books, all other helps in the carrying on of that work are suitable and useful solely as they exhibit and proclaim what the bible reveals; for the bible is the only book which can tell with authority how a human being is to be sanctified and saved. Need we say more to invest the work of Sunday-school teaching in our eyes with What a peculiar solemnity and distinction? 'objects' of a higher kind can you have to operate upon than the minds and wills of God's own intelligent and undying creatures? what objects of nobler ambition can you have before you than the bringing those creatures of God to serve him now, to be blest in him for ever? What' means' of more exalted character can you have to use than an instrument which God's own wisdom has specially contrived for the purpose of acting upon human beings to his glory in their sanctity and happiness, present and eternal?" (rev. John Harding). In an address from the greatly-needed Institute, in behalf of which the lecture was delivered, the committee remark: "Let church

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Let me add, in conclusion, that there are means by which a belief in this respect may be increased and made perfect; and these means you must diligently employ. I would suggest that a habit of prayer-private, domestic, and public-be acquired; because every act of worship virtually implies our belief in the presence of God; and, if our devotion be sincere, we feel the truth of this conviction. I would, in the next place, recommend-what indeed will follow as a thing in course, if you are diligent in prayer-that you be also diligent in the study of the word of God. The whole volume involves the doctrine of the divine omnipresence, and is therefore especially well fitted to impress us with an abiding sense of this important truth. It will also assist much to cultivate the habit of acknowledging the hand of God in all the occurrences of life. Frequently God's " way is in the sea, and his path in the great waters; and his footsteps are not known" (Ps. Ixxvii. 19). But, if you learn to feel and acknowledge that every thing is of the Lord, whether it be good or evil, you have within you a peace which the unbeliever cannot understand, and which this world can neither give nor take away. And, lastly, I would say, that a regular and devout attendance at the Lord's table, while it proves your fixed belief in his mercy, is also a most potent means of keeping alive and increasing within you the feeling which (as stated in Ps. cxxxix. 7-10) supported David amidst all his In this sacred ordinance our crucified Redeemer is more immediately present to illuminate the faithful, and to refresh the weary. All, therefore, who unfeignedly believe, never can omit to join the feast whenever it is prepared. While to such as dare to neglect this solemn service, or who presume to come without a wedding-Sunday-school teachers become members of the garment, I would simply say (and may my words sink deep into the heart of every reader) your faith is weak: you are infidels in disguise: you deny the presence of your Saviour. Like Peter, you disown him; and, unless, like Peter,


Institute, assist its funds (of which assistance it stands at present greatly in need), attend its lectures and meetings, and avail themselves of its library. Let associations be formed in the country, entering into connexion with us, and so

working in unison to our mutual benefit. And, lastly, let all the friends of true religious educacation strengthen our hands, and through us the hands of thousands upon thousands of Sundayschool teachers, whose only aim, as such, is to spread that best of all knowledge, without which nations as well as individuals must perish." The objects of the Institute are, to promote union among the schools, to collect and diffuse information for their management, to record their statistics, to assist in their establishment and extension, and to aid with grants and cheap publications their various needs. Of the latter many useful manuals, &c., have already been issued.


the free communication with his fellow-men cause association to be less desired. The advantages of his seclusion will be thankfully borne in mind, and occasional secrecy therefore chosen. But converse will have increased charms: the deprivation will have made it a privilege; company therefore, but that of a better character than before, will be sought, and will prove a source of more profitable enjoyment.

But, if the bonds of social intercourse are strengthened by this temporary severance, still more are the ties of relationship, of attachment to home, and the endearments of family, confirmed. Men, indeed, who before seemed to be without natural affection, giving sad proofs of this by spending not only lawful earnings, but whatever was obtained by fraud or violence, in base selfindulgences, treating with worse than brutal indifference the distress of those whom they were bound to love and support; even such often, after short separation and suitable instruction, express pity towards the innocent sufferers through with the most bitter self-reproach. their crimes, and deprecate their past conduct

SINCE the design of imprisonment is not merely
to punish, but by correction to prepare the offender
for more profitable intercourse with his fellow-much
men, the feelings which are produced by his con-
finement towards mankind in general must be most

rate in exciting the love of kindred, and in strength-
So favourably does separate imprisonment ope-
have less of earth in them than heaven," that in
ening those feelings which have been well said to
dealing with the more hardened culprit it is my

subduing the most obdurate, as preparatory to that
be in other respects improved *.
corrective instruction whereby the character may

None can doubt but that regard for others will depend greatly upon the persons with whom intercourse is held, and upon the treatment experienced from them. Subject a man to the companionship of none but the morose and malignant, and no kindly feelings will be created, nor will the ill-constant practice to refer to subjects so effectual in usage of such cause society to be desired. But how different the effect upon a prisoner when he is secluded from the reach or sight of malevolence, is visited only by those who supply his wants, advise him for his welfare, or console him in his distress! Intercourse of this kind with his superiors, and with such alone, will have the effect of strengthening, instead of destroying, the social principle so wisely implanted in all men, and principles, and they are directed to a better purtherefore worthy of being cultivated with watch-criminal tend to change the blind instinctive fondpose. The reasoning and reflection of the secluded ful care.

Perhaps, indeed, condemnation to a long continuance of entire solitude might tend to eradicate that principle we desire to cherish; inasmuch as the sufferer, with a view to the lessening of that punishment, might endeavour to overcome the natural inclination towards social intercourse, and might foster a spirit of selfish indifference. But scarcely is a temptation to do this presented, when the term of separation is short, and when motives and actions, the very opposite to those which form the heartless recluse, are continually urged. Seclusion, under such circumstances, renders society more inviting, whilst its corrective tendency prepares the subject of it for the increased pleasure which more virtuous companionship shall afford. I know of no condition or state of moral discipline which so well admits the strict literal application of Milton's lines:

"Solitude sometimes is best society,

And short retirement urges sweet return." Nor will the lasting remembrance that it was for a punishment the offender was debarred from * From "Prison Discipline, and the Advantages of the Separate System of Imprisonment;" by the rev. J. Field, M.A. London: Longmans. Reading: Welch. 1848. vols. Much important matter is contained in this work, which deserves a careful perusal by all who are interested in the reformation of offenders.-ED.


this improved discipline, inasmuch as the very How great too is the advantage resulting from affections themselves assume a different character! Whilst encouraged and increased, they are also corrected. Their foundation is laid on better

ness felt by some, and which had been heretofore productive of evil rather than good, into an enlightered affection, which seeks the real welfare of its has himself experienced the good effect. Often objects by means of which the reformed offender do prisoners express themselves most satisfactorily tears, one said to me not long since: "I often on this subject. With much feeling, and many think what a blessing it will be for my poor children that I have been brought here, if I should

* I find with satisfaction that the opinions I have expressed on this point are confirmed by the chaplain of the Pentonville prison, who observes in his last report: "The natural affections and love of kindred appeared to me to gain new strength in solitude, and formed an element in efforts to promote the Rebellious children mourning over reformation of the men. their past disobedience; husbands and parents looking with

painful retrospect upon their once neglected families, medi

tating and asking advice how to do better for the future, and looking forward with some hope to future efforts to retrieve their efforts, and to become the comfort of those to whom they had caused sorrow, furnished subjects of conversation between the prisoners and their ministers continually. There being time and opportunity for reflection, the mind of the poor wanderer from home and virtue turns back, with amazing interest, to the scenes of childhood and comparative innocence. Such feelings appear to have been as effectually dissipated in the company of lewd and wicked fellow-prisoners in common gaols as they had previously been in the company of the alehouse or dancing-room."-Third Report of the Commissioners p. 8.

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