November 28: Rev. John Bailey Adger

“The poor you will have with you always.”

SMYRNA. — REV. Messrs. Adger, Houston, Merrick, and Pease, who sailed from Boston in the Pa dang, Aug. 20, arrived at Smyrna, on the 25th of October, after a passage of sixty-three days. They and their wives were in good health.

EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNAL OF MR.  ADGER.

Mr. Adger is a native of Charlestown, S. C.

Solicitations from Beggars.

Nov.28, 1834. The blind beggars who sit by the way-side, carry us back to the early ages, when our Lord healed Bartimeus. It is said by those who have lived in Malta, that there are many more paupers in that island than here. Indeed there are as many in some of our cities in America. But the beggars in America are not generally natives of the soil, but imported from abroad. The benign religion which God. in his mercy has given us, is not the parent of poverty. Rather it is the parent of the hospital and the asylum where the sick and wretched are provided with food and shelter. It is distressing to be assailed as we pass along the street, by the lame and the blind and the idle, without feeling a liberty to respond favorably to their piteous cry: “Carita, carita, seignior,” is an affecting appeal. Even now while I write I hear the long dolorous supplication of one at the door, who begs in the name of Christ, and promises “the blessing of the Lord” upon him “who gives to the poor.” What are we to do?  Give to them and thus encourage indolence, and bring to our houses daily a crowd of those who will eat nothing but the bread of idleness? Or shall we turn them away and thus perhaps be deaf to the cry of the real sufferer. I am in a strait. Those who have been longest in the land say, “Do not give to all in this way but seek out a few whom you know to be deserving, and let these few be your peculiar care.”

The ladies here have a poor’s society; the gentlemen support a dispensary and physician; and thus provide “a multitude of impotent folk” with medicines and medical advice. To give one’s mite to such institutions appears to me much better than to bestow it in indiscriminate charity. The Ladies’ Poor Society make it their business to visit the poor at their own houses, and they give truly a touching description of the lamentable condition of many. The gentlemen’s dispensary gave aid during the year past to not less than fifteen hundred diseased people.

The Jews here hardly ever beg, although they are so poor and so much abused. They are not unwilling to engage in any menial service, however vile, for a little money; but I am told that one cannot hire the other poor to work in such a manner.

Another man was killed last night.  He makes the fifth whose life has been wilfully taken in this city within the month.  What a sad moral condition do these murderers betray.

 

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