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and generous, it was the act of one, the Directors of the Asylum selected "who," to use the words of Mr. Mr. Kerr as the fittest person to Kerr, "confers the greatest obliga- succeed Dr. Bell in his important tions without exacting the blush of charge. He accordingly undertook the receiver, who lets not his left the superintendence of the Asylum, hand know what his right hand on the resignation of Dr. Beil, in doeth; who, actuated by the pure August 1796; and about the same motive of benevolence, seeks from time he received the gratifying inhis own heart his own reward*." telligence that the Court of Directors had confirmed his appointment as a chaplain on the establishment.
It is unnecessary to say, that the obligation was gratefully acknowledged by Mr. Kerr in the Courier. His solicitude to discover his benefactor may be easily imagined; but he could never, with apparent probability, attach to any individual the performance of this truly generous
Notwithstanding his straitened circumstances, it would seem that at this time Mr. Kerr afforded some pecuniary aid to his father. At a subsequent period, when his resources were more ample, he allowed his father an annuity sufficient to render his declining age comfortable and happy.
The Reverend Dr. Bell, Superintendant of the Military Male Orphan Asylum, at Egmore, near Madrast, under whose direction the charity was founded, and who had the merit of introducing into the institution a system of education, the advantages of which have since become known and acknowledged throughout England, having intimated that it was his intention to return to Europe,
* Dr. Kerr has noticed this interesting circumstance in his Religious Tracts and Ser
See Vol. IV. Sermon VI.
+ The Military Male Orphan Asylum is an institution for the support and education of the children, legitimate or otherwise, of European soldiers, both in the service of his Majesty and of the East India Company, employed under the presidency of Madras. By far the greater number of the boys admitted
are born of native mothers. The institution
was founded in the year 1789. An Asylum for female children was founded at Madras
some years before, under the auspices of Lady Campbell.
See Dr. Bell's publication, entitled, "An Experiment in Education made at the Male Asylum at Egmore, near Madras.”
In September following, he was appointed junior chaplain of Fort St. George, a vacancy having occurred at the presidency by the retirement of the Reverend B. Millingchamp.
He was now placed in situations the emoluments of which relieved him from the pecuniary difficulties under which he had long laboured; and the Asylum afforded a sphere for the exertion of his talents and the exercise of his benevolence more extensive than any he had hitherto enjoyed. At the period of his appointment to the superintendency of that charity, it was on a narrow scale compared with the present extended establishment; the inadequacy of its funds necessarily excluded many destitute objects from partaking of its benefits; and as the appeals to the public for assistance had been frequent, the contributions diminished, and were no longer commensurate with the increasing wants of the institution.
"Under these circumstances," to quote the words of Mr. Kerr, “ I felt that there was no object of greater importance to my charge, than the establishment of some certaiu plan by which the orphans themselves might be made to bear a part of their own expense, and henefit both themselves and the public by their own labours.
tain the best means for so desirable "After various attempts to ascera purpose, I found that none could be so lucrative, none so extensively beneficial to the public, as the establishment of a printing press at the Asylum,
"Finding, however, that I could not easily convince others of the practicability of such a plan, I was obliged to make the experiment at my own cost; and having purchased a press and types, and employed a few of the orphans in working them, I had the pleasure of soon giving a solid proof of the excellence of my scheme; and, having presented a large sum of money to the school from the work, the directors of the institution resolved to give their sanction and support to the undertaking*."
The merit of introducing the art of printing at the Asylum, is exclusively due to the active and persevering efforts of Mr. Kerr. Totally unacquainted with the practice of the art, and unable to procure any person duly qualified to instruct his young pupils, he had, at the commencement of the undertaking, to contend against obstacles which appeared almost insurmountable. He not only derived no assistance from others, but he had to encounter opposition instigated by those who, in the success of Mr. Kerr's plan, contemplated the diminution of their own emoluments. These difficulties, sufficient to have appalled an ordinary mind, so far from discouraging, served rather to stimulate him to more strenuous exertion. The success of his experiment have ing at length induced the Directors to patronize the press for the benefit of the Asylum, it yielded progressively increasing revenues to the institution, so as to admit of the number of children being augmented to 300, beyond which it has been deemed inexpedient to extend the establishment. In the year 1799, the Government having resolved to establish a printing-office at Madras, Mr. Kerr was interrogated with respect to the ability of the press at Egmore to perform the printing of the Government. The result of this communication was a permanent arrangement, by
* Letter to the Court of Directors, Januasy 19, 1805.
which the government-press was established at the Asylum, and whence have flowed effects reciprocally advantageous to the community, to the Asylum, and to the East India Company.
In this arrangement was involved the publication of a weekly government-newspaper, in which all the advertisements and public notifications of the Government were in future to be printed. The profits arising from this paper, in conjunction with those produced by the sale of various books, &c. &c. the print, ing of which is undertaken for the benefit of the charity, have constituted the chief resource of the institution on its present extended scale. Besides the execution of all the English printed work required by the Government, at no other expense than that of paper, printing is gratuitously performed to a great extent in the several native languages; in the Persian, Telinga, and Malabar characters; and the saving in printing charges which has been produced to Government, through the exertions of Mr. Kerr, may be estimated at upwards of 10,000 pagodas (40007.) annually*.
Nor did the extensive benefits resulting to the Asylum from the press, constitute the sole claim which he possessed to the gratitude of that institution. His merit was scarcely
This calculation is made with reference
to the expenses of government-printing at a period antecedent to the establishment of the experimental press, at the Male Asylum, by Mr. Kerr. By a minute of Lord Clive's (his lordship being then governor of Madras) it appears that, by means of the Asylum press, before it obtained the patronage of Government, the Committee of Reform were enabled to check the expenses of printing at the other offices, and reduced them, as
expressed in the report of the Committee, to one half, The actual saving to Government without attention to this circumstance, of course, will not much exceed half the sum stated in the foregoing paragraph.
Letter from Mr. Kerr to the Court of Di
less conspicuously evinced in the diligent and able manner in which the education of the children and the general concerns of the charity were conducted under his fostering protection. The improved regulations he established, the attention he invariably shewed to the health and comfort of the boys, and the mechanical arts in which he caused them to be instructed*, at once to render them more useful members of society, and to afford them more ample means of afterwards maintaining themselves, are circumstances which ought to be mentioned with merited
(To be continued.)
To the Editor of the Christian Observer.
I AM one of those who unite the offices of minister and tutor; and have read with attention the remarks
in the Christian Observer for and
Encouraged by the success which attended his experiment of the press at the Asylum, Mr. Kerr was led to extend his views for the mutual benefit of the charity and of the objects to whom it afforded support, by proposing that the boys should be instructed in various handicraft employments, and taught the business of cabinetmakers, bookbinders, smiths, engravers, &c.; occupations which would always afford support to the industrious, and contribute great ly to the convenience and advantage of the community. This plan was patronized by the Directors of the Asylum and partially adopted; but owing to the difficulty of procuring proper masters to instruct the boys, and to other unexpected impediments, was never carried to the extent Mr. Kerr designed. Bookbinding and some other arts continue to be performed by the boys of the charity.
Experience hitherto has shewn the apprehensions to be void of foundation, which were entertained, that employment could not be found for the new and increasing class of subjects brought up at the Asylum. The boys have scarcely time to attain the rudiments of education, before applications
are made for them from various quarters, to be indentured as clerks, accountants, farriers, and assistants in the medical department of the army, artizans, &c. &c.
against this union. It is not my intention to support the arguments of a former correspondent in favour of the practice, but merely to state the reasons which, under the general circumstances of the case, induce me to think it justifiable.
I. I do not conceive these offices to be incompatible, unless peculiar circumstances render them so.
1. Because the canons of our church permit, in certain cases, this If it be said that this permission refers to the children of a clergyman's parish, it will still be granted that it was not considered inconsistent with a minister's ordination-engagements, to employ a considerable portion of his time in imparting knowledge, which is not strictly professional.
2. Nor is there any thing in Scripture which militates against this union. On the contrary, the example of the Apostle, whose
"hands ministered to his necessities," affords a direct countenance to those, whose peculiar circumstances render an honourable, or even an honest subsistence impracticable, from an exclusive attention to the spiritual concerns of his parishioners. The writer of this paper did not think it inconsistent with his character or profession, when leaving a people, among whom he had laboured with some success for several years, to appeal to his congregation that he had "coveted no man's silver or gold," but that his talents, such as they were, had ministered to the support of himself and his family.
3. It may be added, that the two offices in question concur in one common object-the communication of knowledge, and the forming of moral and religious habits: so that the office of tutor does not unfit, but rather qualifies him for a more successful discharge of his duty as a minister, and collaterally promotes the good of his parish.
4. The greater part of private tutors reside in villages, where the parishes are generally small, and where, of
course, the number of professional visits is restricted within narrow limits..
5. The intervals of teaching, and occasional holidays, afford many, and, in most cases, probably sufficient opportunities of private visit ing.
6. It is not difficult to devise expedients to supersede the necessity of constant, individual visits: such, for instance, as taking a cup of tea once or twice a week with a parishioner, who is gratified by the attention; and, after the hours of labour, collecting at his house eight or ten of the neighbours for the purpose of religious conversation, expounding the Scripture, and prayer. I have adopted this plan for some years, and have found the best effects result from it.
7. It does not appear, nor do I think it can be shewn, that clergymen who unite these offices are less useful and successful in their parishes than others. The time which others spend in literary ease (and few scholars possess the self-denial to renounce all the pursuits which have engrossed their attention for a succession of years, in which their babits have been formed, from which they have derived much refined pleasure, and which have qualified them for usefulness on an extensive scale); I say, the time which these spend in literary ease may be devoted with advantage to the education of youth. I may add, too, that time will, in general, be better husbanded by tntors. They will rise earlier; spend less time at the table; have the best excuse for declining invitations; have fewer intrusions from triflers; attain to greater regularity in domestic concerns; and turn almost every fragment of time to some useful account. Nor let it seem invidious (for we are put on our defence) if it be added, that they will be less likely to have their houses crowded with a succession of visitors; that they will pay fewer and shorter visits to their friends;
will have less temptation to frequent watering-places, or to make excursions of pleasure; and, in short, will be more likely to be found at their post than many others.
II. If these offices are not, in themselves, incompatible, so, in some cases, their union is necessary.
1. Many private tutors will be found among curates, who have no other respectable means of obtaining a bare subsistence.
2. Others possess livings which are unequal to the support of a family; and it is presumed, that very few will be found in this class of tutors whose circumstances raise them above the necessity of this arduous undertaking.
3. It may, however, be added, as a justification, probably, of all those who are engaged in this office, whose circumstances may seem to be easy, that the children of clergymen labour under peculiar disadvantages. They are necessarily brought up with different views from the children of most of their parishioners. They see nothing in the occupation of their parents, which, by association, may gradually train them to business: they are generally looked up to by their neighbours, and, in spite of all that can be said to the contrary, they will imagine themselves destined to move in higher circles than the children of the farmer and mechanic. Now, what is to be done for them under these circumstances? Must the parent, by declining the only means by which he can procure them a decent entrance on the course of life in which they can be expected to appear with advantage, render it morally certain that his children will be either a blank or a blot in the world? Other children are imperceptibly led to enter into the profession and plans of their parents: must those of clergymen be precluded from the literary pursuits of theirs, and, by an unnatural counteraction to their prejudices and
feelings, be thrown upon a mode of gaining a livelihood, which, to say the least of it, would be a continual burden?
It deserves consideration, whether some of the unhappy instances of the children of excellent ministers turning out idle and vicious,-a source of misery to their parents, and a pest to society,-may not be accounted for by the circumstance of their parents having no means of early introducing them to business, or of putting them in the way of forming those associations between industry and success, exertion and respectability, which repel idleness at its first approach, and connect sensual indulgences with wretched ness and disgrace.
4. It may be added, that not many livings will enable the parent of a tolerably large family to put out his children to schools where a sound education may be obtained. Necessity, therefore, makes him the tutor of his own children: but he finds that, without much additional expense of time, he can, with great advantage, educate a few others with his own children. Company and superior attainments afford a salutary stimulus, and greatly lessen the fatigue of instruction, and smooth the path to knowledge.
One or other of these reasons, it is presumed, will justify most of those ministers who are embarked in educating the rising generation. But,
III. I will advance a step further, and " magnify my office." I do not think that the increasing number of private schools, conducted by clergymen, is a subject of lamentation, but rather of congratulation.
1. Much collateral advantage is often derived to a parish from this union of offices. Not to mention that little tradesmen are much assisted by the money which is necessarily put in circulation; a clergyman is enabled to be much more liberal in his parish, than, with his
confined means, without a school, he could have been. If his visits to the sick are less frequent (and, unless his parish be large, this need not be the case), they are the more welcome and profitable, from the relief which is administered to the body as well as the mind. Sunday and day-schools may be established and supported. Clothes and food, Bibles and religious tracts, are distributed to an extent proportioned to a minister's increased means. Besides this, the parents of his pupils are never backward to assist in any work of benevolence which may be going on in his parish: even his pupils themselves will often feel a pleasure in doing good among the poor. I have seen the sons of members of parliament and of noblemen-nay, a nobleman himself— constantly and unsolicited, attend a Sunday-school, take peculiar interest in the progress of the poor children, and liberally reward their improvement. I may be permitted to add, that much more has been done in my own parish for the good of the whole, than could have been done, had my labours been confined solely to the ministry.
2. Let us next consider what influence this union of offices has on the propagation and extension of sound learning. Without detracting from the literary attainments of many laymen, it will be admitted that, of those who have drank deeply into science, not many are in such dependent circumstances as to render any arduous employment necessary; and those who are, have opportunities of turning their knowledge to a better account than by applying it to the education of youth. It will, therefore, be conceded, I suppose, that were the clergy to decline this post, it would not be very easy to find a substitute for their lack of service;" and the interests of literature must, of course, inaterially suffer. On the other hand, what can so effectually secure the extension of knowledge,