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adding that of the county." These suggestions may at first appear trifling; but we must recollect that the neglect of them occasions, in every instance, some slight delay; and the repetition of such delays, over and over again, tends very seriously to retard the general distribution.
A still more serious cause of confusion and difficulty is the faulty nomenclature of our streets in large towns. In London there are about fifty King Streets, fifty Queen Streets, sixty John and William Streets, and upwards of forty New Streets; many of the latter being any thing but what their name implies. The distinguishing, too, of streets of the same name by the addition of such adjectives as Old, New, East, West, Upper, Lower, Great, Little, &c., is highly objectionable; as omissions and mistakes are constantly occurring by which the delivery of important letters is delayed. Again,
"Irregularity in the numbering of houses is one of the greatest hindrances to the delivery of letters, and should be remedied as soon as possible, not only for official purposes, but also for the benefit of the public, who frequently suffer great inconvenience by the delay or non-delivery of letters, which would otherwise have reached the persons for whom they were intended. These irregular numbers may generally be traced to the following causes. In the construction of new streets, the building of houses may commence at both ends, and on each side, at the same time. The four corner houses are sometimes all called "Number One." The other parts of the streets may be afterwards built by different persons, who now can give to their houses whatever names they may think proper. One may prefer Albert Terrace, another Wellington Place, and a third, wishing to preserve the family name, will call his houses Smith's, Taylor's, or Bacon's Cottages, as the case may be. Each set of houses having a Number One, will cause seven houses in the same street to be of the same number. Irregular numbers are also sometimes occasioned by the carelessness or ignorance of the persons who inhabit the houses; an instance of which came under my notice, while going round with a letter-carrier to survey one of the districts in the eastern part of London. On arriving at a house in the middle of a street, I observed a brass number 95 on the door, the houses on each side being numbered respectively 14 and 16. A woman came to the door, when I requested to be informed why 95 should appear between 14 and 16; she said it was the number of a house she formerly lived at in another street, and it (meaning the brass plate) being a very good one, she thought it would do for her present residence as well as any other. If," continues the Inspector, "the removal of such anomalies could be effected, there can be no doubt that the service and the public generally would be inaterially benefited."
We should think not; and why should not the municipal authorities be empowered and required to take the necessary steps for their removal? We boast of being the first commercial nation in the world; we spare neither pains nor expense in the transmission of our correspondence; and yet are content, with
Lost Letters and Newspapers.
unaccountable apathy, to endure such hindrances, which a very little trouble might easily remedy. If the powers were but once definitely conferred, a certain number of officers, and pots of white paint, would effect the whole required revolution.
We cannot refrain from mentioning some more of the "Suggestions to the Public." Complaints are constantly being made of letters and parcels which are alleged to have been either mis-sent or delayed, without the requisite information being furnished with regard to all the facts of the case. In many instances no account is rendered as to the person by whom, or the time when, or even the office at which, the missing article was posted the waste of the time of the Post-Office servants is thus added to the impossibility of redress. In an army of twentyone thousand servants there will, almost of course, be dishonest and negligent individuals; but a thorough investigation very frequently shows that the blame attributed to them rests really in other quarters. Of this the following examples are given :
"The publisher of one of the London papers complained of the repeated loss in the Post-Office of copies of his journal addressed to persons abroad. An investigation showed that the abstraction was made by the publisher's clerk; his object apparently being to appropriate the stamps required to defray the foreign postage. In another case, a general complaint having arisen as to the loss of newspapers sent to the Chief Office in St. Martin's-le-Grand, the investigation led to the discovery of a regular mart, held near the Office, and supplied with newspapers by the private messengers employed to convey them to the post. Again, very recently, a man was detected in robbing a newsvendor's cart, by volunteering, on its arrival at the entrance of this Office, to assist the driver in posting the newspapers. Instead of doing so, he walked through the hall with those intrusted to him; and, upon his being stopped, three quires of a weekly paper were found in his possession."-P. 44.
The public are also requested to remember that a considerable time is almost always necessary before alterations can be carried into effect. The different lines of communication are so exceedingly numerous, and so very dependent upon one another in their working, that any ill-considered change would be liable to cause a dislocation of the machinery, and the whole must be kept in order by a careful and gentle hand. Even when inquiries have been made in every quarter, and suitable arrangements for the various intersecting lines have been planned, there may be existing contracts to be terminated, and new ones to be entered upon, possibly fresh modes of conveyance to be supplied. All these duties necessarily require high ability, diligence, and precision, on the part of those to whom they are intrusted; and the combination of an immense number of them must fail under the management of any person who is not possessed of very considerable administrative ability.
The credit of this ability we confidently claim for those by whom our Postal system has been arranged. We have felt some difficulty in describing it, not because the Report is not drawn up with sufficient clearness, but because it is so worded, in so concise and business-like a manner, as to make any further condensation almost impossible. We do not doubt that there will be other very considerable reforms in this branch of the public service; but we do not hesitate to assert, that the Report shows signs of the most healthy life throughout the whole department. As in a glazed bee-hive, we may, by its aid, see the busy swarm within plying with diligence their appointed task. That task is extended yearly, and hitherto in an increasing ratio. Far from endeavouring to escape the criticism of the public, the Postmaster-General avows his conviction, that this branch of the public service is more likely to benefit by it than any other. At the same time he hopes that the statements and explanations now given "will serve to show that the best exertions of its officers, many of whom are, indeed, taxed to their full powers, are steadily and usefully directed to the improvement of the public service."
Such at any rate is our conviction. The sterling character of the reform is shown by the fact, that the net revenue continues to advance, in spite of the vast increase of expenditure caused by the extension of deliveries, and of new lines of communication. Still, in a service in which so much depends upon attention to minute details, we should not have been convinced of the stability of the system, had not the interests of those to whom those details are intrusted been also carefully regarded. This we find has been done. The salaries in the London Office have been raised, and an annual holiday afforded to all; whilst, by a better arrangement of the work required, no additional cost has been imposed on the public. It is impossible to estimate the advantage derived to the country through this extension of the Post it is so inextricably bound up with our whole condition, political, commercial, and social; it has called into being so many new branches of commerce, has tended so much to promote personal communication, and has brought frequent domestic and family correspondence within the reach of the humblest classes of society.
The appearance of this small "Blue Book," however, suggests one very pregnant inquiry: "Why should not the other branches of the public service give us a similar insight into their organization and working?" The question of Administrative Reform has assumed a prominence from the magnitude of our war expenditure, which will prevent the possibility of its neglect; and the best reply to any charge that is brought against our public offices, would be the issue of a like plain and concise account of their proceedings. In spite of the success of agita
tion in late years, the English people do not love it; and the movement of the Administrative Reform Association derives its main strength from the impenetrable darkness which overshadows, or rather totally obscures, the interior of our public offices. The nation only desires to know that in return for a fair day's wages they receive a fair day's work; and that competent and experienced persons are placed in important and responsible positions. A series of such Reports as that under consideration would assure the minds of many who have now misgivings as to the conduct of public business, would afford an excellent stimulus to the public servants by bringing them thus directly before the public eye, and would be the most effectual weapon against those who make political capital out of the popular discontent, and advocate revolution under the name of "Reform."
ART. VII.-1. Essays on the Preaching required by the Times, and the best Means of obtaining it. By ABEL STEVENS. New York: Carlton and Phillips. 1855.
2. Home-Heathen: an Assize Sermon. By the REV. JOHN C. MILLER, M.A. London: Hatchard. 1854.
3. The Dying Judge's Charge: an Assize Sermon. By the REV. JOHN C. MILLER, M.A. Third Edition.
4. Report of the Church Pastoral Aid Society. 1855.
5. Congregational Year-Book. 1855.
6. Criminal and Miscellaneous Statistical Returns of the Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, and Leeds Police, for 1854. 7. Religious Worship in England and Wales. Abridged from the Official Census Report. By HORACE MANN, Esq. 1854.
CHRISTIANITY is the wisdom and power of God in action upon the minds of men. It is the true light to enlighten the world, and the only power for its social regeneration. Its advent and promulgation is the key to this world's history, whether in the anticipations of prophecy, or in recorded facts. Its diffusion and progress are directly committed to the Ministry, and to the Church at large; for a solemn obligation comes upon every disciple to extend its influence to the utmost of his power. Neither the Ministry nor the people can succeed alone. They are not rivals, nor have they diverse interests: they are coworkers, mutually dependent; and share in the success, the honour, and the reward. The pulpit must excite and sustain the moral action of the people; the people must be willing liberally and effectively to aid the Ministry. No Ministry can feel confident and buoyant without the hearty concurrence of
the people; no people will go far before the Ministry in aggressive effort. Each, by re-action, helps or thwarts the other: the pulpit influences the pew, the pew powerfully re-acts upon the pulpit. Combined in judicious and vigorous action, the Church of Christ thus becomes the greatest power on earth; more direct than civilization, mightier than the sword, and more salutary and lasting than human laws and government. The secret of the success of Christianity is not, however, to be sought in its truth, or adaptation, or agencies; but in the special influence of the Spirit of truth and power, who alone gives effect to the Gospel in individual conversion, which is, in fact, its only real success; for, when it fails to renew men's hearts, it fails of its ultimate and sublime purpose. Its great and peculiar glory is its spirituality. Yet it has secondary and collateral blessings, declaring its spirit, authenticating its claims, and serving, like the ministry of the Baptist, to herald the advent of its spiritual power; and it is the duty alike of Ministers and people to forward those temporal results which tend to give it acceptance with mankind. They are to establish and support all those institutions and efforts which ameliorate the condition of society, as well as to aid in securing those higher and more direct blessings which flow from personal religion. Christianity, like its Blessed Founder, takes full hold of the human, as it rests upon the divine.
With such evidences, truths, and agencies, so fraught with blessings which all can appreciate, and so defended and prospered by a divine energy, the marvel would appear to be, that it has not spread to a greater extent, and that its fruits are not more decisive and abundant. It is indeed a mystery in the providential government of the world, that the publication of the Gospel has been so limited during eighteen centuries; but the two main hinderances have undoubtedly been the want of purity in the Church, and the coincident lack of zeal. Christianity is greatly neutralized by the one evil, and circumscribed by the other. The first can only be cured by a more rigorous moral discipline, which is infinitely more important than any ecclesiastical modifications; and the second, by arousing the Church to a full use of the superior advantages of our times, for successful aggression upon the world.
Never were greater efforts made to evangelize the Heathen abroad; and the large incomes of our various Societies for foreign operation are happy signs of a living Christianity. Nor does any Church engaged in missionary effort fail to unite in either benevolent or religious exertions on behalf of our home population. In fact, those who sustain the foreign work are the life and soul of all our home charities. But they have not yet reached the necessities of our own country. We would not have a single effort less for the needs of distant members of the