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Joseph Harding

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Published : 1 Article
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Date of Birth : N/A
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The contributor seems clearly to be the Joseph Harding, who in the 1850s was “Travelling Secretary of the Associate Institution for the Protection of Women”, a zealous worker for "the suppression of female vice, and the promotion of virtuous principles among the young" (note by editor of Christian Family Record in Harding, The River of Death). In his crusade against sexual immorality, Harding delivered to young men, as also to their parents and guardians, earnest, plainspoken lectures on the subject; commended by clergymen and laymen on judicious manner in which he handled the delicate matter. On this evil, as also on contributing evils of drunkenness and desecration of the Sabbath, wrote articles and letters in Christian Family Record and published various tracts (some being reprints of items from the periodical); edited also two tracts by Henry Ward Beecher.


The H.W. poem assigned to Harding is a plea for sympathy and help for "our sister"—the woman once young, blooming, and fair, now fallen to want and despair and misery; the poem assigns no specific reason for the woman's fall from her former happy state. The lines "Weep for our sister, / Pray for our sister, Succour our sister" are similar in phraseology and spirit to the admonition in Harding's River of Death that Christians "pity the drunkard, weep for the fallen, watch over the young ...".

Author: Anne Lohrli; © University of Toronto Press, 1971.

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