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of them would begin fighting and swearing in the street ! Now what a change!
“Mr. D--- said to the Biblewoman, 'How I have to bless your Mission; many a time when I have come home my wife has been on the bed drunk ; not a bit of fire, or any comfort, so that I was often driven to the public-house ; but what a different woman she is now, since you invited her to your Mission-room.' And truly the worst is becoming the best in earnestness. She says every word read and uttered there seems to ring in her ears, and that our prayers one day seemed to bring all her sins before her. She told the people in the opposite house to where she lives about it. She also mentioned in the Mission-room that her eyes being opened to see her own wickedness now, she sees theirs as she never did before. It was a house, indeed, of which the Bible-woman could say, 'Can any good thing come out of it?' But now the light is streaming in, and by what an unlikely channel! This woman tells them what is said, even in the prayer, reads them the tracts she gets, and is a missionary to all, including two stone-blind married people, who go about playing in the streets, and whose minds are nearly as dark as their bodies. But, perhaps, like the great Apostle of old, to this woman, once also “a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious,' may be given the same commission, “To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the of Satan unto God.' She told Mrs. W
she'd power sooner die in her room now than go out and sin,' and her only visit is to the Mission-room ; and what must have been the astonishment of the neighbours to see both husband and wife come lately to the Sunday-class-especially some of our mothers, who had felt the 'scourge of her tongue,' and who already wonder at the change, never dreaming their persecutor would be sitting near them in the Mission-room ! But does not fact sometimes surpass fiction ? and if the repentance of such an one is so marked a blessing on earth, it lifts us up to think of the joy of heaven over her as greater than over the ninety and nine just persons who need no repentance.' It is deeply interesting to watch God's great kingdom being set up in souls that were entirely under Satan's sway.
“ An elderly woman, Mrs. A-, lives in the next house, and as she left off attending our meeting I erased her name from our list of mothers, but we have some reason to believe it was not blotted out of another book! for being taken ill she sent for the Bible-woman, crying out,' I'll be lost!' and deeply regretting the past, promising to make use in future of such privileges. She, too, was a drinker, but sees now what such false thirst leads to. And I imagine the owner of the gin-palace—our next-door neighbour but one-scarcely suspects how our Mission-room is helping to empty his till!
66 Another remarkable case is Mrs. J whose husband was almost afraid to live with her, as she thought nothing of throwing a knife at him! and was furious if he said grace over a meal of dry bread! Her arm becoming disabled, subdued, and arrested her in the first instance; and to look at her now no one would credit the past, as she is one of our most earnest and punctual attendants, reminding me of one of the once careless ones, who said, 'She'd like to live in the Mission3'00m !!
“Mr. R--, also mentioned in a former report, is worth mentioning. He was once so godless, till his wife, receiving blessing herself, interested him in books brought from our meeting Serious illness followed; and now of him it may be said, “Behold, he prayeth!' I have seen him, when we were conversing on other matters, put up his hands to his eyes, as if he longed to hold communion with heaven; and on his wife and I expressing doubt of a terrible man he knew (a husband of one of our mothers) becoming changed, Mr. R—- said, • It's not impossible,' thinking, no doubt, how his own heart of stone had been exchanged for one of flesh.
“I fear my report is too long, but cannot omit another bright link in the year's chain of blessing. I was lately asked to and see a sick man who lived nearer to my house than the Mission-room. I knew the aged wife to have been of rather a sceptical tendency, though brought up somewhat religiously. I endeavoured to arouse her to concern about her husband's soul ; and, as her eyesight was very bad, my Biblewoman gave me a tract, with large-type texts, for her to use,
till a suitable Testament could be got. On my first visit the poor man literally drank in the ' faithful saying,' as if it was almost new to him, though he had a respect for religion ; and the wife became intensely anxious about his salvation, reading chapter after chapter to him, and he asking her sometimes to pray with him. I happened to call the day before he died, and she told me she often heard him in the night saying, 'Lord Jesus, save me.' The next morning he got up to go near the fire, but she had to guide him, finding he was becoming blind from the death-darkness. She said, 'You won't forget Jesus, dear.' The dying man said, "Jesus, Je-sus.' 'Call,' said she, on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. But almost before the words were uttered, we believe he was with Christ, having entered heaven with that name that is above every name' on his lips ; for I could tell her for her comfort, that
whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord' (as he did), shall be saved.
“To sum up the year's work, though we cannot tell of a · general quickening among the women, yet we can tell of some of those who seemed farthest off being brought near, writing before our eyes in letters of light,' Is anything too hard for the Lord?' I think that text is illustrated by our Mission this year-One shall say, I am the Lord's; and another shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another shall subscribe with his hand unto the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel.' “ Yours, dear Mrs. R--, most truly,
“ C. M. Y."
VISITS IN SOMERS' TOWN.
" MY DEAR MRS. R
. , “I gladly fulfil my promise of giving you in writing a few details concerning our work in Somers' Town. I am sure that our Mission there has a place in your prayers. We need to be strengthened with the thought that others are praying with us, and for us, for we have had to work against many difficulties. No sooner have we made a little way with people, and gathered them together, than the great changes caused by the railway have scattered us, and often made us lose sight of some in whom we had begun to feel deep interest, and whose confidence we had gained. It has, however, been very cheering in many cases to find that changes and distance have not severed the tie, but that through all difficulties, our old mothers' have persevered in their attendance at the meetings, following us in all changes during the whole ten years I have been in the work.
“I may truly say the Mothers' Monday Meeting is to me the pleasantest event of the week. The earnest interest taken in the Scriptures by the poor women, and their hushed attention, and hearty Amens to prayer, make me increasingly hopeful and thankful. I think it is an encouraging sign in such a poor and ignorant assembly, that last time out of sixty or seventy who were present, forty-one brought texts most appropriately thereon, to correspond with and illustrate the text for the day on their almanacks.
“It is my custom to give them each an almanack at the beginning of the year, that each day may have its text, uniting all. I have patiently persevered in my plan of inducing all who can read ever so little to read themselves a verse in turn, for I feel sure it gives a much more vivid interest in the subsequent conversation upon the passages we read. And although it needs a little patience to bear with the mispronounced words, and hesitating utterance, I don't grudge the time so spent, because I so much believe it is a real help to them to search the Scriptures for themselves and in their own homes, and to understand more clearly what is said to them ; it leads too to profitable inquiries from them, and if they can solve any difficulty, or answer any question, by finding for themselves the answer in the passage before them, their delight is unbounded.
“We generally conclude by reading a Psalm together in connexion with the subject, prayer, and a hymn last. There is a smaller meeting on Thursday evenings of about thirty, who cannot attend in the day, which the Bible-woman conducts, as I
am not able to get out in the evening. She has also a little special meeting for prayer and reading the Scriptures, which, though small, is much valued by those who attend it. The last time it was held, they said they were so thankful not to be sent empty away,' alluding to the preceding week when illness obliged her to dismiss it.
“Two constant sources of joy to me, are the many expressions of regard, love, and gratitude, I hear from the poor on all sides for her care for them, and for the care of our invaluable Biblewoman nurse, Mrs. B. No doubt
have heard of some of our interesting cases from her, so I will not trouble you with a repetition of them, but I could tell much of what she has done, and the comfort she has been to many whom I have only been able to sympathize with, and not to help.
“ It is not worth while either to describe those scenes of poverty, too well known to you—widows struggling to maintain their children, the scanty meal, twice, sometimes only once in the twenty-four hours, which all visitors of the poor must encounter—but I should like to tell you of two poor women, slaves to drunkenness in former years, now, as we hope, set free. Our Bible-woman took the pledge with them, to encourage them, I think nearly two years ago; one of the two has not given way since, and has gradually influenced her son, drawing him to church with her, and by her life and conversation she does strive to show forth her praises to Him who hath called her out of darkness into His marvellous light.
“ The other is almost a greater object of interest to me, from her greater trials ; her husband tempts her continually, and she told me, with tears, that she never rose in the morning without praying that she might be kept, nor lay down at night without giving thanks for the grace that had strengthened her. One day, however, in this winter, the owner of the public-house where she used to be a customer, seeing her fetching her husband's beer, literally blocked her egress, and forced upon her a glass of brandy; this led to a 'break out' as they call it, but after it was over, her real grief and shame and almost despair was most touching. We had to seek her and to remind her of many promises before we could restore her to peace, and