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no prospect of his being able to get work for some time to
“The cry is always going out, 'You are pauperizing the poor.' What is to be done with cases of this sort? There are also many cases amongst the people where there is no change of clothing, and the expression is, 'I have nothing but what I stand up in,' and the poor creature must go without the garment whilst being washed. The wonder to me is that the poor are as healthy, clean, and tidy as they are with all those disadvantages. “ Yours, very truly,
WATCHING FOR SOULS.
A Pioneer's Report.
“God has been very good to us at M—- in giving us the souls of two of the husbands of our mothers in answer to prayer.
One of them had very bad fits, so that no one could employ him. We often visited him when he was laid aside by those fits, but the rebellion of his heart was so great at times that he would not listen. Every time we read the Word it seemed to make him worse; he felt God was great, but not ‘good,' and he used to say sad things about our Father in heaven.
“He was badly off for food at times. We helped all we could, for his case was a sad one, and he made it much worse by flying in the face of God as he did. He had a sickly wife and three children. At last he got a stall in the street to sell sweets and ginger-beer (that being the only thing he could do), and to our great grief he would be out all day on Sunday. Then we had no hope of him; but if he would not listen, we could pray; and we often did, sometimes going to the stall and repeating a text or leaving him a tract; and meanwhile, though we could not see it, God was working in that hard heart.
“I thought he looked more miserable every time I saw him, and I was sure he felt worse than he looked; but being laid aside with his fits about two months ago, he submitted himself to God like a little child, asked for mercy, and found it. He was ill some weeks, but very happy. When I went to see him, I said, “How about Sunday work?' He very quickly replied, • Never no more will I go out on a Sabbath-day.' We praised God together for what had been done in his heart, and even his face showed the change, and, thank God, he has not suffered through not selling on a Sunday, although that was the day he took the most money. We often find he takes more in six days now than he used to do in seven.
“He still has his fits, and we expect will die in one of them or lose his reason; but he is now safe for life or death. His wife has been a Christian, and joined the church two years since, and the Biblewoman says it's a sweet sight to see them all going together to the house of prayer; it often makes her thank God and take courage.
“ Another of our poor mothers had a sad drinking husband. The poor children and herself were often half-starved. She kept up, through prayer and the comfort of God's Word, but many a time our hearts have ached for her as she left the Mothers' Meeting. We prayed for him very often, even while it seemed no use; but God has His own way of working, and, in His own time, of answering prayer.
“ The poor woman fell down and put out her knee-cap, and was obliged to be in bed three months. During that time she got her husband to stop and read to her of a night, and we often took her tracts and books suitable for him to read, and marked chapters for him. While reading to her, the Holy Spirit showed him himself in these quiet hours with his sick wife.
“He was very miserable, but kept his burden to himself, till one Sunday morning he was persuaded to go into a prayermeeting, and found that Jesus had power on earth to forgive sins. He has joined the Primitive Methodists at M—, and is now very happy. His poor wife is thankful indeed, and to God be all the glory.
“We have other such cases on each of our districts, but we must work and wait, for nothing is too hard for God.
“We have lately found a poor woman in a sad state, in which we should then have been thankful for a nurse. Her child was born without a rag to put it in, without fire or light. One of our mothers heard her crying for help in the night while her husband had gone for it. We did what we could for her, but it is through drink they are in this state. The child is now three months old, and they have moved five times because no rent is kept paid. It is a sad case, and how to help it seems a puzzle. We are trying to get the poor woman to look through her troubles to Jesus. It is most painful to see them without food and clothes, and feel we must not help, because it would help the drunken father.
“We have lost many by death this year, more than I ever remember in one year-some very suddenly, to whom the Word has been the savour of death unto death, though, thank God, to many it has been the savour of life unto life.
“One poor woman was brought to the Mothers' Meeting one day. The woman of Samaria was the lesson. She felt offended at that chapter being read, as it condemned her way of life. She would not give up sin, and was killed in a quarrel in a public-house shortly after. I always try to show how tenderly Jesus dealt with the sinner; that was the last message she heard.
“Our times call for great earnestness, and much prayer that God may pour out His Holy Spirit and cause great power to rest upon His blessed Word.
" The four Bible-women under my charge have done well in. Bible work. I think they have more than doubled their Bible money, and some of them have more than twice doubled their number of subscribers.
“We had two prayer-meetings instead of the usual Bible reading; and while they were thanking God for what He was doing in other countries, they all felt how much was wanted at home. I do trust that those meetings will result in much good.
6 M. S.”
OUR BLIND BIBLE-WOMAN.
Highgate. “ MY DEAR MRS. R
“Our Bible-woman still continues in darkness. At her last visit to the hospital on Monday the oculist said he did not see why she did not see with one eye, as the operation was successful. One of the three months she spent in the hospital and underwent an operation for closed pupils' in both eyes. Mr. Viney happened to visit her just before, and went in with her to the operating room and saw it performed, and stayed till she recovered the effects of the chloroform. He conferred with Mr. Baader, the oculist at Guy's, who spoke hopefully. After her last visit, when he told her to come in October, she seemed much cast down and hopeless about herself.
“She still has a lady each day to visit and read to her, and two of these are somewhat interesting cases, so that I hope she may have a mission to them. I have given her 10s. weekly. She lives alone; a kind neighbour for a few pence lights her fire and cleans her room. Her little girl sleeps with her (a double benefit), while she does all she can in her own room, dusts, makes her bed, gets her own tea, washes up the things, and any little work I or the ladies can invent for her. I am trying to make her home happy, as Levy suggests, that while she sits hour after hour in darkness she may feel she is not forsaken. It is often a source of anxiety to her, and I hope we may depend on your not forsaking her. I have cut off every expense from the Mission except her support, and as she pays 3s. 9d. per week, besides a little for help and coals, she has not much left for food, but friends take a little occasionally. She is much more comfortable alone, as if she knocks at one wall one neighbour will come; at another, another Christian friend will
Her health has been much shaken by all she has passed through, and though generally cheerful, she is at times much cast down, feeling she could have worked for the Master actively another ten years.
“ I try to encourage the mothers to go and see her, that she may feel she has her work still to do. Our meetings keep up,
and we find the Bible full of practical hints and lessons to mothers. Even in such dry books as some think the Kings and Chronicles, we found a Prayer-meeting in which all the mothers and their little ones were present, an example worthy of imitation, as I fear many of them make our service the only meeting they attend in the week.”
N.B.-We certainly must not forsake our blind Biblewoman, especially as she is very much beloved in the district. There is now very little hope of her restoration to sight, and we trust she will diligently apply herself to read from the Gospels by Moon's system (for which she has a teacher), and thereby perhaps arrest the attention of many, by having, as they say,
eyes in her fingers.” To be blind is really a qualification for a Bible-reader in Egypt or Syria. They gather groups around them by the wayside, and because they read in this “finger fashion,” the people listen all the more.
BIBLE-WOMEN IN INDIAN VILLAGES.
REPORTS from Bible-women in the south of India are very encouraging—they continue to go from house to house carrying with them what is really “ good news,” for in most cases it is literally “news,” these poor women having never before heard the glad tidings of salvation by Christ Jesus.
Mrs. Joss says of Marion's work at Coimbatoor, South India“She meets with far less opposition than I expected. There is one woman who appears in earnest in her inquiry after truth. She came with Marion the other day to have a little talk with me, and she told me of her conviction of sin, and said her mind was now made up to leave her idols, and serve the living and true God. She says she must leave her husband because he has two wives, and would oppose her becoming a Christian, but she will rather do cooley work for her own livelihood than remain with him under such circumstances. This will be a very humbling step for a woman so situated. She is suffering much persecution for her determination to give up idolatry and embrace