Page images

“In a cellar, where to recognise us, the poor mother was obliged to light a feeble little lamp, I saw lying on a miserable bed a man in the last stage of consumption. He was a French refugee, and his wife, an Englishwoman, wept at his pillow, with a baby in her arms and two other children by her side. Poor little ones, living in gloom and silence in this asylum of suffering and destitution; all smiles had fled from their faces! The sick father, frightfully meagre, with long black hair and beard, hollow eyes and face ashy pale, made us understand by signs (he was too feeble to speak) how hard he found his bed ; a terrible and pestiferous ulcer caused him cruel pain.

“I spoke to him a few words of comfort in French. God grant that he may seize the plank of safety offered to him, and look with faith to the cross of Christ. I shall never forget the look of intense anguish which spread over his gaunt features when I said to him, “How much you must have suffered !' After the nurse had decided what to do to comfort him, and prayer had been offered for him, I left with an aching heart.”

After chronicling other cases in different ways as distressing, our young friend passes suddenly into Oxford-street, and finds herself in the midst of the splendid shops, all the more striking to her as fresh from her native hills. “I saw them,” she says, “ filled with delicate and costly ball-dresses; and, in contrast to the appalling scenes of misery I had just witnessed, they seemed to me only hideous preparations for frivolity. Am I, indeed, I said to myself, in the same world? Can it be that a little more or a little less money separates society into two camps ? It is complained of many young girls in easy circumstances that they are melancholy and sick with imaginary grievances—that they want to ‘kill their time. Oh that they would come and walk through Soho and St. Giles's, and learn how to spend both their time and their money. It would cure them of a thousand megrims to care for but one of those Biblewomen Nurses."



ONE of our workers tells of a fine, noble-looking man, suffering from consumption. Three weeks ago he began to think seriously, and prayed that he might be taught the truth, and led to the truth, when he says he heard in words so distinct that they seemed to be uttered in his real ears, Get the books, get the books.' And he instantly remembered two or three books which had been hid in a corner of his trunk, and which had not seen light for years. He went to find them, and also found that one was a Bible that his sister had given him, and the other a Prayerbook, and the last a small book of prayers for the family. He then wished for some one to read and talk to him, and next day the Bible-woman was led to the door. He takes all this as a token for good, and is seeking the Lord with full purpose of heart. He has a wife and two children. He hopes he shall succeed in getting into Guy's Hospital. The children, both so young, will completely tie her hands ; the youngest is about five months old. This is a true case for help.

Mr. W—, about twenty-five years of age; ill with consumption. Was up when I called, but was suffering much pain in his chest, vomiting blood. He has, I should think, been well educated; writes a good hand. His wife does not look very strong herself, is near her confinement, has now two sweet little girls. When Mrs. T------ urged her to apply for relief to the parish, she said, 'I don't want to be proud, but I would rather work to the last.' What could you do?' 'I think I could wash.' They responded warmly when urged to give themselves, sins, cares, and all, into their loving Saviour's hand. It seems hard that a loving family like this should have the painful prospect of separation in the Union. I felt I should like to have flannels for the man, and a little warm clothing for these children, and a little for the coming one. It is such a terrible plunge from comfort to penury. It is worse than death to have the almost certain prospect of starvation for loved children.

Mrs. C— is a young widow, left with seven children under eight years of age. Would like to get one or two into orphan homes. She loves the Word, and mourns that her faith seems to fail her when she looks at her little ones, and thinks how many years it will be before the oldest one can help her, especially since the School Board makes them send their boys and girls to school until a certain age, but she will try and trust on.

I want to interest you in the case of a dear boy in his eighth year, suffering from spinal complaint. He has such a sweet, meek face, always is on his back, never complains, is

His bed is a thin flock-bed laid on chairs. May I ask, Do ladies send toys or picture-books to the Mother House, and if so, may I have some for him ?

never cross.



“In looking back over the past year there is very much to be thankful for, and very much to humble us. For with all the seed sown there seems most ‘tares,' but God does not permit us to see all He is doing by His own Word.

“I can say I have never had a careless Meeting, and I feel there is more marked attention to the Word now than at the beginning of the year, and our Bible readings are seasons of real profit to my own soul, but I want faith to believe it has been as much good to others. I cannot measure our success by the number of books sold, but I feel it truly consists in the number of shut Bibles opened, read, and loved ; this I keep always before all those I work with.

“ We have some very hopeful cases on all our districts, and many have gone to be for ever with the Lord that have received the message at the eleventh hour.

“ The Tent services at the East End have been much blessed, and I hope to get some helpers this winter from them. I have began a fathers' class at Millwall on Sunday nights, and I hope to get a good boys' class on Friday nights at Stepney.

“We have a good children's class on Tuesdays, the children read verse by verse, and take home one text to their parents.

I pray that God will give us many souls this winter, and much of His Holy Spirit in all our hearts, for in Him alone is our strength.

“ Yours faithfully,

“ M. S.”


THY PEOPLE ISRAEL. A Letter from our Jewish Bible-woman in London. 6 DEAR MADAM,

“I believe you would like to know something of my work, as it lies amongst the Jews. A little while ago I visited a Jewess who sometimes comes to our Meeting. She had been absent some time, and I called to know the reason.

As soon as I entered and had spoken to the woman, who had hurt her foot and so could not come out, her husband asked her from an adjoining room to show me a Bible their boy had had given him as a prize at his school.

“It was a copy of the Old Testament; the wife said, “Will you read in it to my husband ?' Of course I was glad to do so. I opened the book at Zechariah, thirteenth chapter, and read the seventh verse. I said, “These are wonderful words, are they not?'

• Awake, () sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts.'

My Jewish friend said, “ They are wonderful words, but there they are.' The book was one he could not deny. O! that he may be willing to acknowledge the truth concerning his Messiah already come.

One day as I was walking in the C- -road I met two young Jewesses. They began speaking with me about the Passover. I asked them if they could tell me why it is kept ? The eldest said, 'Because Moses brought the children of Israel through the Red Sea.' I tried to make them understand something more than they knew of the wonderful deliverance of our forefathers from Egypt, also pointing them to the Lamb of God who has wrought out a greater deliverance than that from Egyptian bondage.

“I asked them if they could tell me how many of all who came out of Egypt that were above twenty years old, entered the promised land, but they could not tell. When I told them


only two they were surprised, and asked what were their names. I told them Caleb and Joshua.

“I begged them to read their Bibles. I had with me a Gospel of St. John, which I gave them on their promise to read that also. The next day I met the same two girls, and asked them if they had read the little book I gave them ? They told me they had read some of it. I then gave them a Gospel of St. Luke. May He whose word has power shine into their hearts and bring forth fruit in their lives to the glory of God!

“I was visiting some time ago at the time of a Jewish festival, and several young girls, Jewesses, were standing at a door talking together. I said, 'I will give you something to do ; you want something to read,' and presented them with a copy of the • British Workman.' I only had one copy with me, but had, besides, a Gospel of St. Luke, which I also offered to them.

They said, 'We must not read that.'

“I answered, “If I had offered you a play-bill you would have read it.' My saying this induced one of them to accept it; and she asked, 'Which of them was to keep it?' I said, “Let all read it, and the eldest keep it.' May the truth as it is in Jesus enter their hearts and rule there.

“I have lately been visiting a Jewess living near Mrs. Bthe Jewess who was baptized in June. I thank God, amidst much persecution, she holds on her way bravely, and has persuaded her friend to go with her to Christian worship. She also has confessed to me her belief in Jesus as her Messiah.

“ A Jewess living near our Mission-room asked me one day to go and see a sister of hers. I went and found she was a widow; she had no Bible, nor money to purchase one, nor any desire to do so. Therefore, I gave her a 28. 61. large print Bible, that I might read to her from it when I go to visit her. Last week I called to see her and asked for her Bible. The Bible was hid; she told me she is deeply interested in reading it, and so is her son; it was hid away in an adjoining apartment, because of a Jewish neighbour who comes into her room. This is, I believe, a very hopeful case. “From your obedient servant,

“L. S."

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »