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how is it that, in so short a period, they have succeeded in producing already, in the attitude and in the hearts of these diverse classes-propertied, industrial, commercial, or foundation—that extinction of fears and of enmities, that good understanding, that spirit of family concord, which strikes the observer to-day? I was myself yet in ignorance, until a man who is neither aristocrat nor democrat, neither patrician nor plebeian, neither imbued with the prejudices of the high, nor vitiated by the jealousies of the lowly-a man of the middle classes, and consequently neutral-a plain, undistinguished citizen of London, maintaining himself by the assiduous exercise of a respectable profession-devoted to no particular faction either in parliament or in the press, but devoted to the task of seeking out, ascertaining, and pursuing, in the sight of God, the welfare of all classes of his country, blended, according to him, in the same interest, even as his heart blends them in the same love ;-until, I say, this man, whom I name not, for none would recognise that name save the poor of his immediate neighbourhood, came to call upon me one morning with a book in his hand, and said, 'Devote this day your time to me; you have contributed at home to moderate, to purify, and to moralize a great revolution; a revolution honourable to the French nation, for having, by its own innate strength, preserved itself free from spoliation, from blood, and from crime. I wish to show you to-day how a revolution may be prevented.' And, saying these words, he smiled, and struck with his finger the cover of the little book held in his hand.
Most gladly would I learn,' replied I; 'I have no more love for revolutions than you can have, although I pass for a revolutionist here, merely because, in the evening of a boiling revolution, I assisted very rapidly to institute a republic, that is to say, a terminated revolution. But what is that book which thus, like some small treasure, your fingers clasp so close?'
"This book,' answered he, is a treasure; in very truth to Britain, a treasure superior to the worth of millions; for it is a treasure of peace and conservation. Look here,' he added. And opening the book, I read upon the title page, in large capitals, "THE CHARITIES OF LONDON.'
This,' said he, as we went out, 'shall be the guide and commentary of our way.'
(To be continued.)
LIFE IN THE WYNDS.*
SOME of our southern readers may need to be informed, that the wynds of Edinburgh much resemble the old lanes and blind streets of our own metropolis, both in their past history and present condition. When London was a city with walls and gates, its wealthy merchants and traders occupied houses in its northern and western suburbs, which were equal to the homes of the nobility, some of whom, indeed, had their town residences in the same quarters. Old mansions still remain in Grub Street, Aldersgate Street, Clerkenwell Green, that in days of yore were the scenes of the pomps and vanities of this wicked world," that are now, alas! the refuges of the poor and the profligate; where they hide themselves from the cold gaze of the selfish and the worldly, or seek to elude the vigilance of the ministers of public justice.
Such strange mutations have also befallen the gaunt, grim, spectre-looking houses, in the dark, narrow wynds of auld Edinburgh, and which, in height and aspect, are more like the gable-roofed dwellings in the old city of Paris than those of London. They were, in fact, the homes of nobles connected with the Scottish and French courts. In Blackfriars'_ Wynd there still stands the mansion of that cruel persecutor, Cardinal Beaton; nd hard by, the residences of the Abbot of Melrose and the pope's legate. * Day and Night in the Wynds of Edinburgh." By George Bell, M.D. 8vo. pp. 36. 1849.
"Blackfriars' Wynd Analyzed." By George Bell, M.D. 8vo. pp. 44. 1850. Johnstone & Hunter, Edinburgh and London.
But what is their present state, and how are they now occupied? The philanthropic author of these pamphlets informs us—
"That a number of the tenements in Blackfriars' Wynd are altogether unfit to be the habitations of men. The walls of them are ruinous, and the internal parts are decayed. Despite this, however, they are crammed full of people. Some of the tenements are substantial, and, by a little wisely directed expenditure, might be made, if not altogether suitable, at least safe habitations for the labouring poor. Finally, at the top of the wynd there are several tenements of comparatively recent origin. These are good houses, but they are crowded.
"There is not a drop of water in the wynd that we have been able to discoverexcepting in one 'land' of a comparatively new tenement at the top of the wynd— but all must be carried from the well situated in the adjoining close. This is a great evil, and tells in a variety of ways.
"There is no drain in the wynd, and consequently all the filth of the place remains on the surface. The wynd, indeed, undergoes a kind of scavenger cleansing; but this cleansing is a sorry business, and the locality is from year's end to year's end a diffused dunghill."
It was computed in April last, that there are 1,025 individuals inhabiting this wynd; that its 142 buildings contain 193 chambers; that the average contents of each is 1,000 cubic feet, or 193,000 cubic feet for the whole. Consequently, that the average space which falls to the lot of each inmate of these wretched dens is only 1884 cubic feet. Now, as Dr. Bell observes, felons' cells for separate confinement, in the modern prisons, contain not less than 800 cubic feet each, and these are provided with a perfect ventilating apparatus. What a contrast this is with the provision for the poor!" And this is not an extreme case, for our author testifies that
"All the wynds and closes in Edinburgh are what we have briefly described Blackfriars' Wynd to be. They contain the same kind of houses and the same kind of inhabitants. All the wynds are equally deficient in drainage and supply of water, and all the houses they contain are circumstanced alike, as regards ventilation, etc. Blackfriars' Wynd is an epitome of the low districts of the city; for it contains large samples of all the items which, in the mass, constitute the evidence of the evils that are undermining society. The very ground is so filthy that torrents of rain wont clean it, and it will remain filthy until the dwellings of the people are improved—until drains and sewers are constructed-until water in abundance is supplied to the inhabitantsand, we will add, until the schoolmaster and religious teacher have got effective entrance to the wynds."
The course pursued by landlords, both in Ireland and the Highlands of Scotland, have driven into Edinburgh, and the other great cities of the north, myriads of homeless, starving paupers, who are glad to rest their weary, wayworn limbs, even in these dens of pestilence. Dr. Bell states, that on the 19th of September, 1847, there were 511 fever patients in the Royal Infirmary, of whom 379 were Irish-that during that year there were 2,563 Irish patients in all, each on an average costing the charity 30s.; and thus these hapless wanderers, who have nothing to do with Edinburgh, cost the Infirmary, in a single year, £3,800. Truly does he add, "The migratory Irish are a pestilence as well as a pest. This country both desires and deserves to be protected from them.' Then there are swarms of Highland paupers in Edinburgh, seven-eighths of whom have been ejected from their homes by processes of eviction!
Besides these exotic vagrants, there are legions of native paupers in Edinburgh, the offspring of idleness, drunkenness, and lewdness, fostered by poorlaw charity, revenue morality, and lodging-house and brothel society, who are posting on with fearful haste to the grave. But they leave their tainted ragged offspring to follow the same fatal course. Dr. Bell states the progress of one such, but it is, alas! the history of a frightful class in the population of our towns, and of half the inmates of our Ragged Schools:
"The iniquity of the diabolonian parent began to be visited on the child as soon as it was born, and the subject of the eternal justice of God was at its birth an object for
the kindest humanity of man. The little creature soon acquires an expression that does not belong to infancy. It looks sad and careworn. If it survive, it early creeps out into the street, there to begin a life that will probably end where it began. It learns to speak-but what is the language? It sees and hears-but what does it see and hear? The reader knows. Such is its infantine education-an education that is unmixed, untinged even by the words of a good vocabulary. It does not know the meaning of lie, because it has never been taught the meaning of truth; nay, it has been taught to lie, and truth has been sedulously concealed from its mind. Anon, it is instructed in the art of pilfering, and in the hellish rhetoric of the wynds. When he is four or five years of age, he attracts the attention of the policeman, who 'marks him as his own; and he appears before the magistrate an experienced thief at the mature age of six years. How much this urchin knows! He knows all the obscene words, and all the oaths, simple and compound, which are the pith and marrow of the language in the wynds. He knows all the highways and byways-the outs and the ins-the nooks and the crannies of the city. He knows the value of things. He knows the most approved method of appropriating what belongs to another. He is acquainted with the wee pawn' broker; and he knows the dram-seller, for whose sake he is an outcast. We say that this boy as little deserves to be condemned for traversing the law, as the red-deer deserves to be slain for crossing the march upon the snow-clad hill, descending into the valley, and satisfying his appetite on the turnips of an upland farmer."
We are grateful to men of science and ministers of religion, like Drs. Bell, Guthrie, and Beggs, who are following the devoted Chalmers in these "moral excavations," bringing to the light of day the quicksand and rottenness that lie at the basis of society, and into which the whole superstructure will assuredly sink, unless systematic and combined efforts are made to drain the morass. There needs a great philanthropic league of earnest members of the middle and upper classes to effect by legislative enactments, by municipal authority, and moral influence, those changes which seem indispensable to the safety of the state. Darkness, filth, and drunkenness, must not be tolerated for the sake of revenue; eviction must not sweep whole districts for the sake of rents; drought must not be allowed for the sake of water monopolists; pestilence must not be generated for the sake of landlords, who bring together into their wretched holes the scum and feculence of the population, and care not how it ferments, and poisons the atmosphere of society, if they can but exact their weekly dole. The condition of the common people of these realms demands the first and most assiduous attention of the patriot, the philanthropist, and the Christian; we therefore cordially recommend these pamphlets, as their startling picture of the state of myriads, who dwell amidst the splendour, intelligence, and piety of the modern Athens, cannot fail, we trust, to awaken public attention to the frightful anomalies they exhibit.
THE LATE REV. THOMAS MORTIMER. DOUBTLESS many of our readers will have heard with regret that this devoted servant of God, so long and so greatly honoured by his Master, has been removed from amongst us. We say with regret, for whilst God is too wise to err, who but must regret that so faithful a man should no longer lift up his voice to warn sinners? and again, who that ever knew him but must feel they have sustained a loss indeed, for which even the assurance of his gain cannot atone?
Mr. Mortimer was trained for the ministry at Madeley, in Shropshire, under his brother, the Rev. George Mortimer, and it was there he preached his first sermon. His first curacy was at Mirfield, in Yorkshire, from whence he removed to Woburn, in Bucks, and subsequently he came to London, with the intention of proceeding as a missionary to India; but the Lord had a great work for him to do in this metropolis, and he became the evening Lecturer of St. Olave's, Southwark. Multitudes soon thronged to hear him. He then accepted the afternoon lectureship of St. Leonard's, Shoreditch, and
subsequently became the minister of St. Mark's, Myddleton Square. Both these latter places were also thronged to hear the Gospel so powerfully proclaimed from his lips, and great success attended his ministrations.
In 1837 he went to the Episcopal Chapel in Gray's Inn Lane, where he continued till about a year since, and then, God having graciously provided him with a successor, he left town for Weymouth, to seek that retirement which shattered health rendered necessary.
Here, however, he could not remain quiet. His heart was full of love, and the word burned within him. Finding a church almost empty, and the minister in ill health, he offered to become the gratuitous lecturer, and here again God honoured him so much that in a short time not a seat could be procured. His last sermon was at this church in July last, from the text, "If children, then heirs," etc., Rom. viii. 15—17, and great was the effect produced by the words which then issued from his lips, "Death is not terrible to the Christian." He had chosen his texts for the following Sunday, one of which was, “Give an account of thy stewardship, for thou mayest be no longer steward." But little did he then think how appropriate all this was to himself. He was not permitted to preach from this text, for on the following Thursday he was seized with a fit, and it became imperative for him to abstain from preaching. After a while, on his way to Shropshire, he was again attacked in a similar way, and from this he never rallied; but his frame, once so powerful, gradually grew weaker and weaker; his memory, once so retentive, failed; and his voice, once so deep, and powerful, and solemn, was taken from him, and he could no longer speak to those around of that joy and peace which his eye, raised to heaven, proclaimed he was realising.
Very shortly before his death, his medical attendant said in his hearing, "Poor man!" the dying saint could not articulate, but he could not bear that his Master should be dishonoured, and he showed symptoms of disapprobation at the sentiment, and his calmness was not restored till he had been assured that the speaker was aware of his true riches in Jesus.
On the 25th of November last, his happy spirit departed to his Saviour; and on the 30th, all that remained bodily of this holy man was laid in the churchyard of Madeley, the scene of his early ministrations, and where the great and good John Fletcher also rests from his labours, so long prosecuted in the same locality.
Our friend, who had only reached his fifty-fifth year, had long known the Lord. It was at the age of five years, when alarmed in a thunder-storm, that the light and love of God first dawned into his soul; and at sixteen he was again led to dedicate his youthful heart and life to God, by the application to his soul of those words, "He loved me, and gave himself for me," and it was this which constrained him to live to that Saviour who had died for him.
Mr. Mortimer was a pattern to preachers; bold and uncompromising as Isaiah, he was not wanting in the tenderness of Jeremiah, in weeping over poor sinners. As Jesus was his all, so Jesus was his theme. His great work was conversion, and we think it not too much to say, HUNDREDS have looked to him as their spiritual father; and specially was he blessed to young men, in whom he delighted, and loved to help forward, and many of whom he launched as life-boats, to guide souls into heaven's harbour.
Out of the pulpit he was a most devoted husband, a loving father, and a warm friend. His ear was ever open to listen, and his heart to sympathize with the tale of woe; nor did he simply feel, for often has his full heart made him to forget the emptiness of his pocket, and has led him to relieve the wants of others when he could ill spare it; but he loved to scatter, and God did not forget it; the cruise of oil and the barrel of meal "wasted not." He displayed much hilarity, but he avoided levity, and all he said (and his conversational powers were surprising) was ever concluded with a word for his Master, for he had learned, A word in season, how good is it." On one occasion, he had been conversing with the writer for a length of time, and the
fire in the room had well nigh gone out for want of stirring; perceiving this, he took hold of the poker, and said, "This teaches me a ministerial lesson;" he continued, "there are numbers of persons who have got a great deal of doctrine, and they want no more, but what they want is, (and as he spoke he struck the yet smoking coals,) is some good stirring appeals."
Ragged Schools* and the City Mission have lost a friend; he fully sympathized with and loved to advocate the cause of these institutions, and he will be much missed from the various platforms, where he was always so welcomed. He belonged to the Church of England, but he loved all who loved Jesus, and especially did he regard his early association with Wesleyans. Well does
the writer remember his great attachment to Wesley's hymns; yea, he had a soul for all good poetry; he was ever ready to praise God; and those who knew him, know how much he had to praise God for; for many were his troubles, but out of all did the Lord deliver him, and now that he sees him as he is, he is praising him as he ought.
Funeral sermons have been preached for him in London, Weymouth, Broseley, and Madeley, and soon a tablet is to be erected to his memory in his late chapel; but already he has a tablet in the hearts of many, who hope to be "his joy and crown of rejoicing in the day of the Lord Jesus."
And now, one word practical in conclusion, Let us love as he loved, and we shall live as he lived.
J. T. M. W.
SUPPRESSION OF JUVENILE DELINQUENCY. THOSE of our readers who perused the account given in a recent number of this Magazine, of Mr. Rushton's plan for the suppression of juvenile delinquency in Liverpool, will be pleased to learn that a number of gentlemen connected with the various Industrial Schools throughout Scotland, are taking active measures for securing the adoption of a similar, but more extended system there. The following draft of a proposed Bill for an Act of Parliament has been framed by Mr. Sheriff Barclay, of Perth, (author of a valuable pamphlet on "Juvenile Delinquency,") and approved of by Mr. Sheriff Watson, of Aberdeen; Sheriff Jameson, of Edinburgh; Mr. Thomson, of Banchory, and Mr. Dunlop, Advocates; Mr. Smith, Governor of Edinburgh Prisons; Mr. Andrew Liddel, of Glasgow; and Dr. George Bell, Edinburgh, (author of "Day and Night in the Wynds," etc.) The latter, on referring to the proposed Bill, makes the following important remarks, which, with the Bill itself, demands the most serious consideration of all parties interested in the subject:
"By a clause in the Act of last Session for regulating the police of towns, power is granted to the magistrates of such towns as may take the benefit of the Act, to punish, by private whipping, boys convicted of crimes. As few of the towns who are likely to avail themselves of the powers of the Act have prisons, this mode of punishment may be expected to be enforced in most of the cases to which it is applicable. Unless similar powers are extended to magistrates of counties, and towns not taking the benefit of the said Act, having special Acts of their own, there will exist an injurious want of uniformity in the administration of criminal justice; and if whipping be found to have a deterring influence in towns coming under the Act, the result must be to drive out upon the rural districts, and into other towns, those whose habits may expose them to such mode of punishment.
The Bill has also for its object the corresponding strengthening of the means of prevention. At present there exists difficulty in getting juvenile delinquents to enter Industrial Schools, and to continue thereat, wherever their parents find it more profitable to retain them as mendicants. The
*Mr. Mortimer had been a Member of the Visiting Committee of the Ragged School Union from the time of its formation.-[Ed.]