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never seen a minister of any denomination within their doors. Yet, within the narrow compass, styled "the city within the walls" are four thousand poor families:-so especially needing pastoral visits.
Do they need such visits? Here are facts. Sunday census showed that only 1,283 poor persons occupied the free sittings in 59 Churches and 17 Chapels. There are 427 poor families that possess no copy of the Holy Scriptures. Close to the Bible Society's House there are 91 families destitute of a Bible. There are 290 shops open on Sunday, although less excuse can be made for this within the City than elsewhere. 249 public houses are also open on the Lord's Day, in addition. On one Sunday morning it was ascertained that 324,000 persons landed and embarked from steamers plying between Chelsea and London-bridge; and there are as many persons proceeding by steam vessels down the river below the bridges, from the piers within "the City."
Then, as to education, although the great number of well endowed schools renders the educational character of the City poor, superior to that of London in general, much ignorance is yet found prevailing. In the ward of Farringdon Without, 318 children, above ten years of age, have just been found, who could not read. In Portsoken Ward, 532 adults could not read.
The foregoing remarks have chiefly borne upon the population "within the walls," but it should not be forgotten that there is a large number, said to be "without the walls," but still under civic jurisdiction, and really forming part of the City. The total number of persons in 1851 was 127,869. In the last ten years the City population has increased 4,306. This will correct the mistaken notion that the population is decreasing. It is true that the more wealthy tradesmen have removed their residences to the suburbs, to the great loss of the poor remaining behind. But the population does not diminish.
There are thirteen thousand poor families in the various wards, "within and without the walls.” these, 2,293 are without Bibles.
The total attendance at public worship of the 127,869 comprised within the civic boundaries, last December, was as follows:
Clerks, Organists, Pew-openers, &c.
In Free Seats
This, it will be observed, is not one person in five. The London City Mission have just issued a special appeal for the thirteen thousand poor families within the City, and are trying to establish a City Auxiliary. They have twelve Missionaries now at work; fourteen more are required, and then the whole of these families will be under religious visitation. Probably many other families will, after some time, be found by these Missionaries, accessible to their visits.
These masses of poor plead very strongly to those who make their wealth in the City. We trust they will no longer plead in vain.
NOT A POЕТ.
I AM a little maiden
Who fain would touch the lyre;
Bring discord from the wire.
W. M. W.
I'm told that joyous spirits,
Are all too light to share.
I hope they'll not awaken,
I'd never be a poet,
My bounding heart to hush
For sorrow's foot to crush.
I fain would learn the music
Of those who dwell in heaven;
To waste my heart-felt mirth;
THE IMPERFECT BIBLES:
A PEEP AT MY DISTRICT.
I AM a collector, dear reader, for the Bible Society; and in the course of my weekly rounds, I meet, as you may readily believe, with a variety of different characters. Some of my subscribers are very poor; while others are very well off; some entrust me with a penny or twopence, towards the purchase of a Bible for themselves; while others give me the same, or larger sums, towards procuring Bibles for other people.
But there is one strange circumstance, observable alike in the dwellings of rich and poor, which has struck me very much lately; and I mention it in the hope of ascertaining whether it be a peculiarity of the neighbourhood in which I reside, or whether it exist in other, as highly-favoured localities. It is this:there are so many imperfect Bibles in use among the families which I visit. Some only want a few verses; others seem to be deficient in whole chapters; but nearly all are more or less minus the sacred contents. And yet their owners are quite unconscious of their loss, or else quite comfortable under it.
Do you doubt the truthfulness of my statements, dear reader? then just listen while I describe to you some of the scenes which I witnessed, and relate some of the remarks which I heard during my last calls.
The first house at which I stopped was Farmer Hilton's. The farmer is a stout, sturdy-looking man, with gray, straggling locks of hair, and broad cheeks as brightly tinged with red as his own apples; quite one of the old school. He is a hard-working, honest, upright, and, I believe, Christian man; but his natural firmness is very apt to run into obstinacy; so that when he takes a thing into his head, it is the hardest
task in the world to get it out again. His habits are hospitable, and his manners friendly towards those who are deserving; but woe to the unfortunate neighbour who in any way incurs his displeasure; for it is about as easy to mollify Farmer Hilton, as to melt the hard rock on the sea-shore. "A warm friend and a bitter enemy," is his maxim. Where he found it, I don't know, but I am sure he never came across it in his well read Bible. What! does Farmer Hilton read the Bible? To be sure he does, night and morning; week-day and Sunday; and he gives me sixpence a week out of his little leathern purse-ah, and gives it freely too-to help to increase the circulation of God's Word among men.
The door being half-open, I was just going in for the said sixpence, when the farmer's voice, raised to its loudest pitch, fell rather unpleasantly on my ear, and I paused a moment.
"I tell you what, wife, it's of no use to talk to me any more about it. I won't see him, nor have anything more to do with him, and that's enough. He's an ungrateful, unprincipled fellow."
"Ralph, Ralph, he is our son," said the pleading tones of his gentle-hearted wife.
"Do you think I don't know that, and regret it deeply, too? To think that a child of mine should bring such disgrace on our family! I wash my hands clean of him; he may go where he likes; he shan't come here."
"But you will forgive him, Ralph."
"I will not, Martha; I have forgiven him too often already."
"He is so very, very sorry, almost heart-broken, poor boy," murmured the wife.
Sorry! I dare say he is, that he has no more money to spend."
Another voice was heard; it was that of his favourite daughter Mary.