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of soap-suds, and then looks about for the
After some trouble he hunts up the canister, but-it is empty.
'Why wherever's the tea got to?' cries poor Drudge. 'There was plenty this morning.'
Popsy makes a pantomimic gesture to express that some one has pocketed it.
The child nodded.
'I'll Mrs. Jenkins her, when I gets the chance! But I s'pose I must turn out agin.'
'Take the little 'un with you,' said a voice from the bed which trembled with an unspoken dread.
'All right, Mary, my lass! don't you be afraid, I'll come back safe enough. It's too cold for the kid.'
Off he slouches to the 'tea-grocer's,' and invests in a quarter,' also a pound of ' moist.'
But on his way back fierce temptation lay in wait for him.
One of his mates, swinging gaily out of a spirit-palace, ran almost into his arms.
'Why, lor' bless my soul, Joe, is that you?' he cried. How mortal bad you do look! Come in, man, and I'll stand a "brandy" for yer.'
Yes, there was fairy-land-or what seemed like it on one side, all aglow with warmth and brightness, all comfort and cleanliness. There was the good company, the jest and song that would bid dull care begone and be forgotten for a time; not to speak of the potion that would send new life tingling through his veins, restore vigour and warmth to his numbed limbs, and make altogether another man of him.
This was all inside. And outside stood Joe Drudge with the thick frosty air blowing upon him-aching with weariness, faint with hunger, and-with a deadly chill creeping over him that might end in a heavy cold or something worse-heart-sick and depressed with the discomforts of his wretched home.
If it had been only one glass of spirits, he might have done wisely to take it under the
circumstances, but well he knew that no sooner should he find himself inside the swing-doors of the magician's palace, than some evil genius would set to work to charm his hard-earned shillings out of his pocket, nor desist till he had extracted the very last coin.
He thought of his sick wife and helpless children, and with a heroic effort he shook off the detaining hand and set his face homewards, saying 'No thank ye, Will Bates. I've got the missus very bad a-bed-can't stop now.'
Oh, how difficult it is for those who live in the many happy homes of England' to appreciate the heroes in fustian and corduroy who have the resolution to say 'No' under such conditions as this.
The fire had burnt up brightly when our hero got back, and the kettle seemed to be singing a song of welcome as it steamed merrily on the hob. Tea is soon ready, and the thirsty invalid gratefully sips the cup she has craved for so many weary hours. Her husband enjoys his meal too, though it is but bread and cheese, and Popsy shares it with him-sitting on his knee and getting, every now and then, a sip out of his cup.
Then there was the mother and babe to be fixed up' for the night. And it is wonderful to see how Drudge's strong, clumsy hands accommodate themselves to this new task, and how comfortably he manages to place his sick wife for her night's After this he undresses Popsy, and finds a warm corner for the sleepy child in 'Mother's bed.'
But there is no room for Drudge, so he goes and sits over the fire-his elbows on his knees, his head between his handsthinking.
What is the subject of his meditations? What thoughts are passing through his mind, to the running accompaniment of the sick woman's regular breathing, and the slow dropping of the cinders on the hearth?
Is he passing in review the labour, and cold, and discomfort of the day he has just dragged through? Or, does he 'bitterly
think of the morrow'-when the same weary round must be paced again?
Is he considering that the infant-head, of which the dim outline is just discernible, owns a tiny mouth which for many long years it will fall to his lot to fill; and does he wonder how many more such little responsibilities Providence will commit to his charge?
Are his musings on the low state of trade, and the bad look-out for himself and that helpless, slumbering trio, if the frost keeps on ?
Does he see a vision of Popsy, with a pinched, starved face, and the baby shrivelling day by day, and the 'Missus' contracting some dire disease for lack of needed rest and nourishment?
Does some mocking fiend whisper to him of the delights of the drink-palace at the corner, and bid him drown care, and enjoy himself now that his day's work is really over?
Or is some good angel at hand to paint a picture of long, happy summer days to come -of Sunday excursions to breezy Hampstead; of good times coming, when work will be plentiful, and food cheap, and his wife well again, and able to keep a bright hearth for him? Or does his spirit-friend lead him yet higher, and remind him of certain old promises made to the brave and good of every rank and every age, and which speak of a rest from labour, and care, and suffering, which they shall one day enter into?
We know not.
But in whatever way his mind may have been occupied, his body at last reminds him that he is growing stiff and sleepy. So he takes up the candle and holds it up over the bed for two or three minutes, while he contemplates his sleeping family: 'God bless ye all,' he says, 'and me too—
These were Drudge's prayers.
Next he drags a thin chaff mattress out of a dark corner, and lays himself down on it, dressed as he was
This was Drudge's bed.
The matter faded away from my mind until last year, when I heard that a Bishopric of N. China had been endowed, and the Rev. C. P. Scott had gone to England to be consecrated.
The S. P.G. did not see the way to sending out four or five men, as I had suggested, so that it seemed likely the Bishop would return to North China empty-handed, with his old colleague, Mr. Greenwood and the Rev. W. Brereton, who had been working in Pekin, for his only clerical staff, and an active, earnest-minded layman, Mr. Capel, his only candidate for Holy Orders. The latter, however, fell sick, and had to return to England for at least a considerable time.
Last year GOD put it into the hearts of some young men belonging to the parish of S. John the Divine, Kennington, to offer themselves to the Bishop for a term of years, and for good, if the experiment succeeded. I also was led to accept. the Bishop's offer to become his chaplain, and to superintend for three years the studies of the young men, until a university graduate of standing and position, seeing the Bishop's great need, should offer himself for the permanent post.
Four of us in all were accordingly selected, and the Bishop's appeal for money to feed and clothe us for three years was immediately responded to-so immediately, that though the Bishop only made the selection last May, we were ready by August 6 to make a start from Liverpool.
On October 11 we landed at Chefoo, having overtaken the Bishop, who had preceded us by two mails, at Shanghai.
We were not long in settling down, and at once made the little chapel, close to, but detached from the house, a Domus Dei, which has grown more precious to us day by day.
The Bishop remained with us for six weeks, and left us in November for Pekin, where he proposes to winter, but he remained here for the double purpose of seeing us comfortably settled and teaching us enough Chinese to enable us to get on by ourselves.
Six weeks seems a short time to acquire much of so difficult a language, but we are alone in the house now, with only three Chinese servants, who cannot speak a word of English.
Shortly before the Bishop left, he made me take the Chinese prayers which he always has in the chapel every morning for the household; the servants being catechumens, but not yet Christians.
I find the strain somewhat less now, but it is a hazardous thing to do, and I feel glad (for the first time) that my congregation is so small.
We live in a very simple way, as indeed we are bound to do, for all superfluous expenses are cut down, the money for our ort being only just sufficient for food and raiment.
We rise at 5.30, and find ourselves in chapel for Lauds and Prime at 6. Holy Communion follows, and meditation and matins.
We breakfast at 8 or 8. 30, according to the season. After breakfast we say Terce, and from 9 30 to 10.30 read Divinity. From 10.30. to I we study Chinese. Then follows Sext, dinner, and Nones. After this comes the Intercessory Prayer-meeting of which I spoke, and in which all who have assisted us or have begged our prayers are remembered by name.
Then recreation till 4, when we fall to Chinese again. Evensong comes at 6, tea afterwards, and from 7 to 8 we have more Divinity.
Compline ends the day at 9.30.
You will observe that we give a great part of the day to Chinese. This is only to give us a start. Shortly we shall have but two hours a day, and devote the rest to matters which will want our attention as much as, if not more than, Chinese.
The ages of the young men with me are eighteen, nineteen, and twenty. Would that some in S. Augustine's parish might be led to offer themselves. I do not think that we shall cost more than 60%. a year each, and when we get into the interior I expect it will be much less than this.
Above all, we want men who can support themselves, and who, for the love of GOD, will spend less than half of what they spend on themselves in England, and show the Chinese the power of a self-sacrificing life.
I should like, if I may, to ask any doctor who may read Our Work if GOD has not a task for him to do out here.
We want a doctor sadly, not for ourselves, but to begin the work of practical benevolence among the Chinese. The experiences of the late famine show us the value of a doctor attached to a mission.
Send us a doctor, and by the next mail we would ask for Sisters to come out who would find a hospital ready to their hand, with plenty of patients!
We have no funds to offer, but we make no doubt that if GOD provides the man or the men, He will also provide the funds.
Should this meet the eye of any who want to become missionaries in a good climate, or to take up, even for a time, medical missionary work, let them know that they will receive a hearty welcome and full Church privileges in our house.
The Rev. Canon G. H. Wilkinson, of S. Peter's, Eaton Square, will give all information, and will, I know, welcome heartily anyone who wishes to join the mission, since he has its welfare much at heart.
Some one sends me Our Work. I am very grateful for it, but am too poor to subscribe to promote its circulation. It is eagerly read by all of us. Please remember us specially in your prayers. Yours faithfully,
C. J. CORFE. Another correspondent from the West Indies writes:
This is the first time I have been able to pay the congregation at S. Bartt's a visit since your gift of the altar-cloth for your church. I thought you would like to know how much it is enjoyed and valued, and how well it looks. One lady I heard say 'I cannot take my eyes off it,' and this no doubt expresses the general view. By your making the altar-cloth a gift, I was enabled to spend what had been collected upon a cross, vases, and carpet, and now the altar is well furnished; the plate is good, and so is the linen, and if I could only put in a word for a burse and veil, it would render the fittings complete. Perhaps the time when, notwithstanding the large demands made upon you, you may render us this further service, will
The Sunday School keeps all the young folk of all complexions together, and we have just been forming a guild for girls and single young women. But the place is miserably poor, and we wonder how some live. Yet all strive to make a good appearance at the Church service.
The chief employment-I may say the sole industry—is the making of coarse straw hats.
The duties of my own cure, and the difficulty in getting to and fro, make my visits precarious, and they will never be able to raise the means for a resident priest.
The grant of catechisms, &c., which you made, with the altar-cloth, has been of good service. They are in use at the Sunday Schools; and Mrs. Hernaman's Story of the Resurrection' was sung all last Easter at the children's service.
I trust you will feel a satisfaction in hearing of the usefulness of your gifts here, as in so many other places to which your kind efforts extend.
Our Work is taken by one person here, and we lend our copy also.
I imagine you will be a 'household word' in many remote places where worship is helped by your gifts. Yours faithfully,
The following is welcome, as showing the interest taken in our charities by various tribes of Indians in Cabacaturia, British Guiana. The Rev. W. Heard, their missionary, is a most zealous worker, and has enclosed us an offering of six dollars collected at a special celebration for our Association by his people, though they are really very poor and have very little money. He writes :
We are so far removed from civilisation that almost everything is done by bartering. At my new Mission in the Waiini I have persuaded the people to bring any little article of value. I knew that they were very shy, and afraid of being laughed at; but, anyhow, I tried the experiment, and this was the result: two large goblets, two small ones, two little buck' pots, two paddles, one fan, six cakes of cassava bread, and a small piece of balata gum; worth altogether about 64 cents (25. 8d.).
In the Demerara and Essequibo rivers the Indians have some chance of making a little money, as there are wood-cutting establishments in certain parts. The Indians make excellent woodcutters, and can command good wages.
Mr. Gwyther has charge of the Mission there now (in the Demerara river), as well as the Potaro river.
I daresay you heard of the sad accident that happened to Mr. Pierce and his family as they were returning from the latter river. The boat turned over in shooting one of the falls, and he, his wife, and three children were drowned. The Church has lost a good earnest man.
Thank you very much for your kind letter, and the gifts that you have sent to us. You will be sorry to
hear that the box has miscarried somehow. Mr. Castell says he saw it put on board at Southampton, therefore we still have some hopes of getting it. I will write and let you know when it reaches us.
Our Work comes to us quite regularly, and you cannot think how we all look forward to it. It is very cheering to know that one is not forgotten. I hope and pray that GOD may bless all your works.
We shared out the picture cards first to my orphans (137), and then we gave the rest to the children who are able to read in the Bible. I need not say how delighted they all were.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year,
These are some among the many kind letters we receive by every mail. May GOD give us all more of the spirit of intercession, that we may pray for missionaries to be made bright examples to their flock in the holiness of their lives.
of the Orphanage of Mercy.
T is but seven years since the Orphanage of Mercy was founded.
During the evening hours of Shrove Tuesday, 1875, its doors were first opened to two little maidens just arrived from Chester Workhouse. Since this, year by year, it has grown and prospered, and its numbers have steadily increased, until we can now count one hundred and sixty orphans.
It is but two years ago that the new Home was opened. With joy we see almost every available bed occupied, every room filled; but with grief we are compelled to close our doors against new comers. As months slip by, one or two of our elder girls may pass out into service, one or two more of our delicate children may be accommodated in our extra house at Broadstairs, and so we may be able to receive a very urgent case now and then-but that at the most.
Since last year 25 destitute children have been admitted, but if we were to add a nought to that number it would represent only a small proportion of the applicants for admission.
With great gratitude and deep thankfulness, we acknowledge the help we have received. During no part of the last twelve months have we had the slightest cause for
uneasiness that our large family would be left unprovided for, or the support of our generous friends fail us. Such a fear would be faithless and ungrateful indeed in the face of the facts we have to record.
Many of our little ones have been 'adopted.' That is, those friends who wish to help especially with the annual expenses of the Orphanage like to pay for the maintenance of one orphan, and this is calculated at 127. per annum. It often happens that those who desire to choose out an orphan for their particular charge pay us a visit on a Saturday afternoon, and, selecting the child who pleases them best, make her happy and proud in the possession of a lady patroness of her own.
Others of our friends have become annual subscribers of from 5s. to 57. 5s.
We have also had welcome and encouraging help from some of the clergy, who have given us offertories. Clothes of all kinds have been sent, some ready for the orphans' use, some for sale, that the sum realised by their disposal might purchase suitable things for the children's wear.
Hampers of groceries, baskets of fruit and vegetables, sacks of potatoes, flour, and oatmeal, reach us from time to time, and give us most material help.
Several of the elder girls who have now gone out into domestic service are doing well, and we receive excellent accounts of them from their mistresses. This, however, is still their home-to which they look for kindly sympathy and help, whenever they need it, a welcome during their holidays, and a shelter if ever they want one; in fact, for all that a real home can give.
Many of the orphans wait at one or other of our four Workmen's Restaurants; and it is a great encouragement to us to hear the often-repeated remarks on their manner of waiting, and the attention they bestow on the customers. The visitors at the Orphanage, too, are filled with wonder and astonishment to find that all the work of the house, cooking (under superintendence), waiting at table, &c., is done by these young girls.
We are thankful to be able to report that the general health has been good, sickness having been confined to childish and constitutional ailments.
Taking all in all, we may say that never has a year been crowned with greater mercies to our Orphanage than the last, and we have a good hope-certainly a very earnest one— that we shall go forward still prospering. We have a strong desire to extend our work, and would fain see some of its well-wishers come forward to build another wing to our Orphanage, so that we might receive another hundred of England's orphan girls.
The Convalescent Home is as much as we ourselves can undertake in the way of building for the next two years, and our Orphanage work must be at a standstill, unless some benefactors will furnish the funds to build an extension.
Surely no work could commend itself more to GOD and man, than this of receiving some of the most destitute, most uncared for, and unloved of the lambs of CHRIST'S fold. And we pray that GOD will put it into the hearts of some of His people to further it.
Contributions for the maintenance of the Orphanage or for the new wing will be gladly received and acknowledged byMiss A. M. THOMAS,
27 Kilburn Park Road, London, N.W.
editations from Genesis.
OME, HOLY GHOST, our souls inspire, &c.
First Prelude.-Picture: A white lily, tall and strong.
Second Prelude.-Prayer: 'O LORD! I beseech Thee to enlighten my mind and to inflame my will, that I may learn from this meditation to know my temptations and to fly from them.'