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ing our old age together,' they plaintively tell us.
Little T is lying dangerously ill. We found her on our first visit lying in great pain, with her father sitting beside her, watching her with anxious, tearful eyes. 'I'd rather suffer anything myself than see her in such pain,' he said, earnestly. But why was he not out at work trying to obtain for her some of the little extra things she so evidently needed? Alas! he himself is in an advanced stage of consumption-that fell disease which so unceasingly makes its inroads into the homes of rich and poor alike. The rich can greatly alleviate the sufferings of its victims, and cheat it of its prey ofttimes for many years; but with the poor it is far otherwise. To them it comes like some triumphant conqueror, encircling them in its iron grasp and crushing the very life out of them with lingering and cruel pains. The wife and mother is the bread-winner here, the poor husband being obliged to remain. inactive.
'Have you consulted no doctor?' we asked. 'Oh! yes,' he replied. 'I went to the London Hospital, but they told me that medicine would do me no good without food, and as I can't get that, they took the bottle from me again. They said I ought to get an in-patient's letter for the Brompton Hospital; but that wouldn't be much good, for they won't take you in there without a certain amount of clothes, and I haven't any.' We happened to have with us an out-patient's letter, which we offered him, but he shook his head sorrowfully, "I'm too weak to walk, Sister," he said, “and I couldn't bear to take the missus's earnings, she works so 'ard already." That difficulty being removed, however, he promised to go. the next day, though it was a great effort for one in his state of health. On his arrival there, he found the waiting-rooms filled with patients bent on the same errand as himself. He waited there from morning till evening before the doctor could see him, and nothing passed his lips all day. When he reached home at night, the only thing in the house in
the shape of food was a small piece of bread and butter, which he was too exhausted to eat; and the Sister on her next visit was distressed to find him considerably worse, and obliged to keep his bed. If any of our kind readers who possess in-patients' letters for Brompton Hospital would kindly send them to us, they would confer a great benefit.
It may interest some of our readers to know that the old man who expressed such an ardent desire to receive the Blessed Sacrament, not having partaken of this Heavenly Food for fifty years, had his longing satisfied, and breathed his last in peace just two hours afterwards.
The recent Confirmation has been a great event in the parish. Long before the hour announced, the street in which the church was situated was crowded with people; in fact, so closely were they packed round the church doors that it was nigh upon an impossibility to get into the sacred edifice at all. Fathers and mothers, brothers, sisters, and friends, nearly all claiming relationship, or at least acquaintanceship, with some one or other of the candidates-all were anxious to assist at the service, and a most impressive one it certainly was.
It commenced with the inspiriting processional hymn, 'Onward, Christian Soldiers,' which was sung as clergy and choir slowly filed into their places. The Bishop's address, which immediately followed the exhortation, was thoroughly earnest and practical. He bade the candidates bethink themselves of the wondrous gift they were about to receive, which was nothing less than the Blessed Spirit of GOD Himself, who was coming to dwell in them, to be their unfailing strength and support. 'It seems almost too good to be true,' he said, 'that the Holy Paraclete should deign to come and dwell in hearts so vile, so cold, so ignorant, so sin-stained as ours; and yet this is what He has promised to do, and we must come confidently, expecting to receive the blessing He has pledged Himself to bestow, remembering the words our dear LORD spake when He was upon earth, "If
ye then being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?" He enjoined them to renew with all possible earnestness their baptismal vows, and to yield themselves up without reserve, body, soul, and spirit, to Him who was so generously outpouring Himself for them. He spoke of the many dangers and temptations that would beset them, more perhaps and greater than they had ever experienced before; for if Satan saw them really in earnest, striving to overcome their besetting sins and to lead holy lives, he certainly would not fail to use his most subtle and persuasive arts to turn them from their purpose. At the same time he reminded them of the great increase of strength and grace they would have to enable them to resist him. He bid them never be discouraged, never turn back or give up the contest, never take into their lips those foolish, wicked words which, alas one so often hears 'It's no use trying!' but in all their trials and temptations only cling the closer to their heavenly Father, and trust His grace the more, as they discovered more and more of their own weakness. Some there were (he said) who approached the holy rite of Confirmation half-heartedly, without deep heart-searching preparation, and then afterwards fell away and gave occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme. We, too, often hear people say "What's the good of Confirmation ? So-and-so was confirmed, and look at him now; he's a great deal worse than those who never made any profession of religion." It is a terrible thing to be the cause of such a reproach being cast on one of God's holy ordinances. GOD forbid that any of those to be confirmed to-day should be so.' He then invited each member of the congregation to join with him for a few moments in silent prayer; specially he bid them ask for a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the candidates, that they might never bring disgrace on the Church and name of JESUS, but, persevering in His service, might obtain at last
a heavenly crown. The candidates he asked to continue in prayer all the time the confirmation was going on, begging them not to weary of it, and if they could not think of words to say, or things to ask for, during all the time, to ask the same petitions over and over again. He reminded them of the saint who spent hours and hours rapt in devotion, repeating only those few words, 'O my GOD, Thou art good! Oh my soul, thou art happy!' 'It is so sad and strange,' he remarked, that while we can spend almost any length of time in seeing some amusing sight, or talking to some dear friend without getting weary, a few minutes spent in speaking to our Father and Friend in Heaven is too much for us.' He told of an old lady he knew who regularly spent four or five hours daily in prayer, and said he had often wondered how she could do it, but one day she let him into the secret, for, as they were talking together, she stopped suddenly in the middle of something she was saying, and exclaimed with the greatest fervour, 'Oh, I do love GOD! I do love GOD!' Yes, there was the secret-love, deep personal love to God must animate us, and this we must ever be asking Him to kindle in our hearts.
After a short silence the Veni Creator was sung, kneeling, and the candidates having with one voice renewed their vows, ascended the chancel steps to receive the laying-on of hands. First to approach the Bishop were a number of married couples, and it was a touching sight to see them kneeling hand in hand to receive GOD's wonderful gift. There were also two cripples, one a dear old woman of seventy. The beautiful hymn, 'Thine for ever,' was next sung, and the Bishop spoke a few last closing words. He suggested as a motto for the confirmed, 'My strength is made perfect in weakness;' exhorting them not to neglect the great means of grace to which they now had access, but, by careful and loving reception of the Blessed Sacrament of CHRIST'S Body and Blood, to strengthen and maintain in themselves the life which without it must wither
and die, according to our LORD's words, 'Except ye eat the Flesh of the Son of Man and drink His Blood, ye have no life in you.'
Immediately after the service, the bishop, attended by the vicar, proceeded to Street, to confirm the poor blind paralytic, mentioned in our July number. A small congregation had already assembled in the invalid's little room. Just a few words the bishop spoke kindly and to the purpose. He told how we could serve GOD equally as well by passive endurance as by active service; that for both alike the help of the Holy Ghost was needed, and that the tender Paraclete would as surely come to comfort and sustain His suffering child as He would go forth to strengthen and support those whose lot it was to fight the good fight of faith actively in the world.
Very clearly and very heartily was the 'I do' spoken, and then apostolic hands were laid upon the bowed head, and poor I, radiant with happiness, became possessor of the gift he had coveted so earnestly, and for which he had made such diligent preparation.
The annual parochial excursion took place on Tuesday, August 1. Twenty-two vans were chartered, and, between 9 and 10 A.M., a noisy, happy party started for High Beech, in Epping Forest. From all accounts the day seems to have been fraught with great enjoyment for all. One little girl expressed herself thus strongly :-'Oh! I did like it! We didn't get 'ome till eleven o'clock. I wasn't a bit tired: I wanted to go again.' Fathers and mothers seem to have been no less pleased, many declaring it was the best excursion they ever remembered. Collections had been made previously towards some fireworks, and as the pleasure-seekers returned home some were let off from every van, making for a time the streets through which they were passing a blaze of light. A day in the country is indeed an inestimable boon to the hard-working poor. We only wish it could be procured for them a little. oftener.
Aission on the Surrey Side of the River.
ENT and furniture for two new Mission Houses at Poplar and Rotherhithe !' a reader may exclaim, as he glances down our list of wants for November. 'Why this fresh drain upon the resources of the Society-these new centres of Missionary enterprise-when it is already such hard work for the committee and managers to provide money and means to carry out the present work?'
Pause a little, kind and prudent objector, until the facts of the case have been laid before you.
The claims of the large and poor parish of All Hallows, Poplar, have already been pleaded in these columns; and as for Rotherhithe-this is the plain history of our call in that direction :
In July last came a most pressing letter from the vicar of one of the great overgrown parishes of Deptford and Rotherhithe :
'I have a district of some fourteen thousand souls,' wrote our correspondent, among whom I work single-handed, with the exception of one curate and one deaconess. The latter, I should say, is about to leave. There are no funds and no parish school, not even a room, however humble, which could be used for mission purposes, for classes, meetings, &c. When Deaconess J— leaves, the poor will be more desolate than ever, for the population is entirely of the workingclass, and there are no ladies to teach, visit, &c. Can you possibly spare even one Sister to come and live among our people, &c.?'
We went to see for ourselves, and found it was even so-a poor living, no funds, no friends, no wealthy inhabitants, no rallyingpoint in the shape even of the smallest mission-room.
A hopeless place, do you say? Oh no, far from that; the chief elements of hopelessness were wanting. For there were earnest,
hardworking clergy, and a population-poor certainly, but composed of decent, industrious folk, well affected towards the Church, and grateful for the little that could be done to raise and succour them.
The Deaconess, too, had laboured faithfully through long months; and, singlehanded, had set on foot many useful agencies.
Perhaps it was this last consideration which, as much as anything else, led us to resolve. upon doing what we could in the new sphere. offered us. It seemed sad that so much good work should drop to the ground.
We, therefore, took a small lodging, and placed a Sister in the midst of this great district. She was to gather up the threads of Deaconess J's work, receiving some help from our Mission-house at the London Docks on the opposite side of the river.
This was to be a three months' experiment; after which the matter was to be reconsidered. And now that the appointed time has passed, it really seems impossible to withdraw.
The people are so affectionate and grateful for everything done for them; there are so many sick to be visited, so many untaught children to be Christianised, so many desolate to be comforted, so much work of every kind crying for helpers! The parish is close to the Surrey Commercial Dock, the largest of our London basins, and full of labouring men; it includes, likewise, a great sulphur factory employing 300 men, and another industry for women, while one corner of the district is crowded with poor, as squalid and miserable as those of Shoreditch and Bethnal Green.
What can we do among so many?
Happily the few words we inserted in last Our Work have borne fruit, and several ladies have volunteered to work on the Surrey side of the Thames, if the Sisters of the Church will lead the way.'
Now, it happens that an enterprising builder has just put up a very convenient house next door to the Church. It has several large rooms which would be available for classes, &c., and in many ways it would
be a 'highly desirable residence' for the Mission workers of the district. The rent is 40. per annum, taxes 77.; and then there is the furniture, which, however common and scanty, will yet cost something.
It is with these expenses that we ask help. Nor can the request be fairly regarded as unreasonable. The society engages to give what no money can buy-i.e. the active, personal service of the Sisters and their friends, and the charitable are asked to do their part, and to pay for the house that is to shelter these workers and the fittings that are to make that house habitable.
perchance, the attractions, the temptations towards idolatry which his descendants would experience. His heart yearned even in death for the country of his fathers, and by the removal of his corpse thither he intended to bind his sons more strongly to their former home. Egypt was but a temporary home, not an eternal resting-place. As his soul was to be 'gathered unto his people,' so his body was to rest amongst their bodies.
Am I constant in my affections? Do I remember my father's home and long to be buried with my kindred? I may have a holy love and preference for my home, my parish, my country. It is a holy feeling when secondary to the love of GOD, and one which may serve as a ladder to many divine affections. It is not to be despised, and may serve as a safeguard against that affectation of a philosophical disregard for Christian burial, which breaks down holy reverence for the body as the temple of the Holy Ghost, and weakens belief in the Resurrection. And as, wherever I may be called, my heart should turn with love to its own land, so wherever I may dwell, my spirit should find its true home in the Land of Blessing where my Father dwells; and no luxury, no honours, no pleasures should chain me to the low flat country of ease and comfort.
O GOD of my life! I thank Thee that Thou hast given me a Land of Promise to which mine eyes may turn in death as well as in life; grant that my heart may be ever in the Home with Thee, and my longing ever be for my kindred-those who have departed this life in Thy faith and fear.
To pass through the world without getting absorbed in it, and particularly to avoid any occupation which is too engrossing.
'Here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.'
First Prelude. Picture Jacob in his old age receiving Joseph and his grandsons. Second Prelude. Pray for gratitude.
Jacob settled in Egypt, prosperous, all his sons in favour of the King, his son Joseph the chief ruler, the Prime Minister; his grandsons before him, his descendants numerous and likely to carry his name to the end of the world. He looks back to the days of his misery, when he was weeping for Joseph and longing to see his face, and he cries as he embraces his grandchildren, 'I had not thought to see thy face; and lo! GOD hath showed me also thy seed.' Happy the soul that acknowledges GOD's bounty; happy the soul that is aware of it, for blessings are heaped upon some and they will not thank GOD for them, and blessings are heaped upon others and they seem to be not even aware of them. How often, too, a soul mourns because it is denied the blessing it craves, and in the end more is given than it could ever have hoped for !
Have I not, like Jacob, shed bitter tears because I could not have the blessing my soul longed for? And have I not, like him, received tenfold in the end? The very circumstances I have most deplored have been the causes of my greatest happiness in later life. And if this has been the case in earthly things, how much more in spiritual things! Many a time have I mourned because I could not see the face of JESUS, and at last I have attained to a truer vision of Him, and not only have my own spiritual eyes been blest by the sight of Him, but I have seen His seed, I have rejoiced in the great company of the faithful, I have been brought not only to Him, but to the society of those who draw their being from Him, the Holy Catholic Church. Instead of desponding, I must expect blessings; instead of mourning after Joseph, I will look forward to seeing not only Himself but His devoted children.