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Oakery Cottage is in two parts: the boys, with the governess, sleep on one side; the girls, under Sister Ellen's care, on the other; and, besides their dormitories, they have a good-sized living room, opening with French windows on to the garden. It contained a doll's house, but struck us as somewhat dull, there being nothing to spare for luxuriesnaturally enough in such a case. The cottage is very old (the woodwork giving way in Sister places), and surrounded with trees. Ellen has been lately obliged to go to considerable expense in improving the drainage and the water supply-as they were for a time without water-and a present of 15% she received had all to be spent in these necessary matters. Of one thing we can always feel sure-in Homes managed by these Sisters-every penny will do its work, and more than its work, but then the pennies must be forthcoming.
From a few houses in Beckenham, scraps are allowed to be collected, which are made into savoury dishes, and presents in kind are occasionally received, as, for instance, a few days before our visit, when an unexpected and most welcome gift of twelve rabbits and pigeons arrived, the preparation of which quite knocked up the good Sister upon whom this labour, as all other, fell. But oh, how much more help is needed! Will any readers who are able to do so pay a visit to Oakery Cottage, Beckenham? They will be warmly welcomed by the Sister in charge, and if they could manage to charge themselves with the maintenance of one of the orphans by making a yearly payment of 137, and also interest themselves in its welfare, they would indeed be rendering the most valuable aid. But all help, whether the giver is able to pay a visit or not, will be truly welcome-money for coals and food, clothing old and new, provisions of all sorts, toys, books, &c.
For these little ones, as once of old for the blessed CHRIST Child, there is 'no room' in the hearts and homes of happy united families, no room, no place of shelter in this busy world, were it not for the love of those who have heard the Master's voice saying to them,
'Whoso receiveth one such child in My name receiveth Me,' and who now appeal with all confidence to the tender compassion of Christlike souls to aid them in their good work of succouring and tending His little children.. C. F. HERNAMAN.
he Banner of Faith.'
T was just this time last year that we were planning how best to introduce to friendly notice our new magazine for the working and lower middle classes-The
Banner of Faith.
The success of that enterprise was infinitely greater than we had reason to expect, the circulation having rapidly mounted up to between sixty-five and seventy thousand. We are assured by those experienced in such matters that, for the first year, such rapid growth is almost unprecedented.
Does it occur to anyone that we ought to rest satisfied with the size of the present issue and not seek to add to it? We earnestly hope that no one will encourage such a fallacious notion as this. The magazine contains so much matter, and is supplied at so cheap a rate for localising, that, with all our efforts, we have not quite succeeded in making two ends meet, and we shall find ourselves at Christmas with a balance on the wrong side.
We look to our friends to see that this does not happen again. They can insure a more satisfactory result by working hard to increase the circulation of the periodical.
Over and over again during the past twelve months we have been told that' The Banner has only to be known to be appreciated.' So we say 'Make it known.' Take it in yourself; get your friends and dependents to do so; introduce it to your bookseller; ask your parish priest to localise it; and, if your ardour will carry you yet further, order a few extra dozen copies every month,
and employ any man out of work to whom you would wish to do a good turn, to sell them among his friends and acquaintancesgiving him a small percentage for his trouble.
This last will be found an excellent and sure way of doing good; and we hope many of our friends may take the hint and start a Banner-seller with the New Year.
The need of a new Parish Magazine must indeed have been great, to judge by the number of clergy who have adopted The Banner for that purpose; for it is already used in some hundreds of parishes.
In response to many applications we have received on the subject, we have decided to issue our Magazine next year in two sizes. This we stated last month, and the announcement has been variously received. Some parish priests have determined to adopt the smaller size, because they consider it is more convenient for the printing of local news; but the general opinion seems to be that it is not so taking as the original shape. The smaller size can only be had in quantities, and without wrapper, for localising. The price and the contents are exactly the same in both cases.
We may conclude this paper by dwelling upon the enthusiasm with which The Banner has been received, wherever it has made its appearance, in India and the Colonies. Our readers would confer a great benefit on any Missionary by ordering twelve copies to be sent to him regularly, for distribution among his flock. Names would gladly be furnished by The Editor, 6 Paternoster Row, and the orders received there.
We may take this opportunity of mentioning that, to facilitate the introduction of The Banner into any parish where it is intended to localise it, fifty or a hundred back numbers will be supplied free to any clergyman willing to pay the postage. Address the Manager, Miss A. Mitchell, 6 Paternoster Row, E.C.
Very effective covers for binding the numbers of The Banner for 1882 can now be had, as our readers will see from the advertisement; the bound volume for last year is also ready.
editations on Genesis.
The Blessing of the Brethren. JOME, HOLY GHOST, &c.
First Prelude. Picture : The Twelve standing before their Father.
grace to lay a good foundation. CONSIDERATION.
The dying Patriarch speaks the last words to his sons. Obedient and disobedient, cruel and merciful, reverent and profane, they are all gathered before him. The eldest nearest to him, and all approaching one by one, according to age. What anxiety, what jealousy, what heartburnings, and yet what reverent awe on the part of his sons, as one by one the aged hand is laid on the head of each, and the words spoken which reveal past sins and future destinies: the eldest, deprived of the birthright for sins committed long ago; the second and third, reminded of past cruelty; Judah blessed and praised-he who offered himself as a ransom for his brethren made the ancestor of Him who paid the ransom for His brethren; Joseph singled out for a double blessing, and made the ancestor of two tribes; whilst Benjamin, the gentle child, was to become the successful warrior. Each received exactly the measure he had deserved, the blessing he had earned by his own conduct.
The blessing of Judah reached far beyond himself. It is full of JESUS CHRIST, who was descended from Judah by His earthly descent. The sceptre had only just departed from Judah when the King of Peace arrived. The gathering of the people began then, and has been going on ever since. The ass's colt and the choice vine were bound together when the True Vine made His entry on the foal which symbolised the growing Church; the bloody sweat of Gethsemane was richer than the blood of grapes. The eyes of the LORD were red with the blood of His sufferings, though His teeth were white with the milk of sweet doctrine and the law of lovingkindness; and the Conqueror of all the powers of evil shows Himself to us in most pathetic Majesty.
Jacob foresaw this so many hundred years ago, and can I not see it now? Abraham rejoiced to see CHRIST's day, and does it not awaken any feeling of gratitude and joy in me? Jacob looked forward, and I look back; but our gaze centres in the Saviour of the world. The blessing of Judah extends to the whole world, the True Vine spreads
The Cabe of Machpelah.
First Prelude-Picture: Jacob's funeral procession.
Second Prelude.-Pray for deadness to the world.
Jacob had a royal funeral, for the mourning for an Egyptian King lasted seventy days. This mourning was made for him before his body was taken away from the land of Egypt. And when the great procession reached the land of Canaan, another mourning of seven days was made for him, a mourning so great and so full of lamentations that the place between Jordan and Jericho was named after it 'the mourning of the Egyptians.' The whole of that land had been promised by GOD to Abraham and his descendants, and how much had they now in possession? Only a grave, the grave of their ancestors : they laid down Jacob in the same place with Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah and Leah. And then the long procession wended its way back to Egypt; strangers and pilgrims, destined to live under a foreign yoke; and yet lords of Palestine, and ancestors of the Kingdom of CHRIST.
A glorious future has been promised to me, and yet sometimes I am tempted to think there is nothing for me but a grave. Behind me, I see the graves of my ancestors; around me, I see the graves of my kindred; before me I see my own grave. And yet I am a member of CHRIST, a child of GOD, an inheritor of the Kingdom of Heaven; and how have I become so? Through a grave. The grave and gate of death. I am buried with CHRIST in Baptism. My part in the Promised Land at present is a grave. What a call to a mortified life! What a call to complete mastery over my corrupt will! This land of graves will some day be a land of delight! This path of mortification will some day be a royal road of triumph! But it must be in GOD's own good time, after long service, after hard fighting, after much lamentation and mourning and woe! The end, however, is sure and certain, and why should my heart fail me?
had forgiven them long ago. His last words testify to his love for his nation; he had not become Egyptian in spirit, he looked forward to the Promise, and he wished his brethren to look forward too. His body was to be embalmed and carefully guarded until the time of the Exodus. It was to be a perpetual witness to them that they were only pilgrims and strangers. The care of it would remind them constantly that they had nothing to do with the idolatry of the Egyptians. It was only a dead body—the spirit had departed; but it was a holy and a sacred trust, and a sign that they were a separate people and set apart for a sacred future.
The Hebrews had the dead body of Joseph. I have the living Body of CHRIST. They had to keep watch and ward, they had to embalm and to enshrine the remains of their chief. He could do them no good; he could give them no help in their journey, and yet they were to bear him with them—the image and type of a greater thing to come. I have no mere sign, no mere embalmed body to keep me separate, and to be a witness against the idolatry of the people of the land; but I have the Body and the Blood, the Soul and the Divinity of the living CHRIST, not only to lead and guide me on my way, but to feed me with a heavenly and spiritual food after a heavenly and spiritual manner. Do I realise the wonderful privileges sent me; do I make my journey to the Promised Land a holy. journey, full of reverence and awe, because I know my Living Chief is with me?
My LORD, I worship Thee and praise Thee for Thine infinite love in giving me Thyself to help me on my way. Grant that I may value the wonderful privileges Thou hast given; grant that I may feel that no journey undertaken without Thee can ever bring a blessing. RESOLUTION.
To take no step without the LORD.
THOUGHT. 'The Body of Our LORD JESUS CHRIST which was given for Thee.'
E are sorry that, through some delay on the printer's part, the leaflet with regard to the Holy Innocents' Ward is not yet forthcoming, but it will be ready very shortly, we trust.
Many have been the answers called forth by our suggestion about this Ward. Nor are we surprised at it.
Surely no sweeter memorial of a dearly loved child could be found than this! The little one who has gone before'-over whom perhaps, in the long hours of illness, we have so often hung, whose head has so often been raised on our arm, whom, on its bed of pain, we have hushed and soothed with gentle whispers, and softly murmured hymns-now no longer needs our care, for it is 'pillowed in the embrace' of the Good Shepherd! angels have borne it to its rest! Heavenly voices train it to bear its part in the choirs above!
But, as we help to raise a Ward in remembrance of our loved one, we may fondly hope that the peace of its innocent spirit may rest upon the little cots where lie other infant sufferers; and the memory of those last hours to which we still, however sadly, love to cling, will perpetuate itself in happy thoughts of other little ones nursed and tended for the sake of our dear child.
Children themselves are full of tenderness and sympathy for the pains and sicknesses of other children. How touching is often their unselfishness when ill! And if, in the case of older friends and relatives whose loss we mourn, we endeavour to raise such a memorial as would have best accorded with their own wishes and mind-may we not, in regard to these little innocents, dwell pleasingly on the delight which they would themselves have felt, had they been told that in memory of them many a poor little sufferer would receive the like care and nursing which they themselves had enjoyed?
We are sure, therefore, that this Ward will
have many contributors, whose good wishes will gather round it with a special interest, and we trust that all who desire to join in this memorial will send in their contributions as soon as possible, so that we may be able to know definitely what are the funds at our disposal for its erection and furnishing.
Will our kind friends forgive us if we jog their memories in behalf of the Christmas ' expectations' of which we spoke last month, and if we urge upon them how grateful we should be if they would send in their contributions in good time?
We venture to request that all articles for the sale should be sent not later than December 5, and presents for Christmas distribution on or before the 20th.
Besides the petticoats, scarves, muffatees, crossovers, &c. &c., for which we pleaded, may we say a word specially on behalf of our Christmas trees?
Last year we trimmed and untrimmed no less than ten of these great centres of attraction at our Christmas parties. And all who know what it takes to make even one of these present-bearing trees produce enough for a party of two or three hundred may easily form some idea of our needs.
If intending contributors would prefer giving their help in money rather than gifts for the trees, any sums will be gladly welcomed, however small, which may be spent in candles, bright balls, Chinese lanterns, &c., and should be sent to The Secretaries, Miss HELEN WETHERELL, or Miss A. M. THOMAS, 29 Kilburn Park Road, London.
For the old folks' Christmas tree, packets of tea and sugar, chimney-piece ornaments, and other knick-knacks are very appropriate.
Last year we received a grand importation of crackers, which being distributed round the tea-tables soon dispelled shyness and loosened all tongues, and afforded great amusement by the decorations they contained. Will some one kindly give us the same fun this season?