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us. A policeman, however, is usually peremptory; and after a considerable delay the bolt was undone, and the door partly opened. The aperture, indeed, was somewhat limited, and a squeeze was necessary before an entrance could be effected. We found ourselves in a small room, some 15 feet by 12, or thereby. It was of course dark, and could be surveyed only by the policeman's lamp. Stretched around us on every side we beheld human beings laid for the night. When questioned, the superintendent did not deny that there were eighteen sleeping in that small den, and most probably this was an understatement. They lay on dirty straw, in two ranges, their heads against the opposite walls, and their feet actually met in the centre, so that, in crossing the room, we literally trod upon the feet and legs of the sleepers. Their clothing, or part of it, hung round the walls, and a coarse covering was spread over some of them. The place was black with dirt. The atmosphere was loaded with pollution; and as we looked round upon the sleepers, we trembled. Even the police, hardened by the constant sight of misery, shuddered, and declared that to them one night in such a den would be certain death. .
We proposed giving up any further exploration here; and the remark of the serjeant, who was our guide in this division of the City, was, Indeed, I can show you nothing worse than this anywhere." We proceeded, however, and came to another place, one degree more respectable than the first. It was much larger, but not much cleaner. Mattresses lay in all the rooms, but there always seemed to be at least two on a mattress, and there was no separation of sexes. Altogether, the place had a bad appearance, and as we wandered through the ricketty passages, and looked into the dismal rooms, and glanced at the dirty sleepers, we felt no inclination to protract our visit more than necessary. We were told that the ordinary charge at this house is 2d. per night. At the former, which belongs to the lowest class, it is 11⁄2d., or 2d., as can most easily be extracted from the lodgers.
We were taken to a third house, of a class superior to both the others. It was very large-eighty beds being made down every night. It was certainly far from what a lodging-house ought to be, either in cleanliness, comfort, or propriety; but coming fresh as we did from sinks of pollution, it really seemed worthy of commendation, and made us feel that a very little outlay of money, and a moderate exercise of judgment, might raise multitudes of the London poor at least one step out of the degradation in which they are sunk.
Very soon after, we left London. On reviewing our visit to the metropolis, we found many an impression made for life; but, amid them all, there was none more powerful than that of the midnight wanderings which we have described. We felt more vividly than ever what a debt of gratitude we owe to the Almighty for having cast our lot amidst social comforts and Christian privileges a lot so different from that of multitudes of our own countrymen, who are steeped in misery and crime, living in guilt and dying in darkness. In some respects, indeed, the after-thought was more painful than the actual inspection. We had seen them in comparative health, but we could not but remember that dreary sickness and death itself must sometime visit them-what would be their state then? We had seen them on the night of a weekday, amid the bustle and noise of the metropolis; but the thought forced itself on us, when we were quietly enjoying our peaceful Sabbath-what would they be about then? Amid the very comforts of our home, the image of these dark and horrid abodes has seemed to haunt us, and a reproachful voice to sound in our ear, "What right have you to be so comfortable, when such a career of misery is the lot of many of your fellow-creatures, naturally no worse than you?" It will not be easy to dislodge these unhappy beings from the hold which they have taken on our compassion; and it will be long, we trust, ere we cease to offer the prayer, that He who has the hearts of all men in his hand would make this dark wilderness to blossom as the rose.Free Church Magazine.
* The children in attendance on Sunday Morning being the same as in the Afternoon, the number is not added to the total. [For SOUTHERN DIVISION and SUMMARY see next Page.]
DRAW near, my little sister,
Draw near my heart for heat-
Come, lay your trembling hand in mine;
This is a cruel cradle for
A child so wo-begone
A cruel pillow for so fair
Oh! what would my poor mother think—
O why-O why-ye cruel winds,
Have mercy on her orphan tears—
Then, cruel wind, if soft and kind
This night ye cannot be,
Blow, blow your wildest, keenest blasts
Heap all your drift on me;
For what would my poor mother think-
To see the gentle head she loved,
Ragged School Rhymes.
Plans and Progress.
RAGGED SCHOOL ADDRESSES.-No. IV.
I SAW a man in the Exhibition take into his hand a beautiful harp, upon which he was about to play. A crowd soon collected round him to hear the sweet music, for he was a good performer, and they listened with attention as he struck the chords.
But instead of delightful harmony, there came forth only a confused mixture of disagreeable sounds—the harp was out of tune.
Some strings were too tight, and others slack, and until all these were put in order even the skilled harpist could not bring harmony from the instrument. There are many in this school whose hearts are out of tune. When I find a boy loving sin more than holiness it is a sure sign that his heart is not right; and all the bad thoughts and words which come from a wicked heart are like the music of a harp which is not in tune.
Unless a very great change is made in such a heart, it will remain always