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movement may learn the particulars connected with it at the Office, No. 1, Robert Street, Adelphi, any day between 11 and 2 o'clock.
Already we learn sufficient encouragement has been given, (one gentleman alone contributes £100 to the object,) to warrant the hope that open-air preaching will be generously promoted by those who have the means to assist ; and we trust that all who are in any way engaged in the effort will rely upon God alone for success, seeking in humble prayer his Holy Spirit to guide them, and looking to their Lord and Master for grace to help them to make known His name.
THE RAGGED SCHOOL TEACHER. DEEP and lasting were the impressions made upon our minds in our youthful days, as we gazed upon the pictorial representations of the far-famed enterprising traveller or Christian philanthropist, hanging on the walls of our much-loved home, or as we listened to the glowing narratives of the courageous soldier, or the nautical veteran, who had “braved the battle and the breeze.” The dangers encountered—the difficulties overcome-and the victories won, inspired emotions the most vivid, and involuntarily induced the desire to be numbered with them. And among these are not to be forgotten the honoured missionaries, who for love to perishing heathen forsook their kindred and country, and took up their abode among the barbarians and even cannibals-nor the affectionate pastor—nor the devoted Sabbath School teacher. All shared largely in the honours we could confer. And now to this category of the high and the eminent is to be added the
Ragged School Teacher.” To delineate a correct portrait of his character, we must admit is somewhat difficult, and we are not certain that we shall succeed in producing an accurate sketch, as we have to trace our pencillings from a body of no less than 1,700 persons, obtained from rank and station varied in extreme-the mechanic, the tradesman, the professional, the independent, and the aristocracy. These distinctions, however, are merged and lost in the nature and character of the work in which he delights and feels it profitable to be engaged.
The object of the Ragged School Teacher is purely Christian, being in strict accordance with the example and precepts of Christ. He seeks to include within his class the ignorant, the degraded, the neglected, and the outcast. The hungry, the naked, and the homeless, have his special care. With a heart overwhelmed with pity and commiseration, he yearns over those who have no parent to guide their youthful step; but more so over those who have parents, it may be, but would be better off had they none. As the Saviour said, “i The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost,” so he feels himself to be in the path of duty, while in imitation of the example of his Lord he is seeking these lost ones. He feels to work is human, but to bless Divine. He therefore goes forth, not in his own strength, but in the exercise of faith and prayer, waiting with expectant patience, remembering the gracious command, " In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand; for thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.”
The work of the Ragged School Teacher is self-denying. The most impor, tant part of a Ragged School Teacher's work must necessarily be performed on Sabbath and week evenings—the times when he can only enjoy rest, recreation, retirement, the delights of the domestic circle, or opportunities for self-culture. But these he cheerfully regoes, and encounters the inclemency of weather, the disagreeables of dark and loathsome courts and alleys, braves insult, and sometimes even peltings, and feels happy notwithstanding the inconveniences arising from the dilapidated school building, if he has but gathered around him the objects of his benevolence. Here, too, his toils are neither few nor small ; no small ingenuity and no inconsiderable effort is found necessary to establish order and secure the attention of the scholars, and in consequence of the occasional interruption by the purposely
well-timed jokes of the rude and uncouth are in frequent requisition. And all this gratuitous, and more ; for he contributes towards the maintenance of the work in its varied departments. His cheer is knowing “ that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins."
The work of the Ragged School Teacher is attended with many discouragements. Having instituted opportunities of instruction for the ignorant, he is naturally led to hope that such will flock to partake of the benefits. But, alas! they must be sought out, and arguments used to persuade them to attend, and this as if they were conferring a favour on the teacher. The few he gathers are so sunken in depravity, so confirmed in habits of dissipation, and so surrounded with the corrupting influences of evil examples and associates at home, that his efforts seem futile, and he is led to exclaim, "Who is sufficient for these things ?” But, notwithstanding, he perseveres, and reformation for awhile appears to be the result in some; he is encouraged ; but presently it becomes manifest, that with such the good impressions were
the morning cloud and the early dew." He looks for sympathy and consolation from Christian professors, but instead, he finds that some are ready to taunt him with fanaticism, zeal without knowledge, to speak evil of the good he has attempted to do, and even perhaps to misrepresent what he has done, and suspect the purity of his motives. Indeed, his heart is ready to sink within him, but he remembers it is written, “My grace is sufficient for thee.”
But the work of the Ragged School Teacher has its true sources of encouragement. The Ragged School Teacher feels that his work is of Divine institution, that he has many gracious and precious promises, and on these he relies. He asks Divine aid in the discharge of his duties, and he also prays for the blessing of the Holy Spirit. Nor does he ask in vain. Instances of usefulness, not to be mistaken, occur, and gladden his heart. He sees the objects of his solicitude are being bettered—comfortable clothing covers their bodies instead of rags-cleanliness instead of filth-intelligence takes the place of ignorance—serious and interested attention instead of rude carelessness—and a concern about the salvation of the soul. These things are to him evident facts, not phantoms ; and he goes forward, trusting that they are as tokens of an abundant harvest, and that both he and they may at last meet at the right hand of God, and receive the reward of_grace, “ Well done, good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
VERSES SUGGESTED BY THE TWO LINES WITH WHICH EACH VERSE BEGINS,* WHICH
WERE FOUND IN MISS HUGHES'S DIARY FOR THE 1ST JANUARY, 1853. “SERVANT of the Lord most high, “ Servant of the Lord most high, Catch the moments as they fly ;
Catch the moments as they fly;' Lofty be thy lot or low,
Fill them with the breath of prayer, Let not one unheeded go;
Waft them far above the air; Lade them, like the bee, whose wings Then aside thy labours cast, To the hive fresh honey brings,
Lay thee down to rest at last :
Till the judgment trumpet sound,
Catch the moments as they fly; Though thou scarce thy way canst see, Breath of heaven their vessels hold, Mindful of their passing be:
Angel choirs with harps of gold, Work, though clouds thy sky obscure, Fill them with celestial air; 'Midst the darkness yet endure ;
Catch the inspiration there :In the sight of age and youth,
Sing aloud with all thy strength, Hold the lamp of Bible truth!
Thou art safe in Heaven at length! Temple, 25th June, 1853.
J. P. * See page 136.
Wao lurks in the slums? Who goes ragged and wild ?
No, stoopid, that cove ain't no crusher—not he.”
eggar, vere are yer ?” he said,
" Hallo! young
HONEST MEN AND TRUE. INSCRIBED TO THE FRIENDS OF THE RAGGED SCHOOL MOVEMENT. HERE's to the honest men and true, We laud the warrior, though he come The patriotic band,
With hands besmeared in gore, Who for the progress of the poor,
Fresh from the field where thousands lie, Assume a noble stand.
To tread this earth no more ; Who strive from base degeneracy
Fresh from the field where carnage sits A million souls to win,
High on his blood-red throne, To lift them from their misery,
Or mighty cities prostrate sink Dread ignorance and sin.
In smould'ring ashes lone. With banner flaunting in the breeze, And shall we hold our meed of praise See, see them sweep along ;
From those whom thus we find They fear no foe, where'er they go, Hard struggling in a bloodless fight, Truth makes the weakest strong,
For injured human kind ? The thoughtless man may scoff and jeer, From those who in a Christian land The proud one pass them by;
Are doing Christian deeds, Free from dismay they keep their way, And sowing in youth's fertile soil Resolved to do or die.
Truth's life-enriching seeds ? The Ragged School hath been a step No, no! but with approving smile To honour and renown,
We'll welcome one and all, Implanting many a happy smile,
Good men and true, your duty do, Where else had hung the frown;
Whatever may befal. Instructing many a piltring hand
press on, press on! To work for honest.bread,
Dispute each inch of ground, Restoring to vitality
The battle won, your task is done, The seeming lost and dead.
And brows with chaplets crown'd.
JOHN GEORGE WATTS.
Plans and Progress.
LETTERS FROM SHOE-BLACKS WHO HAVE EMIGRATED. The following letters have been lately received from two boys who were employed in the Ragged School Shoe-Black Society up to the time of their leaving this country for Canada and Australia :
“ Drynoch, Oak Ridges, Canada West,
“ June 23rd, 1853. “SIR, -As you wished, I write to tell you that I have arrived safely in Canada. I have got a good situation eighteen miles from Toronto. "On coming out into the country, I was engaged by a gentleman of the name of Captain MacLeod, who gives me 12s. 6d., cy., a month. One of the boys has got a situation with Mr. Cameron, of the Commercial Bank in Toronto. Any boys you may send out will be sure to get work in this country, and will be employed immediately.
"We were eight weeks on the voyage, and four days coming from Quebec to Toronto. I delivered your letter to Mr. Mendell, who kept me for two days, and then sent me in the country by the railroad. The next day I got this place, where I am very comfortable and happy. I like this country, and hope I shall get on well.
“Give my compliments to Mr. Drayton and to Mr. Howard, for they were very good to me; and to the woman in the coffee-shop. If you write, please address to the care of Captain MacLeod. “I wish to thank you very much for your kindness to me, and remain,
Your respectful Servant, "M -W Esq.
“ JOHN DOWIE." [Received 2nd July, 1853.]
Merry Creek, Dec. 28th, 1852. "DEAR SIR, I have great pleasure in writing to you at this time, as the Great Britain leaves here on New Year's Day. There is a great many people coming here at this time. There is 5,000 people living in tents the other side of Melbourne. Servants is getting good wages here, as there are a great many going to the gold diggings. I have a good situation about four miles from Melbourne, and I like the colony very much.
I have seen Mr. Moss. He has married Miss Clare. He has lately been ordained minister of the chapel at Praban. I have been quite well, thank God, and there is large gold mines found here. And I have sent to you and Mr. H and to my teachers, and have had no answer to them. I think it very strange. And things is very dear here. Work is plentiful and it is well paid for. I am getting £50 a year, board, lodgings, washing. And I have not seen M
I have seen some of the others, and they are quite well. You must excuse me, for I have not time to write any more, for I long to know how
all for I often think of the happy hours that I have spent in the Ragged School with you and Mr. Herbert, and tell him that I have sent to him, and when I write I shall be able to say more. So no more at present from your servant, John Richard Hall. And I hope God will bless us all. God bless us.
• Pray for them that [are] far away. “This is the direction“JOHN RICHARD Hall, care of Mr. J. G. Miles, at Mr. Wharton's, Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria, New South Wales.”
As there cannot but be numerous failures in the application of every system designed to effect the reformation of young persons, and many difficulties are encountered by those who conduct institutions for this purpose, it is the more needful to record for their encouragement those cases in which success has been granted to their endeavours.
The two emigrants who tell their own stories in the above letters are instances of this description in far-distant parts of the globe, and publicity is given to these letters in order to stimulate other lads to good conduct. Besides this influence from a distance, similar effect is produced upon those who are still under training, when a former school-mate visits the place of his education, and by his improved appearance excites the ambition of his companions to follow his career of industry. Thus a shoe-black, who has been for more than a year the “ page” in a gentleman's family, lately appeared at his former quarters in Off Alley, and astonished his red-coated associates by the grandeur of his livery, resplendent with buttons. And again, at the Euston Square Railway Statio may be seen a well-dressed young man selling newspapers-one would scarcely think that he also had been two years ago accustomed to carry his box and brushes in the streets. A short time since, a purse of sovereigns was found by one of these boys, and only a few days ago, a bill drawn for £69. Both were faithfully delivered to the police; but though such conduct is not uncommon amongst the inmates of our schools, dishonesty, alas ! occurs in this as in all other communities, where the human heart has opportunities for manifesting its depravity by the life and conversation.
Several shoe-blacks, who had been educated with anxious care, and encouraged by every incentive to honest industry, have been dismissed at various times for repeated misconduct; and after this, one or two of them immediately set up on their own account, in the very occupation which they were so unwilling to follow steadily when controlled by authority.
A very beneficial effect has been produced upon the boys of the Society by the institution of a regular half-holiday granted once in three weeks. Not a few, however, of the lads thus privileged decline to abandon their work when they happen to be posted at some lucrative station, where (at this time of the year) 58., or even 98., may be earned in a single day.
It has been already mentioned that the system of shoe-blacks in uniform has been extended to several towns of Great Britain. They are also to be found in Alexandria, and even in Sicily, where we learn from a correspondent that "shoe-blacks abound.”
We may mention that there has been invented for the shoe-blacks' uniform a new description of "badge,” the construction of which is very ingenious, and may be of use also for other purposes.
In concluding these remarks, it is thought right to state that the Committee of the Shoe-Black Society are increa singly sensible of the responsibility undertaken by them in providing for some fifty boys, thus dependent upon their Institution for employment. Experience as it is gained, is carefully applied to the improvement of their system, and while instances of ingratitude on the part of the boys are frequent enough to cause anxiety, and failures occur to repress undue confidence, yet the Committee, and those