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Of Nature's fondest sympathies, are here
United in a holy fellowship
Of peace and love! Behold a garland twined
Of scatter'd buds, whose parent stems have all
Untimely perish'd, leaving these to fall
Unshelter'd on the bleak and barren waste,
And wither ere they bloom ; the trembling sport
Of every wintry blast or ruthless step,
That in its selfish course doth trample down
The desolate and weak; or worse, far worse,
The prey of wicked hands, intent to seize

And turn their sweets to poison.” The truthfulness of such plaintive and touching sentiments has a painful verification in the experience of many that cross our path, as we prosecute our peregrinations in the Ragged School vineyard. It would be easy to fill volumes with the tales of hardships, corruptions, and sufferings, into which the sad misfortune of such has plunged them, and the timely and well-adapted aid of the Ragged School and the Ragged School Teacher. The following, however, selected from a group of instances, must suffice for the present.

It was on the Sabbath evening previous to the Annual Meeting, that we bent our steps to a Ragged School in the east of London, to join the faithful band of teachers, who, in compliance with the advertised desire of the Committee of the Union, were about to assemble for prayer—"that God's blessing may rest upon the Ragged School Union Meeting, and give success to the Ragged School effort throughout the coming year.". The attendance was good, and the devotions, characterised by steady spiritual fervour, led us to feel that the Divine presence was in our midst. But there was one youth-a teacher-whose prayer, on account of its extreme simplicity, and the deep pathos with which it was offered, greatly interested us. We made subsequent inquiries, and ascertained the following facts, which constitute a brief sketch of his history. He is an orphan, having lost both his parents in early life

“ He never knew his mother's love,

Nor prized her kiss' so fond and warm ;
Nor could recall one trace to prove

How lovely was her angel form.” All he remembers of his father, is his death-bed scene. His parents gone, he was soon found amongst the group of young paupers within the walls of the workhouse. And there he continued, living upon the hard fare, and enduring the hardships pertaining to such in such circumstances. All the disadvantages arising from the corrupting influences of such associations were his, with a little secular instruction, and a little of the form of a Christian education to counterbalance, until time declared him eligible for an apprenticeship. A master was sought and found for him some eighty miles from London. The fact of his being a friendless orphan might have led him to calculate that kindness at least was secured to him. Little did he dream that, in his case, apprenticeship was only another word for slavery; and that the name of master signified a tyrant, as, alas ! it proved. For instead of his path to manhood being somewhat soothed, and his moral and spiritual well-being cultivated, the cup of bitterness was daily presented to him, producing a distaste for honest labour. The cruelties heaped upon him were such, that disinterested observers, interfered, and brought the cruel master to justice. By fair promises to treat him more kindly for the future he escaped punishment, and retained possession of his apprentice. The sequel, however, proved that this circumstance only tended to enrage the tyrant, who, instead of relaxing, only heaped his cruelties upon him more than ever, until the poor friendless boy could bear it no longer, and he ran away. Ill-clad, moneyless, and friendless, he walked the long eighty miles to London, begging for food, and taking shelter where he might haply find it. Without

character or friend, he wandered about the streets for four months, sleeping in the open air, having only been successful on three occasions to obtain a place of repose, where he could enjoy the luxury of an undress. He formed an acquaintance with a youth in like condition with himself, and resolved on travelling the country in company with him. He did so, sharing with him great and continued hardships; but returning to London, without knowing why or what for, his steps were most providentially directed to the Ragged School. He entered, an object of pity and commiseration. His shoeless feet were bruised and bleeding, and his countenance haggard and care-worn. The school was to him a house of mercy. Here he found that there was such a thing as Christian sympathy and kindness. Harsh and hard words, varied with occasional blows, from past experience, was all he was led to expect as a reply to his entreaties, treated as a scoundrel and a vagabond. But here one of the teachers washed his feet, dressed his wounds, and fed his hungry body. The principle of gratitude within, hitherto not wrought upon, began to develop itself, He went again and again, and became attached to his teacher—his only earthly friend.

He expressed a desire to lead a different life from that he never would have chosen, but was forced into by a succession of adversities; and comm

omunicating his desire to his teacher, now his bosom friend, an effort was made, and a situation obtained for him. From that time to the present his conduct has been irreproachable. He is now to be seen numbered among the teachers of the school, in very creditable attire, the result of his own industry; and there is good ground to entertain a hope that he has not only been rescued from being a pest to society, and benefited temporally, mentally, and morally, but that the instructions imparted have, by the Divine blessing, resulted in his decided conversion to God. On this assumption he has been admitted a member of a Christian church.

It is about six months since the worthy superintendent informed us, that he for the first time addressed the scholars of the school in which he has been thus benefited. And while it was gratifying, it was truly affecting to hear him describe his own condition when he entered the school, and contrast it with his present position-stating, that while he felt he owed much to his teachers, he owed all to God.

Is not this, we ask, a brand plucked from the burning? And may we not with propriety say of those dear friends, who labour among such

"Oh! 'tis well:
The pure in heart, the merciful have raised
The unblown flowers, unsullied from the dust,
And wreathed them as an offering meet for Him
Who is the Father of the fatherless.
He knows the strong temptations that beset
Neglected children in their dawn of life;
And smiles on those who act the blessed part
Of guardian angels to the hapless ones,
Doom’d, in their feeble infancy, to roam
The world's dread wilderness, without a guide."

FIELD LANE RAGGED CHURCH. PROMINENT among the agencies employed in this school for the rescue of our fallen brethren is the “ Ragged Church.” Even if no manifest spiritual results had ensued, it at least presents a satisfactory reply

to the question, “Have the very poor the Gospel preached to them?and foils the exclamation, “ No man careth for my soul.” For by opening the upper school-room for the proclama. tion of the Gospel, on the morning of the Lord's Day, they are provided with a place of worship, where, however rudely attired, or depressed in moral and social position, they can feel at home. The interest which this service has recently

For some

excited, amply testifies, that when the Gospel trumpet does not give an uncertain sound, the wretched and the vile are as ready to listen now, as they were when the great Preacher, taking the lily for the text, taught on the slopes of Olivet.

The attendance has been 280, and latterly it has increased to 350. time it was difficult to obtain the attendance of females ; but recently a pleasing change in this respect has occurred, and thus out of a congregation in April of 361, 170 were females, many of them outcasts, but all very poor. As might be expected, the aspect of the congregation is most strange, composed as it is of the dregs of all classes. There, for example, is to be seen the cunning expression of the cadger ; the sharp acute face of the street-minstrel; the costermonger out of work; the cropped head of the felon, who has just left jail; the pallid and thinlyclad woman, weakened by long continued sickness and penury; and the tall spare form of him, who, once in affluence, has “wasted his substance in riotous living,” and found in the end that there is no master so hard to serve as Satan! The congregation is as varied, too, in its moral characteristics. The penitent thief and the reformed Magdalene; the bold blasphemer, whose gentlest word is an oath; the sailor discharged for drunkenness; the female, discarded by her family through her profligate habits; and those who are not vicious, but weak in body, and weaker in brain-listen earnestly to the best tidings that ever reached earth. The aspect of the congregation is deepened in its singularity by the fact, that it is composed of the seething dregs of all nations. Amongst the most regular and the most attentive attendants is a bronzed native of Calcutta. The negro, too, with his earnest gazing physiognomy, is there. The ethnologist would readily detect the round head and blue eye of the sons of the north. The sister countries also contribute their representatives : the Scotchman, thoughtful even amidst his degeneracy; and the Hibernian, smiling in spite of his daily cares. Occasionally the descendant of the "friend of God” blends his deep bass in the song which tells of the glories of Jehovah! Yea,“ every one that is in distress, and every one that is in debt, and every one that is discontented, resort, to this modern cave of Adullam," and find shelter, if they do not meet with that peace which springeth from pardoned sin.

The extent of the lasting and spiritual good that has accrued, must remain for the revelations of that great day, when preacher and hearer shall stand before the Throne. But it is satisfactory to know that many so prize this opportunity of attending public worship, as to invite others to attend the house of prayer. Often, too, have we seen the congregation bathed in tears, and the whole frame quiver with emotion, as the fearful penalty of sin has been declared, and the exceeding grace of the Redeemer has been proclaimed. Thus, one morning when that hymn, so dear to Christians, “Come, let us join our cheerful songs, was repeated by the preacher, a miserable looking female, who attended for the first time, evidently felt it as an appeal to some hidden chord of feeling, for she burst into an agony of grief, which ceased not during the whole service. Their singing, also, is oftentimes so devotional, as to testify that the lip embodies the feelings of the soul; whilst their response to the prayer, which gives liberty to the vilest to address the common Benefactor by the endearing name of Father, is most impressive.

It is possible that, as in congregations of greater pretensions, the emotions thus aroused are evanescent; and that, fading when the echo of the preacher's voice has ceased, the soul still sleeps on; yet, whatever be the present effect of this service, we are assured that He who gave the command, “ Preach the Gospel to every creature,” will not permit this effort of compliance with his tender injunction to pass by unblessed. Rather, through faith in the efficacy of the simple Gospel to soften the most stubborn soul, and through the mighty operation of the Holy Ghost, which checked the profligate Mary Magdalene and a murderous Saul of Tarsus, we anticipate that, when the great harvest is ingathered, many ransomed spirits will unite in the anthem, “ Unto Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,” who first caught the accents (of mercy in Field Lane Ragged Church.

A RAGGED SCHOOL IN ST. PETERSBURGH.

We have before us the Eighteenth Report of the above institution. It is called The School for Poor Children of Foreigners in St. Petersburgh.” It may be interesting to our readers (especially at this moment), to glance at a page or two of this document. It is in the French language, and is for 1850.*

After stating that some rooms have been added in the past year, and a new master engaged, it says :

“ This establishment continues to enjoy the distinguished advantage that was bestowed upon it by the high patronage and munificence of their Imperial Majesties, the Emperor and Empress, together with that of the members of their august house, and the managers are constrained to express their sentiments of most humble gratitude

, while they supplicate the King of kings to recompense largely to these illustrious benefactors the generous aid that they constantly give to the poor of this metropolis."

This paragraph may probably give a new idea of the Russian liberality and Russian piety to some of our readers. The directors next state that they are resolved to persevere in this effort, to “spread still more widely the blessing of a CHRISTIAN EDUcation among the poor strangers of St. Petersburgh," and invite all friends to visit the school and judge for themselves. It appears, that in 1850 there were 57 boys and 61 girls admitted to the school, making since the foundation, 2,946 boys, and 2,097 girls ; and that there were in attendance in that year, 143 boys and 160 girls ; most of these were Germans, that is, 216 out of the 303, and only one English boy appears on the list.

The Report concludes with a statement that is very pleasing, reminding us of our Penny BANKS or CLOTHING FUND at home, though not quite the same.

“ The contribution of ten cop (3 d. or 3}d.) a month on the part of the scholars has been continued till now; and has produced about 127 rbls on the part of the boys, and 197 rbls on the part of the girls.* These sums have furnished shoes and stockings to 193 of the most necessitous among them; and at the same time has served as a strong means to excite sympathy and kind affections, as well in the children as in the parents less poor, towards those who were more necessitous than themselves. Since the introduction of this system, the amount of this contribution has risen to 7,839 rbls (about £1,175), which has procured comfort for 4,522 children.”

This last statement is really very gratifying, and may give our friends a hiat for their guidance at home, as voluntary contributions in Ragged Schools for the most necessitous is a somewhat novel feature.

The financial statement also reads us one lesson; for while we in London often only give a female teacher £45 or £50, they pay theirs £75! and we are not aware that expenses for living are more in St. Petersburgh than in London. The institution receives from Government one-half the male teacher's salary; and a sum of £21 a year, as the “ annual subscription of Her Majesty, the Imperial Mother of glorious memory, which the emperor has graciously ordered to be continued."

The annual subscriptions and donations amount to nearly £400.+

* If we can obtain a later Report we shall notice it on another occasion.

+ The Report is signed by three gentlemen of the Committee, and the Treasurer and Secretary, Archdeacon Merrilees, who we are happy to find is a Scotchman. A good many English are subscribers, and we hope the present war will not injure this effort in favour of poor neglected outcasts, which we have thus briefly laid before our readers.

THE WAR-BUT NOT AGAINST RUSSIA. ANOTHER attack has been made on the kingdom of Satan, under the leadership of an experienced soldier of the cross, the Rev. Hugh Allen, of St. Jude's, Whitechapel. Such of our readers as may happen to be acquainted with that district will readily admit, that it affords an ample field for Christian enterprise. We ourselves can speak somewhat feelingly upon the subject, inasmuch as our lot has been cast therein; and we have enjoyed the pleasure of having had our pocket picked half a dozen times of an equal number of silk handkerchiefs, value one pound four shillings sterling. Mr. Allen, whose large Christian heart is unceasingly occupied with desires after the welfare, temporal and eternal, of his poor people, has recently rented a large room in a narrow lane, called George Yard, at the back of Commercial Street, in which he proposes establishing week-day classes for adults and children, and holding conversational and prayer meetings on the Sabbath. The suitableness of such a locality for such a purpose is easily established. We felt profoundly convinced of it the first time we paid it a visit, and have seen no reason since then for changing our opinion. In company with Mr. Allen, we visited the place immediately after he had succeeded in securing the room ; and at once had ocular demonstration of the need of something being done there to stem the tide of evil. Hearing a cry behind us, we turned and looked ; and lo, two men came running up the lane at full speed, the last one bawling out most lustily, “Stop, thief !” Deeming it our duty to the public to endeavour to arrest the depredator, we gave the fellow a smart push as he passed, and succeeded in doing two things; first, in dashing him against the wall ; second, in spraining our right hand; but to no purpose. He speedily recovered himself, and bore triumphantly onwards for a space; although we are glad to be able to state that he was ultimately obliged to drop the silk handkerchief which he had stolen, as a peace-offering to his pursuer. The noise brought a crowd of people to their doors ; none of whom seemed to agree with us in our view of public duty, inasmuch as they permitted the thief to pass on, without let or hindrance. Amongst others who made their appearance were a number of women, some of whom looked out at the windows, and some came out of the door of a house almost immediately opposite the proposed Ragged School room, and whose appearance afforded unmistakeable evidence of the nature of their calling, and therefore of the character of their dwelling. « This street or court is tenanted by thieves ; this by prostitutes ; this is principally occupied by low lodging houses;" was in general terms the account we received of the various places through which we passed. “ Into this place, no man who has a regard to his own character would venture alone,” was the startling announcement, when we stood at the end of Alley.

Such is Whitechapel, and such is George Yard and neighbourhood. It will be allowed, that a better locality for a Mission Church or a Ragged School could not well be selected. It is in the very midst of this miserable population that Mr. Allen has planted his batteries, and most heartily do we wish him God speed in his Christian work. These batteries began to play on the evening of the second of May, and discharged an immense quantity of hot tea and bread and butter into the heart, or rather, to speak more correctly, into the stomachs of the enemy.

This was followed by close and sustained cannonade of Christian exhortation, which lasted for upwards of two hours, and made an excellent impression. We entered the place while the St. Jude's ladies were dispensing their good things; and must accord our meed of applause at the courageous manner in which the foe withstood the onslaught. Upwards of two hundred men and women were comfortably seated in a large, clean, lofty, well. lighted room, and although the quantity of ammunition expended upon them was enormous, they never flinched for a moment. Not one ran away.

" Ah! this is all very well,” said we to ourselves ; “but stay till the speeches begin, and see

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