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Bridgman and Oliver Caswall, described in "American Notes." It has even suggested itself to us that God allowed two such unhappy little ones to be upon the stage of life at the same time that they might together feel their way into intelligence. The practical lesson to us all is to be thankful for our senses, educate them to perfection, learn all we can by means of them, and use them for the glory of God. Ye who have eyes, observe the handiwork of your Maker, consider his marvellous works, and read constantly in his word. Eyes are not sent to aid us in regarding vanity, or to flash with the glances of passion, but to weep for sin, and to be lifted in gratitude to the Redeemer God. Ye who have ears, hear the word of God with attention and grateful obedience. Such delicate organs are not intended to pollute the mind with the hearing of lascivious or idle talk, but to edify the soul with holy instruction. Ye who have tongues, sing unto the Lord, and speak well of his name. Let those who are fluent consecrate their utterance unto the Lord, proclaiming to all around them the gospel of Jesus; and let all, whether old or young, endeavour to sing the praises of God, ay, and to sing them well too; let the voice be cultivated, so that public worship in the department of song may be rendered to the Lord in the best and most harmonious manner. Surely it cannot be right that the devil and the flesh should have the best music. No, let us give eye and ear and tongue to him who in his bounty gave to us these precious boons, and in his tenderness has preserved to us the use of them.
John Ploughman on others.
C. H. S.
OST men are what their mothers made them. The father is away from home all day, and has not half the influence over the children that the mother has. The cow has most to do with the calf. If a ragged colt grows into a good horse, we know who it is that combed him. A mother is therefore a very responsible woman, even though she may be the poorest in the land, for the bad or the good of her boys and girls very much depends upon her. Just as she bends the twigs the trees will grow. As is the gardener such is the garden, as is the wife such is the family. Samuel's mother made him a little coat every year, but she had done a deal for him before that: Samuel would not have been Samuel if Hannah had not been Hannah. We shall never see a better set of men till the mothers are better. We must have Sarahs and Rebekahs before we shall see Isaacs and Jacobs. Grace does not run in the blood, but we generally find that the Timothies have mothers of a godly sort.
Little children give their mothers the headache, but if she lets them have their own way, when they grow up to be great children they will give her the heartache. Foolish fondness spoils many, and letting faults alone spoils more. Gardens that are never weeded will grow very little worth gathering; all watering and no hoeing will make a bad crop. A child may have too much of its mother's love, and in the long run it may turn out that it had too little. Soft-hearted mothers rear softheaded children; they hurt them for life because they are afraid of
hurting them when they are young. Coddle your children, and they will turn out noodles. A boy who is his mother's duck generally grows up to be a great goose. You may sugar a child till everybody is sick of it. Boys' jackets need a little dusting every now and then, and girls' dresses are all the better for occasional trimming. Children without chastisement are fields without ploughing, and vines without pruning. The very best colts want breaking in. Not that we like severity; cruel mothers are not mothers, and those who are always flogging and faultfinding ought to be flogged themselves. There is reason in all things, as the madman said when he cut off his nose.
Good mothers are very dear to their children. There's no mother in the world like our own mother. My friend Sanders, from Glasgow, says, "The mither's breath is aye sweet." Every mother is a handsome woman to her own son. That man is not worth hanging who does not love his mother. When good women lead their little ones to the Saviour, the Lord Jesus blesses not only the children, but their mothers as well. Happy are they among women who see their sons and their daughters walking in the truth.
He who thinks it easy to bring up a family never had one of his own. A mother who trains her children aright had need be wiser than Solomon, for his son turned out a fool. Some children are perverse from their infancy; none are born perfect, but some have a double share of imperfections. Do what you will with some children, they don't improve. Wash a dog, comb a dog, still a dog is but a dog : trouble seems thrown away on some children. Such cases are meant to drive us to God, for he can turn blackamoors white, and cleanse out the leopard's spots. It is clear that whatever faults our children have, we are their parents, and we cannot find fault with the stock they came off. Wild geese do not lay tame eggs. That which is born of a hen will be sure to scratch in the dust. The child of a cat will hunt after mice. Every creature follows its kind. If we are black, we cannot blame our offspring if they are dark too. Let us do our best with them, and pray the Mighty Lord to put his hand to the work. Children of prayer will grow up to be children of praise; mothers who have wept before God for their sons, will one day sing a new song over them. If boys are not born with a chifney bit in their mouths, and therefore run wild, the Lord can bring them back, however far afield they may gallop. Some colts often break the halter, and yet become quiet in harness. God can make those new whom we cannot mend, therefore let mothers never despair of their children as long as they live. Are they away from you across the sea? Remember the Lord is there as well as here. Prodigals may wander, but they are never out of sight of the Great Father, even though they may be "a great way off."
Let mothers labour to make home the happiest place in the world. If they are always nagging and grumbling they will lose their hold of their children, and the boys will be tempted to the public-house or the billiard table, or some other dangerous ground. By the way, those billiard tables at public-houses are everywhere now-a-days, and are desperate snares to young fellows who have time on their hands. Home is the best place for boys and men, and a good mother is the soul of home. The smile of a mother's face has enticed many into the right
path, and the fear of bringing a tear into her eye has called off many a man from evil ways. The boy may have a heart of iron, but his mother can hold him like a magnet. The devil never reckons a man to be lost so long as he has a good mother alive. O woman, great is thy power! See to it that it be used for him who thought of his mother even in the agonies of death.
Our Public Servants.
BY G. HOLDEN PIKE.
THOSE classes in London whom we call public servants, form so large a class, that many evangelists are appointed specially to labour among them, and this division of labour answers well. Police constables, railway-men, cab and omnibus drivers, postmen and others, readily recognise in their missionary a kind of pastor and adviser valuable alike in need or adversity. If adapted to his work he is sure to make way in his constituents' favour, and men who commence their acquaintance with sneers learn to change their tone to one of respect. It was wise on the part of the London City Mission to appoint class missionaries; men who unceasingly minister to our daily convenience deserve this kind of attention, and will probably receive more sympathy as we more correctly realise what kind of an outlay is necessary for producing the accommodation we daily accept as a matter of course. How little are we accustomed to consider the cost of those luxuries which are considered a part of our everyday life.
The business of cab and omnibus attendants may be classed among the hardest of callings, and few are equal to its inconveniences. Many on the stands are persons who have failed in their proper professions. Many may be men of a low origin, but instances abound in which the unfortunate can speak of gentle birth, and even of a roinantic life-career. A man of education, and accustomed to good society in his younger days, has been found driving a cab; his grandsire was a well-todo minister of the Established Church, while his father practised as a solicitor. After squandering three thousand pounds, this individual served a time in prison for assaulting a "fare," then became converted, and lived a creditable Christian life.
Concerning the men in general, we are told by a visitor among them that "numbers have been employed in very different occupations to the one they now follow. In fact, among them are found some of almost every class or occupation; broken-down tradesmen, reduced gentlemen, and in two or three instances which have come under my cognizance, men who were once ministers of the gospel, but having made shipwreck of faith and a good conscience, have been reduced to this mode of getting a livelihood. Numbers of the men are young and thoughtless, giving full swing to their corrupt inclinations, living in drunkenness, uncleanness and debauchery, laughing at a hereafter, and also setting God at defiance; without even a home or a lodging, sleeping night after night in the cab, the stable, or in houses of ill-fame; and after a
few brief years of sin and folly they sink under a diseased frame, and are consigned to a premature grave."
Cabmen sometimes harbour doubts in regard to the sincerity of religious professors, in consequence of being required to drive them to their respective places of worship on the Sabbath. A member of the fraternity once told a piece of his experience. He formerly drew part of his income from a lady who was regularly driven to church on Sundays, but being accused by conscience, it was proposed that the driver should put up his horse and attend worship as well as the lady. To this the cabman objected, saying, that his attending church after driving there to earn money would amount to a mockery of sacred things, and he thought their conduct was also sheer mockery who employed such as himself to do what they would consider sinful if done by themselves. This view of the question so far troubled the lady that she resolved for the future to walk instead of riding. She even called on the cabman to explain her purpose, in the meantime begging of him to cease Sunday work, and in case of his compliance, promised to recommend him to the notice of friends. "So, sir," the narrator finished by saying, "both of us keep the Sabbath."
Cab and omnibus men have their prejudices, and do not care to associate with one another, though an outsider might not easily decide which stood first in social order, the cab or the omnibus profession. Probably the omnibus-men should be in better circumstances than others, seeing their wages are not so precarious, and do not depend on the caprice of the weather. Yet the omnibus-man is taught by his surroundings to be carelessly improvident. Working an excessive number of hours, the man tastes little of domestic comfort. His world is in the street, and in that world he passes nearly all his time. His wages equal those of an ordinary mechanic, but to him they are less, because what he receives is expended to disadvantage. There is no nine hours' movement for him; he would thank any social reformer who would undertake to reduce his labour to twelve hours a day, seven days a week, with proper times for meals allowed. As it is, he must pay a high price for indifferent dinners, and through the constant wear and tear of Sabbathless weeks he grows prematurely old. This is not right, this wearing out of human flesh and blood, as though human beings were of commercial value only. Free trade when allowed to extend its empire to human flesh and blood is pushed beyond the allowable limit. In their eagerness to push their way through a hard world, men may so recklessly sacrifice life and health as to warrant legislative interference.
Agents of the London City Mission who follow these men to their every-day avocations become well acquainted with their prejudices and habits, and one of their number may frequently be observed in the yard of any one of the London railway termini. Though perhaps not recognised by all, the visitor will be known to the majority of the men on duty as he gathers a group around him, with whom he converses in familiar strains on the pressing subject of religion. It is necessary that a man filling this arduous office shall be one of even temper and of a ready utterance. Thus, a sour-dispositioned man comes up whose prejudices against Christianity have been taken from religious "fares."
One such is offered a tract, which he refuses with an oath. To return railing for railing would ruin the best endeavours, but to behave so as meekly to condemn unseemly conduct is to advance in the esteem of all the men. "You blackguard," one will exclaim to a rough-spoken comrade; "how dare you use such language to one who comes civilly to us to do us good. You shall not insult him." "Go and sell your tracts for waste paper, it's all they're good for," cries another. Still the distributor must remain unruffled, and as he stoops to recover a paper from the mud, he is rewarded; for says a man," Please to let me have it. I know 'tis God's truth; and though I am not a religious man, I hope I shall be. Don't be hurt, sir, at that man's conduct. He's a fool and don't know any better." Even in uncanny encounters substantial advantage is gained, and offenders who have once been made to feel the stings of shame are not likely to lightly repeat the offence. "Bring me a piece of bread-and-cheese to-morrow instead of a tract," said a surly fellow. "If you don't keep a civil tongue in your head, we'll inform the police, and you'll lose your number," was the ready reply of others. So do the worst attributes of one draw forth the sympathy of his companions. It should also be remembered that tract distribution among these men is considered a good expenditure of seedsowing, since they have time at their disposal for reading what is given them while waiting on the stands. To pass from stand to stand scattering the seeds of Scripture truth is to gain favour with the men. They shew an eagerness to possess the tracts on account of the eagerness they create at home. "Have you seen the tract man to-day," a cabman's wife will enquire on her husband's coming home late at night. Then on a Saturday evening, or on a Sabbath morning, youngsters who have learned to read in the Sunday school will be disappointed if their father's great-coat does not contain a paper-a "British Workman," or a picture tract.
The roughest and perhaps the most unpromising characters in London are the unlicensed drivers-odd men whom any master may employ, if need arise, for one day. But even these may be subjects of misfortune, and misfortune begets careless habits. In general the London men are said to be less favourably situated than their own class in the provinces, as the London masters are more exacting than others. Rough, unfeeling men, who are ever ready to sacrifice their own honour and the comfort of others for money are of their number, if they do not constitute the majority of the whole class. Oppressed and ill-treated, strangers to sympathy, and too often never tasting of the comforts of home, looked upon suspiciously by the public, and constantly reminded by their employers that it will be time to begin resting at death, they are disciplined in a rough school-a school in which the graces of humanity cannot grow until Christianity comes, and with quiet force expels all meanness from the heart wherein it asserts its own gentle reign.
A good work is in progress among this class, and many are the trophies won from their ranks. Those who are appointed to evangelise among them become valued advisers; and drivers, while passing along the street, will notice their benefactor by a friendly nod. Only the lowest and most depraved are rough and uncivil, and missionary zeal