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To the Editor of the Ragged School Union Magazine. DEAR SIR, -Illness detaining me from business, I have been thinking about Ragged Schools, and send you the result of my deliberations. My thoughts went in this direction : “ Ragged Schools are doing a great deal of good—What a large, universal, Christian idea—to go into the highways and hedges and compel thieves and vagabonds to come in and hear of the good things prepared for those that turn from their transgressions ! Nothing sectarian in this
-all men must applaud the effort; and then when the young urchins, at first a chaos of dirt without, and probably not clearer within, are reduced to a state of cleanliness and order—what a fine idea to ship them off to our colonies, where honesty and industry are at once rewarded! The Ragged School effort is worthy of a great nation. It is a national undertaking: Let the rate-payer consider what we are saving him in poor-rates, and in countyrates, and just subscribe a mite to our charity. A guinea a year to our Union saves the nation many guineas. I am persuaded of this fact, so ran my cogitations, şir; but I said to myself, How have I come to these conclusions ? Why, by spending twopence a month in buying and reading with pleasure the Ragged School Union Magazine. Until I read these pages, I had no idea how much good was being achieved. Now, how many thousands are still ignorant of the fact, that a £5 note will nearly take one wretched being out of the streets, save the country in poor-rates a large sum, and possibly in countyrates a still larger, and after doing all that man can do for washing him outside and “in,” export him to a country where the labour of one pair of hands much more suffices to fill one inside. Who, then, that could afford it, would not give a trifle ?
Now, to enlighten the public about the good Ragged Schools are doing, what better method than a larger gratuitous, but judicious circulation of the Magazine, and how easily this might be achieved
by each subscriber turning his guinea into 22s., his £5 into 5 guineas, the odd shillings to be spent in Magazines, and at the time of sending these odd shillings, let each friend give a hint to the Secretary in what direction, when he has copies to spare, one may be sent that would be likely to benefit the Society. I cannot but think many rich men in the country would be delighted at having their attention drawn to so excellent a mode of making a charitable investment. This is an investment beneficial to thieves, and the outcasts of society-beneficial to the nation, and so to each individual in the nation-beneficial to the giver, inasmuch as we can assure him, and that on the highest authority, that" he that hath pity upon the poor, lendeth unto the Lord; and that which he hath given will he pay him again.”. Such are my thoughts, Mr. Editor, which are at your service, if you think they can benefit the Society.
Yours obediently, E. H. [We are happy to add that the above correspondent inclosed £11. 1s.-£5 for the Ragged School Union ; £5 for the Emigration Fund ; £1. 1s. for Magazines, to be sent to friends named.-Ed.]
The Editor's Portfolio.
THE LOST CHILD. The cars had just arrived at a station where a change of coaches was necessary, and as there was an immense number of passengers, there was at once a general rush for seats. A lady made her appearance on the platform of a car with a young child in her arms, and joined the crowd to reach the new
As she came to the steps of the platform, a gentleman offered to assist her, and to do so took the child in his arms. The mother, with her arms full of baggage, pressed on and secured a seat in the cars which were to leave. The cry of the conductor, “all aboard,” was given, and the bell of the engine commenced ringing, as a token of its starting, when the young mother missed her babe. She had supposed the gentleman who took her child was following her, and as it was but the work of a few moments, did not observe his absence until the cars were again in motion. It was too late to stop, and all uncertainty to go on. The gush of tears and the wail of anguish from the mother's heart at this first and sudden separation from the object of her affection, attracted to her side at once a number of sympathizing passengers, and a gentleman at once started to examine the other cars for the lost child.
An hour afterwards I observed a lady with a young child, upon which she was bestowing, from time to time, the fondest and most expressive caresses of a mother's
love. It was the distracted mother restored to her lost child. Forced by the crowd, the gentleman had taken a seat with the child at the opposite extreme of a long trai: from where the mother was seated, and an interval of considerable time had elapsed before they could be brought together. Before, she was all anxiety and intensity of grief—"The mother weeping for her first-born.” Now intensity of joy lit up her countenance and flashed from every glance of her eye. She could not satisfy herself with the simple possession of her child, but would hold it out at arms' length, as if to get a more certain and assuring look of its presence, and then pressing it to her bosom, seemed to draw it the closer, lest it might again be separated from her.
As I watched these expressions of a mother's love, I thought of the good. ness that implanted that intensity of affection, and the object of it. How few parents realize this fact! How many a one yields to the pleasure which the presence of this feeling imparts, and forgets that God has also a higher motive than imparting pleasure to the parent in bestowing upon her the love of offspring! How many a mother will give to this feeling a wrong direction, and, for the fancied gratification of the present, lay up for herself years
of future trials and grief! This mother was agonized at the unexpected but temporary separation from her child; how then can she endure the years, and perhaps eternity, of separation, caused by her neglect of its spiritual wants and moral education ? How many a child, in after years of crime and attendant suffering, has bitterly reproached the memory of an affectionate but weak and misjudging mother! Oh! the responsibility of a parent is indeed a fearful one. It intermingles its ingredients of joy or sorrow with the whole cup of domestic and social life. It has to do with the highest interests of society and of the state. It goes further-it takes hold on eternity itself, and influences, no doubt, the future weal or woe of multitudes in the life to come. Can any one then trifle with so holy and yet so fearful an instrument which God has placed in an especial manner in the mother's breast? Should they not rather carry their little ones to their closets, and there, in daily and importunate supplication, plead for wisdom to assist and direct them aright in giving direction and character to immortal minds. If any one in this life needs grace and wisdom from above to assist them, it is a mother; upon her falls naturally the first duty of giving direction to her child's disposition and subsequent life. To whom should he look for instruction, or sanction to his conduct, except to her who gave him sustenance, and still sympathizes with him in all his necessities P' Children are often unreasonable and exacting. The mother is often prostrated by sickness, or overwhelmed with the cares of a large household. At such times irritability creeps in and gains possession of even a mother's heart, and the child's disposition carries the impression for a lifetime afterwards. Is there not need of grace here? The mother's influence, more than any other, stamps the character of the man. Many a good man, whose active Christian life has
guided multitudes into the path of duty, can date his own first religious impressions to the time when a mother first taught his infant lips to pray. Faith is needed for this work. A proud and obstinate child may conceal for years the effects of a mother's counsel and a mother's prayers, but the harvest will come, so sure as the seed is properly sown and watered. The motives are sufficient if realized-happiness and gratitude in this life, and a reunion with the loved ones in the world to come.-Howard.
THE MEMORY OF THE GOOD. Why is it that the names of Howard, and Thornton, and Clarkson, and Wilberforce, will be held in everlasting remembrance?' Is it not chiefly on account of their goodness, their Christian philanthropy, the overflowing and inexhaustible benevolence of their great minds ? Such men feel that they were not born for themselves, nor for the narrow circle of their kindred and acquaintances, but for the world and posterity. They delight in doing good on a great scale. Their talents, their property, their time, their knowledge, and experience, and influence, they hold in constant requisition for the benefit of the poor, the oppressed, and the perishing. You may trace them along the whole pathway of life by the blessings they scatter far and wide. They may be likened to yon noble river, which carries gladness and fertility from state to state, through all the length of that rejoicing valley which it was made to blessor to those summer showers, which pour gladness and plenty over all the regions that they visit, till they melt away in the glorious effulgence of the setting sun.
Such a man was Howard, the prisoner's friend. Christian philanthropy was the element in which he lived and moved, and out of which life would have been intolerable. It was to him that kings listened with astonishment, as if doubting from what world of pure disinterestedness he had come. To him despair opened her dungeons, and plague and pestilence could summon no terrors to arrest his investigation. In his presence, crime, though girt with the iron panoply of desperation, stood amazed and rebuked. With him home was nothing, country was nothing, health was nothing, life was nothing. His first and last question was, “What is the utmost I can do for degraded, depraved, bleeding humanity in all her prison houses ?” And what wonders did he accomplish! what astonishing changes in the whole system of prison discipline may be traced back to his disclosures and suggestions ! and how many millions, yet to be born, will rise up and call him blessed! Away, all ye Cæsars and Napoleons, to your own dark and frightful domains of slaughter and misery! Ye can no more endure the light of such a godlike presence, than the eye, already inflamed to torture by dissipation, can look the sun in the face at noonday.Dr. H. Humphrey.
Chapters on Prisons and Prisoners. By , linquent. We have only room for the
Rev.JOSEPH KINGSMILL, M.A., Chaplain following brief extracts, which will be of the Model Prison in Islington. Sold sufficient to show the character of the by J. H. Jackson, Islington Green ; work : and Seeleys, Fleet Street.
“The subject of prisons and prisoners This work will be found a valuable has now become a pressing and painfully addition to criminal and educational
interesting one, whether the expense alone literature; it is worthy a place in the be regarded, the public morals, or the library of every Ragged School, institution, claims of humanity. Few persons, exand of every individual engaged in seeking cept those who must, to discharge their to prevent crime, and to reclaim the de- duties aright, encounter the repulsive
THE CHILDREN'S GALLERY.
study of blue-book literature, or are con- may be added, on a most moderate calcunected with the detection or punishment lation, as much more on account of de of crime, have any adequate idea of the predations committed by the same per magnitude of the evil when viewed in sons when they escaped detection, making these respects.
in all about one quarter of a million “The expense is enormous. The daily sterling stolen by 2,000 criminals before average of prisoners, including debtors, sent out of the country. in the several prisons of England and " Then how horrible and extensive is Wales, was, in the year 1847, 13,541 the corruption of morals which goes on males, and 2,626 females, at an average in prison when the young and comparacost per head per annum of £29. 148. 13d. tively innocent are not separated from
“Of the enormous cost to the country the desperate and hardened. But the in the way of property stolen, it is not interests of humanity have a claim at possible to form any correct estimate. our hands as well as those of economy Some approximation, however, to the surely, or even morals. It was a noble probable amount may be arrived at from sentiment from the lips of a heathenThe following facts :--The total number Nihil humani alienum a me puto,' -of convicts sentenced to transportation What concerns man concerns me. And in England and Wales in one year is criminals, at the very worst, are men and about 3,000; and in 1847, I ascertained women of like passions with ourselves, or that 500 convicts, taken as they stand in children, as once we were. the Register of Pentonville prison, in " And so will every Christian think, Sixth Report, p. 28,) had stolen property and be ready to say with the apostle
, to the value of £10,000, as estimated Who hath made us to differ ?' and upon their trial for the offences for which with holy Bradford, when he saw a erithey had been transported. But as they minal pass, ‘Only for the grace of God, had, on an average, been convicted once there goes John Bradford. In fact, the at least of theft before, this may be safely individual that is farthest from sympathy doubled ; and being but one-sixth of the with the crime has often the largest pity whole number of transported persons, for the offender. He who alone was the result will be a loss, on the aggregate, without sin had most compassion for the of £120,000 for convicts alone. To this sinner."
The Children's Gallery.
THE RAGGED BOY'S PROGRESS.
Are running through the street,
And little food to eat.
And hair as black as jet,
A face you can't forget.
For one so small as him;
His hat's without a rim.
And says, " Oh! that's for me!
For ragged boys must be."
With open book in hand,
Among that ragged band.
In blacking boots and shoes,
As quick as people choose.
Some day he feels inclined to tell,
Another ragged boy,
Which cause him so much joy.
To make his Saviour known,
What Christ for him has done.
And finds some work to do, “For if there's will, there's always way,”
With him it proved quite true. And, who can tell, but by and bye,
When many years have flown,
That he can call his own?
Not made with hands” on high,
As well as you and I.
were brought to be carried in the procession, as emblematical of his three kingdoms, the king said there was one yet wanting. The nobles inquiring what it was, he answered, “THE BIBLE ;' adding, that book is the sword of the Spirit, and to be preferred before these swords. That ought, in all right, to govern us, who use them for the people's safety by God's appointment. Without that sword we are nothing, we can do nothing, we have no power. From that, we are what we are this day. From that we receive whatsoever it is that we at present do assume. He that rules without it is not to be called God's minister, or a king. Under that we ought to live, to fight, to govern the people, and to perform all our affairs. From that alone we obtain all power, virtue, grace, salvation, and whatwe have of
Divine strength.' When the pious young king had thus expressed himself, he commanded the Bible to be brought with the greatest reverence, and carried before him."
DOLPHIN COURT RAGGED SCHOOL.
TAB Annual Meeting of the above School was held at the Manor House Rooms, Hackney, on Tuesday evening, March 23rd. Thomas Fowell Buxton, Esq., in the Chair.
The Meeting, which was numerously attended, was addressed by the Rev. Henry Hughes, M.A., Rev. Hugh Allen, M.A., Mr. J. G. Gent, J. Lawless, Esq., and Mr. Henry Carter.
We are happy to learn from the interesting Report read on the occasion, that our friends are still persevering in their important labours in the very needy and poverty-stricken locality in which the school is situated, and that encouraging success has attended their operations.
The average attendance at the Sunday School is 150; the Day School, in the morning 170—in the afternoon 140. The progress of the Evening School is greatly retarded for want of teachers. The Shoe-making Industrial Class is still conducted on a small scale, in consequence of the limited state of funds. The Girls' Sewing Class, numbering about 40, is increasing in efficiency and importance.
Through the liberality of a lady and gentleman, 60 children have been provided with clothing so as to enable them to attend public worship, which they do every Sabbath, and a substantial meal is given twice a week to the scholars. One youth has been sent to Australia, his outfit being provided by a lady, and his passage by the Ragged School Union.
A Juvenile Refuge for boys and girls, with accommodation for 22, has been established, con
AN OBJECT OF PITY.
Outweighing worlds in worth;
Assum'd a human birth,
Poor ragged boy! he has a mind
Form'd by power Divine;
It may in beauty shine.
In sin and folly's ways;
By renovating grace.
The woes that break our rest;
Enough to melt the breast.
And make his soul our care;
In holy fervent prayer.
And make him upright move;
And seek the Saviour's love.
templating, as means increase, to augment the number to 50. The Library and Clothing Fund have been found very useful during the past year. A treat of roast beef and plum pudding was provided for 200 children at Christmas last, by special contributions for that purpose.
The receipts for the past year have amounted to £268. 18.5}d.; the expenditure £228. 78. 61d.
KING'S CROSS RAGGED SCHOOLS. The Annual Meeting of this Institution was held on Friday evening, the 25th of March, in the East St. Pancras National Schoolroom, Gray's Inn Road.
Wm. Cubitt, Esq., M.P., occupied the Chair.
From the Report, we gather that our friends here are progressing satisfactorily and encouragingly. The Week Evening School for Boys has an average attendance of from 30 to 45. The Friday Evening School, for Girls, musters about 57, who are taught by 10 gratuitous teachers. From 80 to 90 children attend the Sunday School, who are taught by about 14 teachers. A Clothing Fund bas been established, by which 340 articles have been distri. buted among 65 children, who have deposited their pence towards them, such deposits having amounted to above £10,
The Industrial School for Boys goes on steadily. Since its commencement 53 boys have been admitted to it, of whom some have left of their own accord, but 30 have been sent out to situations; 14 are now in the school.
A Dormitory has been added to the school, and four lads are domiciled in it.