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MORNING AND EVENING
WORKHOUSES AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS.
FOR TWO WEEKS, AND FOR
THE PRINCIPAL FESTIVALS OF THE CHURCH.
WILLIAM HUNT AND COMPANY,
HOLLES STREET, CAVENDISH SQUARE.
I HAVE been asked to recommend a suitable form of Prayers for Workhouses; and I have sought in vain for what seemed to me to be so. Morning and evening Prayers for the use of families can indeed be found, adapted to all purposes and wants; but it is obvious that such wants are not likely to be exactly those of persons living in totally different circumstances.
I have met with no collections of Prayers except for family households and schools; to neither of which group of persons do the inmates of public institutions belong. These have their own peculiar circumstances, duties and trials, though of course in one sense they have all the same needs to express, and the same Mediator to present their prayers before the mercy seat.
In the selection I have made from various sources, I have endeavoured as far as possible to find prayers adapted to persons living in the peculiar conditions of inmates of Institutions, and especially of Workhouses; or perhaps I should
rather say that I have omitted what I thought was not suited to them.
The case of the sick I have not made prominent, because I believe that these prayers are chiefly desired for, and will be used in, the common Hall, or Chapel, where the general body of inmates assemble for morning and evening worship, which is in most cases conducted by the Master, as head of the establishment; the Chaplain, not being resident in these Institutions, is not usually present at these times. But besides this general use, I cannot but hope that these prayers may be found acceptable in the separate Wards also, where I am thankful to know, that the custom is increasingly prevailing for the nurse, or one of the most capable and suitable inmates, to read prayers aloud daily to her companions.
And I would here take the opportunity of urging upon all Masters and Matrons, the duty and the benefits of adopting this plan in their respective spheres. It was first introduced in a Workhouse where I have visited for many years, and witnessed some changes of management, by a good Master and Matron to whom it seemed a godless and grievous state of things, that day
after day should go by in the wards of sick and aged, and dying souls, rapidly passing into eternity, without the sound of prayer or praise ever rising from them, except at the weekly visit of the Chaplain; hardly one probably of the inmates being themselves able to read. For the Christian Institutions of this Christian land, so ready to boast of its charity and its piety, this hardly seems a state of things to dwell upon with satisfaction; and we are surely bound to take what simple means we can, and such as are within our reach, to remedy it. One such means is in the power of every Master and Matron, by selecting a person in each ward to perform the easy duty of reading aloud one of these short forms, in the hearing of the rest. And some at least we may hope, will welcome the plan, as I know many have done; and may be the better helped to bear their burden of sorrow or suffering, when the words of prayer and of God's Holy Word have sounded in their ears on first awaking in the morning, and again at night.
I have added a few Hymns in the hope that the custom may be adopted, if it is not already, of singing to the praise and glory of God, as well as making known to Him wants in prayer. The