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´╗┐Title: God's Answers
 - A Record of Miss Annie Macpherson's Work at the Home of Industry, Spitalfields, London, and in Canada
Author: Lowe, Clara M. S.
Language: English
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GOD'S ANSWERS:

A RECORD OF

MISS ANNIE MACPHERSON'S WORK

AT THE HOME OF INDUSTRY, SPITALFIELDS, LONDON,
AND IN CANADA.

CLARA M. S. LOWE

"Peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God
helpeth thee."

--1 CHRON. xii. 18.



CONTENTS.


INTRODUCTION


CHAPTER I.

1861-1869.

Prayer of Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel--Residence in Cambridgeshire--
Visit to London in 1861, and first attendance at Barnet Conferences--
Visit of Rev. W. and Mrs. Pennefather--East of London, 1861--Left
Cambridgeshire, 1865--Work in Bedford Institute--1866: Voyage to New
York and return, 1867--First girl rescued--Matchbox-makers--First boy
rescued--Revival Refuge open for boys and girls--1868: Home of
Industry secured--1869: Opened.


CHAPTER II.

1869-1870.

Emigration of families--A visitor's impressions--The great life-work
--Emigration of the young, begun 1870--First party of boys to Canada
with Miss Macpherson and Miss Bilbrough--Their reception--Mr. Merry
takes oat second party out boys--Miss Macpherson returns to England
and takes out a party of girls--Canadian welcome and happy homes--
Canadian pastor's story.


CHAPTER III.

1870-1871.

Workers' meetings at Home of Industry--Training Home at Hampton
opened--Personal experiences--Welcome in Western Canada--Help for a
Glasgow Home--Scottish Ferryman--"Out of the mouths of babes and
sucklings"


CHAPTER IV.

1872.

The need of a Home further West--Burning of the Marchmont Home--Home
restored by Canadian gifts--Miss Macpherson and Miss Reavell arrive
in Canada--First visit to Knowlton in the East--Belleville Home
restored by Canadian friends--Help for the Galt Home--Miss Macpherson
returns to England--Miss Reavell remains at Galt


CHAPTER V.

1872-1874.

Letter from Rev. A. M. W. Christopher--Letter from Gulf of St.
Lawrence--Mrs. Birt's sheltering Home, Liverpool--Letter to Mrs.
Merry--Letter from Canada--Miss Macpherson's return to England--
Letter of cheer for Dr. Barnardo--Removal to Hackney Home


CHAPTER VI.

1875-1877.

Mrs. Way's sewing-class for Jewesses--Bible Flower Mission--George
Clarke--Incidents in Home work--The Lord's Day--Diary at sea--Letters
of cheer from Canada


CHAPTER VII.

1877-1879.

"They helped every one his neighbour"--Miss Child, a fellow labourer
--The work in Ratcliff Highway--Strangers' Rest for Sailors--"Welcome
Home"--"Bridge of Hope"--Miss Macpherson's twenty-first voyage to
Canada--Explosion on board the "Sardinian"--Child-life in the Galt
Home--The Galt Home now devoted to children from London, Knowlton to
those from Liverpool, and Marchmont to Scottish Emigrants


CHAPTER VIII.

1879-1880.

Experiences among Indians--Picnic in the Bush--Distribution Of
Testaments--"Till He Come"--"A Home and a hearty Welcome"


CHAPTER IX.

Questions and Answers--Sorrowful cases--Testimonies from those who
have visited Canada--Stewardship



INTRODUCTION

BY

THE REV. JOHN MACPHERSON,

_Author of "The Life of Duncan Mathieson."_


From East London to West Canada is a change pleasing to imagine.
From dusky lane and fetid alley to open, bright Canadian fields is,
in the very thought, refreshing. A child is snatched from pinching
hunger, fluttering rags, and all the squalor of gutter life; from a
creeping existence in the noisome pool of slum society is lifted up
into some taste for decency and cleanliness; from being trained in
the school whose first and last lesson is to fear neither God nor
man, is taught the beginnings of Christian faith and duty, and by a
strong effort of love and patience is borne away to the free,
spacious regions of the western hemisphere, of which it may be said,
as of the King's feast, "yet there is room," and where even a hapless
waif may get a chance and a choice both for this world and the world
that is to come. This is a picture on which a kind heart loves to
rest. But who shall make the picture real?

Go and first catch your little Arab, if you can. I say, if you can;
for he is too old to be caught by chaff, and you shall need as much
guile as any fowler ever did. Then with patient hands bestow on his
body its first baptism of clean water, a task often unspeakably
shocking; reduce to fit size and shape a cast-off suit humbly begged
for the occasion, and give him his first experience of decent
clothing. Thereafter, proceed to the work, sometimes the most trying
ever undertaken, of taming this singularly acute, desperately sly,
and often ferociously savage little Englishman, training him to be
what he is not, or harder task still, to be not what he is. Having,
by dint of much pains and many prayers, obtained, as you hope, some
beginnings of victory over the most wayward of wills, and the most
unaccountably strange of mixed natures, with its intellectual
sharpness and moral bluntness, its precocious knowingness and
stereotyped childishness, its quickness to learn and slowness to
unlearn, prepare for the next stage of your enterprise. Lay out your
scheme of emigration, get the money where you can, that is to say,
call it flown from heaven and wile it out of earthly pockets,
anticipate all possible emergencies and wants by land and sea, finish
for the time the much epistolary correspondence to which this same
fragment of humanity has given rise, tempt the deep with your
restless charge, bear the discomforts of the stormiest of seas, and
inwardly groan at the signs of other and worse tempests ready ever to
burst forth in the Atlantic of that young sinner's future course; and
when after many weeks of anxious thought, fatiguing travel, and
laborious inquiry you find a home for the child, fold your hands,
give thanks and say, "What an adventure! What a toil! But now at
length it is finished!" And yet perhaps it is not half finished.

Multiply all this thought and feeling, all this labour and prayer a
thousandfold; and imagine the work of a woman as tenderly attached to
home and its peaceful ways as any one of her sisters in the three
kingdoms, who has made some twenty-eight voyages across the Atlantic
"all for love and nothing for reward;" has, by miracles of prayerful
toil and self-denying kindness, rescued from a worse than Egyptian
bondage over three thousand waifs and strays, borne them in her
strong arms to the other side of the world, and planted them in a
good land; meanwhile, in the intervals of travel, facing the perils
and storms of the troubled sea of East London society at its very
worst, and from a myriad wrecks of manhood and womanhood, snatching
the stragglers not yet past all hope, and, in a holy enthusiasm of
love, parting with not a little of her own life in order that those
dead might live.

The outer part of the story alone can be told: the inner part only
God and the patient toiler on this field can know. Yet the inner work
is by far the greater. The thought, the cares, the fears, the
prayers, the tears, the anguish, the heart-breaking disappointments,
and the fiery ordeals of spirit by which alone the motive is kept
pure and the flame of a true zeal is fed,--in short, all the lavish
expenditure of soul that cannot be spoken, or written, or known,
until the Omniscient Recorder, who forgets nothing and repays even
the good purpose of the heart, will reveal it at the final award, is
by far the most important service as it is ever the most toilsome and
painful.

In the work of the kingdom of God on earth the true worker is in
point of importance first. Apart from the wise, holy, beneficent
soul, even the truth of the Gospel is but a dead letter. It is in the
intelligence, loveliness, magnanimity and sweetness of a human
spirit, touched finely by His own grace, that the Holy Ghost finds
His chief instrumentality. Preparation for a good work is usually
begun in early life, and the worker, whose story is to fill the
following pages, unconsciously learnt her first lessons for this
service in her father's house. There was, indeed, seemingly little to
be learned of any rare sort in the quiet village of Campsie, where
life passed as peacefully as the clouds sailing along the peaceful
heavens. Almost the only break in the even tenor of those days was an
occasional sojourn in the house of her uncle, the Rev. Dr. Edwards, a
minister of the United Presbyterian Church in Glasgow, where that
venerable soldier of the cross still lingers, as if halfway betwixt
the Church militant and the Church triumphant But whether in the
father's house or in the uncle's manse, kind and truthful speech was
the coin current, a good example the domestic stock-in-trade, and an
interchange of cheerful, loving service the main business. It was a
quiet school, whose very hum was peaceful; and yet the schooling was
thorough; things strong often grow as quietly as things feeble. The
oak rises as silently in the forest as the lily in the garden. Strong
characters, too, under any conditions of life, school themselves much
more than they are schooled. Active, inquisitive, resolute, and
possessing a fair share of the national _perfervidum ingenium_,
not without some tincture of those elements of the Scottish character
known as the "canny" and the "dour," our worker early developed that
robust vigour of mind and body which has so long stood the wear and
tear of severely trying work.

One passage of significance in the family history deserves notice,
especially as suggesting a peculiar feature in her early training and
supplying a link in the chain of providential events. In work among
the young her father was an enthusiast. With a heart bigger than her
own family circle, her mother took in two orphans to foster and rear.
Thus in the work of caring for the outcast and the forlorn Annie
Macpherson was "to the manner born." Inheriting her father's
enthusiasm and her mother's sympathetic nature, the quick-witted,
warm-hearted girl would not fail to note the equal footing enjoyed by
the stranger children, and would know the reason why: the much tact
employed to keep the new and difficult relations sweet would engage
her attention; and the exceeding tenderness with which the motherless
little ones were treated, would be a very practical Gospel to our
young scholar in Christian philanthropy. Were matters sometimes
strained? did little jars arise and a shadow now and then gather on
the faces of the strangers because their own mother was not? The wise
foster-mother would set all right again by some merry quip, some
gleesome turn, some one of those playful gleams of humour which
furnish a key to the secret of successful work among the young. To be
a mother to those orphans, to make life in its duties and joys, as
far as possible, the same to them as if they had not lost their own
mother, ay, and to teach them to gather the brightest roses from the
thorniest bushes, was at once a good work in itself, and a model for
one who was destined to similar service, only on an immensely wider
scale and on a tenfold more difficult field. The sisterly fostering
of the orphans was a providential training for her future life-work.
To learn to love and to serve over and above the claims of mere
natural affection, could not fail to enlarge the heart and awaken the
sympathies of a quick, susceptible child. Little did her mother know
what she was doing when she took the orphans to her bosom. She only
thought to make a warm home and a bright future for the hapless pair;
but in effect she was preparing a warm home and a bright future for
thousands of the poorest children on God's earth.

But there was something better in store. Girlish days swept by much
as usual--the rapid growth of warm thought and feeling making each
revolving year a continuous springtide, an opening summer. At
nineteen, Annie Macpherson looked out on a world that always promises
more to youthful eyes than it ever fulfils. Eager hope was drawing
much on a future whose furthest horizon was Time. Suddenly a shadow
fell. A word spoken by a friend was the vehicle of a divine message.
A more distant and awful horizon arose to view: Time with its hopes
and joys, like a thin mist in early morning, vanished in the light of
eternity; and quickly from that young heart, pierced with a new
sorrow, went up the prayer, "God be merciful to me a sinner!"

How little the world understands that same old prayer. Yonder afar
off stands a man who, having trafficked in all iniquity, having
matured in wickedness, and perfected himself in the fine art of
dodging truth and conscience, is at length found out in the thicket
of his own vices by a bull's eye that glares on him like hell. Well
it befits such an one, even the world admits, to smite upon his
breast and cry for mercy. But for a girl in her teens, an innocent,
merry-hearted, pure-minded young thing, to raise a cry for mercy like
a very publican or a prodigal, is confounding to the world's sense of
propriety and measure in things; and hence that world is angry, and
in effect repudiates the need of so much mercy, of so much abasement
and urgency in a case like this. The root and rise of this cry for
mercy the natural man does not understand; but that soul knows it
right well, where the lightnings of Omniscient Holiness have gleamed
and the shadows of God's anger have fallen.

The cry was heard. Light arose on that troubled soul, the Saviour
appeared and drew the sinking one out of the waters. Even where there
is little to be changed outwardly, conversion is always followed by
remarkable effects; the light of the morning is like a new creation
on the cultivated field as well as on the barren moor. Our young
convert saw everything in a new light. She understood now, as she had
not before, why her mother, stealing precious hours from sleep,
wearied her fingers and weakened her eyes with the self-imposed task
of providing for the necessities of children not her own. If a ruling
motive is one of the greatest things in the secret of a human life,
the grandest of all forces on earth is the love of Christ. This she
felt, and it was to her a divine revelation. From the feeble
starlight of natural sympathies she had passed into the clear day of
Christian affections, and she now knew the secret joy and power of
self-sacrifice. A hundred lessons and practical illustrations given
her by both her parents were suddenly lighted up with a new meaning,
and clothed with a beauty she had not heretofore seen, and a power
she had not hitherto felt. All she had learned before of truth, and
prudence, and kindness, she learned over again, and learned with the
quickness characteristic of the young convert. Very soon her whole
treasury of knowledge and feeling, of experience and character, was
laid with youthful jubilance on the altar of the Lord. From that hour
she began to work for Christ with an intensity of enthusiasm that
ever since has known no abatement.



GOD'S ANSWERS.



CHAPTER I.

1861-1869.

Prayer of Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel--Residence in Cambridgeshire--
Visit to London in 1861, and first attendance at Barnet Conferences--
Visit of Rev. W. and Mrs. Pennefather--East of London, 1861--Left
Cambridgeshire, 1865--Work in Bedford Institute--1866: Voyage to New
York and return, 1867--First girl rescued--Matchbox makers--First boy
rescued--Revival Refuge open for boys and girls--1868: Home of
Industry secured--1869: Opened.


The winter of 1860-61 is a time to be had much in remembrance before
the Lord. It was then that the East of London, with all its sins and
sorrows, was laid as a heavy, burden on the heart of His faithful and
beloved servant Reginald Radcliffe.

Before the commencement of his labours, a few Christian friends met
for prayer at the invitation of the Hon. and Rev. Baptist Noel. The
East of London, and its "stunning-tide of human care and crime," was
not the only thought of that revered man of God. His faith looked
forward to greater things, and one well-remembered petition was, that
blessing through the work then to be begun in that deeply degraded
and neglected region, might not be stayed there, but might flow from
thence to far-off lands. One then present, the Dowager Lady Rowley,
was not long permitted to sow precious seed with her own hand, but
was instrumental in the fulfilment of this petition, as it was
through her leading that Miss Macpherson's voice was first heard in
the East of London.

At that time Miss Macpherson was residing in the neighbourhood of
Cambridge with her sister and brother-in-law, Mr. Merry, and, was
already a worker in the Lord's vineyard.

She thus writes of the year 1861:--

"It was a turning point in my life. I made a pilgrimage to London to
attend the preaching of Reginald Radcliffe in the City of London
Theatre, Shoreditch. There I met Dr. Elwin. On the following evening,
at the Young Men's Christian Association, Great Marlborough Street,
he introduced me to Lady Rowley, Mr. Morgan, and many other Christian
friends. Through them I was led to attend the next Barnet Conference,
where I learned what it was to wait for the coming of the Lord."

With this bright and blessed hope she returned to work with a
strength and power before unknown. Many souls had already been
awakened, but the full tide of blessing had not yet come. In the
villages around her hundreds of labourers were employed in digging
for coprolites, a fossil which, when ground, is useful as manure.
Among these men were many of the wildest wanderers, and Miss
Macpherson's heart was deeply stirred for their spiritual welfare,
and her time and strength were given to reach them by every means in
her power. She had established evening schools, lending libraries and
coffee-sheds, and of these and further efforts she wrote:--

"Second to the preaching of the gospel, we lay every laudable snare
to induce men to learn to read and write. In doing this, spare time
is occupied to the best account, and the enemy is foiled in some of
his thousand-and-one ways of ensnaring the toil-worn navvy at the
close of day.

"The more our little band goes forward, the more we feel that drink,
in all its forms and foolish customs, must be resisted,--first, by
the powerful influence of a felt example; and secondly, by gently and
kindly instructing the minds of those amongst whom we labour as to
its hurtful snares. We are accused by some of putting this subject
before the blessed gospel. God forbid! But when we look on every
reclaimed one and know that this was his besetting sin, we regard the
giving it up as the rolling away of the stone before the Saviour's
voice, 'Come forth,' can be obeyed.

"These first endeavours to spread the gospel story in a more
enlarged way were made in villages where the Rev. C. H. Spurgeon had
laboured when not yet twenty years of age, and where souls had been
blessed through the youthful preacher. Some of these converts became
my helpers, and are co-workers to this day.

"It was in 1863 that I first became an almoner for others, whilst
filled with a desire to build a missionhall among the coprolite
diggers in Cambridgeshire.

"The friends attending the Barnet Conference heard of my wish and
shared my burden."

The following letter to Dr. Elwin shows the sympathy that he felt in
her work:--

"My DEAR FRIEND,--Thanking you for your daily remembrance of my
continual wants in this the Lord's work among these poor migratory
coprolite diggers, I must say it was indeed refreshing to think that
this little hidden vineyard was laid on your heart to present to the
Lord at the Bristol Conference. The answer has come, and now it is my
blessed privilege to ask you to rejoice and praise our loving Father
for another six souls born anew. Yes, dear brother, they are those I
have laid before you again and again to plead for, that the dead form
of godliness might be broken down. Though diggers, they are residents
in a neighbouring village, and have attended my ploughmen's Bible-class
for some years. From the mouths of many witnesses, in a series
of outdoor gatherings every Lord's day evening in the past summer,
they have heard, on their own village green, a present, free, and
full salvation.

"Is it not kind of the Master to employ us feeble women in His
service, by allowing us to use our quiet influence for Him, and to do
many little things, such as inviting wanderers to listen, providing
hymns and seats, also refreshment for those sent to deliver the
King's message? And oh! it is indeed a hallowed privilege to be a
'Hur,' to hold up the hands of the speaker, and watch the index of
the soul as the message of love or of warning falls; to slip in and
out of the group, and meet the trembling soul with a blessed promise,
or grasp the hand with Christian sympathy. Then for us women such
service affords opportunity of giving the little leaflet or book,
such as the case requires, and following it up in the home with Bible
in hand.

"The Lord was very good in sending me helpers, _i.e._, brothers,
to speak during all those summer Lord's-Day evenings. On one occasion
I was left alone, and yet not alone. At another time my faith was
tried. No one had come to speak. The people had gathered. I opened my
Testament on the passage, 'Come and see' (John iv.) If the Samaritan
woman was led so boldly to say to wicked men, 'Come and see,' surely
my Lord knew my burden, and my need for a brother to speak to that
village gathering. We sang a hymn. I was led to pray. On arising from
the grass, a young man came round the corner and said, 'Miss, the Lord
has laid it on my heart to come here and preach to-night. Can I be of
any service?' He took for his text, 'Yet there is room.'

"I know you like to trace the links in the chain of blessing, so I
will enter a little into detail. One village displayed the most
perfect outward form of all that is considered correct as to the
using of means. There were clubs, saving of money, young men well
dressed and regular at their place of worship, four nights a week at
their evening school; but oh! my friend, not one soul of them with a
warm heart towards the Lord Jesus Christ. They read and answered my
questions on Scripture better, and sought after the library books
with more interest, than any in the other villages; but it was all
head-work, no heart; all intellect, no love. On Christmas Day six of
these joined our coprolite party to tea, and from eight to ten solemn
prayer seemed laid on every heart for them; and again the following
evening nineteen young men met to pray still for this village. Last
evening eighteen Christians of various denominations met in a cottage
at this said village. There was no formal address, but after earnest
prayer, one of the brethren felt this passage laid solemnly on his
heart, 'To-day, if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts.'
Then some converted stone-diggers pleaded for a blessing. The answer
of four years' prayers came, and the feeble infant wail was heard
from one after another amid weeping and sobbing. Surely the angelic
host had songs of praise while, in that holy stillness, these young
men had a sight of themselves. Oh, pray on that our faith waver not,
for we believe we shall see still greater things.

"You remember the village where you preached upon 'Jesus passing
by.' There is now a band of more than a dozen praying young men
meeting constantly in their little outhouse.

"The more we go forward in this labour of love the more evident it
is that the cursed drink is our great difficulty. This stone must be
rolled away. Another evening home for these men is a stern necessity,
and must be provided; a place which they may call their own. Each
building would cost 30 pounds. The men would furnish it cheerfully and
support it nobly. Two such buildings have been erected, are now in
operation, and answer beyond my most sanguine expectations. Morning,
noon, and evening, groups of men, while at their hasty meals, are
willing to listen to the Holy Scriptures or whatever else may be
brought before them."

"The memory of the just is blessed." It is sweet to recall any
incident in the life of him who will ever live in the hearts of many.
Miss Macpherson thus records the day of blessing:--

"It was at a meeting in July 1864, at Mildmay Park, that it was laid
on my heart to gather together, before the harvest-time, the
stone-diggers, villagers, and their friends, and to invite the Rev. W.
and Mrs. Pennefather to see face to face the hundreds of souls for
whom they had wrestled with God. Early in the afternoon of the day
appointed, streams of poor men and women came, having walked distances
of from two to ten miles to be with us. Conveyances brought earnest
lively Christians from Cambridge, and, including the stone-diggers,
there were representatives from more than thirty towns and villages.
On the arrival of Mr. and Mrs. Pennefather, great was our joy; and who
of you cannot imagine our beloved friend in the midst of this
multitude, of warm hearts, as with tears in his eyes he exclaimed,
'This is another conference'? Gatherings on the grass were formed as
tables were insufficient, and our dear friend went in and out among
them, every feature showing forth the love with which God had filled
his heart. His loving eye alone discovered poor Tom, lately out of the
workhouse, standing trembling, and afraid to approach the party;
behind the tent tears of joy streamed after he had secured, amid the
rush for tea, a supply for the wants of this poor Tom. A lovely sunset
was shedding its radiance over the humble gathering, when Mr.
Pennefather rose and spoke to them of 'the coming glory,' first
reading Luke ix. 25-35; and knowing that many before him would as
Christians be called upon to endure ridicule from ungodly companions,
he pointed out to them that in all the Gospels which speak of the
Transfiguration, the event is preceded by an account of the
Christian's path of self-denial. After an earnest address to the
unsaved, this delightful gathering was closed by his telling them that
a little offering had been made at Mildmay Park, and that, by the help
of that money would now be presented to each man and woman,
(stone-diggers and boys included), a pocket Testament, to be used in
the intervals of harvest toil.

"Many are their struggles in resisting bad companionship and drink,
in trying to improve in reading, in seeking to clothe themselves, to
help their parents, to work for Jesus with little light, and less
time, and few talents. Oh, how much do they glorify God compared with
some in other circumstances, who have been surrounded by heaven-breathing
associations all their days! Well, indeed, can we understand that
verse, 'The first shall be last, and the last first.'"

Scenes of a different character must now be described.

Sad and deeply humiliating as the sights and sounds of the East End
of London still are, none who now visit the vast region lying
eastward of St. Paul's can realise the sense of desolation that
overpowered one's spirit when beholding it at the time Mr. Radcliffe
began his services in 1860-1861. At that time the condition of the
millions who existed there was ignored by those dwelling in more
favoured regions. No railways had been as yet constructed by which
visitors could come from the north and west. The space now occupied
by the great railway stations in Broad Street and Liverpool Street
was then crowded with unwholesome dwellings, well remembered for
deaths in every house. No centres of usefulness where Christian
workers could meet for prayer or counsel then existed. The Bedford
Institute had not then been built, and no Temperance Coffee-Palace
had even been heard of.

The power of the Lord had been very present to wound and to heal in
the City of London Theatre and at other services held by Mr.
Radcliffe, and the young women who had been blessed were invited to
meet for a week-evening Bible-reading and prayer-meeting, and for
this purpose Lady Rowley rented a room in Wellclose Square. In this
meeting, and in Lady Rowley's mothers' meeting in Worship Street,
Miss Macpherson began the ministry of love which has extended so
widely. She afterwards visited the homes of the poor, and the toil
and suffering she witnessed, especially in those where matchbox-making
was the means of livelihood, lay heavy on her heart. With _her_
feelings of pity were always quickly followed by practical effort. In
the midst of the winter's distress, one of the most cheering gifts
received was from her praying band of coprolite diggers. After a
watchnight service, they had spent the first moments of the
consecrated new year in making a gathering from their hard-earned
wages. Miss Macpherson had placed the East of London foremost in the
list of subjects to be remembered at their prayer-union every Lord's
Day. Little did the praying band think that in fulfilling this
petition, the Lord would take their beloved leader from among them.

It was in 1865 that Miss Macpherson was guided of the Lord to leave
scenes endeared to her by many hallowed associations, and to
encounter the trials and seek the blessings of Christian work in the
East of London. Her first efforts were in answer to an invitation
from the Society of Friends to hold classes for young men, both on
the Lord's Day and on week evenings, at the Bedford Institute, a
building lately erected by that Society, and which stood out
conspicuously as a monument of Christian love. On the week evenings,
instruction in reading and writing was the inducement held out to
attend. The first fruits may be seen in G. C., once a violent
opposer, afterwards a valuable helper in Canada, and now a preacher
of the Gospel in China. The work at the Bedford attracted so much
interest, that many helpers were drawn to it from other parts. The
Sunday Bible-classes became an object of remarkable interest. Perhaps
such an assemblage has seldom been seen. Many tables were filled in
one hall with men, in another with women, many of whom were very
aged, all with large-print Bibles before them, and each table headed
by some earnest teacher, all at the close being gathered together for
the final address.

Other Gospel meetings were also held at the Bedford, but Miss
Macpherson's labours could not be confined to this spot. In several
little rooms poor Christian women were gathered for prayer, and
depots for tracts were established, and Scripture texts placed in the
windows, in streets which were never so lighted before. But these and
all other efforts for the poor East End were interrupted in the
autumn of 1866. She felt the Lord called her to accompany her sister
and brother-in-law, Mr. Merry, with their young family across the
Atlantic. Mr. Merry's object was to settle his four sons in the
Western States of America. The voyage proved most perilous and
stormy. On arrival in New York, Mr. Merry's health entirely broke
down, and the medical opinion given was that nothing would restore
him but return to his native land. In March 1867 they were welcomed
back with exceeding joy. How mysterious did this trial appear! Why
were those who had sought the Lord's counsel so earnestly, permitted
to undertake a voyage apparently so useless, and accompanied by so
much anxiety and suffering? How little could any one then conjecture
that the Lord was thus training His children for the great life-work
before them! Not for the welfare of their own family were Mr. and
Mrs. Merry to be permitted to settle in those broad western lands;
but many voyages were to follow, and they, and subsequently their
children also, were to be fellow-helpers in the glorious work of
finding homes on earth, and training for a heavenly Home, thousands
of children who would have been otherwise homeless and uncared for.
"What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."
Blessed hereafter! when we shall see _all_ the way the Lord our
God has led us; not a smooth way, not an easy way. "The soul of the
people was much discouraged because of the way;" "but the Lord led
them by _the right way_."

With her usual energy, Miss Macpherson again entered on her God-given
work among the poor of the East End, and at once resolved to do all in
her power to help the destitute children with whom she came in daily
contact.

In the very month of her return, the first girl was rescued and
received into her own Home, then at Canonbury. Her story was thus
written at the time:--"E. C., aged sixteen, was sent to my lodgings
to know if I could provide a home for her. In August 1866 the father
of this poor girl had bidden her farewell as she was leaving home on
an excursion with the Sunday-school to which she belonged. On her
return, cholera had numbered him among the dead. The mother threw
herself into the canal, and, though restored, was lying helpless in a
workhouse. E. C., who had before been learning dressmaking, was
tossed about from one poor place of service to another--her clothes
all pawned, or in tatters--till her last resting-place was on the
flags. Then she applied at the Rev. W. Pennefather's soup-kitchen in
Bethnal Green, and slept in the room at that time rented above it.
The two following days were occupied in vain endeavours to procure
admittance into one of the existing Homes for girls, the third, in
preparing clothing for her, while, at the same time, _no way_
appeared open for her to be received anywhere. When her clothing was
ready, our first visit was to a sufferer paralysed and convulsed in
every limb, at times compelled to be fastened to his bed,--one whose
garret reminded one of the dream of Jacob; for answers to prayer were
so direct, it seemed as though heavenly visitants were ever ascending
and descending. He prayed, and while he was yet speaking, the Lord
sent His 'answering messenger.' Miss Macpherson had felt it laid on
her that day to come to the East End to my help, though knowing
nothing whatever of the present need. When poor E. C. returned from
the baths and washhouses in her clean clothing, (having sold her
former rags for twopence-halfpenny), she was met by the loving offer
of a home. She seemed afraid to believe it, and followed, as if in a
dream, the friend so mercifully raised up for her. She was afterwards
placed in service with a Christian friend, and her two little
brothers were among the first inmates of the Revival Refuge."

Most mercifully for the poor little matchbox-makers was Miss
Macpherson's return ordered at this time. Much sympathy had been
awakened concerning them, and much help had been sent for their
benefit from the kind readers of the "Christian" paper. They numbered
many hundreds, and Miss Macpherson undertook care and responsibility
concerning them, for which the strength and powers of an older
labourer were totally unfit. In this, and countless other instances,
Miss Macpherson has proved herself ever ready to "fulfil the law of
Christ" (Gal. vi. 2). The case of these infant toilers had rested on
her heart from the first moment she had been made acquainted with
their sufferings. The first sight of them is thus described by her
own pen:--

"In a narrow lane, having followed high up a tottering spiral
staircase till we reached the attic, the first group of tiny,
palefaced matchbox-makers was met with. They were hired by the woman
who rented the room. The children received just three farthings for
making a gross of boxes; the wood and paper were furnished to the
woman, but she had to provide paste and the firing to dry the work.
She received twopence-halfpenny per gross. Every possible spot, on
the bed, under the bed, was strewn with the drying boxes. A loaf of
bread and a knife stood on the table, ready for these little ones to
be supplied with a slice in exchange of their hard-earned farthings.

"This touching scene, which my pen fails to picture, gave me a
lasting impression of childhood's sorrows. Never a moment for school
or play, but ceaseless toil from light till dark."

Miss Macpherson's first attempt for their benefit was to open
evening schools, the inducement to attend which was the gift of sadly
needed clothing. These schools were opened in various localities, the
chief gathering being held in a house kindly provided for us by
Charles Dobbin, Esq., still one of our unwearied benefactors.

Not only reading, but the art of mending their tattered garments was
a new thing to them, and their outward condition was such, that when
for the first time a country excursion was planned for them, it was
with the greatest difficulty they were made fit to appear.

Whilst making every exertion to raise the matchbox-makers from their
hitherto almost helpless state, her heart yearned over their
brothers. A tea-meeting was given for boys by the veteran labourer
George Holland, at the close of which one lad was noticed so much to
be pitied, that it was felt, if nothing could be done for the others,
he at least must be saved.

Money was not plentiful, the need of the East End was then
comparatively little known, but a young believer, the son of that
honoured servant of the Lord, W. Greene of Minorca, had just set
apart a portion of his salary to help some poor, London boy, and the
letter telling this was on its way from the Mediterranean when this
lad's history became known. Thus he was educated, and eventually
raised to a position in which he became a helper of others.

Many other homeless boys were found among that evening's guests, and
Miss Macpherson felt it was impossible permanently to raise their
condition without receiving them into a Home, where they could be
taught and trained to regular work. The Lord gave the desire, and
through the active sympathy of E. C. Morgan, the editor of the
"Christian," the means were provided. A house was found at Hackney,
and named the Revival Refuge, where thirty boys could be at once
received. A few weeks afterwards, looking at these bright,
intelligent young faces, it was difficult to believe in the dark
surroundings of their earlier years. So great was the encouragement
in caring for them, spiritually as well as physically, that Miss
Macpherson could not rest without enlarging the work, and a
dilapidated dwelling at the back of Shoreditch Church "was fitted up
to receive thirty more boys."

In the house first mentioned, besides the matchbox-makers' evening
schools, mothers' meetings and a sewing class for widows were
conducted by Mrs. Merry, and the upper storey was devoted to the
shelter of destitute little girls. But in these, as in all Miss
Macpherson's undertakings, the Lord blessed her so greatly that more
accommodation was required for the constantly increasing numbers.

The needed building was provided in a way that could have been
little conjectured, but the Lord had gone before. Along the great
thoroughfare leading from the Docks to the Great Eastern Railway,
lofty warehouses had taken the place of many unclean, tottering
dwellings formerly seen there. During the fearful visitation of
cholera in 1866 one of these had been secured as a hospital by Miss
Sellon's Sisters of Mercy, and water and gas had been laid-on on
every floor, and every arrangement made for convenience and
cleanliness. When the desolating scourge was withdrawn the house was
closed, and many predicted that it would never be used again. In the
following year Mr. Holland suggested how well it would be to secure
it for a Refuge. The doors had been closed twelve months when Mr. and
Mrs. Merry and three other friends entered the long-deserted
dwelling, and joined in prayer that where death had been seen in all
its terrors, there souls might be born to God, and that the voice of
praise and prayer might be heard within those walls which had once
resounded with the groans of the dying. Then the doors were locked,
and for twelve months more remained as before. Then they were again
opened, and on a gloomy winter's evening, with one candle the vast
unlighted dwelling was again entered. The little company included R.
C. Morgan, Charles Dobbin, and Henry Blair, of the Madras Civil
Service, whose interest in the work now begun, only ended with his
death. Through the kindness of these friends the building was
secured, and the rent promised, but then a new difficulty arose. It
had been hoped that Mr. Holland, who had first suggested the effort
to secure the building, would have been willing to undertake the
charge, but the work at George Yard was too dear to be given up. And
now, who would bear this burden? It could hardly be believed that any
woman would undertake the responsibility, for women had not then been
called forward in this country so prominently as they now are. Here
may be seen something of the Lord's purpose in having permitted Miss
Macpherson's voyage to New York. In that city she had seen the faith
and courage the Lord had given to women to "attempt great things"
_for Him_, and the day is well remembered when many prayers were
answered that she would accept the post. It is a post far advanced
into the enemy's territory, for the adjoining streets are known as
the "Thieves' Quarter." Three thousand, it is supposed, have their
headquarters here. In the square mile in the midst of which the
Refuge, (now called "Home of Industry"), is situated, 120,000 of our
poorest population are to be found. From the first Mr. and Mrs. Merry
gave themselves as willing and invaluable helpers to the enormous
work connected with the undertaking. It appeared great from the
beginning, but little could any one have imagined how it would go on
spreading and increasing. It is difficult, or it may be impossible,
to name any form of distress or any class which has not been here
relieved and blessed. Every hour of the day, and even far on into the
night, the voice of praise and prayer has been heard in some part of
the building. Even in the vaults beneath the pavement was a little
sanctuary made. Under the very stones, before trodden by them as
homeless wanderers, some have joined in asking the Lord's blessing on
those who had rescued them.

In February, 1869, the Lord granted us the desire of our hearts, and
the Home of Industry was opened with praise and prayer. "The Lord had
done great things for us," but far more than any heart then,
conceived were the blessings yet in store.

On February 22, Miss Macpherson wrote as follows in the "Christian":--

"BELOVED HELPERS,--To-night how your hearts would have rejoiced to
have seen me and my happy hundreds of little toiling children in our
new schoolroom in the Refuge. How varied their feelings! One
whispered, 'It was here my mother died of the cholera.' Another, 'Oh!
I was once in this ward before, so ill of black cholera.' Dear
children! our prayer was that it might still be a house of mercy to
many a sin-wearied soul. We have never had such a large schoolroom
before, nor the advantage of desks. Their joy knew no bounds when
told to invite their mothers to come one afternoon in the week to
help me to sew and to earn sixpence, my object being twofold,--to
secure an opportunity of telling them the gospel, and to endeavour to
help them in the management of their homes and little ones."

The following will show something of the trials attending "holding
the fort" in such a spot:--

"Last night I felt it right to sleep at the Refuge for once, so as
to be able to enter into all its needs. No words can describe the
sounds in the streets surrounding it throughout the night;--yells of
women, cries of 'Murder!' then of 'Police!'--with the rushing to and
fro of wild, drunken men and women into the street adjoining the
building, whence more criminals come than from any other street in
London. At three o'clock the heavy rumble of market-waggons
commenced, and then the rush of the fire-brigade. Thus much by way of
asking special prayer for those whom God has made willing to live in
the midst of such surroundings. On the other side of the building is
an empty space, known as 'Rag Fair,' filled in the morning with a
horde of the poorest women selling the veriest old rubbish. We are
thankful to have among these a faithful Christian woman, who, though
a seller of rags, is able to testify of the great love of the Lord
Jesus."



CHAPTER II.

1869-1870.

Emigration of families--A visitor's impressions--The great life-work
--Emigration of the young, begun 1870--First party of boys to Canada
with Miss Macpherson and Miss Bilbrough--Their reception--Mr. Merry
takes second party of boys--Miss Macpherson returns to England and
takes out a party of girls--Canadian welcome and happy homes--
Canadian pastor's story.


Emigration had now for some time been in view as the only means of
relieving the chronic poverty of the East of London, and in April
1869 a circular to this effect was issued by Miss Macpherson and Miss
Ellen Logan. Fifty families were selected as being suitable for such
help, and these were gathered together at a farewell tea-meeting
before leaving for Canada, all expressing deep thankfulness for the
opening given to them. The preparations for the voyage of these
fathers, mothers, and little ones required much thought and labour,
both for their temporal and spiritual welfare, but from the very
beginning of the work, sisters in Christ came from a distance, giving
hours or days as a labour of love, and besides personal help on the
spot, many busy fingers were at work in their own homes. The first
party was followed by others, all involving much care and labour.
Before the close of the year very encouraging accounts were received
from many of the travellers, and the contrast was great between their
condition in the new country and that which might here have been
their lot. Whilst this important work was being carried on, evening
reading and sewing classes for the little matchbox-makers, and
mothers' meetings, were continued without intermission, together with
the teaching and training of boys begun at the first Homes; and on
the Lord's Day, besides the very large gathering of matchbox-makers,
every effort was made to bring all around under the sound of the
gospel. A stranger thus describes his impressions after a visit to
the Home of Industry, November, 1869:--

"'The mighty cry of anguish' that has gone up for so long from the
East of London has, thank God, touched many a heart, and led some to
carry God's answering messages in person to the suffering poor, and
others to help in the lesser service of gifts.

"Determined to see how the matter stood as regards one portion of
that great mass of misery, I gave myself up to the skilful guidance
of one whose whole life is spent in the service of God and His poor.

"Leaving the rail, we proceeded to visit the sick-bed of one of the
voluntary workers in the Refuge. We found him recovering from a
severe attack of enteric fever complicated with pneumonia of the
right lung. A fine, handsome young man, once the leader of the
singing in a philharmonic club, now the devoted servant of God, his
whole anxiety seemed to be as to when he could return to his work.
During our visit, it was most touching to see the tenderness and
anxious care of his companion, a young man called Fred, a labourer in
the large wine vaults at the docks, who, though smelling of wine, and
his clothes saturated with the fumes of spirits, was a staunch
teetotaller; and judging from the intelligent way in which he
answered our questions, would be a valuable witness before any
commission of inquiry into the practices which wine-sellers term
'mixing,' but which he vulgarly called 'adulteration.' Every night
during the many weeks of illness Fred had paid his friend a visit,
and watched over him with all the love of a Jonathan to a David.

"We now pressed him into our service to conduct us through some of
the many licensed lodging-houses and thieves' kitchens, which abound
in the neighbourhood of Spitalfields.

"On our way we met two little girls, matchbox-makers. The outline of
their lives was given in a few moments. The father, a drunkard, had
absconded six years ago, leaving his wife and six children to
struggle with awful poverty as best they might, having previously so
beaten and kicked his wife about the face, that she had become almost
blind. 'Where's father now?' 'In the workhouse, stoneblind.'

"In a room with a roaring fire were seated some thirty men and a few
women with infants. The landlord's reception was anything but
gracious. In answer to our 'Good evening,' he growled out, 'We don't
want talk; those men want bread.' And hungry enough many seemed. So
while one was sent for a supply of bread, which was received with
unmistakable gladness, and devoured greedily, we spoke to them of
that living bread which came down from heaven. All were interested,
and one young man seemed to wince and to be ill at ease when the love
of God was spoken of. I could not but feel that conscience was at
work, perhaps memory carrying back his mind to a godly mother, who
once had spoken the same loving words, but had gone to her rest in
tears.

"We then entered a licensed lodging-house accommodating 350. This
was a sad sight, because three-fourths of the men were unemployed
poor, chiefly dock-labourers, willing and glad to work, if work could
be got. On many a face there were stamped hopelessness and apathy.
Two poor fellows were sipping a cup of tea, without milk or sugar,
given to them by a poor man, but they had not a morsel of bread; and
this was their breakfast,--a late one truly, for it was ten at night.
Out all day in search of work, their last coppers were paid for the
night's lodging, and a cup of poor tea was their only meal. It made
one's spirit groan to think of the misery that sin and selfishness
had wrought for these poor fellows.

"In the next house the inmates were mostly thieves. But here is one
poor fellow, a workman, but with no work; he has been out in the
streets three nights, and now one of his companions pleads with us
for three-pence to procure him a night's rest. We peeped into several
other such dwellings, but the same story was repeated in each. In all
we were struck with the kind reception we met with, evidently due in
part to the presence of our companion, who, although a lady, feels
called of God to labour among these dens of misery, where there is so
much to do and _so few to do it_, and to the fact that we lent a
kindly ear to their tale of distress, and did what lay in our power
to relieve the immediate pressure of the very destitute. But, above
all, we were thankful to meet with such a spirit of hearing, and a
ready attention when Jesus was lifted up as the Saviour of sinners.

"We now entered a court to visit a poor woman whose husband had died
suddenly the week before. It was between nine and ten, and we found
the widow had been washing, the clothes hanging from lines in the
room. Her two children, aged nine and eleven, were busily employed in
matchbox-making.

"The rapidity and neatness of these little human machines were truly
most remarkable; the number of boxes made in a day, from half-past
six in the morning to ten at night, was something fabulous. The floor
of the room was covered with boxes; they earned a shilling each a
day; often days passed when they were unable to get work to do. Poor
children! thin and wan-looking, life seemed a terribly serious thing
to them, their days spent in incessant toil when work was plentiful,
their nights--well, they had a bedstead with a bundle of dirty rags
for a bed, but not a stitch of bedclothes; the clothes the children
wore were their only covering at night.

"In another court we found a silk-weaver hard at work,--from eight
in the morning to eleven at night. This man, a Christian, had
formerly been a weaver of velvet, but finding that a living could not
in any way be made out of it, in an evil hour he was tempted to go
into a skittle-alley as a helper. Here, though receiving good wages,
he found he could not be happy,--could not 'abide with God;' so he
gave it up, and now he is earning barely tenpence a day; but hard as
his lot is, he is happy in the consciousness of doing right, and
still manages to spare a little time to take his reading-lesson from
the Bible, and to tend a flowering-plant, his only companion, which
representative of the vegetable world seems to have nearly as hard a
struggle to live as its master.

"Our next visit was to a poor old woman between sixty and seventy
years of age, surrounded with every discomfort, and troubled with
constant cough and weakness. Apparently she had only a few days to
live, but she was able to rejoice in Jesus as her Saviour, whose
presence even then made all things bright.

"The next visit was to a poor dying girl; in a room so small that
there was only a margin of about three feet round two sides of the
bed for standing ground, the floor covered with rags, (her mother
being a rag-mender), lay one, who, though poor and miserable, was yet
an heir of glory, and was upheld in all her wretchedness by Him who
was sent to be 'the Comforter.' We thanked God for these two bright
spots, where divine light and love were seen and felt.

"At the Home of Industry we had been invited to take tea with two
hundred and fifty destitute widows. The testimony of one of these, a
clean, tidy old woman, was very precious. She had once been in
affluent circumstances and drove her carriage; her fortune lost in
one day, she was now reduced to poverty, but, 'Sir,' she said, 'I
would not go back to it all and be as I then was; no, not for all the
world.' Possessing Christ as her own, she felt she had the riches of
God, and knew that there was an inheritance reserved for her in
heaven, incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away."

The great lifework of Miss Macpherson and her devoted family may be
said to have begun this year. The need of emigration may be expressed
in her own words:--

"Boys came to us for shelter instead of going to empty barrels,
railway arches, and stairways. We found they were grateful for all
that was done for them. The simple gospel lesson was our lever to
lift them into new thoughts and desires. The sharp dividing knife of
the Word of God would discover the thief and liar, and rouse the
conscience to confession more than anything beside. But our walls had
limits, and our failures in finding employment for many away from
their old haunts became a great difficulty, and the God-opened way of
emigration to Canada was pressed upon us."

"Thy God hath commanded thy strength." To the astonishment of many,
Miss Macpherson expressed her determination to pioneer the first
band, and He Who of old sent forth His disciples two and two, was
mindful of the present need, and so strengthened the heart of a young
sister (already deeply interested in the work, and singularly gifted
in many ways) to lay all at the feet of her Master, and to offer to
share whatever toils and trials might be in the way. "Ye have not
passed this way heretofore." It was a new way, an "untrodden way."

We have now been for many years so accustomed to hear of the kind
welcome given in Canada, and the prosperity of the young emigrants,
that we cannot realise the faith and courage required by Miss
Macpherson, and her co-worker, Miss Bilbrough. Many misgivings arose
in the hearts of some at the thought of these two sisters in the Lord
arriving uninvited in a new land where neither owned a friend, and,
greatest of all, fears were entertained that those who had known the
wild roaming life of city Arabs might defy the control and authority
of the leaders. But how vain were all these fears! Wisdom had been
asked of the Lord in every step of the way, and He had given
"liberally," according to His gracious word. How blessedly was the
title of Counsellor as well as Leader and Commander of His people
then fulfilled! The following description of the departure of the
first party was written at the time:--

  "Our souls are in God's mighty hand,
  We're precious in His sight."

These words, sweet and true at all times, surely never sounded
sweeter than when sung by the band of young emigrants gathered for
the last time within the walls of the Refuge, which to many of them
is hallowed as no other spot on earth can ever be. _How_ precious
in His sight, none can tell but He who watched over those young
wanderers, and surrounded them with the loving care and prayers which
still follow them to a distant land.

The beloved helpers at a distance, who have toiled, and collected,
and borne to a throne of grace the burdens of their beloved sister in
the Lord, Miss Macpherson, will like to know every detail, even to
the outward appearance of those once ragged, shoeless wanderers. Now
they stood in ranks ready to depart, dressed in rough blue jackets,
corduroy suits, and strong boots, all made within the Refuge, the
work of their own hands. All alike had scarlet comforters and
Glengarry caps; a canvas bag across their shoulders contained a
change of linen for the voyage, towels, tin can, bowl and mug, knife,
fork, and spoon; and one kind friend, the last day before starting,
brought them a present of a hundred strong pocket-knives. A Bible, a
"Pilgrim's Progress," and a little case of stationery, were provided
for each, and while they stood thus indoors, singing their last
farewell, a dense crowd filled the street without, having waited for
hours in the pouring rain. It was with difficulty the police could
keep struck with the sight of the boys, all remarking that they had
never seen more intelligent countenances, and one observed, after
hearing something of their history, "This is real religion."

Liverpool was reached at 4 A.M., and all went at once on board the
"Peruvian." Then came a trial of patience,--they had to wait some
hours for breakfast,--but restraining grace was so manifest
throughout, that one's heart was continually lifted up in praise and
thanksgiving for this mercy as well as for countless others, and most
especially for the loving-kindness of the Lord in strengthening and
supporting His beloved servants at the time of parting.

From want of space, it appeared impossible, (as far as could be
judged from the first day's experience), to gather all the boys
together, but even amid the difficulties attending first going on
board, Miss Macpherson succeeded in holding a little service with a
portion of them. Some of the passengers and crew gathered round; all
were remembered in her supplications, and a deep solemnity rested on
all. Then she called on those boys who knew what it was to draw near
with assurance to the throne of grace to ask for blessing, and, with
her undaunted energy, exhorted them not to be afraid to speak for
Jesus. Prayer was followed by the oft-repeated hymn,--

  "There is a better world, they say,
  Oh, so bright!"

The tender brought on board a band of Christian friends, who once
more thronged around her, till the parting signal was given, and then
the last sounds heard on leaving were, "Yes, we part, but not for
ever," and "Shall we gather at the river?"

The following note of cheer quickly arrived, to the joy of many
anxious hearts and the praise of a prayer-hearing God:--

"On Board the 'Peruvian,' off the Coast of Ireland, May 13, 1870.

"MY DEAR SISTERS,--Fearing lest in your anxiety for us you may have
imagined a rough night for the first, I send a few lines to assure
you that all is love, even to the smallest details. Each rolling wave
reminds me of that word in the Epistle of James, 'Let him ask in
faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the
sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that
he shall receive anything of the Lord.' Many a faithful prayer has
ascended for a prosperous voyage; prosperity of soul is often
realised by being kept in the lowest place, and when my boys told me
how ill some of them had been in the night, and how they had,
notwithstanding, held little prayer-meetings, crying to Jesus in the
midst of what to them seemed a storm, I rejoiced. Thus trial sends us
to Jesus, the Captain of our salvation.

"With the exception of two, all are on deck now, as bright as larks;
they have carried up poor Jack Frost, and Franks, the runner. It is
most touching to see them wrap them up in their rugs. Michael Finn,
the Shoreditch shoeblack, was up all night caring for the sick boys;
he carries them up the ladder on his back. Poor Mike! he and I have
exchanged nods at the Eastern Counties Railway corner these five
years; it is a great joy to give him such a chance in life. Oh, to
win his soul to look to Jesus for everlasting life!"

The following extract will tell the answer to the many prayers by
which Miss Macpherson was upheld, and how assuredly it was the Lord
who had guided her way across the pathless deep:--

"Mr. Stafford, the agent at Quebec, would willingly have kept the
hundred boys there, but we only left him eleven, and brought the rest
on to Montreal; and there too they were anxious to keep them, and
said if it were made known, in three days we should not have one
remaining. As it was, we left twenty-three, and all in excellent
situations. Some of the best were picked out, numbers of them as
house-servants. Then we left eight at Belleville, half way between
Montreal and Toronto." These boys were left in charge of Mr. Leslie
Thom, who had acted as schoolmaster at the Home of Industry, and
whose help was invaluable on arrival in the new country.

Miss Macpherson's youngest sister, Mrs. Birt, thus writes concerning
the departure of the second family, so readily sent out in answer to
the invitations of dear friends in Canada:--

"I am sure our dear friends will feel exceedingly pleased and
gratified to hear that the departure of our second band of boys for
Canada this year, under the care of Mr. Merry, took place on the 21st
of July, leaving our hearts filled to overflowing with thankfulness
and praise for the very marked way in which the Lord has led us on
step by step.

"Little did we think, a month ago, that it would be possible in so
short a time to select, teach, and outfit seventy boys, and to soften
their manners, even if we had the necessary money for their expenses.
But the Lord has most wonderfully brought it all about in His own
way. The money was sent, boys anxiously in search of employment came
beseeching help, the needful work for their outfits was accomplished
in far less than the usual time by faithful widows, who sewed away as
diligently as though each had been making garments for her own son.
An active, earnest, clever teacher was also provided by the Lord, to
give to these rescued ones that punctual and diligent, daily
attention that seemed to us so important. Even the postponement of
their sailing from the 14th inst. to the 21st inst. was overruled for
good; Mr. Merry was enabled to become more personally acquainted with
each, and we know that 'the good seed of the Word' was sown in many
hearts, we trust to bear fruit. On reaching the ship, we were told
that our band would have the benefit of a place set apart for
themselves, whereas, had they sailed the previous week, they would
have been crowded up with other emigrants. After three days' rest we
return, the Lord willing, to the Refuge, to select and prepare a band
of young girls. Our sister Miss Macpherson writes to us that she has
been besought most earnestly by the Canadian ladies to send them out
some little English maids; and that they promise to watch over them
and care for them as if they were their own."

After the arrival of Mr. Merry in Canada with the second party of
boys, Miss Macpherson returned to England and wrote as follows:--

"My BELOVED FELLOW-LABOURERS,--You will be surprised to hear that,
after a pleasant voyage, with renewed health, I am again in my
privileged place of service in the East of London. My song of praise
is very full. The Council of the county of Hastings has given me a
house capable of holding 200, free of all expenses, situated in the
town of Belleville, Ontario, leaving the management in my hands,
entirely untrammelled by conditions. Thus a work of faith is now
commenced on Canadian shores, where our little street wanderers can
at once be sent and trained under our own schoolmaster, Mr. Leslie
Thom. My friend Miss Bilbrough, assisted by the Christian ladies of
the town, has undertaken to furnish this Distributing Home in
readiness for Mr. Merry's arrival. There all will undergo a training,
and will be kept till suitable situations are appointed for them."

After remaining a short time in England, Miss Macpherson,
accompanied by her sister, Mrs. Birt, returned to Canada with the
third party of young emigrants, numbering over a hundred.

The following is an extract from Mrs. Birt's first letter after
their arrival:--

"In my memory are associated two scenes connected with the pretty
park in which the Distributing Home is situated, scenes that can
never be forgotten; first, the long procession of the tired and weary
little travellers, wending their way up the carriage-drive, the
clear, starlit sky overhead, and the quiet, bright full moon shining
down on their upturned faces, as they stood in front of their new
home, and sang so earnestly--

 'Praise God, from whom all blessings flow,
  Praise Him, all creatures here below;'

and secondly, on awaking the next morning and looking out, the sight
of the whole party scampering about the park, just like so many
little wild animals let loose from a cage, rushing about under every
tree, as if trying whether their freedom was real. I had to call my
sister to look at them; and in mind we carried them back to London at
six o'clock in the morning, and felt it was indeed good for them to
be thus in Canada. How longingly we wished we could fill the
Distributing Home with just such a number every month of the year,
for certain it is we could find places and homes for them all."

A little later Miss Macpherson wrote:--

"Yesterday afternoon Miss Bilbrough drove us out into the cleared
backwoods to visit some of our children. The country was charming;
woods and green valleys, with every now and then rich orchards laden
with rosy apples; the long Concession roads, forming at times
magnificent avenues, in which here and there a maple, which had
caught a cold blast, prematurely showed the lovely autumnal tints so
peculiar in richness to this country.

"Everywhere we called the warmest hospitality was shown us, very
like the 'furthy auld kintra folk' of Scotia in days lang syne.

"Our first recognition was a boy named Ambrose, of the second
detachment; he was busy in the farmyard, but soon, with a bright
face, came to the side of our vehicle, telling us he was so happy and
well; indeed, it required no words to assure us of this. Our next
call was to one of the first settlers of fifty-eight years ago, still
living in the house he had at first erected. His dear wife, on
hearing of the arrival of the little English orphan children, could
not sleep all night, but had her horses put into the team, and drove
in to Belleville, and for the Lord's sake, who had been so good to
her and hers, took away two, one for herself and one for her married
daughter, whose home had never rung with the voice of a little
prattler. It was great joy to see that they loved and cared for these
little waifs as though they were their very own; my heart alone
knowing whence they had been taken, and their little memories still
keen as to the awful contrast of former want and this present
abundance of food, fruit, and kindness.

"With this dear, pious couple, we drank tea. Such a spread at this
meal is never beheld in the old country. Around my cup of tea were
seven different kinds of choice dainties at the same time. This is
their way, and it is done with few words but warm welcome. The
homespun, well-worn coat and well-patched shoes of our aged host were
all forgotten when listening to his intelligent remarks on men and
things; and though seventy-eight years of age, every faculty of head
and heart seemed to keep pace with the times. He was a Wesleyan
Methodist, and with pleasure told us of the erection of their new
Zion, whose glistening tinned spire we could see rising among the
woods at no great distance."

Miss Bilbrough wrote at this time:--

"Miss Macpherson has been able to spend during this summer much of
her time in visiting among the different farms where our children are
located, within some twenty or forty miles of Belleville in the
counties of Hastings and Prince Edward. She would start some sunshiny
morning on a week's tour, dining with one farmer, having tea at
another's, and passing the night at some special friend's, Charlie,
the mission horse, receiving the best of fare; while next day the
farmer harnesses his horse and takes her round to the neighbouring
farms where the little English emigrants have found a resting-place;
and oh! the joy of these children to see again the well-remembered
face, and hear the cheery voice of her who had first seen and
relieved their misery in the old country, and now bringing fresh
cheer and comfort in the new! With what haste the table is spread and
soon loaded with substantial food, and afterwards what opportunities
arise for a few words of counsel! Some verses are read from the Word
of God, and then kneeling down, we and the new friends would commit
the child to the care of Him who has said, 'I will never leave thee
nor forsake thee.'

"Here, too, the numerous tracts and books brought from England,
'God's Way of Peace,' 'The Blood of Jesus,' 'British Workman,' 'Band
of Hope,' and 'The Christian,' often containing a letter from Miss
Macpherson, are eagerly sought after and read; and when passing along
the road, Charlie seems now instinctively to stop when meeting some
pedestrian, that out of our well-filled handbags may be given some
tract or book."

The following is a record of days of travel in the backwoods:--

"MARCHMONT, BELLEVILLE, _October_.

"My friend Miss Bilbrough and I started, after an early dinner,
from Marchmont, having declined the kind offer of a friend's
conveyance, preferring to go by the usual stage-waggon, as our object
was to study the country people, and know those with whom our little
ones mingle. In so doing we increase our opportunities of
distributing books and tracts,--a new thing in these outlying
districts. We ask prayer for a blessing on these, and for every dear
boy and girl who has been under our care, that the Holy Spirit may
bring to each mind the remembrance of the truth in Jesus, which has
been set before them. Our faith is from time to time strengthened by
seeing one after another joining the Lord's people.

"The novelty of our position was increased when the driver and our
fellow-passengers, seven in number, discovered that we were the
friends of the orphan children. Their politeness was touching. We had
to take the best seat, the curtains were drawn down to shelter us
from the wind, and the driver strove to interest us by telling us
histories of such of our boys as he knew at different points of his
journey.

"For miles the country seemed well cleared, except where portions of
forest were left to supply wood for the years to come. The cedar-rail
fence and 'Concession roads' marked all into well-defined portions.
On these roads the homesteads are built in every variety of style,
from the log-hut built of cedar-trees laid one upon the other,
cemented together, and roofed with bark, to the stone and brick
edifice, with barns and stables, and other surroundings, like unto
one of our own old country farmhouses.

"Our fellow-travellers were farmers, returning from Toronto Fair.
They seemed amused and willing to listen to our conversation with the
driver, and received our books most politely.

"The 'lumbering district' stretched away northwards, some seventy-five
miles from where the giants of the forest had been felled. The
recollections of our fellow-passengers were interesting as to the few
years ago, when the very country we were passing through was a dense
mass of similar unhewn timber. Now on every side there were homesteads
telling of plenty, and enlivened by rosy, healthy little ones. Who
will question the desirability of thus peopling our Father's glorious
landscapes, and gathering up our poor perishing children from our
overcrowded dens and alleys, where they are dying by thousands yearly
for want of pure air and sunshine, many becoming criminals ere they
scarce leave their mother's knee?

"The past encourages us to hope that He will not permit us to go
before Him, and will both send sufficient strength for the day, and
sufficient means for the support of all He would have us rescue from
misery, by bringing them under the influences of a pious home,
placing them in Sabbath schools, and above all, gathering them
beneath the sheltering wing of the loving Shepherd.

"We arrive at length at Roslin, and soon find the pretty house of
our friend Dr. H---, where we are warmly greeted for the Master's
sake, and ere long introduced to the only little baby prattler, its
mother, and her widowed sister. They had lived in the city, had
visited the old country, were friends of Mr. Gosse, and readers of
'The Christian.' Hence we soon found that though in a Canadian
backwood settlement, we had tastes and topics in common, and one
longing especially united us--the burden of precious souls to be won
for Him we all loved.

"Through a chain of circumstances, Dr. B--- had obtained one of our
boys, who had been engaged in a similar capacity in a suburb of
London, but had lost his situation, and become an orphaned wanderer
in our great city. His knowledge of dispensing was a recommendation
for his appointment to another doctor; and, to my great joy, hitherto
he had conducted himself so well, that in all the neighbourhood
around other boys were so much in demand, that we now have no less
than forty children in that district among the farmers.

"My friend, ever a true helper as secretary, remembered that a small
boy named Smith, who had left a mother sorely fretting after him,
lived near, and proposed to go and get a report of him at once. The
Doctor's conveyance soon was at the door, and in less than an hour my
friend returned with a bright account of the comfortable home and the
happiness of its young inmate.

"The short hours after tea swiftly passed in conversing over the
basket of books and tracts, many of these the gathered-up stores of
my friends, which when read had been sent to the Refuge, and were now
being spread freely in Canadian homes. We also talked over the
principle which we were endeavouring to work out with these
friendless children, namely, that as the Lord Jesus had given Himself
to save us, so we ought to reach out the hand of love, and endeavour
to snatch others from lives of misery and want. If we cannot open our
own doors to the lost and wayward; ought we not to help in finding
out those who can, that the lost and wandering lambs outside in the
wilderness might be gathered beneath a sheltering wing inside some
happy fold?

"Dr. H--- and his intelligent wife and sister held a long
conversation with us on the method best suited for those whom we are
seeking to benefit--whether to educate them for a series of years in
our institutions in the old country, or to afford them only a
temporary residence with us, where their character, temper, and
talents could be studied for a few months with a view to determine
what family they would suit best. Our experience with the three
hundred children now placed out and watched over by our co-labourers
in Canada brought us to the latter conclusion, and the testimony of
others in Germany was to the same effect.

"Pastor Zeller, who himself founded an orphan asylum at Beuggen, had
long before strongly advocated the placing of bereaved children in
Christian families as the very best method of training them.
Commenting on this, M. de Liefde observes--'An establishment which
contains from fifty to seventy children (and this surely is only a
small one), however well managed, cannot help being unnatural in many
respects. Nature seldom puts more than twelve children together in
one house; quite enough for a man and his wife to control, if due
attention be given to the formation of the different characters and
the development of the various talents. The training of a band of
children beyond that number cannot help assuming the character of
wholesale education. The larger the number, the greater the
resemblance of the establishment to a barrack; it becomes a depot of
ready-made young citizens, got up for social life at a fixed price,
and within a fixed period of time. No wonder that they often turn out
unfit for practical realities, and uncured of inveterate defects.'
The noble Immanuel Wichern felt this objection so forcibly, that his
famous 'Rauhe Haus' institution is like a village of families, each
homestead with its house-father and house-mother, and its twelve boys
or girls, as the case may be. He considered that he could not
otherwise do justice to those whom God had committed to his care than
by bringing the principles of family life to bear upon each
individual.

"In the course of conversation we asked, how it was that so far from
the city they had heard of our having boys to dispose of, and it was
pleasant to hear that the weekly 'Christian' was the link that led
them to depute a relative to watch for our passing through Montreal.
Family worship closed this day of sweet service.

"The next morning our kind host studied the various Concessions in
which our children had been located, and soon the 'democrat' (a
peculiar carriage suited for this country) was brought to the door,
and the doctor, and his sister accompanied us for the day's drive.

"The day was balmy, like one of our bright June days, and beeches
and maples, firs and cedars, were beautiful to behold in their autumn
loveliness.

"Our first call was at Mr. V---'s. He was a widower, and, finding
his home lonely, had sought at Marchmont for a little one to love and
cheer him. He had taken the twin-like brothers, Freddy and Tommy,
whose sweet little faces bore some resemblance to his own. We found
the children at school, looking hearty and happy in the playground as
we passed the schoolhouse. Mr. V--- was from home, but his mother, a
pious woman, received us most kindly, and spoke affectionately of the
children. She took us to see her lovely flowerbeds of annuals, all
laid out with taste in front of the wooden house, and tended by her
own hands when house-work was over. My heart longed for the joy of
telling the happiness of these children to the aged pious grandmother
pining away in want and sickness, and forsaken by her own son, the
father of these boys.

"Passing onwards, we drove past a rosy-cheeked little fellow
climbing a bank. A month in the fresh air had so changed him from the
delicate, pale, thin boy, that we looked again ere we recognised
Alfred Bonkin. His widowed mother will sing for joy to hear of his
being thus educated, clothed, and fed, and growing up to an honest
life.

"Alfred was 'fixed up' (to use a Canadian term) with two others of
our children in a family settlement. One was a grown-up lad, employed
in farm work, and the other a little matchbox-maker. The venerable
couple who had adopted them had won our hearts when calling upon us
at the Home. They were both over eighty years of age, had thirty
grandchildren and six great-grandchildren, and yet room to love our
little ones, and not miss the 'bite and the sup.' It was washing-day;
but the old lady left her tub 'right away,' and hoped we would not be
'scared,', by her being in a bustle, but just 'take off,' and she
would soon spread the table? We spoke of our long round of calls, and
with difficulty we got away, not before we had been laden with a
basket of the finest apples we had ever seen, and had promised to
come and pay a long visit next time. From all we witnessed, we could
not but rejoice in the way God had opened homes and Christ-loving
hearts to receive our perishing little ones."

"Peace and plenty smiled on every hand. Tears came as a relief when
fondling little Annie Parker took my hand, saying, 'Tome and see my
father's new house!' The memory came back of Mr. Morgan, Mr. Holland,
and a few friends meeting with me in John Street to form a 'Little
Girls' Home.' Two years have now passed since Annie and her whole
family were carried to the Fever Hospital. Both the parents died; the
four girls took a room, and lived by matchbox-making. Annie and
Maggie were the youngest, starved and ragged beyond description.
Since that time they have both been cared for, have learnt their
letters, and can now read and write. Surely the most inveterate
opponents to emigration could not but approve of and seek a blessing
on such a change. Where in all England could we have found, in a few
weeks, hearts and homes for forty adoptions? These families are
thrifty and homely--spinning, weaving, knitting, knowing what small
means with a blessing can do, and are the very people to train up our
children for a common-sense battle with the difficulties of life."

"We were interested in observing the forethought displayed in laying
up stores for the winter; apple being peeled, quartered, strung upon
strings, and dried either in the sun, or over the kitchen stove;
pumpkins cut into parings and dried, &c."

"All that remained at this late season (October) in the fields was
the buckwheat. When this is cut and placed in stacks, its red roots
are exposed, affording a pleasant contrast to the dark green of the
up-springing fall-wheat. More immediately around the houses, lay the
immense yellow pumpkins, still attached to their dying stems."

The time for Miss Macpherson's return to England now drew near, and
with a heart filled with thankfulness for the mercies they had
already experienced Miss Bilbrough offered to remain at Marchmont, to
brave alone the first Canadian winter, and with Mr. Thom's help to
watch over any case of difficulty that might arise among those who
had come out; for as yet the work was an experiment.


A CANADIAN PASTOR'S STORY.

"Annie and Maggie, the children before mentioned, were taken out to
Canada by Miss Macpherson, and were at first unavoidably placed in
families residing at some distance from each other. The younger one
was brought back to the Marchmont Home on account of a peculiar lisp,
which her master's children were acquiring from her. Almost
immediately another farmer called for a girl to assist his wife in
the care of her little ones. He saw little Maggie, cared nothing for
her lisp, and would have her away with him. On taking down his
address, it was found that he lived on the farm next to that where
the elder, sister was placed. It was near the end of the week, and on
the next Sabbath morning an unexpected meeting occurred, feelingly
described in the following verses. The incident was related to Miss
Macpherson by the pastor himself."

  Come now, a story, dear papa,
    Now find a knee for each;
  You said, papa, that once you heard
    Two little sisters preach

  A better sermon far than you:
    Jane says that cannot be.
  We want to know, so tell us now,
    Before they bring the tea.

  Come then, my darlings, you must know,
    Beyond the wild deep sea,
  In London's streets, these sisters grew
    In want and misery.

  Their parents died, and they were left,
    Poor girls, in sore distress;
  Ah! dear ones, may you never know
    An orphan's loneliness!

  But kindly hearts, which God had touched,
    Felt for them in their grief;
  He taught them too the surest way
    To give such woes relief.

  Away from London's crowded streets,
    They bade the sisters come,
  Within our brave, broad Canada,
    To find a pleasant home.

  A pleasant home for each was found,
    But far apart they lay;
  And thus apart the sisters dwelt
    While long months rolled away.

  Poor little girls! 'twas very sad;
    They were too young to write;
  And no one guessed the quiet tears
    Poor Annie shed at night.

  Among our Sabbath-scholars soon
    I learned to watch her face;
  A quiet sadness on her brow
    I fancied I could trace.

  One summer's morning, Sabbath peace
    Filled all the sunny air,
  And all within God's house was hushed,
    To wait the opening prayer;

  When up the aisle a neighbour came,
    With hushed but hasty tread;
  And by the hand with kindly care
    A little girl he led.

  A sudden cry ran through the church,
    A cry of rapture wild;
  And starting from her seat we saw
    Our quiet English child.

  "Sister! my sister!" was the cry
    That through the silence rung,
  As round the little stranger's neck
    Her eager arms she flung.

  And tears and kisses mingling fast,
    She pressed on lip and cheek;
  For silent tears can sometimes tell
    What words are poor to speak.

  Then soft o'er cheek, and brow, and hair,
    Her trembling fingers crept;
  Then heart to heart, and cheek to cheek,
    Those loving sisters wept.

  Nor they alone, for strong men sobbed;
    Women stood weeping by;
  And little ones looked up amazed,
    And asked what made them cry.

  Oh, broken was the prayer we prayed,
    Scarce could we raise the hymn;
  And when God's holy book I read,
    My eyes with tears were dim.

  And yet we felt the Saviour there,
    Right in our midst that day;
  "Will you not love my little ones?"
    We almost _heard_ Him say.

  No need of laboured words that day
    Long hardened hearts to move;
  Well had the sisters' meeting preached
    The lesson, "God is Love."

  His heart had felt their childish grief,
    The while they mourned apart;
  His loving-hand had wrought the plan,
    To bring them heart to heart.

S. R. GELDARD.



CHAPTER III.

1870-1871.

Workers' meetings at home of industry--Training home at Hampton
opened--Personal experiences--Welcome in Western Canada--Help for a
Glasgow home--Scottish ferryman--"Out of the mouths of babes and
sucklings."


Before the close of the year Miss Macpherson had returned from
Canada, and at the usual monthly meeting for workers was again
enabled to tell of the goodness and mercy that had followed her.

One of the great needs of the East End which has already been
mentioned, was that of some central spot where Christian workers
might meet for prayer and counsel. This need was abundantly met at
the Home of Industry, open at all times, with a welcome and words of
cheer ready for the servants of the Lord from every part of the
world. The workers' meetings, once a month, have given opportunities
for hearing tidings of the spread of the gospel in the "regions
beyond." Those who had hitherto been standing idle have been aroused,
and many who have long borne the burden and heat of the day have been
refreshed. It would be difficult to reckon the number of those who
have in the Home of Industry first heard the summons from the Lord to
"go forth," as "messengers of the glory of Christ," and are now
toiling in distant lands.

The difficulty of keeping a number of active restless spirits within
the hounds of a house in the position of the Home of Industry,
without one inch of yard or playground, and in the midst of streets
in which it was unsafe for one of these boys to be seen, can hardly
be imagined. It was a subject of the greatest astonishment to a
descendant of Immanuel Wichern's that in such circumstances Miss
Macpherson was enabled to keep them under control. It was, however,
most desirable to find some place where their active energies could
be employed in some sort of training for the Canadian out-door life.
Miss Macpherson thus refers to her thankfulness that such a spot was
found:--

"Those who share with us the burdens of this work will rejoice to
hear that we have now a Home in the country, where we can cultivate a
few acres, and where the children can become efficiently trained for
Canada under the superintendence of Mr. and Mrs. Merry. It is
situated near the village of Hampton and is now being furnished. This
will enable me to rescue another hundred from street-life at once.
What a boon from the Lord Whom we serve!"

It proved to be just what was needed, as is shown by the testimony
of another friend:--

"The Training Home at Hampton bids fair to be a most valuable
addition to Miss Macpherson's scheme for rescuing these dear children
if only for their health's sake; the pure air, the early hours for
rising, the outdoor and spade exercise, the plentiful supply of real
milk, are all good; and the absence of all noise and excitement gives
a much fairer chance of seeing what the boys really are, and the
probability of their taking to Canadian life."

The next party was arranged to leave for Canada by the "Prussian" on
the 4th of May, and on this occasion one who had the privilege of
accompanying them thus wrote:--"I feel it as impossible to convey to
friends in England a true idea of the kind welcome accorded to our
poor little ones, as it is to give to dear Canadian friends any
adequate idea of the crowded misery of our own dens and alleys.

"It has scarcely been credited by some that so many hundreds of
little travellers could have crossed the Atlantic in many successive
voyages and not have experienced one storm. How we realised the power
of Him 'who stilleth the noise of the sea, the noise of their waves,
and the tumult of the people!' for on this voyage, as on every other,
it has been remarkable that no discord has arisen among her many
young charges. The work begun on land was carried on at sea, and many
young hearts were blessed of the Lord ere they left the ship. It was
pleasant to hear many testimonies in their favour among the
passengers and crew; pleasant also to hear testimonies of
thankfulness for Miss Macpherson's presence in the ship; for she
laboured unceasingly among the crew and steerage passengers as well
as with her own special charges.

"Kind letters of welcome were received off Quebec. For a few hours
we were detained at Point Levi, waiting for the emigrants' train, and
watching with delight the sun descending and streaming with splendour
on the cliffs and magnificent river; some of the heights bare, others
clothed with firs, all picturesque and grand. The evening star shone
before us as we were carried westward; one of the little orphan girls
said it looked as if watching over us to help us; and in the morning
we reached Montreal Junction, where one of the warm Canadian friends
who have welcomed Miss Macpherson so cordially entered the cars, and
spoke very encouraging words to the young travellers, telling them
how he had himself been as dependent on his own exertions as any of
them could be, and how by perseverance in the situation he had first
entered, he had risen from the humblest post to the highest, and had
long been in a position to help others. This friend is the
superintendent of a large Sunday-school, and his scholars have
undertaken the support of an English child.

"A lovely cloudless day was just dawning as we arrived at
Belleville, and we were greeted at the station by the kind voice of
Mr. Henderson, one of the evangelists, for whose labours in Canada we
have had so much reason to praise the Lord. The sun had not risen
when we were first taken across the blue rushing river Moira,
carrying with it the floating logs, felled far away, and borne by its
rapid current to the Bay of Quinte, the beautiful shores of which we
caught sight of just 'as the crimson streak in the east was growing
into the great sun.'

"But we were now at Marchmont; and lovely as it was in the fresh
green of spring, (the maples, not yet in full leaf permitting a
glimpse of the bay,) yet all other feelings were lost in the joy of
being welcomed by dear Miss Bilbrough, who had been watching for us
all through the night. Miss Macpherson was allowed but few hours to
rest before the throng of visitors came to welcome her, and to take
away the newly arrived little ones. Among the first was a lady, the
mother of eight girls, who had lost her only son, and who carried
away, with tears of joy, a boy brought from Southampton workhouse.
There were farmers from many miles round, bringing their
recommendations from ministers or other well-known friends; there
were children who had been brought out the previous year, some
earning good wages, and bringing their savings to Miss Macpherson,
too full of joy to say much, but clinging round the one whom the Lord
had blessed in rescuing so many from want and misery. Among these
were three former little matchbox-makers, who had known more sorrow
and care during their early years than is sometimes crowded into a
lifetime. Tears on both sides were sometimes the only greeting given.
Pages might be filled with records of one day at Marchmont, records
of the Lord's goodness to the fatherless and motherless, and those
rescued from a worse fate still; whose parents would have dragged
them down into the haunts of drunkenness and sin, from which, in
later years, it would have been so much harder to reclaim them. Oh,
that many more in our own land could witness with their own eyes the
boundless openings for work, and provision made for our poor children
in the broad lands the Lord has so mercifully spread before us!

"The first experience I had of the home of a Canadian farmer was in
the neighbourhood of Stirling. Our drive was partly along the banks
of the river Moira, which, perhaps, from being the first with which I
was made acquainted, has always appeared to me one of the loveliest
in 'this land of broad rivers and streams.' After leaving the river,
our road passed through woods, in which we saw wild flowers of larger
size and brighter colours than our own, though fewer in number; and
from a rising ground we saw Stirling beneath us, and a few miles
beyond reached the dwelling of one who had come out with no other
riches than the strength of his own hands. His house was humble in
outward appearance, but contained every comfort, and was surrounded
by orchard and garden, and many acres of cultivated land. Huge barns
to hold the abundant produce are always the most conspicuous feature
in every Canadian farm. Cattle, sheep, and poultry were all around,
and all his own, and in his own power to leave to the sons growing up
around him. In this family the sons were all following the father's
occupation.

"In most families that I have seen, as a good education is within
the reach of all, some of the sons have preferred following the study
of law or medicine; the farmers have therefore the more need of
helpers, and welcome the more eagerly the young hands brought out.
Though we were quite unexpected, all but one of our party being
perfect strangers, we were pressed with the usual Canadian
hospitality to remain the night; and while our horse rested, our kind
host took out his own team and drove Mr. Thom to visit children
settled in the neighbouring farms.

"My next experience was that of a farm beyond Trenton, where one of
the boys was engaged. Our drive was along the bay, and the opposite
shores of Prince Edward's county often reminded me of the Isle of
Wight as seen from the Hampshire coast. Our road first passed the
Deaf and Dumb Asylum, a grand and spacious building, a mile out of
Belleville, and then was bordered by orchards and rich cornfields,
scattered cottages and farmhouses, with lilac bushes clustering round
the doors and verandahs. Outside every farmhouse may be seen by the
roadside a wooden stand, on which are placed the ample cans of milk
waiting for the waggon to carry them to the cheese factories. No
fear, it appears, is here entertained either of milk being stolen or
of fruit being missed from the abundant spoils on either side the
road.

"At Trenton, beautifully situated near the head of the bay, a boy
rushed out at the welcome sight of his friend, and farther on more
greetings of love and gratitude awaited her. The farm we this day
visited was one of more importance than the last. Four hundred acres
of ground surrounded a well-built house, two stories high, and
covering much ground. In such a dwelling a handsome piano is seldom
missing, and here stood one in the inner drawing-room. Luxuries that
could be purchased for money were not wanting, but labourers were not
so easily procured, and the contrast between the interior of the
house and the rough approach to it was most remarkable.

"So much must necessarily be done with so few hands, that time for a
flower-garden, or even the making of a neat footpath, cannot be
found. The mistress of the house looked sadly worn and wearied from
want of help in her indoor labours.

"Within easy reach of this house stood a much smaller one, built by
the owner of the farm for himself and his wife to retire to whenever
their eldest son should choose a bride and undertake the farm. This I
have seen elsewhere in Canada and have also known the heir of the
property to go out for the day helping at another farm, where no
labourer could be found in the neighbourhood. No contrast could be
greater to one coming from the sight of the constant distress in the
crowded East of London,--distress arising from want of work, food,
light, air, and room to live and breathe in, and the comfort here
beheld and experienced through the abundance of all; the pure fresh
air, the sight of 'God's blessings growing out of our mother earth,'
the ground ready to bestow so rich a return for all the labour
bestowed on it, and the only want that of the human hands--the hands
that, in our own land, are to be had so easily, that human beings are
expected to work like machines, and human frames are used as though
made of brass or iron."

Miss Macpherson was not permitted to remain many days quietly at
Belleville. The call came for her to go farther into Western Canada,
and this eventually resulted in the establishing of the Home at Galt.
The journey is thus described in her own words:--

"Believing that our gift was to pioneer, we left our dear friends
embosomed at Marchmont among the bursting maple trees in loveliest
spring-time. At early dawn on May 23rd we started, with a party of
twenty of our boys of different ages, for Woodstock and Embro, a
district of country where thousands of Scotch families have settled,
and where there has been a wave of blessing from the Lord, through
the faithful preaching of evangelists in the past year. Therefore we
longed to 'spy' the land, not so much to gain an increase of dollars
or more cultivated land for our boys, but our object was to find
hearts that had been awakened to newness of life; and we trusted that
with such our children would be nourished by the sincere milk of the
Word, and grow thereby into godly men and faithful witnesses of the
Lord Jesus."

"At the close of a long and hot day's travel, we reached Woodstock;
and though a single telegram had been the only announcement of our
expected arrival, warm hearts greeted us. Next day the boys were
gazed at, admired, wished for, questioned, and _feted_, until we
began to fear lest they should be spoiled by seeing the great demand
for them, and the eagerness with which they were sought after, being
considered, as they term them, 'smart boys.' With ourselves it was a
day of much prayer for the needed wisdom. And in the afternoon,
(being the Queen's birthday, and kept by loyal Canadians as a
complete holiday), the dear boys went off with us through shady
groves for a walk. We went into a cemetery, and read together from
our penny Gospels the 9th of St. John. But here we were found out,
and invited to one of the loveliest country-seats we had ever seen.
It had been an old Indian settlement, and from its groves we had a
view of the distant woodlands clothed in richest foliage. On a
beautiful lawn, the old Scotchman, with tearful tenderness, fed our
dear boys with unaccustomed dainties, and jugs full of new milk."

"In the evening a Scotchman arrived from a still more western
district, Arkona, deputed by his neighbours to come for seven more
boys. We could, however, only spare him five. The boy he took from us
last year had behaved so well, that the demand had increased. Then
came those painful leave-takings; and to see great boys of sixteen
and seventeen sobbing, was no easy work for my clinging heart; but He
who scattered His disciples, and went Himself by lonely pathways,
knew our need, even at this time."

"Next day we went farther inland, nine miles beyond the railroad, to
Embro. There we found 'democrats,' each with a pair of horses, for the
boys and luggage, in which they went off in high glee, under the care
of a good man of my own name; and for myself and friend, a Highlander
long frae the hills of our native land, had sent a carriage and pair
of splendid spirited horses."

"Our party of boys had by this time considerably decreased; and had
they been hundreds instead of ones, of similarly trained boys, there
would have been no difficulty in distributing them into good homes."

"Canada is just now in a most prosperous state. Farmers' sons do not
remain at home, but either, enter professions or stores, or go
farther West to colonise. Hence the need of further help, which is
met by our boys, who take their place, beginning with the A B C of
farm-work, or, as Canadians express it, 'choring round.'

"This new district was very pleasing to a Scotch eye--hill and
dale, rich woods, substantial farmhouses, richly cultivated orchards,
beautiful with blossom; picturesque views of gushing rivers in wild
gorges, with grand old monarchs of the forest telling the tales of
years gone by, ere the emigrant's axe had laid their companions low."

"We reached a lovely village, and were warmly welcomed by 'Macs' of
every name, reminding one of childhood's summers spent in the
Highlands of old Scotia. Here we were at home; the sweet assurance of
a Saviour's love shone in the faces that now surrounded us; we were
on the trail of an evangelist, and Jesus 'lifted-up' had been beheld,
making faces beam with thankfulness to Him who had given Himself for
them."

"The kind McAuley, who had opened his house and heart in expectation
of the whole twenty boys from London, had himself been overwhelmed
with love-offerings in the shape of food the good neighbours had sent
in, vying with each other in showing kindness to the orphan and the
stranger.

"Ah! what a power and privilege is granted to us women, in that we
are permitted to arise and second the work of the evangelist by
showing our faith by our works, and giving to the Christians in this
land of plenty and _no_ poverty objects upon which to work out
their love! Words fail to depict the extreme tenderness and delicate
attention shown to us, for Jesus' sake, during the forty-eight hours
we spent in the midst of this kindred people.

"In the evening the old Scotch kirk was filled to the door, and
after the singing of some sweet hymns and several heart-breathings of
prayer, we spoke of the dealings of the Lord in this mission among
the children of our million-peopled city. Whilst doing this, it was
difficult to realise that we were not at home, among the dear
brothers and sisters who are wont to meet with us for prayer at the
Home of Industry.

"The thank-offering to the Lord at the close was spontaneous, also
the supply of food sent in by the farmers, and which was sufficient
for a hundred children. It seemed almost more than my poor heart
could bear when I called to mind the starving multitudes gathered in,
and ravenously devouring the morsel of bread dealt out to them in
London. It made me long that the Christian women of our land would
rise up in some great national movement, and help many thousands of
our oppressed families to come out to this land of plenty, where
millions of acres are crying for labour. It is no romance nor ideal
of a heated brain, but a plain, practical way of showing our
Christianity, this bearing the burdens of many a sinking, crushed-down
family.

"The much-dreaded Canadian winter is really the most enjoyable
period of the whole year, and when it is over one hears of nothing
but sorrow that 'winter's noo awa.'"

Miss Macpherson had intended returning to England in October, but
was delayed for a time by many calls for service. From Montreal she
writes:--

"Strike another note of praise for the answer to the many prayers of
our Glasgow fellow-labourers. A friend in Scotland has been stirred up
to give 2000 pounds in order to build an Emigration Refuge in that
city, that homeless lads may be trained for Canada. Let us unite in
asking that ere long similar Homes may be opened in Edinburgh and
Liverpool, where poor and oppressed orphans abound. Before returning
to you, we trust that corresponding Homes on this side will be in
course of preparation, one in the East and another in the West, so
that when the 150 young emigrants arrive at Quebec, fifty can proceed
at once to each Home for distribution.

"We leave Marchmont accompanied in our mission carriage by two boys;
and these two have histories which contain a lesson for all boys.
Their antecedents in England were much the same--orphanage, want of
caretakers, misery. One is still self-willed, having no mercy on
himself, a runaway from the home in which we had placed him, and was
brought to us a second time by the police as homeless. We are now
taking him back to his master to hear all about the grievances, and
find out that they arose from his determination not to go to school.
A boy that does not value the opportunities afforded him, but prefers
growing up in ignorance, must suffer for it sooner or later. May all
boys who read this determine to apply themselves to every lesson
heartily; each difficulty overcome will render it more easy to master
the next.

"The other boy was one of the first hundred; he arrived by train
from Toronto at midnight, and rang us up, expecting admittance, for
he felt that he was coming home to see his friends, his master having
given him a holiday. This boy, though utterly alone in the world,
snatched by us from a life in London stables, stands there, at
fourteen, a self-reliant little man, with his purpose in life
clearly defined. He is not many minutes in the house before he
discloses the joy it is to come home, and tells us how he has as good
a suit of Sunday-clothes to put on as any gentleman.

"Next morning he sits during Bible-lesson in the schoolroom side by
side with the ne'er-do-weel. Both are received for Jesus' sake, the
one in his poverty and self-will, the other in his good suit and
self-complacency, but both still wanting the 'one thing needful' to
fit them for the home and mansions on high. Whilst endeavouring to
explain how Jesus had loved them, and wrought out a righteousness for
them, and was as willing to receive them as we had been, and that He
had a large and loving heart, and cared for the many hundreds still
wandering about in the great city, tears filled the eyes of the
little group. Just picture what we felt as J--- P---, in the most
humble and childlike way, put his hand in his pocket and drew out
twenty-five dollars, saying, 'Miss, that will bring another.'

"My words ceased, and a choking feeling came into my throat as the
lesson was being learnt by half-a-dozen of self-willed returned boys.
Much we longed that all our children could have witnessed this scene.
Very few of them, except the selfish and depraved, would like to be
behind J--- P--- in having the privilege of giving us so much
encouragement in this work.

"The first year J--- P--- received no wagers, only his food and
clothes; now, his services having become valuable, he gets six
dollars a month. He has purchased for himself a silver watch, a good
overcoat, and has also returned most honourably his passage-money,
therefore he has received his neatly framed and beautifully
illuminated discharge, to hang up, showing he is now no longer a poor
emigrant.

"J--- holds that the habit of saving the cents is the secret of
success, and he intends plodding on until he can purchase a farm of
his own, and we think it will not be very long before he does so, if
his life is spared. Thus he accompanies us as a son, and as such is
received and lodged in the various homes we visit.

"It was most amusing to hear him tell the runaway sitting by him in
the carriage how to get on and advise him not to give way to his own
will and his own temper.

"By boys this advice is more easily given than taken, as was proved
in this case. We left the boy on his promising that he would be
obedient and go to school. But the subtle enemy, ere the day was out,
gave this boy of fourteen years old the idea of being his own master,
rather than live out that wondrous word of four letters, _obey_.
Again he escaped from a good home, and after wandering many miles,
knocked late at night at a ferryman's, and asked for food. Here
Robert Jack, a kind Scotchman, recognised the English corduroy, and
at once met him with, 'You are one of Miss Macpherson's' boys.' He
was fed and lodged, and strange to say, next day we were led, in the
course of our journey, to cross that very ferry. The young runaway
seeing us from the window exclaimed, 'Oh! here comes Mr. Thorn,' and
would have hidden away from our sight, knowing he was doing wrong,
for he would not understand that we were his friends, willing to help
and love him. Oh, may all boys who read this seek earnestly to
believe that Jesus is their very best Friend, and He only can remove
their self-will and blindness of heart!

"In crossing the ferry early in the summer, we had spoken faithfully
to this ferryman, and had sent him the 'Life of Robert Annan' by
post. They had been schoolfellows together, and after reading the
book, he got many others to read it also. This small sixpenny gift,
accompanied by prayer, had done a work. Robert was willing to become
a co-worker with us, and is now trying to train to honest industry
our little self-willed runaway. Thus we hope that in the log-hut of
the Scottish ferryman he may learn to read and write, and that the
blessed Spirit will work on the hearts of both master and boy.

"The experience of yearning over this orphan boy moved our hearts to
speak of Jesus, who bore with such long-suffering love our own
rebelliousness ere we came to Him."

The story has been told before of the first poor girl rescued in the
East of London through Miss Macpherson's blessed agency, one whose
father had died suddenly of cholera, whose mother had thrown herself
into a canal, and, though rescued, had been, through drink, a source
of misery to her children. The eldest brother [Footnote: This boy,
now a shoemaker, has written asking to be allowed to have one of the
lads, as an apprentice.] of this poor girl, about sixteen years of
age, had been brought out the previous year to Canada, and appearing
one day at Marchmont, I thought from his looks and dress that he was
one of the farmers' sons come to engage a boy, little thinking that
so short a time had passed since he was destitute as the poorest
among them.

In England we are so accustomed to the sorrowful sight of neglected
children, it can hardly be imagined by us how such a fact strikes a
Canadian. Often have I seen the tears in the eyes of the farmers at
the sight of little ones brought so far to seek a home at such an
early age. This was especially the case with regard to little Annie
referred to in the following lines, the youngest of three sisters
left motherless in a workhouse. When I last saw this little sufferer
health and strength had been given to her, and she was the pet of all
in a home of comfort.


  "OUT OF THE MOUTHS OF BABES AND SUCKLINGS."

  "From the mouths of babes and sucklings,"
    Was the Psalmist's grateful word,
  "Thou hast perfected Thy praises,"
    And I thank Thee, gracious Lord.

  And e'en yet from infant voices
    Words of wondrous meaning fall,
  And the Christian's heart rejoices,
    For he knows his Father's call.

  Little Annie sat beside me,
    Smiles upon her baby face;
  Early sorrow, early suffering,
    On her cheek had left their trace.

  Little feet, too weak to wander
    Where the merry children play;
  'Neath the flickering aspen shadows,
    By broad Quinte's sunny bay.

  Thoughts of pitying love came thronging
    As I thought how Jesus came;
  How He blessed the little children,
    How He healed the sick and lame.

  So I asked the little maiden,
    "Annie, Jesus cares for you--
  If we saw Him now beside us,
    Can you think what He would do?"

  Strangely solemn, seemed the answer,
    (Listen, sisters o'er the sea);
  "Jesus, just to you would give me,
    And would bid you care for me."

  English sisters, rich and gifted!
    Ask your hearts, Can this be true?
  Christ hath many a homeless orphan,
    Is He saying this to you?

  "Take this child and nurse it for Me?"
    Will you dare to say Him nay?
  Dare to let His children perish,
    Or in evil paths to stray?

  If too stately are your dwellings,
    Send them hither, let them come;
  In our fair Canadian homesteads,
    Gladly we will make them room.

  Room where orchard boughs are dropping
    Fruit that waits their hands to pull;
  Room to rest, and room to labour,
    Room in home, in church, in school.

  When the winter snow lies sparkling,
    They shall share our winter joys,
  Tinkling bells and merry sleigh-ride,
    With our laughing girls and boys.

  When our maple pours its nectar,
    They shall share the luscious treat;
  Where the woodland strawb'ries cluster,
    Glad shall stray their little feet.

  When our Sabbath-scholars gather,
    They shall join the joyous throng;
  Sweet will sound their English voices,
    'Mid the burst of children's song.

  Sisters, shall we share the blessing?
    Bring the lambs to Jesu's fold?
  _Ours_ are homes of peace and plenty,
    To _your_ hands He gives the gold.

  S. R. GELDARD.



CHAPTER IV.

1872.

The need of a Home further West--Burning of the Marchmont Home--Home
restored by Canadian gifts--Miss Macpherson and Miss Reavell arrive
in Canada--First visit to Knowlton in the East--Belleville Home
restored by Canadian friends--Help for the Galt Home--Miss Macpherson
returns to England--Miss Reavell remains at Galt.


In her first letter on returning to England Miss Macpherson writes:--

"BELOVED FELLOW-WORKERS,--Once more at home among the old familiar
scenes in the East of London, the sadness and the sin shadows our joy
and thanksgiving. My first visit in the immediate vicinity of the
Refuge I shall not soon forget.

"Taking good news of Andrew in Canada to his mother, I found his
father lying dead drunk in one corner, and his little brother lying
dead waiting to be carried off to the grave by the parish in the
other.

"In the first low women's lodging-house, I found a poor misguided
girl asking me, 'How's my little sister?'

"Passing on to Mr. Holland in George Yard, I cheered him with
answers to his many inquiries as to the placing out of his rescued
ones.

"Many a warm shake of the hand I had from poor costermongers and
grey-headed men, for what had been done for their belongings in
taking them from the sin and want around.

"My way is now open to go forward, as means permit, to rescue girls
and train them for Canada or for service in England."

Miss Macpherson goes on to tell of the purchase of the Galt Home,
300 miles westward, and states the need in these words:--

"We found that to educate our Canadian family, and thoroughly fit
them to be of value to the farmer, a few fields to work upon would be
an advantage, that they might see the effects of new soil and
climate, in the growth of vegetables, shrubs, and farm produce."

"Thou hast tried us as silver is tried. We went through fire and
through water, but Thou broughtest us out into a wealthy place." This
was the experience of the beginning of the year 1872. Miss
Bilbrough's letter brings to mind Deut. xxxiii. 12.

"BELLEVILLE, _January 29_, 1872.

"DEAREST ANNIE,--It is indeed difficult to begin a letter to you,
when I know you always open our letters feeling sure of good news.
And yet this one brings you the best you ever had. Lives spared, I
trust, to work more than ever for Him who hath done such great things
for us. Our song is one of continual thankfulness and praise, and I
know you will join us in giving thanks. Our beautiful Home lies in
ruins, only the walls standing, and there is one little grave dug by
Benjamin Stanley's, containing the ashes of little Robbie Gray.

"I hardly know how to begin, it still seems so terrible and real.

"We had had a happy Sabbath. We were to have an early breakfast next
morning, and I awoke in the night thinking it was daylight. Miss
Baylis came to my door, which was shut, saying, 'Miss Bilbrough,
there's smoke!'

"I jumped up, and oh, the feeling, when I saw the house full of
dense white smoke! I knew well what it must be. I rushed to Mr.
Thorn's room, he was sleeping heavily, but I roused him, saying the
house was on fire; then I went down to the boys, Philips and Keen,
who were in the schoolroom, called them up and told them to save the
children, and rushed upstairs, nearly choked, calling 'Fire!'

"Mrs. Wade, Miss Baylis, Miss Moore, all came out. Downstairs I ran
again and unfastened the front door, and went to the corner of the
verandah. Philips was getting out the children, and the flames were
coming on with frightful rapidity; it was blowing a perfect
hurricane, and the whole building was enveloped in smoke and ashes; I
ran back half-way upstairs to see if I could get a dress, or my
cash-box, or watch, but I was too much suffocated, and had to get back
to the front door. Mrs. Wade, Miss Baylis, and the children, were
making for the fence. I saw Mr. Thorn, and called to him to search
again with Philips for the children.

"The intense cold in the snow seemed almost worse to bear than fire.
We all climbed the fence and ran to the nearest house. Poor Mrs. Wade
had got her hands frozen, even in that short time, as the thermometer
was about twelve or fifteen degrees below zero.

"Here we called over the names of the children; some were here, some
in another house, sitting over the stove with bare legs and only
their little shirts on. Soon little Robbie was found missing, but
Philips had lifted him out, and he had been seen running with the
others; we suppose that the poor child, blinded with smoke, ran to
the front door, and then went through into the schoolroom, the place
he knew best, where he must soon have been suffocated. It was all
over in a few minutes, all around was fearfully bright and lurid. The
engine came, but was of course too late, the fire spread with such
terrible rapidity.

"We sat almost stunned with fright and cold. Soon the Shearings and
Elliotts came, bringing clothes, &c., and we went to dear Mrs.
Elliott's house in a sleigh. It was not four A.M., and the fire was
almost out, burning round the verandah and the window-sills.

"Oh, how our hearts went up in thankfulness to God for sparing
mercies! A few moments more, and we dread to think of what might have
been. Miss Baylis' door being ajar, the smoke got in; mine was shut,
my room was free, but I saw the light on the window. Miss Moore was
in Miss Lowe's bedroom; she could not realise it, and, after being
first roused, was going to bed again.

"As soon as it was daylight I went with Mr. Thorn to see the ruins.
All around the melted snow had frozen like iron; the thermometer,
which was hung on the verandah, was found uninjured; nothing was
found but a table and one stove; all gone. Books, papers, clothes,
everything; but there in the blackened ruin lay distinctly the
charred frame of little Robbie. Mr. Thorn went for Dr. Holden and a
coffin, and the remains were brought to Mr. Elliott. Dear little
fellow, he was the most prepared of any of the little ones to go.
This is such a comfort to me now.

"I had gathered the little ones round me in the evening before the
fire, when the others were at church, and we had sung some sweet
hymns. I made Robbie especially stand beside me, and made him sing
alone. 'I will sing for Jesus,' was the hymn he chose. He sang it
sweetly. How little did I think in a few hours he would be singing
the 'new song' before the throne! His history in our book is very
touching. 'Robert Gray, aged six; a happy little man, who can say
little or nothing about himself.' The rest of the page is blank, as
he had never been away from Marchmont. An inquest was held over the
body. We wished it especially, so that we might have an investigation
as to the cause of the fire.

"Dearest Annie, when I think what it might have been, and the grief
of all at home, and the intense sorrow, oh, it makes one so thankful!
I felt Jesus very precious through it all, recognising His hand in so
many ways. I had had much blessed communion with Him that Sunday, and
several seasons of sweet prayer. I can fully realise that for me it
would have been all right, if the Lord had ordered it otherwise; but
for the sake of those at home I bless God for life spared, and trust
earnestly the Lord may give us all increased power and spiritual
life. Having passed through 'the fire,' may we also receive the
baptism of the Holy Ghost. And oh, may our lives be more and more
devoted to His service! Not our own, but bought with a price, may we
live more and more unto Him who hath loved us!

"Miss Moore was out at nine o'clock in the woodshed; all was safe
then. Mrs. Wade locked the doors at ten with stable lantern in the
wood-shed (the boys' summer dining-room), and then all was safe; the
fire in the kitchen stove was out. She came shivering in to-prayers a
little after ten. The parlour fire was nearly out, and Miss Baylis
and I were quite cold. The fire upstairs was not lit, nor had any
ashes been taken up on Sunday morning. If any had been removed on
Saturday, they were placed in iron vessels in the first kitchen. The
fire broke out in the further corner of the wood-shed. The cause is
so far quite unknown, and will, I suppose, ever remain so.

"I send you the account of the inquest, and other papers, as I know
well it is better to see and know all particulars. I cannot, however,
tell of all the kindness and sympathy we have met with--a telegram
from Mr. Claxton, offering money, &c., Hon. George Alien wishing to
take the children; Mr. Eason: 'I am praying for you, can I help by
coming?' numbers of friends coming with clothes of every kind;
subscriptions got up to start a new Home immediately; sewing
societies at work and ladies canvassing the town in every direction
for help to furnish another Home at once. I could not even begin to
particularise our friends. Mr. Flint came up at eight, begging me to
come to his house.

"This afternoon we have buried little Robin. The service was held in
Mr. Elliott's church.

"How often we have thought of home friends during the last few days,
and longed that you might not hear the news in any way till this
reaches you, which will be nearly three weeks! and now you must fancy
us happy at our work again, and as much under the loving care and
protection of our God as ever, trusting only to Him for everything,
that whether absent from the body, or still in the flesh, we may be
more and more filled with faith and love for the Lord's work.

"Wednesday. We seem each day to realise only more fully our
marvellous escape. The firemen say they never remember such a night,
nor saw a house burn so rapidly. Now every one is so kind; things
keep pouring in for the new Home;--it is to be Canadian this time,
not English. Mr. Flint says he has written to you, telling you all,
but he could not tell you one quarter of the kindness we have met
with on every hand.

"Oh, that verse in Isa. lxiv. II, is so expressive:

"'Our beautiful house where we praised Thee is burnt up with fire,
and all our pleasant things are laid waste.' What a ruin Marchmont is
now! the blackened ashes all around--nothing but the walls standing.
I feel such mingled feelings as I look at it--all the happy days we
have spent there--the holy associations never to return again.

"'We have no continuing city here,' was the text which filled Mr.
Thorn's mind, and it is one we hope more than ever to keep before us.
This trial seems to have given the four of us deeper sympathy and
interest together. So nearly entering eternity together, and yet
saved, we trust, to render more devoted service to the Master, for
having passed through this fiery trial.

"I can hardly bear to think of all the sorrow you are feeling for
us; but oh! let thanksgiving and praise be uppermost. It is the one
thought that fills our minds. We are wonderful in health, no cold,
and are as occupied as possible, looking after the children, and
preparing for the new Home. Happily, Charlie the horse, the sleigh,
and the buffalo robes are safe, and most useful we find them now.

"I am so thankful that it will be nearly three weeks ere you know,
and you must think of it as past and gone, and, if possible, just at
first see the beginning of great good in making the work more known,
and rousing the sympathies of others."


      What, Marchmont gone!
  That pleasant Home nought but a memory now;
  And yet, in humble thankfulness we bow,--
      Father, Thy will be done.

      It was but lent:
  Thou wilt not that Thy children fix their heart
  On aught below: theirs is a better part--
      A treasury unspent.

      Still are its memories dear!
  The maple shadows that around it lay,
  Stirred by the breezes from the silvery bay,
      Or bathed in moonlight clear--

      How fair were they!
  Lovely when decked with earliest buds of spring,
  Loveliest when radiant autumn came to fling
      A glory on each spray.

      Oh home of praise and prayer!
  Where glad sweet voices raised the morning hymn,
  Pleaded for blessing in the twilight dim,
      Or thrilled the midnight air.

      Can we forget
  The meetings and the partings we have known?
  The welcome glad, the farewell's sadder tone--
      Ah, we remember yet.

      We were not there
  When thro' its halls the fierce destroyer swept;
  But God was watching, while our dear ones slept--
      Safe were they in His care.

      All safe with Him;
  Yes, for our Robbie "sings for Jesus" now
  In sweeter tones, with far more sunny brow,
      And eyes no tear's can dim.

      They wait His word--
  Stanley and Robbie side by side--and we
  Caught up together with them soon shall be
      For ever with the Lord.

  S. R. GELDARD.


All former kindness was as nothing compared to that now received, as
will be seen by the following from Miss Bilbrough:--

"BELLEVILLE, _February 2, 1872_.

"I know that many many prayers are now being offered for us, and
that the Lord is answering them every minute, giving us sustaining
grace and wisdom, and help as to the future. I knew it would be five
weeks before I could hear from you, and I could trust that all we
might arrange here would meet your approval, as it has generally done.

"However, the Belleville people, with Mr. Flint at their head, quite
took the matter out of my hand, being determined that they would
provide and furnish themselves a still better house than Marchmont.
The sympathy awakened is great, and the pleasure of friends at
hearing that we could have a large substantial house on the Kingston
Road for our orphan children was equally so. Mr. Flint has secured it
for three years, the Council paying the rent and taxes, and
sufficient is already gathered to furnish it. So that when the first
arrivals come in May, all will be ready for them.

"How good the Lord is! even out of apparent trial He brings the
good. We had been praying for special blessing, and in this way,
(strange as it seems to us), we do recognise the answer."

In March, Miss Macpherson writes:--

"BELOVED FRIENDS,--While you are reading this, my pathway will again
be upon the mighty deep. The Lord willing, I look to leave Liverpool
by steam-ship 'Scandinavian,' March 7th. Miss Reavell, who has for
two years been our scribe in the Refuge, accompanies me. Your prayers
have gone up that blessing may be ours, as a little band of feeble
workers for our Lord, and if He has been pleased to try our faith by
the trial of fire, shall we not praise Him for anything His loving
hand doth send us? And as one has beautifully said, 'What God takes
it is always gain to lose.' Heaven is nearer now our little Robbie is
there; Jesus is dearer, and has quickened us all by His constraining
love.

"My object in going now to Canada without children is twofold.
Strength being given, my desire is to visit the new districts, where
I hope in the coming summer to place out the hundreds now under
excellent training and holy influence here and in Scotland, and to
find out Christian families who may be willing to receive them on
arrival. Plead that the Holy Spirit may fill with power those who are
daily seeking to win these wanderers back to the fold.

"Secondly, I wish to make use of the late sad calamity, and God's
wonderful interposition in saving life, so that the teaching may not
be lost upon the hundreds of immortal souls connected with our
mission."

It is impossible to describe the eagerness with which the arrival of
these dear friends was looked for, and day after day, those in
service in and around Belleville would come with the hope of seeing
them. And among these were former match-box makers, who had been
rescued from such depths of sorrow; one of whom had already saved
from her wages sufficient to pay her brother's passage out, besides
bringing offerings of her own work towards the furnishing of Miss
Macpherson's room in the new House. Through many dangers they were
brought safely, in answer to many prayers, but Miss Reavell had
suffered much on the voyage, and one special instance of the Lord's
care I cannot help here recording, "They shall abundantly utter the
memory of Thy great goodness." Miss Reavell had been a most diligent
and necessary labourer at the Home of Industry night and day. At sea
her strength seemed to fail; she only existed on oranges, and the
last orange was gone. In the midst of a fearful storm, signals were
made by another vessel that they were without food, and the life-boat
was put off from the steamer, carrying to the distressed vessel a
barrel of flour and pork In return, a thank-offering came in the
shape of two boxes of the best oranges, the ship being from Palermo,
bound for New York with a cargo of fruit. "Even the very hairs of
your head are all numbered."

The visit of Miss Barber, a Canadian lady of influence, to the Home
of Industry, was the means of interesting friends in the Eastern
Townships' Province of Quebec, and of leading them to open a Home at
Knowlton.

The following letter is from Miss Macpherson:--

"The year's experiment in this new district will enable us to test it
as to whether it will be a suitable one for our children; if so, it
will not cost many pounds of English money. The old house we have
taken was formerly a tavern, and its ball-room will make us an
excellent dormitory; the rent is only 20 pounds, and is paid entirely
by a Canadian. Should the children thrive under the fostering care of
our dear friend Miss Barber (now doubly dear to us all after the
winter of help she has given us in the East of London), there will be
no difficulty in establishing a permanent Home, built of brick, half
of the necessary sum having already been subscribed in and around
Sheffield, Leeds, and Nottingham; and the other half our friends in
the province of Quebec have freely offered to collect. Thus will those
both on this side and at home share the benefits; the old country
seeing hundreds educated that might otherwise in a few years become
expensive criminals, and the new country, receiving, ere habits are
fixed, young life which, in future, will call Canada 'the home of its
adoption.'

"Though, according to all accounts, this is an uncommonly heavy
snow-season, I have no fears for the children, the air is so dry and
clear, and well fitted to invigorate their frames. This morning I
started about five o'clock, and soon forgot the fear which had crept
over me but a week ago, when I took my first winter journey among
these snowy hills. 'Knowledge is power,' and the experience of dangers
met and passed gives quietness and confidence.

"You will be imagining that owing to these prolonged snow-storms all
work is stayed. Not so; everything goes on most vigorously--lumbering,
carting, cutting wood for summer's need. Ladies seem
always busy; yet as it is often seen, those who have most to do can
best arrange to be at leisure. There is an education of forethought
caused by having to watch against the heat and cold; this has deeply
interested me in the practical manner in which they are going to work
in furnishing this Eastern Townships' Home. In return for the
kindness shown to this Mission, may the whole district be spiritually
blessed, and may our loving Lord be the joy and strength of each
faithful labourer!

"The heavy calamity that it pleased our Father to send by fire, has
accomplished in a few weeks that which would otherwise, humanly
speaking, have taken many years to make known. Our motives and
principles of service were all new, and even our simple faith and
trust in prayer were often misunderstood. Though we had travelled
several thousands of miles in Canada, seeking to stir up Christians
to aid us in finding and watching over the right home for our
children, we had no medium on this side like 'The Christian,' by
which we could communicate with those like-minded, and tell them of
our burdens.

"The Hon. B. Flint tells us how the hearts of his fellow-townsmen
were moved with compassion on hearing of the destruction of the
Children's Home, on that terrible night, and that some of them
attempted to ascend the hill and offer aid, but had to turn back,
unable to face the hurricane and tempest.

"The citizens of Belleville have contributed freely towards
replacing the Home, and the Lord's dear children all over the land
have sent their love-offerings. The County Council received
testimonies from many of the homesteads concerning the six hundred
children placed out round Belleville, and generously contributed 500
dollars to show their esteem for the work. The funds in hand led Mr.
Flint, after the withdrawal of the rented house at first proposed, to
purchase a freehold of three and a quarter acres, possessing a good
house and out-buildings, which were adapted to our use by the
addition of dormitories, and furnished by the aid of the ladies of
Belleville. This Home is now given to us for so long as it shall be
used by our mission band in connection with the emigration of
children to this district."

In April, a detachment of thirty elder boys arrived, to be followed
quickly by others.

In June 1872, when 150 emigrants arrived, 50 children were sent to
each of the three Homes now opened to receive them, and for several
years this order was observed, until other arrangements were made to
meet the growing character of the work.

The following tells of the progress of the Galt Home:--

"Many will wish to know how this Home at Galt shapes itself, and
would be amused at the varied occupations of the past week.

"A Canadian springtime is very brief, so we have had to buy a span
of horses and a plough, and, with the aid of other neighbours'
ploughs, the corn and clover seed will soon be all sown. The ladies
of several churches have met in the council-chamber, and worked at
all household gear, others superintending the house arrangements, and
purchasing necessary things.

"My part has been that of a faithful recipient, giving praise from
hour to hour to Him who hath laid my every burden here on His own
children's hearts. The past little season has been to me a precious
rest-time, seeing others work. We expect to be all in order by the
arrival of our next party. The threshing-floor we have transformed
into a dining-room; one of the barns is fitted up as a dormitory. The
chaff-house makes a lavatory; and, from the interest around, we do
not expect to keep our little men very long out of the homes waiting
for them.

"The love-tokens here, as at home, are varied in their character.
Our farmer's wife has set us up with poultry, another with eggs; a
little boy brought us his pet hen as an offering; indeed, wherever we
turn, some kind thought is shown, and our hearts are gladdened, and
our faith is able to rejoice at the prospect of returning home, and
gathering up another thousand precious young immortals from the
depths of our sin-stricken cities, and placing them out in homes
where Jesus is loved."

In June, Miss Macpherson was welcomed back with warm thanksgivings,
having left the Home at Galt under the wise and loving care of her
faithful companion, Miss Reavell. In after years Mr. and Mrs. Merry
devoted themselves chiefly to this branch of the work, and have been
the watchful and tender foster parents of this ever-varying family.
It would be hard to say whether Mrs. Merry's presence was more valued
here, or among the sorrowful widowed mothers in Spitalfields.



CHAPTER V.

1872-1874.

Letter from Rev. A. M. W. Christopher--Letter from Gulf of St.
Lawrence-Mrs. Birt's Sheltering Home, Liverpool--Letter to Mrs.
Merry--Letter from Canada--Miss Macpherson's return to England--
Letter of cheer for Dr. Barnardo--Removal to Hackney Home.


Though human praise is not sought, we cannot but feel peculiar
pleasure in giving the following testimony from a servant of the Lord
so much revered as the Rev, A. M. W. Christopher of Oxford:--

"Of all the works of Christian benevolence which the great love of
Christ constrains His servants to carry on, with which I have become
personally acquainted, not one, has impressed me more deeply, by its
great usefulness, than the work of God carried on by Miss Macpherson
and her fellow-labourers. She has in three years transplanted more
than twelve hundred boys and girls from almost hopeless circumstances
of misery and temptation in Great Britain, to healthy, happy,
industrious homes in Canada. And this has not been all; daily efforts
have been made in faith and love during the period of training, and
on the voyage, and in the Distributing Homes in Canada, to win these
young hearts for Christ by means of the Gospel. There can be no doubt
that God has blessed these labours of love to bring many to Himself
in the Lord Jesus.

"When I was in Canada last September, I made three special journeys
expressly to visit Miss Macpherson's three 'Distributing Homes' at
Galt, Belleville, and Knowlton, respectively in the west, centre, and
east of the Dominion.

"On September 10, 1872, I left Toronto at 5.30 A.M., and travelled
113 miles to the east along the Grand Trunk Railway to Belleville,
which is 220 miles west of Montreal. I took the Lady Superintendent,
Miss Bilbrough, by surprise. Her sister was with her, having lately
brought over a hundred boys. These two young but experienced
Christians are evidently full of faith and energy and delight in
their work and of lore to the children. About a thousand boys and
girls brought out, or sent out by Miss Macpherson, had passed through
the Home in three years. She has herself placed out 800 boys and
girls, 600 of whom are in homes around Belleville. She meets with the
kindest reception from the farmers with whom she has placed these
children. _She could place out a thousand more if they were at once
sent out_, the demand is so great. All the orphan children under
nine years of age are adopted by farmers who have no children, to be
treated exactly as if they were their own. Miss Bilbrough, and also
the Lady Superintendents at Galt and Knowlton, never place a child in
a home unless the farmer brings a testimonial from his minister.

"The burning of the Home very much touched the people of Canada, who
had learned to appreciate the efforts for good connected with it; and,
unasked for, dollars from kind Canadians poured in. Miss Bilbrough had
daily to write thanks to many. More than 3000 dollars (600 pounds)
were soon sent in, and instead of renting a house, they were able to
buy the first-rate one they now occupy, and which was given to Miss
Macpherson, with so much kind feeling, by the Canadians.

"I was equally interested in the work of Miss Reavell in the Home at
Galt, to the west of Toronto. This had only been established a few
months before I visited it. Here also I was greatly impressed by the
patient, painstaking Christian lore of those who had charge of the
children. The children looked healthy, and happy, and ready for work.

"The last Home I visited was at Knowlton, an eastern township of the
Quebec Province, south of the St. Lawrence. I heard that Miss Barber,
the Lady Superintendent, was nursing some of the children who had the
smallpox. I went to see her. It was quite clear that the love of
Christ constrained her to devote herself with all her heart and
strength to the children committed to her care. I spoke with the
uninfected children before I saw her. I was interested to see how
accustomed they had been whilst in this Home to be treated with love.
Soon three little ones climbed upon my knees, whilst I talked of
Jesus to them and the elder ones. Miss Barber is a lady of good
position, the half-sister of the excellent Judge of that district,
lately Minister of Agriculture in the Dominion Government. In early
life she had very bad health, but has been raised up frond great
weakness to work most diligently for Christ among the children who
pass through her Home. Her brother, the Judge, and his wife, who live
at Knowlton, zealously do all they can to help the good work.

"Many in England know better than I do the great work for God, carried
on in connection with Miss Macpherson's 'Home of Industry,' Commercial
Street, Spitalfields, and the similar Homes at Glasgow, Edinburgh,
Dublin, and Liverpool. Others may visit these, and have their hearts
stirred up to help forward the work by what they see in those Homes;
but Canada is a great way off, and, as an independent witness, I
desire to bear the strongest testimony to the Christian usefulness of
the work, and to the faithful, the wise and careful manner in which it
is carried on. A far greater number of children might be thus
transplanted with the best results, under God's blessing, if
sufficient means were supplied to Miss Macpherson. May I not hope that
the great love of Christ will constrain those who read this paper to
send help promptly, so that this work may be extended, and that many
more children may be rescued. Remember, dear reader, the love of your
Saviour for little children. _'Look not every man on his own things,
but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you,
which, was also in Christ Jesus'_ (Phil ii. 4, 5). 10 pounds will fit
out, and pay the passage of a child. How can 10 pounds be better
spent? Try, dear reader, and raise 10 pounds among your friends, if
you cannot give it yourself. Or do what you can, however little that
may seem to you to be. The matter is urgent, the season is passing
away. Pray send help at once, and strive to interest your friends in
the work. How many more might be rescued! What a contrast there is
between the photographs of the miserable, hopeless children, taken
when they are received at the Homes in this country, and the
photographs of the same children after they have been a few months in
Canada; I have many such contrasts with me. They would move you to
help this work of love. But, the love of Christ must be the great
motive; yet we should not forget that the Holy Spirit taught St. Paul
to write, _'He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and
he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man
according as he purposeth in his heart so let him give: not grudgingly
or of necessity, for God loveth a cheerful giver'_ (2 Cor. ix. 6, 7)."

In May of this year, Miss Macpherson took out another party of young
emigrants, and writes as follows:--

_"On board 'Circassian,' Gulf of St. Lawrence, May 5th, 1873._

"MY DEAR FELLOW-WORKERS,--Hitherto our blessed experience has been
that 'The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him, and the
Lord shall cover him all day long;' 'The eternal God is thy refuge,
and underneath are the everlasting arms.' Our song is one of
unmingled praise, and our little band is strengthened and invigorated
by the voyage,--no storm permitted to alarm us by day or night We are
now entering the mighty Gulf, and passing through fields of ice; but
'He who hath compassed the waters with bounds, and divided the sea
with His power,' maketh a right way for us and our little ones."

"Morning and evening, my dear fellow-workers have been enabled to
continue sowing precious seed in these young hearts, so soon to bid
us farewell. Our steerage has been the rendezvous, when weather
permitted, of those who love praise and prayer. In quietness and rest
we have sought to renew our strength by waiting upon the Lord;
holding up your hands by prayer, dear fellow-labourers, grasping the
precious fulness of the promises, for you as well as for ourselves,
that every opportunity given you upon Rag-market, in the courts and
sorrowful dens around our Home, in every small room prayer-meeting,
or-when you gather around the Word, may have been used, and
accompanied by the 'demonstration of the Spirit' and signs following."

"We have to-day realised answers to your prayers for us, whilst
cutting through miles of ice, going at the rate of two knots an hour,
but all has been peace and safety."

"We are now beyond the vast acres of frozen sea, and every hour
brings us into a warmer climate, and nearer to our desired haven.
Those interested in our little band, may rest assured it has been a
happy voyage with each one. Not _one_ case of disobedience has
caused us anxiety. Early to sleep and early on deck has given good
appetites, as all their brown and rosy cheeks do testify. At this
point of our journey we recall the experience of May 1870, entering a
way unpassed heretofore. Now can we praise with a full heart, and
testify that His own 'I wills,' in Isa. xlii. 16, have been realised
by us as a little band.

"We are now about to land with our 1520th child, our twelfth voyage,
without a storm, thousands of welcomes from warm hearts awaiting us.
Open doors in scores of towns around each of our three missionary
centres, ready to receive the evangelists who travel with us. We ask
continued prayers that they may be young Stephens, filled with faith
and power, and that we maybe guided in the right distribution of the
tracts and books we carry with us.

"And oh, dear pleaders, remember the many lonely, little hearts we
are finding homes for; it is very sorrowful work unbinding, as it
were, the little twinings their sweet, obedient ways have already
bound around us. Many were writing letters this morning ready to post
when landing, but very many had not a love-link to earth. One little
fellow said, 'I ain't got nobody to write to but you.' The one most
lonely as to earth's relationships will soon become a solitary one
set in a family; and again, if permitted, we shall return and gather
in another family from the sad, sad, million-peopled city.--Yours, in
the bonds of the Gospel,

"Annie Macpherson.

"P. S.--May 7. We have landed under the brightest sunshine, on a
warm, balmy June-like day, feeling deeply thankful for all our
heavenly Father's mercies. A deputation of Quebec Christian sisters
awaited our touching the shore. What a bond is ours in Christ Jesus!"

Allusion has been made to the Home opened by Mrs. Birt at Liverpool;
and the following letter will show the heart-rending nature of the
scenes occurring there as in London:--

"August 7.

"Dear Friends,--On the 12th of May last we opened the above Home,
and there were present on the occasion more ladies and gentlemen
whose hearty sympathy seemed with us, than the large room could
comfortably hold. One little destitute fellow was presented as the
first to enter for protection and kindly care. Since then
_ninety_ poor tiny creatures have been admitted, and these alike
share in the love, attention, and comfort found within the walls of
this happy Home.

"Through the great kindness of the friend who placed the premises at
our disposal, we have obtained an additional room, which enables us
to rescue some little girls, many of whom are orphans, who dragged
out a miserable existence by begging for food, and sleeping wherever
they could find shelter; others, worse off, were, through their
relationship, running every risk of being reared to a life of infamy
and ruin. Others are the children of widowed mothers, who say they
are willing to work, but finding none of a continuous character, have
rapidly sunk to a condition of wretchedness from which it seems
impossible they can rise.

"Seventy have rapidly progressed, and are so obedient and anxious to
please, that so far as training in this country is concerned, they
are in a fit state of preparedness for emigration to Canada; and from
the statements received from our sister, Miss Macpherson, of the
increased and increasing demand from Canadian families for useful
boys and girls, to assist them in their house and farm duties, we do
think that these should be taken without delay to the comfortable
homes waiting to receive them,--homes in which they will be trained
to habits of industry, usefulness, and saving.

"The boys' clothes are near completion, and the girls' outfits are
being made, and greatly helped on by the kind-hearted exertions of
Christian ladies in Liverpool and Birkenhead, who have brought to the
Sheltering Home their own sewing-machines, and plied them at full
speed on our behalf at the weekly sewing-meetings held on Wednesdays,
from eleven till five P.M. At these gatherings, much to the
gratification of the ladies, the little ones whose garments they were
sewing, have sung for their pleasure children's sweet hymns of praise
to Him by whose love they were being cared for.

"My heart, and the hearts of my few but loving helpers who live with
me in the Home, have been nearly broken this afternoon by witnessing
a sight so terrible, that we hope and pray we may never see the like
again. A most depraved, drunken, and wicked father, set on by two
women more wicked (because more cunning) than himself, dragged out of
our Home by main force two dear little girls he had himself, when
more sober, besought us many times to take in. They knelt, they
prayed, they begged as for dear life to be left in the Home; when,
refused by him again and again, they saw he was urged on by the women
to drag them out, they gave way to their poor little wills and
screamed, 'I won't go with you! I won't go with you! I know where you
will take us to! You never cared one bit for us, but now, that we are
clean and comfortable, and learning to read, you wish to take me
back. If you do, I will get something to take my life away, rather
than live with you!' And by the man's sheer force they were carried
screaming from the Home; and the last thing we heard, through their
shrieks, was the father uttering threats we cannot repeat. I ran to
my little room to hide myself and weep; but I heard them screaming
still, as the poor girls made one more desperate effort at
resistance. Though now it is three hours since, I hear their
screaming yet; and, dear friends, I think I shall hear it till I die.
As a little band, we are completely petrified, bruised, and sore,
quivering in every nerve, looking up earnestly to God to know His
Will, and praying that we may have all the other dear ones left to
train for Him; for the Roman Catholic spirit is bitterness itself
against thus teaching the little ones.

 "'Jesus loves me, this I know,
   For the Bible tells me so;
   Little ones to Him belong,
   They are weak, but He is strong.'

"Dear friends, pray for our little ones. Money is useful, personal
help is useful; the thoughtful gifts we receive from time to time are
useful; but prayer--which 'moves the hand that moves the world'--is
more useful than all beside. Pray for our children; for those we
purpose taking to new homes in a distant land, that they may never
disgrace the Home they have been sheltered in; and for those who have
been torn away from us, that they may be preserved from temptation,
and from becoming a curse. Then shall we joyfully take them forth,
and in God's good time return, and again fill up this spacious Home,
and feel it the greatest privilege of our life to labour among the
poor neglected little ones of the streets of these large cities.
Share then in the blessing wrapped up in the King's word, 'Inasmuch
as you have done it unto one of the least of these My brethren, ye
have done it unto Me.'"

How great is the contrast in turning from these heart-rending
details, to the following letters from across the Atlantic:--

"BELLEVILLE, _June 7th, 1873_.

"My dear Mrs. Merry,--I wish you had been with us to-day, and seen
part of the result of all your patient toil and joyous service for
the Lord daring the past five years' work among His little ones.

"Knowing the joy it would be to so many of them to see dear Miss
Macpherson, we sent out postal-card invitations to those living
within 25 miles. Some few were unable to accept; but between seventy
and eighty children, with their employers, came in one by one,
looking so brown and healthy. You would hardly recognise in the tall,
slim youth, now quite a help to his master, a carpenter by trade, the
little, tender-hearted George M--, eldest of three orphan brothers.
It hardly seems three years ago since their father stood up in a
gathering of Christians, and with failing breath declared what the
Lord had done for his soul. Then you remember how quietly he passed
away, leaving his three boys entirely in Miss Macpherson's care. All
doing so well in Canada--Fred and little Johnnie still in their first
homes.

"One great pleasure of the children was to roam over the Home under
the orchard blossoms, glancing over the books of photographs and
recognising some friend or mate with whom some far different days had
been spent. Among the attractions were the tables of toys, pictures,
books, &c., sent out by English friends; and here the little ones
spent some of their hoarded cents, thinking so much of anything
really English. About twelve o'clock we gathered in the flower garden
in front, while sandwiches, buns, and milk were passed round among
the children. Your sister sat with them chatting to them of old
times, and answering many questions as to former companions and still
loved though often silent English friends. Can you picture the eager
listeners to the familiar voice of one who was to them the link
between the sorrowful past and the happy future?--a Bible lesson on
the lost sheep. My eyes often filled with tears when I looked at
their bright faces, and blessed God for the open door for them in
this country. There stood Jamie D--, who, with his little brother
Hughie, formed one of the saddest photographs of childish wretchedness
even Glasgow streets could produce; so bright, so well-dressed,
though still with a little of the old look of childish care.
William C--, the little fellow of four years old, whose mother died
in India, and the father on his return sank in a London hospital,
leaving little Willie friendless, was here with a lovely bunch of
hot-house flowers ready to present to Miss Macpherson, and to receive
from her one of the beautifully illustrated scrap-books made by
little English children. Willie has been nearly three years in his
happy home, surrounded by all the influences of education and
refinement.

"Now the friends were gathering thickly, and listened while an
earnest address was given to the boys by Miss Macpherson. When she
ceased, first one and then another gentleman stood up and gave their
earnest, hearty sympathy with and approval of the work, and of the
character of the boys. And here I must tell you, in passing, we
attribute much to the loving, tender training of your Hampton Home.
It is not that Canadian farmers would put up with _anything_, or
that a bad boy is so useful that his faults are overlooked; for here
every single boy is thoroughly known, and discussed over all the
country side. Mr. Grover, from the village of Colborne, quite cheered
our hearts with the good accounts of the twenty in his neighbourhood,
most of whom have joined his classes, and by their steady industrious
conduct are recommending themselves.

"He said, 'I do not speak without personal experience. W. O--- has
been two years in my employ, and a more truthful, upright, honest
boy, I would not wish to have; he has left now to learn further about
farming, and I immediately applied for another one from Marchmont,
and believe W. S--- will prove as successful and honest a servant.'
Then the Rev. William Bell stood up and bore testimony to your
favourite Tommy--one of the rescues from Mr. Holland's Shelter, in
1869. 'I have boarded now over a year in the good farmer's home,
where Tommy S---lives. He is as good, and truthful, and honest a boy
as I would wish to have about a house; and his master so appreciates
his services that he gives him fifty dollars for his first year.
These boys are in every way a blessing, and advantage to our
country.' Mr. V., who has been already alluded to, said, 'I sought
guidance and direction from the Lord before I came to the Home, now
nearly three years ago, and then I only intended to take one boy; I
have never regretted I took two. Except one or two days, they have
never missed school; indeed I do not believe any one could hire them
to stay away. I know that their labour morning and evening repays me
for any expense I am at, and they can be at school all the time.'
Miss Macpherson then told these two boys, F--- and T---, of her
last visit to their grandmother in the tidy attic in Bethnal Green,
and how pleased she was to receive the five dollars they had sent
her. Mr. Ward, a farmer from Sidney, had brought his little boy,
Tommy S---; and Johnnie, the brother, had come from a home across
the Bay of Quinte. So there was a touching meeting, and many
experiences for the two brothers to relate, during one month's
absence. Mr. Ward told how he intended to educate his boy, and
trusted he might yet fill some prominent position, for which by
natural gifts he seemed well qualified. Speaking of the religious
character of the work, he said, 'I asked him who had taught him so
much of Jesus? He told me he did not even know who He was till he was
taken into the Refuge; but now he knows about Him, and of His love
for little children.' I know you will like to hear particulars of H.
W---, whose sad history excited so much sympathy, and for whom the
noble-man's little son gave up his pet pony that he might have the
money to emigrate him. Well, you could not tell the round-faced,
happy boy, to be the same. He brought four dollars he had earned
towards his passage money; is in a good home, and doing well. Also of
George and Mary F---, who met, after ten months' separation, so
changed that they hardly recognised each other. How it would cheer
their kind rescuer's heart (Mr. George Holland) could he see them
now! but I knew nothing, not even such joy as this, could tempt him
away from his special work; so I sent the children, to their great
delight, to the town to get their likenesses taken to send him.

"Altogether the day was a most happy one. But no onlooker could
fully understand the deep, rich joy of looking into those happy
faces. Only those who had watched over and prayed with them from the
beginning could at all enter into this peculiar feeling; and many
earnest prayers ascended that these loving, tender hearts might be
won for the Saviour, and from among them many ambassadors for Jesus
might yet go forth. And for you too, dear friend, that you may be
strengthened and helped; ever remembering the promise, 'Cast thy
bread upon the waters; for thou shalt find it after many days'
(Eccles. xi. i).--Yours, in sweet work for the Lord,

"Ellen A. Bilbrough."

"My very dear Sister,--Could you but see me this morning, started on
my peregrinations in these snowy regions, you would be amazed. The
poor worn head perfectly well, after a whole week in the quiet,
restful Home at Knowlton, where children are being trained,
sewing-meetings and Bible-readings held, farmers conversed with, and
my privilege has been to hold up the hands of my two companions, who
went forth to address Sunday-schools or to preach the gospel.

"Fancy me starting yesterday morning, fixed up in my delightfully
warm fur cloak, and many other ingenious devices, to defy the cold,
wintry blast, a drive of eighteen miles. During the journey we
stopped twice. The first time we met with one of our once poor,
pale-faced rescues, Katie D---. What a change, now happy and useful,
compared to the time when we sheltered her from the dreaded return of
her drunken father from prison!

"As the night closed in, the cold caused us to hasten to our
journey's end as quickly as the strength of our Home horse would
admit of. But cheery was it to be told by our friend, as we passed
one farmhouse after another, 'We have a boy here and a girl there
doing well.' Sometimes it would be, 'We have had to move a boy; his
temper did not suit; but since he has been back to the Home, and
placed out again with a firmer master, he is doing much better.' A
very hearty Canadian welcome awaited us. Ushered into a warm room,
our wraps taken off, soon we were seated, enjoying a 'high' tea. It
snowed all night, and drifted in at every crevice of our bedroom
window.

"Snow fell all day, and to my idea it seemed improbable for many to
gather for a meeting. The village street was enlivened all day by the
constant passing of the sleighs, with merry jingle of bells. It was
indeed a new scene to witness the gathering of a meeting to hear of
the orphan and destitute children, whose cause we had come to plead,
and contradict a report which had gone forth in their district, that
it was a mass of jail-birds we had brought from England.

"As we arrived, a farmer kindly offered to broom the snow from our
feet--a process all seemed prepared to do for each other. Then, in a
good-sized hall, about fifty of all ages gathered around an immense
stove--ministers, doctors, and farmers, with their belongings. Chairs
in front of the stove were set for the minister and myself.

"After singing 'Rock of Ages,' etc., and prayer, it was so like a
family, that it became easy just to tell real story after story as to
how we find the children, where the means come from, and what is
required of those who receive them.

"The minister then present was one who, having heard of the work at
the commencement; had gone to the Home and received little Bessie,
aged ten. She now came up and gave me a hearty kiss, and then, so
childlike, showed me her new winter garments. Now who was Bessie? The
child of a surgeon who had rained his family by intemperance. The
mother, a teacher in a ladies' school in Germany, earning her own
bread, after a long and heavy struggle. Bessie is loved and is being
educated in everything to make her a useful woman.

"Next morning we started for visits to several children. Found the
first child gone to school. We saw her looking well as we passed the
school-house, and called her out. All we saw that day filled our
hearts with deepest thankfulness. The meeting in the evening was held
in the Congregational Church, well warmed and lighted, and a most
intelligent-looking gathering. Ere long I espied one of the orphan
lads, and called him to me, that he might speak for himself, knowing
that his own words would endorse the work more forcibly than anything
I could say. He was a bright, intellectual looking youth of fourteen,
who in a most manly way answered me a few questions. In this way we
are securing the prayers of God's dear children, and, we trust,
opening many a heart and home for those who may yet come forth from
the dens of sin and iniquity of our great cities.

"Our Canadian horse seemed to enjoy the snow as much as we did, even
though the depth had tripled since our leaving home. How much on this
journey we have learnt of the continued loving-kindness of our
covenant-keeping God, making our fears fly, and giving protection
from the stormy blasts, in forms so comparatively new to us. Every
person is so kind to us that we are so glad we have been led to yield
to this service as a child. Many a door, we trust, will soon be wide
open for earnest evangelists to come and be fresh voices, cheering
our brethren who are labouring on in these small towns away from the
front.

"Pray on for us, as a band, that we take not one step _before_
the Lord, but that we hold not back on account of our weakness or the
fear of man. Ask for us that we may each one live so close to the
Lord, that we may be fitted to deal personally with those we meet
with.

"We are frequently holding up your hands and praying that daily the
Lord will send the means with the children, and that you all be
sustained in health. Grace and peace be with you all--Yours, in sweet
fellowship, A. MP.

"Eastern Townships, Prov. of Quebec, November 18, 1873."

In March, 1874, Miss Macpherson returned from Canada filled with
praise for the encouragement met with. She had been enabled to plead
the cause of her children before many in positions of influence,
judges, merchants, lawyers, and doctors. A choice of two hundred
homes, amidst the love and affluence of that country, were now
awaiting her little rescued ones. Her own joy was increased by
receiving the letter of which she thus writes:--

"The enclosed letter will cheer our brother Dr. Barnardo, by showing
what a home God has provided for a dear little boy he was permitted
to rescue and train. Surely the departed mother, from whom our
brother received the child, would feel that the Lord is indeed the
Father of the fatherless.

'DEAR MISS,--I embrace this early opportunity of letting you know
how well pleased we all are with, and how much we like, little Henry
Tuppen. He is such a willing, obedient, and loving fellow, he has won
all our hearts, and we feel very much attached to him already. Many,
very many thanks to you and your fellow-labourers for the invaluable,
yes, priceless, lessons he has received under your kind care. Surely
this is much more than "the cup of cold water," and "you shall in no
wise lose your reward." Oh, may we discharge our duty as you have
towards this dear little orphan! My visit to you and your home that
morning was a great blessing to me; never shall I forget it. To hear
that dear little fellow sing "Bright Jewels," and look around over
the group of little ones, far from native home, and father and
mother, brother and sister, and think, "These are the jewels,
precious jewels," it seemed to bring heaven near. And truly the
Saviour was present. I never think of it but the tear starts, and a
silent prayer is offered that the Lord will give them all good
Christian homes, and that they may be all 'bright jewels,' and great
shall be your reward. Their heavenly Father sees it all.

'But I am forgetting my main object in writing to you, which is to
ask you if the little girl, the elder of the two whom we saw, is yet
provided with a home. If not, we have room for her, and should be
glad to have her. She would be such good company for my sister, who
is at home with mother. She would be treated in every way as a
daughter and a sister. Father is very sorry he did not bring her that
morning. It seems he thought of it then, but wished to talk it over
with the rest of the family.'"

Miss Macpherson adds:--

"Who is the little girl asked for to become a daughter and sister?
None other than the little Eliza who was found deserted seven years
ago, when only a few weeks old, and who has been most carefully
trained since then by our beloved sister-labourer, Miss Mittendorf,
whose toil among infant wanderers deserves the deepest gratitude of
the children of God."

The Homes at Hampton, endeared as they were by recollections of many
blessings, were this year vacated. The distance from Spitalfields had
always been a great strain on the strength of wearied workers, and
both time and fatigue were spared by removal to Hackney.

The opening of this Home is thus mentioned:--

_November 5_, 1874.

"On Saturday, the New Home situated in London-fields was opened with
prayer and thanksgiving. It consists of two large old-fashioned
houses thrown into one, and the situation is, for the neighbourhood,
remarkably open and airy. Many friends assembled, Mr. Dobbin
presided, and suggested, at the opening of the meeting, an analogy
between the Home of Industry, with its various stations, and the pool
of Bethesda 'having five porches.' Much prayer, and praise followed,
and worshipful hearts told themselves out in love and adoration. Such
hymns as 'Call them in,' 'Till He come,' and 'More to Follow,' aptly
expressed the aspirations and hopes of the earnest workers. Mr.
Merry, Mr. Maude, and others spoke, and then Mrs. Birt, only two days
since returned from Nova Scotia, gave accounts of the success of the
recent voyage, when eighty-three rescued children found happy homes
on the other side of the water, and most touching particulars of the
death of little Dickie, who went actually into the earthly harbour,
and entered the heavenly haven of rest at the same time. In the
bustle of arrival, 'he was not, for God took him.'"



CHAPTER VI.

1875-1877.

Mrs. Way's sewing--class for Jewesses--Bible Flower Mission--George
Clarice--Incidents in home work--The Lord's Day--Diary at sea--
Letters of cheer from Canada.


The Home of Industry has been already likened to the Pool of
Bethesda with its fine porches. Many sights there have been peculiar
to itself, and in no instance has this in past years been more
remarkable, than in the meeting for Jewesses, which has been carried
on ever since the year 1870. From fifty to seventy daughters of
Israel are gathered weekly, through the Lord's blessing on the
patient, unwearied labours of his honoured servant Mrs. Way. Greatly
indeed should she be honoured, for she diligently sought out these
lost sheep, when few comparatively could be found to "care for their
souls." When first told of "the name at which every knee shall bow,"
much scorn and contempt were manifested, but Mrs. Way is now cheered
by many signs of the Spirit's work, and when a hymn of praise to the
"Crucified One," is heard from the inner hall on the ground floor,
visitors may be startled to know the voices are those of Hebrew
mothers.

Again the Pool of Bethesda is brought to mind, as love for the sick
and suffering is shown in a way hitherto unthought of. In 1875, the
Home of Industry became a centre of the now well-known Bible Flower
Mission. One of the much-loved helpers recorded this touching
incident:--

"In the early spring of 1874, a snowdrop, primrose, and two or three
violets which had been casually enclosed in a letter from an East-end
worker to Mrs. Merry, were passed round her sewing class of 200 poor
old widows, 'for each to have a smell,' and then divided and given to
three dying Christians, one of whom breathed her last fondly clasping
them. From that time flowers were collected through the medium of
'Woman's Work,' etc., and during the season distributed by the ladies
at the Home of Industry among the sick in the neighbouring courts,
and in different hospitals.

"Again the hedges, tipped with tiny coral buds, primroses, and
daffodils peeping up amid the brushwood, golden-eyed celandines and
daisies lifting their sweet faces with smiles of welcome, remind us
of the near approach of the bright spring-time. But the heart is
saddened, and the joy of seeing this fresh burst of
resurrection--loveliness is clouded, when we turn to gloomy, stifling
courts and lanes in the crowded cities, where gleams of sunshine scarce
ever penetrate; the lives of whose miserable inhabitants are yet more
utterly devoid of brightness; to whom the voice of spring is an
unmeaning sound; to sick ones in these courts, who have no easier
couch for the pain-filled limbs than a heap of shavings on the hard
floor of a room filled with noisy children, and disorderly men and
women; to other sufferers tossing feverishly in hospital wards, with
nothing softer for the tired eyes to rest on than the endless stretch
of whitewashed walls, the background of long rows of patients whose
sad pale cheeks vie in whiteness with the sheets and walls: and the
cry ascends?

"'Oh, that a tithe of the wealth of fragrant, many-coloured flowers
so lavishly spread over gardens, fields, and hedgerows, could be
brought to cheer those who so dearly prize each separate bloom!'

"And once more down, deeper down, into the haunts of vice, smiling
so sweetly with the radiance of heavensent gifts, these messengers
may go--ready-made missionaries--to open doors and hearts fast locked
hitherto, but which must yield to their gentle influence; and thus
prepare the way for the ministry of the word of salvation.

"Oh, that men and women surrounded by loveliness could see as the
angels do!--strong natures, hardened by years of sin, whose stony
hearts are melted at sight of the flowers, and weep (as only such
can) when the deep hidden springs are touched, and memory recalls
days of childhood's innocence, long, long past; lessons in that
village Sabbath-school of the holy God; the story of the Son of His
love dying in die stead of guilty sinners, to raise them to the
bright, pure land above, where is no sin, no curse, no sorrow, but
cloudless day and endless rest and joy; and the spotless flowers seem
to beckon them onwards and upwards, to seek and find the way thither;
for are not the flowers one of the first links in that chain of love
which draws the poor, wearied, sinful heart up to God and heaven?

"Ah! and would to God the country folk might hear! ay, and that the
sounds could penetrate into the halls and castles of our land; the
silent cry of hospitals with several hundreds of patients, and but
rarely a flower?

"'I should _so_ like a little buttercup.'

"And the weary murmur of gladness that steals through the wards when
a chance bouquet is brought in; and the heartfelt blessings from many
dying lips on the flower-gatherers.

"'Tell them we may never meet on earth, but we shall thank them in
heaven.'

"Oh! could the veil be lifted for a brief moment and the dull ears
quickened to catch the pleading accents of the blessed lord? '_Do it
unto Me_'? none would longer count their flowers and fruit their
own, the Royal seal would be seen on each, whether growing wild in
copses, or carefully nurtured in hothouse and conservatory, and these
treasures would be poured out for those so sadly needing them, 'For
Jesus' sake!'"


THE BIBLE FLOWER MISSION.

It is needless to say that the appeal thus made has been answered by
thousands of loving hearts. The work at the Home of Industry is thus
carried on:--Twice in the week one of the spacious floors is devoted
to receiving these fragrant treasures, and dear friends from a
distance come, some of them many miles, and spend one or two hours in
arranging them, and attaching to each little cluster an ornamented
card with some message of redeeming love. By twelve o'clock the
baskets are generally filled, and all assemble to hear, either from
Miss Macpherson or some other tried servant of the Lord, words of
counsel and cheer; and then to seek wisdom for the labourers, and to
spread before the Lord the spiritual needs of those to whom they are
going,--many cases continually occurring for whom the comfort of
earnest united prayer is felt.

When the lovely burdens are carried forth, it is hard for the
bearers to resist the entreaties from many a doorstep for "one
flower, one single flower." Of the thankfulness with which they are
received when they reach their destination, we might tell countless
instances, and of conversions through the messages they bring we
believe not a few. Indeed who can say where the blessing ends? for
those who have found a blessing themselves will not keep the cards
under their pillow, but have sent them to soldier sons in India and
China, and to sailors afar off upon the sea.

The following lines were written by a poor woman, aged 70, in the
Mile-end Union:--


  "Many an eye with the film of death,
  With fading pulse, and bating breath,
  Have cast a look on those things so bright;
  And perchance a prayer with electric light,
  Has passed through the brain with magic power,
  Brought to the heart by a beautiful flower.
  Beautiful thought to bring to the sad,
  Sweet bright things to make them glad."


Of the numbers of labourers and abundance of texts and flowers
required, some idea may be formed when it is mentioned that thirteen
Hospitals, four Unions, some containing over 1000 inmates, and one
Lunatic Asylum, are provided for from the Home of Industry. Nor is
this all. The secretary supplies Bible women and city missionaries
with flowers for solitary sick ones at home, and receives constant
appeals from various, missions for these bright messengers of God's
love.

Who can read the following without praise to the Giver of every good
and perfect gift? Those who knew the condition of Spain had earnestly
prayed for evangelists for that dark land. One (Senor Previ) was
raised up through the instrumentality of the Bible Flower Mission,
and the following extract, from the report of a workers' meeting, as
given in the "Christian," tells of his conversion, and the way in
which the Lord led a fellow-labourer to join him in this almost
untrodden path.

"He came from Malaga in the summer of 1875 to the Ophthalmic
Hospital, Moorfields, for treatment. One afternoon, two ladies
belonging to the 'Bible Flower Mission' at the Home of Industry,
brought flowers and texts to give to the patients. One of the
visitors was about to offer a bouquet to the Spaniard, Senor Previ,
when the nurse remarked, 'It's of no use giving him a text, for he is
a Roman Catholic, and besides he can't speak a word of English.'
'Never mind,' was the reply, 'I will offer him a bunch of flowers,
and then see what I can do.' But what about a text? Surely it was the
Lord's doing that for the _first_ time she had brought one
written in French; and it was indeed appropriate? 'There is one God,
and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.' After
pointing him to the Great High Priest, she asked if he would accept a
Spanish Bible. This he refused to do, saying, 'No, I cannot, for it
is a bad, forbidden book; besides, I shall leave the hospital to-morrow
morning.' 'Nevertheless, I will send you a copy,' was the answer. With
great difficulty the lady procured a second-hand Spanish Bible, and
sent it off just in time for him to take away.

"Senor Previ then told us how, after studying that Bible for several
months, the eyes of his soul were opened to see Jesus as the
'_one_ Mediator.' Thus was fulfilled that promise so precious to
all seed-sowers? 'My Word shall not return unto Me void.'

"Soon afterwards he entered Mr. Guinness's College, employing his
free time in distributing Gospels, &c., on board foreign ships, and
assisting every Sunday at the services in the Spanish Chapel, thus
gaining experience for future work in the vineyard. He spoke most
warmly of the kindness of Miss Macpherson, and the happy hours spent
in the 'dear Home of Industry,' where, at a previous workers'
meeting, the ardent desire had first been kindled in his heart to
tell the good news of Jesus, the 'one Mediator,' to his own
countrymen. For some time he prayed earnestly that the Lord would
raise up a friend to go with him. This petition has been fully
answered.

"Mr. Lund then rose, and told us that whence, student in Stockholm
the desire to work in Spain had been laid on his heart for nearly
four years. He studied the language, but, seeing no opening, was on
the point of starting for America, when he received a letter from Mr.
Guinness which entirely altered his plans. He came to London, and on
meeting Senor Previ, offered to accompany him to Spain. The two
brethren earnestly requested the prayers of the meeting for their new
and difficult work."

The prayers here offered were more than answered. The first labourer
has fallen in the field, but others have filled the ranks, and the
light kindled in a dark place is now shining brightly.

Miss Macpherson's own words here follow:--

"What is the cry from all ends of the earth? For men and women to
witness of a Saviour's love by His death and resurrection. And we are
not only to pray the Lord to send forth labourers into the fields
that are white, but to look at the things we oft call our own as
belonging to another. There are hundreds of young men and women who
have been brought to the truth, and whose souls long to be free for
Christ's service, but they need a helping hand in little things.

"Let us pray that, from this mission, there may be many results such
as the following letter shows. Six years ago the writer was the
first-fruits after a winter's labour in the Bedford Institute,
Spitalfields--a wild, musical Shoreditch youth. We offered to teach him
to write. The Lord changed him, and he has ever since been a consistent
Christian. He has been the means of leading his mother to the
Saviour. He went to Canada, earning sufficient money to place himself
this winter at Oberlin College. I was asked if I knew of one suited
to become an artizan-missionary among the tribe of the Basutos. His
reply encourages our faith that many more, led thus simply on, may
soon go forth as working missionaries, after the pattern of St Paul,
reaching souls by their simple, holy life, as well as by their
preaching."


"OBERLIN COLLEGE, OHIO, _March_ 25, 1873.

"My DEAR MOTHER IN THE LORD,--Your welcome letter to hand on the
22nd, and the book on the Basutos on the 24th. My soul doth bless the
Lord for all that He hath done for me. My soul was filled with praise
when I read your proposition to go to Africa. I had been bound in
spirit for you, as you for me, and I had been asking the Lord for
many days that He would incline you to write to me.

"Previous to receiving the same, I had cast myself upon the Lord
more than ever. I could not see my way to run in debt, and I was
wondering whether I should go and work on the road; but I had a
burning desire to labour most of all for Christ, and I was longing to
go South, or somewhere to tell the heathen of Jesus. But when I
received your letter, I took it as an answer to prayer from the Lord,
and I could hardly finish reading it before I was telling my landlady
to rejoice with me. How blessed to trace the hand of the Lord in
this! I have learned by this to praise the Lord for what He has done,
and it has enabled my soul to trust Him for what He has promised.

"Believing this call is of God, and after much prayer, I have laid
myself, all that I am or hope to be, upon the altar, for Africa, to
labour to lead souls to the Lamb of God, to the blessed Lord Jesus. I
expect to be consumed by the power of the Holy Ghost, to be fitted
through Him for the work I am called to, to be used as the ram's
horn, to be spoken through, to lead souls to Jesus, not to receive
the praise of men, but of God.

"And I feel led to say, if it is for anything save for the glory of
God that I accept this call, to be used to the salvation of souls,
may the Lord take me home to Himself on sea or on land, that I see
you not in the flesh but in glory.

"I have written this in prayer before God to you, and this is my
burning desire, to be used of God. I do pray the Lord to keep me, and
put down all vain-glorying thoughts, which will naturally rise at
such a point as this, and He is doing it. I want to see Jesus more,
the value of precious souls, and all the realities I profess.

"I have read 'The Rides in the Mission Field of South Africa.' I was
much interested, and I had a longing to go, but I could see no place
for such a hope; I hare lent it to others here to read.

"I am reading 'The Basutos,' and I enjoy it; I am reading in prayer
that the Lord will show me what things would be necessary to take. I
shall speak on this point presently.

"I had a letter lately from some of my old neighbours in Muskoka,
telling me of the conversion of a young man I had often spoken to and
prayed for. I rejoice that my mother has given me up joyfully for
Africa, and I am so glad she continues bright in the Lord. I am
praying that I may have the privilege of seeing them all brought to
Christ, before I leave for Africa, I cease not to pray for you.--Your
son in the faith, G. C."

Interest in the Basuto tribe could not but be deepened from the
touching incident that in February of this year a feast for the
little matchbox-makers was provided from the contributions of Basuto
children,--those who had been blessed through the Lord's long-tried
labourers, Mr. and Mrs. Dyke. How little could any one then
anticipate the deep waters through which those servants of the Lord
have since been called to pass.

The workers' meetings at the Home of Industry are often a time of
mingled joy and sorrow. It is not alone the little emigrants for
Canada who are sent forth, but many a brother and sister in the Lord,
leaving home and kindred for His dear name's sake, have here been
commended with tearful prayers to His gracious keeping. The workers'
meeting in July this year was a season of peculiar interest, as
George Clarke, the first-fruits of the work, was present on the eve
of his departure for China. The way had not been made open for him to
join the mission in South Africa, as he had desired, and since his
departure at this time for China, he has laboured in connection with
the China Inland Mission, not once revisiting his native land.

A few incidents in home work are here recorded:--

"Having asked the Lord to send those He would have rescued for Him,
no less than _five_ children came to the Refuge last Wednesday.
Their touching histories need no comment.

"A struggling mother desires a start in life for her boy of ten,
whose stepfather subjects him to ill-treatment. The lady interested
in him (for the woman attends her mothers' meeting) writes: 'William
would be saved from destruction, to which he is fast hastening from
unkind treatment.'

"Arthur's story is summed up in his own words: 'I saw my father kill
my mother; he stamped on her when he was drunk, and killed her, and I
cried out.' Then, turning to his new friend and protectress, the
little fellow went on: 'But when I get a big man I'll work for you,
and pay you back for taking care of me when I was a little boy.'

"The next group, clad in deep mourning, is brought by a professional
opera singer: a babe in arms, a boy and girl aged two and four,
evidently born in a much higher sphere--pretty, refined children. At
their mother's death this young woman took charge of them, their
father having promised to pay 1 pound a week for their support;--an
empty promise it proved, for the '_gentleman_' absconded, heavily
in debt to many others. The children's friend can no longer afford
to keep them, though she seems tenderly attached to them, and will not
part with the baby as long as she can maintain it. The only way open
to her was to let the children wander on the street, on the chance of
their being taken up by the police and put in the workhouse, at the
same time risking her own imprisonment if discovered. Mercifully she
heard of the Refuge, and came to beg a home for these deserted lambs.

"A widowed mother, whose failing eyesight prevents her sewing, and
whose earnings by charing cannot support herself and four children,
heard Miss Macpherson speak at the Moorgate Street Hall Noon
Prayer-Meeting, and was led to bring little Alice to her, pleading for
Christian care. Amid many tears she tells of the wayward wilfulness of
the elder girl, out at all hours of day and night, and whose pernicious
example is too likely to ruin the little sisters."

Could such cases be sent away, or a deaf ear turned to the cry of
these "young children asking bread, and no man giving it them?" (Lam.
iv. 4.)

Miss Macpherson also writes:--"Many of those, once the little match-box
makers, are now Christian girls taking our counsel and going as
servants into Christian families.

"Thus our child-loving hearts cannot refuse to rescue the sorrowful
children that come to us to escape the atrocities of the almost
unacknowledged bloodless war that goes on in our midst. Most of the
fifty rescues now under our care are here through the slain upon the
battle-field of drink, shaven heads telling the tale of neglect. The
last two motherless little girls sent to us were turned out by their
drunken stepfather.

"The leader of our class for mothers and widows says that it is
almost impossible to visit them, their unmurmuring sufferings are so
touching. In many of their little garrets almost everything is sold.
And these are the saints of the Lord--those who will very soon go in
to the King more than conquerors. Yes, these are they from whom we
learn our best lessons of trust and patience, how to deal with
sceptics, and how to go down and share our crust with a suffering
sister."

"Oh, friends, listen to a mother's sad words. 'Some days nothing all
day. A little relief comes with the parish allowance; but many a
morning those hungry voices ask? _Mother, is this the day for
bread?_' Hear in fancy your loved and cherished little ones asking
this, and you will feel for that mother's heart. She recalls one day
that she left them crying for bread; but she left _One_ with
them, the children's Friend. _He_ quieted them; and when after
two hours the mother returned, she found them sleeping. 'But, oh,'
she said, 'that sight just broke-my heart, so starved they looked--even
the baby in Lizzie's arms--all just like little skeletons! I
couldn't help it; I just sat down and wept.' Only with tears could we
hear such a tale. No other response would come as we took in the
picture; and it did not mend our sorrow when she added, 'There were
thousands such as these.'" Oh, the _intense_ longing that her
voice could reach to those drawing-rooms yonder! Will not the echo of
it, coming in this form, cause some, not in imagination merely, but
in reality, to "come and see?" Climb the dark stair, and hear for
yourself these melting stories, which will fill your heart with pity,
and not leave you wondering what will interest next. What a
privilege, yea, high honour, it is to be allowed to take messages for
Jesus! It was stated lately in a crowded gathering of six thousand,
as the misery of the poor was dwelt on, that if God were to ask the
angels in heaven if any were willing to spend fifty or a hundred
years down here to befriend some? little shoeless, homeless boy, for
whom no Christian was caring, to tell him of Jesus, and lead him to
heaven, 'why, in three minutes,' were the burning words, 'I don't
believe there'd be an angel left within the pearly gates.'"

"My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." That which is called the
day of rest, is at the Home of Industry one of varied and incessant
labour; one day may serve as a specimen. Before the usual hour for
morning service, two of the lady-workers start for the Fenchurch
Street Station, to hold a Bible-class with the railway porters;
others at the same time leave for Bird Fair. Bird Fair would he a sad
sight to witness on any day in any place, how humiliating it is to
behold on that which is called the Lord's Day in a so-called
Christian land. Here, from eleven till one, dog-stealers parade their
ill-gotten prey, and crowds through which it is scarcely possible to
make one's way, are occupied in gambling and betting on them, and on
the beautiful pigeons here made such an instrument of sin. The
character of the neighbourhood may be, known from the appeal made by
two poor boys who came on a week day to ask shelter from a blind,
Christian woman. They were locked out of their own home (a bird and
rabbit shop), for their parents were both out drinking, and they
said, "Father and mother keep sober only on Sundays, because there is
more business to be done." There, amid many interruptions, the Gospel
is preached to those who would never hear it elsewhere. The preaching
station on this occasion was in a railway-arch, here the harmonium
was placed, and two brethren, who came purposely from a distance,
gave the help so much needed; for the strain is great on head, heart,
and voice. In the afternoon the spacious floor, well known to many
who attend the workers' meetings, is filled by adult classes of
women. At the close an address is given, often by a returned
missionary, and many among these very poor of the flock bring their
offerings, scanty in themselves, but surely much prized in the sight
of Him whose love has constrained them; twice over has a precious
offering been given to me for the Punrooty Mission--once from the
adult classes, and again from the younger Sunday scholars. The adult
Sunday-school numbers more than 160 members. A class of working men
is held below. The tea hour is one of peculiar interest. Many young
men who are engaged in business in the week, and give this day of
rest to the business of their King, meet here after having spent the
afternoon teaching in various schools. During this meal letters are
read from far-off lands, often written by those who had formerly met
here, and who have gone from this training to dark places of the
earth. Many subjects for prayer are thus brought forward and
remembered before the Lord; then the building is again filled to
overflowing. An infant class of ninety in one room on the ground
floor--when these disperse a Gospel meeting is held in this room,--a
class of factory girls in another, while above crowds of children
press. But there is much outside work besides, to occupy every
helper. Lodging-houses in the thieves' quarters are visited, and
services held, and many hundreds are thus reached; and after nine
P.M., when the labourers return from their varied spheres, all join
once more in praise and prayer, and many walk a long mile and more to
reach their own homes, none using any vehicle or train oh the Lord's
day.

It is impossible to follow every detail in this continually
increasing work, and only brief mention can be made of the goodness
of the Lord in having once more preserved the lives of dear ones in
Canada, when, in 1875, the Home at Belleville was again destroyed by
fire, and again Canadian kindness and hospitality were manifested to
the utmost. Each summer's sun had shone upon band after band of young
emigrants guided safely across the ocean, through the goodness and
mercy of Him, "Who carries the lambs in His bosom," and "Who holdeth
the waters in the hollow of His hand." In the labour of watching over
these little ones on the voyage, as in every other, the Lord raised
up helpers like-minded with those who bore the burden of the work. In
May, 1876, the twenty-second party sailed under the care of Mr. Merry
and Miss Macpherson, and the following extracts are from her diary:--

"Friday, May 5.--Calm seas, children bright and happy, cloudless
skies, weather charming and exhilarating, though cold. Morning spent
over our Bibles. Time seemed to fly rapidly while we talked of 'the
things concerning the King.' In the afternoon the bracing air and
bright skies invited vigorous exercise, and our Birmingham friend and
I walked between two and three miles. Faith was our theme of
converse. May the result be that we both shall trust our God more
than heretofore, for ourselves and our work, and realise increased
measure. (Phil. iv. 19) 'My God shall supply all your need.'

"Our children being on deck, we joined them in their games, and then
assembled our large family in their separate steerages; and standing
in the doorway between, I was enabled to address them and the
helpers--140 in all. Their evening hymn attracted the sailors, and this
gave a double gathering on mid-decks. Our portion was Luke x. 38-42,
'The one thing needful.' _Jesus_ the need of each one, ere leaving
us. A saddened look fell over every little face, as we referred to
parting, while many beamed with joy, as we talked of the meeting by
and bye. We closed by singing 'Around the throne of God in heaven.'
During this hour Mr. Merry held a solemn meeting among the sailors in
the forecastle. May the Lord Jesus scatter His saints to the four
quarters of the globe, that His glory may be increased. If those who
cannot go would only meet weekly, in twos and threes, and pray for
the foreign fields of perishing millions, surely we should see
greater results.

"This day ended in one of the most lovely of moonlight nights, and
as we walked on deck we were ever and anon led to praise God and
admire the beauties of His hand. Venus was resplendent; very large
and full of soft lustrous beauty, while an aurora shed some lovely
tinges of colour across the sky. Our little group turned once more
towards the chart room, and sang a hymn of praise to 'Him who hath
loved us.'


  "'If so much loveliness is sent
  To grace our earthly home,
  How beautiful, how beautiful
  Must be the world to come!'


"Saturday, May 6.--At early dawn we were awakened from a long
brain-refreshing sleep by one of the officers gently tapping at our
door, and in a whisper saying, 'A glorious sunrise.' We were soon with
him on the bridge, filled with admiration as we gazed upon the scene
before us. The sun appeared rising from the ocean, its golden rays
shedding a dazzling brilliance on all around. While we watched, the
scene changed, and a misty veil beclouded the whole horizon, hiding
from our view that which had been so lovely.

"After going down to an early cup of tea we sang our morning hymn of
praise, and had a season of prayer; a very hallowed opportunity it
was, one which brought us again to feel our deep need of grace, to
live one more day to His praise and glory.

"About noon we bad another of those never-ending changes which are
to be met with on this great ocean; the sun came out bright and warm,
the sky became brilliantly blue, and the sea was one sheet of ice
fields as far as the eye could reach.

"Our noble Scotch ironclad rode on her way majestically, leaving a
pathway in the frozen fields to be seen for miles behind, and as she
struck her boom upon the massive sheets of ice, they seemed to
vibrate and cause a movement in huge sheets on before and on either
side. Some magnificent pieces, when touched by the ironclad's power,
shiver into thousands of fragments, others pass our vessel's side,
hard as iron, to be wafted on to the Gulf Stream, there to come under
a warmer influence. This Arctic scene causes our captain and his
officers to look rather serious, and they mount at times to the
fore-topgallant mast. Did we but know the dangers which beset us
through yielding to the allurements of the world, how often would we
also mount aloft, and get upon, our watch-tower and look out!

"You will naturally ask, How far did the ice reach? We were fourteen
hours cutting through it, passing sixty vessels and two steamers
(many of them fixtures), signalling those we came near. It was
touching to see a barque make efforts to get into our opened-up
pathway, but she could not make the short distance to reach the
cleared waters. Those who watched throughout that long day as we
triumphantly, though slowly, broke our ice-girt way, saw seals
between the fields of ice, porpoises and whales spouting and bounding
in their glorious freedom, sea-gulls and small red birds flying about.

"Our little fellows were constructing allegories after the fashion
of their last course of lessons on Banyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress.' The
ice field, they said, was like Satan, and the ship was like
Christian; and thus they went on, as they sat looking over the
bulwarks at the ice which so hindered our progress. There is not a
child who has not had his constitution braced by this most favourable
voyage. To-day we passed a steamer in the ice, which had started a
week ahead of us from Glasgow. How we realised at this time the
comfort and rest of having a captain and officers who were men of
prayer.

"The gun was now fired to tell the dwellers at Metis to telegraph
the glad news to you that we were safe in sight of land, though there
are still Amaleks to be overcome,--narrow straits lined with
mountains full of minerals, which are a magnetic attraction to our
ironclads, and more ships have been lost here than anywhere else;
fogs which come and go, ever keeping the sailor as he nears the shore
in anxious trepidation; and shallows that require skill in sounding.

"Sunday, May 7.--A cloudy day, after a week of unspeakable
loving-kindness and tender mercy. We could by faith hear His own voice
within, saying 'My peace I give unto you.' Our children all day were
most obedient, and kind and loving to each other. We spent the
morning together, the last of the kind until we meet on that morning
that hath no clouds. Ere commencing our lesson, we asked a sailor to
lift the hatchway wide open. This gave the suggestion for the
subject, 'The Man with the Palsy,' which was easily understood by
supposing the sailors with cords to let one more little boy down into
our midst.

"The pilot met us at Father Point about 4 P.M., bringing a telegram
of welcome from one of our dear Canadian friends, also a verse from
Philemon. Thus we feel assured loving hearts are prayerfully awaiting
us on the shores we are nearing, a sweet symbol of the better land
and the loved ones on before.

"Monday, May 8.--Mr. Merry was astir before five o'clock, and
awaking the young helpers. Soon they were in the steerage among the
children; commenced packing of blankets, &c., as we were expecting to
make the port soon after breakfast In this, however, we were
disappointed, as in Travers's Strait the Mineral Mountains attracted
the compass, and a dense fog hiding all headlands retarded our
progress, making it necessary to lower one of the boats to take the
soundings, and go before the great 'Sardinian,' showing her how to
shape her course in the narrow way. A sweet reminder this to us that
our Lord was so condescending as to use the possessions of a little
lad when He needed the two small fishes. And we take encouragement
that many of our little ones are going on before, preparing the way
in many a district by their sweet hymns telling of the 'wondrous
story,' for the devoted evangelists who are being raised up in Canada
to follow with deeper revealings of the blessed Bible, winning
precious souls 'till He come.'


  "'I am coming! Are you working?
    Short your serving time will be;
  Are your talents idle lying?
    Are you using them for me?'


"Such is the effect of fog at sea, that we are told it may be 6 P.M.
ere we arrive, and judging from all appearances, great caution is
required in the Gulf at this time of year. At 11 A.M. we had a sweet
season of thanksgiving for the many mercies received. At twelve
o'clock the fog lifted, and the engine went on with its accustomed
vigour. At 5 P.M. we neared the shore, and there stood a group of
more than a dozen young ladies, waving a welcome. Soon they were on
deck, and saluted us and our children, telling us they had borne us
up in prayer before the Lord. After uniting with them in praise for
the unspeakable mercies by the way, we bade farewell to passengers,
officers, and crew, and sliding down the long gangway from the I
bulwarks, felt our feet once more on _terra firma._ Shaking our
captain's hand with a grateful heart for all his kindness to us and
ours, in a few minutes steam was up, and the 'Sardinian' on her way
to Montreal.

"We then went to see the little ones having tea in an adjoining
hall, while Mr. Merry was very busy among the agents and luggage. It
being announced that the Quebec boat was ready to cross the river, we
had to part with our young friends, who told us they should all take
a deeper interest than ever in us now they had seen the bright faces
Of our children. Front love to Jesus, they had met during the past
winter to make clothing, and presented me with a large case to take
on.

"After sending our telegrams to each Home, we found the first-class
cars ready for our children, so we put every one at full length, and
soon all were soundly asleep, and we went on hour after hour.

"Tuesday, May 9.--We arrived at Montreal at ten o'clock, where a
most comfortable breakfast was awaiting us, with nice washing
accommodation. Here we had the pleasure of meeting the Secretary of
the Emigration Department of Ottawa, who kindly gave us some sound
counsel on many points bearing upon our work of emigration.

"At eleven o'clock we heard the summons, 'All aboard!' and were soon
again on our way. We dined at Prescott, and then still westward we
travelled until midnight.

"All was mercy. For Sidney, our little delicate child, we feared the
cold night-air would be too much, so the cry went upwards for
guidance with regard to this precious orphan, whose story was so
touching. A Christian widow had sheltered his mother from the streets
when the child was but two weeks old, and had kept him for five
years, but now, her failing eyesight rendering her unable to support
him, with a breaking heart she gave him up to us. All my desire now
our journey was ending was to keep from making one special
attachment, yet his delicacy drew us all more than ever to him.

"Owing to a telegram not having been delivered, about midnight one
of the trying incidents of this part of our journey unexpectedly
occurred. On arriving at Belleville, after awaking our sleeping
family, we found neither friend nor conveyance awaiting us. Mr. Merry
walked the mile to the Home, and soon our waggon was ready to take
back a few of the most exhausted ones, whilst our car was shunted to
a siding for the night.

"Wednesday, May 10.--Ere seven o'clock, by help of a large omnibus,
we were conveyed to the new Belleville Home, where we met with a warm
welcome. It was a day of reunion with loved fellow-workers, talking
of the way the Lord had led us, and the trials and joys of the past
year. Twelve months ago, I left this Home a mass of ruins and burnt
embers; now a new and more efficient one for the purpose is erected
on the same spot My beloved friend Miss Bilbrough has indeed had many
a burden to bear, but her testimony to the Lord's faithfulness is
greater than ever. Her heart is more and more devoted to the
children, and to carrying forward the work in all its never-ceasing
details.

"After a few hours' sleep, it was so very interesting to walk over
our new and conveniently arranged Home. Truly our hearts were filled
with praise as we knelt together to thank the Lord. Towards the
afternoon I was introduced to a young man who was working as
gardener. We had brought him out from England in 1870, and he has
ever since given great satisfaction to his employers, has paid back
his passage-money, joined the Church, and not long since was married
to his late master's daughter.

"In the evening we walked into town, and met with 'Daniel's Band,'
which is composed of seventeen Christian young men, who are uniting
in prayer and work for the souls of their fellow-townsmen; and
through their instrumentality many conversions have taken place, and
the churches have been stirred up to greater activity. Mr. Merry gave
a clear Gospel address, and another meeting being asked for, a
Bible-reading was arranged for the following evening. Thus we had the
privilege of witnessing for our blessed Master to about 200, and
cheering the hearts of 'Daniel's Band.'

"Thursday, May 11.--Occupied the day writing English letters and
receiving friends. Also went to see an aged saint, who had from our
first visit to these shores been a helper by her prayers.

"Friday, May 12.--Left Belleville for Galt soon after 6 A.M., taking
with us thirty-eight children, and travelling by rail along the
shores of Lake Ontario. The morning hours passed quickly _en
route_, and as we neared Toronto, towns and villages became more
frequent and more attractive. At Berlin an unexpected kindness was
shown us. Orders had been given to send us on by special train, so
that no delay was experienced in travelling the remaining fourteen
miles of our journey. Those who have travelled 3000 miles with a
number of children can understand how this was appreciated by us,
when every nerve was strained, and nature was yearning for a long
sleep free from the shaking of the railway.

"At 5 P.M., on the seventeenth day after leaving London, we reached
the end of our journey, and found our farmer-nephew, with his team,
awaiting our arrival. Soon we were on the hill, looking at the little
Home beyond. As we approached the gates the shout of welcome from
more than a score of young voices greeted us, and on the verandah we
were received by our loved niece, and the dear friends who have been
assisting her in the absence of her parents. The strain of travel now
being over, we were able to enjoy a few hours' rest, our hearts full
of gratitude for the many mercies which had encompassed us all our
journey through.


  "'How good is the God we adore,
    Our faithful, unchangeable Friend
  Whose love is as great as His power,
    And knows neither measure nor end.'"


During the winter, individual visitation of the children had been
most effectually accomplished by the four Inspectors appointed by the
Canadian Government, the result of which proved to be most favourable
to the plan of placing the "Solitary in families." After two days
rest at Galt, Miss Macpherson started on the same loved work, and met
with the usual cheering results.

On her return home Miss Macpherson thus writes:--

"_July 20._

"In the providence of our covenant-keeping God, and Father of the
fatherless, we have been again permitted in peace to return from
another visit to the adopted homes of our little ones. To His praise,
who is the Answerer of prayer, we record that 100,000 miles have been
travelled in connection with these special charges in the past six
years, and no storm or accident has been permitted to alarm, no death
requiring the remains to be committed to the great deep.

"During the past year the Dominion Government chose four of their
oldest officials to visit all our children, (as their Blue-book
records), 'deeming that from their experience they would be best
enabled to judge of the condition, position, and prospects of the
children in their situations.' The Government are satisfied (as
parents of the State), that our children 'are very carefully placed,'
bringing out the fact that, ninety-eight out of every 100 are doing
well." Miss Macpherson adds:--

"A letter will often show the progress of an industrious young man,
and being asked for details, I give the following from a handful of
similar encouraging testimonials:--

"MAGNETAWAN, DISTRICT PARRY SOUND, ONTARIO.

"DEAR MISS MACPHERSON,--This is from William Miller--one that came
cut under your care three years ago last June. I worked in the town
of Galt as a substitute three months, for a man while he went home to
his friends in Scotland. After that I went to live in Pelham, in the
county of Welland, a situation that Miss Reavell directed me to, and
there stayed three years, and saved a little money; and now I have
moved to Parry Sound, to the address which you will find at the end
of this note. Dear friend, I desire to hear of your welfare in the
work that God has put in your hands to do,--in bringing out the
destitute ones from England into a land of plenty, and where they can
be well cared for. I have seen many of them around the country where
I have been, almost all looking well, and enjoying themselves much.

"I now live in the township of Croft. I have 186 acres of land, on
the banks of Doe Lake. I think if I had stayed in England I should
not have had as many feet. I like England very well, but it is a hard
place for the poor. I took 100 acres of this land as free grant, and
the rest I bought. It is two miles and a half from the village. There
are two stores, post-office, and sawmill; I think a flour-mill will
be built this summer. Magnetawan River runs through the village.
There are two waterfalls for mill purposes in the village. A day
school will commence in the summer, and there is also a church and
Sunday-school, to which I go. In the winter it is not held, because
the roads are so bad, but when the country gets open more the roads
will be better.

"I humbly thank God for guiding and keeping me in good health, and
under the banner of Christ, and I trust walking in His ways, and hope
to remain so unto death, and then live with Him above, there to part
no more.

"My brother is living here also; he has 200 acres of land. Remember
me to all the workers at the Home, praying that we may all, as
Christians, work for the Lord of glory, and at last meet together to
praise Him. 'Wait on the Lord.'

"I remain, yours truly in Christ, W. MILLER."

Those who have been helped, help their kindred in after years. The
following is an instance:--

"DOUGLAS, _June_ 29, 1876.

"DEAR Miss MACPHERSON,--I have been here four years in August, I
will be four years with my master in October. I like this country
well; the crops are growing well, and there is prospect of a good
harvest. Dear ma'am, I have a little brother nearly ten years old,
and he is living with my mother; he wants to come to this country,
and mother is willing he should, and I think I have enough to pay his
passage out; and if it pleased you, would you take him into your
Home, and send him out with your boys. Please would you send him to
the Belleville Home, as we would then be able to get him, because the
man that my brother is with says he would not object to taking him.
Please would you let me know how much it would take to pay for
sending him to Belleville, and where would I send the money to.

"I am able to plough now, and milk cows, chop wood, reap grain, and
mow hay. I am raising fifty young apple-trees of the Spitenberg kind.
I am going to be a farmer myself some day; it is very nice and
healthy work. I get a good many rides on horseback. I have a lamb of
my own; my master gave it me when it was a small, little lamb, but
now it has grown into a good-sized sheep. The Premier of the Dominion
was at this village, and I heard him speak. We will soon begin to cut
our hay; we have a mowing-machine, so that it does not take long to
cut our hay. There is a Sunday-school three miles away from us, quite
near where my brother lives; it has sixty scholars, and I go to it
every Sunday, but the preaching is only once a fortnight. In our
Sunday-school we sing about the same hymns we used to sing when
in the Refuge, and there is three of us 'Home' boys go to that
Sunday-school. We have seven head of horn-cattle, five horses, ten
sheep, and six lambs, thirty-six hens, forty-four hen chickens, two
geese, and nine goslings, two pigs, and one calf, so I will say
good-bye for the present.--I remain, yours sincerely,

JOHN HENEY MITCHELL.

"P.S.--Give my love to all the boys, and accept the same from me,
J. M."


The following incidents are told by Miss Macpherson:--

"Miss Bilbrough often goes off with half-a-dozen to see them placed
in their new home. Whilst on one of these journeys, the little ones
were attracting the notice of fellow-travellers, as some forty to
fifty are generally in a compartment. From amongst these Miss
Bilbrough is accosted by a young gentleman, who lifts his hat to her,
and sits down by her side. This was one of our first party, now a
young solicitor, just about to pass his last examination. He was on
the important business of going to some place in the backwoods to
value a farm for the firm by whom he was employed.

"Another young man, one of our second band in 1870, is now visiting
his friends in England for a month, ere beginning his career as a
lawyer in Canada; and more than this, he is, we rejoice to say, a
consistent Christian of several years' standing. Now, when we want a
lawyer's counsel, our young friend is glad to give it us, and already
has done us good service. Sweet thank-offerings!

"My past birthday in June was spent in taking two little fellows to
their homes. After travelling nearly one hundred miles, as we neared
our destination very tired, we wondered to ourselves whether it would
be in a log hut, farmhouse, or mansion we should find a welcome with
our little charges. It proved to be the last.

"The Lord had put it into the heart of a young married lady to rear
an orphan boy, and thus fulfil a long-cherished idea. She had also
induced another Christian lady to do the same. It was a sweet reward
to His wearied servant, to know that two orphans would be so well
cared for."



CHAPTER VII

1877-1879.

"They helped every one his neighbour"--Miss Child, a fellow-labourer
--The work in Ratcliff Highway--Strangers' Rest for Sailors--"Welcome
Home"--"Bridge of Hope"--Miss Macpherson's twenty-first voyage to
Canada--Explosion on board the "Sardinian"--Child life in the Galt
Home--The Galt Home now devoted to children from London, Knowlton to
those from Liverpool, and Marchmont to Scottish Emigrants.


"They helped every one his neighbour, and every one said to his
brother, Be of good courage" (margin, be strong). Miss Macpherson
writes in February this year, the eighth anniversary:--

"As a band, we need to '_be strong_' for any emergency. At this
season we are surrounded by hundreds of men out of employment, and in
want of food, who say now to us--'We have listened to your Gospel;
we are in want; show us thy faith by thy works.' This we are
endeavouring to do by providing for them suppers of soup and bread
twice a week. The other evening a crowd had gathered outside the door
at the specified hour, when only 150 could be admitted. Did we but
know the gnawings of real hunger we should not wonder that the
unsuccessful applicants attempted to burst in; and one poor man
falling in the crush, broke his arm.

"We need your prayers while dealing with this class for another
month. Strong hearts quail at the sight of these hopeless looking
men. Our evening-school three times a week, taught by ladies, we find
to be the most successful plan of dealing with them. The being called
by their _own names_, man by man, wakes up an interest, and
causes the public-house life to go into the shade.

"The friends of the match box-makers (our oldest love in this
vineyard) will rejoice to hear that we gathered 300 of them straight
from their boxes to a New Year's tea, when a kind friend helped to
make the evening a pleasant one by exhibiting dissolving views. After
this the gifts of clothing, &c., with which we had been supplied by
many contributors, were distributed among them.

"Last week we had a very happy evening with our Christian band, many
of whom were the matchbox-makers of former days, now grown, into
young women, and fellow-workers for Christ in their own homes, and in
the courts and alleys where they dwell. Deeply interesting were their
testimonies of answers to prayer, the power of the Word, and
delivering grace in time of trial in the factories where they labour.
Dear helpers by prayer, you now behold what great things the Lord
hath wrought for us in giving us this band of young women to go forth
on the Sunday afternoons in couples with their tracts, and reach many
whom perhaps we might not find. Some of these are also teachers in
our Sunday-school, sympathising with us in our East-end trials,
teaching to others what they have learned of Jesus through their own
experience of His great love.

"The 'elder girls' of the East-end are a continual heavy burden on
our heart; much thought and care are being bestowed in devising and
perfecting plans for winning their young lives to the Saviour, and
fitting them for honourable service for God and man. This great
preventive work among those young bread-winners can only be
successfully accomplished by those who, through studying their
habits, temptations, and surroundings, by constant loving contact
with them, and by special training, are able to win their confidence
and affection."

In this year a new and most important work was begun, one which has
eminently received the blessing of "Him who is the confidence of all
the ends of the earth, and of those who are afar off upon the sea."

Miss Child, one like-minded with Miss Macpherson inter zeal for
souls, and her longing to save them from the curse of drink; had been
residing in the Home of Industry, and visiting public-houses in
Ratcliff Highway. To those who have never seen the open parade of sin
in that part, (long notorious for every evil), it is hard to
describe the scene, where even in broad daylight the unhappy captives
of Satan seem to glory in their shame. Miss Child's heart yearned
over the sailors who crowd the public-houses, escaped from the perils
of the sea only to fall into worse dangers. She longed for some means
of helping them. Miss Macpherson appealed to him whose burning words
in the City of London Theatre in 1861 had so stirred her own heart
Mr. Reginald Radcliffe had lately opened a Strangers' Rest in
Liverpool, and only longed to see the same established in every port
in the world. In answer to the call, he came up to London and
addressed Christian workers assembled at the Home of Industry,
stirring them up to undertake a new form of attack on the strongholds
of the enemy. Mr. James E. Matheson took the deepest interest in this
work, and a house was secured in Ratcliff Highway, the appearance of
which was made to contrast very strongly with all around. Gospel
texts in many languages appeared in all the windows, and invitations
to sailors to enter and write their letters, materials provided free
of cost. This work needed many helpers. Preachers were required for
the different nationalities. Such were found, and willing listeners,
so that soon a larger house was necessary. Notwithstanding the many
calls on her time and strength, Miss Macpherson was frequently to be
found here, delighting in seeking to save among a class hitherto
difficult to reach. Many other sisters in the Lord were, called on to
help--some to play the harmoniums provided in each room, and lead the
singing in varied languages--others in writing letters for those who
could not use a pen themselves, and whose hearts were softened by
kindness shown in this way--others in filling, bags with books and
tracts. The blessing which has followed these cannot be reckoned;
none can tell what these silent messengers, so often despised on
shore, have been to sailors when read far away from home and friends.
Many of these bags have been made by Christian invalids, and are
followed by their prayers that the contents may ever be blessed.

As yet, however, nothing had been done for the women in Katcliff
Highway, and Miss Macpherson, when visiting that neighbourhood where
Satan reigns so openly, longed to save some of her poor lost sisters.
On one occasion a young woman said most piteously to her: "Why don't
you speak to us as you do to the sailors, and we would be converted
and be happy too?" This led to the first decided effort being made,
and the following year a small mission room for their use alone was
opened. Tea-meetings and Gospel addresses-were given here. Miss
Macpherson's long-tried helper, Miss May, added this work to her many
other burdens for the Lord, and other kind friends joined her in
visiting and seeking out the lost.

Although, in Miss May's words, "humanly speaking all things were
against us,"--for in this neighbourhood the wages of iniquity are
high, yet encouragement was met with, and it was felt that the
mission room was not sufficient, but some shelter must be taken
wherein to receive' poor applicants until they could be removed to a
safer locality. A tiny three-roomed house was secured and opened
with, much prayer, and has fulfilled the promise of the name given to
it, "The Bridge of Hope." The Lord blessed Miss Macpherson in the
choice of a helper, Miss Underdown, the brave pioneer who volunteered
to remain here alone, ready to welcome the poor wanderer at any hour
of the day or night. She is now working among sailors at Cape Town;
but the Lord has proved in this instance, as in many others, that
when His summons to a distant land is obeyed, the work at home will
not be suffered to languish. Another devoted sister in the Lord, Miss
Steer, has given up home ties and home comforts, counting it all joy
to rescue those most deeply sunk in guilt and misery. The work has
doubled and trebled in importance, more than a hundred having been
drawn out of this whirlpool of sin and infamy, and brought under the
sound of the Gospel within the walls of the larger Refuge, since
opened for them. More than once we have had to praise God for the
help given by Christian sailors; their watchful eyes have noticed in
the "Highway" some who were evidently strangers to the haunts of
vice, and have brought them here for safety, and even borne part of
the expense of their journey homewards. The house originally taken
for the Strangers' Rest having been found inadequate for the
accommodation of the crowds who frequented it, a larger house was
taken, but it was felt that after the many hallowed associations of
the first house opened, where Miss Macpherson and Miss Child had
often rejoiced with the angels of God over repenting sinners, it was
impossible to relinquish it for ordinary uses,--it might be in that
neighbourhood for some direct work of Satan. To Miss Macpherson's
great joy her faithful, co-worker, Miss Child, determined on opening
it as a Temperance Coffee House, or "Welcome Home" for the sailors,
and thenceforth made this place her abode, and the work of God has
never ceased.

In the spring of this year Miss Macpherson had contemplated starting
with a party for Canada, but as the time drew near she was so much
worn out by the continued strain of "holding the fort" at
Spitalfields for the last two years, that some of her friends almost
feared she would be unable to take the charge. She would not suffer
her bodily weakness to hinder her, and on May the 8th started on her
twenty-first voyage in the "Sardinian," accompanied by her
brother-in-law, Mr. Merry, with a party of fifty children, and two young
men who had gone out with her in 1870, and had returned to see their
friends, and were on their way back with her to the land of their adoption.
So many thousand miles had been traversed by land and sea, and hitherto
thanksgivings had gone up for preservation from even alarm of danger.
Now a deeper thanksgiving was to be called forth, for the Lord's
preserving care in a scene which brought all face to face with
eternity. On the Monday before she left Miss Macpherson remarked to
some friends, "The Word is full of _Deliverance_, both individual
deliverance and otherwise," little dreaming how soon she would be
called to realise this truth.

The following letter, which appeared in the "Times," tells of the
strength given in time of need:--

"_May_ 14, 1878.

"Captain Grills, of the Liverpool Mercantile Marine Service
Association, going to Derry upon a pleasure trip, was upon the bridge
of the 'Sardinian' when the accident occurred, and speaks in high
terms of the discipline of officers and crew under the trying
circumstances. He says:--'I was on the bridge with Captain Dutton,
looking for the approach of the tender, when in a moment an explosion
occurred down in the fore-hold, where a quantity of coal was stored,
and blew into the air thousands of fragments of wood. Immediately
afterwards people came shrieking up the companion ways, many, of them
cut, bruised, and blackened. The scene was indescribable. A great
deal of confusion was caused by the separation of children from
parents and husbands from wives. One poor woman begged me to go and
find her baby, which was torn from her arms. The Captain, on hearing
the explosion and seeing the smoke, sprang from the bridge, ordered
the hose to be instantly applied, and by dint of extraordinary
exertions on the part of himself, the officers, and crew, succeeded
in saving several people who were in the midst of the debris. The
hold was flooded with water from the hose, but the smoke continued to
pour out in dense volumes, and ultimately they had to abandon all
hope of saving the ship except by opening the sluices and letting the
water in. Before doing this the vessel was taken into five fathoms
of water, so that when she settled down her decks would be above
water, and she might the more easily be pumped out and raised. While
these orders were being executed, the whole of the saloon passengers,
assisted by many of the crew, were engaged in transferring the
emigrants to the mail tender which had just come alongside. About 300
or 400 soon crowded her decks, and she landed them at Moville pier,
after which she returned for orders. Subsequently the second tender
took off most of the saloon passengers, many wounded, and a large
quantity of baggage. The boats were lowered in order to save the
baggage. The mail tender returned and took the rest of the people,
and I went with them, and we reached Derry about nine o'clock that
night. I cannot refrain from referring to the heroic conduct of one
lady, [Footnote: Miss Catherine Ellis of Tryon House] a saloon
passenger, who, while partially dressed, rescued a baby that was
fearfully burnt, at considerable risk to herself; the mother had
proceeded to Derry, thinking she had lost her child for ever. The
promptitude and energy displayed by Captain Button was in every way
admirable, and his orders were executed with great decision. Miss
Macpherson and her little band of Canadian emigrants showed no small
amount of true fortitude and heroism. Most of the children behaved
nobly under the trying circumstances, and exhibited much of the fruit
of their careful training. They kept repeating to one another many of
the sayings they had heard from Miss Macpherson about being patient,
and brave, and good; I visited the infirmary before leaving on
Saturday, and spoke to each of the nine patients, who are all
suffering seriously, but I am hopeful of the recovery of some.'"

Miss Macpherson's own account follows:--

"Sunday morning.

"Since we parted from you and those beloved Christian friends at St.
Pancras last Wednesday, we seem to have lived years, and learnt more
of the reality of the delivering power of our loving Father than in
all our lives before.

"Wondrous to relate, and as marvellous as the deliverance of the
three children from the fiery furnace, is the fact that all our
precious little ones are in safety, and now gone to a place of
worship.

"Behold the loving-kindness of our God! Had the explosion taken
place a little while later, our vessel would have been on her way
instead of standing still waiting off Moville for the mails.

"Most of the children" were on deck, basking in the lovely sunshine
of that afternoon. We were all busy finishing our letters, and I
intended to write one more, and then go and spend an hour in the
children's steerage, when presently there was a terrible sound, as of
a cannon, followed by a deathly stillness for two minutes; I rushed
on deck and beheld a man jet black with soot, his halt burnt off,
issuing from a gangway near; then one of my own boys came,
exclaiming, 'Oh, Miss! I prayed to Jesus, and He saved me.' Then the
deck became a fearful scene of confusion, poor foreigners weeping,
and oh! the mutilated men and women, ghastly with fright, some of
their faces entirely skinned.

"My first care was for the little ones. They clustered round me, as
the two young men, (former boys of 1870, who had been home to see
their friends), gathered them out of the crowd. Mr. Merry gave me the
list, and they dried their tears, and answered to their names when
called. We soon found all accounted for, and were hushed with praise
Picture us all standing near the wheelhouse, awaiting orders, or to
see, it might be flames, or another explosion of a still more serious
character.

_"Oh! could every Sunday school teacher in the land realise my
feelings at that moment, they would never rest until every child in
their class was' washed in the Blood of the Lamb. I saw nothing but
imperfection in all my work, and want of burning reality for
souls._

"The scene of the disaster was very near to the children's sleeping
berths; a very few yards off two women sat upon a box together, one
was blown up into the air, the other driven she knew not whither; but
late that night I came across her seeking a bed in Moville, and she
told me that in those first terrible moments _every sin she had
ever committed came before, her,_ and the one most awful was her
having rejected the Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, what our God can do in
tire twinkling of an eye! by unbalancing a little breath of His own
created air, then the stoutest-hearted sinners quail."

Another witness wrote:--

_Sunday._

"It is terrible to have been in the midst of such a calamity! and
the sight of the poor, blackened, and scorched faces of the sufferers
I shall never forget. There was such a nice, family on board; the
father, mother, and four children. The mother was blown up; her body
was found yesterday, scarcely recognisable, but the husband had to go
and identify it. Poor man! he was here, and in such an agony of
distress. The last order I heard the Captain give, was thundered out,
'Send all the women and children up from below,' and Miss Macpherson
came herself, and dragged me up. Captain Button says there have been
the most wonderful providences.

"It was wonderful how calm every one seemed at the time of that
terrible crash. There was no panic, but the peculiar wailing of the
poor Sardinians rings in my ears still, and the groans of those
sufferers. Silence must be cast over the scenes of that sad day.

"If I thought of anything at the time of the accident, it was of
Miss Macpherson's _Bible,_ and I know her thought was for me and
the children. It was most sweet at the time to see the way people
thought of others more than of themselves; there were many little
acts of kindness done then which will never be forgotten.

"Miss Macpherson said to me as we were starting on Thursday, 'I
think this is going to be a most unusual voyage. I have never had
such sweet dismissals before.'

"I did so feel as I stood round those poor sufferers. Why was I
spared? All in the same ship, all exposed to the same peril, and yet
we are _untouched,_ and what are we better than they? We can
only bow low before our loving Father with 'What can I render unto
the Lord for all His benefits towards me?'.. I managed to get to the
infirmary, where I paid a very interesting visit.... The third
officer is so terribly hurt, quite unrecognisable."

On her return from Derry, whither she had hastened to give help to
the sufferers, Mrs. Merry gave a thrilling account of how the waters
had not been suffered to pass over them, nor the flame permitted to
kindle upon them; and told how nobly that brave seaman and man of
God, Captain Dutton, had acted; how he had instantly summoned all
hands to his help in seeing to the safety of the children, so that in
less than three minutes by the watch, after the shock, the whole of
the forty _little_ tones were around Miss Macpherson, having no
more hurt upon them (with one exception) than a little singed hair
and a few blisters.

Not only were their lives spared--they were not even called upon to
"take joyfully the spoiling if their goods," for not one box or
parcel either of clothing or gospel, tracts and books was lost or
injured. The "Peruvian" was sent from Liverpool to take, the place of
the "Sardinian," and the rest of the voyage was accomplished in
safety.

When nearing Cape Race Miss Macpherson writes:--

"Many a touching scene have we witnessed. A company of between
twenty and thirty Swiss Christians, with their evangelist, guided by
a lady, to form a little colony in Canada, when passing through
Liverpool, had spent all their evenings at the 'Sailors Rest,' so we,
being I one in the eternal bond, sang together the same hymns, though
in different languages, the first evening we sailed out. To see them
drying their Bibles and hymn-books, all the covers gone, oh! it made
me weep. How very _precious those mutilated books were to them
now!_ One dear German Christian showed me his Bible, and I was
told the two front blotted pages were written by a dying mother's
hand. Another young German, when he found his Bible was safe, forgot
all else, and danced about with the most touching joy, but then he
knew not where to put his treasure for safety and to get it pressed.
Although I understood not his language, and no one was at hand to
interpret, I put out my hand to help him; he took one long look into
my face, and with a smile gave me his precious book. Five days after
we met again, and he held out his hands, exclaiming 'Bibel!'

"You heard how very promptly the Deny Christians acted for the poor
emigrants. Every minister intimated the need in his church, and the
response was made before nine o'clock on the Monday morning.
Cartloads of clothing were sent in and distributed among the
emigrants, so that as far as covering for the present goes, all have
been liberally helped to go on their way.

"Sunday.--A day of lovely sunshine, all on deck enjoying the warmth.
The foreigners quietly reading their mutilated books; but--oh, how
sad to see!--with the English emigrants it is beer--beer--beer--taking
with them to the new land habits that will tell ill for them
wherever they go.

"The children and I spent the morning singing together, and thanking
our God for all His wondrous love. Often during the-past week I felt
like breaking down, and letting the pent-up tears flow; but while Bob
(eleven years old) prayed, I could hold out no longer, and the strong
sailors leaning over the mid hatchway joined me too, as the dear lad
asked God, for Jesus' sake, to care for the blind mother he had left
in the workhouse, and that his runaway brother might be brought to
Jesus; that his brother with the bad leg might be found of the Lord;
that his sister in service might please her master and mistress; and
that he himself might follow Jesus, and be a good boy, and obedient
to those placed over him."

The following is dated from Galt:--

"Because Thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of Thy
wings will I rejoice." (Ps. lxiii. 7).

"MY DEAR FELLOW-HELPERS,--On arriving at this sweet spot our
journeyings ended for the present. You can well imagine the complete
enjoyment of repose as with my family I wander round the Cottage Home
when school hours are over. During a week in which I had been
separated from them, they had made the acquaintance of horses, cows,
ducks, hens, sheep, &c.--all so new to our poor London children. They
never tire of inviting me to come and see _our_ this and that,
or some new-found pleasure. How quickly this country life develops
character, touching chords which are left unawakened in many a
nature! It is such a contrast to the artificial tastes and habits of
city life, which arouse passions not easily kept in subjection.

"Mrs. Merry will be glad to know that I am delighted with all in and
around the Home. The new wing, with its lavatory and simple
arrangements for the health and comfort of the children, would, we
believe, be highly approved of by the relatives of our departed
friends, Miss Wilson and Mr. Marshall, who so kindly left us the
means to make this addition. One of our former' boys works on the
farm; his life was consecrated nearly two years ago for China. He is
a manly, consistent young Christian, and tells me it was an address
given here by George W. Clarke (the first of our missionary sons from
Spitalfields), before he went out to China, that gave him the first
burning longings to become a missionary. It is my duty to see that a
suitable education be given him to strengthen these desires;
therefore when field-work is over, we have hours for study, Mr. Merry
teaching in the morning, and I in the evening.

"The last mail from China brings a letter from G. W. Clarke, in
which he writes:--"The Lord has blessed me with good health, whilst
many of our brethren engaged in the hard work of pioneering are in
some way feeling the strain upon their strength." I am very thankful
for the _roughing_ I had in Canada, and for whatever trials I
have had in China, which have enabled me in any way to "endure
hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ."

"We need much prayer for this branch of the work, that it may be the
natural outcome of family life, and grow gradually as our heavenly
Father leads.

"Several of the elder boys are at the Home now from different
causes; their work on the farm pays for their board, and they again
come under blessed Gospel influence, while we watch and pray for"
their conversion. The dear sisters who work out the details value an
interest in your prayers, as they so realise 'from day to day the
need of patience.' All your desires that I should _rest_ are
being fulfilled. If you could but see me sitting on a bank with three
or four little heads leaning on my lap, the others buzzing round,
bringing flowers and weaving wreaths for our hats! Then a hand
opens to show _'such a dear' young frog!_ Another brings an
endless variety of caterpillars, &c. Then there come shrieks of
delight from a group of boys who have almost caught a squirrel A
rowing boat glides down the river, and the children strike up an
impromptu strain--'Row, brothers, row!'

"A little fellow has a burden on his mind, ending with, 'Could I not
stop here always?' Alas! he had to be told 'impossible,' for there
were many more poor boys far away in London, crying to be loved, and
he would soon find a 'pa and ma' to love him. How this thirst for
sympathy grows in these tiny hearts! May more dear mission-workers
have _anointed eyes_, to seek out the orphans in the dens of our
great city. May more jewelled fingers yield their offerings, ere the
opportunity be past, for rescuing immortal souls that may become
witnesses of Jesus Christ, and shine for ever and ever in His crown.

"Too many seek to square the cases up to their rules, but the
opposite I believe is more according to God's mind. Oh, if every town
in Old England would arise and build its own Orphan Home! Surely the
Church of Christ in every denomination can unite in love over the
children. Witness the burst of love in a few hours after the
ministers of every sect in Deny told the need of the emigrants, and
the children cast naked upon their shores! They gave until the
receivers said, 'It is enough!'

"In this quiet resting-place, I have time to listen to the Master's
own voice, and hear Him say, 'Go forward!' This is the twenty-first
voyage--the _majority_! I would celebrate it by desiring still
greater things for God's glory, devising, yet leaving the direction
to the Lord. Already it has proved a time of trial and rich blessing.
My heart is with you all in, your joyous privileges of making known a
Saviour's love. My spirit flits to the _needy children_. A
thousand board schools will never supply the loving, tender care we
women can give to the fatherless and motherless, or sow the seed and
lead the precious little souls to Jesus. Therefore follow me in these
enlarged desires the Lord hath given, and oh! keep your eyes and ears
open to the cry of the children. Hot summer days will lessen some of
the Refuge work, but I follow you to Bird Fair, Ratcliff Highway, and
many a court around. Don't forget that terrible corner by the lamp-post
in the next street.

"Then for your own souls I send this word--'They thirsted not when
He led them through the deserts. He caused the waters to flow out of
the rock for them.' As to your work, Do it. Should He be pleased to
remove any of us, to stir our nest, or lay sickness upon us, shall we
not hear Him say, 'Is it not lawful for Me to do what I will with
mine own?' Beloved friends, 'Hold that fast which thou hast, that no
man take thy crown.'--Yours affectionately,

"ANNIE MACPHERSON."

The work had now so increased, that it was thought well to divide
the three Canadian Homes. Hiss Macpherson found the Gait Home
sufficient for the needs of the children transferred from the Home of
Industry. Miss Bilbrough retained possession of the Marchmont Home,
now devoted exclusively to children from Scotland; and the Knowlton
Home, in the province of Quebec, was placed under the management of
Mrs. Birt for the reception of little emigrants from Liverpool.

It was at the workers' meeting in August that Miss Macpherson was
welcomed home; and Miss Ellis of Tryon House said she had been in
Canada with Miss Macpherson, and the thought most on her mind in
recollection of the scene on the "Sardinian" was "_given back_."
As delivered from death, they had returned, each to their loved
spheres of work, and felt increasingly how consecrated such lives
should be, and for what great blessing they might look out.

As one quite unconnected with the work, Miss Ellis said she must
remark how much she had been struck with the arrangements of the Gait
Home--the children were thoroughly well fed and well cared for (not
like little princes though, nor above their station), and not an
unnecessary shilling was expended.



CHAPTER VIII.

1879-1880.

Experiences among Indians--Picnic in the Bush--Distribution of
Testaments--"Till He come"--"A Home and a hearty Welcome."


Once more in Canada, Miss Macpherson records experience of an
unusual kind:--

"In one of the large villages we visited, an all-day prayer-meeting
was held from 9 A.M. to 9 P.M., which proved a season of rich
blessing. We found openings for mission work all around, farmers and
their families willing to gather and sit any length of time with
Bible and hymn-book in hand. We feel an open door is made for us here
by the entrance of these little children, who have, proved excellent
pioneer evangelists.

"After this interesting tour, I was about to return to the Galt
Home, when a messenger arrived with a pressing invitation to visit
the Indians on the Chippawa Reserve, and tell them the story of our
children. This come through their pastor, the Rev. Mr. Jacques, and
although weary in body, a lady friend and I resolved to go forward to
Port Elgin, situated on Lake Huron, whence a dear Canadian sister
drove us along the ten miles of wild and poorly cultivated country
leading to the Indian reserve. Fire had in past years ravaged the
district for miles, leaving thousands of charred trunks of high
trees. We enjoyed the scenery of the beautiful Sangeen, with its
grand old forests in their finest clothing, and at times we caught
sight of Lake Huron, lying calm as a mirror, with the last rays of
the setting sun reflected upon its bosom.

"On arriving at the little manse on Chippawa Hill we were serenaded
by the Indians, who had already gathered by hundreds from far and
near. We made a hasty repast, and felt grateful for the opportunity
afforded us so unexpectedly of speaking to them: Our service was
opened by singing in Indian a well-known hymn of praise. Then one of
the evangelists spoke upon a portion of Scripture for twenty minutes,
after the other had prayed, when an interpreter took half-an-hour to
translate it into their own language, after which my companion sang
"The Ninety and Nine," and I spoke. The interpreter repeated the
story, and though our audience scarcely ever moved, the pastor's wife
said they were feeling deeply."

"Many a dear squaw and I clasped hands that night, and we gazed into
each other's eyes, knowing full well, although unexpressed, that we
were one in the same deep love for the weak and helpless."

"While the choir sang another hymn, under the direction of the
pastor's daughter, who is also the daily teacher of the young, we
showed some of our photographs, and never were more grateful for that
art. My lady friend sang another solo, and then began an
indescribable scene. Chief John was first introduced to us, as we
stood on a raised platform with a rail in front. The dear old man
seemed much moved, and burst into an oration full of gratitude for
our coming to visit his people. We acknowledged this, when the whole
congregation of three to four hundred, young and old, passed and
shook hands with us. Every now and then we were presented with gifts,
made by the hands of the giver. Chief Henry's wife gave a beautiful
bark basket ornamented with porcupine's quills. Then another head man
gave us a bag made of beaten bark, saying this was made before they
knew the white man. We thought that now all was over, but no. All
were again seated, quietly and in order, the grace of ease and
perfect harmony pervading the whole scene. The Indians had a wish to
do us honour, and to show their love in their own way, we were each
to receive from them an Indian name. We found this new name had
required thought, and when saying 'Buzhu?' or 'How do you do?' they
after this called us by the name they had given.

"The pastor, (Mr. Jacques), and his wife and family, were truly
parental in their actions, and are beloved by these simple-hearted
Indians. It was a touching scene! There are ninety in Christian
fellowship, and among them some old veterans of ninety years, with
scarcely a grey hair, and more sprightly than the young men in their
tribes to-day. As regularly as the sun rises, they are at the church
door, though they live five miles off, through swamp and wood.

"One thing charmed me,--the firm law made for them in connection
with drink. Would that England would treat our white drunkards in the
same way! A man, when found the worse for liquor, is fined from fifty
to two hundred dollars, or put in prison for one month; also the man
who sells it to him. Two more weeks are added if he will not tell who
supplied him with the drink.

"On leaving the next morning, I was addressed by my new name,
'Ke-zha-wah-de-ze-qua' (Benevolence); my friend also was greeted as
'Wah sage zhe go-qua' (Shining-sky lady)."

The following account of a picnic in the Canadian Bush, at which an
Indian chief was present, will not be out of place here:--

"A picnic is a much more frequent entertainment in this country than
in England, for the lovely bright days of a Canadian summer are so
much more suitable than our damp and variable weather. Miss
Macpherson was anxious to meet as many as possible of the kind
friends in and around the Children's Home at Galt, who are interested
in the Lord's work among the little ones. A picnic was suggested as
most pleasant, and the Bush as more spacious than our cottage-rooms.
So a general invitation was given through the ministers and the local
papers.

"Last Thursday was all that could be desired. Cool breezes tempered
the hot sunbeams, and a brilliant blue sky was reflected in the
still, flowing river. Such a lovely spot, too, is the 'Home' Bush! A
partially cleared space near the river was chosen for the tables and
seats; nearby a log-fire was kindled, on which huge kettles of water
were boiled. One thing only marred our hopes for the day. Miss
Macpherson herself was almost prostrate through a sharp attack of
rheumatism, and oar hearts sank as we feared she would be unable to
be among us. However, in the 'prayer of faith' we laid her deep need
before the Lord, and He graciously gave her the faith to trust Him,
and the courage to attempt, even in great pain, to rise from bed, and
walk down to the Bush. The needed strength was marvellously given,
and she was able to remain with us until sunset. Truly the Lord doeth
wondrous things!

"At four o'clock our guests began to arrive. One visitor was the
centre of attraction--a chief of the Six Nation Indians, from the
reserve near Brantford, who arrived earlier in the day with Mr. B.
Needham, the missionary. Chief Jonathan, now a Christian, was dressed
in the native costume, now worn only on high days and holidays. Most
picturesque it was to see him seated on the green slope near the
river, leaning against a tall maple tree. His coat and trousers of
yellow buckskin were fringed at the edges. An embroidered scarlet
sash was loosely tied around his waist. Then his head-gear was most
striking. Long thin black hair hung over his shoulders,--not his own,
but from the scalp of some poor Indian slain in warfare! This was
surmounted by a turban cap of scarlet, and white beads, a row of
feathers all round it, and in front three or four very long bright
feathers standing erect. He was able to talk with us in English, and
told us how his grandfathers owned all the land along the 'Grand
River.' It is very pitiful to think how the poor Indians have been
pushed further and further into little corners of their once proud
territory, to make way for the white man, who, alas! brought to them
the terrible 'fire-water' which has gone so far to prove their ruin
and increase their desolation. Thank God that now they have earnest
men of God, whom His own love and zeal for souls has so filled as to
enable them to give up all for His glory, and go and live among these
dark, despised ones, and take to them the glad tidings of a free
salvation.

"During our tea-hour great interest was taken by all our friends in
the group of little ones enjoying their cake and tea, and Miss
Macpherson told how good the Lord had been to the mission, in opening
up homes for nearly all the sixty rescued children we brought out
three weeks ago. After tea, our forty younger ones seated themselves
in a ring upon the green grass, under the shade of the maple and
hickory trees. They sang sweet hymns of Jesus, and repeated many
precious texts for Mr. Needham to take as their messages of love to
the Indian children in his Sunday-school. Little Bobbie gave as his
text, 'God requireth that which is past.' Joey then stood up and
repeated, 'Suffer little children to come unto Me.' Johnnie and
Georgie gave, 'The eyes of the Lord are in every place,' and 'When my
father and mother forsake me, then the Lord will take me up.'

"A few questions followed from Miss Macpherson,--'How can any one
get into heaven?' 'They must love God,' was the first answer. 'They
must have their hearts changed,' said another. Then Bobbie's clear
voice was heard, again, 'By being washed in the blood of Jesus!'
Beautiful answer! wondrous truth!

"The Indian chief stood gazing in calm wonder at this circle of
happy English children. Presently Mr. Needham rose and said: 'The
Chief tells me he is very anxious to say a few words to the "Queen"
(_i.e.,_ Miss Macpherson), to the friends, and to the children.
He understands English, but his thoughts flow more freely in his
native tongue, and he has asked me to be his interpreter. He says
that many years ago his fathers kindled the fire and smoked 'the pipe
of peace' at such a gathering, and he thanks God for such a sight as
this. He has never been so touched as this afternoon by the
children's texts and answers. One hymn especially has struck him--


 'There's a home for little children,
  Above the bright, blue sky.'


'His fathers looked for the home of the spirits, but knew nothing of
the Christian's heaven. There are still, in his nation, 700 pagans
who sacrifice the white dog to the spirits, and are ever travelling
towards the land of the setting sun. He hopes the pagan children will
be taught about Jesus. He is so touched by the care taken of these
little ones and by the work of the Christian lady who saves them. The
Chief says he is very thankful I brought him here to-day. The circle
on the grass reminds him of how the Indian children sit to sacrifice
the white dog. He is going back to tell the children of his people
all these blessed things.'

"During Mr. Needham's interpretation the Chief stood by him, his
usually impassive face quite lit up with animated interest. After a
while he played to us on his cornet, his favourite tune being 'God
save the Queen.' Mr. Needham told us a few deeply interesting details
of his work among the Indians, and how the Lord is giving His
blessing in conversions, and also in the temperance work just begun
among them. He told us of an Indian mother who would walk eight miles
to hear the Gospel, with one baby slung over her back, in its curious
mummy-like cradle, and another slung on her arm! The poor Indians are
beginning really to value the care and labour bestowed on them by the
missionary whom God has so evidently prepared for and led into this
work. And surely such a mission as this has a deep and solemn claim
on the help and sympathy of those who have now possession of the land
of the Red Indian, and enjoy the blessings he has lost. Let the
white man, who brought him the 'fire-water,'--dire instrument of
death!--seek now, though, alas! so late, to carry to him with all
speed the blessed 'water of life,' that he may drink and live for
ever.

"As the shadows on the grass grew longer, and the west began to glow
with the sunset crimson, the little ones, tired yet happy, were taken
home to bed, and our kind friends bade as all farewell. When we look
back on our happy picnic in the Bush, and raise our earnest prayers
for the dear children God has rescued and shall yet rescue, let us
not forget to plead for the mission to the Six Nation Indians, and to
ask that the light of the glorious Gospel may speedily bring hope and
gladness to many a poor dark heart."

Miss Macpherson's next letter tells of many varied interests:--

"DEAR FELLOW-WORKERS,--Our proposed three days of Christian
fellowship and conference at the Galt Home are now over. Numbers were
not large, the accommodation here being limited, bat several
ministers, evangelists, and devoted brothers and sisters, who have
true sympathy in the Master's work for the deaf children, waited on
the Lord with us, and it has proved a time of great spiritual
blessing, preparing us to go forth in the days that remain, strong to
labour for our blessed Lord, just to do His will.

"Leaving matters at Galt going on in their even way, only varied by
the occasional return of children, who, from temper, ill-health, or
some other cause, have not been able to remain in the situations
first found for them, (which shows the value of our Homes on this
side the Atlantic), we are again on the wing.

"The Sunday after the conference was spent at Sheffield, a village
containing a thousand inhabitants. On arriving we found the sheds
around the church full of conveyances, betokening a good
congregation. The people, looking bright in their white summer
costumes, joined with wonderful heartiness in singing, 'All hail the
power of Jesus' name.' Mr. Merry gave a powerful address on Ezek.
xxxvii. 1-10. During the afternoon we learned that a time of revival
had sprung from a few godly women meeting at each other's houses to
pray for a blessing on the village. They felt the need of a definite
object for their prayers, and selected a young man who was a great
drunkard, and the disturber of every meeting. Soon they were rejoiced
to learn that he was truly converted to the Lord without any human
agency. Now his face is the brightest of the congregation, and none
is more active to win souls than he. On leaving Sheffield we were
grateful to know we had secured many hearts to pray for us and our
little ones.

"We took a large case of Testaments to the next place we visited; and
an evangelist who had been labouring for some weeks there, sold for
us; on Henry Moorhouse's plan, in the market-place, 600 Testaments,
and gave away 7200 Gospel leaflets.

"Since then we have stayed with the friends at St. Catharine's,
exchanging words of cheer with Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist,
and other brethren. Now we are staying with members of the Society
of Friends at Fonthill. How sweet is this fellowship of saints,
'endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!'
Here we learn with joy how our brother-in-law was used to the
conversion of many in the villages around during the past winter.
We have been comparing notes with four of the dear sisters here,
contrasting our work at Ratcliff Highway, with its three mission-houses,
our elder girls, widows, and lodging-houses, with theirs among navvies
on Welland Canal, drunkards, and farmers and their wives living away
in solitary nooks. The work is one presenting a full, free, and
present salvation by a once crucified and now risen Lord.

"The dear wife of the Lord's honoured servant, Jonathan Grubb, is
giving great joy and help to the busy workers on this hill-top, by
sending large parcels of tracts purchased from the various societies
in England, assorted into packets during her winter hours. From the
friends here they go to many a lone corner of the great continent.
The postal charges are so small, that surely many a sister might
share with us in sending a fresh packet now and again to those who
have little reading of any kind; also the many gifts from the Tract
Society have been most valuable in these country places.

"Our children settled in the neighbourhood of Font-hill are growing
up into manhood, some of them becoming earnest Christians.

"Our stay is necessarily brief; distances are great, and strength
small; but we ever realise, 'He leadeth us.'

"Dear fellow-workers, let us watch and pray, and labour on, 'till He
come.'"

"Till He come!". It is sweet with these words to close this
imperfect record of the labours of the Lord's beloved handmaid;
especially when we look back to the time twenty years' before, when
the "blessed hope" was first made the source of new strength and
power to her soul. May not the words of the letter quoted above be
adopted with little alteration by every Christian labourer? Our stay
can be but brief,--perhaps not one working hour is yet left to us,
and how emphatically do the words now come to us, "Redeeming the time
_because_ the days are evil;" so evil, that were it not for the
sure word of prophecy, we should lie down in despair. If we looked to
present agency to change the scenes of sin and sorrow around us, all
hope would vanish. But we have "a hope that maketh not ashamed," and
"that blessed hope" is an "anchor of the soul" "The work is great,"
great it has always been, but how much greater now that doors
hitherto closed are open in every part of the world; from every
country the cry is, "Come over and help us." Many a solitary pioneer
has fallen, oh! that others might come forth to fill up the ranks.
"Strength is small;" "Without me ye can do nothing;" "Is there not an
appointed warfare (margin) to man upon earth?" He, who has appointed
the warfare will not send any at their own charges. The "blessed
hope" strengthens the weak hands and confirms the feeble knees. He
will give the grace, the wisdom, the strength, all that is needed,
day by day. _"Till He come."_ Three little words--no more--but
who can tell the comfort, the strength, the sweetness this hope
brings to those who are watching for the coming of their King?


       *       *       *       *       *


The following deeply affecting lines are from the same pen as those
before quoted. Miss Geldard, the gifted writer, was for a time a much
valued fellow-labourer both in England and Canada:--


A HOME AND A HEARTY WELCOME.

  All day has the air been busy,
   As the daylight hours went by,
  With the laugh of the children's gladness,
   Or their pitiful, hopeless cry.

  But now all is hushed in silence,
   They are lying in slumber deep:
  While I ask, in this solemn midnight,
   _Where_ do the children sleep?

  We know there are children sleeping
   In many a happy home,
  Where sickness rarely enters,
   Where want may never come.

  Their hands in prayer were folded
   Ere they laid them down to rest,
  And on rosy lip and soft white brow
   Were a mother's kisses pressed.

  They sleep and dream of angels;
   Ah! well may their dreams be fair!--
  Their home is now so like a heaven,
   They seem already there.

  But where are the children sleeping
    In these wretched streets around,
  Where sin, and want, and sorrow
    Their choicest haunt have found?

  Will you climb this broken staircase,
    And glance through this shattered door;
  Oh, can there be children sleeping
    On that filthy and crowded floor?

  Yes! old and young together,
    A restless, moaning heap;
  O God! while they thus are sleeping,
    How dare Thy children sleep?

  Does the night air make you shiver,
    As the stream sweeps coldly by?
  (Cold as the hearts of the heedless),
    Here, too, do the children lie.

  An archway their only shelter;
    The pavement their nightly bed;
  Thou, too, when on earth, dear Saviour,
    Hadst nowhere to lay _Thy_ head.

  So we know Thou art here, dear Master,
    Thy form we can almost see;
  Do we tear Thy sad voice saying,
    "Ye did it not to Me?"

  Yes, chill is the wind-swept archway,
    The pavement is cold and hard
  Better the workhouse coffin,
    Softer the graveyard sward.

  Thank God! yet we say it weeping,
    Thank God for many a grave!
  There sleep the little children
    Whom Christians would not save!

  Yet smiles through our tears are dawning
    When we think of the hope that lies
  In our children's Land of Promise,
    'Neath the clear Canadian skies.

  Though the frost he thick on the windows,
    Though the roof with snow is white,
  We know our Canadian children
    Are safe and warm to-night.

  There thick are the homespun blankets,
    And the buffalo robes are warm;
  Then why should these children shiver
    Out here in the winter storm?

  Why wait till the prison claims them?
    Why wait till of hope bereft
  For that fair young girl the river
    Be the only refuge left?

  Come! help us, answer the message
    Now pealing across the seas--
  "A home and a hearty welcome
    For hundreds such as these!"

  It comes from broad Ontario,
    And from Nova Scotia's shore;
  They have loved and sheltered our gathered waifs,
    They have room for thousands more.

       S. R. GELDARD.



CHAPTER IX.

Questions and Answers--Sorrowful Cases--Testimonies from those who
have visited Canada--Stewardship.


The fallowing plain answers to practical questions, are written by
those well acquainted with the work:--

I. "Are these children really _street Arabs?_ If not, where do
you find so many?"

In the early days of the work, before the establishment of School
Boards and kindred institutions, a large proportion of the children
were actually taken from the streets. Now, the rescue work begins
farther back, and seeks to get hold of the little ones before they
hare had a taste of street life and become contaminated. A policeman
brings one sometimes, having found it in a low lodging-house,
forsaken by its worthless, drunken parents. Christian ladies are ever
on the look-out for the little ones in their work among the poor, and
many a child has been taken straight from the dying bed of its only
remaining parent to Miss Macpherson. "Rescued from a workhouse life"
might be written on many a bright little brow, and "saved from drink"
on many more. Poor, delicate widows, striving vainly to keep a large,
young family, have often proved their true, unselfish love by giving
up one or two to Miss Macpherson to be taken to Canada. Such are
encouraged always to write to and keep in loving memory the dear
toiling mother at home. Widowed fathers in ill-health, and short of
work, feeling their utter helplessness to do for their motherless
flock, have come to Miss Macpherson entreating her to take care of
some of them.

2. "How come the Canadian farmers to be willing to take these
children?"

From a business point of view this is quite easily explained. Labour
is so scarce out there, and hired help so dear, while _food_ is
_so plentiful,_ that the Canadian farmer finds it quite worth
his while to take a little boy from the old country, whom he can
train and teach as his own, and who very soon will repay him in quick
ability for farm labour.

3. "Are you sure the children are really _better off_ there?"

Every boy in Canada has before him a definite hope for the future.
If he be steady, industrious, and of average intelligence, he may
reasonably look to being independent some day, to owning land of his
own, and attaining an honourable position in Canada. People do not
amass fortunes there as a rule, but they may all live in comfort and
plenty, and what they have is their own. Surely this is a brighter
prospect than the ceaseless round of toil at desk or counter, in
which so many in England,--even the more fortunate,--spend their
youth helping to make rich men richer.

4. "Among the hundreds are there not some failures, some exceptions?
What becomes of them?"

Yes, there are disappointments and failures in this work as well as
in every other. We do not take little angels to Canada, but very
human little boys and girls with every variety of temper and
character, and sometimes hereditary disadvantages which it is hard to
battle with. But patient forbearance and gentle treatment and time do
so much for them. And often a kind farmer has asked to be allowed to
keep, and "try again" the wilful little fellow who has tried to run
away or proved tiresome to manage.

"Ninety-eight per cent, of our children do well, and for the two per
cent, we do the best we can. If any circumstance arises making it
desirable for a farmer to give up a boy, he is at once returned to
the Home, where he is received and kept until another more suitable
place is found for him."

Should any be still blinded to the blessings of emigration for the
young, surely their eyes will be opened on reading the following
facts as related by Miss Macpherson:--

"William and Mary were brother and sister living in a terrible
warren near Drury Lane. The boy's employment was to gather rags and
bones. Their parents had been buried by the workhouse. Their
condition was too deplorable to be described. A year's training was
not lost upon this sister and brother. They came to Canada in 1873.
Now, could yon see them at nineteen and twenty-two--able to read and
write, well-clothed with their own honest earnings, having saved, in
1877, one hundred dollars; and this year, 1879, William is having
$100 as wages, and Mary $60. They come from time to time to visit the
Home. William is thinking of having a farm of his own.

"A. B.--Who was he? The son of a drunken woman, who, when very
tipsy still comes in from Ratcliff Highway to abuse us at
Spitalfields. Alfred has been many years in a lawyer's family, and
has saved enough money to be apprenticed as an engineer. He was a
wise boy to be guided by the kind counsel of those he served. We are
not satisfied with earthly adoptions only; we continue to pray that
each one may be adopted into the family of those who are washed in
the blood of the Lamb.

"Well do we remember the winter, when a wild man from Seven Dials
discovered that we had the little Annie, of whom he used to make such
traffic in the gin palaces; though we had no right to her. The lamb
was but six years old. Thank God, an ocean separates her from his
drunken villanies. Now she is with kind-hearted, homely people, the
companion and playmate of their daughter.

"S. W., seven years old; so puny--only a few pounds weight--owing to
her being starved and beaten by a drunken stepfather. Now, a year in
a happy home, going to school regularly, is companion to an only
child, and lacks no earthly comfort. The poor mother was ill-used in
the dens where she lived by her neighbours, for having, they said,
sold her child. We received a photograph of the little one from her
happy Canadian home; this closed every mouth, for it could not be
gainsaid.

"Whilst stopping at one of the railway stations, we were accosted by
a young man, who told us he was one of our old boys of ten years ago,
but was now settled in that town. He had 'rolled' about a good deal,
he said, but at last had settled down, and never was so happy in his
life before. He had sent for his brother to come and live with him.
Since then John and his wife have spent a day at the Gait Home, and
they think in another year, if they continue to prosper, that they
also would like to be entrusted with a little one. Thus openings are
ever occurring for those yet to follow."

Since the above was written other young emigrants, now married and
settled in homes of their own, have offered to adopt orphans and
children, homeless as they once were themselves.

The following are independent testimonies of those who have
travelled or are residing in Canada:--

The late Sir Charles Reed, Chairman of the London School Board,
stated that in his visit to Canada last year he had given special
attention to Miss Macpherson's work, and as his inquiries and
investigations were made unofficially, the information he obtained
might be looked upon as quite impartial. He was gratified by hearing
from the Governor-General, Lord Dufferin, at Quebec, that he was well
informed as to the work, and bore testimony to its worth. He (Sir
Charles) was prepared to say that the children were warmly welcomed
and kindly treated. He also, without making his purpose known,
visited some of the homes where the children were located, and what
he saw only confirmed what he had been told, as to the Canadians'
appreciation of the children. They were well occupied, well fed, and
as happy as they could be. He had entered into conversation with the
children as to familiar scenes in the East of London, and learned how
pleased they were with their new homes.

At Toronto he met Miss Bilbrough, a lady in charge of one of the
Homes, and a person enthusiastically devoted to this merciful work,
who thus became a true "Sister of Mercy." God has endowed woman
largely for this Christian ministry. In half an hour she thoroughly
interested him in the work, and put him in possession of such facts
as convinced him that the work was one which in England demanded
Christian sympathy and support. It was work which goes on quietly,
and is little talked of; but it ought to be, as he trusted it would
be, widely known. He was glad to say that through the School Board it
was becoming known to intelligent Christian men both in and out of
Parliament. It is good to work in faith, as those in charge of this
work do; but it is also good to have evidence as an encouragement to
faith, and as a corroboration of the work. Such evidence he, as in a
sense a special commissioner, had qualified himself to give, and it
gave him much pleasure to render it.

"WOODVILLE PLACE, DUNDEE, 13th August 1873.

"MY DEAR MISS MACPHERSON,--Various ministerial and pastoral
occupations, since my return home, have prevented me from carrying
out my intention of putting into shape my impressions and thoughts
about Canada and your work. If the Lord will, I shall do so at no
great distance of time. Meanwhile, allow me to express in a few words
my mature judgment in regard to the leading features of your work. It
seems to me to furnish the key to the solution of one of the most
difficult problems in Home Mission work.

"The character of the training to which the children are subjected
previous to their removal to Canada appears to be all that could be
desired. I was delighted with their knowledge of Scripture, their
general intelligence, their respectful bearing to their superiors,
their promptness of obedience, and other evidences of religious
conviction working itself out in their general conduct. The
extraordinary care exhibited in the selection of homes and in the
placing of them out in Canada strikes me as one of the most important
and valuable elements of the work. Most of all was I charmed with the
noble Christian character of your fellow-workers, and was thoroughly
convinced that a very remarkable measure of the blessing of God rests
upon the entire movement. I anticipate the most precious results for
time, and in view of eternity the issues of the movement will exceed
all calculation. I could say much more, but for the present must
forbear. For the sake of the poor, dear, lost little ones in our
large towns; for the sake of Canada, of whose wants I am not
ignorant; for the sake of humanity, and, above all, for the Lord's
sake, I heartily wish you were enabled to carry every summer
thousands instead of hundreds of little children across the Atlantic
to be settled in those beautiful Canadian regions, where by God's
blessing they may grow up 'trees of righteousness, the planting of
the Lord, that He might be glorified.'

"Go on, my dear friend; the Lord is manifestly with you, and He will
bless you still-aye, and more than ever.

"JOHN MACPHERSON."

_"November 5th, 1874._

"Having just returned from a six weeks' visit to Canada, I wish to
add my testimony to the many already given of the very valuable work
of Miss Macpherson in the three Homes which she has established in
Canada for young British destitute children, each Home under the
direction of devoted and much esteemed Christian ladies.

"Lady Cavan and I found much pleasure in visiting all these Homes,
situated in different parts of the Dominion of Canada, in each of
which children are received from two to twelve years of age, looked
after with motherly affection. The greater number sent out this year
had been provided for.

"There is a great demand for young children in this country, where
domestic and farming servants are so few, and numbers of these
children are adopted into families, the greatest care being taken to
place them with kind and good people. They are either trained for the
place which they will occupy, or, for the most part, are loved and
treated as children of the house.

"It needs but to see for oneself the happy, bright faces of the
children, to be satisfied of the value and importance of this
transplanting institution for the rescuing of children from their
degraded position, for which they are in nowise responsible. May many
be brought under the Christian, happy influence of Miss Macpherson,
through the liberality of those interested in our poor."

"CAVAN."

What a work of blessing is being carried on by the different Homes
here! My soul has been greatly refreshed this Christmas in seeing
some of the dear boys return to 'Blair Athol,' to spend a few days
with our sister Miss Macpherson. The change in appearance, from
London's hapless poverty and degradation, to this glorious
clime,--bright, rosy faces, full of laughter and fun, and yet deeply
interested in the dear, loving Saviour, whose Spirit thus practically
tells His own sweet story of love to their young hearts. One dear
fellow specially delighted me. I was present as he was ushered in
with his little brother, his eyes full of tears of gratitude and joy
as he said to Miss Macpherson, 'Please, Miss, here's a present for
you,' drawing a large, fat, beautiful goose from under his arm,
carefully packed. Excuse my adjectives, but I cannot help it, for I
fairly loved the boys; and when I looked back but four years, and
contrasted their hapless life (workhouse children) in one of our
English provincial towns, my spirit was full of gladness, and I
thanked God for these broad lands, and the untiring energy of the
band of workers and friends who so intelligently and successfully
save them from poverty, crime, and wretchedness, and by change of
position, sympathy, common sense, and Christian love, fit them for
useful, prosperous lives here, and, by grace, for eternal glory
yonder.

"HENRY VARLEY"

The following is from a Canadian friend and benefactor:--

"Dear Miss Macpherson,--My attention has been called to a
communication referring unfavourably to your work in bringing out the
little waifs and strays from England, and placing them in farmers'
homes in the country of this Canada of ours. I have thought that
perhaps a letter from me, giving my experience, might not be out of
place.

"Fully eleven years ago I first heard of your intention to bring out
some young emigrants to Canada, and as I heard that they were of the
degraded, vicious, and criminal class, I did not look with favour
upon the effort. Being in England shortly after the first lot came
out, without making my object known, I went down to the East End of
London repeatedly, and personally inquired into the working of the
scheme, saw the gathering in from the widows' families, the orphans,
the destitute, and those worse than orphans. I saw the cleaning, the
fresh clothing, the training in work and discipline, and, above all,
the schooling in religious teaching from God's Book, and singing
sweet Gospel hymns. I was satisfied that this part of the work was
being well done in England, and great care exercised in selecting
only suitable cases and giving lengthened training; so that the girls
and boys from the youngest to those of thirteen and fourteen years of
age, when drafted to Canada in fifties and hundreds, looked likely
youngsters for workers in this land of plenty.

"After my return to Canada, having got thoroughly interested in the
work, seeing at least that it was doing a good work for London in
relieving the over-population there, I decided, if in my judgment the
work was as well cared for in Canada, and as much care exercised in
placing them out in homes as in gathering in and training, then it
would prove a good work for Canada also.

"Now, (after over ten years), I can say, from large personal
experience, that the placing of several thousands of these young,
sturdy, willing workers in the homes of our Canadian fanners, through
this agency, has been a blessing to Canada, not only as workers, but
also in many cases carrying good religious influences with them. The
greatest care is exercised in selecting suitable homes, and in no
case is a child placed out unless the applicant brings good
certificates of character from the minister or justice of the peace.
In these homes of the farmers the youngsters are well-fed, well-clothed,
and well-treated, in most cases made one of the family. I have
constantly inquired, in various localities, as to how these
young people are getting on, from prominent men, such as judges,
members of Parliament, mayors and councillors of towns, ministers and
fanners, and am satisfied as a whole they turn out as well as the
average of young people from any class of society. Some prove
unsuitable--these are returned to the Distributing Homes and given a
fresh start; some few turn out badly or sickly--these are returned to
England: but compared with the large number that turn out well the
average is very small. I know the Distributing Homes at Knowlton, at
Belleville, and at Galt; they are fine, comfortable, substantial
buildings, and at Galt there is a farm of 100 acres of land. I know
the workers and the oversight they take in training until placed out,
the care taken in placing out, how they visit and correspond with
them, and I have seen and possess hundreds of letters from these
youngsters, written voluntarily by them from their new homes, many of
which have been published in Canadian as well as English papers from
time to time. I have seen and possess hundreds of photographs of
these waifs and strays as taken into the gathering Homes in London,
then brought out to Canada, then, after being here two, five, and
even ten years, the progress being marvellous.

"Now, in conclusion, having within the past month visited the Galt
Home and Farm, with more than fifty healthy, hearty, vigorous
youngsters being trained and fitted for work among Canadian farmers,
it is my firm conviction that this work is being well done on both
sides of the Atlantic. It is being carried on upon right principles
and from pure motives, and God has owned and blessed it wonderfully.
There is not only room for, but a hearty welcome also for hundreds
more of such emigrants. The work has proved a blessing to Canada as
well as a blessing to England, and those engaged in it should receive
hearty encouragement on both sides of the Atlantic.

"--Yours faithfully,

"T. J. CLAXTON.

"MONTREAL, _July 1st, 1881._"

Miss Macpherson writes after Lord Dufferin's visit to the Galt Home:--

"His lordship said, 'We meet your children everywhere, and they are
so happy; we have crossed the ocean with them, and even last night
where we were slaying we were waited upon by one of your boys as a
page,--he did it well too.'"

STEWARDSHIP.

May Miss Macpherson's solemn words on stir up many to follow her
self-denying efforts, and may the same blessing attend them.

"Since 1868, we have been receiving the love offerings of the Lord's
almoners, and under the direction of two auditors and a public
accountant, a yearly balance sheet has been issued. To the praise of
the Lord who knoweth the needs of the destitute ones we have sought
to help, we have not been permitted to contract a debt, or been left
in want of bread or clothing at any time. Our faith has been
frequently proved, at times for days, and at others for years. Yet
our 'God is love,' and we are in His own wondrous school, and bow to
every trial.

"From 4000 to 6000 pounds annually have been the requirements of the
mission. As it came, so was the money spent, leaving us often with a
very small balance, but always on the right side.

"When the funds have been low we have often been led to wonder and
adore the love that placed our burdens upon the hearts of others,
causing them to consider Him who loved them, and who had enjoined us
to go forth and sympathise with the 'Christies' grinding their old
organs, and the 'Jessicas,' with broken hearts, crying for bread in
the alleys of our great city.

"Our sainted sister, Miss Havergal, once earnestly entreated us to
write on about the needs of little children. Mrs. Herbert Taylor, now
in glory, said, 'Oh continue unto the end pleading the Christ-like
cause.'

"Yes! we are stewards, and not of money only.

"Do these departed workers regret one effort made for Jesus? It is
only now we can watch with Him for the little children,--the
opportunities for self-denial will soon be past. No more long
voyages, or sleepless nights,--soon the Lord Himself will come, our
bungling and failures all blotted out by the blood on the Mercy-seat.
Let us employ every remaining hour for our Lord as He leads us forth;
let the eye rest upon the grace that was in Jesus when He took the
little children in His arms (Mark x. 13-16). How full of tenderness
as we see Him placing the child by Himself (Luke ix. 47, 48). Would
we follow Him, then shall we be faithful stewards of every gift with
which He has entrusted us. When we have had nothing left but
Himself,-so near to faith's vision,--then how inexpressibly full has
shone out one or other of the 33,000 precious, never-failing promises.

"Precious Comforter! drawing ever near to His oft 'perplexed, reasoning,
troubled' ones; waiting to comfort them; showing them His hands and His
feet, and lifting those hands to bless them (Luke xxiv)."


  "'A little while' for patient vigil keeping,
      To face the stem, to wrestle with the strong;
   'A little while,' to sow the seed with weeping,
      Then bind the sheaves and sing the harvest song.

  "And He who is Himself the Gift and Giver--
      The future glory and the present smile,
   With the bright promise of the glad 'for ever,'
      Will light the shadows of the 'little while!'"


"YET A LITTLE WHILE, AND HE THAT SHALL COME WILL COME,
AND WILL NOT TARRY."



THE END.





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