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and inexperienced girls, who have been servants in the families of small tradesmen.
Some of the hospitals, if not all, have a fund from which they help the destitute. It is likely that the Governors would devote some part of this fund to enable the Servants' Home to receive girls too poor to pay for themselves.
The prevention of vice is so much easier than its cure, that we may calculate upon the good which might be brought about by some such plan as that above suggested, with far more certainty than in the case of any project for restoring those who have once abandoned the ways of virtue.
Unmingled with pain or with sorrow;
Nor embitters the sweets of to-morrow.
Believe me, your searching is vain;
One joy unattended with pain,
Why stretch every nerve, just to find,
And bitter remorse to the mind.
Though at present they quietly roll;
And engulph in dark ruin the soul.
time we think we have been remiss in not making these Establishments more generally known among the Hospitals of the metropolis.
Oh, how can these follies, this madness prepare,
The soul which for ever must live,
And in joys, which no mind can conceive.
Then lay up your treasure " where thief can ne'er steal,”
And a stream deep and pure shall soon flow; Of happiness, heaven alone can reveal,
And which none but the Christian can know. Pentonville.
I CANNOT KEEP THAT COMMANDMENT.
A little girl, six years old, in an American Sunday. school, was repeating the fifth commandment; her teacher endeavoured to shew her in what way she was to honor her parents, and said, “ you must honor your parents by obeying them.” “O, ma'am! exclaimed the child, “I cannot keep that commandment.” “Why cannot you keep it, my dear ?” “because, ma'am,” when my mother tells me to do one thing, my father tells me to do another. Now, just before I came here, my mother told me to stay up stairs and learn my lesson, and my father told me to come down and play; now how could I obey them both ? No, no,” closing her little hands as if in despair, “no, no, ma'am, it is impossible for me ever to keep that commandment.”
At the time when that wonderful genius, Sir Walter Scott, was producing one novel after another with a rapidity which his readers could scarcely keep pace with, a young married lady, whose taste strongly
inclined her to works of this nature, but who had abstained from reading them, lest they might interfere with her new domestic duties, was induced, by the wishes of her husband, to commence with him the Waverley Novels for their evening reading : but the pages were far too fascinating to be laid aside at the usual hour for repose ; there was no cessation of interest until the volumes were closed. An infant son lay in his cradle beside the mother, who, too conscientious to keep an attendant awake for their novel reading vigils, attempted herself to watch the child. But, though quiet, he was sometimes hungry; and nature admonished him, that, in the cold of a winter's night, he ought to be warmed and cherished on a mother's arms, and he would sometimes cry; perhaps at the very moment when Jeannie Deans was about to make her eloquent appeal to the Queen, the infant would make his plea for a mother's care : the story must then be broken off, while, with a feeling of disappointment, almost amounting to impatience, the maternal duties were performed. But the healthy and beautiful child was seized with an acute disease, which terminated in his removal from this world; and though the mother could not accuse herself of actual neglect, she was conscious of having had her thoughts too much diverted from her child, by the fictitious scenes in which she had permitted her imaginations to rove. She was wholly unprepared to meet such an affliction; and, turning from the novels to her Bible, sought for peace and consolation in the promises of Him who is “ the resurrection and the life.” Those books which had drawn her thoughts from her lovely infant, she could not, for a long time, endure to behold; and from thenceforward she renounced them all, in the settled
conviction, that females, especially when young, by indulging in novel reading, do in a degree unfit themselves for the proper discharge of their duties.
South London Institution for the Protection and Reformation of Females, and for the Suppression and Prevention
of Vice.* We are taught by the Christian religion to regard every perishing soul as an object of compassion, and to seek the salvation of that soul, without allowing the extent to which it may have gone in sin to operate against such efforts. The poor sinners, the outcast members of the Jewish community, whom our Lord met with in his career of benevolence on earth, were treated with a tenderness characteristic of the Saviour of sinners; and the same kind feeling ought to operate in the minds of the disciples of Christ towards their most erring brethren.
Now there is a class of persons the most pitiable of all wretched beings, whose case has not yet elicited, to any extent, the sympathies of the Christian public. They are the fallen females of this country, whom the heartless moral assassins that infest society, have deprived of that which is infinitely dearer than life-a virtuous character-and have left upon the wide world with nothing to support them but crime, aud nothing to look forward to but misery. Hundreds of these poor creatures, who were once the joy of the hearts of their parents, but whose deviation from the path of virtue, through the base villany of the wicked, has led to their banishment from the houses of their friends, and from all respectable society, are anything but hardened by that species of sin into which their destitution has driven them. Conscience-smitten, broken-hearted, ashamed of and loathing the vice to which they have been addicted, they would gladly escape from it if they knew where to fly. The recol
* Our readers will be gratified to know that this important Society, though not connected with the London Female Mission, has arisen out of its labors.
lection of the past, their present degradation, and the prospect before their eyes of continued wretchedness, are a burden more than they can bear: they are the prey of the keenest anguish, (as their own lips will tell ;) and meeting with no sympathy, no help, but being shunned and repulsed by the virtuous portion of the community, it frequently happens that to deaden sorrow, they drink down the intoxicating draught, and even plunge into the waters to seek in self-destruction a termination of the miseries of life.
It is an ascertained fact, that full a thousand of these poor outcasts apply annually for admission into the several Houses of Refuge, in and about the metropolis, without obtaining it, for the want of room, and are thus thrown back into crime and wretchedness, and desperation and ruin. It is further computed that there are in this kingdom no less than half a million of the female sex, living continually on the wages of iniquity, and that all the institutions in the land, including those of the metropolis, do not afford refuge for more than a few hundreds ! Must it not then be said with truth, and with a feeling of deep shame, that the Christian Church, has, in this respect, most sadly neglected its duty, and that here is a field of labour where something ought immediately and energetically to be done? Let each professing Christian ask himself what must become of these immense masses of human beings, immortal and accountable, who are dying fast through premature decay, and hurrying to eternity with all the guilt of their transgressions upon them.
The heart sickens under the painful reflection, and the more so, when it is remembered that they are allowed to perish under the very eye of the Christian Church, no interest being felt in their welfare, and no effort made to save them from destruction. Missionaries are sent abroad, but, by a strange inconsistency none are sent to call to repentance, to lead to the Saviour, and to bring within the fold of his Church, these dying sinners at home! Under an idea altogether erroneous (as facts will shew) that they are past recovery, they are left to go down into perdition, exclaiming, to the condemnation of our apathy, “refuge faileth me, no man careth for iny soul.” Impressed with these considerations, certain pious and benevolent individuals have set on foot a society, to be called “ The South London Institution, for the Protection and Reformation of Females, and for the Suppression and Prevention of Vice.” The ob