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She was friendless, and how could they cast her, without a character, on the world ? Happy would it have been had they then applied in faith and prayer, to Him, who is emphatically called “Counsellor,” for assistance and direction. But they thought not of, they sought not for, His guidance. They acted from the dictates of that worldly wisdom which every day's experience, as well as God's own word, declares to be foolishness, and they resolved to take poor Mary back to the Institution from whence they had originally procured her, alleging as a reason for so doing, that she was a girl they could no longer harbour in their house.
The master of the establishment replied, “By your own account the girl is unfit to be received here. This is an asylum for the virtuous only, and should a person of her character get admittance, beside the danger of our young people being polluted by her conversation, we should find it nearly impossible to procure situations for them.” Finding the argument thus against him, Baker put an end to it by running away, leaving poor Mary standing alone with her judges, who again told her that as she had forfeited the situation which they had procured for her by bad conduct, she must now look to her own resources for support.
Her master, her cruel master, returned to his home, and no more was heard of the poor orphan until she was met in one of the back streets of that large city, by a poor woman named Clark, who had known her while a servant in her own neighbourhood. But O how changed ! Poorly drest, miserably emaciated, scarcely able to support herself, the pale shadow of the once blooming girl, she stood there, a lost, heartbroken, miserable outcast! In answer to the questions of her benevolent interrogator, she replied that she was dying without a friend even to procure her admission to an hospital. Mrs. Clark advised her going even without recommendation to the hospital, and telling her story there, exactly as she had done to her. She did so to a benevolent physician, who kindly admitted her, and had she made him her friend by confiding to him her entire history, she might have been saved from ruin. But she neglected to do so, and on her recovery, she was accordingly discharged the Institution. In a few months she was again met by Mrs. Clark, who remarked how very ill she looked, and added, “I fear you have gone back to your old courses.” “Yes, I have,” was her fearful reply: “What could I do? obliged to quit the hospital, without a home, without a friend, or a shilling, there was nothing for me to turn to but my old course of iniquity.” “Well,” said Mrs. Clark, “apply once more at the hospital, and when restored to health, come to my house, where you can remain until you have strength to go again to service. In the mean time I will look for a place for you." “No-no;' she answered, “you have your own daughters to look to, and I will never bring my shame to them. But my present course will be a short one, you will soon hear of my dead body being found. But before I die I will leave my heavy curse upon the Bakers, who cast me on the streets, without house, home, or character, without relation or friend to look to for assistance. They liked me right well as a servant until the time drew near when I was to get some trifling remuneration for my 'five years' service, and then they became exceedingly unkind. Often was I stinted of food in their house, which the lodgers knew, and used to give it to me, and in re
turn I was civil and obliging to them. But no more. As God is my witness, the day they turned me out of their house, I was as free from actual guilt as their youngest child, then a baby. And the day my mistress found me coming out of the lodger's room,
I had been only in it for the purpose of taking shoes, which he asked me to get cleaned. But it will all soon end as far as I am concerned : yet they shall have my curse upon them before I go.” Mrs. Clark, though a kind, was unfortunately a most ignorant, or, what the poor Irish term, an innocent woman; and quite uninfluenced by religion herself, she could not impart either its threats or promises to another, and unacquainted with the truth she could offer few arguments against the wretched girl's desperate purpose, and such arguments were only met by the former answer, “I will leave them my curse, and you will soon hear of my body being found.” And found it was, a few days afterwards, cold and dead, with the arms wound round a post, over which, when full the tide flowed, and to which she must have clung, with the firm resolution of destroying herself. But to return to the Bakers. It has been remarked that they were a particularly healthful-looking family—but from the moment of Mary's untimely end—from that hour, they drooped and fell away. First, the woman, who had accused the helpless orphan, and driven her from the shelter which Providence assigned her, sickened and died. Almost immediately, she was followed to the grave by a very fine child; and in less than six months, the father, grown-up daughters, and only son, were hurried to the tomb with a rapidity sufficient to make the most thoughtless tremble.-In vain were the most celebrated physicians consulted ; in vain
was change of air, and journeys by land and sea, tried; their cases were found hopeless and beyond the reach of human means. Within less than four years the parents, and five of their children were consigned to the same grave—and but one survivor of the family remains !
The above narrative of facts is given in the hope of leading some at least to consider before they consign a fellow-creature to perdition on what may be (as it was in poor Mary's case) a most unfounded suspicion of guilt. They should remember that there is a judgment-seat at which the oppressed must shortly appear. And that, if not found washed in the precious blood which cleanseth from all sin, the sentence must be passed, of bind them together for ever, a mutual torment, adding to their other sufferings unceasing reproaches for having caused each other's final destruction.
Who bendeth with meek eye, and bloodless cheek,
* Answer me, young man!
Child! in whose rejoicing heart
Turn back thy book of life
Thy bending form,
L. H. S.
VISITS TO THE OUTCASTS OF NORWICH. EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNALS OF THE AGENTS.
(Concluded from page 235.) “In the next room visited by us, we found an interesting looking young woman, who seemed conscious of the object of our visit. She had not lived a year in this sin; she first entered upon it because she had no means of getting a livelihood. She would be very glad to be released if she knew how; she wept much, and was very thankful for our visit.”
“ Called at a house where we understood that all the inmates were women of bad character. The family