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LONDON FEMALE MISSION.
CHRISTIANITY is designed to restore woman to the position she occupied when first, from the beneficent hand of the Creator, she came forth “ a help meet for man"_" clothed in native purity which knew no stain, and adorned with loveliness, which awakened his best affections, she was placed by the side of man, to be the sharer of his sorrows, and the partner of his joys :—but the demoralising effects of sin tore her from this position, and still makes her, where the Gospel shines not, a degraded and injured being. It is the glory of Christianity that it has ever raised the female sex in the scale of human society to the proper level ; for wherever its manumitting principles are acknowledged, they imperiously demand that woman should no longer be made the slave of oriental caprice, or compelled to pass a life of wretchedness in hard and unpitied bondage, Where the influence of the Gospel of Christ is felt, the gentler sex are not only freed from the horrible cruelty of the savage, but they are elevated far above the dishonorable dependance which was assigned to them by the polished nations of classic antiquity. The Christian dispensation, moreover, not only restores woman to the station for which she was originally designed, but with that restoration arms her again with a power, the benefits of which cannot be estimated, because its effects can never be fully known. The influence which the female cha
racter exerts on the destinies of a nation is not sufficiently considered; for it might be easily shown, that, when restored to the moral dignity for which the Author of our being formed her, she would not only by her active life minister to our comforts and heighten our pleasures, but would also by her quiet influence soften our nature, refine our morals, and set forth, and perpetuate the beauty of true religion. The disastrous results which flow from the misappli. cation of the power are most fearful, and the injury which it inflicts upon a community can never be told; while the blessed effects of this influence, when rightly directed, would not merely prevent tremend. ous evils, but would form an instrument in the hand of God for advancing man as an intellectual and immortal being. The power of this influence for good or evil cannot therefore be justly appreciated, or more strenuous exertions would be made to direct or restrain the mighty agency.
It must be obvious that the possession of a mighty power for operating upon the social and moral condition of man imposes upon its possessor a fearful responsibility, that is plainly recognized both by reason and scripture; and it must be equally plain, that if this responsibility is understood and felt, the most powerful of all inducements will be obtained to enlist that influence on the side of virtue and religion.
To rescue woman from the fearful degradation which sin has imposed, and place her beyond that desolating wretchedness which destroys the finer sensibilities of her nature :-to set before the world her just though noiseless claims, and point out the means by which the fatal effects of past neglect may be most speedily and effectually removed :-to elevate her to her real level in society, and qualify her for the important station for which she was at first designed to aid her in seeking that moral power which shall fit her for duty, and fortify her against the dangers and temptations to which she is exposed:
-to succour and soothe the repentant wanderer, and provide a home for the houseless and the poor :these were the objects which were contemplated in the establishment of the London Female Mission in the latter part of the year 1836; and the Managers, in' presenting to their subscribers and friends, this, their Fourth Annual Report, beg to detail once more the means by which they have in part accomplished these important objects, and the plans by which they propose to carry out still further the great ends for which the Mission has been instituted.
The designs of the society as above stated are most important, but a ten-fold value is superadded, if the great ends of the Mission are considered. To rescue a human being from degradation and wretchedness is a benevolent work, but to snatch a soul from eternal ruin is something more—to raise the affections from debasing pleasures is most delightful, but to elevate a soul above the world is a joy still higher—to aid a mind in obtaining moral power is the work of man, but to help a soul in seeking spiritual strength is the work of God: when so engaged we may, without presumption, say with the Apostle, “ We are laborers together with God," (1 Cor. iii. 9.) The strongest worldly motives may end with the day which gave them birth; this Mission, therefore, in seeking to accomplish its benevolent and spiritual objects, rests not here, but urges those higher and nobler incentives to duty which true religion alone can inspire ; it presses upon man the powerful obligations which the Gospel enforces
to protect and cherish the weaker sex; and it seeks to infuse among females the ennobling principles and duties which that Gospel inculcates. It endeavours, especially, to lead woman rightly to use the influence which God has entrusted to her charge; and thus practically to recognize the terrible responsibility which the possession of such a talent imposes.
The salvation of the soul is the object of the London Female Mission ; but in the use of the manifold means which are employed to attain the desired result, it will be seen that many temporal benefits are secured, which would be most important, were they not contrasted by this one momentous object. “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul ? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?” (Matt. xvi. 26.)
The Committee, in presenting to the subscribers and friends of the Mission a detail of the labors of the past year, will commence with the
INDIGENT REFUGE. The results of the society's labors in this the preventive department of its plans are the following :The number of applicants during the past year for admission to the Refuge has been ................ 133 young women received into the Refuge 79
placed out to service.... 57 Total number placed out to service ... ...
:................ 154 amount of money advanced on loan ...... £25 0 0
The Managers here desire to offer their grateful acknowledgments to the Rev. W. SHORT, Rector of St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, for his kind. ness in gratuitously appropriating a pew in the church for the use of the persons admitted to the Refuge, and for the kind assurance he has given to
the Committee, that he will attend, as often as his engagements will permit, to give spiritual instruction to the inmates. The Managers are also under great obligation to the Ladies' Committee, for their unremitting attention to this department of the Society's operations, as well as to several other Christian ladies who have, in a special manner, manifested their desire to promote the religious improvement of the persons who seek shelter in the Refuge.
This central establishment is at present the only one of the kind; but it is the intention of the Committee to open one in each quarter of London, so
purpose: and surely the urgent claims of those classes for whose benefit these Institutions are designed, and a detail of the economical means by which the compassionate objects may be accomplished, will be enough to awaken Christian liberality, and enable the Committee to provide the required refuges for the friendless and distressed female. · Who can estimate the amount of misery and sin which has been prevented by this single Refuge ? Since its commencement, in 1838, one hundred and fifty-four Indigent females have been placed out to service, and many others have been assisted to resume their former employments :- but for the temporary provision afforded by this Asylum, many who are now useful members of society, would have been added to that fearful number whose neces. sities first prompted them to the commission of gross sin, but who, after becoming familiar with vice, and hardened by the deceitfulness of sin, at last habitually swelled the pestilential ranks of those who are hurrying through present misery into eternal death.