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If the labors of the Mission have been hitherto more especially directed to the rescue of the degraded and the vile, rather than to the relief of the poor, the preservation of the exposed, and the succour of the distressed; it has only arisen from the necessity and urgency of the cases of the fallen, and not from any preference to that department of labor. The Committee cannot cease to be deeply anxious that the multitudes of unhappy outcasts, who are tired and disgusted with their evil and pernicious course, should not implore a refuge in vain ; but they are still more desirous that the young and the giddy, the poor and the destitute, should be warned and preserved from the power and the snares of the destroyer. The Committee are obliged by the want of space in a short report, to refrain from urging the peculiar importance and claims of this economical department of their labors, and must therefore refer to their lately printed appeal on behalf of Refuges for Indigent Females. In that appeal a sketch is given of the frightful dependance in which thousands of industrious females are living, and who may, by circumstances over which they have no control, be brought in one short hour to wretchedness and want :—with constitutions shattered by close confinement and insufficient food-with minds enfeebled by a monotonous employment and incessant toil-with spirits broken by constant disappointment and unrequited labor ; many a virtuous female is driven from her home, for small arrears of rent, to walk the streets without a protector to guard her from insult, or a friend to soothe her aching heart : to provide then a temporary refuge for one so distressed, so desolate, and so poor, is a duty which none can deny; and the Committee therefore most
earnestly hope that their call for aid to establish additional Refuges will not be made to the Chris. tian public in vain.
THE SERVANTS' HOME. From the Indigent Refuge the Committee refer the friends of the Mission, with great pleasure, to the Servants' Home, inasmuch as this department of their exertions is increasingly prosperous, and promises to become one of the most pleasing parts of the field of labor occupied by the Society.
The experience of each successive year more plainly manifests, not only the need of such a scheme of Christian benevolence, but the peculiar adaptation of the means employed by the Mission to attain the desired result; while its extensive usefulness attests the success of the design and encourages far greater efforts to benefit this interesting portion of the female community. The advantages which it confers both on employers and servants are so obvious as to require neither illustration nor proof; and the best evidence of the propriety of establishing a Servants' Home will be found in the following summary for the past year :
Servants applying for registration .......... 582
Do: approved for ditto ................ 377
Do. received into the Home as lodgers .. 129
Lodgers at present in the Home............
12 Bibles and 8 vols. of the Servants' Magazine, have been given as rewards to seryants for long con. tinuance in their several places.
281. Os. 11d. have been received as registry fees from parties applying for servants, and,
701. 14s. 7d. from servants for board and lodging.
41. 58. 4d. has been deposited in the collectingbox by those who have enjoved the advantages of the Institution, as free-will offerings :--and when the limited means of female servants are considered, this substantial proof of their gratitude for benefits received is most pleasing.
The inmates of the Home continue to attend the ministry of the Hon. and Rev. BAPTIST W. Noel, whose affectionate expositions and applications of divine truth, the Committee have good reason to believe have not been in vain.
The following is a short abstract of the report of the Superintendent.
“ The Superintendent has much pleasure in reporting the good conduct of the lodgers during the past year; with one or two trifling exceptions they have been uniformly obedient to the rules of the Home, most respectful in their behaviour, and united and happy among themselves : the alacrity with which they discharge their assigned duties, and their earnest desire to please, makes the task of govern. ment both easy and pleasant. Their conduct on Sundays is exemplary, most of them regularly accompanying the Superintendent to St. John's Chapel, Bedford Row. The attention they manifest during the time of prayer— the readiness with which they receive scriptural instruction—and their cheerful submission to examinations as to their religious knowledge during the intermediate hours of public service, are at all times most pleasing to the Superintendent. The desire to walk out on the Sabbath has almost ceased during the past year, and the manner in
which the servants regard that sacred day of rest is really gratifying. In most instances satisfactory accounts have been obtained of those sent out to service; and the numerous calls that are made at the Home by former inmates to express their grateful thanks to the Society, and the evident satisfaction with which they refer on such occasions to their stay in the Home are truly pleasurable. The conduct of the former inmates gives testimony of the success of the Institution, which must gratify those kind friends who have given it their support, and make all thankful to Him who has so greatly blessed their useful “ labour of love" among Female Servants.”
Many communications have been received during the past year from servants who were once residents in the Home, breathing the liveliest expressions of gratitude for the shelter and instruction afforded to them by the Society; and if the limits of this Report did not forbid, it would have been pleasing to have presented in the Appendix still more copious extracts from these artless and interesting letters.
It were absurd to expect, that out of 247 servants introduced during the past year to situations through the medium of the Home, none should be found who failed to realize the expectations which had been formed of them ; it is surely enough to say that such instances have been comparatively few, and in most cases they have been traced to the common, though most reprehensible practice, of mis. tresses withholding the real character of servants from feelings of mistaken kindness, thus inflicting an injury upon unoffending strangers, and producing in families an amount of confusion and inconvenience which cannot be justified, because it is so directly at variance with strict truth. The Committee, with sincere regret, feel it a Christian duty to advert to this, and to a still more painful subject connected with the giving of characters to female servants. In several instances that have occurred at the Home, it has been too evident that, from a feeling of ill-will, mistresses have refused to give a fair character to their discharged domestics ; and frequently by studied silence on certain points, as well as by misrepresentations concerning some trifling though inconvenient fault, they have in. flicted an injury on friendless and unprotected girls, which has been most distressing, and which, but for the agency of the Society, would have prevented these young women from getting other situations. These distressing cases have been attended with considerable trouble and anxiety; and it has been only by a patient investigation of their previous character in former situations, and by a watchful observance of their demeanor while in the Home, that the Committee have been able to remove most serious stains from the characters of several worthy and intelligent females,-a stain which, under other circumstances, must have been a serious barrier to their success in life, if it had not ended in their utter destruction. To benefit both the employer and employed—to uphold the authority of the one, and to secure justice to the other to form a common centre from which good employers may find good servants, and good servants may meet with good employers, so that the one may rejoice in the engagement of a faithful and indus. trious servant, and the other in the possession of a sincere friend and a comfortable home :-to obtain results so necessary to the comfort and security of society, and so likely to benefit and improve female