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· History of
H hM-k. 199 home satisfied with herself for the formal performance of a duty, without ever attaining any lasting benefit to her soul. She had heard the word of truth set forth with all plainness and fidelity by a very excellent minister ; but she seemed to hear it without effect; " the natural man, as saith the apostle, receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Yet she heard worse than in vain, having joined herself, as she informed me, to the number of profane scoffers who ridiculed the zealous and energetic manner of the preacher. Scarcely had a year passed, when, upon the removal of the clergyman from the parish, she was permitted to hear the word from the lips of another minister, and she who had been “ sitting in the seat of the scornful” was awakened by the grace of God under a discourse preached from the 9th chapter of St. Luke, verse 62, and “ her heart the Lord opened that she attended to the things that were spoken" by his servant, and became much distressed under the conviction of sin wrought in her.
It was very shortly after this, that a disease from which she had been suffering for some time confined her to her cottage, and some Christian friends having visited her, she stated to them her feelings, and expressed a desire to see the minister who had been the instrument in the hands of God of bringing her to see her own sinfulness. Her wish was readily agreed to by the minister, and she was afterwards constantly visited by him to the day of her death, and he saw the evidence which she gave of her deep sense of sin, her humility and teachableness of mind, and her desire, if spared, to lead a new life, and devote herself to the service of God.
At a time when her friends had almost despaired of seeing her raised from a sick-bed, it pleased God so far to restore her that she was enabled to submit to
a most painful operation; and He who had at first “ brought her out of darkness to light” gave her such help from above, that she entertained no fears of the danger which attended it, and went through it with an extraordinary firmness of mind, and patience. But the relief she obtained was of very short duration; she became, after a few weeks, worse than before, and though able before her relapse to visit the house of God, and offer up her thanksgivings for the mercy she had experienced, she was soon deprived of that blessing which she had been taught to value, and again was confined to her cottage. Very frequently she expressed her desire to go to the House of God, and to see “ His power and glory, so as she had seen him in the sanctuary;" but the privilege she had so long abused in health was then denied to her—yet the comfort she had found there had prepared her for this time of trial, so that she counted her sufferings but " light," and under the most agonizing pains she often exclaimed, as soon as she had breath to speak," the Lord still deals gently with me.” But this narrative would extend to too great a length were I to enter upon some of the interesting interviews near the close of her mortal career-suffice it then to say, that she died in the faith of that Redeemer by whom alone the penitent sinner can hope to find pardon, peace and salvation. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.”
Should you think this simple statement worthy of a place in your useful little work, in illustration of your own and correspondent's observations, I would sincerely trust that it may fall into the hands and meet the eye of some formal and careless worshippers who make a solemn mockery of service in the house of God, and to their shame be it spoken, “ have not the knowledge of God.” With this desire of its leading some, under the blessing of God, to look to the state of their own hearts, and to pray for “ the renewBrighton Provident Society, or Winter Club. 201 ing of their minds," that they also may become “new creatures in Christ Jesus," and be found among " such as shall be saved."
a sincere friend to your little work.
.“ BRIGHTON PROVIDENT SOCIETY,” OR WINTER
CLUB. We must again urge our friends, who are anxious for the good of the poor, to encourage them to lay by a small weekly sum during the summer for the supply of their necessities during the winter,--and we exhort the poor not to neglect so excellent an opportunity of doing good to themselves.
· The following passages are extracted from the Brighton Herald of August 4, 1827; and they relate to the Society established at Brighton in the year 1824.
" Many poor, who at first refused to deposit, are now anxious for it."-" The character of the poor is improved,- they become attached to the Visitors, and the Visitors to them.” “A leading principle of the Society is a regular system of small deposits : this encourages saving habits, frugality, providence. The premium upon deposits is thought to be the best way of bestowing charity. The greater part of the poor might save a small portion of their earnings, if taught to do so,-and we have seen the proof it. Both parties are surprised, and deliglited to find, that a little store is constantly and imperceptibly increasing. A family can scarcely feel any hardship from saving a halfpenny, a day; yet this is fifteen shillings a year, which received in the winter season is an important benefit. The premium given at Brighton is sixpence
Portilhe greated to be thence. The
upon every four shillings. The premium is so much charity; yet it is not the premium that does the good, but the amount of money saved by the poor.”
The Visitor goes round the district once a week, or oftener ; and this is generally on a Monday. It is very important to be regular to the day. The Visitor has a book so arranged as to keep an account of the deposits of each family without confusion. Each depositor has a card to enter the deposits upon, for their own use, containing also the name and address of the Visitor. The deposits are returned by printed checks. The depositors are not confined to any shop; the checks are now readily taken throughout the town; they are also taken for rent; they are paid by the Agent, who carries them to the chief secretary, and is supplied with money by him. The chief secretary compares the checks with their duplicates. Not one fraud has occurred since the formation of the society.
The deposit system is a stepping stone to the Savings' Bank. The advantage we have over the bank is, that we go to the cottage door, giving the poor no trouble, and we take smaller sums than the bank. When they have once made a beginning, and experienced the advantage and pleasure of it, they find it easy to continue the habit.
The mechanism of this society is equally adapted to a small village, or to a populous town. It has been tried in some villages, and has answered extremely well; of course its operations are there much simplified.
ON KEEPING SHOPS OPEN ON THE SABBATH
DAY. A Few Sunday mornings ago, I saw a butcher's shop entirely open, and the man inviting customers in, with the greatest boldness. The purchasers were chiefly women, apparently the wives of labourers.
On keeping Shops open on the Sabbath Day. 203
Now it is very true, that some of these poor people do not receive their wages till Saturday night, and they say that they cannot buy their Sunday dinner till the Sabbath morning. Many poor people, too, especially in the neighbourhood of London, are so crowded together, in close, hot, unwholesome chambers, that the meat, if kept in their rooms from Saturday, is scarcely good the next day at dinner time.
Persons who sell meat, or other food, (in consideration of its being a matter of necessity that men should eat) are allowed to keep their shops open on a Sunday morning before service begins; but this is done by most tradespeople with something like a regard to decency, with the window shutters closed, partly or wholly, as if they did not feel quite that they were doing what was right; and, as though they tried to persuade themselves, that what they were doing arose from the necessity of the case. When, however, a true sense of the value of religion above all other things is, through God's grace, grafted in the heart, then it is wonderful to see what a change of conduct immediately follows; both buyers and sellers, who, before, fancied that they were forced into neglect of religious obligations, now feel that nothing should induce them to break into the rest of the Sabbath, or disturb them from those duties, and those thoughts, which belong to that sacred day! They soon find, that there is no difficulty in arranging their plans, so as to have all that is really needful, without breaking the commands of God; having now got the will, they find no difficulty in seeing that there is a way. And, in truth, God does so give his blessing to those whom he has taught to serve him, that, whilst they are making a progress in religion, their worldly comforts at the same time increase. There is a general change of habits ; the sums, which, when they - knew not God," were spent in needless drinking, or wasted in idle pleasure, now are saved, that they may be applied to better purposes,—so that, instead of living from