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he made anxious inquiry, and marked | wards him from first to last. A out for himself a better way. The gentle soul, who in departing, taught result was his own extreme discom his strong-minded host many les fort and the gradual alienation of sons concerning the tenderness of his friends. Mr. Crawford had re Him who "pleased not Himself,” but cently been informed that this Mr. “took our infirmities, and bare our Feeble-mind, as we shall call him, sickness," from Bethlehem to Cal. had taken up with two or three new vary! Not that Mr. Crawford ever crotchets; but this did not prevent adopted any of Mr. Feeble-mind's him seeking him out, and saying “ peculiar views." He had too much heartily, “Let the past be forgotten. common sense for that. But he We turn over a new leaf and begin learned to understand how the weak again !"
things of the world can be chosen by “I assure you,” replied the other, God to confound the things which “I shall be very happy to renew the are mighty, and the things which friendship begun in boyhood. At are not to bring to nought things the same time, I cannot give up one which are," that no flesh should glory of those points of conscience ”. in his presence.”
“My dear sir," interrupted Mr. “May God forgive me!" said the Crawford, “not at all. I respect strong man within himself, as he your conscience as I respect my own; turned away from the grave of his and all I ask is to be useful to you dead friend. “Six months ago I now and then for Christ's dear sake," despised this Christ-bought soul, he added, speaking low; " since we laughed at him, mocked at his inboth love Him who first, in His ten- | firmities, and avoided his society. der pity, so much loved us.”
Now he is perfect, and I am his Touched by his earnestness, his weak brother. Does he, now so high old friend seized his hand, and held above me, scorn my feebleness? it for several moments in his own. No; for he is in Christ, and like On releasing the hand, he confessed Christ: but if it were possible for at much length to Mr. Crawford | him to do so, I deserve it!” Such that his health had been undermined were his reflections, and they sent by rigid fasting and excessive labour him home an humbler man. After amongst the poor, and that his phy this, as might be expected, Robert sicians had recommended change of Crawford grew in grace, became scene. In an hour from that time daily more useful in the church, and he was Mr. Crawford's guest, and also (oh, pleasant addition !) more an honoured one too, although it beloved. And amongst all those to must be confessed that he brought whom he was made the instrument all his crotchets with him! And of good, there were none so truly at Mr. Crawford's house he, being helped as the “weak brothers,” full of peace and hope, some three whose infirmities he strove to bear, months later died, leaving all he had in humble obedience to the command to the poor—those true friends who, of his Master, Jesus : “ Strengthen as he said, had never changed to- | thy brethren."
REMARKABLE INCIDENTS FROM LONDON POOR LIFE.
BY THE REV. G. W. M'CREE.
III.—JOHN, THE HAPPY COSTERMONGER. LONDON contains vast numbers of street-hawkers, who sell all sorts of small-ware, ornaments, curiosities, puzzles, household necessaries, and food for the people. As you pass through the streets of the metropolis, you may buy sponges, walking-canes, mirrors, chairs, walnut desks, shoe-ties, birds, dogs, combs, flowers, braces, whips, straps, fruit, vegetables, oysters, lemonade, figs, hot potatoes, ballads, pictures, umbrellas, and so on without end.
Of the street-hawkers, the costermongers are the largest in number, and the first in importance : they probably number 30,000, and are found in the courts and alleys of every part of London, but chiefly in Whitechapel, Somers' Town, St. Giles's, New Cut, Shoreditch, and the Borough. They are, like the gipsies, an exclusive race. They speak of“ our people.” Their dialect is peculiar to themselves, and, to a large extent, it is unintelligible to those outside the pale of costerdom. In dress, habits, prejudices, amusements, and morals, they are a strongly-marked class, and present a vast field for Christian work. Few persons can form any conception of the godless state in which they live. They rarely enter a church for any purpose whatsoever, and if they did, they would not understand the words they might hear. Nor do they go to chapel ; if they did, most of the service would be a mystery to them. Unfortunately, few preachers can talk to barbarians, and such, to a large extent, are most costermongers. In the morning they are in the market buying fish, fruit, or flowers, and in the afternoon and evening they are in the streets with their baskets or barrows, selling their stock; and on Sunday they are at work most of the day, and hence their struggle for daily bread fills their minds to the utter exclusion of heavenly things. Moreover, they are too often grossly immoral; they swear awfully; they do not regard drunkenness as a sin; they have no admiration for marriage, and thousands of them dispense with it. They do not hesitate to give short weight and measure to their poor customers. They delight in rat-hunts, dog-shows, and pugilism, and they are frequently very brutal to the wretched women with whom they live. The low theatres, music-halls, and dancing-rooms have great attractions for them, and so have all kinds of races and fairs. Take them as a whole, they are a blot on our metropolitan civilization, and they need the prompt and zealous sympathy of all Christian men.
St. Giles's, as I have said, contains a number of costermongers. They may be found in George Street, Church Lane, Lloyd's Court, Dudley ptreet, Monmouth Court, Short's Gardens, Nottingham Court, Drury Lane, Charles Street, and Parker Street. I have visited the poor in all these localities, and spent many hours with the costers. I have
never once been insulted by them. They have a notion that religious men mean well, wish to do good, and are sincere, and this makes them civil and even polite to visitors. Ladies may safely visit a coster s wife and family. Let her go at a proper time, and she will be welcome to read “ the sweet story of old” to all who are in the house. But to my story.
A costermonger, whom I shall call John Donovan, was born in the very heart of St. Giles's. His father was a great fighter, and I should think a most godless sinner. He neglected his little boy, so that he never received any education. The streets were his school, and hard work and fare his lot. He became a costermonger, and that of the roughest and worst kind. He drank, swore, gambled, fought, ana toiled through thirty years or so, and then I got to know him.
Some one told him of my religious services, and he said, "I should like to hear that 'ere chap.”
He had never heard the gospel, I believe, in any place of worship, and his ignorance of Holy Scripture was deplorable. He came, however, into a Mission Hall, in King Street, then a home missionary station of Bloomsbury Chapel, to hear, as I understand, his first sermon.
“THE COMMON SALVATION !” Such were the words of the text. As I spoke of sin, he listened, and was convinced of his own sinfulness; and as I spoke of salvation through Christ, he felt full of wonder and desire, and went home to pray as best he could.
“ Prayer is the contrite sinner's voice,
Returning from his ways;
And cry, 'Behold, he prays !'" John Donovan came again on the next Sunday evening to hear me preach. I did not then know his penitent state of mind, but the test was a sweet message to him.
"THERE IS JOY IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ANGELS OF GOD OVER ONE SINNER THAT REPENTETH.”
Such was the second text he heard from the Golden Book. There, sitting on a bare bench, was the penitent, and the shining anges were not far off. From this time, John Donovan loved the Lord Jesus Christ and delighted in His service; he became a good husband, a11 honest salesman, a zealous total abstainer, a sincere, humble Christially and a useful helper in good works. One day, his wife and he came to have tea at my house, and he said, “Mr. McCree, I prays for you,
“Do you, John?” I said; “I am glad of that."
“Yes, sir; when you was ill, and could'nt preach, I prayed for you, sir; and when I seed you come up the Hall on Sunday night, says 1, “There he is ! The Lord heard my prayer for him.'”.
So the Lord did. “The prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.”
Visiting one Sanday morning in Short's Gardens, I met John, not selling things in the street as before, but clean, well-dressed, sober, and, as usual, very kind and cheery. " What are you doing this morning, John?” I said. "Well, sir, I'm seeking for a man I know; he's been å-drinking, and, I want to see him, sir, that I may get him to the house of God.” "God bless you, John,” I said, and we each went on our way. He was remarkably gentle, contented, and happy,—a singing Christian. He loved to make melody with heart and voice to the Lord. He had a mellow voice and sung well, his face shining and his eyes full of tears. Ah! it was pleasant to hear him sing :
“Once a sinner, near despair,
Sought Thy mercy-seat by prayer.
Lord, that mercy came to me.”
" Assist me while I wander here,
Amidst a world of cares ;
And then accept my prayers."
“A guilty, weak, and helpless worm,
On Thy kind arms I fall;
My Jesus and my all.”
Contentment found a prominent feature in John's Christian life. Passing one day through St. Giles's, I met him, and said:“Good morning, John.” "Good morning, sir." "What are you doing, John ?” “Selling onions, sir.” "Well, John, how do you spend a day?” "Why, sir, I sells my onions, comes home, has a wash, sits down to my tea, and then my wife reads the Bible (can't read myself, sir, worse luck), and we sings our hymns, and I says my prayers, and I thanks God for everything."
“Yes, John; but when you don't sell your onions, and have to bring them home on your back, what do you do then ?”
“It's all the same, sir, whether I sells my onions or not. I comes bome, has a wash, gets my tea, my wife reads the Bible, and we sings our hymns, and I says my prayers, and I thanks God for everything. It's all the same, sir, whether I sells my onions or not.”
His answer greatly moved me. He seemed a great preacher expounding to me the sublime text: “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Truly such men teach me more than I can teach them.
John Donovan's death came rather suddenly. Exposure brought on cold, and cold induced death. He was very patient, and when he died he put his hand on his heart, and said, “ It is all right." He had his eulogist, too, for a neighbour exclaimed, “ The honestest man among our people was Jack Donovan.” A good funeral sermon that for JOHN, THE HAPPY COSTERMONGER.
CHOOSING A MINISTER.
A LEGEND OF OLDEN TIME. In one of the cities of Asia, during , tinguished men, Besides, he has a the first century, a number of disci wonderful power of attraction. Why, ples had met together to choose a the Galatians loved him with such minister.
intense devotion, that, if it had been “We need,” said A, "located as possible, they would have plucked our Church is, in the very heart of a out their own eyes and given them city given to idolatry, à man not unto him.” only distinguished for talents and “If Paul is such a great man," attainments, but also for eloquence; said F, “it is a pity he has not a I would therefore nominate Apollos, juster appreciation of his abilities. who is an eloquent man, and mighty He said himself, when at Corinth, in the Scriptures.'
that he came among them in weak“Apollos is undoubtedly eloquent," ness and in fear, and in much tremsaid B," and a good biblical scholar; bling.'" but we want a bold, energetic man, " Paul's peculiar talent," said G, who will battle with the giant evils “seems to consist in writing well. of our day, and fearlessly • fight the His letters are weighty and powergood fight of faith. Such a one is ful, but”-here the speaker's manner Cephas, whose very name suggests was sarcastic—“his bodily presence firmness and strength. He is also is weak, and his speech contemptible." ardent and zealous, and will ‘stir up This attack upon Paul irritated his our pure minds by way of remem friends, and angry words might have brance."
followed, had not H, a pale, sad-look “We live among men of great ing man, commenced speaking. learning and classical attainments," "Brethren,” said he “if ow said D, “and I would ask whether Master had seen fit to afflict you with Cephas is sufficiently scholarly to the terrible evils that have befallen meet the arguments and sophistries me, you would see the need of a of men distinguished as philoso minister who can 'bind up the phers and critics ?”
broken-hearted. Such a one is “If you want a highly-educated Barnabas, who is eminently a 'SOI man,” said E, “select Paul. His of consolation. Let him be ou scholarship is undoubted, and his | minister." learning and attainments will secure “Barnabas,” said K, “is a lovely a prominent position among our dis | Christian, and well qualified to com