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I therefore now present to all kindly English hearts anxious to ameliorate the woes of the poor, my “Experiences" in a new form, praying that GOD's blessing may rest on this humble effort to shew forth how we may all soothe creation's groans, and especially the woes of the seven hundred thousand (think of the total, 704,300 old, infirm, disabled, and children! exclusive of able-bodied,) who were found last January to be enclosed within the 624 dull and dreary Workhouses of England and Wales; those who are forgotten by some, harshly thought of by others—those who are put aside, as in a living grave, as respects all the sweet household charities of life, the sympathy of kindly looks and words: and if I can rouse a few more loving-hearted women, and large-hearted influential men, to remember those who have few to help them, I shall indeed rejoice that I have come forward to tell of work which had been previously done so quietly that only my immediate family and friends knew that I was a Workhouse Visitor.

May all be done for JESUS!

FROMEFIELD HOUSE,

December 30, 1857.

PREFACE TO SECOND EDITION.

I SHOULD like my Second Preface to be the few significant words of that charming book, "The Wide, Wide World:" " All are not great stars in the Church. You may be only a little rushlight; yet, if your little rushlight shines well, there is just so much the less darkness in the world, though, perhaps, you light only a very little corner." And let me add, that from the Workhouse visiting detailed in this book, has sprung two other interests—viz., the Home for Workhouse Boys, (see page 64,) and the Refuge for Fallen Women (page 76). Neither of which simple institutions would have been thought of had I not seen the needs-be for the same in the Workhouse arrangements, much improved as they have been of late in our Union, under the kinder rule of our present master and matron.

And these three "little rushlights" have been kept a-light by the kind liberality of those distant friends whose names cannot be inserted here, but whom I thank most heartily for their often unsolicited gifts.

Let us all look onward hopefully to that day, when “little rushlights" like mine, and even the brilliant lamps of larger English charity, (all earthly and imperfect lights,) shall wax dim before Him, who, as the Sun of Righteousness, will arise upon every quarter of the world, and dispel, for ever, the darkness of sin, which our feeble efforts are striving to disperse.

LORD JESUS, may Thy kingdom come!

Christmas-tyde 1859.

SUNSHINE IN THE WORKHOUSE.

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In 1698, William III., in his speech in Parliament, stated :"For Workhouses, under a prudent and good arrangement, will answer all the ends of charity to the poor, in regard to their souls and bodies; they may be made, properly speaking, nurseries for religion, virtue, and industry, by having daily prayers, and the Scriptures constantly read, and poor children Christianly instructed."

"The purpose of a Workhouse is to be a refuge to the homeless, houseless, helpless poor; to night wanderers; to orphan children; to the lame and blind; to the aged who here lie down on their last bed to die."-Communion of Labour, p. 85.

IN the Quarterly Review of September 1855, there is a striking article on the charities and poor of London, where this passage occurs :- "As Workhouses are now constituted, it is painful to consign age and infirmity to their inhospitable shelter. But this is an artificial difficulty, the existence of which is contrary to the intentions of the law and the dictates of humanity. The Poorhouse, while it is justly made distasteful to the able-bodied vagrant, should present a different aspect to those who are driven there by no fault of their own; and the grievance we have to complain of

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is one which, for the sake of all concerned, should be remedied without delay. We impute no blame to the Poor Laws, but are glad to avail ourselves of the opportunity of pointing out defects in their execution, which every Magistrate and Poor-Law Guardian may do something to amend."

With this I fully agree, and, after visiting in our own Workhouse since 1850, I feel that I can do no less than state my corroborating experience to the fact, that while the English Workhouses are fitting abodes for those who can work and will not work, for the lounging beggar and the idle reprobate, for the unwedded mother and the bold-bad girl, whose only wages are sin; yet I would, also, unhesitatingly state, that as asylums for the aged, the infirm, the crippled, and the incapable poor, whether old or young, they are sadly deficient in the loving charity which should make the pauper's last earthly home a quiet, happy, cheerful one; where "routine" (for them) should be laid aside as far as possible, and "the stern, hard machinery" of Workhouse rule hidden away from those of our deserving poor, who take refuge there to live out their few remaining years, and there die.

And I urge this strongly on all who are concerned in Workhouse jurisdiction, because I feel confident all the little kindnesses and considerate arrangements I would suggest for the aged and infirm, would not prove any additional expense to the house, or burden on the rate-payers. I think it needful to speak boldly on this point, for I know that the poor-rate is a heavy item in

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