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concerned themselves only so far as to seek the assurance that their purpose was a right one, to work diligently, and to place their need in God's hands. We are slow to accept and believe in such special providences, but explain it as we will, the fact is, that without solicitation or begging of any kind, which was never tolerated by Harms, the income of the Hermannsburg Mission was each year greater than its expenditure, and that it came often from most unexpected sources by what, if not direct answers to prayer, were most striking coincidences. Further, these coincidences, if such they were, with absolute and invariable regularity followed special petitions for aid.
But the present paper is not a homily, a defence, an exposition, or an exhortation. It is simply the story of "WHAT ONE CHURCH DID FOR MISSIONS."
MOULTON COLLEGE, TORONTO.
NATURE'S TE DEUM.
DEEP in the woods I hear an anthem ringing,
The stately trees seem quivering with emotion,
The grasses grow enraptured as they listen
And join their verdant voices with the choir,
The brooklet answers to the calling river,
A shower of melody and then a flutter
Of many wings, the birds are praising too,
Their thankfulness to Him, their Master true.
In tearfulness I listen and admire
The great Te Deum nature kneeling sings;
Ah, sweet, indeed, is God's majestic choir,
LIGHT IN DARK PLACES.
BY HELEN CAMPBELL.
A MIDNIGHT CURBSTONE MEETING.-A CITY
LATE one night I was pleading with a drunken man on the Bowery while two friends stood waiting for me not far off. Suddenly I noticed one of a gang of thieves, who were lounging around the door of a low concert-hall, leave his companions, approach my friends, and enter into conversation. I left my man and joined them. Seeing that I was the leader of the party, he addressed himself to me, suggesting that we try our hands at a "game." "My friend." I said, "I know you and your confidence game. I should think a man like you would want to be in some better business than swindling people. It's mighty mean business -that of a thief-don't you think so?" At first he was too much astonished to do anything but glare savagely at me; then, recovering himself, he acted as though he was about to spring upon me. I laid my hand on his arm and gently said: "You ought to be a Christian ?"
He started back as though struck, but quickly recovered, and said with a sneer and in a loud voice: "Me a Christian? Christ pay my rent? Will Christ feed me?"
"Well," I said, "I have seen a good many begin serving Christ without a cent or even a place to lay their heads, and I never knew one He let go down who was really in earnest."
But, see here, did you ever see Christ? "
"No, but I expect to see Him; I have His word that I shall." Turning to his companions he shouted: "Come here, fellows, and see a chump who's got a promise of seein' Christ."
We were standing under an electric light, it being long past midnight. Quite a number who were passing stopped, the thief's companions gathered around, and I soon found myself in the centre of a typical Bowery crowd-Jew and Gentile, a number of sporting-men and thieves, several drunken men, and others attracted by the noise, eager to see what was going on.
Again turning to his companions, the thief said in loud and jeering tones: "Here's a fellow as is goin' to see Christ."
"Yes," I said, opening the Bible, "I have His word for it; I will read it to you: Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.'" "Oh, you're a son of God, are you?" he exclaimed contemptuously.
"Yes, and I have His word for that," reading the Bible again; "As many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name.' I was once far away from God, a great sinner, but I believed and received, and became His child."
"Well, brother, here's my hand; I'm a child of God, too," he said, winking at his companions.
"Oh, no," said I, "don't call me brother; you don't belong to the Lord's family. Ye are of your father, the devil.'" And I read from Romans: "Know ye not to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey;' your regular business is to serve the devil, and you can't palm yourself off on me as one of God's family. But you may be adopted into His family if you will." Then I read John iii. 16: «For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'"
A man who had one of his ears nearly torn off in a fight, and whose head was bandaged so that only his eyes and mouth could be seen, said: "You had better take a back seat, Bill; he's too much for you."
Bill quickly turned with an angry oath, and said: "You'd better get out of this, or may be you'll get a swipe across t'other ear; there's nothin' here for the likes of you-a man with only one ear."
At this the crowd laughed and guyed the man with the bandaged head, who was quickly making his way out of the crowd,
when I reached over and caught him by the shoulder, and said: "Hold on, my friend, there is something for you," and turning to Revelation I read, "He that hath an ear, let him hear. To him that overcometh, will I give to eat of the tree of life."
The crowd laughed boisterously at this quotation, and I saw that I had their sympathy, so I gave them an invitation to attend the meetings at the mission, and after a few more words I closed by saying: "We shall never all meet on earth again, but we shall each have to give an account of this curbstone meeting. May God bless every one of you."
One rough fellow stepped forward with tears in his eyes, and shook my hand heartily, saying: "Stick to it, I wish I had; I was brought up right, in Sunday-school and all, and if I had stuck to it I wouldn't be what I am to-night."
Just as I was going away, Bill came up and said, much to my surprise: "You mustn't mind what I said, I've been a-drinkin'. I used to belong to the Church and was a Christian, but I got off. I know it's the better way, but there's no good talkin' to me. It's no use. It's no use."
After a few words with him, I left, praying God to bless the seed sown by the wayside. On the following Sunday evening, when I opened the meeting at the mission for testimony, one of Bill's companions got up and said: "I have been a drinking man all my life, and have spent many years in prison; but last Thursday night the man in the chair there came down near where I stay, and talked about Christ, and I made up my mind to be a Christian, and I haven't touched a drop of liquor since."
When the invitation for prayers was given, the first one to come forward was Bill. For two nights both of these men were present, Bill coming forward for prayers each night; then I lost sight of them.
Nearly six months passed, when Bill's companion, neatly dressed and greatly altered, came again to the mission-room. He requested us to sing:
"All the way my Saviour leads me,
and followed it by saying, "That is my experience." He then told us how God had kept and blessed him, and had given him employment. The Inspector of police who had so many times caused his arrest had obtained work for him. He was often with us in the meetings after this, and became an earnest worker.
One night he said to me: "Do you remember Bill, the one who wanted to know if Christ would pay his rent?"
'Well, the devil has paid his rent for life; he was sentenced for life last week, for shooting a bartender."
Speaking of this incident at a convention, a nurse from one of the city hospitals inquired the time this occurred, and said: "I think I attended the man who had his ear injured. He came to the hospital and an operation was performed, but it was unsuc
cessful, and he was obliged to come back again and have his ear entirely cut off. The man asked the surgeon if he could get a false ear. " No,' said the surgeon, 'you will have to go through life with the one ear.'
"Well,' said the man, thank God I have heard of a book that says there is something for a man with one ear.'
So God blessed the seed, even though it seemed to fall on stony ground.
UP SHINBONE ALLEY.
In dark and dirty Pell Street are many tumble-down tenements, most of them inhabited by Chinese, who run gambling dens and opium-joints. On one side of the street there are a number of stables and several cheap lodging-houses, where for five cents a night one can find shelter and a place to lie down. Half-way
down the block a narrow lane with the local name of Shinbone Alley runs in crescent shape round into the Bowery. This alley was the rendezvous of a gang of young thieves.
Many a countryman or Jack Tar, lured a few steps away from the glare of the Bowery into Shinbone Alley, has found himself suddenly surrounded by a crowd of desperate roughs, and before he was aware of it lay on his back in the gutter, minus money, watch, and everything else the roughs could get hold of. The thieves vanished as swiftly as they came and were in safe hiding in stables and dark hallways long before the victim recovered his senses.
It was just three o'clock in the morning when I turned into the alley. Half-way through I stumbled over a beer-keg on which a lad was curled half asleep, who started up, but on seeing me dropped back again, muttering, "I thought it were a copper." In answer to the inquiry as to what he was doing there at that time of night, he replied briefly, "Snoozin'." He was a bright lad of twelve. A portion of an old straw hat hid his dirty, sleepy face. An old vest, several sizes too large, covered a soiled and greasy calico shirt. His pants were a mass of rags and patches tied together with numerous strings. His feet were covered with dirt, thick enough to answer the purpose of stockings. I entered into conversation by asking his name and what he did for a living. He replied in true Bowery dialect, "Me name's Dutchy; I shines, sells papers, and works de growler for de gang." "What's the growler?" I asked. "Don't yer know?" he replied, looking at me in undisguised contempt, "De growler? Why dat's de pail dey gets de beer in when de gang's in luck. I gets only de froth. We wus out to-night and took in de te-a-ter (theatre), and I was barred out of de house and was snoozin' when you comed along." The lad interested me. I wanted to learn his story. I was turning over in my mind how best to handle him when my attention was drawn to an old covered waggon directly in front of us, inside of which a conversation was being carried on in low tones. Noticing my look of inquiry, Dutchy said, "It's some of de