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HE seven good men, the story of whose lives is briefly narrated in this little volume, were
as true heroes in the great battle of life as those whose brave and dauntless deeds in war and conflict, poets have sung, and historians eloquently narrated. They endured every kind of hardship, submitted cheerfully to suffering, mockery, and indignity, exercised extreme self-denial, that they might do good to their fellow-men, ease the burdens of oppressed humanity, and elevate the poor, the needy, and the neglected, from degradation, moral ruin, and despair. Recognising the truth of the great Christian doctrine of the Fatherhood of God, and of the common brotherhood of man, they saw in every fellowcreature, however debased and polluted by vice, a brother, one made in the image of God, whose likeness, though blurred and blotted by crime, could still, though often but faintly, be discerned in the sinstained countenance. To restore in such the Divine image, to guide back the wanderer to the fold, to point to the prodigal, the road which would lead him to his Father's home, was the sublime mission, the noble life-work, of these devoted men, of whom it could truly be said:
"Even so, who loves the Lord aright,
Since Christ on all has shined."
History can nowhere present us with a more touching picture of real and persistent heroism, than the selfdenying, courageous, patient career of John Howard, the prisoners' friend, who never allowed himself a moment's rest, till he had visited every loathsome dungeon in Europe, loosed the fetters of the captives, and alleviated the countless sufferings of the poor prisoners. Not less a hero, was the benevolent Las Casas, who, weary and footsore, wandered from court to court, and over and over again braved all the perils of the ocean, that he might put an end to the cruelties to which the gentle Indians were subjected, and obtain some measure of justice for this oppressed race. Baron Montyon sacrificing his fortune and his ease that he might everywhere seek out and relieve the wants of suffering humanity; Falk, Pestalozzi, and Francke, giving up every comfort to provide asylums, refuges, and schools, for poor, neglected, and abandoned children—they, too, were as true heroes as the soldier who, regardless of danger, boldly storms the breach, or fearlessly faces the cannon's mouth. But I have selected only a few out of many, as representative men of the "Heroes of Charity," for, thank God, they are to be found in all ages, and in all classes. Well may it be said that the world neither knows nor recognises one-half of its heroes; and the heroes-and heroines too-of charity, especially in humble life, require to be sought out, to be discovered, for true heroism and true charity seek the shade; they endeavour to carry out the precept of their Divine Master-" Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth.”