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now the missionary must go plodding on in his every-day work of visiting the poor and destitute, from house to house; and little gleaners living, as many of them do, in quiet and happy, clean and comfortable homes, have little conception of the scenes of poverty, wretchedness, filth, and misery that meet the eye of the City Missionary. It would not be right for me to tell in these pages all I have seen and all I have heard in my daily visitations from house to house. But I should like to beget in the minds of those who have clean and happy homes, kind and loving parents, a spirit of contentment and gratitude.
But, I say, seeing Billy housed and cared for, I had again to plod on in my daily work among some five or six hundred families of the poorest and lowest character. Little gleaners may find it hard to believe that some of these lived three or four families in a room; yes, in one case, strange as it may appear, as many as five families lived and slept in one room, with scarcely any furniture, and no beds beyond a few dirty rags and a little straw. But, you will ask, "Did you enter such dens?" Yes, and for the most part my visits were welcomed. Many of these poor creatures are pleased to meet with one who will sit down with them and hear their tale of woe. Thus I went on from day to day, visiting these poor creatures, and trying to convince them of their need of a Saviour. But I have proved that this, of all others, is the kind of work to convince us that "tis not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord of Hosts." But it was mine to use the means. Feeling this, I laboured on, now and then finding a half a day to take a round among the refuges, to see if room could be found for Billy Č —, but in vain. Thus three months passed
away, during which time Billy behaved himself very well, and Billy's father learned where he was, and expressed a wish that he might go home and spend a day with him. This may seem strange, that the father who had discovered so little care for his child should now wish to have him home for a day. Ah, it is a hard heart that never feels, and I think it must be a strange father that never pities. I knew another case, where a boy had run away from home and returned again several times, till his father determined to receive him no more. By-and-by, a missionary met with him among other young delinquents, and advising him to return home, he said his father refused to take him in. The missionary undertook to accompany him, and try and use his influence with his father. He did so, but in vain; the father most peremptorily refused to have anything more to do with the little runaway. After using every argument in his power, the missionary said, “Well, if you won't receive Johnny in your home again, I have one more request to make; don't refuse that. "What is it ?" said the father. "If you won't receive the poor wanderer back, will you kneel down and pray with me, while I ask God to take the outcast under His care?" 66 'Oh, yes!" was the reply. And the missionary besought God to take up the child that father and mother were now forsaking. But when they arose from their knees, and the missionary said, "Now, Johnny, bid your father good bye.' The father, with a burst of tears, exclaimed, No! no! Johnny shall not go, Johnny shall not go; I'll try him once more, I'll try him once more;" and he did try him, and we hope not in vain.
But poor Billy! ah, poor Billy! His father not only had him home, but allowed him that sad
day to mix up with some of his old companions; and wicked men made their boast that they would soon have him again, and so it turned out. In a very short time he ran away, was taken by a gang of villains who train and harbour young thieves, was sent out on an errand of plunder, stole a pair of boots, and was detected and committed to seven years' penal servitude. And thus, you will say, "All your labour was in vain." Not exactly. I had the satisfaction of knowing that he was not sent to a common prison, but to a Government institution, where juvenile delinquents are educated and taught a trade.
And who can tell but another day may disclose results shewing that even in this case labour was not spent in vain ?
But you will perhaps ask, "Where was the missionary at this time?" Another paper may tell you. But my paper is long enough; and if not, I have no more time, as I have to go and make final arrangements for our Sunday-school. To-morrow, August 5th, we purpose taking our school some fourteen miles into the country, that they may enjoy, by God's blessing, a happy day in the green fields. We shall require nearly twenty vans and omnibuses, some with two and some with three horses. It takes place once a year. I assure you it is a high day, and nobody enjoys it more than OLD DADDY TELLTALE.
THE following letter has been drawn forth by the poetry upon Jephthah in our number for August. We gladly give it insertion, feeling the great weight of the arguments it quotes from Romaine
against the notion of Jephthah's taking his daughter's life as a sacrifice :
MY DEAR SIR,-When reading in the GLEANER for this month the piece of poetry entitled "Jephthah," I was somewhat taken by surprise with the explanation given in it of the fulfilment of Jephthah's vow; and it recalled to my mind a sermon I had read on this subject by the late Rev. W. Romaine, which, I think, so clearly vindicates Jephthah of all rashness in making his vow (for, according to your correspondent's view, he must have been exceedingly rash in making such a vow), and so conclusively proves that he fulfilled his vow, not in sacrificing his daughter, but in dedicating her to the Lord (which, as you state in your note, is the opinion of some), that I have ventured to send you a few extracts from it.
The sermon is entitled, "Jephthah's Vow fulfilled, and his Daughter not sacrificed; proved in a sermon preached before the University, at St. Mary's, in Oxford."
After a brief introduction, he proceeds to showI. That the opinion of her being sacrificed is exposed to so many solid objections, that it is not defensible;" and
II. "By proving from the history itself that she was not sacrificed."
1. "The first objection against the history's being explained in the common manner is this, that Jephthah could not have sacrificed his daughter, though he had vowed to do it, because human sacrifices were absolutely forbidden by the law of Moses, and Jephthah knew this. He did not only live in obedience to the law, but was also at that time the judge of it."
2. "The same Spirit of the Lord being upon Jephthah at the making of his vow that was upon
Moses at the writing of the law, clearly proves that he did not: for the Spirit of the Lord could not give one law by Moses, and another opposite to it by Jephthah; he could not, whilst the first was still in force, direct any person to transgress it; the infallible Spirit of God cannot contradict Himself, nor can human sacrifices be both lawful and unlawful at the same time."
3. " Supposing he had offered her up, and pretended to be directed by the Spirit of God, yet how came it to pass that he was never punished? To offer human sacrifices was made a capital crime by the law, and yet it is not so much as hinted that he suffered death for what he did; nay, where does it appear that he was ever called to an account for it ? And yet there is something so particular in the offence, in the person of the offender, and in the time when he offended, that then the Jewish state ought not to have overlooked it; and God, who then presided over it, was in equity bound not to spare such an offender."
4." The nature of the action was certainly immoral, and such therefore as Jephthah did not. There is nothing in which the general sense of mankind is more agreed than that every man's life is his own property; this general sense arises from the natural principle of self-preservation; it comes confirmed to us by the laws of all free nations, and is further strengthened by the laws of God. And that action which should break through all these laws must be immoral. But we find St. Paul in the 11th chapter of Hebrews commending Jephthah. Certainly there could be nothing immoral in the character of Jephthah whom he thus commended, and yet the principal point of view in which St. Paul considered him, that indeed which gives us the strongest proof of his faith,