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and give them what they most require, sisterly counsel and instruction. In my own parish, through the liberality of a lady, a home has been opened for two years, and I think it will remain for another year. I do not believe in workers living on bare boards, neither do I believe in workers practising rigid fasting. If we are to work we must also eat; we must have a few of the home comforts and sweets of life, and the deaconess, above all, needs them. There is another point to bear in mind. Which are the cases for which deaconesses seem specially fitted? There are cases, as I have said, to which ordinary ladies cannot really go. The rescue cases have been already alluded to, and one part of the deaconesses work, I hold to be second to none, is that of nursing. It has been my lot to witness what they can do in tending sickbeds. They are often the pioneers of the parish priest's entrance. Many a woman would not see me unless she had first seen our sister. The sister says very truly and kindly of me, “He is not a big man, and therefore you need not be afraid of him,' and by her entrance I effect an entrance too, I am an advocate of training deaconesses as nurses, and I think they should have some knowledge of medicine. I am looking forward to great results from the home of St. Peter, Woking. We in large towns need the help of deaconesses and sisters 100. If they quarrel we will do our best to make them make it up again. But from what I know of them both I think there is no need for quarrelling over God's work. The deaconess can materially assist the parish priest in the dispensation of relief. Oftentimes they are much cuter than the district visitors, and oftentimes they tell me when I am in error.
Let us learn a lesson from them. I have learned in the past year many a one which I hope I have profited by, and for the future I shall entrust the entire relief of my part of the parish to deaconesses. I find it is impossible for me to learn what the deaconesses can of the circumstances of the people. Let me, then, ask you not only to admire the work of deaconesses, but for His sake Who died on the Cross for all mankind, you mothers, give a daughter either to a sisters' home or to a deaconesses home, and do not call her lost, but think she is called forth to do the greates: work that woman can do on earth, namely, the saving, it may be, of one little child's soul, for Jesus's sake.
The Rev. P. R. PIPON BRAITHWAITE, Vicar of St. Luke's,
I HAVE been asked to speak for a class, which, I fear, is very numerous, but which has not been mentioned to-day, a class, which, I am afraid, cannot be touched by Mrs. Townsend's work. Though Mrs. Townsend said that for no class in the land was purity impossible, I fear that for the children of women, who are living in vice and sin, it is, humanly speaking, altogether impossible. Unless we are going to let these poor children recruit the ranks of these mothers, we must make some provision for them; must rescue them from the surroundings in which they are living, I cannot say in which they are being brought up. We must provide mothers for them, to train them, not only in morality and purity, but in the love of God and of Christ. I believe here we have a grand mission for women. There is a home near Portsmouth, known as the Steep Cottage Home, which is now taking little girls of this class, between the ages of three and four years, taking them from the dens of vice and immorality in which they are living, into the pure life of a country home, and there, under the charge of a devoted Christian lady, is bringing them up as children of God. We have, too, in Jersey, another home, an orphans' home, which is doing practically the same work. It was founded some twenty-five years ago by a local clergyman, and has now within its walls some hundred children, who have been saved almost certainly from a life of vice and sin. I believe that if in all our large towns we had some such agency at work, taking these little ones away, giving them true mothers in Jesus Christ, and bringing them up to know Him and love Him, and to live up to that standard of purity which we would set before our own children, we should have found a true work for women as rescuers. Such a work would prevent the ranks of sin, and vice, and immorality, from being recruited by those who are otherwise certain to join them. If we do more of this work I am certain that it will be less and less necessary for us to engage in direct rescue work, for we shall be preventing, instead of curing, and saving these little ones from ever knowing the vice and sin into which they are born. They are taken into these homes before they reach the age of four years, so that, with their little minds unsullied, and their thoughts with no knowledge of evil, they may be trained to lives of virtue and purity. I believe that if in all our large towns we had an association of this sort, doing quiet Christian work, it would provide a new sphere of work for many a Christian lady, and would do a great work for God, His Church, and His maidens.
It may be
The Rev. H. WEBB-PEPLOE, Vicar of St. Paul's,
Onslow Square, Brompton. I wish to offer a few remarks, as Chairman and Founder of the Central Vigilance Committee for the Repression of Immorality, which has existed for two-and-a-half years, and which the Archbishop of Canterbury declared he considered to be a centre of practical utility from which the Church ought to work in connection with the rescue of those who have fallen. We have heard from Canon Thynne that he considers the Vigilance Committee as essential, and I desire to impress upon women what part they may take in the practical work for the rescue of women, undertaken by the Vigilance Committee. The Vigilance Committee must not now be discussed in regard to the bearing it has upon men. I would simply state that all its operations are carried on with the one idea of purifying our cities, of delivering them from the curse of houses of ill-fame, and from open prostitution in the streets. thought by many that the operations of the committee are somewhat too distinctly penal, and that it is not so much the duty of the Church as it is of the State, to press forward in the use of measures which may involve the arm of the law. But having taken the lead in the formation of this Committee, I may say that the one idea that was before my mind was, that though we would not admit ladies to sit on our boards, and to hear all the details which would be presented there, yet we should always affiliate with every Vigilance Committee, a committee of ladies, to whom should be lest the practical work of rescue, in conjunction with the clergy and other practical philanthropists. Our work is, therefore, to rescue as well as to punish, and there is ample scope in it for the work of women. Before a Vigilance Committee takes action at all, it is essential to have a number of papers printed, in which the terms of the statute are clearly stated, to the effect that every person found soliciting as a prostitute in the streets, is subject to a fine of forty shillings, or to a fortnight's impri
These papers we wish to commit to ladies, in the hope that they will go about the streets, sometimes with the help of gentlemen, and at other times with the help of the police, and to speak to the poor prostitutes whom they may find in the
They may commence by offering them deliverance from their position, and, if they are not successful in these efforts, they can then show them the paper threatening them with the punishment that will follow if they continue in their evil
It has been found, in many cases, that this alone is sufficient to induce a woman to depart from the path of shame in which she has been walking, often without having any knowledge of the law on the subject. There is another large sphere of work for women, if ladies are only prepared to give themselves up to the rescue of their sisters, they can often obtain an entry into houses of ill-fame, and a hearing even from the keepers of such houses. With that subuilty of grace which women seem to possess, as compared with the sterner qualities of men, they can always reach the hearts of women when their own are deeply moved. The passing of the Criminal Law Amendment Act has thrown on the Church, as well as on the State, a very great responsibility. The State has the responsibility of enforcing the law; the Church has the responsibility of rescuing those against whom the State is prepared to take action. I would ask the Congress to recognise this fact, that whilst we must deplore the means which were taken to make public the condition of things that exist, we cannot ignore the facts which have been affirmed, or refuse to believe that there are thousands in London alone, and no doubt there are scores in other cities, of young girls far beneath the age up to which protection is now afforded by the law; and that these girls, if they are found carrying on these evil pursuits, will necessarily be brought under the action of the law, in conjunction with those who have been inducing them to sin ; and if they abandon their evil courses, who shall rescue them if we Christians do not ? Nothing can so become the Church as to take her part in rescuing those juvenile unfortunates who are still under the bondage which this fall has inflicted upon them, and who, in face of the law which has lately
been passed, must now be cast adrift upon the world, without home, without friends, and without any means of earning their bread, unless the Church exercises her power and seeks to rescue them. There is a grand work for women, therefore, in going forth and seeking to rescue these children from their present degradation, and their hopeless condition. But how shall you engage in this work, my Christian sisters? We demand that you shall be, first, wholly consecrated to God ; second, delivered from all prurient curiosity as to the details of the sin we would obliterate ; yet third, prepared to face the evils of sin, sorrow, and shame with eye and heart that burn with love, and, trusting in the strength of the Lord Jesus Christ, that you will be delivered from all that could hurt yourselves. You must remember that it is heart-breaking work; but the broken spirit and the bleeding heart are sacrifices that God never will despise. The broken heart of a Christian woman, given up to this work of rescue, is perhaps the greatest sacrifice that anybody could offer. Whilst the Church is now engaged in looking out on the sea of infamy that has been exposed to view, and in pitying the lost ones for their hopeless condition, let me ask you to remember that piry alone, unless it results in action, is simply a vain and useless sentiment, and the world is now watching the Church to see what action she is prepared to take. Will not Christians arise and say, “We take our stand, and resolve not to be afraid of all that Satan can show us, but in the Lord's strength to give ourselves to the work of rescuing the fallen ?" It will cost labour and money, but all it will cost will be well expended, if a single soul, now involved in sin and shame, shall be saved. Friends, the time has passed when the Church should talk ; yea, the time has come when the Church should act! I remember the story of a boy who ran away from his parents, and, being reduced to absolute destitution, took to the selling of meat pies in the streets. A friend of his father's recognised him. “Oh, Charley, Charley," he said, “I am sad at heart, my boy, to see you thus. I pity you. What a pity it is that one like you should be reduced to such a condition as this." • Bother your pity,” said the boy ; “ will you buy a pie?" Friends, in the name of God, I ask, “Will you do the work that God has entrusted to His Church, and for Jesus's sake,-Seek to save that which is lost?"
The Rev. T. W. SIDEBOTHAM, Vicar of St. Thomas, Bourne, Farnham, and Honorary Secretary of the Winchester
Diocesan Deaconesses Home. MAY I be allowed to revert to the subject of the first paper, and to supplement what Mr. Pares said, as in so short a time it was impossible for him to treat every branch of the question. I wish to follow the lines laid down by the Bishop of Oxford, who said there should be no rivalry between sisters and deaconesses. There is, indeed, room for both, and both are doing good work. No one, perhaps, is more fully aware than I am, of how little is generally known as to what a deaconess really is. After what we have heard of the work of deaconesses among fallen women and children, would you suppose that anyone could go forth to such a work without great preparation, or that anyone would be thought fit for such work without not only technical preparation, but a great deal of religious preparation ! Very few people, however, seem to think that any great preparation is necessary. It appears to be generally considered that a deaconess has to act only as a kind of upper district visitor. The work of a deaconess can only be prepared for by a religious life. It is a life in which there is not only the outer rule of the regular work of the Home, but the inner rule of life
, which has been most carefully prepared, and which has received in every respect the sanction of the Lord Bishop of the Diocese. I do not say that this inner rule of life is as strict as in many sisterhoods, but it is what it professes to be, a real rule of inner life, which means that there is a religious preparation for the work. No woman is fit to go forth to such work without having such a preparation. There may have been instances, perhaps, of deaconesses having been sent forth to other kinds of work without such a preparation, but in these days there can be no possibility of the work being done without a religious life. I would also refer to the subject of community. The idea is often entertained that deaconesses are women who are prepared simply to go forth into parish work. That there are such deaconesses I do not deny, but it is not the purpose of the preparation of the deaconess's life that she should go forth and be free from the Home. Those who have known what the Home life is are mostly those who cherish it the most. There are those, perhaps, who are not fitted for a continuation of that lise in all respects, but it is the intention that the Home should be the centre from which deaconesses should work, and that they should live in community with it. What would the deaconess's life be worth if she cut herself off from the Home and had no place to return to? For nearly six years our Home has been at work, and on several occasions those who have been prepared there have been found to come back to it. Even if they go forth to work in parishes, it is the intention that they should still keep up their connection with the Home, and be able at any time to enter into community life again. One of the speakers to-day said he thought the deaconess should be under the parochial clergyman, and not under the lady superintendent of the Home. That was right in one respect, but I think it was wrongly stated. According to the Rules of the Home, the deaconess must be under the parochial clergyman. În all that he requires to be done she is responsible to him, but I do not see how it is possible that under the rules such as the Home has made, and the Bishop has sanctioned, she should be entirely free from the supervision, under certain conditions, of the head-sister. The head-sister may, of course, change ; but we have known cases where a sister has gone forth to work in a parish, being respon. sible, under certain conditions, to the Head of the Home, and in no single instance have the parochial clergy and the Head of the Home come into collision; and I am certain that whilst the present Head of the Home remains, they never will.
The Rev. EDMUND VENABLES, Precentor and Canon
Residentiary of Lincoln Cathedral. I wish to mention the name of an exceedingly valuable agency for our sisters in Christ, which touches a different stratum from either of those which have been already referred to, I mean the “ Young Women's Help Society.” The “Girls' Friendly Society" deals with a higher stratum than the other agency which has been brought before us, that of the “ Rescue Society ;” and between the two there is an intermediate stratum, untouched by either, including such girls as those who work in mills, and it was to afford assistance to these that the “ Young Women's Help Society" was founded. I may mention the name of Mrs. Papillon, formerly of Colchester, and now resident near Hastings, and intimately connected with this diocese, who is the leading spirit and the mainstay of this society. Its object is to deal with those who are not good enough for the “Girls' Friendly Society," or bad enough for the "Rescue Society.” Many mill-girls and others cannot, alas, be called actually pure, and yet they have not fallen to the lowest depths, and may be listed and permanently raised by Christian agency.
The society was introcluced into the city with which I am connected, by our late revered diocesan, Bishop Wordsworth, who, though valuing the “Girls' Friendly Society,” saw the need of some other agency in order to deal with those girls who could not say they were pure, and yet desired to lead purer lives than they did. The special branch located in Lincoln had its origin in a lady going to read and talk to some mill girls during their dinner hour. From this, a girls' club has developed, which meets one evening in the week. The members bring their own needlework, while engaged in which they are read to, and the evening is enlivened with music and singing. Musical entertainments are given to the members, and there are Bible classes in connection with it, and little by little the work has grown and obtained a firmer footing. I desire earnestly to commend its operations to many to whom they may not be known. I may add that it is work that is carried on on a distinctly parochial basis. There are some parochial clergymen who object to the “Girls' Friendly Society," whether rightly or wrongly it is not for me to say, because they think that it ignores those strict lines of demarcation which cut up the Church into so many small religious freeholds, very much, I venture to think, to the injury of the Church. This Society is, however, distinctly parochial. There are three different grades in it, the first, of “ Probationers," being the lower rule of life, for those who are desirous to try to be honest, sober, and pure; the second, of Associate Members, with a somewhat higher rule, embracing a resolve to influence others for good by example and encouragement; and the third, “Full Members," the highest rule of all, for those who have been led on to Confirmation and Holy Communion, and who are seeking to lead a really religious life, and to spread God's kingdom. There is a fourth class, of “Guardian Members,” such as forewomen and heads of workrooms, schoolmistresses and mistresses of families. These are not to be in any way spies on the members, but to watch over their best interests, and to help them to obtain good situations, and to shield them when in moral danger. I am pleased
at having been allowed to speak of the value of this society, which I hope may receive greater support, and may thus be enabled to do more important work for Christ and IIis Church among our sisters in Him.
The Rev. B. MATURIN, Vicar of Lymington. CALLED upon at this late hour to address the meeting, I cannot refuse, not only because the subject is one of intense practical importance, but also because, as the vicar of a large parish, I am under a deep debt of gratitude to some forty female workers who, in one form or another, aid ine in the work of the parish, and who are my fellow-helpers in Christ. The question is simply this, is it lawful, meet, and proper to employ women, of course I mean pious, earnest-minded women, fitted and adapted for Church work, in the service of the Church of Christ ? And here I say I care little whether they are called “deaconesses, “sisters,” or visitors.” What I plead for is that it is not only lawful, meet, and right, that work should be found for pious women, but that it is the bounden duty of the Church to employ them in the service of our great Redeemer. I plead for women's rights-not, perhaps, in the common acceptance of that phrase, for of that I think they have enough, but for women's righis--not again to preach, for there is a difference of opinion on that subject, some agreeing, and some differing with St. Paul ; but for women's rights and privileges to be permitted under the minister of the parish to engage in works of faith and labours of love, in carrying out the great work of winning souls for Christ. Scripture sanctions it. Who can read the life of the Blessed Redeemer and not see that He accepted and received often the services of pious women. The history of the Blessed Saviour in His days and nights of toil and suffering, was intimately connected with the names of Martha and Mary, and many others who ministered to Him “ of their substance.' Women, daughters of Jerusalem,” whom He so pathetically addressed on His way to Calvary, were last at His cross, and first at His tomb. Who can forget the weeping Mary, on the morning of His Resurrection, or the magic sound of her own name uttered by the lips of her risen Lord, and entering with divine power into her soul, as she cried out in response, “ Rabboni ?" And let it be remembered that the first missionary employed by the risen Saviour to carry the glad tidings of His Resurrection to the apostles of the Church, was that Mary “out of whom He had cast seven devils.” Who can read in the epistles of Paul, of “ Phoebe, our sister, a servant of the Church, a succourer of many, and of myself also :” of Mary, who “ bestowed much labour on us ;” and of the many other women of bright and blessed memory, “who laboured with Him in the Gospel," and not see that ihe Scripture fully sanctions the work of women in the Church of Christ. Blot out the names and the songs of women from the Bible, of Miriam, of Hannah, and of Mary, and you tear some of the brightest pages from the Word of God, and leave it berest of the interest connected with the life and work of pious women of old. Oh, yes, Scripture sanctions and sanctifies the work of women in the Church of Christ. And what Scripture sanctions necessity demands. There is a vast amount of work to be done in the Church, which if not done by women must be left undone. The growing population of our land, the increase of parish work laid upon the clergyman, the requirements and demands made upon his time and energies--clubs, societies, letters, sermons, meetings, all upon him, more than tax his powers of mind, body, and spirit ; and yet he feels that much is left undone-sick, aged, poor, ignorant, careless, slums, alleys. Where can he find time and strength to visit and relieve them? Hence the absolute necessity of calling in the kind aid of pious women. And what necessity demands nature calls for. For there is much work to be done which can be best done, and, indeed, only properly done by women. The nature and sympathy of women fit her for work which is especially her own. I speak not now of public addresses, though there is much even there that can be most effectually done by women of piety and culture as I have seen in my own parish in meetings of women and children addressed by a pious woman, but in visits to the poor and sick of her own sex-in dis peculiar to women, the sympathy, love, and attention of an earnest-minded Christian woman is of peculiar importance, where, acting the part of friend, nurse, and missionary, she ministers to the wants of body and soul and spirit. And how soothing and comforting to the suffering patient, where, gifted with a sweet voice, she can sit by her bed and sing hymns to her in a manner that no parson would attempt. I commend this practice to my sisters whom I address to-day, as I have found in it my own parish highly valued by the