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They know us truly, since in Heaven they found us,
Strange to each other never more again.

No more misjudgment, no unjust suspicion
No veil to dim our knowledge of our own,
The Land of Love gives friendship's true fruition,
We there are loved, even as we are known.

No more we hide our secrets from each other,
No petty sin or meanness gives us shame,
In fullest worth we know that blest word 'Brother'
No more a misapplied or empty name.

Perhaps on earth this heaviest trial meets us,
We cannot dry the tears of those we love;
But God has promised, when our SAVIOUR greets us,
To wipe off all tears in our home above.

Short is our anguish, lo! the time is flying,

E'en here below our pangs though sharp are brief,
Well worth the waiting, worth the weary crying,
But to enjoy the eternal great Relief.


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THIS is an age of "grievances," and every one is more or less inclined to regard his or her special grievance as the most pressing for redress. But no class of the community proclaim their wrongs more loudly than do women, whose only cause of complaint is want of work. In spite of their eager pleading, however, society in general turns a deaf ear to their demands. True, some of their sympathisers are willing to go all lengths, and to concede to them as large a share in the actual business of life, as the stronger sex possess; but the majority of mankind decline to consider they have any grievance at all, and in reply to their appeal for work, curtly bid them attend to their families, and use their needles, as their grandmothers did before them. This may be all very good advice for women who have families to attend to. With them home duties ought always to be paramount, and in many instances are no doubt amply sufficient to fill a woman's life. The mother with a well filled nursery, or the daughter with aged or helpless parents depending on her care and tenderness, has but little time to spare for

outside interests. But there are many women, who neither as wives, mothers, nor daughters, have any home duties to perform. Their early home circles have been broken up, and they have entered into no new ties. From them the appeal for work comes with especial force. “Give us work," they cry, or our lives will be a dreary blank; we have nothing to do but to devise means to kill time, nothing to expend our sympathies and energies upon, but ourselves and our own concerns.'

Can we blame those in such a position for demanding some more useful employment than the manufacture of yards of knitting or any other equally useless production, such as formed the chief object of the lives of their predecessors in a former generation? On the contrary we consider it a cause for thankfulness that women are no longer contented to lead the narrow, selfish lives they formerly led; and those who turn a deaf ear to their appeal for work, forget that there is real work for them to do in the world, and more especially in the Church, and that if they neglect to do it, they will have to render an account for such neglect. These are days when men and women must show their faith by their works, and not content themselves with mere empty professions. The outcry for workers to do the work now lying undone, is at least as loud as the demand for work, on the part of those who complain so earnestly of their enforced idleness.

There are few parishes over-supplied with lay-helpers, very few indeed where the staff of district visitors, Sunday school teachers, day school visitors, Church watchers, and other bands of workers are so full that they do not require more members, and besides all these there is another staff of lay-helpers we would fain see in every parish. It is with them that this paper is intended to deal more especially, but before speaking of them we would point out the work waiting to be done by those, who because their health or circumstances do not permit them to undertake active parish duties, consider there is no work for them to do. This is altogether a mistake; there is no lack of employment for them, if they choose to do it. There are many women with strong artistic tastes, which have been carefully cultivated at considerable cost, who nevertheless throw brush and pencil aside as soon as they are mistresses of their own time, simply for want of some useful object for which to employ them. But they need be at no loss for such an object. Thanks to the ever-growing desire to make GOD's house as beautiful as possible, a talent for art can always be employed in His service. Many little village churches now standing bare and dreary for lack of

funds to employ professional artists to decorate them, would afford ample employment to loving hands, if they would undertake the task of decorating them. There would be no difficulty in finding such churches. An advertisement in any of the church papers, offering illuminated texts, or scrolls, or ecclesiastical needlework gratuitously, would receive plenty of replies. The present fashion for carving might also be turned to good account, but needlework is perhaps the form of art that would be found most useful. Those who are in the habit of attending crowded London Churches, where there is little difficulty in procuring the means to provide the sanctuary with fitting furniture whenever it is required, have no idea how difficult it is for a village priest to procure even one decent covering for the Altar. He is often thankful to obtain the Altar cloths and hangings that Churches, whose "lines have fallen in pleasanter places," have discarded. To him therefore, such gratuitous help as we have suggested would be no small boon. As to the more active services which the Church claims at the hands of those who have health, and strength, and time to bestow, there is no lack of them.

We have spoken of district visitors, Sunday school teachers, and other lay-helpers now to be met with in every well-organised parish. But valuable as such aid is, there is a point at which our present system of lay-help breaks down. As a rule lay-helpers have home duties to perform besides their parish work, and it not unfrequently happens that the former interfere with the latter. In such a case layhelpers have generally no hesitation in deciding as to the right course for them to pursue. They attend to their home duties and leave their parish work to take its chance.

And they are right. The mother, for instance, who to attend the sick bed of a poor neighbour, would leave her own sick child to the care of others, would have but a mistaken idea of her duty. In cases of epidemic also, the lay-helper, in most instances, is bound to consider her family, and so is often obliged to throw up her parish work at the very time her services are most required.

What is wanted therefore, is a small body of workers in every parish, to supplement as it were (but certainly not to supplant,) the efforts of the existing staff of lay-helpers. In many parishes this want is ably supplied by a devoted band of sisters of mercy, but unfortunately it cannot be so in every case. In too many parishes the presence of sisters of mercy would raise such a storm of opposition as would greatly

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mar, not only their own usefulness, but also that of the priest and the whole church organisation in the parish. In another generation this may possibly be no longer the case, but in the meantime the want must be supplied from other sources.

What is required is a few earnest-minded women in every parish, who having no home ties, will be willing to devote their whole time and energy to the good of their fellow-beings. Is this too much to ask? Is there not one or two at least in every parish to whom the appeal ought to come home as an answer to the oft-repeated query, what am I to do with my life? You ask for work, here it is for you to do, if you will but put out your hand and take it up.

It matters little what name the workers would bear, it might be different in different parishes, though the primitive title of deaconess naturally suggests itself as the most appropriate, were it not that the name has already been adopted. But the Deaconess Institutions, as at present constituted in this country and on the Continent, do not supply the want we speak of. They are generally merely protestant substitutes for sisterhoods, though many members of them I believe devote themselves to parish work in the same way as sisters of mercy do. But the parish deaconesses, (as the lay-helpers we speak of might be called to prevent confusion,) would be on a different footing altogether. They would be bound by no vow, and the staff of parish deaconesses in one parish would be as unconnected with those in another, as the various bands of district visitors.

Their rules should always be as simple as possible, and would vary according to the requirements of the parish in which they worked. They could either live together or in their own homes, as would be most convenient, but in either case they would work under the authority of the parish priest.

Their duties would be almost too numerous to mention. They would include regular visiting and often also nursing the sick poor, superintending the sick kitchen, night schools and other parish charities which require regular supervision, systematic Sunday visiting, i.e., visiting from house to house on Sunday afternoon to take the Church to those who will not come to the Church. In a word, all the parish duties, which the present staffs of lay-helpers are too often obliged to leave undone, would fall to their lot. Among these, Sunday visiting is not the least important, but it is the most frequently neglected. Many persons purposely fail to fulfil it, under the impression that a visit on

Sunday would be regarded as an intrusion. But this is quite a mistake. Sunday, among our non-Church-going population is a terribly dull day, more especially a wet Sunday. Even the usual Dominical nap, aided by the attractions of the public-house, fails to fill up the whole day, so that the Sunday-visitor is generally hailed as a welcome relief, more especially if she produce a story book. In course of time a chapter of the Bible or a portion of the daily service can generally be added, and very often a series of Sunday visits results in the appearance of another family among the regular worshippers in Church. Another great advantage of Sunday visiting, is the opportunity it gives the visitor of making the acquaintance of the masculine members of the community, who are generally invisible on a week day. But in spite of its obvious usefulness it is a duty which the ordinary district visitor cannot undertake, on account of her home claims on her time. And it is only one of many in the same category, which are waiting to be fulfilled until workers can be found to undertake them.

L. M.


PERHAPS the powdered-haired ladies who look down on us from their pictures, and whose costumes and style of head-dress it has been the fashion of late years to imitate, would view the life and conduct of their descendants with some surprise, could they step down from their frames and mingle with polite society of the present day. In vain would they look around for the stately grace of carriage of their time, and amongst the younger members of society, too often they would miss the bright simplicity of girlhood. Is it lack of good home influence, unsatisfactory governesses, school life, sensation novels, or their own hearts, which renders what should be innocent, bright, happy girlhood in many cases too precocious womanhood? May it not, alas! be a mingling of all these bad ingredients which constitutes the poison that works its way insidiously, and finds its results in a morbid longing to escape from "trammels," to see more of "life," and taste the delights of sipping the poisoned draught of evil, so cleverly veiled and sugared over when described in some thrilling work of fiction? Some may say, "the ease of society in the present day is far preferable to the stiffness and stateliness of former times, and the world was not

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