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Mortality has been ascertained to be between eight and nine thousand. Excepting the Saturday they commence work every night at eleven o'clock, and in few cases cease from labour before six o'clock the following evening, so that, by the ordinary calculation of working hours, a journeyman baker's week is nearly nine days, exclusive of the Sabbath, which, while enjoyed by other classes for its appointed purposes, only brings to them additional labour; and when the heated atmosphere of a bakehouse, where a great variety of dinners are being attended to, is taken into account, there can be no surprise that the exhaustion and fatigue, produced by such employment, should generally prevent them from attending to religious worship on any part of the sacred day.
"The case of the journeymen bakers is more to be deplored from the circumstance, that a great majority of them are supplied from distant parts of the country, where education, example, and precept, have taught them very different things; so that there is reason to believe the gray hairs of many a pious parent have gone down in sorrow to the grave in consequence of their offspring becoming altogether regardless of duty and of God.
"In such a state of matters ought nothing to be done? are we to allow the impression any longer to remain, that in consequence of the baker's Sabbath labour a large portion of the community enjoy religious privileges? No! we are prepared to prove the reverse; it is not the church-going part of the community who employ the baker on the Sabbath, it is almost exclusively those who care but little for the Sabbath or its privileges; but even were it otherwise, we firmly assert that no sound principle will justify any disposition that would not protect every class of society, however small or humble, against being compelled to sacrifice comfort, health, and conscience for the convenience or enjoyment of any other class, however numerous.
"While these statements refer principally to the journeymen, what is to be thought of upwards of 2,000 masters, not only employed in superintending the Sabbath labour of their men, but very generally engaged also in the routine of ordinary business, which becomes almost inseparable from the custom of keeping an open shop. How painful has it been to many a serious mind when a partner in life (it may be with a growing family) has gone to the house of God, and the other left behind in ordinary business. In many cases it is to be feared the practice has totally prevented family religion, and if this has not been altogether the case, how must it have restrained that spirit of earnest supplication in which a devout mind should engage when imploring the Divine blessing on all the avocations of life! In such a situation the loss that many families must suffer a future world alone can disclose. We appeal therefore, in behalf of the thousands in our trade, to the clergy and to ministers of every denomination to exert themselves in the cause, so that public Sunday baking may soon cease to
operate as a barrier, keeping without the pale of the Christian Church so great a number of their fellow-men.
Feeling therefore, Rev. Sir, that bakers have a peculiar claim upon the sympathy of their Christian brethren, the Committee of the Sunday-baking Abolition Society (at a time when much is doing to prevent Sunday trading in general) most earnestly request your personal influence with the congregation over which you preside in aid of their important work; satisfied that the brief statement now presented will suffice to produce the impression, that if the object at which the Society aims can be obtained, there will be cause of much congratulation, not only to see a great number of interesting young men raised to a more respectable sphere in society, but especially to believe that the privileges thus afforded them may, through the Divine blessing, be instrumental in saving many families from irremediable ruin. We are, Rev. Sir,
"Your most obedient servants,
"D. JOHNSTON,} Secretaries.”
EXTRACTS FROM THE JOURNALS OF THE MISSIONARIES.
INTERVIEW WITH AN INFIDEL.
VISITING a house in court, an Infidel came into the room, with a boy upon his shoulders. While I was conversing with the woman of the house, he interrupted me, saying, that "he wanted no Bible, nature was his God:" the Bible, he said, "could not come from God, as it was full of mystery and lies." I asked him, "Where he thought it came from?" In reply, he said, "he expected it was bungled up by a set of designing artful fellows." "This," I said, "cannot be, because the design of the Bible is evidently to humble men, to reform them from their corrupt lusts and wicked practices; and therefore you cannot suppose that wicked men would devise and publish a book so diametrically opposed to their own vicious inclinations and habits. On the other hand, you cannot suppose that good men would have dared to impose a falsehood upon mankind, or to have personated God in the Scriptures." He made no direct reply to this, but passed it off with an air of derision; and presently began to swear about the parsons, and hypocritical professors of religion. And after he had proceeded some considerable length in these invectives, I said to "You have read Thomas Paine's works, I presume? him, "Yes, he had, and he considered them the best works that were ever written." I told him it was a fact which he could not deny, that Christianity had produced, among different classes of people, a vast number of most amiable characters, with whom the very best of Tom Paine's disciples are unworthy to be compared; adding, "as
you seem to have such a sweeping charge against hypocritical professors, I would ask you if you think the disciples of the mere light of nature are at all superior in virtue to wicked professors? Many of them were so, he thought; as for his part, he wanted to hear no more about it, for he was as happy without the Bible, as I was with it, and that he was quite ready to die that minute." I endeavoured to impress upon his mind "the awful consequences of neglecting the Word of God," to which he indignantly replied, "The Word of God! How can that be? Do you think that God would send a book which nobody could understand?" I replied, "If you admit that the Bible is above the comprehension of human reason, how could human reason have invented it?" He acknowledged there might be some degree of plausibility in this. At the same time, he manifested very bad feeling upon the subject; and began to find fault with my coming into people's rooms to talk about religion, that I ought to talk to people in the streets. This I considered, however, as a kind of subterfuge; and I still proceeded to show him on what a precarious thread his imaginary happiness was suspended. He listened apparently with great attention, while I further warned him of the imminent peril of his state; and at length his hostile feelings seemed in some measure abated. I trust the visit was not without effect. Left him reading the tract, "Prepare to meet thy God."
TWO CASES OF AFFLICTION.
When I first visited Mrs. S- she was in a very dark state of mind, evidently trusting for acceptance with God to her own supposed righteousness. She was very attentive to instruction, and being rather an intelligent person, she improved her time in reading. The New Testament and tracts particularly engaged her attention. I have used every exertion to rectify her mistakes in religion, and in making known the way of salvation through Christ; and have a confident expectation that my labours were not in vain. I have continued my visits once or twice in a week, and have reason to believe that the Spirit of the Lord has enlightened her mind. She has renounced all her former delusions, and is convinced of the great importance of coming to Christ for pardon and salvation, and always anticipates my visits with pleasure.
On another visit I plainly perceived that she was fast approaching that solemn period when the foundation of her hopes would be tried. The rapid progress of her disease became increasingly apparent, but she seemed to enjoy undisturbed peace. I asked her, "If she still trusted in Christ?" and with great emphasis she exclaimed, "O yes, I do;" and to every sentiment she assented in the most expressive manner. She frequently expressed her gratitude to the Mission for sending a person to visit her. On a subsequent visit I asked her, "If she felt reconciled to her last change, and whether she considered the consequences of dying?"
With tears in her eyes, she exclaimed, "O yes, Sir, you have often told me where I must place my hopes, and I desire no other than Christ." Thus she bore her affliction with all imaginable fortitude, and afforded a proof of the support which true religion imparts in the prospect of death. I visited her once more before her death, and her patience and faith were remarkably conspicuous. She expressed the cheering views she had of entering into a world free from sorrow and sin, and of being for ever with the Lord. She died shortly afterwards, and in reference to her I cannot but cherish the animating expectation that she has exchanged earth for heaven.
The other case is that of Mrs. who has been severely afflicted, but she thankfully acknowledges it has been of the greatest benefit to her soul. She reads her Testament with great delight; and one encouraging trait in her character is, her increasing anxiety to be placed in a pious family. She loves reading and prayer, and has regularly kept to a place of worship ever since she was able to get out. From these and other circumstances I think she gives satisfactory evidence of a Divine change. USEFULNESS OF THE TRACT UPON INTEMPERANCE."
For some time past the neighbourhood of court has been disgusted with the conduct of a notorious drunken woman named the wife of a cabman. This woman was regarded as a pest of society, and a disgrace to her sex. She read the tract over several times; at last, she began to reflect upon the disgrace she was bringing on herself and family. All her best articles of furniture were gone, the children dirty and ragged, and half-starved, while her husband was almost broken-hearted at the thoughts of her conduct. She thus reflected upon her base conduct, and at last, came to the determination of relinquishing her evil propensity. She has ever since kept her resolution and entirely refrained from intoxicating drink. She is become quite an altered character; I have visited her several times since, and the change is very perceptible. The children are neatly clothed, and sent to school, the furniture clean, and everything indicative of a change for the better. She speaks very highly of the tract, and has since lent it to a friend of hers; to whom, she trusts, it will be made useful, as it has been to herself.
INTERESTING CASES IN
Mrs. when she lived in the city used to be visited by one of the Society's Missionaries, of whom she speaks highly. I first visited her at her present residence during the winter of 1838-9. She received me cordially, and soon appeared to be deeply concerned for the salvation of her soul, and so great in number did her sins appear, and so vile did she conceive herself to be, that she was nearly driven to despair. While in this despondent state of mind she meditated self-destruction, but the Lord had
thoughts of mercy towards her and not of wrath, and she at length found relief from prayer. On one occasion she said to me, "O Sir, what a mercy it is I am spared; I have been a vile blasphemer, and in the morning of the day when you first called upon me I had been using such dreadful language to my children, and wishing such dreadful things to befall them, that I appear to myself as one of the vilest wretches on earth; it makes me shudder when I think of it; but God sent you that morning to me, and when you entered the room and stated the object of your visit, I exclaimed to myself, This is another messenger of God sent to me, and I resolved to make another effort to serve the Lord." Her husband being a great drunkard, she found it impossible to get to the house of God on Sundays, so she took the opportunity of attending my Monday evening prayer-meeting, resolving as soon as possible to attend the sanctuary on the Sabbath. Her husband having lost his employ through drunkenness, he left her to go into the country, and she was left to maintain herself and three dear children by boot and shoe-binding: this was a severe outward trial, but the Lord overruled it for her good, she was soon able to attend the means of grace, and her desire for spiritual blessings increased. I shall never forget the many pleasing opportunities I had of hearing her speak of what the Lord had done for her soul. I lent her "Dr. Doddridge's Rise and Progress of Religion," the perusal of which, under the Divine blessing, afforded her much instruction and consolation. After this the New Testament became her chief companion, and prayer her delight. The husband returning and con tinuing to live in sin, placed her in a very trying situation. He mocked, and ridiculed, and insulted her, and she was often prevented frequenting the house of God through him. She bore all patiently, and, after a while, he left her again. Soon after this she was laid on a bed of affliction, and now came the time of severer trial; but the Lord appeared for her, and she was mercifully supported, and at length raised up again. The season of affliction was to her a time of rejoicing, for the Lord so manifested himself to her that she exclaimed, "Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name." In Sept., 1839, her husband returned again, and he threatened that if she attempted to go to chapel he would burn all her clothes; but he left her at liberty on the Sabbath evening by going himself to the public-house. His conduct soon became more brutal than ever. He came home one night so far beside himself, through the influence of spirituous liquors, that he threatened to murder her; she could not venture near the bed where he lay, so she laid down on the floor, but could not sleep for terror, as he continued swearing in the most awful manner, adding, " I have a good mind to get up and cut your throat." She has conducted herself with propriety under these distressing circumstances, and, in the month of November last she was proposed a candidate