The million-peopled city
Extracts from the Reports of a Missionary of the London City Mission.
The following brief extracts from the Reports of one of the missionaries of the will illustrate both the benefit of very partial visitation of the Hospital, and the great importance of more systematic and extensive visitation. The statements were written, as the genuine sentiments of the missionary's mind at the time, and without the least idea of publicity being given to the extracts:-
Report, . " It is as painful to contemplate the hardened indifference of many of these old men, as it is encouraging to observe the workings of Divine grace in others. Several of them, on their death-beds, in my hearing, have blessed the Lord that they were visited by a missionary. The College is, in fact, a most important sphere of Christian labour, but the visiting it once a-week is not often enough. An old man on one visit appears impressed; and on my next visit, when I inquire for him, I am told, 'He is dead, Sir.' This has happened to me on several occasions."
. "I still continue to visit the old pensioners in the College. Several have been led by these visits to attend the meetings in my district, as that is not very far distant, and from that they have been induced by me to attend public worship. Some few, I hope, have died with a hope of heaven; while others, who still survive, welcome me as 'their old friend.' One of the pensioners leads the singing at the meeting, and I sometimes call on another of them to pray. It is pleasing to hear him thank the Lord for pre- serving him in the dangers of war, and implore that he may now be preserved from still worse dangers from spiritual foes
|at home. It is utterly impossible to visit between 500 and 600 persons in 3 hours each week, so as to give attention to any extent to individual cases. This prevents my following out cases, so as to draw any such sketch of them as demands continuous observation and watching. The College itself would furnish sufficient work for two missionaries. At least, one ought to be employed among so important a class of per- sons, who are also so very accessible to religious instruction."|
. " continues to be a most interesting sphere of labour, but the little time I spend there prevents my becoming sufficiently familiar with many of the old men to trace my labours. I hope I shall some day see a mis- sionary stationed among them. They are sad drunkards. I have seen more than 20 drunk together on Saturday evening. Still, evidences of good effected are continually met with."
Several cases in proof of the latter observation are given in detail. But so many such illustrations were given in connexion with Hospital, that they are here passed over. The two fields of labour are very similar in their character.