The million-peopled city
A Missionary appointed by that Society to visit them, and his Great Success.
One missionary only was provided for in answer to this appeal. His name was Adams. He had himself been for many years the proprietor of a cab, which he himself drove. Having, however, a very numerous family, whom he found it difficult to sustain on a missionary's salary, he was led to emigrate to Australia, after some years' faithful labours among the class with whom he had been previously associated. He was much respected on the stands, and was made useful in many instances.
In the Annual Report of the for , it was stated,--" Cab-stands have been visited during the year by several of the missionaries, and about 4 months since a missionary was appointed exclusively to attend upon and visit the drivers of cabs and the drivers and conductors of omnibuses. Since his appointment, he has visited various cab-stands 178 times; he has had 2,156 conversations with cabmen, watermen, drivers and conductors, and has paid 169 visits to the houses of those who have been sick and dying, and has given away 3,010 tracts. The missionary is received with the greatest kindness and respect. He has found a large number of the drivers and conductors entirely ignorant of the first principles of religion, and living in. a most degraded state. He has heard that about 23 drivers are communicants, and about 50 regularly attend public worship; but thousands of them never cross the door of God's sanctuary, nor acknowledge their Creator any more than the beasts that perish. One man told the missionary, he had not been in a place of worship for 32 years, and although he had a Bible, he had not read a chapter in it for 5 years. Several encouraging circumstances have tran- spired."
In the Report of the same Society for the succeeding year, , it is stated,-" In the last Report, the appointment of a missionary to the cabmen of the metropolis was referred to . . . He has, during the past year, been greatly blessed of God in his labours, although he has generally had to prosecute them while standing in the crowded streets, among men intently looking for a fare. The habits of these men are very much against them. Exposed to all weathers, some of them by night, they frequent the public-house for a stimulant," &c., &c.
The following striking cases of usefulness are then recorded, which had occurred during the year:-
"One cabman was found by the missionary living with a female, the mother of two children, and then again near her confinement. He had been once in Newgate, and twice in the House of Correction, and for the last 4 years he had been deprived of his license to drive in the public streets. But what a prison could not accomplish, the missionary, by God's blessing, has effected. He is now married to the woman with whom he lived; they have both become regular attendants at the missionary's meeting; and he is frequently to be seen sitting with the children, in the which the cab missionary has opened during the year. The missionary has recommended his case to the registrar, who has, on the faith of this recommendation, again granted him his license, and he is now in a creditable manner following his lawful calling.
"Another cabman has discontinued driving his cab on the Lord's-day, and for the last 10 months has been a consistent communicant, bringing forth the peaceable fruits of the Spirit. His wife told the missionary, that at one time she was obliged, when she heard the footsteps of her husband, to hide her Bible, but now her home has become a happy one. God has blessed her husband, not only in his soul, but also
|in his temporal circumstances, for when the missionary first visited him, he was the owner of 1 cab and 2 horses, but now he has 2 cabs and 4 horses. This case illustrates the declaration that ' godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.'|
"A woman, who had made a profession of religion, 10 years since, married a cabman, who had no fear of God before his eyes. From that time she forsook the public means of grace, and neglected private prayer; nor had she for 7 years read any portion of God's Word. She is now brought to repentance. She desired to establish family prayer, and to the surprise of the missionary, her husband came to his residence for a tract of prayers. He consented to conduct the service; and, ' Sir,' said she to the missionary, 'I will leave you to judge of my feelings, when I beheld my husband, who had lived with me for 10 years, without any regard to religion, shed tears while on his knees offering to God the prayer of Tuesday evening.' She has been admitted a communicant, and there is great reason to believe that he is in earnest for the salvation of his soul.
" To a young man the cab missionary's labours were made useful; and for the last 9 months he has been a receiver of the Lord's Supper. His mother has also been in a pleasing state of mind. But the father was a bitter opponent of religion, and threatened to stab the first missionary who should enter his abode, and cut the throat of his wife if she allowed a missionary to come in. He became at length so violent that the son, having, since he became religious, been so prospered as to save 251., determined on leaving his roof, and the mother was driven to accompany her son, and cast herself upon him for support. When the son stated to the cab missionary what he had done, the cab missionary offered to visit the father and endeavour to benefit him. The son
|begged that he would not, as he believed that blood would be shed if he ventured into his room on such an errand. But the missionary went, and showed him the consequences of his conduct; and, without entering into details, suffice it to say, that the family are now living happily together, and all regularly attend the house of God, and give much pro- mise of real devotedness to the Lord."|
It is added,-" During the year he has read the Scriptures to cabmen on 689 occasions, paid 484 visits to the sick and dying, induced 17 regularly to attend public worship, and 5 altogether to give up Sunday work; 4 cabmen have been outwardly reformed, 7 have been admitted to the Lord's table as communicants, 4 backsliders give evidence of being reclaimed, 7 individuals now in health of being converted to God, and of 2 others in affliction, and 5 who have died, the same good hope is entertained. These results are truly large among such an order of men."