The million-peopled city
Cases recorded of his Usefulness.
The for May, , contains a variety of cases of usefulness among cabmen which had arisen during the year, from the effects of each of the cab missionaries, their respective reports being there published separately. But although they are very numerous and very encouraging, and although the article ended with the sentence, "We earnestly hope that our readers will come forward more liberally in support of this fund,' so as to allow the second missionary to be replaced," the Chris- tian public made no response to the appeal! !
The very first case there recorded illustrates how the cab business is frequently taken to by persons who have become reduced, and were once in very different circumstances, and how serviceable religious counsel and instruction may be to them, through the Divine blessing. There are a consider- able number of cab-drivers who have once possessed pro- perty, and who have received the advantage of a good education. They find it very difficult to brook the treat- ment which they frequently receive from those whose feelings towards them are of the same contempt as the term by which they ordinarily call them, of " cabbies." But to return to the case. It is as follows :-
" Mr. - , of - street, has been long known to me as depraved in his morals and sensual in his habits. He has
|often been spoken to by me; but until some months since, religion was looked upon by him as a cunningly-devised fable. A few facts relating to his early history may not be considered uninteresting. His grandfather was a clergyman at --, and held two livings to the time of his death. His father was a person of some property, which he accumulated as a solicitor. On the death of his father, he came into possession of 3,000l., which, it seems, he soon spent, and as a means of support became a cab-driver. About two years since, while out with his cab, and in a state of intoxication, he committed an assault upon a gentleman, for which he was committed to the House of Correction, and his driving license was revoked. For some months past he has been one of the most attentive and regular hearers at my weekly meeting, is now a sober man, and devotes much of his time to reading the Scriptures."|
The next case recorded is a very striking illustration of the importance of religious visitation to a class of cab- men (and they are numerous) who have been previously the subjects of religious impression:-
" Some years since, - -- , late of - mews, was a member of the Church under the pastoral care of the , but at last, through his own unfaithfulness, and his wife's violent temper, he gave up his connexion with the people of God. It is now about two years and a-half since he was first conversed with by me at the stand in Farringdon-street, when he said (to use his own words), 'I am a miserable backslider.' I faithfully warned him of the danger of continuing in his then present course, and brought before him a few of the many invitations held out in the Scriptures to such as had forsaken the fold, but to no good effect, at least for some time. Having been requested, by the , not to lose sight of him, I sought and often obtained the opportunity of speaking to him on
|Divine things. At last my mind was much pained to find that he had sold one of his cabs in the street, and had left London in company with a female. But he was soon brought to feel the truth of the following passage of God's Word, 'There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.' He returned home to his wife, by the blessing of God he was enabled to put away the evil of his doings, he became regular in his attendance where he once had a name and a place, and from that time, when out with his cab, he is often to be seen reading his pocket Testament. He at last had an interview-with his late pastor, but it was thought prudent that he should wait for some months before he was again admitted a member. For the last 2 months that he was on the district I looked upon him with some anxiety, but there are now no doubts with respect to his having been made a partaker of Divine grace. Through my recommendation, he has been for the last six months coachman to a gentleman of title, during which time he has given great satisfaction by his conduct."|
Another case recorded in that magazine is that of a cabman, earning only 12s. a-week, who received an offer from a friend of a permanent situation in a public-house of 30s. a-week, but who declined the same, by the missionary's advice, lest he should fall into a snare thereby, while, by means of the missionary's visitation, both he and his wife were received by their minister as communicants. Then follows the case of a cabman's wife, who, from a drunkard, became a sober woman by the same agency. Next fol- lows the case of a cabman who was an Infidel, but who was led by the missionary to attend, apparently with profit, the ministry of the Hon. and . We next read of a cabman, so impressed with the visits of the missionary, that he himself calls at the missionary's residence to tell him
|the impression which his conversation had made on his soul; and, while the missionary speaks to him, he calls out, " Stay, sir, it is more than I can bear. You have unmanned me." After this comes the case of a cabman, known among his comrades by the name of " Drunken Dick." While drunk he had once had his skull fractured, and twice his limbs had been broken. But, through God's blessing on the mission- ary's efforts, he died, as is believed, a true penitent, trusting in his Saviour's forgiveness, and received from a very faith- ful clergyman, on his death-bed, the Supper of his Lord. A second case, of a somewhat similar character, succeeds this. Then are given cases of usefulness from the efforts of the second missionary. First, we are told of a cabman who has given up working his cab on a Sunday. Secondly, we are told of a drunken cabman who had become a sober man, after having well-nigh broken a brother's heart by his pre- vious conduct; for which the missionary receives the thanks of the brother, given " with feelings of emotion which spoke more than words could convey." Thirdly, we are told of the wife of a cabman who, on her husband's death, had to go out to service, but who, impressed by the missionary's instructions, declined taking any place, except in a religious family, although she had long to wait for such a place, to her great inconvenience. Fourthly, we read of a cabman's wife who had once been a communicant, but had long declined from a religious course, brought back again from her wanderings to His people. Fifthly, we read of a cabman visited, and the tears streaming down his weather-beaten cheeks while the missionary expounded to him the Word of God, and 2 of the children sent, by his persuasion, to school. Nor are these all the cases of usefulness which are even recorded in that one Report. But they suffice to show what blessings result from such efforts among such a class.|