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mortals; but rather may they be the steps by which the groaning masses of a debased humanity may be taught to rise into the pure atmosphere and cheerful sunlight of heaven! So shall we best glorify thee, whose we are, and whom we are bound to serve.
Immanuel Wichern gauged the depth of misery and human brutality in the city of Hamburg, and then gave himself to be morally buried alive in the Raugh House; associating thenceforward with rough, hardened lads born and bred in crime; shutting himself up with them in the hope of winning them to virtue ; bearing their coarseness and brutality; becoming their companion, kind, gentle, and frank. There in that house might be seen notorious pickpockets, vagabonds who would eat what brutes would reject, children, that had never been in the society of a decent person, habituated to the absence of common morality and decency, accustomed to punishments that made them more like brutes than human beings; all they had ever learned comprised in obscene ballads, travesties of hymns, and parodies of the Bible. He had but one instrument of reform for these wretched children. It was love; not words and fine sentiments, but Christ-like love. His domestic establishment has grown into a national enterprise, embracing, in two hundred and sixty schools, about three thousand children.
All of us may not found schools for abandoned children; but each of us may find some one to whom we can extend some cup of blessing that a kind Providence has granted to us, and not to them.
John Pounds, the noble founder of the first Ragged School, was a cripple and a cobbler. During the greater part of his benevolent career, he lived in a small weather-boarded tenement, where he might be seen every day, seated on his stool, mending shoes in the midst of his busy little school.
Poor as he was, and entirely dependent upon the hard labor of his hands, he nevertheless adopted a little crippled nephew, whom he educated and cared for with truly paternal love, and, in the end, established comfortably in life. It was out of this connection that his attempts and success in the work of education arose. He thought, in the first instance, that the boy would learn better with a companion. He obtained one, the son of a wretchedly poor mother; then another and another was added : and he found so much pleasure in his employment, and was the means thereby of effecting so much good, that, in the end, the number of his scholars amounted to forty, including about a dozen little girls. His humble workshop was about six feet by eighteen, in the midst of which he would sit engaged in that labor by which he won his bread, and attending at the same time to the studies of the little crowd around him. So efficient was John Pounds's mode of education, to say nothing about its being perfectly gratuitous, that the candidates were always numerous : he, however, invariably gave the preference to the poorest children,to the “little blackguards," as he called them. He has been known to follow such to the Town Quay, and offer them the bribe of a roasted potato if they would come to his school. His influence on these degraded children was extraordinary. As a teacher, his manners were pleasant and facetious. Many hundred persons now living usefully and creditably in life owe the whole formation of their character to him. He gave them “book learning,” and taught them also to cook their own victuals, and mend their shoes. He was not only frequently their doctor and nurse, but their playfellow. No wonder was it, therefore, that when, on New-Year's Day, 1839, he suddenly died, at the age of seventy-two, the children wept, and even fainted, on hearing of their loss, and for a long time were overwhelmed with sorrow and consternation. They indeed had lost a friend and a benefactor.
Barbara Uttman, in her happy home far up among the Erzgebirges, or Copper Mountains of Saxony, had but one ungratified hope within her heart. God had given her no children ; and the tenderness of her nature found no vent save in her kindly charities. One night she was oppressed with sadness; and, ere she yielded herself to sleep, she prayed that this vain longing within her heart might be quenched for ever, or find solace in the duties which lay around her.
Scarcely had she closed her eyes in slumber, when she was visited by a wild and wonderful dream. She thought she was standing within the porch, when a lady, clad in shining raiment, emerged from the foldings of the hills, and slowly approached her. The lady's face was hidden beneath a snow-white vail of some delicate fabric, which, though it seemed as translucent as water, yet, like water, gave an indistinctness to the object seen through it. But, when the strange visitant spoke, her voice thrilled through Barbara's inmost heart; for it was the spirit-voice of her own dead mother. "Daughter,” she said, “lift up thine eyes and behold the children whom the Lord hath given unto thee.”
Barbara raised her head and beheld a train of young maidens, clad in the simple costume of the Saxon peasant, and linked together, as it seemed, by webs of the same transparent texture as that which vailed the lady's face. Slowly they passed before her wondering eyes, fading into thin air as they became lost in the distance, but still succeeded by others similarly clad, and holding webs of the same delicate fabric, until Barbara's brain grew giddy as the troop swept on and on unceasingly. Weary with gazing, she closed her eyes, and when she re-opened them the maidens had vanished. Only the strange lady in her shining garments was beside her; and she heard a low, silvery voice saying, —
“They who are called to fulfill a mission among