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measured than anything which he has yet put forth. In writings of this kind there must of necessity be much that goes beyond the experience of everyday Christians,—but it is well when this difference is not allowed to be greater than the circumstances of the case necessitate. The volume is made ap of Addresses delivered to the Community of S.John the Baptist at Clewer, and possesses a very real character.
The S. P. G. are publishing two excellent series of “Historical Sketches," one “Colonial” and the other“ Missionary.” The three that have reached us, viz., Delhi, Chota-Nagpore and Newfoundland, are far above the average of Publications which are put forward by Societies. It is very encouraging to find that there are such stories of success to be told, and that there are those who know how to tell them in a simple and manly way.
Correspondence. [The Editor is not responsible for the opinions of the Correspondents.)
To the Editor of the Churchman's Companion.
MISSION WORK IN ABERDEEN.
SIR,-I send you a short account of the present position of Mission work, which has been carried on for seventeen years, by the Sisters of our community at S. Margaret's, of Scotland, Aberdeen; and I hope that if you can find room for its insertion, I may win the interest and sympathy of your readers, who have before now expressed much kind feeling for us in our somewhat isolated and peculiar work.
We issued lately a more detailed report of “Our Work in Aberdeen," which would be too long for us to ask you to insert in a magazine where space is of such value, but it can be sent, on application, to any reader of this, who cares to know more about the Mission.
Beginning in 1862, with some attempts to bring the ministrations of the Church to the poor of this large northern town, which were made by one Sister from 8. Margaret's, East Grinstead, under the direction of the Rev. J. Comper,
then Incumbent of a West End Church in Aberdeen,-passing on, in 1865, to fresh efforts made by two Sisters from the same Community, under the same Chaplain, in the East End, the poorest and most neglected part of the city, we have now, thank God, a Church built;school buildings to be opened at Easter, the school having as yet been carried on under heavy disadvantages in the Church itself; - our Chaplain, from whom all has originated, still spared to us, as Incumbent of S. Margaret's Church;—and oịr own number increased to twelve Sisters, and established in Houses, the purchase of which will be complete when we have raised £150 more, and can claim £100 which is already promised, to'make up the sum of £250 still due.
I think your readers may like to hear of a confirmation held at S. Margaret's, on the third Friday in Advent, by the Bishop of Brechin, acting for the Bishop of Aberdeen, who was prevented by illness. We have usually two Confirmations yearly in S. Margaret's, the one before Christmas being intended specially for such adults as may have been preparing for some time, or hindered from receiving the gift at Easter. On December 20th there were fourteen candidates, and the service was impressive, as Confirmations according to the old Scottish use always are.
Our readers must remember that the Scottish Church retains the right to her own beautiful Liturgy and Office of Confirmation, wherever they are valued by the congregation, so at S. Margaret's none other is used. Also, except in the case of those who have already been baptized in the Church, the candidates, having only received Baptism at the hands of Presbyterian, or other Dissenting ministers, are previous to Confirmation formally admitted into the Church, according to the office of reception after private or lay baptism. On first thoughts this may appear a needless bit of Ritual, but it must be remembered that we are working in Scotland, where the Presbyterian religion is called the Established “Church,” and we have to contend with the rooted idea that “joining the Church,” becoming “a member of the Church,” is brought about by adults “coming forward” to attend classes in preparation for, and then “taking the Sacrament,” in one of the Presbyterian or other places of worship. Thus it becomes important to teach by eye, ear, and act, that in Baptism is received the gift of regeneration, and that the after-act of reception marks the admission into the outward and visible membership of CHRIST's Church, of which the baptized Christian is already a member invisibly by right of the Baptismal Gift.
The Confirmation Service differs from the English use in one way only. On the candidate being presented to the Bishop, and kneeling before him, he says, “I sign thee with the sign of the Cross,” (here he signs the candidate on the forehead,) "and I lay my hands upon thee, in the Name of the FATHER, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.
Amen.” Then he proceeds with the Collect, “Defend, O LORD, this Thy servant,” &c.
The appearance and behaviour of the candidates was very reverent, and we are glad to be able to add that, with two or three exceptions, all had specially prepared for the reception of the Sevenfold Gift, by Confession, and were admitted to their First Communion at the midnight Celebration on Christmas night. Our readers must remember that in most cases the previous life and surroundings of these poor people have been such, that, when once brought to a sense of sin, they cannot but feel their consciences burdened with many a “ weighty matter," and are glad to accept the Church's offer of Absolution on their repentance and Confession.
Christmas in Scotland! No holiday for the poor or the rich. No bells ringing from the numerous “ Kirks" to welcome the Infant King, the Incarnate GOD! S. Margaret's has but one bell, but that does its best, and sounds upon the ear after midnight on that night, to greet and announce His coming to His Altar-throne, veiled in the Elements of Bread and Wine, Who came long ago at that hour to the Bethlehem manger. Does the Scottish nation think she can do without Him? or that closing the factories, shops, offices, &c., for the first three days in the New Year, and geting drunk nationally, can take the place of the worship and thanksgiving offered as of old? The scattered remnant of God's Church in Scotland at any rate thinks otherwise, and bears witness to the best of her power to the coming the Word to tabernacle in our flesh. We well remember the open-mouthed astonishment of the baker's boy, the first Christmas we spent in Aberdeen, when the Sister-housekeeper ordered double quantity of bread on Christmas Eve, “because, as to-morrow is Christmas Day, you will not be coming." He stared, and said in a puzzled tone, “Christmas Day! Whạt way will I no come with the bread?” She promptly
replied, “The right way.” In the explanation that followed a fresh light was thrown upon many difficulties to be found in Mission work here which do not exist in England. So the midnight Celebration affords the only opportunity our poor can have for making their Christmas Communion on the Festival, and involves some self-denial, for nearly all who communicated at that hour this Christmas had to be at their work, as usual, by 6 a.m., and the service was not over till about 1.30 a.m.
But while lights, vestments, flowers, and carols, are used to brighten the Christmas teaching at S. Margaret's, we do not forget one of the Bethlehem lessons, “Good will towards men;" and if we were inclined to overlook it, our little ones, factory girls, boys, and mothers, and our kind friends and helpers, who supply the visible tokens of “good will” in the shape of gifts, would certainly not fail to remind us of the “Christmas treats," &c.
This year, we began on the Festival of the Holy Innocents, with a tree, kindly provided by the Countess of Crawford and Balcarres, who is a true friend to our Sisters in all their undertakings, and who also assisted the funds for the different Treats. About 300 school children, after assembling at Church for a short service, enjoyed a good tea, and each went away with some “fruit” from the boughs of the tree. On Monday in the Octave of Christmas, twenty-five youths, belonging to S. John's Guild, after the usual Guild Service, had a plentiful supper, (which included plum pudding,) and then much amusement from a “ Left Luggage Office,” out of which were handed various odd-looking bampers, band-boxes, parcels, &c., very singularly addressed, but which contained, besides some comical articles of wearing apparel which puzzled the boys, as certainly not having been “left” anywhere by them, a genuine gift wrapped up and concealed in the midst.
The following Saturday, about fifty
girls, members of the Guild of S. Agnes, had their Service, and reception of five new members into the Guild, wbich was followed by supper, and the appearance of a gipsy (an Associate kindly dressed up for the occasion) sitting before a very orthodox looking gipsy pot, hung between three poles, out of which she produced presents of all kinds, and added words of suitable advice, spoken in German, Italian, or French, which we must own, were prompted, and freely translated, by the Mother Superior.
On Saturday, the 11th, the same treat was repeated for the Guild of the Holy Child, which receives children from seven years old, and passes them on, when fit, to the Guild of S. Agnes, and which, that evening, admitted six new members.
On Wednesday, the 15th, S. Anne's Guild for Mothers enjoyed supper, and welcomed the gipsy, having first received six fresh members. On each occasion about forty-five were present, and the gipsy, aided by the Mother Superior, did her work admirably. As a proof of the attention bestowed by the children's Guild, on the Sisters' teaching, we must tell of one little member, who, being told by the Mother that she was to “come up and see the gipsy, on Saturday, and see what she would give her,” gravely replied, “ Ay, but it's wicked to believe in gipsies; Sister
tells us we maunna gang to them, and speer at them for our fortunes, and it's in the Bible besides.” The Mother felt obliged to explain to such a very earnest, literal mind, that our gipsy was a Christian gipsy, and did not tell fortunes, and later on, when the fun was over, the “ Christian gipsy” was fully recognised as an old friend with a new face.
We think we have said enough to show that the Mission is a living, and prosperous work, but we have not dwelt on the dark side of the picture, the extreme poverty of the people all round us, and of our own congregation, which does not number a dozen people who Psalms,) has the following foot-note to Psalm xlvii. verse 9: “Antipas, as it is so well known, probably not the name of an individual, but as Antichrist is he that opposes CHRIST, so this "faithful martyrstood up against every one round him of the heathen city (åvrl-tas.")Yours, &c., EUGENE TE DALE.
are above the working class. Sin, and ignorance of the Faith, prevail, and what can one Priest and a few poor Sisters do against them? What they have done is something, and they can only pray that others may be stirred up to join them in continuing and enlarging the Mission, for our work is but
“ The work of mortal men,
And we must all learn the limit
of the threescore years and ten." We can but make it our daily prayer, “O LORD, show Thy servants Thy work, and their children Thy glory.” And we shall be well content if only, long after we are forgotten, there are others to carry on the efforts now being made, and to see brighter and more prosperous days for Scotland's Church. “ Others' be the triumph-ours the duty: Others' be the sunshine-ours the storm.”
Thanking you very much for allowing us space for this letter,—Yours, &c., SISTER T.
PALM SUNDAY, 1699. ŠIR,—In reply to G. A. L., I find that Palm Sunday in the year 1999 fell upon April 2nd.-Yours, &c., AGNES.
OFFER OF WOOLLEN CLOTHING FOR
SIR,- In reply to FLORRIE I beg to state that in Brett's “Churchman's Guide,” Vol. II. p. 300, she will find good instruction on Fasting. I should also strongly recommend her to read the following Sermons: Newman's Vol. II., Serms. III., IV.; Vol. V., Serms. I.IV. Pusey, Vol. I. Serm. X.-Yours, &c., WARDEN.
SIR,-In reply to C. B., her kind gifts would be well and charitably bestowed if sent to the Children's Home, Edmonton Green. This poor and unostentatious Church Orphanage, so well deserving of support, is now quite full of the poorest children, some mere infants, all destitute, without parents or friends, and dependent upon free gifts for support. I testify from my personal knowledge of this excellent Home, that any clothing, new or old, as well as funds, are much needed there at present. Any gifts are thankfully received by Sister Elizabeth, (in charge,) Children's Home, Edmonton Green, N.-Yours, &c., J. R., an Associate, Society of S. Katharine, (for Invalids.)
SIR,-I think C. B.'s offer of woollen clothing for children would be very acceptable to the Sisters of the Poor, Mark Street, Finsbury, London, E.C., who have hospitals for incurable children both in town and country.--Yours, &c., ISABEL.
THE MYSTICAL INTERPRETATION OF
SIR, I gratefully acknowledge C. M. A.'s corrections of the slips and omissions in my paper on “the Mystical Interpretation of Holy Scripture," for as the wise man saith, “Two are better than one ....
for if they fall the one will lift up his fellow." (Eccles. iv. 9, 10.)-Yours, &c., W. F. S.
I shall be very glad to forward the “Church Times” every Saturday night, post-free, to any one who would take an interest in reading it. Address, A. E. PORTER, S. Mary's Street, Ely. A reply will only be sent to the applicant
SIR,-Dr. Neale (Commentary on the
BAPTISM OF DISSENTERS.
R. T. W. H. will be obliged by being informed in the next pumber of the Churchman's Companion whether young persons baptized with water and in the name of the Holy Trinity, as Wesleyans or Independents are, can be properly prepared and brought to Confirmation without re-Baptism ? Certainly they cannot be taught the Catechism, as no godparents promised anything in their name, &c. If they refuse re-Baptism and yet wish to be Confirmed, what line of instruction should be pursued ?
“DO THE WORK THAT'S NEAREST."
A. L. W. would feel obliged if any one would tell her where the following quaint quotation is taken from, it appeared in the January number of the Churchman's Companion. “Do the work that's nearest,
Though it's dull at whiles,
Lame dogs over stiles.”
CHURCH MISSION TO THE ZENANA.
Can any reader of the Chi han's Companion inform SANTA CRUZ whether there is any Church mission to the Zenanas in India ? She is aware that much earnest work is going on amongst them, but is there any carried on especially on Church principles ?
MUSIC PRACTISING SOCIETY.
Sir,-Can any of your correspondents kindly tell me of a Music Practising Society which enforces practising for at least an hour daily, and also of a society for improving oneself in languages (French and German specially). Also, what is the origin of S. Valentine's Day :-Yours, &c., INA.
EARLY RISING ASSOCIATION.
Can any reader of the Churchman's Companion tell A. E. of an Early Rising
Association, as she wishes to become a member? Please address, A. E., Mrs. Pink, Gordon Terrace, Lower Richmond Road, Putney.
8. VALENTINE'S DAY. SIR,- Can you or any of your correspondents tell me what is the origin of sending presents on S. Valentine's Day? -Yours, &c., FLO.
EXCHANGE OF BOOKS.
SIR-I am anxious to exchange the following books for others suitable for lending in a country parish, Biographies of Churchmen, or Churchman's Companions preferred.
An Old Bible, one of the first edition of Authorized Version, containing Old and New Testaments, Apocrypha; a very curious Pictorial Genealogy of our SAVIOUR from Adam to the B.V.M.; a curious Pictorial Map of Canaan and surrounding country, representing many events, such as the overthrow of Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea; an Address to the Christian Reader. Prayers for Every Day in the Week; the Psalms in Metre, with Music, &c. Bradley's Works of Nature, with many very curious Cuts; date, 1739. Cook's Voyages, with Life, Portrait, &c. (illustrated.) Live Lights or Dead Lights ; Altar or Table. A fine old copy of Sherlock's Death and Judgment; date, 1691. Yours, &c., R. D.
For exchange, two vols. of Churchman's Companion for 1878, perfectly new and well bound. Wanted, Monthly Packet from October, to be sent a week after publication, or “ Work-a-day Briers,” and one of Mr. Carter's, of Clewer, books, or “ Chronicles of S. Mary's." Address-Mrs. PAGET, 3, Royal Crescent, Weymouth.
SIR-I have fourteen volumes of Redhead's original Psalter and Canticles, almost new, and nine Psalters published by Masters in 1853 in tolerably