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"My poor women behaved admirably, and said 'they would rather suffer any deprivation than deny their faith, as they felt assured God would more than make up to them what they lost.'
66 One poor woman, with a little sick child, who then was not a member of any church, but had attended the Mothers' Meeting a long time (in the hurry-for the papers were sent in one evening, and were to be filled up by the morning; which was done on purpose not to give time for thought or consultation—) put "Catholic." Afterwards she was so sorry that she could not sleep for several nights until she unburdened her sorrow to me. She said: 'Oh, I would give anything to get the paper back again, but it is too late. What can I do? I have denied my Saviour.' This act of cowardice has been really made the means of her deciding for Christ, I was led to speak to her earnestly about her salvation. Now she is a member of the Church visible. Thus the Lord works by all sorts of means to bring souls into His kingdom. We are selling books very well again, and the little interim was very useful, as it gave more time for gathering in the money of those who had Books, amongst whom there have been several conversions, which, of course, is our great aim. The Book merely in the house, or hands, will not avail much unless through Divine grace the possessors are made 'new creatures in Christ Jesus.' I will tell you the story of one family, out of several, who have been converted since I wrote to you by means of our Bible-work here.
"A few months ago Josefa called at a blacksmith's forge, where the man was at work, and would not listen to a word she had to say. The wife listened, but refused to buy a Bible, on the plea that she could not read, but after many visits, praying with and reading to them, they became interested.
"Josefa prevailed upon the mother to take a Bible for her two daughters, bright, intelligent girls of eleven and twelve years of age. She then invited them to the Mothers' Meeting (for many young girls come to our meeting). They and their mother came. A more dirty, rough-looking set it would be difficult to imagine. As they helped the man at the forge this is not to be wondered at. They were much interested, and
since the first day have never missed. She tells me now that for a long time every day she came to the Mothers' Meeting, her husband used to beat her, both before she came and after her return home. He absolutely refused to allow the girls to go to an Evangelical school, although they were learning nothing at the Roman Catholic school.
"It seemed a hopeless case, when one day she asked me to buy a woollen jacket for her husband, as they had hitherto only bought things for themselves; this I willingly did, although against my rules, as they took it before paying for it. From that day there was a change; he began to read the Bible with interest, and even sat up nearly all night many times to read it, until she had to beg him to put it down and retire to rest to prepare for the morrow's toil.
“No, wife,' said he; 'this rests me more than sleep, for I feel that God is speaking to me.'
"He attended the meetings for the first time during the week of prayer, enjoyed them much, and now both he and his wife are candidates for baptism and membership. The girls go to a Protestant school, and are getting on nicely; I should not wonder if eventually they become teachers. In fact the whole family is changed, and now if the wife wishes to stay at home for any reason instead of coming to the meeting he says, 'No, no; we have got so much good there, you must not stay away on any account.' They are most grateful for blessings received, and say they shall never be able to praise and thank God enough for sending Josefa to their door. I could fill other sheets with interesting matter, doubly so when you think that in all probability if English friends had not kindly given the means these poor people would have been left in utter darkness.
During the week of prayer Josefa was accompanied by quite a crowd of people, whom she had induced to read and buy the Word, many of whom are now members of the different churches in Madrid. Thus you see the Lord is blessing us notwithstanding all the priests do or say. His Word is Sharp and powerful as a two-edged sword.' As no books are allowed to be sold now, except in the Depôts, we are obliged to
go carefully to work. At first we felt rather afraid and hampered, but The Lord reigneth,' and hitherto Josefa has been wonderfully protected and blessed. The hand of the Lord is visible in it all; to Him be all the praise and glory.
"During the last fortnight we have had wonderful sales-36 Bibles, worth 37. 6s.; but I will tell you of our sales in my next letter, when the six months is completed. My husband says you are doing a good work in Madrid, that women get access to people when men cannot, and that the paying by instalments is the only way to reach the very poor or even the middle class here, as they are so improvident. The words of Christ are indeed verified, where the poor only receive the Gospel gladly, with very, very few exceptions. Oh! what joy to meet these precious souls in heaven! I wish you knew the Spaniards. I am sure you would like these people, they are so hearty and grateful for kindness. When I tell them of the friends in England who help me to send the Bible to them and sell it as we do, they often say, 'Please thank them for us, when you write; for if Josefa and you had not come to us, we should have remained in darkness and misery all our lives.' No one out of Spain can understand the change that is brought about when light bursts into the souls of these poor creatures. They quickly take in the plan of salvation in a way that uneducated people in England do not, excepting in rare cases. Continue to pray for us that we may be kept very humble, walking very close to Him who alone is our strength, our all. Through Him we can do wondrously, but without Him nothing.
"E. A. C."
"I SHALL BE IN HEAVEN IN THE MORNING." THE following incident was related by the late President Hitchcock in a sermon on "The Moral Dignity of the Christian Character":
"I had descended a thousand feet beneath the earth's surface in the coalpits of the Mid Lothian Mines, Virginia, and was wandering through their dark subterranean passages, when the voice of music at a little distance broke upon my ear. It ceased
upon our approach, and I caught only the concluding sentiment of the hymn
'I shall be in heaven in the morning.'
"On advancing with our lamps we found the passage closed by a door, in order to give a different direction to the currents of air for the purpose of ventilation, yet this door must be opened occasionally to let the rail-cars pass loaded with coal; and to accomplish this we found sitting by that door an aged blind slave, whose eyes had been entirely destroyed by a blast of gunpowder many years before in that mine. There he sat, on a seat cut in the coal, from sunrise to sunset, day after day, his sole business being to open and shut that door when he heard the rail-cars approaching. We requested him to sing again the hymn whose last line we had heard. It was indeed tame in expression, and in the poetic measure very defective, being, in fact, one of those productions which the pious slaves were in the habit of singing, in part at least impromptu. But each stanza closed with the sentiment—
'I shall be in heaven in the morning.'
"It was sung with a clear and pleasant voice, and I could see the shrivelled, sightless eye-balls of the old man rolling in their sockets, as if his soul felt the inspiring sentiments, and really the exhibition was one of the most affecting that I have ever witnessed. There he stood, an old man, a slave and blind He was buried a thousand feet beneath the solid rocks. In the expressive language of Jonah, 'He had gone down to the bottom of the mountains, the earth with her bars was about him for ever.' There, from month to month, he sat in total darkHow utterly cheerless his condition! And yet that one blessed hope of a resurrection morning was enough to infuse peace and joy into his soul. I had often listened to touching music; but never did music exert such an overpowering influence upon my feelings. Never before did I feel the mighty power of Christian hope. And how comparatively insignificant did earth's mightiest warriors and statesmen, her princes and emperors, and even her philosophers, without piety, appear! How powerless would all
their pomp, and pageantry, and wisdom be to sustain them, if called to change places with this poor slave! He had a principle in him superior to them all; and when the morning which he longs for shall come, how infinitely better than theirs will his lot appear to an admiring universe! and that morning shall ere long break in upon thy darkness, poor old man! The light of the natural sun and the face of this fair world will never, indeed, revisit you; and the remnant of your days must be spent in your monotonous task, by the side of the wicketgate, deep in the caverns of the earth; but that bright and blessed hope of a resurrection morning shall not deceive you. The Saviour in whom you trust shall manifest Himself to you, even in your deep darkness, and the double night which envelopes you shall vanish into the light, and liberty, and glory of heaven.
“I would add, that on inquiry of the pious slaves engaged in these mines, I found that the blind old man had a fair reputation for piety, and that it was not till the loss of his eyes that he was led to accept of a Saviour. It may be that the destruction of his natural vision was the appointed means of opening the eye of faith within his soul."
THE BIBLE-WOMAN IN MADRAS.
"May 23rd.-Visited five houses; read to seven women Acts X. One told me, 'There is no god greater than the cholera goddess. The God whom you preach belongs to Europeans, and He is not able to do good or evil, and no one can see Him. We worship the Goddess Cholera, that she may spare us when she gets angry; and we pay her homage and various offerings.' I told her that cholera is no goddess; it is a sword of the Almighty God of the universe, to take vengeance upon the disobedient children of men. So, if you want to escape cholera, you must pray to that great God, who is the Father of Christians and of all who trust in Him.
"June 2nd.-At the Dispensary; sixteen women present. Read Matthew xxii. 1-9. One Roman Catholic woman told me that those who do not worship the Virgin Mary will not