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PREFACE.

In presenting once more to our readers the record of twelve months' work we cannot hope for much novelty. In such a Mission, dealing as it does with a constantly changing multitude of the lowest strata of society, it must be an ever-recurring effort whether we speak of the Bible or domestic side of the work. For many a long day to come it must still be “line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little ;” but, nevertheless, to those who care to study the reports and transport themselves in imagination to the scenes which they depict, there will be found matter for much heartfelt gratitude, for there is an upward movement; day by day souls are being rescued from the slough of sin and misery, and their “hearts set at liberty” to run in the way of God's commandments.

Each tiny light has a radiance of its own which, by the Holy Spirit’s aid, will gradually draw others within the circle of its illuminating power, and so create a new centre of life and service to the glory of God.

It is this sure and certain, though slow and oft-times hidden, movement towards the light which makes the letters and reports of these homely “ Women and Nurses of the Book " so interesting, for they are bright with the brilliancy of that city which needs not the light of an earthly sun; and it is this, too, which gives us courage as year by year we leave these simple annals to tell their own tale and bring us in the money so sorely needed to meet the ever-increasing wants of those who have none to help them.

The friends whose generosity has enabled us to reopen the Seaside Home, and extend its benefits to a larger number of sick and weary guests, will read with unmixed satisfaction of all the happiness which the fortnight of perfect rest and good food has conferred alike on the anxious, overburdened parents and the patient, suffering little children.

The “Bitter Cry of Outcast London,” which has excited so much attention and called forth so much interest of late, contains nothing new to our workers ; an article in September, on the “Homes of the London Poor,” shows how they have long ago penetrated into many of the worst districts, and know practi. cally how hard it is for the respectable poor to be forced to live in the midst of vice and crime.

While waiting for the magic wand which is to convert the dens of fever and vice into wholesome dwelling-houses, we gather that much good might be done if the individual cases were taken up and the law, as it stands, brought to bear on the landlords who own houses unfit for human habitation or who refuse to comply with the ordinary sanitary regulations. We would earnestly press this point on our Lady Superintendents. If the Vestries and Inspectors of Nuisances were really to carry out the Acts passed during the last few years the condition of the houses might be greatly ameliorated.

The power exists, but the time and energy to call it into action is often wanting.

In all our foreign stations the work of the native Biblewomen and Nurses is more and more appreciated; we refer specially to the reports from Italy, Spain, and Syria, which increase in interest as the years roll on.

CLASSIFIED CONTENTS.

The following classification will show that the Editor continues to keep in view

as usual FIVE distinct spheres of observation.

1.—THE LANDS STILL, OR TILL LATELY, HEATHEN.

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............

70

Ask and Have, Seek and Find.... 71

Old Street District

73

Singing Hymns in the Home 76

Nurse-work at Balham........ 77

Waiting .........

80

Navvies, and Work Among Them. 86

Lights and Shadows of Bible

Canvassing......

97

Bible-woman's Report

98

Left-off Clothing

102

The “ Appian Way" in Old Ford 103

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