« НазадПродовжити »
orphans this, then, might be one point to which we should give particular attention :--we could help in providing them with shoes ; and I am sure many a well-to-do, generous-minded man would be willing to help the ladies by contributing from his purse to this desirable object. And again, we could see that they had suitable warm clothing for winter weather. Children without fathers or mothers, drifting along on the tide of life upon the bare allowance given as outdoor relief, are not likely to have good winter clothing ; but it is a shame in a Christian country if such as these should go shivering, and their sufferings be disregarded.
It may be observed that my proposition only goes to the extent of helping orphan paupers, that is, assisting those who are in the receipt of poor law relief, so that they may be brought up by respectable cottagers. This would entail no separate establishments and no paid officials. Orphans, with the consent of the guardians, may be educated at national or other schools at the expense of the parish or union to which they belong, and, when fit for service, doubtless Boards of Guardians would be willing to furnish them with an outfit of clothes, as they are now in the habit of doing. Members of the proposed associations would never have cause to apprehend that a number of destitute children would be left on their hands, for the responsibility of the children's maintenance would still rest with the constituted authorities.
I cannot but believe that a great amount of donations in money and other things would be offered for the benefit of orphan paupers, if such children were under the beneficent superintendence of an association of ladies, who would hold themselves accountable for the distribution of all charities entrusted to them for that purpose. A kind of depôt might be provided in each union, where articles of clothing or any description of property might be sent by friends and members of the proposed associations.
No doubt there are many cases of valued servants dying and leaving children for whom they have been unable to make any provision by way of maintenance. In such cases, perhaps, masters or mistresses may be desirous of helping the orphans, but unable or unwilling to take upon themselves the responsibility of wholly providing for them; and besides, they may be prevented by circumstances from seeing that the children receive careful treatment from those in whose hands they might be placed. But if associations existed for taking the oversight of all such children, and properly applying charities offered in their behalf (Boards of Guardians doing their part by giving the children outdoor relief), many benefactions would doubtless be forthcoming which are now withheld in consequence of there being no safe channel for their distribution.
Mr. George Müller, the orphan's friend, at Ashley Down, Bristol, has shown us what may be accomplished in the good cause of befriending destitute orphans, even by one person.
In his “Report” for last year he says :“ It was on March 5, 1834, when this institution had its very small beginning ; but that which was so very small and insignificant is now, through prayer and trust in the living God, so grown, that not only during the year of which this report speaks was the sum of £24,700 165. 4d. expended for the various objects thereof, but it is becoming still larger and larger; and during the year from May 26, 1861, to May 26, 1862, is expected to be very considerably extended by the opening of a third orphan house for 450 more orphans, as well as in various other ways.”
All praise is due to Mr. Müller for his Christian benevolence and unwearied zeal. Let us take a lesson from him, and each of us, in our separate 'sphere, determine to do our part to promote the welfare of those most helpless of Christ's little ones-orphan pauper girls. Speaking of himself, Mr. Müller says : -“ The longer I live, the more I am enabled to realize that I have but one life to live on earth, and that this one life is a brief life for sowing, in comparison with eternity for reaping. The consideration of these truths, while it has a practical influence upon m life in general, so it leads me in particular to labour for orphans-poor destitute orphans, who have no helper and friend, and whose helper and friend, under God, I seek to be yet further and further, unworthy though I am to be thus highly honoured.”
It appears from the “Report” that Mr. Müller receives gifts of all sorts for the use of the orphans, and those not directly useful he sells for their benefit. And what should hinder us from following his example in this respect ? Only let us, like him, put our heart into the work, and be ready thankfully to acknowledge even the smallest benefaction, and in faith and hope and humble charity, undertake the task of befriending orphans, looking upward for a blessing, and then we too may anticipate success.
It has been stated that there are 12,000 orphans in our workhouses. Now, if half the number should be girls, there would be 6000 children needing our assistance to place them where they could be rightly instructed in the
duties of life ; and we may suppose that the number of orphans receiving outdoor relief, who need friendly assistance, would be even more than 6000. Surely, then, there is occasion for us to stir up each other to combine for the service of so many fellow-creatures, who are so greatly to be pitied.
Should the foregoing suggestions and remarks win for any of our young orphan pauper girls that which they so much need—the general superintendence and friendly aid of a body of Christian women willing to exert themselves in their behalf, and to be channels for the distribution of alms specially given for their benefit, I shall be thankful that my appeal has not been made in vain.
APPENDIX TO THE SCHEME. Some such rules as the following might be adopted in organizing an association :
1. All persons enrolling themselves as members to pay to the secretary of the union in which they reside at least one shilling annually.
2. Members to forward information to the secretary of the union respecting the welfare of any orphan pauper girl for whom inquiries may be made by the secretaries, and to render an account of all monies which they have received for the benefit of such orphans, or of clothing or any other article sent to them for disposal or distribution.
3. There shall be a secretary to each union in the county, who, upon her retirement, may nominate another in her stead.
4. There shall be a yearly general meeting of the members of the association held in some town in the county.
5. There shall be a president elected at the first general meeting, or at any subsequent one, should there be occasion ; and at the same time a vice-president, who shall be one of the secretaries, and will have to transact the general business of the association.
6. The secretaries shall have power to associate with themselves for the purpose of settling all questions as to the distribution of funds, etc., collected for the benefit of the orphans, and may frame rules for carrying out the work of helping the orphans ; but no rule shall be adopted unless under the sanction of the president.
7. The accounts shall be audited by two of the secretaries at the yearly general meeting.
8. An annual report, embracing the audited accounts of the finances, and a summary of the assistance rendered to orphans during the past year, shall be drawn up by the vice-president.
9. The property of the association shall be vested in three trustees, to be appointed by the first general meeting of the association.
10. All future trustees shall be appointed by the next general meeting after any vacancy may have taken place.
11. Any secretary intending to retire from office must give notice of her intention to the vice-president of the association.
ELEUSIS CLUB 180, KINGS ROAD