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DWELLINGS FOR THE POOR.
IN our advertising columns will be found the first public appeal for funds in aid of that most important undertaking to which we have already once or twice alluded, the establishment of healthy and economical DWELLINGS FOR THE POOR in this metropolis.
Such is the general feeling of the necessity for some effort of this description that there have been two or three schemes of the kind within the
last five years. The association, however, which now appeals to the public for support has the honour to be the first to commence an actual building. This body-the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes-has obtained a suitable site on Lord Calthorpe's estate, at the eastern end of Guildfordstreet, and has nearly completed, on this spot, a range of buildings which is intended to accommodate twenty labouring men and their families, with a separate house for thirty poor widows or single females of mature age. The expectation of the committee is, that for the lodgings they will here be able to offer to the poor-well-drained, ventilated, and provided with all requisite conveniences-they will be able to charge about one-half, or less than one-half, of the rents now exacted for the miserable garrets and cellars into which the labouring classes are at present forced to cram themselves.
We have already stated our conviction, that no one of the various plans for ameliorating the condition of the labouring classes is of equal importance with this. We very recently took a survey of several houses in one of the lanes near Fleet-street, and which would obviously afford a very favourable specimen of their class. We found, in nearly every instance, a whole family crowded, by day and by night, into a single room. The reason was obvious and unanswerable. A single room cost the family 3s. 6d. or 4s., or even 4s. 6d. per week. Two rooms, at a cost of 7s. or 8s., would have made two large a deduction from weekly wages of only 18s., 20s., or 24s. Hence, what
ever the number of the family, or the ages or sex of the children, all lived, and cooked, and fed, dressed and undressed, sickened, died, or recovered, in this one room, generally measuring some eight or nine feet by ten or eleven.
It was impossible to look at these poor people without seeing at a glance what was their chief temporal want. There was no mistaking it. Facilities for washing and bathing will be great boons, and we will not undervalue them. But when we see a man and his wife, and six children, girls and boys of 16 and 18, all huddled together, night after night, in two or perhaps three beds, placed side by side in one small and ill-ventilated attic, can we for a moment imagine that we have done our duty by such a family when we have brought into their neighbourhood a cheap warm bath and a place where they may wash their clothes?
If we have the least regard, then, for the morals, the health, or the good conduct of the labouring classes, we must make an effort in this direction. No other mode or plan for improving their condition can be thoroughly effectual so long as this is overlooked; nor can any amount of money be so economically laid out in any other way. We noted down, the other day, the several rents paid by the lodgers in one small house in the lane above referred to. We found them to amount, collectively, to rather more than eighty pounds per annum. full value of the house to a yearly tenant might be about twenty-five pounds. Add ten or fifteen for rates and taxes, and it will be seen that the fair value of each room was doubled. Extend this calculation over that enormous mass-the working classes of London-and imagine what the aggregate sum extorted from them by lodging-house keepers must be.
But it may be asked, How is this gigantic evil to be overcome? The reply may be difficult; but assuredly the Society above alluded to has taken the only feasible course. Legislation
cannot touch this kind of oppression; and mere talk, like that in which the Times delights, will effect nothing. The first step to be taken is, practically to show how the poor might be better lodged on what terms-and with what return on the capital employed. Let this problem be once solved; let houses be actually erected and tenanted, and let the public have a fair account of the experiment and its results, and we cannot doubt that from among the enormous wealth of this metropolis thousands and tens of thousands would be offered to carry on such an operation on a larger and still more effective scale.
Meanwhile, the Society, which has commenced this important work, calls for further aid. Even for this, its first attempt, it needs larger funds than have yet been provided. Strange, that in one town alone (Manchester) not less than £28,000 should have been raised for the purpose of providing play-grounds for the poor; and that in London and Birmingham £10,000 should have been subscribed to supply them with warm baths; and yet that not so much as five thousand should have yet been given to provide the poor with comfortable and wholesome homes. We must insist upon it that this is a great mistake. the poor man his "Victoria Park”— we decry it not, nor undervalue its
utility. Give him a laundry and a warm bath; they will add to his comfort, and promote his health and cleanliness. But when all this is done, you have still left him in his "chair-lumbered closet, just eight feet by nine," the best that his wages will allow him to provide. Here he is obliged to stow away his family, as well as he may, himself, his wife, his girl of 16, his boys of 15 and 14-all reposing, night by night, in one narrow attic! We give the most simple and ordinary outline; we describe merely what will occur this night in ten thousand cases. Easy would it be to add depth to the portraiture; to speak of the mother in her confinement, or of the infectious diseases which are sure to find their way into such scenes as these; but we forbear. If we have not said enough to induce some of the wealthy to look backward at their shortcomings, and forward at their responsibilities, we shall despair of touching their sympathies or their consciences by any further details. We shall merely repeat-knowing that many are accustomed to think of these things-that, in our judgment, there is scarcely any one way in which the temporal necessities and sufferings of the poor can be so effectually and permanently alleviated as by taking effectual measures for the improvement of their dwellings.-Mor. Her.
GENESIS ii. 5, 6.
WHENCE Come ye, clouds of darkest Why is man's path with thorns be
Ye shut out heaven from our view,
And cast a gloom around; Alas! earth once had cloudless skies, Ye never wept o'er Paradise,
But this is cursed ground.
Our home is thine, from sinful earth We clouds of darkness take our birth,
And in its doom we share; Think, when our falling drops ye see, Creation's tears are shed o'er thee, Need we the cause declare?
The fading leaf, the grave, the dead,
O man, why weepest thou?
Lo! we depart-the God of love Hath placed his bow of grace above;
Joy to thee, man forgiven!
From earth, sin, death-to heaven!
ON PSALM xxxi. 7.
"Thou hast known my soul in adversity."
FATHER of mercies, 'tis not in the hour
Not when our path is smoothest-when the smile
And life's horizon knows no gloom of night.
"God of all consolation"-thou hast known
Our souls in darker sadder hours than these ;
Then-as of old upon the stormy deep,
The tempest of our souls obeys thy will;
The fearful storm is hushed with, "Peace, be still!”
"Tis in the hour when gilded joys are fled,
And, 'reft of those we loved, the spirit grieves;
In hours like these we feel thy presence near,
PROTESTANT MINSTRELSY.-No. VII.
(For the Christian Guardian.)
"When all other fires of martyrdom are put out, these burn still."-LEIGHTON.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. A Sermon preacht at Brighton, Dec. 10th, 1840. By JULIUS CHARLES HARE, Archdeacon of Lewes. Parker: London.
IS UNAUTHORIZED TEACHING ALWAYS SCHISMATICAL? A Sermon preached before the University of Oxford, May 12th, 1844. By the REV. J. GARBETT, Professor of Poetry, and Prebendary of Chichester, Hatchards: London.
THE UNITY OF THE CHURCH. By W. B. NOEL, M. A., Nisbet, London.
THE UNION OF ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS, POSSIBLE, DESIRABLE, AND NECESSARY. By A CLERGYMAN. Norwich: London,
WE hail with great satisfaction the discovery of materials, wherever they lie, for the increase and establishment of Christian Union: and we are persuaded that we cannot render our readers a more important benefit than
by largely pursuing this subject, and noticing such materials as they occur "That they all may be one" was the Saviour's prayer; and that prayer will be answered. It must indeed be answered, ere the world will
arrive at its predicted destiny of blessedness, or the Saviour at the fulness of his glory amongst the sons of men. We are living in most singular times, which are yet scarcely intelligible. My soul, wait thou only upon God." His purposes are ripening fast. Blessed indeed are they who have a heart to long and pant for his kingdom! Never was there a time, perhaps, when the Church of Christ was more suddenly and unexpectedly drawn into a condition of hopefulness regarding her best and chiefest beauty-her Christian Union.
may not see how it will be realized, but we see all parties fainting and almost dying for want of it; recognizing its indisputable necessity, and imploring the Dove of Peace to come and settle our distractions. Late events have driven the faithful, wherever existing, into the lively conviction, that they must draw nearer and nearer together. We are frequently reminded of a singular occurrence some time ago in the south of England, when the water had overflown a considerable tract of low country, and there were seen animals of various descriptions, and bitter enemies to each other, swimming and escaping to one common point of elevation where the waters could not reach them; and there, exulting in their safety, they forgot their animosities. The fox and the rabbit and the hare and the rat and the sheep were good friends together. They were happy in one common safety; and dwelt together in one common harmony. The waters of destruction drove them to it. We need not point out the applicableness of the illustration to ourselves. Is it presumptuous to hope that our floods of trial and endangerment are bringing the faithful to their common hill of Hermon, where the dews of Heaven will fall alike on all, and be like the oil poured out on Aaron, casting its sweet and blessed perfume all around. shall not quarrel with the means, with whatever uprooting or inundations they may be effected, which bring us to such a consummation. But we have said that the times are strangely singular. And so they are in this
respect as well as in many others, that they present the apparent universality of that cementing and harmonizing principle of which we speak. Thus, if Christians and Churches are manifesting an earnest desire for unity, governments are doing the same. Conciliation is the Premier's grand policy; the polar star of his movements. We cannot be present for a night in the House of Commons, but we see his ruling principle. We need only turn to Ireland in proof of it. But is there any sympathy between such a spirit of union as that which our government is manifesting, and that which the Churches of Christendom are panting after? None whatever. The Premier aims at conciliating all parties around him, in an entire and reckless disregard of character and principle and consistency. He sends a message of peace to Ireland! Words of blessed, welcome sound! But what solid, legitimate peace will he effect in the succouring and building up of Popery on the ruins of the Protestant Church? Sir Robert Peel cannot touch the real Church of Christ. Against her the gates of hell, whether applied openly or insidiously, cannot prevail. The Church of Christ will continue to flourish in Ireland amidst all earthly treachery and desertion; but as it regards the best and dearest instrumentality for_the upholding of that Church, the Premier has sapped it to the foundations, and very soon, we believe, the Church of Ireland will be in ruins.
Then what are we to make of this apparent spirit of union and conciliation existing in governments? Our view of it is this; that it is the counterfeit of that which is progressing amongst the faithful in Christ: that it is the policy of the devil to mix up the base and spurious coin with the genuine that he trembles to see any advance to the accomplishment of Christ's prayer for the unity of his Church; and therefore that he is infusing a spurious unity to blend and mislead the ignorant and thoughtless: messages of peace, where there can be no peace; to make efforts to amalgamate the most opposed and heterogeneous materials, irrespective of all