Life of Edward Bouverie Pusey
by Henry Parry Liddon, D.D.
London: Longmans, 1894
Transcribed by The Revd R D Hacking
HAYLING ISLAND--VOCATIONS TO A SINGLE LIFE--PARK
VILLAGE--MISS SELLON--FOUNDATION OF THE DEVONPORT SOCIETY--THE BISHOP OF EXETER' S INQUIRY-- THE CHOLERA AT DEVONPORT.
THE summer vacations of 1847 and 1848 were spent by Pusey at Hayling Island, to which he was attracted by the quiet of the place and the sympathy of a neighbouring clergyman, the Rev. E. T. Richards, Vicar of Farlington, whom he very highly esteemed. He had with him his son Philip and his little daughter Mary; and Charles Marriott spent part of the time in 1847 as a visitor. They lodged at a house in the Crescent; and Pusey used to express his delight in the 'quiet beach where he could walk without his hat, and without the fear of being interrupted by strangers.' Later on, Sister Mary of the Park Village community, joined them; as did Mr. and Mrs. Crawley, of Littlemore.
'People in the neighbourhood,' writes Mrs. G. Huntingford, a daughter of Mr. Richards, who was there at the time, 'looked upon Dr. Pusey as a kind of strange being. His life there was a sort of mystery to the worldly-wise. He avoided society and was occupied with his own work, except when engaged with those who came to him for advice.'
Besides his family and Mr. Marriott, there were some ladies staying in the house, combining a stay by the seaside with the opportunity of obtaining help to their religious life. Pusey always said the daily morning and evening service with those who were staying in the house, and who were willing to attend, as well as the day hours, from Prime to Compline.
'Many people,' continues Mrs. Huntingford, 'used to come and go: it was a busy time, and yet a time of recreation. There was a certain awe of Dr. Pusey, which prevented his seeing some people in their everyday behaviour: but we were very merry at times. Little children were more at home with him than the rest of the world.'
The house was constantly brightened by the presence of the younger members of Mr. Richards' family.
'Dr. Pusey,' says Mrs. Huntingford, 'took a great deal of notice of them, and one of the boys asked him one day to tell them a story. He agreed; and taking down the beautiful print of the " Good Shepherd" gathered us all round him, and with his arm round one little fellow, and another on his knee, drew out the story of the poor lost sheep and the Good Shepherd in such language as the little ones could well understand, and with many a word of help for the elder children around, whose little troubles he knew a good deal about.'
He preached in the Parish Church on almost every Sun‚day evening during his visits; and on St. Bartholomew' s Day, 1848, when the collection after the sermon assisted the Vicar to repair South Hayling Church, and especially to restore the ancient font.
It was amongst such peaceful and prayerful surroundings that Pusey was beginning to feel more and more deeply the pressure of those anxious questions necessarily involved in the revival of Sisterhood life. Probably he had hardly realized the gravity and intricacy of those ques‚tions--questions often involving delicate family relations--which he would be called upon to settle, nor the force of prejudice that the Religious life would not unnaturally excite, nor the difficulty of guiding and restraining the emotional and sensitive characters with whom he would be brought in contact. It must be remembered that in England and in English families, with the exception of the limited circle of the older Roman Catholics, there had been for centuries literally no experience of the Religious life. The special vocation of a Sister of Mercy, the character involved and the claims of such a character, were altogether unknown. It was indeed rare that Christian parents had been called on to surrender a son to the missionary cause. The devotion of such a man as Bishop Selwyn the elder, whereby he was led to surrender a 'good career' as a clergyman at home, was regarded even by some estimable Bishops as quite 'inexplicable.' That young ladies who were considered 'serious' should object to theatres and dancing was looked upon as a pardonable eccentricity. But that those who were not 'Evangelical' should take a stricter view of life, should shrink from 'society,' and entertain thoughts of a vow of celibacy in face of an eligible marriage, was almost inconceivable. Besides, there was then generally, especially amongst religious-minded people, a very high and right sense of filial obligation; there was also the notorious jealousy of interference on the part of a spiritual guide in the private arrangements of family life.
With his unworldliness and simplicity, with his over‚whelming sense of Divine guidance, the sanctity of the human soul, and the nothingness of all worldly objects and aims, Pusey found himself, almost before he was aware of it, opposed to the wishes and judgments of respected friends, and sometimes thwarting the most cherished aims which they entertained for their children. Again, his small knowledge of the outer world and his own disciplined disposition were not the best qualifications for gauging any excitable and emotional temperaments with which he might have to deal. And in these delicate relations, which a gainsaying and censorious world could not rightly appre‚ciate, he laid himself open to misconceptions and gossip against which a man more worldly-wise would have been on his guard. Hence it is very far indeed from being a matter for surprise that at the time, and indeed for years after, Pusey became the subject of all sorts of imputations and charges, the result of excited religious animosity acting upon and exaggerating imperfect information. It is easy, without entering into any details, to understand the direc‚tion which these cruel suspicions, arising out of the neces‚sarily close relations existing between a spiritual guide and those whom he guided, would be likely to take.
In one direction, however, the gossip went so far that Mr. Keble thought it good that Pusey should be made aware of the manner in which his conduct was being misinter‚preted. After alluding to the report which caused him to write--namely, that he administered the Holy Communion daily to a Sister without any one being present--Keble expresses his fear lest his friend should unwittingly give some aphorme of reproachful speech or thought,' whilst he 'was very likely before God doing the very work of angels.'
June 8, 1849.
'Do, my dear friend, forgive me for saying this. I know by sad expe‚rience how necessary the rules are which commonly regulate this kind of intercourse--necessary, I mean, for the generality of persons--and does it not seem therefore a part of charity for those to keep them up for others' sake, who on their own account might not need them?.
I am sure you do not forget that your work is epi xurou akmes, and it would be a thousand pities if it were damaged for want of a little caution on this bead.'
In reply Pusey, besides contradicting the rumour about his having administered the Holy Sacrament to one person alone, submitted the whole facts of the case un‚reservedly to Keble' s judgment. The gossip soon died away, only to be revived from time to time to the great annoyance of Pusey' s friends. In his simplicity, Pusey himself was as unconscious of the gossip as he was regard‚less of the means to avoid it. The fact is, as Keble suggests, that he was so centred on the great spiritual effort on which his heart was set, that he was too little careful of social conventionalities, the observance of which would have prevented these misinterpretations of his conduct and relieved his friends of the pain which he could not understand that he was causing them.
Rarely however at any time did one of these exaggerated and distorted stories appear in a sufficiently definite form to be dealt with according to its merits. The extent to which these stories might go is shewn by the fact that once when travelling unrecognized in a stage coach, he was confronted with the grotesque statement that it was his habit to sacri‚fice a lamb daily; and it was with difficulty that he convinced his informant that the story was not founded on truth. But the visit to Hayling Island which has just been described gave occasion many years afterwards for one open charge which fortunately admitted of being thoroughly sifted. During a correspondence in The Times on the subject of Confession, the well-known S. G. O. had the hardihood to formulate a fully detailed and explicit accusation, which as a matter of fact referred to one of Pusey' s young visitors at Hayling Island. It ran as follows:--
'A young lady some years since came under the influence of a Director or Confessor of the Church of England. He obtained a complete ascendency over her. She before him took a vow of celibacy for two years, unknown to her parents. An offer of marriage was made to her, with their approval. There was no question of her marrying, until after the time of her vow should have expired. But even then, she had scruples, unless her director would give his sanction; this, even when solicited by her parents, he refused to do. The result was, she remained single, and died so.'
The story was further decorated with other details about Pusey having enjoined the wearing of a particular dress, and separation from home and society, and about 'the weaving of meshes of priestcraft,' and the cruel disregard of parental authority. Happily for the sake of Pusey and of the truth, the young lady' s father, whose friendship with Pusey had never been interrupted, was still alive. He wrote at once to The Times, giving an explicit denial to S. G. O.' s story. The real truth of the matter was, so the father stated, that Dr. Pusey had prevented his daughter from taking a life-long vow by allowing one for two years only; and that when the two years were expired Dr. Pusey had nothing at all to do with the case. He further ex‚pressed his deep gratitude for Pusey' s 'kind and valuable services' to his dear daughter.
This charge is typical of many others which differ from it only in the fact that they were not sufficiently definite for refutation. Whatever opinions may be held as to the wisdom of Pusey' s action and advice in difficult and delicate cases of this kind, every imputation of moral obliquity turned out to be absolutely groundless.
Akin to such anxieties and complications was Pusey' s ever-increasing responsibility for the Sisterhood in Park Village, Regent' s Park. In 1848, it had been in exist‚ence for the three years for which its support was at first guaranteed and some of the laymen who had promoted the original foundation were not unreasonably anxious that it should be more distinctly sanctioned and controlled by the Bishop of London. Mr. A. J. Beres‚ford Hope had a correspondence with the Bishop of London, and subsequently put himself into communication with Pusey. The Bishop, he urged, ought to know what rules were observed and what Devotions were used by the Sisters. The Devotions used in the private chapel were, as a matter of fact, taken from the Breviary: all invoca‚tions of saints, and even prayers for the faithful departed, being omitted. But 'the Breviary,' whether adapted or not, was a word which scared even sensible people, who probably knew little of its contents or of its relation to the English Prayer-book.
Pusey agreed that the rules should be submitted to the Bishop. They had already been revised in order to meet his wishes; but there would be no difficulty about further modifications. The Devotions, used in the chapel, could hardly be revised without being completely destroyed. No exception could be taken to them in detail, composed as they were of Holy Scripture and a few passages from the Fathers: while everything open to objection in its character had been omitted.
'I see no course,' wrote Pusey to Mr. Hope, 'except that of telling the Bishop what we have done, and upon what principle we did it, and how we thought that what we did was free from the objection which he made to " adaptations" in his Charge of 1842.... We had only done what the compilers of our Liturgy bore out.'
The Bishop returned the Sisters' rules to Mr. hope, so Pusey informs Keble,
saying that he saw nothing to object to, if wisely and judiciously carried out, and that he should say so to any who complained to him. This is a very great gain: before this he was very displeased with me, and even spoke, though he afterwards quite retracted it, as though I ought not to speak in his diocese. The ground of his displeasure is my little books.'
In another diocese an enterprise akin to that of the Park Village community was now obtaining more direct episcopal sanction. This was the work which was begun at Devon-port by Miss Sellon.
Miss Sellon was the daughter of an officer in the Royal Navy, who had retired from the service and was living in Devonshire. She was on the point of leaving England for her health, when she saw the Bishop of Exeter' s appeal of New Year' s Day, 1848, for help to relieve the spiritual and moral destitution of the great seaport in his diocese, the population of which had altogether outgrown all exist‚ing provisions for religious teaching and worship. The Bishop asked for at least four large churches, for additions to the scanty endowments of the existing clergy, and not least for 'schools on an ample scale and in larger number.' It was this part of the Bishop' s appeal which especially attracted Miss Sellon; and she obtained her father' s consent to offer herself to help in such work.
At the suggestion of some mutual friends in Oxford, Pusey, who had previously made Miss Sellon' s acquaintance, sent her with a letter of introduction to Mr. Kilpack, the first incumbent of the Peel district of St. James' , Devon-port, which had been taken out of the parish of Stoke Damerel. It had a population of between 4,000 and 5,000, almost entirely of the labouring classes, and was without church and schools. Miss Sellon placed her services at the disposal of Mr. Kilpack: she and a friend who accom‚panied her were ready to teach in schools or to under‚take any other kind of charitable work which might be wanted.
After they had brought some order and discipline into a school which had lately been started, Miss Sellon attempted a more difficult problem. This was to form a free industrial school for girls and to organize a night school for boys from twelve to sixteen, who were employed in the Govern‚ment works. Her success in these directions won the warm approbation of those who were best qualified to judge. These schools naturally led on to her undertaking in some measure the preparation of candidates for baptism and con‚firmation; for the clergy were too few to grapple with the many spiritual needs of the district. She also established a school for starving children and a Home for the orphan children of sailors. She interested herself also deeply in the case of the female emigrants on board vessels which touched at the port.
When she had been at work less than a year, Pusey, after visiting the scenes of her labours, writes to the Rev. E. Coleridge:--
'The works of mercy opened at Devonport . . . embrace the whole range of which our Blessed Lord speaks relatively to the Day of Judgment. There are thousands of little ones to receive in His Name and with them to receive Him; hungry and thirsty in whom to feed Him and give Him drink; strangers in whom to take Him in; sick in whom to visit Him.
'But, in detail. There are for the morning, besides the Infant School, three schools to visit and superintend; there is an opening already for two other schools in the very worst part of Devonport, where a paid mistress could hardly be sent, and there are no more funds to provide one, if she could there is this Industrial School to be opened, which may well occupy the whole time of two persons; and of these, one must have no common energy and resources to interest and instruct perhaps too children or young women, while engaged busily in work‚ing with their hands for their livelihood. For every evening in the week there is either the class of young women to be prepared for Confirmation and otherwise taught, or the boys' school, which lasts from 7.30 sometimes until 10. Besides this, there are the poor orphans to be gathered in, and continually tended and taught, and carefully watched too (just as a parent' s eye is over a child, though it perceives it not) lest, before they have unlearnt their evil and learnt good, any should teach another the evil it may have learnt, or they should keep up in one another the memory of evil from which they are now sheltered. And most of what is now begun may be multi-plied well-nigh a thousandfold. For who is to teach the 5,242 chil‚dren in Devonport, where there are no local funds? Then, there lies beyond, the visiting of the female emigrants, where a few hours' work may be the means, in God' s Hands, of [promoting] an orderly and Christian mode of life during months of their voyage, in which they have no one to take care of their souls. There is the multiplied visiting of sick, starving, fevered, dying, recovering, poor; all ignorant, all neglected except by the clergy, who ought themselves to be many more (for what are seven clergy among 40,000 souls ?)'
Such enterprises required many workers, an organization of work, and above all a temper and rule of life which would make a high and self-denying standard of effort natural and easy. Earnest Christian women were offering to give their help: but without some rule and order their strength and gifts would only be wasted.
'One woman,' wrote Pusey to the Rev. E. Coleridge, 'is a good teacher of children, another has a good method of arranging their employments or forming their moral habits; one can teach classes well, another speak to them individually, another superintend work or household duties; another has a quick eye in nursing the sick or dying, to see what will best relieve them; another understands how to relieve poverty. Everything is carried on best by co-operation, each supplying what God has given to each. And then too, supposing other unmarried ladies, into whose heart God should put it to help these poor forsaken ones, to obtain leave to come and help, was each, her day' s work done, to return to her lonely lodgings, without sym‚pathy amid difficulty or temporary failure of hopes? Was all to be done in a broken disjointed way?'
This question was soon answered, and in the best way. The Bishop of Exeter came to Devonport for a Confirmation, and after seeing the work, gave his hearty sanction to the establishment of a community of Sisters of Mercy to carry it on. This indeed was the origin of the Sisterhood afterwards known as the Devonport Society. Its rules were simple, and the Bishop became the official visitor. The outward badge of membership was a plain black dress, with a black cross. Of this Pusey wrote:--
'When our ladies may wear crosses of diamonds or rubies in ball‚rooms or at dinner-parties, who will grudge these Christian women their black wooden Cross, to assure the poor people that their visitors are not come curiously to pry into their distress, but on their Saviour' s message of love, or to awe the bad?'
The success at Devonport appeared to Pusey one more token of God' s presence in and favour towards the English Church. He wrote of it in the following terms:--
'It has been so wholly God' s work of love for the salvation of these neglected souls. It has been, you know, my comfort these fifteen years, that the great work which has been going on throughout the English Church, in the revival of forgotten truths and greater earnest‚ness and love and deeper reverence, could not be traced or attributed to any individuals. It was far beyond the work of man. And now in this work which has been called by a clergyman " the regeneration of Devonport," the results have been so far beyond the means employed, the change so great, so blessed, so instantaneous; what would have been a blessed fruit of years, has been the work of months. One can only say again and again, what one has said often these fifteen years, " This is the Lord' s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." It is a common saying, " Morice Town in November is quite different from Morice Town in April." The same bad words are not heard in the streets; the very value of houses is increased, because they are more respectable. One said earnestly, " I speak plainly; I know Morice Town well; I have been over it carefully this morning; it is so changed that I would not say one word against the place, for fear I should be fighting against God." It does make one' s eyes fill with tears of thankfulness, to think how good and loving God has been in this great work of love for their souls, and how many besides may yet be rescued out of this wasting mass. I cannot think or speak of it without tears coming to my eyes.'
The Sisterhood at Devonport was at first patronized by distinguished persons, notably by the Queen Dowager. Royalty, however, is always and necessarily much at the mercy of second-hand informers; and a person who had visited Devonport and, without calling on Miss Sellon, had consulted with one of her well-known and avowed opponents, persuaded the Queen to withdraw her countenance, which, amidst the confusing voices of subsequent controversy, she of course was unable again to grant.
So good a work as that begun by the Sisters at Plymouth was not likely to be allowed to go forward without interrup‚tion. The attack was in the main directed against the new district church of St. Peter' s, Eldad, the incumbent of which, the Rev. G. R. Prynne, laboured with singular devotion and charity among the poor around him. He was charged with such practices as chanting the Litany, bowing at the Name of Jesus, turning towards the east at certain portions of the service, omitting prayer before the sermon, preaching in the surplice, using the Offertory Sentences and prayer for the Church Militant, collecting the alms of the congregation in alms-bags of velvet, and then 'laying them on the altar with kneeling and prayer.' The Bishop of Exeter was appealed to; but his reply only strengthened Mr. Prynne' s hands. The remaining resource wan an indig‚nation meeting; at which everything was said that, in the opinion of the conveners, the Bishop ought to have said and did not say. It was inevitable that the Sisterhood should come in for their share of denunciations; and the Low Church Vicar of St. Andrew' s, a local solicitor, and the editors of two local papers, contrived to extract from three poor girls, who had been inmates of the Orphans' Home, such information with respect to the private and devotional habits of the Sisters as might produce an in‚flammatory effect on the imaginations of the less religious or less instructed people. The Sisters bowed to the cross. They said 'lauds' in the 'oratory.' They called Dr. Pusey 'father.' Dr. Pusey 'administered the Sacrament of the Lord' s Supper every day in the chapel when he was at the Home, and once in a small dormitory where a Sister was ill.' The Sisters wore crosses. They would not allow discussion of matters that went on in the house. 'Friday and Wednesday were called festival days and no work was done on them.' These and other 'charges' equally false or equally foolish were the staple of the indictment.
Bishop Phillpotts was only seriously concerned about one point. He was before all things for maintaining the law of Church and State, and the charges implied that Pusey had administered the Holy Communion in an unconse‚crated building, and without a licence, to persons who might have attended their parish church.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER TO E. B. P.
Bishopstowe, Feb. 12, 1849.
This is a most unfortunate case. The course I have taken on other occasions is that of enforcing Discipline, the general relaxation of which has been the bane of our Church. I should be wanting in candour to you if I did not frankly avow that a grave irregularity seems to me to have been committed by you; and if, on full inquiry, I shall find this to have been the case, you are the last person who would think me wrong in vindicating discipline.
I am very much annoyed by the matter.
Many thanks for your kind intention to send me your paper on the question on which I wrote to you.
Believe me, my dear Sir, very faithfully yours,
Rev. Dr. Pusey.
P.S. The statements in the Plymouth newspaper are of such a kind as make me deem it necessary to hold an inquiry on the spot on Thursday next, at 11.30 a.m. The matter, which concerns your name, may probably be stated: therefore, if you think proper, you may address a letter to Miss Sellon, or any one else, containing any state‚ment of particulars which you would wish to be adduced. The inquiry will not be private.
On the following day Pusey received a letter to the same effect from the Bishop of Exeter' s chaplain, the Rev. W. Maskell, who 'hoped that Miss Sellon might be wise enough to give up what was unessential, and firm enough to retain, at whatever loss, all that is essential to the working of a Sisterhood of Mercy.'
The inquiry was held on Thursday, Feb. 15, 1849, in the Mechanics' Institute at Devonport. It was conducted by the Bishop in person. The Bishop examined the children from whom the evidence had been obtained, and soon reduced their statements to the standard of sober fact. It appeared that the Holy Communion had not been administered by Pusey or anybody else except for the sake of sick persons; only one of these in the oratory; and all with the permission of the Vicar of the parish. When one of the girls referred to Dr. Pusey' s visits to the Home, the Bishop observed that
'there could not be a just prejudice entertained on the ground of the visit of Dr. Pusey to the Orphans' Home. Not,' he added, 'that I do not know that nineteen possibly out of every twenty in this room couple criminality with the name of that clergyman. I should be ashamed if I did not avow openly that the acquaintance with that gentleman is not in the least discreditable to any of them, and that these ladies are honoured to have him for a friend, and they have a right to enjoy his friendship.'
This avowal elicited many hisses and some cheers. The inquiry into the private communions in the chapel led the Bishop to observe that he knew Mr. Philip Edward Pusey, who had been with his father at Devonport, to be an invalid; that he had been brought to him for the purpose of receiving a Bishop' s blessing; and, he added, 'I thank God that I was enabled to give it, because I saw that it gave to him and to his venerable father real comfort.' After examining Miss Sellon, in public, he allowed her to read a long written defence of the work and life in the Sisterhood. He then pronounced his judgment. 'He could not profess to have approached the subject with entire impartiality. He came with a feeling of veneration for Miss Sellon' s work and character. He went away with a feeling that he could not express--of admiration and reverence--of unmixed admiration. He could wish that the cross and flowers had not been placed on the altar in the oratory. But ladies were ladies. If the irregularities were strange, they were by no means so strange as the works of mercy the Sisters had performed. Miss Sellon might leave that room with the gratitude and approbation of all those whose good opinion she would value.'
Mr. Dyke Acland, who had been present, sent Pusey an enthusiastic report of the proceedings.
'The Bishop,' he wrote on Feb. 16, 1849, 'spoke as boldly with regard to you in public as he had done to me warmly in private, per‚fectly fearless of any reproach it might bring upon himself; he spoke of her intimacy with you as one of which he felt, however the public might choose to cast opprobrium upon it, was in his opinion an honour to any one. The day was a wonderful one--I should think altogether unseen in our times. It was a great privilege to serve her anyhow. Surely the prayers of many were heard; and those who withstand what is good must have gone away ashamed.'
Pusey was not at this time accustomed to experience much kindly treatment at the hands of Bishops, and he was filled with thankfulness and joy at the courage and decision of the Bishop of Exeter. 'Everything,' he wrote to Keble, 'is most blessedly over at Devonport. The Bishop has done nobly. Hearts won to the Sisterhood. You will see details in the papers. Thanks be to God.'
The Bishop had hinted in his judgment that Miss Sellon was doing too much: and her exertions, followed by the strain and excitement of a public trial, led the way, naturally enough, to an illness. Shortly after Easter, Pusey wrote to Keble:--
'I must go to Devonport at Whitsuntide, as Miss Sellon is in a state balancing between life and death. If these prostrating attacks of pain are removed, she may still serve God here by His mercy. If they continue, she will at last fall into consumption. You will pray for her, for she seems to have a work given her to do.'
After a short time Miss Sellon came to Oxford, where she would be able to secure rest, and would find companionship in Miss Mary Pusey and her governess. This visit to Oxford gave occasion to some of those gossiping rumours which, however baseless and absurd, were, as has already been said, too widely circulated by the tongue of scandal to be ignored by Pusey' s friends.
On her return, however, to Devonport Miss Sellon found a noble opportunity, of silencing her critics, whether in the streets of Plymouth or in the Common-rooms of Oxford. On June 5, 1849, a case of cholera was discovered on board an emigrant vessel in the port of Plymouth. The terrible scourge rapidly spread, and especially in the crowded streets and alleys of Devonport. The small band of Sisters immediately devoted themselves with great energy to the care of the sufferers, and won all hearts by their self-forgetting labours.
'The Sisters,' wrote the Rev. G. R. Prynne, 'were not living in my parish at the time, and when the cholera broke out with deadly violence, I had a visit from Miss Sellon one evening. " I am come," she said, " to ask if you will accept the services of myself and Sisters to visit the sick and dying in your parish." A distrustful thought crossed me. Shall I bring these devoted ladies from another parish, I thought, to such scenes and such danger? I must have hesitated, and said some words to this effect. " You must not look upon us as mere ladies," said Miss Sellon, " but as Sisters of Mercy; and the proper place for Sisters of Mercy is amongst the sick and dying; if you refuse our aid, we must offer it elsewhere." "I will not refuse,"
I replied: " come with me." And together we went, accompanied by Mr. Hetling, into the very worst of it. From that night their work began and abated not, until, through God' s mercy, the sickness itself did' '
Mr. Prynne' s curate, the Rev. G. H. Hetling, in his report to the Bishop of Exeter, concludes his eloquent and detailed account as follows:--
'It has been my lot in life for one quarter of a century to have seen, and borne an active part in, very much of suffering, pain, and death. Formerly, in medical practice, I have seen the whole course of cholera in London, Paris, and Bristol, and lastly here in my office of deacon. I have beheld many acts of self-devotion to its sufferers and victims, yet never have I witnessed anything that surpassed, or even equalled, the self-abandonment and self-sacrifice of these humble Sisters.
Miss Sellon (who, though ill, has been on the spot every day) and her fellow-workers may justly be added to the list of female heroines. In this opinion persons of all views coincide, and they who formerly op‚posed them cannot now withhold the meed of praise. Truly one more reason may be deduced from such visitations for the establishment of Sisterhoods, for in what other manner could such effectual assistance have been secured?'