A HOME FOR THE FATHERLESS.
Never let it be forgotten that, in the mysterious arrangements of Providence, The Sword and the Trowel led to the founding O F T HE S TOCKWELL O RPHANAGE. This would be no mean result, if it were all that the ‘Magazine had accomplished; for in that happy home we hope to house a portion of England’s orphanhood for many a year to come, receiving the fatherless by an easier door than that which only opens to clamorous competition and laborious canvassing. — C. H. S., in Preface to “Sword and Trowel” volume for 1867.
It is striking to see — as you and I did see — a woman of moderate wealth discarding all the comforts of life in order to save sufficient funds to start an Orphanage in which children might be cared for; not merely, as she said, for the children’s sake, but for Christ’s sake, that He might be glorified. The Stockwell Orphanage is the alabaster box which a devout woman presented to her Lord. Her memory is blessed. Its perfume is recognized in all parts of the earth at this moment, to the glory of the Lord she loved. — C. H. S., in sermon preached at the Tabernacle, November 2, 1884, from the text, “She hath wrought a good work an Me.” IT is very generally known that the Stockwell Orphanage was originated through the gift to Mr. Spurgeon of £20,000 by Mrs. Hillyard, the widow of a Church of England clergyman; but the various circumstances which preceded that noble act of generosity are not so widely known. In the previous chapter, mention is made of the article in The Sword and the Trowel for August, 1866, entitled, “The Holy War of the Present Hour.” In that paper, after the paragraph advocating the widespread dissemination of religious literature, Mr. Spurgeon wrote: — “Further, it is laid very heavily on our heart to stir up our friends to rescue some of the scholastic influence of our adversaries out of their hands. In the common schools of England, Church influence is out of all proportion to the respective numbers of the Episcopal body and the Nonconforming churches. We have too much given up our children to the enemy;-and if the clergy had possessed the skill to hold them, the mischief might have been terrible; as it is, our Sabbath-schools have neutralized the evil to a large extent, but it ought not to be suffered to exist any longer. A great effort should be made to multiply our day schools, and to render them distinctly religious, by teaching the gospel in them, and by laboring to bring the children, as children, to the Lord Jesus. The silly cry of ‘Nonsectarian’ is duping many into the establishment of schools in which the most important part of wisdom, namely, ‘the fear of the,. Lord,’ is altogether ignored. We trust this folly will soon be given up, and that we shall see schools in which all that we believe and hold dear shall be taught to the children of our poorer adherents.”
When Mr. Hillyard read these words, and the further plea for the establishment also of religious schools of a higher order, they indicated to her the method by which she. might realize the fulfillment of a purpose that she had long cherished in her heart. She had felt specially drawn out in sympathy towards fatherless boys, so she wrote to Mr. Spurgeon telling him of her desire, and asking his assistance in carrying it into effect. The Pastor’s own mind had been prepared by the Lord for such a proposal through a remarkable experience at the previous Monday evening prayermeeting at the Tabernacle.
Pastor C. Welton, who was at that time a student in the College, has preserved this interesting record of what happened on that occasion: — “ Mr. Spurgeon said, ‘ Dear friends, we are a huge church, and should be doing more for the Lord in this great city. I want us, to-night, to ask Him to send us some new work,’ and if we need money to carry it on, let us pray that the means may also be sent.’ Several of the students had been called to the platform to join with deacons and elders in leading the assembly to the throne of grace:, and to plead with God about the matter. While that mighty man of prayer, Mr. William Olney, was wrestling’ with the Lord, the beloved President knew that the. answer had come. Had the Holy Spirit told him? It seemed so, for, walking lightly across the platform to where I was sitting, he said to me softly, “It’s all right, Welton; you pray for the conversion of sinners, will you?’ A few days after this Tabernacle prayermeeting, Mrs. Hillyard wrote to the dear Pastor offering to entrust him with £20,000 for the purpose of founding an Orphanage for fatherless children. Here was the new work and the money with which to begin it. It was my conviction thirty years ago, as it is to-day, that the Stockwell Orphanage, as well as the money to found it, came from the Lord in answer to the petitions offered that Monday night. Surely, the Orphanage was born of prayer.”
Mr. Spurgeon’s name had been introduced to Mrs. Hillyard in an extraordinary way; the incident does not appear to have ever come to his knowledge, and it was not made public until some years after he was “called home.” Speaking at the Orphanage, in June, 1896, Professor Henderson, of Bristol Baptist College, said: — “ Mrs. Hillyard and two friends of mine — a husband and wife, — were sitting together here in London; and, in the course of their conversation, Mrs. Hillyard said to my friend, ‘ I have: a considerable sum of money that I want to employ for beneficent purposes, but I am not competent to administer it myself; I wish you would take this £20,000, and use it for the glory of God.’ My friend, who was a very sensible man, replied, ‘ I am quite unfit to administer that large amount.’ It was pressed upon him, but he resolutely declined to accept the charge of it; whereupon Mrs. Hillyard said to him, ‘Well, if you are not willing to take it, will you advise me as to the disposal of it?’ The recommendation he gave was, that the money’ should be put into the hands of a public man, all of whose acts were known to people generally, one who was responsible to the public, and whose reputation depended upon the proper use of any funds entrusted to his keeping. This counsel was approved by Mrs. Hillyard; and now comes the remarkable part of the story. You know that she did not hold quite the same views that we: do, and the gentleman to whom she was speaking did not share our intense admiration for Mr. Spurgeon, though he had a kindly feeling towards him, and a high regard for his integrity and uprightness. When Mrs. Hillyard said to him, ‘ Will you name somebody who fulfils the conditions you have mentioned? he told me that the name. of SPURGEON leaped from his lips almost to his own surprise. Mrs. Hillyard wrote to Mr. Spurgeon about the matter, and you all know what followed from their correspondence.”
In reply to the first letter from Mrs. Hillyard, Mr. Spurgeon asked for further particulars of her proposed plan, and offered to go to see her concerning it; she then wrote again, as follows: — “4 Warwick Villas, “Spencer Street, “Canonbury Square, “Islington, “Sept. 3rd, 1866. “My Dear Sir, “I beg to thank you for responding so kindly to my very anxious and humble desire, to be used by the Lord of the vineyard in some small measure of service. He has said, ‘Occupy till I come,’ and He has graciously given me an unceasing longing to do His will in this particular matter. My oft-repeated inquiry has been, ‘ What shall I render unto the Lord for all the inestimable benefits He has conferred upon me?’ Truly, we can but offer ‘to Him of His own; yet has He graciously promised to accept this at our hands. That which the Lord has laid upon my heart, at present, is the great need there is of an Orphan House, requiring neither votes nor patronage, and especially one conducted upon simple gospel principles, just such art one as might be a kind of stepping-stone to your suggested higher school:, and your College; for I think education, to be effectual, should begin at a very early age. “I have now about £20,000, which I should like (God willing) to devote to the training and education of a few orphan boys. Of course, bringing the little ones to Jesus is my first and chief desire’.
I doubt not that many dear Christians would like to help in a work of this kind, under your direction and control; and should such an Institution grow to any large extent, I feel sure there would be: no cause to dear the want of means to meet the needs of the dear orphans, for’ have they not at rich Father? I shall esteem it a great favor if you can call and talk the matter over with me on Thursday next, between the hours of 12 and 4, as you kindly propose; and — “I remain, dear sir, “Yours truly obliged, “ANNE HILLYARD.” “P.S. — I would leave this matter entirely in the Lord’s hand; not desiring to go before, but to follow His guidance.”
A stained-glass window in the Board-room of the Orphanage represents the interview between Mrs. Hillyard, Mr. Spurgeon, and Mr. Higgs, whom the Pastor took with him for consultation with regard to the details of the suggested scheme. As they approached the address given in the lady’s letter, the very modest style of the: “villas” made them ask one another whether they were being hoaxed, for it did not seem likely that anyone living in such a humble style would have £20,000 to give away. They discovered, afterwards, that it was only by the exercise of the most rigid economy that the good woman had been able to save that large sum. On being admitted to the plainly-furnished room where Mrs. Hillyard received them, Mr. Spurgeon said to her, “We have called, Madam, about: the £200 you mentioned in your letter.” “£200! did I write? I meant to have said £20,000.” “Oh, yes!” replied the Pastor, “you did put £20,000; but I was not sure whether a naught or two had slipped in by mistake, and thought I would be on the safe side.” They then discussed the whole question from various points of view, Mr. Spurgeon being specially anxious to ascertain whether the money ought to go to any relatives, and even suggesting that it might be handed over to Mr. Mailer for his Orphan Homes. The lady, however, adhered to her determination to entrust the £20,000 to Mr. Spurgeon, and to him alone.
The next letter shows that the project was assuming a definite shape, and that the Pastor and his friends had undertaken the great charge thus; providentially committed to them: — “4, Warwick Villas, “Spencer Street, “Canonbury Square, “Islington, “Sept. 17th, 1866. “My Dear Sir, “I return you many sincere thanks for your great kindness in the prayerful and persevering attention you have given to the matter next my heart, that is, the making provision, as the Lord enables us, for the necessities, both temporal and spiritual, of some of His own clear little ones. I cannot but trace the hand of God in so marvelously guiding me to one who has not only the will, but the ability, to carry out the plan; and thus my poor petitions have already in a measure been answered. Truly, you have much blessed work already on your hands; yet I feel sure that you will not shrink from this new enterprise. It is the Lord’s own cause, and He will give health, and strength and every other requisite for carrying it on; and thus may He be pleased greatly to extend it under your influence. I am aware that we have: undertaken a great responsibility; yet we will not fear, but exercise entire dependence upon Him who is indeed the Father of the fatherless, and able to do far more than we either ask or think; and I have not the shadow of a doubt but, with His smile and blessing, it must and will assuredly prosper. “I am much phrased to hear that the lady you mentioned will give her willing co-operation. How kind of your good deacons also!
Their aid will be most valuable; I had not thought of any other Trustees. I am so glad you think many dear friends will be found to help in this work. I am much encouraged by precious Scriptures: ‘ Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it;’ and ‘According to your faith, be it unto you;’ with many others. ‘The choice of a competent master is a very important matter; if you have an interview with the person you mentioned, you will be able in some measure to judge whether he would be likely to suit your purpose. You will, no doubt, decide that there must be discipline exercised, — great firmness, united with much patience and forbearance, the law of love only. Whenever you wish to have an interview with me, if you will kindly send me a line previously’, I shall be sure to be. at home, and — “I remain, dear sir, “Most truly yours in our Lord, “ANNE HILLYARD.”
A preliminary notice was inserted in The Sword and the Trowel for October, 1866; in the following January, the site at Stockwell was purchased; funds commenced to come in, one of the first large contributors being Mr. George Moore, of Bow Churchyard, who gave £250. The sum of £500 was given by Mrs. Tyson, of Upper Norwood, — a lady who long and generously aided both College and Orphanage, and who, in her will, left £25,000 to the latter Institution, and so became its greatest helper. As the £500 was a present from Mr. Tyson to his wife on the twenty-fifth anniversary of their marriage, the house built with it was called “Silver wedding House;” the next one, given by Mr. James Harvey, was named “The Merchant’s House;” the third, presented by Mr. W. Higgs and his workmen, was entitled “The. Workmen’s House;” then came “Unity House,” the gift of “Father Olney” and his sons, in memory of Mrs. Unity Olney; “The Testimonial Houses,” erected with funds contributed by the Baptist churches of the United Kingdom as a proof of the high esteem in which they held the President; “The Sunday-school House,” given by the Tabernacle Sunday-school; and “The College House,” a token of low: from brethren educated in the Pastors’ College. The head-master’s house, dining-hall, play-hall, and infirmary, completed the boys’ side of the Institution; and, at a later period, a corresponding portion was erected for girls, of which an account may more properly appear in the concluding volume of this; work.
Very early in the history of the Institution, Mr. Spurgeon announced the method he intended to adopt in raising the necessary funds. Preaching in the Tabernacle, in 1867, on “Believing to See,” he said: — “ I hope the day may soon come when the noble example which has been set by our esteemed brother, Mr. Muller, of Bristol, will be more constantly followed in all the Lord’s work; for, rest assured that, if we will but ‘ believe to see,’ we shall see great things. I cannot forbear mentioning’ to you, to-night, what God has enabled us to see of late. as a church. We met together, one Monday night, as you will remember, for prayer concerning the Orphanage; and it was not a little remarkable that, on the Saturday of that week, the Lord should have moved some friend, who knew nothing of our prayers, to give five hundred pounds to that object. It astonished some of you that, on the following Monday, God should have influenced mother to give six hundred pounds!
When I told you of that, at the next prayer-meeting, you did not think, perhaps, that the Lord had something else in store, and’. that, the following Tuesday, another friend would come with five hundred pounds! It was just the same in the building of this Tabernacle. We were a few and poor people when we commenced; but, still, we moved on by faith, and never went into debt. We trusted in God, and the house was built, to the eternal honor of Him who hears and answers prayer. And, mark you, it will be so in the erection of this Orphan Home. We shall see greater things than these if only our faith will precede our sight. But if we go upon the old custom of our general Societies, and first look out for a regular income, and get our subscribers, and send round our collectors, and pay our percentages, — that is, do not: trust God but trust our subscribers, — if we go by that rule, we shall see very little, and have no room for believing. But if we shall just trust God, and believe that He never did leave a work that H e put upon us, and never sets us to do a thing without meaning to help us though with it, we shall soon see that the God of Israel still lives, and that His arm is not shortened.”
Many notable interpositions of Providence have occurred in connection with the building and maintenance of the Institution. One of the earliest and most memorable took place on November 20, 1867, concerning which Mr. Spurgeon wrote, several years afterwards, among his other personal recollections of Dr. Brock: — “ We remember when, being somewhat indisposed, as is, alas! too often our’ lot, we went to spend a quiet day or two at a beloved friend’s mansion in Regent’s Park. We were dining, and Dr. Brock was one of our little company. Mention was made that the Stockwell Orphanage was being built, and that cash for the builder would be needed in a day or two, but ‘was not yet in hand. We declared our confidence in God that the need would be supplied,, and that we should never owe any man a pound for the Lord’s work. Our friend agreed that, in the review of the past, such confidence was natural, and was due to our ever-faithful Lord. As we closed the meal, a servant entered, with a telegram from our secretary, to the effect that A. B., an unknown donor, had sent £1,000 for the Orphanage. No sooner had we read the words than the Doctor rose from the table, and poured out his utterances of gratitude in the most joyful mariner, closing with the suggestion that the very least thing we could do was to fall upon our knees at once, and magnify the Lord. The prayer and praise which he then poured out, we shall never forget; he seemed a psalmist while, with full heart and grandeur both of words and sound, singularly suitable to the occasion, he addressed the ever-faithful One. He knew our feebleness at the time, and while he looked upon the gift of God as a great tenderness to us in our infirmity, he also seemed to feel such perfect oneness with us in our delight that he took the duty’ of expressing it quite out of our hands, and spoke in our name as well as his own. If a fortune had been left him, he could not have been more delighted than he was at the liberal supply of our needs in the Lord’s work.
We sat around the fire, and talked together of the goodness of God, and our heart was lifted up in the ways of the Lord. Among the very latest things we: spoke of, when we last met on earth, was that evening at our friend’s house, and the great goodness of the Lord in response to our faith.
While we write the record, our heart wells up with new gratitude for the choice benefit. Surely, if in Heaven the saints shall converse together of the things of earth, this will be one of the subjects upon which two comrades of twenty years may be expected to commune.”
A few weeks later, the same anonymous donor dropped into the President’s letter-box two bank-notes for £1,000 each, — one for the College, and the other for the Orphanage, — with a letter in which the generous giver said., “The latter led me to contribute to the former.” This intimation was specially cheering to Mr. Spurgeon for he had feared, perhaps naturally, that the new Institution would be likely to impoverish the older one.
In November, 1869, when the President was suddenly laid aside by an attack of small-pox, a friend, who knew nothing of his illness, called and left £500 for the Orphanage and, a few days later, an anonymous donor, who also was unaware of Mr. Spurgeon’s affliction, sent £1,000 for the same purpose. At one meeting of the Trustees, the financial report was, “all bills paid, but only £3 left in hand.” Prayer was offered, and the stream of liberality soon began to flow again. On another occasion, the funds were completely exhausted, and the Managers were driven to special supplication on behalf of the work. That very day, nearly £400 was poured into the treasury, and the hearts of the pleaders were gladdened and encouraged.
The President’s usual plan, when supplies ran short, was first to give all he could; and ask his fellow-Trustees to do the same, and then to lay the case before the Lord in the full belief that He would incline His stewards to send in all that was required. As long as he was able to do so, Mr. Spurgeon presided at the meetings of the Trustees; and, afterwards, he was kept informed of their proceedings by copies of the Minutes, while, the most important items of business were decided “subject to the approval of the President.” In the earlier days, he used personally to see the: applicants, — an experience which often proved expensive, for he could not listen to the sad stories of the poor widows without temporarily relieving their necessities, whatever might be the decision concerning the admission of their children. Sometimes, there was a humorous side to the situation, and he was quick to notice it. One day, a woman came with quite a little tribe of boys and girls; and, in reply to the inquiries put: to her, said that she had been twice left a widow, and her second husband, whom she had recently lost, had been previously married; and then, separating the children into three groups, she said, “These are his, those: are mine, and these are ours.”
In relating the story afterwards, Mr. Spurgeon used to say that he did not remember any other instance in which possessive, pronouns had proved so useful!
In January, 1869, the President wrote, in The Sword and the Trowel: — “ At the Orphanage, we are still set fast for want of a master. The Lord will, we trust, guide us to the right man; but, out of many applicants, not one has seemed to us to be suitable.” Two months later, however, Mr. Spurgeon was able to report: — “ Mr. Charlesworth, assistant-minister to Mr. Newttan Hall, of Surrey Chapel, has accepted the post of master to the Orphanage. He called in — as we are wont to say — by accident, at the very moment when a letter was handed to us from the previously — elected master declining to fulfill his engagement. Our disappointment was considerable at the loss of the man of our choice; but when we found that this dear friend had been thinking of the work, and was ready to undertake it, we were filled with gratitude to the over-ruling hand of God.”
The election of a Paedo-Baptist to such an important position was another instance of the catholicity of spirit that Mr. Spurgeon had manifested in appointing a Congregationalist (Mr. Rogers) to the post of Principal of the Pastors’ College, and choosing another member of the same denomination (Mr. Selway) to be the Scientific Lecturer to that Institution. The undenominational character of the Orphanage is apparent from a glance at the table showing the religious views of the parents of the children received. Up to the date covered by the present volume, out of the orphans who had found a happy home at Stockwell, no less than 166 had come from Church of England families, while Baptists were only represented by 121, Congregationalists by 64, Wesleyans by 58, and other bodies by still smaller numbers.
Mr. Spurgeon never had occasion to regret the choice of Mr. Charlesworth for the position which he still holds; and he might have said, at any later period of his life, what he wrote in The Sword and the Trowel for March, 1873: — “Our dear brother, Mr. Charlesworth, fills the place of master to our great joy, and to the evident benefit of all the boys;.” That number of the Magazine also contained the following interesting announcement: — “On Monday, February 24, five of the youths educated at the Orphanage were baptized at the Tabernacle, together with our friend, Mr. V. J.
Charlesworth, the master, who gave an address explaining his reasons for being baptized as; a believer.” Many others of the orphans have followed this example, or united with other branches of the Church of Christ, and are actively engaged in Christian service. Of those who have entered the ministry, three — Messrs. R. S. Latimer, C.W. Townsend, and John Maynard, — were still further indebted to Mr. Spurgeon for the training they received in the Pastors College. The last-named of the three — the “little Jack” of the Orphanage — went from the College to the Congo, and so took the short route to Heaven. The tablet to his memory, on the house in which he lived while in the Institution, must be, to the boys who read it, a continual reminder of one of their number whose influence, even as a lad, was of a most. gracious character. It is a tact also worthy of mention that another of the inmates of the Orphanage in its early days — Mr. F. G.
Ladds — after serving for a time as a teacher, has been for twenty years the esteemed and efficient secretary of the Institution.
On one occasion, when there had been an addition to Mr. Charlesworth’s family, in Spurgeon, in a tone of apparent seriousness, told the Trustees that he had to call their attention to the fact: that the head-master had introduced a child into the Orphanage without the permission of the Managers, and he added that this was not the first time such a thing had happened! One of the brethren, not noticing the merry twinkle in the President’s eye, proposed that Mr. Charlesworth should be called in, and questioned concerning the matter, and also that he should be very distinctly informed that such a proceeding must not be repeated! The resolution was probably not put to the meeting, and a truthful historian must record that there were several similar occurrences in after years.
Everyone at all acquainted with the inner working of the Orphanage knows with what affection, mingled with reverence, the children at Stockwell always regarded Mr. Spurgeon. He was indeed a father to the fatherless; and, while no boy ewer presumed upon the tender familiarity which the beloved President permitted, every one of them fully prized the privilege of his friendship. There was no mistaking the ringing cheer which greeted his arrival; everybody on the premises instantly knew what that shout meant, and passed round the cheering message, “Mr. Spurgeon has come.” In the “In Memoriam” Stockwell Orphanage Tract, issued in 1892, after Mr. Spurgeon was “called home,” Mr. Charlesworth wrote, concerning the. “promoted” President: — “ The children loved him; and his visits always called forth the. most boisterous demonstrations of delight. His appearance was the signal for a general movement towards the center of attraction, and he often said, ‘They compassed me about like bees!’ The eagerness with which they sought to grasp his hand, often involved the younger children in the risk of being trampled upon by others; but, with ready tact and condescension, he singled out those who we. re at a disadvantage, and extended to them his hand. At the Memorial Service, conducted by the head-master, it: was ascertained that every boy present had shaken hands with the dear President, — a fact of no small significance! Every visit cost him as many pennies as there were children in the Orphanage. Proud as they were to possess the coin for its spending power, it was regarded as having an augmented value from the fact that it was the gift of Mr. Spurgeon.”
Many’ years ago, a simple incident was related in The Sword and the Trowel, which showed’ how even the most friendless of the orphans felt that the might tell his troubles into the sympathetic ear of the great preacher: — “Sitting down upon one of the seats in the Orphanage grounds, we were talking with one of our brother-Trustees, when a little fellow, we should think about eight year,.; of age, left the other boys who were playing around us, and came deliberately up to us. He opened fire upon us thus, ‘Please, Mister Spurgeon, I want to come and sit down on that seat between you two gentlemen.’ ‘ Come along, Bob, and tell us what you want.’ ‘ Please, Mr. Spurgeon, suppose there was a little boy who had no father, who lived in a Orphanage with a lot of other little boys who had no fathers; and suppose those little boys had mothers and aunts who comed once a month, and brought them apples; and oranges, and gave them pennies; and suppose this little boy had no mother, and no aunt, and so nobody never came to bring him nice things, don’t you think somebody ought to give him a penny? ‘Cause, Mr. Spurgeon, that’s me.’ ‘Somebody’ felt something wet in his eye, and Bob got a sixpence, and went off in a great state of delight. ‘Poor little soul, he had seized the opportunity to pour out a bitterness which had rankled in his little heart, and made him miserable when the monthly visiting day came round, and, as he said, ‘Nobody never came to bring him nice things.’” The narrative, of course, brought “little Bob” a plentiful supply of pocket money, and was the means of helping others of the orphans who, like him, were motherless and fatherless; and it also served Mr. Spurgeon many a time as an illustration of the way in which a personal appeal might be made effectual. One of the best pleas for the Institution that the beloved President ever issued was dictated to his secretary under the olives at Mentone. It was addressed, “To those who are happily married, or hope to be:” and after allusion to the bliss of a true marriage union, and the consequent sorrow when one of the twain should be removed by death, the writer showed how, often, poverty made the bereavement even more painful, and then pointed out the blessing that a home for the fatherless became to the poor struggling widow suddenly left with a large family. The article contained special references to the Stockwell Orphanage; and it was, in due time, published in The Sword and the Trowel. As soon as it appeared, one gentleman sent £100 as a thank offering from himself and his wife for their many years of happy married life, and other donors sent sinner amounts. The “plea” commenced thus: — “We do not write for those people who are married but not mated.
When a cat and a dog are tied, together, they seldom sorrow much at the prospect of separation. When marriage is merry-age, it is natural to desire a long life of it; but when it is mar-age, the thought of parting’ is more endurable. ‘ Mr. and Mrs. Naggleton will be sure to put on mourning should one or other of them decease, but the garb of sorrow will be all the sorrow he or she will know; the black will soon turn brown, if not white, and the weeds will probably give place to flowers. We address ourselves to those who have the happiness of being joined together by wedded love’, as well as by wedlock.” It was a source of much amusement to Mr. Spurgeon to receive, among the other contributions for the Orphanage, as the result of his appeal, a donation “fix Mr. and Mrs. Naggleton,” who did not, however, give their real name and address!
The: article was reprinted in the series of Stockwell Orphanage Tracts, and in that form has continued ‘to benefit the Institution. When it was ready to be issued, it was discovered that the “imp” who is supposed to dwell in the printing-house had changed one word in the title, and made it read, “To those who are happily married, or ought to be;” so a new edition had to be prepared, As soon as the booklets made their appearance in the booksellers’ windows, they’ proved to be a source of intense interest, especially to ladies! Mr. Spurgeon heard, with great glee, how one or another would go into the shop, point to No. 4, and say, “I want that tract!” He was afraid they would be disappointed with the contents; but, at any rate, he felt that, if they did not find in it exactly what they expected, they would at least learn something concerning the Institution which was so dear to his heart.
Had Mr. Spurgeon been spared to complete this portion of his “Standard Life,” he would have included a grateful tribute to the help he had received from his brother and the: other Trustees, and the masters, matrons, and teachers responsible for the different departments of the work at the Orphanage, as well as to all those whose generous gifts had enabled it to be carried on so long and so successfully. This he has already done, year by year, in the pages of his Magazine, and at the annual and quarterly gatherings; it: is only mentioned here lest anyone should imagine that it had been forgotten.