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PURPOSING to write a work illustrative of the general labours and successes of the City Mission, the writer submitted a plan of the intended volume to the Secretaries of the Society—the Revs. Messrs. Garwood and Robinson. With the kindness ever received from those highly valued advisers, they carefully examined the prospectus, and expressed a decided opinion that it would be far better to write an account of personal labours, than to attempt any account of the labours of the Missionaries generally, within the limits of a single volume.
Had not that advice been given very strongly, the writer would certainly have declined the publication of a work of so personal a character.
The following copy of a note is all perhaps that is needful to be added upon this matter :
“ LONDON CITY MISSION HOUSE,
London, March 20th, 1852.
“ MY DEAR MR. VANDERKISTE,
“You are quite at liberty to state explicitly that it was by our recommendation you made the work a narrative of personal labours, instead of a more general character.
“Very faithfully yours,
The wear and tear incidental to six years' labours, upon one of the very worst districts in London, in the midst of physical as well as moral contamination really indescribable, has appeared to render a recess desirable, which in the intervals of some visitation has been devoted to the publication of the present work.
Details of gross vulgarity I have omitted, and a mantle has been thrown over much vice. Some
few such details, however,--shorn of extreme grossness,—have necessarily been added. Could the subject and the district have been at all properly illustrated without any such details being given, they would gladly have been omitted altogether. It may be added, had the work not been intended strictly as a family book, it would have included various others of a much darker
The work of the Mission is a blessed work.
Its success has been very great. It has much yet to do—perhaps more than is thought by many.
May the Almighty Saviour, who has done so much for me, and for whom I have done so little, be pleased to make the book a blessing, and to shed abundantly of His Holy Spirit upon the soul of every reader. Amen.
London, April, 1852.
The following pages contain some details, selected from many more, of six years' labours in connection with the London City Mission. As an introduction to those details, it is purposed to furnish a few general particulars respecting the Society, and the mode in which its operations are carried on.
The London City Mission originated in the year 1835; its founder was a philanthropist in humble life, Mr. David Nasmith. The Rev. Dr. Campbell has well sustained the office of biographer to that eminent man.
The constitution of the Society is entirely unsectarian. Its Committee, Secretaries, and other officers, are selected from various denominations of Trinitarian Christians. Churchmen and Dissenters, and amongst its Missionaries are members of all Trinitarian denominations also, the ONE object contemplated by the Society being, not the propagation of any one particular form of Christian denominationalism, but the propagation simply of Christianity itself.