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able personal qualifications of the man, fitting him for his life mission ;much simple faith, much holy enthusiasm, much prayer, much practical sagacity, great courage under discouragements. He was also admirably seconded by his wife, whose Christian energies were given to the work even before her marriage, and who is truly in her sphere as the Haus Mutter presiding over the deaconesses of Kaiserswerth.
The limits of an article will not admit of our minutely describing the institutions of Dr. Fliedner at Kaiserswerth. There is nothing remarkable about the buildings in these days when so much more attention is given than formerly to physical comfort. All is well provided for, as regards ventilation, cleanliness, and good food, but there is nothing more. And yet there is an indescribable charm about Kaiserswerth. We have never visited institutions where the machinery seemed to move so sweetly, or rather where so little was mechanical, and so manifestly the ruling power was Christian love. This law of Christian kindness pervades the institution in the department alike of nurse and patient, of teacher and pupil, of the deaconess and the Magdalen.
It is these good deaconesses in whom your interest chiefly concentrates at Kaiserswerth. There are some thirty-four engaged in the various departments of work; and if the probationers and the aged sisters resting after the toils of their busy life be added, the number at Kaiserswerth will, we believe, exceed one hundred. There is nothing of formalism or superstition about these sisters. It is well known, indeed, that when the late King of Prussia, a lover of symbolism, suggested the Cross as the badge of the deaconess order, Dr. Fliedner declined it, lest it might lead to misconstruction. Their simple blue attire, with their white collars and caps, will not, we think, suggest monasticism to any mind which is not morbidly occupied with externals. The deaconesses use a liturgy in their united devotional services, but this is universal in the German churches ; and as a proof of their free Christian spirit, they employ in preference extempore prayer in their visits to their invalid patients. There is about these sisters, as you see them in the busy discharge of their duties, a cheerful, loving, earnest air, as if they had truly found a vocation worthy the highest devotedness of their lives. One of them told us that she had never enjoyed such happiness as she tasted then, nor could she imagine a life more blessed than that to which she had been called. So far, indeed, from Kaiserswerth reminding us of Romish sisterhoods or of Sisters of Charity, it rather brought back to our recollection our own Missionary sisters of the British churches in India, labouring so unobtrusively, yet with such holy zeal and intelligence, in schools and boarding-houses and zenanas, for the spread of the Gospel.
Let me not fail to notice here in passing the Feier Abend Haus of Kaiserswerth. The Feier Abend is, in German, the name of the evening which precedes the Festival, and it thus expresses & beautiful thought. Those airy, comfortable wards of the Feier Abend Haus are for the aged, weary
sisters, tired of their long six days here below, withdrawn from their old busy vocation, and waiting the call of their Master to enter shortly on their eternal Sabbath rest.
But to appreciate the work accomplished by Dr. Fliedner, we must now leave the small German town where the Normal institute of deaconesses is established, to give a rapid glance at the many valuable institutions scattered over Germany and the East, which look up to Kaiserswerth as the " Mutterhaus.” At present there are two hundred and fifty-nine deaconESSES connected with Kaiserswerth, with one hundred and fifty-eight probationary sisters, in all, four hundred and seventeen agents. It is calculated that Kaiserswerth has sent forth in all more than a thousand deaconesses, well equipped for their work. We may notice that the standard of qualifications for the office of deaconess is high, both as regards Christian knowledge, character, devotedness to the work, and corporeal fitness for its labours, so that in large measure the incompetent or unsuitable are excluded. These deaconesses are labouring at one hundred and three stations, of which most are in Germany; but there are nineteen also in the East of a missionary character, under the charge of some fifty-one deaconesses. Every year the number of agents is increasing, but quite out of proportion are the urgent demands from many quarters for a larger supply of these valuable workers.
We begin with the parochial deaconess. There are some forty of this class labouring at thirty-four different stations, and there is a very earnest demand for more. But the duties of this office are of so delicate and difficult a character that Dr. Fliedner felt obliged to send out on this mission only those highly qualified. The labours of the parochial deaconess are conducted under the direction of the clergyman, or, it may be, of a Cominittee of Christian ladies, associated as volunteers in the work. A very interesting mission of the latter kind, for instance, has been established at Dresden, and we believe also in other German cities. The duties of the parish deaconess are somewhat akin to those of the Bible-woman, only they are of a higher and more comprehensive nature, needing a training for wbich a gentlewoman would often be better qualified. We give an abridgment of these duties from an interesting paper by Dr. Fliedner. She is to care especially for the sick, and to aid when needful in nursing them. She is to provide clothing for the naked, and to teach cleanliness to the unwashed. She is to watch over neglected children, seeing that they are sent to school, or gathering them herself for instruction on the Lord's day. She is to care for the inportant class of female servants, to endeavour to win their confidence, and to invite them, if their mistresses allow it, to spend the afternoon of the Lord's day with her in a profitable and pleasant manner. She is to promote marriages in those districts where unhappily concubinage prevails, and to resist the proselytizing efforts of Romish priests or Sisters of Mercy in the case of mixed marriages. She is, in fact, to have an eye on all the social wants of the parish in which her training and experience may fit her to be of service. She is to inform the rich of the wants of their poorer neighbours, so that by her instrumentality the missing link may be supplied.--This looks a very formidable array of duties. Of course so large a field of work would go far beyond the efforts of any one deaconess, however devoted to her work. But, besides that in larger parishes or congregations more than one deaconess might be employed, it is to be anticipated that she would rally around her a staff of Christian volunteers helping her in the work.
How valuable such an agency as this in our larger parishes or more crowded congregations at home! What an aid to the ministry, and how invaluable to our many Ladies' Societies seeking the Christian good of the poor! And are there not to be found among us, as perhaps in few other countries, ladies having no special vocation, but admirably qualified in Christian character and judgment for duties of this kind ? Might they dot thus find a mission of deep interest for themselves, while they rendered at the same time a great benefit to society? We do not of course mean that the parochial deaconess should be drawn only from one elass; but it would certainly be of great value that Christians of the higher orders of society were willing to engage in the office.
Another class of deaconesses are those qualified as sick-nurses. We may say, indeed, that this includes all the sisterhood at Kaiserswerth, as all receive this training, even although it be not afterwards the vocation of their lives. It is, indeed, one of the principles of the institution that each deaconess receive a training qualifying her to help in all departments of house-management. Thus, for instance, each sister must understand cooking and the general work of the kitchen. There are some fifty hospitals, with many thousands of patients, served by this class of deaconesses. Besides, a number of the sisters are occupied as nurses in private families, chiefly of the higher orders. Opportunities are thus often afforded of speaking for the Saviour to those who have long neglected the word of God, and every Christian duty. The value of Christian nurses is now so generally appreciated that we do not dwell on it. Christian words, Christian sympathy, Christian care-valuable at all times—how precious at the bed of sickness or of death! Our country learned to appreciate this, during the Crimean war. And the German deaconesses have not been less appreciated, either by the German or the Dane, in the late unhappy conflict. Twenty-eight sisters were employed in the various army hospitals. Most kindly and gracefully two of their number were received at Copenhagen, during the armistice, by the Queen of Denmark. Their work has also been truly important in the Mission-field. They have been effecting the same good as our own medical Missions. At Jerusalem, for instance, during last year the deaconesses ministered to some four hundred and eighty-two patients. At first the Mohammedans were extremely unwilling to receive their attentions; but their prejudices have passed away, and no less than two hundred and seventy-eight Mohammedans, with twentytwo Abyssinians, were under their care. In Constantinople, and at Alexandria, they have had during the same period four hundred and eighty-nine
in their hospitals. It may commend to us the cause of these deaconesses, to note the fact that more than half their patients at Alexandria are our own countrymen. An interesting proof of the appreciation of their labours in that city recently occurred, and is recorded in the pages of the “ Armen and Kranken Freund” for August last. A little boy of five years old, Camil Bey, son of Mustapha Pacha, brother of the viceroy, was lately attacked by typhus fever. His father was absent at Constantinople ; but, so soon as he heard of it, he telegraphed to Alexandria that his boy should be placed under the care of one of the sisters. This was greatly against the mind of the harem, and especially of the bigoted mother and grandmother. It was with some little dismay the good deaconess went to encounter the intrigues and cunning of the harem ; and what she actually saw did not certainly tend to elevate her impressions of the character of eastern ladies. But she felt it her duty to be there, and she was sure that Jesus would stand by her. Her nursing was blessed to the boy, whose confiding ways greatly pleased her, and he speedily recovered. Who can tell what beneficial results may yet accrue from this seemingly trifling incident for the spread of the Gospel in Egypt?
There is still another class of deaconesses whose duties are educational. They are not so numerous an agency as the last ; still, taking all the departments of work into account, they will be found, we believe, to exceed one hundred. There are many departments of duty which we class under this head. There are the institutions for the training of orphans, now numbering eight in all. In these the principle of grouping all the young persons into families, each under the care of a mother deaconess, imparts much more of the home feeling and the home training than would otherwise belong to large establishments. Kaiserswerth, and Salem, an affiliated institution, may be regarded as the most important of these orphanages. The childien received into them are the orphans chiefly of pastors, teachers, or others of the educated middle classes ; and they are designed as a nursery for a future race of deaconesses trained there from their very childhood, if God should call them to the work. Another department is for the care of infant-schools. Whatever value we may attach to these generally, we may readily appreciate their importance in the use which Dr. Fliedner has made of them. Such schools may be turned to excellent account in the training of Christian purses. They are taught thus how best to interest a little child, and to convey to its mind the simpler lessons of the Gospel. Another class of educational institutions is for the training of servants. Three of these have been already established at Derendorf, Berlin, and Wiesbaden ; and three will soon be completed at Erfurth, Elberfeld, and Cologne. These also serve as a home for respectable servants out of place, where, for a sum of less than threepence a day, they are boarded, receiving at the same time Christian instruction and special training in any department of household duty in which they had previously been deficient. In the training-school for servants the charge is higher-some fivepence a day; but, in return for Ahis, careful instruction is given in the Bible, and in such general knowledge as may be practically useful. The pupils are instructed besides in all departments of household work, such as cooking, washing, knitting, sexing, &c. As an illustration of the appreciation of this institution, we may state that the Queen of Prussia is the patroness of the Berlin Institution, that two thousand servants have there been trained, and that such has been the value of the service produced, that there have been six thousand applications to the institution. The Magdalen Institutions form another subdivision. They include lost women, released prisoners, and the care of prisons, as at Ham and Constantinople. “Our oldest,” says Dr. Fliedner, “ but also our most difficult institution.” In 1858 a quarter of a century had passed since the establishment of the Magdalen at Kaiserswerth. During these years four hundred and thirty-nine persons had been cared for, of whom more than two hundred afterwards obtained suitable situations. A large number of these have returned to a respectable, honest life ; and there are not a few of whom it may be hoped that the Lord has drawn them to Himself.” This is, as our readers will notice, a larger percentage of such cases than is generally obtained. We fear, at the same time, that in the prisons of Ham and Constantinople, and in the new charity at Berlin, the proportion is much less.
The last educational scheme we shall notice has for its object primary schools for girls, and higher education. At Kaiserswerth, for instance, more than one thousand teachers have been trained for schools or as govern
There have been also valuable results of this work in other stations in Germany; but it is in the foreign field especially that the labours of the educational deaconesses have been conspicuously blessed. At Florence, for instance, there is an excellent institution in which the number of the scholars has risen to seventy. It may be regarded as a proof of the value of this institution that a distinguished Italian nobleman, who has written much against the Protestant church, has yet entrusted his only daughter, during more than two years, to the care of the deaconesses. The Deaconess House has attracted the attention of many intelligent Italians, and they have contrasted it favourably with their own nunneries and Sisters of Charity. Passing to the East, there are eleven deaconesses engaged at Beyrout. Under their charge is a boarding-school, with some seventy children, chiefly Jewesses ; and in their day-school, which is free, there are one hundred and thirty children, mostly Arabs, of whom two are Bedouins. There are also four Druses—a remarkable fact, as the tribe generally shuns all intercourse with Christians. In Jerusalem, again, there are fifty children, five of whom are Mohammedans, who have been solemnly entrusted in the presence of the Consul to the care of the deaconesses, until their education be completed. The institution has purchased ground on the Heights of Godfrey, where first the gallant Crusader caught the distant view of Jerusalem. But of all the institutions founded by Kaiserswerth in the East the most important is at Smyrna. It was established in 1863, at the earnest desire of many German, English, Dutch, and Swiss Protestants. Their children had been previously much exposed to the proselytizing efforts of the Romish