Prostitutes Tea Meeting - London (1863)

After midnight when the tea was finished, which was heartily partaken of, the seats were arranged and several short addresses were delivered, prayers offered and hymns sung. The conduct of the young women, as a whole, was really good. I was surprised to see them conduct themselves so well. Very few were under the influence of drink, but a very small proportion had the appearance of hardened, abandoned characters. They could not have been long on the streets or sin would have stamped itself more deeply on their features. One only had to be turned out and she was under the influence of drink. Her expressions caused some to laugh, but the majority showed unmistakenly showed their disapprobation of such improper conduct to those who are trying to do them good. They sang such hymns as "Rock of Ages," “Just as I am”, etc, so correctly, that one of the friends truly observed that anyone would imagine it was an ordinary religious service, adding that it showed how many of them had had a pious training, either at home or in the Sunday school. This is a sad feature and may well lead us to ask, what led to their fall, seeing they had so good a training? I have not the time to enter into that subject now. I may mention that one said she was turned out of a situation by her mistress at a moments notice, because she happened to burn some meat while cooking it. Having no friend, she was obliged to pawn her clothes and then took to the streets.

During the addresses many of them were broken down and sobbed most bitterly. It was a scene that might have made anyone weep.

The meeting broke up about 1:30am. On leaving, each one was presented with a sealed envelope, containing a tract and a card on which there was an invitation to go to an address in Holborn for advice and assistance.

I do not know the results. It was painful to see some go away as careless as they came, but the great majority seemed serious and thoughtful. I have been informed that some have since been received into the Homes.

And here I must say how grieved I am to find that many of these poor fallen ones are daily turned away from the doors of the Homes for want of funds to receive them. Surely the benevolent people of this country cannot be aware of this state of things or they would at once supply the means. A more God like mission I cannot conceive than thus to imitate Jesus in doing good both to the souls and bodies of the fallen and the outcast, saving the one from shame and misery here and the other from eternal ruin here after.

"The Revival", December 3rd, 1863

Additional Information

Location unknown - somewhere in the East End.

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