Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/206

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184
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

If you had any notion of my state of mind just now ! Everything I want to do seems delayed. One girl, a darling protegee of mine, says her mistress starves her, will not try another place, insists upon going home. Oh such a home ! irreligious, dirty, cruel, impoverished ; and the girl has just had two years' training. Well ! she must just try her home, and God bring her safe out of it. ... We hope to have my dearest sisters home next spring. I have been offered some delicious teaching for Andy, in a school near here, Just the kind of work, and among the class of children that she would enjoy ; and the supporters of the school are earnest generous people. There is, however, no religious teaching given in the school ; wherefore, say many wise people to me, you as a Christian should not accept it at all. So I have not thought ; but I suppose I hardly feel sure enough about whether I ought to give my sister advice, however strong my conviction may be, when wise good people think differently. ... I never have stopped, I hope I never shall stop, to consider what set or sect of people are at work, if I thoroughly and entirely approve of the work. I may think the work incomplete ; but, if it comes in my way, and I think it good, as far as it goes, I do help it with the little power I have. Above all I would not, in this age, refuse help to a society because it did not state that it was working in Christ's cause. I do believe we want all generous and good work recognised as Christ's, whether conscious or unconscious. I think the tendency is very much for doubters to think the best work is done by benevolent unbelievers ; to think our faith cramps our labours and narrows our hearts. I would like, so far as in me lies, to show them we care for men as men, we care for good as good. I never would deny