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——‘i. ' Vol. VIII.— No. 5 WHEN I GO HOME. It conies to me often in silence, When the firelight sputters low— When the black, uncertain shadows Seem wraiths of the long ago; Always with a throb of heart-ache, That thrills each pulsive vein, Comes the old, unquiet longing For the peace of home again. I’m sick of the roar of cities. And of the faces old and strange; I know where there's warmth of welcome, And my yearning fancies range Back to the dear old homestead, With an aching sense of pain; But there’ll be joy in the coming, When I go home again. When Igo again again! There’s music That niay never die away, And it seems the hand of angels, On a mystic harp at play, Have touched with a yearning sadness On a beautiful, broken strain. To which is my fond heart wording— When I go home again. Outside of my darkening window Is the great world’s crash and din, And slowly the autumn shadows Come drifting, drifting in. Sobbing, the night wind murmurs To the plash of the autumn rain; But I dream of the glorious greeting When I go home again. Eugene Field. FREE FROM PRISON. The Ex-Convict’s Hard Experience When Discharged. The prison door swings open. A young man steps forth, to freedom and to what ? The prison is behind him, the fair unwritten future all before him. Two roads stretch out before him from which to choose. “Wide is the gate and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.”. How accu rate the description! “because strait is the gate and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” It is the old issue, but in this case how immediate the necessity, how tremendous the conse quences of his choice. The prison door swings open. It had closed on him some months or years before, closing a chapter of his life, whose sin-stained pages it might not be wise to turn back and read. Soci ety had repudiated him and had turned him over to the state. The state, clothed with power and authority to do with him as it would, has en deavored to reform him. lie repre sents a class whose reformation must be accomplished for the safety and well-being of society. How best to do this has engaged the attention of the best and most brilliant intellects of the age. Prison congresses, composed of dignitaries high in authority in legal, social and religious circles, of wardens, superintendents, and officers of penal institutions throughout the country, meet year after year to exchange thought, to compare experience, to discuss new ideas. Hundreds of thou sands of dollars are annually expended for the accomplishment of the desired end, in the practical application of the principles of prison reform in the pris ons and reformatories scattered through out the length and breadth of the land. * * * * Prison reform is reaching out towards the sermon on the mount, and although it cannot yet be said to “resist not evil,” still its motives are constantly in the direction of drawing out the good, to the practical exclusion of evil. * * * * * At the prison door prison reform breaks down. The young man faces a new condition of things. From being an object of solicitude and care, his personal wants attended to, his higher nature encouraged and ministered to, shielded from the aversion and taunts of his fellow men, held aloof from temp tation and protected from his own weakness he is turned into a world where all is reversed, and often is thrown back into the very conditions that made him what he was. The bar riers against evil, like the bars of iron and steal of the prison itself, fall away to allow the freedom of choice. The state, it is true, may hold a parole over his head, designed to be a restriction and a safeguard and an invisable menance to any idea or slipping back into the old life. It is a “string” tied to him, as it were, so that if he fails to perform his part well in the outside world during a given propationary term, he may ignominiously be hauled back again without process of law. But otherwise, the props are with- drawn, the safeguards are removed, and he is left alone to fight the battle in an uneven conflict where all the forces of the world, the flesh and the devil, are arrayed against his own weak desire to do what is right. For it is conceded by those in the position to know that comparatively few prison ers leave the prison with the definite idea of returning to a life of crime. Their punishment, their training, has had an awakening effect, and they have reasoned themselves into the con viction that there is “nothing in it” so far as a criminal life is concerned. The will to live otherwise may not be very strong, but the real wish to give a bet- ter life a trial at least is there. The chance has come. He stands at the threshold of his opportunity. Would you follow him a little way into the world? Take an illustration, an act ual one: A young man was released from the prison at Stillwater. He came to St. Paul. No father, no mother, no home had he. He had resolved to do what was right, and in the solitude and lone- liness of his cell had vowed to lead a pure and righteous life when freedom came. There was no one to meet him at the depot, and the familiar streets were tilled with unfamiliar faces. He walked the streets until 5 o’clock in the afternoon without meeting a soul he knew, and then, alas! it was a wrong friend he met, a friend who ad ded to his first words of greeting, “come and take a drink.” Could he turn away from the first friendly face he met and go his solitary way? He had firmly resolved not to drink—liq uor had been largely the cause of his downfall. He hesitated—and was lost. Unaccustomed freedom, good time money jingling in his pockets, had friends to urge him on, the fourth morning he awoke, a heavy ache in his head, a heavier in his heart, to find his money almost gone, and something that was not his own, something that he must have stolen, in his room. With trembling nerves and a feeling of despair at the utter failure of all his good intentions, he tied from the room to drown remorse in another drink. He ran across an old friend, an ex convict, it is true, but one who was nobly striving to redeem himself, and who is the good Samaritan of this tale. The good Samaritan hailed him, gave him a hearty greeting, noticed his con dition and gave him a talk straight from the shoulder; braced him up, persuaded hipi to try again, rallied other good friends to the rescue. The poor fellow walked until he was weary and footsore in search of honorable work. The prison taint was upon him. He was timid in his manner, afraid to answer questions for fear they would lead to a discovery of where he had come from. His eyes fell before the searching gaze of inquiry. But he persevered. The encouragement and sympathy of true-hearted friends held him to a straight course. He found work at last. That was two years ago. Since that time he has never taken a drink of liquor nor committed a crime, and today walks the streets of St. Paul, an industrious, happy-hearted young fellow whom you might watch from one week's end to another without a “IT IS NEVER TOO EATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER, MINNESOTA, SEPTEMBER 6, 1894 suspicion that he had ever occupied a convict's cell. Friends smile upon him, fortune is kind to him; but if a good Samaritan had not happened his way, where would he be now ? Good Sam aritans are accidental travelers. Now consider the situation of one just released from prison (and by pris on is meant both the state prison at Stillwater and the state reformatory at St. Cloud). He is an “ex-convict” — dread name, from which society shrinks back appalled, and which no amount of expiation can cause her to forgive or forget. An “ex-convict” is as one marked with the brand of Cain, when known to be such. Suspicion directed towards him becomes certainty. Lib- erty must be purchased at the price of silence which places him, even to him self, in the position of having to pre sent a false front to the world. To be true to his new resolutions, he must shun old associates and turn his back upon everything that would lead him into the old familiar paths. The hu man heart craves sympathy. The state, being an organization, and working through an institution, has envolved a system, the best yet reached, but the individual wants more. Where can the “ex-convict” get it ? He is out of step with the world, he is out of har mony with himself. Can he seek good society? Good society turns its back upon him. He must prove himself worthy of confidence before anyone will repose confidence in him. The state withdraws. Society withdraws. The church —where is it ? Does it come forward with outstretched hand ready to help and save him? Is he, in a Christian land, to be left to perish, when within him is the desire of repen tance, and of bringing forth fruits ripe for repentance ? Where are the Chris- tians, the professed followers of that great apostle of humanity who an nounced that his mission on earth was to save sinners, when with faltering feet and wavering heart the convict leaves the place which has been a shelter to him as well as a prison? Surely if ever there was a work to ap peal to Christian hearts it should be here, and the church should take up the work where the state lays it down. It is an immortal soul in need, in dan ger of death, that looks out of that con vict’s eyes. The value of a thing is guaged by the price paid down for it. Do Christians need to be reminded of the value of a soul? The opportunity to aid is here, knocking at the door. Will the churches take it up, or will they still pass by on the other side, like the priest and levite of old? The state employs an agent for the aid of discharged prisoners, whose duty it is to provide employment for the prisoners before they are discharged, to keep a friendly supervision over them, and to protect them and see that they get what is justly their due. This agent acts as such for both the state prison and the state reformatory. These dis charged prisoners distribute themselves over the state at large. In times like the present, or even in times of com mercial prosperity when work is com paratively easy to procure, his task is a difficult one. He does an important work. How greatly could it be increased and blessed by the help of a prisoner’s aid society whose branches would ex tend to every town of any size through- out the state. A mass meeting called, speakers to present the object of the meeting to the people, enthusiasm in a noble cause (heroic in the difficulties to be overcome, Christ-like in its object,) aroused, an organization formed backed by all the resources of the church —and the work would be started. The church and society would then be enlisted in the furtherance of the effort the state, at so much effort and expense has begun. The Prisoners’ Aid Society should make it their business to aid the state agent in finding suitable employment for the about-to-be-discharged prisoner, i enlisting the employer’s interest in the welfare and advancement of the em ployee. And having work ready for him at the outset. Should he have no home, a quiet boarding place should be found for him, where the associations would be good. He should be made to feel that he is a man and a brother, and so long as he conducts himself right will be treated as such, instead of as a suspicious outcast. The man who has no faith in you, who views your every move with suspicion and imputes an evil motive to every act you peform, can never help you to do right. How much more, then does the weak voice in the exercise of righteous endeavor need the strengthening knowledge of some one's belief in the good that is in him. It is no ordinary conflict he is engaged in. There are deadly foes within as well as enemies without. It is a curious fact that if the faculties of the mind are suddenly arrested by a shock or accident and their functions suspended, they usually resume their use (when obstructions are removed) at exactly the point where they -left oft', even to the finishing of a half-spoken sentence. The same thing is true of the instincts of the erstwhile criminal. His first almost irresistible impulse, when bars and obstructions are removed, and he is left free to act, is to return to the criminal life. He has to fight the desire to do so with all the strength of his manhood until he has by careful con trol gained the mastery over old habits of thought and established himself in a better mode of life. He may fail at the outset, and need helping up more than once. The first act of Jean A"al jean, the convict hero of Hugo’s im mortal ‘‘Les Miserables,” after the for givness and blessing bestowed upon him by the good bishop, was to commit another crime. The bishop might have thought his loving kindness ill-bestowed but who that reads of the far reaching influence of that Christlike act of his in the noble after life of the redeemed convict would think that kindness ill bestowed! Nay. “Jurtge none lost; but wait and see, With hopeful pity, not disdain; The depth of the abyss may be The measure of the height of pain And love and glory that may raise This soul to God in after days.” The “ex-convict” is entitled to the privacy of his life, if that life be di rected into a right course. lie is not to be made much of because he has been bad, but only to be helped where he is helpless himself. Man being a gregarious animal, must have society of some sort. “It is not good for man to be alone,” the Good Book says. Here again the churches are strong to sup ply an aching need. There are societies of every k,ind, social, practical and re ligious, connected with church organ izations. Get him into one of these as a helper. Throw out a life line; in terest him in something in which he can see for himself that he is of use and of some good in the world; encour age him to continue in reading good books; surround him with good in fluences calculated to build him up; in short, help him as you can, in every way you can —consistent with the es tablishment of his own self-respect and self-helpfulness—to be w r hat God intended him to be, an image of his Maker. You have then not only saved him, but many more w T ho may be in fluenced by his example and success. The paroled or discharged prisoner should be made to report to the branch society to which he is nearest, this so ciety to keep a supervision over him until he is strong enough to stand alone in the strength of restored manhood. The state agent and those who have tried to find employment for ex-convicts report a generous feeling on the part of business men to give the discharged prisoner a chance to show what they can do. It only needs the co-operation of the churches and society to render effective the work of permanently re- TcmuaJ SI.OO per year, in advance. I cnmo. ( Six Months 50 cents. deeming these poor outcasts, too often thrown back into the abyss from which they would fain escape. Supt. Myers, of the St. Cloud reformatory, Warden Wolfer, of the state prison, both ear nestly endorse and desire the establish ment of these valuable adjuncts to prison reform. In such a way only can their efforts be made lasting and effect ive. Shall every effort be made to reach a given point, and at the crucial moment the prisoner be left alone to fall for want of aid? The churches have ever been the centers of good and charitable works. Will they refuse an appeal that comes from the terrible need of struggling souls, lost but for their help We wait with anxious heart to see.—G. in St. Paul Sun day Pioneer Press. SUCCESS. One of the most essential elements of success, is steadiness of purpose. In the building of character, if honesty is the foundation, steadiness of purpose is the corner stone. A long pull in one direction most generally succeeds, nothing is more certain of failure than a vascillating unsteady and changeable mind. A rolling stone gathers no moss. Xo trade, business, or profes- # sion can be thoroughly mastered in less than ten years. If it is then given up all this time is lost. Life is short, and to most lives a decade of years is a large fraction of the whole. There fore, the only wise and sensible thing to do is to learn some business or pro fession, and stick to it through life. Don’t be tempted to engage in a bus iness you do not thoroughly under stand, by so doing you can neither do justice to yourself nor your customers. Where there is such demand for skilled artesans and mechanics, a man de serves very little credit who will go through life as a common laborer, al ways has been and always will be poor ly paid, while skilled mechanics can usually command good wages. Un fortunately there is no royal road to wealth, but steadiness of purpose is a well macadamized highway, of which Coxey might be proud and it leads straight to the tower of success. A very important question arises—how is a young man to know just what bus iness or profession he is best suited for? His.future success depends very largely upon his making a wise choice in this direction. There is no question but that certain persons are gifted with powers or inclinations which manifest themselves in youth, thus in dicating as a sign- board the business he should follow. The science of phre nology may often be employed to ad vantage in indicating the peculiar call ing for which one is best adapted. But while getting a “map of the head” is of the utmost importance and not to be despised, yet the phrenological in dications should be made subsidiary to the tastes and inclinations of the in dividual. If the very best that is in one could be known and devoloped, the race would be as near perfection as it is possible to bring. It is probable in the near future that phrenological science may be brought to bear on the laws regulating marriage, so that per sons liable to generate criminals or imbeciles, will not be allowed to mate, and that only those will be licensed to marry whose intellectual bumps indi cate that their union would produce a higher standard of humanity physical ly and intellectually. It is also pos sible that the time is not far distant when the state will take charge of this important branch of psycology and enforce each of its citizens to follow the particular busines or calling for which he is best adapted by nature, just as in some countries like Ger many, education and military training are made compulsory. We may then look for greater proficiency and skill in all trades and professions. Cremona.