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London and the Central and North London Auxiliary Sunday School Unions have been since established. These Auxiliaries have been eminently useful in their different local situations; they have examined the state of the poor relative to education, and have found that, even in the metropolis and its vicinity, thousands are perishing for lack of knowledge. They are now endeavouring to establish Sunday Schools in those situations which require them, and in many instances their exertions have been already crowned with success, and several new Sunday Schools have been formed. The beneficial influence of these societies will be evinced by the following extracts from their Reports,
EXTRACT from the FIRST REPORT of the SOUTHWARK AUXILIARY SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
WHILE we have realized a blessing from this institution in our meetings, and said with the disciples, "It is good for us to be here," has our union been without other benefits? have we not gone to labour in our several Schools with greater zeal and acti vity? and have not our hearts been animated with a hope for the prosperity of the cause, beyond our immediate sphere? Yes! we have not only desired it, but put our hands to the work! and the Report of this evening will prove the happy result of our united endeavours. An additional School of 139 children has been established in Southwark, by means of this Auxiliary Union. This School will stand among its first fruits, and be a witness for us to all who may not feel the necessity of such an institution as we have formed.
In reporting the progress of this institution during the past year, the Committee will briefly relate the success that has attended the specific objects of this Union.
Respecting the first object, viz. to facilitate the means of com'munication between the Schools in our district and the Parent Society, and to render it every assistance in our power,-the Committee have the pleasure to state, that by dividing our Union into districts, and appointing a secretary to each, they are enabled to convey with ease any information to the several Schools received from the parent institution. Your Committee need only to point to the Teacher's Magazine for January, to manifest their further success in furnishing a Report of the State of the Schools belonging to this Auxiliary Union.
Ever considering the Institution as an Auxiliary, and wishing to attend to any recommendation from the Parent Society, the Committee, upon receiving a resolution from them, stating that it was desirable for each Auxiliary to remit some part of their funds annually as a bond of union, took the subject into consideration, and voted to them the sum of £5. feeling confident, that should
the Auxiliary need assistance for any object greater than the magnitude of its funds, the Parent Society would be ever ready to assist it. In this confidence they are much strengthened in the ready grant of £5. 5s. which the Parent Society voted towards the new School in Kent-street, upon an application made through this Auxiliary.
In the endeavour to promote another object of this Union, viz. by mutual communication to stimulate and encourage each other in the work,-the Committee have met with much encouragement. In ascertaining the state of our Schools, the committee requested the number of children on the books, and the number attending to be returned. By this means the number of absentees were known, which they conceived a better standard to judge of the real state of a School than by its numbers.-They recommend in one of their quarterly reports twelve to fifteen children absent in one hundred as a desirable standard, entertaining no doubt, but such Schools as had reported thirty absent in one hundred, would feel a desire to imitate the example of those that had reported only twelve.
To render the quarterly meetings interesting, the Committee requested from each School a written report of its rise and progress, several of which have been read during the year, comprising a great deal of interesting matter, manifesting in many instances the watchful hand of a kind Providence over the welfare of many Schools.
Another object of this Auxiliary, and one of the most important, viz. to increase old and open new Schools in our district, has also occupied the attention of the Committee. For want of a sufficient fund at our commencement, a great part of it being occupied in the establishment of a depository, we were unable to undertake any thing towards this object. Upon an application, bowever, for assistance from the Southwark Sunday School Society on the behalf of a new School in Kent-street, which was designed to increase the number from 200 to 500 children, the committee applied for assistance to the Parent Institution, who readily voted the sum of £5. 5s. towards it. The collections at our quarterly meetings enabled the committee to vote a further sum of three guineas to so desirable an object, viz. the increase of old Schools.
But the Committee hasten to report a circumstance that must afford this meeting peculiar pleasure, viz, the opening of a new Sunday School under the immediate patronage of this Auxiliary Union. Having ascertained a desirable spot near the King's Bench, a sub-committee was appointed to inquire whether any circumstances in the neighbourhood favoured the opening of a new School. The report was of so very encouraging a nature, that the Committee felt no hesitation in voting the sum of £5. 5s. to so desirable a purpose. The sum voted may appear small, but when the meeting is acquainted with the circumstances that at
tended the opening of this School, they will join with the Com mittee in admiring the hand of Providence in the event.
In the neighbourhood which met the eye of the Committee was a place of worship; the Committee waited upon the minister, and found him not only willing to open a School in the meeting, but to render it personal assistance. It appeared an attempt to establish a School had once been made in the same place, but it failed for want of teachers and sufficient time to teach the children. The minister offering the period allotted for the afternoon service, in addition to the hours between worship, and an active person being found to undertake its superintendency, the Committee decided upon its being opened. The minister and superintendent went round the neighbourhood a few days previous, and found nearly 100 children. not attending any Sunday School. On sunday, the 26th of February, 79 were admitted; on the third sunday 120 were on the books, and they are now increased to 139.
From the reports it appears, that there are 5275 children, and 419 teachers in the 35 Schools composing this Auxiliary Union.
EXTRACT from the FIRST ANNUAL REPORT of the EAST LONDON AUXILIARY SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
WHILE Sunday Schools are so highly important, every plan cal culated to increase their number, and to improve the methods of conveying instruction, demands our serious attention. And to what can we look with so good a hope of succeeding in the attain ment of these objects as to a cordial Union of Sunday School Teachers; who by meeting together, can encourage each other in their work, and without interfering in the management of their respective schools, benefit them by their consultations, and by resolving to adopt new plans and make important improvements. These may be casily communicated to the fullest extent, by means of the intercourse which is now established, and which did not exist until this society was formed.
The exertions which have been made to extend the circulation of the Scriptures, have been attended with events more surprising than any recorded in the annals of all preceding ages. "This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes." But the means which were employed to produce these almost miraculous events, were the Union and Co-operation of Christians professing various sentiments, but agreeing in the great end of promoting the glory of God. And, we trust, the period is at hand when the Cossack, the Greenlander, the North American Indian, the African, the Hindoo, and the people of every clime, will read with reverential joy, the wonders of redeeming love.
Union is delightful to the christian, and our Union which appeared to those who studied it beautiful in theory, has been found most useful in practice, and has excited an interest which must produce beneficial effects.
At our Quarterly Meetings, hundreds of our fellow-labourers have assembled, to promote the welfare of Sunday Schools. Uniting in prayer for the divine benediction on our labours, and rejoicing to hear the good that has been done in the schools around us, it has stimulated many to greater exertions.
A compassionate regard for the welfare of poor children, was not confined to those already receiving instruction. Under a view of the importance of the object, our hearts were enlarged, and embraced the multitudes of children wandering about the streets and fields on the sabbath day. The state of this district was well known; and many parts had been pointed out as being totally neglected. The inquiry immediately was, what can be done to open schools in those places? Our Union furnished both the plan and the means. Sub-Committees were appointed; and neighbourhoods were explored, in which they were received as the "Messengers of Peace." Additional assistance has been afforded, and schools have risen into existence at an expence so small, as to excite the surprise and admiration of those connected with us.
Individuals may form ideas, and think of plans like those already mentioned: but it is only by the Union of these individuals that such ideas and such plans can be rendered productive of all the good they are calculated to promote. Let those who have not yet united with us, come forward and lend us their aid: and we shall then acquire such additional strength as may warrant us to hope that, in a few years, there will not be a child found growing up in ignorance.
Having mentioned the good results which may be expected from Union, we shall now adduce a detail of facts which may, in some degree, confirm what has been already stated.
Immediately after the formation of this Auxiliary Union, your Committee proceeded to adopt those resolutions which they considered best adapted to secure effectual co-operation. resolutions, in connexion with the constitution of the society, have been printed and circulated, in order that the nature and objects of this Union might be fully known.
Your Committee then divided the general district of this Union into eleven parts, and appointed a District Secretary to each of these divisions, by which means the communications have been rendered easy and expeditious.
After this preparatory business was settled, your Committee prosecuted their undertaking, in attempting to accomplish the main design of this society, by opening new Sunday Schools: and it is with great pleasure they inform their friends that those places which in the last report were stated as being destitute, have, since that time, engaged their attention, and most of them have become the scene of the labours of Sunday School Teachers. So that Six New Sunday Schools have been established under the patronage of this Auxiliary Union, during the year which is now elapsed.
The first of these schools is at Layton, in which there are 4 teachers and 59 children. This school was opened in August last, by the exertions of our Wesleyan brethren, who were furuished with books by your Committee.
The second school is at Stoke Newington, where 40 children have been collected, and a supply of books and teachers furnished by your Committee. After this school was established, it being discovered that it was not within the prescribed limits of this 'society: it was consequently, offered to the committee of the Central and North London Auxiliary Union; and accepted by that committee, who have, since that time, carried it on by ad'ditional supplies of books and teachers.
The third school is in Ocean-street, Stepney, which was estab lished last September, and is attended by 12 teachers, and 242 children. To this school a liberal supply of bibles, testaments and spelling books has been granted by your Committee.
The fourth of these schools is at the Rev. Dr. Smith's Chapel, Gravel Pits, Hackney. This school contains 12 teachers, and 58 children; but did not need any assistance.
The fifth school is in that deplorable part of London called St. Catherine's, in the neighbourhood of which, it has been discovered by the friends who have visited the poor families, that the children were perishing for lack of knowledge. This school was opened in January last, and already contains 7 teachers and 169 children, the greater part of whom, when they first came to be instructed, could not read at all. Forms and books have been provided for this school by your Committee.
The sixth school is in that populous place called Shadwell Market, and contains 20 teachers and 51 children, which is as great a number as the present school-room will accommodate. At the formation of this school, the minister of the chapel, who was cordial in promoting the design, declared at the meeting held there, that "Humanly speaking, but for Sunday Schools, he should not have been the pastor of that congregation."
The number of children in these six new schools, amounts to 619 The number of teachers is 55, the chief part of whom had not been engaged in this employment before.
Who is not glad to see these attempts to contract the boundaries of Satan's territories! Who does not rejoice to see inroad) made on that baneful ignorance which facilitates the accomplishment of the malignant designs of the Prince of Darkness! And who is not transported with joy, when these attempts made by frail mortals, are crowned with success by Him who is omnipotent!
By the reports received from the Schools it appears that there are now 815 teachers and 8989 children 'in the 53 schools which form this Auxiliary Union, being 1220 children and 101 teachers more than we reported in September last.
Your Committee have it in contemplation to open Register Books in four different places within the limits of this Union, for