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In conclusion, your committee would respectfully invite all denominations of Christians—all friends to the religious instruction of youth, to promote the objects of this society. By the Divine - blessing upon its labours, much has been done ; but more remains
to be effected the field for exertion is extensive and barren--the labourers are comparatively few; let every Christian then be active in this important cause, until that glorious period arrives when the Redeemer shall be universally known and beloved from the rising to the setting sun. EXTRACT from the Second Annual Report of the Batu
SUNDAY School UNION.. YOUR Committee have to state the opening of several new schools in the past year; and although the number may not have been equal to that which they had to exhibit in the first and former year, they may venture io assert, that no society of a similar description could have done more with the same means, and in the same time, towards attaining the grand object and design of such institutions, than has been done by the members of this Union. And indeed, when it is considered, that, besides attending constantly to many of the schools which had been opened in the course of the first year, there have been no less than thirteen new schools established during this second year (some of them at no inconsiderable distance from Bath), and all of them formed either by the exertions of teachers and other members of the Union, or by the help afforded in the gratuitious supply of initiatory books, &c, it must be allowed that our labours of love, have been increasingly active and useful, and that the Bath Sunday-School Uniou has not been formed in vain.
of the schools opened in the first year, there are now belonging to the Bath Sunday-School Union, as follows: Children, Batheaston Bishop-Sutton
110 Stoke Twerton
3304 Although your committee in their former Report could not apprize you of the establishment of Schools for Adults in this city, they have now the satisfaction to announce that pleasing event; and to state that through the active exertions of a friend, whose name will ever be recorded in the history of Adult Schools in Bristol, a considerable number of poor persons of both sexes, and of various ages, in Bath and its vicinity, have been invluced 10 receive instruction in the art of reading. Several conductors, and many teachers, have engaged in this pleasing and most acceptable of all services, with praiseworthy zeal and alacrity; and in consequence of their united exertions the following schools have heen openedl, and the numbers of men and women now under instruction as against each school expressed:
Men's School. 40 24
Total. 92 51
of St. Peter and Paul and St. James
some benevolent Ladies in that society,
and inaintained at their expense 'Twertion Bitheaston Bradford Philip's-Norton Weston
424 Not a few of these poor persons have made stich progress since they have been under instruction as to be able to read with facility in the New Testament, to the no small satisfaction of many ladies and gentlemen who have visited the schools and witnessed their improvement, although some of them did not even know the letters of the alpbabet when they were first prevailed upon to become learners.
EXTRACT of a LETTER from the SECRETARIES of the
Shrewsbury, April 27, 1815. THE annual mecting of the Shropshire Sunday School Union has not yet been held (which should have taken place at Easter) it being inconvenient for Mr. Raffles to attend, who is expected to preach on that occasion for the benefit of the institution. We have not therefore been able to publish our third report; but at the request of the comınittee, I transmit to you a summary of their proceedings during the past year. Permit us to congratulate your society on the rapid increase of schools, and the extensive mcans afforded for the acquisition of knowledge; and we hope Your labours will be subservient in no small degree to the accomplishment of that gracious promise, “ the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Sezeral new schools have been opened, and considerable additions made to some of those formerly established. Application has been made to several of our schools by grown up persons for instruction. In one school twenty adults are taught, one of whom is a man above forty years of age, who entered the school two years ago with four of his children, when he did not know the alphabet, but by constant attendance can now read the Bible. In another school twenty-seven are taught, who are making rapid progress.
We are happy to say, that in most places where we have opened schools others have been established on Dr. Bell's system, although in some instances the number of the children in our schools has diminished; and in two cases the schools have been abandoned altogether, in consequence of the exertions of others. If the rising generation are taught to read the word of God, which is able to make them wise unto salvation, by whom, or by what system, is immaterial, in the accomplishment of the object we rejoice, yea, and we will rejoice.
It has appeared to us that by dividing the county into four districts , and having a committee in each for
the superintendance of the schools in their neighbourhood, the objects of the Union would be more effectually promoted. Some of the schools are at a considerable distance from us, and in some instances they have greatly declined, we have reason to fear, from the want of some active persons in the neighbourhood zealously devoted to the promotion of the instruction of the rising generation. The co.n. mittee of each district would be expected to superintend the schools under their care to correspond with the comunittee at
Shrewsbury, and to send an annual report to the Union. This plan has not yet been fully arranged; but the following statement will shew how many schools there are in each district, the number of scholars in each school, and the number of teachers.' District.
Schools. Scholars. Teachers,
Extract of a LETTER from the SECRETARIES of the
Sheffield, May 6, 1815. WE have been asked, “What advantages have resulted from our Sunday School Union ?" and, “What objects our Union embraces ?" and perhaps the answer we have returned to these inquiries, will include the information you wish to receive from us respecting our Union. Since our Union we have gained much information respecting the best manner of conducting sunday schools; for, as there is no reserve among us, each commuvicates the knowledge he possesses on the subject, and the knowledge thus imparted beconies a common stock for the benefit of all.
Our Union has been the occasion of six new schools being established in the neighbourhood, and neighbouring villages, containing several hundred children, and others are about being established. It has also assisted other schools with donations of from one guinea to five pounds.
Our Union has, occasioned the establishment of Adult Schools in Sheffield, which alreadly contain 200 persons, some of whom have become decidedly religious characters, who made no profession of religion previous to their being introduced into our Adult Schools, and others appear to be under serious iinpressions. An instance will be given in our Report of this year, of an elderly person who, eight months ago, did not know his alphabet, nor attend any place of worship, but who now can peruse his 'Testament with profit, and feels great pleasure in constantly attending the means of grace.
Our Union has been the means of stirring up the zeal of Sunday School Superintendents and Teachers. They have been induced to forget the things which are behind, to reach forth to those which are before, and to press towards greater success, when they have seen themselves so much outstripped by their brethren. Hence, Our. Union has made Sunday Schools more popular in Sheffield, for they are much better attended both by teachers and children than they were before; and as one of our rules is attended to invariably, “ not to receive a scholar from any other school without a written permission from the school left, addressed to the
school applied to, unless the child has been absent from the former school upward of six months,” that desire for change so frequently witnessed in both parents and children is counteracted: and thus, unless an adequate reason be assigned, the latter are prevented from circulating through the different schools to the perplexity of teachers, and the serious injury of the children.
Our Union operates as a battery which levels with the dust those objections which have been raised by narrow policy, and shored up by contracted selfishness. Many there are who are afraid of calling into exercise their utmost energies for the private good, lest their individual interest should be neglected, not recollecting that public good is precisely the aggregate of private benefit, and that as surely as we are instrumental in watering others, so surely, and in that very instance too, we are watered ourselves. Among the members of our Union, there is a generous anxiety for each others' prosperity, and the consequence is an increase in all our schools. One school in 12 months has increased from 10 teachers and 80 scholars, to 35 teachers and 300 scholars.
Our Union has not only excited greater attention among the teachers, but also a spirit of inquiry as to the result of their labours. It has been said, that " those who watch Providence, will never want a Providence to watch ;” and so surely as the conscientious teacher sows his seed and waters it with his prayers, so surely will be see it spring up, sometimes the blade, sometimes the ear, and at other times the full corn in the ear. Knowing that an annual report of our Union will be printed, the teachers are anxious to contribute some important facts that may render it interesting; and !ience they are watching for these throughout the year.
Previous to the union of sunday sehools little comparatively was known of the good in them; but by the annual reports that are issuing from the different unions, the scattered rays of light which irradiated a little spot here and there, are collected and burst forth in a flood of light upon the world; the candle is no longer bid under a bushel, but it is placed in a candlestick and gives light to the whole house.
We have been asked why we unite ? 'and we have answered, and still say, the greatness of the work in which we are engaged, and the numerous enemies we have to overcome, demand it. If the name of our enemies be Legion, and their ensign Destruction, ours must be Union and Salvation. As it respects the work in which we are engaged, we conceive it to be nothing less than the glorifying of God in the evangelizing of the world, and can this grand object be effected by Calvinists only? by Methodists, by Baptists, by Churchmen singly? no, we must forget minor distinctioris, and unite under the banner of the captain of salvation, and, as one vast army of the Living God, go forth from victory to victory, till a subject world owns the authority of our great İminanuel.