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On the most NECESSITOUS OBJECTS of SUNDAY SCHOOLS,
I HAVE long wished to see some observations in your valuable Repository, or some other periodical publication, recommending and urging the friends of Sunday Schools to make it their business to seek and enquire for the most ignorant and distressed children, as the proper objects of being instructed in Wisdom's ways; and I am much gratified to find the subject noticed in the Evangelical Magazine for the present month. I trust some of your correspondents, more able than myself, will endeavour to satisfy the Conductors of Sunday Schools, that it is their bounden duty to go and teach those who are in reality sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, and thereby be instrumental in snatching them as brands from the burning, for it is too evident, unless such steps are adopted, thousands yet will perish for lack of knowledge, in the present day, of Gospel light. Every person connected with a Sunday School must be acquainted with the carelesness and indifference manifested by many parents as to their children's educa. tion, and that the latter require more than common incitements to induce them to attend, even if their parents are disposed to encourage them : hence it is obvious, that those children who are permitted to break the Sabbath, and have no kind friend to say to them, “This is the way, walk ye in it,” are in a most deplorable state indeed, and claim the immediate regard of the Christian who has tasted, that the Lord is gracious, and is anxious to see the youths about him trained up in the fear of God.
It may be said, that the work of the teachers in Sunday Schools is already very laborious, which I am most willing to admit; but I trust they will not relinquish their labours of love, because a few more souls may be committed to their care. I entertain better thoughts of them, and am persuaded, as they go on in the work, they will find much caụse for joy and rejoicing, through Him who has said, The harvest shall be sure, and he that fainteth not shall reap.
I cannot refrain from stating, that any regulation in schools, which has a tendency to prevent an increase of scholars, appears to be highly improper; and the rule established in soine institutions, that no child shall be admitted without an appli, cation being first made by the parent, is of that description, because many children are thereby deprived of the means of education, as their parents, rather than apply for their admission, will let them continue in ignorance and vice, which will appear from the following account, which I know to be correct:
In a populous village, not sixty miles from London, containing upwards of 1000 children, a Sunday School was established about seven years back, in which scarcely more than sixty scholars were ever collected, and for the last three yea! s they only amounted to about thirty. A gentleman, active in promoting such institutions, observing the declining state of the school, inquired into the cause, and found, that a rule had been made to admit po child unless its parents applied to the manager, he immediately suggested the propriety of rescinding the obnoxious regulation, and giving notice, that the school was open for all who were willing to come. The hint was attended to, and more than seventy children were added in the course of a fortnight. The school, instead of being under the direction of a single individual, is placed under the management of a committee, superintendent, &c. and continues in a fourįsbing state, receiving the support and approbation of the public, who were previously unconcerned about it. Similar statements might be made, but this will suflice to shew the necessity of teachers, visitors, and others, engaged in Sunday Schools, saying unto the distressed and forlorn,“ Why stand ye here all the day idle?" and by rewards and promiscs, induce them to enter into the service of the Lord.
Letter to the Editor. Sir, CONSIDERING the object you have in view to be that of conveying information respecting « Sabbath Schools," by which, beside affording a considerable portion of interesting intelligence; the errors some have fallen into are made known, and the beneficial effects resulting from the adoption of useful plans receive publicity, that the one may be avoided, and the other more generally adopted to our universal advantage and improvement, I conceive the insertion of the following account, not altogether foreign to your intentions.
The School in which I have the honour of being a teacher is situated at the south western part of the metropolis, a short distance from that ancient and magnificent structure in which aie deposited the remains of the worthy and the noble, the ingenious and the great, whose names have graced the pages of English history, in the midst of a city, which by the capaciy of its buildings, proves that it was originally intended for the residence of the nobility, but is now crowded with the lowest order of the community; sometimes eight or more families dwelling in one house ; the poverty of theşa residents eyidences the necessity of such an establishment as ours; and though posterior to the commencement of our labours, free day-schools have been established, (the children attending at which are taken care of on the Sabbath) the necessity of our -exertions have not been superseded, for we still find ample scope for the exertion of every nerve in this glorious cause. The number of children at present in the school is about five hundred, our minister who is a clergyman of the established church, has from the first formation of the school greatly exerted himself to promote its welfare; in this particular many of his Reverend brethren who have Sunday Schools connected with their churches would do well to follow his example.
He attends the School for the purpose of addressing the children very frequently; on the evening of the first Sabbath in every month he particularly addresses the younger part of his congregation, when he occasionally directs his discourse to the children in the Sunday School. Once during the year he examines the children publicly in the church, when rewards are distributed among them according to their various deserts; while the children are thus the peculiar objects of his attention, the teachers are equally indebted to him for the readiness which le shews at all times to render them every assistance in his power; individually, by visiting them in sickness, &c. and collectively, by affording them advice and encouragement to stimulate them to persevere in that work in which they are engaged for the glory of God, and the present benefit and eternal welfare of the rising generation; to this end four quarterly meetings are held during the year, at which he presides, nearly the whole of the teachers, about sísty in number being generally present, who are always addressed by him; these addresses are very conducive to the prosperity of the Schools, and their utility cannot be thoroughly appreciated but by those who have experienced the beneficial effects resulting from them; but a more adequate conception of this may be formed by a perusal of the leading features of one of them which I propose giving in another paper: and if some should be stimulated to the adoption of similar measures, their advantage will only be equalled by the pleasure it will afford
Your obedient Servant,
Letter from Mr. Freeman to the Editor. SIR, I AM sorry to inform you, that an apparent mistake in your number for April last, lias escaped my notice till the present week. By referring to page 357, you will find that, at the for,
mation of the Southwark society for the instruction of adults, it is said I “stated, that having been appointed a member of the committee of the East London Auxiliary Bible Society, &c. I had “ commenced teaching at Oldford; that the school, though on a small scale, in comparison with some which had been mentioned, had been rendered very beneficial, and some persons who had confessed there was scarcely any crime they had not committed, bad become sober, moral, and orderly." Sow the fact is, that I was a member of the sub-committee only, and the substance of what I said was, that my experience in teaching adults at Oldford had been contined within
very narrow limits; but that, in adverting to experience, we must direct our eyes to Britol. There, I said, it had, through the Divine blessing, been connected with very beneticial results, And then I spoke of a change of character similar to that already mentioned ; and whichi, I apprehend, has been generally understood as referring to the adult persons instructed at Oliford. On their account, therefore, I consider myself bound to correct the mistake, which I can easily conceive might be made in combining short and detached notes taken at that meeting. I think also that a little misapprehension is likely to arise from another circumstance recorded at the bottom of the forementioned page. I am there said to have stated “that those who had come forward, had generally been persons who had not frequented public worship."
But this assertion is not applicable to Oldford, though it may be strictly true of some other places. I am rather inclined to think, however, that what I said might be nearly to the following effect : that the generality of persons who could not read, were persons who did not attend any place of worship whatever, and to whom the Sabbath was in some respects, the most miserable day of the seven ; and that, for want of proper objects to arrest their attention, many of them had recourse to the alehouse. That when these persons should be induced to spend a well-selected portion of the Sabbath-day in learning to read, they would acquire new habits, and would attend a place of worship, some going to one place, and some to another. That, consequently, places of public worship would receive considerable accessions; and that there was not the least probability that any religious assemblies would sustain any injury in the issue of the event. Upon the whole, therefore, I consider it incumbent on me to request the insertion of this letter in your next number, unless it can be made more consistent with the truth of the case, which I should be glad to see effected, if possible, before its publication.
I am, Sir, Yours, &c.
A SUNDAY SCHOOL ANECDOTE.
A SUPERINTENDENT of a Sunday School in Bristol, lately discoursing with the Children about eternal things, among other questions asked, “Where is God?" One of the elder boys immediately answered, " In Heaven." The Superintendent not appearing satisfied with this reply, again repeated the enquiry, a younger lad briskly answered, “Every where.” The Superintendent expecting a further explavation, made no remark, but again asked, “Where is God?” When a third boy (thinking no doubt that he could improve upon the two former answers) most chearfully called out, “God is here." This met the cordial views of the Superintendent, who instantly rewarded the last mentioned lad; and took occasion to press upon his tender auditory these important truths that, “God is in heaven.”—“God is every where"-"God is here.” It will be found one of the best ways of imparting instruction, thus to make the children their own teachers, and to induce them to think for themselves.
J. S. B.
Letter to the EDITOR.
A Stimulus to exertion in SUNDAY SCHOOL SA DEAR SIR,
I have often been highly delighted when at the quarterly meetings of the Sunday School Union, while hearing the pleasing communications from different parts of the country, in the formation of unions, the increase of Sunday Schools, and the incontrovertible evidence they afford of their beneficial tendencies in promoting the best interests of the young.
Yet these recollections, so pleasant, have been soon interrupted by the information which I have received, and which is too well authenticated to doubt its correctness-that numerous villages in our country, are still sitting almost in the shadow of death, and on whom the light of Sunday School instruction has not yet shined.
Permit me, through the medium of your valuable Repository, to urge on the attention, particularly of Ministers, as well as every friend to the rising youth of Britain, to provide themselves with all the information they can possibly obtain, and to present the state of their respective neighbourhoods to the general meeting of the Sunday School Union in May, when, may we not indulge the hope, that arrangements will be made