« PreviousContinue »
being at service has the opportunity of attending only once on the Sabbath committed to memory in the course of one week, the 5th, 6th and 7th chapters of Matthew's Gospel. To accomplish this, her leisure moments must have been very diligently employed, Let those who question the propriety of teaching to read on the Sabbath, visit this School, and witness not only the ardent desire to progress, but the lively emotions of gratitude expressed, and evidently felt, by those who are favoured with this privilege, whom Providence has placed in a situation to preclude the possibility of obtaining it in any other way; and we hesitate not to say, that, unless their hearts are strangers to philanthropy, and insensible to the blessings resulting from a knowledige of the word of God, they can no longer refuse to acknowledge their objections to be without foundation, and join with us in considering Societies for the promotion of Sabbath Schools among the most valuable of our charitable institutions.
Extract 3rd. Mary I-manifests a serious concern for her soul. The following short interesting conversation took place between Mary and her teacher: • Teacher. Mary, if I may judge by your countenance, you are not altogether happy. If you can freely unbosom yourself to me, I may say something that may relieve you.
Mary. I am not Irappy, I feel that I am a sinner, and that I must be changed before I can be happy. Teacher. But, Mary, your Catechism says,
“Cannot your good thoughts, words or actions recover you?" Now suppose you read your Bible, attend to the preaching of the word, pray, and wish sincerely to be a Christian, don't you think that by so strict an attention to commanded duty, you would merit the favor of God.
Teacher. Who then must satisfy for your sins, and present a righteousness which is acceptable?
Mary: Jesus Christ has promised to hear us when we pray, and he is the Saviour of sinners.
Teacher. Yes Mary, Jesus is the only Saviour, and an allsufficient one, be is indeed. Go to your offended God, and in faith plead the merits of bis Son, and you have the promise that you shall not be rejected. Don't be angry with me, if I say I hope you may find no rest, until you find it in the experience of the precious blood of Christ applied to your heart by the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit.
This girl is about sixteen years of age-has attended school regularly from its commencement. Once she was missed. On inquiry it was found that she was sick. She was visited by two of the teachers, who found her in bed with her Bible near her. Upon being asked where she had been reading, she replied, "I have been reading the afflictions of Job;--how much sorrow and distress he experienced, how patient he was, and how the Lord supported bim.” After conversing with her in a suitable manner, and deriving much satisfaction from her answers, one of the ladies went to prayer. When she concluded Mary appeared much pleased, while her mother stood by bathed in tears. She expressed much gratitude for the tender interest shown to her child.
A coloured woman, aged sixty-seven years, had attended the School regularly from its commencement. A few weeks ago she was carried to the Hospital sick with the pleurisy. She was visited twice. She is now on the recovery, and pleased with the hope of soon returning to School. She commenced by connecting leiters, and now reads the first Scripture lessons with ease. She is not only desirous to read, but anxious to attain that knowledge which will point out her duty to God.
Ertract 4th. We are highly favoured in having teachers whose regular attention and orderly deportment cannot fail of being useful to the children. I cannot speak too highly of their punctuality. Considering the wild disposition of many of the children, I am much pleased with their attention, and have no doubt but the blessing of God will attend the Female Sabbath Schools throughout our City. You will be pleased to hear that a Dorcas Society has been established for the benefit of the children attending Sabbard Schools, by which means we have been able to furnish clothes 10 several children who could not otherwise attend. Garments, either new or partly worn, which are presented by the hand of charity for this benevolent purpose, are received and made up by Mrs. Bowering, Hudson-street, and the young ladies who have formed this establishment,
Extract 5th. The general improvement of the scholars has been far greater than could reasonably have been anticipated in so short a period. There are many individual instances which afford striking proofs of the usefulness of the Institution. Several who did not know their letters when they entered the School can now read in the third class, and with ease commit to memory one of the cards, a hymn, and a portion of the Catechism every week. One woman fifty-four years of age, who did not know a single letter can now read; and a child of eight years who was entirely ignorant of the alphabet has made such progress as to be able to commit to memory not only her Scripture lessons and hymns, but the whole of Brown's Catechism. Two in the Bible class have also learned the whole of Brown's Catechism, and are now learning the Assembly's Catechism, with Scripture proofs. Nor is this all: a good work appears to be begun in the hearts of several, wbo date their first convictions from their entering the Sabbath School. The superintendent and teachers are encouraged by these favourable appearances to continue their exertions, looking to liim who is the Fountain of all knowledge for a blessing on their instructions; and hoping that their labours may not be in vain, but that he will be pleased to make them the humble instruments in rescuing many souls from ignorance and vice, and in bringing them to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus.
Extract 6th. This School commenced February 18. Rewards were offered to the children who could read if they could find a passage in Scripture relative to the fall of man; not one could answer. April 14th, the children, when required to find a passage of Scripture relative to the fall of man, and atonement ihrough Christ, one turned to four passages appropriately; three to two passages; seven turned to Rom. vi. 5, seven to Rom. v. 7, 8, three to Rom. v. 15.
The Directress informed the Society that a School had been opened in the State Prison, to instruct the female convicts to read the Scriptures, superintended by the Rev. Mr. Stanford, and had been supplied with lessons from the Society; That two more Schools would be opened the following Sabbath, viz, one by the members of St. George's Chapel, and one by the members of the Moravian Church. She likewise proposed thri a Committee, consisting of one or two from each religious denomination be appointed to visit the schools, as the duties were too arduous to be properly fulfilled by the Directresses. This was agreed to. The Society, after singing a bymn of praise to that God, whose blessing had so eminently attended their work of faith and labour of love; and, concluding with the Christian doxology, adjourned to the first Wednesday in July. Quarterly Meeting of the New YORK SUNDAY SCHOOL
UNION SOCIETY. THE officers and committee of the New York Sunday School Union Society, held their first quarterly meeting, with the superintendents and teachers of the schools, at the Methodist Church in Jolin-street, on Monday the 6th of May.
The meeting was opened with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Scol. field: after which Richard Varick, Esq. President of the Society, addressed the superintendents and teachers.
We lament that our limits prevent us from inserting this excellent address.
The business of the meeting was conducted in an animated and interesting manner. Reports were read from the committees of fourteen schools, giving an account of their establishment and of the circumstances which had marked their progress. These reports were handsomely drawn up, and exhibited many in. teresting details and encouraging facts. It appeared that the above schools were conducted by thirty-six superintendents, and one · hundred and forty-four teachers, and that there had been admitted into them 1800 learners; of whom nearly 200 were adults, and between 400 and 500 people of colour. In general the scholars had been punctual in their attendance at school and at places of public worship, had been diligent in their studies, cleanly in lheir appearance, orderly and decorous in their conduct, and
thankful for the exertions and kindness of their instructors. The reports furnished the most satisfactory evidence of the utility of Sunday schools, of the salutary effects already produced by those connected with this association, and of the promptitude and zeal of the superintendents and teachers in the discharge of their duties.
From ten other schools, comprising, it is believed, 1000 learners, owing perhaps to their recent formation, no reports were made; they are however known to be in a prosperous state.
The following are extracts from the Reports received :
The committee of a school comprising 156 scholars say: progress of the learners, in many instances, has been such as was peculiarly gratifying to the teachers. As to the effects of the school on the children and their parents, in a moral or religious point of view, we have to observe, that in our first visits to those places where the poorer classes reside, we frequently found the parents, and sometimes even the children, in a state of intoxicalion, disputing with each other, and using the most profane language; but in our subsequent visits, we are happy to say, instead of witnessing such horrid scenes of destroying vice, we found an . obvious alteration in the conversation and habits of some, who were teaching the children their lessons, and who appeared to take some interest in this good work. Some, indeed, have requested Bibles for the illumination of their own minds, and for the instruction of their children; which requests bave been coinplied with."
The committee of another school say, “We find much encouragement in the general good conduct and progress of the scholars under our care, and the great desire manifested by them to receive instruction. The improvement in the manners and personal appearance of the school is worthy of notice, as well as their cheerfulness in attending public worship at the house of God, and good deportment while there."
Another committee state, “ That the adults in their school are particularly attentive to their studies, and evince a very great desire to obtain information; but from their minds having been so long uncultivated, their progress, in general, is slow. The children bave, in many instances, far snrpassed our expectations: many of those in the higher classes have already committed to memory pearly the whole of “Brown's Catechism,” besides a number of hynıns; and, from present appearances, we have no doubt but the most beneficial consequences will result from their attendance at the school."
The committee of another school observe, “ That they have witnessed, with much satisfaction, an anxiety for improvement in a number of the scholars, of whom many, when admitted, could not repeat the alphabet, who are now candidates for admission to the higher classes. Among the adult Africans, a disposition for receiving instruction, and an eagerness of application, have been particularly observable."
Another committee, after giving an account of the classes into which their school was divided, observe, “ That among the children are several who have improved greatly in their studies, as well as in their manners, and who we hope may yet become men devoted to God, and useful in the world. We judge that many happy consequences will result to the parents from the attendance of the children at school; and that they are not insensible to the benefits which may be expected from the undertaking, is implied in the punctuality of the children, their cleanliness, and their disposition to persevere."
The following is from another report: “ We have," say the committee, “ the satisfaction to state, that our school is well furnished with able and skilful teachers, happily united in the • labour of love, and punctual in their attendance, conscientious in the discharge of their duties, and anxious for the moral and religious improvement of the several classes committed to their care.
Their unwearied exertions in seconding the philanthropic views of the Society, have thus far been crowned with abundant success, and will, we trust, be the means of reclaiming many from the paths of ignorance and vice. From the organization of our school to this tine, every Sabbath has demonstrated the success of our labours. We have had the pleasure of seeing the children of this school progressing rapidly in cleanliness, in decency of dress and behaviour, in habits of subordination, and in the improvement of their minds and morals. Through the benevolent exertions of Miss Borland, and her associates in the good work, many of the poorer children have been decently clad, and thereby enabled to aitend school and church, without exciting feelings of disgust and commiseration.
“ The parents of the children belonging to this school, have been frequently visited for the purpose of ascertaining their feelings with regard to the objects of the Institution. In most cases they have manifested a deep sense of gratitude for the attention bestowed on their children, and a willingness to co-operate with us in promoting the objects of the school.
“ It is worthy of remark, that, among the number of coloured persons received into this school, not one had received any religious instruction. One youth, of 19 years of age, being asked who was the Saviour of sinners, was unable to give an answer: nor had he even heard of salvation through the Redeemer. He appeared sensible of his lost condition by nature, and manifested -a deep concern for his eternal interests.
“ We cannot, gentlemen, close our remarks, without recording a signal instance of enterprise and meritorious exertion in one of our pupils. Samuel W. Hutchinson, a lad only nine years old, has acquired the admiration of his instructors and school-fellows, by his success in persuading other boys to partake of the benefits of this Iustitution Sunday afternoon, April 2sth, he returned to school at the bead of a company, consisting of nine white, and three coloured boys, whom he had recruited during the bour