Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

of God, to which his teachers brought him, was rendered useful to his soul? I entertain hopes that his dying conversation was blessed to one in the family-a family which, till now, has been destitute of religion.

EXTRACT from FIRST ANNUAL REPORT of the COMMITTEE of

the STROUD SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION. One of the principal objects for which the members of this Union formed themselves into a society, was to stimulate one another to increased activity in the work of gratuitous instruction. On this point the committee feel that they are justified in using the language of assured conviction. They can refer to the records of the Society, and appeal to the recollection of its members in proof of their conviction, that the meetings which have been held during the year, have made them more than ever before zcalously affected in this good work. The pleasing instances which have been related at those meetings, of the happy effects of Sunday School instruction, have excited in the minds of the teachers fresh ardor in the cause. At one of those meetings, the committee had the great satisfaction of introducing to the Society Mr. Lloyd, the secretary of the Sunday School Union in London, whose judicious and zealous exhortations, contributed greatly to the interest of the meeting, and to the advantage of those who were present. One point on which Mr. Lloyd touched, the committee deem it proper to recal to the minds of the members of the Union. He adverted to the abundant supply of teachers with which some of the schools were furnished, so as to render it unnecessary for those teachers to attend their school more frequently than one Sunday in two, three, or four Sundays. He observed, that teachers ought to be sufficiently attached to their work to induce them, when circumstances allowed, to give a constant attendance. Many advantages are doubtless connected with such an attendance, beyond what can be expected from services which are merely occasional. He remarked, that it was highly desirable, that when any school had a superabundance of teachers, it should send detachinents to places which were destitute, either to esta. blish new schools, or to assist those schools which were languishing for want of help. This suggestion of Mr. Lloyd has not been entirely fruitless.

In speaking of the good which has resulted from the meetings of the Society, it would be inexcusable not to advert to the general master of scholars, teachers, and friends of Sunday Schools, which was made last Whitmonday. The scenes which that day exhibited will not soon be forgotten. The very sight of more than two thousand of the children of the poor who, from Sabbath to Sabbath, enjoy the blessing of religious instruction, was itself a sermon of no ordinary force. The Redeemer of mankind seemed to the eye and ear of faith to be repeating to every friend of Sunday Schools the exhortation once addressed to Peter—" Feed my lambs." The influence of reflections of this nature was evidently felt by the ministers who conducted the religious services of the day.

[graphic]

The scenes of the morning of that day were excellent preparatives for the duties of the evening, when 300 teachers met with one accord, in one place, to hear the Word of God. They heard with attention and with profit. At subsequent meetings the most satisfactory proofs were given, that the effect of the services of that day had been an increase in many of the schools in the number both of teachers and of scholars, together with a visible iinprovement in point of diligence on the part of each.

The second of the objects for which this Union was formed, was improvement in the method of instruction by means of hints on the subject, which it was expected the Society would, from various quarters, receive. This expectation has not been disappointed, and many useful suggestions have been offered at the quarterly meetings.

The third object proposed to be answered by the Union,' was the opening of new schools where they might be needed; and under this head your committee have the pleasure to state, that during the year seven new schools have been established, viz. at Standish, at the Thrup, at Painswick Slad, at Bisley, at Brimscomb, at Chalford, and at Thieves-comb.

There are in connexion with the Stroud Union 25 schools, containing 3,635 children, and 453 teachers, an increase of more than one-third part of the present numbers having been made during the last year. A few schools within the district of the Society have not yet joined the Union; those schools, added to the above, make a grand total of more than 4000 children. · The last, but not the least, of the four objects for which the Union was formed, was to cherish sentiments of Christian concord and affection. · The teachers of the various schools belonging to the Union, wish to consider one another not as rivals, but as friends and fellow-labourers. They are aware, at the same time, of the existence of various obstacles which oppose the cultivation of this sentiment, arising from a multiplicity of sources, but chiefly from the imperfection of our nature. They do not think that the Scripture saith in vain--" The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy.” Many of the schools are contiguous to one another. The 25 of which the Union is composed, are contained within a circle of twelve miles diameter, and the majority of them within one-third part of that space. People are naturally most partial to the religious denomination to which they belong, and to the school in which from week to week they laboriously exert them. selves; nor are the Committee of the Stroud Union sanguine enough to expect, that the result of the Union will be to keep this partiality in every instance within legitimate bounds. But

they assuredly know, because they have felt, that the tendency of the Union is to promote a disposition of which, among other excellencies, it is said that it envieth not, hopeth all things, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth in the truth, and is in a word the fulfilling of the Law. On this subject the committee particularly recommend to the attention of the Society, a resolution passed at a former meeting, respecting children who may leave one school with the wish to join another. The observation of that rule has already been attended with considerable benefit.

THE Hibernian Sunday School Society is very aetively and successfully employed in extending the work of instruction in Ireland. It has been already instrumental in producing many good effects, and the sphere of its operations and usefulness is constantly extending. When we consider the amazing benefits which have arisen in England from the establishment of Sunday Schools, during more than thirty years, we cannot refrain from entertaining ardent expectations of the happy influence of similar institutions in the sister kingdom. The following is an Extract from the Fifth Report of the HIBERNIAN SUNDAY

School Society, for the year ending April, 1815. THE number of Schools in connexion with your society still continues to increase. Within the last year aid has been given in money and books to one hundred and twenty-nine Schools, of which fifty-two had received similar assistance in former years; seventy-seven applied for the first time. To these one hundred and twenty-nine Schools, grants have been made by your Committee of 60 Bibles; 3,624 Testaments; 4,193 Spelling-Books No. 1; 4,275 Spelling-Books No. 2; 3,493 Alphabets, and 171 Hiuts for the Establishment of Sunday Schools, and £74. 11s. in money,

Exclusive of which the following books have been sold at reduced prices:-50 Testaments; 1,289 Spelling-books No. 1; 1,641 Spelling-Books No. 2, and 315 Alphabets.

The entire number of Schools assisted since the establishment of the society will appear from the following statement. Grants were made in

1810, to 2 Schools
1811, to 42 Schools which had not before applied
1812.13, to 73 Schools which had not before applied
1813-14, to 58 Schools which had not before applied

1814-15, to 77 Schools wbicho had not before applied Making a total, 252 Schools, containing 28,598 children.

Within the same period the following assistance has been af. forded gratuitously :-1,288 Bibles; 10,089 Testaments; 15,311 Spelling-Books No. 1; 13,329 Spelling-Books No. 2; 9,095 Alplaabets; 394 Hints for conducting Sunday Schools; and 54 Bibles, 767 Testaments, 5,413 Spelling-Books No. 1; 5,270 Spelling. Books No. 2; 1,212 Alphabets, and 11 Hints for conducting

T

[graphic]

60

Sunday Schools have been distributed at reduced prices, and £188. 38. 9d. in money.

The influence of the exertions of your society in promoting the establishment of new Schools, will appear by considering, that from 1793 to 1809, 33 Schools, containing 3833 children, were formed; but since the commencement of the society, 219 Schools, containing 25,758 children, have been established, as appears by the following statement:

Date. Schools. Children. Date. Schools. Children. 1810

15

2281 1813 47 5829 1811 36 4463 1814 : 61 5781 1812

7404 Your Committee cannot omit to record the formation of an Association in Dublin in the year 1811, for the purpose of promoting the establishment of Sunday Schools in Dublin and its vicinity;-in Belfast, of the New Sunday School Society, labouring in connexion with your society ;-and in Hillsborough of a similar Sunday School Society, under the immediate patronage of the Marquis and Marchioness of Downshire; and they have with pleasure heard of the establishment of a Society in Edinburgh, whose sole object is to further instruction in this country. · YOUR Committee feel great pleasure in alluding to the Sabbath Evening Schools established in Scotland. They are devoted entirely to religious instruction, and are not confined to the lower classes of society. Your Committee know no reason why some plan of a similar kind should not be adopted in England: Sabbath Evening Schools are established at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Paisley: The following is presented as a specimen, being an Extract from the Sixtu ANNUAL Report of the Committee of

Management of the SABBATI EVENING SCI001. Society, in - Connection with the Churches assembling in Nile-Street and

Albion-Street, Glasgow.

THERE is one class of the community- the rising youth of Britain, which presents a claim of peculiar interest. « They are to be the actors in the great drama of human life, when we shall have closed our parts, and made our exit; therefore, benevolence to the world should make us cautious wiliat characters we send to act upon its stage.” Shall we then sit in listless indolence, and feel no desire to transmit the same blessings to our posterity, which we have inherited from our forefathers ? Shall we remain unconcerned spectators while the emissaries of darkness are bent upon their destruction? Shall no effort be made to stem the torrent of vice,-to check the progress of youthful depravity? Shall the thousands of our youth destitute of all religious instruction, .a prey to the snares with which they are surrounded, be left “to go down to the grave with a lie in their right hand,” having no eye

[ocr errors]

to pity them, and no arm stretched out to save them? That heart must be steeled to every feeling of true benevolence, which can witness without emotion their perilous situation, sporting with giddy thoughtlessness upon the brink of eternal destruction.

Feeling an earnest desire to extend to these children the benefits of Christian instruction, and deeply impressed with the vast importance of the object, the Society commenced their labours; the experience of fifteen years has afforded a melancholy proof of the necessity that exists for such institutions, as well as the strongest encouragement to energy and perseverance in the work they have undertaken,

la recording the proceedings of the Society during the past year, the Committee hope they have been enabled, in part at least, to redeem the pledge they gave at the close of their last Report, of unremitting exertions in furthering the benevolent designs of the institution. The nu.nber of the Schools then upon the Society's establislıment was twenty-five, where religious instruetion was communicated to eighteen hundred children. The addition to the number of Schools during the last year has been Very considerable, owing partly to the establishment of new Schools, and partly to the division of several others, which the great influx of scholars rendered necessary. The Schools are'now increased to thirty-four, and the number of children attending them to two thousand three hundred and fifty

The Committee will now advert to the library of juvenile pub. lications attached to the Schools, the practical utility of which, becomes every day more and more apparent. Numerous and gratifying are the testimonies they have received of the avidity with which the books are read by the children, and in most cases by the parents themselves. Besides diffusing a spirit of inquiry, and a thirst for general information among the scholars;; they prevent them from employing their vacant hours in the perusal of books of an immoral or dangerous tendency; and by finding employment for them at home, they are less in danger of seeking for pleasure and amusement in the company of those who would cause them to err. Impressed with the great importance of this part of their plan of communicating instruction, the Committee have resolved that a separate fund shall be opened for the sun. port of the library, so as to render it more extensively useful. At present it consists of about 1100 small volumes.. .!

YOUR Committee cannot on this occasion refrain from adverting to the formation of a very cousiderable number of Adult Schools during the past year. Many have been excited to engage in this work from the recommendations of your society, and this object has occupied the attention of most of the Sunday School Unions. ; ..... .

In Bristol 2401 Adults have been admitted into the School 1129 are now learning, aud 601 have been laught to read in

« PoprzedniaDalej »