« PreviousContinue »
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 60 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 Scbools 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 Sixth Annual Report of the Committee of
Management of the SABBATI EVENING SC1001. Society, in
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 what 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 spares with which they are surrounded, be left “ 10 go down to the grave with a lie in their right hand," having no eye 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,
In 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 number of the Schools then upon the Society's establishment 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 empleyment for them at home, they are less in danger of seeking for pleasure and amusement in the coinpany 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 sunport 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 engage
in this work from the recommendations of your 80ciety, 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 taught to read in
the testament. Besides these there are 294 belonging to different congregations. In Southwark 556 Adults have been admitted. Several other societies for adult instruction, and many private Schools have been established in different parts of the kingdom.
While mentioning the progress of Adult Schools, your Committee would just allude to the decease of their first institutor, the Rev. Mr. Charles, of Bala. His name will be remembered as long as Sunday Schools and Bible Societies exist. “ He now rests from his labours, and his works follow him.”
Upon reviewing the general state and progress of Sunday Schools during the past year, your Committee rejoice to behold their rapid increase. They have already produced innumerable benefits. The progress of time, and the results of the last great day, will more fully display their beneficial effects.
Your Committee beg leave to allude to the funds of this society. They did hope that they would have been sufficient to have enabled them to establish a Sunday School wherever one was wanted, and to have granted some assistance to the socielies connected with this Union. They cannot too strongly urge the necessity and importance of pecuniary support, and they trust that many new Subscribers will enrol their names at the close of the present meeting.
Your Committee would briefly direct the attention of their country friends to the importance of immediately forming Sunday School Unions in their different local situations. They strengthen the bond of brotherly love, they prevent languishing Schools from declining, and lead to the establishment of new Schools in situations which require them. These great objects are best promoted by union of strength, and division of labour, and your Committee trust that the time will soon arrive when Sunday School Unions shall be universally established.
While providence appears to be casting a gloomy shade over political affairs, let not the friends of Zion be discouraged; let them continue to sow the seeds of wisdom, virtue, and piety, in the youthful mind; though the storms may rage around them, and they may feel its fury, " Weeping must not hinder sowing,” and “ they that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
Annual Meeting of the Sunday School Union. On Wednesday Morning, the 10th of May, the Annual Meeting of the Sunday School Union was held. It was much more nume. rously attended than any former meeting; and, we trust, its animated proceedings produced on the large assembly present, such
There are at presetit Adult Schools in London, and a Society is now forming,
impressions in favor of Sunday Schools and Unions, as will lead to increased activity and zeal in this cause.
Joseph Butterworth, Esq. M.P, the active and devoted friend of Sunday Schools, took the chair. The various resolutions were proposed and seconded, or acknowledged, by the Rev. Messrs. Hillyard, Campbell, Slatterie, Duun, Allen, James, Upton, John. son, Blackburn, C. Hyatt and Fennell, and Messrs. C. S. Dudley, J. Coombs, Marriott, Lloyd, and Jones.
We regret exceedingly that our limits compel as to exclude an extract of the animated addresses which were delivered on this occasion. They breathed the spirit of love, union, and energy; they incontrovertibly proved, by solid facts, the benefits of Sunday Schools, and, we trust, have produced such impressions as will never be forgotten.
Of MARY WESTON. MARY WESTON, the subject of this Memoir, lived in Kid. derminster. · She entered the Sunday School belonging to the Old Meeting of that place in the year 1806, when about fifteen years of age. She had not attended long before it pleased God to own, and bless the pious endeavours of the teacher for her spiritual and eternal weliare; previous to that time, she used to spend her Sabbath evenings rambling in the fields, or some trifling diversions, but the grace of God had now made such a change in her heart, that she was diligent and serious in attending all the means of grace, as well on other days as on the Sabbath. Though she had not only herself to maintain, but an aged father and mother, who almost relied upon her labour for support, yet she would rise up early, and sit up late, to enjoy these privileges she now so highly valued. Her attachment to school was evident from her constant, and regular attendance, al. ways taking care to be there before the teachers. She was blessed with a retentive memory, and was anxious to store it with divine knowledge. In less than a year and half she learned the whole of the Assembly's Catechisın, with all the Proofs, and many of Dr. Wate's Divine Songs. She listened with marked attention to the advice and conversation of her teacher, and the effects the important truths produced on her mind, appeared in her hatred to sin, her fear of offending God, and her great love of
prayer. She was much impressed with God's omnipresence, and when tempted to do anything that was displeasing to him, her mind was powerfully struck with the solemn words, "Thou God seest me." She would frequently call on her teacher for private and spiritual conversation, making, with tears in her eyes, the important inquiry, What must I do to be saved? When told to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, she replied, Lord help me to believe. She had such a deep sense of sin as to doubt of obtaining pardon, but upon being told that God was rich in mercy to all who call upon him, and that he would hestow his grace upon those who asked it, her fears were dispelled, and she was enabled through grace to rejoice in God her Saviour. Though in perfect health, her mind was much impressed with the uncertainty of life, the certainty of death, and the solemnities of a future day of judg. ment. With great earnestness would she beg not to be removed from hence till she could read her title clear to mansions in the sky, or till God bad made her meet to be a partaker of the inheritance of the saints in light. Nor did Mary pray for herself alone; the eternal welfare of her parents lay very near her heart, and was the subject of her frequent prayers. This valuable girl continued in the school for several years; the teachers observing with pleasure the attainments she made in knowledge, together with her consistent and humble deportment, solicited her assistance in instructing the junior classes; she cheerfully acceded to the request, and conducted herself in a manner worthy the imitation of other Sunday School teachers. In June 1813, she broke a blood vessel, which was attended with alarming symptoms, and seemed to threaten her life, but it pleased God to bring her out of this affliction, as gold seven times purified. To a female friend who was absent from home at the time, she said, I have been extremely ill, and thought I should have died; but the promises of God were precious to me, I found his grace all sufficient. Scriptures so suitable to her case were impressed on her mind, and so sweetly flowed from her lips, that her friend for a moment could only view ber th silent astonishment. She was perfectly resigned to the will of God, and resolved by his grace assisting to live a life more and more devoted to him. She felt that in all her afflictions nothing could be intended by the author of our being, but ber good and his glory,
On the subsequent December she was enabled to dedicate herself solemnly to the service of God, by making a public profession of religion, earnestly desiring to walk worthy of the vocation wherewith she was called, with all lowliness and ineckness.
One of her former teachers being about to leave Kidderminster for a season, Mary requested permission to write to her, and last November she sent the following letter which is here inserted, as it will at once shew the humility of her mind, the simplicity of her manner, the grateful emotions of her heart for the establishnient of Sunday Schools, and her ardent desire to be submissive to the will of God.
“Honored Madam,-It having pleased the Lord in his divine providence to lay his hand of athliction upon me his unworthy dust, 1 feel a desire to write a few lines to you, my dear instructor in the Lord ; indeed it has been good for me, that I was, through grace, taught to seek the Lord in the carly part of my life, for if I had no God to fly to in my atlliction how unhappy should I now be, but I desire to rejoice in the God of my salvation, that he has given me a peaceable mind; I feel a heart's desire to be submis