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Shrewsbury, 8th April, 1815. DE AB S1E,
Shop up the following Address, deliverer at the last Quarterly Meeting of the Teachers and friends of the Shrersbury General Sunday school, in St. John's Chapel, Skrebsbury, by an Adill Scholar, mest with your approbation, its inserfion in the Sunday Schoo! Repository, will probably encourage other Adults, reho, while young, hav Roi learnt tv rend and terite, and be the happy means of lifting Np the hands of those philunthropic characters engaged in tutoring such. The Sekolar is 54 years of age, and by profession a Nailor. Sincerely wishing you, and ecery soul engaged in Sunday Schouis, every possible success,
An ADULT SCHOLAR'S ADDRESS. “I HAVE many times wished for an opportunity to express to the Conductors of the Shrewsbury General Sunday School, my grateful thanks for the favours they have been the means of conferring upon me and my family, and when I reflect on the great change that has taken place among us within the last twelve months, I am lost! I kaow 119t what ļo say !--my heart overflows when I think that this time last year I was going post haste to the pit of destruction ! neither I, my wife, nor any of my children, could either read or write !—every Sabbath wils spent in drunkenness at the alc-house, or in loitering away our time in the fields and lanes around the town. Not content was I in going to Hell inyself, but I seemned determined to take all with me I could indeed we lived a Hell upon carth; we never attended any place of worship. In the neighbourhood where I and my family live, we heard little beside horrid oaths and curses, and witnessed little else than fighting and quarrelling from day to day, living in all manner of sin and wickedness, we were without hope and without God in the world ; miserable as the devil could make us. About last March, as I was passing through one of the streets, I met a person who attends this chapel, he told me they were going to have a prayer meeting at their house that night, and desired I would come up al 7 o'clock, I told him I would, I kept my proprise and went, and quite approved of what I saw and heardthought these people are right and I am wrong. After the meeting was over, the man of the house said they should have preaching there on such a night, and kindly invited
me to attend; but when the Bible was read and referred to, then Į felt my deficiency, and saw the excelleney of knowing the Scriptures; but, alas! for me, the Bible I knew not--it was sealed up, and I could not read it. I attended preaching Again, and began to like it; and having expressed the sorrow I felt at not being able to read, I was told, by attending the Shrewsbury General Sunday School in Cobham, I may be taught both to read and write. At once I resolved to go, and accordingly the next Sunday morning set off with one of my boys; when I got at the bottom of the stairs leading to the school-roon, my heart failed me I cannoi go—10,1 cannot so expose my ignorance. I again thovght, “ of the advantages” of learning to read, and went up a tew stepshad hard struggling within--many, many times the devil so filled me with pride, that I thought I would not go in When I got to the school door, and saw so vast a room, filled with so many scholars, I flinched back, and thought all the children would only laugh at seeing so old a dunce as myself learning my letters, and at once determined to go down - but my boy, who was mighty fond of goiny, taking hold of the skirt of my coat, said "No, Dad, you shall go in." Just then a teaclier saw me and kindly invited me, so I went and was placed in the adult department, and soon found great pleasure in learning; the teachers were very kind, and gave me great encouragement; that is now about a year since; I have attended every Sunday, and can now read a chapter in the Bible, and write a little, thank God. As the children of that school attend this chapel with their teachers, I came up with them in procession, and by what I have heard here, and by the lectures in the school, I got to see the evil of sin, and was determined to leave it off. I found very hard strugglings -many, very many fightings have I had with temptations to drunkenness, but, I bless God, by prayer, and secretly reading my Bible, I get power over it, and now feel, whenever tempted to it, grace and strength to resist it at once, and have not the least desire for any thing of the kind indeed my whole delight is in God. I have not seen the ends of the town I'was used to frequent, for three quarters of a year, and never wish to see them again. My neighbours, many of them now come to the school, and to the chapel with ine, and the whole place seems reformed. My wife, soon after I was turned, went with me to hear preaching, and now she is more desirous of salvation than myself; we have both joined the Society, meet in class together, and are walking hand in hand in search of a better country, both of us earnestly seeking redemption in the Blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our past sins. My children, though some of them are grown up, have attended the Sunday School; one or two have learnt to read the Testament, and how we are living a heaven upon earth--oh!" what a change before we were always poor; always in want, now we all work hard and have plenty. Instead of cursing and blasting each other's eyes and limbs, when together, we are living in love; at breakfast, one of the la:ls reads a chapter, another at dinner; and then, after supper, I generally, in the best manner I am able, read a psalm, or a chapter, and when we have prayed together, we go to rest in peace. This is the life we are now living—and, oh, glory. be to God for ever bringing me among you! ! wil
pray for your prosperity-I can do no more. Shame! oh, lasting shame to myself for neglecting, till my eyes are become dim; but thanks be to God for his long-suffering niercy towards me, the chief of sinners.”
TO attempt to describe the sensations this simple, though energetic, speech produced on the minds of from seven to eight hundred persons who were present, is impossible. At intervals, for some seconds, sighs and broken sobs was the only language heard, while
eyes, bathed in joyful lears, were the visible effects of this artless tale of gratitude to God and man. Frequently was the heart of the speaker too full to proceed without very considerable emotions.- Isaac is now an ornament to the school, and to that body of people to whom he is united. His love for others' welfare was manifested a short time since, when he heard of a poor man who wished to attend the Sunday School, but owing to his having no shoes was prevented; with all the generosity of a great mind, though Isaac himself is poor, he immediately sent him a pair of his own shoes, and begged that nothing might prevent his attendance. Accordingly, the next Sabbath, the giver and receiver both met at the Board of Instruction. Isaac has since found the truth of that passage verified, that “ It is more blessed to give than to receive," as the recipient of his bounty has since been awakened, and both having received the Kingdom of Heaven as little children,” will, I doubt not, erelong, " enter therein."
T. B. jun.
ADULT SCHOOLS at COLLUMPTON.
HAVING been frequently delighted with the contents of Four valuable Repository (which I recomınénd to all the MuDagers of Sunday Schools I meet with, as a work calculated to invigorate the zeal, and direct the eiloris, of all who are engaged in that iinportant work and labour of love), I feel it my duty to cast my mite into your treasury:
It is now about nine inonths since I left Coventry, where she happy effects of Adult Schools are very conspicuous, and on my arrival in Devonshire, I lost no time in recommending the establishment of such schools ; and in this place especially our success has far exceeded our expectations. Sunday, June the 4th, serinons were preached and collections made at the Methodist Chapel in this town, for the Adult and Children Schools. The statements then given, shew th our labour has not been in vain in the Lord.
There are in tliese Schools 26 mers, and 43 women, and, in general, they make very great iinprovement; several, who six montlis ago did not know the Alphabet, now read in the Testament; but nonc have yet been dismissed. The greatest part of these did not previously attend any place of worsliip, but now they appear to take great delight in the duties of religion. There are four men and five women who give evidence of a work of grace in their souls; four of these are become members of our Society, and also the wife of one of the men; to whom he has been uscful.' A young woman, who, froin the time of ler attending the Adult Schools, was much coneerned about her soul, is gone from time into eternity, and she had hope in her death.
A woman who lives about a mile from this town, heard of the Adult Schools and resolved to attend, but her husband. violently opposed it, protesting, that if she went he would lock her out; regardless of the consequences she attended, and he was as good as his word. Finding, on her return, that she could not get in; she took her school-book and be gan practising her lesson under the hedge. About half an hour after this the busband returned, and, seeing her tlius employed, declared he would go to the Adult School 100, if he might be adınitted. Since thať, time he has regularly attended, and there is a great change in his conduct; the woman declared at School, with tears, that in their house things are quite changed, and she was never before so happy.
When searching out for Adult Scholars, one was met with upwards of 60 years of age, whose case was considered almost hopeless, but it was resolved to invite her; she received the invitation with gratitude, saying, “ By the blessing of God I will attend." "She has attended regularly, learns rapidly, and is become very serious. The change in her inoral character astonishes all who knew her.
One of the scholars in the Childrens' School, about eight years of age, was accustomed to go with her book to the place where her father was at work, that he might assist her in learning to read, not suspecting that he could not read himself; for some time he deceived her by telling her some word,
right or wrong ; but finding she was not satisfied with his answers, he refused to tell her any more. “ But why, father,” said she, “ will not you tell me?" To her repeated enquiries, he at length replied with tears, “ I cannot read !" “ What,” said the child,“ such a great man as you not able to read! why, if I had known that I would have taught you myself,” This remark from his own child, pierced him to. the very soul, and he resolved to learn to read. At this very time the Adult Schools in this town commenced, and he gladly attended. Since that time he has regularly prayed with his family, is become a member of our Society, and has also the happiness to see his wife turn to the Lord.
It is very desirable that the attention of the benevolent should be more generally directed to these Schools. No one would suppose the great number of Adults which, on a carefol enquiry, will be found unable to read, and therefore in general have scarcely any sense of religion, And how much sooner are persons rewarded with visible success in teaching adults than in teaching children! they learn to read in about one-fourth of the time, and almost immediately on their attending, a change in their moral conduct is generally observed ; and Adult Schools are established with very little trouble and expense. Our's are all in private houses, belong, ing to respectable, if not religious persons. The men and women of course are in different houses; from 10 to 20 of the neighbours attend each school, these are divided into two classes, and two Teachers are appointed. One of the Teachers is generally an Assistant Visitor, to call on absentees; and the Visitor for the day attends all the schools, to mark the number of teachers and learners present; to enquire the cause of former absence; to receive and class those who apply for admission, and give advice, as may be necessary. The Teachers have to open and close with prayer; the schools at Coventry are on the same plan, in which, I ain happy to learn, there are now 103 learners, besides 45 who have learnt to read the Testament, and are dismissed. The learners are very fond of the Bristol Spelling Book for adults. Wishing for the extensive circulation of your Magazine, as a stimulus to active benevolence,
I am, Sir,