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HYMN FOR SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS.
BE the little ones instructed,
Taught the knowledge of the Lord;
school-to church conducted,
Brethren, sisters, far around-look
Where the youthful wand'rers stray;
Guide them in the narrow way.
Still the Lord, by invitation
Welcomes children to his arms;
Sweet the voice of Jesu's charms.
Lamb of God! while interceding
For these objects of thy care,
Draw their hearts, fulfil our prayer.
Lord of Teachers - blessed Jesus !
As thou wert make us to be;
We shall then resemble thee.
Children, once by thee invited,
At thy kindly bidding came;
Train the young to praise thy name.
Holy men, thy word oft preaching,
Much of thy salvation know;
Grow in grace-in knowledge grow.
Thy upholding power we crave;
Seek the souls 'tis thine to save.
EXTRACTS relative to SUNDAY SCHOOLS, From the Report of Minutes of Evidence taken before the Select
Committee of the House of Commons, on the Education of the Lower Örders of the Metropolis.
Mr. HENRY Althans called in and Examined. ARE you secretary to the East London Auxiliary Sunday School Union Society?-I am one of the secretaries.
How long has it been established ?—Rather more than two years.
How many Sunday schools has it established ?- About ten since its commencement.
How many children are taught at these ten schools:-One thousand two hundred and ninety-six children.
What district does the care of this society extend to ?The Union is confined to Sunday schools within the following limits : the River Thames, Gracechurch-street, Bishopsgate-street, through Shoreditch and Kingsland to Stamfordhill, allowing any Sunday school in the county of Essex to unite that may find it convenient: that is the line of demarcation, and we take all on the east of that line.
What assistance du you give to Schools, as established in your parish ?-We assist them by giving them money for the purpose of fitting up their schools, or providing books for the commencement of them, and any other assistance that they may apply to the committee for, which is found necessary.
How are your funds raised Partly by subscriptions of the existing Sunday schools, and partlý by voluntary contributions.
What is your yearly expenditure?-During the two years it was between £ 50. and £60. each year.
What are the receipts?
They are about the same. Is the teaching in these Sunday schools performed gratuitously?-Entirely so.
How many hours on the Sunday do the children generally attend?-I think, upon an average, we may say about five hours, besides attending a place of worship.
Are children admitted without any distinction of sect? Entirely.
Are they obliged, in any of these schools, to attend the national church? I do not know that there is any compulsion.
Is there any reluctance on the part of the Dissenters to send their children to them?—They are quite willing.
On the part of Catholics there is a reluctance?-Yes; we have had in our Sunday schools instances of the children of Roman Catholics attending them with the consent of their parents, but after having attended a few Sabbaths, the children tell us they are not to come any more; we presume on account of the interference of the parent.*
So that, in point of fact, few or no Catholics do attend these Schools -Certainly.
What are the children taught in these Sunday schools ?First, they are taught to read, and our main object is to teach them to read the Bible, and we exhort them to attend to all the moral duties of life. Our chief object is to convey religious instruction to the children, believing that to be the foundation of all moral good.
Do you teach any particular catechism in these schools?No particular catechism, unless in schools connected with the established church. The chief catechism we use is that of Dr. Watts.
Are many of the ten schools mentioned, so connected with the established church, as that a Dissenter could not, consistently with his tenets, send his children to them?- I believe there is not one of them connected with the established church.
How many schools then are connected with your Union altogether?-Fifty-nine.
How many children are taught in those fifty-nine schools? - There are 913 teachers, and 9,291 children.
In what way are these connected with your Union?-By sending subscriptions and representatives to the committee of our Union.
* Mr. A. informs us it should have been priest.
Do they receive any assistance from your society ?-They are at liberty to apply for whatever assistance they may require, and if it is found necessary, and the committee think proper, such assistance will be granted.
At what age are the children generally admitted into these Sunday schools ?-- I believe not under six years of age.
How long do they continne in them ?– Usually until they are fourteen years of age; but, upon an average, we think that our children do not continue with us above two years.
Are they children of the poorest classes?-We consider them the chief object of Sunday schools.
Do any children of a somewhat higher class attend? There are several respectable persons' children who attend, on account of the religious instruction given.
Do you receive any pay ?-None whatever. In some schools, the children and monitors subscribe; but it is an act entirely their own, without being asked for it.
From what you know of Sunday schools, how long do you think a child takes learning to read ?- I have known a boy of 14 years old come into a Sunday school, who was scarcely able to read a letter, and by the time he had been in a twelvemonth he was able to read correctly in the Testament, and had no other instruction whatever, excepting that he received at the Sunday school. But in a general way, we think, upon an average, the children learn to read in about three years.
Do you teach writing ?-On the week evenings, which is also gratuitous:
Is that taught to all, or only meant as a reward ?-It is a reward for proficiency and good behaviour.
Have you any adults in these schools ?-We have adults to the number of 580, taught within the limits of our Union; and there are other adult schools connected with the City of London Adult Society, that has been recently formed; but We take no notice of them in our own.
How long does an adult take to learn to read at an adult school?-About five months; they are taught on Sunday, and one or two evenings in the week.
When you say that a boy at a Sunday school will learn to read in three years, do you mean a boy of ordinary abilities? I do.
Having no other instruction in the week-day?-None; but then we recommend the children to be taught by their parents, and brothers and sisters, at home, to acquire all the assistance they can by that means.
Have you had the means of comparing the progress made by children of the same description at a Sunday school and a day school ?-We have had many instances occur, where children who go to day schools have been taken from them by their parents, and sent to our Sunday schools, on account of their education being so much neglected.
Have you had any means of coniparing the progress made, where there was no neglect of the day schoolst-I have not,
In these Sunday schools, is the new method of teaching adopted :-Only partially.
Is there any deficiency of teachers ?-We consider that we have teachers sufficient to instruct the children we have at present in the schools; but that if we could have inore commodious school-rooms, we might have a greater number of teachers, and more children might be instructed.
How many teachers, in general, are there, in proportion to 100 children? - About ten in some of these schools; the ten teachers attend each Sunday. To 100 children, in other schools, there are a greater number of teachers, and they take it in rotation.
How many of these others attend each Sunday? Where they have few children and a great number of teachers, the teachers attend once a fortnight or three weeks.
How many children can the teacher teach at once? -Ten or fifteen children ; but the numbers of children vary according to the particular circumstances in the school.
Is there any instance of one teacher in a Sunday school taking charge of 90 or 100 children? I believe not; they cannot take the whole charge, unless assisted by monitors.
Do you mean to represent the teacher to teach, upon an average, 10 or 15 children at once ?-Yes, about that number.
Have you any further information to give to the committee?-I undertook to raise a Sunday school in that deplorable part of London called St. Catherine's, there being a great number of children in that neighbourhood who were totally uninstructed. About eighteen months ago a school was formed there, which now contains nearly 200 children; and many of these children who are now in the school, when first they came were unable to read, but now they are able to read well in the Bible. Finding that neighbourhood to be one in which there was a great deal of iniquity practised, I endeavoured, through the means of children whom we employ as monitors, to ascertain the ways in which children were led into such iniquitous practices; and by this means I found out that there are four Jews, who live in St. Catherine's-laue gene. rally, but they have other places of abode, and these four Jews have got a gang of 21 boys, whom they are bringing up as reputed thieves. One or two of these boys, and perhaps