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moral and intellectual improvement of the lowest orders become the care and concern of the most exalted personages in the state. And while the other nations of Europe have been bleeding at every pore, from a sanguinary and protracted war, thou hast remained in comparative peace and security. It is not meant to be understood that a portion of the vial which has been poured out to the devastation of other countries, has not fallen on the land of liberty, ships, and commerce; but if we look at other nations, how great is the cause for gratitude to heaven. The fertility of our soil has not arisen from the blood of its inhabitants, we have witnessed no tears for property despoiled, nor heard the whisperings of curses “ pot loud but deep,” for unjust aggressions; every class of society here is equally amenable to the laws; and every subject of this realm may worship God in that way his conscience and his judgment best approve.
But while this Committee congratulate themselves, and their countrymen, on the distinguished blessings and privileges they enjoy as Englisbmen, and cordially unite in wishing prosperity and success to every institution which has for its object the spread of useful knowledge, and the bettering the condition of man, throughout the world; it will be expected that they describe some, at least, of the claims theirs has upon the patronage of the public at large, and upon that of the town of Macclesfield in particular. Like that grand institution the British and Foreign Bible Society, this, by a happy union of Christians of all denominations, is in its nature and principle universal. The object of that society is the dissemination of the book of God of this, to teach to read it; and by every means, but that of compulsion, to promote the belief of its heavenly doctrines, and the practice of its divine precepts. Calculated as is the mild and persuasive discipline of this School, to promote babits of subordination, loyalty, industry, sobriety, and restraint in all, this committee could point out not a few who have passed through it, and others now upon their list, whose amiable conduct bespeaks the ascendancy of higher motives,- of Christian principles. And since the publication of the last Annual Report, several have died with a sacred composure of soul, under the influence of Christian hope; testifying how much they were indebted to the salutary instructions they had received in this School.
Such are the advantages which the town and neighbourhood of Macclesfield have been reaping from an institution, begun and established nearly eighteen years ago, under the auspices of a man whose memory is engraven on the hearts of many, whose efforts in promoting the temporal and eternal happiness of all ranks, in this populous district, during a period of twenty-four years, were uniform and unremitting; and whose many amiable virtues had the warm admiration and higli esteem of every one, except the envious and malignant.
But to secure the permanent establishment of the institution, a building was wanting, the sole property of the charity, wherein the system şo long and so successfully acted upon, might be perpetuated, without danger of molestation or interruption; which a merely hired one would be always subject to. This, through the good hand of God, and the benevolence and zeal of the numerous friends and supporters of the institution, has been effected; and an edifice, already vested in the hands of trustees, for the use of the poor of Macclesfield and its vicinity for eyer, capable of containing three thousand scholars, appears at once an ornament to the town, and a monument of the Cbristian philanthropy, munificence, and public spirit of those who were the instruinents of erecting it. To the benevolent indi. viduals and public bodies, who have so generously patronized the design by their liberal pecuniary subscriptions--to those who have aided its accomplishment by the labour of their horses, or that of personal manual exertion, and to all who have discovered any interest in its prosperity and success, the committee return their warmest thanks, accompanied by ardent prayers to the throne of grace, that when the son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, this that they have done may be told for a memorial of them, and the approbation of the judge be manifest by his own blessed declaration—" Inasmuch as ye did it unto the least of these ye did it unto me.” In making this public and grateful acknowledgement to the friends and benefactors of the institution, the committee sleem it a debt of justice to report, that of the £3000 subscribed for the accomplishment of this great object, £1000 have been furnished by the teachers and scholars, aud that their weekly subscriptions are still continued. Thus the subjects of the charity are contributing with their ową money to the perpetuity of their own improvement, and that of posterity. There is an indescribable strength in this principle, which increases its means of prosperity by the mere force of its own movements. It has been said by an acute observer, that “ of such a lesson it is impossible to form an estimate. It is the greatest among the real rights of man to promote the moral and intellectual happiness of his own species. Here the lowest moves in the same sphere with the highest, until he reach the same level of benevolence. This is the best equality--and although it is power, it is consecrated power,—the sword of the giant from the temple of the Lord.”
In this School 1,100 boys, and 1,167 girls are educated, Total, 2,267. We have received the following account of the placing of the
founuuiion stone, in addition to the above report, On the 22d April, 1813, the gentlemen composing the committee, for carrying into effect the design of erecting a building to
contain from two thousand to three thousand children, for gratuitous instruction on Sundays, in this large and populous town; went in procession from the Macclesfield Arms Inn, preceded by the artificers and workmen, carrying the insignia of their professions, and a full band of music, and attended by two lodges of free and accepted masons, in the uniforms of their respective orders; to lay the first stone of the edifice about to be erected, by the voluntary contributions and subscriptions of the inhabitants and the public. The procession arrived upon the ground soon after one o'clock, when the two masonic societies passed through a line, formed by the committee, to a platform, purposely erected for their accommodation; at the summit of which the stone was prepared. Two thousand children, or upwards, of which the institution at present consists, attended by their teachers; who Irad been previonsly arranged on the scite of the ground appropriated to the intended building now sang a hymn selected for the occasion, accompanied by the whole band of instrumental performers in the centre. The effect produced by this grand and solemin service was impressive beyond description; and if the writer may be allowed to express something like unto the emo tions of his own heart, on the occasion; the surrounding multitude must have felt in no low degree, the force of that beautiful passage in the book of Job: “I delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and him that had none to help him; and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.” One of the masonic brethren having read the inscription on the brass plate, a number of coins were deposited, and the stone was laid with the usual formalities. The masonic chaplain then proceeded to deliver an appropriate and impressive oration, and afterwards offered up a prayer for the prosperity of the institution, and the town; for the important designs connected with the intended edifice, and for the general extension and advancement of Christ's kingdom upon earth. &c.
Notwithstanding it is computed that there were not less than from ten to twelve thousand spectators on the ground, not the slightest disorder prevailed. And while the people evinced the lively sensations, and the grateful interests they felt in the transactions of this memorable day, by their acclamations and their blessings; the committee had to congratulate themselves on the termination of the business, without the occurrence of a single jujurious accident.
i he procession returned to the Inn (in the same order it had proceered to the ground, save that the committee were in the rear) where an excellent dinner was provided for the friends of the institution.
The chair was taken by George Pearson, Esq. after dinner, the healths of the King, the Queen, the Prince Regent, and Royal Family; prosperity to their intended edifice for a Sunday School, in Macclesfield, and may its beneficial effects be seen and known, when those who were the instruments of raising it shall be mouldering in the dust. The bettering the condition of the poor by religious instruction throughout the world, &c. &c. were drank with acclamations, The company retired from this feast of reason highly gratified, and justly considering the day as deserving to be held in remembrance.
QUARTERLY REPORT OF TIR
WEST KENT SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION
Dear Sir, WHEN truly benevolent minds learn, that prosperous attempts are making to promote the welfare of immortal beings, they enjoy a high gratification; and are anxious to know, not so much the particular spot where they are carried on, or who are the honoured instruments employed in them, as the extent of the benefit that is likely to arise. Those persons cannot be said to adory the Christian character to its full extent, who withhold that assistance from a benevolent institution, which it is in their power to communicate, merely because it does not fall within the boundary line with which indolence, or something else has surrounded their sphere of operation. Doubtless, if the mind has received all that charity of feeling wbich the religion of Jesus is capable of imparting, it will know of "
limits but the world or distinction of men ajongst the whole human race” for its exercise, except such as the prospect of more extensive usefulness may define.
They who “ profess and call themselves Christians,” ought to be active in the service of him by whose name they are distin, guished, whenever and wherever they can. Let us not be misunderstood. We do not intend that they are to neglect one object to promote another.
Should persons who are solicited to co-operate in some new means to forward the cause of religion and humanity, be induced by what they dcem sufficient motives to decline; let them be satistied with giving a retusal, or if they must say soinething, let their voice be heard in the language of encouragement.
Perliaps you will not perceive an immediate connexion betwixt the preceding remarks, and the quarterly report we have to present. As we are doubtful whether there would not be some diffi. culty in making such a connexion appear, we shall decline the attempt.
We are, Dear Sir,
The third quarterly meeting of the West Kent Sunday School Union, was held at East-street Chapel, Greenwich, on Friday Evening the 18th of November.
W. Stone, Esq. having taken the chair, a hymn was sung, and the Rev. Mr. Scott commenced with prayer.
Interesting reports were read from several of the schools be. longing to the union, including the following one from the Greenwich Adult School, (removed from Deptford.)
The prudent operations of well directed zeal, especially amongst Christians have generally been productive of the most beneficial consequences to the coinmunity at large; and the forniation of one society for the promotion of public morals, has not uufrequently led to the establishment of others. Of late years, this observation has been verified in a remarkable degree, and to an extent far beyond the sanguine expectations of minds most ardent for the dissemination of religious truth: in our own neighbrorhood a spirit of emulation and Christian zeal has been exerted, which we hope will know of no limits but the world, or distinction of men amongst the whole human race..
The enquiry instituted by the Deptford Bible Association, into the want of the Scriptures amongst the poor, led to a knowledge that ignoiance prevailed to a considerable extent, and that numerous persous who were desirous to possess a Bible, were not only incapable of reading it, but even unacquainted with the letters of the alphabet : an attempt was therefore made to 'establish a school for the instruction of adults, which at first was ruinerously attended, and for a time the teachers had reason to be satisfied with the success of their labours, but for want of a well organized plan, it gradually declined, and was ultimately discontinued.
An effort was however made a short time previous to the last quarterly meeting of your union, by some of its members, with the assistance of others to re-establish it, and a suitable place having been obtained, and a plan adopted for the regular attendance of superintendents and teachers, it is now hoped that it will be permanently carried on. The number of adults has increased since pour last quarterly meeting; there are now twenty-two on the books, ten are enabled to read the New Testament with which they have been supplied, and it will no doubt be gratifying to the union to be informed, that of this number seven are Catholics, and that they not only manifest a strong desire to obtain knowledge themselves, but have voluntarily subscribed towards the Hibernian Society, established for the formation and support of schools ainongst the children of catholics and protestants in Ireland.
No particular striking instances of usefulness were contained in the reports, but the information they conveyed, was in general, of a very encouraging nature; it appears that several of the schools have increased since our last meeting. From the reports of Hughes' Fields, and the Canal Bridge Sunday Schools, we learn