Page images

that they have not sufficient room for the number of children who are desirous of admittance.

One of the secretaries reported that the efforts of the subcommittee appointed to form adult schools at Woolwich, bad been attended with success: thirteen men and three women* being now under instruction.

The Rev. Mr. Purkis stated, that two school-rooms are nearly completed (in connexion with a chapel) at the Canal Bridge, capable of receiving 160 children, and from an enquiry instituted, he had not a doubt but the attendance of that number will be secured so soon as the rooms are fit for their reception.

The meeting was informed by the Rev. Mr. Scott, that a roon had been taken by the committee of the school at East-street, which will present an opening for a considerable accession of children.

W. Stone, Esq. John Dyer, Esq. the Rev. Messrs. Purkis and Scott, and the secretaries, severally addressed the meeting upon the benefits resulting from Sunday School tuition, both as it respects the community at large, as well as those engaged in it, and pressing the necessity of an unwearied zeal in so arduous, but important and honorable an employment.

The chairman concluded with prayer.

N. B. The school at Dartmouth-row chapel, has increased to 103, it consists wholly of boys, only one teacher attends, the rest of the business is performed by Monitors. The Woolwich-road School goes on well.

Extract from the Bath and Cheltenham Gazette, of Decem

ber, 14th, 1814. MR. EDITOR,

Lyncomb, Dec. 12th, 1814. I BEG leave to trouble you with a few particulars of a meeting of the “ Bath Sunday School Union,” held on Tuesday last, at the Chapel of the Countess of Huntingdon, in this city.-The Rev. Dr. Haweis in the chair.

The business commenced with a report by Mr. Whitchurch, one of the secretaries, of the proceedings of the society since the last meeting, together with a summary view of the Sunday Schools established under the Union within twelve miles of Bath, whereby it appeared that about 3100 poor children had been made partakers of the invaluable blessing of education. After drawing a lively picture of the happy and wonderful progress, in forming and carrying on schools for the rising generation, the secretary took notice of the great advancement lately made in this city and its vicinity, in teaching grown persons to read the Bible. It ap

The women have since increased to seven.

peared that several “ Adult Schools” had been established here, and that 207 persons, male and female, (some very old) lad attained an ability to read, or were under instruction.

The meeting was favoured with the company of Dr. Pole, and Stephen Prust, Esq. of Bristol, gentlemen who take a lively interest in promoting schools for adults in that city and its neighbourhood; the latter indeed may be said to have been a principal instrument in the hands of Divine Providence, in bringing these schools to the state of perfection they have attained in that city. In this labour of love, Mr. Prust had been assisted by a benevolent individual

, in a very humble station of life, who having observed with regret that notwithstanding the numerous Bible Societies which had been instituted, that blessed book was of little use to those who were unable to read, formed a noble and generous design for the instruction of such ignorant poor persons. Countenanced by this friend of humanity, the humble philanthropist visited most of the poor in the city of Bristol, and took down the names of those grown persons who could not read, as well as those who were desirous of being taught; whence arose the several Adult Schools in that city, which appear to have been signally blessed to the enlightening inany darkened minds. The number of adults in Bristol and its vicinity taught or under instruction, is stated to be about 2000.

Dr. Pole and Mr. Prust severally addressed the meeting in a lively and feeling manner;* and were ably followed by the Rev. T. Roberts.-Mr. Prust, in the course of his speech, introduced several anecdotes illustrative of the good effects of adult schools. With your permission, Mr. Editor, I will subjoin one of these, which I trust will prove as acceptable to your readers as it was to the late meeting.


A FRIEND TO THE POOR. The case alluded to was that of a poor woman, who told Mr. P. that she had cause to bless God for Adult Schools. Her husband was not only the tyrant of his own house, but the terror of the neighbourhood; as the first information she had of his return hone (late at night) was his knocking down the watchman, quarrelling with his companions, or insulting whoever happened to be as late as himself in the street. These were the signals for her to secure her crockery ware, which in these drunken fits it was his delight to break, then horsewhip her soundly, and retire to rest. This horrid life she endured for years; and, what added to her pitiable situation, her husband seldom brought her home any of his earnings, but spent them at the ale-house: while she, by in

am, &c.

[ocr errors]

• We understand that Dr. Pole's address will appear shortly in the form of a pamphlet. VOL. 11.


in my

cessant hard labour as a waslierwoman, could scarcely keep hierself and children in existence. At length she perceived an improvement in his behaviour: he came home earlier, was less unkind, and by degrees became bearable. Still she dared not ask him the cause, till one evening he said, " Where dost think I have been, Bet ?” “I don't know, Jolm; but wherever you have been, I hope you will go again; I never saw such an alteration in a man

lite." I have been at the Adult School, where I have been learning to read, and can now read in the Bible, which has told me that I was going headlong to hell; so I have done with the alehouse and my drunken companions; and thou shalt go, Bet; and when thou canst read too, we may be as happy as others." She went, learnt to read, and while learning the letter, they drank into the spirit of the Bible; they became vital Christians, and, from being the most miserable, they were now among the most happy of human beings. That tongue, which uttered blasphemy, was now filled with praise; those lips which breathed curses, scandal, and obscenity, now were daily employed in prayer to God for a blessing on his family. In short, the change in his whole conduct was so great as to excite the astonishment of his neighbours, and produced in the breast of his wife, the most lively emotions of gratitude to God. She often looked on him with astonishment, and could scarcely think he was her husband; he was become so conscientious in his dealings, so honest, so industrious, that he would not mis-spend a moment: they were lately in the extreme of poverty, but were now in comparative afiluence: all their wants were supplied; habits of frugality, of charity; of brotherly kindness, were formed; and that house, which was lately a hell upon earth, was now become a paradise.

WILTSHIRE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNIOY. ON Wednesday, Nov. 30th, a general meeting was held at War. minster for the formation and establishment of a Sunday School Union, designed to consist of Christians of all denominations, including Wilts and East-Somerset. The principles upon which this society is founded, and on which they intend to proceed, will, it is hoped, be deemed unexceptionable, and in every respect liberal: without attaching themselves to any party, they earnestly solicit the co-operation of all. Their object is, to promote the instruction of indigent children, and thus to improve the condition of the rising generation. They will endeavour to establish schools where it may be considered eligible, and to give additional impulse to those already existing. Necessitous schools will be supplied with books, either gratuitously, or at considerably reduced prices.



THE second Quarterly Meeting of the Southwark Auxiliary Sunday School Union, was held at the Rev. Mr. Chin's meeting, Walworth, on Thursday evening, the 8th of September, 1814.

The Rev. Mr. Day (of Greenland Dock) in the chair.

After singing the hymn, “ Attracted by love's sacred force,” the Rev. Mr. Presion engaged in prayer.

A report was then read from the committee by Mr. Heward.

It stated, that the plan for ascertaining the state of the schools in the connection of the Auxiliary Union, had completely succeeded.* By requesting an account of the number of children on the books, and the number attending, they found the number of absentees in each school to differ materially. Some had eight, some ten, and others from twelve to twenty, and even thirty absent in one hundred. Conceiving the number of absentees a better proof of the discipline and order of a school, than mere numbers, they recommended from twelve to fifteen in one hundred, as a desirable standard for each school to adopt.

It stated, that measures were taken for the establishment of a depository in a central part of the Borough, for the convenience of their schools in purchasing books, &c. published by the parent institution.

It concluded by observing, that in removing their Quarterly Meetings to different places of worship in Southwark, their object was to interest their congregations in the great cause of Sunday Schools, and made an animating appeal for their liberality to be exercised on that evening.

The Rev. E. Mitchell in moving its reception, observed, that the cry of every new born soul was, “What wilt thou have me to do." To which Sunday Schools, like so many distinct voices, replied, " Come over and help us." He also expatiated on the general utility of Sunday Schools.

The Rev. Mr. Bridge in seconding the resolution, related an anecdote of a child having been instrumental in the conversion of its parents, by praying with and for them.

The Rev. Mr. West of Harold, in moving the second resolution, viz, the alteration of the 6th rule of the society, stated, that should any persons want inducements to engage in the good work, he would say from six years experience, If you liave a desire to promote religion in your own sonl, to grow in grace, engage yourself in a Sunday School.” Should any be discouraged by the want of success, he would mention to such a circunstance of a boy with whom he had, when in a Sunday School, taken much pains for a long while, as he thought, without any success; but

See the state of the Schools annexed to this account.

1 2

meeting him some years afterwards, he was, by his conversation, encouraged to hope that his labour had not been in vain.

Mr. Jones, (secretary of the parent institution) in seconding the resolution, mentioned the formation of a West London Auxiliary Union, two evenings before, and the quarterly meeting of the East London on the last evening, enforced the value of an immortal soul, that for its destruction or salvation the powers of hell and heaven were employed. He related an anecdote of a child having been instrumental in the conversion of father, mother, brother, and sister; and another, shewing the utility of singing in a Sunday School, and concluded by an appeal to those present, on the be. half of the funds of the institution.

Reports were then read from the following schools :
Crosby-Row, by Mr. Denham.
Surry Chapel, by Mr. Burnell.
Lion-Street, by Mr. Swaine,
Prospect-Place, by Mr. Bishop.

The third resolution, “ Thanks to Mr. Chin and his deacons, for the use of the meeting, &c.” was moved by the Rev. Mr. Kid; he stuted that he had been engaged in a Sunday School in Yorkshire, mentioned a fact of two children from that school having joined a Christian church, and expressed a desire to enter into the ministry; he concluded by addressing parents who miglit be present, and teachers, and relating an affecting circumstance of a boy fifteen years of age, being visited by his teacher on a death bed,

Mr. Heward, in seconding the resolution, stated an opportunity for opening a new school in Southwark; mentioned from his own experience the good effects of the union. He did not, he said, hesitate to inform the meeting, that once hearing Lyon-street School was enlarged, and the teachers actively engaged in filling it with children, he felt a little degree of jealousy when he found some children had left the school under his own care, to attend Lyon-street; but the Southwark Auxiliary Union had completely cured this distemper, it had made him acquainted with the superintendent of that school, he had given him the right hạnd of fellowship, and would feel no objection in assisting him or any other superintendent, to fill their schools with children. Indeed he would take that opportunity of suggesting a plan, whereby in a few weeks, one hundred new scholars had been brought to Prospectplace School: this was by encouraging the children to go out into the "

highways” and “ hedges,” and invite others to come in. Such children received a traci for every new scholar they brought, but not till it bad attended four Sundays constant; at the same time, a smaller tract was given to the new scholar. He concluded by hoping the liberality of those present that evening, would enable the society to promote the opening of new, and encrease of old schools in Southwark.

The Rev. Mr. Preston (of Suffolk-street Chapel) moved thanks

« PreviousContinue »