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daughters. As their Father, he ex- with the ordinances of his house, and ercises towards them all the care, the means of grace. And oh! what tenderness, and affection, belonging seasons of refreshing are these from to that endearing relation; he allows the divine presence. them to hold familiar intercourse To crown all, he has given them a with himself, and to lay before him title to mansions in the skies; yea, it their wants and complaints with the is his good pleasure to give them a openness and freedom a child uses kingdom, a kingdom of immense dewith an affectionate and indulgent light, a state in which they shall father.
enjoy perfect freedom from all sorrow Moreover, he has given them his and sighing, and in which fulness of Holy Spirit, not only to bear witness joy and pleasures for evermore shall with their spirits that they are the be their portion. children of God, but also to sanctify From this subject let the Christian, them, to be their comforter under the however poor, obscure, or afflicted, various troubles of life, and also as draw consolation. He is beloved of an earnest, or certain pledge and the Lord, and no affliction with token of their right and title to the which he may be exercised can overheavenly inheritance.
throw or invalidate the fact, a fact The gracious and ample provision the reality of which will to him be a he has made for their solace under source of unbounded delight through the complicated afflictions through eternal ages. which they have to pass, is a further Let him also exult in the honor manifestation of his love. He has conferred upon him. What greater given to them great, exceeding great distinction can attach to a mortal and precious promises; promises of than to be beloved of the Lord ? Do all needful assistance; promises of men esteem it an honor to receive his continued and abiding presence; attention from persons of elevated and promises of timely and complete rank? How much more honorable deliverance. These promises, too nu- to be the object of Jehovah's regard ! merous to mention, are full of com- Who does not feel disposed to fort to a good man, proceeding as adopt the beautiful prayer of the they do from an almighty and faithful psalmist, “Remember me, O Lord, God. Nor has he only thus provided with the favor which thou bearest to for the comfort of his people, but he thy people ?"
G. C. B. has also done it by furnishing them Warwickshire.
SURVEY OF SABBATH-SCHOOLS.
EDUCATION is the great question of unlimited authority, and to crush the times. Nothing engages more the interests of dissent. Awake to of public attention. Seized with the their dangerous position, dissenters popular mania, government proposed of every name, rallied together, and a plan of education, not on impartial formed one broad phalanx to resist and equitable grounds, but for secta- the rude and daring attack made on rian purposes.
With all the bland. their common and priceless interests. ness of courtly sophistry, its concoc- Appalled at their invincible aspect, ters endeavoured to palm a measure the enemy quailed, and fled from the on the public, ostensibly designed terrific battery, and they returned to invest the State Church with victorious without an engagement.
Proud with this brilliant conquest In proceeding to take a cursory over the hand of tyranny, which, in glance of Sabbath-schools, which is exultation, would have crippled and all the limits of this paper will admit, bound their liberties, dissenters are our attention is first arrested by their now bent on the noblest project. As extensive prevalence. All denomic the jealous and consistent advocates nations of Christians in England; the of enlightenment and freedom, they State Church, with all its hauteur, magnanimously purpose the adhesion patronage, and endowment; the vaof daily schools to their Sabbath- ried, numerous, and extended ranks schools, conducted on a popular, of dissenters, down to the lowest and economical, and expansive scale. For least commanding of this estimable this transcendant object, the Wes- band, have their Sabbath-schools. leyans propose to raise £200,000; These institutions, next in rank to the Independents have opened a sub- the ministry as the means of diffusing scription, whose lists are already the light of truth, are blended with graced with handsome donations; and every section of the Christian Church, the Baptists have agreed to rally and are found wherever its hallowed round the British and Foreign School influence is felt. They are not merely Society with their subscriptions and located in the metropolis, and in the efforts to perpetuate and extend its principal provincial cities, but in triumphs. From the steps now almost every town, village, and taken, we see in the distance our hamlet, from John O'Groat's house to native land bestudded like the firma. Land's End. Sabbath-school instrucment with daily schools, pouring tion is richly communicated throughforth streams of new and valuable out the whole of England, is given light, and augur a period when every in Wales, is liberally imparted in individual will be able to read the Scotland, and is offered to the geneBible, and when in every village will rous sons of “the green isle,” with be found literary men and social all their wrongs and oppressions. In libraries. What a sublime and glo- America these institutions are numerious enterprise! Beyond all gran- rous and flourishing, while on the deur, this is grand! A new era is wide and interminable missionary about to dawn on our father-land. field, limited indeed only by the ends May it be invested with an effulgence of the earth, wherever there is a outshining and surpassing even our missionary station there is a Sundayhighest and most sanguine expec- school. The whole Church of Christ, tations !
however its endless sections differ in Standing on the threshold of this opinion on circumstantials, regards gigantic movement, while plans are Sabbath-schools as its most healthful forming and arrangements are being nurseries, and generously fosters them completed, a brief survey of the under its watchful care. In all these Sabbath-schools in active operation, schools the infant and the adult are and of their sovereign influence, alike taught. What a mighty concannot fail to strengthen our ad- federacy! Never was such unison herence to these institutions, and as this displayed till the rise of prepare us for our new and prospec- Sunday-schools. No mind can survey tive undertaking. That movement unmoved this stupendous combination of movements in the last century is to teach the rising youth to read and replete with remarkable phenomena. revere the oracles of God. Did we Happen what may in after times, know the precise amount of instructhe name of its great originator will tion given, or the exact number of live through all ages, and in all lands, scholars taught, we should be overin the enjoyment of unfading glory. whelmed at its magnitude, while our
bosom would swell with ardent grati. While they have our best wishes in tude in behalf of the youthful millions this enterprise, we trust they will thus educated and blest.
soon advance another step, ask to be And the support of Sabbath-schools separate from the state, and throw is as marvellous as their number is the Church on its own resources, great. Princely revenues an- feeling assured religion would be nually expended in supplying the more efficient and prosperous in the necessary rooms, books, and rewards, world. for these countless seminaries. And But this is only a superficial view whence is this imperial treasure sup
of the subject. What time and effort plied? How is this mighty, ever- are expended in support of Sabbathgrowing, and multiplying demand, schools! Who could estimate the sermet and satisfied from time to time? mons preached, the correspondence Not by government grants, nor by written, and the teachers'-meetings taxes levied on the people, neither by annually held ? To this no one is princely bequests of the dying. No, competent. Moreover, thousands of no!! This golden torrent rolls plen- enlightened and exemplary Christians, teously and freely from the bosom of the flower of our congregations and voluntaryism. From the freewill Churches, spend the best portions of offerings of the people the income is the Sabbath in superintending and equal to the expenditure, and more instructing the children. And it is than equal. Deficiency is neither
Deficiency is neither worthy being written in letters of gold, known felt. Never
that this mass, this incredible mass of Sunday-school allowed to suspend human effort, is entirely gratuitous, is operations for want of necessary put forth without the slightest worldly pecuniary supplies. Managers have compensation. There is nothing only to make a respectful appeal to with respect to this life, either in the the willinghood of an enlightened past, present, or future, that can and generous public, and that appeal form any part of the considerations receives a prompt and munificent which prompt the noble undertaking. response.
The cheerfulness and Never did disinterestedness liberality with which these institu- monument fair and inviting. tions are supported is a marvel even What then is the main-spring of to their best friends and patrons. In the movement ? What is it that this service voluntaryism is triumph- set and keeps in motion this stuantly asserting its truth, exercising its pendous machinery, which is lavishpower, and gathering up at every ing untold and priceless benefits on step the ensigns of untarnished celeb- the rising generation ? It is love. rity. It is rising in unsullied majesty The love Christ has shown to man, to clear itself from the odious impu. and the love man owes to Christ in tations cast upon it, and to proclaim return, is the great consideration its omnipotency in the cause of truth. which constrains the patrons of SabLet its opponents stand and pause. bath-schools to diffuse the light of But this they have already done. life among the rising youth, and arms The huge and unsightly fabric of them with indomitable perseverence compulsoryism has received a shock in their disinterested vocation. Surely which it will not recover. We think this widely extended, well directed, it cannot, and we hope its abettors and long sustained effort to give the do the same. At length they have letter and the word to children, partly renounced allegiance to this on principles so disinterested and unscriptural principle. The Episcopal Christ-like, is at once incomparably Church has agreed to originate new grand and supernal. daily schools by voluntary effort. But the number and support of Sabbath-schools, however surprizing, Had they done nothing more than are thrown into perfect eclipse and show how utterly unfounded and darkness, compared with their effects. baseless are objections to popular How varied, extended, and salutary, education, this is a triumph which in is the influence of these institutions ! itself entitles them to high, unlimited Where shall we begin to survey it? eulogy, patronage, and support. Look at their influence in connection Nor is this the only view to be with popular education. How ef. taken of their effects. Sabbathfectually are those objections silenced schools have greatly refined the and removed, once so loud and fre- social enjoyments, and raised the inquent against the common mind being tellectual character of the common enlightened. No longer is it boldly people. The gambling, intoxication, asserted that education among the and gross obscenities once notorious labouring classes would induce indo- at rural feasts, and places of public lence and independence; would tend amusement, are, to a great extent, to destroy diversity of rank and sta- suppressed and supplanted, by peace, tion; and reduce society to one com- order, and sobriety. Conversation, mon graceless level.
one of man's distinctions, is often Through the medium of Sabbath- carried on with a degree of sense and schools intelligence has been commu- information, coupled with a glow of nicated, and popularignorance is rapidly wit, humor, and brilliancy, not disdisappearing. In addition to higher creditable to persons of literary preand holier truths, the common people tentions. Not a few trained in these have learned that they are not serfs, laudable institutions have, by the to be trodden upon with impunity; dint of perseverance in subsequent that they are not mere machines, to life, raised themselves to posts of be worked at pleasure; that man, as honor and usefulness in the world, man, has rights, inherent, untransfer- while some have attained eminence able rights, with his fellowmen. And and celebrity in the learned professions. what is the result? Why, while they And how obvious their effect on the maintain self-respect, man's birth- progress of periodical literature. Beright, instead of being less industrious fore the rise of Sabbath-schools, how and respectful, less honest and faithful small was the number, and restricted as servants, their service is more direct, the circulation, of periodicals. In efficient, and valuable. Education America there was only one periodiis light, and light is power. Give cal in the year 1741, called the General education to the common people, and Magazine, conducted by Benjamin you invest them with moral greatness, Franklin, and it died in six months. which is the strength and bulwark In 1743 the Weekly Magazine of our land. Consequently educa- started and stopped in one month. sion is become the exciting topic of Not a periodical existed in 1775, the day. Than this, nothing engages except the Pennsylvanian Magazine, more attention. All the nations whose columns were chiefly supplied of Europe are looking to it. Even by the impious pen of Paine. In barbarous governments are asking 1810, there were only about twenty for it. The school and the college publications, whereas now there are are appearing in the east and west, more than one hundred, and generally in the village and wilderness, from in a thriving and flourishing condithe river to the ends of the earth. tion. In England, even at the close For this we are mainly indebted to of the last century, when the Evanthe influence of Sabbath-schools. gelical Magazine was launched, how What a splendid achievement! How scanty was the supply of periodicals. sublime and glorious a conquest ! But now, in addition to the literary, sientific, and political publications enterprising deacons of our Churches; with which the press daily teems, some of the most devoted and successevery religious denomination has its ful ministers of the Gospel, and missionperiodical, and some denominations aries, who have left the land of their more than one. Many of these peri. best associations and dearest loves, to odicals are low in price, fraught with plant the broad pennant of the cross on information, popular in character, distant shores, and take possession and earnest in tone of thought and of them in the name of Immanuel. feeling, on subjects of supreme and Ascending from earth to heaven, we universal importance. This rapid behold around the throne a countless march in the progress of periodical group of illustrious worthies who literature, together with the new and were trained in these institutions. elevated position it occupies, is mainly Having fought “the good fight," referrable to Sabbath-schools. With they have left the field of warfare for in their hallowed precincts the mil- the city of triumph. They have lion were taught to read. Here the passed from the scene of conflict to insatiable thrist for knowledge was the citadel of glory. They have exawakened, and here it is stimulated changed the insignia of combat for a from Sabbath to Sabbath. These robe, a palm, a crown, a kingdom, and are among the grand results of Sab- are now swelling the celestial chorus, bath-school instruction. Its sovereign “Blessing and honor, and glory, and influence extends to the minds, the power, be unto him that sitteth upon morals, and the tastes of multitudes, the throne, and unto the Lamb, for will be felt by nations yet unborn, ever and ever.” These effects surand travel onwards to the end of pass all others as eternity outstrips time. No mind can survey its bound time, and as heaven transcends earth. less, shoreless influence.
From this hasty survey of the But we have the brightest and number, support, and effects, of best view of the subject in connection Sabbath-schools, we find them rewith the interests of religion. A plete with remarkable phenomena. flood of religions intelligence has Infidel philosophy and worldly phirolled far, and wide, and deep,--over- lanthrophy can offer nothing as parcoming many existing prejudices, and allels. The great and good on earth, checking the prevalence of error
and the hosts of heaven, may safely clothed in new and fascinating forms. unite in pronouncing this movement The hearers of the Gospel are multi- of movements, superlatively, ineffably plied in number, intelligence, and grand and majestic. power. The Saviour's ranks are Honored Sabbath-school teachers ! swelled with a host of devoted sub- awake to the dignity and grandeur jects, whose influence is extensively of your vocation.
Be assured felt. Some are actively employed your calling is invested with a in those schools where they first splendour and stamped with an imthought of God, first bowed the knee portance not to be surpassed.
All in prayer, and started in their pil- that the human mind can contemplate, grimage to heaven. Others are use- and all that the human imagination fully engaged in the social prayer- can conceive, compared with the end meeting, in the tract society, and in of your office, are but as the puerilvisiting the sick and dying. Not a few ities of children and the trifles of a weekly itinerate to the villages in their moment. Your object is the salvamoreimmediate vicinity,“holding forth tion of immortal souls ; and so replete the word of life.” And from these sem- with interest and importance is that inaries of early piety have sprung some object, that the proudest monuments of the most generous, enlightened, and of human genius are not worth a