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Sunday Schools the exhortation once addressed to Peter" Feed my lambs.” The infuence of reflections of this nature was evidently felt by the ministers who conducted the religious services of the day
The scenes of the morning of that day were excellent preparatives for the duties of the evening, when 300 teachers met irith one accord, in one place, to hear the Word of God. They heard with attention and with profit. At subsequent meetings the most satisfactory proofs were given, that the effect of the services of that day had been an increase in many of the schools in the number both of teachers and of scholars, together with a visible inprovement in point of diligence on the part of each.
The second of the objects for which this Union was formed, was improvement in the method of instruction by means of hints on the subject, whieh it was expected the Society would, from various quarters, receive. This expectation has not been disappointed, and many useful suggestions have been offered at the quarterly meetings.
The third object proposed to be answered by the Union,' was the opening of new schools where they might be needed; and under this head your committee have the pleasure to state, that during the year seven new schools have been established, viz. at Standish, at the Thrup, at Painswick Slad, at Bisley, at Brimscomb, at Chalford, and at Thieves-comb.
There are in connexion with the Stroud Union 25 schools, con: taining 3,635 children, and 453 teachers, an increase of more than one
le-third part of the present numbers having been made during the last year. A few schools within the district of the Society have not yet joined the Union; those schools, added to the above, make a grand total of more than 4000 children.
The last, but not the least, of the four objects for which the Union was formed, was to cherish sentiments of Christian concord and affection,
The teachers of the various schools belonging to the Union, wish to consider one another not as rivals, but as friends and fellow-labourers. They are aware, at the same time, of the existence of various obstacles which oppose the cultivation of this sentiment, arising from a multiplicity of sources, but chiefly from the imperfection of our nature. They do not think that the Scripture saith in vain--" The spirit tliat dwelleih in us lusteth to envy.” Many of the schools are contiguous to one another. The 25 of which the Union is composed, are contained within a circle of twelve miles diameter, and the majority of them within one-third part of that space. People are naturally most partial to the religious denomination to which they belong, and to this school in which from week to week they laboriously exert then selves; nor are the Committee of the Siroud Union sanguin enough to expect, that the result of the Union will be to ke this partiality in every instance within legitimate bounds 1 they assuredly know, because they have felt, that the tendency of the Union is to promote a disposition of which, among other excellencies, it is said that it envieth not, hopeth all things, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth in the truth, and is in a word the fulfilling of the Law. On this subject the committee particularly recommend to the attention of the Society, a resolution passed at a former meeting, respecting children who may leave one school with the wish to join another. The observation of that rule has already been attended with considerable benefit.
THE Hibernian Sunday School Society is very actively and successfully employed in extending the work of instruction in Ireland. It has been already instrumental in producing many good effects, and the sphere of its operations and usefulness is constantly extending. When we consider the amazing benefits which have arisen in England from the establishment of Sunday Schools, during more than thirty years, we cannot refrain from entertaining ardent expectations of the happy influence of similar institutions in the sister kingdom. The following is an Extract from the Fifth Report of the HIBERNIAN SUNDAY
SCHOOL SOCIETY, for the year ending April, 1815. THE number of Schools is connexion with your society still continues to increase. Within the last year aid has been given in money and books to one hundred and twenty-nine Schools, of which fifty-two had received similar assistance in former years; seventy-seven applied for the first time. To these one hundred and twenty-nine Schools, grants have been made by your Committee of 611 Bibles; 3,624 Testaments; 4,193 Spelling-Books No. 1; 4,275 Spelling-Books No. 2; 3,493 Alpbabets, and 171 Hints for the Establishment of Sunday Schools, and £74. 11s. in money.
Exclusive of which the following books have been sold at reduced prices:-50 Testaments; 1,239 Spelling-books No. 1; 1,641 Spelling-Books No. 2, and 315 Alphabets.
The eptire number of Schools assisted since the establishment of the society will appear from the following statement. Grants were made in 1810,
to 2 Schools 1811,
to 42 Schools which had not before applied 1812-13, to 73 Schools which had not before applied 1813-14, to 58 Schools which had not before applied
1814-15, to 77 Schools which had not before applied Making a total, 252 Schools, containing 28,598 children.
Within the same period the following assistance has been af. forded gratuitously :-1,288 Bibles; 10,689 Testaments; 15,311 Spelling-Books No. 1; 13,329 Spelling-Books No. 2; 9,095 Alphabeis: 39 + Hints for conducting Sunday Schools; and 54 Bibles, 707 Testaments, 5,413 Spelling-Books No. 1; 5,270 SpellingBooks No. 2; 1,212 Alphabets, and 11 Hints for conducting
Sunday Schools have been distributed at reduced prices, and £188. 38. 9d. in money.
The influence of the exertions of your society in promoting the establishment of new Schools, will appear by considering, that from 1793 to 189, 33 Schools, containing 3833 childreu, were formed; but since the commencement of the society, 219 Schools
, containing 25,758 children, have been established, as appears by the following statement:
Date. Schools. Children. Date. Schools. Children. 1810 15 2281 1813
5829 1811 36 4463 1814
61 5781 1812 60 7404 Your Committee cannot omit to record the formation of an Association in Dublin in the year 1811, for the purpose of promoting the establishment of Sunday Schools in Dublin and its vicinity;-in Belfast, of the New Sunday School Society, labouring in connexion with your society;--and in Hillsborough of a similar Sunday School Society, under the immediate patronage of the Marquis and Marchioness of Downshire; and they have with pleasure heard of the establishment of a Society in Edinburgh, whose sole object is to further instruction in this country. · YOUR Committee feel great pleasure in alluding to the Sabbath Evening Schools established in Scotland. They are devoted entirely to religious instruction, and are not confined to the lower classes of society. Your Committee know no reason why some plan of a similar kind should not be adopted in England: Sabbath Evening Schools are established at Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, and Paisley: The following is presented as a specimen, being an Extract from the Sixtu ANNUAL REPORT of the Committee of
Management of the SABBATI EVENING SC11001. Society, in
THERE is one class of the community-the rising youth of Britain, which presents a claim of peculiar interest. They are to be the actors in the great drama of human life, when we shall have closed our parts, and made our exit; therefore, benevolence to the world should make us cautious what characters we send to act upon its stage.” Shall we then sit in listless indolence, and feel no desire to transmit the same blessings to our posterity, which we have inherited from our forefathers ? Shall we remain unconcerned spectators while the emissaries of darkness are bent upon their destruction? Shall no effort be made to stem the torrent of vice, -to check the progress of youthful depravity? Shall the thousands of our youth destitute of all religious instruction, a prey to the spares with which they are surrounded, be left " !! go down to the grave with a lie in their right hand,” having no eye to pity them, and no arm stretched out to save them? That heart must be steeled to every feeling of true benevolence, which can witness without emotion their perilous situation, sporting with giddy thoughtlessness upon the brink of eternal destruction.
Feeling an earnest desire to extend to these children the benefits of Christian instruction, and deeply impressed with the vast importance of the object, the Society commenced their labours; the experience of fiiteen years has afforded a melancholy proof of the necessity that exists for such institutions, as well as the strongest encouragement to energy and perseverance in the work they have undertaken,
lo recording the proceedings of the Society during the past car, the Committee hope they have been enabled, in part at least
, to redeem the pledge they gave at the close of their last Report, of unremitting exertions in furthering the benevolent desigos of the institution, The nu.nber of the Schools then upon the Society's establishment was twenty-five, where religious instruetion was communicated to eighteen hundred children. The addition to the number of Schools during the last year has been Very considerable, owing partly to the establishment of new Schools, and partly to the division of several others, which the great influx of scholars rendered necessary. The Schools are now sucreased to thirty-four, and the number of children attending them to two thousand three hundred and fifty
The Committee will now advert to the library of juvenile pub. lications attached to the Schools, the practical utility of which, becomes every day more and more apparent. Numerous and gratifying are the testimonies they have received of the avidity with which the books are read by the children, and in most cases by the parents themselves. Besides diffusing a spirit of inquiry, and a thirst for general information among the scholars, they prevent them from employing their vacant hours in the perual of books of an immoral'or dangerous tendency; and by finding employment for them at home, they are less in danger of seeking for pleasure and amusement in the coinpany of those who would cause them to err. Impressed with the great importance of this part of their plan of communicating instruction, the Committee have resolved that a separate fund shall be opened for the support of the library, so as to render it more extensively useful. At present it consists of about 1100 small volumes.
YOUR Committee cannot on this occasion refrain from adTerting to the formation of a very considerable number of Adult Schools during the past year. Many have been excited to engage in this work from the recommendations of your soCiety, and this object has occupied the attention of most of the Sunday School Unions.
la Bristol 9401 Adulis have been admitted into the School 1199 are now learning, and 601 have been taught to read in
the testament. Besides these there are 294 belonging to different congregations. In Southwark 556 Adults have been admitted. Several other societies for adult instruction, and many private Schools have been established in different parts of the kingdom.*
While mentioning the progress of Adult Schools, your Committee would just allude to the decease of their first institutor, the Rev. Mr. Charles, of Bala. His name will be remembered as long as Sunday Schools and Bible Societies exist. “ He now rests from his labours, and his works follow him."
Upon reviewing the general state and progress of Sunday Schools during the past year, your Committee rejoice to behold their rapid increase. They have already produced innumerable benefits. The progress of time, and the results of the last great day, will more fully display their beneficial effects.
Your Committee beg leave to allude to the funds of this society. They did hope that they would have been sufficient to have enabled them to establish a Sunday School wherever one was wanted, and to have granted some assistance to the societies connected with this Union. They cannot too strongly urge the necessity and importance of pecuniary support, and they trust that many new Subscribers will enrol their names at the close of the present meeting.
Your Committee would briefly direct the attention of their country friends to the importance of immediately forming Sunday School Unions in their different local situations. They strengthen the bond of brotherly love, they prevent languishing Schools from declining, and lead to the establishment of new Schools in situations which require them. These great objects are best promoted by union of strength, and division of labour, and your Committee trust that the time will soon arrive when Sunday School Unions shall be universally established.
While providence appears to be casting a gloomy shade over political affairs, let not the friends of Zion be discouraged; let them continue to sow the seeds of wisdom, virtue, and piety, in the youthful mind; though the storms may rage around them, and they may feel its fury, " Weeping must not hinder sowing," and " they that sow in tears shall reap in joy."
Annual Meeting of the Sunday School Union. On Wednesday Morning, the 10th of May, the Annual Meeting of the Sunday School Union was held. It was much more nume. rously attended than any former meeting; and, we trust, its animated proceedings produced on the large assembly present, such
There are at present Adult Schools in London, and a Society is now forming.