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Are they not, in a general way, preferred to London ser. vants !--They are in general very much preferred; they have not such connexions, and are in general more steady.

Are they not in general of a better moral character?Decidedly so.

Does not this partly arise from having a better education? I think so.

Mr. EDWARD WENTWORTH called in and eramined. ARE you master of a Sunday School? --I superintend one gratuitously, with 60 teachers, who also give their labours gratuitously,

How many children do you educate?-From 850 to 1000. Of all religious persuasions? --Yes.

How long have you been so occupied ?-Nearly fourteen years.

How long does a child of ordinary capacity take to learn to read - About three years.

Do you observe any improvement in the children after they come to the School, in their manners or their morals? Para ticularly so; I do not know of any institution better calculated to improve their morals.

Do you adopt the new method of instruction ?- It is not adapted for Sunday school instruction.

How so?--As it precludes a nuinber of respectable persons from becoming teachers, which is a great obstruction to the improvement of the children. Sunday school instruction is very much wanted in the parish of Bethnal-green: our school is not sufficient to hold half the number of children that would apply. The Lancasterian institution is not half tilled, because the children in that parish are employed at a very carly age in the silk manufacturing business, as early as the age of five or six years, and the funds of that institution are inadequate to its support.

Thomas BABINGTON, Esq. a Alember of the Committee,

Erumined. HAVE you been engaged in the superintendence of Sunday schools? - have aitended for more than 30 years at a Sunday school in my own parish in the country, at Rothley in Leicestershire, whenever I have been in that quarter. I have found that to induce the children to come and to continue in the school, and to attend to their business with advantage, it was absolutely necessary to interest their minds, and that this was best done by communicating to them knowledge by suitable explanations of the Scriptures. Till lately, I never had a master who was qualified for attending to this subject, and in consequence l' always found the attendance in the school slack, and a considerable disposition in the boys to leave the school, in my absence during the sitting of Parliament; since I have oblained a better master, I find these evils have much diminished. My experience has shewn me, that an endeavour to open the minds of the children, and to make them enter into what they read, that is, enter both into its sense and its object, secures their attention, and produces a willingness to continue much longerat the school as scholars, than was the case before this was done to the same extent as at present. It is unnecessary to say how much this method of exciting an interest, and so obtaining good attention from the children, coincides with the great and leading object of their education, namely, to inform and regulate the mind and impress the heart. | think I can say from my experience, that where the sort of explanation of which I have been speaking is practised, with due attention to the state of information, intellect, and feeling, in the children, that it will tend to produce a great effect on their manners and habits ; they will contract deference and respect for those who instruct them, and a desire of information, and on leaving the school their gratitude will be very apparent, for years, towards those who have taken such pains with them, and their eharacters will appear to have undergone a very important change. My object has been to lead, and enable the children to read, not mechanically, but with their understanding, and to interest them in the subject-matter of what they were reading, so that after leaving the school they might not only be improved in their general character and in their knowledge, but might be qualified and disposed to take up the Bible in after-life with satisfaction and profit. Those who have not had experience in schools for the poor, would scarcely conceive in how great a degree young children read without understanding, or making any effort to understand, what they read. This habil, very early contracted, is apt to continue with most in a very high degree during the whole of their school education ; and they leave the school very able indeed to read, but little disposed to do so, because the reading is not interesting to their minds; and therefore the benefits of education are attained very imperfectly. The explanations have been given to the children in a series of easy and familiar viva voce questions, and with comparatively little in the way of address, which has been chiefly employed when it was desired to impress the importance of truths, and


to make some, though always a moderate impression on their feelings. Great care has been taken to accommodate such questions and little addresses as much as possible to their state of intellect, and knowledge, and feeling, and to give them that complexion which might be agreeable and interesting to their minds. When once, by the pursuit of this system, the child is brought to understand in a small-degree what he reads, and to take some interest in it, the progress is astonishingly great. A course of this kind, pursued for only three quarters of an hour each Sunday, brought the children forward in their understandings, at a period when no assistance whatever was derived at any time from the regular master of the school, to such a degree as to enable the children who had been a year under it, to answer questions in general with ease and pleasure. Care is taken never to make ignorance any fault, except when accompanied with inattentio perverseness, but to proceed with kindness and good humour, and to support the child with encouragements, until the matter is understood. When this mode was first adopted, the common habit of taking places for good answers was practised; but it was soon found that this led to self-conceit and pride in some of the ablest of the boys, and to depression of spirits and a consequent listlesness in a greater number of those whose faculties were inferior; this practice was in consequence discontinued.

Two striking instances of the ill effects produced in two of the most able boys, contributed, probably, to draw my attention more immediately to this point. Since the change, I have found the progress in learning greater than before in the school at large, though less, probably, in a few of the more able boys; and I find no difficulty in keeping the attention alive, and in exciting sufficient interest in the bosoms of the scholars. We have proceeded without any of those bad effects which before we experienced, and we have now bad the new plan, of not taking places, ten or twelve years in operation. With respect to rewards and punishments, we are not profuse in the former, and very sparing of the latter; our punishments, if I may be allowed the expression, consist chiefly in the withholding rewards; corporal punishment is almost altogether avoided, and in strong cases resort is had to expulsion from the school. I have always found that the best mode of noticing faults is to talk in a friendly and rational way to the culprit, in the presence of his school-fellows, and that there are few minds on which a due impression may not be made in this manner; and a far better and more durable impression is produced upon the school at large, than by any of the common modes of punishment which were in use when I first knew the schoul. I have not been desirous to carry on the childrea fast in mere reading and writing, wishing always to have thens for several years in the school, and finding that the parents, estimating their


progress by their advancement in those mechanical parts of instruction, (the parts on wbich their own attention is generally most fixed,) were not desirous of continuing them io it after their children had, to their apprehension, acquired sufficient attainments of that kind. I have wished to keep the children as long as I could in the school for the sake of communicating to them a tolerably competent knowledge of religion, and of impressing on them a regard for the Scriptures, and a respect, to say the least, for their doctrines; advantages which were scarcely to be attained, except they continued there for a considerable time. I have also thought it of high importance that the habits acquired in the school should be well confirmed, esteeming them a very valuable part of school education, namely, regularity of attendance on divine worship, cleanliness, deference to authority, civility, punctuality, method, and abstinence froin disturbing others, and from talking when they ought to be silent. These, with other good habits, in my opinion, can scarcely become established parts of the character, except the continuance at school be considerably prolonged. The affection also of the children for those who teach them, if they are well taught, is a very important instrument to secure their good behaviour in future life; it greatly softens their minds, and is a strong barrier against conduct which they know will be highly displeasing to their former teachers; this affection will seldom become a settled habit of mind, except their schooling be continued during several years. I have also been averse to a very swift progress in those mechanical branches of learning, which the poor can best understand and therefore will most highly esteem, having found in some instances that it tended to intoxicate the minds both of the parent and the scholar : and conceiving the most inportant fruits of education to be those which regard the principles, the dispositions, and the habits, I have been very careful to avoid any system, for accelerating the learning of the scholars, which might be adverse to such fruits. I have thought it desirable to make the attendance at school on Sunday as little burthensome as might be, and therefore the children have been kept to their business only about one hour before church in the morning, one hour before church in the afternoon, and an hour or an hour and a half later in the evening. I have

found no difficulty with respect to the children of Dissenters, though the children in this school learn the Catechism, and regularly go to church in a body: such children have cheerfully acquiesced in the general course pursued. I should not have objected to any of them going to the meeting with their parents, but have insisted on their going to church, on the ground of their probably spending their time in play instead of going to the meeting, if they did not go to the church. With respect to the Catechism, I do not believe any difficulty whatever has at any time occurred. In the explanations of Scripture given to the children, which are found to interest their minds more than any thing, controa versial points are carefully avoided, and nothing is said which could be offensive to Dissenting parents, if repeated by the children on going to their homes. The Dissenters among the children are not numerous, perhaps a fifth of the whole, perhaps fewer. The children have an opportunity of learning to write gratis on the evening of one of the week days; and the very small ones, who are engaged in the manufactures at their homes, are permitted to go to a dayschool, when their parents find it most convenient to send them, which may be perhaps three days in a week upon the average, and they receive this education gratis till they can read a verse in the Testament without much difficulty. The whole expense of the school, which consists of between eighty and ninety, including every thing, may be about 10s.

Some articles of dress are given or furnished at a cheap rate to the girls, but not to the boys. The general result of this mode of education, with respect to both, has been, I think, very favourable; they very generally leave the school with mild and modest dispositions, and such habits as suit their station in society.

Do you insist upon the children attending your own church, that is, the Established Church? I have hitherto insisted upon the children of Dissenters going with the other children to church, because the meeting-house of the Dissenters is so situated that their actually going thither could not well be secured, and I feared that many who professed that they would go, would in fact play truant.

Then all you require is, that they should go to some church?—That is all I required in my own mind, though I never held it out to the school; but my language to the Dissenters, and respecting the Dissenters, has always been very conciliatory, and such as would prevent them from considering themselves objects of contempt or ill-will. VOL. 11.

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