Page images

lows.“ We are too apt to overlook or undervalue the importance of this instruction; because the full effects of it are not instantly and wholly perceived. But' the awful truths of religion have seldom, if ever, been duly inculcated on the mind of youth, without producing the most beneficial result, if not immediately, yet at some future period of life. The precept may for a time be forgotten; the passions may break through all restraints; whilst reason and conscience slumber or sleep. The voice of religion, however, though overpowered, is not often truly silenced, but is heard at some favourable season, in the hour of stillness and repose, and before the day of reparation is finally passed. The seed, to all appearance dead, may yet produce a most abundapt barvest.

" Of the blessed effects which even a casual perusal of the word of God may produce, we have a memorable instance upon record, in the life and conversion of the celebrated St. Augustine. He, who was afterwards one of the most illustrious fathers of the church, had been in his earlier years notoriously dissolute and abandoned. His attention, however, and feelings, were suddenly arrested by an awakening passage, which met his eye upon opening a page of the Sacred volume. The impression thus excited was durable, daily grew stronger, and at length wrought in him a deliverance from the captivity of sin. The same means may, in other cases, produce the same effects. The consequences to be expected from every poor man's possessing his bible are infinite, -of a value beyond all calculation.”

He would produce one other authority, and that from a lay. man, eminently qualified to judge on this subject--the celebrated Adam Smith, author of the Wealth of Nations. “ An instructed and intelligent people,” says he, “ are always more decent and orderly than an ignorant one. They feel themselves, each india vidualiy more respectable, and more likely to gain the respect of their lawful superiors, and therefore they are more disposed to respect their superiors. They are more disposed to examine and more capable of seeing through the interested complaints of faction and scdition: and they are, on that account, less apt to be misled into any wanton or unnecessary opposition to the measures of government.”

But, my Lord, setting authority aside, it is very obvious, that those who are trained up in the regularity and decency of a Sunday School, who enjoy the examples of piety and propriety of conduct which are set before them there, must have better morals than those who take their morals from the nigh way or the strect. We expend our money in various ways, for our own comfort, and that of others, but how can we lay it out better for these purposes, than by educating the poor around us?

But the happiness imparted by order, regularity and propriety of conduct, is not all the happiness produced by education, especially religious education. It has often been found to increase domestic Lappiness, that." only bliss of Paradise which has sur

[ocr errors]

vived the fall.” We have had instances of children, educated in our schools, from being headstrong and disobedient, becoming peaceable, dutiful, and submissive.

Another respect in which the comfort of the poor may be increased by your society is, by thus learning from it, how to spend the Lord's day. It is unnecessary to describe the gross profanation of that sacred day which every where prevails. Even the most decent of the poor know not how to employ themselves on it. They are to be seen loitering about their cabins, listless, without any object to engage their attention. Instead of being an enjoyment, it is a weariness to them. But we provide for them an employment that will make it a happy day indeed. We are providing for families the happiness of assembling around the word of God, while every cheek glows, and every eye drops with delight, as the parent makes them acquainted with the Redeemer's name.

Here again take the words of the bishop of Chester. “ One of the main advantages, (says he,) which arises from the education of the poor, is the ability which it confers on them to employ their leisure hours in a profitable and improving manner. Inter. missions of labour find them for the most part listless and unoc. cupied. To avoid this oppressive tedium and languor, they are tempted to the receptacles of sloth or sin, where property is wasted, where health is undermined, and where bad habits are acquired and confirmed. Now had the same persons been able to employ their vacant hours in useful reading, had early instruction opened to them the Bible, the temptations of idleness might not have been felt at all, or, if felt, might have been resisted and overcome."

But your Society provides for the poor in so far as outward means can provide for it, a happiness that extends beyond this transient scene. It puts within their reach that religion which soothes every sorrow, smooths the brow of care, which causes the desert to rejoice, and blossom as the rose.

( To be continued.)

[ocr errors]

First ANNUAL Report of the BATH ADULT School SOCIETY.

IN the second Report of the Bath Sunday School Union, pub. lished in May last, the committee bad the pleasure to state the great progress which had been made in the good work of tcaching grown up persons in this city and the neighbouring villages to read the Holy Scriptures. As however it appears necessary to publish a statement of accounts, and the list of benefactors and subscribers to the adult schools, the committee would feel wanting in that respect which is due to the friends and supporters of those schools if the account of receipts and expenditures, &c. had been printed without having some report prefixed thereto.

The committee with much satisfaction enter upon the pleasing duty of reporting the progress which has been made during the

first year's existence of this society for enabling the adult poor, who had not been favonred with an early education, to read the word of God for themselves; and it is with heartfelt delight they state that great progress has been made by the learners of both sexes, iosomuch, that many who did not know the letters of the alphabet when they came to the schools, can now read with facility in the New Testament, not only with satisfaction to themselves, but to the great pleasure and approbation of the visitors who have heard them. Some of these learners being from 60 to 8 years of age, it was found necessary to supply them with spectacles to enable them to read their lessons.

It may not be altogether improper to remark that however desirous the committee might have been to instruct the adult poor, and that was an object never lost sight of since the formation of the Bath Sunday School Union, it would have been impossible to carry such benevolent designs into execution without the kind and gratuitous services of conductors and teachers. If therefore there be any praise giverr; if there be any thanks bestowed, the whole must justly and solely belong to those pious and zealous individuals who have so nobly volunteered their services, and taken so active a part in capacitating their unin. formed fellow creatures to read those Holy Scriptures which are able to make them wise unto salvation. At the same time the comunittee would not omit this opportunity of expressing the bich sense they entertain of the kindness of Dr. Pole and Stephen Prust, esq. of Bristol, who have attended, and taken an active part at some of their public meetings.

The committee beg permission also to acknowledge the kindness of the committee and secretaries of the Bath Auxiliary Bible Society in furnishing the secretaries of this institution with Testaments of a large type at reduced prices for the use of the adult scholars; the most grateful acknowledgements are also due to Charles Phillott, esq. the late worthy mayor of this city, and other benevolent individuals who have gratuitously supplied Testainents for the use of the schools.

Although there will appear in the audited accounts a balance of ?21. 145. 11d. to be provided for, the committee feel confident that the benevolence of those who are friendly to the instruction of the poor and destitute will furnish ample supplies for the discharge of all arrears; and by their liberal contributions enable the committee to carry on this noble institution for the time to come, till all the poor inhabitants of Bath and the neighbouring villages shall be enabled to read the Scriptures for themselves.

The committee beg leave to close this report, by remarking that although much good has been already dore, much yet remains to be done. It is therefore to be hoped, that many others will be induced to imitate the laudable example set them by the teachers in the Bath Adult Schools; till all grown up persons in this city and its vicinity shall be enabled to read thai holy Bible, which is so widely dispersed and so bountifully supplied, by

[ocr errors]

Guelic Schools in Scotland.

means of the British and Foreign Bible Society, and its numerous auxiliaries.

Account of Adult Schools in Bath and some of the ncighbouring towns and villages, under the direction of the Baih Sunday School Union.

Sehools for men which are established in Avon
Street, Holloway, St. Swithin's Court, Weston, Twer- 189
ton, Batheaston, and Bradford, have admitted
Of which remain in the schools ...

132 Brought to read in the Testament.

32 Schools for women have been opened in Avon. Street, Holloway, St. Swithin's Court, Weston, Batheaston, Widcombe, Widcombe poor house for the

314. united parishes of St. Peter and Paul and St. James, Bathwick, Twerton and Bradford. In which have been admitted.... Remain in the schools ...

243 Brought to read in the Testament.

72 Comb Down and Philip's Norton, men and women.



Women's school in the vineyards, conducted by a few benevolent ladies, contains.


Total number admitted ...


GAELIC Schools in the High LANDS and ISLANDS of SCOTLAND.

THE fifth Annual Report of the useful Society, established for the support of Gaelic Schools, is very pleasing and satisfactory; and though it is not perhaps exactly in our express and peculiar department, we shall always rejoice to hear of the diffusion of education by day as well as Sunday Schools. We are the more desirous of noticing this Report, as we wish to suggest to the committee of the Society the desirableness of connecting the establishment of Sunday Schools with their other plans. As in some situations the day schools are only continued for a limited period : when the school-master leaves the place, the establishment of a Sunday School, under local teachers, would perpetuate the means of education, prevent the children from forgetting what they had learned, and operate as a constant moral and religious blessing. It

appears that there are at present seventy schools supported by this Society, at an annual expense of £2100. that is £30. each school. We observe, that owing to the extended exertions of this useful Society, its funds are reduced very low. Donations and subscriptions are received by Wm. Allen, esq. Plough Court, Lombard Street.



O! DAVID's Son, and David's Lord !

From age to age thou art the same; Thy gracious presence now afford,

And teach our youth to know thy name.

Thy people, Lord, though oft distrest,

Upheld by thee, thus far are come; And now we long to see thy rest,

And wait thy word to call us home.

Like David, when this life shall end,

We trust in thee sure peace to find; Like him to thee we now commend

Tlie children we must leave behind,

Ere long we hope to be, where care

And sin and sorrow never come; But O! accept our humble prayer,

That they may praise thee in our room.

Sliew thein how vile they are by sin,

And wash them in thy cleansing blood; 0! make them willing to be thine,

And be to them a covenant God.

Long may thy light and truth remain,

To bless this place when we are gone;
And numbers here be born again,

To dwell for ever near thy throne.


« PreviousContinue »