Imágenes de páginas

reproach, should be in some measure alleviated, or entirely removed?-it is certain that the early instruction of our youth, is the most likely method to forward this desirable event. "The education and religious principle of Scotland," says a late writer, "have not annihilated pauperism, but they have restrained it to a degree that is almost incredible to our neighbours of the south." By these means alone can England expect to extricate herself. Let us then endeavor to impress on the youthful mind, right sentiments of honest independence, and pour into their hearts those healthful precepts of truth which inculcate that "those who will not work, neither shall they eat."

Are the proprietors of manufactories desirous of obtaining honest and industrious servants? Let them require a sound character, as indispensably requisite for their engagement, and the youth of both sexes will, by availing themselves of a Sunday School education, and by every other means within their power, seek to possess this necessary qualification. In vain does a master complain of the immorality and idleness of his work-people, so long as he indiscriminately takes into his service whoever offers: for of this we are well assured, that such conduct is not only detrimental to his own interest, but is also greatly calculated to hurt the cause of virtue, and to encourage a degeneracy in public morals.

Many satisfactory accounts of the success attendant on our endeavours in behalf of the rising generation might here be related, but we shall at present confine ourselves to one instance. The following extract of a letter received by one of the Committee from a young man who was educated in the School, and who is now a seaman on board the Ville de Paris, will best explain itself. "I have had a desire to write to you some time back, because I was once a scholar in your Sabbath Day School; but through keeping bad company, and having a bad heart, I became a prey to both. Through grace, the Lord has condescended to call me out of worse than Egyptian darkness, into his marvelous light. The purport of my writing to you, worthy Sir, is to shew my gratitude for past, but I am sorry to say, unmerited favors and privileges which I enjoyed while in your School. I do repeat the word gratitude, because I feel grateful to God who has put it into my heart to send you the inclosed trifle and free-will offering, (a one-pound note, which he intends as an annual subscription) of which I beg your acceptance, towards the support of so praise-worthy an institution. I do pray the Lord Jesus whom I love, besause he first loved me, to enable you, with the other worthy

gentlemen, to "cast your bread upon the waters," for the promise is, "it shall be seen after many days."

What higher incentives can be required by our visitors and teachers to urge their stedfast continuance in "well doing,” than such an example as this. Let them not be discouraged if the fruit of their labor does not immediately appear. Though the seed of instruction may not attain a sudden perfection, yet shall the germ remain in existence, and eventually expand into blossom, and bring forth fruit abundantly.

Your Committee are about to establish two classes in the School for the instruction of adults, as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made for the purpose. The experiment has been tried in various parts of the kingdom with very pleasing effects, but more especially in Bristol, where there is a regular establishment of the kind, which by the divine blessing, has proved exceedingly beneficial, in enabling persons very far advanced in life, to read for themselves the sacred Oracles of eternal truth. When we consider how long, and with what eminent success Sunday Schools have been supported in Stockport, such a plan might at first appear unnecessary; but from the continual influx of strangers to supply our manufactories," and the neglect of those who in their youth slighted the inestimable privilege, we are afraid that many will be found arrived at mature years, who are ignorant of the first rudiments of learning.

It may not perhaps be generally known, that there is au extensive library attached to the School, for the use of the teachers, and those children whose good behaviour entitles them to partake of its benefits. This was first established about twenty-four years ago, by gifts from different members of the committee and others, and has since been supported by occasional grants from the general funds. But as these are

of necessity very limited, many of the books are not only become mutilated in condition, but have, in a great measure, lost their interest by being repeatedly read; consequently, a fresh supply of books would be a desirable acquisition. In order to this, your committee will thankfully receive donations of books from their friends, on divine subjects, or of good moral tendency, such as they may deem proper for the perusal of Sunday Scholars.

Although 980 new scholars have this year been entered on the books, yet it will be observed that our total number has not been augmented. Solicitous as we are at all times to gain an accession of numbers while any remain untaught, yet this is not our principal aim; but chiefly in what manner we can

best direct the youthful steps of those already under our care, to that God who has graciously sud, "I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me,”

Many have been horably discharged on account of family engageants, who are now filling the stations assigned them by providence with cred.t to themselves and to their instructors, Some there are that have wandered for the sake of novelty to other Schools, and others have been dismissed for careless and irregular conduct. By a law existing in the institution, every scholar who is absent three Sundays without parental leave, or on some other sufficient pretext, shall be expelled the School. Yet this is not enforced until proper means have been used to reclaim the transgressor to the paths of duty; and if the desired effect is not then produced, it is evident that such cannot be retained, consistent with proper order and discipline.

Your committee have for some time been engaged in preparing for publication their Plan of Management, together with an extract from the trust deed, and other matters relative to the institution, which is now ready for the press; but the heavy demands upon the annual fund for other purposes have contributed to retard its progress. They hope, however, soon to accomplish this desirable object, as the work is not only wanted for our own government, but has often been enquired for by others who are engaged in the formation of similar institutions.

A part of the chief rent has in the course of this year been exposed to public sale, which your committee have thought it. advisable to purchase, as it was offered on advantageous terms.

It will be remembered that when the building was erected, the teachers engaged for themselves and scholars, to raise by subscription the sum of £500. Owing to a depression in trade at that time, this was left incomplete till the present year, when it was resumed, and they have now exceeded their original stipulation upwards of £82. This sum, with the balance in the hands of the treasurer of the building fund, amounting together to £322. 18s. 8 d. is intended to be appropriated towards finishing a suite of rooms, for the convenience of instructing the writing classes. The estimate, however, which has been taken for this purpose, from the high price of timber, so far exceeds our present means for its completion, (amountting to nearly £700.) that it is unavoidably postponed till the value of that article is reduced. As the whole of the finished rooms are already occupied, two others will require fitting up immediately, for the reception of the adult classes. And when

[blocks in formation]

it is also known that the large room, the committee room, and the general inspector's room, still remain in an unfinished state, we trust that no other appeal will be required to stimulate the never-failing liberality of our generous friends; but that they will shortly enable us to carry these extensive designs into


Your committee feel great satisfaction in having to announce, that His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, has signified his pleasure to become a patron of this institution, in conjunction with his Royal Brother, The, Duke of Kent. His Royal Highness has been pleased to express himself particularly gratified with the liberal and extended plan on which it is conducted; and in a communication by our worthy friend the Rev. Dr. Collyer, has further added, "that education appeared to him of so much moment, that no party restrictions ought to be laid upon it; and that he would support in common with this, every society which called forth the co-operation of different denominations, which left liberty of conscience to the children and their parents, which constituted the Bible the source of their religious information, and which suffered no creed to exclude any persons desirous of availing themselves of the blessings of instruction." This manly and emphatic declaration, including the sentiments of both the Royal Dukes, while it affords a convincing proof that their patronage of the Stockport Sunday School was not undertaken without serious and mature reflection, stands as another pleasing instance of that mild spirit of liberality and toleration, which has always distinguished the illustrious house of Brunswick.

Delivered from a tyranny the most formidable and oppres sive, reviving Europe is again favored with the brightening prospect of happier days. An honorable peace, and we trust on the most permanent basis, at length rewards the persevering firmness of her illustrious conquerors. We may perhaps instructively consider, in what manner under God, this glorious event was brought to pass. It was not by the partial and feeble efforts of a single nation; for how often did we witness the futility of such attempts, while they were divided in council, and distinct in operation, but by the vigorous and united exertions of different powers, bearing in the face of all opposition, to one important point.

In every case union is strength, and if we are desirous of contracting the empire of darkness, and destroying the reign of Satan, we can only expect to succeed so far as our designs are influenced by unanimity and concord. Nothing contri


butes so much to weaken any cause, as strifes and divisions; but the adversary of man trembles when he sees christians in the bend of brotherhood, acting together for the overthrow of his power.

On this liberal ground of union, of which your institution was an early instance, we hope to remain firm, conscious that no other plan is so well adapted to promote the true interests of our undertaking. Amongst the numerous benevolent associations of the present day, it is with pleasure that we observe the formation of Sunday School Unions in almost every part of the kingdom; from the united exertions of which, the happiest results may be reasonably anticipated..

In the midst of our national mercies, let us not forget those awful judgments, which in their course over an afflicted world, but narrowly passed by us. If the dark clouds of divine indignation did not pour their fury on our country, they remained for a while in dreadful suspense over our heads :-but in the gap stood the faithful few;-the converted heathen interceded for the land that gave him the Bible: the tears of ransomed Africa pleaded powerfully for her deliverer,-and their earnest supplications were heard. Amidst the convulsions which have shaken kingdoms to their centre, Britain has been graciously spared to complete her triumphs of mercy. Exalted in the rank of nations, she is still reserved by the Almighty, as "an herald of salvation to the ends of the earth." But while thus solicitous for the welfare of others, may her sons remember carefully "to cultivate that true piety which alone exalteth a nation; then shall her peace flow as a river, and her righteousness as the waves of the sea."

Present State of the School.

[blocks in formation]


1515 1674 3189

The Debt upon the Building Fund amounts to £2356.


[ocr errors]

Question-WHAT system of rewards is best adapted to Sunday Schools?

C 2

« AnteriorContinuar »