Imágenes de páginas

was she prepared for the song of Moses and the Lamb, in which she was called to unite with the ransomed on Mount Zion, on May 11, 1813.

On the 29th of last December, a person came to a Methodist Class Meeting, saying that he was principally induced to do so, from the language of his little girl, who went to Queen Street Sunday School, and who was continually reminding him that his way of life was wrong, and entreating him to go where he might learn the right way. He had had some conversation with the superintendent of the School, which his daughter attended, and had been advised to pray, and use the other means of grace, which christians enjoy in fellowship. He was in great distress of mind on account of his past life, and the bad example which he had set to his family. The class welcomed him cordially, and he has continued to come to it, with blessing to himself, and edification to others.


The Schools belonging to Queen Street Chapel have afforded many instances of children, who after being benefited as scholars, have become teachers; and some, having given satisfactory evidence of their christian faith, have been admitted into Church fellowship. One of the latter observes in a letter on this subject, that the principal means, which the Lord used to alarm him of his dangerous state by nature, were the sickness and death of his Father: "I saw then," says he, if I had died when my father did, hell must certainly have been my portion for ever.' This caused him to "flee from the wrath to come," and his language now is, "I had rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness."-Another scholar, now a teacher, informs the superintendent, that being awfully awakened by a discourse delivered to the children on the exceeding sinfulness of sin, his father at the same time was seized with a mortal distemper, who enjoying the strength and consolation of the gospel, most affectionately warned him of the misery of lying on a sick bed unprepared for eternity. It is remarkable that in both these cases, the death of the parent was the more immediate occasion of what we trust will prove to have been the new birth of the children. A third youth confesses that when he first heard of the love of God in Christ, he was very little concerned about it; but afterwards the good seed, which seemed to die after it was sown, sprang up vigorously, and it is hoped will bring forth fruit abundantly. This is one among thousands of instances, perpetually recurring, in which the labours of faithful men seem to fail for a season, but " God, who giveth the increase," gives it in his own time, and in his own manner. Ministers and teachers knowing their duty, have nothing to do but to do their duty. Though the spiritual fruits of years of painful industry appear but as the gleanings after harvest, the servants of God must neither murmur nor be disheartened. To keep them humble, it may please Him to shew them only so much of the produce of their

toil, as shall encourage them to continue in well doing, stimulate them to use greater diligence, and cause them to repose more implicit faith in his promises and in his power. Though the whole region seemed a thirsty wilderness to Hagar, there was a spring of water at her side, seen only by the eye of God: though Elijah thought himself left alone on the earth from the slaughter of the righteous, the Lord had preserved to himself seven thousand in Israel, who had not bowed the knee to Baal. The day of judg ment alone will discover all the effects of Sunday School instruction.

Several young persons belonging to Queen Street have gone to their everlasting home, during the past year. Elizabeth Snowden was admitted to the School in 1807, became a teacher in 1810, and died in March 1814. Her illness, she believed, was caused by excessive grief and consternation, at the death of her brother, who burst a blood vessel, and expired almost instantaneously. She fell repeatedly into fainting fits, when the remembrance came upon her, of his unexpected summons to the bar of eternal justice. But she had space for repentance given her; she availed herself of it, found mercy, and died with a hope full of immortality.

[ocr errors]

Emma E**** went to the Park School, in connection with Queen Street establishment. One morning having read for her lesson the Memoirs of a little Girl, who died happily, on her return home she said to her mother, "I wish I may die like that good child." Her wish rose to heaven as a prayer, and it was granted. On the 15th of August being at school, and saying her catechism, when she came to the word Christ," she broke into tears, and could proceed no farther. Her teacher had some sweet conversation with her afterwards, when she declared it was all her desire to love Christ and to follow him. The next day she was taken ill. In the midst of anguish and weakness, being asked whether she should like to get better and go to Miss Blythe's School? she answered, "No; I must go to heaven,”—“Can you trust Jesus for all?"-Yes I can."-" And you are not afraid to die." "No."-When her senses failed her, in delirium she reFeated broken sentences of prayer, and lines of her favourite hymns she died at the age of ten years.


[ocr errors]

Sarah Parkin, of Queen Street School, died in October last. The visitor from the School being about to pray with her, at her own request, asked her," shall I pray that you may grow well again?" "No, said she, leave that entirely to the Lord.”- Shall I pray that he may cause your pains to cease?,-She replied with great emotion, "I would rather go to heaven, and be with Jesus for ever."-At this School, (Queen Street,) there is a little fund, supported by teachers and friends, to enable the visitors to afford small temporary relief, in extreme cases, to the families of sick children whom they attend.

A friend of the Union, lately conversing with a teacher of one

of the Schools, urged the necessity of those persons being themselves in the way to heaven, who undertook to direct others in it. The youth ingenuously declared:-"Three years ago I was unacquainted with that way, but being led to offer myself as a teacher in our Sunday School, it pleased God to become my teacher there, and now I experience the blessing of instructing poor children in the things that will do their souls good." This circumstance being repeated the same evening, by the person aforementioned, to the superintendent of a Sunday School, the latter, with equal candour replied: " when I gave my services at first as a teacher, I had little knowledge of God, and no love for him, or his ways. One Sunday while I was reproving a bad boy, my conscience smote me, and told me that I was in the practice of the very sin of which he had been guilty. It pleased God to follow up this conviction, with such repentance and change of heart, that I hope to praise him through eternity for it." The committee record these examples for the assurance of those, who feel a difficulty in admitting persons of sober life and conversation as teachers in Sunday Schools, unless, from the first they give decisive evidence, that they are "passed from death unto life."

It is very delightful to the advocates of the Union, to behold the same fruits of the spirit, produced in various nurseries of the Lord, under the culture of different denominations of his people. Among the children, belonging to the school, under the care of the New Methodist Congregation, at Scotland Street, two are known to have finished their course, in the past year, who according to their little strength, having kept the faith, and fought the good fight, laid hold of eternal life in the agony of death. One of these, Hannah Carter, was left an orphan, at the age of two years, with her grand parents, who were very low in the world, and very ignorant of divine things. Under these disadvantages she grew up, till in her twelfth year she was sent to Sycamore Street School. Here she soon learned to read the Bible; but it was not till she was visited with a lingering disease, of eighteen months continuance, that she learned to love it truly, by experiencing the comforts of the gospel in her tribulation. Her edifying conversation, and lovely simplicity, in testifying the blessedness which she enjoyed from this source, so softened the heart of her aged grandfather, that he became earnestly desirous of sharing the same portion, which in life and in death enriched her poverty, and lightened her burthen. He now meets regularly in fellowship with the people of God. Her remains were sung to the grave, at her express desire, by some of her companions. One of these shortly followed her both to the dust and to glory. Ann Bamforth fell sick, the week after Hannahı Carter's interment. In her last hours she found not only peace, but joy in believing, and appeared to depart, with the flight of an angel, to heaven.

A teacher, in Howard Street Chapel Sunday School, whose

privilege it is occasionally to deliver a little discourse to the girls, observes that he found it difficult to gain their attention to any thing that he said, till he had gained their affections by kind behaviour. Now when he stands up, he feels as if he were in a little paradise among them, so quiet and devout they appear, till their hearts are melted, and their eyes overflow, while he dwells on the love, or describes the sufferings of Christ: sometimes the emotion has been so great, that speaker and hearers have been affeeted together, and only sighs have been heard. This awakening among the children, as it may truly be called, has so much engaged the sympathy of the superintendent and this teacher, that they have taken occasion to converse individually with them, and are convinced that on the hearts of several of the girls, a good work is begun, which will be perfected in eternity. Some of these little ones have been engaged in extemporary prayer, and some have suffered persecution from their worldly connections for righteousness sake. In the same school there is a Bible Association, and the poor children have subscribed twenty one shillings and sixpence halfpenny to the Missionary Society.— Among the adult scholars there is one seventy years of age, who is very desirous to learn to read.

From the Nether Chapel School the committee have received a gratifying account of the general improvement of the scholars. Among these has been established a circulating tract library. The child of a very dissolute parent, in miserable attire, was lately sent to this School. Some compassionate ladies supplied her with comfortable clothing; and not only her subsequent conduct and proficiency in learning have rewarded them for their kindness, but deep impressions of religious truth on her mind give the delightful hopes that she is a plant of the heavenly Father's planting" "in the little spot enclosed by grace" which they cultivate. A frequenter of the Nether Chapel had, some time ago, an accidental conversation with a person of profane and infidel principles. The latter has since sent his boy to the Sunday School, and he himself regularly attends divine worship.

The report from Lee Croft Chapel of the progress of the Sunday School there is equally encouraging. The Bible Association among the children is well supported. Two subscribers, belonging to one family, having paid their pennies for a short time, the another came, and intreated, as a particular favour, that when the joint contributions were large enough to purchase one Bible, she might have one, as they had nothing of the kind in the house, and the eldest of the children had frequently been distressed, even to tears, on account of the want. A Bible was immediately furnished, and there is reason to believe that it is daily used in a family, which knew neither the possession nor the value of such a treasure before.

At Garden Street Chapel School the children came forward voluntarily, to subscribe their mites towards the Missionary fund.

By the way, we may remark, that next to the narratives of Scripture itself, there is nothing that catches the attention, and touches the hearts of children so quickly, nor indeed engages their sympathy so permanently, as accounts of the heathen in their darkness and misery, visited by the light and consolation of the gospel. When the Juvenile Missionary Society was established in Sheffield, these poor Sunday Scholars transferred their contribations to it; and since then they have begun a Bible Association among themselves. There is now a School for adults in connection with this Chapel, and ten persons are taught to read the word of God, on Tuesday evenings, at the Rev. Mr. Docker's House.

The Sunday School at Roscoe Place was established at the commencement of that extensive manufactory, for the purpose of teaching the apprentices belonging to the concern, the best knowledge-the knowledge of God and of themselves, on the Sabbath. In February 1812 the plan was enlarged, and now not only the children of workmen, but others up to mature age, are received and instructed. Good has been done, and experienced, by the benevolent patrons and teachers of this institution.

The Methodist Suuday School in Attercliffe excites peculiar interest, when we consider that it was begun in 1806, by the zeal of that man of God, the late Rev. Peter Haslam, who though he had received the rudiments of very humble learning in a Sunday School, by diligent self-improvement, under the divine blessing, became a preacher of righteousness, pre-eminently adorned with gifts and graces, that rendered him highly acceptable and peculiarly useful in his station. His early removal will long be lamented by those, in every place, who had the happiness to sit under his ministry. This School has undergone many vicissitudes, but at this time it is in a promising, and comparatively flourishing condition.

The Sunday School at Zion Chapel, in Attercliffe, was founded by some generous-minded persons, who are grieved to see the Lord's day, in many respects, so dreadfully profaned as to be the day of the week most notorious for disorder and wickedness. The christian purpose for which this asylum for poor children, from the contagion of evil example, was opened, has been in a great measure answered. Many neglected beings have been reclaimed, and more, in all probability, preserved, from the evil that surrounded them, and that was in them; and it is believed, on good evidence, that some of these, under the gracious influence of the spirit of truth, are growing up" as the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty."

- The Methodist Sunday School at Darnal, though it was only opened in October 1812, has been the means of great grace to many families in the neighbourhood. Before that time the Sabbaths were spent in idleness or dissipation by the generality of inhabitants. Many of these are now constant hearers, and some of

« AnteriorContinuar »