Imágenes de páginas

teachers, they purchased it, and now sell it at a reduced price. It contains a great deal of valuable information on subjects connected with the Bible, historical, geographical, scientific, literary, &c.

The Class Registers and Diaries, published annually, together with the various books for the Roll of Attendance, Minutes, &c. in each school, have found great favor, and are valuable helps to both teachers and officers of schools.

One of the most important features of the Union under this fourth head is, the granting of books for lending libraries to connected schools, at one-third of the retail price. Many thousands of pounds] worth of books have thus been given, and when we consider that in these days of cheap literature, our scholars, who will read something, will find abundance of temptation to procure trashy, or positively injurious reading, unless they are supplied with that which is good, we shall see the importance of maintaining every school library in a state of efficiency. No book is sent out which has not been read, and approved by three members of the committee.

Having thus taken a hurried review of the operations of the Union, in connexion with each of the four points of the constitution, we may allude to a few other matters.

For many years the Union has possessed a valuable and constantly increasing Library, both for circulation and for reference. It now contains about 4,000 volumes. Every teacher of a connected school may have the use of these, together with the use of a spacious reading-room, supplied with numerous periodicals, all the principal reviews, and several newspapers, every week-day, from three o'clock until ten, at the merely nominal charge of 1s. per annum. There is a separate room for the use of ladies, and latterly the privileges of the library have been extended on the same terms to senior scholars of sixteen years old and upwards.

Courses of Lectures are delivered also in the new large Lecture Hall in the Jubilee Building, to which subscribers to the Library have free access. Several of these have been printed in the Union Magazine, at the time of delivery, and two have been published separately; one by the Rev. Dr. Spence, on the Mistakes of Sunday School Teachers; the other by Mr. Fitch, on the Art of Questioning. A lecture by this same gentleman, on the "Art of securing attention in a Sunday school class," which was delivered to the members of a local training class, is published, and will be found very useful by all teachers who may peruse it.

Singing classes have also been held at the Jubilee Building, and at the present time, a valuable model of the Tabernacle is being exhibited gratuitously, illustrated by explanatory lectures.

To encourage the delivery of lectures in schools to scholars and

parents, the Union has purchased the whole set of large colored diagrams of the Working Men's Educational Union, about 400 in number, which are lent out at the low charge of 1s. per day, per set; each set consisting of from six to twenty diagrams.

The Committee has taken upon itself the duty of watching all endeavours to procure legislative sanction to Sabbath breaking. Ten years ago an attempt was made to greatly increase the Sunday labour in the Post Office; the Union got up numerous petitions, and in concert with other religious bodies, succeeded to a large extent in preventing the evil. Then the efforts of the Union will be fresh in the recollection of most of those who listen to me, on the occasion of the unsuccessful attempt made in 1852, to legalize the Sunday opening of the Crystal Palace. It is now within a few days of being exactly three years since a densely crowded meeting was held in Exeter Hall, under the auspices of the Union, in opposition to the measure brought forward by Sir J. Walmsley, for throwing open certain places of amusement on the Lord's day. Lord Shaftesbury presided, and resolutions condemnatory of the proposal were adopted. At the same time, the organization of the Union was effectively brought into play, in securing the preparation and signature of numerous petitions on the subject, which aided materially in swelling the vast aggregate of those petitions which so powerfully affected the fate of the proposal, which it will be remembered, was ignominiously rejected by a majority of 378 to 50.

Even more lately, on the occasion of its being expected that the Crystal Palace Company would make an application to Government, or the Legislature, on the Sunday question, the Union Committee again came forward, and united with other bodies in a deputation to Sir G. Grey, then Home Secretary, praying Government to give the weight of their influence against any legalized Sabbath desecration.

And now, I have endeavoured to present the case of the Sunday School Union, as a claimant to the support and countenance of every Sunday school teacher. I have tried to depict it as one, happily one amongst many; but still one of the great agencies for good in the present day-one of the leagues formed for aiding in numerous ways those who are carrying on the battle of the Lord against the strongholds of Satan. And if this be so, need I say anything further in urging its claims upon every teacher? Does any one ask, what is to be gained by subscribing to a Missionary Society, a Bible Society, a Hospital, or any charity? No. The religious and the benevolent consider it their duty to aid in carrying forward these undertakings, and so I have tried to show, that it is a simple duty of every teacher to become connected with the Union, and aid it in carrying forward its benevolent work. And what is the aid you are asked for? Really nothing in a pecuniary point of view. A subscription of even 4s. per annum

entitles a whole school to all the benefits of the Union. You are not called upon for a personal subscription, although, of course, that would be gladly received; but you are merely asked for the moral support of your adhesion. The funds, for the large benefits conferred by the Union, are not furnished by the teachers, nor mainly by the general subscriptions, the whole amount of which is but small, but by the Trade operations, sustained by the labours of the Committee. One material aid which you can render, is to promote the circulation of the periodicals and other publications, which although sold to you as Sunday school teachers at three fourths of the published price, do yet of course yield a profit.

At the outset, I undertook to shew, that the Union offers as much as it asks for, and I hope I shall be allowed to have redeemed my word. All the benefits conferred by the Union are available by every connected school and every teacher of such school.

Your school may be well off-it may not need pecuniary aid, or help towards furnishing its library, but still there are many advantages held out, which I have set forth, which no one should be above receiving. The Library alone is worth joining for. Then it must be a good thing to feel we are working with others and not alone. You can send your representatives to the district and auxiliary committees, and so keep constantly informed of the progress the Sunday school cause is making; and at all events you have the satisfaction of feeling, that you are not standing aloof from an agency established to aid, however feebly, in promoting the extension of the Redeemer's kingdom on earth.


You are aware that our beloved Charlotte had been in the habit of spending her long school vacations at our kind friends', Mrs. D's. and Lady C's., to whose houses she went alternately; last August, however, she wrote to Lady C., entreating in the most earnest and pressing language to be permitted to come to us. Though the distance was so great, yet we were induced to accede to her anxious desire, and Sir W. D. brought her to us. Often have we since felt that a wise and most gracious providence was specially and wonderfully manifested in all that related to that dear girl, for both she and we were remarkably influenced at that period, and many scemingly serious objections to her return were combated and finally overruled. There was a rather striking coincidence of circumstances (though but trifling when compared with the greater object to be attained) in her arrival; for my mother and self met her in the same room, and at the precise hour in which she had been born fourteen years before. We had not seen her for three years, and were prepared to find much, both mental and

personal, improvement; but we were more than struck with the meekness, gentleness, and quiet elegance or grace of her manner, for in all these points we had been led to believe her very deficient With every admission of her talents and diligence, Mrs. had often written to us, complaining of her "proud, unbending spirit, and pertinacious obstinacy;" and had grieved us by adding that "frequent punishment and much strictness had been necessary to subdue a haughty and almost masculine temper and deportment." On our asking Charlotte (that first night), "Why she had been so anxious to spend with her grandmamma and me those weeks which would have been, at her age, so much more delightfully passed with her young friends?" she burst into tears, and, rushing into my arms, she sobbed out, "Oh, my dearest aunt, I want better to know the Lord Jesus, and want you to teach me."

By degrees, we discovered that the Holy Spirit Himself had been the sole teacher of this dear child; the precious Book of God His only instrument. From her own study of the Bible she had been taught the truth" as it is in Jesus;" so that her faith and hope were fixed on "the Rock of ages." She looked to Jesus as "the way, the truth, and the life." Under such heavenly teaching she had compared the opinions and forms, as held and taught by her governess, with the blessed Scriptures, and her remark was, "I found them totally opposed to each other in principle and fact." She discovered the same want of conformity in the clergymen to whose church all the children went every Lord's-day. Her own words were, "He never preached Christ." She asked Mrs. to permit her to accompany a Miss W. to a chapel where she believed the Gospel was preached; and for this our dear Charlotte was severely punished, her Bible was taken from her, and she was only permitted to read it as a lesson at the stated times to Mrs. or one of the teachers. Miss W. was younger than herself, but as she had spoken of her minister to Charlotte, and they had been in the habit of reading the Bible together, whilst others were amusing themselves, this young Christian friend and helper was not permitted to see her.

On subsequently ascertaining the perfect truth of all these statements, we resolved not to send her back to school, but have her education completed at home. She wrote and spoke French fluently, played and sung with taste and feeling, though not with execution, and was pretty well grounded in Italian; but this latter accomplishment she said she did not wish to prosecute, and as it was very immaterial, we at once acceded. And, indeed, her subsequent health, and the bias of her mind, put a final termination to all and every species of accomplishment.

And here I would remark how widely different was her temper and

disposition to that so falsely imputed to her; in every respect she was gentle, teachable, meek, and docile; so truly child-like, that more than ever did we acknowledge the hand of the Lord in all His dealings with her, for, without His aid, her timid spirit had never had strength or courage to act as she had done; and this was often a subject of wondering admiration to my dear mother and myself.

The only indications of indisposition I can trace at that period were great lassitude, dislike to any bodily exertion or exercise, either in a carriage or on foot. Her disinclination to any employment but reading, I think, was principally owing to her thirst for religious knowledge; but her state of health might have also aided. In her choice of her books, her judgment and penetration were beyond her years. Dear Lady C. once brought her a book, and gave it, saying, "I am sure you will like it." Some days after, Charlotte said to my mother, "Grandmamma, I have compared this book with God's book, and they do not agree,for Jesus is not made all in all in it. Oh," she continued, "there is nothing so precious as the Bible;-it speaks only of JesusI do not want any other book." "But my love, you cannot quite comprehend all the spiritual truth and beauty of that divine book, so holy men have written to open up its meaning." "This is very right, grandmamma, but Christ has Himself promised to give His Holy Spirit to them who ask it; and he says that that spirit shall take of the things that belong to Christ, and show them to me;' and I pray so earnestly for this holy teaching-oh, I am always praying for it!"

[ocr errors]

On another occasion, a friend lent her "The Vicar of Wakefield," saying it was a pretty story. She said "it could not interest her, for Jesus was not all in all' in any book but the Bible." She never read it, nor any work of fiction.

Some time before her actual attack of illness her sedentary habits distressed us very much; and whilst our grateful hearts were filled with love and thanksgiving to that dear Saviour who had thus called into his own fold, this dear little one, we dreaded at her age the total disinclination to all amusements, recreation, or exercise. We urged her to go into the country, several friends having kindly asked her, but she entreated so earnestly not to be separated from us, and that she might remain at home, that we ceased to press her.

She was at all times remarkably cheerful and lively, and fond of conversation. Knowing this, I asked her one day why she was so much alone? "Oh, my dear aunt," she said, with much simplicity, "I am never alone, my Saviour is never absent from me. He never leaves me lonely or comfortless." The spirituality of her mind was truly beautiful, and it seemed to tinge with its own reflected beams her language and ideas, always correctly scriptural. I say reflected, for her spirit was taught of God-her own heart was not the author of such

« AnteriorContinuar »