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pectations : many of those in the higher classes have already committed to memory nearly the whole of “ Brown's Catechism," besides a number of hymns; and, from present appearances, we have no doubt but the most beneficial conséquences will result from their attendance at the school."
The committee of another school observe, “ That they have witnessed, with much satisfaction, an anxiety for improvement in a number of the scholars, of whom many, when admitted, could not repeat the alphabet, who are now candidates for admission to the higher classes. Among the adult Africans, a disposition for receiving instruction, and an eagerness of appłication,- have been particularly observable."
Another committee, after giving an account of the classes into, which their school was divided, observe, “ That among the children are several who have improved greatly in their studies, as well as in their manners, and who we hope may yet become men devoted to God, and useful in the world. We judge that many happy consequences will result to the parents from the attendance of the children at school; and that they are not insensible to the benefits which may be expected from the undertaking, is implied in the punctuality of the children, their cleanliness, and their disposition to persevere."
The following is from another report : “ We have,” say the committee, « the satisfaction to state, that our school is well furnished with able and skilful teachers, happily united in the labour of love,' and punctual in their attendance, conscientious in the discharge of their duties, and anxious for the moral and religious improvement of the several classes committed to their care. Their unwearied exertions in seconding the philanthropic views of the Society, have thus far been crowned with abundant success, and will, we trust, be the means of reclaiming many from the paths of ignorance and vice. From the organization of our school to this time, every Sabbath has demonstrated the success of our labours. We have had the pleasure of seeing the children of this school progressing rapidly in cleanliness, in decency of dress and behaviour, in habits of subordination, and in the improvement of their minds and morals. Through the benevolent exertions of Miss Borland, and her associates in the good work, many of the poorer children have been decently clad, and thereby enabled to attend school and church, without exciting feelings of disgust and commiseration.
“ The parents of the children belonging to this school, have been frequently visited for the purpose of ascertaining their feelings with regard to the objects of the Institution. In most cases they have manifested a deep sense of gratitude for the attention bestowed on their children, and a willingness to co-operate with us in promoting the objects of the school.
“It is worthy of remark, that, among the number of coloured persons received into this school, not one had received any religious instruction. One youth, of 19 years of age, being asked who was the Saviour of sinners, was unable to give an answer: nor had he even heard of salvation through the Re: deemer. He appeared sensible of his lost condition by nature, and inauifested a deep concern for his eternal interests.
“We cannot, gentlemen, close our remarks, without recording a signat instance of enterprise and meritorious exertion in one of our pupils. Samuel. W. Hutchinson, a lad only nine years old, has acquired the admiration of his instructors and school-fellows, by his success in persuading other boys to partake of the benefits of this Institution. Sunday afternoon, April 28th, he returned to school at the head of a company, consisting of nine white, and three coloured boys, whom he had recruited during the hour of intermission. Since that time his zeal has induced several others to become members of the school. For such conspicuous acts of good conduct, every mark of distinction within our power has been conferred on him, and we hope his merit may be rewarded. by some token of your approbation."
Another report* contains the following: “ The commiitee regrets to say, * This Report from the committee of one of the schools, was not received till after the Quarterly Meeting.
that, from circumstances beyond their control, they have not been able to make as full and complete a statement of their labours and success, as the magnitude of the subject requires.
" The desire of being first among those who were devoting their time and ta 'ents to the improvement of the minds and the correction of the morals of the ignorant, the profligate, and the needy of our city, was powerful in calling many and able teachers to undertake in this great and good work.
“ The spirit with which they enlisted could only be equalled by the object in which they engaged, and our first essays were crowned with abundant suc
By a systematic division of all that part of the city included by Catharinestreet, the Bowery road, and Rivington-street, we were enabled to visit every house, and to ascertain most of the objects of the Institution. These circunstances, combined with the interest we were enabled to excite in parents by special interviews during our visits, brought at our first meeting about three hundred children, mostly boys from ten to fifteen years of age, whose mental stupidity was only equalled by their depravity and disrespect for good behaviour.
“ Such a number of children, it will readily be seen, required a room of no ordinary size for their accommodation ; and though every exertion was made to procure a place where they might be taught to advantage, none could be obtained.
“ Regretting, as we do, that our time and labour have been productive of so few of the objects of the Institution, the committee feel themselves called npon to declare, that in general the importance of the subject does not appear to be duly appreciated in this section of our city, though perhaps no part of it calls for greater exertions, or promises a richer or more abundant harvest. To this, however, there must be some exceptions. The very arduous and singular services of the Rev. Mr. Safford, merit our warmest gratitude, and have been productive of the most important consequences to our scholars.
“ Trusting in the aid and guidance of Him who has thus roused the feelings of his people to the diffusion of his Holy Word, and the advancement of knowledge and virtue, we will go forward, not doubting but all obstacles will give way before us, and that our labours will be considered by your most respectahle body as the best testimony of our zeal.”
After the ordinary business of the meeting, the President again addressed the superintendents and teachers.
“ Permit us now, gentlemen, to recommend the following matters to your attention :
“ 1. To consider the importance of the employment in which you have freely and gratuitously engaged.
“ Under your care and guidance are placed the most neglected, the least informed, and in too many instances the most vicious part of our youthful poor. You have undertaken the laborious but benevolent task of not only teaching them the knowledge of letters, but of reclaiming them from bad habits, and of instructing them in all the relative duties of life.
“ While you instil in their young minds the duty of contentment in the stations allotted to them by Providence, you will of course embrace the occasion to point out to them the self-degradation which attends idleness and vice; and the certain rewards which await industry and a virtuous life.
- You will endeavour to impress on their minds that peace and happiness go in the train of filial obedience and in respect to superiors.
66 That honesty produces confidence--that good and upright behaviour and deportment to their equals, as well as their superiors, are the only sure methods of securing good will and respect to themselves : and finally, that a conduct correspondent with these principles only, can insure to them favour with God and man.
“ 2. Let all your Instructions be grounded on Religion. « On this subject the Officers and Committee beg leave pointedly to recommend to you, gentlemen, both superintendents and teachers, as an interesting part of your duty, 'to ground the children in the first principles of the doctrines of Christ; and I beg leave further to declare, as their opinion, that catechisms, suitable to the capacities of children, and judiciously chosen according to the views of the different denominations, are among the best means of grounding them in these principles.'
“ In vain will you, gentlemen, teach, and the children hear, unless religion forms the spring and source of all you say and inculcate.
“ It is under the influence of the Holy Spirit you must expect to derive all your pure motives to action, all your first obligations to duty.
“ In hearing your interesting youthful charge read the Holy Scriptures, you will find repeated opportunities, and will embrace all the suitable seasons, of instilling the word of life in their young and uninformed, but susceptible minds. And, a word spoken in season, how good it is! The leading truths of the Gospel, unfolded in simple, unadorned language, will leave the most durable impression.
By gradually explaining to them, (as far as you can with ease and convenience,) what to them appears difficult; and by listening with readiness and attention to their crude but honest inquiries, you will steadily lead them to acquire a relish for and an earnest desire to be instructed in, that learning and wisdom, which, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, will make them wise unto salvation :
“ To facilitate the attainment of religious knowledge by your young pupils, we beg leave to recommend to you a practice which has been found extensively useful wherever it has been adopted ; to wit, that of asking questions, on subjects on which your pupils have from time to time been reading, and which are in recitation in their respective classes. Beginning with the most simple elements, and proceeding therein to the different and various gradationsof intellect and improvement, you will in the end, without very great difficulty or much labour, impress upon their young minds the all-important doctrines of the Bible.
“ In this manner the fall of man, and his recovery therefrom by our Lord Jesus Christ; the atonement and satisfaction wbich, as our Redeemer, our Lord, and Saviour, he made for the sins of men; the deep and indispensable obligations under which every human being is laid to devote bimself to the service, and conform to the precepts, of our divine Lord and Master.
“ With all the various facts and doctrines of the Holy Scriptures recorded for our example or instruction, the sweet accents of the Gospel of peace to encourage the returning, and the loud thunders of the law to deter the hardened sinner, all the commands to obedience, and threatenings to the rebellious, which abound throughout the Word of God, may be read before your pupils, and conveyed in terms adapted to the capacities of all, in language at once: simple, but interesting to the juvenile mind. In this manner you, gentlemen, may convey the very vital streams of pure Christianity through an inportant part of the community, and thus you will have the honour, as well as the imperishable pleasure and satisfaction, of raising up healthful members for our commonwealth ; and well instructed professors of the pure, and undefiled, and ansophisticated religion of our blessed Lord and Redeemer, who will hail yon as happy instruments, in the hands of the Holy Spirit, in turning them from the paths of error and vice to those of never ending peace and bliss.
66 This living stream never can, never will become stagnant or polluted, The religious principles which you thus instil in the heart of the son, will almost unavoidably produce the wished-for reflection in the parent. They will bring to his mind, with poignant regret and concern, the sacred parental obligations which he has wantonly or stupidly slighted, and the imperious duties which in his past life he has wholly neglected, or too carelessly performed i and will admonish him in language which parental feeling can rarely resist or forget, that the ways of RELIGION are ways of pleasantness, and that all her paths lead to peace.
“What will then be the result? Ought we not to hope and cxpect that to such a parent the way of the sinner will become unknown---the seat of the scornful forsaken the counsel of the ungodly unheeded? In their stead, he will endeavour to redeem his mis-spent time ; and when the love of God is shed ·abroad in the hearts, by the influence of the Holy Spirit, there will arise to him that joy which is unspeakable.
“ 3. Let all your instructions be conveyed in the accents of kindness and affection.
“ One of the prominent causes to which is to be ascribed the great success which has attended Sunday Schools, is the cultivation of this manner of teaching. It is a fact which children soon learn, that they are not placed under the charge of hired teachers.
“ The distinction between him who sacrifices those sacred pleasures of the sanctuary which every returning Sabbath presents, to devote bis time and talents to the gratuitous instruction of the ignorant and friendless poor, and him who instructs for his daily hire, even with the most perfect integrity, is easily. perceived and appreciated. The motives of the first are not, nay, cannot be suspected. They speak in intelligible language to the meanest capacity; and when, added to this, the children observe gentle reproof substituted for the hateful and discarded ferrule or rod; the angry voice giving place to the language of kindness and affection; the anxiety of the preceptor to produce a great and brilliant scholar, changed for an interesting solicitude to form a good. man, you will find the pupils under your charge obey you with cheerfulness, because they love you, and cherish your favourable opinion; and they will discharge their respective duties with alacrity, because these will be to them he sources of the highest gratification.
4. “ Study well (as far as time and circumstances will permit,) the tempers and dispositions of the children.
“ The want of due attention to this particular, or the total neglect thereof, has often produced most unpleasant consequences. It has sometimes created incalculable trouble to the superintendent, and also proved the source of injustice to the pupil ; we therefore beg leave to impress upon the minds of the gentlemen teachers, and earnestly to repeat the recommendation, that the knowledge of the particular temper of a Scholar be obtained as soon after joining the School as possible.
“ By this means you will the more easily perceive how a bad habit is to be eradicated or removed, and a perverse temper subdued.
“ The most suitable season for reproof, can in such a case be the better chosen and improved, and that moment will of course be selected, in which the greatest good is likely to be produced.
" Experience will, before this day, have convinced many of you, gentlemen, that during the paroxysm of obstinacy and heightened contumacy, little or no good effect will attend reproof, however guarded and affectionate in its terms.
“ The mind is then wholly blind and the heart steeled against all advice and Temonstrance. But when the pupil has become calm and returned to his duty, the very sense of shame which he endures will cause him, with flowing tears, to listen with attention to your expostulations and remarks, although they may be couched in severe, but just, terms of rebuke.
* 5. Permit us also to recommend to all of you, gentlemen, as well the super'intendents as teachers, that you observe the greatest puncluality in your attendance at the precise time for opening your respective Schools. In this svay, your respective duties being well arranged and properly understood, all will proceed with exactness, harmony, and mutual good will.
“ From your good example the children will soon learn the necessity and virtue (a virtue of great importance) of being in their seats at the appointed hour, ready to receive your highly valuable instructions, and to them, very interesting inquiries. This course will also produce great and good effect upon their general conduct. A sound principle, thus once well ingrafted in early years, cannot easily be rooted out or forgotten; and the necessity of punctu
ality which has been so early impressed at a “ Sunday School,” will thereafter be happily applied to the practical duties of manhood.
“6. We trust gentlemen, that from your fair standings and character in life, either as members in full communion, or regular attendance at some one of the many distinguished places of public worship in this favoured city, it is needless to present to your view, the propriety of a regular attendance at Church, at least once on every Sunday. This is so important a duty, and so congenial with your own practice, views, and feelings, as to require no observations from
The subject is only mentioned, that the nature and obligations of public worship may not escape attention.
" It is a subject which you will have frequent occasion to mention to and rivet in the minds of those who from time to time may become the happy objects of your charge.
Their conduct and behaviour while in a place of public worship, and the lessons of piety and sacred truth, which on every returning Sabbath they shall hear explained and inculcated from the sacred desk, will be a never failing theme of interesting inquiry, instruction, and advice. And in proportion to the general improvement of the scholar will be his delight in the house of God.
" And while, upon this part of the subject, it is made my duty, at the request of my brethren, the officers and committee, to impart their advice to you, gentlemen superintendents, to wit, “That you promote the practice of singing; and if possible to use the same tunes in all the Schools ; and that you, gentlemen, seltle among yourselves what those tunes shall be."
“ The officers and committee also recommend to the superintendents and teachers of the several Schools, to appoint from each respective Scool, a delegation of two members, and that the whole number of delegates meet at Jeast once in every month, and compare with each other their respective modes of instruction, and thence form and bring forward such plans for general improvement as they may judge necessary.
5 Uniformity in the system of teaching is highly desirable. “ A few further remarks will close the duties of this day; in the making of which it falls to my acceptable lot, in behalf of the officers and committee,' to award to you, gentlemen, the well earned meed of praise ; and in their name thus publicly to thank you for your having cheerfully and gratuitously engaged in the noble, very interesting and arduous calling of instructing the friendless and neglected poor of our city; and for having hitherto prosecuted it with a zeal, industry, and intelligence worthy of so good a cause; and which gives to us, your co-workers in the same glorious undertaking, the pleasing earnests of the most heart-cheering results.
* This meeting amply rewards our first exertions in forming ihe Union Society, and the continual increase of schools will soon crown our most ardent expectations.
is Union creates strength." Let not our spirits flag or our hands bang down, while much, very much remains to be done. But let us unite our utmost exertions, and by the blessing of God, the dominion of vice and of ige norance in our city will be greatly checked.
“ Happy employment is yours--not to pronounce the Shibboleth of a party, or to promote the influence of a sect, or any worldly object. But yours is the enviable and elevating task to train up young immortals for stations of usefulness while on earth, and under the influence of divine Grace, for seats of glory and eternal bliss in heaven.
“ Proceed then, gentlemen, in the benevolent work, and may each of you, while here on earth, enjoy the pleasing reflection that you have done your duty; and hereafter,
may his favour which is life, and his loving kindness which is better than life," be your portion for ever. Peace and happiness be within your dwellings, and prosperity to our beloved common country."
Tae meeting was concluded with prayer by the Rev. Mr. Mortimer. · Published by order of ihe Board of Oficers and Committee of the Society,
ELEAZAR LORD, Secretary;,