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prevent them from growing worse, which at present seems but too apparent,
“I am, Sir, &c.
“ R. RAIKES."
It appears, from the first letter of Mr. Raikes, that the Sunday School originated in 1780. For three years, the schools gradually extended in his neighbourhood, to which they appear then to have been confined, and where several clergymen, besides the minister mentioned by Mr. R. very laudably contributed to the success of the scheme, by their personal attentions. The report of that success, in and aboui Gloucester, could not fail to draw attention from other parts of England. In 1784, the plan was adopted in Yorkshire, by several manufacturing towns. In Leeds, 1800 children were speedily collected. In this year the Sunday School at Stockport was opened, which has since exceeded in magnitude any other single establishment of this kind, and has recently been distinguished by the patronage of a branch of the Royal Fa
În 1785 was established, in London, a “ Society for the support and encouragement of Sunday Schools,” by donations of suitable books, or rendering them of easy purchase, also by remunerating teachers in districts too poor to reward them.
Clergymen of rank now did themselves honour by advocating this causé. Among these, the Rev. Dr. Kaye, Dean of Lincoln, was distinguished by a “Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham.” At the same time, the Rev. Mr. Hearne, one of the Rectors of Canterbury, exerted himself zealously among the indigent population of that place. A very gratifying account of his success was given by him in a letter addressed to the Dean of Canterbury, Dr. Horne, afterwards Bishop of Norwich, who interested himself in this cause. The letter is preserved in the Gentle man's Magazine for 1786 (V. 56, p. 257), and also given in the Selections from that Magazine, just published (V. iii. 115), and is well worthy of perusal. Mr. H. candidly states his constant use of Dr. Watts's Songs in the Schools, and the countenance he received from a 66 Dissenter” and Quaker." About this time it was estimated that no less than 250,000 children, in different parts of England, were under instruction by Sunday Schools.
The late Bishop Porteus, then Bishop of Chester, recommended the formation of Sunday Schools in his extensive di
This prelate had early conceived a very favourable
opinion of the plan, as we are informed, in his Life just published, and in several instances privately encouraged it.
“ But, as an act of prudence, he determined not to give it the sanction of his public approbation, till, as he observes, 6 time and experience, and more accurate inquiry, had enabled him to form a more decided judgment of its real value, and its probable effects. When, however, repeated information from various quarters, and particularly from some of the largest manufacturing towns in his diocese, had convinced him that such institutions, wherever the experiment had been fairly tried, had produced, and could not fail to produce, if discreetly regulated, essential benefit, he no longer hesitated in promoting them generally throughout his diocese. With this view, as the wisest and most effectual mode of giving publicity to his sentiments, he addressed to his clergy a very excellent letter, containing, in a short compass, a plain, temperate, and judicious exposition of the advantages of Sunday Schools, and of the rules by which they should be conducted.” Life of Bishop Porteus, p. 93.
Mr. Raikes appears to have been highly favoured in the circumstances of his death, which happened April 5, 1811, in his native city of Gloucester, without any previous indisposition, and in his 76th year.. Thus he came to his grave in a full aye, and might, surely, have solaced his life's decline with the promise of his great Exemplar----Blessed art thou, for these cannot recompense thee, but thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
In tracing the origin of Sunday Schools, and the life of Robert Raikes, we cannot fail observing that Providence often employs the smallest circumstances, and the efforts, even of individuals, to accomplish its most grand and extensive designs. Who that observed Robert Raikes, surrounded with a number of ragged miserable children, talking with a poor woman respecting their awful situation, agreeing with teachers to pay them himself
, would have supposed that he was laying the foundation of a building, the basis of which should cover the earth, and the top of which should reach unto heaven? If we were asked, whence has the present zeal for the diffusion of religious knowledge arisen? whence those Societies which are the ornament of our country, and the benefactors of the world ? we might lead the inquirer to that street in the suburbs of Gloucester, where the idea of Sunday Schools entered the mind of Raikes 33 years ago, as their more immediate or remote origin. What continual accessions of felicity may
we conceive the spirit of Raikes to receive in the mansions of glory, as he welcomes to heaven an increasing number of those who have been instructed in Sunday Schools! O, may all the teachers of Sunday Schools, with their founder, attended by an innumerable company of the children whom they have taught, meet in heaven to ascribe all the glory “ untó Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and
Moravian Missions. We hear that the Rev., Mr. La Trobe, Secretary to the Brethren's Society for Missions, has lately sailed for South Africa, to visit the two stations they have in that country, viz. Gnadenthal and Grunekloof; he is accompanied by several new Missionaries.
On Wednesday, November 8, Messrs. Threlkeld and Ellis, having been designated by the Directors of the Missionary Society to labour in the islands of the South Seas, were set apart to their important work at the Rev. Mr. Leifchild's Chapel, Kensington. Mr. Hackett commenced the service by reading and prayer; Mr. Leifchild delivered an introductory discourse on the difficulties and encouragements of Missionaries ; Mr. Platt asked the questions ; Dr. Waugh engaged in the ordination prayer; Mr. Hyatt delivered an impressive charge from Acts xx. 22--24., and Dr. Nicol concluded.
They are to sail in the Atlas, a government transport, with 200 male convicts, to New South Wales. Two more Missionaries and their wives are expected soon to follow them. A lady has lately presented, by the hands of Dr. Haweis £200. towards the expenses of this Mission.
Evangelical Magasine, Dec. 1815.
The following extracts of letters from the Missionaries of the United Brethren, though not of a very recent date, are taken from the two last numbers of the Periodical accounts of their Missions (72 and 73.) lo is believed that they contain matter which has not
yet been made public in this country, and which
appears to be of such an interesting and edifying nature, as to make it acceptable to the readers of this paper. It
may not be generally known, that the Moravians hold their communication with the Missionaries on the coast of Labrador, through the medium of a vessel which performs a voyage between that place and England only once a year; which circumstance accounts for their not being able to furnish more frequent and later intelligence concerning them,
Coast of Labrallor.
OKKAK, August 12, 1813, We have been able to attend, without interruption, to our most pleasant duty, that of proclaiming the word of life to the Esquimaux: and, in our outward concerns, we have experienced the blessing of the Lord upon our exertions. Whenever we met, either as a family, in company with our Esquimaux, or in public, He was with us, to bless
us, suffered us to depart without a renewed sense of his comfort and peace. We are, indeed, not worthy of all his benefits towards us and our Esquimaux congregation.
The whole of last year, but particularly the winter season, distinguished itself by a remarkable display of the grace and power
of our Saviour in their hearts, and we may say, have seen wonders of his mercy wrought among them. We have distinctly perceived, that they not only become better acquainted with themselves as poor helpless sinners, who, without Jesus, can do nothing, but they show to all around what spirit they are of, and are enabled to direct their countrymen with much earnestness to Jesus, as the only Saviour, Among the children, especially the great girls and young boys, the Lord has kindled his fire, and awakened their hearts to serious inquiry, what they must do to be saved.
It gave us heartfelt pleasure to notice in many of the young people genuine love to our Saviour, and when his bitter sul ferings to procure for them life and salvation were treated of, the tears often flowed down their cheeks. Four of these children, one girl, and three boys, were added to the church þy holy baptism, transactions which were always distinguish
ed by an heart-melting sense of our Lord's presence with us. The number of those baptized since this time last year is, 17 adults and 10 children; 25 were made candidates for baptism, 23 for the Holy Communion, and 8 became partakers for the first time. We have now 26 communicants in this congregation, which altogether consists of 150 persons, besides whom 121 new people live here. Two children have departed this life. Thus, the number of inhabitants on our land is 271.
The meetings were always well attended, and, so great was the desire of the people to be present, that some came to us at the hazard of their lives. We must, however, confess that much imperfection is yet seen, and some of those living here are not what they should be. This shall not damp our courage, but we will continue to direct them to Jesus. They all declare, that it is their sincere intention to be converted.
The schools have been regularly held, and are frequented not only by children, but by adults, who come not so much to learn to read and write, as to hear what may be said in them of our Saviour, and his love to sinners. At the examination, we were much gratified by the progress they had made in learning. Some could read a whole page without hesitation, and were tolerably expert in the rudiments of arithmetic.
This short account, dear Brethren, we beg you to receive in love. It gives, indeed, but a faint idea of what our Saviour has done in the year past, both for us and our dear Esquimaux; but, as we have experienced such goodness at his hands, we cast ourselves anew with confidence upon him with all our burdens, as his unworthy, but willing servants and handmaids, and pray him to give us a new and rich portion of faith and courage, to proclaim his great salvation to the heathen, and to all men, and to grant that we may bear such fruit as may remain.
We commend ourselves, and the dear Esquimaux congregation committed to our care, to your continued love, remembrance, and prayers before the Throne of Grace, and shall also remember you in all our supplications. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with us all. Amen.
With cordial salutations to all and each of you, we remain ever, your most affectionate Brethren and Sisters at Okkak, (Signed)
J. S. MEISNER. ADAM HALTER.