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of God in the plan of Redemption, and in the gift of his dear Son, the birth of Christ, the life of Christ, his death, resur rection, ascension, glorification, intercession, coming to judgment, &c. &c.
Many of the children produce a number of appropriate texts in proof of the doctrine submitted to their consideration the preceding Lord's day. This exercise, it is conceived, is calculated to improve the understanding and furnish the tender mind with a rich fund of Scriptural knowledge.
June 5th, the Superintendent, accompanied by the most active of the teachers, visited about thirty-five of the scho lars, to ascertain the reasons of their absence, and endeavour to persuade them to return. In this we were more successful than we had anticipated, for on the following Sabbath our room was crowded, and in addition to those who attended formerly, twenty-six new scholars were admitted; most of whom have since attended regularly. To obviate the difficulty of want of proper clothing, a "Dorcas Society" has been formed among the teachers, and so great was their activity and diligence, that at their first meeting upwards of sixty garments were brought in, and we trust we shall soon be enabled to clothe all our children, at least decently. Extract 6th.
Among the coloured adults there appears a fixed attention, and ardent desire to learn, and several are under serious impressions. We beg leave to mention one in particular, who from the the first invitation to attend the school, discovered such a deep sense of gratitude for the notice, as she expressed herself, that the Ladies had taken of the poor coloured people, that she exclaimed, "it must be the Lord who hath put it into the hearts of the people to do so much good to them." Of late, this woman has given strong evidence of being under deep conviction of sin; her heart very tender, and her eyes filled with tears at every word spoken on religious subjects. When asked how sin appeared to her, she immediately replied, "It is a terrible thing to sin against God." She expressed great love to Christ. "But suppose, (said her teacher,) by forsaking Christ"-she interrupted, by exclaiming," Forsaking Christ!" " suppose you could gain the whole world?” "The world, (said she,) is nothing." On being asked if she was willing to die; "Six months ago, (said she) I wished to die, on account of my troubles; but I have reason bless God that he did not grant my wish, for if I had died then, I should have been lost: this wish has lately
appeared to me very sinful, and I now feel desirous that the will of the Lord should be done."
On Friday evening previous to the Communion Sabbath, she saw two coloured people baptized; and on witnessing those, with many others, go to the Lord's table, she was so overwhelmed, (as she expressed herself,) so convinced of the duty, that she determined, if it should please God to spare her life until the return of another of those precious seasons, she hoped and trusted she might be permitted to join in bearing testimony to what the Lord had done for her soul, and in fulfilling one of her Saviour's last commands.
Her teacher inquired of E. M., an aged coloured woman, if she understood what she was reading; she frankly replied, "Oh no; having never been instructed, I am very ignorant; but I have learnt more out of this little catechism* than ever I knew before; for it tells me I am a sinner, convinces me the Bible is true, and that there is mercy for such sinners as I am, through Christ. I now ask the Lord to make me understand what I read, and am thankful for the least word of instruction."
There are two others in the same class under great anxie ty respecting their situation, and are literally inquiring “ what they shall do to be saved."
Susan J, aged thirty-one, being distressed on account of sin, was induced to seek instruction at the Sabbath School.. She did not know a letter when she first began, and can now read tolerably well. She continued to manifest sincere sorrow for sin, and unremitted diligence in searching the Scriptures; at last she applied to Dr. M, who found her exercises very satisfactory. She was baptized and ad mitted to the communion of the Church.
Rosanna C, was taught her letters by her children who attended the Sabbath School, and was thereby induced to attend herself. All of them improve rapidly; one begins. to read tolerably well.
A good number have committed to memory Brown's catechism, and a great part of the Assembly's, with Scripture proofs. Some have committed the whole of Watts' Divine Songs, and whole chapters in the Bible. A great number have entered the school, of twelve and sixteen years of age, who did not know the alphabet; they manifest the most profound ignorance. One girl, aged sixteen, on being asked if *Brown's Catechism.
she had any serious thoughts about eternity, and what would become of her after death, replied, that she had never heard that she must live in another world--had never heard of the resurrection of the body, or that Jesus Christ had died for sinners. She appeared to be very anxious to learn; her teacher visited her at her home, and found her in a most deplorable situation; after which she sent us word that since we knew how she lived, she would not come to the school any more: her teacher went again to the same place, but found she had removed to where we did not think it proper to pursue her. We do not relate circumstances of this kind as a discouragement, but that all who have manifested a desire to promote this institution may be excited to more activity. We would particularly request that Ladies who are members of the Society, who do not devote their time on the Sabbath to giving instruction, would in the course of the week go through the streets, search out scholars, and press upon them the importance of attending to instruction. It has been objected that Sabbath Schools were unnecessary-that there were so many charity schools during the week, that none need remain ignorant that are disposed to receive instruction it is a lamentable fact that there are hundreds who do not want to be instructed, and that is the very reason why they should be hunted out.
The most of our teachers continue their services, and the longer they are engaged, the more deeply they are interested; and although we do not see much fruit result from our labours, we will not suffer ourselves to be discouraged, but have full confidence in the promise that " He that goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless return again, bringing his sheaves with him*."
"Margaret F-told me, with tears in her eyes, last Lord's day, that she had always been accustomed to go to Church on the Sabbath, yet her attending Sabbath School had been particularly blessed to her, as she never before felt herself a sinner; but now she knew she was one, and that she had prayed to the Lord as well as she knew how, to change her sinful heart." May she be made meet for the inheritance of the Saints in light, through Him who gave himself for her; and to him be all the glory. We feel very much encouraged to go on in our work of instructing the poor, and
This school is situated in the suburbs of the city. The Directress, accompanied by the Superintendent, visited the absentees; in between twenty and thirty families, they found only two Bibles, and three families who went to a place of worship.
think ourselves richly repaid by the visible improvement of the whole school."
The Directress concluded as follows:
"We should do injustice to the present assembly, could we suppose there was one present who is not ready to exclaim, "Great is our reward." Yes, dear Christian Sisters, were there but one instance of the blessing of God attending our labours, still we must acknowledge that great is our reward, since one soul exceeds in value that of the whole world. While there are so many excellent addresses to the teachers of Sunday Schools, it would be presumption in us to suppose we could say any thing more appropriate on the subject. We will therefore refer you to the address of Richard Varick, Esq. President of the Sunday School Union, which you will find in the 8th and 9th numbers of the Christian Herald; and the address of the Rev. Mr. James, of Birmingham, England, published by the gentlemen of St. George's Chapel, who have generously supplied us with a number of copies. Lest, however, despondency should again assail any of our Teachers, we would beg leave to put them in remembrance that the work is not ours, but God's; for "we ourselves are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." We are then only the honoured instruments in God's hand, and to despair of success argues either that we have trusted too much to human exertions, or distrusted the faithfulness of that "God who doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth." "In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thy hand, for thou knowest not whether shall prosper either this or that." If, as we trust is the case, your good works proceed from a pure heart, and faith unfeigned; your motive to obedience be God's command; and his glory your chief end, you have reason to conclude, that, "it is God that worketh in you, to will and to do of his good pleasure." Only be found in the way, and the Lord will lead you, He will be "a light to your feet, and a lamp to your path;" and "in due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not."
[It appears from the Table accompanying the foregoing Report, that the number of teachers is 250;-the total number of scholars admitted, is 3, 163;-the number at present who regularly attend, 1,935 ;-white adults, 25; coloured do. 592; white children, 1,183; coloured do. 299: the number brought from the first lesson to read in the Testament, 191. One of the last mention ed is an aged woman, a native of Africa, who was stolen from her parents when young, and brought a slave to America. She says that she used to cry and mourn for her mother and her home: but now she sees what she came here for-that it was Christ who sent her, and that she finds Him better than all other friends.]
Masonic Sunday School at Philadelphia.
Philadelphia, May 25th 1816..
IN compliance with the wish you expressed, I take the liberty of giving you some information relative to the Masonic Sunday School. It may, perhaps, have the happy effect of leading to the formation of others, on a similar plan, in different sections of the union. You are, therefore, at liberty to make such use of this letter, as in your judgment may conduce to so desirable an end.
This School, which was established a little more than twelve months ago, and intended at that time to be exclusively an adult school, was, owing to the eagerness of children to be admitted, changed from its original plan; and both sexes, from ten years and upwards, received the benefit of it. The boy's school increased to a great extent, and the labours of the teachers were abundantly rewarded; but, when the spirit for encouraging Sunday Schools burst forth in resistless power, throwing open the doors of almost every place of public worship for that object, and rousing great numbers of pious young men and women to engage in the work, it was deemed adviseable to send the children to the several Churches which were prepared to receive them, and confine the labours of the institution over which I have the honour to preside, entirely to the education of adults. This was accordingly done, and our adult scholars felt more freedom in attending. Since the commencement of the institution, there have been not less than fifty adults, male and female, who have had cause to rejoice in being brought by its instrumentality from the depths of ignorance, to read the oracles of divine truth, and some, we would hope, savingly to understand them.
As an inducement to their making great exertions to learn to read, they were promised that as soon as they had made a tolerable proficiency in that branch, they should also be taught to write. Accordingly, about six months ago, eight or ten who had merited the reward, by their diligence and rapid progress, were committed to the able direction of Messrs. Rand Pwho kindly tendered their services gratuitously The persons, (some of whom are from forty to fifty years of age,) whose copy-books accompany this communication, have progressed to the state of improvement, evidenced by the specimens, since November last. The most of them began at that period, for the first time, to attempt to write; and though they entertained little or no hope of success, yet, by persevering one hour every Sunday morning, to exert themselves under such excellent instructors, and on the new plan devised by Mr. Rand, they have arrived to a state of improvement that would warrant a belief of their becoming excellent penmen in a few months more.
The greatest difficulty we experience is that of inducing persons of advanced age, to make an attempt to learn. Many with whom I have conversed, and who are not acquainted with a letter of the English alphabet, have resigned themselves to absolute despair, and cannot be prevailed upon, by any consideration, to make a trial. "Do you think it possible for a person of my age to learn," has been the almost uniform question of every individual, who had summoned up courage enough to run the risk of being laughed at by his neighbours for attempting" to learn his letters," (as it is sarcastically termed,) in his old age. Many of our scholars, whose determination overcame these obstacles, now relate with joy their triumph over those who formerly ridiculed them; and much cause for rejoicing they truly have. They are enabled to read the word of God to their families, while their ignorant neighbours, who once sneered at them, often attend to listen, and go away wondering "how. such things should be." Still, however, as I am informed, most of these scoffers attribute the success to uncommon industry or talents in our scholars, and will not be persuaded they are capable of the same attainments.
The sentiment, that a person above forty years of age, cannot be taught to read, which I find very generally prevails among the ignorant poor, must be.