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or less degree, to all their various families. Not unfrequently, too, the bene. fit, which in this way extends to the parents, is confirmed by a word of counsel and admonition from a teacher, who calls, perhaps, to inquire after an absent child, or to afford relief in case of sickness. Through such means, multitudes of the poor, who were before notoriously vicious and profligate, and were among the most likely to become mendicants, are now not less remarkable for the virtues, by which families, and society at large, are so much benefited. These remarks, in a great measure, apply to those day-schools in which the children are assembled on the Sunday, for moral and religious instruction; and are statedly conducted to public worship. If required, proof could be afforded of every part of the statement. In a school established at Hoxton a few years ago, where there were a great number of very depraved poor, the moral improvement in the neighbourhood is visible to all the inhabitants; and there are many instances which can be pointed out, of the most complete reformation in the morals and conduct of the parents, from the cir. cumstance of the children having been introduced into the schools. In some instances they have taught their parents to read : a little girl I could point out, has taught her mother to read. As a branch of this school, another has been established at Haggerstone, a village at a short distance, which was proverbial for depravity ; there are a number of brickmakers reside there, who are a most wretched set of beings ; the face of that neighbourhood is completely changed in the course of the last year or two; and it is ascribed by all to the institution of the school there. Such is the ingenious benevolence of the persons belonging to those schools, of which I am not one at present, that they have formed societies for visiting children that are sick, belonging to the schools, or others; for it is well known that the sickness of children occasions a pressure upon the family. And the poor have expressed such surprise at the interest taken in their welfare, and the welfare of their children, that it has had the best possible effect. This I know can be confirmed by positive proof of the good resulting from such institutions.
Mr. William Hale. Q. Have you made any observations on the state of Sunday Schools in your neighbourhood ? A. O yes; there has been a great alteration in the moral condition of Spitalfields since their establishment :-the character of the poor of Spitalfields is very different from what it was thirty or forty years ago ; you never hear of any attempt to riot there. I know at one time there were individuals sent up from Nottingham with a view to effect something like what they were doing there; and that they have been more than once excited to riot during the last war, and yet that they were very quiet ; great care is taken of their mental and moral improvement. And, I believe, no instance is to be found where so multitudinous a poor congregate together in so small a space, with so little inconvenience to their neighbours.
Q. You have reason to think that the instruction given in those schools has had an effect on the poor of that district ? A. No doubt of it, it leads them to better habits, generally speaking The poor who have had their children educated there, benefit very much by it themselves ; even although they cannot read, it teaches them to be sober and frugal.”
Extract of a letter from a Clergyman of Walnut Creek, Erie county, Pennsyl
vania, to the Editor of the (Chilicothe] Weekly Recorder, dated February 16, 1816.
Moral Societies have been formed throughout Erie Presbytery generally. We have formed one in each of my congregations. We have also formed a Female Cent Society in each, to which there is a respectable number of subscribers--the funds of these are to be appropriated solely for the education of poor, pious youth, for the Gospel ministry--the first donation will be made to the Theological School at Princeton.
THE history of Sunday Schools in Great Britain, commenced in our first numbers, has been suspended for a time, in order to make room for other inportant subjects, requiring more immediate attention. The rapid progress which those institutions have recently been making among us appear at present to claim particular notice.
It is a subject of astonishment and regret, that this superior method of improving the moral condition of the lower orders of society, should have been so long in active operation in the land of our forefathers, whose language we speak, wh se physical and moral habits are so similar to our own, and with whom we have such an incessant and extensive intercourse, without the appearance of one solitary public effort on our part, to emulate their laudable example, and partake of the important advantages to be derived from the adoption of their practice. The omission must, no doubt, be in a great measure ascribed to the general ignorance which prevailed in this country of the benefits produced by those institutions in the old world. For the first attempt to pursue that excellent system here, on an extended scale, we are indebted to the benevolent enterprise of our female citizens. From the pious zeal and exertions of that better half of mankind, the majority of our most important charitable Institutions have originated, been well supported, and attended with the happiest consequences to the cause of humanity and religion. “ The Society for the relief of poor widows with small children,? “ The Orphan Asylum Society,"
," “ The Female Association for the relief of the sick poor, and for the education of such female children as do not belong to, or are not provided for, by any religious Society,” “ The Female Assistance Society,” « The Society for the promotion of Industry,” “ The Society for the support of respectable aged indigent Females," " The Dorcas Societies," the Female Societies for providing the means of educating poor and pious youth for the Gospel Ministry, and various small associations, formed at different times, for instructing the ignorant and destitute in the first rudiments of useful knowledge, and training up children in the paths of virtue and godliness—arej among us, so many monuments of the superior usefulness of that worthy sex in promoting the best interests of mankind.
Through the politeness of the first Directress of " The Female Union Society for the promotion of Sabbath Schools,” we are enabled to present to our readers the following summary account of the formation of that valuable InstiYou. 1.--No. 5.
tution in this City, together with a few short extracts from some of the reports of the different Schools connected with the Society; which exhibit the fisst. fruits of this truly Christian undertaking, and afford the anticipation of highly beneficial results from the continuance of their exertions in this labour of love.
Wednesday the 24th of January, 1816, a number of ladies of different relja gious denominations assembled in the lecture-room of the Wall-street Church, to take into consideration the necessity of establishing Sabbath Schools in the City and suburbs of New York. The Rev. Dr. Romeyn, by request, opened the meeting with prayer. When he had withdrawn, the lady who was requested to preside, in a short address, laid before the meeting the outlines of the plan proper to be adopted; and to animate the ladies to the good work, read a number of extracts on the subject from foreign publications*. Such ladies as were willing to form themselves into a Society, were requested to come forward and represent the different religious denominations as they were call. ed off, which they cheerfully did; and a committee from these was appointed to draw up rules for the Society and Schools under their care.
The meeting was then adjourned, to meet January 31st.
Wednesday, January 31st, a very numerous assembly of ladies met in the lecture-room of the Wall-street Church. The Rev. Mr. Mathews opened the meeting with prayer. The room being full, and numbers pressing for admittance, it was found necessary to adjourn to the Church. The form of a constitution and rules for the Society and Schools, as prepared by the Committee, were read and approved of, and the following ladies chosen to preside over the Institution :
Mrs. BETHUNE, first Directress; Mrs. MUMFORD, second Directress; Mrs. BOWERING+, Treasurer; Miss MUMFORD, Secretary.
April 17th, The Female Union Society for the promotion of Sabbath Schools, held their first quarterly meeting in the lecture-room of the second Presbyterian Church. Present: Mrs. Bethune, first Directress; Mrs. Mumford, second Directress; Miss Mumford, Secretary; and sixteen superintendents, and upwards of two hundred teachers. Mr. M‘Carty opened the meeting with prayer. The first Directress addres ed the Society, and congratulated them on the abundant success which had attended their labours since their last meet. ing. The Secretary read sixteen animated Reports of the superintendents of the Schools belonging to the following denominations, viz.
2, Episcopalian; 1, Methodist (215 scholars); 3, Baptist; 3, Reformed Dutch; 5; General Assembly Presbyterian ; 2, Associate Reformed do.
All these Reports were expressive of the satisfaction experienced by the teachers in their new employment, and mentioned numerous instances of the great improvement of their pupils. Total number of scholars of all ages and complexions, from six to sixty-seven years of age, in the different Schools, is two thousand one hundred and ninety-four.
Extracts of the most interesting parts of these Reports will here be given.
Extract 1st. THE superintendent and teachers of the Sabbath School belonging to in presenting to the Society their first Quarterly Report, cannot but admire the leadings of that kind Providence, which devised and brought about the plan adopted by the Female Union Society, for the instruction of the young and ignorant in the knowledge of the word of God, and the way of salvation through * For these publications, and books proper to be used in the
Schools, and rules for their government. &c the Society are indented to Stephen Prest, Esq. Bristol, Englani, whose ab indiug desire to do good is not limited to the British Isles, but who takes every opportutunity to communicate all information that may tend to advance the Redeemer's k ngdom, or meliorate the condition of his fellow-creatures in other parts of the world.
I Mrs. Bowering afterwards declined serving, and Mrs. Colgate was chosen in her place.
a Redeemer. They indulge the hope, that all who, like them, are honoured as the Lord's instruments in so important and interesting a work, will find themselves more than recompensed for any sacrifices they have made, in the abun dant blessing which shall accompany their labours, and that many who once were sunk almost to a level with the, brutes, as to any true knowledge of God, may, through their instrumentality, be raised to usefulness in society, and become ornaments to the Christian Church.
The teachers, with humble gratitude to God, would mention their belief, that one among their scholars will ever gratefully remember her first attendance at a Sabbath School. She is twenty-two years of age. On the first day of her admission, February 8th, she was observed to be much affected during prayer; and on conversing with her teacher, found that, for the first time in her life, as she said, she felt convinced she was a poor lost sinner; but, being utterly ignorant of the way of salvation through the merits of a Saviour, she knew not where to look, nor to whom to apply for help. She could not read without spelling every word; yet, so great was her desire for religious knowledge, that, though it must have cost her much labour, she has every week committed to memory a lesson in the Catechism, a portion of Scripture, and a hymn. The distress of her mind was plainly depicted in her countenance. At her request, our pastor. came twice to the school, and conversed with her. Soon afterwards it pleased the Lord to loose her bands, to enlarge her heart, and to fill it with his lové; so that, as she expressed it, she could not love her sweet Jesus, her Saviour, enough. After frequent conversations with the Rev. Mr. M and being approved by the Consistory of the Church, it was the unspeakable privilege of her teachers, to sit down with her at the table of her Lord and their Lord, and to welcome her as a sister is Christ. If this were the only instance in which it should please the Lord to follow with his blessing the feeble instructions of his handmaidens, surely our reward is great-we are more than compensated, and should be willing to labour early and ate.
E.xtract 2d. The School which, agreeably to the rules of the Society, has always been opened with prayer, and closed with singing, is attended by fifteen teachers, whose punctuality and exertions have strongly evinced the lively interest they take in the welfare of those committed to their care. Realizing, as we believe they do, the value and influence of religion upon their own hearts, they have appeared desirous to improve every opportunity which in the course of their instructions has occurred, to apply the truth and importance of the Scriptures read, and to impress the religious instructions therein contained, upon the hearts of those they teach.
The proficiency made by the scholars has been such as to equal, and in 'ma ny instances to surpass, our most sanguine expectations. One of these only will be mentioned. A scholar, aged 14, who, being at service, has the opportunity of attending only once on the Sabbath, committed to memory, in the course of one week, the 5th, 6th, and 7th chapters of Matthew's Gospel. To accomplish this, her leisure moments must have been very diligently employed. Let those who question the propriety of teaching to read on the Sabbath, visit this School, and witness not only the ardent desire to progress, but the lively emotions of gratitude expressed, and evidently felt, by those who are favoured with this privilege, whom Providence has placed in a situation to preclude the possibility of obtaining it in any other way; and we hesitate not to say, that, unless thei · hearts are strangers to philanthropy, and insensible to the blessings resulting from a knowledge of the word of God, they can no longer refuse to acknowledge their objections to be without foundation, and join with us in considering Societies for the promotion of Sabbath Schools among the most valuable of our charitable institutions.
Extract 3d. Mary
Imani fests a serious concern for her soul. The following short but interesting conversation took place between Mary and her teacher :
Teacher. Mary, if I may judge by your countenance, you are not altam gether happy. If you can freely unbosom yourself to me, I may say something that may relieve you.
Mary. I am not happy. I feel that I am a sinner, and that I must be changed before I can be happy.
Teacher. But, Mary, your Catechism says, “ Cannot your good thoughts, words, or actions recover you?” Now, suppose you read your Bible, attend to the preaching of the word, pray, and wish sincerely to be a Christian, don't you think, that, by so strict an attention to commanded duty, you would merit the favour of God?
No. Teacher. who, then, must satisfy for your sins, and present a righteousness which is acceptable?
Mary. Jesus Christ has promised to hear us when we pray, and he is the Saviour of sinners.
Teacher. Yes, Mary, Jesus is the only Saviour, and an all-sufficient one, he is indeed. Go to your offended God, and in faith plead the merits of his Son, and you have the promise that you shall not be rejected. Don't be angry with me, if I say I hope you may find no rest, until you find it in the experience of the precious blood of Christ, applied to your heart by the effectual operation of the Holy Spirit.
This girl is about 16 years of age--has attended school regularly from its commencement. Once she was missed. On inquiry, it was found that she was sick. She was visited by two of the teachers, who found her in bed, with her Bible near her. Upon being asked where she had been reading, she replied, “I have been reading the afflictions of Job ;-how much sorrow and distress he experienced; how patient he was, and how the Lord supported him.”. After conversing with her in a suitable manner, and deriving much satisfaction from her answers, one of the ladies went to prayer. When she concluded, Mary appeared much pleased, while her mother stood by bathed in tears. She expressed much gra itude for the tender interest shown for her child.
A coloured woman, aged 67 years, had attended the School regularly from its commencement. A few weeks ago she was carried to the Hospital, sick with the pleurisy. She was visited twice. She is now on the recovery, and pleased with the hope of soon returning to School. She commenced by connecting letters, and now reads the first Scripture lessons with ease. She is not only desirous to read, but anxious to attain that knowledge which will point out her duty to God.
Extract 41h. We are highly favoured in having teachers whose regular attention and orderly deportment cannot fail of being useful to the children. I cannot speak too highly of their punctuality. Considering the wild disposition of many of the children, I am much pleased with their attention, and have no doubt but the blessing of God will attend the Female Sabbath Schools throughout our City. You will be pleased to hear that a Dorcas Society has been established, for the benefit of the children attending Sabbath Schools, by which means we have been able to furnish clothes to several children who could not otherwise attend. Garments, either new or partly worn, which are presented by the hand of charity for this benevolent purpose, are received and made up or by Mrs. Bowering, Hudson-street, and the young ladies who have formed this establishment.
Extract 5th. The general improvement of the scholars has been far greater than could *easonably have been anticipated in so short a period. There are many indi, vidual instances which afford striking proofs of the usefulness of the Institution. Several who did not know their letters when they entered the School, can now read in the 3d class, and with ease commit to memory one of the cards, a hymn, and a portion of the Catechism, every week. One woman