« PreviousContinue »
commanders withdraw, or re'ax their exertions and give incoheient orders, evn the experienced veteran must quit the field; the consequent effect ol which is the whole Hre routed, and the enemy is left to enjov an uninterrupted tiiumph. Thus it will he found with Sunday school teachers: whiist they persevere in the path of duty, they wi 1 never want childien to teach, and certain success awaits their laboms; for they aie likely to lead on their little army to conquest and a crown. But if instability attend us, if we quit the sphere of action, or keep it with reluctance, the children will soon fail in their attendance, Satan will throw obstacles in the way of twfulness, and at last the enemy of souls will be left to spread (he baneful effect of his victories unmolested in the field.
7th. Prayer is an essential requisite to success in sunday school teaching. "Without me ye can do nothing,'1 said infinite Wisdom. "Paul may plant, and Apollo- may water, but God only can give the increase," said an inspired apostle. But " Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing ye shall receive," sounds from the sacied word. Believers in all ages have experienced the truth of these promises, and ih<* prayer of faith has overcome many difficulties, has procured innumerable blessings, and has always been particularly sanctioned by divine approbation.
What then shall we not be able to accomplish by prayer?
1st. 1. dividual secret prayer, each one suppl,eating the throne of grace, that success may attend his own personal labours.
2d Prayer with the children, that God tnav pour down his blessing upon the united efforts of the teachers, upon the understandings of the children, and succeed, by his efficient blessing, every attempt to instruct them.
Sdly. Prayer in tlieee our quarterly meetings, that God may animate each heart uith sacred fire, kindled by the love of Jesus Christ. With thispowe liil weapon o: " all prayer" in our hands, no instrument that may be formed against us shall prosper, and every tongue that risetn against us in judgment we shall condemn. Tnen let us go cheeriully forward, relying on Him who has said, "I will never leave thee nor forsake thee." And uny we so run as to otituin that no nun can take, our crown. For in due time we shall reap, if we faint not.
Minutes taken at the Quarterly Meetings of the Sunday School Union.
Question.—By what means can bad behaviour and inattention to improvement be most effectually counteracted in Sunday Scholars?
The opener of the subject thought that, in order to adopt milafele measures to attain the great object of the question, ii was almost necessary to become a philosopher. That which woukl counteract these evils in one child would not is another. Some are inattentive from levity, and others from a bad inclination of the mind—these must be treated <nftn?ndy. Emulation, though often spoken against as bringin? the baser passions into exercise, would conduce to this end Ib a well-regulated school1; but it was absolutely necessary in attaining this object that the teacher should attend constantly, and become well acquainted with his children. TfoS) by exciting a friendly spirit of emulation, and watching ovei it constantly, attention would be excited and imjrotraent promoted. Teachers should be continually lead■S nwr children forward*—they should raise up a spirit of «^Hry, aud direct their attention to the wonderful things contained in the bible. Monitors had been found very "wW in checking inattention and bad behaviour. A diswder/r label fixed on a bad child had often produced the *«red effect.
A friend stated that inattention and bad behaviour gene»lly anose from the neglect of the teachers. If they were* uJijng about all the circumstances of the past week instead of attending to their classes, the children might be expected U behave badly.
A teacher stated that the want of a judicious mode of pu•sameBt was one cause of inattention and bad behaviour. He reprobated the conduct of those, who after the admonv* »« or punishment of a child, seem rather disposed to pity 'he offender, than to express their abhorrence of his crime. Whenever punishment was to be inflicted, it should be done promptly, and a strict regard should be paid to whatever had been previously stated both with regard to punishments and rewards. He was extremely averse to the use of the owe, and recommended that emulation should be excited, »d the characters of the various pupils so discriminated as x> render punishment salutary. He cautioned teachers ■isramit undue familiarity with their children, as it would deprite punishment of its due effect, and concluded by
*OL. II. £
recommending humility, early and regular attendance, aad diligence in the business of the School.
A superintendent stated that children should not be considered as mere machines; they all possessed lively feelings, and each of them had an individual character. • It was of the greatest importance that a teacher should be intimately acquainted with the character of each of his pupils, that he might knew how to adopt those plans which were best suited to the cases of each individual. Shame and a deprivation of regards had often been found serviceable. He thought earnest affectionate .private expostulation to be one of the best means o: counteracting inattention and bad behaviour—this will often produce the desired effect, when sterner measures would only irritate and harden. It was of great importance not only to attend to the behaviour of the children in-school, but likewise during the week, and by all means to secure the constant co-operation of their .parents and friends. Every thing in a Sunday School should have an encouraging and interesting appearance. Let teachers strew the path with flowers and lead their children on in wisdom's ways. By the use of these means many children, who once were inattentive and bad in their behaviour, will become ornaments to the School and comforts to their teachers.
A teacher said, that conciliatory measures would be always found best. The ill-conduct of the children commonly arose from the faults of the teacher. There were some w ho were only half-teachers. He thought that by exercising great care in the admission of teachers, many evils would be avoided and much benefit arise.
A friend said that many bad effects arose from lateness in the attendance of teachers, as it encouraged the children to jmitate their examples. The children should be kept constantly employed; it could not be expected that they would behave* well if they had nothing to do.
A teacher thought that constant attention should be paid to impress on the mind of the pupils the idea, that their benefit was the great obj»ct which induced their instructors to give up so many comforts and privileges. In speaking to Sunday School children, one of the best ways to oyercoine their inattention w;.s, to relate some interesting anecdote. It was not only necessary that scholars should love their teachers—they sho'ild also respect them. W hen children were repeatedly b d in their behaviour and .inattentive to theii own ipii^r^vcme/ii,, as,a last expedient, it Wight be uecessaiy to expel them. He recollected the case of-a very bad boy, who was placed on the form and publicly addressed hy the superintendent, and informed that his conduct had be^n getting <n much worse and worse, that he mu<t be expe 'ed from the School. As the superintendent was speakin? to the boy, he fell his heart so overpowered, that he cried out, "Let as pray for this poor hoy.'* They all aio>e, andhepnyed for him. The boy's heart was softened by this solemn exercise, and he earnestly begged his mother, on the next Sabbath, to persuade the superintendent to re-arfmit him. He afterwards behaved very well, and wrs made a monitor. The whole of the school time should be sacred to the benefit of the children, or it is mis-employed. Eaeh child was a talent committed to the teacher, for which he will have to give an account; and by every means in his power he should endeavour
V allure to brighter worlds and shew the way."
We sh >uld be lengthening this paper too much for our limits, to state all that was said on this interesting question, ve shall therefore compress it into a small compass, and ieareour readers to enlarge on these hints: Beware of partalhy to particular children. Let no Teacher leave his class before the school closes; if this is intended, the children's :«*>asare hurried over to afford time. Let suitable regulations be adopted for the government of tho school; and let them bealways acted upon in a regular and systematic plan.' Order, method, and discipline arc indispensabfe. Frequently visit the parents and friends of the children, and procure their co-operation. I^'ever suffer any child to be idle or only half employed; if tViey are not profitably engaged, we may be tan they will talk and play, and create confusion in the school.
IsfiCiRT as to the best Plan of constructing Buildings, for Sunday Schools.
YOU eminently deserve the thanks of the friends and patrons of Sunday Schools, for undertaking a work which is so writ calculated to communicate instruction, and inspire with perseverance and exertion the teachers and conductors of those excellent institutions as your valuable Uepo-itory is. In your excellent work the wisdom of many years experience »» collected together. We have from-time to time tl»e va-r luable remarks of our fathers in the blessed work, to en-, lighten our inexperience: we read of the success of welldi&scied efforts in all parts of the nation, and fuel a portion of the same ardour, and are gratified with the same blessed results. Nay, we not only profit ourselves, but generations yet unborn will turn over its interesting pages with pleasure and delight. Had it not been for your Repository we should not at this time perhaps have formed a union, so excellent in Its design, and so beneficial in its effects. I can adopt the language of a contemporary, and sav, Our union has made Sunday schools more popular in Warrington, for they are much better attended, both by teachers and children, than they were before; and as one of our rules is attended to invariably, not to receive a scholar from any other scliool in the union, without a written permission from the school left, that desire for change, so frequently witnessed in both parents and children, is counteracted; and thus, unless an adequate reason be assigued, they are prevented from rambling from sehool to school, to the perplexity of teachers, and the serious injury of the children Our union has existed little more than one year, and the increase in the school (the Methodist) I have the honour to labour in, is nearly one hundred; and, I am happy to say, our other brethren in the union alike feel its beneficial effects. How much more amiable, affectionately to unite in what should ever be considered as one grand cause, the moral and religious instruction of the rising generation, than to act upon the principle of opposition and party spirit, and endeavour basely to entice each others children.
At present I have seen but little in the Repository on the best mode of constructing a Sunday school: as snnday schools are increasing almost daily, 1 think much benefit would be derived by the public if some of your intelligent correspondents would favour us with their views on this important subject. The plan of building and of fitting up Sunday schools, in many parts of the nation, is no doubt brought to a degree of perfection, and I could wish to profit by the experience of others. At no very distant period we intend to erect a new one: the plan we have at present in view is to build one twenty yards long, by eight wide, supposing that proportion best calculated for the purposes of a sundav school. That plan is the most desirable, by which the greatest number of children may be accommodated in the same quantity of square yards, with the greatest personal comfort to both teachers and children. Trusting that these observations will meet with the notice of some of your correspondents,
I am, &c.
Warrington. J. T,