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Shrtmiurg,8Vi 4pri(, iSl$.
S»«ep He foUoaing Address, delivered at the last Quarterly Meeting of the Tetehen ami Fritnds vfthe Bhreicsbury General Sunday Heliool, in St. John's CUpel, Shrewsbury, ty an Adult Scholar, nteU Kith yoar npprohaihn, itt inscribe it the Sunday School Repository, trill probably encourage other Adults, who, snsUe-ysnng, hac not learnt l > ri nd and m ile, anil be the happy mtam of lifting *p the haiat of those ykiUuitkr- pic characters engaged 1a tutoring sack. The iciolaritSi years of age, and by profession a ti-ailar. Sincerely wishing you, and tcery tmtl engaged m Suuduj/ Schools, cocry possible success,
Aii Adult Scholar's Adpkess.
"I HAV'E many times wished for an opportunity to rxpass to die Conductors of the Shrewsbury General Sundny School, my gratefuj thanks for the favours they bane beeu the mean? of conferring nponmeand my iitrotLy.; and when I reflect Qn the^reat change that has taken place among us Midiin tlie last twelve months, I am lost!—i know not wont to say !—my heart .oversows !—when I-think Unit this time last year £ was going posf baste to the pit of destruction !— neither I, my w ife, nor any of my children,could either read w urite!—eveTy Sabbath was spent in drunkenness at the *ic-hcuse, or in loitering away our time in the fields and lanes WiMiaJtlic town. Not content was I in going to-Hell myHit, but 1 seemed determined to take all with me I could— indeed we lived a Hell upon earth; we 'never attended any place of worship. In the -neighbourhood where [ and my fcjnily live, we beard little beside horrid oaths and curses, ud witnessed little else than lighting and quarrelling from day to day, living in ail maimer of sin and wickedness, -we ■tre without hope and without God in the world ; miserable M the devil could make us. About last March, us 1 was passiug through one of thestreets, I met a person who attends this cbapel, he told'me they were going to hnve a prayer meeting at their house that night, and desired I would come up at 7 o'clock, I told him I-would, L kept my-promise and went, and quite approved of what 1 saw and heard-*! tiwught these people are right and I am wrong. After the meeting was over, the man of the house said they sbouki have preaching there an such anight, and kindly incited-mre lo-attend; but when the Bible was.read and rdeired to,ithen 1 felt my deficiency, and saw the exoelleney of 'knowing the Scriptures; but, alas! for me, the Bible>I know inot—»it was feakd up, and I could not road it. 1 attended preaching f^a'ui, aud began to like it,; widJiavuig expressed the-sorruw I felt at not being able to read, I was told, by attending the Shrewsbury General Sunday School in Cobhain, I maybe taught both to read and write. At once I resolved to go, and accordingly the next Sunday morning set off with one of my boys; when I got at the bottom of the stairs leading to the school-room, my heart failed me—I cannot go—no, I cannot so expose my ignorance. I again thought, " ot the advantages" of learning to read, and went up a tew steps —I had hard struggling within—many, many times the devil so filled me with pride, that I thought I would not go in When I got to the school door, and saw so vast a room, filled with so many scholars I flinched back, and thought all the children would only laugh at seeing so old a dunce as myself learning my letters, and at once determined to go down — but my boy, who was mighty fond of goin#, taking hold of the skirt of my coat, said—" No, Dad, you shall »o in." .fust then a teacher saw me and kindly invited me, so I went and was placed in the adult department, and soon found great pleasure in learning; the teachers were very kind, and gave me great encouragement; that is now about a year since; I have attended every Sunday, and can now read a chapter in the Bible, and write a little, thank God. As the children of that school attend this chapel with their teachers, I tfatne up with them in procession, and by what I have heard here, and by the lectures in the school, I got to see the evil of sin, and was determined to leave it off. 1 found very hard struggling* —many, very many fightings have 1 had with temptations to drunkenness, but, 1 bless God, by prayer, and secretly reading my Bible, I get power over it, and now feel, whenever tempted to it, grace and strength to resist it at once, and have not the least desire for any thing of the kind—indeed my whole delight, is in God. I have not seen the ends of the town I was used to frequent, for three quarters of a year, and never wish to see them again. My neighbours, many of them now come to the school, and to the chapel with me, ?nd the whole place seems reformed. My wife, soon after I was turned, went with me to hear preaching, and now she is more desirous of salvation than myself; we have both joined the Society, meet in class together, and are walking hand in hand in search of a better country, both of us earnestly seeking redemption in the Blood of Christ, the forgiveness of our past sins. My children, though some of them are grown up, have attended the Sunday School; one or two have learnt to read the Testament, and How we are living a heaven upon carth-v-oh! what a change!—before we were always poor, always in want, now we all work hard and have plenty. Instead of cursing and blasting each other's eyes and limbs, when together, we are living in love; at breakfast, one of the lads reads a chapter, another at dinner; and then, after supper, 1 generally, in the best manner I am able, read a psalm, or a chapter, and when we have prayed together, we fo tn rest in peace. This is the life we are now living—-and, oh, dory be to God for ever bringing me among you! I *il pray for your prosperity—I can do no more. Shame t oh, lasting shame to myself for neglecting, till my eyes are become dim; but thanks be to God for bis long-suffering niercv towards me, the 'chief of sinners."
TO attempt to describe the sensations this simple, though energrtic, speech produced on the minds of from seven to eight hundred persons tcho were present, is impossible. At intervals,for » «seconds, sig/is and broken sobs teas t/ie only language lieard, chile eyes, batlied in joyful tears, were the visible effect* of this irtltss tale of gratitude to God and man. Frequently was the heart of the speaker too full to proceed without very considerable motiuiu.—Isaac is now an ornament to the school, and to that of people to mhom he is united. His love for otliers' weljsrtxat manifested a sftort time since, when he heard of a poor swse&u si sited to attend the Sunday School, but owing to his i*-iti* n shoes was prevented; with all the generosity of a great though Isaac himself is poor, he immediately sent him a pair of uui. n shoes, and begged that nothing might prevent his tttmiauce. Accordingly, the next Sabbath, the giver and retthtr both met at tlie hoard of Instruction. Isaac has since fouJtd the truth of that passage verified, that " It is more blessed togke than to receive" as the recipient of his bounty lias since ken auakened, aiul both liaving " received the Kingdom of Ilea*« as Halt children"will, I doubt not, erelong, " enter therein."
T. B. jun.
Adult Schools at Collumptov.
HAVING been frequently delighted with the contents of Jour valuable Repository (which 1 recommend to all the Managers of Sunday Schools I meet with, a/a work calculated to invigorate the zeal, and direct the elforls, of all w ho are "d in that important work and labour of lovej, 1 feel it my duty to cast my mite iuto your treasury.
It is now about nine mouths since I left Coventry, where ibx'happy effects of AdultSchools are very conspicuous, and on my arrival irf Devonshire, I lost no time in recommending' the establislmient of such schools; and in this place especially our success has far exceeded our expectations. Sunday, June the 4.th, sermons were preached and collections made at the Methodi*t Chapel in this tpWti, for the Adult and Children Schools. The statements- then given, shew that our labour lias not been in vain in- the Lord.
There arC! in these Schools <2(> men, and 43 women, and, in general, they make very great, improvement; several, who six months ago did not know the Alphabet, now read in the Testament; but none have yet hcen dismissed. The greatest part of these did not previoirsly attend any place of worship, bucnovv they appear to take great delight in the duties of religion. There are four men and five women who give evidence of a work of grace in their souls; four of these are become members of our Society, and also rhe wife of one of the men, to whom he Iihs been useful. A young woman, who, from the time of her attending the Adult Schools, was much concerned about her soul, is gone from time into eternity, and she had hope in her death.
A woman who lives about a mile fiom this town, heard of the Adult Schools and resolved to attend, but her husband violently opposed- it, protesting, that if she went he would lock her out; regardless of the consequences she attended, and he was as good as his word. Finding, on her return, that she could not get in, she took her school-book and began practising her lesson under the hedge. About half an hour after this the husband' returned, and, seeing her thus employed, declared he would.go to the Adult School loo, if he might be admitted. Since that time he has regularly attended, and there is a great change in his conduct; the woman declared at School, with tears, that in their bouse things are quite changed, and she was never before so happy.
When searching out lor Adult Scholars, one was met with upwards of 60 yeais of age, whose case was considered almost hopeless, but it was resolved to invite her; she received the invitation with gratitude, saying,. " By the blessing of God I will attend." She has attended regularly, learns rapidly, and is become very serious. Tho change in her moral character astonishes, all who knew her.
One of the scholars in the Childrens' School, about eight years of age, was accustomed to go with her book to the place where her father was at work, that he might assist her in learning le- read, net suspecting that he could not read himself; for some, time he deceived her by telling her souae wod, right or wrong; but finding she was not satisfied with his answers, lie refused to tell her any more. "But why, father," said she, " will not you tell me?" To her repeated eiNjniries, he at length replied with Wars, " I cannot read!" "VVhat," said the child, " such a great man as you not able to read! why, if I had known that I would have taught you myself." This remark from his own child, pierced him to tie eery soul, and he resolved to learn to read. At this very time the Adult Schools in this town commenced, and he gladly attended. Since that time he has regularly prayed with his family, is become a member of our Society, and has also the happiness to see his wife turn to the Lord.
It is very desirable that the attention of the benevolent should be more generally directed to these Schools. No one •ould suppose the great number of Adults which, on a carefat enquiry, will be found unable to read, and therefore in general have scarcely any sense of religion. And how ffluch sooner are persons rewarded with visible success in teaching adults than in teaching children! they learn to read in about one-fourth of the time,andalniostimmediately on their amending, a change in their moral conduct is generally observed; Adult Schools are established with very little trouble and expense. Our's are all in private houses, belonging to respectable, if not religious persons. The men and women of course are in different houses; from 10 to 20 of the neighbours attend each school, these are divided into two classes, and two Teachers are appointed. One of the Teachers is generally an Assistant Visitor, to call on ableatees; and the Visitor for the day attends all the schools, to mark the number of teachers and learners present; to en» •wire the cause of former absence; to receive and class those who apply for admission, and give advice, as may be necessary. The Teachers have to open and close with prayer; the schools at Coventry are on the same plan, in which, I au> happy to learn, there are now 103 learners,besides 45 who have learnt to read the Testament, and are dismissed. The learners are very fond of the Bristol Spelling Book for adults. Wishing for the extensive circulation of your Magazine, as a -tunulus to active benevolence,
I am, Sir,
VOL. II. A A