Page images

ill be allowed to have one of these tickets. That when a child had obtained a sufficient number of these tickets, the reading and spelling books used in the school would be given tor those tickets; such books would then be their own, their names would be written upon them, and they might take them home and learn lessons in the course of the week. The children were ail very eager to obtain these tickets, and two or three, to whom they were refused, on account of ill behaviour, were extremely mortified.

When the children have thus paid for their own books they will be furnished with Catechisms, Bibles and Testaments by similar means, and perhaps also with a few of the most necessary articles of clothing.

I will only trespass further on your attention while I state the advantages resulting from this plan. 1st. The school i&indepeudant of the public, it supports itself, consequently Sadly. A few zealous persons may thus at any time begin a school, without fear of incurring an expence which they cannot defray. Srdly. Children take more care of sucli books as are their own than of those furnished them by their teachers. 4thly. The children may learn a weekly task, ath'.mt. Hence, 5thly. So much time needs not on Sunday bedevottd to the mere hearing of lessons, more leisure be afforded for the great object of Sunday Schoolsreiiiious instruction. Gthly. Attendance and good behaviour are insured for, when a child has deposited a few pence he w ill not leave the school till they have been refunded, "thly. Habits of frugality are induced for the weekly halfpenny will often be saved, which would other»ise have been squandered in gingerbread and sugar plums. Lastly. A system of rewards efficient, yet without expence, is introduced. The actu;l reward is, that the children obtain books at a far lower price * than they could purchase tbera at the shops, and besides this, the money they pay bein" advanced by very trifling sums at a time, neither they nor their parents miss "it, and the hooks (or clothes; thus chained seem to be got so easily, that if presented to them g/aiuitously, they would scarcely be acquired with less diffi"■fcl'y; it is, to use the phrase of the children's parents, like to much found money to them.

Your's, Sic.

T. K.

• It t» bcr* supposed that the- Bibles and Testament's arc ohiaiiied threug'.i Incriben to theMritub and foreign li.ble Society, at the reduced ]>rirea.


On Buildings for Sunday School Rooms.

IN your valuable publication, the Sunday School Repository, I find an enquiry respecting a plan, which may be best adapted for a Sunday School, intended to be built at Warrington. I should have been glad had your correspondent signified on what system the same was to be taught, whether on the old, or that commonly adopted by national schools. Having been a constant teacher of a Sunday School upwards of twelve years, I have witnessed much inconvenience from a school of similar proportion to that in view, mentioned by the enquirer twenty yards long by eight wide. A superintendent or monitor has not proper command over the children, the ends of the school being so distant, the aisles which are necessary to give access to every part of the school, take up a greater proportion than is desirable, and the forms cannot well be placed to accommodate the classes in that order which presents the teacher with the class at one view, so that the scholars are less under controul, hence disorder ensues, which prevents improvement to the children and satisfaction and comfort to the teachers.

I conceive that the best plan for the outlines of a school, on any system, is that which comes nearest to a square ot equal sides, supposing the width be not greater than that by which light may be sufficiently admitted into the middle; it will accommodate a greater number of scholars m the same quantity of superficial square yards than that of a parallelogram, easy access being obtained to every part, with a less proportion for the aisles. The whole of the school becomes more under the view and command of the superintendent, and appears better adapted for the personal comfort of the teachers.

To be more particular, I will suppose a school to be taught on the old system, by a number of teachers, the scholars divided into classes, each class containing twentyfour children, and that the size of a school be required which contains an equal number of superficial yards with that of twenty yards by eight.

I recommend that the interior of the school be as follows, to have an aisle in the middle, two yards wide from end to end, and that the forms be placed on each side, parallel to the ends or width of the school, and each form tnirteen feet six inches long, which will hold twelve children, a"" each teacher to sit at the head of two forms, containing twenty-four the size of each class. By this plan, you occupy that part which is best lighted, and the inferior light for the aisle. This being admitted, the breadth within the walls will require to be eleven yards and the length fourteen and a half.* The difference of the two above mentioned widths for the accommodation of children, supposing the aisles of equal breadth Is eleven square yards more in that which is the broader. In the erection of schools, objections are sometimes advanced, stating that an extra width will be more costly, the timber in the roof requiring an additional strength, and more particularly in the framing or carriage of the floor, should the building be two stories high. But I conclude that the diminishing of walling in the girt, will be equal to the increased strength of timber in the roof, and that a column to each floor beam would diminish the strength otherwise required.

Should the interior be required to be divided into small departments or rooms on each side the aisle, similar to the plan adopted at Stockport, the outlines of the above would be found a convenient dimension, or as in schools *hich ire divided by boarded ceiling, having upright pieces of timber at equal distances, the height of the school; which height being equally divided into three parts, the lower of which is a stationary ceiling, and the two other parts to dide ap or down at pleasure; so that on the commencement of school the same may be open during singing and prayer, after which each division may be made a separate apart■nent-t The height from the floor to the ceiling should he not more than thirteen feet, that the echo usual in spacious places be not unpleasaut; but, if the school be divided, it would admit of being higher. The window also should be placed within a few inches of the ceiling, that fofficient light may be obtained in the middle of the school.

If the plans of some of the best constructed schools, within the sphere of your union, were occasionally placed a* frontispieces to some of your Magazines, (suppose in

* I hwe not presorted this system and the dimensions of the school suitab'e u > iuadard for general practice; but, with a view to shew that when the rnloi of arrangement is formed, (which may admit of many deviations from wkat I have mentioned,) that the outlines for the erection are also formed-by its (Heading the length according to the number it may be requested to hold.

f For an acrouut of asimilar plan, see page £64 vol. 1. in the Sunday .School Trader'« Repository; where is also a detail of the system of discipline and jo>':urr.t of the Friar1! Mount Bethnal Urecu Sunday School,


the January numbers,) I have no doubt they would be very acceptable, and add greatly to the value of the work, having also the particulars annexed of arrangement, and the number of children the same was calculated to hold. Wishing you success in all your undertakings,

I remain your's, Sec.

J. W.

Remarks on the Omission of Prayer in Sunday Schools, by some of the Teachers.

THERE is one class of my fellow teachers, who, either partially or entirely neglect the duty of prayer in their schools. Many schools of this description have not fallen under my notice, some indeed I know, and there arc many more, I have no doubt, of this sort to be found. The conduct is certainly in direct opposition to the nature and design of Sunday Schools, whatever excuses may be urged in the favour of the teacher. The instilment of religious principle, as well as of elementary knowledge, is the object of Sunday Schools; and I trust every teacher is employed in inculcating the necessity of prayer in the minds of the children he instructs; but, unless he adds to precept example on this point, is it not likely, in all human probability, that his conduct will almost invalidate his instructions, if the children have in their power to say, concerning their teacher, "He is always talking about prayer, and urging us to pray, yet he never prays with us; sometimes a stranger prays, or the minister comes and prays, but as for our teacher, he never prays at all." What fruit can be expected, we may as well not plant, as to withhold water; though neither plaining or watering is the eflicient cause of growth, they are the appointed means of vegetation; so we may as well cease to teach as refrain from prayer, though neither teaching or praying separately, or combined, will of themselves produce fruit, but rank only as means, by which the Lord designs to effect the end.

The reason of some teachers declining praver, I may be told, is their uncertainty respecting their own conversion, and they dare not, on this account, pray for others. Now, this is no excuse at all. Put the case at the worst, and allow that they are unconverted, let them pray for themselves and the children too, the same petitions will suit both their cases. Others say they are in want of words. Cowper has met this

objection in the following beautiful lines.

Do you want words?—Ah! think again,
Words flow apace when you complain, &c.

We all find a sufficiency of words to express our ideas on a subject in which we feel an interest, and if we are really interested in the everlasting welfare of the children, we canDot be in want of words to pray with them. Timidity is urged likewise. It is certainly true, that at the first essay to speak or pray, in any thing like a public manner, it is no small difficulty to divest ourselves of a causeless timidity, for which, however, accustoming ourselves to the task, will prove a certain remedy; and in these instances, timidity ought to be conquered; a known duty must not be omitted, because we feel disinclined to attend to it, on whatever account that disinclination may arise. If prayer is a duty, it ought to be attended to, nor will such excuses as these justify its omission.

1 desire this subject not to be considered as applying to oot brethren alone, but equally to those of our sisters, who conduct female schools, without the assistance of male teachen. Perhaps they may smile at my rudeness, in attempting to enter within their bounds, but I hope they will condescend to hear what I have to say on the subject, 9ince 1 have no design to urge them to an improper act, or to any uung less than an imperious duty. It is true, the Apostle denominates it shameful for a woman's voice to be heard in a chnrch; but Sunday Schools are not churches, nor is there any Scripture to prohibit, either directly or by inference, a female surrounded only by females, from praying with them; they are, in this case, placed in the same situation as the other sex, and the same reasons which prompt the one, onght to be equally forcible as the other. Do our sisters urge custom. Truly, it is the custom for women to be silent. Not at the tea table, not yt the ball room, no; but at a Sunday School, where prayer ought to be made, there it is the custom for thein to be silent. Will none of our »isten break the custom to serve God and benefit the souls of the children? I hope many have, but I fear many have not, and schools have been collected and dismissed without one syllable of prayer to God for a blessing. Let those to whom this relates think as they please on the subject, it certainly is a serious matter. If, however, timidity should be the excuse, the use of forms will certainly obviate that enUrely. I freely confess, that I am not an advocate for tUe

« PreviousContinue »