« PreviousContinue »
Extract from the First Annual Report of the ComMitter of the TONBRIDGE SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
A PUBLIC meeting was held at Lady Huntingdon's chapel last year, when it was stated on unquestionable authority, that these useful institutions were but as yet in their infancy, and that in some neighbouring villages the light of Sunday Schools had not yet arisen; and it appearing the best means of remedying those difficulties, which had hitherto impeded their establishment, would be the formation of a Sunday School Union, it was then concluded.
Impressed with the importance of the objects proposed, your committee accepted the appointment, and cheerfully undertook to use their best exertions, and without detaining their friends any longer, they hasten to communicate the result of their labours, and hope ere long their Sunday School system, which has but just risen above the horizon, will shine yet more and more, till in their respective neighbourhoods the means of rcli. gious knowledge shall be generally diffused, and mental ignorance completely chased away. Since the formation of this Union a Sunday School has been opened at
Southborough, under the friendly superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Gough, assisted by several friends, by whose persevering exertions, aided by the funds of the Union, ninety-six children are under tuition.
Groombridge. A school was opened by Mr. Cooke, and consists of seventy-six children and four adults; it is now under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Adams, whose indefatigable attention merits the warmest commendation.
Matfield. A short time since a school was opened under the care of the Rev. Messrs. Russell and Gladwish: the prospect of usefulness is truly cheering; one hundred and twenty-four children having been already admitted with every prospectof an increase; the readiness and pleasure which the teachers manifest in attending to the moral and spiritual improvement of the children is truly gratifying. .
Rotherfield. Another school has been opened, and which, in point of members, has far exceeded the expectations of the Rev. Mr. Hattcrel, Mr. Babington, and friends, who have kindly undertaken to attend to their instruction, consisting already of one hundred and thirty children, with the probability of an increase. [The committee regret the Sunday School in the church is not in so flourishing a state as formerly, but hope a friendly rivalry will excite the managers of each school to fresh exertions in a neighbourhood rather populous ]
Yalding. A few weeks since a school was opened, and ha* every prospect of realizing the best wishes of the friends of youth; the parents and children attending at its commencement
Maresfield. Several difficulties at present interfere; these require further consideration, which your committee nope to remove.
Lamberhurst. They have at present no Sunday School; but the enquiries that are making will probably terminate in facilitating the realizement of our wishes.
Tyshurst. A Sunday School appears at present impracticable.
Goadhurst. The Rev. Mr. Fox has been using his best endeavours; and though a sufficient number of active teachers cannot yet be obtained, your committee hope soon to report the establishment of one in this populous place.
Horsemanden. Inquiries are making, which they hope will be crowned with success, no school having yet been established.
Tudely and Capel. A school.house is erecting, and in which it is intended to include Sabbath instruction.
Pembury. There is a school under the superintendence of the Rev. Mr. Woodgate, consisting of near one hundred children, which your committee hope to have the pleasure of reporting a further increase.
Brenchley. A Sunday School, under the care of the Rev. Mr. Kesterman and friends, consists ef about eighty children, and which your committee hope will be considerably increased.
From the above sketch, your committee hope it will appear, that a Sunday School Union, in which the friends of religious knowledge, of every denomination, may conscientiously unite their energies, possesses many advantages and facilities for the dispersion of ignorance, which individual benevolence could not, however anxious, accomplish. By the aid of this Union, 10/. has been distributed for the revival of schools, that might otherwise have decayed; and near 4000 books, Spelling Books, Catechisms, Hymn Books, Tracts, &c. have been distributed, where they appeared necessary. Your committee rejoice, that while thus employed as the dispensers of your liberality, they have found the promise was not given in vain, that they who water others, shall themselves be refreshed. They have found there is a re-action in Christian benevolence, and that concern for others has suggested the necessity of personal consistency, that, in proportion as the benevolent feelings get into more active exercise, their own domestic circle has shared a greater measure of happiness; and they cannot but feel happy in the recollection, that upwards of five hundred children have been rescued from a state of mental ignorance, and whom, they trust, having been endued with knowledge as a compass, and with the Bible as their pilot, shall be conducted, through the agency of the Divine Spirit, over the tumultuous scenes and through the stormy voyage of human life, into the haven of eternal rest and joy. Tue peace of neighbourhoods has been preserved; and the parents, instead of consuming their Sabbaths in idleness, have, in numerous instances, walked to the house of God, in company with