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and we hope to have considerable additions made to our numbers before long, for we are not yet completely organised.
I write now chiefly to communicate to you a brief account of our proceedings on Whit-monday last, on which day a complete muster was had of the Schools connected with the union, and of some other neighbouring Schools which arc not yet united with us. On the morning of that day nearly 2500 Sunday School children were collected together in the parish church of this town, when a very impressive discourse was addressed to then* by the Rev. Mr. Williams. As many of the children had come from a considerable distance, it was thought requisite to provide for their refreshment previously to their returning home; a cold dinner was accordingly given them in a field adjoining the town* The children were seated on the grass in parallel ranks, and occupied a considerable portion of an extensive piece of ground. When all had taken the places allotted for them, a signal waa given by sound of trumpet, and the children having risen up, sang a verse imploring the blessing of (Soil upon their food. Id the same way thanks were returned after dinner. The scene both in the church aud in the field was indescribably pleasing and impressive. The eye and the ear were delighted, and the benevolent mind was furnished with ample matter for cheering anticipations of good, which both in this world and in the world to come, may be expected to arise from such extensive and comTiined exertions to impart knowledge and communicate happiness.
After singing, the benediction was pronounced, and the children were conducted to their respective places of abode.
In the evening the teachers of Sunday Schools, to the number of 300 or more, assembled at the method ist chapel in this town, and were addressed by the Rev. Mr. Rees of Rodborough, in an appropriate and energetic discourse.
The services of the day will never be forgotten by those who witnessed them. The novelty of the thing attracted thousandsof persons to Stroud; and it is hoped that this festival has excited a lively interest in favour of Sunday Schools in the minds of some who had previously been indifferent to such ■ institutions. The friends of Sunday Schools were almost overpowered with joy at the gratifying spectacle which thev beheld, and felt increased' ardour to work while it is called to-aay in a vineyard which promises to yield them such ample reward.
I am, dear Sir,
raiam By B. Teafe, Toweb-mll, London
SUNDAY SCHOOL REPOSITORY;
No. IX.] January, 1815. [Vol. II.
Hihts on the Establishment and Regulation of Sunday Schools.
IT is most desirable, especially in large and populous towns, that societies should be instituted, and committees formed, for the support and management of the Schools; not only on account of the expense, which becomes light by being divided among many, but, because more good in various ways my be expected to result from combined exertions than from individual efforts. The institution will also obtain greater publicity, and many who would otherwise have regarded it with indifference, will feel a peculiar interest in its welfare when personally engaged in contributing to its support. In commencing a new Sunday School it has been found necessary, where there are no other means of acquainting the poor in the neighbourhood with the proposed institution, to circulate a hand-bill on the subject.*
At the first admission of each child, it is highly expedient to enjoin the attendance of at least one of the parents: this will afford the superintendent or teacher, an opportunity of pointing out to them the importance of sending their children regularly and in good tune, and also of giving them any suit
* A Conn similar to the following may be adopted: Education fret of Eipence. Oa Sunday the of ■ a Sunday School will be opened at
Parent* desirous of placing their children in the School most attend at ■
b) the morning, at oVIock in the afternoon, or — in the evening of
aay Sabbath day.
N.B. The children mint come thoroughly clean.
SOL. It. A
able advice* The age of admission is in most schools restricted to six years: in some to seven. Without a regulation of this sort a school is liable to be converted into a nursery; as parents will frequently send their youngest children, while the elder to whom instruction is of most importance, are detained at home to assist in the family. To guard against this, it is a practice in some schools not to admit the younger without the elder.
It has been found very useful to give the parents, on admitting their children, the rules of the school, requesting that they may be placed in a conspicuous situation in their houses.— The following rules are recommended for adoption:
1. The hours of attendance are in the morning, ——
in the afternoon, and in the evening. As it is a rule that
the school should be opened and concluded with prayer, it is necessary that the children should all be present in the school •in good time.
2. Any children being absent at either of the above times, unless by the reasonable desire of their parents, (of which notice must be given), or by permission of their teachers, will be liable to reproof; and if absent three successive Sundays, without a satisfactory cause, will subject themselves to be dismissed the school.
3. Those boys and girls able to read the Testament, who attend regularly and behave tcell, will, as a reward, have the privilege, of learning writing and arithmetic iu the week.
4. Every child who does not come to school clean and decent, or is found guilty of lying, swearing, stealing, fighting, or otherwise misbehaving, must be expelled, if after repeated reproof there is no reformation.
5. No book belonging to the institution shall be taken away from the School on any pretence whatever.
6. It is earnestly recommended to the parents or friends of the children to set them proper examples, and to urge them to attend to their own improvement; thus to second the wishes and exertions of the teachers, who cannot hope for much success in their voluntary labours, if the children behold at home an indifference to their welfare, or an example contrary to the instructions given at school.
7. Orrce or twice in a year the parents or friends of the children in this School will be requested to meet the teachers, of which due notice will be given.
• No. 59, of (he publications of the Religious Tract Society, entitled " An address to Parents of Children who attend Sunday Schools," alight be an acceptable and useful present on these occasions.
The following is the form of. the book used for admitting children, (See Appendix No. T.)
On the first admission of a scholar, the superintendent or person .who admits, will examine the child, and place him in the class for which he is qualified: For the rules by which the children are classified, (See Appendix No. 2).
As many children are induced to attend for a time from idle curiosity or a love of novelty, who relinquish their attendance when these motives cease to operate, it will be found useful to receive all the scholars at their first entrance upon ProbaTion for three months. This will teach the parents aud children to set a higher value on the privilege of admission.
For the form of the roll book in which the attendance of the children is marked (See Appendix No. 3).
As it is desirable for each of the teachers likewise to record the attendance of his scholars, class papers are used, ruled in a similar manner to the roll book, aud fastened on pasteboard.
It is necessary to keep regular minutes of the transactions of the School: a specimen is exhibited by way »f example, (Appendix No. 4). An alphabetical list of the names and residences, iu the form of an index, will be found very useful for reference.
The plans which we have stated comprize the most important and simple regulations which are absolutely necessary for every well conducted School. We have endeavoured to state every thing so plainly, that we trust all our readers will be fully able to enter into the system. We know that many persons who were desirous of establishing Sunday Schools, have been deterred from making the attempt by not knowing how to begin, or how lo proceed. We trust that as they have had an opportunity of learning the plans which are sanctioned by a long experience in the work, they will now proceed to form new Sunday Schools with promptitude and zeal, since they see how easily they may be established. In those Sunday Schools where no regular plans have hitherto been adopted, or regular books kept, we trust the great necessity of a proper system will be deeply felt. The apostles advice cannot be too much impressed on the mind of a Sunday School Teacher, " Let all things be done decently and in order."
We intend in our next number to state further particulars as to the place of meeting, hours of attendance, business of the School, rewards and punishments, &c. also to state the duties of the teachers, superintendents, secretaries, and visitors. We jfuJl likewise produce some additional plans which have been found useful in very extensive Schools.
The size of this book is a foolscap quarto. The first column contains the progressive number of boys received into the School from the commencement. The remaining columns, as far as the fifth, are filled up at the time ot receiving the children. The tick against the class signifies that the child's name is wrote up into the roll book. The last column contains an account of those children who leave the School, and the cause of it: this is written up from the roll book at the end of every quarter. Those names which have no remarks against them, are the children actually in the School.
• This lad having lost his own father, the same of his father-in-law is inserted. It is usual to place in this column the name of the relative ar guardian with whom the child lives, when he has lost his Parents.