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that tho religious influenoo of those schools would be in part at least maintained, as many of tho masters of British and other schools were moti of undoubted piety and of carneit zeal. Ho called attention to the fact, that some of our Sunday schools wore too secular in character, and their groat object too much subordinated to mere routine. Tho qualification of superintendents was a very important point; and he suggested to the Committee of the parent Society the holding of a conference upon the duties, responsibilities, and defects of Sunday school superintendents.
Mr. TERRY defended the superintendents as a class from the chargo of incapacity, and tho Sunday schools from the charge of secularity, which he thought must bo the exception and not the rule. No reference had been made, he said, to the infant classes in the course of the conversation, aud he thought that more attention might be advantageously paid to them. Tho most successful teachers for those classes were thoso who had themselves been children in our schools.
Mr. GOULD, of Bristol, thought it would bo admitted generally, that hitherto the results achieved had not been commensurate with tho exertions put forth, and that they had a right to look for something moro. They wanted more faith in their work, lie gave some interesting particulars respecting tho spiritual condition of tho schools in his Union, and amongst his recommendations laid special stress upon tho visitation of the children at their homes.
Mr. Hartley (one of tho secretaries of the parent Society) spoke in favour of illustrative teaching, and related some telling instances of the success attending direct individual appeals by teachers to their scholars.
Mr. Meen was then heard in reply, and in the course of his observations he said, that while admitting that, in many instances, good had been effected, ho was afraid that, upon the whole, tho Sunday schools of the metropolis had not contributed very much to tho augmentation of tho church. Ho was fearful, too, that there was a good deal of mistaken zeal in our schools—too much preaching instead of ^caching; and ho felt convincod that, after all, they wanted classes in which to teach teachers how to teach. Whilo, thoreforo, ho sinceroly hoped that they would be earnest in prayer for a blessing upon their labours, let them not neglect every means by which their young friends might be better qualified for their important trust.
Mr. Groskr, who had occupied tho chair during tho latter period of tho day, made a few observations in closing tho discussion. He said there was one point which had not been referred to by airy of tho former speakers. A good deal had boon said, and very properly said, about the influenco of parental example, and no doubt the dissolute habits of parents had a serious effect upon our schools. Ho was inclined to think, however, that in London, at all events, tho indifference—the contemptuous indifferenco of paronts, and the semi-infidel principles which they avowed, had a more pernicious influence than the prevalence of intemperance amongst them. And beyond this, ho feared that, in many cases, tho teachers' examplo was not very beneficial. He thought tho female teacher, who went into her class, Sunday after Sunday, with a very small bonnet just stuck on the back of her head, "because it is fashionable," and her hair drawn back till her eyes seem ready to start from their sockets, "because it is fashionable," was exorcising a mischiovous influenco amongst her children. The teachers, too, in tho boys' schools, were not exempt from blame. That pemiciouS habit of smoking was exercising a most disastrous influenco upon our scholars. If a Sunday school teacher was seen in tho street with a cigar or pipe in his mouth, how could ho reprove his scholars if he saw them indulging in the practice? "I saw Teacher do it," would be the reply. And smoking led to drinking; and a great deal of the dishonesty which prevailed in the manufacturing districts of the metropolis was more or less traceable to the dissolulo habits thus engendered. Let them see to it, that while they were talking about the evil influence of parental conduct, they themselvos set an example which the scholars could safely follow.
After singing a hymn, the meeting adjourned to Exeter Hall.
ANNUAL MEETING AT EXETEE HALL.
The Annual Meeting was held the same evening in Exeter Hall. The chair was taken by the President of the Society, the Hon. ARTHUE Kinsaiep, M.P., at six o'clock.
The proceedings were commenced by singing the following hymn :—
Tune—"olivet." No. 406, Union. Tune Book.
Before wo now we bow in prayer,
O save the young from every snare,
To each attempt Impart success,
If thou our huniblo efforts bless,
"Go, feed my lambs," the Saviour cried,
When ho had proved his servant's love; In the blest work he lived and died,
Then soared to realms of bliss above.
May we tho same blessod Master serve,
And the same office humbly fill; Thy precept, Lord, we would observe,
And cheerfully obey thy will.
After singing tho hymn, tho Rev. J. Keed, of Cambridge, offered prayer.
The Chaibjian then rose, and said,—My Christian friends, I rejoice that I am permitted onco again to take part in your proceedings, and to preside over tlii.s meeting. I am thankful to say I have nothing now to tell you, excepting that I may congratulate you on the success which lias attended the operations of our Society; but as to that matter, I shall leave it to my friend on the right, who will shortly read to us on abstract of tho Report, and avail myself of tho presenco of so many teachers among us this evoning merely to say a few words to urge upon you the maintenance of those principles which have been the source of action hitherto. And I think the days in which wo live may induce \is to look back to old leading principles: I mean tho importance of continuing an education solely founded on the Bible. No principles, in my opinion, will stand, if not founded on Holy Scripture; and let mc urge upon you the importance not of studying parts of Scripture merely, but the Scripture as a whole ; not confining your teaching to the New Testament, but going into all its parts, taking the Old Testament in its historical, prophetical, and typical portions aliko. Dopend upon it, that if you wish tho children to grow up as we could desire to see them, they must be trained by and become rooted and grounded in the principles of the ever blessed word of God. Then I would urge you to accustom the young minds of tho children to put every doctrine you bring before them to the test of Scripture. It is in that way that you will equally avoid, and teach them to avoid, the errors of superstition on the ono hand, and the errors of infidelity on the other; and these are evils which we see everywhere abounding around us. It is an encouragement to us to look abroad, and see that it is only where these thoroughly scriptural principles prevail, that civil and religious liberty abound; and this feeling of encouragement will not be lessened when we behold two nations, both under the influence of tToss superstition, avoiding all reason, and appealing to brute force to settle their differences. If the Bible be followed—which I trust it ever will bo in our land—we must remember how much depends on the maintenance of our sabbath privileges; for where would the working man, and where should you and I, called into ac tive life, find time to study that word, if it was not for tho preservation to us oJ' tho blessed sabbath? And then there is another argument that may be employed to encourage you in your work, and to show its importance. You arc all aware, from what has recently passed in all parts of our land, that there is every reason to believe the basis of our constitution will be extended, and that the franchise will be vory shortly given to many of the working classes. It will remain for you, in your several spheres, to train tho rising generation, so as to fit them to be partakers in the franchise when they grow up, and to exerciso the privilege in the best way; for it will be exorcised best by those who in their youth are instructed in tho principles of tho Bible. I shall not detain you further, except just to say, that I have received several communications recommending me to make various suggestions to tins mooting; but I think it would only be trespassing upon your timo. There was one communication I received, which, perhaps, is not unworthy of one word. I was advisod to urge upon those who are teachers and superintendents of our schools tho great importance of punctuality in attendance. I think I need hardly say a word upon it, for your applause teaches mo that you see the importance of it. It is perfectly clear that unloss the teacher is punctual, the children arc not likely to be. The teacher ought even to bo before tho timo, to receive tho children, and take tho opportunity wliich will thus often occur to speak a kind word to them beforo the beginning of the instruction. Theso inquirios about their wolfare will endear the children to the teacher; but this can only bo done by punctuality in attendance at tho commencement, and in all the duties connected with the school. Wo set you, I think, a very excellent example this evening. Practice is much bettor than preaching; and, therefore, I will only appeal to the example wluch tho Committee has set you this evening, and will now call on my friend, Mr. Watson, to road tho Report.
Mr. W. H. Watson accordingly read tho Report.
The Rev. R. Bcshell.—The resolution which has been put into my hands is certainly of a most encouraging character; and, as preachers say, it must be divided into three parts, for each distinct paragraph ^is so good, that I think it would bo a pity not to speak on them separately; I will therefore read the first paragraph :—
"That this meeting desires to acknowledge, with devout gratitudo to Almighty God, the success which has crowned the labours of the Union during the past year, in the entiie extinction of the debt remaining in respect of the erection of the Jubilee Memorial Building."
Now that is tho fact, and there are threo or four thoughts which arise out of it. Tho first is, sir, the Union spoken of; and I confess that when the resolution was put into my hands, I could not help thinking, have wo not in this Union the firstfruits of tho fulfilment of the 'Saviour's desire, when Ho said, "I would, Father, that they were all one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thoe, that tho world may believe that thou hast sent me V Now, sir, if wo wish to erect a lofty edifice, wo ought to lay a good basis; and this superstructure is to reach to heaven, consequently, wo have laid tho foundation as broad as tho world. It would have been a grand thing if it had takon in merely the branches of the Methodistic or Baptist families, but it takos in all denominations of Evangolical Christians ; in fact, it professes the principle, that our hearts, being big enough for Christ, aro big enough for the world ; and wo would say to universal Christendom, no matter by what name known, or by what peculiarities distinguished, "If thy heart be as my heart( then givo mo thy hand." I think that is the character of our Union. But then, Sir, another characteristic of union is this practical feature. Said a deacon to a minister, on one occasion, "Sir, is your church united?" "Yes," ho said, "remarkably so, for we aro all frozon togother." Now, Sir, that is not the characteristic of the Sunday School Union. And I think if we got one of those icy unions into this assembly to-night, wo should thaw it. I would try to do my best, and I am sure the people would try to do theirs. But the resolution speaks of the labours of the Union. Now, the way to keep from being frozen is to take plenty of exercise ; and I am satisfied that the way to keep people out of mischief is to give plenty of the right sort of work. Then there is cause for joy in connexion with this. Now, somo people would have us beliovo that religious folks are a very miserable sort of folk; that our religion is something like a funeral, and its disciples chief mourners. But this is a great mistake. Our religion makes peoplo happy. Wc have happy prospects, and happy homos ; and have we not happy men and women? Why, Mr. Chairman, if all unions were as happy as this Union, they never would liavo got a Divorce Act. And why, Sir? Because it does not rest upon a legal foundation, but upon the strong foundation of love. The match was made upon principles of mutual affection, and the ceremony was performed by God: and what God hath joined together no man can evor put asunder. Wo rejoice in this. But then, further, there is a particular cause for joy this night, and that is in the extinction of this debt. A poor, distracted, disconsolate wife said to her husband, "John, how can you lie slocping and snoring there, and owe so much monoy as you do!" "Nay, wife," said ho, "if I, who owe the money, could not sleep, what would be the condition of tho man to whom I owe it V Now, thank God, in reference to this building, nobody need bo kept awake. Wo can inscribe upon it, as I wish wo could over tho Treasury, and as I wish the Chancellor of the Exchequer could say, "Out of debt, out of danger." Well then, Sir, tho next feature is this, and I liko it, that this meeting devoutly acknowledges God in reference to it. If wo acknowledge God, we shall never want a God to acknowledge us. We often say, "My hands havo gotten me this." "I havo done this." This says God lias done it, and I hope that every person hero is disposed to say, "Not unto us, not unto us, 0 Lord, but unto thy name be the glory." Well now, division tho second comes; and I am sure it would be as unnatural to look for Paul Pry without his umbrella, as for a preacher to talk without divisions; it does not seem to be possible. It is success again :—
"Tho meeting is called upon to acknowledge, with gratitude, the success which has attended the Sunday School Union in the incroaso of the sales of the Union publications, in the enlarged circulation of tho periodicals designed for the assistance of teachers in their work, and for the instruction of the scholars."
Well now, tho Magazine itself, I see by tho Report, has increased in circulation from six to eight thousand. What a mercy, Sir. And thon it not only assists tho teachers in their work of teaching, though I confess it has done a great deal in that way. I remember, when I went to Sunday school, the teachers used to think that tho way into tho intellect was by a side door, and that if you knocked hard enough you would got it open. Many a thump on the side of tho head has been given to me. Well, we do not lecture in that sort of thing now. Wo take the picklock of kindness and open tho door, and walk into their affections. Kindness is better than coercion, all tho world over. The Magazine is a sort of telegraphic wire botwoen town and country—botwoen this city and the provinces. There is an interchange of thought and feeling. Now, I think they require this first, becauso there is the absence of anything which appeals to the selfishness of human nature. You know, Sir, they do say, that wo preachers do look after the flceco rather than the flock, and of being influenced by a love for filthy lucre. But nobody can say that of Sunday school teachers, who not only do the work for nothing, but buy the books—not only work for nothing, but find then- own thread. Then again there is the absence of applause. If we go and preach a good sermon, we sometimes obtain commendation ; and if we can upon the platform make a happy hit; people will applaud us, but there is nobody to applaud the Sunday school tcachor. No. The only applause anybody gets, even at the anniversary meetings, is given to the speakers; but the poor teachers do the work. But then, Sir, this Magazine comes and says :— "Let us, then, be up and doing, With a heart for any fate; Still achieving, still pursuing, Learn to labour and to wait." Now that is Division 2 of my resolution. We come then to tho last, and that is success again :—
"And that this meeting cordially approves of the addition of tho ' Youth's Magazine' to tho publications of tho Union, believing that thus a valuable means will be afforded for interesting and benefiting the family circles of our beloved land." Solomon said, "Of making many books there is no end." What would lie have said if he had lived in our day. Then it appears, that this "Youth's Magazino" is not a now arrival, but that it is one that originated in tho mind of the founder of this Union, and you thought it would become defunct: and out of love to the father, you are about to adopt tho child and tako it into your family, and recognize it as one of your periodicals in literature. Now my resolution concludes by asking you to welcome it; and perhaps, by so doing, you will ontertain an angel unawares. At any rate, it will bo an angel of light, for it revolves around the Sun of Truth as tho planets around the sun in the heavens. Do we not want youth's magazines? I think of tho poison which is scattered abroad by means of a large inas? of the publications which aro circulated in this country. Let us encourage every effort to saturate the mind of youth with truth—truth taken from the Bible. And who would not say God speed to the "Youth's Magazino?" Then it speaks not only of this magazine as a blessing to tho teacher, but as going home, and being a blessing to tho families of the children. I remember to have read an instance just Illustrating this. "A poor, drunken father, accustomed to spend his earnings and spare hours in a public-house, went home one sabbath-day earlier than usual. His little child was at homo ; she had been taught in the sabbath'school, and to her great joy and surprise he very surlily said, 'I should like to hear you read one of your books.' 'Father, so I will,' sho said. She took up a book, and read it to him. 'Now I should like to hear you sing one of your hymns.' When she had sang the hymn, she said, 'Father, will you let mo pray with you?' 'You shall, my dearest,' ho repliod; and he went down upon his knees, and she went down upon hers, ho praying, and she praying. God heard them both. 'What must I do to bo saved?' said the father." Now this child knew tho nearest way to Jesus Christ, because sho had been herself, and she took her father to the Saviour, Ho becauio a pardoned man, and tho father and the child aro both walking in the way that leads to heaven. Does not the Committee, then, do right in hoping that this book will bo a blessing not only to tho teachers but also to the families? Tliero is just one sentence in this resolution that I must notice before I sit down. It is this, "The family ci-cles of our beloved land." Who docs not respond to that? If ever I felt proud of my country it has been within the last few days; while some nations have been brandishing the sword, England's ambassador has been going about with the olive-branch of peace, trying to reconcile. I remember to have read during the Russian war of a sholl falling upon a ra<sel; in a few moments it would luivc burst, and perhaps have killed the entire company on board ; but there was a bravo follow there who went and picked it up, and threw it over into the sea; and the Queen gave him a reward for it. If ever I see a shell of discord in a family, or a church, or a nation, I should like to pick it up, and throw it into the sea of forgetfulness, and I know God will give me a reward, for ho has said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." I lovo England's power, represented a» it is as the power of a lion; but I liko to sco blended with it the gentleness of the lamb. I pray God that England's pacific course may be maintained, and that