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to their activity and zeal, and to their successful exertions in this good work of the Lord; and while the blessing of those who were ready to perish shall rest upon them, it is most devoutly to be wished that thousands and tens of thousands of such laborious missionaries for the home department may engage in the same holy employ, and that Sunday Schools and Sunday School Unions may continue to increase till not only every poor man's child in these united kingdoms may be qualified to read the bible, but until every individual inhabitant of the. whole peopled earth shall be made wise unto salvation, and obtain a knowledge of the glorious gospel of our blessed Lord and Saviour, by searching the sacred scriptures for themselves.
AMONG the rational festivities and entertainments on account of the restoration of the blessings of peace, we.have neither heard nor seen any more worthy of recording than ,that given on the Thanksgiving-day to the poor children of the Bath Sunday-School Union, on the Bowling-green, near the North-parade. The children walked in procession from .their respective schools; they were all assembled by two o'clock in the afternoon to the amount of. upwards of eleven hundred, as some had come in from the schools at Monkton-Comb, Comb-down, and Newton, those belonging to many other schools not being invited on account of their greater distance from Bath. It is impossible for language to do justice to the sight when all were seated in circles on the grass; it reminded us of our blessed Saviour's benevolence when he took compassion on the hungry multitude, and commanded them to sit down on the grass in order that they might be fed. The tables were arranged round the green, all groaning under the weight of good English fare, one of each to about 50 children, where were stationed two or three gentlemen of the committee, who were employed as carvers. The boys were placed on one side of the circle and the girls on the other, and waited on by their respective teachers, and many visitors, who felt inexpressible pleasure in being so delightfully engaged.—.On signal being made by the sound of the bugle from the centre of the tables, all the children instantaneously stood up, and the hats of the boys simuU taneously flew oft" as if by magic, when Mr. Pearson, one of the secretaries, gave out the following lines for the grace before meat:
Extract from the Bath Gazette.
The band immediately struck op, and children and teachers united in singing the above to the tune of the old hundredth pralm, which had a most wonderful effect upon the minds of thousands of spectators, excited the most sublime sensations, and drew tears of Jove and joy from numberless eyes. During dinner the band played 'Rule BritanniaV and other favourite airs; but it was really astonishing to see, after th« children began their dinner, how soon the numerous joints of solid meat and vast piles of plum-pudding were demolished, so as scarcely to " leave a wreck behind." After dinner, on a signal being given by the sound of the bugle, all the children again immediately stood up, and sung to the Portuguese tune, accompanied by the band,
Praise God, from whom all blessings flow, Sic.
The feelings produced by the lifting up of so many infant Toices ia praise of tbe bountiful Benefactor and Parent of mankind are not to be described; it brought to our recollection that passage of scripture which says—" Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings tbou hast perfected praise;" and we could not help anticipating that delightful period when Sunday-Schools and Sunday-School Unions shall, under the direction of an all-wise Providence, have accomplished all that was intended by the establishment of tbem, and produced the blessed effects of imparting useful knowledge to all the uninformed Children of men, and of expelling ignorance, with its accompauiments, vice and misery, from the face of the earth.
Tbe children were plentifully supplied with table beer with their dinner, and were afterwards treated with strong beer.—The following toasts were given by Mr. Whitchurch, the other secretary, at each of which the children all stood up on hearing the •wind of tbe bugle:—
'To the King, the patron of education, and friend of poor child ran.'
'To the Mayor and Corporation, and prosperity to the city of Bath.*
'To the memory of Mr. Robert Raikes, the founder of Sunday Schools in England, and to all those benevolent persons who are friendly to the instruction of the rising generation.'
We are sorry that this innocent festivity was so soon broken up on account of the rain.—Much more was comprehended in the [dan than has been mentioned. The children were, after dinner, to have walked in procession, with the flags of each school, through the principal streets of the city, accompanied by the band, their several teachers, and the gentlemen of the committee, preceded by the secretaries,—But enough has been said to shew tbe difference between order and disorder, and to convince the thinking part of mankind what may be accomplished by those who have the real interest of the rising generation at heart—Mr. Brown, banker, gave 100 loaves.*
THE SECOND EEPOET OF THE
SHEFFIELD SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
"BEHOLD how good and how pleasant it is for Brethren to dwell together in unity!"—The committee of the Sunday School Union in Sheffield, in their first report, detailed the circumstances of its origin in 1812. They have now the pleasure to declare it* further progress. Seven Schools, connected with christian congregations in this town, were associated in it, at the last anniversary; eleven others since then have been joined in fellowship with these, principally from the neighbouring hamlets.* The following list of teachers and scholars in the various establishments, is as correct as it could be made out from the returns received by the committee :—
Teachers. Scholars. Adults.
Queen Street Chapel • • •
. Redhill (Methodist)
Scotland Street Chapel ••«•«•
Howard Street Chapel
Garden Street Chapel
Lee Croft Chapel
Coalpit Lane Chapel • •
Paradise Square Meeting
Da ma I • J
Methodist Sunday ' School, \
Handsworth Woodhouse j Independ* nt Sunday School,
Full wood ■
Methodist Sunday School,
Fullwood • • ■
Wadsley Sunday School' • • •
19 20 IS
TOTAL- -702 4330 217
In obedience to a resolution of the last annual meeting, the committee made a further overture, by letter, to the managers of
* Many other Sunday Schools in the country held similar days of rejoicing.
'Edit. the Church Sunday Schools, on the subject of the latter being added to the Union. The invitation was declined on the ground that " as the Sheffield (church) Schools were admitted into union with the National Society, in London, they could not, with propriety, enter upon an union with the Schools of a different establishment."
The committee rejoice to find, that while new Schools are opened from time to time, the number of scholars in the old ones is rather increased than diminished. The progress of the plan for teaching adults in Schools attached to various congregations in the Uuion, affords peculiar pleasure to those who have higher views in communicating knowledge to their fellow-creatures, as fWlow-sinners, than merely to improve their temporal condition. Adult Schools are the offspring of the most'enlightened christian beaevolence in the present generation, and with the present generation it is to be hoped that they will cease; for if the children that are growing up around us are not all taught the first principles of necessary learning, it will not be for lack of means, but for the ioeicusable neglect or abuse of them. Abundant blessing and success have hitherto accompanied faithful endeavours to supply the deficiency of early instruction, even in advanced life. If Negroes, Greenlanders, Esquimaux, and Hottentots, the rudest and wildest barbarians, to whom the very use of letters was at first incomprehensible, eagerly and easily learn to read and write at any age, w lien a sufficient- motive for diligent application is presented to their minds,—such as the desire to possess a Bible, in which they may privately and leisurely learn those lessons of heavenly wisdom, which the missionaries teach them in public,— bow can it be doubted, that even the most ignorant persons in this country may soon be taught the rudiments of common education, wherever there is the will to become scholars, since they he»in with advantages of previous knowledge unheard of by savages, and more difficult to be communicated by them than the simple elements of any art. The committee are not allowed to expatiate here; but in the conduct of such Schools, they particularly recommend that Adult Scholars should have adult teachers; and, as far as it may be practicable, that the sexes should be tati'ht apart, and by persons of their own sex.
An excellent Miscellany, published quarterly, at the small price of four shillings a year, entitled "The Sunday School Repository, or Teachers' Magazine,'' having attracted the notice of *>rae friends of the poor in this town, and being found to contain a great variety of exceedingly useful matter, the committee take the present opportunity of recommending it to the superintendants and teachers of schools in this Union. They likewise earnestly tdvise the establishment of Bible Associations aniong the children, • heuever they are disposed to subscribe an occasional penny for the purchase of the holy scriptures.
VOL. II. £
Materials (or the remainder of this report have been furnished so liberally by our friends, that the committee find it difficult to select and compress even a moderate proportion of these within their narrow limits. Most of the cases that occur iu these communications, are the happy deaths of children; but these perhaps are the best cases, since they can never be reversed. We rejoice in the reformation,—in the new life of the living; but "we rejoice with trembling," lest their goodness should be "as the morning cloud, and the early dew." Over the departed wre indeed tremble, at the thought of mortality; but amidst trembling we rejoice, when death has set the seal of eternity on the work of salvation;— remembering the words of our dying Redeemer, " It is finished!"
(To be concluded in the next Number.)
REPORT OF THE
MACCLESFIELD SUNDAY SCHOOL,
From May 12, 1812, to March 1/1814.
WHATEVER opinions may have prevailed as to the best mode of conducting Sunday Schools, there can be but one respecting their utility. Our pious forefathers, sensible of the advantages of education, erected and endowed Schools for the instruction of youth in many of the parishes and hamlets of this kingdom. Noble as were the intentions of these excellent men, so'great has been the increase of the population, aiid so materially have the circumstances of the country been changed, that a privilege designed for all, is not applicable to that large class of the community whose children are put to work in manufactories at the early period of five or six years of age. To supply this defect, and to prevent the profanation of the Lord's Day, theu become very general, was the design of the original projector of Sunday Schools. The effe cts have justified the plan, and the great utility* of these institutions has been proved "from the immense increase of moral and political good which they have been the instrument of producing." Our venerable and beloved sovereign, deeply sensible of tiieir inestimable value iu both views, is well known to have declared, iu language highly becoming a Christian king, and the father of his people, that " he hoped he should live to see the day when every poor child in his dominions would be able to read his bible." Their lioyal Highnesses the Dukes of Kent ;ind Sussex have proved themselves the worthy sons of such a sire, and "of the. high distinction of descendants of the illustrious house ,of Brunswick, by their attachment to the same cause, evinced by their condescending to honour this institution with their patronage and support. Such are thy princes, happy England? Within thy borders, the felicity, the amelioration, the