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by his touch, even without it, by his clothes ; for we read that from his body were brought unto the sick, handkerchiefs and aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. A sorcerer, who opposes him, is struck blind; when put in prison, an earthquake is sent to open its doors, and loose his bonds; when left for dead by the idolatrous inhabitants of Lystra, who had stoned him, he at once revives; when shipwrecked, and on the very brink of a watery grave, the Lord assures him from heaven of his safety, and of the whole ship’s company, for his sake.
No one can rightly contemplate the continued series of divine interpositions, attending the very footsteps of these apostles, and conceive it possible that they were left to themselves in what they wrote, taught, and instituted for all generations. How undeniable is the divine mission of these miraculously endowed, these almost plenipotentiary ambassadors of Christ! Nothing can be more certain than the divine authority and perpetual obligation of all that they were inspired to write in the scriptures, to deliver orally, or to institute as ordinances of the Church : and whatever can be traced up to the apostles, whether, in the first place, the sacred scriptures of the New Testament, or the constitution of the Church, its sacraments, and even lesser rites, and modes of worship, all must claim our highest reverence, our obedience, and conformity.
THE VOICES AT THE THRONE.
FROM THE ATHENÆUM.
A little child,
A seraph by the throne
And when the seraph's song
VALUE OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS
IN THE MANUFACTURING DISTRICTS.
The following remarks on Sunday Shools are extracted from the Report of Inspector Field, (now Bishop of Newfoundland,) on the state of Parochial Education in the Diocese of Worcester, in the year 1841. They are inserted here, not only because they contain much accurate information, and several valuable suggestions, but also because they are an important testimony to the value of Sunday Schools in the Manufacturing Districts, and form an able apology on their behalf against those who cry out against them, as being no part of our Parochial System. No one who understands what the Parochial System is, but would be content with it, in a state of full efficiency; yet no one who has had experience of good Sunday Schools in the Factory Districts, but would view any attempt to disparage or dispense with them, in our present circumstances, with the utmost hesitation and alarm.
“When I avow my conviction that Sunday Schools are no part of our parochial system in a healthy and efficient state, I shall not be suspected of wishing to exaggerate their importance, if I reckon them, at least in the towns, as the very salt of the land. The Sunday Schools of large towns differ from those of country parishes in their nature, purpose, and end. In country parishes the children of the Sunday School are commonly those who attend also on the other days of the week, with the addition of a few older children who can be spared by the farmers and other employers, and who have been educated in the week-day school. Now the great benefit of these schools in the rural districts consists in affording the clergyman an opportunity of keeping up his intercourse and connexion with the children, who are withdrawn from his instructions and control on the week-day, and who are,—in circumstances and at an age most critical,-open to all bad impressions and temptations. A word of kind counsel and admonition is then of the greatest importance and value. And besides the intercourse and authority thus happily maintained on the clergyman's part, the religious knowledge of the children may be at least continued, which without such seasons of refreshing would quickly, and, in most cases, irrecoverably decay. By good management a great deal may be effected in both these important particulars—I mean, both in counselling and instructing the children who have formerly attended the week-day school, and
whom, without such an expedient, counsels and instructions, at least from the clergyman and superiors, would very seldom reach. These will extend not merely to lessons of reading and repetition, but more especially to kind discourse on the duties and difficulties of life; the means of fulfilling one, and avoiding the other; the nature and necessity of prayer; of the sacrament, and of the other ordinances of the Church. Improvement will be made also of any striking events in the parish and neighbourhood—as the death of a friend or school-fellow, &c. Such instruction often strikes a deep, though for the time unperceived, root-unperceived, it may be, by the giver and receiver; and produces, through the divine blessing upon it, most beneficial and permanent effects. The evils attending Sunday Schools in the country parishes arise chiefly from the want of competent, careful, serious teachers, especially for boys. Ladies are much more frequently found who are able and willing to render valuable and efficient service in superintending and teaching girls, who, however, are not capable of contending with thoughtless giddy boys. Now, a Sunday School conducted on the monitorial system-I mean, where the teachers are themselves children, receiving and giving instruction in turn, without the superintendence and assistance of the Clergyman, or other persons of competent knowledge and authority, is, in my opinion, a painful and dangerous experiment. One such I visited in this diocese; and I sincerely hope it is the only one. The familiar handling of the most sacred subjects—the Scriptures and services of the Church-with the absence of all proper authority and control save that of a master or mistress, whose eye and hand cannot be every where, seems to me a very likely means to beget irreverence and irreligion. And the matter is not much mended, when, under the same discipline, which is often worse than none, the children are marched to the parish-church, and required to take part in services which they have before learned, and, it is to be feared, learned to dislike, or at least disregard, in the school. And when it is considered how many clergymen are physically incapable of encountering the fatigue of teaching in the Sunday School, superadded to that of two services in the church; and how many more, who might and would endure the bodily fatigue, find their minds so disturbed and distracted by the business of teaching, as hardly to perform with comfort, or hardly to perform at all, their more solemn and necessary duties; -such cases-I mean of Sunday Schools upon the monitorial system--may be too common in country parishes. In these instances, then, the advantages which I supposed to attend a well
regulated Sunday School are not gained; but, on the contrary, evil must ensue. And in every case the monitorial system, in a Sunday School, is unnatural and objectionable. Taking into consideration the day and purpose of assembling, the subjects of instruction—the same subjects which are afterwards to be devoutly and solemnly handled by God's ministers in God's house—the Sunday School, under such auspices, must be a travestie, if nothing worse. Such are the sad, unwilling convictions of one who has seen and felt the evil. The only benefit of the school in such circumstances--which, it must be admitted, is not an inconsiderable one-is, that it acts as a restraint upon idle, giddy children, preventing them from following their own devices, and reminding them of the duty of attending public worship on the Lord's day. Sunday Schools, then, may be in country parishes a blessing or an evil. They are not necessarily in themselves either the one or the other: they are no part of our ecclesiastical system; and only so far as they approximate to it,--that is, are brought under the control and superintendence of the clergyman, or under tutors and governors appointed or approved by him,are they instrumental to good to the welfare of society, or the peace of the Church.
But while it cannot be denied that the character of the Sunday Schools is commonly, in some respects, even less ecclesiastical in towns, the necessity for them, in the present state of the Church, is far greater, and far greater is their use. By the present state of the Church I would be understood to allude to the confessed and lamented inadequency of the means of instruction and edification through her ordained ministers in almost all large towns, but especially in the large and rapidly increasing manufacturing towns. Birmingham, with a population of 184,000, has only sixteen churches, with about twenty resident clergymen. Now, it is obvious the bare performance of the routine services and offices of the Church will require and exhaust the strength and attention of all these and many more. It becomes therefore absolutely impossible for the clergyman in these populous districts to come in contact with that most interesting and important portion of his charge, the youths and girls who work in shops and manufactories,-numbering, I suppose, in Birmingham, between the ages of eight and eighteen, at least 30,000. Sunday is the only day on which the vast majority of these children are at liberty, even if disposed, to meet the clergyman; and on Sunday the clergyman's time is so occupied with his multifarious and important duties, that he can hardly find leisure to enter his