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It was pleasing to hear that instances of usefulness in the Schools were continually occurring. The following being considered worthy of notice were related by different friends who addressed the Meeting.
A minister of the gospel, who was formerly a teacher in one of our Sunday Schools, when passing through the streets of Dover was accosted by a young woman, who expressed great pleasure in seeing him again, and told him that she had received such serious impressions while in the Sunday School, of which he had been a teacher, as caused her to love the Bible, and that since she had been in the country, she had persuaded her father and mother to attend divine worship with her constantly on the sabbath days.
A boy, about fourteen years of age, who on coming into the School did not know all the letters of the alphabet, and being employed on week days in working hard at a manufactory, was able, by the instructions received on Sundays to read the Bible in a twelvemonth. He told his teacher that at first coming into the School, he thought the children were not received into the Sunday School so much to teach them to read as to make them religious. This thought had often since caused him great grief. He is now called a Methodist in the manufactory where he works. He does not however mind that, as he finds all his happiness in religion, and takes great delight in reading the Bible.
Another boy, who while in the Sunday School, was very careless and obstinate, grieving his teachers and appearing bent on evil. But after leaving the School, the hand of God brought him very low by a violent fever. During this affliction the instructions received came fresh to his mind, and were rendered of the greatest service to him. He has been ill three months, and during that time has read his Bible so frequently that he knows considerable parts of it by heart.
The mother of this boy attended a quarterly exhortation given to the parents by one of the teachers, at which she was so seriously impressed, that great hopes are entertained of her having received essential benefit. When her children came into the Sunday School, she could not read, but since she has attended the exhortation, by her perseverance and the assistance of her children, she has learned to read the Bible for herself.
A parent on offering himself to join a church, attributed the means of his conversion to the fervent prayers of his child who had died, and who was taught in a Sunday School. The child during his illness was in the constant practice of praying aloud every night before he went to sleep. He asked his father one
night to go to prayer, the father referred it back to the son, who continued urging it on his parent, the child however went to prayer, and though in a very weak state, he prayed so earnestly for his father, that it made such a deep impression on his mind as he believed never could be effaced.
A lad, the son of a pious father, by his bad behaviour, rendered himself so obnoxious to the teachers, that they were under the disagreeable necessity of expelling him from the School. For two years they heard nothing of him. But after that period one sabbath day he was seen by the secretary near the School. The next sabbath he approached nearer, and appeared desirous of speaking to the secretary, but retired.
On the third sabbath however he ventured to address him, and with many tears lamented his undutiful behaviour, and the trouble he had occasioned the teachers. He said, with much emotion, he hoped God had changed his heart and given him a new one, and that desirous of giving himself up to the Lord, he had rendered all the assistance in his power to the new School in Globe Fields as a teacher for the last eighteen months.
Another boy, under the most serious convictions, opened his mind to his parents. His father, alarmed for his own soul, was led to inquire; and, under a divine influence, to find that salvation he so needed. Rejoicing in the love of Jesus, his gratitude soon appeared. He raised a Sunday School, which is connected with this Union, comprising now near 220 children, and which continues in a very flourishing state.
Another boy, who had continually behaved so bad that he was about to be expelled. The teachers, however, having very seriously talked to him upon the subject, he was suffered to continue under a promise of better conduct. This had such an effect upon him, as to produce reformation. He is now a most active and useful monitor.
A blind boy having heard his brothers repeat hymns and catechism, and on this account taking great delight in going to the Sunday School, expressed an earnest desire to go with them. After much hesitation on the part of the teachers, the boy was admitted, with a hope of spiritual good. He contrived to learn hymns, &c. by paying a boy one black ticket for teaching him as much as he should receive two for; and, by these means, he stored his mind with numbers of hymns, and many chapters from the Bible. Upon his being removed from the School to the Asylum for the Indigent Blind, he was very unwilling to leave the Sunday School, until he heard that a person came constantly to the Asylum, who would read the
Bible to him, about which he was very careful to make many inquiries.
The foregoing instances which have occurred in Schools connected with this Union, are doubtless well calculated to encourage Sunday School teachers to proceed in their work with delight and diligence.
The time did not admit of many more being related; but it was mentioned that one Sunday School in this district had produced five ministers of the gospel, and about fifty members who had joined their church. In another School it was remarked, that instances of usefulness came to the knowledge of the teachers almost every Sunday.
The ministers who addressed the meeting stated, that those serious young persons who refuse to assist in Sunday Schools should be placed on a hill like Lot's wife. Three cautions were given to Sunday School teachers.-1, To beware of pride: for if pride crept in, every instance of usefulness that presented itself would be thought ascribable to the praise of the persons themselves, and God would not suffer prosperity to attend this. 2. To be careful what they say to the chil dren: for though they may hear some of the good they were doing, they would not hear of the harm. 3. To be very particular in their conduct: for persons judge more by what they see than by what they hear.
It was further observed that Sunday School teachers should be always collecting useful information for the children. That they should be careful to fill up their stations as Christians, remembering their duty to their own families, to the church, and to the Schools; that they who appear serious and pious among the teachers in Sunday Schools might be no less so in their own domestic circles,
Southwark Auxiliary Sunday School Union.
THE first Quarterly Meeting of this Union was held at the Rev. Mr. Mitchell's Chapel in the Borough, on Thursday Evening, June 9th, 1814.
The Rev. G. Collison of Hackney was requested to take the Chair on the occasion.
After singing and prayer, a report was read by Mr. Gale from the committee: it stated, that their plan to ascertain the state of the Schools belonging to the auxiliary union, had been attendedwith success. A list of sixteen Schools was then read, comprising the time when such-Schools were opened, the number of children admitted into each School since its commencement, the average!
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number on the books the last quarter, the average number attending, and the number of teachers in each School; a few Schools had not yet filled up and returned their printed forms, so that the total numbers could not be reported till the next quarterly meeting. It also stated, that for the sake of obtaining interesting information for each quarterly meeting, they had requested a written statement of the rise and progress of each School to the present period. Four such reports would be read that evening: it concluded with requesting such Schools as had not yet subscribed, to remit their subscription either quarterly, half yearly, or annually, to the committee meetings.
Reports were then read from the Kent-street, Mint, Borough, and Unicorn-yard Sunday Schools, by their representatives. The three first are under the care of the Southwark Sunday School Society, the other belongs to the Rev. Mr. Hutchings.
The very interesting matter contained in these reports animated the hearts of all present, to persevere in the noble cause in which they were engaged, and to rest assured, that their labours should not utterly be in vain, if done with a view to the glory of God.
Resolutions of thanks to the Rev. Mr. Mitchell for the use of his chapel, and to the chairman, were moved and seconded by Messrs. Heward, Hoskins, G. Medly, and the Rev. Mr. Mitchell.
The chairman in reply gave a most animating address to the teachers, stating the powerful motives which should influence and stimulate them in the solemn and important work in which they were engaged. The meeting concluded with singing and prayer.
The peculiar feeling which characterized this meeting will not easily be forgotten, the sparks of zeal were kindled into a flame; every heart seemed refreshed by the encouraging reports, and energetic address, that formed the more interesting feature of this meeting. The chairman expressed himself highly gratified, and begged that the reports might be published for the information of other Schools. The more interesting parts of those reports will be forwarded at a future opportunity, with an account of the second quarterly meeting, at which a greater number of teachers and friends were present, than at any of the former ones.
West London Auxiliary Sunday School Union.
ON Wednesday Evening, September 7th, 1814, a meeting of teachers and friends of Sunday Schools, was held at Oxendonstreet Chapel for the purpose of forming a West London Auxiliary Sunday School Union, when Mr. W. F. Lloyd was called to the chair.