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“The ADAPTATION of MONITORIAL ASSISTANCE, to accelerate
the ATTAINMENT of the OBJECTS of SUNDAY SCHOOL TUITION examined." 12mo. 41 pages, 1s. 6d.
THE title of this publication may serve as a sample of the affected and inflated style in which it is written; an evil too common among young
authors. The English language abounds more than any other with plain words, calculated to convey our ideas with force and certainty; why then should such words be used, as “impactation,” “ der. nier resort," "secularziation,” &c. wbich occur too frequently in this little work. It appears from the preface that the question concerning the utility of monitors in Sunday Schools, remained for discussion after this publication appeared ; and we know not how the author can clear himself of censure, for having prejudged, and in such a conclusive manner, condemned the plan before it had been thoroughly investigated; and for confining himself, according to his own account, to a statement of the system of monitors, which lie attacks, that appeared in the Teacher's Magazine two years ago : when he might have gone to the Sunday School he mentions, and have seen it in effectual operation among nearly one thousand children, there he would, by scrutinizing it closely, have had an opportunity of judging fairly of its effects. Having neglected this, nearly all his arguments are unsupported by facts, and for want of more plainness, they, in some instances, appear to have a doubtful application.
Sunday Schools, both in a political and religious view, are of far greater importance than Christians in general consider them. They serve as a medium through which the sublime truths of the gospel are conveyed to the youthful mind; and in numerous instances we observe children deriving incalculable benefit from them, who but for such institutions, would have remained in total ignorance. Sunday Schools embrace two kinds of instruction; first, religious ; secondly, mechanical, or the art of reading &c. The time most children remain in them is but short, perhaps on the average not more than two or three years. It is therefore a matter of serious concern, that this period should be employed to the best advantage, and by introducing the monitorial system to assist the teachers in the mechanical part of their work, and to preserve order among the scholars, the attaisment of this object is rendered more certain.
In the pamphlet before us the author has endeavoured to shew the danger of introducing the plan of monitors into Sunday Schools ; but here, alas, he argues upon most mistaken notions. He supposes the monitors interfere in the religious instruction of the children, that they are the “ immediate governors” of the scholars; that they are the sole dispensers of rewards and pu, nishments; that they will become proud, conceited, arbitrary and liars: from which we naturally infer, that the superintendent
and teachers must be unconcerned spectators, capable of being imposed upon, and dictated to by the monitors; which fully proves, that he knows nothing of the system practically, and the operation of which he does not appear to understand.
We here leave this little work, hoping that before our author attempts to write for the public again, he will more closely investigate any subject that may come under his notice; and study plainness and simplicity in communicating his ideas.
SUNDAY SCHOOL INTELLIGENCE.
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION, at New York, in AMERICA. Copy of a Letter from a Lady to her Friend at Bristol.
New York, January 24, 1816. Dear Sir, I CANNOT resist the desire I feel to employ my pen in thank. ing you for your presents to myself and children of so many interesting publications, from which I trust we have derived boili profit and pleasure.
I believe I cannot express my gratitude in a manner better suited to your liberal soul, than by giviug you an account of a meeting held this day in this city. Mr. B. published one of your letters in one of our daily papers, I lent the different pub. lications relative to Sunday Schools to a number of our friends, and was in liopes the gentlemen would have come forward in the business; but, after waiting a number of weeks, I conversed with several of my own sex, who expressed a wish to unite with me in a “ Female Sunday School Union;" accordingly, we called a meeting of the female members of all denominations, who met this day in the lecture room of one of our churches, although the notice was not as general as intended, several hundreds were present. Dr. R-opened the meeting with a very appropriate prayer. When he withdrew, the ladies were pleased to call me to the chair. I addressed the company in a few words, stating for what purpose their attendance was requested, the great need of such an institution in a city where numbers of one sex were training for the gallows and state prison, and of the other for prostitution. Likewise the great want of religious instruction in our small schools; the parents of children attending such, not having time to teacli them, would probably gladly avail themselves of Sunday Schools, if within their reach. I said, in order to stimulate them to so good a work, I would read them several extracts from British publications, which would slew then how
much the Lord had blessed such institutions IN THE OLD WORLD: and concluded by humbly hoping that he would extend his blessing to his hand-maidens, in their attempts to train up a seed to serve him in the new VORLD. The following extracts were then read.
First part of the Report of London Sunday School Union; the Second Report of the Hibernian Sunday School Society: two letters from the Reverend Mr. Charles of Bala, to the London Society. Mr. P's two letters to D. B. The swearing father reproved by his child, a Sunday School scholar; and concluded with the Salopian Adult SCHOLARS Address.
I may venture to affirm there was not a dry eye in the room, and tears flowed copiously down the cheeks of many. After some conversation I called upon the ladies of different denominations, who were willing to collect scholars and subscriptions to come forward, which they cheerfully did, from all except one, which I regret to say we bad neglected to notify the Moravians.
A committee, cousisting of one or two from each denomination was appointed to form a constitution, and general rules for the umion and schools under their care, to be laid before the society at a meeting this day week.
The committee will meet at my house two days hence. I trust, with the blessing of the Lord, we shall see Sabbath Schools in every part of the city in a few weeks. I read the rules of the Bristol Sunday School, which I think we shall adopt, with a very few alterations. I opened a school for ADULT BLACKs last Sunday morning, I sball send you copies of our rules, reports, &c. as soon as published; thus may those united in Christ, although separated by the Atlantic, provoke each other to good works, until we meet around the throne to join the spirits of the just made perfect. Hallelujah, glory be to that God who works all our works in us.
Be so good as communicate the contents of this letter to our friends Mr. B's family, and should you think that it would give pleasure to the friends of Sunday Schools, to hear that their transatlantic brethren are following their good example, I have only to request that you will withhold my name. Sincerely wishing you success in your works of faith and labour of love.
I am, dear sir, your's,
Extract of a Letter from a Gentleman to his Friend at Bristol.
New York, February 4, 1816. My dear friend, I HAVE but little to communicate to you in return for all the valuable information you were so kind as to send me by Captaiq
C-, on subjects of religious interest or moral improvement. One effect of your zeal however will, I doubt not, prove a sufficient reward for your labour of love. This city is in a stừ throughout, a strong interest awakened, and great exertions commenced for the instruction on Sabbath days of children and adults. Mrs. B. has written to you an account of the first meeting of the ladies; on that day week the second meeting was held, and so great was the crowd of ladies pressing forward, that the company had to adjourn from a lecture room to a church.
Next Sabbath I believe, was appointed for the commencement of the work of teaching; the zeal of three of the congregations led them to begin this day. Mrs. B. visited these three schools, which with a SCHOOL OF BLACK ADULTS, taught by my family, made up one hundred and thirty six scholars, I presume the number, next Lord's day, will amount to one thousand in all the schools. I had forgot to mention that at the second meeting of the ladies, a society was formed, and a constitution drawn up, following very closely the plan which you had sent us. Mrs. B. was elected first directress, and a pious friend of hers, Mrs. M. second directress, with a view to aid the superintendents and teachers of the several schools, and to take a general charge of the concerns of the institution. The constitution will soon be published, and we shall send you a copy of it. I believe the gentlemen are naustering their numbers to follow the example of the ladies, and to take charge of the adults and children of their own sex.
I will thank you to subscribe for me to the Evangelical Magazine, and the Sunday School periodical publication, and to forward them as regularly as you can.
10th. February, 1816. The gentlemen of this city are now busily engaged, and a general meeting is called on Monday next, for the organization of a society for the instruction of children and adults.
Your's sincerely, &c.
SABBATH SCHOOL UNION, for ScoTLAND.
Edinburgh, March 12, 1816. Sir,
I HAVE the pleasure of transmitting you an account of the formation of the Sabbath School Union for Scotland, and the proceedings of the general meeting, at its formation, will explain both its objects and plan, and put you in possession of every information regarding it.
The Sabbath Schools in Scotland, you are no douýt aware, are
instituted solely for imparting religious instruction to the children attending them, most of whom have, in the common course of educativa in this country, been previously taught the rudiments of buman knowledge.
The advantages which result from the establishment of Sabbath Schools are so universally acknowledged and felt, that to enlarge upon these would now be altogether unnecessary: but while we have cause to rejoice in being permitted to witness, and somewhat to share in, the exertions which have already been made, and still are making, by societies and individuals of various deno. minations throughout the country, in a work of such magnitude and importance, as the religious education of the young, yet we cannot but be sensible that there is yet roon afforded, and a necessity still existing, for the more vigorous, extended, and united efforts of Christians in the cause. And it bas been a conviction of the truth of this, and a desire to afford every facility and encouragement to all who may be willing to engage in the work, which has led to the formation of the Sabbath School Union for Scotland.
May those of us, who have the religious instruction of youth entrasied to our care, ever have our liearts encouraged and our hands strengthened, and resting on the high assurance which has been given us, that " our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord.” May we all be enabled, with united efforts, and increased zeal, to go forward in the prosecution of a work, which has for its object, the glory of God, and the best interests of the rising generation
of our country
I am, Sir,
HENRY PAUL, Sec. As a numerous and respectable meeting of gentlemen, residing in Edinburgh and its vicinity, assembled in the Merchants' Hall, this 31st day of January, 1816, to consider the propriety of forming a Society, having for its object the encouragement, union, and increase of Sabbath Schools and Societies in every part of Scotland
JOHN WAUGH, Esq. in the Chair. The meeting was addressed by John Campbell, Esq. of Carbrook, nho gave a general outline of the objects and plan of the proposed Society, and explained the important benefits which might be expected to resuli from its formation. Mr. Henry Paul then cominunicated to the meeting letters of approbation from Societies in Esburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, Perth, Greenock, &c. after which Nir. Georg? Yule and Mr. Andrew Scott, deputed from the Edinburgh Gratis Sabbath School Society, Mr. Jamieson from Aberdeen, and Rev. James Thomson, president of the society formed at Dundee, expressed the satisfaction with which their constituents looked to the institution of such a central Society, and the cordial co-operation they were desirous to afford.