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when suns have risen to set no more. In the present day men are fond of building very magnificent churches and chapels, especially in the medieval style. Now, I think that a Ragged School attached to a church or chapel would be worth ten spires, (Hear;) and I am sure that you could not have finer gems and ornaments than those which can be excavated from some of these schools. I feel a personal interest in advocating the claims of the Ragged School Union, because they have assisted my Ragged School, in which there are nearly three hundred children receiving instruction. In this school we have had a Papal aggression on a small scale. When the great stir was raised in London, and all the country was enthusiastically excited-and not more excited, I conceive, than they ought to be, and ought to continue to be an aggression took place in my school, which contained about twenty or thirty little ragged Papists, whom the Cardinal had passed by in the slums of Westminster, or whom he had been too busy, attending to his pallium and other ornaments of his archiepiscopal functions, to take notice of. Some ten or twelve of these one day rushed into the schoolroom, blew out the candles, and raised such a riot, that the police had to be sent for to keep the Cardinal's children in order. Since that aggression they have felt it their duty to retire from the school altogether; I am sorry that it is so, but I hope they will come back again. The way they were got rid of was by the teachers shutting the door and commencing prayer; they had such a horror of Protestants praying that they were soon silenced, and were glad to leave the room. Among the objections which I have heard to Ragged Schools is one which is often made, "We have enough to do ourselves without minding other people's matters; our children are troublesome enough at home, and we cannot undertake to teach other people's. Each man must be for himself, and God for us all." There is some truth in that, but it also involves an awful and unchristian lie. What if society were made up of such anti-social elements-each man, with a hard, sharp point, keeping his brother at a distance; a sort of noli me tangere spirit running through and pervading everything? What would be the result? Asylums for the poor those blossoms on the stem of Christianity-would instantly be nipped; hospitals for the sick-the creations of Christian love-would instantly cease; and each man, struggling for himself, would soon discover that society had
committed suicide, and had fallen to pieces from the intense selfishness by which it was characterized. We must look, then, to our neighbour in order to look to ourselves. Others again say,
Suppose you educate and feed these children, you will get no thanks for it." I never do my duty to get thanks, but because of the sacredness of the claims and the grandeur of the authorship of Him who has prescribed it. If I teach the poor merely to get thanks, "do not the Scribes and the Pharisees do the same?" They may have their reward, but if I do not get mine I cannot help it; I must do my duty; I do not live for myself. I cannot be a blank. There is no such thing as a blank in society; you must be a blot or a blessing-a blank you cannot be. There exists no man without a shadow-no man without influence-no man without power; it rests with him to decide whether that power shall be a blessing or a calamity. But I do not believe these children will be unthankful; Mr. Cadman has given a beautiful instance of their gratitude; let beneficence oftener enter the dwellings of the poor, and thanksgiving and the incense of praise will be found oftener going forth from thence. It is our selfishness that makes our poor so ungrateful. If we were more generous and self-sacrificing they would be more thankful. As Lord Kinnaird has said, one great benefit arising from the instruction of the children is, that they often carry home with them the lessons received in the schools, the results of which it will be impossible to calculate. Feel more, my lord, and ladies and gentlemen, that wherever there is a man, there there is a brother-and wherever there is a woman, there there is a sister. We are all prone enough to claim kindredship with those above; Christianity would teach us to claim kindredship with those below-to go into the degraded lanes and alleys in London, and there recognize a needy and a destitute brother in the shape of a ragged child stretching out his heart and hand for the water and the bread of life. It is a great mistake to suppose that society is what it should be. You have read of the Hindoo wife, and of the Mohammedan mother these are specimens of human nature as sin left it. If you want to see the state of thousands upon thousands, I would point you to the east side of my own place of worship. Come into those miserable abodes, where fancy sheds none of its splendours, where faith communicates nothing of its purity, where holiness has no altar, and where
hope gives no consolation; where the morning sun rises upon no act of prayer, and sets upon no incense of praise; where intemperance has made man a fiend, and woman a wreck; where the gladness and the glory of life is gone ;-come there, and see a brother who needs and begs your aid, and a sister whom you may elevate till she become an ornament instead of a curse, in the social system. Let me tell you, that the Koh-i-noor in the Crystal Palace is not so bright and beautiful before God as some of these reclaimed ragged boys. I believe that kingly men work at forges and follow ploughs; I believe that queenly women are found among sempstresses; I believe noble hearts often beat under very ragged coats. The difference between the diamond in the Crystal Palace and the diamond in the mine is only in the polish; and the difference between you, my Lord, and the Ragged School boy, is simply in the circumstances whereby God in his providence has made one man rich, great, and good, that his nearest neighbour may be enriched and made better by him. Let us act in that spirit, and we may rest assured that our labours will be eminently
successful. The constitution of the Society, as my Resolution states, is for all denominations. Episcopacy must not come into a Ragged School, nor Presby tery, nor Independency. Mr. Burnet may come, Dr. Cumming may come, and Dr. Bloomfield may come; but Episcopacy, Presbytery, and Independency, must all stand outside. As soon as we have made the children Christians, then these three gentlemen wrangling_outside may make them Episcopalians, Presbyterians, or Independents. I think that my system is best, and that they will come to me; you are satisfied that yours is best, and that they will go to you. All Christians must be combined; and I believe that if ever there was a time when it became, not a duty, but a stern necessity, for them to unite, it is the time in which we now live. I believe the time is short-far shorter than I dare state upon this platform; and we must concentrate in the hours that remain the duties that would have required centuries of old to discharge. The candle is almost in its socket-let us write the quicker while it lasts; the paper is almost covered-let us crowd into the remaining portion as much as we possibly
Oh! let not the physicians in the hospital quarrel about their diplomas, while patients are dying upon their beds. While we hear ten thousand voices ringing from the very depths of society, "Men
and brethren, what must we do to be saved?" do not let us settle the Gorham controversy! While so many seek bread, let us not quarrel about the basket. While so many are to be saved, let us leave Episcopacy, Presbytery, and Independency to settle their own disputes. Let us go as Christians, with Christianity and nothing more, to rescue slaves from Satan and sons for God our Father.
The Rev. J. BRANCH read a letter from a poor man in Ireland, in which the sum of 3s. was inclosed, to be applied to the funds of the Ragged School Union. He then said: I am not here to tell you what the measure of your gift should be-that must lie between God and your consciences-but I would just ask, if a poor man in Ireland, with a family of children, living upon Indian corn, with a little meat on high days and holidays, can afford to send 3s. for the support of the Ragged School Union, what ought your donations to be this morning? I am quite conscious, that if the Ragged Schools had done nothing more than set an example to other countries-if they had done nothing more than bring the rich and the poor together, as has been alluded to more than once this morning-they have done a great deal. If I wanted to show the foreigners, who might visit us at this dignity of London to any illustrious season of the year, I do not know that I should take them to any of our great sights, but I would show them a meeting like this, where the lords of our land come and take an active part in helping to teach Ragged School children. Why, my lord, there is my friend and brother, Mr. Henson, on the platform, who is going back to America, and who, to use his own expression, has been "completely dumbfoundered" at the number of Societies we have in London. He tells me he shall have such a tale to tell when he goes back to America, that he does not know where he shall begin, and is quite sure he will not know where to end.
The Rev. W. W. CHAMPNEYS briefly moved the third Resolution :
"That the success attending the Society, as recorded in the Report, affords a good illustration of the efficiency of the Ragged School system of education, and justifies the earnest appeal now made by the Committee of Management, that their exertions may not be crippled through lack of means, but that the Subscribers will agree with them as to the duty of perseverance in a work which has already produced such satisfactory results."
The Rev. S. MARTIN, in seconding the Resolution, said: I wish to add a word in support of the testimony of one of the preceding speakers to the visible effects of Ragged Schools upon some of the pupils. One gentleman stated, that a lad had come to the celebration of the Lord's Supper; a similar privilege was given to me, some two or three years ago, in the case of a lad who I believe is now in heaven. It was my joy to attend and watch him while on the bed of sickness; and I certainly learned many lessons while conversing with him-lessons touching the application of the glorious Gospel to such a case as his-lessons that I never could have learned from a magazine or from any mere verbal treatise on the influence of the Gospel. I am sure that very much more is done in connection with this Institution than what meets the public eye. It does occasionally happen that benevolent efforts are dressed up when they are presented to the public, but if you look through the Reports of this Union, you will find that they wear no fine raiment that there is no poetry in the language, though there is poetry invariably in the deeds and in the facts. Turning to the Resolution for a moment, I am reminded of what a transatlantic brother quoted the other day as the sententious observation of an intimate friend of his, "I observe a great deal of human nature in all mankind." Now, although that truism sounds ridiculous, I am persuaded that it is one of the many truisms which in daily practical life we all pass by. Applying it to the pupils of our Ragged Schools, we may say that we observe in them a great deal of human nature. For example: the evil that is in them is not in them alone, you find the same elsewhere. They are indolent, but they are not alone in their indolence; we might look through the higher ranks of society, to the rich and the illustrious in name and in station, and we might find counterpart cases of indolence there. We find dishonesty in these lads, but dishonesty is not confined to them; there are men who can build mansions and palaces upon principles that are quite as far from integrity and rectitude, as those which move a Ragged School boy when he puts his hand into a pocket and withdraws from it a purse; there is dishonesty in trade, dishonesty in merchandize; there is want of veracity and integrity in the professions of life; there is dishonesty in railway speculations; you find it in abundance on the Stock Exchange. We should remember, therefore, that the evils
that belong to our Ragged School pupils are the evils which we find in human nature everywhere. Allow me also to say, that the good which you find elsewhere you may find developed here. The quick eye of that youthful pickpocket-why should it not be like the eye of that wonderful chemist, Faraday, the quickness of whose organ of vision you may have noticed if you have heard him lecture? Or, take the clever manipulation of the lad who, without the slightest contact with the person of an individual, will remove from the pocket a purse or a handkerchief. Suppose that hand, so clever in manipulation, were trained to the work of the painter or the sculptor, or to any of the handicrafts of life the cleverness would be still the same, but it would be a cleverness consecrated to a good and righteous end. All, then, that we have to do is, to apply the element of Christian kindness, breathed and sustained by sympathy with the infinite and eternal love of God, as manifested in Jesus Christ-to apply that element to the raw material of the
Ragged School boy's heart. To refer to an illustration which has been suggested in the course of this meeting, I may say that, greatly as I admire yonder Crystal Palace, yet if our Ragged Schools could be exhibited-if the totality of Christian art could be represented as we have represented there the totality of art universal, we should have a far more glorious exhibition. What would you say if you could look into one of our Ragged Schools as the eye of Omniscience looks into it? A thought of truth and goodness, a beam of eternal light, a principle of righteousness and of integrity, a breath of the eternal life, a human heart, God's workmanship, passing through the process of regeneration, by God's Holy Spirit, and through the instrumentality of truth. If you want variety, you may find it here; if you want beauty, you may find it here; if you want sublimity, you may meet with it here. God's best workmanship, that to which he has consecrated the best even of his own resources, will be found in some of the successful efforts of these Ragged Schools. Not that it would be safe for us to see all that God sees; He is reserving that exposition to the day when there shall be no spark of pride or vanity to be fanned into a flame by the manifestation of what Christian charity has done, but when the results of Christian kindness will be so near the throne of God, that the comparison of them with the God of love, and with his gifts, will make it safe for us
to look upon our doings in all their length and breadth, and yet to be as far from the temptation to pride and vanity as the east is from the west.
The Resolution was carried unanimously.
Mr. MAXWELL said, he had been many years, not only a member of the Committee, but also a teacher in Ragged Schools. He reminded the Meeting, that they were not assembled merely for the purpose of hearing eloquent speeches, but to make up their minds to exert themselves more in time to come than they had done in times past in aid of Ragged Schools. He hoped that they would not allow their good resolutions to evaporate, but would see that they issued in substantial acts of be
THE EVENING MEETING
WAS held in Exeter Hall, which was densely crowded in every part. Lord ASHLEY took the chair shortly after six o'clock.
The proceedings commenced by singing "All hail the power of Jesus' name." The Rev. Dr. HEWLETT then engaged in prayer.
The CHAIRMAN rose and said: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Ragged School Union has now placed its anniversary among the anniversaries of the other great religious societies of this kingdom,-and justly so, we think. It claims, both from its principles and from its efforts, the sympathy and support of the whole Christian public. We have, by the blessing of God, effected great things-not so great as we could have desired, but still more than enough to demand from us the greatest measure of thankfulness and rejoicing (Hear, hear.) In the year 1845, when our operations first began to be systematized and to be promoted with real energy, we had, I think, about 7 schools and 717 scholars; now, in the year 1851, we have 102 schools and 10,861 scholars (Applause.) Of these, I am happy to say, 6,021 are week-day scholars, and 2,062 are enrolled among the industrial classes. This must not be taken as an accurate measure of the progress that has been made, because, I rejoice to say, our example has been imitated in many quarters. There have arisen in various parts of the metropolis, several Ragged Schools that are not in union with this Society, but which must be taken to have arisen out of our operations, and to form a part
and parcel of the great system whereby we endeavour to reclaim this moral waste from the grasp and desolations of Satan. I need not detain you long by setting before you the principles of our constitution and of our practice, they are before you every instant of the day when you perambulate our streets, every ragged and suffering and destitute child you see, is a principle of action for you, and for me, and for the committee, and for all of us. Our principle is to reclaim that vast waste, to bring the most destitute and forgotten within the sound and grasp of the Gospel, to raise them from the mire, and to set them, if possible, among the princes of the earth. Nor have we been wanting in favourable results. A very few figures will give to you a sufficient appreciation of the success we have attained. We have sent out to Her Majesty's colonies about 350 of these destitute children. From many we have received letters, giving a most gratifying account of their social and moral improvement. In 1848, there went out one of our boys, about eighteen years old, who, a short time ago, remitted to his father the amount of his savings during that period, reaching no less a sum than £10. A little girl, also, who went out at a later period, has remitted to her mother, a poor widow, who gets her living by selling lace, no less a sum than £5; the announcement of which, to her, produced an effect, as you may well believe, easier to conceive than to describe. Other similarly gratifying incidents have occurred, and none more gratifying than the
case of the lads who went out from the Grotto Passage Ragged School, having been aided by the committee with a loan of money, the whole amount of which they have repaid (Hear, hear.) This should urge you on to greater exertions, and to pass resolutions, which it will be your duty to convert into realities. The committee have no great predilection for merely crowded assemblies, and for applauded speakers, if all is to end in vapour, and an empty exchequer. We maintain, (and we say it not in the spirit of arrogance,) that we have done our duty; and it is for you now to do yours (Hear, hear.) We have devised and organized a system of prevention, by which to stop crime while it is in the seed, and sin before it has
broken into flower and desolated society. Although other schools may have stood in the way of vice and crime, no one could say of them with certainty, that almost every one trained in them would, without their intervention, have been a vagabond or a thief; domestic discipline and other circumstances might have interposed to do their work. But we do maintain, that every one of those whom we have reclaimed would, from the very necessity of his position, have been either a thief or a vagabond; we do maintain that, by the instrumentality of this institution, we have established a preventive system, which operates in anticipation of the jailer, or even of the hangman. We have, moreover, greatly abated the amount of juvenile delinquency, and have cleansed the metropolis, not by pouring out from it the filth of our streets, but by passing these children through a cleansing and filtering process, before we poured them forth in a rich and fertilizing stream on the colonies of our country. We have given most unmistakable experience of the vivifying and regenerating influence of the Gospel upon the most destitute, ignorant, and forsaken. I do not believe there is anywhere so good a study of the truth of Christianity as can be found within the four walls of the Ragged School. There you may see the power of the Gospel to elevate these fallen masses, and to refine, in body and in soul, even the most filthy, and ignorant, and destitute. In conclusion, we tell you that all these things, which no one can gainsay, impose upon you most serious and solemn responsibilities. We call upon you, therefore, to discharge your duty; we call upon you, so long as there shall be one of these godless wanderers in our streets, not to desist from the great work in hand, but to set your
selves resolutely to the accomplishment of this mighty undertaking, giving yourselves no repose before God and man,
"While crowding ranks on every side arise, Demanding life, impatient for the skies."
Mr. LOCKE (Hon. Secretary) then read the Annual Report, of which an abstract is given in another part of our columns.
ROBERT BAXTER, Esq., moved the first Resolution :
"That this Meeting gratefully acknowledges the blessing of God upon the Institution during the past year; and sympathizing with the Committee in their labours and Christian efforts, trusts the appeal now made for additional funds will be cordially responded to."
In looking at this vast metropolis, the state of its population, the extent of its poverty, the vast number of those who depended upon casual labours for their subsistence, one's heart almost fainted at the prospect. It was, however, some consolation, in viewing such a scene, to be able to mark the growth, during the last twenty years, of institutions rising one after another to ameliorate the condition of these vast masses of people. Last, but not least of these, had arisen the Ragged School Union, whose anniversary they were met to commemorate-an institution which grappled with vice and destitution in its own regions. Would it be said that the agencies of which he had been speaking were not sufficient for the wants of the metropolis ? He knew the work was vast, and the instruments but feeble. What man did, through the blessing of God, was so overruled that God would humble the instrument while he blessed his work, so that no one might say, "By the might of my hand or my wisdom has this work been done." We professed to be a nation of Christians, possessing the pure word of the revelation of God, professing pure Protestant doctrine, professing to be governed in wisdom, and to have a constitution which was the envy of all nations. If it were so, how was it that in our metropolis, where were congregated the most talented, and noble, and devoted, and faithful of men, with the Gospel preached in faithfulness, and none making the preachers to be afraid—with schools open on every side to instruct and train up children in the way in which they should go-how was it that, in the midst of all this, there were still tens of thousands of children wan