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it is also known that the large room, the committee room, and the general inspector's room, still remain in an unfinished state, we trust that no other appeal will be required to stimulate the never-failing liberality of our generous friends; but that they will shortly enable us to carry these extensive designs into execution.
Your committee feel great satisfaction in having to announce, that His Royal Highness The Duke of Sussex, has signified his pleasure to become a patron of this institution, in conjunction with his Royal Brother, The, Duke of Kent. His Royal Highness has been pleased to express himself particularly gratified with the liberal and extended plan on which it is conducted; and in a communication by our worthy friend the Rev. Dr. Collyer, has further added, "that education appeared to him of so much moment, that no party restrictions ought to be laid upon it; and that he would support in common with this, every society which called forth the co-operation of different denominations, which left liberty of conscience to the children and their parents, which constituted the Bible the source of their religious information, and which suffered no creed to exclude any persons desirous of availing themselves of the blessings of instruction." This manly and emphatic declaration, including the sentiments of both the Royal Dukes, while it affords a convincing proof that their patronage of the Stockport Sunday School was not undertaken without serious and mature reflection, stands as another pleasing instance of that mild spirit of liberality and toleration, which has always distinguished the illustrious house of Brunswick.
Delivered from a tyranny the most formidable and oppressive, reviving Europe is again favored with the brightening prospect of happier days. An honorable peace, and we trust on the most permanent basis, at length rewards the persevering firmness of her illustrious conquerors. We may perhaps instructively consider, in what manner under God, this glorious event was brought to pass. It was not by the partial and feeble efforts of a single nation; for how often did we witness the futility of such attempts, while they were divided in council, and distinct in operation, but by the vigorous and united exertions of different powers, bearing in the face of all opposition, to one important point.
In every case union is strength, and if we are desirous of contracting the empire of darkness, and destroying the reign of Satan, we can only expect to succeed so far as our designs are influenced by unanimity and concord. Nothing contri
butes so much to weaken any cause, as strifes and divisions; but the adversary of man trembles when he sees christians in the bend of brotherhood, acting together for the overthrow of his power.
On this liberal ground of union, of which your institution was an early instance, we hope to remain firm, conscious that no other plan is so well adapted to promote the true interests of our undertaking. Amongst the numerous benevolent associations of the present day, it is with pleasure that we observe the formation of Sunday School Unions in almost every part of the kingdom; from the united exertions of which, the happiest results may be reasonably anticipated.
In the midst of our national mercies, let us not forget those awful judgments, which in their course over an afflicted world, but narrowly passed by us. If the dark clouds of divine indignation did not pour their fury on our country, they remained for a while in dreadful suspense over our heads :-but in the gap stood the faithful few;-the converted heathen interceded for the land that gave him the Bible:-the tears of ransomed Africa pleaded powerfully for her deliverer,-and their earnest supplications were heard. Amidst the convulsions which have shaken kingdoms to their centre, Britain has been graciously spared to complete her triumphs of mercy. Exalted in the rank of nations, she is still reserved by the Almighty, as "an herald of salvation to the ends of the earth." But while thus solicitous for the welfare of others, may her sons remember carefully "to cultivate that true piety which alone exalteth a nation; then shall her peace flow as a river, and her righteousness as the waves of the sea."
The Debt upon the Building Fund amounts to £2356.
MINUTES taken at the QUARTERLY MEETING of the SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
Question.-WHAT system of rewards is best adapted to
The Chairman stated, that in the internal regulations of a Sunday School, it should be a maxim, both as it respected rewards and punishments: Be sparing. If rewards were too plentifully bestowed, they would soon be reckoned as of little value, and cease to act as a stimulus to exertion. In the School which he superintended, besides the regular rewards of tickets and tracts, there had been once, about three years after the School was established, a grand reward day appointed. Notice of this was given a long time before the rewards were distributed, and a paper stuck up in a conspicuous situation, with a statement of the merits which would be rewarded.
1st. Reward.-Good Behaviour. Including regularity of attendance, and good conduct in School, in chapel, and at home. 2d. Reward.-Scriptural subjects, and attention to sermons. Including the weekly subjects from the Bible, progress in understanding the scriptures, and endeavours to remember the sermons and addresses which they heard. This applies chiefly to the Bible and Testament classes.
3d. Reward.-Progress in learning. spelling, prayers, hymns, and catechism.
Including reading and
No child to have any reward unless he can say his prayers correctly.
The teachers having kept a regular account of their scholars, when the time for distributing the rewards was nearly arrived, they gave a list of the names of the children in each class who deserved rewards to the superintendent, and pointed out some book which they thought most suitable to the scholar's disposition, and most likely to do him good. One evening was appropriated to the distribution of these rewards, and the superintendent addressed the children as he gave them away. The name of the child was written on the cover, with a statement of his merits and the date, as for example: "Samuel Sobermind. This book is given to him as a reward for his good behaviour in Sunday School, 1st January, 1814. David
A friend stated that in giving rewards, we should endeavour to steer clear of any thing which would beget pride. Most Schools were in the habit of circulating tickets with texts of scripture on them; these were like so many notes of hand payable on demand, and appeared far better than medals, merit tickets, and marks of honour round the neck. These tickets conveyed with them the word and the will of the Most High, and the children purchase with them serious tracts and books.
*. We received a few additional particulars since the meeting, but thought it best to insert them together.-Editor.
If the periods of transferring the tickets were less frequent than is commonly the case, it might be beneficial, as the children would then accumulate a larger stock. It was proper that some evening in the week should be appointed for receiving the tickets, that the Christian Sabbath might not be suffered to resemble a market day. Particular care should be taken when the children receive the reward tracts or books, to ascertain that they are read and understood; and it would be advisable to appoint a reward to those children who could give the best account of the books they had received..
A superintendent stated, that in his school he had abolished rewards. In a School to which he formerly belonged, two plaus of reward had been adopted. The plan of tickets had been tried, but a very great evil was found from the children passing the tickets for money, and bartering them among themselves. Also the children demanded them as a right, instead of coming in an humble way to ask for them. The plan which had been adopted to supersede tickets was this: each teacher was provided with a book, on one side was a space for good marks, and the other for bad marks. At the end of the quarter these were cast up, and the first seven or eight children who had most good marks were rewarded according to their number. However, some of the children whose number of marks was nearly equal to the children who received rewards, felt much dissatisfaction. His present plan was, if a child comes constantly, to reward him by letting him come to writing aud cyphering in the week. The good child is rewarded by being continued in the school, the bad child is punished by being turned out.
The chairman stated, that the plan of tickets (even where as many as twelve were necessary to purchase a penny book), pressed very heavily on the finances of a Sunday School. He thought that peculiar care should be taken to suit the rewards to the minds and characters of those who received them; and that in the Bible and Testament classes, the improvement of the understanding should claim a higher reward than merely storing the memory. He suggested that bad behaviour, lateness, or irregularity of attendance, and neglect of learning should be punished by the deprivation of reward. Every child who had behaved well, and continued in the School three years, should on quitting it receive a Bible.
A teacher stated, that a circulating library afforded one of the best plans of bestowing rewards. Those children whose behaviour and improvement deserved it, received a ticket for the
library, which contained many serious, interesting, and instructive works.
A friend said, that bartering the tickets might be prevented by keeping a check account in the class book.
A teacher objected to that system which would exclude rewards. Reward sweetened labour. Though improper uses had been made of rewards, this was no reason why they should be discontinued. He was convinced, that if punishments were less used, and rewards more frequently bestowed, the children would respect their teachers more, and make greater progress in learning.
On SUNDAY SCHOOLS in COUNTRY VILLAGES.
I was much pleased with the request of your correspondent, Jazer, concerning the best method of establishing Sunday Schools in country villages. This is a subject upon which I wish to gain all the information I possibly can, and, I trust, your useful Magazine will be made a means of imparting the desired information, and also of removing some of the difficulties that attend these institutions. Having had a considerable acquaintance with these things, I have taken liberty to say a little on the subject.
I believe, then, that the establishment of Sunday Schools in country villages would be greatly facilitated, if the Sunday School Union would condescend to keep on sale a supply of bibles and testaments, in sheets, or in volumes, which, to prevent expence, might be half bound. Being parted in the middle of a chapter causes no material inconvenience; they would not, therefore, require to be printed in any different way, in order to suit a division, but simply in the usual manner, and bound in such a number of parts as should be thought best. Probably a proper arrangement for these schools would be, to divide the old testament into four, and the new testament into two parts.
Volumes in this manner are found to be sufficiently large *, and to be more engaging to the minds of children; they also are less cumbersome, and on that account not so liable to be damaged or worn out; and when a class has read one volume, they easily exchange with another class. In small schools one half of a class reads the first volume, and the other half the second, &c.
I have seen them used in smaller divisions without any inconvenience.