Page images
PDF
EPUB

attended its operations. Under the more than magic--the Divine influence--of instruction in all religious, good, and useful knowledge, metamorphoses are accomplished with which the classics of heathen antiquity have nothing to compare. The thief in many instances becomes honest, the harlot chaste, the ignorant enlightened in the knowledge of glory and virtue, and whole neighbourhoods in which these institutions are established are found to derive a most beneficial influence from the efforts made. The good that has been done, the souls that have been saved, the crimes that have been prevented, will never be fully known to us in this present state ; but it is most pleasing to find that blessed results in large numbers are continually being brought to light even now, and these can only be regarded as the first-fruits of a future harvest, should the liberality of the Christian public enable the operations of these institutions to be extended as they should be.

“Being anxious to furnish a report of facts, your Committee will not further detain their kind friends in the way of introduction, but will now enter into details respecting the charge intrusted to their

care.

.

“On the books of the Day School there have been, during the past yearBoys

116 Girls

122

238 Averaging a daily attendance of 160. Of these, 75 can read well in the Old and New Testament, the rest have all made more or less progress in reading; 31 can write well in copy books, 70 can write well on slates ; 70 understand common arithmetic; 40 girls can sew well, and all are learning

to sew.

“Upwards of 100 garments bave been made in the schools during the past year.

“ Your Committee, in bringing this division of their Report to a close, would give the following extracts from the Reports received from the master and mistress, Mr. and Miss Turner, as being encouraging to persevere in this good and laudable work :

""One boy, about 14 years of age, lately applied for admission, and was received. A short time elapsed before the teacher was made acquainted with the circumstances of this boy, and that some movement was taking place amongst the scholars with regard to him. It appears that he was in a state of comparative starvation, and was compelled nightly to sleep upon some straw under one of the open arches in Victoria Street, from whence it was his custom to come each morning to school. At last, being discovered by the police, he was driven from thence (on a threat of being locked up) to wander through the streets by night. The boys and girls becoming acquainted with his condition, raised a subscription in farthings, and halfpence, and pence, by which he was enabled to pay for a bed; and, in addition, they brought to school a portion of their own meals to supply his wants.

“With regard to the principle of honesty, the teacher is often gratified. A person unknown lately dropped a penny in the school-room one evening. In the morning it was found by a boy, unobserved ; notwithstanding which, it was immediately brought to the teacher to find its owner, thus evidencing the growth of right principles as the effect of the exposition of the Word of God.'

The mistress thus writes in reference to the Girls' School :

“'To inform the mind will avail but little, unless the heart is affected. This is the constant and prayerful aim of all our instruction. Sometimes we enjoy the happiness of seeing the efforts succeed. As a proof of this, one instance will be recorded, which occurred a short time since :

' An unhappy feeling of rivalry had arisen among the elder girls, which was endeavoured to be suppressed. It soon spread into a party spirit, each side assuming that they were greatest. So bitter they became towards each other, that every look was construed into an offence, and certain seats were claimed by each, and contended for. The teacher, feeling that such a state of things ought not to be permitted to continue, endeavoured to reach them by means of the Bible lesson. The subject of it was, 'The choice of Jesse's youngest son to be king over Israel ;' the text for the day being, "The Lord seeth not as man seeth ; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” In the course of the lesson it was shown, that neither age, beauty, nor talents, were any recommendation to Him who looketh at the heart ; but the ornament of a meek and gentle spirit, and a contrite heart are his delight. The hatefulness and misery resulting from the indulgence of strife and envy, etc., were pointed out; while the example of Him who, when reviled, reviled not again, was exhibited as their model. This had the desired effect : that day not a girl was found to occupy the seat which for some time had been the object of contention ; on the contrary, all ran to take the Towest place; and unbroken peace and harmony has preVailed ever since.

***«The general appearance of the girls is marked by neatness and cleanliness; and their affection toward their teacher is unbounded, often even kissing her hand as they pass out of school.

“Nor are the parents deficient in gratitude for the benefit which their children receive, often declaring, they could not afford to pay for education, as their means are so scanty, therefore their children would remain in ignorance were it not for the schools.?

"INFANT SCHOOL.--The attendance at the Infant School has averaged, during the past year, 60 daily.

“It is much to be regretted that the very confined school-room is not at least three times its present size; if so, it could be filled, as the teacher has continually the painful task of refusing admittance to many children who are brought by their parents, and much disappointment is expressed.

“ Your Committee have no doubt the following extracts from the Report of Miss Gomm, the Infant School teacher, will be very interesting to their friends, as they add great weight to the necessity of enlarging this branch of their operations :

*The greatest attention possible is paid by many during the Scripture lessons. The delight the little creatures take in the Bible stories is remarkable, always asking, before each lesson, if what they are about to be told of is in real earnest, because it is supposed many of the parents are in the habit of deceiving them. To show the interest taken in these lessons, the following facts will prove. Whilst teaching one day in reference to the willingness of God to give to every one that asketh of Him a new heart, a little boy was observed sitting with his hands folded, and apparently thinking ; all at once he said, "Teacher, when God does give people good hearts, what does he do with the bad ones.'

55At another time the Scripture lesson was upon the sufferings of our Saviour, when a very little girl said, 'Teacher, Jesus Christ was very foolish to leave that beautiful place in heaven, live in a stable, be beat, spit upon, and crucified. I would not have done so; I would have stopped in heaven.' The teacher endeavoured to show her what would have become of us if He had not suffered. To which this little child replied, 'Oh! then it was very kind, and I love Him for it.'

Many of these little infants will not go to their beds unless they are allowed to say their prayers. One mother told the teacher, that her boy, who is about two years and a half old, will go by himself and repeat the Lord's prayer every night before retiring to rest. Another mother stated, that her boy almost drove her crazy when she hurried him to bed without having said his prayers, and that she was glad to make him get out again to say them, to stay his crying.'

“SUNDAY SCHOOL.— The attendance during the past year has been as follows:On the books-Boys

.110 Girls.

.145

255 Infants....

80 Average attendance, 155. “ Of these 90 can read with various degrees of proficiency, some very well; 52 are in the element

ary class.

“ There is evident improvement in the children, and the progress made is very encouraging. The operations of the Sabbath School, however, are much hindered by the want of male teachers. 'The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Your Committee hope that their heavenly Master will raise up pious labourers to enlist in this honourable and self-denying work.

“To Mr. Le Dieu, the superintendent of the Sabbath School, and to the teachers, your Committee are under deep obligations, for the unremitting attention and persevering zeal with which they have continued their efforts to train up the dear children committed to their charge, in the love and fear of God.

“EVENING SCHOOL.-
On the books—Males....

..90
Females.

...96

186

« PreviousContinue »