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why not? If you were not in bondage | Dissenters in the country now than
to the State, you could help it.
Do you say the blame rests with those patrons who put such men into your churches? Partly it does, no doubt; but ten times more with you, who are enlightened enough to see the wickedness of the thing, and yet consent to give them the power to make merchandise of your souls.
Do you reply that the withholding of your consent would not prevent the evil? Perhaps not; but by consistently protesting against it, you would wash your hands from its guilt.
Do you say you do protest against it? What, and still remain in the church, and thus sanction and perpetuate it? Enter a protest with your lips, and then neutralise it with your lives? Denounce the viper that nestles beneath your altars, and then go and feed and nourish it! Inflict a wound upon the beast with one hand, and then pour in oil and wine with the other! Is this the way to get the evil removed?
Do you say there are many good men among the clergy? I believe it; but it is their Christianity that makes them good, and not their State-Churchism. They are good in spite of their position, and not in consequence of it. Good as they now are, most of them would have been much better if placed in circumstances where they might have followed out all the directions of the Bible, and given exercise to all the graces of the enlightened and largehearted Christian.
Do you say there are more good men, and fewer bad ones, among your ministers now than at any former period? Perhaps so; but is not that because there are more evangelical
ever? When there was little Dissent in the nation, there was an overwhelming majority of godless men among your ministers. Just as Dissenters have increased, the number of these godless ministers has diminished. But does not that fact tell powerfully in favour of unestablished churches? and ought it not to lead you to join our ranks, rather than encourage you to remain where you are?
But whatever the number of good men you have in the ministry, their existence among you is purely accidental. There is nothing in your system that necessarily secures them. Lord John Russell has raised the Bishop of Chester to the province of Canterbury; if another politician had happened to be prime minister, he might have preferred Henry of Exeter. Dr. Hampden is a very fit man to be a bishop; but should there be a change in the government, the next episcopal vacancy may be filled by Dr. Hook. The present patron of your particular church may have appointed a truly enlightened Christian for your minister; but the next man who buys the living, may prefer one of the fox-hunters, or one of the Pharisees. If such should be the case, you must submit: however unfit you may consider your minister, still you must have him; however dreadful the delusions believed and taught by the bishop or the archbishop, still you must submit to his appointment. So that if every pulpit in the Establishment were at this moment filled by as good a man as Mr. Bickersteth or Baptist Noel, you have no guarantee whatever that their successors may not be a tribe of those ungodly men who are utterly destitute of piety, or even
morality. It is the system that is wrong -radically wrong-fatally wrong; and until that is corrected, you have no security against the evils by which you are now disgraced. So long as your church is subject to the law of patronage, you may expect to be sold to the highest bidder; and so long as it is connected with the State, to that law it must submit. Oh, that like your brethren of the Scottish establishment, you would rise, and, with a holy indignation, protest against the abomination. The glory of Christ, the honour of religion, your own spiritual good, the salvation of your countrymen; these are all concerned in it. Impelled by motives derived from each consideration, now in the fear of God form your high resolve, that, if the evil must be continued, you at all events will have no share in the sin and guilt of its continuance, A FRIEND. Sept. 1, 1818.
MISSIONARY SCHOOLS. SIR,-Having long been an admirer of your untiring efforts in the cause of your Divine Master, and the alleviation of the miseries of the human family, whether spiritual or temporal; and judging that it would be gratifying to your benevolent heart, to hear of any effort, however humble, being put forth for the promotion of that cause to which you have devoted your undivided energies; I have been emboldened to attempt giving you some account of an effort in which it has been my privilege to engage.
ence of several large schools, my attention has been drawn to the fact, that the great majority of the children who attend those schools are children who are cared for at home, having Christian parents, who instruct them in the blessed truths of the Gospel; and are, therefore, not so much the objects of the solicitude of those who have enlisted themselves in the warfare against the kingdom of darkness, as those poor outcasts, of whom, it may truly be said, none careth for their souls.
Impressed by these views, and living near a locality where a great number of those degraded beings haunted, and being much annoyed by their fearful oaths, and otherwise outrageous conduct on the sabbath evenings, I began seriously to ponder with myself, whether it was not my duty to leave the sphere I then occupied, and try to do something for those much-neglected children. I accordingly intimated my intention to my daughter, who entered heartily into my views; and having rented a small room in Guthrie's-close, situated in a most depraved locality, and having previously intimated our intention in the neighbourhood, we, on the first sabbath of January, 1846, opened the above-mentioned room, when between forty or fifty of the most grotesque-looking beings presented themselves to our view, and from their eagerness to get admission, tumbled the one over the other, making such noise while pushing and kicking one another, as made it impossible for some time to get anything like order established, and for a while we allowed the tumult to go on, until it had nearly exhausted itself; and at last we succeeded in getting a hearing, when we
I may mention, that, having for a considerable number of years been employed in Sabbath-school instruction, and having had the superintend-pointed them to the object of our
calling them together-viz., to give them instruction; but, in order that we might be enabled to do this, they must submit to some rules, which we then laid before them. They all promised obedience; and having made arrangements for meeting on the following sabbath evening, after engaging in devotional exercises, we dismissed them.
On the next sabbath evening they assembled, and something like the same disorder as on the former even ing manifested itself; however, by dint of kindness and firmness blended, we managed to get them arranged so as to get an idea of the materials we had to operate upon; and, oh! what a mass of rags, filth, depravity, and ignorance presented itself. Lads and girls of sixteen to eighteen, with scarce enough of rags to cover them; their hair and faces matted and clotted with filth, gave them an appearance barely human; but if their persons were thus disgusting, what can be said of the state of their minds: few of them had ever got instruction of any kind, many of them knew not a letter, some could barely put three letters together, and few, indeed, could read the simplest lesson. Under these circumstances what was to be done? we saw that, without teaching them to read, we could make little impression on their darkened minds, and this could not be undertaken on the sabbath.
In this dilemma I took counsel of some of my Christian brethren; when we resolved to lay the matter before our pastor (Dr. Russell), who entered warmly into our views; and, on our suggesting that we might get a number to take a part with us on the week evenings, he undertook to lay the
matter before the church: which was accordingly done-when about twenty young men and ladies, members of the church, volunteered to take a part in the work. We were thus enabled to organise a band of teachers, who alternately occupy the classes five nights in the week; the sabbath evening being wholly devoted to spiritual instruction. As was to be expected, for the first few months little progress was made; but by patient perseverance both on the part of teachers and scholars, we now see reason to thank God and take courage: for a good number of those who knew not a letter when they joined the school, can now read the New Testament fluently, and what is better, understand and can explain the scheme of redemption through a crucified but now exalted Saviour. We do not mean you to infer from this, that they have been brought to a saving knowledge of the truth; but we do hope that the seed which has been sown will in due time spring up, producing a rich harvest to the glory of God, and the eternal well-being of immortal souls!
When we first commenced operations, and during the following six months, we had only the small room above mentioned; we then rented a larger room; and again, at the term of Martinmas last, we took possession of an excellent school-room, commodiously fitted up with writing-table, presses, &c., and capable of accommodating 100 children. The present attendance is about seventy-namely, thirty boys and forty girls, who are divided into seven classes of ten each. The elder girls are taught sewing and knitting two nights in the week, and reading and writing alternately; the elder boys are taught reading and
writing alternately; fourteen of the elder girls have been formed into a Bible-class, which is taught on the sabbath evenings, and is making considerable progress; and, what is very gratifying, these girls, with a little assistance from the ladies connected with the church, have procured decent clothing, and, having a pew appropriated to their use, they regularly attend worship in Ward Chapel, and conduct themselves in a most becoming manner.
Having from the commencement been a subscriber to your WITNESS and PENNY MAGAZINES, I regularly read extracts from those excellent works to the children, with which they are much interested. I also occasionally present them with a copy of the Juvenile. These have called their attention to Missionary labours: and at our first annual meeting, which was held on the 1st of January, 1847, when the children were entertained by the teachers with tea, cake, &c., several addresses were delivered by the teachers and friends, and the intervals filled up by the children singing some nice hymns, of which they are very fond. Shortly after our annual meeting the children expressed a desire to have a Missionary box: this I at first declined to grant, as I considered it might be a barrier in the way of their regular attendance, they being so very poor; however, as I had frequently noticed them having sweetmeats in the school, I thought if they were to give their halfpence to the cause of Missions they would be better laid out, and accordingly procured a box into which they put their offerings; and at our last annual meeting, which was held in our new school-room, the children being again
treated to tea, &c.; also addresses be-
The success of this our humble effort
supported on the Voluntary principle rents, books, stationery, &c., being provided for by collections or donations cheerfully given.
Dundee, March 13th, 1848.
THE EDITOR'S REPLY TO THE
and at some great schools; and in the smallest schools there were some busy and regular, some idle and truant boys; the one got on, and the other was punished; one was praised and rewarded, and the other was scolded and kept in on half-holidays; and when their time of schooling came to an end, the one went forth a clever man, the other a stupid blockhead that everybody despised. It is in general and religious education just as with trade and common apprenticeship; in both cases the words of Solomon hold true, The hand of the diligent maketh rich;" and you know Paul says, "He that soweth sparingly shall reap sparingly." If a man has ten fields, and cultivates only one, when the harvest arrives he must, in spite of himself, confine his harvest to one.
MY DEAR YOUNG FRIENDS,-I cannot tell you how much I was pleased by the communication which I received from your kind Teacher. I assure you that I have a great liking to such little folks as you; and I am very glad, indeed, that you have been collected together to receive instruction. Let me persuade you to be very punctual in your attendance; for it is impossible that you can ever become skilful in doing anything, unless you be regular in your application. You know when, by and by, you shall become apprenticed, to be weavers, or shoemakers, or carpenters, or any other trade, you will be bound to it for a number of years, and during every week-day of all these years you will be required to throw the shuttle, use the awl, and wield the saw, or other instruments employed; and that it is only in this way that you can become expert tradesmen. Were a youth to be bound an apprentice for seven years, and attend so irregularly that all the days of labour during these seven years would amount only to one year, what would be the consequence? Why, first, he would have lost six whole years; secondly, he would be such a novice as no master would employ; nobody would take him even for his food. You understand this? Very well; just apply this to education. When I was amend to you. When I was a little boy scholar, I was at some small schools, it was one of my school-books, and I
But, my dear young friends, it is not enough that you attend regularly, you must also be in earnest to improve, and prepare well whatever lessons are prescribed to you; set to them diligently, and never complain that your lessons are too long: you may, if you like, complain they are too short, and request your teacher to give you a little more; or, of your own accord, you may add a little more; for, be assured, the more you labour the more you will improve; there is no getting on without hard labour. Again: while in school, come to it with a determination of getting good to your hearts, as well as knowledge to your minds; therefore, drink it up as you do water when thirsty. You know Solomon says a great deal about that in the book of Proverbs; which, by the way, is a book that I would very earnestly recom