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the imagination and excite universal astonishment; but they would rather lead you to contemplate the quiet, the unobtrusive, the practical, the everlasting benefits resulting from Sunday Schools. Thence they would direct you to view the great importance of the best adapted means to promote their usefulness and diffusion, while they affirm that union constitutes the best pledge that Sunday Schools will not decline, and the best security that they will abundantly increase the means of religious instruction, and diffuse the light of the knowledge of the glory of God through our own country, and throughout the world."
“Your Committee, in adverting to Domestic Proceedings, regret that the past year has been distinguished by much distress, and that infidels have dared openly to attack the Christian religion. Amidst these alarms, terrible, indeed, would have been the issue, had there been nothing to counteract their attempts. Had not Sunday Schools, and other institutions, been established what would have been the state of England at this time? In all human probability it would have resembled revolutionary France. Your Committee desire to rejoice that there had been so much moral and religious instruction diffused throughout the country previous to this eventful time--that the atrocious efforts of inti. dels could not succeed. Had this country been totally ignorant and irreligious, who could "have calculated the evil consequences? Infidelity is a noxious weed that grows either on the bleak mountains of ignorance, or in the stagnant marshes of an irreligious education. It was at one time reported that a few Sunday Schools had been instituted for inculcating infidel opinions ; but your Committee have not been able to ascertain that this report was well founded. Deists would not be likely to take the trouble of instructing others; a virtuous and good education is a plant of too delicate a nature to grow in the frigid zone of infidelity. Were infidels to commence Sunday Schools, they would soon be tired of the employment; their principles cannot impart that energy and perseverance of character which are so essential to success; these must spring from religious feelings, from the constraining influence of the love of Christ. It is when education is consecrated at the cross of Christ, that it becomes an object truly worthy of a Christian's zeal and activity. It is because Sunday Schools are thus hallowed, that your Committee recommend them as one of the best antidotes to infidelity. They are at once the friends of true religion, and of social order: the lesson they inculcate is— Fear God and honor the king. The proclamation they make is— Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.'"
During the past year the Committee have given efficiency to the “ establishment of a depol,” which promises many advantages to the society. They have also examined a great number of reward books, "two-thirds of which they rejected as unsuitable for fol. VII,
Sunday School children. They, nowever, beg to recommend to the friends of Sunday Schools a catalogue which, though at present it contains but a limited number of books, they believe to be the most select and most suitable of any ever yet presented to public attention. Your Committee have also published a seleci list of books, suitable for a Sunday School Circulating Library.” The “ Committee earnestly request their friends to favour them with manuscripts, or copies of works suitable for publication by the society. It will be their constant endeavour to improve the character, and lower the prices of books for Sunday Schools.
“Two Tracts to Parents have been published by your Committee: the one inviting them to send their children to a Sunday School, and the other giving them suitable hints while their children continue under their teachers care. In about three months, upwards of 15,000 copies of these tracts have been sold.
“ The following questions have been discussed at the Quarterly Meetings :
“ Has the present mode of rewarding Sunday School Children a beneficial or injurious tendency ?
“What is required in the situation of Superintendent lo a Sunday School, and what are the relative duties of Superintendents and Teachers towards each other ?
“What influence have Sunday School engagements on the personal piety of Teachers ?
“Åre Public Addresses to children in Sunday Schools desirable, and what are the best means of making them useful?"
“ The Four London Auxiliaries continue their operations with unwavering zeal and increased utility.
“ The following is a sketch of the numbers reported by the London Auxiliaries :
“South, including Newington and Croyden branches, and village schools, 86 schools, 1,032 teachers, 12,186 scholars. East, including Hackney, Poplar, and West Essex branches, 84 schools, 1,199 teachers, 12,331 scholars, 328 adults. West, including West Middlesex Branch, 81 schools, 1,240 teachers, 11,959 scholars. North, 55 schools, 1,023 teachers, 11,791 scholars, 20 adults. Total, 306 schools, 4,494 teachers, 48,615 scholars. Increase reported in London since last year, 183 teachers, 2,665 scholars.
“ Notwithstanding this increase, there are many thousands of children, in London and its vicinity, still destitute of moral and religious instruction. Your Committee have endeavoured to ascertain the numbers untaught, but they have no data to estimate them with sufficient accuracy. The great difficulty which retards the general extension of Sunday Schools, is the want of suitable buildings for school rooms, and ihe enormous expence of rent. Your Committee feel no doubt that if suitable school rooms could be obtained gratuitously, Sunday Schools might be
established to take in all the uneducated children in London and its vicinity."
“ The following is a summary of the numbers reported for the present year:
"4 London Auxiliaries, 306 schools, 4,494 teachers, 48,615 scholars. 51 Country Unions and Societies, 2,262 schools, 27,843 teachers, 223,927 scholars, 2,303 adults. Sabbath School Union for Scotland, 567 schools, 39,183 scholars, Sunday School Society for Ireland, 1,091 schools, 113,525 scholars. Total 4,226 schools, 32,337 teachers, 427,553 scholars. Increase of scholars reported since last year, 71,795. The various unions and societies report 489 new schools opened during the past year.”
“When your Committee direct your attention to the extensive sphere of this society's operations, when they point out thousands of teachers, who are labouring sabbath after sabbath for the ima mortal good of the young and ignorant, when they direct you to so many thousand children, already under instruction, and perhaps a greater number still, destitute of a religious education ; they cannot imagine any case that addresses stronger claims to Christian benevolence. When your attention is directed to the various British colonies and possessions where Sunday Schools are forming, and to those parts of the world not immediately connected with England, where these beneficent establishments are coinmencing, the whole scene exhibits a prospect animating to Christian hope, and persuasive to Christian philanthropy. Perhaps no society has accomplished more good than this in proportion to the smallness of its funds-while its pecuniary resources have been so scanty ; its labours, and those of its united teachers have been arduous and extensive; while labourers are thus willing to exert their gratuitous efforts, the work requires increased pecuniary support, and languishes for want of it. The appeal is directed to the heart and conscience of every one who possesses the means. While great exertions are making to support other excellent societies, and Sunday School teachers are frequently their most active agents ; surely the general cause of Sunday Schools presents a claim worthy of equal, if not of para. mount consideration.
“ Even the malicious designs and active efforts of Satan and his emissaries, present a powerful argument for the strenuous and increased exertions of Christian teachers. To all of us the exhortation is addressed: ‘be sober, be vigilant, because your adversary the Devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour. May we not hope, that, though his great wrath is now displayed, it is because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.' "The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, Amen.'?
GENERAL STATEMENT OF SCHOOLS IN ENGLAND AND WALES. As the general statement of the schools in England, which we gave at page.
270, does not include the whole number, we add the following, which includes the principality of Wales.
“ By returns made up to the 1st of May last, it appears that there are in England and Wales 37,382 schools of all descriptions, in which are educated 1,571,372 children of both sexes, or about 42 to a school. It is specified that 18,276 of these schools are initiatory, and that 14,192 are English, or commercial schools, of which 8,375 are for females. It also appears, that the church catechism is taught in 22,581 schools; that the systems of Bell and Lancaster have been more or less adopted in 1,411; that Phillip's interrogative system of questions without answers has been introduced into 3,682 ; and Pestalozzi's system of oral analysis into 7; that the French language is taught in 7,520 ; and, the dead languages in 3,327. The number of persons employed in education, as masters, governesses, assistants, and private tutors, is estimated at 56,300.”
ASIATIC ISLANDS.-CEYLON. From Messrs. Winslow and Spaulding, to the Corresponding Secre
tary of the A. Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions.* In our last volume pp. 728 and 753, we noticed the arrival of the mission
aries at Calcutta in October last, and laid before our readers an account of their successful labours in reclaiming the seamen on board the Indus. By the following letter we are made acquainted with their arrival in the island of Ceylon, the scene of their future labours.
Columbo, Feb. 2d, 1820. REV. AND DEAR SIR,
By a joint letter from us and brother Scudder, by the Indus, Capi. Wills, you will have learned the merciful dealings of God towards us until our departure from Calcutta. We took pas. sage for Ceylon, Nov. 10th, in a good ship, the Dick of London, and had only to regret the detention of brother Woodward by the sickness of his wife. We left him, however, with the assurance, that though in a land of strangers, he was surrounded by sympathizing friends, and under the care of a kind Providence.
Our passage was long, but pleasant. By the kindness of our Captain, we were permitted, not only to preach on the Sabbath, but to hold meetings every evening with the seamen. They generally gave good attention; some appeared seriously impressed ; and we left the ship with the hope, that two at least were under deep convictions.
* All communications addressed to the Board, by the Missionaries, arc first published in the Missionary Herald.
We made the island of Ceylon 19 days after embarking, and 12 after leaving the river; but it was three days more before we could gain the harbor of Trincomale, being carried beyond it at night by a strong current, which exposed us to some danger from the rocks on the coast. At Trincomale we were very kindly received by the Wesleyan brethren, Messrs. Carver and Stead, who did every thing in their power to assist us.
We hoped to find some method of direct conveyance from this port to Jaffna ; but, as the monsoon made it impossible to go by water, there was none except through an almost trackless jungle of 130 miles, in the course of which were several rivers to be forded. The journey we concluded to attempt ; but on endeavouring to obtain palankeens and coolies, we found they could not be had for so many travellers. We might have waited until the first band could return, but were told, that in a few days the weather would be such as to render travelling impracticable, as the rainy season was commencing, and the rivers would soon swell so as to be impassable. To stay at Trincomale was impracticable; as not a house could be hired; and that of the Wesleyan brethren, as they were building, was not in a situation to receive us. Our passage was paid to Columbo, and the prospect was, that we could find a more ready conveyance there than from any other port on the island. Brother Scudder, however, as his labours seemed to be peculiarly needed at Jaffna, on account of the ill health of our brethren there, concluded to attempt the journey by land. With some difficulty the means of conveyance were found; and we left Trincomale after a stay of three days, while our dear brother and sister were preparing to go through the wil. derness.
On our way to Columbo we touched at Galle, a very pleasant port on the southern extremity of the island, and were detained several days. During this time we were most hospitably entertained in the family of Mr. McKenny, a Wesleyan missionary; and our hearts were cheered by a sight of the good work, which he and his colleagues are there carrying on. The schools, which form the glory of the Wesleyan missions here, are at this station very flourishing, and afford an interesting spectacle.
We finally reached Columbo Dec. 20h, rejoicing to see this capital of the country, which is to be our future home. The Rev. Mr. Chater, who is well known as the very kind and most hospitable friend of our brethren, immediately invited us to his house, till we could make arrangements for proceeding to Jaffna.
We feared being obliged by the north-east monsoon to remain at Columbo some weeks; but had the happiness of finding, that we might with some difficulty, proceed soon by an inland navigation through lakes and canals. We were encouraged to attempt this by that very valuable friend of our mission, J. N. Mooyart, Esq. of Jaffna, who was providentially at Columbo, and