Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]

above the mean but tempting spirit of revenge, entered unasked warmly into the election ; and, though it was sharply contested, his influence secured the choice of his estranged friend.

The Solicitor was overcome by this unexpected deed of generosity from one whom he was conscious he had repeatedly sought to injure. His heart was filled with gratitude, while his pride revolted from the task of making the acknowledgment which he earnestly desired to make. He sought how to convey to the Merchant a knowledge of his sincere and deep-felt gratitude, in such a manner as should be least humiliating to a lofty and unbending spirit, and soou fixed upon a method the most expressive of the feelings with which he was penetrated. He repaired to the counting-house of the Merchant, with whom he had not exchanged even ordinary civilities for a number of years, and, on meeting him, drew a roll of bread from his pocket, and with a full and overflowing heart, whilst the tears coursed down his cheeks, and feli upou the roll as he extended it, he faultered out the words, “My friend, will you break bread with me?" The agony of feeling was truly reciprocal, as they broke bread together. The Solicitor made an effort say,

“ God bless you!". as he hastily retired with an overcharged heart.




“ From cottages obscure,

From ignorance, vice, and woe,
Here Charity invites the poor

True happiness to know."

WHEN I had dined, I set out for the Village Suaday-School. On arriving there, I found many of the children assembled, though it wanted more than a quarter of an hour of the time appointed for the commencement of the opening service. This gave me great pleasure, as affording a proof that the value of Sunday-School instruction was duly appreciated by the children of the village. In a short time the Conductor came in; and a hymn was sung, which, with a prayer, began the duties of the afternoon. The names of the children were next called over; and, after the examination as to cleanliness was con. cluded, and those who were faulty in that respect had received an admonition for their carelessness, the spelling in the different classes commenced ; and the Conductor had then a little leisure, which was occupied in explaining to me the regulations and economy of the School uuder his management.

It consisted of about a hundred and thirty children, for whom there were eight or ten teachers. Their rules, as well as their system of teaching, were characterized by plainness and simplicity,-a proof of their good sense. It cannot be expected that a village Sunday-School should have all those exterval appearances of a well-ordered and harmonizing system, which some large and duly-regulated schools in populous towns exhibit, where there are ushers, secretaries, librarians, monitors, and a host of other officers, rendered necessary by their magnitude and multiplicity of business. In all things, the means should be proportioned to the end. What is useful and efficient in some cases, will, in others, be totally inapplicable. In the formation of a country Sunday-School, it is best to begin on the most simple plan; gradually making provision for exigencies, as they may arise.

The Conductor of this School appeared to have been influenced by correct motives in its formation. It was established and conducted on a plain and economical plan; and, without any parade,


calcu. lated to do much good. We now took a walk down the room.

I forgot to inform my readers, that the School was kept in what had once been a barn. It was thatched, and stood pleasantly shaded by a few tall elm-trees. Several windows had been made in the walls, when it was converted into a School; and it was sufficiently light

[blocks in formation]

and comfortable for the purpose to which it was now devoted. As we went down the room, I observed that some of the children were engaged in spelling, others in reading the Scriptures, and some in repeating the Catechism. When the time allotted for the first lesson had expired, one scholar in each class stood up; and commencing at the first class, a verse of a certain chapter was read aloud by each boy in succession. The Conductor, at the same time, with a Bible in his hand, stood at the upper end of the room, occasionally making such remarks as the subject called forth. This was to me a novel plan; and, as I could perceive, was well calculated to gain the attention of the children. When this was over, the scholars proceeded to the next lesson, and I again entered into conversation with the Conductor. Our discourse turned upon the different characters of children; and as I had some experience myself, having been a Sunday: School Teacher, and as we had become quite uoreserved in our disclosures to each other, I hope that our communications would be mutually advantageous.

It would take up too much time to enumerate the various characters mentioned in our discourse ; such as the idle, the easy, the proud, the stubborn, the careless, the unteachable, the mean, the dishonest, and many more, such as, I hope, the readers of the Youth's Instructer will never in the slightest degree resemble.

But there was one character among those which the Conductor described, which particularly deserves to be known, and to be held up to all Sunday-School Children as an example for their imitation. It was that of a boy in the Bible-Class, whom he pointed out to me. His name was John Gibson. His parents were dead, and had left him an orphan at a very early age. His father had been a day-labourer. Io his infancy, John was taken care of by his Aunt, who also taught him his letters ; and here her instructions ended. But he had always a love for what was useful and good, and from some village children, who had better opportunities than himself, he learned to read,

and, by a constant attention to his book, soon became a tolerable proficient in that art. When the SundaySchool was established, Jonn was among the first candidates for admission, and had continued in it until the present time, a steady and worthy scholar. His work-day employment was among the neighbouring farmers, with whom he bore a most excellent character for punctuality, carefulness, and industry. Of the money that he earned, he was particularly careful. While his aunt lived, the whole of his wages were deposited with her. He was never known to spend his money except in something useful. He had purchased a Bible, a Prayer-book, and a Hymn-book, of the sort used in school; and he also regularly took in the “Youth's Instructer.” These books formed his little library; and the hymus, prayers, chapters of the Scriptures, and other pieces, which he had committed to memory, afforded a plain proof that he had not only bought but read them. From the propriety and rectitude of his conduct, there was good reason to believe, that he also made the principles which those works contain the rules of his conduct. His attendance at the Sunday-School was regular, and his behaviour such as rendered him beloved by all. It must not be imagined, that he was dull, stupid; or melancholy. No; on the contrary, there was not a more lively and cheerful boy in the village, nor one who would more pleasautly join, at a proper time, and with good companions, in any innocent recreation. His habits of life were indeed peculiarly favourable to the production of cheerfulness. He rose early, was industrious, and diligently seized every. opportunity of improving his mind in all useful knowledge. When at church or chapel, his becoming portment rendered him conspicuous among his schoolfellows; and whenever the Liturgy was read, he gave proof of his attention to what was going on, hy seri. ously and modestly joining in the responses at the proper periods. This is a practice which all Sunday. School children, who attend places where that excelJent form of prayer and praise is statedly or occa



sionally used, should be careful to learn ; for they. will thus, not merely listen to the worship of others, but take their own individual part in that worship, which will render the whole service doubly interesting, and fix much important truth in their niemories.

Such is the character of John Gibson. I listened to it with delight; and thought how well it would be if all children would endeavour to imitate the good qualities by which this poor orphan Sunday-School boy is distinguished.

It was now four o'clock. The children had finished their reading-lessons. Another hymn was sung, after which a suitable prayer concluded the duties of the afternoon: the children were dismissed, and the Conductor and myself proceeded slowly towards the village.

C. C.

ANECDOTE OF A JEWISH GIRL. (From the last Report of the London Society for Promoting Christianity

aning the Jews, 1822.) The Moravian Minister at Gottenburg, MR. STARC, has established schools for boys and girls. Among the latter are three young Jewesses. With the consent of their parents, who live in the city, they read in, the school the New Testament, and receive christian instruction with the other children; with what effect may be inferred from the following fact. One of these Jewish children fell dangerously sick, and was brought home to her parents, to be nursed by her mother. The life of the child was for some time despaired of; but she recovered, and, after an absence of some weeks, returned to the school. There she was received by her fellow-pupils with expressions of the most cordial joy and love, especially by one, with whom she was more intimately connected. Her she called apart, and said, “ Now I will tell you how I have been restored. I recollected what we have read in ihe New Testament, of the many sick, whom Jesus restored to health with a word or a touch, and that he is still living, and hears prayers. Now, I thought,

« AnteriorContinuar »