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DEAR SIR,-I have long since expressed an opinion as to the evil consequences of Anniversary Meetings as they are too frequently conducted. It is astonishing how fond some teachers and parents are of seeing their little pets placed in a prominent position, so as to be gazed upon by a congregation, and of hearing them recite something in a sing-song or monotonous tone of voice, which is anything but interesting or satisfactory to those who are impressed with the idea that the Sunday school is a training place for heaven. I have heard it said by teachers, who had attended the anniversary of a certain school, and after hearing a lot of children recite pieces, "What a well conducted school that is; how it shames ours where we have not these annual recitations." Why, in the school alluded to, they are for several months previously to the Anniversary, puffing up the little mind, and exciting it, so that it may excel at this annual display of vanity. Now I have very often noticed that the rudest and boldest children are those that show off to the best advantage on these occasions. The modest and timid child feels unequal to the task; when the time arrives it trembles, and fails in the attempt, and is discouraged. The bold child-the one that ought to be taught to be more modest—is made still bolder. Thus the timid child, that should be encouraged and treated as a delicate and tender plant, is made more timid, and is discouraged at future attempts, and becomes less attached to the school. The bold child, who requires snubbing,
is made to be more disagreeable still, and has an injurious influence on others and on the school. And can it, in truth, be said, that these annual got-up displays are any criterion to judge of a wellconducted school? If I wanted to know and judge of a school, I would go when no preparations were being made for an anniversary, and then form my opinion. And besides, the annual exhibitions, the same as gifts, lower the school in its objects. Would it be consistent for an assembly of adult worshippers (who are also learners in the Divine life: for I suppose that is a part of the object of expounding the Scriptures, that the hearers may learn,) to have annual rewards for being the best in attendance, or the best people, or for learning the most of the Scriptures? No one would sanction these annual exhibitions amongst adults. If then the Sunday school is a professedly religious institution for training the young for heaven, how can it be justifiable to teach them in a manner, the tendency of which is not only to create and foster the pauper spirit, but to teach them that religion is a thing to be bought and sold? for undonbtedly, rewards and annual displays are calculated to give them that idea.
It would be well for all who feel in
terested in the young, that they should let the Sunday school stand or fall on its own merits, as a religious institution, and not degrade it by these annual got-up displays, or by giving rewards. I do not however wish to give the idea that I am opposed to properly conducted anniversaries, and social gatherings.
THE SUNDAY SCHOLARS OF MANCHES- royal parents, in October 1851, when TER AND SALFORD AND THE ROYAL 80,000 Sunday school teachers and scholars assembled, in Peel Park, to give
Ar a meeting of the superintend- them a hearty and loyal welcome, and ents and teachers of the various Sunday schools in Manchester and Salford, held in the Town Hall, King-street, the copy of the Bible, which has been purchased by the children's pence for presentation to the Prince of Wales, was submitted for inspection. The Mayor was in the chair. The Bible, which was enclosed in a glass case, is a very elegantly-bound copy of Baxter's edition. On the two clasps are the arms of the Prince of Wales and of the Princess Alexandra. On a scroll, beautifully indented on the gilt edges are inscribed the words: "My word is truth;" "Seek ye the Lord;" "Meditate on these things." Inside the Bible is the following inscription:-"To His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, on the occasion of his marriage with the Princess Alexandra of Denmark; from the Sunday scholars of Manchester and Salford. 10th March, 1863. The Lord bless thee, and keep thee: the Lord make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee; the Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thec peace.'-Numbers, vi. 24, 25, 26."
would fain believe that your Royal Highness, then present, participated in the interest which, we have every reason to know, was so deeply felt by our gracious Queen, and your late revered father, the illustrious Prince Consort. It is the grateful remembrance of this interesting event which emboldens us on this auspicious occasion to ask the acceptance, by your Royal Highness, of a copy of God's Holy Word, purchased with the pence of our Sunday-scholars, and to express an earnest hope, that when at some distant period your Royal Highness shall be exalted to rule over the destinies of this great nation, its precepts may guide all your actions, and its promises be a source of lasting consolation to yourself and your Royal Consort.-We remain with feelings of dutiful and loyal attachment."
Together with the Bible, the following address was presented :
The Bible was sent through Mr. Bazley, M.P. It is intended to take photographs of the Bible and the address, for distribution among the Sundayschool children.
GUILDHALL STREET SCHOOL,
"As the representatives of the teach- Ox Tuesday, February 24th, the aners and scholars of the Sunday schools of nual tea-meeting was held in the schoolManchester and Salford, we venture to rooms adjoining the Congregational address Your Royal Highness on your chapel. At five o'clock, upwards of approaching marriage with feelings of 130 sat down to an excellent tea; after affectionate congratulation, and earnestly which, a public meeting was held, prepray that both yourself and your future sided over by the Rev. H. Cresswell. Consort may be endued with God's Holy The secretary, Mr. Taylor, read the Spirit, enriched with his heavenly grace, annual report, which was, on the whole, and prospered with all happiness. We a very favorable one,-shewing an inhave a lively and grateful recollection crease of teachers and scholars during of the visit paid to this city by your the past year. During the evening,
addresses were delivered on the following subjects, viz.: By Mr. Taylor, on "The Sunday School a Garden;" Mr. Bryson, of Dover, (the late secretary,) on "Senior Classes;" Mr. W. T. Sidders, on "The Infant Class;" Mr. Warman, on Union;" Mr. Blair, on "System;" Mr. Joyce, on "The Sunday school a Nursery for the Church;" Mr. Bristow, the superintendent, on "The Influence of Sunday Schools:" Mr. Matthews, on Preparation;" and Mr. Sapwood, on "Prayer." It may be somewhat interesting to know, that two of the above speakers are under 18 years of age, and have each been connected with the school upwards of 13 years.
CHILDREN'S NATIONAL ANTHEM, Sung by the Children of the Bedminster Schools, on the Prince of Wales's Wedding day.
GOD bless the Prince of Wales!
He will be blest;
Long may his Royal Bride Live happy by his side; Nor e'er a cloud divide
Their peaceful rest.
God bless the Royal Dane ! A people's loud acclaim
Her welcome shows;
With heart and voice we pray,
May this auspicious day
Beam with yet holier ray,
As memory grows.
God bless our much-loved Queen!
May joy now intervene
And gild the scene;
Dark shadows pale away, Yield to the rising day, Love shall thy care repay,
Mother and Queen.
Raise now a joyous shout!
God save them all:
The Royal Circle bless,
God save them all.
J. F. NICHOLLS.
A MELODY SUNG BY THE CHILDREN OF QUEENBOROUGH, On the Wedding day of their Royal Highnesses the Prince of Wales and the Princess Alexandra, Tuesday, March 10th, 1863.
CHILDREN of Britain's Isle,
On whom Heaven deigns to smile,
A Prince and Princess too,
While Bride and Bridegroom stand,
We would rejoice!
Each tuneful voice!
God bless this youthful pair,
Be Thou their constant guide,
Till raised above!
Thou who at Cana's feast,
With them be found;
When judgment shall appear,
For evermore !
With those who Christ confess,
J. 8. FEATHERSTONE.
TONGUE END, LINCOLNSHIRE. THE hamlet of Tongue End is situated at the junction of two navigable rivers about four miles eastward from Bourn, and consequently is in the Fens of Lincolnshire. In the summer months, when the weather is dry, and the country not overcharged with water, it may be approached with comparative ease, but in the winter season it is all but isolated. The peculiarity of its position, the difficulty of access, and the sparsity of the population, are great hindrances to the
establishing, or carrying on of any re- | Pike, and W. Bishop, of Bourn, H. ligious efforts. But a Christian man Bell, Esq., of Grantham, Messrs. J. Longbottom, C. Roberts, W. Brett, &c. The scholars were not forgotten. Im
named Jackson, in the spring of 1853, established a Sunday school, and opened his house for preaching on the Lord's-mediately after the arrival of the barges day, which was supplied by local agency at the landing place, many of the voy
agers made their way to the school room, where an address was delivered to the scholars by Mr. Lord, from Matt. XVIII. 14; after which they were regaled with tea and cake, and then were joined by their teachers and friends in innocent play.
from the Free Methodist Church at Thurlby. These efforts were continued until he removed from the locality. From that time, until recently, there existed at Tongue End neither place of worship nor Sabbath instruction. This utter destitution of spiritual improve- The peculiar feature of the gathering ment suggested to Christian friends at was, that it was not confined to the rural Bourn, the desirability of establishing or labouring classes, but all grades mixed some means by which the Sabbath might freely and amicably together,-doctors, be revered, and the people brought under merchants, farmers, labourers,-and to the influence of the Gospel. Considera- crown all, a gang of navvies left their tion nerved to action; and at an aggre-work to join in the festivities. It was an gate meeting of the teachers and friends exemplification of the means by which of Sunday schools in the town, twenty- the mission is carried on. The preachers four of their number volunteered as are not of one body, the teachers are not teachers of a school to be at once estab-exclusively of one sect. Begun in union lished in the hamlet. On Lord's-day it has been carried on by united effort, morning, April 22nd, 1860, five volunteers inaugurated the work by receiving 70 children as scholars.
In connection with this school, and in the same hired room, divine service has been held in the afternoon during the winter, and both afternoon and evening in the summer months.
On Wednesday, July 9th, 1862, the Annual Festival of this Fen Mission
was held. Barges were kindly lent by a friend, which were freighted with about 400 persons, anxious to display their interest and sympathy with the work, or to enjoy the novelty of the day. Though the day was very unfavorable, and the assemblage was consequently much smaller than it would have been with fine weather, yet it is computed that 700 friends and visitors sat down to tea in a large marqué, provided for the business of the day. Tea despatched, a public meeting was held in the evening, presided over by R. Johnson, Esq., of Louth, who was supported by the Revs. Dr. Knowles, of Grantham, W. Lord, of Brigstock, J. B.
and is a proof that when one particular body cannot find the necessary appliances for furthering the spread of the Gospel, much may be done by a forgetfulness of minor differences, and a striving together for the faith.
FRIENDS' FIRST-DAY SCHOOL
Extracts from the Fifteenth Annual
THE numerical strength of the Firstday Schools of various descriptions conducted by Friends in England and Ireland, may be stated nearly as follows: 38 associated schools, in 31 places, with 609 teachers, and 6,732 scholars. 25 other schools, in 25 places, with 202 teachers, and 1,725 scholars. 5 private schools, &c., in 5 places, with 14 teachers and 128 scholars.
Total, 68 schools, in 61 places, with 825 teachers, and 8,585 scholars.
Comparing these figures with those presented last year, a large increase in the number of schools and scholars is
apparent, with an addition also to the scholars, and now number 160, a school number of teachers.
As the work grows and expands, the difficulty of reducing into a compact and systematic form the various complex details of its operations somewhat increases. The Committee will, however, endeavour to place before their friends as clear a summary of the history of the past year as may be practicable.
The importance of personal intercourse with friends in their various localities by means of deputations is strongly felt by the Committee. Something has been done in this way during the year, though not so much as they desired.
At Doncaster a school was opened on the 24th of 11th month last, with one scholar and two teachers, but the number has gradually increased. The scholars are adults. This school is held in the morning. On First-day evenings a meeting of children (for it has not been denominated a school) is conducted by two or three young friends at the women's Meeting-house. About a year and a half ago, Bible reading meetings were begun in the Meeting-house. A considerable number of children came to these meetings, whose company was rather disturbing to the other attenders, and the friends alluded to were induced to take charge of them. The time is occupied with a Bible-lesson, the recital of hymns, and instructive reading. The attendance at one time was about 120, but the number being inconveniently large it has since been restricted. It is remarkable that most of these children attend school elsewhere twice during the same day.
Some particulars of labours of a rather different description, or of a more private character, may here be added.
The young women employed in the cotton factories at Carlisle have obtained the Christian care of some Friends there. In addition to week-day evening classes which began four years ago, with two
on First-day afternoon is carried on for their benefit, with an attendance of about forty. The results of these schools have been of an exceedingly encouraging character. The teachers are not all members of our Society.
A Friend and her son in Essex have collected classes of boys, many of them employed on their own farm, on weekday and First-day evenings; and again we find the members of a Friends' family in London converting a large vacant room on their premises into a school room, and collecting in it a number of poor ignorant children from the neighbourhood on First-day afternoons; and in a large town we hear of a cottage meeting of a few elderly persons, conducted by a woman Friend. A small adult class has also been conducted by Friends at Charlbury.
A conference of Friends, from various places, having for its object the extension of the First-day School movement in Ireland, was held in Dublin in the 5th month last. Several Friends from England were present. The difficulties arising from the religious condition of the country were largely discussed: and whilst it appeared to many Friends doubtful whether much could be accomplished amongst the Roman Catholic population, it was acknowledged that there were in most places, poor Protestants, towards whom the Christian care of Friends might, in the first place, most advantageously be directed. The subject of adult teaching was prominently brought forward. In the course of two long and interesting sittings, minutes were adopted by the conference, strongly urging upon Friends in Ireland the earnest consideration of the whole subject.
It was mentioned in the last report that an application had been received from Friends at Melbourne for some assistance in the establishment of a Firstday School there. The Committee have accordingly sent a supply of books and other school requisites, the receipt of