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1. "By the Lake of Gennesareth." Gennesareth, a corruption of Chinnereth (see Josh. xiii. 27), which signifies "gladness," was the name given to the fertile track of land running along the north-west side of the lake. There are two other names of this lake in the gospels (John vi. 1), derived, one from the province in which it was situate, the other from its chief city. The Galilean Evangelists call it a sea, using the language of those who were brought up in its neighbourhood. Thus the river Nile is said to be called "the sea" by the modern Egyptians. St. Luke, who was more travelled, describes it more exactly. It is said to be about twelve miles long by five broad; not so large as some of the Scottish lakes. It contains fresh water.
5. "Toiled." It is hard work to row a boat with a draw-net dragging after it. "At Thy word." Simon Peter is not yet a disciple (see v. 11); but he has seen Christ before (John i. 42), and has learnt to honour Him.
6. "Their net brake." It matters not; this net will not be needed any more.
7. Beckoned." By signs, without making a noise. 'Partners," see v. 10.
9. Who would be so much amazed as fishermen by a miraculous draught of fishes? He converts them by a miracle connected with their calling. So the magi were led by a star. 10. "Catch men." As His apostle; the world his sea, mankind the fishes, the Church his net. See the parable, Matt. xiii. 47. This prophecy was fulfilled when 3000 men were taken by him at one draught (Acts ii.). They forsook all." For their reward, see Matt. xix. 27. James's Day.
See the collect for St.
Lesson 1. Christ's power over animate nature, Psalm viii. 8. The depths of ocean are in His sight, as well as the beasts of the forest, and all the fowls upon the mountains. In the power which guided the shoal into the net, we see the power which leads the birds of passage in their annual flight, and directs the periodical migrations of the fishes of the sea. Lesson 2. Can we learn from Simon Peter's words any thing of his character? Which is the best time for fishing, night or day? They had toiled all night, and had caught nothing but weeds. Were they likely to take any thing now? Simon Peter knows this well. He is tired. Why does he not say, it will be of no use? Because of Christ's word. He feels that there must be a reason, though he can see none, for Christ's command': "Nevertheless at Thy word I will." Can we always see the reason for what we are commanded to do? Did Abraham see the reason when bidden to leave his country (Heb. xi. 8); to offer up his son (Heb. xi. 17)? But he did not refuse, because he believed God. This, then, is faith. Simon Peter is well fitted to be a disciple.
Again, when the miracle is wrought, what does he do? what does he say? (v. 8.) What makes him think of his sins? He had not feared before; why should he fear now? From the miracle he had learnt more concerning Jesus Christ. The glory of God was seen in it. He felt that God was near him. When a light shines brightly, shadows look blacker. The dark places in his soul are now visible; compare Job xlii. 6, 7: "Now mine eye seeth Thee; wherefore," &c. Fallen man cannot endure the presence of the Holy One. This consciousness of sin made Adam hide himself (Gen. iii. 10); made Israel at Sinai desire a mediator (Exod. xx. 19); has made men fear even to receive a messenger from God, whether man (1 Kings xvii. 18) or angel (Dan. x. 8; Judges xiii. 22; Mark xvi. 8).
Who can take away those fears? He who said "Fear not;” He who takes away sins (John i. 29). H. W. T.
ADDITIONAL PRAYERS USED IN ST. THOMAS' SCHOOL, F. S., DURing the War
SIR,-Being anxious to introduce in our usual school-prayers some form of prayer with reference to the war in which we are now engaged, suited to the capacities of the children, I was induced to abridge and adapt that excellent form which has been issued by the Bishop of Salisbury. I venture to send you a copy, in case any of your readers might like to adopt it in their schools; and I might add, I have the express sanction of his lordship in doing so. The school-prayers in use in our school are those published by Mozley, forming No. 29 of the Tracts on Christian Doctrine and Practice, and were drawn up under the direction of the Bishop of Oxon.-I am, &c.
[O Lord God of Hosts,* by whose permission nation riseth against nation, purify us, we humbly pray
* Instead of the words between brackets, the following form is to be used on Wednesdays and Fridays:
That it may please Thee to purify us from all sin in our share of this present war, to bring it speedily, &c."
thee, from all sin in our share of the present war; bring it speedily], if it please Thee, to a right and lasting peace; and meanwhile,
For those who fight by land or sea, that Thou wouldest give them protection and true courage in danger, and mercy in victory: Hear us, good Lord.
For those who suffer the dying, the wounded, the sick, the mourners for the fallen, that Thou wouldest be with them for support and comfort: Hear us, good Lord.
For those who are gone forth to minister to the suffering, to their souls and bodies, that Thou wouldest grant them endurance and patient watching, with skill and gentleness, to the healing of pain and sorrow: Hear us, good Lord.
And if it may be, O our God, overrule, we beseech Thee, all these things to the blessed issue, beyond mere earthly peace, of the enlargement of the Redeemer's kingdom, and the re-union of Christendom in one faith and love. All this we ask, O Heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, Thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
SUBJECTS FOR DISCUSSION.
DEAR SIR,-In writing a second and concluding letter on subjects for discussion in the Monthly Paper, I desire, as before, to abstain from recommending my own plans; especially as I have confidence in the ability and willingness of your readers to suggest methods and compare well their several advantages without my aid.
Few persons will deny the importance of good reading; but I suppose there are few things more rare in our elementary schools than this accomplishment. If it is ever to be obtained, it seems to me that we must give special reading-lessons, just as we give special lessons on Geography, Arithmetic, or any other subject. These reading-lessons must be founded on the two great principles, imitation and repetition, and therefore must be something more than simply hearing children read round a class. Perhaps some one will describe in the Monthly Paper a good method of giving a reading-lesson to a first class, and also to a third class in an ordinary village-school. Any plan proposed must of course aim at the removal of the following defects: (1) what is called song or tone, (2) incorrect emphasis, (3) incorrect punctuation, (4) incorrect pronunciation.
If a premium were offered for the most effectual way of turning a form of words into nonsense, it is much to be feared that none could so justly claim it, as a class of children in an ordinary school when engaged in repeating the Catechism. There are upwards of twenty distortions of it current in nine of the counties in England with which I have any acquaintance, and I attribute them to the almost universal custom of allowing monitors or very young pupil-teachers to superintend the junior classes when repeating it. I shall allude to two or three of the most common of these distortions: "Our fathers chart in heaven,' ," "liver us from evil," "under Spontius Pilate, ""the communion of sins, repentance, whereby they forsake sin and faith, whereby" &c., "of an inward and spiritual grace, given unto us ordained, by Christ" &c. Another evil springing from the custom complained of above, is irreverence. Words treating of the most exalted mysteries and truths of our faith are repeated (under the superintendence of a child-monitor) with as much harshness and indifference, as if they were of no greater importance than the multiplication or pence-table. In a small school a teacher may hear the repetition of the Catechism in each class individually; but in a large school (one of five classes for example) some plan is necessary if monitors are not to assist in the duty. Perhaps some of your readers will kindly recommend one.
Some one has said that the poetry within us is the best part of our nature. be sorry to assert this as my own opinion, simply because it would reflect on many good men who, to all appearance, have no leaning towards the poetical; and, in short, it would not perhaps add any strength to my argument. I may, however, reckon upon the support of many thoughtful persons, when I say that the custom of reading poetry in our schools, and of giving it as a subject for home tasks to children, would tend to promote among them a greater delicacy and refinement of feeling than we at present witness. It would tell too upon their reading. Perhaps some of your readers would kindly state what advantages they have observed to spring from the practice of reading and committing poetry to memory. I consider it one of the proofs of the care and judgment with which the Depository for school-books and materials at the Sanctuary, Westminster, is conducted, that its catalogue embraces the names of three well-arranged poetical works, School Poetry, Class-Book of Poetry, and Songs for Schools. I have compared these very carefully with other compilations of a similar kind, and I have no hesitation in saying that they will be found as complete as any yet published.
Needlework and Household Work.
The comfort and happiness of home depend in a very great degree upon the tidy and methodical habits of the mother of the family. Many a man is induced to seek at an ale
house the comfort which he cannot find by his own fireside. Any remark therefore which engages public attention upon the question of rightly training those who are one day to become mothers of families, should receive consideration of the best kind. Respecting needlework, it seems to me that the common practice of teaching girls merely to make up clothing is fatally exclusive. Why should they not be taught to mend and patch clothes, and to darn stockings? I think I am right when I say that a poor man's wife ought to do thrice as much mending as making.
Perhaps some of your readers will discuss the question, as to what amount of time per week should be given in a school to darning and mending, and what rules as to cleanliness of clothes brought, and other matters, should apply to such kinds of work. Some of the readers of the Monthly Paper may perhaps be able to say whether it is possible to teach girls in ordinary schools household work. Some time since I visited a school, in which a very good plan was adopted for this purpose; and in this particular case I believe it was successful. Certain ladies, who were accustomed to visit the school, very kindly took a girl each (from the eldest in the first class), and placed her with the housemaid, or some other of the servants in the family, for one day in the week, or one day in two weeks, to learn by experience how household or other work should be done. This plan seems admirably adapted to the training up of future servants and mothers in clean and methodical habits. Perhaps your readers will kindly state whether any plan of the kind here described has been adopted in other places with success.
The practice of giving children work to be done at home, either in the way of working arithmetical questions, easy examples in mensuration, or committing to memory, is much more common than it was two years since. I am disposed to believe that a very admirable letter, written by Mr. Richards, on the system of home work adopted in the central schools in Westminster, cannot have failed to draw some attention to its importance. The excellent series of small books published by the National Society has also done much to encourage the plan; but it must nevertheless be confessed that the question does not at present receive all the attention it deserves. The old system of teaching left pupils without any illustration and explanation on the part of the teachers, while the more recent one trusts entirely to these, and leaves nothing to be done by the pupils themselves beyond giving a passive attention to what the teacher is saying. In other words, the book was formerly the instructor; but now the teacher becomes both instructor and book. This is a drawback; for to each a place should be assigned. The pupil should commit to memory and study works containing the outlines of certain subjects, and it should be the teacher's place to fill up these outlines by oral illustration and explanation. I give a list of the books on the catalogue of the National Society which have been found useful as task-books for children in many of the schools which I have visited; and perhaps your readers will frame a table, to show which of these should be studied during the evenings in every week; in other words, how they should be apportioned to the time spent by the pupils in home work.
I trust that the subjects of this letter may receive that attention to which they are entitled. They are certainly very practical, and seem in danger of being overlooked just now. I am, &c. JOHN FLINT, Organising Master. Books for Home Tasks.
Examples in Arithmetic, 2 parts (Rev. W. Griffin); Colonies of Great Britain, 3 parts; Palestine, Songs for Schools. Examples in Mensuration (Rev. W. Griffin); Abstract of Hunter's Manual of English Grammar; ditto of Derivation, Geography of Europe, ditto of the World, ditto of England and Wales, Short Spelling Course for Lower Classes in Schools.
Yorkshire, December 1854. SIR,-Presuming on your usual kindness of inserting the communications of your correspondents, permit me to say, that at the present time, when so much is being done for the orphans and widows of our brave soldiers in the East, by almost every class of the community, could not the children of our day and sabbath schools do something towards increasing the Patriotic Fund?
From late returns, I think we shall find there is about 2,407,409 scholars in our public schools. If these children, through the influence of their teachers, could be prevailed upon to subscribe but one halfpenny each, we should by this means be able to place at the disposal of the above noble scheme the sum of 50157. Es. 8d. The separate sums, as collected by the various teachers, could be transmitted by them at the cost of a few pence, by Post-office orders, to the offices of the Royal Commissioners, (for the present) at 16A Great George Street, corner of Parliament Street, Westminster; and to be by them placed to the general account, as the contributions of our National and Sunday-school children.-1 am, &c. W. H. B.
THE CHURCH OF ENGLAND SCHOOLMASTERS' AND SCHOOLMISTRESSES' MUTUAL ASSURANCE SOCIETY.
25 Bridge Street, Westminster, 19th December, 1854.
DEAR SIR,-As the promoters and friends of the Church of England Schoolmasters' and Schoolmistresses' Mutual Assurance Society may be glad to know that the directors have recently caused a very minute and rigid investigation into the Society's affairs, by having a valuation of the liabilities and assets to the end of the past year, prepared by their eminent consulting actuary, Mr. Ansell, and as the result of the investigation is most satisfactory and promising, may I venture to ask you to lay before your readers the following correspondence with reference thereto, viz.:
25 Bridge Street, Westminster, 14th December, 1854.
DEAR SIR,-I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the valuation of the liabilities and assets of the Church of England Schoolmasters' &c. Mutual Assurance Society, made up to the 29th of April last, with the accompanying Report, which I laid before the directors at a full meeting of the Board held yesterday, the Rev. John Gylby Lonsdale, one of the trustees of the Society, in the chair, when the same having been fully considered, it was
Resolved unanimously, that a letter be written to Charles Ansell, Esq., expressive of the satisfaction of the Board at the valuation and the report thereon, the result of which they consider to be well calculated to increase confidence among the friends of the Society, and to encourage further exertions on its behalf. It was also
Resolved unanimously, that the best thanks of the Board be given to Charles Ansell, Esq., for the great care he has taken in preparing the valuation, and for his opinion thereupon, and also for the valuable counsel and advice which he has upon all occasions readily given as the consulting actuary of the Society.
I take this opportunity to express my warmest acknowledgments for the courteous way you have received me upon every occasion when I have consulted you upon the business of the Society.—I have, &c. S. J. I. HIND, Secretary.
To Charles Ansell, Esq., F.R.S., &c.
Actuary to the Atlas Company, and her Majesty's Customs, &c.
Cheapside, 18th December, 1854. DEAR SIR, I am much obliged by your communication of the 14th instant. Pray be so good as to tender to the Directors my respectful thanks for the very kind expression in my favour, recorded in the Minute of which you have sent me the substance.-I have, &c. CHARLES ANSELL. Samuel J. I. Hind, Esq., Secretary.
Permit me to add, for the information of the assured members and others, that the Society continues steadily to increase, and that a larger amount of business was transacted at the last meeting of the Board than upon any former occasion.—I am, &c. SAMUEL J. I. HIND, Secretary.
CORRESPONDENTS' ANSWERS TO INQUIRIES.
CONDUCT OF PUPIL-TEACHERS.
SIR, I beg to answer" D. K.," in part of his inquiry, by relating a case which occurred within the last three months.
A pupil-teacher A has been apprenticed in T school, and continued to give satisfaction till his first year was legally ended (not completed of course till after his examination by her Majesty's Inspector); but the period commonly called the "school year" was completed, and the visit of her Majesty's Inspector daily expected. About a fortnight after the end of the school year, this unfortunate boy A induced a little boy in his class to commit a petty theft upon his parents, which, being discovered by the little boy's mother, she came to the master in a violent passion, just a minute or so before the afternoon opening of the school, dragging her own boy through the crowd of children assembled at the door, thereby giving the greatest publicity to the case. The master directly suspended A from his class, and acquainted the clergyman with the case; who, as soon as convenient, called a meeting of the managers, who together investigated the case, and found A guilty; and with the approbation of the Privy Council, brought A before the magistrates, and cancelled his indentures. He forfeited his 107., and the master his gratuity for teaching him; though I cannot see myself how the master could foresee or guard against A's sin, and yet he is made to suffer a loss of 34.
I think it would be well that teachers should see to this, and secure either parents or managers to indemnify them in case the pupil-teacher becomes a moral defaulter. If a pupil-teacher fails in his examination, I think it just that the master should forfeit his gratuity; but a moral depravity breaking out in the pupil-teacher's first year (if the master, as in the above case, is a stranger to the pupil and his family), is a matter over which he can have no control. THE SUFFERER.
R. T." recommends Prayers for the Use of Schools, drawn up under the direction of the Bishop of Oxford. There is a Litany for Wednesdays and Fridays, and also a Form of Prayers for Sundays, price 1d., or 7s. per 100.
"T." recommends "Z." to use the Short Spelling Course on the National Society's List.
"W. J. A. B." is recommended, as a suitable work on Church History adapted to general purposes, the Book of Church History, published by J. Masters, London, price 1s. 6d. It is an abridgment of Palmer's larger work, forming the fifth volume of the Englishman's Library.
SIR,I have to express my gratitude for your admission of my question as to the prevention of inward draughts of cold air from ventilators fixed in the ceiling of a school, also to thank your correspondent "W. P." for his valuable suggestions as to the proper remedy. Unhappily none of them meet my case, as it is impossible, without the greatest discomfort, and even danger to the children, to admit any thing like a counteracting current of air from below. The only remedy that I can at all
conceive is the connection of each ventilator (there are two), by a tube, either with the smoke-flue of an open fire-place, or with a flue sufficiently near to be influenced by the warmth.
May I ask your correspondent, or any other of your readers, if he or they can recommend this plan as efficient, or can inform me of any instance in which it has been found to succeed in drawing off the impure air of a school, without at the same time discharging occasionally currents of cold air upon the heads of the children; and if so, of what material and of what diameter the tubes should consist? Sincerely apologising for this further trespass upon your space, I am, &c. AN INQUIRER.
THE POPULAR HARMONISED BIBLE.
Newtown, Southampton. SIR,-Would your correspondent "J. T.," whose letter appeared in your July Number, be pleased to inform me, by post, if he would be kind enough, whether he has received the Popular Harmonised Bible, and what is his opinion of it, as I am anxious to obtain one.—I am, &c. T. MONDEY.
"J. R." inquires what books on Algebra an inspector would allow a master to choose from in order to teach an assistant master, as stated in the circular to inspectors, found in the Minutes for 1852-3, p. 22.
"Quæsitor" asks whether a literal translation of Hugo Grotius De Veritate Religionis Christianæ is to be had, and at what price.
Schoolmasters' and Schoolmistresses' Associations.
THE NORTHERN DISTRICT ASSOCIATION held their autumn meeting in St. Cuthbert's School, Blaydon, on Friday, November 24th. The morning was spent in examining the school, and in listening to two spirited lessons given by Mr. J. Moses, the schoolmaster. In the afternoon several interesting questions connected with general education were discussed; among others, "The advantages and disadvantages of mixed schools," and "The best means of keeping up a connection with old scholars." The benefits of a school library were acknowledged by all, and the importance of the Sunday-school as an instrument of moral and religious training was generally admitted. Various practical remarks also were made by the members on the best methods of drawing up and giving lessons to the children in school; and after giving notice of certain topics to be discussed next meeting, the members separated. This association was formed at a meeting of schoolmasters held in Durham, February 1853; and the Rev. J. G. Cromwell, Principal of the Training Institution, is president. It is expected that the spring meeting will be held in Durham.
NORTH STAFFORDSHIRE ASSOCIATION.-The annual meeting of this association was held at Stoke early in November last. The Bishop of the diocese presided on the occasion. It appeared from the Report read by Mr. Fletcher, the secretary, that "the essays delivered have been of a practical character, followed by discussions on school discipline, irregularity of attendance, late-comers, truant-players, corporal punishment, and kindred subjects. By these means the difficulties which each teacher has had to contend with have been set forth, and the experience and the advice given have produced the happiest results. With a view to a more regular attendance, and retaining the children longer at school, statistical information was collected, in consequence of the early age at which children were taken to work in the potting district, which shows that at the Church schools only about four per cent were above thirteen years, and twenty-eight per cent were under seven years of age when taken from school. The girls' school showed a similar result. Such a state of things needs only to be pointed out to enlist the sympathies of every true friend of the labouring classes. The prize system, established by Mr. Norris, has tended to diminish the evils just pointed out, and the association readily gave it their fullest confidence. * Great help would be afforded them if the Committee of Council on Education would from time to time send among them men competent to lecture on the various branches of science, on a somewhat similar plan to that adopted by the Society of Arts. Considerable benefit would also be afforded if the privilege of purchasing books at reduced prices were extended to the association; and if any clergyman or gentleman would occasionally favour the association with a lecture, such a favour would be duly appreciated."
The report concluded with expressions of thanks to parties who had promoted the interests of the association; and with an appeal to the schoolmasters who have hitherto stood aloof from the association, to join it and partake of its advantages.
After the reading of the report the meeting was addressed by the Bishop, Rev. J. P. Norris, her Majesty's Inspector, Rev. C. Hebert, Rev. G. F. Whidborne, Rev. J. S. Broad, and several of the masters present. The main point dwelt on in the speeches was the necessity of some measures being taken to remedy the great and crying evil of the removal of children from school at such an early age. At the conclusion of the meeting in the Board Room, a number of the clergy and schoolmasters adjourned to the Railway Hotel, where an excellent cold collation was provided by Mr. Sheriff. On the cloth being removed, the Rev. C. Hebert was called to the chair, and animated discussions on educational subjects, in which the Revs. R. Sandford, her Majesty's Assistant Inspector of Schools, F. Wade, Dr. Stocker, W. H. Duck, the chairman, and the schoolmasters present took part. The meeting was brought to a close about nine o'clock, when all separated expressing great satisfaction with the proceedings of the day.
As a sequel to the above, the members of the association were kindly invited to meet the Rev. C. Hebert, at the Rectory House, Burslem, on the following Tuesday evening, when, having partaken of tea and coffee, they proceeded to the inspection of mineral and geological specimens, the properties and peculiarities of which were explained by the reverend gentleman, assisted by Dr. Shaw, of Tunstall. These explanations afforded an intellectual treat to the masters present, who highly appreciated the kind feeling which dictated the invitation.
WEST NORFOLK ASSOCIATION.-At a meeting held at Wisbeach, December 9th, a deputation was appointed to the annual meeting of the Associated Body. Mr. Murrow read a paper on "The reigns of Richard I. and John." Mr. Örton read a valuable paper upon "The duties and office of the schoolmaster," which was well received, and followed by a lively discussion upon the propriety of separate services for children in lieu of attendance upon church. The annual meeting of this society will be held in Lynn January 20th, 1855.
VALE OF AYLESBURY ASSOCIATION.-The usual monthly meeting of this Association was held in the Aylesbury National School on Saturday, the 2d instant, and was well attended. Archdeacon Rickersteth presided. A paper was read by the Rev. J. N. Ouvry-North on "Discipline." This paper was very amusing, and at the same time highly instructive; and at its conclusion, in answer to a question, the lecturer said that he intended it to be understood that, in his opinion, perfect discipline might be accomplished without the aid of corporal punishment. This led to an animated conversation, in the course of which it was elicited that no teacher present had been able to maintain discipline