we can well believe that it was a very unnecessary one.

Children have a natural aversion to be talked to in an infantine manner. Dr. Peirce found out that in preaching. We have a remarkable illustration of the same experience in the writings of Sir Walter Scott. The Tales of a Grandfather were composed primarily for the information of his grandson, and in the preface to that very pleasing History of Scotland, Sir Walter states that, “after commencing his task in a manner obvious to the most limited capacity, he was led to take a different view of the subject, by finding that a style considerably more elevated was more interesting to his juvenile reader. There is no harm,” he adds, “but on the contrary there is benefit, in presenting a child with ideas somewhat beyond his easy and immediate comprehension. The difficulties thus offered, if not too great or too frequent, stimulate curiosity, and encourage exertion.”

THE RELIGIOUS CONDITION OF GLASGOW. NOTWITHSTANDING the agencies which have been in operation in Glasgow for the last forty years, for the purpose of providing church accommodation, pastoral superintendence, and religious instruction to the poor and the working classes, it has been made painfully apparent, by statistical inquiries from time to time, that these efforts have scarcely been sufficient to overtake and remedy the consequences of former neglect, and have certainly fallen far short of anticipating the growing wants of each gueceeding year. The expansion of the city and the increase of the population have been so rapid, as to leave behind the efforts of the Church Building Society in the years previous to 1843, of the Free Church subsequent to that year, and of the zeal and liberality of the Established Church, the United Presbyterian Church, and other denominations. After a prolonged period of exertion, when the Christian people of the city were probably soothing themselves with the idea that matters were at length beginning to assume a more hopeful aspect, the Rev. Mr. Johnston startles them out of their complacency by proving that there are not fewer than 130,000 persons in Glasgow capable of attending religious ordinances, who are unconnected with any Church, either Protestant or Roman Catholic. This is a state of things which urgently claims the attention of all who feel an interest in the spiritual welfare of their fellow-citizens, and which demands united and persevering labours and sacrifices on the part of all evangelical denominations.

therefore, with great satisfaction that we observed, some months since, the formation of an Association for Pro

It was,

moting the Religious and Social Improvement of the City, consisting of office-bearers belonging to all the evangelical bodies.

The first object of the Association was to inquire into the condition of the missionary labours conducted throughout the city by the various churches; and the result is now before the public, in the form of a statistical report, which confirms, as the result of information obtained from official sources, the fact announced less than a year ago by Mr. Johnston, that the number who habitually absent themselves from religious ordinances is actually 130,000 of the Protestant population; or making a liberal deduction for young children, and for aged, infirm, and sickly persons, unable to attend church or mission meetings,

“ there are more than one hundred thousand men and women, come to years of maturity and understanding—being one-fifth of the population-who are deliberately and systematically living in neglect of public religious ordinances.”

One of the important conclusions of the report shews the necessity for a re-distribution of the mission agencies of our churches, so as to relieve some districts of a redundancy of labour by different agencies, and supply others where there is none. In order to this, the report recommends an abnegation of all sectarian jealousies and estrangements, and furnishes one truly refreshing example of Christian co-operation which we are delighted to quote :

"The possibility, however, of co-operation by contiguous congregations belonging to different denominations, is fortunately placed beyond doubt by the result of an experiment made in the North-Western district of the City. Thirteen or fourteen out of sixteen churches within the district-Established, Free, United Presbyterian, Reformed Presbyterian, and Congregational—have already joined the Association, which is called the North-West Evangelistic Association. They have arranged the district into sections (though the adjustment, we understand, is not yet perfected), and nearly all the congregations have organized, or are organizing, staffs of visitors to assist their paid agency, where paid agency exists, or to supply its place where it is wanting. All the ministers are warm in praise of the movement. One of them says the Association has been the means of a marked revival in his congregation, many members formerly apathetic having offered their services for the good work."

After all, however, there will still remain a vast amount of waste territory to be cultivated, requiring the personal efforts, not of ministers, office-bearers, and missionaries alone, but of the members of our churches of all classes, gentle and simple, young and old. It is no longer a question of stone and lime. There are some portions of the town possessing a superfluity of churches, and others with too few or none

at all. Let these latter be adequately provided, by all means, or let mission balls with their appropriate agencies do the work of the pioneers of churches. In any case, Christian visitation of the homes of the poor and neglected, Christian teaching, and Christian attention to the physical wants of the poor, must accompany the preaching of the minister or the missionary; aud if such evangelizing and humanizing influences are not supplied by the members of our congregations, the beneficent scheme of this admirable Association is doomed to inevitable collapse and failure.

The following paragraph bears encouraging testimony to the influence of Sabbath schools as a remedial agent; but how sad to think that when they have done their work upon the juvenile population, the permanent effect of that work should be neutralized for want of a higher educational training, such as would keep youths of fifteen years and upwards under wholesome and kindly restraint, till they can be transferred to the membership of the Church :

“To sum up, we think the foregoing facts will shew that although much Christian effort is being put forth to save the lapsed masses of our city, the apparent results are small, and not at all commensurate with the amount of that effort. We have seen that there are about 198,000 nominal Protestants outside of the Church proper ; and all our missions combined can only shew that some 25,000 of the adults of this population are under the care of the churches. The Sabbath school is more successful. In the above population there will be 48,000 between the ages of 5 and 17, and we find the Mission Sabbath school and Foundry Boys' Society accounting for 40,000 non-church-going children. If ail who are thus brought under the influence of the Sabbath school could be retained, it is evident that in the next generation there would be but little Religious Destitution. It is also, however, a well-ascertained fact, that the most of them, on leaving the school (which they usually do at the age of 15 to 17), relapse into the mire from which they had been drawn.

PRACTICAL HINTS TO TEACHERS.—Think about your next week's lesson. Pray over it. Let it undergo the process of incubation, and by the time you have brooded over it a week it will be warm in your own heart, and be presented warm, fresh, and glowing to your scholars' hearts. Gather illustrations. Jot down incidents in your note-book,-incidents occurring in the home circle, in the street, everywhere. Consider your childrentheir habits, characters, circumstances—that you may know what things will most impress them. Adapt your teaching; also, concentrate. Take out the one cardinal thought of the lesson and press it upon the mind and heart. Study the art of questioning. Do not take a question-book into the class. Close the lesson with your best and strongest thought. Keep the best to the last. In brief, Get the lesson, Impart the lesson, Impress the lesson.


THIRTY-FOURTH ANNUAL MEETING, We beg to call the attention of Sabbath school teachers and their friends in the city and neighbourhood to the Thirty-fourth Annual Meeting and Soiree of the Glasgow Sabbath School Union, which is to be held on Monday evening, 20th current, at 7 o'clock, in the City Hall. Tickets and programmes may be had from the Secretaries of Societies, or at the Religious Institution Rooms, 75 St. George's Place.


(To the Editor of the Sabbath School Magazine.”) DEAR SIR, -At a soiree in this city a few nights ago, a Christian gentleman, who spent part of last summer in Germany, and who has the best means of information, stated the following facts, which are, perhaps, worthy of a corner in your Magazine :—“Five years ago there were no Sabbath schools in Berlin. About that time, however, a young English lady paid a visit to the city, and expressing her surprise at this state of matters, prevailed on her friends there to commence the work. A Sabbath school was opened in the Prussian capital; and that school, under God's blessing, now exhibits a roll of 600 scholars. But this is the least interesting part of the statement; for this one school has proved the means of interesting many earnest Christian men and women in the new

The impulse has so spread that there are now no fewer than twenty such schools in Berlin." What intense satisfaction that young lady must now have in witnessing these fruits of her happy suggestion ! • A word spoken in due season, how good is it!'”—I am, Sir, yours sincerely, GLASGOW.

J. O.


TRUST YOUR SCHOLARS.- The school boys of Rugby used to say, "We must not tell a lie to Dr. Arnold; for he always believes us. This Christian gentleman, profound scholar, and successful teacher, conscious of his own virtuous impulses, did not doubt their existence in his fellowcreatures. He believed in a moral sense, and in the education of youth acted accordingly. His main purpose was to establish in the hearts of his pupils that faith in their own inherent capacity for virtue which he himself held. He, therefore, shewed his trust in them, that they might learn to trust in themselves. He cherished virtuous impulse by his sympathetic acknowledgment of its existence, and encouraged it to act by the confidence he shewed in its power of good. He thus elevated his boys to his own lofty sense of moral principle.

“ We must not tell a lie to Dr. Arnold,” they said; “for he always believes us." Their highminded master did not admit the possibility of his being told an untruth. Could they, therefore, be so mean-spirited as to tell one? Their sense of honour, responding in sympathy to that of their noble teacher, forbade it. With such an instructor as Dr. Arnold, it is not surprising to learn that many of the best of England's men at this day were his pupils.



The annual meeting of the Sabbath School Society for Ireland in connection with the Presbyterian Church, was held on Tuesday evening, February 7th, in Linenhall Street Church, Belfast. The Moderator of the General Assembly in the chair. There was a large attendance.

The Moderator said—This is a Presbyterian Sabbath school Society, but, whilst it bas that denominational designation, it has common sympathy with all who love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. There is nothing sectarian or narrow about it, but it desires to carry on its operations in a large catholic spirit—(hear, hear) —but, of course, through its works and operations, it does come in contact more generally with the Presbyterian children of Ireland—with those who are to be the Presbyterian merchants, and farmers, and ministers, and professors, and artisans, and labourers, and school-masters, and school-mistresses, and more than all, the fathers and mothers of the Church of the future; and because it sets before it a work like this, I say that it has a claim not only upon the spiritual sympathy, but upon the material support of all who love our Zion.

The annual report, which was read by the Rev. G. Shaw, contained the following :




915 Teachers (average attendance),

7,740 Scholars,

62,402 During the past year fifty-seven schools have been supplied with libraries. The volumes number in all 3,180, for which there was paid £116 3s. It will be remembered, however, that these libraries are furnished by the London Religious Tract Society at a reduced price.

Our third Sabbath school convention was held in Belfast, on 15th and 16th of last June. Mr. John Dickson, of Edinburgh, and Mr. James Bell, of the High School, Glasgow, kindly attended as deputies from Scotland, and added much to the interest of the convention. A hearty welcome was given to the brethren from the United States who appeared amongst us—the Rev. Mr. Knowles, of New York, and Mr. Pitlin, of Philadelphia. Two delightful days were spent in conference on the different questions suggested by the admirable papers read. peared to express themselves with excellent judgment, and in a spirit of brotherly love.

All ap


During the past year the income of the Society from all sources has been £1,722 5s. 4d., and the expenditure £1,496 14s. 2d., leaving a balance of £225 lls. 2d. Of this sum £164 19s. 1d. has been received in annual contributions.

Mr. W. Shaw, one of the speakers, said he had been for many years a resident of the United States, and there the children were taught not only to be the recipients of truth, but they were taught the high privilege they possessed in being the means of sending it to others, and conferring

« ForrigeFortsett »