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addresses, the method of correcting the alarming social evil under consideration, is to find useful and attractive evening occupation for the persons here described. The method which, thus far, has been found most efficient for this purpose, is the opening of evening schools. It is proposed also, in connection with these schools, to institute reading rooms and libraries in the several suburban districts, where these apprentices chiefly reside. Such schools and reading-rooms with their accompaniments of popular lectures and books, their pleasant accommodations and social aspect, can hardly fail to exert a counteracting influence upon the present downward tendencies of society..
Experience proves." says Bishop Potter, in the pamphlet just referred to, "that a comfortable school-room, with instruction and supervision from intelligent, and conscientious persons, will, at once, draw large bodies of these lads and young men within their walls.Experience demonstrates, too, that when once admitted, they become attached to their teachers, interested in their studies, and respectful to the authority of the school.
Experience shows yet further, that this amelioration in manner and deportment extends from the school-room to the street, the workshop, and the home. Most gratifying facts have reached the Committee in illustration of this last remark, and they are precisely such facts as might have been anticipated. Awaken in the young feelings of kindness and gratitude-inspire a sense of self-respect and desire for knowledge and improvement-teach, experimentally, the pleasure and advantage of sustaining order and authority in a small community like the school, and we have then, a strong pledge for their good behavior at all times, and in all places."
Again, he remarks in regard to very many of both sexes, and of different ages, whose improvement cannot be provided for in Evening Public Schools :
They are either too much occupied or too much advanced in knowledge. They need however a comfortable and respectable retreat, where they can pass a quiet hour in reading good books, or in listening to instructive and entertaining lectures. Others, who are younger or less advanced in knowledge, would be willing-if opportunity were given-to enter upon studies higher than those pursued in the Public Grammar Schools. For these last, rooms might be provided, in which, under teachers employed by themselves, or by others acting in their behalf, they could prosecute such branches as might best comport with their interests or tastes. During one-half the year, also, Evening Schools are not likely to be kept; and it is much to be desired, that at such times there should be other places of resort, where the tastes and habits developed in the school room, can be charished rather than discouraged."
It would be premature, perhaps, from the limited experience as yet recorded, to draw any very general or absolute inference in regard to the final result of this agency. At the same time, the Committee feel authorized to say that, so far as they are apprised, nothing has yet occurred in the history of these efforts that may be considered of an untoward character; on the contrary, very many facts have come to their knowledge, of the most cheering sort. They believe the friends of education, generally, should be encouraged to go on, and give the plan a thorough and effectual trial. In the city of New York, where it has been tried more thoroughly than elsewhere, those conversant with the subject, speak in terms of the highest confidence as to its entire ultimate success.
APPENDIX No. III.
IGNORANCE AND VICE IN CITIES AND TOWNS. EXTRACT FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH ANNUAL REPORT OF THE AMERICAN SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION.
There never has been a time when the ills of society were more thoroughly searched out, or more glaringly exhibited than now. The institution of what are called the "Ragged Schools" of London, and of the Industrial Schools of Aberdeen, Glasgow, &c., has probably had some share in opening to the light of day the hitherto dark abodes of moral and social degradation in the more populous cities of Europe; and however false may have been the theories or visionary the schemes of some reformers, but for them, much that we now know of the condition of large masses of our suffering fellow-creatures would have remained unknown.
The want of the
When the Christian philanthropist attempts to analyze these ills, he soon detects the relation which each sustains to the other, and by which all may be traced to a common origin. In the application of his efforts, however, he must oftentimes select a point quite remote from the seat of the disease, at which to commence the remedial process. The ills which press most heavily on the mass of men, are those which affect chiefly their outward condition. comforts of life provoke many very bad passions; but the want of the food necessary to sustain life itself, goads the sufferer to desperation. To the privation of wholesome food at proper intervals,-of clothing suitable to the varying seasons,-of comfortable sleep,-of the decencies of domestic life,-of steady and honest employment,and of all intellectual and moral cultivation, may be ascribed most of the disease, the degradation, the suffering and the depraved habits and courses of those whose social condition excites so much sympathy in our day.
The first wants to be relieved are those which are first and most generally felt. The hungry must be supplied with food, the naked with clothes, and the destitute and forsaken with a home and friends. To do this without encouraging or confirming idle and vicious habits, but, on the contrary, inspiring self-respect and self-exertion, is one of the highest achievements of philanthropy. In the wise providence of God, the relief of these wants involves, to a great extent, the personal efforts of the more favored classes. Alms houses, hospitals and asylums have their place, and a very important one, in the array of means; but they supply none of the sympathy, and but an inconsiderable portion of the relief which suffering humanity demands.The endless variety of wants and woes, their wide diffusion, and their minute individuality, suggest the idea that the provisions of mercy and sympathy, of which the more favored of our race are made the stewards, were, by this means, to be drawn out in corresponding variety, diffusiveness aud individuality :-in other words, that every human being has something to contrive and to do for the good of some other human being.
It is evidently no part of God's providential arrangements on this subject that a common fund should be established, to which the wealthy shall contribute, and from which the poor shall draw their supplies; but each individual is constituted the Lord's almoner, and the nearer he comes to a personal knowledge of his beneficiary, and to a communion of thoughts and sympathies, the more effective is the charity, and the more permanent and happy its results to both parties. Perhaps, in the final vindication of the ways of God to man, it will appear that the darkest shades of human adversity were intended, in part, to set in a more distinct and vivid light the power and grace of human sympathy.
It is a remarkable feature of the ministry of the Founder of our religion, that the dispensation of truth was closely interwoven with the dispensation of mercy,-the promulgation of the gospel with the alleviation of suffering. Not only do "the poor have the gospel preached to them," but "the blind receive their sight, the lame walk and the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear and the dead are raised up.” Beauty is given for ashes, and the garments of praise for the spirit of herviness. We are told that Jesus went about all the cities and villages of the Jews, not only teaching in their synagogues and
preaching the gospel of the kingdom, but "healing every sickness and every disease among the people." When he gave his immediate disciples authority to preach the gospel, he connected with it a command to "heal the sick ;" and when those who had waited on his teaching were exhausted and hungry, he provided for their full supply by an exertion of miraculous power.
That these interpositions of his mercy were made the occasion of the display of his miraculous power, and so evidences of his claim to faith and obedience, does not take at all from the force of the inference, for he might have revealed the same divine power in a thousand forms unconnected with human suffering. A similar trait appears in the ministry of the apostles; and no one can read the annals of modern missionary labor without noting the increased facilities with which the gospel is introduced where it is preceded or accompanied by the relief of physical suffering. How far this happy union is preserved in modern arrangements for the promulgation of Christianity among ourselves is worthy of thoughtful consideration.
It is very obvious that in order to connect religious inculcation of any kind with ministrations to physical wants or griefs, we must find some avenue that will lead us to the family group, however little resemblance such a group may bear to the true idea of that relation. We must make our way to the place, obscure and revolting as it may be, where the instincts, if not the affections, of the parental and filial relation exist, and in which any permanent reform of the social state, as well as any efficient remedies for physical and social suffering, must take their rise. It is no mercy to a youth to limit the hours of labor in the workshop and factory, if the time so rescued from the grasping hand of an avaricious employer is to be spent in the filthy and sickening garret or cellar, or in the haunts of the idle and vicious, or in the resorts of topers and vagabonds. We must improve his home before we can have much heart to turn the child towards it. And what shall we do first towards this desirable end? A true economy will lead us, (1.) To apply the simplest and most effective remedy. (2.) To do it as early as practicable, and (3.) To apply it to the mischief that lies nearest to us. Without disparag ing other agencies that claim confidence in this behalf, we think the Sunday School has some peculiar claims to be regarded as the expo nent of such an economy.