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ministers, local preachers, leaders, Sabbath-school teachers, and friends in general, to secure a large increase of subscribers to the Magazine. This is necessary to cover expenses. We should have now a circulation of at least 4000 per month, and we are glad to find others suggesting this number as our standard. Well, let us all resolve that it shall be done.
The enlargement of the Magazine will involve the Editor in additional labour, but this he is quite willing to render for so good a cause. Besides, he has the promise of assistance from esteemed ministers and friends whose contributions will enrich our pages and augment the usefulness of our Magazine.
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OK THE INCREASED CIRCULATION OF OUR MAGAZINES.
Sir,—I was very much pleased on reading the letter from " A Teacher" in your magazine for November respecting the circulation of our two very excellent periodicals. I hope the matter will betaken up with that sincerity and energy it justly demands. It is indeed high time for the Connexion to bestir itself in this matter, for the magazines deserve to be much more extensively circulated than they are at present. They are good magazines: this is reason No. 1 why they should increase in circulation. The profits derived from them are devoted to good objectsthis is reason No. 2 why their circulation should increase. The Con nexion is well able to take a much larger number than it does at present; and this is reason, par excellence, why the circulation of our magazines ought at once to be very greatly increased.
The number proposed by "A Teacher" is, in my opinion, a very moderate one; and no one who looks at the statistics of our Connexion can have any doubt as to its ability to take even a larger number than what he proposes. The number of members in England alone is 10,535, and, supposing our large magazine to circulate 4000, it would even then be only one to every four members— indeed, not quite so much. Again, the number of Sabbath scholars in England is within a fraction of 44,000, and. supposing that half the number of these scholars were to take the small magazine, its circulation would at once be increased to 22,000 in round numbers.
But in addition to this, every Sabbath-school teacher ought to take the small magazine. This I consider to be their indispensable duty, and if it were done, the small magazine would attain a circidation of about 30,000. There can be very little doubt, then, as to the ability of the Connexion to take even a larger number of our magazines than what is proposed by "A Teacher ;*' and there can be as little doubt that what the Connexion is able to do in this matter it ought at once to accomplish, as a duty to itself and those institutions which the magazines ore designed to benefit. Why, if the proposed number should be reached, I believe the additional profits would enable us to support two borne missionaries—only think of that! An increased circulation of the magazines woidd stimulate to their greater excellence; this would be a certain result. The minds both of our scholars and members would be incalculably benefited; Connexional attachment would increase among us; our funds would be free from embarrassment; and as a Connexion, we should be doing our duty in this matter, and thus secure the divine blessing. Let us, then, Mr. Editor, agitate fot a proper and true Connexional circulation of our magazines. The way to attain it will soon be found, if our people are brought to see and feel their duty in this matter, for "where there's a will there's always a way." Hoping to see this at once realized, I remain. In.,
SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION, MANCHESTER, NORTH AND SOUTH CIRCUITS.
Twelve months ago aunionwasformed of the Sabbath-schools in these Circuits, an account of which appeared in the Magazine for December, 1851.
Ou Saturday evening, the 16th October last, the first annual meeting was held in Salem School-room, Strangeways, Manchester. The Rev. S. Hnlme had been advertised for chairman, but domestic affliction preventing his attendance, Mr. W. Jenkinson, the treasurer, was called upon to supply his place, which he did in a manner creditable to himself and to the Connexion.
A report of the year's proceedings was read by the secretary, from which it appears that there are eight schools in the two Circuits, containing 252 teachers and 1,949 scholars, producing an average attendance of 1,041. The sale of our "Juvenile Magazine" is 541 copies per month, which it is hoped will be considerably increased during the next year. There are 3,128 volumes for the use of teachers and scholars, each school having its own library. Juvenile missionary operations are also carried on very successfully in the schools; and if adding believers to the visible Church of Christ be the best test of successful effort amongst us, we have abundant cause to take courage and go on our way rejoicing.
Between 200 and 300 teachers and adult scholars were present at the meeting, when able and interesting speeches were made on the following subjects:—
Rev. J. Graham, The Sunday-school Union.—What is it ?—Its importance and its adaptation to the wants of our schools and Churches.
Rev. T. Cliftox. This meeting deem
ing it of vast importance that our missionary operations should be greatly extended, both at home and abroad, hereby pledges itself to exert its influence in properly organizing and well sustaining Juvenile Missionary Associations in our schools.
Mr. Marsland. Our Adult Classes: their object and the best mode of conducting them to secure the intellectual and spiritual improvement of our senior scholars.
Mr. T. E. Whittaker. Our School Libraries: their character, importance, and the duty of conductors, teachers and scholars in relation to them.
Mr. John Mack. Our " Juvenile InStructor." The importance of its more extensive circulation, and the means to secure it.
At the close of Mr. Mack's address, a few remarks were made by Mr. Sowerbutts, Mr. Derbyshire, Mr. T. Carter, Mr. C. Jackson, Mr. D. Holt, and the secretary.
The meeting was of a most interesting character, and the speeches well calculated to arouse all who heard them to still greater exertion in the glorious work of Sabbath-school instruction.
I entertain little doubt, sir, but you will think with our committee, that it is very desirable that similar Unions should be formed in all our Circuits, feeling persuaded as we do that they would tend to promote the general interests of the Circuits, and ultimately of the Connexion at large. Thos. Jones,
20, Grove-street, Manchester.
SUNDAY SCHOOL UNION, MANCHESTER CIRCUITS. Fiest Annual Repoet, Bead At Salrm Chapel School-room, Oct. 16th, 1852.
It has been observed, and with the force of truth, that the previous six centuries have a character peculiar to each of them. The thirteenth century may be termed the age of chivalry and romance; the fourteenth, that of trade and commerce; the fifteenth, of discovery—printing, and the passages to India and America; the sixteenth, the age of religion; the seventeenth, of science; and the eighteenth of war— cruel, horrid war! We cannot yet tell what the leading features, the characteristics of the present century may be; but looking at its mechanical aspect, the application and general direction of
the extraordinary power of steam, not only to human wants, but to human intercourse, something more seems implied than the lessening of manual labour, preparing us for a great increase of knowledge and civil improvement— a splendid development of the powers of nature, and the faculties of man. Even now, though only half of the nineteenth century has rolled away, perhaps we may venture to call it, THE AGE OF EDUCATION!!
With this talismanic word the Committee of the Union appear with their First Annual Report before their brethren, neighbours, and friends. But here, perhaps, it may be necessary briefly to state what we mean by education. Dr. Johnson defines it thus, "To bring up, to instruct youth, formation of manners in the young;'' and the judicious Hooker says, "Education and instruction are the means, the one by use, the other by precept, to make our natural faculty of reason both the better and sooner to judge rightly between truth and error, good and evil."
To raise this question in public estimation, to rouse families and Churches to a deep and an abiding sense of its importance, was this Educational Union formed. Its promoters united as one man, in the desire, prayer, and effort to promote the general interests of the Circuits, and ultimately of the Connexion at large, by an improvement of its schools, the spread of sound principles, the establishment of meetings for regular intercourse, and mutual improvement among the instructors, and in an especial manner to engage general attention to the Sabbath school system, as admirably adapted to this glorious object. Thousands of voluntary instructors are teaching, Sabbath after Sabbath, tens of thousands of children to read, to understand, to love and obey, the book of books; that, like Timothy, from childhood they may know the Holy Scriptures, as given by inspiration of God, and as profitable for instruction in righteousness. Can there be a more delightful sight than a large school filled with the young, classed according to their capacity, seated and standing alternately around the person of a faithful and diligent teacher, who, with devout and studious care, takes the Bible lesson, and with looks of kindness, and simple words, with gentleness not to be ruffled by perversity, with patience not to be exhausted by dulness, imparts saving truths, "line Hpon line, and precept upon precept," as their youthful minds can bear and comprehend? If angels, and the "spirits of the just made perfect," are observant of anything below, surely they often bend from their celestial thrones to look upon a scene like this, and as they witness impressions made on the minds of young immortals, which, through Christ, shall be the means of raising them to the skies, they gladly tune afresh their harps of gold, and make heaven's eternal arches ring with their anthems of praise to God and the Lamb.
If it were possible to show what our social state would be without the aid of Sabbath-schools, a mournful picture we arc persuaded would be presented to
view. Though originating with, and generally speaking sustained by the middle classes, this system has rapidly increased knowledge, given birth to infant and day schools, elicited and proved the capacity of infancy, explored the field of childish thought and expression, produced libraries for the nursery, multiplied in abundance the aids to development, improved our literature, and created a sound, healthy, and effective public opinion. Nor is even this all; it has moreover educated and prepared many ministers and missionaries, who have been pillars and ornaments of the Church; and to supply Sabbath-schools with Bibles, first arose that mighty agent for good, the British and Foreign Bible Society. Judging from the interest which her Majesty the Queen took on her visit to Manchester, twelve months ago, in the scene which was prepared for her in Peel Park, your committee believe that, could she be induced to visit Sabbath-schools, and attend the examination of the children, she would be delighted with their knowledge and understanding of the sacred volume, her maternal heart would throb with emotion as she listened to their artless replies; and, if left to her own judgment and feeling, she might turn to her beloved consort and say, in effect, "We will patronise these schools; they are the best means for carrying out my royal grandfather's wish, that 'every child in these dominions may be able to read the Bible.'"
How great would be the influence of such royal visits! What an encouragement to the friends and teachers, and what a stirring among the cold and halfhearted in this labour of love!
Though not surprised that this question is not mooted among the high and mighty of the earth, still deeply do your committee deplore that so much indifference to this interesting system prevails, not only in general society, but in our very Churches; and with anxious solicitude we ask, Do not the days in which we live present considerations eminently calculated to stimulate, and arouse Christians of every name to combined and strenuous effort, in imparting to the youthful mind those Scriptural truths which make wise to salvation? Would not this, under the divine blessing, be the best antidote to the poison which is pouring forth from the many earnest and active agents in the service of the father of lies and destroyer of souls!
"Men may deny the Bible,'' says a recent American writer, "and set their wisdom above the wisdom of that book; but light does not follow the rising of the sun more invariably than national prosperity and stability follow the nation that obeys the Bible; and darkness will follow the setting of the sun with no more certainty than discord and national ruin follow the nation which rejects the Bible."
And upon the opening of a recent commission in one of our assize towns, a learned Judge thus concluded his charge to the Grand Jury: "The diffusion of sound religious knowledge, in which there can be no excess, amongst the labouring classes, is the best security for their orderly behaviour, and the peace and safety of the empire."
Your Committee, whilst thankful to the Great Head of the Church that unity of heart and action has prevailed in their business and general meetings, now proceed to a statement of details immediately connected with their own local operations.
In the two Manchester Circuits there are eight schools, six only of which have already joined the Union ; the other two, Eccles and Altrincham, we did hope would ere this have seen it to be their duty, as well as privilege, to unite with us; but although they have not done so at present, they, in common with the schools in the Union, have been treated in every respect as though they formed a part of it; and we are willing to hope that the time is not far distant when they will freely cast in their lot among us. All the schools have been visited, and addressed quarterly, by our most experienced and active Sunday-school agents, who have encouraged the teachers and scholars by their presence and intercourse with them.
The first quarterly meeting was held on the 13th December, 1851, when a paper was read by the Rev. T. Cartwright on "The Influence of Sabbathschools in relation to the Present and Future Condition of the Church and the World." The second, on the 20th of Maroh, 1852, when Mr. E. W. Makinson, M.A., delivered an address on "Our Connexional Catechism." The attendance on both occasions was encouraging, and the services of considerable interest.
The annual service for children and teachers was held on Whit-Wednesday, June 2nd, in Peter-street Chapel. Though the weather was unfavourable, between 500 and 600 scholars assembled, and were addressed by the Eev. Mr. Clapham (Independent). The cheerful and well-sustained attention of the children proved the reverend gentleman's
appeal to he a successful one. He entered with his whole heart into the service, and expressed his pleasure and thanks for the privilege, as also his willingness to serve us on any future occasion.
By these means we have reason to believe that in many instances the weak have been strengthened, the discouraged animated, the indifferent moved, and the thoughtless aroused.
[Here follows a statistical account of the schools in the Manchester Union; but as this has already been given in the account of the meeting, we need not repeat it.]
These are the details of our first year. In closing their Report, your Committee, with deep anxiety for the continuance and spread of pure scriptural instruction, feel it their duty to press upon the attention of ministers, officers, leaders, and members of Churches, the great importance of Sabbath-school operations, and with united voice intreat their countenance in proceeding with this glorious work, and thereby promoting the interests of these nurseries of the Churches; we solicit their co-operation, and earnestly intreat them to identify these schools as part and parcel of the Christian Church.
With every sentiment of grateful esteem may we be permitted to turn to our revered ministers, and specially urge them to assist in rightly directing these institutions—institutions of endearing interest. The questions of senior classes, the appointment of officers and teachers, occasional meetings of former scholars, and systems of visitation to parents and districts, need the assistance of their experience, prudence, and judgment. We, therefore, solicit them to confer with the teachers in committee, and favour them with their countenance and support, so that provision may be made for perpetuating to the Churches future Samuels, Davids, and Isaiahs. The glimpse, the distant glimpse of such help, such union, is animating and strengthening to the Committee, and suggests as their conclusion the application of the cheering language of the poet— Come, bright improvement, on the car of
time, And rule the spacious world, from clime to
climo; These Bible schools shall every wild explore, Pass o'er the wares, and culture every
Thomas Jones. 20, Grove-street, Manchester, Wh October, 1852.
A PARENTS'TEA MEETING AT PENDLETON, MANCHESTER CIRCUIT.
Mb. Editor,—For some time we had been impressed with the conviction that the parents of our scholars did not cooperate with us so heartily as was desirable. We felt assured that if we could excite in their minds a more lively interest in our efforts, and prevail upon them to do all they could to second our endeavours, our operations would be carried on with much greater efficiency, and be productive of a larger measure of success. To bring about this desirable result we determined to hold "A Parents' Tea Meeting." We thought tli at if we could get them together at a meeting of this kind we should have an opportunity of expressing to them, in a kind and affectionate manner, the objects we had in view in the instruction of their children, and our desire that they should render us all the assistance in their power. We thought also that we should have an opportunity of inviting those who did not attend any place of worship to come to ours, and of impressing upon their minds the importance of the concerns of the soul, and the necessity of attending to their eternal interests. With these objects in view we commenced our preparations. One of the teachers of each class was furnished with a number of tickets at 4d. each, and two for self and
colleague at 6d. each, the conductors having a number put into their hands for sale to the elder scholars. The teachers entered heartily into the work, the home of each of their scholars was visited, and the parents invited to the tea-meeting. The result was, that on the evening of the tea-meeting, the school-room was thronged. A good tea was provided, to which ample justice was done. After tea, our esteemed minister, the Rev. T. Clifton, took the chair. The first resolution was moved by S. Naylor, and seconded by J. Jarvey, viz., "That in the opinion of this meeting it is highly desirable that the parents should cooperate with the teachers in the work of instructing the children placed under their care." The second resolution, which was as follows, was moved by T. Elkinton, and seconded by W. Diggle, ''That in view of the educational and religious aspects of the age, this meeting pledges itself to renewed and increased exertions to promote the intellectual and spiritual well-being of their charge." The addresses were listened to with deep attention, and, at the close of the meeting, all retired evidently gratified with the proceedings of the evening. We hope and devoutly pray that the meeting may be productive of much good.
October, 18.V2. T. E.
MEETING OF ADULT SCHOLARS.
"1 low can onr Sabbath-schools be made more beneficial to our Churches?" Ever since their establishment, this has been a desideratum. Now, it ocenrs to me, sir, that this may be supplied to a considerable extent were our schools to carry out several plans which are being adopted in various parts of the Connexion. Without naming them separately, we would refer to one which is working well in connexion with our Peter-street School, Manchester. They have in that school two large adult classes, and these classes form a society which frequently meets for mental and spiritual improvement—a kind of introductory society to the Church. In addition to their weekly meetings, they hold also an annual teameeting.
The second annual meeting was held on the 7th Nov., when a goodly company drank tea together. After tea, the meeting being opened as usual, in the absence of their chairman aud teacher, Mr. T, Jones, I was called upon to occupy that position. Mr. H. Wood, their secretary, read the report, which stated the amount of money raised by the weekly subscrip
tions and fines of the scholars, the amount expended in the purchase of books for the use of the elasses, and other outlays, after which the young people were addressed on suitable subjects by Messrs. Gee, T. E. Whit taker, Greaves, &c. This part of the meeting was closed at an early hour, when the room being cleared, the young people indulged themselves with a little physical recreation which must have been beneficial and necessary after their all-day confinement.
But best of all, sir, this society is producing a salutary influence npon our Church and congregation at Peter-street. Some of our youth have been brought to Jesus, who has justified and delivered them from the dominion of sin, and who are now giving evidence of the possession of a cheerful but sincere piety. I trust the Lord will preserve them by the power of his Spirit, and prepare them to take part in the future development of Christ's kingdom, which shall gladden the coming age. T. C.
PendUton, Nov., 1852.