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for all things.' In 1131 was ‘80 great a murrain of cattle as never was before in the memory of man over all England. That was in neat cattle and swine, so that in a town where there were ten or twelve ploughs going there was not one left; and the man that had 200 or 300 swine had not

Afterwards perished the hen fowls; then shortened the flesh meat and cheese. On the whole we may say that in these · feudal times' there was a famine about

every
four or five years.

As in all countries but partially civilized, the great majority of the people lived from hand to mouth, and this was one of the penalties they had to pay.”

Miss M.- And I suppose, from what I have somewhere seen, that they lived from hand to mouth in another sense." James W.-" O yes; I know what you mean.

Of such little comforts as forks, whether steel or silver, all classes of society were alike destitute. People ate with their fingers, or used spoons. In pictures of the period we may often see the cook represented as bringing his meat on the spit, and offering it in that way to each guest, who cuts off with his knife and removes with his fingers what he wants, and then suffers the cook to pass on. Earthen-ware plates and drinking-glasses were not at that time essentials. The King, indeed, feasted from silver, but the people ate and drank from wooden bowls and trenchers. In the year 1245 King Henry III. was possessed of one glass cup, which had been presented to him by a noble foreigner. Another article of luxury, the want of which must have occasioned a sad blank in the domestic felicity of those days—I refer to that fragrant Virginian weed, since then so happily introduced—”

Miss M. Fragrant ! James, do you call it ? Bah! I'm surprised at you. Happily!! You are ironical now, surely. The bane of our young men; the annoyance of all good wives; the-”

(Here, lest some good old General Baptist, calmly sending the curling smoke aloft as he reads this Magazine, should throw it down in a huff, offended at the stern philippic of the young lady, we think it better to close our report of the lecture and conversation for the present, intending to resume it when our interesting young friend shall have resumed her wonted quiet and amiable mood.)

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OUR SUNDAY SCHOOL FINANCES.

MY STAND point is Yorkshire, and the schools of which I write those belonging to our own body. While I am free to grant that they have been and still are well supported and very useful, I am far from thinking that their finances are in a satisfactory state. No institution can be properly worked without finances, and no institution can long maintain its ground unless its finances be judiciously appropriated. The income of our Sabbath Schools is ample. Twenty of them have an aggregate income of about £500 per year.

If this large amount of finance were judiciously spent, and the school made to receive its full value in moral and religious training, their efficiency would be unrivalled, and the fame of their success would extend beyond the boundaries of the shire. Believing, however, that the finances are not thus appropriated, and that the results that might be expected do not follow, I will endeavour to point out some of the forms of our present financial management, or rather mismanagement, and then venture a few suggestions in the way of remedy.

In looking over the financial statements given in a number of Anniversary Circulars, I find items of expenditure such as the following, very common: Children's treats, varying in cost from £3 to £7. Whitsuntide trips, costing from £5 to £10. Anniversary expenses, including Printing, Provision for Singers, Hymns, Circulars, &c., amounting to several pounds. Rent and Interest, in some cases to upwards of £20. In connexion with these large items I find precious small ones for School Books, Rewards, Libraries, and Educational apparatus generally. In one case less than £l was spent in Books, when the income was £30. In other cases, with an income of £30, not more than £5, £6, or £7, will be spent in Books and Educational apparatus. I could give details worse than these, but a word to the wise is sufficient.

After I have made this exposure I am free to grant that the parties concerned have had no ill intent in thus spending the money, but have been actuated by a commendable desire to gratify the children, and promote the interest of the schools for which they have acted. But the wisdom of such a course, and even the policy of it I entirely call in question. I look upon it as a glaring perversion of public money, and a pandering to the whims and caprices of the children totally unjustifiable, and one that is far too puerile and trifling for the present age long to approve of. I do not believe that our Sunday scholars need to be coaxed to the school by buns and coffee, and kept there by Whitsuntide trips, and bands of music. In Infant and Day schools these things may, perhaps, be admissible; but as agencies to help on the noble institution of Sabbath schools, and to assist in training up the juvenile population of our country in the practice of whatsoever things are lovely, virtuous, and of good report, I utterly discard and denounce them. With all my love of childhood, and approval of its boyish freaks and youthful sports, I do not believe that it has come to this, that these things need to be used even as a matter of policy. I therefore hasten to point out a more excellent way of spending the finances.

A large item in nearly all financial statements, is, Interest on School Debt, or Rent, in some cases £12, £15, or £20 per annum. Of course this is unavoidable so long as the debt remains. To remedy this evil I suggest, in the first

I place, that something be given every year from the annual collection, to the reduction of the school debt, say £5 or £10. In some cases more than this might be given and the school not suffer. In addition to this, as some of our school rooms are let for Day and Evening schools, I suggest that all the

I money thus received as rent ought, in all fairness, to be given to the debt, for the building and its fixtures rapidly deteriorate when used for Day schools, and justice demands that the money thus made should diminish the debt.

2. Instead of £5 or more being spent on a trip or a treat, I suggest that the amount be devoted to the improvement of the school library, The library ought to come in for a share of the collection every year. In some cases our libraries are little better than without; for years scarcely a volume has been added, and the few that are there have been run through many times. We are well able, however, to have in our school libraries the best of all the new works that are suitable, and we shall have them as soon as we see to the better spending of the finances, and then our libraries will be what they ought to be, a centre of attraction, and will be flocked to by teachers, scholars, and congregation.

3. I suggest, in the third place, that some portion of our school funds

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may properly be spent in giving Reward Books to the children. This is to some extent a practice, but it is capable of great improvement and enlargement. The giving of books, as prizes, is a principle adopted in many firstrate Day and Boarding schools, and even at our public Universities, and under wise and judicious management it is fraught with immense good. It arouses the energies of the children, and assists in forming habits of punctual attendance and good behaviour, and such a prize will be a firstrate character to a young man or woman seeking a situation in after life. Books of considerable value ought to be given where the funds will allow, to those in our select and Bible classes, as well as periodicals, Band of Hope, and other works of trifling cost to the little ones. A few pounds spent in rewards, if well managed, will be a thousand times better than a railway trip.

4. In connexion with some of our schools we have week-night instruction, in Writing, Accounts, &c., costing us several pounds a year. This is well so far as it goes, but would be much better were it made to include instruction in singing. What could be more delightful than to see our senior scholars trained and thus able to take part in the “service of song” on the Lord's-day? In connexion with this I also beg to suggest the desirableness of an occasional lecture on Biblical subjects. The Working Man's Educational Union, in London, have rendered us great service in publishing & large number of Diagrams, for the illustration of lectures on Biblical subjects. We shall be behind our time, if, as schools, we do not avail ourselves of them. The writer is also glad to learn that our own Missionary Society is publishing a set of Diagrams illustrative of Mission scenes and labours. These also we ought to have, as one means of interesting our scholars in the Orissa Mission.

6. I beg to suggest, in the fifth place, that in order to secure efficient course of instruction on the Sabbath, some portion of the finances ought to be spent in originating and sustaining a Teachers' Preparation Class. The following, or any better plan might work such a class. Let all the Teachers, if possible, unite in it, and the school fund provide a room, with a large map of the world, the five maps of the Sunday School Union, a large table, Concordance, Dictionary, and large reference Bible. Let the different members (if practicable) have distinct subjects allotted to them beforehand, and be prepared to study and then to teach Scripture Geography, Topography, Ancient and Jewish History, Biography, Chronology, Genealogy, Evidences of the Truth of Christianity, The Fulfilment of Prophecy, as well as Pronunciation, Etymology, &c., &c. If the pastor can take the superintendance of such a class

all the better, but if not that is no reason why it should not be formed. The Sunday School Union, in London, some years ago formed such a class, and reported in the Teacher's Magazine that the division of labour succeeded admirably. The Sunday School Union notes, &c., would not, of course, be overlooked by such a class.

I need not point to results that will follow the adoption of these suggestions. If adopted they will bear their own fruit, and fruit in quantity and quality just in proportion to the energy with which they may be carried out. Let none say the suggestions are Utopian. That is always the cry of

indolence and unbelief. Where there is a will there is a way. This old . adage is believed by

A YORKSHIRE MINISTER.

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INTERIOR OF CHINA.

The intelligent special correspondent of the Times now in China, while awaiting the dilatory march of military and political events which were expected to follow the movements of the powerful armaments sent to that country, and to result from the anticipated negotiations by Lord Elgin, employed his leisure in gathering by diligent and well directed inquiries, at sources which have been rarely reached by travellers, a mass of valuable information of the actual condition of that vast empire.

The following extract, affording an important addition to our geographical knowledge of that country, will bear a perusal.

“At present, however, you are only upon the outer fringe of the great Chinese Empire. You might have made more of your sphere of action than

you have made, but you are not trading with China. All our ports, except Shanghai, are separated from the inland waters of China by a chain of mountains. A continuation of the Himalayas, at a much lower altitude, tracks the whole coast line of China at some distance from the sea, and passes out at the Archipelago of Chusan.

Inside those mountains lies the bulk of the Empire of China—outside lie our trading ports.

The seaboard provinces extending southwards from Ningpo to Canton, are thus isolated from the interior, and from the great inland routes of traffic by this barrier of mountains.

Over these mountains goods transmitted from the interior to any of these ports must be carried. Even in passing from Ningpo to Hangchow there must be two trans-shipments of goods. Amoy and Foochow have the same position. Canton labours under the same disadvantage.

Every piece of merchandise bought down from or carried up to the interior must be carried for 20 miles over a chain of mountains, and carried on men's backs. But, then, Canton has been fostered by its monopoly of intercourse, a race of carrying coolies has grown into existence, and the difficulties are reduced to their minimum.

There is a way of getting behind these hills and into the central districts of the empire—a way wherein the merchant may travel without toil or danger; where no robbers can assail him at a vantage; where secret imposts cannot spoil his markets—a way which extends up to the furtherest limits of the empire, and whence convenient and innumerable ways branch forth, reaching to every hamlet of this great central region. The gate at which we must enter China is the mouth of the Yang-tse-Kiang. Give us entrance there, in our own ships, in our own steamers, and we can deposit our goods in every great city of the interior of China.

Let us start from Shanghai, and make an imaginary voyage up this river. With the exception of M. Huc, no European has ever yet sailed upon its higher waters, or has, indeed, been much above Nankin. M. Huc has added nothing to our knowledge for commercial purposes ; but I have obtained access to some reports of Chinese, who traverse the whole distance frequently with commercial objects, and I may be able to tell something more of this river than is yet known to Englishmen.

Having threaded our way through the shallows at the mouth, we are in the largest, the deepest, and the most abundant river in the world. We

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pass for 200 miles through the rich province of Kiangsu, passing towns and anchorages less well known to ships of war. We will not now linger at Chekiang, or even at Nankin, for these great cities are now nothing more than the seared and wasted strongholds of a piratical power. All that was beautiful in the southern capital of China—even the famous porcelain pagoda—has been wantonly destroyed. Shut in from the land by the Imperialist besiegers, the rebels maintain themselves by plundering the rich country up and down the banks of the river, and the Imperialists are scarcely less burdensome to the country behind their camp. Commerce has fled from these parts. All we can ask of these plunderers is to let us pass in peace.

Hitherto we have been in a tidal river. Henceforward, although we must still reckon its width by miles and its depth by tens of fathoms, our merchandise-laden steamer must be content to labour against an unchanging stream. We traverse the rich and thickly peopled province of Anhui, and in our voyage of 200 miles through that province we find, besides a constant succession of towns, two first-class cities, at which we may tarry a while to display our merchandise and lighten our cargo.

Now we reach the provinces of Hupeh and Honan, the former on the north, the latter on the south bank. This is the country of the finest teas. It is here that the Oopak teas are grown, which, by an unnatural route, are forced down to Canton, being borne on men's backs across the mountains instead of sent deftly down the stream of the great river whose banks produce them. Here are lakes, and broad streams running into them, and networks of canals connecting them. But, more than this, here, just at this spot, is the confluence of the Yang-tse with the great river Han, which is itself banked with large cities and heavy with commerce.

At this confluence we have a congregation of enormous cities—Wuchung on the one bank, and Hannan on the bank opposite, each with immense suburbs extending far away. The population of these two cities is differently estimated at 3,000,000, and 5,000,000 souls; but, what is of still greater importance, these two cities are undoubtedly the first great emporia of Chinese commerce. Here is a market which may set all Manchester spinning, all Leeds weaving, all Sheffield grinding, and all Nottingham throwing, if we only have on board samples of what these Celestials desiderate. It might be worth while, if they are shy of our new goods, to anchor a depot ship in the deep broad waters—for we are told there are five miles of river from shore to shore—and accustom them to the sight of luxuries and necessaries which they may have in exchange for their cheap and abundant first class teas. Surely it would be better thus to get rid of them than to send them down the Yuen river to the Tung-ting lake, than by the capital city of Changteh, up the Siang river to the Ching district, across the mountain on men's backs to Loh-chang, and then down the northern river to Fatshan and Canton, for such is their present route. What charges must accumu. late upon English goods that should try to come up the long devious route by which these teas descend !

We are only half-way yet along our voyage. The river leads us through the whole provinces of Hupeh ; and why should we not do a little business at the great cities of Kingchow and Tchang, the walls of which we must pass ? To this city of Tchang junks of 350 tons burden ascend in great numbers, and the water is still deep, though the bottom is rocky and dangerous.

A little higher up than Tchang we arrive at the town of Kwei. We are

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