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OF THE RAGGED SCHOOL UNION.
dering vagabond and outcast? How was among men, to be humbled and to die it that vice held her revels in such a upon the accursed cross, that he might manner that there were parts of the me- redeem the world from sin, and ransom it tropolis which could not be visited a trophy to himself. because wickedness was so rampant ? It was because we did not act up to our The Rev. GEORGE SMITH, of Poplar, responsibilities and according to the pro- seconded the Resolution. He said : No fession we made, because we were Society appears to me to be more attracoccupied with our own matters that we tive, interesting, and important, than the would not make a sacrifice for others, and Ragged School Union. I am aware that would not give ourselves to the work of there are objects in the distance that apreclaiming the vicious and feeding the pear to have a very strong claim upon poor. What could be done to meet the us; and I am aware also, that the Chrisevil ? He would say, in a sphere where tian men who usually support one kind the labour was vast let the labourers be of benevolent institutions are the men who united and the labour be divided. If the are generally connected with the support city were divided into about three hundred of others. It is sometimes said, by way districts it might be reduced into manage- of reproach, “You go out to Africa, and able bounds; and in each district there endeavour to benefit coloured people should be a little band of faithful men there; you go to India and China, to determined to devote themselves to the give the Bible to its inhabitants; but you work of God. The cause would thus overlook the multitude of neglected, and progress further and wider, and we should downtrodden, and ignorant people in your see the happiest results flowing from it. own land.”
I apprehend that charge What, he would ask, did London cost its comes with a bad grace in the usual way; inhabitants for the vigilance of the police ? for, generally, the people who care noBetween three and four hundred thousand thing for Africa, and for India and China, a year; a vast amount of which would be are the men who care very little indeed saved by the expenditure which he had about the people at home. If the attenmentioned. If this were a thrifty age, tion of Christian philanthropists is diand men's minds were devoted upon rected exclusively to this or that kind of saving money, how foolish were they to operation, I would say, in the words of adopt that expensive course which catches Christ, “ These things ought ye to have the thief after his character is matured, done, and not to have left the others uninstead of adopting the preventive system,
done.” When I am asked to aid any and endeavouring, not to catch, but to philanthropic or Christian institution, I bring home; not to convict, but to con- can readily determine whether it is worth vince; not to transport, but to colonize. while attempting it, by two or three simple He knew it was not easy to find men criteria. I look at the object proposed, at ready to devote their time to such the means and the spirit by which that objects, their energies and talents being object is to be accomplished, and at the borne away in the current of ordinary results that have flowed from the enbusiness. But ought this so to be? deavours already made. Judged of by Should we not have Christian manliness, these marks, the Ragged School Union boldness, determination, and self-denial, has a claim upon the support of every to set about so important a work? To man who loves his country and his God. every one who was engaged in the tumult Its object is to make the wretched happy, of life, struggling for a name and a for- to lift up the downtrodden, to make tune, he would say, What is the end of all glad the sorrowful, to instruct the ignothis? Is a man to live that he might rant, and lead them, by the pathway of merely lay up by which to live, and then the cross, to a participation in the dig. to die? Far more noble, far more sym- nity of our common manhood, and of the pathising, far more practical and useful Divine nature itself. No object can be were the real demands upon him than more important and interesting than this. those which he had been describing. A We have heard that the field is large and man should halt in the busy course of life the labour considerable. I was glad to and
say, “Where is my own soul ? and find, however, that the schools do not where are those who are perishing for increase in the ratio that they did in want around me? Is there no help for bygone days; there is in that fact a proof them? What can be done to help them ?” that you are doing your work, and doing In humble imitation of Him who left a it effectually, and that the period will throne of glory, and laid by the splendours come when there will be comparatively of heaven that he might become a man little of such work to be done. I do not,
THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY
indeed, anticipate the time when we shall the magnet of mind and the wonder of not want policemen, or prisons, or the the universe. I should think it to be no power of the law; but I do believe that
disgrace to be pledged to this work. If by the multiplication of schools of this you had only established some dozen kind, you will diminish the number of schools, and educated a thousand or fifpenitentiaries, stipendiary magistrates, teen hundred children, that would have and policemen. While it is the duty of been worth all the money you have exthe church to take part in all that tends pended; but when we see that thousands to dignify and bless the population of the upon thousands have been redeemed from country, surely Ragged School children wretchedness and guilt, that is surely have the first claim upon our compassion. sufficient to encourage us to forget those Charles Lamb said long ago that the things that are behind, and to reach children of the poor were
forward to the things that are before. not brought up." They are clragged up My Lord, I have no sympathy with to what? To a state of squalid poverty. people who can only read novels and Men may talk as they like about the
spout poetry—who dwell in lofty and vanity of riches ; depend upon it, poverty sublime philosophy. All our philosophy, is a great evil ; squalid poverty is a thing all our knowledge and our poetry, must to be abhorred and to be shrunk from ; be consecrated upon the altar of Christian and it was the spirit of enlightened piety benevolence. It is the glory of our age which prompted the prayer of Agur, that all kinds of evil and error are grap“Give me neither poverty nor riches ; pled with, and that there are multitudes feed me with food convenient for me." of willing hearts and hands prepared to The means employed by this Society com- take part in any good or noble work. mend themselves to my judgment as The Crystal Palace was planned, probawisely adapted to accomplish its object. bly, by one mind; but it was built by a We have heard of the labourers in the multitude of workmen : and if we are to field ; and I am sure there is not a sound
rear our Crystal Palace, the foundations hearted Protestant who does not rejoice of which shall be precious stones, and the that the distinguished nobleman who gates pearls, the breadth of which shall occupies your chair—who has stood in
be equal to the length, and into which the forefront of that great and noble con- the nations of the earth shall bring their test now going on in this country-who, treasures, and “the nations of them that both in Parliament and in public meet- are saved shall walk in the light of it,”— ings, and in private interviews, is so there must be a multitude of Christian ready to take any position that is assigned hearts and hands engaged in this work, him—that, while he has been standing up and they are not to relax until the top in the high places of the land, vindicating stone is brought forth with shoutings of those great principles for which our fore- “Grace, grace unto it!" It is a matter fathers suffered, bled, and died, he is of congratulation that we live in these willing to turn aside from the compara- halcyon days. People tell me of the tively great and attractive work to which “good old times,” but I know of no times he is pledged, to care for the needy, the equal to those in which we live. 1751 poor, the wretched, and the outcast.
was a period when Wesley and Whitfield (Loud applause.) Will not works of this would have been hooted and stoned as kind, if undertaken in a humble and they stood up in the midst of a large prayerful spirit, meet finally with the ap- assembly to preach ; now, the Gospel they probation of the great Judge Eternal, who preached is preached both within and will say, "I was an hungred, and ye gave without the pale of the national estabme meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me Lishment. The commencement of the drink : naked, and ye clothed me: sick, eighteenth century had just redeemed this and in prison, and ye visited me: and, land from the contemplated invasion of inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of its liberties and Protestant rights, and all these unfortunate ragged children, now was connected with uncertainty and fear. gems in my mediatorial crown, to shine for Going further back, to the time of the ever, ye have done it unto me.” Your whole Stuarts, we have an era still more troubleproceedings have been imbued with the some and fearful. But you ask, “What Christian element. I look to the volun- do you say of the days of good Queen tary efforts of Christian people to educate Bess?” I would reply, What think you these downtrodden portions of society. of the better days of good Queen Victoria? There must be no bigotry, no sectarian- (Loud and continued applause.) One is ism; but the attraction of the cross must glad to have a cheer of loyalty for that be put forth-that wonderful event which right-hearted and virtuous woman,--an
OF THE RAGGED SCHOOL UNION.
example of all that is good and great. this vast metropolis, and lifting up its But let us, my Lord, be convinced that head to the very throne of grace, to draw we owe our dignity, our social comfort, supplies for the work it had in hand. He and intellectual vigour, to the influence of found that there was a defalcation in the the Bible. Let us, then, never rest till funds of the Society ; this could be easily we see the wish of good King George the repaired, if every one in the meeting Third fulfilled, “That every child in would resolve to become a collector for these dominions shall have a Bible, and be the Union, and to press its claims on all able to read the Bible." Let us never around him. One of the features of the doubt that the spirit of Christian truth institution which he so greatly admired, shall go forth, like the angel in the Apoca- was its freedom from any sectarian tenlypse, proclaiming, “Glory to God in the dency (Hear, hear.) Churchmen could highest ; on earth peace, and good will meet with Dissenters, with Presbyterians, towards men.
and with the Free Church of Scotland, “Freedom of spirit, on! O pause not in thy
and all evangelical bodies who tried to flight,
impart to others a knowledge of the cruTill every clime be won to worship in thy cified Saviour, The Ragged School sys
light, Till, where the valleys sink, and where the
tem worked greatly among infidels and mountains rise,
Papists. They desired to instruct infidels The beacon light of liberty shall kindle to in that Book which was able to make the skies!"
them wise unto salvation; and as to RoThe Rev. JOHN WHITE (minister of
man Catholics, they desired to give them Fitzroy Chapel) moved the second Reso
a Bible without a church, rather than lution :
leave them in a church without a Bible. “That there are in the Metropolis many It had been his pleasure to visit Ragged thousands of poor youths and children, Schools, and he could testify from obserwho, from the neglect, poverty, desertion, vation to the excellency of the means or loss of parents, are entirely destitute employed in them. He could speak esof the means of instruction, exposed to pecially of one Ragged School, in the all the evils of ignorance, and to all the West End of London, where he had allurements of vice; and that Free Schools often witnessed the beneficial results of for this class (especially Evening and In- the system. He might mention the case dustrial Schools) are therefore well de- of a little boy who attended this school, serving the hearty support of all true and learned to read the Bible. One day friends of the poor.”
he went home to his family, who lived in After congratulating the Society upon the a miserable garret. Before going to bed crowded meeting assembled to commemo- in the evening, he knelt down to say his rate its anniversary, he alluded to the prayers, when his father jumped out of position occupied by the noble chairman, bed, and, beating him unmercifully, comas president of the British and Foreign manded him to desist. Next morning, Bible Society, and of the Ragged School his mother brought him to school, and Union, which he considered to be a requested that her boy should not be blessed union of offices. He had heard taught“ such Methodist ways,” for she the Bible Society beautifully compared to did not wish him to be a Methodist the Sun, as the very centre of the civili- preacher. In the evening, the boy knelt zation and Christianization of the world; down again to say his prayers, and his and home and foreign missionary institu- father again punished him. The little tions had been still more beautifully com- fellow went to bed, and when he thought pared to the rainbow, each being distinct his father and mother were asleep, he in its constitution, and different in its prayed God to bless his father, to turn mode of proceeding, yet all forming one him from drunkenness, and bring him to beautiful bow of promise, that the time a knowledge of Jesus. The mother was was coming, when“ the kingdoms of this awake, and heard his prayer, which had world shall become the kingdoms of our such an effect upon her, that she herself God and of his Christ.” He (Mr. White) came to the school to learn to read the was lately taking shelter under a beauti- Bible ; and he prayed that God might ful, wide-spreading tree in Regent's Park ; bless his word to her soul. There was and he saw a bow in the clouds resting, another little boy in the school, a very apparently, on either end of the metro- mischievous little fellow, but who, notpolis, with its centre in the heavens withstanding, had learned a great deal of above. He was reminded by it of the the Scriptures. One day, he went home, Ragged School Union, embracing in its and took up an image of the Virgin arms of love and mercy the entire of Mary, which belonged to his mother,
THE SEVENTH ANNIVERSARY
who was a Roman Catholic. After look
tianity to the poor of this metropolis, ing at it several ways, and tossing, it then the priests of Rome would have to about not in the gentlest manner, his depart, because their craft would be gone ; mother asked him what he was doing ; or, better still—what a glorious alterna“ I'm thinking,” said he, “ that I should tive! they would have to teach their like to knock off the nose of it.” "Why, flock, as the nuns are teaching their chilwhat do you mean ?” asked the mother. dren,“ I'm thinking," rejoined the lad, “ that “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds." if I knocked the nose off, I'd make it so
There never was an instrumentality more ugly that you wouldn't pray to it any calculated, by the blessing of God, to immore.” “But,” said his mother, “ who
prove the poor of the metropolis than the should I have to pray to in the hour of Ragged School system. We had too long need, if not to the Virgin Mary ?" neglected the poor children about us, and tell you,” he replied ; - the Bible tells us
had only now awakened to a sense of our that if we look to Jesus, he will help us. duty. A few years ago, when the cholera I hear of Jesus in the school; do you was raging in this country, and was very look to him, and he will help you." A much strengthened by the miasma arising short time ago, he (Mr. White) visited a from the sewers, it was proposed that Ragged School in Ireland, where there
those sewers should be flushed with pure were many such established. He spoke water from the country, so that the to a little boy, who was a missionary, and miasma should be washed away. That asked him how he proceeded in his work. was what should be done with the de“ Oh,” said he, “ I takes my Bible and graded and debased portion of our popumy Testament, and I goes to our neigh- lation : they wanted to be flushed with bours, and tells them about the love of pure water from the river of life, clear as Jesus to fallen man." " But what do
crystal, which proceeds from the throne you do when they wont let you read ?" of God and of the Lamb; they wanted to “ Then I says to them, ' would you like be told of Jesus, of his love, of his mercy, me to sing you a song ?' and when they and long-suffering, of his cross and passay yes, I sing to them
sion, of his dying in their stead, the just "There is a fountain filled with blood, for the unjust; the Gospel should be Drawn from Emmanuel's veins.'”
preached to them, and they should be (Applause.) It was worth all their time trained to honest and industrious habits : and labour to find little children thus this it was the object of the Ragged School lisping out the name of Jesus Christ, and system to accomplish. An infidel had proclaiming it to others. (Hear, hear.) said that we were now in the twilight of He visited another Ragged School in the Christian day. He agreed with him, Cork, a town where once the children of that now was the twilight of the Gospel the lower classes might constantly be day, but not, as he had said, the twilight heard singing ribald songs, but were now of evening, the sun of Christianity being often heard singing :
about to set. No; a glorious day was “How sweet the name of Jesus sounds dawning; and by and bye, through the To a believer's ear;
instrumentality of Ragged Schools, City It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, And drives away his fear."
Missionaries, Scripture Readers, and the In this town there were nuns’ schools,
like, our population would be raised from their degradation and ignorance,
and attended by many children, numbers of
England would present an instance of an whom had been enticed away from them, island, and induced to attend the Protestant
" Great, glorious, and free, schools, by little children going through
gem of the ocean, first flower of the sea.' the streets singing their Sunday School JOSEPH PAYNE, Esq., who was received hymn :
with loud applause, said: You know it has “Here we suffer grief and pain,
been my principle to grub up old almaHere we meet to part again, In heaven we part no more.”
nacks, to see if I can find anything
peculiar to the day on which I have to So great was the effect produced by the
speak. This, I find, is the anniversary of singing of the little children, that the
the death of that great man Columbus, nuns were now teaching in their schools,
which happened exactly 345 years ago. in the hope of getting more children, and
On looking into his life, I found a few by this means of winning over their
lines, which I think you will agree with parents,
me are applicable to a great man of the “ How sweet the name of Jesus sounds."
present time :-“He was easy of access, Our duty was to teach Protestant Chris- affable to strangers, kind to his domestics,
OF THE RAGGED SCIOOL UNION.
and gay with his friends. He was fertile and when he went home, his neighbours in resources, circumspect in his actions, looked at him with astonishment; they and without ostentation. His courteous said, “ That looks like Tom Rogers, and manner and judicious eloquence made his yet it can't be, for he is so clean.” Pregravity agreeable. He was zealous for the sently, his mother looked at him, and public good, and above all for religion.” | finding his face so clean, she fancied her Now, can you not apply that language to face was dirty, and forthwith washed it. a great man of the present day? (Loud The father soon came home, and seeing applause.) The great man of former his wife and son clean, thought his face days explored regions that were vast, very dirty, and soon followed their exbright, beautiful, and fair ; the great man ample. Father, and mother, and son, all of the present day explores regions that being clean, the mother began to think are dark and dreary, where the sunshine the room looked dirty, and down she of heaven never penetrates. (Applause.) went upon her knees and scrubbed that Now I intend to ask a few questions for clean. There was a female lodger in the the benefit of my young friends, and to house who, seeing such a change in her answer them myself
. I wish to ask, neighbours, thought her face and her What the Union is? What the Union room looked very dirty, and she speedily does ? How it does it ? and, How we betook to the cleansing operation likewise. ought to help it? First. What is the And very soon the whole house was, as it Union ? It is a union of all stations, a were, transformed, and made tidy and union of all locations, a union of all rela- comfortable, simply by the cleansing of tions, and a union of all denominations. one Ragged School boy.
Mr. Payne (Laughter and cheers.) The next question then dwelt on his third point, and in anis, What the Union does ? Now, if I swer to the fourth question, “How are could have a splendid illumination here, we to help the Union P” replied, By careI should like to see in bold prominence ful consideration ; by prayerful combinathe letters R. S., to denote Ragged tion; by general recommendation ; by Schools; and by these letters I would special communication ; and by occasional also indicate what the Ragged School versification. By way of carrying out the Union does. It rescues sinners; it re- last-named method, he stated his intention lieves suffering;
it reforms society ; of retiring for a time from platform enit renounces
it reveals the gagements, which of late had nearly Saviour ; it rejects superstition ; it re- exhausted his strength, and read to the commends the Scriptures ; it refutes slan- meeting the following valedictory verses :der; it records successes; it renews its “ I bid farewell to annual meetings' gaze, strength; it reviews its state; it requires To crowded platforms, and to public praise, support; and it requests subscriptions. I oft have blown the trumpet to awake (Much laughter and cheers.) After
The slumbering city for the ragged's sake,
I now to abler hands that trumpet give, dwelling on one or two of the above
That they may sound to bid the ragged live; points, Mr. Payne continued : I appear Yet ere I pass it from my hold away, before you to-night, in a particular cos
One parting tune I'll for a moment play.
God save the Queen! exalted on her throne, tume. I have said so much of the lower
Whose honoured sway o'er all the world is known, parts of the dress, that I will now get God save the ragged child! untaught, unfed, up higher. Yesterday, I received a letter
Without a home or place to rest his head.
God save the teachers ! who, from day to day, from the superintendent of a Ragged Labour in love, and wear their strength away. School, in which she enclosed half-a- God save the Union ! may it long be seen dozen collars worked for me by some of
With active troops, and well-stored Magazine.
God save our leader! noble and renowned, the girls. Now, my Lord, you know that
Who ne'er will flinch, nor yield one foot of ground. there are certain days in connection with God save the Christian friends! both
and different orders called collar days, when,
old, as we find by the advertisements, the
Who give their pray’rs, their silver, and their gold.
God save the Ragged Schools ! and make them knights of the order are commanded to
grow, wear their collars.” I am happy to
Till ragged children we no more shall know.
And now I cease : and on your ears shall fall wear my collar on a Ragged School occa
My last, best, noblest note, God save us all !" sion (Cheers.) Now, this is a collar of
(Applause.) the Order of the Bath, for cleanliness is one of our great objects; and it is a col.
The Resolution passed unanimously. lar of the Order of the Golden Fleece,
The Rev. Dr. ARCHER moved the next for it is buttoned on to a shirt made at
Resolution :the Lamb and Flag Ragged School. “That this Meeting, being convinced of (Much laughter.) A boy once went to a the deep importance of Ragged Schools, Ragged School, and had his face washed; and of the Emigration Movement and