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REPORT OF A RAGGED SCHOOL TEACHER'S CLASS.
to be a Christian ? Christ's righteousness needs no money to buy it with. No; the only excuse is that you are not willing to put away bad things, and you care only about living selfishly, without thinking about the great feast making ready for you in heaven.
(8.) This holiness I have spoken of is something done for us, but something besides is done in us. When a boy puts on a nice new dress, he does not like to have everything dirty below it, but he wishes to have everything clean ; and in our hearts the Holy Spirit, day after day, cleanses us from sin after we are clothed with Christ's righteousness. Jesus gives us admission into heaven, and his Holy Spirit makes us fit for heaven.
When people are going to that cold country, Newfoundland, they first get their passage money, and then some good warm clothes for an outfit.
We are given a free passage to heaven, but we should be very unhappy there if we came in with bad words on our tongues, and wicked thoughts in our hearts.
Here God's kindness comes to help us again, and he gives us holy thoughts proper for heaven, and changes all our hearts from bad to good.
Every week our outfit for heaven must be getting ready. Try and help each other to be more ready, and pray that God may take away some wickedness from you every day, and put holiness in its place.
Many children will meet in heaven who never saw each other before, and how very thankful they will be to God who brought them there.
It will be a dreadful thing if anybody here to-night is like the man who was put out of the feast because he had not a wedding garment. It will be that child's own fault, and it will be too late to be sorry for it.
Now is the time to feel how much you need Jesus, and to trust all you have to him, and to show how much you love him, and to make sure that his righteousness is given to you like a wedding garment. Temple. (To be continued.)
REPORT OF A RAGGED SCHOOL TEACHER'S CLASS. It is due to the writer and also our readers to state, that the following report was not written for publication, but with the view of supplying the Secretary with materials for preparing the Annual Report of the School with which he is connected. We give it a place here, believing that the general reader will find in it some instructive facts ; and the Ragged School teacher may observe a few practical suggestions, worthy at least of consideration :
I have attended the Ragged School every Sabbath evening since Whitsunday last. For the first several weeks I was generally placed by the superintendent to the class which I at present teach—or rather to the place I now occupy ; for the scholars which were assigned me were of that miscellaneous, transitory character, that I could never calculate upon meeting the same individuals two successive Sabbaths. Subsequently, finding that I was for several successive weeks directed by the superintendent to the same class-place, I assumed it, without any specific appointment, as my permanent position, and have since continued to occupy it. After a further lapse of several weeks, I began to find the same lads attending on successive Sabbaths with considerable regularity. Presuming that this might be secured in a yet greater degree by an avowed record of attendance, I, on the first Sabbath of the new year, took down the names of twelve lads as members of the class, their ages varying from eight to sixteen, averaging eleven. . Great anxiety was manifested by the class to have their names recorded ; and similar anxiety has been manifested by one or two others, who have since been added to the number: I have declined recording any name till he had been present two or three times, and conducted himself with some degree of propriety. On referring to this register, I find the attendance will bear comparing with the general attendance in ordinary Sunday Sch Six of the lads have only been absent twice, which occasions were the two Sabbath evenings following the treat.
The lads in my class do not belong to the lowest grade of Ragged School scholars. They are not homeless and friendless—the nightly occupants of the door-steps and railway arches. Several of them are decently clad, and wholly or partly employed on the week days, either at school or at work ; and all of them have friends and homes of some
REPORT OF A RAGGED SCHOOL TEACHER'S CLASS.
kind. Still, some of them are in very destitute and pitiable circumstances. “Teacher," said a boy one evening, “I could not come last Sunday, because I had to stop at home while mother washed my shirt, and I have got no other.” “But your mother should have washed it on Saturday.” “ Oli, she was out selling a bit of fish.” “Teacher," said a lad on another occasion, “I should not have been here to-night ; I should have stopped at home for grandmother to have washed my shirt, only she had got no soap.” He is about sixteen years of age, but somewhat small. His mother is dead, and his father had married again, and turned him out of doors, telling him he is old enough to get his own living. His grandmother lets him sleep in a room occupied by herself and one of the lad's uncles, and he gets a job of droving on Mondays and Fridays, for which he receives sixpence each day. On the mornings of the other days he goes round with a woman selling cat's meat, for which he gets five farthings per day. Occasionally he earns a few pence by going out with a butcher's truck. He is generally one of the best behaved in the class ; and I am of opinion that had he a fair chance he would make a honest worthy member of society.*
The principal characteristics prominently exhibited by the class are—a spirit of independence, impatience of restraint or control, a keen sense of their own supposed rights and liberties, a promptness and eagerness to resent real or imagined wrong, want of due respect to superiors, and irreverent feeling regarding the Word of God and prayer. Hence, the great difficulty of establishing order in the class ; especially when expulsion from it would be regarded almost with indifference, and attendance is almost considered as a favour granted. In the enforcement of necessary discipline, it is therefore not very strange to be saluted with, “I want to go
My mother wants me, and I must go.' “I wont come to your class again.” “Teacher, give me a halfpenny." “ Teacher, if
you will give me a halfpenny, I will be a good boy,” etc., etc. I should rather have said, was not very strange ; for, with a few exceptions, such remarks have become much less common, and there have occurred some marked indications of kindly attachment to their teacher. One little circumstance of the kind may be named :-On the first Sabbath evening in the new year, A. C. had an apple and orange, and almost before the teacher had taken his place in the class, he was saluted with, “Teacher, will you have a horange?" "No, thank you." Will you have a happle?" "Not just now, thank you.” A few minutes only had passed when he was again saluted with, “Teacher, will you have a happle ? ” Not just now, thank you; I will see by and bye.” This repulse, however, did not satisfy long, when it was again reiterated, “Teacher, will you have a horange?” Fearing that continued refusal might chill the gushing flow of kindness from the youthful heart, the teacher took the proffered gift, and the lad was contented. But I cannot forget the alteration in that lad's countenance and expression the very next Sabbath evening. “ Teacher," said he, “ I have had nothing to eat to-day.” “How is that?” “Oh, father got robbed last night.” “How did that happen ? " “Oh, he got drunk, and somebody took all his money out of his pocket while he was asleep, and so mother has got nothing to buy any victuals with.”
For a considerable number of weeks, I used books in the class; a few times Testaments, but more generally lesson books. I found, however, that some could read and some not; and sometimes a lad would stoutly affirm his inability to read, and would misname words, and, after a while, read as well as any other in the class! Indeed, the books were not unfrequently used more for diversion than for reading; and, at best, they appeared to consider that their business was more to read over a certain number of words than to understand their proper meaning. Not succeeding at all to my satisfaction with books, I resolved to try what I could do with the Scripture lesson boards hanging round the school. This change was received with much dissatisfaction by the class. There was a general cry for books; and they appeared to consider it very degrading to be taught from a board. This, of course, did not alter my resolution. I told them that any one was at full liberty to leave the class, and go to one where books were used, if they wished to do so—a liberty which they would no doubt have taken without my leave had they been so inclined. However, most of them remained.
After using these lesson boards-sereral weeks, notwithstanding repeated requests for books, and not with very much satisfaction to myself, owing partly to a want of con
April 14th.—The father now allows the grandmother something weekly towards the lad's maintenance.
ANOTHER BATCH OF EMIGRANTS' LETTERS.
nection in the lessons, I learned that there was in the school a set of “Mimpriss's Graduated Tablet Lessons,” and of these I gladly at once availed myself. The first time of using these lessons was the third Sunday in November, and it appeared to give some little satisfaction to the class. But for several weeks they evinced, not only much ignorance, but also great dulness of comprehension. They would learn and remember the names of particular persons and places, and yet almost immediately forget the associated idea of person or place respectively; hence it was quite common for them to assign the name of person to place, and of place to person. As an instance of this dullness, I may refer to the first tablet lesson—" The birth of John foretold.” I was endeavouring to elicit from them the name of the King of Judah. After putting several questions unsuccessfully, I asked—“What is the name of the Queen of England ?" and, to my surprise, not one could answer. The moment I pronounced “Victoria,” they of course expressed familiarity with the word. But it would seem that they never before associated with it the idea that it was simply the name of the Queen. I have continued to use these “Graduated Tablet Lessons,” and although, owing to various causes, we have not made so much progress as I could wish-one lesson sometimes occupying two, or perhaps three evenings—and though I have not yet succeeded in awakening the interest of the class to the extent I desire, yet I believe I have done so to some extent, and to a much greater degree than I did by either the books or boards. Indeed, there is now very rarely any request made for books. The use of the "Gospel Chart” has begun to be comprehended, and to interest.
With regard to visible spiritual fruit, I regret to say I cannot as yet perceive any. I therefore can only continue to sow in hope. It is most painful to perceive, not merely the absence of, but the careless indifference concerning individual piety, and the irreverence with which the Holy Scriptures and prayer are regarded. I entertain very grave doubts whether it is right to require, or even to allow, the audible repetition of the Lord's Prayer under such circumstances-whether by doing so we are not training the young mind to a “mock worship,” and forming a habit of the most pernicious kind, that is, the “drawing nigh to God with the lips, when the heart is far from Him?” I find, holding the hand before the eyes during prayer is painful, and impracticable in the class; and I would respectfully submit whether closing the eyes and clasping the hands would not be more practicable, and more desirable ? I experience considerable difficulty in inducing the class to take part in the singing, and more so to take a becoming part, by attending to time and tune-neither of which can we frequently distinguish amidst the confusion of discordant sounds which reach our end of the room.
I am of opinion that considerable improvement might be made in this particular, which would add to our pleasure and our credit.
I may just observe, there is generally a little contention who shall look over my little hymn-book, and who shall have the honour of taking up the tablet at the close of the lesson.
It behoves me, as a tyro Ragged School teacher, to speak with deference, even in expressing an opinion, especially if that opinion trespass beyond the precinct of my own class. I must, however, beg to be allowed to submit-whether the general adoption of “ Mimpriss's System of Graduated Simultaneous Instruction” would not insure the communication of a larger amount of Scriptural knowledge than the miscellaneous teaching at present practised in the school; and to say, that so far as my own limited experience and observation enable me to judge, I am decidedly of opinion that March, 1851.
ANOTHER BATCH OF EMIGRANTS' LETTERS. The following very characteristic letter was received from a boy who formerly attended the Union Mews Ragged School; no reader, we think, will question its authenticity. We trust that from early difficulties he may obtain a useful education for future prosperity :
"Dear father, mother, and brothers, I write these few lines, hoping to find you well as this leaves me at present. We arrived at the Port after 125 days' sail. I got a place at a farm-house, cattle-minding, 2s. 6d. per week; but I had to mind them of a
ANOTHER BATCH OF EMIGRANTS' LETTERS.
Sunday, and I did not like it; besides, it was such a lazy life, I did not like it, and so I left it, and they would not pay my wages, that was £3, so I had no money while I was out of place, so I got work at a brickmaker's, at 3s. 6d. per week, and am doing very well at present. I have a very good master and mistress at Mr. Marsh, Beverly township. I hope you will show this to Mr. Short. I suppose you thought I was not a-going to write, but at the farm they was such bad people, that I had not time, for I was up three hours before sunrise till sunset ; and when I brought them home I had to help milk them, for I had learned to milk them ; and when I had done that, I had to clean out stables, clean horses, and fetch in hay and give it them, and clean shoes, and when I had done that, it was twelve o'clock at night; and besides they was never satisfied, for the Irish are never satisfied; so I left them, and very glad I was to get out of it; but they wanted me back, but I would not go, so that ended that.
“Dear father, only think of being at sea, where the billows are dashing over the ship's sides, and the wind a blowing like the roarings of thousands of lions, and no land in view; and only fancy a hurricane coming in the middle of the night, and the wind a blowing a breaking our rigging, washing our fore and mainmasts over board, and our boats, our hen-coops, and ducks; and only fancy the hollowing of the captain and mates, and the noise of the sailors, and when we thought the ship would founder,--s0 we were all very glad when we came to Kangaroo Island, and got in sight of land, and got safe on terra firma.
“Dear father, I hope Mr. Short and Mr. McMurday is quite well, and all my school-mates. I hope aunts and uncles are all quite well, Mrs. Jenkins, Mr. and Mrs. Pirks, Mr. and Mrs. Summers, and all enquiring friends ; Ted Harbord, and Laryman, and all my old playmates ; I send my kind love to them all, hoping they are all quite well. So no more at present, and may God preserve you all and your long lost son, both now and evermore. “P.S.—I hope Charles and Henry is quite well; I suppose Charles is a fine man So no more at present from your long lost son,
“F. W." “The colony is very good, but very slack just now. Please to excuse my writing, for my poor hand do tremble. I will write more next time. Please to write as soon as possible. Please to direct to F. W., Hindmarsh Post-office, South Australia.”
We extract the following from a letter written by a youth who went to Australia from the Grotto Passage School, in 1848. No doubt the false rumours to which he refers originated through the opposition of many of the parents, so prevalent at the time he emigrated :
“I understand from C—'s letter, that it is reported at home that myself and C were out of work for two months when we arrived, and was kept by the other boys. I wish you to let me know in your next letter where that report sprung from, You may believe me it is quite false, for I got work the first day I came on shore, and C- with me. We were not a day out of work, much less two months. I hope you will not listen to such stories, for you know the people of the court must say something. * * *
“There are a great number here from Marylebone, nearly one hundred. They are all at work, and doing well ; some bricklaying, some plastering, some labouring, and some in service. The girls are all in service, except the married ones, and they have got enough to do at home. This is a fine country for living. There is as much meat thrown away here as would keep one-half of London, for it wont keep. Even the dogs turn up their nose at a steak or a chop if it is a little turned.”
This letter was written to his mother upon two sheets of paper, with an engraving at the corner of each ; the first with the motto “ Pray for us,” the second with a figure in a kneeling posture, described as “The pious labourer.”
The next epistle, though not from an emigrant, will be equally interesting to our readers, when they know that it is from a young soldier, now in the 91st Regiment, and formerly a ragged scholar in Liverpool. It was forwarded by a clergyman to the Earl of Shaftesbury, through whose kindness we are enabled to give it a place in our columns. We regard the case as a beautiful instance of the transforming effects of a religious education upon an abandoned and neglected youth :
ANOTHER BATCH OF EMIGRANTS' LETTERS.
“ Buffalo Mouth. “My dear Mother,-I take another opportunity of writing these few lines to you, hoping to find you in good health as this leaves me at present, thank God for it. My dear mother, the reason I wrote this letter to you is as I have wrote five letters to you since I have left England, the first I wrote on the 16th of last December, when I arrived at the Buffalo Mouth. I am quite anxious to hear from you, as some of my comrades has got answers to their letters that they wrote at the same time as I wrote to you ; the rest of the letters I wrote in the course of every month. I beg of you, my dear mother, to write to me and let me know how you are getting on, let not my former ingratitude towards you hinder you from writing to me. I have repented with a sincere heart, and I pray to the Almighty, day and night, to forgive me for my past sins and iniquities towards breaking his holy laws and my ingratitude towards my parents. Thanks be to his holy name I am doing better than I ever did in my life. I neither drink, swear, or tell lies; I live in hopes of dying a sincere Christian, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, who suffered for me and all sinners. My dear mother, I can tell you it is my constant study to avoid every company that drinks. I never leave my barracks of a night; when my work is done for the day I can find plenty to do- I can read my Bible, or I can learn to write or cast accounts. Never was I so happy as I am now, thank God for it; this five months, from the 9th of December to this present day, I have not drank one drop of any sort of drink, and may God keep me so. Dear mother, I enjoy perfect health ever since I left home ; the country I like very well, in fact I am as happy as I could wish to be. All I want now to make me the happiest man is to hear from you and send you some money, and I will not envy the richest_man in Liverpool, although I am in the centre of Caffreland, far away from old England. My dearest mother, I hope you are in perfect health and not fretting for me, for I am as well as I can be; I am happy and contented with my life, in fact I could not live out of the service ; if I was in England now and a civilian I would be a soldier to-morrow again. I could not do without the red coat, it is my pride, and I like it better and better every day ; in my way of thinking I think a soldier the most independent man in the world if he is a sober and a steady man.
"My dear mother, as soon as I get a letter from you, I will send you five pounds, and I will let you draw ten shillings of my pay every month while I am on station, and may the Almighty spare you long to draw it and me to give it; you may expect it with confidence; I would sooner lose my life than I would write one single lie to you, I have had too much of them; I hope God will forgive me. I am always thinking of you, day and night; you are never absent from my thoughts; when at night walking sentry, at the dead hour of the night, when everything is quiet, when a soldier is walking his lonely post and thinking of home far away and of past days, it is then that the home of his boyhood appears dear to him, and the unbidden tear comes to his eyes when he thinks of the unkindness he has showed to them parents that he should have been kind to, it is more than I can in reality describe. I will say one thing to you, my dear mother, if you know any one that was like me, tell them from one that knows what it is to be a disobedient son in my young days, to obey their parents, to shun the public-house and bad company, or they may live to curse the day they were born. Tell them from me it is a fine thing to do good. Prevention is better than cure. I have not much more to say, but to give you a description of the country called Caffreland, which I am living in now. The natives are called Caffres, and quite black; they go quite naked, except a blanket they wear round them ; the women the same. They live in creils and keep cattle; the women does all the work, such as cook, break the wood to light the fire, grind the corn. It is a curious sight to see them in their huts, which is about the size of a bushel basket, with a fire lit smoking all day long. I am quite used to it now and think nothing of it. It is a great place for thunder and lightning I ever saw. It is a fine climate and healthy, plenty of water and plenty of bush. It is a fine place for emigration for tradesmen and for servants ; young women could get places by the dozen, and good wages, and some of them good husbands with plenty of money. I now will conclude, my dear mother, as I have said as much as I can. I am well in health and spirits, quite happy, like soldiering very well, live in hopes of returning to see you, if God spares me, if not, his will be done-I hope we will meet in heaven. You may expect the money as soon as I hear from you. I now conclude, wishing you all the happiness you can enjoy in this world, and eternal happiness in the world to come, from your loying son until death,