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HOW SHALL THE PRISON BE MADE EMPTY ?
observer, that it was the love of money, and not poverty, that brought him to an ignominious death.
Not long ago, an advocate for Ragged Schools (but one who had not studied his Bible) represented poverty and ignorance to be the parents of crime, and therefore the knowledge of a trade and of letters to be the great promoters of virtue.
How can the truth on these points be discovered P Could we visit a prison and inquire in what manner the criminals had been brought up, would not facts settle the question ?
But though we ourselves cannot actually make these inquiries, we may hear the answer to them, from a man of wisdom and piety, the constant companion, as well as instructor, of prisoners.
Out of a thousand criminals, he found that eight hundred and forty-five had been at some sort of school; more than one-third had been to private schools; and more than one-fifth to national schools. They had not, indeed, made the best use of their advantages, as idleness had been a prevailing fault; yet more than four hundred could read well, and one hundred had attained the higher rules of arithmetic. But had these unhappy men received a strictly religious education? With a glow of satisfaction we answer, No, not such an education as the Bible prescribes. They had, perhaps, learned a catechism, or collects, or Scripture by heart, or read chapter after chapter in a formal manner; but the Word of God had not been impressed on their young and tender hearts by a father's affectionate voice, nor had they been taught to fold their little hands in prayer at a pious mother's knee. The exceptions to this statement were very few. These are the remarkable words of the chaplain :-"Of children trained at all aright the number is small indeed, which we have had the pain of seeing here in the character of the felon and the outcast. But in such melancholy cases, that is, where there seems to have been any pains bestowed, even by one parent at all competent to train up a child
in the nurture and admonition of the Lord,' there may be seen men not yet without hope ; for there exists a chord in such, even when apparently most callous, which can be touched. The last thing forgotten in all the recklessness of dissolute profligacy, is the prayer or hymn, taught by a mother's lips; and the most poignant sting of conscience in solitude and adversity, is that which the memory of filial disobedience inflicts.' Such is the testimony of this experienced minister. He adds :-“I am fully persuaded in my own mind, that it is not to the want of mere education we are to look as a general cause of crime, so much as to the want of a sound moral training and instruction, which, while it cultivates the intellectual faculties, points to the glory of God as the author and end of all."
As for mere education, (or instruction in arts and sciences, apart from religious principle and practice,) this is all the praise bestowed upon it by one who knows criminals :- It changes the character of crime, and removes certainly some temptations, but suggests others, and gives an increase of power for planning schemes of robbery, and subsequently of concealment and escape from justice.”
But, as already hinted, there is another reputed cause of crime besides ignorance,—it is poverty, occasioned by want of employment or the lowness of wages. What do facts testify on this subject ?
Fully one-half of the thousand criminals had more than the average wages of the labouring community; and scarcely any had not at some time of life as fair an opportunity of earning their bread as their fellows.
In looking over the list of delinquents, we find more than a third understood a trade, seventy were domestic servants, fifty were clerks or shopmen, and fifteen belonged to a much higher class. The thousand prisoners whose cases were examined were all in the flower of their age, and
few were burdened by families, as only a fourth part of them were married. It is not upon men in such circumstances that poverty naturally falls. What, then,
HOW SHALL THE PRISON BE MADE EMPTY ?
was their temptation to crime ? Not the difficulty of earning money, but the habits of spending. And on what? Not upon necessary food and clothing, but on unnecessary drink and dress, and sensual gratification. It was the love of concert-rooms, dancing-rooms, billiard-rooms, taverns, theatres, gambling. houses, etc.
The chaplain-the man of facts-traces crime “not so much to the want of occupation, or to natural poverty, as to the loss of employment by misconduct, and to a poverty produced by išleness, by living and dressing beyond their means, by gluttony, drunkenness, and profligacy.”
Is it not, therefore, evident that the remedies proposed to obviate poverty will not extirpate crime; the knowledge of a handicraft will not do it; nor emigration, nor free trade.
The facts elicited clearly point out the remedy, and are in perfect unison with the solemn voice of Sacred Scripture, “ Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” There is but one kind of training spoken of in Scripture; it is " the nurture and admonition of the Lord,” it is training to walk in the ways of heavenly wisdom, it is the inculcation of religious principle, by example as well as precept. Though Solomon spoke of trees, from the cedar-tree that is in Lebanon even unto the hyssop that springeth out of the wall, and of beasts, and of fowl, and of creeping things, and of fishes, it was not by the ample stores of natural history that he promised to deliver youths from evil; for though good in their proper place, they are not "life to those who find them, and health to all their flesh.” But these are the real life-preservers : By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches, honour, and life.”
Love of distinction, as well as the love of pleasure,-infidelity, as well as ignorance, swell the prison calendar. Humility preserves many of the ignorant from danger, and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Teachers can do something in training up little ones in this humility and fear. But does public exhibition and public praise encourage humility? Do reflections cast upon the parents and messages of reproof sent to them by their own children encourage it? And what is the fear of the Lord ? It is not merely a theory, though it is a fear proceeding from love to that God who gave his Son to die for our sins; it leads to practice, and David has taught us what it is, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me, and I will teach you the fear of the Lord.” “What man is he that desireth life and loveth many days, that he may see good ?”—he that would have a long life and a happy one, keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile: depart from evil
, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.” This counsel will save from the.gallows as well as from the bottomless pit; it will save from the hulks, the hand-cuffs, and the solitary cell.
And if parents can do more-far more-than teachers in saving the next generation from the calamities of this, shall adults be overlooked and children only regarded? Has not this been our error! It has been found easier to instruct children, and there has been less reproach attached to it, less controversy excited, less toil, less hardship, less insult to be endured.
But now the Christian Church has awakened, and has sent out her bands of Scripture Readers and District Visitors to arouse the mother to care for the immortal being sleeping in her lap.
And we long for the day when not only the parents at home shall be roused, but the parents, when they go abroad, may hear on the hill and the heath, in the streets and the lanes, the warning voice; and in many a house of God
many a servant of God” shall point to Him “who taketh away the sins of the world."-- Churchman's Monthly Penny Magazine.
HAVE RAGGED SCHOOLS REACHED THEIR ZENITH ? IMPORTANT question! How happy for the great metropolis of London-yea, for the United Kingdom at large, had Ragged Schools so far completed their work as to enable us to answer in the affirmative! The Ragged School system, a few years since, was a novel plan, approved by some, repudiated by others. The problem is now solved, and it is universally admitted to be admirably adapted to meet the necessities of those children of the poor who are found in a destitute and degraded condition. The children brought under the remedial influence of Ragged Schools were at first numbered by hundreds—now by thousands. Wherever schools have been established, the most beneficial results have followed. But these successes are not to be mistaken for complete victory—they are rather to be regarded as tokens of the Divine approval and blessing—the droppings of a fructifying shower, and the sample of an abundant harvest.
These remarks have been occasioned by an incorrect report of a speech of the Earl of Shaftesbury, delivered on the occasion of the Public Meeting in behalf of the Calmel Gray's Yard School, (see page 78,) in which his Lordship is represented as saying, " That the Ragged School movement was at the present time in circumstances of much dificulty, and he feared that these institutions had now reached their zenith.”
We have communicated with the Noble Lord on the subject, and have much pleasure in presenting our readers with the following reply :
March 22nd, 1852. SIR,—The few words that I spoke at the Meeting of the Calmel Gray's Yard Ragged School, have not been correctly stated ; and I regret to hear that, in consequence, my meaning has been misunderstood.
I did not say that “ Ragged Schools had now reached their zenith ;” I said that “the novelty of these Institutions having passed away, the public sympathy, which "requires perpetually something new, would begin to decline also.”
I urged it as an additional argument for exertion on the part of those who retained any zeal in the cause.
I am, Sir, your very obedient servan To the Editor of the Ragged School Magazine.
THE CHRISTIAN SOLDIER.
Preaches the risen Lord, who in the skies
B. H. H.
The Christian soldier urges on his way,
Plans and Progress.
EDINBURGH INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS. THE successes that have attended the operations of this institution are so abundant and gratifying, that we select the following extracts from the Report just published by the Committee. We hope the perusal of them will tend to stimulate our readers to increased exertions in the industrial department of Ragged Schools :
“The Committee have the satisfaction of being able to report the continued prosperity of the institution. In former Reports, the principles on which the school was founded were so fully stated and enforced, that on the present occasion the Committee think it unnecessary to enlarge upon that subject, but rather to give fuller details than has hitherto been done of the working of the schools. They may, however, state, in one sentence, that the institution was founded to rescue poor and unprotected children from idleness and temptation, on the principle of affording education and industrial training to destitute children of all religious denominations in common.
The public are already aware that the expense of the religious instruction of the children is not defrayed from the general fund for which subscriptions are solicited. This essential element of education is paid for by persons belonging to each creed, and administered by separate Committees, under the condition that the religious instruction shall be given daily, and in public.
“ The Committee will now proceed to details, which they believe will be found interesting. The revenue for the past year, from all sources, amounts to £869. 15s. 5d. The expenditure for the year has been £843. 6s. 5d. The revenue has equalled that of any former year; but the Committee venture to press the claims of their institution very strongly on public attention, as even a small increase of funds enables them greatly to enlarge their operations. 133 children now remain in the institution.
“ Two of the boys who went abroad were forwarded to Australia, as intermediate cabin passengers, through the benevolence of Mr. Buchanan of Moray Place. The captain of the vessel in which the boys sailed kindly promised to get situations for them on their arrival. Mr. Buchanan has instituted two annual prizes, of a free passage and outfit to such colony as the boys may select, which prizes are to be awarded for good behaviour and industry.
“The Committee look forward with great interest to the success of this experiment, and believe that Emigration may be made the means of removing one of their greatest difficulties,-namely, the proper disposal of the children when they leave the schools.
· Forty-nine children have been admitted during the past year (33 boys and 16 girls,) 24 of whom may be thus classified: without fathers 16, without mothers 5, both parents dead 1, both parents alive 2, total 24.
Eighteen boys and nine girls have gone to trades and service since 1st January, 1851, as follows : -To tailors 2, shoemakers 7, typefounders 3, turner 1, printer 1, coachbuilder 1, bookseller 1, message boys 2, as servants (girls) 9, total 27.
“The boys are earning wages from 38. to 6s. per week. From time to time inquiries are made, and the accounts received of them are generally that they are giving satisfaction, and so conducting themselves as to be a credit to the school.
“ The Committee are happily able to look back at the end of the fourth year of their labours with increasing satisfaction to the gratifying results of their system of industrial training. Their friends will probably remember, that the main peculiarity of the system pursued in this school, as distinguished from others, has been the training in skilled labour. It was only in converting
HULL RAGGED AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS.
ductive into a productive being, that the Managers could see a clear prospect of permanently rescuing their pupils from predatory and vagrant habits. It was seen from the first that such a system could not be carried out without much labour and anxious attention. It is easy to keep children in occupation, as it is termed-to let them pick oakum, sort wool, plait hair, and the likeall occupations which are little better than a training in pauperism. It was by no means so easy to train the young vagrants into carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, and bookbinders. Nor was it possible to achieve this object without considerable outlay, as the Committee had, besides the valuable assistance of their superintendent, Mr. Maxwell, to engage the services of men competent to train the pupils in the several operative departments.
“ It is with no little satisfaction, however, that the Committee draw attention to the practical economy with which they have conducted this system. The outlay in the operative department for the year has been £298. 58. 9d.; but of this £239. 188. 5d. has been repaid by the sale of commodities made on the premises, and £18. 48. is due for work delivered. Thus, for little more than £40, the Committee have been enabled to impart to these children nearly three hundred pounds' worth of instruction of the most valuable kind for all objects of temporal welfare, and valuable also from its removing many of the temptations to abandon the religious and moral duties in which they have been instructed. The Committee
might have conducted their operations perhaps still more economically had they not carefully avoided under-selling existing trades, or unduly competing with them in the market.
“Of the speedy practical influence of their system, they have the best assurance in the history of those pupils who have left them to take employment in trades.
“The girls are employed by turns in the kitchen, and perform all the necessary housework of the institution, such as washing and dressing, cleaning, etc., under the superintendence of the housekeeper; and it is arranged, by means of the washing done by the girls, that each child receives a change of linen every Saturday. The boys have a warm bath every Friday, and the girls every Saturday. The girls employed in the kitchen receive one hour's instruction in school each day from three to four o'clock.”
HULL RAGGED AND INDUSTRIAL SCHOOLS. The following paragraphs are extracted from the Report of the Committee, read at the last Annual Meeting. (See page 79.)
“The Committee have much pleasure in presenting their report for the year 1851, because the time which has now elapsed since the formation of the Hull Ragged and Industrial Schools has been sufficiently long to test their efficiency, and the results are, in the Committee's opinion, so highly gratifying as not only to warrant the continuance of those schools, but to justify an earnest appeal to the public to increase their usefulness and extend their influence.
“ These results will best be shown by the following statistical account of the educational and industrial progress of the children ; and although the details are somewhat minute, it is believed by the Committee they will be read with interest :
“The number of boys upon the books during the year 1851 was 90; and of girls 44— being an increase of 12 boys and 5 girls. Of the 90 boys, 33 have been taught reading, writing, and arithmetic ; 24 are learning to write, and 33 are learning to read. In the industrial department 7 have learnt the rudiments of tailoring, 2 a little shoemaking, 12 mat-making, and 3 book-binding. The more advanced boys are also employed in gardening, and in various kinds of domestic work connected with the school, bathroom, etc. The younger boys are employed in picking and spinning oakum for the mat-makers. Five of the boys have obtained situations during the year, and are doing well. 31 have left the school from various causes, and 54 remain.
“Of the 44 girls who have been upon the books during the same period, 16 can read, write, and work sums in arithmetic, from addition to compound multiplication ;