Page images
PDF
EPUB

While it is acknowledged that a taste for reading, if not perverted, is likely to be very beneficial, it must certainly be necessa ry that the instructors of the young should endeavour to excite and promote an attachment to this employment among their pupils. To this end, it is essential that ibey should connect pleasing associations with reading, and that books for young people should be very interesting; their path must be strewed with flowers-milk must be administered to babes, they cannot receive or digest 'strong meat.” Books in the narrative form are most suitable for children; they soon feel interested in a story or anecdote, and retain the moral instruction which is interwoven with the tale. The imagwations of the young require something new, and are powerfully excited by relations of adventures to distant countries, or voyages on the mighty ocean. The history of a British sailor, if well written, cannot fail of exciting the attention of British youth, and we rejoice that our author has favoured us with a nautical tale in verse, which, we trust, will not only please, but profit those who may read it.

Our limits will only allow us to sketch the carly part of the History of David Dreadnought; we shall, therefore, content ourselves with a few extracts from the first book, which will speak for themselves. The following is part of the picture of Dreadnought in his unconverted state:

Valiant was Dreadnought, and of pow'rful arm;
His soul, unconquer'd, never felt alarm.
Train’d up in danger's school, by practice taught,
Skilful he acted, and as bravely fought.
The foremost post, where ventur'd men of might,
To face grim death amid the hottest fight,
He ever claim'd.. thoughtless alike was be
Of present risk or future destiny ;
Still unregarded that eternal doom
Awaiting man beyond the silent tomb:
And though God's providence preservd his life,
And brought him harmless through war's dreadful strife ;
Though neier once by foemen's strength subdu'd
For life preserv'd he felt no gratitude:
Ne'er was his Saviour's all-protecting care
By him acknowledg’d, or in praise or prayer ;
Nor from his heart was free-will off'ring giv’n,

By love enkindled, to the God of Heav’ul.
It appears that Dreadnought's father was a pious man:--

Dreadnought was taught at home to read and write,
And kneel at worship every morn and night;
His valu'd father was a man of pray'r,
He train'd his David up with pious care;
Oft ran the big tear trickling down bis face,
When wrestling for him at the throne of grace:
But soon by evil company undone,
The sire's advice was slighted by the son.
His father died, and entered into rest;
Yet ere he died made one devout request;
Put up this last sbort pray’r in spirit mild :
“ Convert, O God, and bless my wand'ring child !

[graphic]

“ In mercy stop him in his mad career,
“ And draw the Sinner to his Saviour near !"
Heard was that praver—he slumber'd in his grave,
But God most merciful still liv'd to save.
God ne'er forgot the dying sain:'s request;

la his own time the wand'ring child he blest. Dreadnought's first attention to serious subjects was awakened by bearing a sermon froun " Pray without ceasing" years after this event, the precept still dwelling in his mind, excited unusual emotions. He searches for the bible which bis father gave him—this he finds bencath the lumber of his chest, and peruses with attention:

Dreadnought reads on--his Heav'n-taught mind expands ;
The more he reals, the more he understands :
Low on his stubborn knees, unus'd to bend,
He falls to supplicate the sinner's friend,
With broken heart devout, and streaming eyes,
“O save a guilty sinner Lord !” he cries.
Forthwith to Heav'n recording angels bear
The humble penitent's soul-breathing pray'r;
All Heav'n rejoices! holy seraphs praise
The God of mercy in exalted lays!
The sainted spirit of his father hears
How God hath answer'd all his pray’rs and tears;
And thus he sings, “ Praise, kindred saints, the Lord !
“ He hath my son from death to life restor'd:
“ With Jasting praise, let Heav'n's high roof resound;

“ My wand'ring child was lost, but now is found !"- P. 14. Dreadnought thus becomes an altered character, and in his future life, and diversified adventures, he shews that it is possible to be at once a sailor and a christian. We trust this little book will be very useful among sailors; and if any Sunday School children should engage in a sea-faring life, we hope their teachers will not fail to furnish them with the History of David Dreadnought. It will be a suitable present when they enter on the sea-service, or when they return from a voyage and revisit their Sunday Schools, and their endeared instructors.

As it respects the general readers of this work, among Sunday School children, we have to regret that the language, similies, and allusions, are often not sufficiently simple for the youthful poor. The work appears not to have been originally composed for children, and, therefore, many of the expressions are too elevated. We are aware that it is extremely difficult to compose puetry exactly adapted to youthful minds; but we still hope that in the next edition for Sunday Schools, a nearer approximation will be made to that simplicity, which is essential in children's books.

Upon the whole, we feel pleasure in recomending David Dreadnought, as a work suitable for the Sunday School Library; and we trust the excellent writer of this little work will experience the Divine blessing, and great success in this, as well as his other arduous exertions to promote the prosperity or extension of Sunday Schools.

MEETING of the Portsea SUNDAY SCHOOLS. ON Good-Friday, March the 24th, the Rev. John Griffin preached his Annual Sermon, at King-street Chapel, Portsea, to the Sunday School Children of Orange-street, and the different Schools in the neighbourhood of Portsmouth and Portsea. Nearly Two Thousand children were present on this interesting occasion, and but for the weather proving very unfavourable, a much greater number would have attended. 'The text was selected from 21st chap. Matthew, 15—16 verses.

It was observed, that the text intimates that when the children cried Hosanna, Christ manifested his kindness and condescenşion in listening to their praises, and reproving those who had expressed their anger: he appeared pleased by the worship of these children, and encouraged them to come to him those who are Christians, that is, like Jesus Christ, love to instruct children and see them attentive to the worship of God, we will, thereforepotice I. The reasons why good people wish children to be religious,

1. Because there are so many children not religious,
2. Because wicked children will be miserable.
3. Because they may die very soon.
4. Because if religious, they will, while children, be very

happy.."
5. Because by their good tempers and conduct they will

make so many happy, And lastly, Because they will be the means of making

others religious.
II. The proofs of children being religious.

1. When they believe what God says.
2. When they shew love to God.
3. When they are afraid of sin and doing evil,

And lastly, When they have done wrong to be sorry for it, III. The encouragements children have to be religious,

1. Because God and Christ delight in such.
2. Because so many promises are given them.
3. Because there are so many persons that were religious

in childhood, that are now honoured in manhood :
some are Ministers, Deacons, and useful active mem-

bers of Churches, And lastly; Because such that honour God-God will

honour, and bestow upon them his spirit and grace. After the Sermon, there was collected from the Teachers and the Congregation, upwards of £28, for the support of the three Schools, in connection with the Church at King-street.

To encourage the Spirit of Union, and brotherly love among the Teachers, immediately after the service, they met at the School Rooms, in Orange-street, where tea had been provided for near two hundred Teachers, and their friends. VOL. II.

Bb

After begging the Divine blessing in prayer, the following gentlemen addressed the Meeting in lively and animated strains of christian eloquence. We are sorry that our limits will not allow us to insert their speeches :

Mr. Mortimer, the Vice-President; Mr. John Orsmond, formerly one of the Orange-street teachers, but now a student at Gosport, preparatory to his voyage as Missionary to Otabeite; Mr. Guger, jun. formerly one of the Orange-street teachers, but now studying for the Ministry under the Rev. D. Bogue; Mr. Haslett, sen.; Mr. John Griffin, jun.; Mr. Render, from the Gosport Şeminary; Mr. Piercy; Mr. Cooper, formerly one of the Orangestreet teachers, now a student at Gosport; Mr. Porter, Mr, Green, and Mr. White.

· The Meeting was concluded by singing “Praise God from whom all blessings flow."

The uvanimity which prevailed, the fervent zeal displayed, and the sacred flame of piety which glowed in the hearts of those who gave the addresses, proved highly gratifying to the friends of the Institution. It appeared like a new epoch in the history of Orangestreet Suoday School, and we doubt not but its effects will be felt after many days.

J. C.

[ocr errors]

LETTER to the EDITOR. SIR, HAVING seen in one of the public papers an incorrect account of a most pleasing scene which I witnessed on the morning of Wbit-monday, May the 15th. I transmit you the following account, which if you think proper to give a place in your valuable publication, I doubt not, will please and gratify your numerous readers engaged in that most benevolent and delightful work-of instructing the Children of the Poor in Sunday Schools.

On entering St. James's Park by the parade, I was agreeably surprised to find it filled, not with men trained to arms, and marching to the sound of fife and drum, the usual occupants of that place, but with a large number of children, “ training up in the hurture and admonition of the Lord,” and marching, if not in equal order, with more cheerful hearts. These children, in number upwards of Two Thousand, belonging to six Sunday Schools, established and supported by the Wesleyan Methodists, in the western part of the metropolis, according to annual custom had assembled at their respective Schools, and walked in procession to the Park, where the whole of them met on the parade, at nine o'clock, and to the philanthropic mind presented a most gratifying scene, of so many children saved from ignorance and vice, and in structed in the relative duties of religious and civil life. From the Park they proceeded, in an extended line and orderly manner, to China Terrace Chapel, where a very appropriate address was

delivered to them by the Rev. Joseph Entwistle, on the conclusion of which, the lines “On the Origin of Sunday Schools," from the “Sunday School Repository," were repeated, in a very able manner, by one of the monitors; and, the hymn, called “Harvest Home,” being sung by the whole of the children, a little boy repeated very correctly, the parable of the “Wheat and the Tares,” with the explanation, from the 13th chapter of St. Matthews Gospel, which was the subject of the hymn. Refreshment of buns and water was then distributed to them by their teachers, and singing some verses, they returned to the Park in the order they went, about 2 o'clock, from whence dividing, they proceeded to their respective schools. The chapel, though large, would scarcely accommodate the number of children; a number of adult persons were in consequence prevented getting in. The appearance in the Park of Two Thousand children, all clean and orderly, was truly pleasing, but when assembled and seated in the Chapel, (the galleries of which are circular) where the eye could comniand the whole, and the ear was gratified in hearing praises ascribed to the Maker and Redeemer of mankind by so many infant voices, the effect was truly astonishing; it excited the most sublime sensations, and produced feelings which cannot be described in the inimitable words of Watt's, it may be said, “Twas like a little heaven below."

Several appropriate hymns, to very suitable tunes, were sung by the children in the course of the service, in a most correct and delightful manner. The whole arrangement and execution reflect credit on the conductors

, and it is to be hoped the beneficial effects will be seen for years to come.

I am Sir, yours,

ONESIMUS.

ADULT SCHOOLS in AMERICA. Extract of a Letter from Divie Bethune, Esq. New York, to

Stephen Prust, Esq. Bristol, dated 10th June, 1815. “IT will be gratifying to you to learn, that your transmission of the Report of the Adult Schools bas been the means of awaken. ing towards this object a great attention, here and in PhiladelPhia. I forward you an extract of a Letter I received from a pious Young Lady, in Philadelphia, to whom I mentioned the Adult Schools when there in January, last.

“The little School begun by Mrs. B., on her reading Dr. Pole's Report, has succeeded astonishingly. She and my two daughters, assisted by a female friend, teach it on Sunday mornings. It consists of between eighty and ninety; and the Bible class, now all able to read, is forty-seven! Schools for the education of poor children are rapidly increasing in this country: Great hopes are entertained of the revival of Religion in the episcopal church, in the state of Virginia, The Bishop, Dr. Richard Channing Moore,

« PreviousContinue »