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venly may be confounded. On this account, 1 submit, whether a service in which a constant association takes place between what is purely mechanical and secular, and what is altogether of a different nature, is not undesirable, and likely to defeat, to a certain extent, the high object which we profess to have in view? How is it that we succeed in making readers and writers to a most disproportionate extent to what we make Christians? The answer which refers this entirely to the corruption of human nature, and the sovereignty of divine grace, is unsatisfactory; unless we could show that we do nothing which countervails our own efforts, and leave nothing undone. which we are capable of doing. I cannot resist expressing my conviction, that when all divinely appointed means shall be fully employed, in combination with that faith which rests for its blessing entirely on God, a much greater measure of good will be effected than has yet taken place; and, that what we now ascribe to the withholding of spiritual influence, will be found rather to have belonged to the defective nature of our own principles and modes of operation.
Should it be found necessary to continue the practice of teaching to read on Sabbath, I would suggest, whether it might not be separated from the business of religious instruction; either by the appropriation of a separate place, or a different time of the day, or another class of teachers. I cannot perceive any insuperable difficulties in the way of some such arrangement. By this means, religion would be treated as it ought ever to be, not as one branch of education, but as the high and the last end of all. It would not be degraded by any unholy association, and regarded only as
one of a series of tiresome and uninteresting employments. It would come to be considered as the chief object of living, and of all true knowledge; and, if not cordially received, would leave something behind it, which would render the way of the transgressor hard.
Another feature of the Scottish system of Sabbath Schools consists, in their occupying only that part of the Lord's day which is not usually devoted to public worship,-I mean, the evening. No encroachment appears to take place on those hours which are devoted to the public and holy exercises of the sanctuary of God. While the people of God are thus engaged, they do not feel that a large portion of the rising generation are otherwise employed than themselves. The habit of attending public worship, which is so prevalent in the northern part of the island, affords facilities for carrying on the school exercises in this manner, which do not exist, where, unfortunately, the practice of neglecting public ordinances is so common. Still it would be extremely desirable to adopt a plan by which neither the children nor teachers of Sunday Schools should be deprived of the benefit of public instruction on some of the most important parts of the day of rest. The contrary practice, which so extensively prevails, must be injurious, and tends to foster a sentiment, which I fear, is too prevalent, that if we do not engage in our ordinary avocations on the Lord's day, we may appropriate its hours as we please.
The Sabbath Schools of Scotland do not consist exclusively of the children of the poor, and the irreligious. They are attended by many whose parents are in comfortable circumstances,
and who make a decided profession of religion. Such persons do not consider their children as degraded by associating, for religious instruction, with those who are in inferior circumstances; or that they devolve upon others a task which ought to be performed by themselves. They find their children benefitted by the excitement of the school, and by the impressions which are there made upon their minds. Instruction at home is not neglected by those who are most attentive in sending their children out, and in the manner in which their tasks are performed, full evidence is afforded of the attention which is paid to them in private.
Damage must be done to society when the lines of demarcation, which separate its various classes, are too broad and impassable. Feelings of envy and hatred are thus gendered in the one class, while those of contempt and indifference are cherished in the other. The community is divided chiefly into two ranks,-the donors and the receivers, the rich and the poor: the former, distinguished by all the pride and consequence of rank; and the other, by all the vices and wretchedness which belong to pauperism. In such a state of things, there is little of the intercourse of reciprocal good offices, and none of the sympathy, which is more powerful in its operation than the wisest and most efficient laws. It is the design of Christianity to unite man to man, as well as to unite all to God; to prepare us for a holy brotherhood in the kingdom of heaven, by uniting us in brotherly association on earth. All our religious institutions ought to be in harmony with this design. There is too much of aristocratic feeling in religion, and its operations, as well as in other things. I need not say, that the religion of Jesus
knows nothing of it. According to its statements, all are involved in one condemnation; for all it provides the same remedy; all are made subject to one common rule; and all are invited to imitate the glorious example of Him, who, though Lord of all worlds, "came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many."
There is one thing more to which I beg to advert. The conducting of these seminaries is not left entirely to the young persons of the congregation. Others, persons of influence and of standing in the church and the world, engage in them, and thus do good by their example as well as by their experience. Can any good reason be assigned why this should not be more generally the case? Is the business of religious instruction so easy that any young person, inclined to take the trouble, is sufficiently qualified for the employment? Is it too mean for the more influential persons of a congregation to undertake it? Or is it declined, because it is conducted during those hours which belong to public worship, or which ought to be devoted to the family? I suspect that in many instances, the last reason prevails; though I am far from doubting that the two former have a more general and more powerful influence than they ought. In consequence, too, of the secular nature of part of the employment, the qualifications of a teacher naturally come to be rated too low, and the duties are thus too often devolved on persons, who, in regard to the best things, would still require to be themselves under instruction.
The remarks which I have now ventured to make are too important in their bearings on the extensive and valuable system to which they
relate, to require any apology for the apparent departure from the strict line of narrative, Should they excite a little attention to the causes of success or failure in the management of these institutions, my end will be gained. My young friend, as well as his biographer, was indebted to Sabbath school instruction, in a degree which cannot be fully ascertained or known in this world. There his mind was richly stored with divine truth, the full benefit of which did not appear at the time, but afterwards, in the rapidity with which he grew in knowledge after he felt the full power of the Gospel. There those principles were implanted and strengthened, which tended to preserve him when he was exposed, an unguarded boy, to the imminent temptations of a university. There those moral feelings were first touched, which, in due time, arrived at that degree of sensitiveness, as to be incapable of bearing what was evil, and of relishing, in the most exquisitive manner, all that was lovely, and pure, and excellent.
From the English school, he passed, in his ninth year, into the Grammar School, then conducted by a respectable scholar, Mr. Dick, under whose care, and that of his successor, Mr. Moncur, he remained four years. I have little to remark during this period of his life; but that he made distinguished progress in acquaintance with the classics is evident from the prizes which he obtained, and from the appearance which he made when he first entered St. Andrew's, of which notice will afterwards be taken.
I am not aware of all the prizes which he gained during the time of his attending the Grammar School; but, in 1820, he obtained the second prize at the fourth class; and in the fol