JAMES, THOMAS, AND GEORGE.
Wit brief 0ketches of
THREE OF ITS SCHOLARS.
BY JOHN C. SYMONS.
REVISED BY DANIEL P. KIDDER.
PUBLISHED BY LANE & SCOTT,
VON THE SUNDAY-SCHOOL UNION OF THE METHODIST EPISCOPAL
CHURCH, 00 MULBERRY-STREET.
JOSEPH LONGKING, PRINTER.
THE writer of the following pages makes no
pretension to authorship. He is deeply con-
scious that many defects characterize his
production; and he hopes that they will be
treated with the consideration which so can-
did an avowal merits, and which the fact
The narratives are substantially true; but,
for obvious reasons, the names of.persons
and places are changed.
The reason why this little book is sent
into the world is, the writer considers the
details which it contains of an exceedingly
encouraging character, and calculated to sup-
port and strengthen the pious teacher in the
discharge of his important and sometimes
The writer has felt the need of encourage-
ment while laboring in the Sabbath-school;
and he has had that need supplied in no
small measure from the consideration of the
facts now before his readers. He hopes, that
the effect which these facts have had upon
his mind, will be produced upon the minds
of all who may peruse these pages. If such
be the case-if but one devoted, self-denying
teacher derive encouragement-his end will
be more than answered.
With earnest prayer that the great Head
of the Church will grant his blessing upon
this little work, the writer submits it to his
I.-THE VILLAGE-THE NEW SUNDAY-SCHOOL
-THE SUPERINTENDENT-A REVIVAL 9
II.-THE HISTORY OF JAMES . .... 20
III.-HISTORY OF THOMAS . .. 32
IV.-HISTORY OF GEORGE . .. .51
V.-CONCLUSION BENEFITS OF SUNDAY-
SCHOOLS . . . 55
THE VILLAGE--THE NEW SUNDAY-SCHOOL-OTHE
M- is a small village in the west of Eng-
land, delightfully situated in a wooded
pleasant valley. Through it runs the parish
road, which-as it leads to the seashore,
from whence the farmers of that and the
neighboring parishes bring great quantities
of sand and seaweed as manure-frequent-
ly presents, in the summer, a bustling
scene.. The village is very scattered: on
the right of the beautiful streamlet which
flows silently down the valley, and runs
across the road just in the centre of the
village, stands an old mill; which for many
a long year has been wont to throw out its
murmuring sound, as the water falls over its
broad and capacious wheel. On the other
10 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
side of the stream, and just opposite the old
mill, a few yards from the road, stands a
neat, commodious, and well-built Methodist
chapel, which, from the prominence of its
situation, and good proportions, has often
attracted the eye of the passing stranger.
It was about the period when my narra-
tive commences that t6 chapel was built.
For many years the Methodists had preach-
ed in the village, and there had been a
small society under the care of an aged pa-
triarch, whose gray hairs and tottering
frame bespoke the near approach of the last
enemy: soon he came, and suddenly re-
moved that good man to "the palace of
angels and God." In consequence of the
preaching-place being far out of the way,
and the place itself-an old barn-anything
but inviting, there had been for many years
but little success.
In 18-, two or three zealous brethren
from another part of the circuit settled in
the vicinity ofM--, and stepswere at once
taken to get a favorable site, and to raise
subscriptions towards building a chapel as
speedily as possible. The neighboring
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
"squire" was waited upon by two of the
new members, with whom he was personally
acquainted; when, without hesitation, he
gave them the spot of ground on which the
chapel now stands. The chapel was soon
built, and opened for divine worship; and
many of the old members, who had witness-
ed the introduction of Methodism into the
village, were constrained to exclaim, What
hath God wrought !"
The village, though small, was surrounded
by a populous neighborhood, and many of
the friends were anxious for the establish-
ment of a Sabbath-school. In this they
had many difficulties to contend with; aris-
ing principally from the awful carelessness
of parents about their children's spiritual
welfare, and the want of adequate help to
carry on a school. However, they deter.
mined to male an attempt: and, according-
ly, at no great period after the new chapel
was erected, a school was established. As the
society was small, pious teachers could not be
secured, and they were under the necessity
of employing persons of good moral charac-
ter, or of abandoning the school altogether.
12 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
Few, perhaps, are more sensible of the
advantage of pious teachers, than myself:
and, whenever it is possible, I would have
no others in a school. How is it to be ex-
pected that a teacher, careless-at least
comparatively so-about the salvation of
his own soul, can faithfully and earnestly
enforce the duty of salvation upon his young
charge: and yet this is the principal design
of Sabbath-schools. It is not so much to
teach the children to read,-though this is
a great object,-nor even to give them a
superficial acquaintance with the Bible; but
to lay before, and as it were rivet upon,
their minds the practical duties of Christi-
anity. How can one who loves riot the
Lord Jesus Christ, successfully enforce the
duty of love to God with the whole heart,
and soul, and mind, and strength ? How
can one who knows nothing of the saving
faith of the gospel, successfully exhort his
children to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ ?
For, as he does not feel the necessity of these
and kindred truths himself, he cannot en-
force them so as to win the affections, and
touch the hearts of the children. But of
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 13
the privilege of pious teachers, M--
Sunday-school was deprived.
The superintendent was a man well
known and much respected,, and was emi-
nently qualified.for his arduous task. With
the exception of the senior female teacher,
he was the only decided person in the
school. He had much to contend with:
and I am sure, from my own observation,
had many been situated as he was, the
school would have been speedily abandoned.
He resided about a mile and a half from the
chapel, but morning and afternoon, winter
and summer, wet or dry, he was at his post!
The numbers which attended the school
might have been about seventy. The
teachers, considering that they were not
members of society, were pretty attentive
for a year or two; but after that they began
to fall off, and frequently was the superin-
tendent obliged, in addition to his regular
duties, to place the senior boys of the first class
over the lower ones, and take the remainder,
with the second class, under his own care.
SLaboring under so many disadvantages,
it cannot be expected that M- Sun-
14 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
day-school should in any respect be very pros-
perous: yet this I may say, that though I
have been connected with Sabbath-schools
for some years, and have had an opportunity
of examining several, I have rarely ever
met with a more orderly set of children, or
a better conducted school.
But who, from such a school as this,
would have expected anything like success?
and yet the sequel will show, that, even
under such unfavorable circumstances as
these, God did not fail to work for his
honor and glory!
The senior class of boys consisted of
about a dozen promising lads, whose ages
varied from nine to fourteen. They were
placed under the care of two respectable
moral young men, but who, with very many
excellent qualities, were devoid of religion.
The boys were encouraged to commit to
memory portions of Scripture, for which
they received small rewards; and thus a
spirit of emulation was created as to who
should possess the greatest number of these.
Among those who distinguished themselves
were three brothers, named James, Thomas,
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 15
and George. James, the eldest, remained
but a short time in the school: but Thomas
and George continued much longer, and
learned the whole of the three first Gospels,
and part of St. John. They were very
regular in their attendance, and when in
school behaved just as others did, only that
for their generally correct answers in the
catechetical exercises, which usually follow-
ed the reading of Scripture, they were al-
most constantly at the head of the class.
They had comparatively little time during
the week; but often on a Sabbath morning
have they repeated one or two hundred
verses of Scripture. And here let me re-
mark, that Thomas has since assured me, it
was not a love for the Scriptures, nor a de-
sire to become acquainted with them, which
induced hioi to commit such large portions,
week after week, to memory! it was a de-
sire,-a kind of emulation,-to be at the
head of the class, and to be thought highly
of by his teachers and the superintendent.
In this he gained his reward; for he was
looked upon by them as the most promising
lad in the school.
16 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
There was one thing connected with M-
Sunday-school, which is worthy of notice
and of imitation. The superintendent
never dismissed the children without giving
them a short address of from five to ten
minutes. It was usually his custom on
these occasions to impress upon the mind of
his young hearers some important truth,
through the medium of an interesting anec-
dote, or some well-conceived figure; so
that, though the remarks he made might be
soon forgotten, yet the anecdote and subject
illustrated by it remained, and will, I doubt
not, be remembered to the latest period of
their lives by many of those who were privi-
leged to listen to him. I am thoroughly
satisfied that an effectual method of reach-
ing the ear and the understanding ofchildren,
is through some such medium as that used by
the superintendent of M- Sunday-school.
I hope the period is not far distant, when it
will be more generally adopted.
A few years ago, the village of M- was
visited with a very gracious revival, during
which a great number were soundly con-
verted, most of whom have continued stead-
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 17
fast in the faith. Many of the teach-
ers and scholars were among the num-
bor of thbse who gave their hearts to
'The following extracts show the extent
and reality of the revival:-
"There has been," writ's the superin-
tendent, an extensive revival in this cir-
cuit. On Friday, the Rev. Mr. V-
preached at this place. A prayer-meeting
was held after the sermon, when several be-
gan to cry aloud for mercy-one professed
to have obtained pardon. We have held
prayer-meetings nearly every night, and a
very gracious influence has rested upon us.
We had,' on one occasion, no less than
twelve penitents crying to God for the par-
/;li oftheir sins, amongst whom are some
of the most thoughtless in the neighborhood.
So many of our teachers and scholars
were4nder conviction, thatvwe did not think
it proper to have school in the morning, but
held a prayer-meeting, at which the pres-
ence of God was. eminently felt, and severa-
cried aloud. Nearly every female teacher
or scholar, in our Sunday-school, is-con-
18 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
vinced or converted, and some of the males
also. Glory to God !"
, On another occasion he writes,-" Our
revival still continues, though we have not
had any crying aloud for mercy lately, but
every time we meet in class we have some
new members. The numbers, small and
great, who had begun to meet in class,
amounted to nearly one-third of our general
congregation-their ages vary from eight
years old to above sixty. Mrs. R.'s, our
sweet singer, was a delightful conversion.
She had long been seeking the Lord sor-
rowing. One morning she went into a
neighbor's house, to inform them that a
young woman had found peace: while in
the house she was herself constrained to cry
for mercy. One of the leaders was called
in to pray with her, and, after a severe
struggle, she fonuhd peace. The next,Sun-
day I asked her (for she was singing de-
lightfully) whether it was not sweeter to
sing as she did, than before? She laid her
hand on her breast, and with uplifted eyes,
said, Yes, it is indeed, for I haveoften been
condemned while singing words in which
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 1u
my heart did not join, but now I can sing
with all my heart.'"
One of the teachers, writing to a friend,
says, You will rejoice to hear that the
work of God is steadily progressing in this
part of-his vineyard. Many are found cry-
ing, in bitterness of soul, 'What must I do
to be saved;' while others are enabled to
adopt the language of inspiration, and ex-
claim, 'O Lord, I WILL praise thee; for
though thou wert angry with me, thine
anger is turned away, and thou comfortest
me.' You will have heard that many mem-
bers of Mr. T.'s family have been truly con-
verted. Sunday-school teaching is now a
delightful employment; most of our children
are feeling the power of religion; and many
of them, perhaps one-third, meet in class.
Four out of seven, whom I teach, are, I
trust, adopted into the family of God, and
two others evince a desire to 'flee from the
wrath to come.' I think I may venture to
say there is not a family in the vicinity of
our chapel, but has some one or more
praying persons belonging to it."
It is exceedingly gratifying to know that
20 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
the great majority of those who were con-
verted belong to the school, continue stead-
fast, and are now pious and useful members
of the Methodist Church.
THE HISTORY OF JAMES.
THERE is a something connected with early
associations which is almost indescribable.
Every one has felt it, but few, very few,
have been able to excel in a description of
it! Who has not felt, as he gazes upon the
cottage,-the home of his childhood,-his
youthful days flash with all the vividness of
reality before his mind; and as he stands
and muses on the bygone years, numbered
with those before the flood, he is almost
spell-bound to the spot! All his childish
pastimes and youthful pleasures pass in re-
view before his mental vision; while, the
little trials with which his cup was mixed,
are not without their influence in mingling
a melancholy with the pleasing reminis-
cences of the past. Much has been said on
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 21
this principle of association, and truly much
remains unsaid on the subject. Scarcely is
there a green sod, or a.purling brook, a
shady forest-tree, or a smiling flower, an
enchanting and fairy landscape, or a barren
and desolate heath; scarcely an object in
nature, Or a work of art, which does not
awaken some gratefully pleasing, yet painful
recollections of the past!
It is to this principle I attribute much of
the good which results from Sabbath-schools.
Often has the pious teacher to return from
his onerous duties in the school, and retiring
to his closet, to mourn on account of the
fruitlessness of his efforts; and Satan never
fails, at such seasons, to fill his mind with
discouraging thoughts, which weigh down
his spirits, and lead him almost to decide on
retiring from the-work. To such, let the
precept and promise of God's word,-" Cast
thy bread upon the waters; for thou shalt
find it after many days,"-be a source of
never-failing, encouragement. How fre-
quently, in after life, has it been found, that
the instruction of the Sabbath-school, though
it may have lain dormant for a time, has not
22 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL,
been annihilated; but, through some circum-
stance, or by some object, it has been re-
suscitated in the memory, and it germinates,
blossoms, fructifies, and brings forth glorious
fruit, which has cheered the hearts and up-
held the hands of many thousands of the
most self-denying and arduous laborers in
James, the eldest of the three lads men-
tioned, was a youth of considerable promise.
He had one of the most retentive memories
I have ever met with. Having reached
the age of seventeen, his parents placed him
with a Methodist in a neighboring town,
as an apprentice. For twelve months after
his removal, he stood aloof from all connec-
tion with the Church and people of God;
after which period, as he remarks in a let-
ter to his brother, "at the request of the
superintendent of C- school, I became a
teacher in that school, and for four years
remained as such." James continued as a
teacher in the school for about twelvemonths
previous to his becoming a member of so-
ciety; at the expiration of which time, he
was induced, by the persuasions and invita-
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 23
tions of his fellow-teachers, to' meet in
clas.'' Frbm this period he became a steady
aind devoted follower of the- Lamb, and was
at'all times anxious to do what-lay in his
power to further the cause of the Redeemer.
From his first connection with Sabbath-
schools, when about five years old, he had:
conceived a love for them; and as he grew
up his love and attachment to them in-
cr-e- ed, and his delight now was to devote
Aeiliis enetgies'to their promotion. As he:
mWv6 than once remarked to me, he con-
beived he was greatly indebted to Sunday-
s9dh&lsfor the benefits he had received from
them, and he determined, so far as in him
lay,' to discharge the debt of gratitude he '
His qualificatidhs as a teacher were of no
mean order... '"To an earnest desire for the
savatibn of hit"'young charge, he added a
lae store of'S6riptural and general know-
leid-, allof which was brought to bear upon
the edification f- his. class. He was firm
and resolute with his children, and at the
sane time kind and affectionate; so that I
may safely assert that there were few, if any,
24 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
more efficient teachers in the school than
James. And the secret of the matter was
this ;-hisheart was in the work; he delight-
ed in it, and many of his happiest hours
were those spent on the form with his class.
The responsibility which hejustly conceived
attached itself to the Sabbath-school teach-
er, was shown by his attention to any of his
own class who were sick; and not a few
interesting records has he given of Sunday-
school children, who, dying in the Lord,
have left a bright evidence behind them
that they are gone to glory.
Who can count the number of those who,
through the instrumentality of Sunday-
schools, are now before the throne of God,
joining with angels, and archangels, and the
spirits of the just made perfect, in singing,
" Blessing, and hopor, and glory, and power,
be unto Him ,that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb forever and ever."
Truly, there is no individual who verifies
the truth of the Psalmist's declaration,-
" He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing
precious seed, shall doubtless come again
with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY SCHOOL. 25
him~'--more frequently than does the pious
Sitndayrchool teacher. Methinks I see him
enter theparadise of God, met and surround-
ed by those who sat in his class, who listened
to his teaching, and who were directed by
him to "the iPan4f god who taketh away
the sins of' the wrd." Joyful indeed will
sunh meetings,be. 0 may such bliss be
After serving -ve-years as an apprentice,
Jarmes removrd-.to London., There are
many persons.who imagine, that to settle in
London is the very acme of happiness; how
little do such persons know of the reality !
It is true, that in the religious sphere there
are. many advantages possessed by the resi-
dent of the metropolis. He has the teaching
and counsel of ministers emnnent for their
piety, usefulness, and talent; he is brought
into coeKEopp with some of the hpliest and
bpta BpstuI9q d ay. and, if his tyne be not
ltoegtheaJ~Srbr A .ini the world, he has
bnstaptty. pumerouxs means of grace within
his reah, Aq4ht he can frequently and
dqiWatfully-join the great congregation,
mingling his voice with theirs, swelling the
26 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
anthems of praise and the solemn accents of
prayer, as they rise like incense to the skies.
But there is, on the other hand, much more al-
lurement and temptation; there is everything
around to draw away the attention from
heavenly objects. Those with whom you
have to associate, and who constantly sur-
round you, are men of the world; men
whose whole delight is in forgetfulness of
God!-men, in many instances, whose
whole energies are directed to ridicule,
blaspheme, and overthrow the pious and
devoted Christian; so that, being thus sur-
rounded, the temptations of our great en-
emy are powerful, and often more fatal.
Many a promising young man within the
range of my own limited acquaintance, has,
through coming to London, made "shipwreck
of faith, and ofa good conscience;" and to any
into whose hands this little work may find
its way, let me earnestly and faithfully say,
" Flee the very appearance of evil;" parley
not one moment with temptation; but when
tempted, fly at once to the cross, lay hold
there, nor let that hold be loosened, till the
enemy is vanquished, and your soul filled
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 27
wiilhperfect peace. Be particular what
companions you have; a man is known by
the company he keeps." And let me warn
you-to be-careful how you comply with the
invitations of ungodly associates, in attend-
ing places of amusement and scenes of
gayety., The wise man says, "My son, if
sinners entice thee, consent thou not."
Many and specious are the arguments
which will be adduced to gain your consent;
but take the precaution to ask yourself, hon-
estly, and as in -the sight of God, Can I get
any good there ? May I not get harm ? Can
I ask God's blessings upon it? Should I
like to die while there ? If these questions
can be answered satisfactorily, then give
your consent; but beware, even under those
circumstances, how you choose for your
comlpanio:,ns ih:i'oe who know not God!
"It was at the. end of March, 18--, that
James left his native country. On his
arrival in London, he was at once provided
with employment at a large establishment.
Here he had much to contend with, being
surrounded by, and brought into immediate
contact with, a great number of menmany
28 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
of whom were not only devoid of religion
themselves, but ridiculed and sneered at
those who made the least profession of
respect for the commandments of God.
Being known as a "Methodist," and refus-
ing to work on the Sabbath, when ordered
to do so, or leave his situation, he came in
for a considerable portion of their obloquy
There are few persons more social in their
character than the subject of our narrative.
To such, how beneficial and salutary is the
influence arising from that friendship and
communion so well provided for among the
Wesleyans, and of which he soon availed
himself. For want of this, many suffer; and,
surrounded by the temptations and seductive
influences of the giddy and polluted votaries
of pleasure, they look back to the empty en-
joyments of the world-they eat, drink, and
are merry, while to-morrow they die.
Providentially for James, there was one
person in the establishment in which he
labored who feared God, and to whom the
gospel had come with life and power; he
was a class-leader at a neighboring Wesleyan
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 29
chapel. He took him to his class, where he
constantly met, until his leader was trans-
lated from the Church militant below to the
Church triumphant above. It was the priv-
ilege of James to witness, in his dying
hours, his firm and unshaken confidence in
the Redeemer. He was "ready to depart,
and to be with Christ."
In July, 18-, James became connected
with a Sundaysschool in T-- street. At
this period the number of scholars was fifty,
and teachers-six; while the school required
every assistance that he could render.
With the assistance of a devoted young
man, who soon became his colleague, the
school was put into order and efficiency.
Here, in consequence of the want of teach-
ers, and the close, unhealthy, cellar-like ap-
pearance of the place, the school was not
very prosperous; but the society and cause
were still less so. In fact, but for the vigor
and vitality evinced in the Sunday-school,
the chapel would have been soon given up.
Int September, 18-, he writes, I have been
fifteen months in connection with this school.
The future may show to me great good re-
30 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
suiting from this school, but at present we
have only enough to encourage us." For
five years he had much to contend with
from the apathy of friends, or from the neg-
lect of those who ought to have been the
friends and patrons of the school; as well as
from the indifference of parents to the
religious welfare of their children. There
have been a few pleasing indications of
good; and, considering the difficulties they
have to contend with, the conduct of the
children was generally favorable. The few
exceptions were forgotten in the sweet
smiles and affectionate remembrances of
I will conclude this sketch of James with
a remark or two of his own:-"I am," says
he, "one of those who owe much to Sabbath-
schools; to deny it, would be foolish and
sinful. Many a happy hour have I spent in
the Sabbath-school; many more I hope to
spend. My firm belief is, that the Sabbath-
school should have every Wesleyan child,
whether he be rich or poor; and I cannot
but deplore that false pride, evinced by.
many respectable religious people in the
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY SCHOOL. 31
present day, which prevents their children
being,sent- to the Sabbath-school. 'because
they have learning enough through" the
week;' while they will let them ramble out,
or play within the house instead: thus
training them for Satan rather than for
"Sunday-schools are the militia of the
Church: it is from them the most efficient
youth are drafted into the service of Jehovah,
to fight manfully under the Captain of their
salvatipai fiumbers of whom win the well-
fought day, and receive the prize of vic-
S"-Sunday-schools are the nurseries of the
Church; they compose the youth who are
to live when' we, go down to the -dust.
When the teachers are aged, or dead, their
children will rike up to fill the ranks of-Im-
nmanuel. Where are the additions to our
chuech to come from, but from Sunday-
schols ? Dop not most of thoi-e who join
the C'hurceh.:i the prime of their days, and
present -whole sacrifices to God, come
frptm our Sabbath-schools ? The churches
of.Christ should see to it that good nurses
32 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
are provided for them, and not, as is too
often the case, leave them in the hands of
the inexperienced and the youthful."
HISTORY OF THOMAS.
THOMAS, the second brother, remained
much longer in the school. Possessing a
retentive memory, he learned the whole of
the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke,
and part of John. After remaining as a
scholar for about three years, during which
time he was often employed in teaching the
junior classes, he was formally admitted as
a teacher, in the presence of the whole
school, the secretary delivering an interest-
ing and affecting address to him, on the
duties and responsibilities of his position as
the guide of youth; at the conclusion of
which he presented him with a book, en-
titled "The Guilty Tongue," as a reward
for his good conduct and proficiency.
Thomas had not long been a teacher, before
THI VItLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 33
& vacancy occurred in the first class, to
which he had formerly belonged as a
solar~d. ~* he was at once nominated
:,ftfe continuing as a 'scholar for three,
and a -taChter for-: about two years, he
remo~vd I'& neighboring town, as an ap-
prentice: Absent from the parental roof,-
placed in the midst of temptation, and sur-
rounded :by m.ny allhrements,-Thomas
sdon'bcathe forgetful of his former instruc-
tions; and his Sabbath-schfool engagements:
instead of connecting himself with the
Achmol, and being f:.utid on the form by -the
iTdb' of his :lass, he might be seen ranging
of :ithe fields, and wandering through
laif'eg in cthpaliny wi ih thu'oe \\homll he had
chosen as H'liasociates. One thing is
worthy of,'einark, and it shows the fiorceof
habit, and the pox-er of early association:
he was regular in his attendance at the
Wesleyan Chapel twice a day. This hap-
pened, perhaps, net :more 6m choice than
fr6i~ a partial resteRirit Whith he felt, from
the knowledge, that if he neglected this duty,
it would come to the ears of his parents,
34 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
and not only grieve them, but bring down
on him their displeasure.
Though thus, for a brief space, led away
into the sins of youth, Thomas was far from
falling into what would be called gross sins.
The superintendent of the H- circuit at
this time was the Rev. J. R., a man who, in
the work of the Lord, was instant in season,
and out of season; and who was made very
useful, not only by his public ministrations,
but in his numerous and constant private
visits among his flock, and the members of
Under a sermon by Mr. R., addressed
specially to the young, the subject of our
sketch was powerfully wrought upon by the
Holy Spirit, and awakened to a right sense
of his danger as a sinner. But he strove to
banish these convictions, and soon again
became careless and indifferent to the
great concerns of his soul's salvation.
About this period Thomas's father, anxious
that he should become decided for God,
told him he would send Mr. R. to visit him.
But so averse was Thomas from seeing him,
that he declared should Mr. R. walk in at
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 35
one door, he would walk out at the other.
However, Mr. R. called; and Thomas did not,
and could not, put his threat into execution.
Mr. R. urged upon him the danger of a
course of sin,-the necessity and advantages
of seeking God in youth,-and begged him to
join his class, which met at seven o'clock on
Sabbath mornings. Thomas promised to
go; but when the morning came he broke
his promise, and remained at home. In the
succeeding week Mr. R. again called.
Thomas again promised; and on the follow-
ing Sabbath met in class for the first time.
In about a month after joining the society,
he was enabled to exercise faith in Christ,
and obtained a clear evidence of his accept-
ance with God: this took place on a Sab-
bath evening, in company with one of his
religious friends; while they were pouring
out their souls at the throne of grace, light
.from heaven beamed upon his soul,-he
was enabled to believe.
Connected with Thomas's joining the
people of God, there is an incident not un-
worthy of mention here. A short time
previously he had, with his elder brother
36 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
James, paid a visit to their father's house.
During that visit, the subject of union with
God's people was strongly urged upon both
of them by their parents. They had each
been the subjects of the Holy Spirit's striv-
ing for some time, and were fully awakened
to their danger and duty. While walking
through one of the shady lanes situated be-
tween their home and the chapel, and con-
versing on the subject of religion, and the
necessity of devoting themselves to God,
Thomas said, if James would join the society
he would. No immediate result followed;
but about a fortnight before Thomas's con-
nection with the Church, James had joined
the Wesleyans, and had written to his
father informing him of Thomas's promise.
It was in consequence of this, that Mr. R.
was requested to call on him; the result of
which, through the blessing of God, was,
as the reader has seen, his becoming con-
nected with the Church.
Thomas had joined himself to God's peo-
ple but a short time, when he determined,
by the advice and invitation of his friends,
to become a Sabbath-school teacher. His
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 37
experience and success in this sphere of la-
bor will be best described in his own words:
"Soon after my union with the Wesley-
ans, I became a teacher in the Sunday-
school, which, at that time, was not very
prosperous. Here, as teacher of one of
the junior classes, I strove to do my duty to
God and the children placed under my care.
A few four teachers determined to establish
a school at I- a smallvillage about two
miles distance from H- in which the
Wesleyans had preaching at a private
house, and a class of five members, to whom
I willingly gave my assistance. But where
should we get a room ? was the next ques-
tion to be solved, After some difficulty on
this point, we got the use of an old barn;
but which, by the way, had no window in
it, and was consequently so dark, that we
were obliged to keep the door constantly
open, and, it being winter season, we found
it very cold. Yet even this was too good
to last long, for we were soon told that we
could not have the barn any longer, and
we were, therefore, obliged to look out for
another place. Our next remove was to a
38 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
different part of the village, to a room over
some stables, the floor of which, besides
having sundry large holes in it, was so rot-
ten that we were obliged to range the
children around by the walls, fearing lest
the floor should give way from their weight,
if placed in the centre. Even in such a
place as this, our school increased from
twenty to forty.
After remaining in this room for some
months, I may say truly, in continual fear
of our lives, we removed to a much more
commodious place, offered us by a Mr.
H -, the only person in the village who
was in circumstances of ease. But his love
after a time grew cold, and we were sur-
prised on our arrival one Sunday, to find
that, without giving us the slightest intima-
tion of his intention to do so, he had turned
out forms, boxes of books, and all our para-
phernalia, and locked the door; alleging as
a reason, to the persons who lived at the
next house-members of our society-that
he wanted the place for potatoes; but to do
him justice, I must add, that the room did
not see a potato for many months after.
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 39
I have before stated that we had preaching
at the village, in a private house; the per-
sons in whose house the service was held,
were, I should say, both past sixty. They
were poor, but excellent people. At the
same hour with our school, the class used to
meet at their house; and as they had only
two rooms, it met in the one in which
preaching was held. But no sooner did
these good old people hear of our being
turned out of our place, than they at once-
before our arrival-got the forms and books
into their house, and seated and arranged
the children; so that you may judge of our
surprise, when, on finding ourselves shut out
from the one place, we were so unexpectedly
put into the other. These noble-minded
Christians consented that the class should
meet in their sleeping-room, and that we
should have the use of the other for our
school. We could not allow such generous
and self-denying devotion for the cause of
God to go unrewarded, and' we therefore
determined to pay them a small sum per
annum for the use of the room.
I have not done with our difficulties yet.
40 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
The road leading to the village was any-
thing but a good one; indeed, in the winter
it was very bad: so that, though in summer
we could get plenty of teachers, yetj when
winter came we could get none, and the
whole concern of the school then fell upon
three or four. In the midst of our dis-
couragements, qne of our superintendents
left us. The other was taken ill, and was
prevented from being with us for six months..
I was nominated to the office of our friend
who had left, and excepting when a substi-
tute could be found-which was not very
often-I had to take the place of our sick
one also: add to this the fact that we had
only two other teachers who regularly at-
tended, and you will see that our difficulties
were of no light character. Often have I
been at our little school with only one
teacher and myself; and, indeed, at length
things were come to such a crisis, that I
said on my return home one afternoon, 'I
will go no more; I'll give it all up.' But
my friends reasoned with, and showed me
the impropriety of such a decision; they told
me that as the school was now entirely de-
TUI VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
pendent upon myself for support, I should be
much to blame if I gave it up. I listened to
their advice, and continued to discharge my
duties a# well as I was able."
"Beware of desperate steps; the darkest day,
Live till to-morrow, 't will have pass'd away."
So sang Cowper, and so it proved in the
case of I.-.-- school!
"I determined," writes the subject of our
narrative, "not to abandon the school. I
made its position a matter of earnest prayer;
canvassed our people for teachers; and God
raised us up friends, so that soon we had a
supply of teachers, and things went on
smoothly. And here I would remark, that
during the lack of teachers the attendance
of the children was most gratifying, consid-
ering that most of them had to come a dis-
tance of from one to two miles, through
roads which a Londoner' would consider al-
most, if not quite,; impassable.
Our little school, from this time, began
to attract some notice, and we had an
examination or two, had sermons preached,
and gave the children an annual treat.
This mode of procedure we found absolutely
42 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
necessary; so that, by coming out prom-
inently, we might draw the attention of our
friends, and so reach their pockets.
"Our school continuing to prosper, we be-
gan to talk about a chapel, and several sub-
scriptions were promised toward it; but in
consequence of the landowner's antipathy to
Methodism, we could not obtain a spot of
ground to build upon. The death of the
landowner, some time after, obviated the
difficulty; a suitable site was obtained, and
a chapel built, in which, a few years after,
I had the pleasure of addressing the children
on one of their festive occasions. The
scene had changed, the new chapel which
had been erected was well attended, the
school prosperous, and the blessing of God
evidently rested upon the place."
In my former narrative I made a remark
or two on the evils and dangers to which a
young man is exposed in coming to the
metropolis, and the dreadful consequences
to which a yielding to them leads. Those
remarks will, I think, be fully borne out in
the case of Thomas; for, although, by the
preserving grace of God, he was kept from
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
all gross and outward sins, yet it will be seen
that he lost the sweets and comforts of
religion, which before he had possessed.
But I will give his own account of his res-
idence in London.
"I have said," he writes in continuation,
"that in the beginning of 18- I removed
to London: but I should have remarked,
that, for some time previous to my leaving
H- I was impressed with the conviction
that it was my duty to be engaged in a
more prominent sphere of labor in the
Church. This impression received coun-
tenance and strength from the fact, that sev-
eral persons connected with the society
urged such a step upon me. I had for some
months been accustomed to accompany a
very excellent friend of mine, a local
preacher, to his appointments in the country,
and-now and then to take part of the service:
but by natural temperament, my youth, my
inexperience, together with the overwhelm-
ing feelings of responsibility which I attach-
ed to the office, prevented my acceding to
the request of my friends that I would
preach; until just a month before my leav-
44 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
ing for London, when I made an essay at
the house in which our school was held, at
I-.--. Had I remained in the country, it
is likely that I should have continued in the
work of calling sinners to repentance; but
on coming to town, I had not moral courage
to obey the dictates of my conscience, and
to offer myself for this work. I shall repent
this step as long as I live!
"I had not been in London a week, be-
fore I succeeded in procuring a situation in
a very respectable house on the Surrey side
of the Thames; and being nearer to South-
wark than any other Wesleyan Chapel, I
decided on making that my place of worship.
Here again I fell into error. I did not, as I
had been warned and entreated to do-and
as I knew I ought todo-join myself to a class
at once; but, at the end of a month or six
weeks, I connected myself with one which
met in the vestry, at seven o'clock on Sun-
day mornings, and for about eight or ten
months I went on pretty well; but when
winter came, I was not regular in my at-
tendance, and as every one acquainted
with the benefits of class-meetings will
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 45
judge, was not so prosperous in my soul's
"Nor was this the only error into which
I fell during my stay in town. I fell into
others which have often proved fatal to the
piety of youth, and, but for the amazing
goodness of God, would have proved so to
me. One of these was the evil of itching
ears. I could not be contented with my
own place of worship, and our own minis-
ters ; but must be running here and there, to
hear Dr. So-and-so, or Mr. Somebody; or,
when indisposed to ramble after popular men,
must go to this or that church or chapel, to
see some beauty or peculiarity which it was
said to possess : thus a kind of spiritual dis-
sipation was kept up, which was far from
being beneficial to growth in grace. Instead
of going to the house of God that the soul
might be fed with the bread of heaven, it
was too frequently the case that I went to
gratify a taste for curiosity, or to get an in-
tellectual feast. Another error into which
I fell, and that, too, a serious one, was
indolence. I was in no way employed for
God. Instead of taking my seat in the
46 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
Sabbath-school, or going from house to
house as a distributer of tracts, or being in
some way or another employed for God, I
stood aloof from all, and preferred idleness
to employment. And in thus acting I sin-
ned against my conscience. I have before
stated what were my convictions respecting
preaching; but fear kept me from that path
of duty. I ought to have been engaged in
the Sabbath-school; but constant and ex-
cessive confinement-our hours of business
being from seven to nine in the winter, and
from seven to half-past ten in summer-
and the alleged want of fresh air, were
pleaded as an excuse for not engaging in
"I cannot reflect on this period of my
life without painful emotion. When I
think of the precious time murdered, time
which might, and which ought to have been
employed for the glory of God,-I am filled
with sorrow. 0, had I been faithful; had I
but improved the grace imparted; had I
yielded to the strivings of the Spirit, and
the convictions of my conscience, I should,
I am confident of it, now have been occupy-
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 47
ing a different position in the Church, and
should at this moment have been in the pos-
session of more vital godliness. These are
painful reflections: yet I trust they are not
without their benefits, for they lead me to
humility before God, and I hope will ever
have the effect of keeping me distrustful of
self, and dependent upon God alone.
"But to go on with my narrative. After
about fifteen months' residence in London,
my health began to fail, from the labor and
confinement of my situation; and at the
expiration of nineteen months, I was under
the necessity of quitting the metropolis, and
returning to my native county. Here I
again took up my residence with my late
employer, at Y- with whom I remained
about five months.
I had never, during the whole of my stay
in London, been free from the conviction
that it was my duty to call 'sinners to repent-
ance;' and I made a solemn vow, that
should God again lead me to my native
place, I would at once offer myself to the
Church. Now came the trial. Remem-
ber your vow,' said my conscience. 'You
48 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
are not well enough yet; wait till you have
got better,' answered inclination: and as
there was much truth in the answer-my
friends, together with myself, for some time
thinking me in a consumption-inclination
was listened to. But as I grew better, con-
science was not so easily silenced, and a
mental conflict was for some time kept up,
which is more easily felt than described;
and such was its effect upon me, that I be-
gan again to sink, and to get very ill.
"Well do I remember the day on which
I became decided. It was on a Sabbath
evening: I had been hearing a very faithful
and powerful sermon from the Rev. Mr.
G-, on the responsibility of individual
Christians, and the duty of all to be employ-
ed for God. I saw my duty, and felt that I
was grieving the Spirit by the course I was
pursuing. I determined that I would open
my mind to a friend with whom I was
spending the evening. I did so; and the
counsel I received was, Parley with tempt-
ation no longer; but to-morrow go to Mr.
G., and open your mind to him.' 'I cannot
do that,' said I. 'Then write to your leader,'
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
answered my friend. This was just the
advice I wanted; and I determined, by the
help of God, to act upon it.
Monday evening, at the close of business,
I retired to my room; and after earnest
prayer, commenced a letter to my leader.
It was nearly finished: but on reading it
over I was not pleased with its composition,
and tearing it in pieces, commenced another.
The agony of my mind was now at its
height: my head seemed ready to burst;
my brain was bewildered, and I was in a
state bordering on distraction! While I
write I seem almost to pass through this
agony again. I finished a second letter!
What I said in it I no more know than
a child : I feared to read it over, lest I should
be displeased with and destroy it, as I did
the former. I at once sealed it up, and
thrust it out of sight. I then threw my-
self on the bed, where I lay for a consider-
able time, till the exquisite excitement of
the struggle being over, I retired to rest,
thankful to God for the victory I had gained.
In the morning my first work was to send
the letter to my leader: after which I had
50 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
another struggle with the powers of dark-
ness. 'You cannot retract now,' whispered
the enemy. 'You have done it; and now
where are your sermons to come from ?
You know you have only two in the world:
suppose you should make a failure in your
first attempt, what a fool you would look
like how you would get laughed at !' But
the step was taken, and I rejoiced to feel
that I had done my duty: a load which had
long been too heavy for me was removed,
and I felt altogether a new man.
"I fear I have been tiresome; but I will
now soon conclude. I was proposed at the
localpreachers' meeting, accepted, preached
several times before the brethren, with some
degree of acceptance; and after remaining
about four months in Y- from the pe-
riod referred to, my health being re-establish-
ed, I again removed to the metropolis, where
my name was regularly inserted on the plan.
Having passed my examination in the usual
way, I was received into full connection
as a local preacher. I need not tell you that
I am now fully occupied in this blessed
work; that my happiest hours are those
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
spent in it; that, were it the will of God, I
am willing to live and die in the work."
Thomas is now a local preacher in one of
the London circuits; and although by his
occupation he is necessarily prevented from
much study, being in business, as unfortu-
nately most young men are, from early in
the morning till late at night, he is, never-
theless, an acceptable, and, it is hoped, a
HISTORY OF GEORGE.
THE third brother, George, remained in
M---school for some years after the elder
brothers had left. As a scholar he was well-
behaved and attentive; and after conduct-
ing himself with propriety for a considerable
period, he was appointed a teacher. He
had not long been thus engaged before,
during a gracious revival of religion in the
circuit, he became deeply impressed with
the necessity of salvation, and determined
52 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
to seek the forgiveness of his sins. He
joined the Wesleyan society, and after a
short period, professed to have obtained
peace with God through Christ, and the
remission of sins through faith in his
Shortly after he had joined the Wesleyan
society, he was sent for some months to a
boarding-school in a neighboring town. At
that period the Rev. J. B. was one of the
resident Wesleyan ministers. Mr. B. had,
a little time previous, preached a sermon to
the young; and at the close of the service
had invited those young people who were
not connected with any church, and who
were determined to begin to serve God, to
meet him on the ensuing Thursday evening.
Thirty came, whom he formed into a class,
and continued to meet while he remained
in the circuit. To this class George united
himself; and the instructions and kindness
of this devoted minister, exercised a bene-
ficial influence on his character and conduct.
By the grace of God he was enabled to
persevere amidst the enticements of his
youthful associates, and to keep a con-
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 53
science void of offense towards God and
Soon after this, he was removed from
the parental roof, and placed with a local
preacher at B., as an apprentice. Here his
religious experience deepened, and he enjoy-
ed more of the favor and love of God; con-
tinuing instant in prayer, and adorning the
doctrine of God his Saviour. His Sabbaths
were indeed days of rest; but not the rest
of the idle, for he engaged heartily in the
duties of the Sabbath-school, and was a
regular and punctual teacher. Some of his
friends, who knew the state of his health,
were rather opposed to his leisure moments
being thus occupied, and considered that he
ought to take exercise and recreation in the
open air. Such were not his views. He
shortly had to remove from business for a
time, and to take one or two sea voyages,
which happily restored him to his former
health, and enabled him to return to his
After exercising as a prayer-leader as
well as a teacher for some time, he became
impressed with the conviction that it was
54 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
his duty and privilege to preach the gospel.
He was encouraged to proceed, and his
name placed on the local preachers' plan.
He then ceased to attend the Sunday-school.
In a letter to a brother, George observes:
"I can scarcely remember anything of
serious impressions while at school; though,
I doubt not, the instructions I there received
had a salutary influence upon my mind.
If I remember rightly, several of the elder
children were converted during the revival
at M.; and most of those who continued
steadfast were, or had been, connected with
the school, either as teachers or scholars."
George was not satisfied with his attain-
ments in the divine life, but sought to
possess higher enjoyments and more exten-
sive usefulness,-" to deeper sink, and higher
rise, and to perfection grow." He was
soon enabled to testify that "the blood of
Jesus Christ cleanseth from all sin;" and
had much delightful evidence that to be
more holy was to become more happy and
useful. He labors devotedly and success-
fully as a local preacher, and is determined
to live to the glory of God.
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 55
CONCLUSION-BENEFITS OF SUNDAY-SCHOOLS.
HAVING now brought my sketches to a con-
clusion, I would here make a few remarks,
before I take leave of my reader. First:
the benefits resulting from Sabbath-schools
are not confined to those which are present
and palpable. How often do we hear of
children leaving the school, and going out
into the world, without any apparent effect
being produced in their minds; but yet, in
the course of time, through the blessing of
God, the most beneficial results have ap-
peared from these instructions.
Not a few instances of boys who have
been excluded on account of bad conduct,
but who have been brought to the knowledge
of the truth, through the blessing of God upon
the instructions received in the Sabbath-
school, have been laid before the public.
And who will say, that in many cases where
there seems no connection whatever be-
tween the instruction and the conversion
of the individual, no such connection
56 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
exists? It is my firm conviction that a per-
son who has received instruction in a Sab-
bath-school is much more likely to receive
the truth in the love of it, than is the
individual who has been brought up in
complete ignorance of the truths of the gos-
pel. The heart and understanding of the
former may be compared to the ground
broken up, and prepared for the seed; while
those of the latter are like the field through
which the plow has never passed, and the
face of which has never been prepared; to
sow seed on which is, in general, to cast it
upon "stony ground, where" it is either
picked up by the "birds of the air," or,
should it chance to take root, soon withers
away, because it has no deepness of earth."
Secondly: if no positive good resulted from
Sabbath-schools, the amount of negative
good produced would be sufficient to com-
pensate for all the labor and toil of the
teachers, and to warrant their continuance
and support. How much Sabbath-breaking
is prevented by these instructions! A
very great proportion of those children who
attend Sabbath-schools would, but for them,
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 57
be spending their time in running about the
streets, and in profaning the Lord's day;
and, by the unholy companionships which
they must form, into how much of profligacy
and vice would they be led! Is it true on
the one hand, "train up a child in the way
he should go; and when he is old, he will
not depart from it ?" Then it is equally
true, that if a child be trained up in the way
in which he should not go, when he is old,
he is not likely to depart from it! So that by
the prevention of Sabbath-breaking, and its
consequent train of evils, you actually les-
sen the amount of crime in riper years.
Children will be educated; and if the people
of God do not educate them for their Mas-
ter, and train them for heaven, the servants
of the devil will not be slow in educating
them for theirs, and in training them for
hell! I conceive that none, save the Trac-
tarians of Oxford, and their party, will
deny the beneficial moral influence which
such Sabbath instruction has exerted upon
our teeming population. Go to the gloomy
prisons, and search in the lonely cells for
those wretched beings who through crime
58 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
have become their inhabitants, and make
the inquiry as to who are the tenants of
those places; and the result of that inquiry
will be, an overwhelming majority stands on
the side of the ignorant-of those who
never had the benefits of Sabbath-school
instruction. Search into the history of
those poor wretches who people our Union
Houses," and you will find that but few of
them enjoyed the benefits of Sabbath-school
instruction. And it may be relied on as a
fact, that in the black catalogue of the an-
nals of crime comparatively few are to be
found who were instructed in Sabbath-
schools. Let Sabbath-schools become uni-
versal, let proper teachers be provided for
the children, and let religious instruction of
an orthodox character be instilled into their
minds, and next to the preaching of the gos-
pel, it will do more towards the establish-
ment of the reign of grace-towards the
universal reign of Christ-than any one
Thirdly: let it be known that the im-
mediate, positive results of Sabbath-school
instruction, are incalculable! Scores, yea
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
hundreds, have, during their connection
with them, been soundly converted to God.
Hundreds and thousands date their conver-
sion from the instructions and admonitions
received at those noble institutions; and not
a few of the most devoted missionaries,
illustrious divines, laborious commentators,
and translators of the Bible, and most popu-
lar preachers of the age, have been among
those very persons who owed-and have
rejoiced to own that they owed-their con-
version to Sabbath-school instrumentality.
I cannot take leave of the reader, without
adverting for a moment to an objection
which may be raised with reference to the
subjects of the preceding narrative.
Some persons, perhaps, may be ready to
say, that in all probability these brothers
would have become what they are, had
they never seen a Sabbath-school. To this
objection I answer: That such a position
would prove fatal to all instrumental means
of salvation. God could, undoubtedly, save
man without any instrumentality whatever.
He could, we say, do this; but such is not
God's method of procedure; and we are
60 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
therefore justified in believing, that to the
various instrumentalities in operation is
the salvation of man attributable : and if so,
why should we deny that God can and
does bless the labors of Sabbath-school
teachers, and, through their instrumentality,
render Sabbath-schools channels of salvation
to many ?
I will only add,-and I rejoice that I am
able to do so,-that each of the brothers is
now actively engaged in the work of God.
James is the superintendent and manager
of a Wesleyan Sunday-school; and in point
of perseverance, and constancy in the pro-
secution of duty, he is quite a pattern.
Thomas and George are very acceptable
local preachers in the Wesleyan connection.
May they ever be zealous in every good
work, and have grace to continue faithful
unto the end.
"He that goeth forth and weepeth, bear-
ing precious seed, shall doubtless come
again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves
with him." Psalm cxxvi, 6.
Cast thy bread upon the waters; for thou
shaltfindit after manydays." Eccles. xi, 1.
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL. 61
THE following letter has been put into the
writer's hands since the preceding pages
were in the press, and will be read with
deep interest, as containing an account of
the death of one of the teachers of T-
street school, from the pen of her brother,
My beloved sister entered into the joy
of her Lord about half-past twelve this
morning. I sat up in company with Mrs.
B. and another friend-it was a delightful
night, there was a calm and cloudless sky,
and the full moon shone in at the window in
spite of the blind and rush-light. I rose at
last, and extinguished it, and drew up the
blind; it was a beautiful and a solemn sight!
I shall never forget it. Jessy found it hard
work to breathe, and at times, I almost
indulged a wish that she might be speedily
released. But I did not dare to pray for life
or death; Thy will be done,' was my motto,
62 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
and all was well. Seeing her eyes often
turned upward, I spoke, and pointed upward,
'Yonder's your house and portion fair;'
she hesitated a moment, and then added,-
'M-y tr-easure-and-my HEART are
"At another time, observing her in great
pain for the want of breath, and at the same
time moving her lips in silent prayer or
praise, I said,-'As thy day, so shall thy
strength be.' She replied with feeling, 'Yes.'
At another time we understood her to say
'Jesus,' with something like energy in her
voice; but whether in prayer or praise we
could not decide, as the voice was thick,
and rather indistinct, although loud, and
many words could not be understood be-
cause of this.
The last word I caught was 'Glory,' and
a very appropriate one it was to bid adieu
to this lower world, and enter that which is
above. I attempted to move her head a
little, in order to let her see the beautiful
moon once more, as it shone on every part
of her, except just the forehead and eye; when
she said,' Don't bring me back from heaven,'
THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
and when we could not understand her
words, we were convinced by the tone of
her voice that pleasure and joy reigned
within. Her hands had been for some time
down by her sides; but a few minutes be-
fore death she raised them gently up, and
clasping them together, seemed by her mo-
tions to commend her soul to Jesus. O! I
shall never forget that scene: there lay the
dying saint before my face,-it was the
solemn, still hour of midnight-the calm
serene without beautifully harmonized with
the scene within. The virgin was ready,
with her lamp trimmed, and the cry came,
'Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye forth
to meet him.' The summons was obeyed,
and the faithful servant entered into the joy
of her Lord.
As regards my own feelings, I was with-
out agitation; and that sweet, sweet peace,
which is the peculiar property of the people
of God, kept my heart and mind: but when
the spirit had fled I felt a little excitement,
and could have disturbed the house by
shouting her dying word, Glory!
She selected a verse for the funeral ser-
64 THE VILLAGE SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
mon; it is the last in the seventh of Revela-
tion: For the Lamb which is in the midst
of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead
them unto living fountains of waters; and
God shall wipe away all tears from their