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the throne, and judgeth the hearts and actions of men.

Among the officers of the institution I recognize the names of several of our most worthy citizens, particularly that of the venerable Col. Platt. Although advanced in the vale of years; at a season of life when the fervency and ardour of youthful feelings have generally subsided into a calm and gentle current, we behold this meritorious revolutionary officer devoting himself to the cause of Sunday school instruction, with all that energy and intrepidity of feeling that we are told characterized the morning of his life, while serving in that army which, under the smiles of a gracious Providence, achieved the independence of his country. Fathers in Israel, what a noble example-how pre-eminently worthy your imitation-what a decisive and salutary influence must such examples have upon your sons and daughters, in conducting them in the 66 way wherein they should go!".


Having penned a few of the many reflections that occupied my mind after reading the report, permit me to trespass for a moment longer while I propound the question, Why are not all the schools connected with the several Episcopal Churches in this city united together under the direction of this society, and the members of our Zion" estranged from each other in this excellent and Christian work? To this interrogation it is replyed by some, That the Episcopal Schools not now in union with this society were formed under the auspicies of the "Sunday School Union Society," anterior to the formation of an Episcopal Society; that, therefore, they are bound to remain under its direction; and that a separation, under any circumstances, would be almost a wanton violation of those kind, amiable, and charitable feelings by which Christians of different denominations are bound together. I cannot but express my respect and esteem for these feelings. They bespeak mildness and amiability. But are they indulged upon correct principles? Have they a proper direction? Is a separation in any degree incompatible with the most affectionate, cor

dial, and liberal feelings of good will towards other denominations? Is an exclusive attachment to principles we confidently believe are true, and scripturally founded, at all inconsistent with that "charity that hopeth and be lieveth all things?"

But are there not reasons for a separation cogent and imperious? In my humble opinion there are, and I beg leave to state at least a few of them.

It is well recollected, that when the subject of Sunday Schools was first introduced to, and claimed the attention of the Christian public in this metropolis; that while their great uti lity and perfect practicability in countries possessing a superabundant and indigent population, was admitted on all hands; yet there were many who could not at once bring themselves to believe that in a country like ours, with a comparatively thin population, enjoying so abundantly and munificently the benefit of free, common, and parochial charity school education, the Sunday School system could be productive of any substantial benefit, for want of the proper subjects for instruction. This sentiment prevailed extensively among Episcopalians, (who could not be supposed indifferent for other and less worthy motives, for their fathers and elder brethren of the Church of England were the first to begin, and have since unremittingly cherished the system) and it is confidently believed was the operative reason why the "Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Society" did not spring into being as soon or sooner than the "Sunday School Union Society." Meanwhile the experiment is made, a number of parochial schools are formed, including a few Episcopalians. The success of that experiment far exceeded the hopes and calculations of the most sanguine, and entirely revolutionized and settled the opinions of the heretofore incredulous and sceptical.

Was this incredulity and scepticism unreasonable? Certainly not. While a liberal portion of praise is deservedly awarded to other denominations for having taken the lead in the glorious

race, justice demands the same for Episcopalians, who have followed the example with the most substantial and brilliant success. Witness the first and second Annual Report of their General Society. After the formation of the Episcopal Society, was it not both rational and natural to expect that the parochial schools of that denomination would have at once united with it, on the principle of preference to their own "household of faith?" Would they have sacrificed a single advantage by separating from the one, for which they would not have been most abundantly requited by a union with the other? Does Christian charity require of us a stronger feeling of attachment to those who are comparatively strangers, than to those of our own family, our kindred, our friends? I trust that intelligent minds will not charge me with the odious sin of bigotry if I answer in the negative. Again I aver my esteem for the amiable feelings of those of the contrary opinion, while I again confidently repeat the declaration of my conviction, that those feelings are improperly directed.

In remarking further upon this subject, I will speak of it with reference to the probable duration and efficient operation of the "Sunday School Union Society," and the benefits that will result to the Episcopal parochial schools now in union with that society, from their being united under the direction of the General Episcopal Society.

It is believed to be a perfectly sound and generally acknowledged principle, that all associations, as well religious as political, composed of different and discordant materials, possess in themselves a principle that infallibly tends to dissolution. In the ardency of desire to do good, men of opposite opinions, feelings, and habits, associate together for the better accomplishment of an important object. They forget that an equality of influence cannot be obtained, and that it is in the nature of things impossible to prevent the ascendency of the larger party. The minor parts of which the whole is composed, from the jealousy

inherent in the nature of man, become dissatisfied and indifferent; the system of measures becomes enervated; and, finally, the association is consigned to the "tomb of the Capulets." Its different members commence anew on the natural principle of unity in opinion as well as in object, and act with steady, energetic, and durable effect. How many of those catholic associations have been created and dissolved since the formation (upwards of a century ago) of the "Society for Propagating the Gospel in Foreign Parts," composed exclusively of Churchmen!

When the whole machinary of the system operates upon the principle of unity in opinion, mode of worship, instruction, discipline, and object, a healthful, vigorous energy will prevail; and success, with the use of ordinary means, will infallibly result. This declaration is fully exemplified in the successful and harmonious operation of the "Protestant Episcopal Sunday School Society." This society supplies the various wants of its particular schools with promptitude; and the "Auxiliary New-York Bible and Common Prayer Book Society" consider them as primary objects of their benevolence in the gratuitous distribution of Bibles and Common Prayer Books.

In conclusion. I cannot but indulge the hope, that the period is not far distant when the "Protestant Episcopal Sunday Schools" will exhibit the cheering and gratifying sight of "Jerusalem at unity with herself," in principle and action; and that leaving others to proceed in the good work in their own way, they will unitedly pursue a steady and undeviating system of Sunday School instruction, that will comport with the peculiar and distinguishing principles of our excellent Church.

A TRUE CHURCHMAN. New-York, 3d Aug. 1819.

We insert the above, confident that our readers will participate in the pleasure we have derived from the vein of piety and zeal that distinguishes it; and in full persuasion of the soundness and correctness of its

principles. We would confirm the latter by the authority of the venerable senior Bishop of our Church, the Right Rev. Dr. White, of Pennsylvania. In a sermon preached by him at the assembling of the Sunday Schools of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the city and liberties of Philadelphia, he gives his opinion at large in the following terms.

"Another reason of resort to the medium of the press, was the giving of the greater notoriety to the opinion of the preacher-and, he may add, of his Rev. Brethren, so far as is known to him-that without condemning Sunday Schools in any other form than that preferred by them; and even with the acknowledgment, that in relation to some objects of charitable regard, there may laudably be a departure from that recommended; they wish to inculcate its resting as a duty on their own Church, to provide that the improvement in question, and every other which may be devised, be made subservient to the educating of the children of her poorer members in the doctrines of the Gospel, as they appear in her institutions. Further, it being a matter of notoriety, that a considerable proportion of the poor of the city are detached from the profession of religion in any form; and care of their spiritual interests being a debt lying on professing Christians generally; this Church ought not to be backward to take a reasonable share of it on herself." Pref.

"This leads to the mention of a serious contest in the same country [England]: some persons advocating the plan of indifference to the opinions of one Christian denomination or another. The clergy, awake to the tendency of this suggestion, took measures to add the new species of charitable institution, to the immense mass of schools of the old description, which have been for ages the ornaments and nurseries of their Church.

"It has happened that, with the expedient of Sunday Schools, there has crossed to this country the same question as to the conducting of them: and the opinion of your preacher being decidedly in favour of the principle VOL. III.

adopted by the English clergy, and

acted on in the formation of the schools assembled in our presence, it may be proper in him briefly to assign his


"There would be a good reason, if no other could be assigned, in the dif ficutly of acting on the opposite principle with consistency; which appears from this, that the prominent favourers of the plan have been found continually swerving from it, either insensibly or by design; and insinuating their particular dogmas under the shelter of a fancied liberality. This is a fact, of which unequivocal evidence might be produced, if it were a proper time and place.

"But it is more important to contend, that the principle cannot be acted on in the work of education, consistently with fidelity to the gospel ministry. Let it not be imagined, that there is here advocated the occupying of the infant mind with the thorny questions of scholastic theology. Our short chatechism is as free from this as any composition under the same name; and yet, if it should undergo a purgation, to accommodate it to the whimsical scheme proposed, there is scarcely a doctrine of the Christian revelation which must not give way to the pretended improvement in education.

"It is, therefore, with satisfaction, that your preacher perceives the plan preferred by him, to be acted on by the religious denominations of this city in general. But while he would consider the Church to which he belongs, if she should be inattentive to the crisis, as wanting in an important point of duty; yet, if there be any young persons who would be untaught on the plan preferred, so highly does he conceive of the importance of the elements of reading, as to approve of their being taught on a plan less desirable. On this account he has interested himself, during the last 27 years, in a school of that lower grade of merit ; the utility of which has been felt; and, it is to be hoped, will retain the patronage of the public.

"The schools of the opposite description have not only the advantage 34

of more enlarged instruction in religion than can be engaged in by the others, but that of bringing the instructed children to the churches: thus accomplishing one of the best uses of Sunday Schools-the preventing of much disorder, on that day in particular, in the streets.

"Under this view of the subject, your clergy have, from the beginning, encouraged, and will continue to do what is in their power, to promote the object of the zeal of those respectable individuals of both sexes, who have condescended to bestow their gratuitous exertions on this field of labour. For it is in these local associations that the great object is to be accomplished; so that when we patronize a combined society of our communion, it is for the purpose of giving a greater effect to the others, by the creating of a more general interest; and through that medium, by the creating of such pe cuniary resources as are equal to the very moderate demand of this cheapest of all expedients for the improving of the condition of the poor."

The same prelate has twice brought the subject before his clergy in his conventional addresses. In 1818 he thus expressed himself:-" It is my earnest recommendation that whatever efforts may be put forth by my Rev. Brethren for the extending of this species of beneficent institution, the instruction of them embrace the principles of Christian faith and worship as maintained in this Church, and be under the control of its ministry. There is an apparent liberality in the contrary scheme; but it is never consistently acted on, so far as my know ledge extends. If it should be acted on, there must be a surrendry of Christian verity."

of which is just published, entitled, "Hora Britannica; or, Studies in Ancient British History; containing various Disquisitions on the national and religious Antiquities of GreatBritain. By John Hughes. 1818, 1819." The following narrative of the last days of the venerable Bede, as given in that work, may prove interesting to your readers.*

I am, &c. R. E. ments of the venerable Bede, by one "The account given of the last mo

ble, was born at Wearmouth or Jarrow, in the county of Durham, and, from his earliest years, educated in the monastery of St. Peter. The monastic life gave him the opportunities which he so ardently desir ed, his time was devoted to the severest studies, and his name and learning became so respectable, that pope Sergius in vain solicited his presence at Rome. He was courted by the most learned of his countrymen, and particularly by Egbert, bishop of York, to whom he wrote, in the last years of his life, an epistle, valuable for the curious statement which it gives of the

* Beda or Bede, surnamed the Venera

ecclesiastical affairs of the times. Confinement and application at last overpowered his constitution; but though labouring under the complicated weight of a consumption and an asthma, he continued occasionally to impart instruction to the monks of the monastery, till he expired, 26th May, 735, aged 63. His remains were deposited at Jarrow, but afterwards reof St. Cuthbert. Of his writings, which moved to Durham, and placed with those were all composed in Latin, the most ce lebrated were his Ecclesiastical History, from the time of Julius Cæsar to his own age, collected from the annals of convents

and ancient chronicles-his Commentaries on Scripture, &c. His works were so universally admired, that not only his coun trymen, but foreigners, were loud in his praises. Some, however, have severely attacked his literary character. He certainly possessed all the puerile credulity of legendary miracles. He wrote, says du the times; he indulged in the relation of Pin, (tome vi. p. 88) with surprising facility, but without elegance, art, purity, or reflection; and, though his style is clear, he appears to be a greater master of learnThe last Days of the venerable BEDE. ing than of judgment, or true critical

At the late Convention he repeated the same sentiment in nearly the same words.*

(From the Christian Observer for April, 1819.)

I HAVE been reading, with much interest, a work, the second volume

See the last number of the Christian Journal, page 250.

taste. He was, however, according to Camden, Bale, Pits, and others, a man of superior powers of mind, and he shone like a meteor in the darkness of a barbarous age. So valuable were his writings considered, that a council ordered them to be publicly read in churches.

of his own scholars, is so very affecting, and displays so high a strain of devotion, that I think proper to annex it to the concluding papers of this volume, as an eminent instance of the peaceable and happy consummation of a good man's days." "See with what peace a Christian can expire !"

"The ancient narrative states, that about two weeks before Easter, he was much troubled with a difficulty of breathing, yet without pain; so that he led his life cheerful and rejoicing, employing his time in devout exercises, until the day of our Lord's ascension, which was that year on the first of the calends of June. He daily read lessons to his scholars, and spent what remained of the day in singing Psalms he also passed all the night waking in joy and thanksgiving, unless when a short sleep prevented it; but awaking, he presently repeated his wonted exercises, and ceased not to give thanks to God, with hands expanded. He sang Antiphons, says the narrator, according to ours and his custom; one of which is, O glorious King! Lord of hosts! who triumph ing this day, didst ascend above all the heavens, do not forsake us orphans; but send down the promised Father's Spirit of truth upon us. Hallelujah.. When he came to the words do not forsake us, he burst out into tears, and wept much; and, when in an hour after he began to repeat what he had commenced, we wept with him; by turns we read, and by turns we wept; nay, we always read with tears. He often said and repeated, That God scourges every son whom he receiveth; and much more out of the Scripture; as also the remark of St. Ambrose, I have not lived so as to be ashamed to live among you; nor do I fear to die, because we have a good God. During these days he laboured to compose two works, well worthy to be remembered, besides the lessons we had from hirn, and singing of psalms; that is, he translated the Gospel of St. John into our own tongue, the Anglo-Saxon, for the benefit of the church; and some collections out of the book of notes of Bishop Isidorus, saying, I will not have my scholars read a falsehood,


and to labour herein after my death, without any advantage. This is one of the earliest accounts we have of any vernacular version of the Scriptures in Britain; and it shows that Bede had no mind to keep the word of God locked up in a foreign tongue. When the Tuesday before the ascension of our Lord came, he began to be more vehemently seized with difficulty of breathing, and a slight swelling appeared in his feet; but he passed all that day pleasantly, and dictated now and then, saying, Go on quickly, I know not how long I shall hold out, and whether my Maker will soon take› me away.' But to us he seemed wellto know the time of his departure; and so he spent that night waking in thanksgiving; and the morning ap pearing, that is, Wednesday, he ordered that we should speedily transcribe what he had begun to pen; and this done, we walked till the third hour in procession, in honour of the saints, according to the custom of that day. One of us remained with him, who said to him, Most dear master, there is still one chapter wanting: do you think it troublesome to be asked any more questions? He answered, It is no trouble: take your pen, and make ready, and write fast. This he did; but at the ninth hour he said to me, Run quickly, and bring the priests of our monastery to me. He then spoke to every one, admonishing and entreating that they would carefully say masses and prayers for him, which they readily promised; but they all mourned and wept, especially because he said, They should no more see his face in this world. But they rejoiced when he said further, It is time that I return to him who formed me out of nothing: I have lived long: my merciful Judge well foresaw my life for me: the time of my dissolution draws near, for I desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ. Having said much more, he passed the day rejoicing till the evening; and the above-mentioned youth said, Dear master, there is one sentence not yet written. He answered, Write quickly. Soon after, the young man said, The sentence is now written. He replied, Well, you have

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