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catechetical classes. We have Lead. for the extension of the work of ers for our adult members : let Cate- God in our native country?” In conchists be provided for our youth. nexion with many other truly excel. We give tickets to our members, lent recommendations, is the follow. whereby they are acknowledged ing :-"Let us, at least in every large as such :
let tickets be given town, establish weekly meetings for to catechumens, as catechumens, the children of our friends, accordand in that character forming a ing to our ancient custom ; and let part of the Wesleyan church. Our us pay particular spiritual attention, members are visited quarterly in in public and in private, to the their classes by their Ministers : let young people of our societies and the catechumens be visited in a congregations.” similar way. By some such plan, The standing Rules now pubarrangements might be made, by lished annually in our Minutes are which the entire youth of our peo the following: ple could be enclosed in the visible “1. Our Ministers are solemnly fold of Christ; and its privileges enjoined to hold regular weekly generally they should be permitted meetings with the children of our to enjoy, until, by their immorality, people, under the age of fourteen, or their own voluntary act, they on the most convenient day of the dissolve the connexion between them- week, in every town where a Minisselves and it.
ter has his stated residence, accord. The necessity and advantage of ing to our ancient rule and pracforming the children of our people tice. into classes have both been repeat “2. The attention of our Minis. edly and distinctly asserted. In the ters is again earnestly directed to year 1744, Mr. Wesley wrote in the the necessity and importance of Minutes of Conference, “Might making some effectual arrangement, not the children of every place be in every town where a Minister formed into a little society?
resides, for obtaining pastoral ac“Let the Preachers try, by meeting cess, at stated times, to the young them together, and giving them persons of Methodist families, besuitable exhortations. At such tween the ages of fourteen and meeting we may, first, set them a les. twenty one, with a view to promote son in the ‘Instruction,' or • Tokens their spiritual welfare by personal in. for Children.' 2. Hear them repeat struction, exhortation, and prayer." it. 3. Explain it to them in an easy, The above regulations are excelfamiliar manner. 4. Often ask, lent in principle, but practically •What have I been saying?' And they are deficient in reference to strive to fasten it on their hearts." making full provision for the reli
At the Conference of 1808, the gious oversight and instruction of question was asked, "What can we all our youth. They are based on do for the spiritual benefit of the the assumption that our Ministers, children of our people? Answer, in their respective Circuits, can meet Let the good old custom of holding all who stand related to the church a children's meeting once a week, in the way already pointed out, and be revived in every town, and wher- require their attention. It will be ever else it shall be found practica no difficult matter to prove this. ble ; and let all the Preachers turn As we have no data by wbich we their serious attention to this im can ascertain what proportion the portant subject. We also recom youth of our members in their teens mend that the Instructions for bear to the total number of comChildren’ should be used in every municants, we cannot say how many Methodist family.”
are springing up every year of this In the Minutes of 1820, the fol. class. But it is intended that our lowing question was asked :-“What Sunday-schools should be the submeasures can we adopt for the in- sidiary means for the religious increase of spiritual religion among struction of our children, and we our societies and congregations, and may therefore adopt the numbers
returned from them as the data for and giving tickets, prayer-meetings, our calculations.
and Missionary, School, and Tract Take Nottingham and Derby as Committee Meetings, attending Misexamples. According to the sche- sionary services occasionally, and dules returned in 1844, there are other extra duties, the Minister in Nottingham one thousand und is deprived of the opportunity of twenty-nine scholars : now, allowmeeting the catechumens regularly ing that each of these remains and extensively. in the school for seven years, In the country Circuits, the meet(froin six to thirteen years of ings connected with the secular age,) then one seventh leaving an affairs of the church may be less nually will give one hundred and numerous; but the number of serforty-seven, of both sexes, for whom mons is greater; and as these some provision should be made. have to be delivered in the evening, Supposing that there were twenty in the Minister here, equally with the each class, this would require seven foriner, is prevented from attending Catechists to be appointed annually, to the demands of our youth by
In Derby there are six hundred personal exertion. and twenty-three scholars; and, ac Thus, without going more into cording to the same principle of detail, it is presumed that it is apcalculation, eighty-nine scholars, on parent to every reflecting mind, the average, will leave the school whether we consider the numbers annually ; and thus there will be a to be provided for, or the circumdemand for four Catechists every stances in which the respective paryear. Assuming that these youths ties, both Ministers and youth, are remain in the catechetical classes found, that there is a loud call for only five years on the average, (that some provision to be made that does is, from thirteen to eighteen years of not at present exist : in a word, we age,) then in five years there would need catechetical classes to keep up be in Derby twenty Catechists raised the union between us, and the youth up, each having under his charge committed to our care by Provi. twenty youths, making four hundred dence; as well as to prepare them, in the whole : a number which we by the divine blessing, to occupy a ought to have in catechetical classes, permanent place in the church. where we have so many children in As to the mode of conducting our Sunday-schools. And on the these classes, we may be permitted same principle, forming an estimate to notice a few particulars. One forour whole Connexion, we shall have chief reason for the failure of “ fifty-seven thousand one hundred and lect classes,” &c., it is believed, has forty-three young people leaving our been the defective character of the schools annually, and for whom pro plan of instruction pursued. In vision ought to be made in cateche some, perhaps many, instances, tical classes. We might as well, there. young people have been treated as fore, expect our Ministers to meet though they were the subjects of all the classes in our respective so. Christian experience, which was not cieties, as to meet our youth in a the case. They may have been acway that would be commensurate quainted with the gracious drawings with the necessities of the case. of the Holy Spirit, and have had
Again : our Circuits may be di the fear of God before their eyes ; vided into two general classes, town but they have not had Christian and country. In the former a large experience. They could say little proportion, nearly the whole, of the or nothing that was interesting, and young persons contemplated are so the Leader felt he could say but litmuch engaged, as apprentices, pu tle that was edifying to them. The pils, or servants,&c., that they could result has been, that these classes, command only an hour in the even known by various names, have again ing, or on the Sabbath. But then, and again dwindled away, though with preaching, say two nights in the frequently revived. week, a band-meeting on the third, One method adopted is the fol.
lowing :-A page of the second was encouraging. I took down Wesleyan Catechism, a hymn in our the
the scholars in own Hymn-Book, and a passage of one class, and found they varied Scripture, are pointed out on the from about twelve to twenty-one Plan of the Circuit, and the young years of age. These examples 1 people are requested to study these considered proofs that the continuattentively. Catechetical exercises ance of our young people among take place upon each, all being made us, at least to a great extent, might the subject of examination, explana- be secured by the adoption of suittion, and application, at the weekly able measures. The neat and mo. meeting by the Catechist, as time dest appearance, the mild and civil and circumstances may dictate. manners, the gentle and teachable This plan affords variety, and gives spirit, of these young persons, as an opportunity of recommending indicated by what I saw, induced and enforcing Christian principles me to think that they should in and duties under almost every as. some way be directly connected with pect; whilst new topics are fur the church. But simply as scholars nished weekly to both parties. With they had no immediate connexion out confining the Catechist abso with our body; and I understood that, lutely to this plan, where he may from the two schools, about twenty see sufficient reason for deviating would be honourably dismissed at from it, it is a guide, and will ren the succeeding anniversary, and der his proceedings regular, satisfac: that nearly this number are annually tory, and useful. The same method removed in the same manner. On is pursued in private families with inquiry, I was informed, that a manifest advantage. It may therefore few of these became Teachers; be respectfully recommended to the but only a few; the exact proattention of the Connexion at large portion I could not ascertain : but as worthy of adoption as a general the rest are soon lost sight of, and rule, and as being adapted to secure it is unknown what becomes of great benefit. It would consequently them. Now, here is the great gulf be desirable that a table should be between our Sunday-schools and published annually by our Book- the church ;-a gulf in which im. Room, containing the above particu- mense multitudes have been lost. lars, and thus the whole body would Our youth must be kept in union be directed and assisted, and the work
The best and most effecpursued with uniformity and effi- tual way of doing this, will be a ciency. Ministers, Teachers, Cate. subject for full and serious considerchists, and parents would know to what ation ; but if we wish to promote portions to direct their attention. the real interests of our church, This would secure unity of design, and to save our youth from a thol. and co-operation in effort, as well as sand snares and dangers, it must be call forth a large amount of energy. done. By pursuing the abore or
The advantages which are likely a similar plan, they would obtain a to arise from the vigorous prosecu- large amount of Christian informa. tion of a well-digested plan, are tion which they do not now possess. numerous, in reference to our youth, They would be brought under a our Sunday-school Teachers, our restraint and an influence which Leaders, and Local Preachers, as would operate most beneficially. well as to our members generally. Their continued union with us
As to our youth : Few incidents would be productive of affection, gave me so much gratification as interest, and esteem ; and we might my visits to the Cherry-street and in consequence reasonably calculate Wesley-chapel Sunday-schools, in on its perpetuity in numerous inBirmingham, during the sittings of stances. the last Conference. Here I found a considerable number of young
Our young people would also be
come better qualified for Teachers in females especially, whose continu our schools; they would obtain fitance in the school for a long time ness, both as it regards their know
ledge and the right manner of com Let it also be remembered, that municating it, which generally they a plan of the above nature will be do not possess; and their useful as needful when we have got a dayness would be promoted.
school in every Circuit, as it is now. The piety of members thus in. The period between leaving school, structed would become more intel- whether week-day or Sunday, and ligent, and therefore more stable twenty years of age, is that in and influential. Knowing what they which our great loss is sustained. believe, and why,-acquainted with It is here that provision is wanted their duty, and the reasons for it, - to keep our youth in connexion with they would not be so liable to be us; and there is this strong reason “ tossed about with every wind of in favour of the adoption of the doctrine" by which they might be plan,---catechetical classes may be assailed, or to be drawn away from formed forthwith, without incurring their religious connexions and the any expense except in the purchase privileges they have enjoyed. The of a few Catechisms and Hymn. subject is, therefore, one of surpass- Books; and these classes may be ing value ; and without delay, and formed where, from circumstances, with the greatest zeal, it ought to be or the paucity of the population, it entered upon diligently, and prose may not be practicable to form cuted with untiring energy.
either a Sunday or week-day school. The importance of this question These classes may also be taught can scarcely be overrated. Accord. even where adverse interests are ing to the returns made to the Edu- working through similar institucation Committee, we have four hun. tions in opposition to our welfare. dred and sixteen thousand three hun. That this is a question deeply interdred and eighty.three scholars in our esting, may be argued from the folSunday-schools. Now, without any lowing table. It exhibits the ages and increase, and allowing that the numbers of persons who were scholars remain in the schools, on charged with various crimes, and the average, seven years, then fifty- committed to prison, in England and nine thousand four hundred and Wales, in 1842. eighty-three must leave us annually, Under 15 years
1,672 on the average. In the next ten 15 and under 20
6,884 years, losing sight of any increase, 20
. 7,731 fire hundred and ninety-four thousand 25
4,781 eight hundred and thirty young per
5,247 sons will leave our Sunday-schools. 40
.2,592 Surely it must be apparent to every 50
1,183 reflecting mind that there is the 60 and above
573 loudest call for us at once to make Ages not ascertained the most effectual provision for se This table shows most convincingly curing the esteem of such numbers, how needful it is to seize the period and uniting them to us by the immediately previous to. fifteen strongest ties. In this statement years of age for commencing that attention is fixed on our Sunday course of religious training which schools, because from them we have may preserve youth from the paths returns furnishing data for accurate of impiety. It is stated that the calculations. But in addition to number committed under ten years these, there are many thousands con of age is so small, that the period nected with the families in our congre. from ten to fifteen may with progations and our day-schools, who are priety be taken as the first stage equally within our reach, and over of crime. Within these limits the whom we might exercise a beneficial table presents us with one thousand influence. But these may be viewed six hundred and seventy-two ; but imas likely to supply the place of those, mediately after, in the next five years, in the former number, who may, the number increases to six thousand after all we can do for them, never eight hundred and eighty-four, showtheless leave us for various reasons. ing at once that the quinquennial
period preceding may be viewed as twenty ; and of persons fifteen and the pivot on which the future life under twenty years, one million and character may turn. The pro- four hundred and eighty-nine thou. portion of the entire population sand, three hundred and eighty-six ; under twenty years of age, confirms making three millions one hundred the above view of the importance and thirteen thousand nine hundred of this question. According to the and six persons between ten and last census, there were of persons twenty years of age, or a little more ten years and under fifteen years of than one fifth of the population. age, one million sir hundred and
John STEPHENSON. twenty-four thousand, five hundred and Grimsby.
REMARKS ON SOME RECENT OCCURRENCES.
(To the Editor of the Wesleyan-Methodist Magazine.) On page 833 of your October cannot be said that it excites surNumber, you administer a severe prise. The Episcopalian Minister is but just rebuke to the recently. taught to regard Episcopacy as the appointed Curate of Marden ; and door through which he and the l'apal very properly remark on his griev- priesthood pass into the sacred office, ous departure from “the holy coun with whom it is the only scriptural sels and example of his sainted and legitimate mode of admission; father.” It would be well if such and that all Presbyterian ordination, instances of unfilial and unchristian by whomsoever administered, is unconduct were of rare occurrence; authorized and invalid. How far but, unhappily, they are not; there such exclusiveness harmonizes with are other sons of Wesleyan parents the doctrines of the New Testament, who, having taken Orders in the and the example of Christ, is a established Church, and being anx- question on which I shall not now ious to clear themselves from all enter; the main object of this comsuspicion of nonconformity, have munication being to remind Wes. manifested the most bitter and hos- leyan parents of the responsibility tile spirit toward that religious com which they incur, by placing their munity with which many of them children in the pulpits of the Estab. had formerly sought a close con- lishment. Suppose them to be truly nexion, and to which they all are pious, and that their piety is not under the deepest obligation. Your perilled by what is preliminary to late exposé of the author of a pam- such a step,-admissions which, I phlet entitled, "Modern Wesleyan. judge, in many instances, could not ism compared with the teaching of be justly made,—will not their reMr. Wesley,” will not have been spect for the constitution and disciforgotten by your readers ; and pline of Methodism be destroyed ? though few, perhaps, of the class and is it not to be feared that they alluded to are willing to go to the will seek its overthrow ?-an alienasame extent of false and slanderous tion and attack, on the part of the statements to which the anonymous, children of Methodism, which, I am but well-known, author, “İ. D.,“ sure, no Wesleyan parent can conhas gone; yet, in every instance of template without deep and painful a similar alliance with Episcopacy emotion. which has come under my notice, there has been a total repudiation of mately acquainted with the father
It was my, privilege to be intithe form and spirit of Methodism, of the Curate of Marden; and a and almost as invariably a deter. more sincere, ardent, and generous mined attempt to weaken and sub- friend of Wesleyan Methodism was vert its influence. However much not to be found among its supportthis hostility may be regretted, it ers; its theory and practice com