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1846.]

Erie County Sabbath School Association.

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kingdom. To this end she set herself diligently to the cultivation of her mind. She devoted half an hour every evening to study, and used all other available means to prepare herself for usefulness. She used often to place a leaf of the Bible upon her loom, and to commit and digest its contents while her hands wrought. Within a single year, she became one of the best teachers in the Sabbath school, and was instrumental in bringing four of her pupils to a saving knowledge of Christ. Go thou and do likewise. Who is there present, whose abilities and opportunities are not equal to hers?-Winslow's Lecture to S. S. Teachers.

ERIE COUNTY, N. Y. SABBATH SCHOOL ASSOIATION.

We have received from some unknown friend, " The Western Cataract” of Nov. 13, 1845, which contains a full account of the Annual Meeting of the Erie County Sabbath School Association, held Sept. 24th, at Buffalo, Western N. Y.

The Association, as appears from the Report, was organized in the First Presbyterian Church, Buffalo, in the summer of 1841. Since then the President, Secretary and other members of the Executive Committee, have been accustomed to make frequent tours to different parts of the county, for the purpose of visiting and organizing Sabbath schools, addressing parents and children, and aiding in the cultivation of music in the schools. More of this labor was performed in 1842 and 1843, than during the previous and succeeding years. There was an increase, in 1842, of attendance upon the various Sabbath schools in the county, of about 1500 children, and in 1843, of 1000.-Since the 1st of August, 1845, the Association has employed a Sabbath school missionary, who has delivered from one to seven lectures on the subject of Sabbath schools, in each town in the county, excepting four-in all between sixty and seventy addresses. Besides these, Sabbath school celebrations have been held in ten of the towns, and with one exception these meetings have been numerously attended by parents, teachers, children, and friends generally. Appropriate, interesting, and instructive addresses, it is said, were delivered to these several classes of persons, by clergymen and others.

In connection with these celebrations, much interest has been manifested by parents, teachers, and children in singing. The report contains important statistical information respecting the state of Sabbath and common schools in the county, from which we may give an extract in a future number.

WANT OF QUALIFIED TEACHERS. [The Sabbath School Teachers' Association, of Cincinnati, at a meeting in September last, appointed a committee to visit the various schools, and report upon their condition and the state of the Sabbath school cause in the City. In December this committee presented a very interesting Report, embracing a great number of statistical facts, and practical suggestions, in relation to the fifty-one protestant schools in the city and liberties. Copies of this Report we have received, and the following extract will be found appropriate for the Visiter.]

The committee found much in the schools, to approve and commend :—some of them are certainly conducted with great wisdom and efficiency; and the perseverance, self-devotion, and anxiety shown by many engaged in them to elevate the character, and extend the influence of the Sabbath school system is highly encouraging. At the same time we cannot but see that there are serious ev nd deficiencies existing in most of the schools, which impair their usefulness, and hinder the promotion of the Sabbath school to the station which it ought to occupy.

The want of well qualified teachers has been mentioned by several superintendents as a great hindrance to the prosperity of the schools, and your committee cannot but regard this as a source of most of the evils which stand in the way of the advancement and improvement of the Sabbath school system.

1846.]

Want of Qualified Teachers.

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ers.

The present position of the Sabbath school and its future usefulness call for the services of the most intelligent and pious members of the Christian Church ; and it should be the constant aim of the superintendent to secure such as teach

There has been a most censurable looseness in the admission of teachers in many schools, and the indifference and inefficiency so much deplored in them may be attributed in a great measure to this cause. It does not follow, as a matter of course, that every master or miss, because they have been for years in a school, and have passed through its several grades, are qualified to teach ; or that any one in our congregations who wishes to try his hand at teaching, must be admitted. It is not every one that is fitted to teach in the Sabbath, any more than in other schools; and as the time of instruction is short, greater tact is needed here than elsewhere to accomplish the greatest amount of good. In admitting teachers the superintendent should look to their character for steadiness and perseverance; the probability of their being constant and punctual in attendance ; see that they possess soundness of judgment; correct views of the duties in which they are to engage ; a faculty for governing children and imparting instruction; and above all, personal piety. For want of attention to these requisites and a desire to press into the service, where there is such a constant demand for more laborers, all who are willing to enter, many are engaged in our schools as teachers who have no adequate idea of the responsibilities of the station, and take little or no pains to prepare themselves for the discharge of its important duties. The cause has thus sustained great injury, and the evil results of this course have been brought so prominently to our view, that we shall mention some of them particularly.

[The topics that are presented by the committee, are so important and practical, and we fear so deserving consideration in New England, that we give them in future numbers.]

THOUGHTS, SUGGESTED BY THE RETURN OF THE ANNUAL

FAST.

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Ye earthly joys! your vivid colors hide ;

Come, sober thought, appropriate to the day,
Possess my mind, - direct to useful views,

And cherish pleasures that forbid decay.
'Tis not amid the busy scenes of life,

The walks of pleasure, or the road of fame,
That sacred contemplation lends its aid

To guide my footsteps in the path I aim.
Would I hold converse with the God I love,

Or strictly search this busy heart within,
Let my soul seek retirement's friendly shade,
And lose the im

of a world of sin.

Secluded thus, the retrospect of life

Presents a scene which startles me to view :
What wasted hours ! what idle thoughts arise !

How little done! how vast the work to do!

How many firm resolves, and well-wrought plans,

Have, through the closing year been born to die!
Memorials only of a faint desire

To raise my heart, and thoughts, and hopes on high.

Earth, with its blandishments on every side,

And passions, kindling at the slightest lure,
Too oft have drawn me into folly's path,

Where anguish,-bitter anguish was my cure.
And is not vanity inscribed at large

On all the hosts of objects now pursued ?
My “ field of vision ” filled with empty forms,

The mind, immortal, languishing for food!
Awake! ye dormant powers of the soul!

And snatch the film from off the mental eye ;
Converse with scenes beyond the bounds of time,

And bring, by faith, th' amazing prospect nigh.

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The past examine,-present conduct scan,

The motives scrutinize with anxious care;
The good with ardor seek, and greatly prize,

The bad and doubtful cautiously forbear.

Let the broad stream of life, henceforth unfold

A course, transparent,-fair to every eye;
Winding its path along the earthly vale;

And sweetly leading to the fields on high!

H. Y.

The Society's Books in Michigan. [A Missionary in Michigan, in a letter to a lady in Walpole, Mass., acknowledging a donation of the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society's books,-$15, worth from the Ladies' Reading and Sewing Society" in Walpole, and $5,34 worth from the Central Church Branch Sabbath School, Boston,-thus writes :)

“Your favor could not but be gratefully received by those in love with the principles, and institutions of New England. Let Puritan principles and theology spread over the fertile plains of the spreading West, and our country is not only safe, but she shall also, in the hands of God, become an instrument in the salvation of the world. What more efficient instrumentality, the living ministry only excepted, than the invaluable productions of the Massachusetts Sabbath School Society, containing truths, with the least admixture of error, incident to human agency, commending itself to the mind, when it is most susceptible of the liveliest and most lasting impressions? Rejecting fiction, and seeking that union only with existing organizations, which truth alone has power to produce, it will not fail to commend the truth to every man's conscience in the sight of God. Neither redundant nor deficient, true to the God whom we worship and the faith we profess to receive, the time will come when the excellence of its productions shall be seen and appreciated by the philanthropist and Christian throughout the land.

Yours is a noble enterprise; fraught with incalculable and inestimable benefit to the rising generation and the whole world. It is an enterprise worthy the descendants of the Pilgrims. Here hope is not deluded, confidence is not betrayed, and charity is not misdirected nor applied in vain. But it is perhaps time to forbear, lest this communication should appear to be, what it is not, invidious or fulsome. A son of New England, educated in their institutions and in love with their principles, determined to live with them, or die for them, is the only apology deemed necessary.

There are two societies in this place, among whom my labors are shared. The most of the inhabitants are from the East. The soil is fertile, the climate salubrious, and almost every natural advantage is afforded this people, at least in prospect. This must be a densely populated part of the “ vast West.” Shall it be given to Christ? New England says, yes, and her sons in the West say, amen. Before we received your books we could with the utmost difficulty sustain our schools. Now we have not books enough to supply the demand. The people do appreciate your beneficence. Their children will rise up and call you blessed."

The LEECH VENDER; a Narrative of Filial Love.

This is as pretty a tale, without any romance, as we can well meet with. The heroine is living now; a simple, pious, devoted daughter of worthy parents ; the character of the old man is beautifully drawn.” -(London) Christian Ladies' Magazine.

“ An authentic narrative after the true German fashion, replete with thrilling incidents, illustrative of the salutary effects of Christian principle upon a whole family. It contains warnings for the careless, encouragements for the thoughtful, and consolation for the afflicted."-[London) Teachers' Magazine.

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