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    Sunday school class learns 10,538 Bible versus

    Pupils at the Sunday School of the Presbyterian Society in York, Upper Canada, “learned” 10,583 Bible verses and 4,534 hymns in 1828, says the Society’s annual report, published in the Colonial Advocate, January 29, 1829. Excerpt:

    The practice of our school is to give to each scholar that is at school in season, a ticket, and when they get four they either have a loan of a book for a week, or a tract, or some small book given them to keep. This we think must be a source of cheap information, not only to the children but also the families to which they belong.

    But perhaps this is not the greatest benefit the children have, for each one that can read the Bible is required to learn ten verses; and to excite them to learn this lesson they are informed that what they learn will be entered on the class paper, and at the end of six months or a year all is to be entered into a large book, where their names and ages are registered as a permanent record kept for their benefit, to which themselves or their friends can always have access.

    This we think is a benefit as a present stimulus, together with their having to appear before their class and teacher, and may be useful to them in after life. But the greatest use to them, we think is the time spent in studying the scriptures, not only in planting so much of the precious seed on their minds and memories at an age when it may be expected to have the most beneficial effect, but also giving them a studious and laborious habit of mind, both exercising and strengthening the memory.

    All this is done by excitement, little or nothing by coercion or means calculated to disgust. Thus, we think, when the teacher’s exertions are judiciously aided by maternal efforts, the high authority of the sacred writing combine with the early and pleasing associations of the youthful mind and produce impressions never to be forgotten. While from the above high authority judiciously explained and applied, such a general abhorrence to all evil is formed, and especially of all kinds of dissimulation, idleness & intemperance, as to be an effectual barrier to oppose those latent desires that years will bring forth, or those temptations that an exposure to the world will necessarily subject them to.—Those that cannot read are carefully taught according to their years or capacity.

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    TAGS: Sunday schools, Bibles, Children

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