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THE CHILDREN'S GALLERY.
attachments. It must not be supposed that these poor lads have nothing they will regret to leave, on their departure for the colonies. Often have they manifested much emotion when bidding adieu to their best friends and counsellors ; much more, in some instances, than to their own relatives. It is therefore that their friends and teachers have endeavoured to turn such circumstances to account, by holding farewell meetings prior to their departure. The last prayer offered on such occasions, and the last advice given, may be more remembered and produce a more lasting influence than many evenings' labour in the Ragged School.
One of these meetings was held in the Westminster Refuge, on Friday evening, January 17th, occasioned by eleven lads being about to proceed to the colonies. Three of these belonged to the Refuge; three from the Grotto Schools; two from John Street School, Mint; two from the North Street Schools, Mile End; and one from the Ann Street Dormitory.
The meeting consisted chiefly of the children of the Refuge, (one hundred in number,) and the relatives and teachers of the emigrants. After tea, the chair was taken by Mr. George Wilson, who briefly addressed them, giving some valuable counsels to the young emigrants, respecting their future conduct and religious obligations. Short addresses were also delivered by Messrs. Locke, Gent, Anderson, and others, not only to the edification of the lads, but also to those poor relatives who had come to bid them adieu. The lads proceeded next day by train to Liverpool, where they embarked on the following Tuesday, five on board the Carlton for Adelaide, and the remaining six on board the Condor for Port Philip.
The dark and strange histories of some of them would fill volumes, more interesting than many of the popular fictions of the day; but the blessings derived from their education have not merely been such as bear upon their welfare in time, for in one instance at least, a refuge and counsellor has been found in that Saviour, who is “the way, the truth, and the life.”
The Children's Gallery.
KIND HEARTS UNDER COARSE frozen pavement. Many of the boys, JACKETS.
hastening up the brae to the High School, EARLY one morning last winter, the snow had been obliged to bolt a hasty breakwas falling fast on the streets of Edin- fast, almost scalding their tongues with burgh. The wind blew loud and cold, the hot porridge ; for they had said so driving down the drift into the kitchen often “plenty of time yet,” when snug, areas, and through the crevices of broken gling in the warm sheets, that they had doors and shattered windows. The me- scarcely their faces washed when the bell chanic, with buttoned jacket and whiffing was ringing. And what was worse—as pipe, hastened with nimble feet to the they had left no time to revise the mornworkshop; and the old woman in the ing lessons, their hearts were beating attic story was fastening her only shawl frightfully, expecting a practical explanaacross the broken pane, from which the tion of the first declension by finding wind had torn a piece of newspaper she themselves at the bottom of the class. pasted on the day before. A haggard- But the bed of the ragged scholar was looking mother was shivering in the less inviting; he was in no danger of streets, picking out of the snow the cin- holding a morning's parley with the cozy ders and chips of coal, with which she sheets. Right glad was he when the old intended to prepare her baby's breakfast ; blanket staid at home, in which he for she had spent her last sixpence the wrapped himself on his straw bed ; and previous evening, in the blazing tap-room when awaking in the morning, he found of the low whiskey-shop. The streets, the shoes he had given him lying where from side to side, were covered with ice, he left them; as they, too, were in danger from the snow which the sun had melted on of finding their way to “uncle's —espethe previous day; and gentlemen, muffled cially when father and mother were up in their dreadnoughts, were shortening
The wind awoke him that their steps and keeping even balance, lest morning long before daylight, as it whisthey should measure their lengths on the *"Uncle's" in ragged phrase means the pawn-shop.
tled and hollowed along the dingy wynd. and milk would compensate forall, and soon He could not fall asleep again, for his make him forget the morning's misery. feet were icy cold, his limbs stiff, and After a little, a number of his mates were crouch together as he might, he could not standing around him, wondering why he get them warmed. He began to feel how was so soon astir ; but when they saw his true it is, that “ sleep on her downy poor naked feet and ankles, shivering in pinions flies from woe, and lights on lids the snow, their hearts were melted to unsullied with a tear.” What was he to pity. They could not bear to see him do ? He could not light a fire, for there limping along with knitted brows, and were neither coals nor cinders in the
hear his sighs when his feet were pierced room ; and his father and mother had by the broken ice. But what could they taken their clothes and spread them on do; no one had got a pair of shoes to their own bed, so it was in vain to look lend him—and even if they had, the old about for something more to cover him. clock was going faster now, and there was As he lay and listened to the wintry no time to return. “Let us carry him," winds, whirling and rattling among the said a noble little fellow. “Yes," cried shattered slates, and making the old doors another, “shoulder high ;” and in a and windows creak, as if determined to minute John is placed upon their shoulpull them down, his heart beat with ders, and borne triumphantly through hopeful gladness when he heard the the snow, amid the shouts and cheers of hollow tones of the Tron Church clock his ragged, but kind - hearted schoolchiming away the weary hours. But fellows! People stopped in the streets another chill came over him when the to look at the little company, and prayed old bell stopped short at four.
“What! that the God of the needy might bless is it only four o'clock yet? Oh! I wish them, when they saw their young hearts it was eight! Another five hours to school leap with gladness—happy in their deed time!" But the lazy clock would not of mercy. The best friend they ever had speak again until another sixty minutes in all the world, met them by the wayhad passed. He lay, sometimes talking to his large heart was filled with joy, and he the angry winds, but oftener listening for thanked God anew that ever he was able another chime; until at last he got angry to write “ Plea” on behalf of these poor at the “auld kettle," as he thought it boys, and collect subscriptions for estawished to deceive him, from a desire to blishing the Ragged School. prolong his misery.
Dear young reader! Strive to learn Hour after hour passed away-eight four lessons from the noble conduct o'clock came at last, and found John stand- of these ragged boys:ing at the end of the wynd, waiting for his I. They pitied a poor unfortunate boy, schoolfellows. On getting up, he found who was worse off than themselves. that sure enough his shoes had gone to II. They did all they could to help him. uncle's,"
,” and how to get along the icy III. They did it at once. pavement on his bare feet he scarcely knew; IV. They did it cheerfully, with all but at last he thought that the comfortable their hearts. school-room, and plate of warm porridge
GO THOU AND DO LIKEWISE.
EXETER BUILDINGS RAGGED SCHOOL. A crowded and highly respectable meeting of the friends of the Ragged School movement was held on Tuesday evening, January 21st, in the Presbyterian Church, Halkin Street, West Chelsea. Åt seven o'clock the chair was taken by the Right Hon. Lord Ashley, M. P., and the proceedings were opened in a very earnest and appropriate prayer by the Rev. W.W. Robinson, incumbent of Christchurch, Chelsea.
The noble Chairman felt great pleasure in referring to the prosperity, not merely of the schools under immediate notice, but of the general operations of the Ragged School Union. Their success was, in a great measure indirect, and could not be shown by figures, or definitely, as in the progress of a building; they could not know it; but from the great numbers who had been taken hold of by the Ragged Schools, the evils would have been
fearful beyond calculation. The best results of the system had been removed from public view by emi. gration, and the lads might have been a blessing to society here, had they not desired to go to another country, away from old associations and temptations, and where his lordship believed they would rise as honest and industrious citizens. The benefits ought to be viewed collaterally. There were instances on record, where not only children have been cared for, but where fathers and mothers have also been saved by the agency of Ragged Schools. It was no slight thing in those days to find men willing to devote themselves to the raising up of a class, so long abandoned and trampled on;
and he (the Chairman)was convinced that this movement hadits share, amid the late con. vulsions of the world, in contributing to the peace and quiet of this country. They had received no support from government, from the law, or from
the wealthy generally; and yet they were going on successfully in cleansing out these Augean stables of moral and physical pollution. But in this work they were greatly impeded by being periodically deluged by the miserable population of Ireland; for no sooner had they got one district somewhat purged and improved, than there was an influx into it of Irish, and it was rendered worse than
He held that they could never expect to carry out their objects fully, until something was done for the miserable Irish. He took encou. ragement, however, from the history of missionary enterprise, where good men laboured for twenty years without a shadow of hope, and afterwards were enabled to raise a magnificent monument to the power of God's truth. The Ragged Schools can present, in the quantity and quality of their instances, greater testimony of efficiency than any kindred institution of modern times. In their simplicity, they have certainly not arrived at that state when they can give annual exhibitions of their pupils; their object was to effect moral and spiritual, rather than merely intellectual improvement. "I am more than ever anxious," continued his lordship, “that at this crisis, we should not be backward or sleepy in promoting the principles of evangelical truth in our land. The time will come, and speedily, when such a career will be opened to us, as the history of the church and the world never before presented. It is written in the history of nations. And may God grant that in this country national religion, and national honour, and national purity, may be ever held inseparable, and that the light of Gospel truth and the power of evangelical godliness may be spread upon the waters, and pervade the whole surface of this mighty empire.
The meeting was afterwards addressed by the Rev. W. W. Robinson, Rev. Mr. Alexander, Admiral Harcourt, Joseph Payne, Esq., Mr. W. Locke, and Capt. Dyer, R.N.
probable future result of the efforts so earnestly and patiently put forth by the friends of such institutions, to ameliorate the condition and character of the very lowest and most inaccessible class of society. In a temporal point of view, if such institutions were more generally spread over the land, their influence upon the well-being of the masses, and the consequent decrease of crime, could not be mistaken; and in a higher point of view, with reference to the eternal interests of the people, the great day alone can determine their unspeakably important results. In such an undertaking discouragements meet its sanguine promoters at every turn, and nothing but the most unshaken faith and dauntless determination could support them in the prosecution of their unwearying labours. There was an attendance of about four hundred children and parents, whose usual occupations were of the lowest kind, but their appearance with some exceptions denoted the attention which had been paid to instil better and more cleanly habits. As might be expected, during the progress of tea a considerable noise prevailed amongst such a motley assemblage, but it was wonderful to witness how soon order and comparative stillness were obtained when it was needed to carry on the after proceedings of the meeting. The teachers of the school and other friends attended, and were very active in waiting upon the juvenile company during tea. Other friends dropped in during the evening to witness what took place. The parents, male children, and female children, were placed for convenience in different parts of the room, and we are happy to add nothing occurred to mar the general enjoyment and happiness of those present. The mayor having taken his seat, a Christmas Hymn was sung by the children. Mr. S. R. Starey, superintendent of the schools, rose and made a few remarks, in the course of which he referred to the sewing class held on Monday night, in which those who attended had made considerable improvement, and turned out some good work. During the year they had made up a quantity of garments, 148 of which had been sold to the children themselves at half price, the money for them being paid in small weekly instalments. To this might be attributed the neatness with which many of the children were attired on the present occasion. The Rev. T. H. Davies made a few suitable remarks, saying that they must now have some food for the soul. He commented upon the anxiety which was felt by himself and his dear friend, their teacher and superintendent, respecting their spiritual and temporal welfare, exceeding if possible that felt by the missionary for the poor blacks. In addressing the parents present, he asked those who were ashamed to come to the house of God, and who pleaded they had their families to look after, to attend a service held in the Ragged School-room on Sunday evenings. None need be discouraged, for during thirty years he himself did not know more of God or the Bible than a table. After some plain and suitable spiritual admonitions, the reverend gentleman sat down amidst the heartiest applause; and was followed by the mayor, who, in the course of some simple and practical remarks, observed that the possession of the outward comforts of life did not entail happiness, as he had known many workmen having only 12s, a week, and a family to support, more comfortable and peaceable than persons in the highest class of society. He advised the parents to keep their children from the streets, and make them as contented and happy at home as they could, and teach them habits of industry, lest they perish, not only for lack of knowledge, but in the midst of vice. He strenuously exhorted all to the better observance of the Sabbath-day, as he believed that in nine cases out of ten those who had fallen could trace their first iniquity as having been committed on the Lord's-day.
LAMB AND FLAG RAGGED SCHOOL,
CLERKENWELL GREEN. The children attending the above school were regaled at the school-rooms on Thursday, the 2nd January, 1851, with the old English fare of roast beef and plum pudding. At about twelve o'clock the court
was thronged with the little ones, eager to obtain admittance to the school-rooms, which were tastefully decorated for the occasion. At about half-past twelve the doors were opened, and the children were speedily seated around the various tables; at one o'clock order was proclaimed, and the long anticipated work commenced, which continued until about three o'clock. An address was delivered on the importance of education, and the children having sung, the grace after meat, were dismissed. Upwards of three hundred children sat down to dinner.
At half-past five they were re-assembled for examination, and having suitable rewards presented. They answered the various questions put to them remarkably well, and which bespeaks the care that has been paid to their education; they were then addressed by the Rev. Mr. Wild, who presided, and the little ones having received one penny each, the festivities of the happy day terminated.
NOTTINGHAM RAGGED SCHOOLS. On Friday evening, January 15th, the annual tea party of the children, male and female, attending these schools, with their parents and friends, was held in the Trinity Church School - room, W. Felkin, Esq., Mayor of Nottingham, kindly officiating as chairman. It was impossible to witness a more cheering and interesting sight, and it would be utterly futile to estimate the