“Sunday-schools are the militia of the Church: it is from them the most efficient youth are drafted into the service of Jehovah, to fight manfully under the Captain of their salvation, numbers of whom win the well-fought day, and receive the prize of victory.
“Sunday-schools are the nurseries of the Church; they compose the youth who are to live when we go down to the dust. When the teachers are aged, or dead, their children will rise up to fill the ranks of Immanuel. Where are the additions to our church to come from, but from Sunday-schools? Do not most of those who join the Church in the prime of their days, and present whole sacrifices to God, come from our Sabbath-schools? The churches of Christ should see to it that good nurses are provided for them, and not, as is too often the case, leave them in the hands of the inexperienced and the youthful.”
HISTORY OF THOMAS.
Thomas, the second brother, remained much longer in the school. Possessing a retentive memory, he learned the whole of the three Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and part of John. After remaining as a scholar for about three years, during which time he was often employed in teaching the junior classes, he was formally admitted as a teacher, in the presence of the whole school, the secretary delivering an interesting and affecting address to him, on the duties and responsibilities of his position as the guide of youth; at the conclusion of which he presented him with a book, entitled “The Guilty Tongue,” as a reward for his good conduct and proficiency. Thomas had not long been a teacher, before a vacancy occurred in the first class, to which he had formerly belonged as a scholar, and he was at once nominated to it.
After continuing as a scholar for three, and a teacher for about two years, he removed to a neighboring town, as an apprentice. Absent from the parental roof,—placed in the midst of temptation, and surrounded by many allurements,—Thomas soon became forgetful of his former instructions, and his Sabbath-school engagements: instead of connecting himself with the school, and being found on the form by the side of his class, he might be seen ranging over the fields, and wandering through lanes, in company with those whom he had chosen as his associates. One thing is worthy of remark, and it shows the force of habit, and the power of early associations: he was regular in his attendance at the Wesleyan Chapel twice a day. This happened, perhaps, not more from choice than from a partial restraint which he felt, from the knowledge, that if he neglected this duty, it would come to the ears of his parents, and not only grieve them, but bring down on him their displeasure.
Though thus, for a brief space, led away into the sins of youth, Thomas was far from falling into what would be called gross sins.
The superintendent of the H—— circuit at this time was the Rev. J.R., a man who, in the work of the Lord, was instant in season, and out of season; and who was made very useful, not only by his public ministrations, but in his numerous and constant private visits among his flock, and the members of his congregation.