Before the close of the school I had eight or ten notes acknowledging the fault, describing the circumstances of each case, and expressing promises to do so no more.
It is by such methods as this, rather than by threatening and punishment, that I manage the cases of discipline which from time to time occur; but even such as this, slight as it is, occur very seldom. Weeks and weeks sometimes elapse without one. When they do occur, they are always easily settled by confession and reform. Sometimes I am asked to forgive the offense. But I have no power to forgive. God must forgive you when you do wrong, or the burden must remain. My duty is to take measures to prevent future transgression, and to lead those who have been guilty of it to God for pardon. If they do not go to Him, though they may satisfy me, as principal of a school, by not repeating the offence, they must remain unforgiven. I can forget, and I do forget. For example, in this last case I have not the slightest recollection of any individual who was engaged in it. The evil was entirely removed, and had it not afforded me a convenient illustration here, perhaps I should never have thought of it again; still, it may not yet be forgiven. It may seem strange that I should speak so seriously of God’s forgiveness for such a trifle as that. Does He notice a child’s ringing a door-bell in play? He notices when a child is willing to yield to temptation to do what she knows to be wrong, and to act even in the slightest trifle from a selfish disregard for the convenience of others. This spirit He always notices, and though I may stop any particular form of its exhibition, it is for Him alone to forgive it and to purify the heart from its power. But I shall speak more particularly on this subject under the head of Religious Instruction.
There will be given you, when you enter the school, a blank schedule, in which the divisions of each forenoon for one week are marked, and in which your own employments for every half hour are to be written. (A copy of this is inserted on page 222.)
This schedule, when filled up, forms a sort of a map for the week, in which you can readily find what are your duties for any particular time. The following description will enable you better to understand it.
Opening of the School.