Secondly, Religious Exercise on Saturday afternoon.—In order to bring up more distinctly and systematically the subject of religious duty, I established, a long time ago, a religious meeting on Saturday afternoon. It is intended for those who feel interested in receiving such instruction, and who can conveniently attend at that time. If you have no other engagements, and if your parents approve of it, I should be happy to have you attend. There will be very little to interest you except the subject itself, for I make all the instructions which I give there as plain, direct, and practical as is in my power. A considerable number of the scholars usually attend, and frequently bring with them many of their female friends. You can at any time invite any one whom you please to come to the meeting. It commences at half past three, and continues about half an hour.
Thirdly, Personal Religious Instruction.—In consequence of the large number of my pupils, and the constant occupation of my time in school, I have scarcely any opportunity of religious conversation with them, even with those who particularly desire it. The practice has therefore arisen, and gradually extended itself almost universally in school, of writing to me on the subject. These communications are usually brief notes, expressing the writer’s interest in the duties of piety, or bringing forward her own peculiar practical difficulties, or making specific inquiries, or asking particular instruction in regard to some branch of religious duty. I answer in a similar way, very briefly and concisely, however, for the number of notes of this kind which I receive is very large, and the time which I can devote to such a correspondence necessarily limited. I should like to receive such communications from all my pupils; for advice or instruction communicated in reply, being directly personal, is far more likely to produce effect. Besides, my remarks, being in writing, can be read a second time, and be more attentively considered and reconsidered than when words are merely spoken. These communications must always be begun by the pupil. I never (unless there may be occasional exceptions in some few very peculiar cases) commence. I am prevented from doing this both by my unwillingness to obtrude such a subject personally upon those who might not welcome it, and by want of time. I have scarcely time to write to all those who are willing first to write to me. Many cases have occurred where individuals have strongly desired some private communication with me, but have hesitated long, and shrunk reluctantly from the first step. I hope it will not be so with you. Should you ever wish to receive from me any direct religious instruction, I hope you will write immediately and freely. I shall very probably not even notice that it is the first time I have received such a communication from you. So numerous and so frequent are these communications, that I seldom observe, when I receive one from any individual for the first time, that it comes from one who has not written me before.