Billeder på siden

as that is so important a feature, and should not be neglected, we would urge them to muke time by relinguishing other engagements, or even if necessary, at the sacrifice of some popular work. It will be found, when the Band of Bope is in good working order, that it will not take up so much time as one might suppose. The best time for visitation is from seven to nine p.m. calling upon the younger children first.

The Meetings should neither be 100 sedate, or on the other hand too frivolous, but should be made as cheerful, interesting, and useful as practicable. Variety should be the characteristic of the meetings.

As the children enter the room they tell their number to some one stationed at the door, wito writes down, and who is provided witi an index book, which contains the names and numbers of members. Should the child have forgotten his number, an instant will suffice to find it. The record of attendance can be marked any time after the meeting. Invariably commencing with a hymn and brief prayer, we may proceed to recitations by the boys, singing, readings, and short addresses. Whilst we inust not omit to point out the evils of intemperance and the claims of sobricty, it is well also to speak to them upon other subjects, religious, social, and otherwise, making the meetings interesting by illustration, and impressive by earnestness.

Plans of usefulness may be discussed and advocated, and it is well to draw from the children themselves their ideas of usefulness, whether by example, kind words and actions, self-denial for the sake of others, distribution of tracts, or others means. Get them to take a deep interest in each other's welfare and teach them to do good to all men. Care must be taken not to let the meetings become a mere singing or scripture class. Also it is a question for serious consideration whether it is well to allow recitations by girls. It seems certainly “out of place,” and by no means tends to the cultivation of that modesty we all look for and hope for in girls. What is also of much importance is, that it is open to severe animadversions from sabbath school teachers and others. Truly there is great cause to regret when we hear girls singing a solo or duet, sometimes far below the average of our street singers, to an audience of five hundred people or more. Under the head of EncouRAGEN

EMENTS may be named, prizes for recitations and for answers to scripture questions, which may be given at the anniversary meeting, and occasionally on ordinary meetings for other objects. Medals may be made an award for obiaining the first new member. Children should be stinulated to influence their companions, but the superintendent should never personally ask a child to join.

The meetings should be open to all children who can behave themselves in a proper manner, with the exception of special occasions," when due notice being given, members only are admitted. Boys and girls can meet together, but if the Band of Hope is a large one, it would be better 10 have them separately on distinct evenings.

The followiny Rules may explain things unsaid ; they are of course subject to alteration as the case may require :

RULE 1. That children of both sexes and all classes, between the ages



[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

of five and sixteen years, be eligible as Members, but only with the full consent of their parents.

2. That any child wishing to become a Member must obtain a printed application on pink paper, which can be had from Members, or at a Band of Hope meeting. The name, age, and full address of the child should be filled in, and the paper given to the Superintendent.

3. That when the application has been received, the Superintendent will take an early opportunity of visiting the child and its parent. Should the former thoroughly comprehend the nature of the Society, and the latter be willing, the following resolution will then be signed by the child :-"By the grace of God I promise to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, and I will try to induce others to do the same.”

4. That at the ensuing meeting the “Scroll ” will be signed by the new Member, in the presence of all the children. The sum of one penny is expected for a CARD OF MEMBERSHIP, which Card should be carefully preserved, and, if possible, framed.

5. That MEETINGS are held on the Second Wednesday of each month for Girls only, and on the Fourth Wednesday of each month for Boys only, from six to eight o'clock in the evening.

6. That each Member should endeavour to attend punctually, with hair brushed, clean hands and faces, and to enter and leave the rooin without unnecessary noise or confusion,-taking care to give their correct number as they enter.

7. That MEDALS are not allowed to be purchased, but one is awarded to any Member through whose influence their first new Member is obtained for the Band of Hope.

8. That Prizes are offered, first for Answers to Scripture Questions ;. second to Boys for Recitations. In the summer months prizes will occasionally be given for the best nosegays or wreaths of wild flowers.

9. That Members who have attended over two-thirds of a year's meetings, and whose behaviour has been in every respect satisfactory, will be taken for an excursion into the country some time during the summer.

10. That all Members should endeavour to take in regularly either the Band of Hope Revion," The Adviser,” or the “ British Workman;" The two former are one half-penny per month, and the latter one penny. They can be obtained on meeting nights by those who have previously given in their names as wishing to have them.

The form of application referred to in Rule 2 is as follows, which is given to any child who may ask for it.

[Name and Address of the Band of Hope.] Name of Child wishing

to become a Member

[blocks in formation]

Children of both sexes, between the ages of 5 and 16, are invited, with the consent of their Parents, to become Members. They will be required to give their names to the following Declaration :

By the grace of God, I promise to abstain from all Intoxicating Drinks, and I will try to induce others to ilo the same."

Children wishing to join should fill in their names and residences above and return this paper on a Meeting night of the Band of Hope, held on the SECOND and FOURTH WEDNESDAY of each Month, commencing at Six o'Clock in the Evening, and terminating at Eight.

The Superintendent will call with “ The Declaration,” for signature by the Child whose name is filled in above, and also by the Parent or Guardian, signifying their consent.

Superintendent. The paper with which the Superintendent calls is simply as follows :

[Name and Address of the Band of Hope.]

THE DECLARATION. No. By the grace of God, I promise to abstain from all Intoxicating Drinks, and I will try to induce others to do the same. Signature

[blocks in formation]


Superintendent. In conclusion. Let our standard be high, and let us not rest satisfied until it is attained. Let our trust be in God alone, and not in our own might, and let us teach the children fully to comprehend the meaning of the words, “ By the grace of God.”

By careful and judicious management we may not only make the Band of Hope a blessing to many homes, but may win the respect and sympathy of our fellow saibath school teachers and other christian friends, until the necessity for Bands of Hope is acknowledged on all sides, and they become as numerous and prosperous as sabbath schools themselves.

The discussion which followed was a very interesting one; but as it was understood to cover the whole ground which had been gone over, it was more remarkable for a variform than a uniform character. But the

papers which excited most attention, eulogy, and debale, were Mr. Harvey and Mr. Stanes's.

Mr. Murphy thought it was needful just to ask why certain young persons referred to by Mr. Stanes were not eligible to join his Band of Hope? Why medals were given to those only who gained new members ? -and why medals were not purchased by the children?—why separate the sexes ?--and why give prizes for nosegays and flower-wreaths (would they not bring them from their own parents) ?—and why superintendents should not ask children to join Bands of Hope?

Mr. Stanes: Sixty-seven parents had not given their consent; two could not give reasons why they wished to join. Medals are given as marks of honor, and if extended, or if they were purchasable, the honor would not be equal—(hear). He trusted the children as io the nosegays, which were to be wild flowers; and searching for these would get them out of the streets into the fields—(hear). He thought the superintendent


should not ask a child to join ; but that the children should work amongst each other ; their joining would be more useful if not done under the mere influence of a superintendent's wishes-(hear).

Mr. SPRIGGS said that one of the best-conducted Bands of Hope he knew was at Cheshunt, on which the clergyman exercised a most beneficial influence-(hear). He thought the paper a very admirable one; and that children should, prior to entering a Band of Hope fully, be put on a sort of probation--(hear).

Mr. Eaton: In reference to a rule read, which required that a child's hair should be combed and brushed, asked whether, if this were neglected, a child were sent back or excluded? And as to calling the numbers of children on entrance, did not this waste time, and create confusion ?-(hear).

Mr. STANES: If children came in the state referred 10 by Mr. Eaton, they were cautioned as to next time; but if very dirty, they were sent back-(hear). As to calling numbers, each child knew its number; this took a very short time; and, moreover, they took care to open the doors in good time; and this prevented crowding and confusion.

Mr. Haynes, said: As to superintendents not asking children to join; if some superintendents were not to canvass, they would have no members at all-(hear). As to the medals, he thought that, as a rule, children might be trusted; he had never found one trying to deceive in that respect-(hear).

Mr. Storin said: In reference to the sale of papers, the members of their Bands of Hope went round to the houses of persons, instead of selling on Sundays.

Mr. T. A. Smith inquired if botanical questions were asked of the children ? This was desirable. As to the importance of cleanliness as a branch of experience, why teetotalism proper was altogether a physical education—(hear).

Mr. Hugh Jones would put a question to Mr. Harvey as to the prizes given for essays.

Were the writers young ? Mr. Harvey said they had three different grades, that the young might be brought in.

Mr. Hugh JONES : Are they all invited ?
Mr. Harvey: We allow all the grades to compete for the first prizes.

Mr. Tipper: In reference to the form of pledge recommended by Mr. Stanes not being a vow, he thought it looked very much like one, to use the words “By the grace of God, I purpose or promise "-(hear).

Mr. Stanes said they were careful in explaining the meaning of the words, and that the child should look to God for help.

Mr. Hunt felt there was some question as to the propriety of using The words “ By the grace of God," and if a child were not able to give reasons why it wished to join a Band of Hope, should not that child be admitted to the meetings ?-(hear). Mr. STANES: That is provided for—(hear).

Mr. Surrley: Mr. Harvey, in his paper, referred to the use made of their library. Were the books applied for ?


Mr. Harvey: We find our library books are applied for, and are exceedingly well received, both by children and parents. The number of juvenile members in the town is 1,400—(hear, hear).

Besides our library, every school in the town has its own book department--(hear, hear). He had listened with great pleasure to Mr. Stanes's excellent paper, but he felt there was a difficulty as to the president not asking a child to join. Ought not a president to exercise iufluence, an intelligent influence, with this view—(hear, hear)? He could sympathise with his friend against girls reciting in public—(dissent). He had three little girls, and he thought he should not try to cultivate that gist in them—(hear, hear). He objected 10 giving prizes for such efforts, because he thought they induced self-glorying. Speech was a natural gift. Still he thought that well-conducted meetings were excellent for Bands of Hope. He would, however, have three members' meetings to one public meeting-(hear, hear).

Mr. Beck said he liked the words in Mr. Stanes's pledge—"By the grace of God."

Mr. Haynes said that the Chairman was obliged to leave the meeting to fulfil an engagement elsewhere. He therefore begged to propose a most cordial vote of thanks to him for his great kindness and ability in presiding over them.

Mr. SHIRLEY seconded the proposition, which was carried with exceeding heartiness.

Mr. Cossiam, in acknowledging the vote, said he had been intensely gratified with the thoroughly practical spirit of the Conference, and especially with Mr. Stanes's admirable paper. It was a good idea to make children work. The pledge was simple. Pledges should be simple, not long, but such as all could sign-(hear, hear). He did not approve of separating the sexes. God mixed the sexes in families, and he (the speaker) liked them mixed in schools; the presence of the boys gave the girls courage; and that of the girls gave the boys softness--(hear, hear). He had faith in medals, wisely given. They gave medals to boys in their employ who were kind to animals: and the last thing before leaving home he received the names of several boys to whom medals were shortly to be given for this—(hear, hear). There was another point; superintendent's influence; a superintendent was responsible for its use and exercise-(hear, hear). He wished prosperity to the Band of Hope Union, and hoped that they might all employ their talents and time to the best account--(loud cheers).

Mr. Haynes was then unanimously called to occupy the chair, and the thread of the discussion was taken up by

Mr. Hunt, who said that he was in favour of girls reciting on platforms under proper management-(hear, hear).

Mr. McCree said he had asked Mr. Stanes to prepare the paper, and the experience of that gentleman with his four hundred and twenty boys and girls gave great weight to his recommendations. The boys and girls were not separated-(hear, hear).

Mr. Joseph Gilpin said he had had great experience in children's,

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsæt »