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CHILDREN'S MISSIONARY RECORD
Free Church of Scotland.
By authority of the Board of Missions and Education.
WORD ON THE COLLECTING WEEK, WHEN, in December last, we suggested that the leisure of the holiday time should be partly devoted by our young friends to an effort on behalf of the Mission
Schemes, we were sure that some of them would consider the proposal. We had the hope, also, that some of the money which, at that season, is given by the young to trivial purposes, would be secured for the cause of God. So far from being disappointed in our expectations, they have been greatly exceeded. More have given, and more has been given, than we ventured to expect. We told our young friends what we thought they might do in December. We left the matter with them. We used no influence of any kind. We sent collecting cards when they were asked, but nothing
We waited, dear young friends, to see what you would do.
In 1845, you may remember, the General Assembly was much pleased to find that in the whole of that year you had collected for the Schemes £394: 1:41. Some of you counted up how many miles of halfpennies this would make, and the result was astonishing. Well, we have been going on, month by month, ever since, trying to interest you in a darkened and dying world; and we bless God that we have had great encouragement in our
work. You began with less than £400 in 1845; last year your offerings amounted to nearly a thousand pounds. We have been looking very closely at your exertions for the present year, and we find that, comparing your offerings month by month, they were, with exception of one, where there was a very trifling diminution, larger than in the corresponding months of the previous year; and when, in December, we asked you to make the vacation week'a collecting week, we knew that you had raised more than you had done at the same date in 1847.
We did not then ask you to make a New Year's Day's collection because you were turning back, but because we knew you were able, and thought you would be willing, to do very much more. You have answered our call in such a way as to cheer us very much indeed; -for we do not think you would have done what you have done, unless the Lord had given you some measure of His own grace.
The sums which we have received since the 15th of December are as follows:Education,
£36 19 6 Foreign Missions,
228 15 4 Home Missions,
74 12 8 Colonies,
32 12 7 Jews,
85 2 3 New College,
10 12 1 Building,
7 13 0 Continental Churches,
6 1 0 Sustentation Fund,
2 15 9 Schoolmasters' Sustentation,
2 12 3 Missionary Buildings in India, 10
£488 16 5
When we superadd the sums also received by us for Female Education in India and among the Jews, the Irish Home Mission, &c., the amount is upwards of Five Hundred Pounds.
Now, this very large sum is the accumulation of the small offerings which you individually made. From the mass of collecting cards and lists sent to us, we see that literally tens of thousands of you have aided in the good work. So many names are inscribed on these papers that we were soon obliged to give up all thoughts
of publishing them entire; and even when we had abridged them as far as possible, we found that we could make room only for about one-half of them in the present Number. We entreat our young friends to believe that we would gladly have inserted them all, if it had been in our power.
The cheerfulness with which the young have come forward is often referred to in the letters which have reached us. The inodes of collection have been very varied; sometimes our cards were used—sometimes cards were manufactured for the occasion - sometimes the missionary box was resorted to-in one instance we know that a box with compartments for all the Schemes was made by the boy who used it; and the offerings are of various amounts down to a halfpenny-some of them curious; for instance, one boy gives two shillings as the price of his rabbits which he sold; another gives one shilling found by him on the highway, We have analyzed several of the lists, and are amazed at the number of the contributors. For example, the amount at one place was as follows:
3 individuals gave a halfp-nny each £0 0 14
0 6 10
0 8 10
0 4 3
0 9 191 individuals,
Total, £2 0 51 In another instance, when the sum raised was only ten shillings and sevenpence, there were eighty-eight contributors--the highest sum given was sixpence, while twenty-four gave a halfpenny each-thirty-seven a penny, and the rest larger sums.
When, in this way, one hundred and twenty thousand pennies were collected--more than a quarter of a million of halfpennies — a mass of copper amounting to about three tons in weight, which it would require three strong horses to move--we have surely a striking illustration of what has been called “the mighty power
of littlcs," and great encouragement to go on in our dealing with the young. We have many letters from ministers, parents, and teachers, and from the young people themselves- nice little letters some of these are, written with great care, sometimes in half-text-all showing that, apart from the good done to the missions, it has been good for the young themselves that they have been set about this work. We will give a few extracts.
A pious Sabbath-school teacher in the north, in sending £1, 78., thus writes
“Meanwhile, my dear sir, I have been appointed to fulfil a certainly very interesting duty. And what? Just to remit to you the cheerful offerings and gleanings of a few of the Sabbath-scholars attending Sabbath-evening school, collected by them on the days between Christmas, the 25th ultimo, and New Year's Day, the 1st January.
“ In accordance with the anxious request and wishes of those who so zealously and gladly exerted themselves on this occasion, I feel delighted in giving their names and the Schemes to which they contributed. I hope you will not fail to notice the list in the Children's Missionary Record, in the order in which it is written.-Hoping God may accept our poor offering, I remain,” &c.
A minister, in sending £5:2:6, says
“ It affords me much pleasure to be able to forward to you so handsome a sum, as the result of the collecting week of the young of my congregation and Sabbathschool. I hope the doings of the children are an index of what has been doing by the young people throughout the land; and if so, not only has a very considerable addition been made to our mission funds, but many thousands of the lambs of the flock have experienced what my young people unanimously declared that the best way to make themselves happy is to seek the glory of God in doing good to others; for the last week of the
gone was among the happiest they ever spent.
A correspondent in Campbelton makes the following remarks:
“ With reference to the suggestion given in December Juvenile Record, I had resolved to interest my boys in the collecting week; but, previously, I was delighted to find that I had been anticipated by my elder boy, who
(along with a juvenile associate) commenced on Christmas morning in right earnest. It was alike gratifying and amusing to witness the shrewdness displayed by them and others in the selection of the Scheme' to which their contributions were to be applied, and the zeal manifested in prosecuting the object. For the reasons afterwards stated, I pressed upon them the necessity of confining their visits to the district in which we reside, and to the children only of adherents, but they were so impatient of restraint, that this recommendation was slightly deviated from. Were parents in the Free Church generally to interest their children in this laudable and profitable employment, we might be able to realize, as the proceeds of the collecting week, about £1000. Say that there are 800 congregations, it is not too much to expect an average collection of 30s. from each. And the pecuniary amount dwindles into insignificance compared with the moral effects produced on the children, and again reacted on society."
An esteemed friend in Edinburgh writes
"The Children's Record is given away every month to the children in our Sabbath-school. In the December Number you gave us a collecting week' and a sheet for the names of subscribers. The teachers in our school thought that, as the children had been often in the habit of collecting for missions, and that too but lately, we would take no notice of the collecting week.' Not so the children, however. About a month after the Record was in their hands, a little girl came up to her teacher, and said, Please, sir, you have never told us when we are to pay the money.' The teacher had quite forgotten about the collecting week,' and inquired What money?' 'Oh! it's Mr Jaffray's money, said the child. Then the collecting week came to his mind, and, on inquiring, he found that several of the children had been very busy in the cause. So we told all the scholars that, if any of them had been busy during the collecting week, they were to bring the money next Sabbath, and it would be all gathered together, and paid in to the Free Church office. Some of the children, however, had not waited for this, but had quietly walked over to 38 York Place, and given in their collection themselves. Next Sabbath came, and at the close of the school a good many of the children came up and gave their teachers