Early History of Sabbath Schools in Illinois - Rev Stephen Bliss

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Early History of Sabbath Schools in Illinois - Rev Stephen Bliss - the on Oen We a but to the remarks It will of...
the on Oen We a but to the remarks It will of of by Conveu- the President, kopt of man per Early History of ftabSiilli Schools. At li'late meeting of the' 'County, Sabbath School Convention, in resnwnse to a letter of inquiry, written by C. Goudy, Secretary that Convention, the following interesting. letter was read from the arablaiKev. T,hom!t9 Lippincott, in reference to the early history of Sabbath Schools in Illinois. Tim letter will no .doubt be raad with much interest in this locality, not only the faut that it speaks of the of Babbath Schools, at a bu way a Th will ; and to th to con ou the the Government harmony; that tho appreciate great n d tonight but to in determination the not not in the ua voted only before Senate's and the of the man and IIIHII- ail by of impeachment t r i a l which influence word may not is as a too as was cumbersome there, reputable take accept or an a party by the its the Nasby his very early day in this locality, also from the fact, that its venerated author is so well known and respected in this part of the State. , Ill.,Nov.5,l?07. DR. C. GOUDY: Dear Sir : I have had your nquiry on hand several days, and will delay no longer in answering Although it has not been my privi- nfre. to be present at any of tbe lerful gatherings of th« "Illinois State Sunday School Conventions, which, have been held several yeaiy past, I have heard of them from time to; time from those who were there . and llie hearing has not stirred my old blood with joyful tio6, but Bant me back .well nigh a century to the time when I supposed, all the children of Illinois, were in Babbath School, were gathered in the litle room iu which family dwelt; and the cbutrant has me cry : " Whatbath Uod You send me the "tiunday /School Times," containing an account of last convention, at JDeoatur, and in a letter to my old and honored Geo. Donuell, Esq., in which the writer supposes he gi-ves an account the first Sunday School in Illinois, commenced and taugbt by Brother Donnell in autumn, 1821. As Brother Donnell read the letter hi convention, he evidently believed the statement of the writer to be correct. .8 not surprising that he should ieen uninformed of i t h e little transient aflair at Milton ; but there others, more extensive and more permanent, in Maditon county, preced- ng bin. But we had no "tiuuday School Times" then, nor other such mediums of communication. I set niy foot In the Territory of noi», atthe closeof 1817. After spending some weeks iu Bhawneetowu, waiting for the roads to become )le, I took advantage of au unusual lard freeze to pass over to St. early ui JVebruary, ISIS, aud remained until Nov. of that year, when ettled in Milton, then an active 'illage, three miles below Alton. We commenced house keeping (in room in the rear of my store) r ery early in the followibg Spring, 819, and almost immediately, at uggestion of my wife, i n v i t i children of the place to come to louse every Sabbath foi religioudjn- truction. Wo had no bookB except he Bible,(unless it were the spelling ook,) but aaving heard of tickets eward, made some by hand. It a small affair, and lasted only a months--for sickness aud then removal intervened--butl hope something f good was done. Within a year wo I havo received a message from espectable citizens of ( I t h i ·an county referring with salislaetion o that little school, of which he member. A» the babe, then in rms, has been for nearly a decade rand mother, I must expect to he pupils of that school, if at all, mong the venerable--tbe grand par- nta of the present Sunday School cholars. A better, greater a n d more ig effort was mudo in Upper Alton, he fallowing yeai, 1S'2ti. It was o^g'and Heury H. Bnow.'~~l5ea5ou oog nfierwaids lived many yantu ,lton, and continued his labors in he Sabbath School, Mr. Snow, after tew years of f a i t h f u l labor auso there, removed to Quincy, bore he has long been known and pected as Judge Siio\v. 1 believe till lives. Deacon Long rtuioved to jalena, and again, a f t -w years ago, o iowa, where he liven in honor sefulness. The fruits of their effort, n Upper Alton, are still enjoyed; abbath School lived, expanded, and s represented now by three or four ctive efficient Schools. In the fall of 1820 I removed to Edwardsville. I do not k n o w riginated it, but I found a Sabbath jchool there, taught in tbe log court ouse. It is probable that Hail Maon was ft lead's ug spirit, if not jialor euterpiise. J n t b e S p r summer of 1821 it was carriud on good deal of energy. I muieiuber oine difficulty occurred on account f some formation ol a colored class, nd it had to be given up. Some fie prominent, leading public men be present day, were in my class bat Sabbath School. AUhoimh these were all instituted ud carried on before tbe coittuieuce- merft of that in Bond county, r Pouneli may as well be said to S ave originated the Sunday School s myselt--fo« his wus as as much ndepeudent, unterpiitie. But per- aps we must both yield the palm uother. A little more than a year ago, I eived a letter from liev. S. C. idgeof tTrieudbVille, Wabash couuty, r'hlch referred to a historical sermon reached by me in 1846, and requested nformation in regard to his predeces- or, Rev. Stephen Bliss. In a potcriptheeays: " Y o u speak of aniv.iug the first Sabbath School in he State. This is a great honor. 'our credentials clear ? Messrs. Bliss ,nd May, (George,) both graduates tfiddleburg college, Vermont, estnb- Isbed a Sunday School, still in nce, April llth, 1819, in Decker's ·rairie, Wabash county. Can you beat that?" To which question, I ms werl now. It was early in the Spring, ut I have not the date, and 1 »erfeotly willing to r»sigu t h e o my beloved and reverend brother ilis» ; although it is not impossible, lor even improbable, thnfc the tame Jabbath witnessed the liirtk oj~ Kabbath Schools,, on the banks of the Wabash and the Afitsissippi, by parties all inown to each other. But there are two things worthy note in regard to the Sabbath of brother, Blian--you have iho exact date, and the school ie ttilt in existence. · Well, my brother, in view of growth of Sabbath Schools, from ,o perhaps two'.thousand, gathered nstead of ten or twelve, probably aundred,thousand children, all with- n my mature life, besides the corela- tlve increase in the church of the ing God, may,! not lay ; " Now test ThonThy eervautdapart in for mine.cye* Jiqvp.eeei Thy salvation?" Your friond, and brother in the work, THUS. a H it am h of M. of of On is c

Clipped from
  1. Alton Weekly Telegraph,
  2. 29 May 1868, Fri,
  3. Page 1

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  • Early History of Sabbath Schools in Illinois - Rev Stephen Bliss

    john_m_king1947 – 04 Dec 2013

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