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Examination Of The Sunday School At Augusta, Ga.

 

Mr. Editor.—As I observe that descriptions of the examinations which take place in the various religious schools of the Union, are recorded in the pages of The Occident, I cannot allow the recent exhibition of the Augusta Hebrew School, so well conducted, so successful, and so creditable alike to teachers and pupils, to pass without similar notice. This institution was formed anterior to the establishment of the Hebrew Congregation, and from its inception to the present time, the assiduous attention of the ladies of our faith has been bestowed upon it. The success which has followed these laudable efforts in behalf of religious education, was fully tested and as fully verified during the late examination, which we design briefly to notice. The school is small, the number of scholars varying between ten and fifteen, but their attendance is more regular, and proficiency greater than those of larger institutions. The exercises, on the anniversary before alluded to, were opened by a beautiful and impressive prayer, read by Miss S. A. Moise, the present superintendent. It was addressed, and peculiarly applicable to the youth of our religion, containing earnest exhortations to revere the only God, and strictly to obey his commands. A short and appropriate psalm was then sung with much taste by the children, aided by the voices of the teachers, and at its conclusion the recitations commenced. The juvenile classes were questioned by Miss Moise and Miss Rosina Hendricks, alternately, upon Pyke and Peixotto’s catechisms, commandments, &c., and acquitted themselves in a manner highly commendable. Then followed the senior classes, who were examined at length in the Bible, Leeser’s Catechism, the creed, &c., in all of which they appeared thoroughly versed. When we consider the short and inadequate time which was allowed the scholars for preparation, the knowledge they evinced of each and every subject brought before them, reflects great praise on their instructors, and entitles the scholars themselves to our loudest approbation. It is difficult to discriminate where all were such proficients, and we shall leave them on an equality, fearful or rendering a biassed judgment. To vary the monotony or mere questions and answers, and to impart to the exercises a more agreeable character, pieces were prepared for recitation, and spoken by the pupils towards the close of the exhibition. The addresses were, in most cases, selected from The Occident, and admirably suited to the age and capacities of the speakers. We desire not to institute comparisons, and are aware that we shall render ourselves obnoxious to the charge of favouritism, by the opinion we are about to express. Justice, however, compels us to state that Miss Rosalie C. Moise ranks first, to whom, indeed, that position has been generally conceded. With like unanimity George Rush, a bold and animated speaker, was placed second upon the list of competitors, and we are disposed, cheerfully, to concur in the general sentiment. Our attention was particularly attracted by the youngest of the little group, whose sweet voice and graceful gesture received the commendation of all. Miss Rosalie Moise recited “Hagar in the Wilderness” with much feeling and eloquence. It is a pathetic and beautiful poem from the prolific pen of Miss Grace  Aguilar; and its effect was heightened by the clear and well-modulated voice of the youthful speaker. We could almost see the arid desert, the distressed and forsaken Hagar, murmuring not for herself, but for the beloved boy over whose suffering form she bends in silent agony. We could picture to ourselves the sudden transition from sadness to joy, the beaming gladness which lit up the mother’s eyes, as the pure and gushing stream, which was to save her child, fell upon her delighted vision. After the conclusion of the addresses, the premiums were awarded by Miss Moise. They consisted of minable books adapted to the age of the pupil, and containing inscriptions, neat and appropriate, to each. A prayer was then offered up and the proceedings closed, giving universal satisfaction to the numerous auditory.

Augusta, June, 13th, 1847.  T. J. M.