The Mission Sunday-School As A Social And Ethical Lever -- By: H. Francis Perry

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 056:223 (Jul 1899)
Article: The Mission Sunday-School As A Social And Ethical Lever
Author: H. Francis Perry


The Mission Sunday-School As A Social And Ethical Lever

Rev. H. Francis Perry

The city of Chicago is separated into three natural divisions by the windings of the Chicago River,—the North Side, the South Side, and the West Side. This inquiry limits its data to the South Side of the city.

The population of the city of Chicago in 1898 was 1,851,588. Of this number 680,527 reside on the South Side of the city; 222,215, or about one-third, are under fourteen years of age. The number of scholars attending our schools and educational institutions, other than Sunday-schools, on the South Side of the city of Chicago, are,—

Pupils in the public schools
Pupils in kindergartens
Pupils in private schools
Pupils in church or parochial schools
Pupils in other educational institutions

79,330
2,718
3,666
30,576
18,801

135,091

In the city of Chicago there are about 600 Protestant churches, or one church to 3086 inhabitants. These churches have a membership of something like 160,000 communicants, or about one to every twelve of the entire population. These churches conduct about 750 Sunday-schools, with about 170,000 scholars. Of this number the schools known as Mission Schools, or schools connected with mission churches, are 120, with 25,657 scholars. If

we compare the number of pupils in the day schools on the South Side of the city of Chicago with the number of scholars in the Protestant Sunday-schools we find that there are 104,515 in the day schools, or other than parochial schools, while there are 60,434 scholars in the Sunday-schools, which gives a very creditable showing for the voluntary Sunday-school system, since it numbers about three-fifths of the day-school attendance.

There appears to be an increasing apprehension, among those who are studying the great institutions of society, that it is imperatively necessary to attempt to formulate the definite ends to be sought by the particular institution as well as the stating of the relation which this segment of society bears to the full circle of life. We are therefore asking, What is the exact function of education, of religion, of political life, of social science, and how are these related to the outer circle, which we call righteousness, of the great concentric system of being? What are the desirable ends of social and ethical life? It is no easy task to closely define either the end or the ends which are to be sought in fullest life. The supreme end which is desirable has b...

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