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To the Board of Control of the House of Correction:

GENTLEMEN:-I respectfully submit my report in referSence to my duties as Chaplain.

opie Man is a religious creature-the inward impulses of his nature prompt him to love some superior being. As a moral being, he will form for himself laws by which his actions shall be governed, and the acts of his fellows be judged. These laws take their character from the knowledge he has of that Superior Being-his attributes and laws, and the right development of his intellectual powers. The history of the past convinces us that the neglect of either will be injurious; producing, on one hand, coldhearted Deism and Infidelity, or, on the other, religious fanaticism and folly. But when both are combined, and permitted to exert their legitimate influence, they will invariably produce a well-balanced character, which will be the light of the world, and the salt of the earth. These, together with the cultivation of their social and industrial habits, are all that are required to make the inmates happy and useful citizens. Their natural abilities, with but few exceptions, are good; but most of them come to the Institution in a crude state, alike deficient of education, and moral and religious training. But few have ever attended Sunday School, much less religious services at church. In those cases, the home influences of pious parental instruction were wanting also. They very readily, however, conform to the rules, and behave with perfect propriety during religious exercises.

Our religious services commence at 2 o clock, P. M. every Sabbath, and usually last an hour and a quarter, including Sunday school exercises. Our manner of con ducting the service is as follows: Singing and prayer; repeating in concert the Decalogue, or Lord's Prayer; singing again, followed by a discourse. The discourse must be suited to the capacity of the hearers, and it must be interesting to gain their attention.

We give them the privilege of asking questions during the discourse, or in the examination of the Sunday school lesson. This, instead of making confusion, increases the interest in the services, by taxing the ability of the teacher, or Chaplain, to answer their ingenious questions. They give good attention during the discourse. When the Chaplain has occasion to refer to any portion of the Scriptures, to prove or illustrate the subject before them, they take their Bibles, or Testaments, and mark them at those places, to be read in leisure hours. The interest of the services is very much increased by the proficiency the boys have made in singing, under the instruction of Mr. C. B. Robinson, Assistant Superintendent. They are decidedly the best class of juvenile singers we have ever heard.

The Sunday school exercises follow immediately at the close of the discourse. From the first Sabbath in Novem. ber to the last in March, they are kept together as one class. The boys recite the lesson, each a verse in turn, when questions are asked, and explanations given, either by the Teacher or the Chaplain. From the first Sabbath in April to the last in October, when it is supposed the roads will be good, and the weather pleasant, so that we can depend on the aid of Christian ladies and gentlemen as teachers, they are divided into eight classes, occupying different parts of the Chapel. After the recitation of the lesson, and instruction by those Christian friends, they resume their usual places and answer some general ques

tions, and close by singing and prayer. We cannot close before tendering thanks, on our own behalf, and on behalf of the other officers, to Mrs. Bagley, Mrs. Seymour, Mrs. Crosby, Mrs. IIibbard, and others, for their assistance in the Sunday school during the past summer. The public may justly enquire, What effect has been produced by these labors? Wo answer: not so great as we could desire, but as good as Sunday school labors, bestowed on a similar class, in any portion of the land. They commit the lesson as perfectly, and recite it as promptly, as any; and appreciate, as highly as scholars possibly can, the labors of their teachers. Judging from the spirit and character of those persons, the nature of service rendered, and the eager and devout manner in which it is received, we must say those labors cannot possibly be in vain. Since He who sent us forth hath promised, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth. It shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Intellectual and moral improvement is not the work of a day; the future only can give a satisfactory answer. Even the light of eternity itself will be required to show the fruits springing from the seed which is being sown. All which is respectfully submitted, By your humble servant,

J. SOMERVILLE, Chaplain to House of Correction.

OF THE

BOARD OF TRUSTEES

OF THE

MICHIGAN ASYLUM

For the Deaf and Dumb and the Blind,

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