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tion, appear to me a more sufficient apology than the Reviewer allows. I feel diffident in opposing opinions where I see the caudour and judgment he evinces, and therefore sincerely wish the attention of some more able correspondent to the suggestion; whether exalted ideas expressed in easy language among hvmns for children, are not likely to produce a more general reverence than familiar ones in worship now,
and more proper conceptions of the subjects hereafter.
An ADDRESS to SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS
From 2 Tim. i. 6.
66 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits." WHEN I Jast addressed you our subjeet led us to consider our duties as spiritual husbandmen, employed in cultivating the hearts and minds of the young; we will now attempt to shew some of the benefits which we ourselves derive from this employment. When the sun arises from his misty couch, and commences his benignant course, behold the labouring man, whose sleep has been sweet, goeth forth unto his work and to his labour until the evening. As he proceeds from his thatched cottage, vigour beams in his eye, and his countenance displays the marks of ruddy healthiness and rural industry. His heart is filled with contentinent and gratitude; he gains his livelihood by the sweat of his brow; and finds that labour, which was at first imposed as a curse, is now transformed to a blessing. This the husbandman proceeds in the morning to sow his seed, and in the evening he does not withhold his hand : while he depends on the blessing of God, his hopes are lively, and his labours are invigorated. But not only is he thus strengthened and blessed in cultivating his land, and sowing his seed; but when the harvest is arrived, “the husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits." All his exertions have a reference to this time, he looks forward with lively hope, and amidst all his anxieties and labours the anticipated season of harvest preserves him from despondency, and animates him to continued and increasing activity. Thus it is with the instructor of the young; while he is labouring for others he benefits himself, and he looks forward to the harvest, not only to impart fruit to others, but to partake of it himself.
It is necessary that we should now leave the interesting ima
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gery of our motto, and proceed to enquire what are the benefits
, Our employment is calculated to increase our knowledge
to produce a more intimate acquaintance with human nature. In children we may behold and study the human heart, before it has acquired those disguises and deceits, which conceal the character in future life. We may here trace those passions which have often agitated Lingdoms and empires, up to their secret sources, and watch their more still and restricted operations. In the opposite characters and varied dispositions of our different pupils--in the stages of their moral and intellectual progress in the induence of education and the effects of religious instruction te may find many objects, not only calculated to excite curiosity, but to promote improvement. When we behold the young, not long entered on the scenes of life, ungovernable in them passions, inattentive to the dictates of wisdom and experience, regardless of their God, ungrateful to their instructors, and fully determined to walk in the ways of transgressors, how anful, and yet how instructive the scene! This is human nature, and fully evinces the truth of the scriptural representation, “ the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked." While beholding the hearts of others, let us examine our owv; that our minds may become more fully impressed
with the exceeding sinfulness of sin, and the unsearchable riches of Christ.
3. Our labours are calculated to produce and promote a spirit of benevolence. While teaching the young, the ignorant, and the poor, without pecuniary reward, we are acquiring most important habits of benevolence. We learn to feel an interest in the poor children, their parents, and friends, and thus become united to those who are so frequently the objects of benevolent regard. Though these cannot recompence you, yet soll ye be recompenced at the resurrection of the just. Is it not a sincere desire to promote the best interests of your youthful charge which leads you to these labourst Du you not most fervently wish to behold your children walking in the paths of religion, ple: sentness, and peace! Do not you extend your benevolent desires, not only io their presont welfare, but to their everlasting happiness? Benevolent employments not only do good to their necessiteus objects, but to the agents themselves. The union of a number of active, ardent young persons together, is calculated to excite a lively spirit of benevolence. One is inclined to do good in one way, another proposes a different plan, they converse together, they devise many schemes of charity, heart is animated by heart, hand joins with hand, and thus from small beginnings societies of great utility arise; benevolent activity gradually becomes a powerful habit, and as we advance in years, and increase in influence, our usefulness will be augmented. From the small centre of a Sunday School, the circle of benevolence will increase till it embraces the whole world,
4. Many excellent qualities are called into exercise by our employment. Our work requires parience and perseverance, and we attain these virtues in our engagements. Those dispositions which were required for occasional exercise, soon become settled and operative principles. Zeal and energy are necessary; these are called forth by beholding young immortals on the brink of perdition, and we see the necessity of endeavouring instantly to snatch them as brands from the burning. Our friends around us are animated and full of energy, we cannot remain idle while they are so industrious, and we feel stimulated to labour more diligently to promote the glory of God, and to advance the welfare of man. Wisdom and prudence are essential to our occupation; to advise, to caution, to correct, to reward. "The law of kindness should also dwell upon our lips, and be manifested in all our conduct. Indeed, our situation requires, that we should endeavour to display every Christian grace and virtue, Our children look
to us as their exam
ples, and how cautious should this make us, least they should discover any thing wrong in our behaviour. This idea should operate as a salutary check, and while it teaches us to avoid even the appearance of evil, should lead us to pray and to strive that we may become proper examples to the tender flock of which God has made us shepherds and overseers.
5. Our employment is calculated to promote personal piety. While we teach our children the depravity of the human heart, can we be insensible to our own. While we tell them that ther cannot save themselves, do we not feel our own insufficincy? While we point them to the Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world, do not we apply to him for the pardon which we equally require? While we talk of the intuences of the Holy Spirit, are we not ansious that they should dwell in our hearts? While we speak of the necessity of a holy life, are not we desirous, by our walk and conversation, to prove that we are Christians indeed! “ Yes," I think that I hear you replying, “ as we have talked of Jesus to our young disciples, while we have recommended his dying love, and his continued goodness, to their notice, we have felt our hearts burn within us, and have resolved to consecrate ourselves more entirely to his service and glory. As we have retired to our closets, we have meditated, we have prayed, and have gone into the world under the influence of these impressions.” Thus our pupils have been the means of exciting our spirituality of aniwi, aad quickening us in our Christian course. Many young persons, I am persuaded, will have to bless God through eterwts that they ever entered a Sunday School; and I trust that all of us, in reviewing the scenes of life from the realms of inz Portality, will look upon this little spot with pleasing remenbrauce, and grateful delight. O! may all of us walk worthy of the Lord, upto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”
6. The last benefit which I shall mention is, the reward wlich faithful labourers shall receive at the last great day. The labourer is worthy of his hire, and shall in no wise lose his reward. Not that we are to suppose our poor labours will of themselves earn for us everlasting enjoyment, but that God has been pleased to connect our duty and his mercy, our exertions and his reward, so that while we magnify his grace, we should “ be steadfast and immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord." OL may we be faithful to our charge, and see our pupils rise up to call their Saviour blessed, that at the day of judgment we may be addressed by our Redeemer from his throne of glory, “ Forasmuch as ye did it to the least of these ye did it unto me. Come ye blessed of my father, enter into the joy of your Lord.” Thus may we appear as diligent labourers, and rejoice before our God, “ according to the joy of karvest.” “He that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto eternal life; that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together.”
On the tendency of SUNDAY Schools to promote the
SPIRITUAL Interests of the Teachers. MR. EDITOR, I NOW sit down to perform my promise, in endeavouring to point out some of the ways in which Sunday Schools promote the spiritual welfare of those who are concerned in them. I am glad that I am able to do this; but if I were not, and could not see the beneficial consequences they produce, I should nevertheless credit the promise of him who cannot lie, and should not doubt but that they who watered others should be watered themselves. And I never could believe that they who in humble dependence upon his word, engaged in his work, with a feeling sense of their own weakness, and a watchful attention to those points where they were most in danger, would suffer in their most important interests.
The first beneticial effect of Sunday Schools is, that they furnish a useful and important employment. Employment has been shewn to be in many ways essential to happiness, but my object is to prove, that it promotes our spiritual wel fare ; and this I think may be shewn by the following considerations.
1. Employment preserves young persons from one peculiar danger of the present day, viz. the bad influence which literatare frequently has on the spiritual interests of the young. I know this will excite much surprise, and I shall be thought by some, guilty of little less than blasphemy; but I cannot help noticing the evil effects produced upon the minds of many by an inordinate attention to literary pursuits, and rejoice in any thing which may preserve our ingenuous youth from the blandishments of philosophy and vain deceit. I do not overlook or undervalue the good effects of science in its proper place, but my complaint is, that it is hardly ever kept there, and I cannot but grieve when so many of our hopeful young people are injured by an improper use of what might be a great blessing. I see that many are awfully departing from the faith