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on a plan for rewarding the scholars honored with a Christmas gift from the who gained tickets for early attendance tree. The project was greatly aided during the past year, so that they may by the gift of a guinea from Mrs. Digby better appreciate punctuality in coming of Sherborne Castle, and the like sum to school-a point most desirable to be from W. C. Macready. Esq., of Sherborne gained in any way, not only at this House ; and some help was received season of the year, but in these times of from clergymen of the Church of idle indulgence. A “Christmas tree" England. was proposed, and met with a ready response; and through the untiring
HORBURY SUNDAY SCHOOL, exertions of Dr. Williams, our respected
NOTTING HILL. superintendent, and his lady, aided by a few other friends, a tree was planted Death and change have been busy in the middle of the spacious school- amongst us during the past year. Only room, and hung with articles of almost two months of it had passed, when, every useful description, such as ruffs after an illness of some weeks, a dear for the neck, pinafores, dolls, knives, girl, who had formerly been with us, books, scissors, &c., as prizes for the was called away from earth. She was early comers. On the evening of Friday a bright child, full of rosy health, and Jan. 14, the tree was illuminated with her smile was like sunshine gladdening variegated lamps and tapers ; the school- all around. We should not certainly room adorned with evergreens and have fixed on her as likely to be the flags; and at half-past six the children first to leave us. Life seemed to be assembled, the spare room being quickly opening before her full of bright hope occupied by visitors and parents of the and promise ; but fever came, and laid scholars. The proceedings were opened her low! And thus, withdrawn from by the singing of an appropriate hymn, outward scenes, she sought and found “We'll away to the Sabbath school,” the Saviour, of whom she had so often after which the superintendent briefly heard, even from earliest childhood. stated the object of the meeting, and at At the beginning of her illness, she once began the distribution.
The desired longer life, and was only feeling articles, each ticketed with the name of after Jesus; but, some time before she the youthful recipient, were then cut died, her will was brought into beautiful from the tree ; and the superintendent, submission to the Divine, and she could in presenting the prizes to the children, lean upon the arm of the good and made suitable and pleasing remarks. tender Shepherd as she passed down Nothing could give the friends more into the “dark valley of the shadow of pleasure than to see the happy faces of death." When she thought herself the scholars as they gazed on the dying (and indeed but a little while beautifully illuminated tree, and recei- before her death), she sent for all her ved the rewards from the hands of their family, to bid them adieu, giving words kind superintendent. When the children of warning and earnest love to each, had nearly dismantled the tree, the and charging them all especially that distribution having occupied fully an they should meet her in Heaven ; and hour, the teachers were unexpectedly then she left a solemn message to be called out to receive each a book, given to the Sunday School children. judiciously chosen as bearing on the " Tell them,” she said, “ to be sure and subject of instruction of the young. seek Christ while they are in health ; An amusing incident was the spon- for, if they leave it to a sick or dying taneous clapping of hands by the bed, it may be difficult to seek and children, when they saw their teachers find Him then." This message, from that dear dying child, was faithfully tion, and the impression made was delivered to the children in our school sought to be followed up in the week on the next Sabbath after her death ; by a letter of faithful expostulation and and it is hoped that its warning of love entreaty; but ere that letter was deliwas not in vain.
vered, the spirit so addressed had been Soon after this, another scholar (who summoned into the presence of its God! had been with us for many years) was What shall we say to these things ? Is removed from us in the midst of life and there no warning voice to us in them ? health, under most mysterious and dis- We have these enquiring, sinful, imtressing circumstances. In the case mortal spirits round us on the Sabbath ; of both families, too, we had soon to bid we know Him who hath Eternal life, them a long adieu, as they had arranged and is ready to bestow it as a free gift to seek another home in New Zealand ; on all who seek it at His hands. and we have now to think of and pray Again are we reminded-by the for them as in that distant land. We almost sudden death of an earnest specially and unitedly commended them teacher in a neighboring school, who to God before they left, and still feel a often united with us in our meetingsdeep interest in their real welfare. that our day of labor is fast drawing to
Several parents too have died, some a close, and that the end of it may be of whom left behind them a clear testi- much nearerthan we are sometimes wont mony to the preciousness of Jesus, and to think. " He rests from his labors, His all-sufficiency even in the hour of and his works do follow him.” Happily mortal weakness. Said one, only a few they were works of love done for Christ weeks since, to the superintendent and souls. Are we doing all we can in when he called, a little while before the same blessed service ? Let us soher death: “He is faithful! not one of lemnly remember that the journey of His promises have failed. I have not life cannot be travelled over a second a care for earth, except for my children.” time to correct mistakes, and make a Then she added, “God has been a hus- better improvement of precious opporband to me, and I am sure he will be a tunities. We are hasting to its final father to them.” She had been a widow close. Why should we be heaping up some few years, and the calm and al- regrets for a death-bed review? Who most joyful trust manifested in these would not earnestly desire the approving few earnest words, in the near approach "well done” at last, given only to the of the King of Terrors, was most cheer- faithful servant? Who but would seek ing to witness.
to crowd the precious fleeting moments In these death-bed experiences we of this earthly life with holy deeds of are vividly reminded how solemn and love for Him who poured out His soul momentous a work we have undertaken on the high altar of Calvary, to save us in the training of immortal spirits for all from the second death ? Men are the skies ! What a light is thrown on eager and earnest enough about the the necessity of being intensely in things that pass away; they need no earnest when the soul is in peril! The appeals when engaging in the strife of teacher of the girl who was suddenly commerce and the race for wealth. cut off, had, on the previous Sabbath, The hurrying step, the restless eye, the been urging most strongly the point of anxious brow, proclaim the story of the religious decision ; having a special ceaseless toil for perishable gain or glory. reference to this girl, who was about For things that men must part with for leaving for New Zealand. “ Choose ye ever at death (if not long before), what this day whom ye will serve,” had been will they not do and dare ? Yet» for the the subject of the afternoon's exhorta- " incorruptible crown,” for the honor of sharing with the Saviour in His glorious priate address, elegantly written :-To reward, and being recognized and Miss Sharpe, (superintendent of the approved by Him as “faithful,” before Infant school), an exceedingly hand, an assembled universe-how little anx
some Blotting case ; to Miss Wells, iety is shown! how little effort is made ! (superintendent of the girls' school), a 'Tis high time the judgment and the similar one; and to Mr, Wheeler, conduct were reversed. “The worla (superintendent of the boys' school), a passeth away and the lust thereof; but most beautiful Inkstand, inlaid with he that doeth the will of God abideth Mother o' Pearl, The articles were all for ever."
of great beauty, and must have cost a considerable sum, while at the same time they reflected great credit upon
the contributors for the good taste which TESTIMONIALS TO TEĄCHERS. had been displayed in their selection, WOODFOKD, Essex, At an Old Scho.
Mr. WHEELER, the Superintendent, lars' Tea Meeting, lately held in con
(rose in the meeting amidst great ap. nection with the Independent Chapel plauso), begged on bebalf of himself and in this suburban village, a handsomely the lady Superintendents, to offer their bound copy of the Scriptụres, together
beartfelt thanks to the parents for the with ą pair of gold spectacles, were
handsome presents which had been presented to Mr. Dixon. The Bible made, and also for the very kind man: bore the following inscription :
ner in which they had been presented. • Presented to Mr. S. Dixon, by the
" They (the superintendents), did not teachers and old scholars belonging to look for any reward in this world ; they Providence Chapel Sunday School,
laboured because they felt it right to do Woodford, Essex, as a token of their so. He would remind the parents that estcem and affeetion, and in commemo
although his position as superintendent, ration of his valuable services during
brought him more prominently forward fifty years' connection therewith.
than others, yet he did not, on that November 30th, 1858."
acepunt, do more ; but that he was de
The meeting was presided over by the Rev. pendent upon the active co-operation of
the teachers, which he must say, was EDWARD THOMĄB Eag, andwas suitably addressed by the Revs, John ever ageorded : and he was sure he only Hi, (of Stratford) J. Brown, (Ley of those presents, when he said, that
expressed the feelings of the kind donors tonstone) W. H. Hooper, (Walthamstow) and Messrs. J. Kaye, Ashdown, they were intended as marks of regard,
not only for the superintendents, but Ebenezer Clarke, and Burnett.
also for the teachers generally: His CLAPTON CHAPEL SUNDAY SCHOOLS. constant aim would be, to make himself A few months ago an idea had been worthy of that esteem which these preconceived by some of the mothers of sents were designed to express; and he children in the sehool, of presenting hoped that his son, and all those who to the superintendents certain tokens might see that beautiful Inkstand upon of the appreciation with which they his table, would be encouraged to perregarded their self-denying labours. severe in efforts for the spiritual good of The idea having been matured, was their fellow creatures." practically carried out at the last annual tea-meeting of parents, over which
POETRY the Rev, H, J, Gamble presided. The
THE SUNSHINE OF THE MIND. articles then presented were as follows, gach being accompanied by an appro- A generous soul is sunshine to the mind.
Thou canst not reach the height that I shall find;
Sir Robert Hossard
LETTERS TO A YOUNG SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER.
HAVING taken a general survey of the whole field of labour, it now becomes necessary to regard with particular attention that small portion of it which is to be your special care.
For while it is requisite that
you should have a comprehensive view of the Sunday school work as a whole, it is on your own class now that your chief attention is to be concentrated. Assuming, therefore, that having after deep and serious consideration devoted yourself to the work, I will suppose you duly appointed to a class, and sitting down in it for the first time. The superintendent perhaps bas just said a few words of intro luction to the children in presenting their new teacher, and has left you
alone with them. Possibly you may feel some slight, or it may be even a great degree of embarrassment, as you glance at the circle of curious and inquisitive faces gazing upon you. They are trying to find out what sort of a teacher they have got, and depend upon it they will soon succeed. And just as they are studying you, so you must study them. It must be your aim to become thoroughly acquuinted with each child. Carefully observe their actions ; notice every little trait in their characters; seek to familiarize yourself with their modes of thought. A very short time will suffice to show you how widely diverse are their characters and dispositions, and how very dissimilar the treatment which different children require. Notice that little sturdy fellow, how carefully he is watching you. He is trying to find out whether he can do with you, as he did with his old teacher ; whether you or he shall rule. And you must take care how you let the rein fall very slack on his neck. But a totally different course is required for that quiet shy boy, who seems to shrink, like a sensitive plant, from the slightest touch. Gently and tenderly must you deal with him, to win his love, and gain his confidence. And between these extremes, you will find different phases and various gradations of character, each of which it should be your aim thoroughly to comprehend. Just as a physician seeks to acquaint himself with the symptoms of the disease for which he is to prescribe, so must you acquaint yourself with the various characters with which you have to deal.
To assist in this study, it may be useful here briefly to refer to some of the general characteristics of children. For though the oft-quoted line of Wordsworth’s is unquestionably true, that
1. The child is father to the man,” yet there are some qualities in the mind of childhood very differently manifested to what they are in the mind of man. These it is important you should notice. Of these characteristics, remark:
1. Susceptibility. The mind of a child is like a waxen tablet on which you may write almost what you will; or, to use a more modern figure, like the prepared paper of the photographer, receiving on its surface the most delicate lines of the object whose image is projected on it. The difficulty is not to impress it, but to prevent its being wrongly impressed. The effect you produce may be obliterated, or at least partially obliterated by a subsequent impression. Thus, while it is your duty to take advantage of this extreme susceptibility, you have also to guard against its dangers. None, who have watched children with any degree of attention, can have failed to remark how easily, and how powerfully their emotions can be awakened. How soon they may be excited to mirth-how soon that mirth may give place to tears. Tell them some little narrative in which they are interested, and see how thoroughly they identify themselves with the characters introduced. For a time they seem to live in the scenes to which you have led them, and all else is forgotten in the fascination of the story. I have seen a large class of children listening almost breathlessly, and in tears, to the narration of the last few sad hours of the Saviour's life. On an adult congregation how flatly, and how unimpressively would even that pathetic story too often fall. In this respect you possess a great advantage over the preacher. He has to excite feelings hardened and deadened by constant and rude contact with the rough realities of life; you, to excite them, while yet in their greatest sensibility. Of course, among children, there is a great difference in this respect, and
you are not to expect that all will be equally im. pressible. As a general rule, however, the young minds with whom you have to deal will be keenly sensitive to impressions either for good or evil.
2. Affectionateness is another noticeable characteristic of children. Their love is easily won if it only be sought for. The key to their hearts is not difficult to obtain. They must have something to love ; they cannot live in themselves. Their young affections must have some external object to cling to. Love them, and the whole wealth of their pure love will be lavished upon you. If you have not the love of children, be sure the fault is with you, not with them. No worldly conventionalities lock up this love in their hearts. They are free to exhibit it, and rarely indeed does a child conceal it. You may go into your class then, assured that it is possible to gain their
that there are no barriers against it; that they wish to love you if you will only let them. This affectionateness is also demonstrative, and you must be careful not to repress and chill it by a cold unsympathizing manner. Coldness very quickly repels a child, and the freezing manner in which children are sometimes met, inflicts an injury that we cannot fully estimate. Your care must be rather to :