Page images

dear faces and warm hearts of our young friends. They love to look on us, and we on them. What will not affection accomplish? Older hearts have been softened, and more stubborn tempers have been subdued by tender affection than any with which we have to deal. Peter would .. ot have melted so soon under an upbraiding reproach from his Master, as did he under the look of tender affection. This, with the blessing of God, is the key wherewith to unlock the young heart. We must let the young ones know that we feel with them, and for them; that our words do not give the lie to our disposition towards them; then will heart come out towards heart, and our largest desires be fulfilled on their behalf.

6. How do you do as regards individual responsibility. The school, most undoubtedly belongs to the church ; but the church can accom. plish little or nothing unless the individual members composing it put forth a hand. Let each work, then the church will prosper. With all due respect and love for fellow Christians, (who may each find some work in the vineyard,) the fact is clear and palpable, that all are not adapted or qualified for the work of Sabbath school teach. ing. But many eyes are turned to you my friends, and many prayers are offered for you, who have been placed by God's providence in the position which you hold. He has been graciously pleased to enlist you for the working out of his designs of mercy to our race, and in so doing has spoken to each, individually, the command, “Feed my lambs." Work with all your might as though success depended on each one of you alone.

Dear friends, we want more of the benevolence of the gospel to pervade our minds, fill our hearts, and regulate our lives. Let us try more than ever to gain the mastery over self; 'twill be a noble victory, Let us seek to encircle in the arms of Christian love the youthful objects of our care, benefiting ourselves in the effort to seek and save, that each one of my fellow laborers may not be afraid to answer the question-How do you do? York.

R. H.



“Let the child educate himself. Instruct him in all other things but leave his mind unbiassed, that when older he may be free to choose to try all things, and hold fast to that which is good.” But the child would choose something. He was depraved. This was not merely a doctrine of the Church, but a fact patent în observation. He was born into wicked world, a great university of iniquity. Hence the importance of religious instruction through the Sunday-school.

Notice the facilities of Sundar-schools. The youthful mind was accessible, not so with the adult. The adult had feelings, opinions, prejudices. To get possession of him was like getting possession of property long held wrongfully. You would be resisted at every point. Law and logic would be sifted, and the worst made to appear the better reason, and you were not certain of triumph when the case was decided in


favor, and you got to the door with the sheriff. The mind of the adult was a Sebastopol, and could only be taken by a long and desperate storm.

The infant mind was impressible. The adult mind was unimpressible, O, how unimpressible. How many sermons were preached in this city last Sunday. I presume they were good sermons, All the influences of the religious press and of prayer were with them, and yet were there many converted last Sabbath ? Were there many even convicted ?

It is not so on other subjects. When the telegraph brings news of bank suspensions, of a financial panic, the whole country is thrilled with the news, and shows how much it is excited. When politicians wish to call attention to any topic, they do not work unsuccessfully. They pour out their money, and bring out their orators, and they can predict exactly the effect. They say, here is so much money and so much labor, and they know the result as well as Wellington knew the effect when his forces were calculated before an engagement.

An impression on the mind of an adult is not lasting. In a single day it may

be gone. But write on the mind of a child, and it will not wash away. It is as if printed in a book. Nay, more, as if written with an iron stylet on a tablet of lead. Nay, more, as if cut in the imperishable rock. The sculptor of Greece, when he had formed his statue of Minerva, cut his image in it so deeply that it could only be obliterated by destroying the statue. So with the Sunday-school teacher. His lessons are impressed so deeply, that they cannot be lost without destroying the whole moral structure.

Let us glance at the remuneration of Sunday-school instruction. It is a law of Providence, that we can do no good to others without doing good to ourselves. “We learn by teaching,” say the instructors. So the Sunday-school teachers are learning. They are gathering more valuable knowledge of the human mind, than they would by poring over the pages of Reid or Stewart. They are acquiring facility and felicity of thought and expression, and that perseverance, which is crowned by success in life. If the whole church would come into the field, O, how it would improve! If the old would come, would they not become young ? If the stiff in body and mind, would they not become supple? If the ignorant, would they not learn? No man can say he has no time.

The Church is dependent, to a great extent, on the Sunday-school for its own perpetuity. In this world all things decay. Look at that great sewer through which the ruined humanity of a city goes down to hell. It would not last long, but for its tributaries—the grogshops, and the other nurseries of sin. So with the great stream that flows towards heaven. It must have its tributaries, and the Sunday-school is one of them. We must look to the Sunday-school for missionaries. We have but just begun this great work. Lo! the world's harvest is ripe for the sickle. The reapers must come from the Sunday-schools.

It is not merely the children that are saved by this instrumentality; but the parents through the children. Give me access to the child, and I will assure you access to the father. A physician was inquiring, the other day, about the practice of another. The answer was, “ O, his practice is small; it is only among children.” “Ah!" replied the other, " the physician who practices among the children will soon have the mothers, and the fathers too.” It is so with the Saint Louis was once taken in that way. We have access to heaven

in that way.

Children are the weak point of the world. If angels were to come to the world to take it for the Lord Jesus Christ, I have sometimes thought that they would not go to capitals and cabinets, but would go first to the world's weak point-the children. So when the Church concentrates itself at the world's weak point, the world will be taken. If we could only collect into one body this half million of children-of young immortals committed to our charge--and the Church could see them thus collected, nothing more would be necessary to inspire the feeling that must result in the accomplishment of our object. I had a friend who was very anxious to be rich.

If ever anyone deserved to be rich, he did. He toiled early and late; he ate the bread of diligence. But he had more industry than judgment, and he became involved in hopeless bankruptcy. I went to him, and found him greatly depressed in spirits. I endeavored to console him. I told him that he had much left after the wreck of his fortune. “No,” he said, " he had nothing." I insisted that he had, and that, reduced as he was, he would not exchange his lot with that of any other man on earth. He replied that there was one man in the room with whom he would gladly exchange. As I was the only person in the room, he could mean no other; so I accepted the offer, and we agreed to make the transfer. “I will take your house” said he; “what will you have in return?” I had no children at the time, and putting my hand on the head of his beautiful little girl, said, “I will take her.” “No, no!" he exclaimed, “ I would not part with her for the world.” And he would not. How great sacrifices, then, ought a Church be ready to make, which has half a million of them!



MR. EDITOR, --I have had the privilege and pleasure to teach in Sunday schools for some years past. During the time so employed scarcely a Sunday has passed without my having been shocked and grieved at the (at least) apparent entire want of reverence or devotion manifested by the majority of scholars as well as, alas, by many teachers during the time of public devotion.

I would not however seek to intrude my feeble sentences into your well and ably filled columns, had I not become painfully conscious, from relation of others experience, as well as from my own, that the direful evil is wide spread, and that (subject of course to happy exceptions) the large majority of Sunday scholars do not join in the public prayers.

I shall only be too glad to leave to abler and more experienced pens than mire an explanation of, and remedy for, this heart ossifying disease, for such it is.

Firstly. I have thought, that, bearing in mind the average age and attainments of our scholars, the public prayers are generally much too long, too diffused, too little personal, and often couched in stereotyped phrases, neither understood, nor coming home to them. Also I have sometimes thought that the vocal repetition occasionally by the children of the prayers would tend to shew them that they have an actual part in the service; and that it is a solemn act which all should join in, as well as to enforce on the spokesman greater conciseness and personalness in his efforts, always avoiding the use of frequent recurrent forms which children would soon learn by rote, and repeat, without attaching any meaning whatever to the act.

Secondly. I do not think it any part of a teacher's duties, nor wise on his side to interfere during prayer time with his scholars, unless the conduct of any one of them be such as to distract the attention, or disturb the quiet of those around.

A teacher should not only himself join in the petition, but also appear to do so to his scholars, and should set them a fit example of reverence and devotion. How can he do this if his eye is roving about from one to another on the watch for opportunities for remark or rebuke.

In class afterwards, or if needful, in private, is the time to rebuke formisbehaviour or inattention during previous prayer time, earnestly to point out the uses, privileges of the duty and commands to prayer, and affectionately and forcibly to point out the danger of neglecting or trifling with so great & blessing

In conclusion, I mention that the result of a trial of the above plan (which I by no means give as a panacea) in my own class has been sufficiently encouraging, both as to the outward behaviour, and I hope also the inward feeling of my scholars. Southampton.



AND PARENTS. A LARGE gathering of the teachers and parents of the children frequenting the Sunday and Day Schools situate in Endell street, Westminster, attended during the past month by invitation to partake of tea, &c., as well as to hear an address delivered to them by the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of London. The large room of the spacious new and commodious building above mentioned had been tastefully fitted up for the occasion, and profusely decorated with evergreens and flowers. The company present numbered somewhere about six hundred.

The Bishop of LONDON, on rising, said it gave him great satisfaction at having been invited to be present that evening, and in beholding the manner in which they had received him. In speaking of the SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER, the right reverend Prelate said he knew of no one who ought so much to bestir himself as that individual. In their way there were great and cruel evils to be found, but where those evils were contended with in a proper spirit they might in a great measure be overcome. It gave him great pleasure to think that hardly under any circumstances good works rendered any danger to those who took them up and used their best exertions to carry them through. Sunday-school teachers had the moulding of young souls, and to teach them the way through which they might receive God's blessing. To do good works like this ought to be their aim. It was interesting to mention that if they looked back to times past they might mark the contrast that now presented itself when they looked around. He wished God speed to the work of Sunday-schools, and to all works of religions instruction and civilisation tending to promote the education of the young, and which taught them to avoid and hate sin. Those engaged in the work of Sunday-school teaching must experience very great advantages to themselves whilst going on in their calling, for, as they were lending themselves to the work, they were doing good to their own souls. There was no occasion that led a man more to his Maker than speaking to and instructing the young children around him. He was led to think that no young man of any feeling could softly and kindly address those young children and infants about him without himself feeling the good effects of what he was saying to them. He might say, not only speaking softly, but respectfully, and in a becoming spirit, whilst telling of Jesus ; and he that could in a low, mild, and persuasive strain tell a child to love God, must be an hypocrite, if he did not find an echo in his own soul. If that teacher did but address those little ones around him merely as if the work to be done was of a formal kind, it would be better that he left it undone, to be attended to by more fitting hands. A Sunday-school teacher could not constantly, Sunday after Sunday, meet his little pupils without deriving a benefit to himself. As the teacher came to the young, and gradually examined them, it was doubtless by God's means good to himself. His advice to all young men who might come to this vast metropolis-who came from distant parts of the country, and who wished to keep in strictly moral ways-was, by God's help, to associate themselves with some Sunday


« PreviousContinue »