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resolutions, as embodying their princi- better to extend at once the ground of ples and intentions in connexion there-operations into the villages, (and by no with, namely:
means a bad thought); while others 1st. That the four schools represented thought it better to confine ourselves at at this meeting, and those individuals home for the present, feeling persuaded who do not attend in a representative that ere long the results arising from capacity, do hereby form themselves the union would be so good, that we into the "Boston Sunday School Union." 2nd. That the Union shall have for its first object the promotion of a fraternal feeling amongst the teachers of the Sunday schools, and shall on no account nor in any way interfere with the internal affairs of the schools.
3rd. That the Union shall adopt such measures as are likely to increase the attendance at the respective schools.
4th. That another object shall be the proper regulation of the manner of transferring children from one school to another.
5th. That a further object shall be the spiritual and intellectual advancement of the teachers, by meetings for prayer and intercourse.
6th. That it shall also be part of the plan of the Union to secure an annual gathering of all the schools in union, so as to enhance in the public mind the importance of the Sunday school as an educational and spiritual instrumen tality.
7th. That the officers of the Union, be a president, two secretaries, and treasurer, to be appointed annually by the members of the Union, and a committee of two representatives, (one male and one female), from each school willing to join; and in case a representative of any school be called to office, that school shall be at liberty to appoint another representative. That the ministers of the churches where the schools are in union, shall be ex-officio members of the committee.
A friendly, warm, and interesting discussion arose amongst the teachers in passing the above resolutions, which tended materially to increase our confidence and interest in each other. It was thought by some, that it would be
should acquire great additional strength, which, when acquired, would enable us to make a more decided stand against the prejudices that at present influence so many, and enlist the sympathies of the teachers of all denominations in the good work, and thus verify the old proverb "Union is strength." General regret was felt that not more of the schools in Boston manifested a desire to join in union, the reasons given for which were that many thought the advantages arising from such a union would not compensate them for the loss of time and trouble (?) they would suffer in connection with it. We feel sorry such a feeling should actuate any one who is seeking, with diligence, to extend his hand of friendship to the rising race, and, with due caution, endeavouring to sow in their immortal minds the seeds of everlasting truth. In this nineteenth century, these kind of fears should be thrown to the wind, and if one advantage can be seen as probable to be gained by a union of strength, each one should yield to this feeling of duty to join heart and hand in the means that will be likely to gain it We trust we shall be able to repor ere long that such is the case; and that as a body corporate, under the Great Captain of our salvation, we are exerting every power given us to disseminate the principles of the Gospel of Christ.
The officers necessary to carry out the arrangements agreed upon were all chosen, and we now regard ourselves as fairly launched upon the bosom of the world, and trust that the God of all truth and power will stand at our belm and guide us safe and right. Our next meeting will consist of a social tea, spiritual intercourse, and prayer.
THE VOICE OF SPRING.
In cheerful lays your voices raise,
Let all unite who love the bright
And cheerful voice of Spring.
SPRING is returned; the Winter is over and gone, and the time of the singing of the birds is arrived; days of darkness have passed away. A glorious season of sunshine is before us. Hail thou earnest of summer's fruits and flowers! A hearty welcome to thee thou returning pledge of that faithful and early covenant which Noah received from Him whose promise cannot fail.
"Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice," said David in his own royal hymn book. And if we would understand the seasons of the year-know the character of God as a benevolent being-would we learn to pray more unto Him, to praise Him as such, then let us go to King David's hymn book. All things unite to admonish us of the progress we are making on the great journey of life. Day and night, summer and winter, seed-time and harvest, the commencement of the year as well as its close, all with one loud voice, and without cessation, proclaim advancement. The universe itself is rolling on towards its final doom. But parts are sometimes more impressive than the whole. It is so with Spring. Spring has a voice of its own. Let us hear what it saith to us, and profit by the lessons we may learn from it.
I. Spring speaks to us of renewed life. Not a dull, drowsy, declining sort of life, but a waking, active, expanding life. The tree, the shrub, the flower, plainly shew this. And as the works of God in the natural world symbolize His deeds in the spiritual, let us pause to inquire into our own state. Oh, my friends, do we live, or are we satisfied with having a name to do so? Is the root of the matter within us? Are we the plants of the Lord's own right hand planting?
II. Spring has a gladsome voice. The heavens and the earth smile. The trees of the wood rejoice. The fields clap their hands. Birds carol from morn to eve, and charm us with their music. Lambs gambol in the sunshine. All things animate and inanimate add to the joyousness of the season. The artisan, ploughman, sower, aye, and Sunday school teacher too, all indeed go forth to their work and labor with an instructive delight which they could not call up in the midst of the wintery storm.
III. Spring has a hopeful voice. The farmer hopes, by a diligent use of the present seed time, to ensure a good harvest. The honest sons of toil hope to lay by against a wet day. The invalid, the consumptive sufferer, and the aged pilgrim, are alike cheered by the
anticipations of Spring.
And what is our prospect, fellow teachers? Is our hope that which taketh hold within the veil? Hope thou in God. He is the same. All His promises are sure. Is the future full of mystery? Doth some lowering cloud intercept the sunshine that would light up our earthly path? Still, let us thank God, and take courage, and "give to the winds our fears."
IV. Spring tells us to make sure of the present time. No spring, no summer, no seed-time, no harvest; as ye sow so shall ye reap, says a high authority; hence the importance of sowing well. Life is before us, and who shall estimate its privilege aright? And when we consider that (as the poet says),
It is not all of life to live,
how anxious ought we to be to make the best use of it. “Oh the inestimable value of the present." "Now," the “ to-day" of the Gospel, to-day we live, to-morrow we die; to-day our spirits are buoyant and high, to-morrow we are plunged into despair and trouble. A great writer has said "To-day we frolic in the rosy bloom of jocund youth, to-morrow knells us to the tomb." Yes, to-day reason maintains her seat, and exerts her most powerful influence; to-morrow she is dethroned, and we become walking maniacs, doing things, the thought of which make us shudder in our sober moments; therefore let us seize to-day with all its momentous advantages. What an appropriate season is the present for the undecided to become decided. Choose ye this day whom ye will serve, said the heroic leader of Israel's bands. How long halt ye? resounded from the lips of the venerable prophet, as he stood on Carmel's top, and rallied the wavering, at the same time striking terror and dismay into the hearts of the worshippers of Baal. And does not Christ speak to the undecided in still plainer language?
The conqueror of Peru in one of his reverses, was urged to abandon his expedition. Drawing his sword he traced a line in the sand with it from east to west; then turning towards the south, friends and comrades he said, "on that side are toil, hunger, nakedness, desolation, and death ; on this side ease and pleasure. For my part I go to the south;" so saying he stepped across the line, and was followed by eleven others, and Peru was conquered. The sword of the spirit draws the line; there is heaven with its glories, here is earth with its pleasures, which will you choose?
Numerous are the lessons which spring would teach us. All nature is active, the earth is " at it again," and girding itself afresh, as a strong man to run a race. In the physical world all is beautiful and harmonious, is it so in the moral? Active service is still required, never more so, so every Sunday furnishes us with the opportunity,
How ample the means, how mighty the influence; let our activity and earnestness correspond thereto. Do we still retain the ardour of our first service? Do we speak from the heart to the heart? for that is the teaching that will command attention. Let us show our activity by our steadiness. Let us see well towards ourselves first, and then by God's help, resolve to spend and be spent for the welfare of others. Wareham.
INTERCOURSE WITH HIS FELLOW
By the Rev. I. CASEBOW BARRETT, M. A., Incumbent of St. Mary's Church, Birmingham.
Now, the force and the beauty of social attraction is a subject that has afforded continual matter for thought and discussion to writers in every age, and of every character. Man is endowed with feelings, and affections, and dispositions, and tastes, that fit him for the enjoyments of social life. "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up." (Eccles. iv. 9-10.) Hence it is, that the feeling of companionship, so long as it continue sincere and lasting, must constitute one of the greatest blessings of which human life can be cognizant. By the frank communication of all our sentiments, by the free interchange of our choicest feelings, each prompted and called into action by its suggestions, we may be said to have our comforts doubled, and our sorrows divided: the sunny parts of life grow brighter, and its darker hours become less gloomy. In fact, a faithful friend is the medicine of life: and wretched, indeed, must that man be, who, shut up within the small enclosures of a narrow spirit, and enjoying nothing but the sterility of selfishness, has no one, and cares for none, to whom he may open his heart, and into whose soul, as into a holy chamber, he may deposit the secrets which live and burn within his own breast.
Now, if there be such a thing as this social principle-and none but the anchorite or misanthropist will deny it-so natural in its origin, and in its influence so powerful, then is it most patent, that it requires to be sanctified and well regulated. If left to itself, it must prove the parent of much evil; if refined and strengthened by religion, it will prove the parent of much good. The issue in its case is the same with that in the case of the insect of which we read in Eastern story, that takes its color from the leaf on which it feeds. Man, as a creature of imitation, and therefore susceptible of impressions from social intercourse, cannot meet continually with his fellows without being intensely affected by such association. Robert Hall has well put it, when he says, it is in the moral world as it is in the material world
the order of the one is maintained by the operation of matter upon matter, and the order of the other by the action of mind upon mind. And this action is continually progressive. We are invariably assimilating ourselves to others, and others to ourselves: and such is the arrangement of things, that it is not possible to retire from any company exactly in the same state of mind as we were in when we entered it-we shall be either improved or injured. It must, therefore, be at once evident, that much of our personal comfort, because much of our personal piety, depends upon the qualities and characters of our associates and connections. If we select those, as the sharers of our intercourse, in whom is to be found no fixedness of moral principleif we admit those into the circle of our friends who have set up any other standard of action than the pure and perfect law of the Lord-if we exchange the words and tokens of affection with those who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of his Son-then is it for our moral characters, as it would be for our bodily health, were we to live in an element of contagion, and were to take up our abode amidst the diseases of a lazar-house.
Starting, then, from this point, it is perfectly clear, that the intercourse of teacher with teacher, in order to be beneficial, must be hallowed. And I cannot think of those, who have voluntarily devoted themselves to this holy enterprise, and feel within their hearts a lingering, if not a craving, for association, meeting together with any other object in view, than to consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works; and exhorting one another; and so much the more, as they see the day approaching. (Heb. x. 24-25.) If teachers, likeminded, were thus to meet, then would their assembling be for the better, and not for the worse. Envy, the weed of contracted minds, would be uprooted; confidence, the fruit of enlarged minds, would be cultivated. Unity of sentiment, and unity of action, would be promoted. There would be less of discouragement, as the notes of experience were compared: there would be more of stimulus, as the field of operation was surveyed. Self would be dethroned; mutual edification would be attained. Meeting thus together to talk over matters in which they have a mutual interest, the weak hands would be strengthened, the feeble knees confirmed, the drooping spirits upraised, the chilling doubt dispelled.
Nor would this be all. Not only would their own comfort and edification be advanced, but the solid interests of the schools with which they were connected, would be also strengthened. Errors in their mode of teaching would be quicker detected, and real improvements sooner made. And hints, or suggestions, or even remonstrances, coming from their united and truly fraternizing body-assembled together, as they would be, in love and peace-would be more readily