Page images
PDF
EPUB

“ SEARCH THE SCRIPTURES." So spake the Saviour, and well will they repay the search. There is food for all Sages may ponder over its hidden meanings, and babes rejoice at its simple truths. Here is oratory sublimer than the “ thunder” of Demosthenes, and more captivating than the eloquence of Cicero; narratives of truths more thrilling than the fictions of the novelist, and tragedies grander than the imaginings of Sophocles; history, at whose magic spell our hearts leap within us to avenge the oppressed, and hurl the tyrant from his usurped throne; mysteries, deeper than Eleusinian rites, o'er which the dust and wrecks of time have gathered; music, sweeter than Apollo's lyre ; melodies, more blandishing than Calypso's song, and pastorals more beautiful than the numbers of Theocritus or Bion's muse. It tells us of wonders more marvellous than the feats of Hercules, and of a power greater than that of Jove; of mountains more sacred than Olympus; of streams clearer than the water of Peneus, and of valleys more beautiful than Tempe; of heroes greater than Achilles, and of battles fiercer than those of Troy. Here are delineations of character truer than Shakespeare's; a code of ethics more rigorous than Aristotle's; philosophy deeper than Plato's; and virtue holier than Socrates ! Where can be found another book containing all these excellencies. But these are not all. There are words that will bind up the broken hearted, and change each falling tear into a sparkling gem; words that, whispered into the closing ear, will make the departing spirit rejoice in view of the spirit-land, and light up with the brightness of the shining ones, the valley of Death. Well then might the Saviour say, 6 Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal life, and they are they which testify of Me." Uppingham.

S. G.

HOW TO RAISE £1,000 WEEKLY. MR. EDITOR,—During the last month I received a circular letter from the deacons of the Congregational church at Ryde, in the Isle of Wight, asking for the small sum of one penny from each of our teachers, in aid of a sum required by our friends at Ryde towards the erection of their intended Sunday school rooms, which was no sooner read than the money was immediately subscribed. The request was modest and the plan simple, and commended itself. What a great work might be accomplished if there was a systematic plan of weekly offering by the 250,000 teachers of Great Britain towards the erection of new schools and the extinction of old debts ! Such an offering would realize the sum of 1,0411. 13s. 4d. weekly; a sum sufficient to build two moderate-sized schools. Can anything be done towards the accomplishment of so noble a work? I trust that the people at Ryde will afford us the result of their efforts, so that some idea may be obtained of the willingness of the Sunday school teachers to aid the work.I am, Sir, yours truly,

ALAN B. SALMON,

Superintendent of the Congregational School. 7, Sunderland-terrace, Ulverston.

Let us sup

LIFE'S TEACHINGS. Every-DAY life is full of suggestions to a thoughtful mind. pose ourselves residing at a few miles distance from some great town, or the capital of a kingdom. We leave our own dwelling at early morn, and, as we pass along, witness the rising sun and the dewy fields, inhale the fragrant breeze, gaze with delight on the waving trees and the lovely flowers, In these, and various other objects around, above, beneath, we find emblems of spiritual things, and learn how “nature is both a parable and a prophecy." But now, leaving these beautiful objects behind us, we enter the town, and soon find ourselves among houses, churches, shops, banks, gaols, and palaces. First, we see a gay wedding pageant sweep by, and in the next street, a funeral procession passing on towards the grave. A little further, a crowd is gathered round a burning house, and yonder a troop of boys are following two youths in the grasp of a policeman. One while we find ourselves passing splendid blocks of houses where the great and rich reside, and then, with difficulty, we are threading our way amid narrow streets where the poor dwell. Now the drunkard reels past us, and surely that earnest-looking man is a city missionary going forth to liis noble work. We next pass a shop all life, thronged with customers, and a door or two further on we find one closed, and the shutters covered over with bills. Now all these and many other scenes and circumstances have their hidden springs and causes, their histories and consequences. If these could be traced, how much of human character and of the dispensations of God would be brought out; what solemn warnings and important lessons might be gathered.--Sketches and Lessons from Daily Life, by FELIX FRIENDLY.

THREE LESSONS ON SCRIPTURE PRINTS.

PICTURE I. There are some little children in this picture? [Yes; they were brought to Jesus.] What for? [That He should lay His hands on them and pray:] Why did their friends wish our Lord to lay His hands upon them? [Because laying on of hands has been from very ancient times a form of blessing. Jacob blessed the two sons of Joseph, laying his hands on their heads.] Who are those three men standing behind our Lord ? [Some of His disciples, who rebuked or reproved those that brought the little children to Jesus.] And what did Jesus say? [He was much displeased, and said, “Suffer little children to come unto Me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.”] Then the little children were not refused a blessing? (No; Jesus took them up in His arms, put His hands upon them, and blessed them.] This is a very interesting picture to you little children, is it not? And what special lesson does it teach you? [It teaches us the kindness and love of God our Saviour, who, though He made and preserves heaven and earth, yet loves little children, and will have them come to Him.] Ought you not to love Him very much for this great goodness to little ones like you? And have you never been blessed by Him? [When we were

baptised He blessed us and made us His own children.] How can little children like you show their love to Jesus? [By being humble and gentle, very obedient to our parents and teachers and loving to one another ; by trying to behave well in church, and saying our prayers reverently at home ; and by being willing to give up our own will to others.]

PICTURE II. We do not see Jesus in this picture? [No: this picture represents one of His parables.] What is a parable ? Who is that man kneeling on the ground ? [He is the younger son of the old man with white hair.] His clothes are much torn, are they not? [Yes; he asked his father for bis portion of goods, and then left his father's house and went into a far coun. try, where he wasted his substance with riotous living.] Was this right? [No; it was ungrateful to wish to take so much from his father, and very wicked to waste his substance.] What happened then ? [When he began to be in great want, having nothing to eat, he recollected how his father's servants had enough and to spare ; so he came to his father.] Did he beg pardon ? (Yes; he said, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son. Make me as one of thy bired servants."] Then this is the time represented in the picture ? (Yes; there is his father laying his hand on his head, for he received him joyfully.] Who is that man with a robe on his arm coming out at a side door ? [A servant, whom the father had desired to bring the best robe and put it on his returning son, and to put a ring on his hand and shoes on his feet; he also ordered a feast to be made to welcome his son home.] And who is that talking to the servant? [The elder son, who had never left his father.] [He does not look glad to see his brother ? [No; he was vexed that there was so much rejoicing on his return.] Why? [Because the same rejoiciug had never been made for him.] But then he had never gone away? [No; his father's love was shown to him every day, so there was no need for a special display of it.] What did Jesus teach in this parable? [That God is willing to forgive His sinful children when they turn to Him, as the father in the picture forgave his prodigal, or wasteful, son.] What can you little children learn from it? [When we have been naughty, to ask pardon at once from God and our parents or friends; and then we may hope to be forgiven.) How should you feel when your brothers or companions have been naughty? (We should wish very much for them to be forgiven, and be very glad when they obtain pardon, and not be jealous at any mark of favour that may be shown them.]

PICTURE III. What does this picture represent? (It represents a parable related by our Lord.] The man who is in front of the picture looks very ill and wounded? (Yes; he fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, and wounded him, so that they left him half dead.] Who are the two men in the background? [The first is a priest, the second a Levite, who, when they saw the poor wounded man, did not try to help him, though he was of their own nation, but passed by on the other side.] Then who is the man who is helping him ? (He is a Samaritan.] What is a Samaritan ? [One of a neighbouring nation, whom the Jews disliked, and would have no dealings with.] And what did the Samaritan do for the poor wounded man?

[He bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine.] Whom does the ass belong to? [To the Samaritan; and he put the poor wounded man on it, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.] And did his kindness end there? [No; he paid for the wounded man at the inn, and told the innkeeper to take care of him, and he (the Samaritan) would pay him when he came again.] Then the Samaritan was kinder to the Jew than one of his own nation ? [Yes; Jesus would have us be kind to all our fellow creatures, and not only to those whom we love.] little children learn from this? [To be kind to everybody, and to those especially who are sick or in distress, even though they may be strangers.] But is it in the power of little children to show much kindness? (Yes, indeed; for though they may not have money to give, they can show kindness by going on errands for sick people, trying to help, as well as they are able, in attending them, in refraining from noise, and many such-like ways, if they only have the wish to be kind.]-National Society's Monthly Paper.

What may

FLOWERS AND THEIR TEACHINGS. All the prophets were devout students of God's works, and warm admirers of the beauties scattered through them : as a proof of which, they have hung unfading garlands, which they gathered in their lonely walks, in various parts of that Temple of truth, which they helped, as God's instruments, to rear and beautify. And He to whom they all bear witness, and point out as the “ Plant of Renown:" "the Righteous Branch," “ the Rose of Sharon;" he who gave these flowers their lovely tints, and moulded their faultless forms; he talked to man of the flowers, teaching him to “consider the lillies,” and to learn from them to trust that Providence which overlooks nothing, to which nothing is impossible, and which is pledged to fulfil all the purposes and promises of God's excellent loving kindness. Flowers also are emblems of those graces of the Spirit which believers in Jesus derive from him. The sunflower sets forth faith, and bids us be ever looking unto Jesus. The violet is the well-known teacher of humility; it hides from view, yet sheds a sweet fragrance around. The snow-drop, battling with the wintry cold, is the symbol of hope. The honeysuckle, clinging to its strong prop, and filling the air with its odorous perfume, sets forth love; while the lily, in softest tones, repeats the words of Him whom it represents, and says, “Trust implicitly your heavenly Father's care."—Sketches and Lessons from Daily Life, by Fe it Friendly.

IGNORANCE OF SPIRITUAL THINGS. AT A MEETING of the Liverpool Town Mission, the Rev. G. Curnock, in remarking upon the ignorance of spiritual things even among classes disposed to be religious, instanced a man who put by his wedding-coat in order that he might not be found at last without a wedding garment;" another who fetched a minister to a dying woman, saying that they had searched the Prayer-book through for the service for the dead and could not find it.Liverpool Courier.

[ocr errors]

A B A BE’S PRA Y E R. A LITTLE child, not quite two years old, the son of a pious Irish clergyman, was taken to the house of a relative, and, being too young to be separated from his nurse, went with her to dine in the servants' hall, where, having waited in vain for a blessing to be asked before commencing, put his baby hands together, and lisped a simple prayer. The aged butler was affected to tears, and uttered words to this effect : “ Never again shall a babc like that teach me my duty."

CONTEMPLATIONS ON A CHILD. A Child is a man in a small letter, yet the best copy of Adam before he tasted of Eve or the apple; and he is happy whose small practice in the world can only write his character. He is nature's fresh picture newlydrawn in oil, which time, and much handling, dims and defaces. His soul is yet a white paper, unscribbled with observations of the world, wherewith, at length, it becomes a blurred note-book. He is purely happy because he knows no evil, nor hath made means by sin to be acquainted with misery. He arrives not at the mischief of being wise, nor endures evils to come, by forseeing them. He kisses and loves all, and when the smart of the rod is past, smiles on his beater. Nature and his parents alike dandle him, and entice him on with a bait of sugar to a draft of wormwood. He plays yet, like a young prentice the first day, and is not come to his task of melancholy. We laugh at his foolislı sports, but his game is our earnest; and his drums, rattles, and hobby-horses, but the emblems and mocking of man's business. His father hath writ him as his own little story, wherein he reads those days of his life that he cannot remember, and sighs to see what innocence he hath outlived. The older he grows he is a stair lower from God; and, like his first father, much worse in his breeches. He is the Christian's example, and the old man's relapse ; the one imitates his pureness, and the other falls into his simplicity. Could he put off his body with his little coat, he had got eternity without a burden, and exchanged but one heaven for another.-Bishop Earle.

THE FACULTY OF ATTENTION. We are accustomed to make very heavy demands upon a child's faculty of attention, especially on Sunday. We expect him to listen to teaching from nine o'clock until past ten; then after a brief interval to compose himself into a reverential attitude, and into stillness and solemnity during a long service, the greater part of which is necessarily above his comprehension; and adapted to cases and experiences very different from his own. Then we call upon him to come again, from two till past four, and continue wakeful, respectful, and attentive, during the whole of our teaching. And all the day's engagements, we must remember, relate to a subject which, although of the deepest importance, is not naturally felt to be so in early youth. Until it pleases God to impart to a child, either through the instrumeutality of wise teaching or otherwise, an appetite for sacred truths, he has no natural curiosity about them. He is naturally very inquisitive about the things

« PreviousContinue »