Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

make their complaint. In less than | not immediately supply them with an another year, the

Sunday-school Society adequate number of spectacles.' was formed by William Fox, Jonas SCOTLAND, meanwhile, was progress. Hanway, and other gentlemen; and, in ing with its .Sabbath-evening schools;' another, or by the close of 1788, there then, its Gratis Sabbath-schools,' in. were 250,000 Sunday scholars in Eng- forming the world that 'Sunday-schools' land.

and Sabbath-schools' were two very Another step was now taken-the different things: the former not exclud. introduction of gratuitous teaching. The ing secular instruction, the latter being Sunday-school Society were disburs- altogether spiritual. Happily, with evaning many hundreds a year in teachers' gelical christians, the Sunday-school is salaries : it was found that this was a now invariably a Sabbath-school! serious difficulty in the working out of Every year has witnessed some new the plan, and when or by whom we developement and triumph of the system. cannot tell, but about the year 1800—We can but enumerate a few of the the idea of voluntary labour was struck signs of further progress, out and eagerly carried into practice. 1. One, just alluded to, is the reTo this, under the divine blessing, we striction of Sunday-schoul work to the owe those great successes which have impartation of religious instruction. made the Sunday-school Institution so 2. Another is, undoubtedly, the inprecious to the church.

creasing tendency to the mingling of In 1803, the Sunday school Union was different ranks of society in the school. founded, not like the elder society, to T'he clergymen who first aided Robert pay the teachers for their work, but to Raikes would have been astounded by help them in it, by promoting fellowship the proposal to send their own children of mind and action, by assisting the to associate with the little ragamuffins.' development of methods of teaching, The children of ministers, and of the and by publishing works useful for wealthier classes, are now often found Sunday-schools at a reduced rate. It side by side with the poor around the should always be remembered that the Sabbath-school teacher. Union is a London society, including, 3. A third that may be mentioned is strictly speaking, only London schools, the growing attention now paid to the and that every locality is recommended extremes of the school—the infant and to have a Union of its own, subscribing, the senior classes. A few more words indeed, to the central Institution, in on these topics by-and-by. return for the benefits received, but in 4. The admission by the church that its internal management perfectly in the wants of children must be provided dependent.

for by itself, and by the ministry, as a WALES speedily became honoured as part of their own specific work, is very the scene of Sunday.school labours. important. The establishment of sepaThe Rev. T. Charles, of Bala, entered rate services,' the preaching of children's into the project with noble ardour. One sermons, even the erection of spacious of his little scholars, on a winter's day, school-rooms, and the substitution of mourned to him that the weather would comfortable seats with the congregation not let her go to read the Bible, the for the oldfashioned, incommodious' chil. only Bible to which the poor of that dren's galleries,' may be mentioned as neighbourhood had access! This sank indications of this sort. down deep into his heart: on his next 5. The up-springing of a Sunday, visit to London he appealed to the com school literature has already been, and mittee of the newly-formed Religious will yet more widely become, an inesTract Society for an edition of cheap timable benefit. Welsh Bibles. The Rev. J. Hughes 6. A few things will be said about rejoined, ‘Bibles for Wales! why not Sunday-school statistics in a subsequent for the world ?' And in that reply section. originated the BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY. To Mr. Charles, also, the establishment of adult Sabbath THE RELATION OF THE SCHOOL schools is traced; and in one county,

TO THE CHURCH. he writes, so eager was the desire of the

This is a large and difficult subject. aged to learn, that the shopkeepers could of one thing we are sure, that, while

room.

churches may have too generally neg

SENIOR CLASSES. lected their duty, many unjust things have in return been said respecting

A subject on which two prize essays them. The real difficulty often is, how have been written, and which fills the to express the interest which is actually columns of our Sunday-school periodi. felt. "In a school of our acquaintance, cals, cannot be exhausted in a page. the teachers were wont to complain We earnestly recommend the producgreatly of the church. At last the tions of Mr. Cooper and Mr. Hall, and church resolved, “That we will take an no less the earlier and smaller manual interest in the Sunday-school. But of Mr. W. H. Watson. The need for how? They could think but of one senior classes is urgent. There has way, and that was by going to see it. bitherto too often been between the Accordingly some half-dozen excellent school and the church a desert waste, christain men and women were found separating the pleasant paths of the for the next few Sabbaths straying former from the green pastures of the among the classes, and interrupting the latter, into which our charge have been teachers terribly. One or two tried to dismissed, to find their way across as give addresses, but the effect was piti- they could, or to wander and be lost. able. This is no caricature. Let teach. We bave seen such dismissions, accomers only clearly ask themselves what panied with singing of hymns, presentthey intend by the church taking an ing of books, and earnest pastoral coninterest in their labours, and some at gratulations, and our heart has been sad least of their complaints would cease. in anticipating the too likely sequel.

The Pastor, we take for granted, is For the truth is, that when we are lookinterested in the school. And this, be ing for our old scholars to approach the it recollected, he may be, and that effec- table of the Lord, or to occupy the tually, though he is seldom in the school teacher's chair, they are, with distress.

A minister's strength is taxed in ing frequency, found 'walking in the many cases quite to its utmost, by the counsel of the ungodly, and sitting in ordinary Sabbath services. In one way the seat of the scornful' How imporor other we will, however, suppose he tant, then, never to leave them! Yet, feels and manifests an interest in this as they grow up, they will not consort field of labour. How is the church to with little children, nor be subject to show its sympathy? We reply, briefly : | their discipline. Youth are very sensi.

1. Let them know who the conduc i tive on this score, and to wound their tors of the school are. Once a year let natural pride, is to lose them altogether. the names of all the teachers, &c., be Separate classes must then be formed, read over in church meeting, and their that shall meet the school in the exer: labours made the subject of especial cise of worship, but for the rest of the conversation and prayer.

time be distinct, assembling in some 2. Let them elect three or four of detached apartment, and ruled by their their members to serve, with the teach. own laws (wbich should of course preers, on the Committee of Management. viously be approved by the governing

3. Let one monthly prayer.meeting body of the school). If the church is in be chiefly for the Sunday-school and earnest in the matter, the additional

The following bints are expense of such arrangement will be from Mrs. Davids :

litile regarded. 4. The church that loves the Sunday The teachers of the class must be school will contribute liberally to its the holiest, wisest, and best-instructed support.

men or women, if possible, in the church. 5. It will also arrange the hours of The aim of their endeavours must be public worship, and the attendance of the decision of every one of their schothe school at those services, so as to lars for God. secure time for its legitimate ends to be Their method must be Bible teaching carried out.

on the Sabbath, visitation and general 6. It will providesuitable accommoda- instruction during the week, with other tion for the children in the house of God. plans that a wise and devoted heart will

7. In such a church, the school will be sure to suggest. not lack teachers of piety and efficacy. Its The members of the class must be VERY BEST will be consecrated to the work. I scholars who have passed the age of

the young,

fifteen years, selected by the superinten-, bishop of souls'-laid upou his church dent with due regard to their character when just about to leave this world and and attainments, and solemnly dismiss- ascend to glory?--'Feed my lambs.' ed into it before the whole school. That memorable day, and that memor

Rightly conducted, such classes will able scene on Gennessaret's lake, gives prove the goal of the school, the nursery you the warrant for engaging in Sabof teachers, and the portal of the church. bath school teaching. It was Jesus in

[Let Sunday-school teachers patronise stituting Sabbath schools! And to show this pocket book, got up expressly and not only how He loves the lambs of the admirably for their use.]

flock, but how desirous he is that they should be taught his will, their interests take the precedence of all others, and before He says one word about the sheep,

He says, ' Feed my lambs.' THE TEACHER ENCOURAGED.* Oh! dear friend, even though your

work may appear vain-nay, even though By the Rev. J. R. Macduff, St Maloes. it were vain-though you could tell of It was said by a living hero, not long saved—still you have done your duty,

no seed grown, no heart melted, no soul ago, in adverting to a temporary reverse sustained by the British arms, that if you have obeyed your Lord's command; we are to have great victories, we must and be assured in this, as in greater

things, 'in keeping his commandments expect great battles.' If trial and disaster be the price of honour me I will honour !'

there is a great reward.' • Them that earthly conquests, and these in propor

* Wait on the Lord; be of good coution to the magnitude of the conflict, what must we expect when the contest rage, and he shall strengthen your heart."

Be enco

couraged is an immortal one, waged between light and darkness, God and Satan, sin and

For, II. Your work is sure: and holiness?

though its results are unseen, your labour Sabbath-school teacher!

will not be in vain in the Lord. and warfare are great and surpassingly keep his servants humble.

It has ever been the design of God to

• The thorn glorious. The conquest of a soul—the in the flesh' is needed 'lest they should restoration even of one lost jewel to the be exalted above measure,' and lose crown of Jesus—how signal the honour! their sense of entire dependence on him. But just because it is so, you must ex

And is the Sabbath-school teacher to pect your reverses and discouragements. form an exception to this needed disciWell do we know how often this is the pline? Nay, humility with him too is case, even when humbly and prayerfully the secret of success. Is it not by heavy fighting God's battles, how often have discouragement that often he is most you to tell of nights of successive failure, effectually taught that the work from when the sword of the Spirit has in vain first to last is God's, and not his? The been wielded, and the bow of conviction treasure is committed to an earthen veshas in vain been drawn; no arrow has sel, that the excellency of the power sped, no heart has been wounded—all

Do apparently is languid, and lifeless, and may be of God and not of man. dead, and you are left in the bitterness Hearts are breaking you do not see

not measure your success by visible fruits. loquy of the desponding prophet, Who bread is cast upon the

waters, which hath believed our report, and to whom | (unknown to you) taking root, and will

the future will disclose-holy lessons are is the arm of the Lord revealed ?'

be treasured and blessed when the SabBe encouragedFor, 1. You are obeying the command the visions of the past.

bath school is remembered only among of Christ. If ye love me,' says Christ,

Be assured there is sin and unbelief • keep my commandments; and what was the command which your adorable predominating where there is much desRedeemer "the chief shepherd and pondency; you thereby distrust the power

of God's grace, and the faithfulness of his

promises. It is your losing hold of that * From the ‘ Educational Pocket Book for grand secret of the success of all Sab1851,' a book worthy of a large circulation. bath-schools, 'not by might nor by

your work

power, but by my Spirit, saith the Lord Be encouragedof hosts.'

For, IV. God will accept your feeblest Wait on the Lord; be of good cou- efforts in this means of promoting his rage, and he shall strengthen your heart!' | glory. Be encouraged

You may, perhaps, from peculiar cir. III. With the many, who by means cumstances, feel yourself very inadeof Sabbath-schools, have been brought to quate for the work. Your age or inexthe Saviour. This is established as a perience, or station in life, or, above all, blessed fact. The clergyman meets ever your solemn sense of the importance and anon instances to gladden his heart, and responsibility of the office may give that these humble institutions, so long you a feeling of shrinking reluctance to regarded as the hazardous and question- engage in what is too great for you. able experiment of an age of novelty, Fear not! God accepteth, 'according have proved above all other means of to what a man hath, and not according grace, the birth-places of souls and to what he hath not.' • She hath done nurseries for eternity. Many of those what she could,' was the meed of approlittle ones who have heen early gathered bation pronounced on the conduct of a to the tombs, and given evidences on lowly but devoted disciple; and rest astheir death-beds that they were the chil-sured, if we give God a willing mind, he dren of God, has not the Sabbath-school will be better to us than his wordbeen often the garden in which these They that wait upon the Lord shall • lilies' were gathered ? — the Sabbath- renew their strength. Even the one school lessons cheering their dying mo- talent traded on will not be unrecomments, and the Sabbath-school hymns | pensed ; thenthe last accents on their lips? Many • Wait on the Lord; be of good courwho have been spared for lives of use- age, and he shall strengthen your heart.' fulness bear a similar testimony. The Be encouraged faithful servant whose integrity of cha- For, V. God will bless your own souls racter and christian principle years of by engaging in the work of Sabbathfidelity have tested-she was a Sabbath school teaching. scholar.

We could summon every teacher, The intelligent artizan who fears God, who has heartily and from sincere mo and carries that fear to his workshop, tives engaged in this holy service, and and diffuses the felt power of a sanctified confidently inquire if it be not so? spirit among all with whom he mingles that in teaching, often he has been himhe was a Sabbath scholar!

self taught—the Sabbath night's labours The devoted parent, who on his return acting with a hallowed reflex influence from his daily toil, or on the Sabbath morn, on his soul? What new discoveries of gathers his children by turns on his truth! what fresh incentives to prayer! knee to impress on their minds holy les what new encouragements to serve God! sons, which may be treasured and valued what new delight in pondering a Sa when his voice can be heard no more- viour's love! and in proclaiming it, what he was a Sabbath scholar.

new and more glorious disclosures of Teacher! go on in your honoured that love itself! work. You know not the influence for Oh, how often does the Spirit of the good, one of these young immortals you living God thus descend upon him, and are training may exercise. Think what cause the teacher to feel that never has they might have been, if left to drift he sat with such docility at the feet of along the stream of life without an effort Jesus, nor imbibed more holy lessons, to save them. Think what they may be than when striving in simple faith, to if God see meet to bless your efforts and be the medium for the conveyance of answer your prayers ?

these lofty lessons to the souls of his All past Sabbath-school experience children. tends not to discouragement and des- *Wait on the Lord; be of good coupondency, but rather to labour on in rage, and he shall strengthen your heart.' faith and hope. “Prayers and pains,' Be encouragedsaid the good missionary, Elliott, will VI. With the prospect of the hour do anything!

when the results of all your Sabbaths of Wait on the Lord; -be of good cou- labour and anxiety will be made manifest, rage, and he shall strengthen your heart.' | for the day shall declare it.'

[ocr errors]

How do all the little troubles and dis- lamb of all the flock, as done to himcouragements of Sabbath-school labour self, will greet you with the voice of wel. vanish into insignificance, when we come-Inasmuch as ye did it to the think of that day and its possible glo- least of these, ye did it unto me!' rious disclosures!

Go on, then fellow labourers! be asHow would nights of protracted weari- sured 'ye shall reap if ye faint not.' Reness be a thousandfold rewarded, where member who those are who shall shine even one white-robed saint, before the as bright constellations in the firmament throne of God, able to say, with a bound- of glory – even as the stars, for ever ing heart, of your Sabbath-school—I and ever! Faint not! but still go on was born there!' But even if there were in the strength of the Lord God' With no such testimony borne-if in vain you that glorious day, and that glorious relooked among the myriad crowd for one compence in view, be this your mottovoice to bear its joyful testimony-one Always abounding in the work of the sheaf of the ingathered harvest as the Lord.” result of your earthly prayers and toils--- · Wait on the Lord; be of good couyou will not lose your

reward. He who rage, and he shall strengthen your heart.” acknowledges what is done to the feeblest

FAMILY CIRCLE.
MOTHER, I WILL GO. panied with some look or gesture that

indicated an undervaluing of her autho SOME years since a fine young man, rity. This was a high affront; she imthe only son of a widowed mother, on mediately flew to the Bible, and opened becoming of age, and receiving his pat- on these words, Prov. xxx. 17, which rimony, entered into company, and in, she read and commented on in a most dulged in the dissipation of genteel awful manner :- The eye that mocketh society. Her watchful eye saw his dan at his father, and despiseth to obey his ger, pointed out its tendency to ruin mother, the ravens of the valley shall body and soul, and used every argument, pick it out, and the young eagles shall persuasion, and entreaty in vain. One | eat it. The poor culprit was cut to the day she learned he was to dine with a heart, believing the words had been large and joyful party, and she spent sent immediately from heaven: he went the forenoon in persuading him to re- out into the field with a troubled spirit, linquish it, but all in vain. Mother, I and was musing on this terrible denunwill go! Then, John, I will retire to ciation of divine displeasure, when the my closet and pray for you, till I see hoarse croak of a raven sounded to his your face again.' He went to the party, conscience an alarm more dreadful than but could find no enjoyment; the the cry of fire at midnight! He looked thought of his mother being on her knees, wrestling with God in prayer for up and soon perceived this most omin

ous bird, and actually supposing it to be him, formed such a contrast to the the raven of which the text spoke coming scene before him, that he slipped away

to pick out his eyes, he clapped his found bis mother in the act of prayer, hands on them, and with the utmost knelt down by her—fell on her neck speed and trepidation, ran towards the and from that day, became the delight of house as fast as the state of alarm and plucked from the burning." A religious perturbation would admit,

that he might

escape the impending vengeance ! parent's prayers are never offered in vain.

DR. ADAM CLARKE.

EFFECT OF EARLY PIETY. The late Dr. Adam Clarke, when but CHILDREN, says the Rev. W. Jay, have a little boy, one day disobeyed his mo- conveyed religion to those from whom ther, and the disobedience was accom- they ought to have derived it. 'Well,' said

« ElőzőTovább »