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when your own spirit is melted into sympathy with the Saviour's spirit; when one Gospel is welling up in your bosom and another Gospel is glistening in your eye, a text or verse of a hymn, or a few simple sentences, will do more in the way of heart-work at such a propitious moment than years of dry routine. A young lady had charge of a Bibleclass of fourteen girls. She taught them conscientiously for years without any visible success. She then lost a very dear and intimate friend, and spent some weeks with the relative in whose house her friend died. During this period of sequestration the Spirit of God had been drawing her mind away from the world, and fixing it more intently on heavenly and everlasting things. At the end of these weeks she returned to her class; but now she met her old scholars with very altered feelings. She was filled with love to their souls, and had a desire to glorify God such as she had never felt before. She gave out a hymn, and such was the solemnity of her manner and the earnestness of her tone, that in the reading of that hymn one of the scholars was pierced to the heart, and was led at once to cry, “What must I do to be saved?” The lesson for next Sabbath was the freeness of the Gospel offer, and the young people were to search the Bible for instances. When they met that Sabbath, every heart was too full to speak, and the whole class sat silent, bowed before the felt presence of God. And the result of this awakening was, that eleven of the fourteen pupils gave evidence of real conversion, and became exemplary followers of the Lord Jesus. On one or two Sabbaths of spiritual instruction—when the heart was full and God was glorified—a blessing rested which had been withheld for a long succession of conscientious but customary Sabbaths.” 2. Another requisite to successful teaching is affection for the young. It was to this that Dr. Arnold mainly owed his pre-eminence as the head of a public school. Many who have held that K. have i.e. merely pedagogues. hey have felt it a hardship to look after a parcel of boys, and have tried to save their dignity by a pompous stiffness or an awful severity. Dr. Arnold felt it no hardship to teach. He gloried in being a schoolmaster. He felt it a high call
* Teacher Taught, p. 282.
ing, and all that was joyous and juvenile in his ardent nature was in full sympathy with all that was young and eager around him. And just as every outbreak of depravity vexed his righteous soul, so every indication of goodness was sure to catch his eye and cheer his heart. The best of the lads he would carry off to his country-seat in Westmoreland to spend the holidays, and took in them as true and intense an interest as if they had been sons or .*. brothers; and in this way, by eing the friend of the scholars, he became the master of the school. And it is only in some such way that you can attain a full ascendancy over your charge. In order to be the children's pastor or the children's teacher you must be the children's friend. And this is what some people cannot be. They are severe and sullen, and little children share their spleen. They shake them and cuff them, and treat them as if it were a crime to be little—a bad sign of a human being that he has not grown big. And others who have not this savage humour are entirely wanting in fellow-feeling for the young. They are precise and formal, and cannot condescend to the little estate. To employ children's ideas or children's phrases they fancy is almost as unmanly as it would be to go to sleep in a cradle or walk the streets with a rattle; and therefore, in talking to children, they use the same abstract and general language which they employ among their own coevals. But the true teacher is neither the patron nor the tyrant; he is the friend of children. To the boys he becomes as a boy, and to the infants he becomes as an infant, that he may gain them all. And if it be not natural to him, grace can give him this congeniality with his youthful charge. Drinking of his Master's Spirit, that Master who with full consciousness of children's perversity and sinfulness, but with equal consciousness of the important place they fill in the kingdom of heaven, said, “Suffer the children to come to me,”— the disciple of Jesus makes, it a conscience to be kind to children. He
rays and labours to have his own soul § with the Saviour's exuberant benignity. He learns to look with new eyes on the little ones around him. He sees them in the light of the great hereafter; he sees them in all the importance of their future history, and all the solemnity of their everlasting destiny. He cannot tell but in that class of his he is training up a Morison or a Williams for the service of mankind, or an immortal spirit for the service of God in glory. And amidst all their fickleness and forgetfulness, all their infirmities and sins, he finds them full of interest. His kind and hopeful nature imbibes sprightliness from theirs, and his sincere affection beams out in that fascination which children perceive so promptly—a fascination which cold natures cannot counterfeit; till in the same group where a spectator sees a parcel of children, he sees a band of go. friends, a little flock of the aviour's lambs, and taking them as a dear deposit and a delightful charge, —“Lovest thou me? Then feed my lambs,”—he not only tends them for that Saviour's sake, but learnstofeed them with somewhat of that Saviour's lovingness. 3. A third qualification,--or, rather, two qualifications in one,—are familiarity with scriptural truth, and felicity in expounding it. Should you ever visit the field of Waterloo, you could not do better than take Sergeant Cotton for your guide, —for this simple reason, that he has studied the subject. He was present in the battle himself, but he did not think that circumstance enough, for, as he confessed to us, his own share in the action did not give him much enlightenment. But having made up his mind to offer himself to visitors as a conductor and interpreter, he spent eight months on the spot, reading every narrative of the battle on which he could lay his hands, conning the different maps and plans and despatches, and picking up all the anecdotes and incidents of which he could get hold, till he was familiar with the grand outlines of the engagement, and well furnished with its more curious details; and then he entered on his avocation, an intelligent and accomplished guide. Ministers are guides. The children's pastor is a guide. The Sundayschool teacher is a guide. And, just like the preacher, the teacher should be fully furnished for his work beforehand. The grand outline of revelation should be so bold and vivid to his view, that on the shortest notice he could state it with unhesitating promptitude and in the simplest terms; and he ought to be so versant in scriptural details as to be able to variegate his instructions with endless instances from the Bible trea
sury. . Before entering on his responsible office it would be well for every intending teacher to examine himself regarding his fitness. “Am I master of my subject? Do I fully understand the Gospel? Do I clearly comprehend the way in which sinners are to benefit by that Gospel?— the way in which the Gospel is to do them good? And can I state off-hand the great truths of Scripture? Am I at home in its leading doctrines?—am I thoroughly acquainted with its most interesting and important passages? May I safely offer myself now as a Bible guide?” But besides knowing the truth, you need to tell it; and this is quite another thing. A man may be an adept in a science, and yet not “apt to teach.” it. In Scotland we have had few mathematicians like Professor Playfair. His mind was mathematical. He lived in a world of plus and minus, and his imagination revelled in its own landscape of cubes and spheres, enlivened with infinite series and impossible quantities. And in the Royal Society, or with brother sages like Hutton and Leslie, he could expound his discoveries; but he was far too high and far too deep for the students in his college class. This was the philosopher's infirmity. He would have been a still greater man had he superadded the teaching talent, had he been able, like the blind mathematician Euler, to make algebra an amusement, and render the abstrusest of the sciences attractive to a child. There is no reason why the same person should not be profound and popular; and, indeed, the man who is shallow dare hardly be simple. Next to enlarging his own views, and establishing his own convictions, the teacher's great study must be the art of communication,-how to make the matter obvious and alluring to his pupils. And happily for you, my friends, the main part of what you have got to tell is narrative, of all things the easiest told, a story. But still there is boundless scope for ingenuity and need for anxious thought how to tell that story; and he would need to have a full heart and glowing lips who could make that story as fresh and wonderful and affecting as the Bible gives it. If speaking to children, he would need to forget that there are old people in the world, and must forget that he himself is old. With all the reverence due to the mighty theme, and yet with the great plainness
of speech required by his unlearned auditory, he would need to brighten up each sacred narrative; and nowise daunted by repeated failures, should never rest till he can paint in words a anorama, and repeat off-hand a pictorial ible. And after a year or two of practice, should you learn this art of making the lesson o and palpable, you will be better qualified to teach a Sabbathschool than Dr. Owen or Isaac Barrow would have been. 4. And besides this talent for simplification, it is very desirable that a teacher should have a warm and hopeful disposition. No doubt a phlegmatic teacher, if he be serious and faithful, will be more successful than his sanguine colleague who is withal light-hearted and desultory; but it is quite possible to be vivacious without being frivolous, and hopeful without being romantic or visionary. And in order to gain the hearts of children, it is needful to be fraught with expectation and fervour. Their sunny temperament shrinks away from all that is dark and gloomy; and what is worse, if they have a sombre teacher, by an inevitable association of ideas, his shadow is apt to rest ever after on every religious subject. The Gospel is pure and genuine gladness. It is God reconciled; it is peace in the conscience; it is the blessed prospect of glory. And did we tarry under its constant shining, its hopefulness should gild our countenance, and beam on all our movements. The Chris-tian and the Christian teacher should be an embodied Gospel; and if despondency or severity be our habitual temperament, we may be devout, but we are not Evangelical. We have got a wrong version of the Christian revelation, and are giving forth an erroneous view of it. But more than this, few have ever effected anything important, as Reformers or Evangelists, who did not o with them a genial atmosphere and look at the brightest sides of things. The philanthropist is one who takes up a lump of rusty ore, and espies in it a bar of precious metal. He is one who dredges rags from the kennel, and sees them converted into sheets of virgin paper, ready for the poet's pen or the artist's pencil. He is one who sees in an island of dirty savages a commonwealth of intelligence and piety not come as yet; and who discerns in a convict-ship a gymnasium for moral discipline, and the probationary school from which many a renovated and ennobled
character may emerge. And he is one, who in a ragged class would detect the possible germ of many a virtuous and many a lovely thing, so many problems for Christian zeal and so many trophies for all-conquering and all-transformin grace. Luther and Knox and Howar and Eliot and Williams, all were sanguine men. They saw everything in rose-light, in a warm light borrowed from the promises of God, and from the bright results to which their ardent faith looked forward. And if you would be a successful teacher, you must be sanguine. You must shed on your class some of this borrowed rose-light. You must not be daunted by any difficulty. You must not even be startled by any outbreak of depravity. And you must not despond, though hopes be only raised in order to be dashed again. Still look not at the turbulent spirits and sulky truants before you; but look at the Christian citizens and affectionate disciples into whom you hope to see them transformed. They are yet to be your joy and crown: take pains with them, therefore, though they be your present grief and cross. Hope the best, and this very hope will end in something good. In due season you will reap, if you faint not. 5. But the more conscientious a teacher is, and the more pains he takes, the more E. must he feel that something eyond the teacher is essential to ensure success. The field may be beautifully ploughed,—the furrows straight as an arrow-flight, and the seed-corn may be the choicest parcel, fresh, clean, and finely sifted, and brought from some famous farm;-but there it has lain week after week, and skilfully harrowed in, but nothing comes of it. There is one element which the husbandman cannot command. He has no control over heaven's bottles, and so long as the sky is blue the rigs are brown. . A teacher may have a yearning affection towards the children of his charge. They may be often present to his thoughts. He may delight in preparing the Sabbath's lesson, and may speak to them in the simplest and most winsome words. But if the Lord withhold his blessing, all his efforts will end in weariness of the flesh and prostration of spirit. . But that blessing will not be withheld, if prayer, believing, earnest, and persevering, ask it. That good gift, the Holy Spirit, your heavenly Father will assuredly grant to the teacher's fervent intercessions. And this is the chief value of pastoral love, whether it be the minister's love to his people, or the teacher's love to his scholars. It is not its immediate efficacy, it is not its direct moral power-but it sends that teacher or minister to God. It compels them to pray. When the feeling is, “My little children, of whom I travail in birth until Christ be formed in you,” that solicitude can find no relief except at the throne of grace. It cannot refrain from prayer; and prayer is power. God hears it; and when for an object so agreeable to his will as the conversion of sinners and the salvation of souls, there is every security that he will answer it. You may see the answer soon. You may find the good seed springing up in some tender heart. You may be called to attend the sick-bed of a Johnny Ross, or a little James,” and hear him with dying breath declare his love to Jesus. Or, when ready to despond, after years of labour, you may find a sudden recompense by surprising your scholars in a little prayer-meeting, or giving some other sign of youthful piety.t. Or, looking over the list of your old scholars, you may find many of them now giving evidence that God has brought them to himself—like that American teacher who could reckon among his former scholars 106 churchmembers and ten students for the ministry.f . Or you may not see the answer for long. The seed cast on the waters of England may spring up at the foot of the Himalayahs, or in the backwoods of Canada, and the teacher may be resting from his labours, before he knows that the run-away scholar, or the ois. youth, has began to follow im. But faith and prayer never fail. “In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, this or that, or whether they both shall be alike good.” I thought to have quoted a few examples f zealous and successful Sabbath teachers; but the time is short, and I shall only mention two. The first was a young woman at Birmingham, in ver i. i. circumstances, and from her childhood she had been fearfully distorted by a spinal injury. But after the grace of God touched her
own heart, she became desirous of doing ood to others, and got an infant class in the Sabbath-school. Over her little scholars her sweet temper and endearing kindness gave her such ascendancy, that when she was too ill to come to them, they gladly came to her, and went through their lesson beside the couch of their beloved teacher; and over the rough neighbours, her gentle piety and holy walk, gave her such a hold, that when they were dying, they would send for her to o and pray with them; and, like a city missionary, she has often been summoned to their homes of sorrow at the dead hour of night. The sturdy men would say to her, “If any one molest thee send for us, and we will even fight for thee;” and when she aproached their houses, she would often i. greeted, “Here comes our little angel, bless her.” I mention Elizabeth Bales" to show that in this hallowed work, the willing spirit can conquer poverty and manifold infirmity. The next was originally a London boy, a cruel and quarrelsome blackuard, who used to torture animals for is diversion, and whose delight was to set other boys a-fighting. He ran away from home, and, after many adventures, enlisted. He was besieged in Gibraltar, and performed many exploits of terrific daring. Seldom has a private soldier entered with more zest into the business of bloodshed, and on the day that the Spanish batteries were blown up, he was frantic with joy, and hurraed till he lost his voice. At the end of the war he came home, and a sermon of Mr. Romaine having taken his fancy, he continued to attend that faithful minister of Jesus Christ till the truth was brought home to his conscience by the Spirit of God. After his conversion, he retained all the heroism and enterprize of his early days, only he found for them a higher exercise and a nobler field. Sixty years ago, the Sabbath-school was a novelty in London, and it was to the Sabbath-school that this good soldier of Jesus Christ devoted his energies. “The Mint” in his native Southwark was at that time a focus of filth, and a den of depravity. He invaded it with the benevolent purpose of of it; but the mud and rotten eggs wit
* E. Bales: a Pattern for Sunday-school Teachers and Tract Distributors. By J. A. James. Religious Tract Society.
which the ruffian inhabitants assailed them, soon drove off the two friends who had promised to help him, and he was left to campaign it single-handed. He opened a school, but so dirty were the children, some of them gleaned off the dust-heap, and others fished up from the gutter, that it required a stout heart to hold on with them. But by degrees he cleaned them, and tamed them, and clothed them, till by-and-by he found himself surrounded with a neat, orderly, and affectionate class. His wife took in hand the bigger girls; and such as were most deserving, she trained up to be servants, and got them out into good laces. He lived for his Sabbath-school; e would rise early on Sabbath morning to pray for it, and when he met the children his whole nature was concentered in desires for their salvation; and, glowing from a bosom warmed with the love of God and man, his burning sentences were like the heated shot he used to rain on the floating batteries; they lodged and smouldered, till the heart of some young scholar, or perhaps some older visitor, waxed hot, and the fire of conviction burned. After many years of such pains and prayers, he bethought him, .."invited a number of old scholars to meet him. Some of them were servants, and some heads of families; and of the party then gathered, he found fourteen members of churches, and almost all the rest constant attendants on worship. So affected was he by this goodness of God in blessing his labours, that he continued a similar meeting of old scholars every year, and finding now no spot on earth so lovely as “the Mint,” he removed to it altogether. The days of mud and rotten eggs were over, and as he moved about the streets with groups of infants trotting after him, there were few who did not inwardly bless the good old soldier; and when he had completed his fourscore years, there were counted more than 2,000 who owed their first knowledge of the Bible to Thomas Cranfield.” As the minister of this Church, I would cordially thank you, my Christian friends, for your work of faith and labour of love. I know that some of you have week-day toils which well entitle you to the Sabbath's rest; and I know that others have a happy circle and a pleasant
* The Useful Christian: a Memoir of Thomas Cranfield. Religious Tract Society.
fireside at home which it is some hardship to leave. But you are right. You follow a Saviour who, on a benevolent errand, left a home incomparably more delightful, and submitted to privations immeasurably more severe. Let Christ's love constrain you, and then you will never grudge the bookish leisure, or the cheerful hearth, which you abandon for his sake. Let Christ's love constrain you, and you will be like Gabriel who, on an errand of mercy, would bid a blithe good-morrow to his companions in glory, and never fret one moment at quitting the Sabbath of the skies. “Lovest thou me? Feed my lambs.” Listening to these words of the Chief Shepherd, though they accost you in some snug arbour or sunny dell, you will never hesitate, but snatching up your scrip and i. crook, you will hie away to the wilderness; and if there be some self-denial, there are health and happiness in the toils of such persevering philanthropy. The conquest over laziness; the habit of punctuality, and constancy; the vigilance and self-control; the searching of Scripture; the tender solemnity, the gentle firmness, the felt responsibility, and the forth-drawn affections of the Sabbath-school teacher, are all part of that moral discipline by which God fits his people for a higher standing and wider usefulness on earth, or imparts a fuller meetness for his service above. And it is a blessed thing to do battle with that empire dark and doomedo-the God-defying empire of moral, evil;-a #. thing to drive in the lines and essen the domain of God's great enemy. But beyond all, blessed is it if in answer to your prayers and requital of your ains, you find some young spirit reenting—the tear of godly sorrow in some thoughtless eye, and the meek and wistful look of some restless scholar, watching the ear which the Lord hath opened. Most blissful, most surprising, and most humbling—sure to bring you to your knees in astonishment and adoration, to find that you have been the means of leading an immortal spirit to the feet of Jesus. And, oh, who can tell the blessedness if, beyond all your F. knowledge and your fondest ope, the “books opened” shall exhibit names once on your teaching roll, and when you thought that you had spent our strength in vain, you detect by the ight of the great white throne “the children whom God hath given you?”