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Procrastination is the thief of time;
Night I, line 393.
Guard well thy thoughts; our thoughts are heard in heaven.
'Tis greatly wise to talk with our past hours,
And ask them what report they bore to heaven;
And how they might have borne more welcome news.
The chamber where the good man meets his fate
Night II, line 633.
A foe to God was ne'er true friend to man :
Night VIII, line 703.
Heav'n gives us friends to bless the present scene;
ON THE MANAGEMENT OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
A Letter from the Right Rev. Thos. Vowler, Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man, to the Rev. Thos. Howard.
(Concluded from page 119.)
68—The Manx Sunday school book, No. 1.
The Miracles of our Saviour.
The History of our blessed Saviour.
Portions selected from the New Testament to fill up the outline of the history.
One or two whole gospels.
Central school book, No. 3.
History of the Patriarchs.
Chapters selected from the Old Testament, to give the scholar a view of the history of the Bible.
The Acts of the Apostles.
The teacher of a class who has gone through this course may easily direct their future studies.
ON THE BEST WAY OF TEACHING THE CATECHISM.
71.--There are two real difficulties connected with this subject; one arising from the language, which must be allowed to be obscure; the other from the logical closeness with which it is drawn up, and which is not readily understood by the learner.
72–Children begin to learn the catechism at a very early age, and are often allowed to repeat it without any attempt being made to enable them to have an eaid of what is me by it,so that it will oftenhappen that they never con-h ta sider wheter there be any meaning in words with which they have becomen mechanically familiar. 73–In order to obviate this evil, the best method will be, to break up the catechism into its constituent parts, and to begin with that which is the easiest. With this view the child should be taught the Lord's Prayer, and (45) I have attempted to show how a little child may acquire some notion of the meaning of those words which they are to employ for the rest of their lives. Those persons will be able to form an adequate estimate of the importance of this, who have seen how many young persons in after life go on repeating words to which they attach no definite meaning. 74.—When the child can say, and in some degree understand, the Lord's Prayer, they may be led on to the Ten Commandments, which will probably be more intelligible. Very little infants have learnt that it is wrong to steal and to swear, and having begun with the notion that words convey some sense, they soon attach an idea to what is taught them, and the teacher's aim will be to provide that this shall be the correct one. 75.—The Creed, which will follow the Commandments, is an epitome of the history of revelation, and if conveyed in this way, partakes of that clearness which usually belongs to narrative. . Both these subjects may be illustrated by pictures, and the children may be shown the representation of Moses bearing the two tables of stone, of Cain slaying Abel, or of the events connected with our Saviour's life. 76–When then these three lessons have been committed to memory, and understood as far as the child is capable of understanding them, the children should be led on to the catechism as a whole, and may begin at the beginning. The first object is to make them understand the words of which it is composed, and if the same division of questions be attended to as has been laid down (43) we may content ourselves for some time without entering on the spiritual instruction to be derived from what is repeated. This must be gradually and constantly opened, and texts illustrative of the several articles will by degrees be laid before the scholars, and learnt by them. 77.—The Church catechism may be deemed a systematic arrangement of Christianity, to which everything which we learn, in our religious education, may step by step be attached. The child may learn the catechism, and yet not to be acquainted with our holy faith; but they who have learnt this formulary well, have understood its meaning, and have arranged their subsequent studies under the heads there so logically laid down, will have gained a great step in avoiding errors, into which a want of systematic teaching is apt to lead religious persons. 78.--The Church catechism should form the text book from the lowest to the highest class in the Sunday school, should never be omitted as a part of the school business for any considerable time, and should form a memorial common-place book, in which whatever is learnt should be arranged and deposited.
RULES. 2.—The aim of all education ought to be “To lead the person educated to heaven.” 4.—“The Deity whom we worship is not Minerva, but Christ.” 7.—“The being taught is a privilege and favour.” 11.-The conductors should be all voluntary agents. 12–A superintendent to manage the whole school. 14.—A teacher to about every seven children.
31.-Our special object must be to make the children understand spiritually the Bible and the services of the Church. 33.—I. Lessons learnt by heart during the week, and repeated on the Sunday. II. The reading of the scriptures. 34.—Whatever is learnt by heart during the week should be prepared on the previous Sunday. 42.—The teacher must impart knowledge by questioning it into the class, and discover whether they have received it by questioning it out of the class. 43.−The teacher will ask– I.—The meaning of the words. II.--— sentences. III.-The spiritual truth to be derived from the text of Scripture under consideration. 58.—“They who know nothing, can teach nothing.” 59.-Use every assistance which you can find to enable you to understand what you teach, and to convey this knowledge.
I have not laid down any rules or regulations for the school; for if these principles be understood, rules will not be necessary. And written laws are often looked at with the purpose of discovering “how near we may approach to the offence, without incurring the penalty attached to it.”
MERE instruction in grammar, then, or in geography, or in science generally, is not education. The whole scheme of the “Useful Knowledge’ society has proved an utter failure, so far as it has been relied on as a grand idea for the regeneration of the people. Nor must we imagine, on the other hand, that all is placed on a right footing, and the main object attained, so soon as we have gained the victory over the Dissenters, and ruled, that there shall be no national schools in which the Church catechism is not taught. Neither the most careful inculcation of “useful knowledge,’ nor the most perfect drilling in the Church catechism, will effect any material improvement in the character of the children; or save them, if their ‘education' stops here, from becoming merely the more ready adepts in vice, and the more useful instruments in the hands of the tempter.
". are aware, as we have already said, that this subject is receiving, daily, more and more attention at the hands of those in authority. But nothing even approaching to an adequate plan has yet been drawn out. The new instructions at Exeter-hall, in music, drawing, &c., will do little. The improvements of the National Society in church music, scripture history, and kindred matters, still fall short of the grand object—the gaining access to the hearts of the children, and so forming their characters. To attain this great point would be an object worthy of any cost, any pains, any hazard, to either the government or the Church. As one step, externally, to such a scheme we must again claim to have our parishes so divided that neither the boys', the girls', or the infants' school, which are requisite in each, shall contain more than 100 scholars. Then, and only then, may we hope to have each child known, and followed, and recognized, and cared for; and their hearts engaged, and some of their souls saved, and most of their characters permanently ameliorated. Remedies suggested for the Perils of the Nation.
THE country parson values catechising highly. For there being three points of his duty; i. one to infuse a competent knowledge of salvation in every one of his flock; the other to multiply and build up this knowledge to a spiritual temple; the third to inflame this knowledge, to press and drive it to practice, turning it to reformation of life by pithy and lively exhortations;–catechising is the first point, and but by catechising the other cannot be attained. Besides whereas in sermons there is a kind of state, in catechising there is a humbleness very suitable to Christian regeneration......helping and cherishing the answerer, by making the question very plain with comparisons; and making much even of a word of truth from him. This order being used to one, would be a little varied to another. And this is an admirable way of teaching, wherein the catechised will at length find delight; and by which the catechiser, if he once get the skill of it, will draw out of ignorant and silly souls even the dark and deep points of religion......... At sermons and prayers men may sleep or wander; but when one is asked a question he must discover what he is. This practice exceeds even sermons in teaching.—Herbert's Country Parson.
MOUNTAIN CHILDREN.—BY MARY HOWITT.
Dwellers by lake and hill!
Go gladly forth and drink of joy your fill,
No crowd impedes your way,
Where the wild flocks can wander, ye may stay
The sunshine and the flowers,
The pleasant evening, the fresh dewy hours,
The grey and ancient peaks,
And the low voice of water as it makes,
These are your joys! Go forth—
For in his spirit God hath clothed the earth,
The voice of hidden rills
And awfully the everlasting hills
Ye sit upon the earth,
And a pure mighty influence, 'mid your mirth,
Hence is it that the lands
Whom the world reverences. The patriot bands
Children of pleasant song
For hoary legends to your life belong,
Then go forth—earth and sky
Profusely, like the summer flowers that lie
Sergeant Talfourd, in his new work, Vacation Rambles, thus speaks of the manners and habits of the young people of France:–“I observed some French children—the very small ones, fantastically dressed up as playthings, seemed petted, caressed, and spoiled; but the elder ones, from ten to sixteen, looking careworn, conceited, independent, and miserable. Everything is gay in Paris but childhood. Old age is gay—pleasantly so, even when fantastically so; and death itself is tricked out in garlands, and ‘turned to favour and to prettiness.' Why then are the children so joyless? It cannot be that they are too harshly restrained, or ruled by fear; for a cruel discipline is no part of the French character, or the French educational practice ; on the contrary, a French boy soon becomes his own master, and studies or lounges as he pleases. Is it not that there are no fire-sides—no homes It seems a fine independent thing for a Parisian shopkeeper to dispense with the plague of domestic servants—take every day with his wife, the freedom of the restaurant and the café; and when he shuts up he his shop, leave it to take care of itself, while he lounges, or dances, or smokes, or reads a journal, or does all these in some public garden, or, better than all, goes to the play. But the pleasures and comforts of children are of home growth, and require a home shelter. They are also sad, wearied, wondering spectators of the gaieties of their parents, which are all associated with coquetry, gallantry, and feelings akin to those in which they do not participate ; and though some amends is made by an early initiation into their essences, and an early emulation of their symbols, still children, as children, have no food for their affections in the whirling kaleidoscope which dazzles them. In Prussia, children are happier, because they are under a stricter discipline; but England, with all its imputed sins of fagging and flogging, and excess of latin versification, is the place where childhood is most happy as childhood, happy in restraint; happy in indulgence; happy in the habits of obedience, and respect, and filial love 1 You would not } such a set of careworn, pale, unhappy faces, in any charity school in England, as you may mark in a throng of wandering, dissipated boys in the gardens of the Tuileries.”
SCHEME of RELIGIOUS INSTRUCTION, WITH HEADs of ExAMINATION FoR TEACHERs, IN THE CLASSEs of THE PRACTISING school, AT STANLEY GROVE.
(From the Appendic to the thirty-third report of the National Society.)
“And chiefly ye shall provide, that he may learn the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments, in the vulgar tongue, and all other things which a christian ought to know and believe to his soul's health.”—Baptismal Service.