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If God is to have our services in heaven, he ought to have them now How can we give our bodies to God?
We must give him all our members. Our eyes, by reading his word; our hands, by seeking his glory; our tongues, by speaking his praise ; our feet, by running in the way of God's commands. (Ps. cxix. 32.)
“ The Life Everlasting.”
If, then, I say that “I believe in heaven," how should it rule my heart and my life?
Ist. I shall think of heaven.
Heaven is not only a happy but a holy place: we must be washed in the blood of Jesus, and made meet for heaven, or we cannot enter there. (1 Cor. ii. 9. Rev. vii. 13—17.)
“Amen” to each part of the Creed. “I believe in the Holy Ghost." Amen! Send thy Spirit to be my Teacher and my Comforter.—“In the Holy Catholic Church." Amen! Put me in thy fold.—“ In the Communion of Saints." Amen! Receive me into thy family." The forgiveness of sins.” Amen! Give me pardon and peace.-" The resurrection of the body." Amen! Give me this holy, never dying body.-—"The life everlasting." Amen! Bring me to thy heaven.
FRUIT FROM THE PRECIOUS SEED. When travelling some years ago in a distant part of Ireland, the writer was asked by a brother clergyman very anxiously, and with much warmth about Mr. Roe's Sunday-school; and the inquirer mentioned the following circumstance as that which led him to feel peculiar interest in that institution. A little girl, niece to the narrator, had been sent by her widowed mother as boarder to a school kept in Kilkenny by a Roman Catholic lady, The Protestants who attended this school were regularly sent to the Sunday-school at St. Mary's Church, and this child among the number. After a time she fell ill-her lungs were attacked, and consumption began its silent and insidious progress. In consequence of increasing debility, the child was taken home; and an eminent physician in the neighbourhood having been consulted, declared, in the child's hearing, that she was past recovery, and that apparently her course was nearly run. The narrator, who was present, described the little girl as overwhelmed with grief at hearing the melancholy tidings. He administered what consolation he thought suited to her case and age, and took his leave. Residing in a distant parish, this clergyman could not see his niece again for some weeks; but when he was permitted to visit her, his very first look convinced him that she had undergone a change. Her tears were dried up-her sadness was dissipated-her fears were removed and the peace and joy which ruled in her heart were legible in her countenance to all who saw her. She no longer shrunk from the thought of dying. Jesus was precious to her soul; and she expressed herself fearless of the passage through the valley of the shadow of death, knowing that he would be with her. Her uncle was amazed, and rejoiced. He asked her what had produced this change, so sudden, so unlooked for, so happy. She replied—“When first I heard that I was dying, I was very much frightened, for I did not expect it; but after you left me I began to think of all that I had learned of Miss C. M., in Mr. Roe's Sunday School at Kilkenny; and now I am not afraid.” Soon after, she fell asleep.
It often happens that the ministers of the Gospel are not permitted to enjoy any great share of the fruit of their labours. The Lord oftentimes uses one to sow, another to reap; but Mr. Roe was in this respect highly favoured; for as he sowed, so he reaped. This was remarkably the case with his Sunday-school labours; to pass by many other instances in proof of which, two which seem particularly remarkable may suffice. One is, that before his death, Mr. Roe was enabled to reckon up no fewer than eighteen ordained clergymen, all of whom had been scholars in his Sunday-school; together with three persons employed in lay situations, one in the Jewish mission, one in Africa, and another in the East. Of the eighteen clergymen, four had finished their course before their beloved teacher : and it is interesting to see the brief remark which Mr. Roe has placed after their names in one of his note books“ Died in the Lord.” It tells a long and interesting tale of seed sown, of grace given, of a Saviour loved, of heaven secured.-Memoir of the Rev. Peter Roe, by the Rev. Prebendary Madden.
14th February. MY DEAR FRIEND,—When I was last August with my family, living on the coast of Sligo, I was much gratified in visiting your School on the shore. The aster seems an intelligent man, and will, I have no doubt, under the direction of your valuable Superintendent, do much good, the Lord helping him. The situation of your School is admirable, and forms a medium of communication with your School on the opposite Island, - Your master on that Isle, and any of his friends, have now on the shore a house where they will alway receive a hearty welcome whenever they are obliged to remain on the mainland for a night.
Twelve years ago I visited this Island; it was then sunk in barbarism: but one inhabitant on the Island could even pretend to speak English: there was no school-no Teacher-no means even of conveying religious instruction to the poor neglected inhabitants. Aware that the Island Society had contributed towards the building of a School-house, and had a Teacher on the Island, I was naturally anxious to go there once more to judge of the effects of instruction on the natives. The roll of the Atlantic is so fearful, and there is such a dangerous reef of rocks between the Island and the mainland, that I was obliged to watch for remarkable calm weather before I could venture to cross.. At length, on the 17th of August, I was fortunate enough to fix on a very fine day, and we set off for this rugged and picturesque Island. As we neared the shore, we had a good view of the neat, clean-looking school-house, and on landin were well received by a crowd of the Islanders, who assisted us in hauling the boat up on the rocks.
I made directly for the School-house, in which, to my great surprise, I found between fifty and sixty children. Recollecting the state of the Island twelve years before, this was indeed a cheering sight. I found that most of the children could speak, and many of them read, English: the Teacher informed me that the adult inhabi. tants, who only knew Irish, were most anxious that their children should be instructed in English, as their own ignorance of that language was a serious inconvenience to them whenever they visited the mainland. The children are accordingly instructed both to read and understand English; and I had the pleasure of examining a large class in reading and spelling. They read, and showed a very competent knowledge of two chapters of the Gospel of St. Mark, in which I examined them; and I never saw a more intelligent set of children. When the examination of the School was finished, I paid a visit to the village, and was kindly received by the inhabitants. Your Superintendent and I then made a tour of the Island; and on our return, observed a number of the aged male and female inhabitants absorbed in attention to an Irish Scripture Reader, connected with the Irish Society, whom I had brought with me from the mainland. He had read to them the 4th of John's Gospel, and was making observations on it in Irish, the only language which they could understand. It was an interesting assembly, and it grieved me to be obliged to break it up; but the evening was advancing, and a long row lay before us to the mainland. They pressed the Reader to come again to the Island, and promised him a lodging and hospitable entertainment, an invitation which he assured them he would, and, I believe, has since accepted of.
It may not be amiss, on the present occasion, shortly to narrate the circumstances attending the commencement of the Field-Lane Sabbath-school. In November, of the year 1841, the school was opened in a small back room of a house belonging to a Roman Catholic, in a court on Saffron Hill, by Mr. Provan, the missionary of the London City Mission, when 45 ragged children of various ages, from six to eighteen, assembled and seated themselves on the floor, for the want of forms to sit upon. Here the word of God, and salvation through Jesus Christ, was declared unto them, and they were invited to attend regularly and be taught.
After labouring for a short time in this place, it was thought advisable to remove, and they then assembled on the ground-floor of a house in White's Yard; but being fairly pelted from thence, and exposed to the full fury of the poor Romanists, the school was adjourned to the first floor of the same house; but the annoyance continuing, it was thought prudent to remove to a more public thoroughfare, and the rooms which are now occupied at No. 65, West Street, were taken for the purposes of the school.
It was the hope and expectation of the committee, ere this, to have found a more suitable and spacious building; the rooms they occupy being a front room on the first floor, and two small back rooms, but which are so dark, that the children are scarcely able to see to read, and so confined as to preclude the possibility of admiting all who wish to come, and they are often obliged to turn many away on that account.
From statistics lately taken of the district, by the missionary, it appears there are 1017 children above the age of twelve years who cannot read, and 485 families without the Scriptures.
The average attendance is 80, but often considerably more; and only last week there were upwards of 120, though the former number is all that can be comfortably accommodated.
There are at present twelve female and six male Teachers engaged in this glorious work, of endeavouring to bring souls to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
The committee feel great pleasure in being able to state, that, through the blessing of God, there is a visible improvement in the school, and especially in the girls. This they believe attributable to the constant attendance and zeal evinced by the Female Teachers. Oh, may many such enrol their names in the ranks of the Ragged School Teacher!—Teachers who will not be weary in well-doing, and who, by the grace of God, will point the sinful heart to the “ Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world.”
Often have the Teachers been cast down and fearful, lest, after their labours, the word of God should have been taught in vain; and as often have they been encouraged by a merciful God to continue in their work of faith and labour of love, and to rely more and more on his promises, to “cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt find it after many days:" and again, “My word shall not return unto me void.”
The following is an instance taken from many others of the good doing in this worst part of London.
“ The last case that will be now brought before you relates to the father of one of our children, lying ill of the ague. On entering the room, in a corner lay the poor man on a bundle of straw, covered over with a mat. A chair, the only one in the room, being placed for me, we soon entered into conversation on the salvation of the soul. He told me he knew he was a great sinner; but he hoped he would be all right before he died. Neither he nor his wife could read. 'My friend,' I said, 'many have gone to the place of woe with the same hopes. Have you repented of your sins, and received from God forgiveness through our Lord Jesus Christ?' He was silent.
“When I turned to a little girl, ten years of age, one of his children, who sat at the bedside, and addressed her thus : 'My dear, do you sometimes read to your father?' 'Oh yes, Teacher, I read to him every morning and night.'
" "Do you ever read to him of the way to get to heaven?' 'Oh yes, Teacher.'