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and indeed with all that interests or concerns each child in our respective classes, we shall, by attentive observation, and by taking advantage of the moment when they are most open to impressions, find that there is no child, however bad his conduct — trying his disposition, or however hardened he may appear — whose feelings cannot be occasionally touched ; and none can tell the blessed effects of even a few words, if accompanied by the influence of the Spirit. I know that many Teachers feel shy at speaking to their children in this way; but, dear friends, if you go to your closets, and, as the poor negro did, “Tell the Lord that,” and implore the guidance of His Spirit, “ that you may speak the Lord's words and not your own,” you will find all difficulties vanish. A short prayer at the time will also much assist you; and you will find an ease in speaking to your children, of which you may at first think yourselves in. capable. Speak to each child alone : do not let the rest of the class hear, lest their remarks, and probably their ridicule, should efface the impression just made. Never let a child be a single Sunday in your class without hearing of salvation by Christ alone, and of its importance to themselves; and so you will save yourselves many hours of painful reflection. Above all, make your class, and each individual member of it, the subject of constant, fervent prayer, and you
will find that not only a blessing will rest upon your endeavours, but also that on “watering others, you will be watered yourselves.” But while I urge upon you the importance of thus speaking to your children, do not fall into the error of allowing them to talk of their own feelings, and thus teaching them to make a profession, when their hearts are not at all affected. I will not say, never let them tell you anything about themselves, but I think unless in very peculiar circumstances, it is better not to encourage them in talking of their feelings, as probably the desire of pleasing their Teacher, or perhaps the idea of gaining something by it, will induce them to deceive you, and at length, even themselves, by leading them to suppose that because they can talk about religion, they are really religious.
Hoping these few remarks will induce other Teachers to give us their opinion on these subjects, I am, dear friends, yours, in the bonds of the Gospel. 31
J. H. B.
ON ACTIVE SERVICE.
“Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord.”
ROMANS xii. Il.
The Apostle Paul here names two very important qualities, which every Christian must strive to possess.
First. Activity in our worldly calling; and this united, Secondly, With activity in our heavenly calling. There are comparatively few who require to be reminded of their duty, “not slothful in business,” to the numbers who want reminding that they must be “fervent in spirit.”
There are various causes which lead persons to be active in their business, and this too in their labours in the Lord's own vineyard; causes which do not spring from the right source. A working mind, active and methodical habits, a love of occupation, love of power and influence, or even a kind and tender feeling towards our fellow-creatures, and especially towards the young--all these
may lead to great exertions on the part of many; but, oh! such will do well to look to the main spring of their “not” being “slothful in business.” Many may now be deceived, and fancy they are “prophesying in Christ's name,” whom he will not own as having done all as “heartily to the Lord” (Col. iii. 23.) at his second coming. With all our activity in duty, there must be “fervour of spirit” in our “serving the Lord.” The word “fervent” might be translated, “effervescent" —such briskness as is seen when mixing a saline draught such a working of the blessed Spirit's influences on our too often slumbering love to the Saviour, as to quicken and revive our affections, and make us desirous of yielding ourselves entirely to Him as if we are really “alive unto God.” (Rom. vi. 11.) Without this fervour of spirit, we may “plant and water;" but for want of simple de
pendance on God's teaching, and earnest prayer for wisdom to teach, He may withhold the “increase.” And whilst we fancy we are doing great things, and saying, like Jehu of old, “Come, and see my zeal for the Lord," we may be only seeking our own glory, or indulging our own tastes. Oh! the devices of Satan! what need for prayer that we may not be ignorant of them, for he does not mind our working, as long as he knows there is a worm at the root of our seemingly thriving flowers.
These thoughts lead me to a valuable extract from the life of F. Neff, with which I beg to end my paper.
“Neff was free, as far as man can judge, from ambition, and that frightful desire of being the first, which has always produced such mischiefs in the Church. Yet he laboured more than all. But so far from considering this activity as a virtue, he looked upon it as his favourite sin, as a hindrance to that intimate, personal communion, which a soul must hold with God as being a kind of dissipation, and a pretext for keeping himself at a distance from God, even whilst appearing to serve him. Fully sensible of the value of diligence, labour, and devotedness, he felt also, and he experienced it, that it is not founding schools, labouring for missions, preaching to others, corresponding with, half the world, or being of importance in the church, that is the hope of the soul; that, on the contrary, they present innumerable snares against it. He felt that no works could support the soul in the coming of the King of kings.”
ENCOURAGEMENT TO TEACHERS.
TEACHERS need every help not to be weary in well-doing. Where little is known at the time, a blessing seldom fails to attend enlightened prayerful efforts in various ways. The following letter is a proof of it. The Editor thinks it best to give it just as it is. He can vouch for the truth of the facts. The dear little boy has been called to a better world. The wife also has become a real Christian.
Learn by heart Rom iii, 20 to 28, and texts.
1. What is sin?-1 John ü. And what is the state of every man by nature?—Psalm li. Rom. v.
2. What is the meaning of Justification, or “being justified ?"- The being made and accounted righteous before God. Isaiah xlv. 2 Cor. v.
3. Does God require for our justification a perfect unsinning obedience in thought, word, and deed, to his holy law ?-Gal. iii. James ü.
4. Is it possible for any one to render such obedience, so as to be justified thereby ?—Isaiah lxiv. Titus iii.
5. Of what use then is the Law?~Rom. v. Gal. iii. 1 Tim. i.
6. In what way was “the righteousness of God manifested” by Jesus Christ?--Matt. v.
Rom. x. 7. How can a sinner make the righteousness of Christ his own?
-John v. Rom. ix. Phil. iii. 8. What is a living, saving, and justifying faith?Acts xxvi. Gal. v. Heb. xi.
9. Can a sinner be justified partly by his faith, and partly by the merit of his works?—Rom. iv. Rom. xi.
10. Is our justification then entirely of God's free grace or favour.-Eph. ï. 2 Tim. i.
11. To what is the righteousness of Christ compared in the Bible?-Isaiah lxi. Matt. xxii. Rev. xix.
12. How do the Law and the Prophets witness to the righteousness of God?-Gen. xv. Isaiah lüüi. Jer. xxiii. Dan. ix.
13. What are the evidence or proofs that we are in a justified state?—Matt. vii. James ï. Rom. viü.
14. What is the happy condition of all who are justified by faith in Jesus Christ? --- Isaiah xxxii. Rom. v.
The Grace of God justifies every believing sinner freely, and without any merit of his own. (Rom. ii. 24.)
Jesus Christ justifies from all things, by the merit of his obedience, all who believe on him. (Acts xiii. 39.)
Faith justifies the believer, as the hand which puts on the robe of Christ's righteousness. (Gal. ii. 16.)
Good Works justify the believer, by proving that his faith is of the right kind. Thus good fruit justifies the tree which bears it. (James ü. 18.)
God, the Judge of all, justifies; first, by providing the all-sufficient righteousness of Christ, and then by pronouncing the believing sinner to be perfectly righteous. (Is. xlvi. 13. Rom. viii. 33.)
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ justifies, by openly declaring that the justice of God is satisfied, and that now Grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life. (Rom. iv. 25.)
Learn by heart, Ezek. xxxvi. 25 to 29 verses, and Texts. 1. What is Sanctification, or the making holy ? --It is the renewal of the soul, by the Holy Spirit, in the image or likeness of God, which was lost by the sin of Adam. 2 Cor. iü. Col. iii.
2. What is the difference between Justification and Sanctification ?—The one is the removal of guilt,—the other the imparting of grace: the first gives a right or title to heaven,—the second, a character or fitness for it.
1 Cor. vi. 3. Are all believers sanctified as well as justified ?Acts ü. Heb. x.
4. When believers receive the Holy Ghost, what do their bodies become ?—Eph. ii. 1 Cor. iii. 2 Cor. vi. 4
5. What means does the Spirit of God employ to sanctify those in whom He dwells?-1. The Word of God. John xvü. Acts xx. 1 Pet. ï. 2. Afflictions. Is. xxvii. 2 Cor. iv. Heb, xü.
6. What directions does the Word of God give us to help forward our Sanctification ?-1. To yield ourselves to God. Rom. vi. 2. To hold faith and a good conscience. 1 Tim. i. 3. To be earnest in prayer. 1 Thess. v.
4. To be temperate and diligent. 1 Cor. ix. 5. To check evil tempers. Eph. iv. 6. To keep from