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Hope and trust! Hope and trust!
See on high
Pray and fight! Pray and fight!
Watch and pray,
Watch and pray! Watch and pray!
Watch and pray,
MORNING HYMN FOR A SUNDAY-SCHOOL.
AGAIN returns the Sabbath day,
Before our God let us appear,
knee before Him bend,
Let our united voices rise,
We thank Thee, Lord, for clothing, food,
We thank Thee for our happy home;
J. G. F.
MISSIONARY SUBJECTS. Rev. Sir,-Two or three letters have already appeared in the “Teacher's Visitor,” on Missionary Subjects, but there are some points connected with this subject untouched, to which I should like to call the attention of Sunday-school Teachers, through the medium of the “ Visitor."
To gain an interest in the Missionary exertions which are now making throughout the world, ought to be the aim of the Sundayschool Teacher, I mean in himself. For if he has no interest in Missionary exertions himself, how can he be successful in endeavouring to raise it in his children? We know that mind quickens mind, as iron sharpens iron; therefore the Teacher should have it himself, and then he may hope to see it spring in the
children. But efforts must be used by the Teacher, to accomplish this object; and perhaps the question may be asked, How are we to endeavour to raise this interest respecting Missions, in children? “S. K,” says very properly, "the Teacher should make it a practise to speak about it on Missionary Sunday,” that is, once a month; but perhaps it may be advisable to go farther than “S. K," and bring it before them whenever the Scripture lesson for the Sunday contains a verse, or a portion of it, applicable to Missionary subjects; and, farther, to illustrate the verse, or portion, with a Missionary anecdote; and by these means he would both please and interest them; therefore, of necessity, he must be acquainted with Missionary intelligence ; and for this end the following publications, or some, or one of them, would furnish him with the requisites he requires : such as the Missionary Record, Missionary Gleaner, the Juvenile Missionary Magazine, or the Children's Missionary Magazine. In any one of these he would have a supply of information respecting Missions to the heathen, sufficient for his purpose: and in such as the Jewish Intelligence, or Jewish Advocate, he would have enough matter and anecdote respecting the Missions to the Jews-sufficient for illustration of any remarks he may make respecting them : and this leads me to say, that the poor Jew ought not to be forgotten, though he is
" Forsaken-lone-a wanderer sad and sore!"
as it to be feared he is sometimes in Sunday-schools. And why do I say that he ought not to be forgotten? It is because God has not forgotten him ; for the time is fast approaching, when God "shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” (Is. xi. 12.) Therefore all ought to say as David did, “I will seek thy good ;” (Ps. cxxii. 9.) and carry that saying into practice, by doing them good. And those who thus show that they are loving Israel, “they shall prosper." Let every Teacher remember, that the Jew's spiritual eye is “veiled," that “blindness in part is happened to Israel until”-when ? till—"the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (See 11th chapter of Romans.) Let him remember, that God works by means; and therefore we ought to “seek their spiritual good,” by sending them Missionaries. Therefore, to this end, let them be remembered in the class, and let the Teacher endeavour to interest the children on their behalf; and then perhaps it will prevent some of that scorn with which children too often treat them in the street.
The school with which I am connected buys the Children's
Missionary Magazine, and they are disposed of at a penny each, to those children who choose to purchase them. Perhaps introducing something of this kind into Sunday-schools, would tend to keep up the children's interest in Missionary exertions; but when first introduced into the school, there was for a time a much larger demand for them than at present; and I dare say others have experienced the same thing. How is the demand for them to be revived? I should recommend every Teacher to set an example, and purchase them; and then he should make use of the anecdotes, and other facts contained in those magazines, in the class, and tell them where he read them, and recommend them to the children. This, I have no doubt, would raise a demand for them. But how is this demand to be kept alive? If every child in his class buys them, he should still make use of the anecdotes, &c., therein contained, as though none of them knew any thing about it. This world lead them all to read the books, and enter into your telling it to them with greater interest: for I remember once in illustrating what I had been saying to the class, I told them an anecdote, which, as it happened, one of the boys had read before, and he said, “I read that in such a book,” naming it, and seemed very much pleased that he knew what I did; and to the remainder of the anecdote, (for I had not finished telling them,) I had their attention rivetted to what I was saying, more than if this incident had not occurred; so that if the Teacher did make use of the anecdotes in the before mentioned magazines, some of his class wonld immediately recognize where he obtained them, and would tell him so, and thus raise a wish in the others to have the books, and then purchase them: and this is one way to keep up the demand for the magazines; and if he can create and keep up in his class an interest in them, they will soon have an interest in Missionary exertions.
Yet, still God's blessing is needed. It must be sought by prayer upon every exertion like the present, that is, to raise an interest in children respecting Missions and Missionaries ; and then we may hope, if exertions are used, and if God's blessing is sought by prayer, in faith, that God's blessing will be found.
I beg also to offer a few remarks respecting the duty of junior Teachers, who have the care of some of the youngest children, on this subjeet.
It is an usual practice in Sunday-schools, to collect money for Missions. All are invited to give pence, but many, (more especially the younger children,) I believe give their pence, because they are asked to give, or see others do so, without understanding the object for which they give.
A little boy in my class, brought a halfpenny, and told me, he wanted to put it into the box that is usually carried round the school. I told him he should do so. But before he did so, I said to him, “What do you give the money for?” “I don't know," he said. I then said, “You put it into the box, don't you?" "Yes." “Well, then, what is the money done with, when it is put into the box?" It stays in the box,” he said, very innocently. “Do you know what is done with the money after it is taken out of the box?" “No,” he said. Upon which I asked some of the other boys, why the money is collected in boxes, and one of them told me it was for the Missionaries. I went farther, and asked them what Missionaries are, &c., but did not obtain an intelligent answer. The fact is, that when the children are asked to give, they go home, ask their parents for a penny or a halfpenny, the parents ask them “ for what?" “ The Missionaries," it is given them. They come to the school, put the money into the Missionary box, and there the matter ends. This is generally the case, at least with the younger children; so that it is the Teacher's duty to explain to them the meaning of putting money into the “ Missionary box,” suited to the small capacity of their understanding, and not too much of it, or else it will overload their shallow memories.
But perhaps it may be objected to, by some, that it is too early to explain these subjects to the youngest children, but wait till they can fully understand them. Now, I would ask those persons, these two questions : 1st, If we can begin a good work too soon ? and 2nd, If " our early impressions are ever forgot?” The answers are self-evident, No. The sooner those impressions are planted, the deeper will they take root, and the stronger will they grow.
I would also kindly hint to junior Teachers, who use in their classes Watts' Divine Songs, that they should get their classes to learn the fifth and sixth hymns, with reference to these subjects ; and then there would be an opportunity to enlarge on them, though it ought to be in a simple style, illustrated with simple anecdotes, to fasten what they say on their memories.
Teachers should endeavour to impress on the minds of the children the duty, the motive, the privilege, and the blessing, of imparting of what they possess, (be it ever so trifling,) that others may be possessors of the same blessings as themselves.
Finally, I have no doubt, that if an interest in this blessed object was cultivated amongst children, so would their piety increase with it. I beg to remain, Rev. Sir, yours faithfully,
September 15th, 1845.