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Who can say how often the Sunday-school's instruction, and the necessary preparation for its duties, might have a happy influence in drawing the minds of such children to other topics than those which are generally the absorbing ones in most worldly families? Who can tell how frequently these little ones themselves might be the bearers of the precious seed into the heart of their own families; and thus “out of the mouths of babes and sucklings” might praise be perfected.
The habit of searching the Scriptures for their Sunday Teachers, the interest excited by it in their young minds, and the training they thus receive for becoming themselves, at some future time, Teachers, would argue much in favour of the utility of such a scheme; and, to take another view, how great an opening would not such an intimate acquaintance with the children make for the minister (who personally superintends their Sunday duties) into their parents' bouses; and surely it is unnecessary for me to remark upon the beneficial effects which result from pastoral visits among all classes of a congregation.
Should you think these suggestions worthy of consideration, perbaps you will give them a place in your valuable little publication, the “Teacher's Visitor," which is eminently calculated to direct the minds of those who are interested in the important subject of Scriptural Education, into the best and most useful channels for conveying that instruction which causeth (in the Holy Spirit's hands) to “grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,” “ whom to know is life eternal.”
Believe me, dear sir, yours truly, November 3, 1845.
L. K. E.
ON RETAINING THE ELDER SCHOLARS IN SCHOOL. DEAR SIR,- It is to be regretted that none of your Correspondents have taken in hand to furnish some practical suggestions on the best means for retaining the elder scholars in the school. A subject, so important in many respects, deserves the attention of all who are interested in the prosperity of Sunday-schools, especially of those who have had long experience in superintending or teaching.
It is to the ranks of the elder scholars that we look for supplies of Teachers, to fill up vacant classes, and to meet the greatly increasing demand. The younger children, too, are very much influenced by the example of the elder scholars.
A class, on the following plan, has been found to answer well, both for retaining scholars, and as a nursery for Teachers.
Ist. The elder or advanced scholars form a class by themselves,
distinct from all the others, not being reckoned in the numbering of the classes. (The first class follows next in order.)
2nd. It may be called the Senior Class, Teacher's Class, or some other designation given to it, to accord with the character of a class of preparatory Teachers.
3rd. The members of it may attend all Teacher's meetings.
4th. In the absence of any Teacher, his place is supplied by one out of this class.
5th. The most pious, able and experienced person possible to be had, should take charge of such a class.
It is worthy also of remark, that the more regular children attend school when young, the more attached they are to it when grown up, and the longer they remain in it. It is of importance, then, for Teachers to visit their absentees, which insures regular attendance.
There is always need to remember, that without the blessing of God's Holy Spirit, all our labours are fruitless; but if the Holy Spirit dwell in the heart of a child, or in the heart of one that is grown, then that heart will be humble. Pride will not reign there, Christ will be all in all, and it will be the heart's delight to serve him.
I hope these remarks may elicit further information on this subject, through the medium of the Teacher's Visitor." Yours, very respectfully,
THE CATECHISM. Rev. Sir, Having met with many School Teachers, who, though members of the Church of England, feel a difficulty in teaching the Catechism, arising from some supposed erroneous expressions in it, may I beg to offer, through the medium of the “Teacher's Visitor," a few suggestions on the subject.
It will, I think, appear to any one who carefully examines our Liturgy, that it is, throughout, framed for sincere worshippers. The Catechism also supposes the child who repeats the answers to be living in repentance and faith, or in the performance of those things which were answered for him at his baptism. Therefore, when the Catechist asks the question, “Who gave you this name?" and is answered, “My godfathers and godmothers in my baptism; wherein I was made a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven,” the child should be informed, that the Catechism supposes he is living in repentance and faithin other words, as a true Christian-otherwise he cannot, in the full sense of the word, be a member of Christ, the child of God, and an inheritor of the kingdom of heaven. That the Catechism supposes what I have said, is further confirmed by these words used by the child, “I heartily thank our heavenly Father, that he hath called me to this state of salvation.” This explanation should be repeated from time to time, until the Catechist is satisfied that it is impressed on the child's memory.
It is not my intention to enter on the question, whether the form of the Catechism is the best that could be devised, but as it is enjoined by our Church to be learned by all young persons before they are confirmed, it would be convenient if all Church of England Teachers taught their scholars, who are members of that Church, this Catechism, with proper explanation. And, for myself, I can say that I find it a very convenient medium of instruction in the doctrines and duties of Christianity.
Allow me to add a word on a prevailing erroneous opinion respecting sponsors, namely, that they promise that the child shall
renounce the devil and all his works,” &c. Now, by examining the words of the Catechism, and of the Baptismal Service, it will be found that they promise no such thing; they give the answers in the name of the child; the same answers, in substance, as the child would himself have to give, if he were of riper years; the only difference being, that in the former case the last answer is, “I will,” (which means I am willing,) and in the latter, “I will endeavour so to do, God being my helper,” both answers meaning the same, the latter being only fuller.
I am, Rev. Sir, yours respectfully, Oct. 4.
A DEVONSHIRE TEACHER.
A Village seven miles from London, Oct. 13, 1845. Rev. SIR,- I wish to thank “Frank” for the extract given from the Rev. Charles Bridges excellent work on “Christian Ministry.” I think, with him, that it is a matter of great importance that teachers should meet together occasionally to pray unitedly that God would, of his infinite love, pour out a blessing upon their labours. I was also much pleased with the extract from the preface of the “Scripture Outlines,” by the Rev. Montague Randall.
I lament very much that where I am located our Teachers' Meetings are so few and far between, (perhaps no vo in a year) although our beloved pastor is a faithful minister of Christ, and we have six schools in our parish, many gratuitous as well as paid teachers. I trust that ere long the importance of these Meetings will be felt.
CONFIRMATION CLASS. Rev. Sır,-I am a Sunday-school Teacher in a distant county, and beg to thank you for your useful little publication, the “ Teacher's Visitor.” Perceiving, from time to time, that you have not disdained the communications of Teachers like myself, I venture to send a contribution.
Being the Vicar's daughter, I have lately had to instruct a class of thirty girls, belonging to our Sunday-school, previous to their confirmation, and, for that purpose, have arranged such Scripture references as appeared to illustrate the three baptismal vows.
I send the first of these, and if you think it may be of any use to such of my fellow-labourers as may be in similar circumstances, I will send the other two. I remain, your obedient Servant,
E. M. P.
No. I. “First, that I should renounce the devil and all his works; the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh.”
Who is the Devil ?
All whose thoughts are occupied by present things, and are not united to God by faith.-1 John v. 19.
Believers obliged to be in it.-John xvii. 15.
But must not be of it.-John xvii. 16. James iv, 4. 1 John ü. 15, 17. James i. 27. Gal. vi. 14.
Its pomps and vanities contrived by Satan to satisfy the carnal mind.
Some of them :-
Our natural desires, which reign unrestrained in the ungodly.Rom. viii. 7. Eph. ii. 3. 1 Peter. ii. 11. Gal. v. 19–21.
These desires born in believers, as well as others.-Rom. vii. 18.
But, through grace, they do not yield to them.-Rom. vii. 4, 12, 13. Gal. v. 24.
Their strength from God.-Gal. v. 16-18.
Comparative destiny of those who follow the flesh and the Spirit. -Gal. vi. 7, 8. Rom. viii. 1.
Pembroke, October 8th, 1845.
EARLY ATTENDANCE OF TEACHERS AT SCHOOL.
Oct. 3, 1845. Rev. Sır,-Knowing the importance, and feeling the same, of a word of exhortation from your valuable “Teacher's Visitor," I should be again most happy to see a few words addressed particularly to Sunday-school Teachers on the importance of early attendance at School. There are cases, for instance, in a School where I am placed, of sometimes only the Superintendent and myself in time when the School is opened. Now, what can teachers expect from those committed to their charge, if they come time after time, and find their teacher is not in time, especially as I know some children who go to school without their breakfast to be in time. It, of course, makes them quite negligent, and mind not whether they are in time or not. And again, where few or no teachers are in school, noise and confusion is sure to ensue; and who can say a day badly begun is not sure to end the same. It is an old saying, “Whore there is a will, there is a way." I know a teacher who works hard all the week, is obliged to be up very late at night, and for six or seven years was never known to be late for the opening of school. Surely, if such as these are to be found, there is little reason to think but that teachers generally may be in time if they will.
Yours, faithfully, A SUNDAY-SCHOOL TEACHER.
LENDING LIBRARY. REY. SIR,—The writer, with the assistance of his fellow-teachers in our Church Sunday-school, are endeavouring to establish, for the use of the children and adults attending the school, a Lending Library, and would feel truly glad, through the medium of your valuable little work, which is highly prized among u8,"The Teacher's Visitor"-to receive any information thought necessary for the beginners in such a work. Probably, if you would give this note a place in its pages, some useful rules and hints may appear. N-, Aug. 22, 1845.