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this bad habit, and in allowing them the opportunity and occasion for misbehaviour.
You are committing an evil against the School *Suppose a school consists of 150 scholars, and the teachers 25. Suppose several teachers come so late that the Superintendent must delay opening the school for five minutes. This seems a short time to wait. Take the 175 which compose the school, and multiply it by 5, and you have 875 minutes lost. Suppose this takes place once on every Sabbath, the loss for one year is 758 hours; and suppose the same set of teachers continue this for 5 years, it would be 3790 hours. If, now, we suppose the habit to be by them perpetuated in the school, and transmitted down, and, above all, be woven into the habits of the hundreds of pupils, and become a part of their character, no arithmetic cap compute the evils of such a habit.”*.
Not only does it affect the school by the waste of time, but it also disturbs the arrangements of it. Children, if left to themselves, become, as we have pointed out to you, idle; and hence the Superintendent, to abate this evil, necessarily runs into another by providing a Teacher, perhaps from one of the senior classes, or else by dividing the class, and portioning some into this, and some into that class; and in this way "the whole school is disturbed by the process. The Superintendent kindly says, he ‘presumes the Teacher is sick. This is done, and soon you come hurrying in with that quick, noisy step which always indicates a consciousness of being too late. The class must again be disunited and taken to their own seats, while the school is again disturbed, and the mortified Superintendent sees you are any thing but
It is indeed mortifying to the Superintendent; you give him needless trouble, and you prevent him from giving his attention to some more important work.
The following extract from the life of a devoted Sumday-school Teacher and Superintendent of fifty years
' standingt is applicable to the present topic. “In all his
* Todd. of Life of Thomas Cranfield. Published by the Religious Tract Society.
engagements at the School, punctuality was strietly observed by him: this he considered an indispensible qualification for a Teacher. Nothing appeared to ruffle him more than to see the teachers come in half an hour after the time for opening the school. Such persons he would sometimes accost on their entrance as perfect strangers, and very gravely ask them “if they were teachers, or what was their business there?' who are guilty of this delinquency, I will accost you, and ask you
this ruffling question: “Are you a stranger to the rules of your school? What business, if you are a Teacher, have you to come thus late? Answer your conscience. It is an evil against God. You have undertaken a responsible office. God commands you to ‘redeem the time. If, then, you waste it, shall not God require it of your hands? God says, “Work while it is called to-day;' 'be instant in season and out of season. If, then, you waste your working hours, shall not your heavenly Master require at your hands the account of your stewardship? Will he not upbraid you as, a slothful servant, if you waste the season of opportunities if you waste the season set apart for instruetion? Bethink yourselves, you who know you are guilty,
measures to prevent its recurrence; for God will render to every man according to his work."
But I know there is an excuse by many Teachers on account of the lateness of closing the shops on the Saturday eve; and, that they may have their usual allotment of sleeping hours, the Sabbath morn is encroached upon so much, that they are late at school. Here a lesson of self-denial is wanted, to overcome this self-indulgence.
As a remedy to prevent this late attendance, we would advise you to rise early. This is the hinge on which punctuality turns : if you can overcome sleep, and secure an early breakfast, you can have no obstacle in the way of your being punctual. “He that riseth late, must trot all day, and shall scarce overtake his business at night." The Teacher will find this to be the case. I remember reading somewhere, that the Teacher, to prevent any obstacle on the Sabbath morning, should take care to
have all his books, pencil, &c., looked out and put in a place where they may be obtained without loss of time on the Saturday, so that these may not keep him waiting, searching for them, on the Sabbath morning. He should take care also not to lengthen the dinner hour.
Come a quarter of an hour, or ten minutes, before the time of commencement. When Lord Nelson was leaving London on his last but glorious expedition against the enemy, a quantity of cabin furniture was ordered to be sent on board his ship. The upholsterer employed stated to his lordship that every thing was finished, and packed, and would go in the waggon from a certain inn at six o'clock. “And you go to the inn, and see them off!” “I shall, my lord. I shall be there punctually at six.” “A quarter before six, Mr. A.,” returned Lord Nelson; “be there a quarter before six: to that quarter of an hour I owe every thing in my life.” Let teachers then follow this great admiral's example. And perhaps by thus coming “a quarter of an hour before the time." to that quarter of an hour they may owe much of their success in their Sunday-school life. If every Teacher would adopt and practise this sentiment, they would, by God's blessing, be the means of effecting a greater conquest in the annals of Sunday-schools, than he did in the annals of the conquests of Britain. That conquest, if it be but a conquest of punctuality, it will indeed be a “glorious expedition” against one of the evil habits of many Sunday-school teachers.
“And suppose," a Teacher may ask, “I do come as early as you name, how shall I use the time?” If none of your class are there, meditate on the lessons, or put up a silent prayer to God for a blessing on the instructions which you are about to impart to your class; and you will find it “good to be there” thus early.
And if it is in the morning, and the children are there, "go directly to your class,” ask them a few questions relative to their family, if you like, to shew your real interest in them; or “a little private conversation with a scholar on the subject of personal religion, previous to the commencement of the exercises, which has sometimes
done more good than has been effected by the more public instructions of the class for many Sabbaths."*
And if it is in the afternoon, ask them what they remember of the sermon, or refer them to some of the references to Scripture referred to in the sermon.
But whether morning or afternoon, your presence and authority will prevent much of that idleness which we have before spoken of. And thus you see, it will not be a loss of time your coming so early.
Indeed a want of punctuality augurs a want of love for the Sunday-school; for it is generally found that those who attend the most punctually are the most interested in it. You will never find a frequenter of the theatre behind the time of the commencement of the representation. Why? Because he has a love for the stage.
Lastly, we would hint to all, be punctual in your movements in the school. If the bell is rung, obey its call, and be silent; do not stop to finish the sentence, but obey immediately. Let every order of the school be instantly attended to.
Shakspere says, “Use doth breed a habit in a man.' Let therefore every Sunday-school Teacher make a resolution to “use” himself to be punctual. Let perseverance carry it out into practice; and let a constant practice “breed” the habit of punctuality.
KNOWING NOTHING AMONG THEM BUT JE
SUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED.
To the Editor of the Teacher's Visitor. SIR, I had used, not long since, the expression, “Knowing nothing among them, but Jesus Christ and him crucified," and was shortly afterwards applied to to give the meaning of the words. The following is the substance of my reply; which, if suitable to the pages of your “Teacher's Visitor,” you are welcome to insert for the benefit of your youthful readers.
A. L. F. To the words, “Knowing nothing among them, but Jesus Christ and him crucified,” I attach the same mean.
ing as I believe St. Paul does to his similar passage to the Corinthian converts, 1 Cor. ii. 2, viz. That in all my ministrations as a clergyman, whether in the pulpit or out of it, the doctrine of the atonement made by our blessed Lord, by the one oblation of himself once offered as the full, perfect, and sufficient oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world, is the great and prominent truth which pervades them; that in the exhibition of this glorious truth, as shadowed forth in the Old Testament, and more fully developed in the substance of the New Testament, my object would be to invite sinners to believe in Christ, to confirm those who are already believers in Christ, to strengthen the weak, to comfort the desponding, by urging them yet more and more to look alto gether out of themselves, and by faith to look at that all-sufficient Sacrifice, concerning whom the Divine assurance is given, (John iii. 15.) that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Moreover, in the reception, and the further development of this one cardinal truth, flows forth in the life as a consequence, an exhibition of all the graces of the Christian character, an aim at the highest moralities of life, a (not slavish, constrained, but a) willing obedience to the law of God, and indeed a progress in holiness, a meetness and preparedness for heaven, by the power of the Holy Ghost, of which St. James speaks when he says, “I will shew thee my faith by my works,” (James ii
. 18.) and in giving the character of a faithful Christian he says again, "Let him shew out of a good conversation his works, with meekness of wisdom.” (ii. 13.)
In fine, a minister not only in the pulpit, but also in his life, determining to “know nothing, but Jesus Christ and him crucified,” as the Alpha and the Omega of man's salvation, is, I believe, what the Holy Spirit especially blesses to the conversion of unbelievers and the strengthening of believers in Christ. So it was in St. Paul's time, in St. Peter's, St. John's, St. James'; for by a believer I mean, not a merely nominal, empty professor, but one who has that real faith in our Lord Jesus Christ which, according to St. Paul, “worketh by love,” (Gal. 7. 6.) which, according to St. Peter, "purifieth the