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are unprepared for the right performance of their duties by their mouthpiece in their collective devotional exercises not giving adequate expression to their wants and feelings. A man who holds the place of superintendent of a school without possessing the essential qualifications for the post, is a barrier to success, and casts a blighting influence over the whole institution. Yet we are told “it is a pity to hurt their feelings" by effecting a change for the better. Is it not a greater pity that the cause of God should thus be fearfully injured and its progress prevented; and whether is it better to allow an officer to hold a false position to his own material damage and depreciation, as well as to prevent the success of a work which he himself loves, than to kindly, firmly, and clearly give him to understand that he is deficient in the very peculiar though essential combination of qualities which are so needful for the office.
The same censure will apply to any official who holds a place without the requisite qualities ; it would be kinder to them, it would be a greater exemplification of Christian principle, it would be more consistent with a love of God, and a desire for the spread of his kingdom if such men were frankly and tenderly told the truth, than to sacrifice principle and prosperity by a mawkish and unnatural regard for their “ feelings."
“God has his plan," says a Tyrolian proverb, “ for every man;" and every one who is thus in a false position is not only not working out the plan God intended for him, but actually preventing a better agent from doing his work, by vainly and effectually trying to do it for him. There is something every man is fitted for and intended to perform : each man therefore who has been led out of his sphere of labor has left his own vacant, and is keeping some one else out of theirs, who for this very reason perhaps is standing idle, or laboring to the injury and harm of mankind, instead of for their well-being; and yet we are told " it is a pity to hurt their feelings !" But is it not a greater pity, and a grievous sin to tolerate a man in sacrificing his lifetime to labors for which he was not destined by God; to allow the kingdom of Christ to suffer wrong, and to shrink from the manly and courageous discharge of a Christian duty? The evil referred to is a wide spread one; let ministers of churches, superintendents, and Sunday school teachers ponder well their position, and be prepared to act as the occasion may demand, always seeking the assistance of the divine spirit of truth. Newcastle-on-Tyne.
W. J. T.
TEACH THEM TO THINK. Teach your children to think, and you arrive at the secret of success. Punctuality, order, attention, love, are all embodied in this one point. What a differenee does an abstract truism present when brought to the test of thought, and kindled by the fire of imagination. At once it loses its garb of frigidity, and by enquiry and kind suggestion, and remarks, becomes in itself a little history. Take an instance. You tell your children “God is love." Follow up that truism, by asking questions such as these, What their idea of love is? What an idea is ? What gives them the power of having an idea ? Repeat all this in simple language, in accents suited to a child; but as you value their future happiness in life, and through eternity, teach them to think. What a new world is opened to the child who has a teacher who can thus bring out of darkness a ray of light; and on the other hand, how many a scholar has gone to his home heavy and disappointed, because, unable to grasp at the glimmering of a truth which might have been clearly solved by a judicious teacher.
But, putting aside the use you may be to your scholars, just glance at the value set upon your own position in the eyes of the little ones. Love is the helm of your little bark. Do they confide in the one who merely goes through an accustomed routine of duty, or in him who seems the very breath of the sentiment he proposes? If you would win the affection of your class, you must let them see you are in earnest. Unabsorbed in self, your every energy should be directed to your great work. Enter not then rashly into the Sunday school vineyard. Remember the responsibility. Consider that you are not only teaching for time, but educating souls for eternity. Depend not on your own energies ; lean not upon your own strength, but in childlike simplicity go to Jesus, and learn of the Great Teacher. Peckham.
THE HEAVENLY TELEGRAPH.
(Frow a recent address to a Sunday School.) God has given us a telegraph from earth to heaven, that man may hold instant communication with the creator of all things. Jesus Christ laid down that telegraph, with branches to every human heart, and every living soul may send a message when he likes, without money and without price. That poor, ragged, fatherless, friendless lad, for whom no one seems to care, may send his message quicker than by the electric telegraph, straight up to the heavenly Father, as he sits on his eternal throne; and he shall find that Jesus cares for him, that the everlasting arms are round about him, and that the eternal God is his refuge. And that "winding boy" who toils in the stocking maker's shop, exposed to the jeers and scorn of the men because he goes to the Sunday school and sings his hymns; why, he may tell his troubles in a silent message to his Saviour, and he shall at once feel that God is a very present help in every time of trouble. And the beggar on the road side who cannot get near the Queen, because of her servants and soldiers, may tell his tale to the King of Kings, and he shall be heard, though the heavenly throne is surrounded by angels and archangels, and cherubims and seraphims. This telegraph from man to God is always openthe line shall never break, no, not till heaven and earth shall pass away, and not then. Every one of us may send our messages quick as thought, and the eternal God will hear them in the house, or by the way. In the Sunday school, or in the place of worship; in the workshop, or in the street; in the garden, or in the field; on the mountain top, or on the bosom of the mighty deep, we may talk with our Almighty Father, and hold communion with the Creator of heaven and earth.
“NOW." Ant thou in earnest ? dost thou think—'tis thine to train for Heaven? Rememberest thou the worth of that immortal soul committed to thy care ? For if not earnest, thou art making but a inockery of that which should engage thy warmest thought, thy earnest action. Pause awhile, and ask, What is my task, and what my object in accomplishing it. Thy task,-oh, is it not a blessed one? to lead the little ones to Him, who loves the little ones, to bless. To tell of all his love to guilty men. Speakest thou of the spirit's work, and his most blessed teaching? Oh, beseech them not to try to stifle his convictions, but to yield their hearts to his blessed influence, and to yield them NOW; that now they may be happy, reconciled to God, through Jesus Christ, to listen now to that important question, “Wilt thou from this time cry to me, Thou art my father, thou the guide of all my youth shalt be.” Now, ere they wander far in paths of sin and death, lured by the great Deceiver, on and on to certain ruin. Now, ere they die! for who can say how soon they may be called to meet their God and Judge. Is this thy task, oh teacher? What then thy object in performing it? Is it indeed the welfare of these young immortals, and glory of thy God? Oh, such it should be, and, laboring thus, thou shalt not work in vain. Art thou but sincere! hope on, hope ever, thou yet mayst see the fruit of thy endeavors,--or, if not, remember 'tis all known to Him, who has commanded thus :—“In life's fair morning sow thy seed, nor e'en in evening“time withhold thy hand; thou knowest not which may prosper, or whether “both alike." Lower Tooting.
EXAMPLES OF EMBLEMATIC TEACHING. HOSEA vi. 4. “O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee ? for your goodness is as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it passeth away."
Emblem. The morning cloud and the early dew pass away. · Subject. Thus it was with the goodness of Ephraim and Judah-it passed away.
1. You know what we get from clouds. When the sky is black and covered with......clouds, you expect...... rain. The cloud mentioned is the morning cloud. You have seen clouds when the day begins to dawn. Do these usually pass away? No. Indeed, when we see them, we are almost certain it will...... rain. The emblem applies to Palestine.
In Palestine and the countries in that part of the world not a drop of rain falls for weeks upon weeks. No clouds cover the sky except in the morning ; of these clouds the passage speaks.
Will they bring rain to the drooping flowers, the thirsty ground, and the empty brooks ? How eagerly, it may be, the farmer watches between hope and fear! But ah! it is the morning cloud-the sun shines brighter, and the rays dispel it. It passeth away.
O Ephraim, what shall I do unto thee? O Judah, what shall I do unto thee? for your goodness is as the morning cloud.
2. You have passed through the fields while yet the sun was in the east. The grass was wet, because of...... the dew ; ere you had returned, however, the sun had licked it up—it had passed away. But how quickly it must disappear in such a hot climate as that of Palestine!
Such God tells us, through the pulpit, was the goodness of Ephraim and Judah.
ADAPTATION.-Ephraim was the principal tribe in the kingdom of Israel, and Judah of the kingdom of Judah. When God thus addresses these two he means the whole ...... kingdom of Palestine.
The Israelites often returned from their idols ; but it was but for a short time—their goodness passed away. The sweet incense of their repentance would ascend to heaven; but only to be followed by backsliding. God was ever ready to welcome every sign of turning, but the short-lived goodness passed away. Grieved to see such inconstancy, He says, “What shall I do unto thee?
APPLICATION.—Is it thus with you? Your goodness.—It may be, you obey your father and mother just now ; but how often have you given them pain. You may sin against them to-morrow.
You at times remember there is such an awful Being as God; and you resist temptation. “Thou God seest me." But you forget again and again -Your goodness is as the morning cloud and the early dew which pass away.
You try to look to Jesus when you are overpowered by sin; but do you hold on?
God may say to you, “ What shall I do unto you." And then. Israel was punished-He drove them from their native land into banishment. He may punish us likewise. Let us beware then. Swansea.
REQUISITES TO GOOD SUNDAY SCHOOL ADDRESSES. We want bringing into our Sunday school addresses more striking illustrations, more every day occurrences, and more common place language, to the total exclusion of all hard words. We should also study the manners and habits of children more closely, so as to make our comparisons more easily comprehended. In a word, we want to come down. There are difficulties in the way, but some have encountered' and grappled with and overcome them. Why should not more? Why should not this important duty be better discharged? Let us have more speaking from the heart, more attentive preparation, more energy, and a closer imitation of the teaching of our Saviour, who never lost any occasion of making use of the most common occurrences to illustrate his sublime lessons. Most of us know how repulsive it is to listen at times to a discourse void of life, of energy, or awakening thought; we have experienced the difficulty imposed on us to listen to those dry, lifeless sermons. How then can we expect our children to be quiet, if we do not make our little sermons mor attractive. This above all other things certainly ought to be done well. Sloane Square.
TASTES IN DRESS. No female should despise studying dress as an art; by which we mean that exercise of taste and judgment which teaches what style and colour of dress is most becoming to the figure, face, age, &c., and also what fashions and customs best blend and harmonize with each other. The following rules illustrating this subject may be confidently relied on and advantageously applied. Short females should not wear flounces to their dresses, because the undue breadth which it gives to the lower part of the person tends to diminish its height. For the same reason they should not wear large check patterns or stripes running round the dress. Tall females, as a matter of course, may wear their dresses on principles diametrically opposite to this. Stout females should wear dark-coloured dresses and simple patterns, as they diminish the apparent size of the figure; the skirts also should have few or no flounces, except where the figure is above the ordi : nary height. Thin females should wear light-coloured dresses, and patterns displaying breadth of design, such as large checks, broad stripes, &c.; flounces may also be freely adopted, as they serve to diminish the angles of the figure, and to impart a certain degree of rotundity. Young females have a wide latitude allowed them for dress; gayer colours and more fanciful styles may be indulged in, so long as they do not amount to over-dressing or unsuitableness. Elderly females should attire themselves in a neat, quiet manner; the materials of their dress should be substantial, the colours dark, and the designs small. Above all things they should avoid a juvenility of style, since, instead of making old people look younger, it has an immediately opposite effect, and only serves to bring out more prominently, and to contrast more painfully, the youth of the dress with the age of the wearer. Dark females look best in light colours, which supply a pleasing contrast to the complexion; or in yellow, which sheds a subdued violet hue favourable to brunettes. Fair females appear to the best advantage in black, on account of the contrast which is derived from it; or in light green, or sky blue, both of which colours possess the power of imparting to pale or fair complexious what are called complimentary tints.—Dictionary of Daily Wants.
MOTHER'S LOVE. LAMARTINE tells a story that exquisitely illustrates a mother's love. " In some spring freshet, a river wildly washed its shores, and rent away a bough, whereon a bird had built a cottage for her summer hopes. Down the white and whirling stream drifted the green branch, with its wicker cup of unfledged song; and Auttering beside it, as it went, the mother bird. Un. heeded the roaring river, on she kept, her cries of agony and fear piercing the pauses of the storm. How like the love of the old fashioned mother, who followed the child she had plucked from her heart, all over the world. Swept away by passion that child might be, it mattered not; bearing away with him the fragments of the shattered roof-tree, though he did, yet that mother was with him, a Ruth through all his life, and a Rachel at his death.