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“look” wrought in us conformity to the same image ? (2 Cor. ii. 18). Can our children see in us excellent graces which commend to them the religion we inculcate? Is our eye still directed towards Christ, so that while we invite them to “behold” Him as the “ Lamb of God," our words mày go to their young hearts with double impetus, because “Teacher trusts in the Saviour, and it makes him happy ?”
Oh, the eye and the lip must share equally in this our service of love! The kindled heart alone can send forth kindling words, and for success in bringing little ones to Jesus we must
“Behold the Lamb of God !! Norwich.
P. S. s.
THOUGHT AND FEELING.
THOUGHT is deep, feeling is deeper. The plummet with which the student takes the lowermost soundings of the mind, touches only the surface of the heart. That is fathomless. It heaves and swells with innumerable under-currents-some from Time, some from Eternity ; and, moreover, its uppermost surges are constantly affected by the changes of the surrounding world. Seasons of the year, fluctuations of trade, the state of the funds, turns of fortune, changes of government, the collision of classes, the position of the nations of the earth in relation to our country and of our country in relation to them ; aye, and the events of a narrower circle--health and sickness, births and deaths, meetings and partings in our own homes : all the outer scenes of this ever-shifting life-drama move and colour the sea-like waves of the deep heart within us. Even Newton, who could show us the mechanism of the remote heavens, could not explore the life-mechanism of the humblest traveller that crossed his path. There was a world there, which no astronomic instrument can weigh or measure --a human heart which will throb with unknown thoughts and emotions, when skies are dissolved.
As our worst, so also our best emotions surge up from this fathomless heart. We cannot therefore trace them to their origin, nor can we define them, as it is possible for us to define many of our ideas. They cannot be printed in superficial books. Like other holy and deep things, they love solitude and silence. What words, for example, can utter forth the newborn feelings which sometimes rise within us, when walking amid the glory of a Spring morning? When, having left the city, with its dim Babel-like confusion-its hard biting selfishness, in which man preys upon man-we have gone forth, in the old freedom of our boyhood, to roam once more over the green hills and valleys, have we not ere now been arrested, almost spell-bound, by the scenes and sounds of the magic Spring? And while we have stood still, either to feast our eye upon the rich verdure, streaked with the white blossom of flowering hedgerows and fruittrees; or to watch the motion of the clouds, and the play of the lights and shadows disappearing in the blue hills which skirt the far-off horizon; or to listen to the bleating of distant flocks, the hum of insect life waking up from its winter sleep, the rippling of streams blended with the songs of birds, and the more thrilling music of children at play around their hillside cottagesmall melted into one current of soul-like melody by the breath of the soft spring gales, laden with the odours they had stolen from the gardens, the orchards, the meadows, and forests over which they had swept: while we have thus stood, with our soul open to the vernal scene, . has it not sometimes been as if a spirit, emerging from it, had rushed into our bosom? Have not the fountains of the great deep—the deep of our emotional nature-been broken up ? and, upborne as upon an ocean of feeling, has not our mind been swept forward into the presence of nature's God? It has been ; but the moment we turned our logical faculty upon that tide-swell of emotion which bore us Godward, to analyse it and to trace it to its origin, it ebbed away. The Divine influences which touch and move our hearts cannot be scanned by reason. Of the Divinest influence of all-that which makes us new creatures in Christ-is it not said, "The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh and whither it goeth ; so is every one that is born of the Spirit ?!?_Sermon on the Spring, by the Rev. W. 7. Rosevear,
TEACH GOD'S WORDS.
“ Teach my words.” Never forget that God's words make worlds ; God's words fill heaven with bliss ; God's words shake the earth; God's words, attered by His Spirit, renew men's souls. Oh! my hearers, what prattle of men and women, what scandal and song-singing, and play-writing, and speech-making, and endless chatter we have, all listened to by multitudes, with their ears open for it; applauded, retailed, moving men's souls backward and forward like the waves of the sea; but God's words, that the angels listen to with bliss, that the devils hear and tremble at; creating, renewing, preserving, exalting words; Omnipotent words of love and grace, that might raise us to hold converse with heaven, and deliver us into the spirit of its company whilst still on earth ; these words are neglected and uncared for by thousands. They are drawled out, or forced out by some, they are joked with by others, they are heedlessly hearkened to, and never remembered by how many more. Oh ! my fellow-workers about to receive them and deliver them to your children, May they be words of life to you, eliciting the warmest affections of your hearts, ennobling the passions of your souls, enlightening your understandings, and raising the whole powers of your being. May you hear them as the voice of the seven thunders of His power; the rushing of the many waters of his influence; the still small voice of His love! Then when under the influence of these words, you come to your classes with your countenances lit up, with your souls possessed, and they make your tones tremulous with their own unutterable importance, then will you stand as the messengers of God indeed, as very angels, commissioned with the words of the Most High, and the sweet messages of a Saviour's love.-" Teach the Children;" a Sermon by Rev. P, Colborne, of Norwich.
THURSDAY, MAY 5. THE Committee of the Parent Society, with the representatives of the London Auxiliaries and the Country Unions, met as usual for prayer at seven o'clock this morning, in the library of the Jubilee Memorial Building. After the prayer meeting, breakfast was provided in the Lecture Hall, to which about a hundred gentlemen sat down.
The Conference that followed was presided over by Mr. Watson, who gave out the • following hymn, composed by Mr. W. H. Groser for the occasion :On Egypt's waters, waste and wide, | So we, by sin's dark waters, Lord, The sower casts the early grain;
In faith and hope go forth to sow; It sinks beneath the waveless tide, And wait the hour, when, at Thy word And all his toil seems spent in vain. The heavenly seed shall spring and grow. But soon the swollen streams recoil ; Ye rolling seasons, speed your flight, The slumbering seed awakes and lives; Till earth's glad harvest-time be come; Till waving harvests crown the soil,
Till we, who now in toil unite, And reapers bind their golden sheaves. Shall bear our sheaves in triumph home!
After singing, Mr. Groser read the names of the representatives who were present, in addition to the members of the Committee of the Parent and Metropolitan Auxiliary Unions.
Representatives :-Abingdon, Mr. Coxeter ; Cambridge, Rev.J. Keed, Mr. Wittenhall, and Mr. Cooper; Dewsbury, Mr. Ramsden ; Staplehurst, Mr. Jull; Windsor, Mr. Moyes and Mr. Elliott; Leicester, Mr. Leigh ; Woolwich, Mr. White and Mr. Dinmore; Gravesend, Mr. Blanchard and Mr. Harris ; Kettering, Mr. Clarke and Mr. Falkner; Thrapston, Rev. J. Lord ; Buckingham, Mr. Morgan ; Birmingham, Mr. Cooper and Mr. Wright ; Brighton, Mr. Cornish and Mr. Hooper ; Bristol, Mr. Gould ; Gloucester, Rev. W. Collings; Bury, (Mr. Butcher; Edinburgh, Mr. Inglis ; Manchester, Mr. McCallam; Portsea, Mr. Dorey ; Halifax, Mr. Oates; Harlow, Mr. Deards and Mr. Matthews.
Visitors:-Jamaica, Rev. W. Clarke ; London, Rev. J. F. Serjeant and Rev. S. Green; Manchester, Mr. Swallow,
The CHAIRMAN then said he could only repeat this morning what he had frequently said on former occasions,--that it afforded the Committee of the Parent Society the greatest satisfaction and pleasure to see so many friends from the country unions present. When the Committee visited the country unions, they always received the kindest attentions, and they were therefore very happy if they could, in any little way, show their appreciation of that kindness. As on former occasions, it had been thought desirable to select a topic for conversation to-day, and the Committee had fixed upon one, respecting the importance of which he thought there could be no doubt in the minds of the friends present ;-it was— “The Means by which the Religious Influence of the Sunday School may be made more Practical, Extensive, and Continuous. To his mind, there had always been one difficulty in respect to the vexed question of Government education, which had made him look with considerable anxiety to the progress which was being made to bring our daily schools under Government control. The influence of money was so great, that where it was used with any degree of energy on the part of those who had the administration of it, it was almost certain to secure their object. They could not fail to have observed how steadily men who, doubtless, were influenced by right motives, were seeking to bring the general education of the country under a system of public management, in some form or other : and the difficulty which struck him in relation to this matter was, that whenever our schools came to be generally supported by funds raised from all classes of the community, it would be almost impossible to maintain the religious character of these schools. In this country, where the religious sentiments of the people were almost infinitely diversified, the moment that the schools came to be supported from the public treasury, every individual felt himself entitled to say, "You must not interfere with my conscience ;" and he (the Chairman) did not know how the argument was to be resisted. Hence, as was the case in America, where they had the greatest difficulty in maintaining the Bible in the common schools, and as was also the case in Ireland, so he believed tho samo struggle would take place in this country. Or even if they should succeed in maintaining it in the schools, there would, in the course of a few years, be the difficulty of securing anything like dogmatic, doctrinal teaching. He was not about to treat this question argumentatively, and merely referred to it for the purpose of founding on it this conclusion,--that if a danger of such a kind were impending, it was of the utmost importance that the religious interests of our Sunday schools should be maintained, and that their influence should become “more practical, extensive, and continuous;" so that whatever might become of our daily schools, the religious instruction of our youth should not be wholly disregarded. They had, to a large extent, the youthful population of the country under their care for one day in the week, and it was for the Sunday school teachers to say whether they should not be thoroughly well instructed in the word of God on that day. The subject, then, which had been selected by the Committee, was one of very considerable importance, and he trusted the result of the Conference would be to send all present away with a deep sense of their solemn responsibility, and an earnest determination to make, as far as their means extended, the religious influence of the Sunday school more" practical, extensive, and continuous.".
Mr. MEEN, according to arrangement, opened the conference. He said :--The Sunday school system has been gradually acquiring increased power ; we have seen with delight the progressive development of its resources, and the beautiful unfoldings of its true character and excellence. The infantile state of Sunday schools was largely dependent on those who were only prepared to give so much time for so much money; but ere long there were indications of piety and vigour; the religious element was recognised, and voluntary effort, sanctified by religion, was brought to bear upon the church and the world, in a way and to an extent till then unknown. The necessity for Sunday school literature arose ; libraries were originated ; and the Bible itself, though amid strife and contention, was produced at such a price as to render it emphatically the “child's own book.” In our ignorance, the little ones had been thought too young to come within the compass of our efforts, and the older ones, because of their increasing years, were sent astray, being too old longer to enjoy the benefits of a Sunday school; but better days were dawning, and, almost simultaneously, classes for infants and senior scholars were commenced. In order. however, that the wholo might be better taught, and that teachers might have greater facility in their work, preparation classes were established, and many have sprung up both in town and country, in imitation of the model conducted here by Mr. Cuthbertson.
The regenerating influence of the Sunday school agency has not stopped here : it was felt that, in many of the homes of our scholars, there was a fætid atmosphere, an intellectual miasma, working most surely (though silently) on the mind. To check the influence of a corrupt and vicious press amongst parents and children, selections from the best cheap literature are put into circulation by our teachers from week to week.
In order to render the teachings of divine truth more suited to the youthful mind separate services, and also Sunday evening services, have been successfully conducted : the former intended to supply the place of public worship-or rather to be the children's public service--but of such a character as that they should feel a spocial interest in its exercises ; and the latter intended to preserve our children from the streets, and afford still further opportunity for usefulness. While it has been felt to be of importance that the teachers should be well informed, it has even been felt of more importance that they should know how to communicate that which they possess : hence the introduction of training classes. Having discussed this matter at our last Conference, it is only necessary to say that we must all rejoice in what is now doing at home in regard to these classes ; while we are encouraged to hope that the same scheme of usefulness will ere long prevail in the distant States of America. Notwithstanding all that Sunday schools have effected for men and nations, either socially or in their more direct religious influence, we have ever and anon to revert to the fact that our labours are successful but to a small extent, as compared with the means omployed. Hence I am invited to point out some of the means by which the religious influence of the Sunday school may be made more practical, extensive, and continuous." It is not too much to say, that the predo. minating influence in the school will depend mainly on the moral charaoter and influence of its conductors. Is a school disorderly in appearance or management ? that disorder is referable to its head. Is a school feeble and wanting in discipline? the indications of weakness among those who manage it are unmistakeable. Is a school to a large extent inoperative or unsuccessful ? then you will find, by the most superficial glance, that there is a want of power and earnestness. Is there wanting, in our schools generally, the display of God's saving power ? I believe, brethren, it is because we are not sufficiently prayerful and earnest in our work. The majestic vessel moves on proudly, defying the waves that roll around her ; but amid the billowy surge, she answers with unwavering fidelity to the mind of him who directs her course. So will our schools be affected by the prayer of faith : there is a wheel like that which Ezekiel saw, which the living power of prayer will move. In our schools there may be the most perfect order and organisation-everything may be symmetrical, the mechanism complete, and the teaching in its way effective; and yet, without the Spirit of the living God be present, we may read and talk about the evil of sin and the grace of Christ, but there will be no living apprehension of Him as a Saviour either by teacher or scholar. The most brilliant instrument may excite our gaze, but it will fail to charm us without the aid of a master. The slumbering stores of our largest arsenals lie harmless at our feet till war begins its desolation. The locomotive may command our admiration as we examine its parts in detail, but without the moving power it would be but a magnificent toy ; only let that power be applied, however, what wonders will it accomplish ! what emergencies is it equal to ! how continuous its labour ! how triumphant its success! Brethren, we have done well while perfecting our machinery and improving our plans ; but never shall we have an enlarged measure of prosperity, till the Spirit be poured out from on high. May we fain hope that, in the coming year, we shall look more than ever for the conversion of our children.
The fact indicated in our question is this, that our schools in a greater or less degree exert a religious influence. Whatever changes may come over us or operate on our spirits ; whatever modifications may be adoptod by us in our modes of action, children will remain pretty much the same, and we shall have to deal with them as such. But it may be asked, Is there anything that would tend to render them more susceptible of impression, or that would in any degree prevent the loss of those impressions, when once they are kindled in the mind ?
All who are engaged in this work must have felt there are hindrances in the way ; it may be that many of them are of our own creation, but there are others over which we have little control. One of these arises from the dissoluts habits of the