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He then told me that two years ago, when he first came to school, he was a bad boy, and did not care much for learning, or being good ; that sometimes he was enticed away to play truant; but he soon saw the evil of this, and was very uncomfortable when doing wrong, and resolved not to listen any more to those who badly advised him. Since that time he had attended his class every Sunday when well, and soon got to love the school and his teachers very much. He also began to like to read his Bible and HymnBook, and good books from the library. He was also drawn towards the Saviour, and loved to listen to His words and pray to Him, that he might be saved. He was quite happy at the thought of going to be with Jesus.
When I told him, “I must now leave you.” He said, “Will you please to read for me first ? ”
" What shall I read ?"
I read, and then commended him to the care of that good Shepherd who takes to His bosom the lambs of His flock.
On the two following days I visited him, and found him gradually sinking; he was fast going home. When I laid upon the table some little matters suited to an invalid, he looked at me with a smile of acknowledg. ment, and said, “You are very kind, sir : I am much obliged to you." He still maintained his good hope, and was pleased when I talked to him of Christ and heaven.
When I quoted passages of Scripture I thought suited to his case, he would repeat them with me, and sometimes go on repeating from memory following verses. He had evidently read much and carefully of God's holy word; and while lying for long hours alone, its precious truths had cheered and consoled him. The Hymn-Book had also been a study with him, and a number of the hymns he was wont to repeat correctly and with feeling. I asked him what were his favourite hymns. He replied, that he liked a great many, but that he liked best these two, beginning,
“ Jesu, Lover of my soul," and,
"On Jordan's stormy bank I stand.” I thought that must be an earnest and matured piety which could find sympathy in the devout longings after Christ and heaven, such as these beautiful and affecting hymns express. His father, who sat in the room, said that Emanuel always brought home an account of the school-lecture and the lessons of the day, with the teacher's instructions thereon, and that they conversed about them every Sunday night.
I hoped that I might have paid at least one more visit to Emanuel, and been with him when he took the last step of the journey, and seen him safe in the promised land; but that night, while in deep repose,
" He glided, by a sweet transition,
Into everlasting joy." -Wesleyan Sunday School Magazine.
ORDER AND ATTENTION IN SUNDAY SCHOOLS.
By Mr. J. S. FEATHERSTONE, of St. Mary Cray, Kent. “What means are best calculated to preserve order and attention in Sunday schools ? "
I would first call attention to the necessity of some plan, or system of instruction; and will take for example the one published by the Parent Society, where we have lessons selected alternately from the Old and New Testaments, covering a space of three or four years for its completion; the subjects for the first and third Sundays of the month being the life and teaching of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; the second and fourth Sundays, Old Testament history; and the fifth prophecy. Here we have a well selected system of reading, that the minds of our young charge may be stored with the whole truth of God's word, and see his dealing with the children of men from the beginning, proving Him to be the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
If you supply each child in the Scripture classes with a list of the Lessons, they will, with their parents, see, and perhaps their parents will say, " these teachers know what they are doing: they mean something, they have something to teach," and might add, “William or Mary you must listen to them.” Here and there a child might say, “I must attend to my teacher, or I shall lose my lesson to-day.” Such a plan, as a means, is the best I know to promote order and secure attention.
There should be also a proper division of time for these exercises, or the feeling produced by the introduction of a system will lose its first favorable impression in your school order. If the school duties commence at halfpast nine o'clock, the time should be strictly attended to.
The superintendent and teachers should be in their places ready to receive their scholars, for example is better than precept” in the establishment and preservation of order. The clock should rule both officers and teachers. A great deal depends upon punctuality ; it will give them confidence in each other, and confirm the first impression of the scholars, “our teachers have something to teach us, they are in earnest too." This is the first principle of order.
When a teacher is conscious of having failed in punctuality, he is generally unhappy in his class. If repeated it soon becomes habitual, and the order and attention of his class is gone.
Teachers, if you would secure order and attention in your classes, you must yourselves be punctual.
The business of the school commences with marking the early attendance in the class books; then singing ; introduce the lesson for the day; then earnest prayer to Almighty God for a blessing. This should not occupy more than fifteen to eighteen minutes. Next the repetition lessons, ten minutes. Sing a hymn bearing on the subject to be taught. The lesson follows. Order begets order, Attention generally follows. This plan requires suitable persons to carry it out. What should our superintendents be ? Christians ; earnest, zealous. Men of prayer ; full of faith, punctual, vigilant, and affectionately firm; always acting in accordance with the rules of the school. Teachers should be scrupulously exact in obeying any school regulation if they would have order and attention in their classes. Our prayer should ever be,“ O Lord, make us fit for the work." Teachers should have the same qualifications as superintendents. If such are necessary for general order, they are also requisite for divisional or class order, for without order you cannot possess attention. This order and attention must be preserved. They must not flag. You have but a short time to teach the way to heaven, and you must give an account to the God of all the earth, whose servants you are. Then every subject for teaching should be well studied, and well understood, with a view to impress one great principle on the mind,--relying on God the Holy Spirit, whose it is to take of the things of Jesus, and shew them to us.
This order and attention require the right sort of teaching to preserve them. Permit me to illustrate what I mean by bringing before you
the characteristics of three teachers.
Our first has taken for his lesson, say, Numbers 23rd, 24th ; subject “Balaam's Predictions." It has been well studied. He sees a great deal in it. Meets his class. They read it through, rather hastily, and not very correctly. It would take too much time he thinks for the reader to be so exact. There is a general restlessness about the class. He tells how Balak sends for Balaam to curse the Children of Israel. How Balaam goes from place to place, builds altars, offers sacrifices, goes to meet God or pretends to do so, looks on Israel, and blesses them instead of cursing as Balak wanted. Our teachers find references in confirmation of the blessing, and reads them himself. Tells of Balaam's wish to die the death of the righteous. The time is gone. There is a great deal more to say. The class has been carelessly listening, some slyly playing.
They have not read a reference in confirmation, or even correctly read the facts. They are glad to be released.
Our friend has been like one pouring some precious Auid from a large jug into a small bottle. This is a preaching teacher. Teachers, if you would preserve order and attention don't preach, but teach. By preaching in your classes you may produce a partial impression on the mind, and soon efface it by a mistaken effort. Alas ! such is like beating the air.
Our second teacher scarcely knows where and what the lesson is. The class mechanically read one by one their respective verses, with a sluggish and careless air, and not very perfectly, between their turns playing. The teacher looks vexed, can't keep order, feels no interest, and does not like to take the blame to himself. As Aaron, when he made the golden calf for Israel, excused himself to Moses, saying, "I put the golden trinkets into the fire, and there came out that calf ;" so our teacher excuses himself by saying, “ I try to keep order, but they won't mind."— This is a careless teacher.
Our third teacher is one who has studied and thoroughly arranged the lesson. Suppose it to be Luke x., the subject to be taught being “True Religion.” This teacher's seat is occupied five minutes before the school duties commence, each scholar is welcomed with a smile and a kind word, the voice not being heard beyond the class. After the school is opened, the
teacher says, "My young friends, by God's help, we are going to have some of the teaching of Jesus to-day. You like a good teacher. No man ever taught like him, and he has promised his Holy Spirit, that we might understand what he teaches. Let us ask for it.” A short prayer is offered. The teacher begins. Each verse is read clearly and distinctly. The crafty question of the lawyer tempting Jesus, "What shall I do to inherit eternal life?" The answer, “thou shalt love the Lord thy God, and thy neighbour as thyself.” Another question, "Who is my neighbour ?" the parable of the Good Samaritan follows, ending with Mary at the feet of Jesus. The teacher carefully impresses the facts on the minds of the children, ascertaining the extent of their knowledge by questioning them; confirming by references, to be read by the scholars, using familiar and pointed illustrations, all with
a view to impress the one great lesson, "true religion in the heart." The object gained, how sweet for such a teacher, when asking, "What do you think of this subject ?" to receive as the answer of the scholars,
“ 'Tis religion that can give,
Solid comforts when we die." One day I asked a teacher of this stamp, “How is it you have such order and attention in your class ?" The answer was (with surprise at the question) " I never give them time to be disorderly, and they are always more or less attentive; I have no fault to find with them.”
Do not preach to your classes, or go carelessly to them, but well digest and carefully prepare your subject, and then teach it. So the showers of heavenly grace shall descend on the seed sown, and ye shall reap if ye faint not.” If not immediately
“* Though seed which is sown may not seem to take root,
I'll wait and I know it shall not be in vain.” By pursuing such a course, you will have both order and attention in your classes,
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL THERMOMETER. SUNDAY schools are voluntary institutions in more senses than one ; they are supported by voluntary contributions, and the attendance alike of teachers and scholars is voluntary.
I fear it may be said, in too many cases, that after scholars have joined a school, the discipline is so lax, that the frequency, or otherwise, of the scholars' attendance is voluntary also. We often lament that our scholars, in too many cases, join our schools, pass through, and leave them without any hope of their being attached to the Church, or becoming even occasional attendants at public worship. Surely this is no marvel, if we look at the slight hold we retain over them during the time they are attending our schools,
If a young man becomes a member of a Mechanics’ Institution, or Athenæum, he pledges himself to adhere to the rules of the institution; but we allow young persons to join our Sunday schools without any stipulatione; so that if a youth runs away instead of accompanying the scholars to church, we are cautioned never to force a youth to the house of God, least it should give him a distaste for it all the days of his life. I confess I do not believe in this style of conducting Sunday schools. When I accept the office of teacher, it is not merely for the purpose of occupying an hour or two with my scholars, in order to keep them from occupations of a questionable kind on the Sabbath, but also with the hope of inducing them to frequent the courts of the Lord's house, that they may continue the habit in after life. Probably few teachers would engage in their work on condition of allowing their scholars to attend the services of the Sanctuary or not, as they themselves thought fit; and yet in numbers of schools this is practically the case. Further, my experience testifies, that the scholars do not think better, but worse, of you for allowing them to become adepts in the voluntary system, as here described.
This matter has long engaged my attention, and I am convinced that there is little hope of the man attending the public worship of the Sanctuary unless he has been trained to do so as the child. It, therefore, appears to me as very important, that while scholars are accustomed to attend church in a body, along with the whole school, they should at the same time be urged and encouraged to attend voluntarily the evening service, where there is one.
I do not hesitate to affirm that, if you will show me the school where young persons attend voluntarily-out of school hours-the worship of the Sanctuary in greatest numbers, I will show you the most useful and successful Sunday school of the city or town in which it is situated. In other words, the attendance, the voluntary attendance, at public worship on the part of the scholars, is the Sunday School Thermometer.
It may be replied, how can this be expected, when we consider the length of time our scholars are engaged in the Sunday school in the earlier part of the day. True, but curtail the hours of the Sunday school ; they are too long in many cases ; make them more brief and more lively, and thus enable you to adopt the SUNDAY SCHOOL THERMOMETER.–Church Sunday School Monthly Magazine. Manchester.
MORAL CHARACTER. No one who can help it will have any dealings with a rogue, especially in transactions on credit; and when men are disposed to be rogues, exchanges will diminish. Laws are sometimes made to oblige rogues to act like honest men; and when laws are just, and are well administered exchanges will be more frequent than when they are unjust, partial, and unfairly administered. But every one must see that on the moral character of a people depend not only their personal honesty, but also the soundness and efficiency of their laws.