Page images

feeling these things, cherishes the treasure as a source of blessed comfort, and turns over its pages, and breathes it prayers, with deep and hearty thankfulness and devotion; knowing that it can attain no higher spirit of zeal and love, no deeper and more enduring sense of christian humility, than is here expressed.This will sufficiently recommend it, where the christian spirit seeks for aid and comfort. But, in answer to the cold and heartless, to the proud and wilfully ignorant, to the scorner of what saints have venerated,-in answer to such, we refer to the Book of Common Prayer as the undoubted evidence of the Spirit of Christ still abiding in the church. He that would fetch pure water from the stream, let him seek it, as near as may be, at the fountain head: and so, if ever the Spirit of Christ, promised in the text, dwelt in the Christian church pure and undefiled as when He gave it, it was surely then when it was freshest from His lips; it was surely so in the earliest ages. And if, in the invaluable writings of those times, we find the confession of the Christian faith, the order of administration of Holy Sacraments, the acknowledgment of one holy order of ministers and forms of Christian worship established, can we doubt whether these were dictated by the Spirit of Christ, which He promised to His church? Can we fail to read, in these monuments of christian antiquity, the fulfilment of that gracious promise, “Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world ?” The christian world has cherished them even from their birth; it has used them, from age to age, in its solemn worship; and, while the most highly gifted ornaments of Christianity have prized them above all price, look and see who are they that have slighted and neglected them. They have been laid up as a divine testimony in the ark of the Christian church; and while the good providence of God preserves them there, they who abide in the Church, to worship as God has appointed, will still discern in them the Spirit of Christ dwelling with them “alway, even unto the end of the world.”


I never saw a more perfect instance of the spirit of power and love, and of a sound mind than in my most dear and blessed sister. Intense love, almost to the annihilation of selfishness, a daily martyrdom for twenty years, during which she adhered to her early formed resolution of never talking about herself,thoughtful about the very pins and ribands of my wife's dress,

about the making of a doll's cap for a child,—but of herself, save only as regarded her ripening in all goodness, wholly thoughtless, -enjoying every thing lovely, graceful, beautiful, high-minded, whether in God's work or man's, with the keenest relish ; inheriting the earth to the very fulness of the promise, though never leaving her crib, nor changing her position, and preserved through the very valley of the shadow of death, from all fear or impatience, or from every cloud of impaired reason, which might mar the beauty of Christ's Spirit's glorious work. May God grant that I might come but within one hundred degrees of her place in glory.—Dr. Arnold's letter to the Archbishop of Dublin.



Few are the opportunities afforded for checking those seeds of vice, impiety, and disobedience, which spring up and bear fruit so luxuriantly in the minds of the children of our large manufacturing towns. How are these growing evils to be counteracted ? We answer, God has provided a way admirably suited to meet this emergency.-Behold our Sunday Schools ! Are they not channels through which He has conveyed, and will convey manifold blessings ? Who can tell (for God works through the medium of human agency,) but that the Teachers in these schools may be made instrumental in God's hands, in bringing many poor children “from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God.”

Amid the profanity and irreligion prevailing to so great an extent at the present time, it is gratifying to observe young persons, who preserved by the grace of God, “walk not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stand in the way of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful.” The fewness of this class, however, compared with the multitudes of those “who fear not God, neither regard man,” does not stagger the faith, or shake the confidence of Sunday School Teachers; though surrounded as they are with temptations, and exposed to every evil taunt. God's grace is sufficient for them; they maintain their holy principles under the fostering and prayerful care of the Church, and still persevere in their heaven-ward progress.

The time devoted to the inculcation of religious truths in Sunday Schools is so short, that the Teacher should study daily how to make the best use of it, so as to accomplish this end satis

factorily to himself, with a benefit to the children placed under his care. Every skilful teacher who hopes for any success, will not fail to observe the motto, “ Order is heaven's first law,” by dividing the portion of Scripture under his notice, into several heads, while explaining it to a class of children.

The following method may serve to show how easily any portion of scripture may be divided :

1.—The meaning of the principal words.
2.-The chief points to be illustrated.

3.— The application, or the practical lesson.

Example.—Exodus xii. chap. 29—36 verse. 1.-Principal words–Midnight, smote, first-born, Pharaoh, urgent, kneading-troughs, clothes, borrow, spoil.

2.-Points to be illustrated— The two nations, the difference between them, the Egyptian's abuse of the Israelites, the place whither the Israelites wished to go, the reason they had for going, the object of the Egyptians in wishing to keep them in bondage, the conduct of Pharoah, the departure of the Israelites out of Egypt.

3.-Practical lessons-(1.) The important truth, that God preserves the righteous and overthrows the wicked.

(2.) That God chastiseth those whom he loveth. (3.) That we should exercise patience under our sufferings.

(4.)—That it is an instance of God's mercy and forbearance to his people.

(5.)– That Moses was a type of Christ, who will deliver us from the bondage of sin and Satan unto His everlasting kingdom.

Each part may be gone over, first, in the form of a Lecture, and then catechetically; answers being required from the children individually. It is necessary that the lecture part of the lesson should be given with as much simplicity as possible; as those children who are in our Sunday Schools require the easiest explanation of the Bible, to understand the subject brought before thein. In such a lecture, words of the purest saxon origin only can be brought to bear upon their minds with any advantage. How many a poor child has been lost to a sense of God's mercy, through a want of simplicity in its teacher! During this part of the lesson, occasionally a question may be put, which will serve to keep up the attention of the class, —“not sach questions as are usually appended to school books, -& mere mechanical contrivance to save the teacher the labour of thought; but lively interrogations, springing impromptu from the subject under consideration."

As to the catechetical part of the lesson, too much attention cannot be paid to the manner in which the questions should be formed. This mode of instruction cannot be used successfully without much thought and some experience; but there is no way of instruction so well calculated to awaken reflection in the mind of a child as that of putting to it a direct question. M'Culloch says,

“ It ought ever to be remembered that the success of the teacher is to be measured not by the number of words with which he loads the memory, but by the application and reflection which he establishes in the mind of the pupil.”

Nor is the habit of reflection the only point which can be gained by a catechetical manner of teaching, another author says, “this is an admirable way of teaching wherein the catechumen will at'length find delight; and by which the catechist, if he once get the skill of it, will draw out of ignorant and silly souls even the dark and deep points of religion......... At sermons and prayers men may sleep or wander, but when one is asked a question he must discover what he is. This practice exceeds even sermons in teaching."


Too much cannot be said in praise of the catechising system of teaching ; but I will conclude with a quotation from an Essay of an educator of the present day.+ “If the best system of teaching be that which is most calculated to keep alive the attention of both preceptor and pupil, the method here recommended seems well entitled to consideration; in as much as it tends more than any other to sustain the interest and vigilance of both, by compelling the one to originate questions, and by forcing the other to trust to his own resources for answers.

T. C. Holbeck.


It was during the last and most rigorous of the persecutions under the Roman emperors, the first which extended to Britain, that a Christian Priest, pursued on account of his religion, and wandering destitute in the neighbourhood of Verulamium, attracted the attention of an inhabitant named Alban, Alban was a pagan, but he was naturally humane; and the interesting appearance, the mild manners, and exhausted state of the Christian,

* Herbert's Country Parson,

+ Mr. S. Rinner.

[ocr errors]

excited his compassion. He offered him shelter, and took him to his own house. The more he saw of the refugee, the more he admired him. He compared his resigned fortitude with the ostentatious apathy of the stoic; the code of pure and unselfish morality he inculcated, with the perverted doctrines of the followers of Epicurus. He saw the immortality to which his soul had so ardently aspired, and of which the best and most enlightened philosophy gave but a glimmering of hope rather than of assurance, clearly revealed; the resurrection to a brighter and more glorious world, forming the very basis, the very life of Cbristianity,--and he became a Christian.

“ You are by birth a Roman!” said Alban to his guest, as they sat together engaged in one of those instructive conversations which were daily more and more firmly establishing his faith ; were you brought up a Christian ? or are you, like myself, a convert from idolatry ?”

I was brought up a Christian,” answered Amphibalus, " and yet I may call myself a convert, too. If you will listen to my history, it will explain the seeming contradiction. I was born of a noble house in Rome, and left an orphan, with one sister, at an early age. We were under the care of a maternal uncle, the Bishop Caius, and educated in the Christian religion. To you, who, after having for years sought, in vain, any thing like certainty in the wild inventions and errors of paganism, have been suddenly brought into the pure light of the Gospel, it must appear incredible that there should be souls capable of standing in the full blaze of that light, and still remaining in darkness. Yet was that my case. I was nominally a Christian; I had been baptized into the Church of Christ. The leading doctrines of the faith had, by dint of repetition, become fixed in my memory, but they sank no deeper. In mere externals, alone, I differed from my pagan companions. I offered no outward homage at the shrines of the false deities; I had not been taught or accustomed to do so : but my heart was a slave to the still more engrossing idols of worldly ambition and pleasure. Persecution is the refiner of the Church--the furnace which separates the dross from the gold—the kindling breath which, if there be but one sleeping spark of true religion in the soul, will fan it into a flame of devotion ; except for that, I had in all probability been still grovelling, unmindful of my high destiny. You have served under Diocletian, and been in Rome ?"

“ I have,” said Alban; “And I know how Christians can suffer. I was present when a legion, containing upwards of six thou

« PreviousContinue »