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either do not see the faults, or know not how to correct them. A few hints from you may aid them greatly. Perhaps the family are not in the habit of going to Church. You may, by a careful use of your influence, lead them there. They may have notions and impressions concerning your school, or concerning religion, which counteract all that you can do on the Sunday. A few visits may remove all these impressions. They may be bringing up their children in idleness, ignorance, and sin: and your counsels may alter the whole course of conduct in this respect. You can see their condition, and shortly, can place in their hands a tract, or something of the kind, which will exactly meet the the evil which you wish to correct. Knowing the habits of the family, you can aid the child in selecting such books as will be useful at home, and encourage him to read or to have them read at home. If you can once gain the confidence of the child, the way is open, and it will be easy to gain the confidence of the parents; and when that is gained, it will add to your former influence over the child. A physician once said to me, that he had a patient in whose cure he could make no progress. Every visit found him in a new condition, and with new symptoms. Every medicine prescribed seemed to work by a new and unheard of rule. At length the physician set himself to work to find out the difficulty. It was this : the mother of the patient took it into her head that the prescriptions of the physician were too powerful for the constitution of the child, and in order to counteract their mischievous tendency, she gave some powerful nostrum soon after taking the medicine, as an antidote. It is just so with many children. Their parents are constantly neutralizing all that you do on the Sabbath. The evil can be met and removed only by your visiting the family. I would recommend that you visit regularly once a month, every child in your class.
All who are willing to commit their children to you will be glad to see you, and will be grateful for the interest you take in the welfare of their children. In
addition to this, you ought to call upon every child who is absent, before the Sunday following. The child may be sick, and in that case will be glad to see you. He may have fallen into bad company, and in that case you ought at once to see him. He may have deceived his parents, and in that case they ought to know it. I have never known other than a good school, where the rule was invariably practised, that every child who is absent from the school, shall be visited during the following week. I cannot too strongly urge its importance. But be careful not to have these calls to inquire after delinquencies seem like duns, as a creditor calls upon a debtor, when the visit is disagreeable to both parties. Let there be so much of heart in all your intercourse with parents, that they shall see that you seek only the real welfare of their child. If possible, always have something on your mind interesting to communicate, and let all your conversation, if practicable, be in the presence of the children. After one or two visits, you will never feel at a loss how to make your visit interesting.
Unless you are really conscientious in all that you do, you will be in danger of neglecting this system of visiting, under the plea that you have not time. In nine cases out of ten, this plea will not be received by the Great Head of the church. A Superintendent, speaking of his school, says, “ Visiting in many instances, is faithfully attended to; but in a few instances, almost entirely neglected. One teacher, who is an apprentice, and has to labour till nine o'clock every evening, manages to visit nine scholars a week, while others, who are not half so much confined, plead that they have no time to do so. Need I say he has a full and interesting class ? Oh! that there were more whose hearts were as much in the work! We should no longer hear of empty seats and drooping schools.” Were all our teachers equally prompt and faithful, what a spectacle would our schools present! But does each, on an average, afford one such teacher ?
On making these visits, the first thing desirable, is to get the good-will of the parents. This you will in
variably do if you are kind and courteous, if you are mild, and above all, if you are sincere, and without guile. In these visits, from time to time, you will give such hints as will aid the parents in co-operating with you for the good of their child.
I would respectfully, but earnestly, urge the parents to visit the school. If you can get them to come and see the school once in three or four months, you will find that such visits will increase their interest in the school more than any thing else you can do. They will see the system, see the children happy, see all the teachers interested in labouring for their good. It will do the children good; for every child loves the approbation of his parents, and their manifestation of interest in his welfare will ever stimulate him to greater effort. One of the highest motives which a child can have, to do well, is the approbation of his parents. Some of those parents whom you thus invite to see the school, are praying people; and they will pray more fervently for you in consequence of every such visit; some of them have never attended to the subject of religion, and they will see it in active operation. The teachers, the scholars, the parents, will all be benefitted by such visits of the parents. One of the most admirable features in the Sunday School system is, that it gives the teacher such control over the moral education of each scholar, and through the child, opens a wide field for influence upon the family in which the child lives. Let no pressure of business, no calls of pleasure, no pleadings for ease, lead you to neglect the most important part of your duties and privileges.
Todd's Sunday School Teacher.
TALES FOR TEACHERS TO TELL TO THEIR CLASSES
No. 3.-ANOTHER ENGLISH SKETCH. At the little fishing village of Cardwell, in Norfolk, lived Joseph Benson, and his wife and industrious family. Their calling was on the sea, or in what the sea produced. The father and elder boys, by night and by day, in good weather and bad, spent most of their time on the wide waters. The mother and girls
carried fish through the country for sale, salted for winter use what they could not dispose of, mended the fishing nets, and sometimes netted new ones. They thus earned a tolerable livelihood, and were sober, cheerful, and contented. They were an easy-tempered, good humoured family, and everybody liked them. They were not either insensible to higher duties than that of providing themselves honestly with the necessaries of life. They attended their Parish Church regularly, and the children, with their clothes well mended and their faces and hands clean, attended regularly at the Sunday School. This upright, decent character, and the general pleasantness of their manners made this family favourites throughout the villages, so that they might be sure to find a welcome at any neighbour's cottage they might pass between their own door and the litle cove where the fishing boats lay.
In anxiety to provide for his family, Joseph Benson sometimes kept his boat at sea, wben other fishermen in the village, considered the weather too stormy, or too calm. And sometimes after such a night of toil he would come home so fatigued that he could with difficulty reach his own house. His boys could take a sleep and refresh themselves at the bottom of the boat; but Joseph himself, full of anxious thought for his family, neither slept nor relaxed his toil. On returning early in the morning from one of these fruitless exposures to fatigue, Joseph felt so completely exhausted after mooring his boat, that he told the boys to run home to their mother, and he turned aside from the strand to the cottage of a friend, where he knew he should be welcome to rest and refresh himself. As he approached the door, he thought he heard the voice of his friend, either reading or admonishing his children, and he raised the latch of the door gently that he might not disturb whatever might be going forward. At the end of the table, which served for all sorts of purposes through the day, knelt his friend and relative William Parry, and at his side knelt his wife. The children all knelt round the table, and William was reading prayers, compiled by one of the Bishops of our Church, for daily and family use. But little notice was taken of Joseph as he softly entered the room; the rough seaman at the head of the table gave a half nod of kindly recognition, the matron herself unclosed her lips to speak, then suppressed utterance and recalled herself speedily to devotions, and the two younger boys pressed themselves into as small a space as they could to make room for the visitor. Joseph quickly knelt down beside them, and joined with the family party in the remainder of the prayers. As soon as the family worship was
over Joseph took William Parry by the hand, and gave him a rough but hearty shake.
“Is this the way you begin every day ?” he said.
“Every day,” replied William. “Every day since the sermon we heard upon the duties of family prayer from our good rector, about six months ago. And please God, I hope we shall always continue it. We seem to think, the good woman and I, that every thing has prospered better with us since we got into this way. It makes us get up rather sharp in the morning; but we are none the worse for this, and when the boat is not out we can make up for this at night.”
“Well, I have been toiling all the night and have taken nothing,” said Joseph, when his friend stopped, “and I am fit for nothing either. For I am tired and weary and must get rest before I can go out to sea again.”
To say the truth, Joseph's religion had been too much mixed up with the habit of practising its duties, when they did not interfere with worldly engagements. The sermon mentioned by Parry had also made some impression upon himself, but this impression, like the seed in the parable which fell among thorns, had been choked by the cares of the world. And it had passed away. His over anxiety in providing for his family frequently kept him out at night, when it would have been as well, and consequently better, to be in bed. And when he came home without success, his wife and children would be going hither and thither after employment, or wasting their time in idly lounging about the village. Though as we have said before, the Bensons were tolerably decent people in their way, and no immoral habits, such as dishonesty or drunkenness, were ever laid to their charge ; certainly there was reform of some kind needful amongst them. And this reform we are happy to say was now soon brought about by the adoption and steady practice of family prayer. Joseph gave up his extra night exertions, and refreshed himself with rest and sleep at those hours when nature prompts repose. At sunrise, and frequently before, he would rise, and call his family together, and cause his eldest son to read the family devotions. For Joseph himself had not had the advantage of being taught to read. A smiling, happy breakfast followed, and then the labours of the day, the toils of the deep. Peggy Benson occupied herself in her small house-. hold cares, and in preparing herself for her walk through the country at the return of the boats. The girls sat down to patching, mending or making clothes ; and those of the boys who.