« PreviousContinue »
“ As you will, Lotte, but why do you call it an eccentricity in me? Your brother goes to church also ; why do you not attack him about it?”
“ I have ceased to wonder," returned Charlotte," at any newfangled notion or practice of his connected with religion, and he contrives always to have so much to say in support of his view of the subject, that I often find myself silenced, if not convinced; but it is something so new to come across such odd notions in a friend of my own sex and age, that I long to have a chat with you about it."
“ My dear Lotte,” replied her cousin, “ how your imagination gallops! What odd ideas have you discovered in me? All I have said is, that I have been in the habit of attending the morning service.”
“Oh I know very well all that goes along with that sort of thing generally; but I shall not have time to cross-examine you this morning on this subject, so 1 shall leave you now for an hour or two, which you can spend in considering what you can say in your defence, and why you should not be brought in guilty of being a
“Don't call people names, Lotte,” said Arthur, who had joined them unperceived.
“I did not know you were near, Arthur,” said his sister, slightly blushing. “Now don't look grave, and I will try and not do so again; but it is very difficult, you must allow, always to avoid words one hears every body using and difficult, too, to find substitutes that answer the same purpose. May I talk of Evangelicals and Saints ?”
“Certainly not as terms of reproach. I wish people did talk, or at least think a little more of the saints that have gone before them. Grammatically speaking, I do not think you can correctly say an Evangelical.”
“ Oh, Arthur !" cried Charlotte, laughing, "you know I don't care about grammatically speaking. I want you to tell me if you think it is as wrong to call such names as High Church people and Low Church people ?"
“In itself,” he replied, “it is of course equally objectionable ; but it may be more or less reprehensible, according to the nature of the term applied. To call a person by way of reproach an Evangelical or Saint, is wrong as well as absurd. If such an one is really a saint, or a true follower of the holy Evangelists, so much the better-you need not ridicule, but should rather imitate him. And if you say it in jest, it must surely be sinful lightly
to speak of those of whom our Church teaches us to think reverently. The terms that are now so frequently applied to those you call High Church people are objectionable in another point of view—they are uncharitable. Why should you accuse those who profess to be followers of Christ, and are members of His Church, of the sin of the Corinthians, who said, 'I am of Paul, and 'I am of Apollos ?”
“That's very true," resumed his sister, “ I never thought of it in that light, and I believe all you say on the subject is just, Arthur; but you must admit that it is difficult to think what every body does is wrong, or to avoid doing it one's self.”
“I will tell you what is very difficult, dear Charlotte,” replied her brother. “ To make what the Bible and the Church teach, and what every body does, a joint standard of what is right-so difficult as to be impossible. You must take your choice between them-hold by the one, and overthrow and cast from you the other."
Charlotte only answered by a sigh. She knew not how to oppose him, and was very unwilling to admit the truth of his observation. She felt she was in the difficulty he had mentioned, and was not prepared to take either road pointed out by him. So she followed a plan of her own, one she had often adopted in a similar emergency. She ceased to think about it, and began to talk of something else.
A FEW WORDS OF ADVICE TO TEACHERS, You have undertaken a work of great difficulty and high responsibility, one perhaps, which if it had been fully appreciated you would scarcely have considered yourself competent to fill : nevertheless, be not discouraged, you may do much by industry to qualify yourselves for the duty you have engaged in ; especially seek strength, seek grace, seek direction from above: do your work as unto the Lord, and He will reward you : be much in prayer; not only seek a blessing when you enter upon your labours, but bring your difficulties, your disappointments, your failures at the time to your Saviour; one moment's communion with Him may relieve you of your burden, and give you strength and courage to proceed aright. Carefully watch over your spirit, cultivate a humble frame of mind, remember that it is the Holy Spirit that can alone give light, and bless your work, and therefore in all that you do, seek and depend upon His help, place this truth also continually before your scholars, that they may early know where to look for aid, Examine frequently the principles and motives upon which you are acting, bring them to the test of Scripture, and keep a strict guard upon your temper, for it will be much tried. Sow the good seed carefully, preparing well the soil, and trust to the Lord, that he will, when he sees fit, bless it to his own glory. Avail yourselves of every opportunity of acquiring knowledge that may prove useful to you in teaching. Whenever you meet with what appears valuable information, note it down for future use. The questions of children will often lead you to see your own ignorance; let them also lead you to seek for knowledge upon points in which they prove you to be deficient. It is very important before entering upon your work, that you carefully arrange the instruction you propose giving, that it may be ready to be produced when required: if you do not attend to this point, you will either go over your old lessons again and again, till they have lost all freshness and interest both with yourselves and your scholars; or if depending upon your own resources, you leave it for the moment a lesson is to be given, to decide what the subject shall be and how it shall be treated, your mind will be occupied in these matters, when it ought to be free to watch your pupils, and to keep up their attention. If you find your pupils not improving, getting disorderly and inattentive, do not become angry with them, but look for the fault in yourselves; there has been, you may be assured, something deficient in your teaching or your discipline; if you allow yourselves to get out of humour with the children, the evil will only increase; if on the contrary you look to yourselves as the cause of what is wrong, you will use gentleness, instead of harshness, and seeking a strength not your own, the school will no doubt soon recover its usual tone.
Punishment should be resorted to as seldom as possible, it is an evil, though sometimes a necessary one, as well for the sake of example, as to subdue a bad spirit that may be gaining ground, but recollect that its office is not to stimulate to right, but to prevent the recurrence of wrong conduct. There cannot be a greater proof that a school is badly managed than the necessity of frequent punishment.
Let your punishment seem as much as possible the consequence of a fault : this is in analogy with God's dealings with us, for he makes us reap the fruits of our doings. The quarrelsome child must be separated from his companion, until the loss of the pleasure of society leads him to put a restraint upon himself. An idle child is not unfrequently corrected by remaining for sometime without any occupation or amusement. But it is necessary .
study the dispositions of those committed to your charge, and to watch narrowly the effect of any chastisement. If the plan you have tried, produce evil, you must discontinue it. Beware of exposing a child to the ridicule of its companions--for you will either make him daring or sullen, whilst you tempt the other children to sin against the Christian rule, “not to rejoice in evil.” Though you should always exercise a kind gentle manner towards children, yet they should also be made to perceive and feel that you expect to be promptly obeyed.--Children always struggle for the mastery, often unconsciously to themselves; they must be shewn by your determined, though gentle tone and manner, that you intend to govern and to be implicitly obeyed. If you hold the reins tight in your hands during the school hours, you will be able to relax in the times of recreation, and allow considerable liberty. There is generally little punishment requisite, where a strict, uniform, yet kind discipline, is kept up; and children are much happier, when the point is settled for them, and the temptation to disobedience removed.
INFIDELITY IN ITS ORIGIN AND RESULTS.
In many cases, the real origin of a man's irreligion is, I believe, political. He dislikes the actual state of society, hates the Church as connected with it, and, in his opinion, supporting its abuses, and then hates christianity because it is taught by the Church. Another case is, when a man’s religious practice has degenerated, when he has been less watchful over himself, and less constant and earnest in his devotions. The consequence is, that his impressions of God's real existence, which is kept up by practical experience, becomes fainter and fainter : and in this state of things it is merely an accident that he remains nominally a christian. If he happen to fall in with an antichristian book, he will have nothing to his own experience to set against the difficulties there presented to him, and so he will be apt to yield to them. For it must always be understood that there are difficulties in the way of all religion, such for instance as the existence of evil, which can never be fairly solved by human powers: all that can be done intellectually, is to point out the equal or greater difficulties of Atheism, or Scepticism, and this is enough to justify a good man's understanding, in being a believer. But the real proof is the practical one ; that is, let a man
live on the hypothesis of its falsehood, the practical result will be bad, his besetting sin and constitutional faults will not be checked ; and some of his noblest feelings will be unexercised, so that if he be right in his opinion, truth and goodness are at variance with one another, which seems the most monstrous doctrine which the human mind can possibly arrive at.
The mean depth of the sea is, according to La Plate, from four to five miles. If the existing waters were increased only by one fourth, it would drown the earth, with the exception of some high mountains. If the volume of the ocean were augmented only by one-eighth, considerable portions of the present continents would be submerged, and the seasons would be changed all over the globe. Evaporation would be so much extended, that rains would fall continually, destroy the harvest, and fruits, and flowers, and subvert the whole economy of nature. There is, perhaps nothing more beautiful in our whole system, than the process by which the fields are irrigated from the skies, the rivers are fed from the mountains, and the ocean restrained within bounds, which it never can exceed so long as that process continues on the present scale. The vapour raised by the sun from the sea, floats wherever it is lighter than the atmosphere ; condensed, it falls upon the earth in water; or attracted to the mountains, it gathers on their summits, dissolves, and replenishes the conduits with which, externally or internally, they are all furnished. By these conduits, the fluid is conveyed to the rivers which flow on the surface of the earth, and to the springs which lie deep in its bosom, destined to supply man with a purer element. If we suppose the sea, then, to be considerably diminished, the Amazon, and the Mississippi, those inland seas of the western world, would become inconsiderable brooks; the brooks would wholly disappear, the atmosphere would be deprived of its due proportion of humidity ; all nature would assume the garb of desolation; the bird would droop on the wing, the lower animals would perish on the barren soil, and man himself would wither away like the sickly grass at his feet.--Quarterly Review.