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"redeeming." If our time has been lost by any means, we can only redeem it by improving what remains. This is the only way in which time may be said to be redeemed or regained. Think of the value of time! It is made up of very small parts. When you look upon the beautiful sea, spreading so far in the distance, do you call to mind that the vast ocean is composed of drops? It is just so with time. From the creation of the world to the present time-all those long ages have been made up of small moments. We talk of a second very carelessly, yet our life is made up of these little particles of time. Oh then! "Gather up the fragments, that nothing be lost." The young may forget the value of time;-it is in youth that we are most likely to forget the lesson which St. Paul would have us learn. And yet this is the very best season in which to redeem it. When the sower goes forth to cast his seed into the ground, he would go early in the morning, when the dew is on the grass, and the sun is shining brilliantly above his head. He would not lose his morning. And shall we? No! "in the morning sow thy seed," and in the autumn time will be seen the flowers and the fruit. And when we speak of the value of time we might just as well speak of the value of life-for time is life!
"The bell strikes one. We take no note of time,
But from its loss: to give it then a tongue
Is wise in man. As if an angel spoke,
I feel the solemn sound. If heard aright,
It is the knell of my departed hours.
Where are they? With the years beyond the flood.
How much is to be done? My hopes and fears
Poor pensioner on the bounties of an hour!"
Can time be lost? Yes! its use may. If unimproved it has been lost by us; we are none the better for having had it. If a child should spend it in evil it would be doubly lost. Those who may not use their time in doing what is bad, may be said to lose it, if they do not improve it. A man who commits murder certainly makes a bad use of his hand; but he who never uses his hand might almost as well have none to use. One makes a bad use, the other none.
Just so with time.
ness and Idleness.
It is lost in either case.
These are like two thieves,-they rob us of a
very rich treasure. It is of no use our
Time is lost by Wicked
crying Stop thief! none
can catch time when it has gone past us! Still there is one way left.
Just as a man may be robbed of a large sum of money. He might think, Well, I cannot catch the thief, but I will use well what money I have left, and in that way get back-redeem-what I have lost.
So it is with time. We cannot recover what is lost. We cannot make the two thieves give up what they have taken; but we have some time yet left to us. Holiness and Effort, like two angels, come to our help, and by their aid we may make the best use of our time, and so redeem it. When our characters are pure, when we live under the very smile of God, when we can approach his throne and call Him our Father; when we look to Jesus as our example, and pray that we may be made like Him, and thus by his grace are able to obey his commandments, we need have no fear that we are losing our time.
But this great matter requires thought. We do not redeem our time by merely knowing and feeling that it is important to do so. It is necessary that we should strive to make the best use of it. Not that children are to be ever reading, writing and ciphering. There is no better use of time than at the proper season to run through the fields, and let your shouts of gladness echo your gratitude. The very learning of this lesson will fit you for the enjoyments of life. While you redeem the time, you will be able better to perform the duties of this world, and be the more prepared for that day when the angel shall declare that "time shall be no longer."
ON THE TICKET SYSTEM.
MR. EDITOR,-From the different views expressed by some of your correspondents, as to the usefulness or otherwise of the ticket system, I am led to address a few words on the subject to my fellow-labourers. Some of them appear to me to be wasting much virtuous indignation to very little purpose; and with the views expressed on either side I am sorry to say that I cannot coincide. It is my impression that the system in many schools is the best that can be adopted, but in others the very reverse. I should be the last to recommend it in such schools as are in immediate connection with a place of worship, as then the majority of the scholars would have impressed on their minds the value of the instruction sought to be imparted, home influence being favourably exerted upon them; but where this is absent, as is usually the case in low neighbourhoods where branch schools are established, it seems to me of great value in securing punctuality and order. In this latter case it is far from being obnoxious to the offensive charges made of "buying" attendance, &c.
Our friends who deprecate the giving of rewards seem to lose sight of the fact that ours is not a perfect world, of course, were our scholars so, our occupation would be gone, and the work might be given up at once, they have no sense of need, and, consequently, cannot feel such an interest in the Saviour's work as to induce them (in the absence of parental influence) to make any very great effort to secure what is so needful, unless, at least at first, there is some tangible benefit to be obtained.
As to the objection raised in an illustration given by "A Working Teacher," in the last number (p. 191), I must confess I cannot see its force. If he be a working man as well as a teacher, and possessed of an extraordinary amount of skill in his daily occupation, he would consider it rather unreasonable that those who did not possess his talents should be valued in the market at his own price; and with regard to what a Country Superintendent advances (in the March number) as to "reasoning backwards," it is, as an argument, defective, because it presupposes what the "Cambridgeshire Secretary," to whom he is replying, does not find to exist in children; viz., a high motive to appeal to, resulting from the operation of the Holy Spirit on their hearts. No, sir; this higher motive does not exist naturally; and, with your February correspondent, I say, not that attendance at a Sunday school may induce the higher motive, and a love of things divine, but that it certainly will do so,-daily experience proves it.
I certainly trust that teachers in such schools and neighbourhoods as I am more particularly alluding to, may not be induced to refrain from trying the system because of the hard words it has received: at the same time I have no wish to see it introduced in such as are more favourably situated.
In conclusion, I may state, that in the school over which I am placed, the introduction of tickets has had the effect of reducing the number of absentees at the opening hymn and prayer, from 25 to 5 or 6 per cent. ; a result, I need hardly say, that tends much to the maintenance of order; and the large number of absentees formerly at the opening was not owing to neglect of visitation, or of the urging the necessity of punctuality both upon parents and scholars, but solely to general indifference to the value of religious training in the neighbourhood. I am not prepared to assert that there are no attendant evils; but this I can and do say,-that they will bear no comparison with the good gained.
Leeds, April 11th, 1859.
PERSECUTED FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS' SAKE.
'Well, Hannah, I am glad to see you looking so cheerful; how are you getting on?"
"O! sir," replied Hannah to the minister, half frightened to think of his sitting down in the kitchen to talk with her, "I never felt so happy in my heart before, in all my life. It's like a room, sir, all swept out and dusted, and the furniture rubbed and put to rights."
The pastor smiled, well pleased with her homely but apt illustration. "You find, then," he said, "that Christ supports you under every trial."
Hannah tried to speak, but the fast-coming tears choked her, and, for a moment, she laid her head upon the table and wept.
"Forgive me, sir," she at length found voice to say, "indeed I do find His support; but O, sir! to hear His blessed name reviled; to hear His blessed Gospel made sport of; I am very hard tried, sir, very hard tried; nobody loves Jesus in this household."
Little by little she narrated her griefs, in a low, sorrowful tone, and as the sympathising pastor heard, his eyes glistened with emotion. He was an old man, stately and grey-haired; and he thought to himself, in all his long life he had not met with a character so heroic as that of this poor servant girl, uneducated, yet expressing herself with peculiar ease; obviously unrefined by nature, but bearing herself with a simplicity and dignity that became the profession of the Gospel of Christ. From day to day, from morning until night, the coarsest allusions were made to her religion; jokes were played upon her, which, as she truly said, would once have set her mad with temper; yet she never retaliated, following the example of the Holy One, "like sheep before her shearers, she was dumb."
My daughter," said the pastor, with a smile of encouragement, "do you know that your case is made a special one in the Bible? Did you know that the blessed lips of Christ had pronounced a decision in your favour ?"
She gazed, unable quite to comprehend, till he said,—
"Get your Bible, my young friend, and turn to the fifth chapter of Matthew, tenth verse-here it is, now read."
Slowly, and with hesitancy, she read, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.'
"Read on, my child," said the pastor gently; and with fastfilling eyes, she continued, "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute you, falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven."
Surely, there isn't need of tears, then!" exclaimed Hannah, a smile bursting like sunshine over her face.
"No, but of humility, that God hath counted you worthy. Your heart is lighter now, Hannah ?"
"O, thank God!" fervently exclaimed the girl, lifting her eyes heavenward.-Examiner.
Are not many of our elder scholars thus situated, needing our especial sympathy, encouragement, and prayers ?
NOTES OF AN ADDRESS TO CHILDREN.
I. Who is He? Christ, the Son of God-King of kings, and Lord of lords: yet condescending to take upon himself our nature, and suffer and die for us. It was He who was born in Bethlehem: not in a palace nor any princely mansion; but in a manger, and wrapped in swaddling-clothes: He whom we find, at twelve years of age, in the Temple, sitting with the doctors, who were astonished at His questions and answers-as well they might be: He who, when He had fasted forty days, was hungry, and just at that moment endured the temptation from the wicked one and conquered. So, my dear children, we may conquer too, if we seek that help from above which the "children's Friend" is always ready and willing to give to those who ask Him. He who constantly went about doing good to the bodies and souls of those around Him; healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, making the lame to walk and the dead to live. And then, after all this, we behold Him enduring the malice and blasphemy of His enemies, who were thirsting for His blood, who cried out-" Away with Him, away with Him; crucify Him, crucify Him:" and at last put Him to the ignominious death of the cross, there to bleed and die for us sinners. And then-the third day-see Him rising triumphant over death and the grave, proving that He was conqueror over them all, and that He had finished the work His heavenly Father had given Him to do. Yes, my dear children, He suffered all this for you shall we not love Him and serve Him here
and me; below? Let us try.
"Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all."
II. Where is He? In you. Now, we can all understand being with any one; but here it says that Christ is not with us merely, but in us, if we love Him-that is, in our hearts, spiritually. Now the point is, Is He in each of our hearts? Do we love Him who loves us now, just as much as when He said, "Suffer little children to come unto