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Just as a man may be robbed of a large sum of money. IIe 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 Efort, 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.
Me. 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; tbis 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
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.
A SUPERINTENDENT. 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," replicd 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 sıniled, 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 0, 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 beaven.”
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 heaven ward.--Examiner.
Are not many of our elder scholars thus situated, needing our especial sympathy, encouragement, and prayers ?
NOTES OF AN ADDRESS TO CHILDREN.
“ The hope of glory.” 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 and me; and shall we not love Him and serve Him here below? Let us try.
“ Love so amazing, so divinc,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.”
II. Where is IIe ? 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 ][e in each of our hearts ? Do we love Him who loves us now, just as much as when Ho said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven ?" He wishes you to come, and He is knocking at the door of your hearts and waiting for you to open to Him, that He may make you happy for ever. Various ways He has of knocking. Sometimes IIe does so by affliction, when you are stretched upon the bed of pain and sorrow, and pass sleepless nights. Then it is that He says to you, “ Prepare to meet your God.” He reminds you then that He is still near you -still loves you. Though His afflicting hand is upon you, it is 60 in love to you and to your souls, that He may bring you nearer to Himself. He wishes you to be His, to surrender your young hearts to Him, and to go forward in His service, when IIe permits you to return to health and strength, which He very often does and has done.
He speaks to us in His word, works, and ways; and reminds us by ail these that we are but pilgrims here, and that we are travelling to a far country, and that a heavenly one, if we open our hearts to Him, and love Him here below.
III. What is He? “The hope of glory.” Now, my dear children, if you were to go into Newgate and look into the different cells, you would find most of the inmates looking very sad; and perhaps the turnkey would take you into one cell, and expose to your view a criminal awaiting his final doom. He has committed murder, and is about to reap his reward. You go up to him and look at him, and you almost shudder when you behold him so completely wretched and miserable as he is. If you begin to talk with him about eternal things, and even temporal things, the answer you get is," No hopeNo hope!" A sad picture, you say : so it is, but too often a true one.
Now, my dear young friends, would not this world be something like my picture, without hope ? What a blessed thing hope is! It makes everything bright and glorious. Just as the sun arises, dispelling all the darkness, and gilding the scenery with light and loveliness, so hope dispels the darkness, and fills our minds and hearts with light and expectations that make us happy and joyful, and spurs us on to work, not only for our own good, but for the good of others. You may often sing
“ There is a happy land,
Far, far away." And while you are singing it, I dare say you hope one day to go to yon bright world, there to sing the Saviour's praise through eternity. So, my dear children, in all you do hope urges you forward, and makes you feel happy and joyful all the day, and especially if you have the Hope of “ GLORY."
Now for the last word in our text-"Glory." We have very little idea of "glory,"---of that glorious world above the starry sky. We