Page images
PDF
EPUB

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 He 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 so 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 He 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 all 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." "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 onc.

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

read a good deal about it, and sing about it too; but we cannot imagine, nor hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive, what God hath prepared for all who love Him. I dare say you have all been to the Crystal Palace, and thought what a beautiful place it is; and as you stroll along the gardens you admire the beauties around you; and you could go to thousands of places on our beautiful earth, and admire the splendours which would surround you; but all these splendid places give us a very faint and inadequate idea of that place

where

"Around the throne of God in heaven,

Thousands of children stand:

Children whose sins are all forgiven-
A holy, happy band."

There, we are told, we shall not require the sun nor moon; for God Himself is the light thereof, and the glory of that heavenly mansion. There is Jesus-" the children's Friend"-seated on His celestial throne, interceding for us with His Father. There we shall meet those whom we have loved on earth, and join the happy band who are singing the praises of the Saviour whom they loved and served below.

Now, my dear children, is this not worth trying for? Worth trying for?-oh yes! Think, then, over the subject we have been talking about-ponder it well. Think who you have knocking at your heart, and open that heart to Him now-now, while He is near you. Love Him now-serve Him now! So that when you have done your Saviour's will upon earth, you may hear Him saying to you at the last day-"Well done, good and faithful servant, enter ye into the joy of your Lord."

"Oh what has Jesus done for me?

He pitied me--my Saviour!

My sins were great, His love was free;
He died for me--my Saviour!

Exalted at His Father's side,

He pleads for me-my Saviour!
A heavenly mansion he'll provide
For all who love the Saviour.

Jesus, dear Jesus,

Thy name is sweet-my Saviour!
When shall I see thee face to face,

Thou wondrous, blessed Saviour!

J. S. H.

WHY DO I GO TO THE SUNDAY SCHOOL?

Is a question, fellow-teacher, you might ask yourself many times; but, for want of a suitable gauge merely to try your motives for so honourable a consecration of yourself, you might have been left

ignorant to the present time. Permit a fellow-teacher, with the feelings of kindness and Christian love to you and the Sunday School at large, to suggest two or three simple ideas, which may, in some humble way, by God's help, be made of some service in helping you onward, and encouraging you in your blessed and hallowed work.

Do you go to your Sabbath school because you know of no other spot on earth so exactly suited to your tastes and feelings; so well fitted for the development of that mind of yours, which loves to communicate? Are you drawn thither, hoping that some stray lamb of Christ's flock will ask you where it can find its Saviour, and how it can love and serve Him? Have you felt a desire to teach any class which might be given you, hoping that some word might be blessed to some child ignorant of its Saviour? Does your Sabbath school work yield you more satisfaction, peace, and true joy, than the comfortable casy-chair, the bright fire, the cheerful society of home, where heart is bound to heart and God's love enjoyed in your midst? Is the Sabbath school preferred to the pleasant Spring walk, where

ones,

"All nature shows, in various ways,

Its great Creator's praise,"

with some cheerful loving companion-perhaps it might be of the fairer sex? Is your Sabbath school work preferred to earth's joys, which some tell us are rational, right, and proper; such as the ballroom, the race-course, the evening party, and the theatre (with its witty but not wise ones; its happy ones, but not saved ones; its song of silly mirth, but not hymn of sacred praise)? We are told the world passeth away, with the lusts thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Is there no spot on earth where a fuller, purer, or more sacred joy is enjoyed by you? Do you feel satisfied, contented, happy, in no other spot, with no other enjoyment, save the

"Delightful work! young souls to win;

To turn the rising race

From the deceitful paths of sin

To seek redeeming grace?"

If, fellow-labourer in the vineyard of Christ, this is part of your experience, go on with a cheerful and glad heart; loving more, believing more, working more. A high and a noble prize awaits you. A crown of glory in a kingdom of righteousness is for all those who love God, and consecrate their lives to His service.

C. L., Egham.

THE INFLUENCE OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS.

THE influence Sabbath schools have attained, when well conducted, few will gainsay, and I cannot but conclude that they may yet become more extensively useful. God has greatly blessed the labours of teachers, and hence the addition of members to our churches from these (I had almost said, divine) institutions.

Now, without telling upon the present resources of missions, may I suggest, through the medium of your pages, that were the teachers and friends of Sabbath schools more imbued with a spirit of love, love for the souls of their charge, and love for those who know not God amongst the distant nations of the earth,-how small the effort required to send out more missionaries both to India and China, to be supported and sustained by the contributions of teachers and children? When a ship was requested, how soon was the "John Williams," afloat at the disposal of the directors; and when a million Chinese Testaments were wanted for China, how soon the money flowed in to pay for and send them out.

I have great faith in the stability of character, the perseverance, and self-dedication of the teachers in our Sabbath schools; and if they will urge upon their classes the importance of earnest working for Christ, and for the salvation of souls, the funds for carrying out this noble purpose will, I have no doubt, be punctually forthcoming and as punctually remitted. To commence in a small way, let the superintendents and teachers of all Sabbath schools be determined to raise funds to send out eight additional men; say the Church of England, two; the Baptists, two; the Methodists, two, and the Independents, two, and any other body of Christians according to their means, leaving it with the respective Missionary Societies now in operation to send out such men, and to such places, as they may consider best, and to be altogether unfettered in this respect; but to keep separate and distinct accounts of all monies received to be devoted to and expended in carrying out this special object.

It is not to be expected at the present time that denominational differences can be so far merged, or why not mingle all the best qualities of our hearts, and let our hearts devise liberal things, and on the ruins of all our "isms," and the sepulchre of all our divisions, let us erect a Sunday school Mission House, and at once commence a Sunday school Missionary Society not to interfere with existing claims or institutions, but to place the Sabbath schools of England in a more prominent, commanding, and life-restoring position, that whilst they are doing good at home their influence will be extended even to benefit nations steeped in ignorance, and to bless generations yet unborn.

I would say, Go prudently to work, appoint treasurers and secretaries, appeal to the hearts and sympathies of our teachers, and at the end of twelve months it will appear whether the response will justify the step now proposed; or, if two Missionaries cannot be supported upon the funds raised, there may be ample for, and warrant the sending out of one.

I hope the best things, and trust that Christians of all sects will come forward and assist in a project fraught with incalculable good, and trust that the blessing of the Lord God may rest upon all our teachers, on all our schools, and on all who sustain and support them; and that this additional effort will redound to the Glory of God, in saving souls from death, and promote the temporal and spiritual welfare of all who give their time or money to diffuse the Gospel, that all nations, kindreds, tongues and people, "may serve and worship the one living and true God."

I trust all connected with the Sunday School Union of England will ponder, will approve, will act and prove, their love to the Saviour by endeavouring to unite all sections of the Christian Church to more united exertions in this field of labour; then there will be indeed, a union of our Sunday schools. Stockport.

A SUPERINTENDENT.

ON HAVING A MIND TO WORK,

BY WALTER LIGHTLY.

OLD Testament story contains a brief record of the Life and Times of Nehemiah, who was raised up at a critical period of his people's history, to perform a special work. Endowed with a strong mind, and possessing great fortitude and courage, he surrendered himself with untiring energy to the great business before him. Wise and skilful in directing and governing others, he placed before them a noble example, furnishing to his own, and all succeeding ages, a beautiful and potent illustration of the spirit in which every good cause should be undertaken and carried out. We cannot look at the people with whom he was surrounded without seeing that he exercised over them a powerful influence, and imparted to them a large share of his own indomitable spirit. There is no attempt in the narrative to demonstrate this, but the fact is stated, that in co-operating with Nchemiah, in carrying out his patriotic designs, "the people had a mind to work." Brave and worthy followers of a noble-minded and persevering leader! Well does the contemplation of your untiring activity reprove the cold and calculating indolence of subsequent ages. Surely we should have a better state of things if every leader of a good cause

« PreviousContinue »