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SABBATH SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY.
was found. He, however, pronounced it impossible for me to go with him, for Dr. Tyng, he said, would be sure to observe a stranger, and might manifest his displeasure. He would, however, introduce me through the vestry.
The church is a very large and beautiful building. The end where the pulpit and altar are, or chancel, is within form of a half circle. The altar, instead of being at the wall, is in the centre of this half circle, and there is a passage round it on all sides. It was in this space behind the altar that I and many more were permitted to stand. The altar and the pulpit, and reading desk, had been removed, and in their places stood two tables draped with white cloth. The largest was covered with books, to be distributed to the scholars; the other, in front, was elevated on a raised platform, and both were profusely decorated with flowers. Dr. Tyng, in his gown, stood at the higher table, and already every nook of the spacious galleries was crowded, while the body of the space below was without an occupant. This, however, soon changed. At three the schools began to come in, and for half an hour, class after class defiled into the church, till it was as solidly packed below as it had previously been above; and the whole of the vast space, capable of holding 2,000 people, presented the appearance of a sea of bright and joyous faces.
It was thrilling when that immense throng rose to sing
“ Wake the song of jubilee,
Jesus reigns for evermore."
the schools to rise, one by one, as he named them. There was the first infant class, which he called his “Coral Wreath,” 105 tiny people, all taught by one lady. These sang a hymn together. Then came the second infant class, a little larger in size, 300 of these, all also taught by one lady. They repeated a hymn; one of the class repeating one verse, and all the remainder repeating the next. They also sang a hymn. Then came the girls' department, 350; and the boys', 250. These completed one school. Next came the Mission schools infants', girls', and boys'. Then a German school of boys. Besides these schvols there are Bible classes. The number together were 1,481 scholars with 94 teachers, in all 1,575.
After the whole assemblage had joined in singing the hymn, “Come let us sing of Jesus” (a hymn which we print, as it may be new to most of our readers), an interesting address was delivered to the children, and then came a very important part of the proceedings, namely, the handing in of the Missionary offerings from the various classes. Before doing this another hymn was sung, appropriate to the occasion
“We gather, we gather, dear Jesus, to bring
Our hearts and our voices, in singing thy praise." Literally the breathings of love were brought amidst the blossoms of spring. For as each class handed in its year's collections separately, so each donation was for the most part attached to baskets or bouquets of flowers. It was an exceedingly pretty sight. Each class was designated by a name, and a motto, which last was either a text of Scripture or a stanza of a hymn. Thus one class called themselves " Ministering Children," another “ Lambs of Jesus,'
SABBATH SCHOOL ANNIVERSARY.
a third, “ Lilies of the Valley," and so on. Some had devices as well as flowers. One of these was a model of a nest with eggs; another was a dove-cot; another a village church. But the most favourite mode of presenting the offerings was to attach them either to a bouquet, or to a basket or vase of beautiful flowers. The amounts contributed varied from five dollars or one pound, to one hundred and fifty dollars, or thirty pounds. The names and the mottoes, and the amount contributed, were all read out, and then the offerings were deposited on the tables, which were soon heaped with a mass of flowers. I could not stay all the while, but left soon after five, by which time they had just finished receiving the girls' offerings. Those of the boys followed. After that came another hymn and then the distribution of the books.
The sight of these fifteen hundred children and their teachers was most beautiful and touching, and I heartily sympathised in the enthusiasm with which Dr. Tyng declared he would rather give up his adult charge than his Sabbath school, if it were necessary ever to give up either.
A pleasing feature, too, in the scene was, the deep interest taken in it by the children. The selection of their distinguishing names was a lesson in itself. It must have been so if the “ Ministering Children" acted up to the character they assumed, if the “ Lambs of Jesus” had really given themselves to him, or the “ Lilies of the Valley” emulated the modest retiring beauty of that emblem of true meekness.
We trust this little account may help to stir up our readers to renewed interest in the cause of missions. But we would have you, beloved young friends, to remember, that it is not the amount of the money you collect, nor is it the mere way in which you hand it in, that makes your
HOW LITTLE BETSY FOUND
gift pleasing to Jesus. It is the motive from which you give it that he looks to. He is better pleased with the gift of two mites which love to himself prompts, than he is with more money when that love is absent. 'Twas his life he gave for us that is more precious than silver and gold, and we cannot repay him for his love, with any price in pounds or pence. What he asks is our love in return, “ My son, give me thine heart." And if we have been so blessed as to have gotten the Saviour's love and given him our hearts, we will be then only too glad to help to send the story of that love to others too.
Forget not to consecrate your gifts by prayer. They are thankofferings. Bring them with thanksgiving, and when you have put your pence in the Missionary box, or laid down your collecting card and its accumulations on the table of the Missionary Society, ask God at the same time to accept and bless the money ; to accept it as a token of your love to him, and to bless it, that it may be made the means of telling the story of his love to some one who has not yet heard how he so loved us that be gave his only Son to die for us.
HOW LITTLE BETSY FOUND THE
WAY TO JESUS. A COTTAGER, who purchased a fourpenny Testament for her little boy, said, that last year she had done so for her little girl, since dead. She then, with a mother's love, described the details of her illness, and added, “One day she called me to her bedside, saying, "Mother, I shall never go to school again, for I am going to die. I am going to Jesus who bids little children come to him; and you, and father, and brother, can come too. Oh, it is a lovely home I am going to; I shall have a white robe
THE WAY TO JESUS.
and crown, and be ever with Jesus. Will you, mother, bring me my New Testament?' I brought it to her, but she was too weak to hold it herself, and bade me open it at the 18th chapter of Matthew, and hold it so that she could read it. There's the place, sir. It was the chapter she used most, and the paper is quite worn by her little fingers ; so I keep it for her sake. As I held it up, she said, 'Mother, did you hear the Lord's words, " That it is not his will that one of his little ones should perish ?”. Oh, how I wish you would kneel down and pray.'
“I knelt down, but as I had never prayed since I was married, and then only knew the Lord's prayer, I could do nothing but cry, but she, without her Prayer.book, said two collects and the Lord's prayer, and after stopping for a little time, prayed out of her own head for more than half an hour. Where she got the words from I did not know then, but I know now that it was God's Holy Spirit who was teaching her to pray, as he has taught me since. She seemed to be speaking to some one, and she told everything that she, poor child, had done, that she thought was wrong. When she had finished, she said,
Oh! mother, I see such a black mark on me, but Christ'a blood will wash the stains, away. After awhile her father came in, and she asked him to read to her the 14th chapter of John. He read it, and she said to him, 'Father, I am going far away ; I am going to Jesus, and you must promise me to come too. Oh! do promise me to read a chapter every day, and pray to Jesus to show you the way to heaven through him! Try to love him, father, for he loves you, and died for us.' She would not let go her father's hand till he had promised her to read the Testament every day, and then, as she seemed composed, we went to bed.