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ask ourselves whether God might not point His finger to most of us, and say, “Thou art the man:” thou hast a pardon in thine hands to offer to these dear children; mark, not from temporal but eternal death; yes, a pardon suited to all, sent to all, and more, designed for all. Christian, wilt thou hold it back ?
Young people and children are dying all around us, and alas, how few among them have their passport.
During the battle of Waterloo, General Picton's word of command was as follows, “Up, Guards, and at them.” Then, as “good soldiers of Jesus Christ” (2 Tim. ii. 3) what is our word of command? Why, Up Christian, awake, and to your post. Cry aloud and spare not, warn the dear young ones to “flee from the wrath to come. Speak out and speak plainly, for thus saith the Lord, “I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word.” (Jer. xxvi. 3.) (The principle is the same now.) Oh, beloved brethren, be alive; be in earnest; be whole hearted, and stand shoulder to shoulder in this matter.
Do we believe that “ broad is the way that leadeth to destruction?" (Matt. vii. 13.) Do we indeed believe it? And the multitudes of young people and children around us without Christ, who are therefore going down to an eternal hell? How can one reconcile this belief with what we hear on the right hand and on the left, of such phantoms as the “present system,” &c. ?
Oh why waste our precious time? A great harvest field lies around us, ripe for reaping, and labourers are few.
Brethren, hear a fellow-ploughman, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand; yes, “the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” The traps and snares
of Satan, and the tempting baits which he holds out to catch the inquisitive eye, and the hungry heart, that wants satisfying, and yet, as those who are the Lord's what precious things we have to offer. Oh be persuaded to lose no opportunity of pointing them to Christ, telling them that there is a free, present, personal and perfect salvation, offered to all, “without money and without price. (Isa. lv. 1.)
Oh speak to the dear young souls gently, lovingly, and tenderly, but speak; get them alone if you can, draw out their confidence in any way you find best. Our purpose is not to offend, but to win, our message is one of grace, of invitation, of proffered blessing; yes," God doth beseech by us,” let this give us our tone in speaking, let us not be weary of speaking: if they will not hear us for often entreaty, then let us continue to live for God before them, and to speak for God to them ; and above all to pray for them; and may the seed sown spring up and bring forth fruit. T. J. MR. EDITOR,
I for one am not much surprised to find in this month's “ Worker” the question of Sunday school work challenged. We must not forget that we are bordering on, if not already in, the perilous times of the last days, in which we may expect to have everything challenged. We have only to look abroad to see that all the fundamental truths of the gospel are being called in question, and, sad to relate, in many cases they are either undermined or openly given up. We must not therefore be surprised if the Sunday school comes in for its share of attack.
Now we are apt to think that the evil of the present age is a thing working in professing
Christendom generally from which we are exempt; but I think this is a mistake. We shall surely find it much closer than we expect. In all the addresses to the seven churches in the Revelation, there is the overcomer spoken of. Then there is something to overcome for each and everyone. And if we are not watchful we may find ourselves slipping into the current of the age even while we are thinking it is a long way off from us.
And besides the general and increasing evils of the present age, there has always been a sifting process going on in connection with work for the Lord, and especially in the Sunday school. Many begin to work without counting the cost. They hear of others who are teachers, and, with a desire to be engaged in the Lord's service in some way, the Sunday school is presented to them, and they accept the work. But after the novelty has worn off, they begin to find it irksome. In all weathers they are expected to be at their post, and when there, they find their scholars perhaps inattentive, if not rebellious, and they themselves quite unequal to interest them.
Many too find that they really ought to be learning instead of teaching. Questions of all sorts are raised by the scholars that they are quite unable to answer.
Scholars who have been for some time in a Sunday school are found to know much more about the letter of scripture than they do, and the teacher is at times put to shame before the whole class.
Now, for these and other reasons that might be named, is it to be wondered at that the question should be raised as to Sunday-school work? The sifting constantly going on takes away many of such teachers--they quietly slip away or resign;
but others cannot do this without making out a plea that the work is at fault, and that they are right in giving it up. It is sufficient to see that such workers are either in the wrong place, or having begun well they have grown weary in well doing. If the former, they are far better away from the school, both on their own account and for the good of the school ; for nothing grates and clogs like the constant calling in question everything that is done.
If the worker is in his right place but grown weary, words of encouragement and godly counsel from his fellow-workers often recall such to his privilege and his duty to work during this little while for his Lord and Master Jesus Christ.
It is instructive to see what different effects the difficulties of Sunday-school work have upon different teachers. On some, as we have seen, it has the effect of their giving up; but on others it has an effect the very reverse.
It stirs them up to increased perseverance and labour.
Thus some who start unlettered and uninstructed become the best of teachers; while others who knew more, give up in despair.
Our commission is “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature ;” and children surely come under this. As you say, if this is done, the details may vary; but let this be done at all costs.
CONFEDERACIES. MR. EDITOR,
I think one of the most striking features of the age in which we live is the widespread and increasing forms of confederacy. Workmen combine
against their employers, and employers combine against the men; and there is scarcely a thing connected with social life that is not sought to be attained by a combination—from insuring life and property down to buying a pair of shoes.
Now with this fact before me, my first question is, Is such a state of things to be viewed as an improvement or progress, or as a sign of increasing evil ? And my next question is, Are there any principles of truth, that we as Sundayschool teachers ought to bring to bear upon the rising generation placed under our care ? As soon as lads enter into life they are met with the question of clubs and societies. Can we not seek to guide them in such questions, and save them from mistakes ?
In Isaiah viïi. we have the question of confederacy taken up, and the remnant of Israel are cautioned against such a thing.
" Associate yourselves, O ye people, and ye shall be broken in pieces. . . . Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought. . . . Say ye not, a confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, a confederacy, neither fear with their fear, nor be afraid."
In Revelation xiii. also we have a remarkable combination spoken of in connection with Antichrist—a combination that is not limited to spiritual things (though it does embrace the killing of those who will not worship the image of the beast, verse 15), but extends to buying and selling. No one will be allowed to do these ordinary acts of trade who has not received the mark of the beast.
Now I doubt not that this is recorded for a divine purpose. We should naturally have expected that the combination of Antichrist would have confined itself to spiritual matters; but it is not so. And I