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fully described here as going forth weeping, and also keeping the dear young ones more on our heart, more absorbed in the one object of the salvation of their precious souls. There is no doubt a want of faithfulness, but surely if we sow in hope
reap in joy, and we can always count on the blessing of the Holy Ghost. Let us then have confidence that we shall reap.
. D. read John xi. 4-6. It was brought to his mind by the hymn sung at the beginning of the meeting: “Oh, teach me more of thy blest ways." He desired to point out two snares which it was most important to avoid and fight against if we would be successful in our work. One is the snare of routine. We are expected to be at the school at a certain time, and it is quite right that we should be there, and in time too, but it is likely to become a snaro if we are not very watchful, and really in exercise before the Lord. There should be quite as much searching of the word for next Sunday's lesson as if it were the very first time we had entered a class. He believed it was a good plan to read the chapter on which we were going to speak the next Lord's day, every morning, and even if we did not find something new in it, our souls would be meditating and feeding on it. We should find when in our classes much more freshness and
power. 1 Timothy iv. 15, 16 says “Meditate on these things." One cause of failure is the want of meditation.
The other snare is thinking that it is a small work because it is among small people, and then we have not a thorough devotedness—we fail in taking heed to ourselves. The promise is “thou shalt save thyself and those that hear thee." We get with the Lord absolute dependence; this is
what we need, and blessing always comes from deep exercise before the Lord. We all feel that the work
young is of increasing importance when we see the rapid
inroads of infidelity, and the hardening effects of sin coming in more and more. But it is no part of our business to try to meet and refute in fidel notions. We must be occupied with the word and it alone. If I know the ring of a good sovereign, I shall instantly detect a bad
We must all avoid routine, and court deep exercise of heart and soul, and if we bear our scholars every day upon our hearts before the Lord, we shall see different results.
E. drew attention to the first question proposed, which had not been answered very satisfactorily. He had not a thorough answer himself, but would throw out a few hints. He thought in all schools the children were encouraged to learn portions of scripture, not merely the verse on their tickets, which could be done while going to school, or waiting in their class. If they had more to learn, it must be done in the week, and it would thus bring them in contact with the word. We must remember this is a reading age, and that they will read something. Some teachers give a question on a slip of paper, to be answered by the next Lord's day, which is a good plan. But at the same time we cannot expect our scholars to be always reading the Bible, therefore it is necessary for them to have other books, and the teachers should be able to put a few books into their hands. First, find out their turn of mind and capacity for reading. This is where the librarian fails. He has no opportunity for knowing the scholars individually. But the teacher might lend a book on some necessary formation, or one of our interesting magazines.
The scriptures, of course, are foremost, but the other side must be met.
There is also immense power in inviting the scholars home one evening in the week, to know more about their thoughts, their ways, and themselves.
F. would just mention how some thirty years ago they began a Sunday school. He remembered when seeking for children, they found their way to the top of a large house let out in rooms. After speaking with the mother about the school, she replied that she would much like her children to go, but that we must ask her husband, who at once stated his own infidel views, and firmly refused the request. After that, however, we called several times, and at last gained his consent; and his eldest girl gave us good confidence that in her departure from this life she went to be with Christ. I mention this to shew how that all her bringing up, and the efforts of the enemy through her father, were set aside by God and the power of His word.
G. said we must look the question in the face by the light of the Book. Is Sunday-school teaching for the mental or moral improvement of the children, or is it for their conversion ? Is our object in any measure the improvement of the children, or only the salvation of their souls ? Apart from everything else is eternity before us ? 'He said, When I was a scholar, my teacher was a man who devoted himself wholly to his class--had them home at his house, and being very scientific himself, he laboured to improve the mental capacity of his boys. No doubt he had also as an object the soul's salvation, but it was not the sole object, and I remember to this day the deadening effect of the scientific knowledge he sought to impart. As far as I know, not one of his scholars made the least confession of Christ. There was another teacher in the same school, with not a tenth of his ability, but who had the souls of his boys before him, out of whose class I can remember many being saved.
This teacher also wrote me two letters, which I must say greatly impressed me—went right home to my heart far more than what I had heard from my scientific teacher.
There was further conversation as to its not being desirable to argue on infidel points, especially in the classes, as we should no doubt fail in the attempt, but ever meet all such questions with the word of God. This, with the following incident, brought the meeting to a close.
H. was riding in a train, and met with some infidels, who entered into an argument with him and quoted from many philosophical and infidel books, to which he was able to answer and quote freely as well, shewing how these very men contradicted each other. Just then, H.'s friend said, in a loud voice, “Ye must be born again.” They
, answered, “ You hold your tongue.' ment was continued, but presently my friend said again, “ Ye must be born again.' 66 You hold your tongue,” they replied. Still we talked on till I and my friend came to our destination. As we stepped out of the train, his voice rang out again over my shoulder, “You must be born
. again,” and once more it met the same reply. They could not stand the sword of the Spirit. I said to my friend as we
walked away, I was wrong to argue, and you had the best of it. David said,
Give me this sword, there is none other like it.”
NOTES ON SCRIPTURE.
VERSES 34-39. Notwithstanding the solemn woes pronounced by our Lord against the scribes and Pharisees in the former part of this chapter, He adds that He will still give them and the people at large one more opportunity by sending among them “prophets, and wise men and scribes." These were the apostles, evangelists, and disciples. In the early chapters of the Acts we get the history of God's further offers of mercy to rebellious Israel.
But alas ! our Lord foretells the general effect --without of course intending to include all, for there were three thousand converted in one daythe Jews would persecute them, and put some to death (as in the case of Stephen), that might come upon them all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from Abel unto Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom they slew between the temple and the altar.
Here are two difficulties. The first, why does our Lord go so far back as Abel ? In what way was the act of Cain linked with the Jews ? We must remember that our Lord is speaking of the complement of evil : in verse 32 it is, “ Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers." Abel's death was the first collision between righteousness and unrighteousness in man towards man. Now the Jews had the record of this in their scriptures, and God's judgment on the act, and instead of taking warning thereby, they follow Cain's example. They thus endorse what Cain did, though it was recorded, as a wicked act, in their scriptures,