Page images
PDF
EPUB

course some subjects give much greater scope for this than others; but we may safely conclude that questions are only of value as far as they test the scholars. A person may think he knows a great deal, and if only pointless questions are asked, he would be confirmed in his supposed knowledge.

We have some remarkable questions of our Lord that severely tested the scribes and Pharisees, such as, How was it that the Messiah being the Son of David, was called by Him Lord ?" "The mission of John-was it from heaven or earth ?”

I have no doubt that questioning the scholars comes much more natural to some teachers than to others; but I believe it is worthy the attention of all as to how far their questions tend to test the scholars, make them think, and are really useful.

S. A.

[ocr errors]

SKETCH OF A LESSON. DEAR MR. EDITOR,

Will you be good enough to allow me to bring before my fellow workers a few remarks and suggestions upon the letter" L.”

" L." Read John i. 1-17. Introduction-Our scholars no doubt know that the above letter, as a numeral, stands for 50, &c. Exposition.-In Him (Jesus) was

IFE
IGHT

OVE. Emphasis should be laid on light, &c., to bring out the force of the words, Jesus is the true light, pointing out that the Lord Himself said I am the light of the world.” (John viïi. 12.)

Point out the value of light. Thus, it makes visible, or reveals, and invigorates. Ah, it is the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

story of Calvary which lights up the countenance, and penetrates the heart. Compare a bright day in July with that of a dull day in November ; emphasizing that Jesus is the light; shewing how He reveals and makes plain God's good will and love to man. (Psa. lxxxvi. 5, &c.) All this should be brought out in detail; it could also be shewn that it is impossible to be happy without Jesus makes us glad.

Point out the danger of walking in the darkness, and the misery it will entail. (Refer to Nahum i. 8.) Picture the scene in Egypt and at Calvary. (Ex. x. 21; Luke xxiii. 44.) The Egyptians saw not one another !And it is threatened to the wicked (Job xviii. 5, 6), “The sparks of his fire shall not shine; and the light shall be dark in his tabernacle."

In Egypt there was darkness which might be felt! Oh, the pain from the effect of darkness! (Rev. xvi. 10.) Shew that the cloud of locusts which had darkened the land (Ex. x. 15), was nothing to this darkness; it continued three days. Mark, no man rose from his place (ver. 23), pointing out the terror which must have seized them; thus were they in silent darkness. (1 Sam.

ii. 9.)

But how blessed to be able to point out that the darkness is passed, and that the true light now shineth! (1 John ii. 8.)

A word for our converted scholars is, “The Lord is my light and my salvation, what shall I fear ? The Lord is the strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid ? (Ps. xxvii. 1.)

The following circumstances happened to a gentleman when he was on a visit to the Isle of Man. He was walking to the house of a friend, and it being late at night [“ The night is far spent," Rom. xiii. 12], the darkness became so intense that all power of vision failed him, but on he went. Suddenly, his extended arm struck against a hard surface which proved to be a wall. Feeling with his hands, he made sure it was a low wall. As no glimmer of light or roadway met his strained and aching eyes, he thought he must have wandered into a field, and that this wall was between him and the road. With a slight effort he raised him

. self and sat on the top of the wall; still, not a streak of light could he discern. Thinking the road must be on the other side, he gradually slid his feet down; but the ground seemed lower there than on the side he had left; indeed he could not feel it. He tightened his hold with his hands, and let himself lower, and lower, until almost [apply Acts xxvi. 28--Almost persuaded to be a Christian] at full length of his arms; still he could find no foothold. He struggled up again, but not without difficulty, and after a moment's pause jumping down on the side he had mounted from, he sat down to wait for dawn. Its first faint glimmer shewed him the road not far before him; and he now managed to find his friend's house. The next day he came with his friend review the scene of his difficulties. They found the wall and looking over it, he started back in surprise and horror. It was a yawning precipice. Had he released his hold of the walĩ he must have been dashed to pieces.

Point out, how gloomy it would be to be in perpetual darkness, how dangerous is the position of one, who knows not the joy of having passed from darkness to light; yes, Jesus is the true light from heaven. He still shines in the darkness of this world, so that we may walk in light, and be safe.

[ocr errors]

How thankful should one be for the light, Jesus brings, yes, shewing us the love of God and revealing to us how we may be pardoned and forgiven.

Some time ago, a poor Turk was called before the authorities for reading christian books, but before judgment was passed upon him he begged to be allowed to ask a question. Liberty having been granted, he said : “I am travelling. I come to a part where the road branches off in two ways. I look round for some direction, and discover two men-the one is dead, the other alive; which of the two am I to ask for advice, the dead or the living ?” “The living, of course," all cried out.

Well," he added, " why require me to go to Mahomet, who is dead, instead of to Christ, who is alive?"

He was dismissed by the authorities, and told to go about his business.

Here dwell upon John viii. 12; Psalm xxv. 10; Matthew vii. 14; 1 Peter v. 10. The way is Light, with paths of truth, leads to Life and eternal glory.

T. J.

A READING ROOM AND LIBRARY FOR

TEACHERS. DEAR MR. EDITOR,

I have long been impressed that a Sunday-school teacher to be successful must not only be a reader of the Bible, but a reader of books illustrative of the Bible, and acquainted generally with works that bear on teaching. For this purpose he needs access to a library; for I take it for granted that the majority are too poor to have one. Some years ago I felt the lack of books so much, that I applied to the Sunday School Union for admission to their library; but I could not gain admittance. I tried the Church of England Sunday School Institute with the same results. I am sure we ought to be thankful for all the books written for the help of teachers, but the question still remains how to get them.

I have for some time thought that a library might be established in some central spot in London--a single room-say, in Paternoster Row, where books of reference might be consulted, teachers confer with each other, &c. The cost would be a mere trifle amongst so many.

One could give a book, and many more would give a £5 note when they understood the value such a library would be to the inexperienced but hardworking Sunday-school teacher. I should be glad if you would lay this before your readers.

V.J. A.

.

[We insert our friend's letter, but fear rents are far too high in Paternoster Row for a room to be obtained for this purpose ; and this would only meet the need of those teachers in and near London. There would also be other difficulties, such as, if books were given, to whom would they belong ? &c. In London, at the Guildhall, there is a library, open to all comers, which may contain the needed

, books. It offers unusual advantages by being kept open until nine o'clock in the evening. We believe in many districts there is at least

one teacher who can afford to purchase the needed books if he has not them already. Could he not open his house to all teachers in his neighbourhood, say, one evening in the week, or occasionally.

As to the books themselves, we doubt if teachers

« PreviousContinue »