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convicted of sin. Esther, unconscious of the impending doom, seeks to comfort Mordecai with a suit of clothes ! But he seeks to convince her of her danger. She was not to think that because she was queen she would escape-she and her father's house would surely be destroyed.
5. Esther resolves to present herself before the king, saying, “ If I perish, I perish,” but asks Mordecai and the Jews to fast with her. She presents herself, and the king holds out the golden sceptre of peace to her. This may be contrasted with the approach of a sinner to God. Christ is the mediator and is held out at all times, and to all who come. No one can say, except in ignorance of God's provision, " If I perish, I perish, ” because Christ invites all, and assures all that He will in no wise cast out any who come to Him.
6. The fate of Haman beautifully illustrates the watchful eye of God in not allowing any weapon that is formed against His people to take effect except as He sees fit. Apparently the doom of Mordecai was fixed; he was surrounded by heathen
l men, who held the life of a man as a very small thing. The gallows was already made-only a word was needed from the king to see the end of the unrelenting Mordecai. But God in His providence was watching over all. He first causes the king to have a sleepless night: then the rolls are read and Mordecai's good deed was rewarded; and the very man who had planned his destruction had to proclaim his honour. Haman's death rapidly follows.
Mordecai's triumph illustrates what God will do for Christ, as "the man whom the king delights to honour." When His enemies are to be destroyed He will come forth in glory, surrounded with His holy angels and the redeemed. Where shall we each be then-among the happy throng who come with Christ and form His train, -or among, it may be, His enemies, to be banished for ever from His presence ?
THE ART OF QUESTIONING. We have been struck, I dare say, in reading the plain and sensible evidence the witnesses all appear to give at judicial trials. We recognise the name of some particular person, and we know, perhaps, that he is an uneducated man, apt to talk in an incoherent and desultory way on most subjects, utterly incapable of telling a simple story without wandering and blundering, and very nervous withal; yet if he happens to have been a witness at a trial, and we read the published report of his testimony, we are surprised to find what a connected, straightforward story it is ; there is no irrevelant or needless matter introduced, and yet not one significant fact is omitted. We wonder how such a man could have stood up in a crowded court, and narrated facts with all this propriety and good sense. But the truth is, that the witness is not entitled to your praise. He stood opposite to a man who had studied the art of questioning; and he replied in succession to a series of interrogations which the barrister proposed to him. The reporter for the press has done no more than copy down all the replies to these questions; and if the sum of these replies reads to us like a consistent narrative, it is because the lawyer knew how to marshal his facts beforehand, had the skill to determine what was necessary to the case in hand, and to propose his questions so as to draw out, even from a confused and bewildered mind, & coherent statement of facts. We may take a hint, I think, from the practice of the bar in this respect; and, especially in questioning by way of examination, we may remember that the answers of the children ought to form a complete, orderly, and clear summary of the entire contents of the lesson.
We must not attempt, even for the sake of logical consistency, to adhere too rigidly to a formal series of questions, nor refuse to notice any new fact or inquiry which seems to spring naturally out of the subject. Still, the main purpose of the whole lesson should be kept steadily in view; all needless digression should be carefully avoided, and any incidental difficulties which are unexpectedly disclosed in the lesson should rather be remembered and reserved for future investigation, than permitted to beguile a teacher into a neglect of those truths which the lesson is primarily designed to teach.-Extracted.
GLEANINGS FROM A TEACHERS'
MEETING. CHILDREN like variety. An earnest worker will seek variety, not in the subject matter, but as to forms of presentation, newness of views, and expedients in the line of his work. Many teachers make the work unattractive by bad methods. If illustrations are used, always let them be such as will instruct; we do not teach to entertain, but we entertain by good teaching.
"I should like to see classes for men in our schools." Here a portion of Nehemiah viii. was
read, “ And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women and all that could hear with understanding,” all the people gathered themselves together as one man. (Vers. 1, 2.) There is no record of any one being late ! Old and young had the saine lesson, and the ears of all were attentive. (Ver. 3.)
Never undertake to teach when the scholars are not paving attention ; if you do, the scholars are taught not to pay attention. Attention may be secured by thorough earnestness ; and earnestness in the teacher leads to worship : " And they bowed their heads and worshipped the Lord.” (Ver. 6.) “No lack of teachers,” (for proof see ver. 7.)
the sense and caused them to understand the reading.” (Ver. 8.) All was so conducted as to secure the attention of both old and young. Mark, the ears of the people were attentive unto the book of the law. (Ver. 3.) No confusion of running in and out; the people stood in their placés. (Ver. 7.) He said unto them, Send portions unto whom nothing is prepared. (Ver. 10.) (A teacher said, Yes, through the Sunday School Worker, as an encouragement.)
The lessons and addresses should be so emphatic as to make a deep impression upon our scholars. “ All the people wept when they heard the words of the law.” (Ver. 9.)
"Is preparation necessary ?”. Thus saith the scripture, " The preparation of the heart in man, and the answer of the tongue, is of the Lord.”
One said he had often made mistakes in not recognising preparation, sheltering himself under the following scripture : "Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it." But he now testifies that
preparation-work is a cheerful, and a charming soul-reviving work. Thus a portion of the word is pressed upon the mind when leaving home in the morning, which leads one to look up and cry, “ Open thou mine eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law.” (Ps. cxix. 18.) Ever seek to be in communion with the Great Teacher, who will enlighten us and furnish our minds, and influence our hearts that we may so furnish other minds. Ever
Ever pray that the truth may sink down into the hearts of our scholars.
It is indeed a mistake to leave preparation-work till we take our seat in the class; it is sweet to let our lesson play about the mind and heart: it lightens labcnr, and pleasantly occupies the mind.
The daily scenes and employments of life, the incidents of the home, are stores from which the teacher can draw on, to wit, the illustrated letters the posting stations, are sometimes suggestive. Note the way the Great Teacher takes up
illustrations. The little word of four letters is often used by the blessed Lord, “ The kingdom of heaven is like.” Again, from nature, the lilies of the field, the birds of the air, the Galilean Sea, the harvest fields, &c.
Do not press too many things at once, or you spoil all, but thrust home ; having before the mind the only object of teaching, namely, tho conversion of the scholars; to be brief, do not neglect preparation, and do not put it off till Lord's day morning, but begin in eurnest on Monday, with prayer.
. Read the word carefully ; ruminate; plan out the lesson ; have each scholar before your mind; and apply the truth you have made your own faithfully.
Ezra the scribe said these words : “ This day is