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advance such sentiments as these, you are certainly what the world gives you credit for being, an infidel.” A little girl whom the philosopher had often noticed, and with whom he had become a favourite, happened to be playing about the room unnoticed. She listened to the conversation, and on hearing the above expression left the room, and asked her mother the following question, “What is an infidel ?” The mother's answer was, infidel is one who believes that there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no hereafter.” Some days afterwards Mr. Hume again visited the house of this friend. On being introduced into the parlour he found no one there but his favourite little girl. He went to her and attempted to take her up in his arms and kiss her as he had been used to do, but the child recoiled from him. “My dear," said he, “what is the matter? do I hurt you?"
No,” she replied, “ you do not hurt me, but I cannot kiss you, I cannot play with you. "
" Why not, my dear?”
6 One who believes there is no God, no heaven, no hell, no hereafter."
“ And are you not sorry for me, my dear?” asked the philosopher.
“ Yes, indeed, I am sorry," returned the child with solemnity," and I pray to God for “Do you indeed ? and what do you say?"
? " I say, Oh, God, teach this man what Thou art.”
Yes, “out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast ordained strength, because of thine enemies; that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.” (Psalm viii, 2.)
As you rightly ask, Are we prepared ? what is
our equipment? “ The whole armour of God” (Eph. vi. 11); then the word is to us as to Joshua of old, “Be strong, and of a good courage.” (Josh. i. 6.) Of course, I need not say, we are not armed as Joshua and David, because, as I said above, we are not called to meet flesh and blood, but wicked spirits, whose name is Legion. We are not furnished with slings and stones, but truth, righteousness, faith, peace, and the sword of the Spirit.
May we all know what it is to be in sweet communion so that our armour may not become cumbrous, but may we be in much prayer, that is,
Praying always,” &c. (Eph. vi. 18), and taught, instructed and strengthened by the Lord, for laying bare the “dangerous reefs.” T. J.
CORPORATE LABOUR, IS IT SANCTIONED IN THE WORD
The question of Sunday schools, and the mode of conducting them, seems to have been exercising many minds of late. And as so many of the Lord's people have taken up that line of service and are undoubtedly pursuing it in love to the Lord and desire after the salvation of souls, it may be well to look fully in the face the fact that it is a line of things which has always (but especially of late) been more or less called in question.
I have no doubt that those dear Christians who have sometimes rather severely criticised the work would readily admit that to impart the knowledge of the truth to the young and rising generation is a service acceptable and well-pleasing to God. Surely there cannot be two thoughts as to this, when we remember that the day of God's grace is really and truly fast drawing to its close ; and that this country, in which our lot is cast, is rapidly returning to infidelity and superstition—I say, when we remember these most solemn facts, surely we all agree that it is of very special moment that the truth should be imparted to those who are growing up into life, in this awful day of religion without God.
But the way in which this work should be carried out has been and still is a subject of much discussion and difference of opinion, and alas, sometimes a cause of unhappiness, and want of practical unity amongst the saints of God. Surely these things ought not to be.
I do not think it can be denied that we have instances of corporate labour in the word of God. The Lord Himself sent out His disciples two and two. Paul, Barnabas and Mark are found together in service. The Philippians also are exhorted to be found striving together for the faith of the gospel, and again, the apostle says of the Thessalonians, “ From you sounded out the word of life.” Are not these examples sufficient to shew that there is such a thing as joint labour in the things of God?
But it will probably be said that the Sunday school, being conducted under set rules and regulations, is a different thing to what is implied in the my purpose to go into that subject, but leave it to those who judge it to be unscriptural to point out a better and a more scriptural way.
corporate labour. It has often been said that it is this set form of rules and regulationswith the superintendent—that interferes with the liberty and action of the Holy Ghost. It is not
It is quite possible to talk about individual responsibility and the leading of the Spirit and yet be found working in the greatest disorder; on the other hand, it is more than possible to carry formality to such an extent as to shut out real power, and also furnish an occasion for those who are not favourable to Sunday schools to compare the work to what is found in the wide profession around us ; and this is undoubtedly the reason why there is often such a lack of sympathy between the assembly and the Sunday school.
For my own part, I have never found that where those who have taken up service to the Lord amongst the young are those who take a hearty interest in the things of the assembly, and have a godly care for its well-being and prosperity, the least element of discord has ever arisen. But on the contrary, where such is the case, and labourers are found walking in love and fellowship one with another, the work of the Sunday school is carried out with the happiest result. And to such the question of it being scriptural or unscriptural would never arise, much less that of setting aside order and management.
There are unquestionably a great number of the Lord's people who are seeking simply and devotedly to lead the young to the knowledge of salvation, and desire to do so in a way according to His mind. I am quite sure
none would like to discourage such, but I do think that those who question the work in its present form ought to be prepared to lay down a simple scriptural and
practical method by which the Lord's work among the young can be carried out.
It is clear from the word that the young had and still have a large place in God's mind, and therefore they ought to have a large place in ours. And I sometimes ask myself the question, "How would the young be reached if it were not for the Sunday school ?" Surely it is most desirable that they should be taught that clear and blessed gospel which God “according to his abundant mercy” has made known to us.
Doubtless we are all conscious that we live in a day when the spirit of independence and the ways of the religious world are making rapid inroads among us. May the Lord give all His people, in whatever corner of the vineyard they may be found labouring, a true desire to walk and work together for His own sake. The word enjoined upon us is, “Let us have grace whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fcar.”
[We have received the report of a meeting where the questions named in the above paper were mooted and discussed, but we do not think it would be profitable to our readers. The questions raised are for those who have any doubts as to whether the work of the Sunday school is a work for the Lord; we hope all our readers are convinced that it is true work for Him, and who do not therefore wish to be disturbed or turned aside.
If any who are engaged in this work are troubled by the question," Is it right to have
“ Sunday schools on the present system without direct scripture for it?" we would reply by another question, “Is it right to have preaching of the