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gospel on the present system ?”' Where is the authority for the preaching in rooms, with a prayer and hymn at the beginning, and a hymn and prayer at the end? There is a clear injunction to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature; and we believe the spirit of this is as fully carried out in the Sunday school as in the preaching
We hope none will let the words "present system” be made a ghost of to frighten them. We know of no system binding upon any.
It is true that people cannot walk together unless they be agreed ; but it is for the labourers of each school to meet together and seek guidance from God as to how the gospel can be best laid before the children. It need not be called a school, and there need be no classes, and no superintendent. It can be all address if there be the gift, and if God should lead to this. Nevertheless, God has led others to form the scholars into classes, with a teacher to each, and a superintendent; but the aim and object is the same—the salvation of the children.
Let another passage have its weight with us. Our Lord said, “Suffer little children to come unto me; and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” We are here in the Lord's stead; and in this one verse we get sufficient authority for the carrying out our work. Christ did not say, Come unto me at Jerusalem, or to any definite place; neither, need we say, it must be to this hall or that room ; it may be to my house, or to the corner of the street, as a means, if in reality it is, Come to Christ.
Let us not be so occupied with the ways and means as to lose the grand end in view—the salva
tion of the children. One may gather the dear children at the corner of the street, or in a field ; another, at his own home; a third in some other way, and all be doing the same work. For ourselves, we crave, while our Lord tarries, the blessed privilege of gathering the children in the ordinary way, because we find it is most happy and successful. Let each look for guidance from God, and being fully persuaded in his own mind, do the work God has set him to do, unhindered by those who do not work themselves, but rather seek to unsettle those who do. To our own Master we stand or fall.
We are just reminded of two teachers who left school some years ago on account of the way it was conducted, as they said, but who did not attempt to suggest a better plan, and what have they been doing all this time? As far as we know they have done nothing, either one way or the other. It may be they had been running without being sent; but let others whom God has sent take warning that they be not led away from their steadfastness.
It matters not one whit that our schools are conducted in a similar way to those in professing Christendom, so long as there is no principle involved or truth violated. There is no power or spirituality simply in being different or peculiar. For ourselves, we do not approve of the Simultaneous System. We should feel our freedom gone
. if we were compelled to take up a given subject. every Lord's day. We feel as free in our class as. if in our private room at home. The system" gives us a quiet school, a class to lead to Jesus, and earnest, devoted co-workers : we thank God for such a system until something better be found.
As to the superintendent, we do not see that he interferes with the teacher's liberty in any way. We have known a good many who have been looked up to as superintendents, and can speak of them as being invariably most anxious to do everything that might be necessary for the assistance of the teachers, and the well-being of the schools in which they individually worked.
If any think it would be advisable and better to have no superintendent at their school let them ask him to stay away a month or two and we are convinced they will soon find it is no improvement, and that it will not lead to everything being done decently and in order; for where one school might prosper without such a worker, a dozen would be found in great confusion. Call him what you like—superintendent or servant of all—but give him your confidence ; let him feel that you are not criticising everything he does; let him feel he can count on grace in you to give him credit for doing it for the good of the school apart from any private motive of his own. If teachers knew how to make use of a superintendent, they would find him a valuable help to them. For instance, if a class is getting unruly, or too strong for the teacher to manage, let him ask the superintendent to keep his eye in that direction during the afternoon. If a scholar gets really unmanageable, instead of the teacher turning him out, let him be handed over to the superintendent to be dealt with. Thus in many ways the teachers would begin to look upon the superintendent as a desirable part of the school economy. In giving directions to the school he consults the teachers first, and then gives them out as coming from the teachers, though given by himself.
In conclusion, there are no doubt here and there a few who have grace to work for the Lord in perfect isolation-we can wish them God speedbut we believe that union is strength, and have found help and encouragement in working with those who feel their work to be in the Sunday school; and no others should be there. Let each get his work from his Master, and do it as to the Lord, and he shall not lose his reward.-Ed.]
GALATIANS IV. 12.
Will you, Mr. Editor, explain the curious sentence? “Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for
, I am as ye are; ye have not injured me at all.”
It will simplify the meaning of the apostle to remember that Paul was by birth a Jew, and that the Galatians were Gentiles. He had at verse 9 asked why the Galatians desired to be in bondage to the law. He besought them to be free from it, as he was (though born under the law); yea, he was as free as they were who never had been born under the law. They had said Paul was not a strict Jew. Well, that did not injure him at all : it was true; for though the law had been a schoolmaster to bring the Jews to Christ [notice the word “our'], yet when they had faith in Christ they were no longer under the schoolmaster. (Chap. iii. 25.) So that Paul was as they werefree; and he besought them to be also as he was -free.
NOTES ON SCRIPTURE.
MATTHEW XXII. VERSES 15–22. Our Lord was now about to encounter the wiles of Satan. Here are two classes the Pharisees and the Herodians. They took counsel together how they might entangle our Lord by something that fell from His lips.
They begin by flattery. He was a teacher who was true, and who taught the way of God in truth, and respected no man's person. Not a word of this they honestly believed, or, of course, instead of
, , trying to trip Him up, they would have believed in Him. No sooner was their question stated, than He denounced them as hypocrites.
Their question was, “ Is it lawful to give tribute to Cæsar or not?”
Our Lord's answer is full of divine wisdom. He asked to see a piece of money with which they paid the tribute. And on a “denarius” being brought to Him, He asked whose image and inscription it bore. There could be but one answer-Cæsar's. He answered, “ Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's." They wondered at such wisdom and retired.
The Herodians are mentioned only here and in Mark iii. 6; xii. 13. They were those who played into the hands of Herod (whence their name), who was a mere creature of Rome. Others were bitterly opposed to them; but when it was to work out the ruin of the Son of God, all differences could be waived. The chief priests boasted that they had never been in bondage to any man—a positive untruth, as is manifest from the Old Testament his