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views, which you and your fathers have loved so well, are carefully excluded from them. Whatever old standard books are here, they have all undergone revision, and whatever is peculiar has been erased.” What! the peculiar doctrines of my fathers erased from my fathers' household books ! The catechism which instructed my childhood, and which has yielded me fruit in my riper years,—that catechism, and every thing like it, expurgated from the list? All books like that which tells of our “ New England Revivals,” carefully shut out! The fathers of New England either entirely excluded, or else so altered, that no features in which they were peculiar are suffered to remain ? Is this the recommendation of the religious instruction which I am to give my children? No, brethren. It may be well elsewhere: but this is not all that I and my children desire. I should deem the church to which I belong, unfaithful to the truth and to her trust, should she train up her children so. I stand for nothing in my denomination, which I do not deem greatly essential to the truth, and to the salvation of dying men. And I cannot consent that these things shall, on system, be taken from the books which are so largely to mould the future character and principles of my children, and which are perhaps to decide their everlasting destiny.
I repeat it, in fields where union of effort is desirable and proper, and so long as union is possible, I will stand with all my heart on common ground. My right hand shall forget her cunning ere it be lifted to obstruct so desirable or so necessary a union. It must not, however, be forgotten, that no ministers, churches, or Sabbath school scholars, in any field, however new, are long allowed so to stand. If we teach nothing peculiar, others will. And I cannot think it the best policy any where to withhold our peculiar views, through fear that others may not be so readily gathered in. I know not how to improve God's truth by omissions designed to render it less impalatable to fallen man. “ He that hath
Rev. Mr. Hall's Address,
my word, let him speak my word faithfully: what is the chaff to the wheat? saith the Lord.” Whatever is worth retaining in the church, is surely worth teaching to the children.
I cannot resist the conviction that our churches are themselves put in charge by God, with the important trust of training their own children. They have no trust more important than this or more sacred; even the holy work of missions is secondary to this, and they will not do well to give into the hands of any mingled society on earth, the exclusive privilege of furnishing the books for their Sabbath schools. The church once organized, any where, if its children learn not our principles from ourselves, they will not fail to learn them from the erroneous representations of others.
The wants of our churches in the new settlements, soon become essentially like our own. Indeed, why should not our churches every where, make it their principle carefully to instruct their children in the whole counsel of God? The necessity for sound instruction in the truth is every where the
Above all things, the materials for such instruction should not be withholden from the Sabbath schools under the supervision of our pastors and churches at the West. We are now laying in that field, the foundations for many generations ; and if those foundations are worth laying, they are worth laying well. It is no system of flying agencies, no enginery of mere expedients, that is to decide, in our western world, the battle of the great day ; but God's truth, God's institutions established there, as our pilgrim fathers established them here: and so established there, the work is well nigh done for the whole world.
I rejoice to learn, from your report, that you are doing so much for the supply of our missionaries and churches at the West. I rejoice to learn that many of our missionaries so furnished, have been instrumental in establishing from one to seventeen Sabbath schools. There are no Sabbath school missionaries like these. Go on, brethren, fill their hands, and The work will go on and prosper
you are dead.
I love this Society as a source of supply for our own Sabbath schools : because it asks not how much we can spare of God's truth, but acts consistently on the principle, that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for instruction.” What pastor, who has witnessed a revival, has not observed how important it is then, that the people should have been well instructed in the truth? It was my privilege, in the beginning of my labors as a pastor, to have for a few days as a guest under my roof, that man of God, the Rev. Mr. Nettleton. I well remember how earnestly he insisted that the young need sound doctrinal instruction, instead of being simply entertained with general truths, and with narratives appealing warmly to their sympathies. I well remember how he illustrated that necessity by reference to the state of things in one of the fields where he was once called to labor. The sympathies of the people were already highly excited, but their sympathies alone were touched.
Like poor, unfortunate beings, the young could sob and weep as though their hearts would break : but he could find no evidence of conviction of sin, or conviction of their amazing indebtedness to the forbearance of a holy God. O, no, they were, in their own view, doing all their duty, and more, all willingness and desire; and only bent on efforts to overcome the hard-hearted negligence and coldness of the Lord. “I found,” said Mr. Nettleton, “ that the work was all to be done. My first business was not to push on their sympathies to a high pitch, but calmly to instruct them: to convince them that they were even then in a state of unbelief and rebellion. For the want of knowledge the precious flood of sympathy was running to waste, and for the want of instruction they were in imminent danger of taking up with a false conversion, or of being hardened unto death.”
As I love the truth, as I desire the salvation of men, I must plead the importance of giving, to our own children at least, the truths we have found so efficacious in exalting God, 1816.]
The Great Fault.
and abasing the pride of the human heart, unmutilated, unalloyed and undisguised. I hope this Society will continue to live in the hearts, the benefactions, and the prayers of the churches of New England.
THE GREAT FAULT. The great fault in our Sabbath school, - says one of the most venerable pastors in our State,-is the neglect of parents to give thorough instruction to their children on the lessons. This work should be commenced in families, on the preceding Sabbath, and followed up, as opportunity presents, through the week, till the scholar can answer every question, and open to every passage of Scripture. Such a thorough training at home, would give great interest and profit to the Sabbath school. Let parents once make the experiment. It is lamentably the fact, that nearly the whole responsibility is thrown upon the teacher. Where the whole work of preparation is put off till the Sabbath morning, hurried over by parents, amidst preparation for going to the house of God, there must be a failure of awakening that deep interest in the lessons, which is essential to the prosperity of the school. Instruction in the Sabbath school, is the aid to, and not the substitute for, parental instruction.
TEACHERS AND PUPILS MUTUALLY BENEFITED.
The teachers, says a superintendent, are generally in their places, and appear to take a lively interest in the welfare of their scholars; and we cannot but think, that both teachers and scholars receive a blessing in attending upon Sabbath school instruction. While the scholar is receiving instruction from the teacher, the teacher is receiving instruction from him who is able to instruct all who will look unto him for instruction.
THE VALUE OF A BIBLE.
CAPtain Knox, the Ceylon traveler, was captured by the Cingalese in the year 1659, and detained as a slave in the interior of the Island nearly twenty years. He gives the following account of his “providential discovery and acquisition of a Bible.”
“It came to pass, one day, as I was fishing, an old man passed by, and seeing me, asked the boy with me if I could read in a book; he was answered, yes. The reason that I ask,
,' said the old man, is because I have one, I got when the Portuguese lost Colombo, and if your master please to buy it, I will sell it him ;' which, when I heard of, I bid my boy go to his house with him, which was not far off, and bring it to me, making no great account of the matter, supposing it might be some Portuguese book. The boy having formerly served the English, knew the book, and as soon as he had
got it in his hands, came running with it, calling out to me, It is a Bible !! It startled me to hear him mention the name of a Bible, for I neither had one, nor scarcely could ever think to see one; upon which I fung down my angle, and went to meet him. The first place the book opened to, after I took it in my hand, was the sixteenth chapter of the Acts; and the first place my eye pitched on, was the thirtieth and thirty-first verses, where the jailer asked St. Paul,
What must I do to be saved ? And he answered; saying, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved and thine house!' The sight of this book so rejoiced and affrighted me together, that I cannot say which was greater ; the joy for that I had got sight of a Bible, or the fear that I had not enough to buy it; having then but one pagoda in the world, I willingly would have given that for it, had it not been for my boy, who dissuaded me froin giving so much ; alleging my necessity for money many other ways, and undertaking to procure the book for a far minor price; however,