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Ellen may not long be absent from that soul-strengthening feast. My faith is unshaken for you; for you are children of the baptismal covenant, and as such are objects of interest in heaven. The angels look upon every baptism with infinite joy; "another flower-plant,” say they, "set in the garden of earth, to be transplanted to our home, when the Lord hath need to beautify his paradise;" and ofttimes it is transplanted long before the seed time-perhaps before the budding !
Our relation has now subsisted for three years, and many changes have we beheld in that brief period. We will not awaken the intensity of past grief, by alluding to them. Of this year alone, will we speak—these twelve happy months, which we cannot follow to their burial, without tears of gratitude for all the blessings they have brought !
Let us thank God for all his gifts; first of all, for our pastor, through whose faithfulness, salvation has come to more than one soul in our midst ! and oh! what a gift is a renewed heart !
Yes, let us thank God daily upon every remembrance of our pastor. Let us pray that his life may be prolonged, and his watchfulness continue to be felt in the Sabbath school, as well as in the church, and we be blest by his presence and counsel. The wonderful prosperity of our school, we owe in a great degree to his vigorous supervision, and his unabated interest. No! we must never forget our pastor in our prayers-we are deep in his debt for spiritual benefits.
For the tie that unites us, for the love He has implanted in our hearts for each other, we thank our Father in heaven; and that death has but once entered our ranks since the new year dawned-then he came like a friendly angel, when the beautiful and pure-hearted sank to her rest. That day of holy and glorious memories is em
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balmed in my heart; should the pen ever have them in keeping, I will give them to the world and to you.
I feel grateful that I can testify to the strength of purpose you have manifested through this year; and that many of the resolutions made at its commencement, you have truly, nobly kept. Always remember, my dear young friends, that of your own power, you are not sufficient for one day's faithful fulfillment of a promise made to God-your own heart--or your neighbor. Let humility, therefore, accompany every purpose of your soul.
For your faithful attendance at the Sabbath school, I owe you my gratitude; for the well prepared lesson has evidenced careful study and diligent research. The frequent question has betokened the reflecting mind, and how have I inwardly thanked God when it betrayed the disquietude of an awakened conscience, which the Holy Spirit alone could soothe and instruct.
My gratitude is yours, for the sweet kindness with which you have all welcomed me to your homes, and made your teacher a friend at your fireside ; many delightful hours of social intercourse have grown out of our Sabbath relation.
I thank you that my counsels have all been received in the spirit I most wish to see—that of improvement. Christ hath said, “It is more blessed to give, than to receive." This have you proved, my little band, and many of earth's children will thank you for the sweet charities of your heart and hand. Never let the appropriation you have thus early accustomed yourselves to make, be suspended. God will always aid those who love to give. It is his own boundless generosity_his infinite love, which embraces the whole earth, secures to us his sympathy in our desire to do good. He loves to see his image reflected. His kind providence will often cause the stipulated sum to come into your possession, when you least expect it. Therefore give-give to the poor-to the sufferer—to the heathen abroad, and the heathen at home; for in too many places in our lovely land, are found minds on which the light of the gospel has never shone. Send the sacred Word far and wide; it takes but little, thank God, in these days, to purchase a Bible; and even the most isolated portion of the holy seed can make a paradise of earth's most desolate plain. Therefore labor to do good. Seek to deny yourselves in some one thing that will be a self-denial: the offering will be more precious.
Remember your influence in every hour. Around each of you are moving those whose happiness is increased by the sunshine of your spirit: perfect peace in the soul, is the best security for the government of our temper—and this gift belongs to them whose minds are stayed on God. To those of you, particularly, who have taken the name of Christ on your lips, wearing the badge of fellowship with his church, I would say with earnestness-take care of your temper. It is the bitterest foe with which many a Christian has to struggle; therefore, now, in the beginning of your course, inscribe this motto on your heart, with fervent prayer for power to obey its principle—" He that ruleth his own spirit, is better than he that taketh a city!" It will be one of the surest proofs of your adoption into the church of the redeemed and sanctified, that you fulfill this precept.
And now the Invisible Hand is again closing the outer portal of Time's great temple! How many are sweetly sleeping in Jesus, who once trod its aisles with us! On the veiled altar of the past, within its walls, is laid another volume--the records of the human heart-the soul's earthly life! My dear young friends, my fellow worshipers in Time's sanctuary, what have we inscribed on the imperishable pages of that book ? I weep to think of all we would efface! That fearful thought--that we 1846.)
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cannot efface the past—must make us walk with diligent feet tlırough the paths of the future; we must walk with God-so shall we fulfill all righteousness—so shall we, being justified by faith, have peace with him, through our Lord Jesus Christ, who will strengthen and guide us through our earthly pilgrimage, and finally welcome us to that upper temple, where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and death shall separate us no more!
Daylight is fading from the beautiful scenery before me—the purple tints linger still on the mountains, and the river reflects on its placid waters the golden clouds which float above them-would that each of you could dwell with me awhile, amid the influences by which I am surrounded both in nature and heart! The affection yielded me here, makes me unspeakably rich-grateful to my friends, and to Him from whose bounty my cup hath been filled with gladness!
Absent from you for a short period, I shall return with fresh zeal to my duties. Think of me, when, as our custom is, the rich notes of Hamburg swell from the organ and the voice, as our school separates in the last Sabbath of 1846. There is a mingled majesty and tenderness in that tune, which renders it peculiarly appropriate for that solemn season.
Now, my dear children, adopt with me, at the close of the day and the year, that beautiful thought of the poet-
• Thou art, oh Christ, my rest! within thine arms,
Glad as the setting sun, may I decline-
Immortal rise, in thy new heavens to shine!”
Prayerfully and affectionately,
M. R. T
MODE OF CONDUCTING THE PUBLIC EXERCISES OF THE S. S.
The Committee of the Sabbath School Teachers' Association, of Cincinnati, close their Report,—from which we have already published several articles on the “Prominent Deficiencies among Teachers,”'_by referring to the “ want of judgment in conducting the public exercises of the school ;” and to “the great cause of all the defects in Sabbath schools."
One other evil which we have observed in some of our largest and best established schools, is the want of good judgment in conducting the public exercises of the school
Some superintendents, with the best intentions, but as it seems to us injudiciously, protract the opening or closing exercises to too great a length by long addresses, or long prayers, or tedious repetitions, all of which are wearisome to the children, and take from the time which the teachers should have for direct instruction to their classes. The addresses and prayers too, are often made by strangers visiting the school, and are but poorly adapted to the capacities of the scholars, or the peculiar wants of a Sabbath school. The prayers and remarks addressed to the school should (we think) be simple, direct and brief-such as the pupils can understand, and uttered in such a distinct tone that they will be likely to remember them. And we cannot but think that, as a general rule, a few remarks or questions upon the lesson for the day, by the superintendent, pastor, or a capable teacher, is much preferable to an address from some stranger happening to step in, which may be good enough, but will often prove to be dull, tedious, or inappropriate to the occasion. For want of attention to these things, scholars and teachers often become wearied with the exercises, and imbibe a dislike to them; and the solemnity and good order of the school is destroyed.