Page images

Mr. J. Yes, I suppose it would; but then you can't expect a congregation are going to be at all that trouble.

Dea. O. It is no harder for a congregation, than it is for an individual. I know of some who do so, and they find it easy, and receive great delight and profit to their souls.

Mr. J. Why, if each one were to do all that, it would be doing about all the work. They might as well make the sermon and done with it. We pay the minister for doing that.

Dea. O. I think if every one were to do what I have mentioned, there would be still enough left for the minister to do, and for the Lord to do. But let us consider what your doctrine would lead to. You pay a man for preaching; if he preaches with power enough to keep the people, without any effort on their part, from sleeping in church, very well. If not, they are not to blame for sleeping. If he does not preach so as to force them to attend and to practice what he preaches, they are not to blame for neglecting these duties.

Mr. J. I would not say that exactly, but I think a minister ought to preach in an interesting way.

Dea. O. Very good; but then the power of a preacher to interest us, depends in a great measure upon ourselves. It is not enough for us to come within the sound of his voice, and throw ourselves down in our seats, and say, “ Here we are, move us if you can.” I believe we are as much bound to prepare for the sermon, and listen to it, as the minister is bound to prepare, or deliver it. If we can throw all the responsibility on the minister, if all or the most important duties can be done by proxy, we had better turn Romanists at once, and depend on the priest. My brother, I am afraid, nay I am sure you have mistaken views on this subject. We have duties in respect to the ordinances of the sanctuary, just as important as those


Ask, and it shall be given."


of the minister. It is his duty to preach the gospel. It is our duty to hear it, but hearing means something more than placing the ear within the reach of his voice. We are to go with the hearing ear, and this can be had only by previous reflection and prayer. We are to fix our attention upon the Word, and praying for grace to do so, and striving to keep away slumber and distracting thoughts. We are to notice each truth that is uttered. If it is one which we knew before, we are to pray that it may be blessed to our sanctification. If it is a new one, we are to thank God for it, and offer the same prayer respecting it. If a new duty is presented, we are to bless God for it, and pray for strength to perform it. We are to turn every sentence into a prayer, or connect prayer with every sentence. Now if this be done, there is no gospel sermon that will not be heard with interest and profit.

J. A.


'Tis meant for all, the humblest child

May claim this boon of heaven, And to each worshiper 'tis said,

Ask, and it shall be given."
Alone with God, where seraphs bow,

I too may find a place,
And by the eye of faith may see

My Saviour face to face.
But what petition shall I bring,

As now I bend the knee?
The burden of my evening prayer,

Father, what may it be?
When thoughts arise of earthly joys,

My lips refuse to speak ; Since broken cisterns these but prove,

A higher good I seek.

One precious charge, oh God, I have,

On thee I cast my care ;
I bear a teacher's sacred trust,

Oh, hear a teacher's prayer.
Submissive help me to resign

Life's blessings as they pass,
Enough to know that thou wilt own,

And bless my Sabbath class.
Are they not near thy kingdom, Lord,

And hear they not the voice
Of him who died their souls to save,

Demanding now their choice ?
Oh, may it be that better part,

That priceless gift of heaven,
The heart redeemed and sanctified,

The sins of life forgiven.
Impress us with this solemn truth,

That soon we all must meet,
Teacher and pupils then to stand

Before the judgment seat.
And when the scenes of earth are past,

Grant us a home in heaven ;
The promise of our God, we plead,

Ask, and it shall be given.". Charlestown, October, 1846.



We have been informed,-says the editor of the New York S. S. Advocate, -of the case of a lovely and prosperous Sabbath school that has been broken up by dissensions among the teachers. They could not agree when to meet, whether in the morning or afternoon, and neither party being willing to yield to the views of the other, the school was abandoned. What a sad spectacle is here ! How does Satan rejoice in such a scene, giving him, as it 1846.]

Want of Punctuality.


does, occasion to "plunder Zion's nursery !” God will hold those teachers responsible for the ruin of souls through their unchristian strife.

Both parties are to blame. Both ought to have yielded, or to have compromised their difference. What an easy method this would have been of preventing difficulty.

Union is power, and without union in a Sabbath school there is no power for good. Let all teachers follow peace and pursue it, in meekness preferring others before themselves. Above all things, avoid the formation of parties, and the indulgence of party spirit in a Sabbath school. Divisions will ruin any cause, but especially the cause of religion. Wo be unto him by whom the offence cometh !


"O dear,” said a superintendent of a Sabbath school, as he was one Sabbath morning standing in the church where the school was held; “I am almost discouraged. I really don't know what course to pursue.”

No wonder that the superintendent was discouraged. It was ten minutes after the stated time for commencing the school, and not one quarter part of the scholars had yet assembled. A few were seen scattered about in different parts of the building, but the number was very small. Even the teachers, with the exception of two or three, had not yet made their appearance, and for the next ten or fifteen minutes, there was a constant sound of feet treading the aisles, and of the opening and shutting of pew-doors; and even after the superintendent had waited a most unreasonable length of time for the members to assemble, and the scene to become quiet, an occasional lagger would intrude. One or two entered while a member was engaged in prayer, and several arrived afterwards.

As the school was in the church, and must of necessity close when the time came for the congregation to assemble for public worship, the session was extremely short. It could not have exceeded half an hour.

Aside from the evil occasioned by this loss of half an hour, (it was the loss of a full half hour, because if the teachers and pupils had been punctual, the school would have remained an entire hour in session,) there were others of a serious character, produced by the confusion and disorder of the scene.

The deportment of the scholars was much less unexceptionable than it would otherwise have been. When they came into the school, some of the teachers were absent, and they would begin to talk to each other, and they would loll about in the pews, and once or twice, one boy, who sat near the pew where I was, came near laughing aloud.

The children lost their interest in their lessons by waiting so long to recite them. They seemed to become languid and spiritless, and to be indifferent about reciting well or otherwise.

The teachers were discouraged. Those who came late found their classes disorderly and inattentive, and those who were punctual were dispirited, and weary with waiting so long

The superintendent, as was shown in the beginning, was anxious and disheartened. He had said a great deal about the importance of punctuality, and he was invariably punctual himself, but neither example nor precept seemed to produce any good effect.-S. S. Treasury.

« PreviousContinue »