« PreviousContinue »
ner, more than those aged mothers in Israel? If they could deny themselves for the sake of their Sabbath school, who could not? Thus “ young men and maidens, old men and children,” were induced to number themselves with those Sabbath scholars, and class after class was formed, of adults as well as children, who desired to be fed with the bread of life.
It is but a little while since good “grandma'am L.” was laid in the grave. Arrived at the great age of more than ninety, she still exemplified in her life, the fruits of the gospel of Christ.
All was peace and love. Her lise had been one of consistent, humble, active piety. She had ever considered it more blessed to give than to receive; and though prompt to meet the calls of each of the many benevolent objects of the day, none met with a more welcome reception than the claims of the Sabbath school.
It was on one of her last visits to that time-worn sanctuary, that an agent portrayed the moral destitution of the West, and the importance of planting Sabbath schools there. The pastor proposed that a collection be taken up on the spot, to aid in establishing them; and that any who were not prepared to give then, might send in their money, to the house of the pastor, before the agent should leave, on the following morning. The good old lady had paid the closest attention to the narrative, and as the hat was about being passed to receive the contribution, she tottered along with her cane, to the parsonage pew, and whispered in her own simple, affectionate way, in the ear of Mrs. F., “Do, dear honey, give that man a dollar for me, and I'll pay you again.”
As she lay upon the bed of death, and her friends were about sending for her pastor, whose visits, she said, had given her such foretastes of heaven, in many an hour of anguish“ Don't send for him," she begged; “you know how I love the good man, but I'm afraid he will pray that I may get well again, and I want to go. I try to be patient, and wait the Lord's time, but I have waited so LONG."
The Old Ladies' Class.
Precious Christian! She had lived through many changes, and many trials ; but the grace of God had always been sufficient for her. She had lived to see her great grand children take their places in the Sabbath school she loved. The aged partner of her life had but a little preceded her, to welcome her to the abodes of the blest, and like Simeon of old, she seemed to be saying, “Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word, for mine eyes have seen thy salvation.” Her wish was granted. Her pastor saw her ; but he prayed that God would smooth her pathway to the tomb, and grant her an abundant entrance into that rest reserved for his people, a joyful union with Christ and departed friends, and that her mantle might fall upon those she left on earth. She died,
" So fades a summer cloud away
So sinks the gale when storms are o'er-
So dies a wave along the shore.
Fanned by some guardian angel's wing :
And where, oh death, where is thy sting!” So gently did her soul leave the worn out tenement of clay it had so long inhabited.
That congregation now worships in a more modern house, and the present parsonage pew is still occupied by a Sabbath school class. The same teacher, too, is there. One after another of her former class have dropped into the grave, but others take their places. Instead of the mothers, are the daughters, and still it is a class of hoary heads. The same low, sweet voice, though a little more feeble, rehearses to them the precious promises of Christ, and as they gather about her, and repeat the words as they are uttered, one and another is heard exclaiming, “Oh what a promise !” “What sweet promises !” They seemed to be learning still more and treasuring up what they long ago began to learn, of “the breadth, and length, the depth, and height of the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that they might be filled with all the fullness of God.”
A SHORT SERMON TO FAITHFUL TEACHERS.
PY REV. B. STOW.
. Let us not be weary in well-doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. -Gal. 6: 9.
Cicero, the greatest of Roman orators, has said that the introduction to a discourse should always be so framed as to conciliate the good will of the hearers. Perhaps I shall best conciliate yours by omitting all introduction, and coming, as you do, when surrounded by your classes, directly to the main subject.
I. You are engaged in well-doing.
The service which you render, includes the three elements that are essential to every good work : 1. A good end—the glory of God;
A good rule—the word of God;
A good motive—the love of God. You are doing well for yourselves; for you are advancing your own acquaintance with divine truth, and accumulating stores of precious knowledge which gold cannot buy. From this treasure you may lavishly impart, and yet never reduce the quantity. You may give away the whole, and yet retain the whole. You are doing well for children, for you are coöperating with other agencies in training them for usefulness and respectability in this life, and happiness and glory in the world to come. You are doing well for parents, by aiding those who are faithful, and by doing what the unfaithful neglect, in the religious education of their offspring. You are doing well for the community, whose best interests are promo
A Short Sermon to Faithful Teachers.
ted by your labors. You are doing well for the church, whose ministry and membership are to be enriched by the products of your fidelity. You are doing well for your Mas. ter, whose crown is to be set with many a jewel, polished under your own hand.
II. In this work you are liable to become weary and faint.
It is preëminently a work of faith. You see not immediately-perhaps never, in the present life, the results of your labors. You are sowing seed which may be destined to “ lie buried long in dust,” and of which the fruit shall be garnered by the next generation of laborers. To persevere in duty, upon such conditions, is not always an easy service. Unless your faith be strong, you will become weary in well-doing.
Many discouragements attend your work. Your pupils are often listless, and indifferent, and even refractory. They sometimes manifest a maturity of depravedness quite in advance of their years. Parents frequently treat your tender solicitude and self-denying efforts for the good of their children with cold ingratitude. Churches and their pastors do not always exhibit an interest in the affairs of the Sabbath school commensurate with their importance. You are left to toil alone, unsustained by the sympathies and prayers of your Christian brethren. Under such circumstances, you are liable to become weary and disheartened.
III. You have strong encouragements to persevere.
Assurances from the great Promiser, of the most satisfactory kind, are found jewelling almost every page of his inspired Word. The text itself contains two.
If you become not weary in well-doing ; if you faint not, but prosecute your work with fidelity, you shall, sooner or later, gather a harvest from the seed sown. The word of the Faithful One who is to be your final Judge, is pledged that you shall in no wise lose your reward. Having sown to the Spirit, you shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. Having sown in tears, you shall reap in joy. Having
You shall reap.
persevered in well-doing, the Saviour will say to you,“Welldone, thou good and faithful servant; enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
All this shall be in due season. As in the natural, so in the spiritual world, God has arranged the periods of seedtime and of harvest. The one is the antecedent, the other is the consequent. Between the two there may be a wide interval ; but they are connected by indissoluble relations. Bread cast upon the waters shall be found, though after many days. God's time, both for labor, and for rewarding labor, is always the best. Though the promised blessing may be delayed, yet the postponement is always for good reasons. Every thing will be in due season. Be patient, then, and while you do good, trust in the Lord.
Fulfil the specified conditions of appointed moral ends, and you may confidently anticipate the final accomplishment of those ends.-S. S. Treasury.
RELIGION A MATTER OF CALCULATION.
(CONCLUDED FROM PAGE 61.)
In further pursuing this matter of calculation, I was led to look at the conduct of the righteous and the wicked. There was Abraham, leaving country and kindred, looking for a city with foundations. He evidently judged the blessing sought, richer than the good forsaken ; and hence forsook the less for the greater. There was Moses, “ choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he had respect unto the recompense of rewar'.” Tis was the calculation of a wise n an, rot deceived by present appearances, but carefully weighing the whole matter, and securing the greatest good. Look also at Paul-counting himself nothing, his afflictions nothing, life itself as of no value, if he might