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re-create the whole race. They must be diligent in their day and generation, believing in success, and sure that nothing which God had said would fail ; lifting up their hearts in prayer, in the assurance that though delayed long the answer would come at last—that the prayer taught by their Master 1800 years ago, which they had been offering up year after year since that time, and which had not been fulfilled yet, should at last be accomplished" Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven."
christians in Barmah. Taking all these facts, with the present state of the world, and remembering that a hundred years ago the gospel was not preached in one of those places, they had reason to thank God and take courage. Talk of the slow progress of the gospel—they had been watching great changes in this country. A hundred years ago that General Baptist Association could not have been convened there; and if it could, the chairman would not have been the Mayor of Leicester. At that time the dissenters had figuratively to fight for existence they had to defend their right to live in that old England of theirs. The grandfathers, a hundred years ago, never dreamt of the Universities being opened to them, and never dreamt that their grandchildren would read in the papers that very day that the previous night a hundred members of the House of Commons voted in favour of relieving bishops from work in the House of Lords. They never dreamt that in these days the Jews, Roman Catholics, and above all Nonconformists, would be admitted to the House of Commons and to the mayoralty of large towns. The Test and Corporations Act existed in those days in full force, and Dissenters could not keep a school except by stealth, and the social and moral condition of the people was frightful to contemplate. Slavery existed in the British colonies, and English Dissenters had not then discovered that slavery was a sin; more than half, probably two-thirds of the people of this country could not read; there was not a Sunday school in the land--of hospitals and infirmaries there were few—and vice and crime everywhere abounded-profligacy and drunkenness prevailed even in the highest circles in the land—and religion was almost unknown in the pulpits of the Established Church. He urged them to pursue the great work in which they were engaged. They had a divine religion, let them remember that. The Bible that had regenerated one heart could regenerate the world: that Spirit which could re-create one soul could
The Rev. R. CAMERON, of Toronto, a deputation from the Free-Will Baptists of America, seconded the resolution in a few words, expressing a hope that the friendly intercourse between the United States and Great Britain would continue, and his belief that the interchange of sentiment and feeling and visiting each other would tend to bind together the Anglo-Saxon race.
The resolution was then put to the meeting and carried unanimously.
The Rev. H. CRASSWELLER, of Derby, moved a vote of thanks to the Chairman, which was seconded by the Rev. W. Hill, of Barton, and carried.
A vote of thanks to the Rev. J. P. Mursell, and the deacons of the Belvoir Street church, for their kindness in granting the use of their chapel for the meeting, finished the business, and the day's proceedings were brought to a close with singing and the benediction.
MISSIONARY SERVICES. WEST RETFORD.—On Sunday, May 22, two sermons on behalf of the Foreign Mission were preached by the Rev. J. Cookson, M.A., of Lincoln. On Monday evening the cause was again advocated by T. Cotton, Esq., chairman; Revs. G. Hester, of Sheffield; E. Dixon, Wesleyan minister, Retford; T. Mee, pastor, and W. Bradshaw, Esq. Collections and subscriptions, £9 3s. 11d.
Subscriptions and Donations in aid of the General Baptist Missionary Society will be thankfully received by T. Hill, Esq., Baker Street, Nottingham, Treasurer; and by the Rev. J. C. PIKE and the Rev. H. WILKINSON, Secretaries, Leicester, from whom also Missionary Boxes, Collecting Books, and Cards may be obtained.
GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOLS OF THE FUTURE.*
Few subjects are of greater impor- cultivation of the spiritual life of tance at the present moment, or the children. should engross more of the attention But light breaks in upon us. We of Christian men than the Sunday are beginning to understand our Schools of the Future. Great as the wants ; and what is better, there is good is which has been accomplished much hope that our hearts and hands by our united and prolonged efforts, will soon be free for our specific work. it is readily confessed that the best The horizon of national life is bright days of Sunday schools have yet to with promise ; for I hold that the come. Our organizations need to be present agitation of the educational perfected in their several depart- | question cannot subside till we have ments. Our machinery waits to be reached a just and satisfactory conapplied to all the different classes of clusion. Different theories are in the community. Much of the teach- fierce conflict, and difficulties are ing power of the church remains sufficiently numerous to tell us the unemployed, and what we have at end is not yet. However it requires work requires to be raised to a higher no prophet's eye to see what that degree of efficiency. The link be- end will be when it does come. tween the church and the school is Religion and arithmetic must be still missing, or so loosely formed severed. Catechisms and ciphering that it rarely unites together the cannot be joined together in a system various works of each with such of national education. Government thorough completeness as to secure may teach children to read, reckon, the highest success. The special and and write, as it may teach the soldier exclusive occupation of the church to use a rifle, and the policeman to in the Sunday school is not every- keep to his beat, but it has no more where understood ; and even where right to instruct the young in formuit is, the necessity for elementary laries of faith than it has to endow education is so strong that time and Mormonism in the army, or Mohampains have to be given to that which medanism in the navy. In that ought to be wholly devoted to the final settlement of the mode and.
* Paper read at the Sunday School Conference of the Centenary Association, June 22, 1870. VOL. LXXII.-NEW SERIES, No. 8.
conditions under which
child Him who has promised to give liberof the nation shall receive an ele- ally and upbraid not. mentary education, it seems certain we shall have a further application
I. THE CHILDREN'S CHURCH. of that principle of total separation One of the most manifestly needed between the administration of politics changes in the present condition of and the teaching of dogmatic reli- our Sunday schools is to organize gion, which is gaining such emphatic within them, or within the churches approval_throughout the civilized to which they belong, an apparatus world. Eternal justice demands it, of means which shall more effectively and with such energy and decision lead the children to Christ, increase that it will avail nothing in the long their attachment to His person, and run to resist.
perfectly develop their love for His This solution of the educational service. It is certain this is not question will place the church of the
on any extensive scale. Lord Jesus Christ in a new position, The cry is still heard, and not withdevolve upon the members thereof
“ where are our senior fresh responsibilities, and inaugurate scholars." The number of those a new era in the development of the who unite with the church still bears practical Christian life of these a mournfully small proportion to realms : and therefore we are bound those that pass through our doors. to ask how shall we prepare our- The offspring of the most pious selves to discharge our responsibili- parents do not give the evidence we ties, and by what means shall we desire that they are taught of the utilize to the utmost extent the Sun- Lord. We need a remedy for this ; day schools of the present, so that and I have long believed that it is they may be ready for the needs of in our hands if we have but faith the future.
and courage enough to try it. There The character of those needs will are immense resources of power in be determined largely by the circum- our Sunday schools for the converstance that the work of the Sunday sion of children, and for guiding school will be henceforth mainly, and guarding and perfecting their yea, may I not say exclusively, spiritual life. But what we want is spiritual. We shall not teach read- appropriate system. We have it for ing and writing. This will be done adults in the church proper, for for us, and our valuable time will young men in mutual improvement not be occupied with such prelimi- societies and Christian associations,
We shall have to lead for young women in Bible classes, the children into a loving and trust- and with reference to the cultivation ful regard for Christ Jesus, to a felt of one virtue by children, we have sympathy with His spirit, and a an admirable arrangement in our practical acceptance of His teaching Bands of Hope; and now it remains and rule, so that by Him who is the for us forthwith to complete the way, the truth, and the life, they series by adding the Sunday School may come to the Father. This will Church, where believing children be our goal, and our only goal, and may come together, be under prowe may not rest until we reach it.
per superintendence, and receive We see it definitely and distinctly appropriate teaching and aid, so before us, and we must make our
that from their earliest years they way towards it with all the direct
may grow in grace and in the ness, wisdom, and energy of those knowledge of our Lord and Saviour who feel that though their work is Jesus Christ. This Children's great, it is enjoined upon them by ' Church,” as we may call it in the
The Sunday Schools of the Future.
227 absence of a more convenient desig- of use have their senses exercised to nation, would hold to the whole discern both good and evil, ought to Sunday school relations similar to leave the “ first principles of the those sustained by the church or- doctrine of Christ.” The piety of a dinarily so called to the common child is not that of an adult. One and miscellaneous congregation, and is the blossom, bright, beautiful, whilst not in any way interfering and fragrant; the other is the luswith that adult community, would cious and well ripened fruit. Here form, in many cases, an introduction is the green blade of grass just to its society, and a training field for breaking through the soil, there it the duties of maturer Christian life. is long and ready for the mowers’
Such an organization is one of the scythe. This is the simplicity and most urgent necessities of our school playfulness of childhood; that the life, and ought to be provided im- severity and caution born of a long mediately. Common principles of experience of the world. They every day experience strongly com- dwell in different atmospheres, feel mend it. No objection that we can differently, hope differently, love and imagine bears examination. It is pray differently, and therefore of vain to leave things as they are and necessity require a treatment specially tell us the church as it is should do adapted to the conditions and aims it. We have been told that quite of each. Proper placing has much long enough. The true worker seeks to do with the growth and usefulout fitting tools, and owes as much ness of men; how greatly it affects to his good tools as to his tact and that of children it is impossible to energy. Galileo, Newton, and Her- conceive! The best seed in bad soil schel, can do little for astronomical will not yield a good harvest, and science without the telescope. Steam the strongest frame will not remain does not become our servant before for ever proof against poisoned air. the engine is invented. Light does Good and able men misplaced often not paint for us till we provide the work in vain, and a child's destiny camera and appropriate chemicals. may be predicted with a painful The winds blow in vain for the ship accuracy from a knowledge of where that has lost mast, and sails, and its lot is cast in life. Everything in helm. Without the printing press its place; and surely the place for and Bible societies the Church of training the lambs of Christ's flock Christ would often have been at is found when they are carefully serious disadvantage in the modern folded apart and watched over with all crusade against paganism abroad the delicate gentleness and spiritual and ignorance and vice at home. sympathy their susceptible hearts And who shall say how many thou- need. Child culture is not the culsand Phebe Bartletts and Adoniram ture of manhood and womanhood, Judsons have been lost to the church and it is certainly not wise to expect and the world because the fit and the end to be gained in each case by proper agency for drawing out and the adoption of the same means. strengthening the spiritual nature of Hence the separate service that has the young has been lacking? Ap- obtained favour in so many direcpropriateness of food is one of the tions ought now to be extended to an chief conditions of growth. Carrion arrangement by which the youngest for the vulture, grass for the ox, and feeblest spiritual life shall be milk for the child, and strong meat diligently nourished and fully prefor the firm-muscled man. Not pared for all that may be expected
new-born babes," but such as are from it by the church and the world. of "full age” and who "by reason Working with the teachers, the pas
tor of the church, or some compe- healthily on every teacher. The tent person, should gather together long distance between the class and our pious and believing children, the communion table is weakness. register their names, make each feel Diminish it, and you create a new that a personal and individual in- power in the school. The “little terest is taken in them; let them ones” who show a loving trust in have their own meetings conducted Jesus and an eager desire to serve expressly for them, and give them Him, will be encouraged and guided their own work, and then the Sun- at once, and placed under genial and day schools of the land would, in stimulating arrangements, and not larger measure than ever yet rea- turned out upon the world till lized, fulfil the mission assigned maturer years, with no special them by Him who has said to all guardianship whatever save such as who love Him, “ Feed my lambs.” may be extended to them in the
Many advantages would result two or three hours that they meet from wisely carrying out a plan of their teachers on the Sunday. The this kind, one or two of which we sapling will be trained from the first, may mention. Judicious system is and instead of becoming a withered not life, but, as every one knows, and blanched and barren trunk, a life moves more economically and testimony to a wasted past and an powerfully with it than without it. unskilful husbandman, will grow up Civilization, notwithstanding the into a fruitful tree in the garden of many defects that cling to it, is a the Lord. substantial advance upon the bar- Another advantage would be the barism of our ancestors. The family, extension of the area from which the which is the organized unit of society, scholars of our schools are drawn. is better than a wild and reckless Hitherto we have only gained one individualism. Unity is strength. class. . We must have all. The Method is power. Good organiza- church's schools, in concert with the tions prevent collision and waste, homes, should be the religious trainhusband resources, and promote the ing ground of all the children of the highest degree of efficiency. To nation. The wealthy and the welltrust in them as though they were taught shun the Sunday school as all that is needed, and leave them though it retained the pauper obto work of themselves, is absurd ; to jects and features that gave it birth. depreciate them as if inherently In some directions the feeling is not wrong is one of the lowest depths of yet extinct that the teacher, instead unwisdom; but to raise them to of being an ally, is a Jacob supperfection and fill them with the planting the parent, and robbing fullest and richest life, is to “walk him of his spiritual birthright in his worthy of God." Directness of aim, child. But once let it be seen and simplicity of method, and patient felt that the Sunday school renders watching of work would be fostered a service which the day school and in the minds of all engaged in the the family together do not ; that it common tasks of the school if they stimulates devout thoughts, evokes were labouring in view of such an and trains a spirit of reverent and organization as we plead for. The joyful worship of God, cultivates church as it is now is too far off to habits of solicitude for others, and act as an incentive, save as it regards is, in fact, through its “children's those who are standing on the verge church,” a successful pioneer of the of manhood and womanhood. Bring church proper; and then the rich it nearer, let it be close at hand, and and the poor, the well-taught and its influence will be felt acting most the ill-taught, the children of the