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A FEW WORDS TO FEMALE TEACHERS.
We are unknown to each other in the flesh, but by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body; we are made partakers of one holy calling ; we serve one Lord, and one heave will be our peaceful, everlasting home. Such being our unity, let us converse in spirit for a season; and may our communion be with the Father, and with his Son, Jesus Christ. The Sunday school is an unobtrusive sphere of labor, which plainly bespeaks it ours whose adorning should be the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit. Never does the Christian woman appear more in her right place than when, in simplicity, gentleness, and love, she is telling the little ones of Jesus.
Teaching the young is a weighty and solemn work in which we need the wisdom of the serpent, with the harmlessness of the dove. The more we feel its solemnity, and the more tremblingly we enter upon it the better we are fitted for our labor ; only when weak are we strong. We have to deal with deathless realities; each scholar in our classes has an intelligent, sensitive being, which shall be coeval with eternity. Never will the time come when teachers or children shall cease to be. O immortality, thou weight on man's existence ! shall we not be solemn when we think of thee, remembering that thou dost involve an endless life of blessedness, or the death that never dies ? Our children, too, are dying creatures-descendants of a fallen head; partakers of his guilt; the subjects of universal corruption ; death is their fearful heritage. At most, a few short years will end their earthly life. O time, thou short-lived bubble, shall we not be solemn when we think of thee? Let us, my sisters, while time remains, speak faithfully to our charge. We must tell them they are by nature, « dead in trespasses and sins;" we must repeat the truths, “except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish," and "ye must be born again.” Then how sweet it is to tell that “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life;" and that this only begotten Son, Jesus, the sinner's friend, has said, “Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come unto me." Such
weapons of our warfare, but they are mighty only “throngh God." The Word without the Spirit affects not the heart. May we ever be looking unto Jesus, desiring that he may send the Comforter to cheer us in our work.
The management of children requires a delicate discrimination ; a word of reproof will almost break some little hearts, calling up the rising blush, and the starting tear; others need to be sharply admonished. Some are so lethargic that it is with difficulty you rouse them to feel interest; while others are so constantly active that unless you watchfully give a direction to their energies, they are sure to employ themselves in mischief. Innumerable other shades of character come before us, and ever-varying circumstances will arise requiring much discretion. And shall we trust in our own fancied wisdom? It is written, “ Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.” Let us look to the Lord of Hosts, who will be a spirit of judgment to him that sitteth in judgment."
I know not how it is with others, but I find, when reflecting on a day's teaching, so much that has been faulty that I am cast down. My only means of comfort is this just to bring my imperfections all to the feet of Jesus, asking that he will pardon, and in condescending compassion prevent their doing harm. May we enjoy fellowship with him as our elder brother ; he sympathises with us, and is so gracious that we may bring the minutest matters to his mercy-seat.
How are we distinguished by sovereign grace in being drawn from the vanities of time to the cross of Christ. We know not fully the debt we owe, but we can each say with McCheyne,
" When I stand before the throne
Dressed in beauty not my own,
Not till then-how much I owe."
There are many rewards to cheer us. It is worth laboring for the affection of our scholars ; the love of the poorest child is far more precious than gold. Using our talents in the Master's service, we find them increased; and while we work on," looking unto Jesus," fresh strength continually descends from him, and we are witnesses of the truth that “the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth fainteth not, neither is weary.” It is in active service, too, as the result of a chastened, sober zeal, that the evidences of our calling and election shine brightest. What so truly proves us disciples of Jesus, and heirs of glory, as our following him in humility, meekness, and active love? We are never so happy as when we seek our blessedness in serving him whose blood and obedience redeemed us. The Lord's people are “ zealous of good works.”
" Faith in God, if such be thine,
Shall be found thy safest sign;
Prove the best of tokens still.” While teaching others let us seek to know and enjoy our own acceptance in the Beloved. Sometimes we feel Christ very near, saying to us, “ if any man serve me, him will my Father honor ;” and shall we not prize the honor that cometh from God?
Let us not be weary, sisters, our life here is a working day, eternity will be our Sabbath.
“Go labor on ! spend and be spent,
Thy joy to do thy Father's will;
Shall not the servant follow still ?
All earthly loss is heavenly gain!
And let us not forget to seek, to look, to pray for present success. That word which endureth for ever, declares, “ Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." May the Holy Spirit lead us to plead with God that he will display his power and love among our little
A Tract, published by that distinguished servant of God already referred to, Robert Murray McCheyne, entitled, " Another Lily Gathered," is, I doubt not, known to many. It beautifully exemplifies how grace sometimes shines in children, and is calculated to edify and cheer the Sunday school teacher. May we each be blessed with the Spirit of grace and supplication ; be kept from the follies of our own hearts; be clothed with humility ; be made more apt to teach ; and may each, feeling that she is nothing, say, “I will glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” That we may meet in heaven those whom we have taught on earth is the earnest desire of
Yours affectionately in Jesus,
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHERS' WORK AND REWARD.
1st. The work. True, it is arduous. What is its aim ? (The answer shows us the responsibility of those who are engaged in it.) To lead the children of our charge to the Saviour. Then, as our work is so important, we must ever realize that we are labourers—that we have a work to perform, the results of which will only be known fully when we meet the assembled universe before the great white throne. We must make our Sabbath engagements the subject of our week day meditations.
We must seek earnestly the Holy Spirit's influence, that ere we try to teach others we ourselves may be taught of God. Oh! if all Sunday school teachers would be earnest-would water the seed sown on the Sabbath with their week day prayers, how much more glorious results would follow our teaching; and how often should we have cause to exclaim, “truly the Lord is working amongst us."
In what spirit must we engage in this important work? In a prayerful spirit. To commence the exercises of the class with prayer, has been found by many, (myself among the number,) to have an extremely good effect upon the children ; it solemnizes their minds, and makes some at least of them feel, that as they have asked God to be in the midst of them, and to bless them, they must not sin, for he is nigh. A spirit of love must pervade all we do and say; the little ones must feel that we love them; and, constrained by that love, are seeking to lead them to him who carries the lambs in his bosom; except they feel that we are really interested in their welfare, they will never confide to us their hopes and fears, their joys and sorrows. A cold half-hearted Sunday school teacher is, indeed, a sad sight. May we, my dear fellow workers, when he, the Great Master, says to us, as he said to Peter, “Lovest thou 'me ?” be ever ready to answer, “Lord, thou knowest that we love thee;" and evince the sincerity of our reply, by heartily loving, and diligently feeding his lambs. And all that we do, must be done in a spirit of entire dependence upon God, believing that if we sow and water, he will give the increase.
2nd The reward. 66 What !" methinks I hear some humble teacher exclaim, “may I indulge the hope that my poor labours will be rewarded ?" yes ! my sister, my brother; he who has bid us work in his vineyard, has not bid us labour in vain. Even in the work itself we find reward. Who has not felt that their labours have been fully repaid when the little ones have been attentive ? And which of us has not felt our hearts glow with pleasure, when on asking the question, will you try and remember what I have told you, some thoughtfnl young one whispers, “teacher, I will !" And then, my dear friends, since the result of our labours can never be fully known on earth, think of the time when we shall be amongst the multitude out of every nation, kingdom, tongue, and people. How sweet to meet one and another of those who have been brought to heaven through our instrumentality. Will not this be an exceeding great reward ? Every faithful Sunday school teacher has abundant reason to hope that his will not be a starless coronet. Seeing then, my dear friends, that the work in which we are engaged is so important, our Master so kind, and our reward so great, let us work earnestly, diligently, and patiently, that at last our Lord may say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” Will not this fully compensate for all our toils and anxiety? Halesworth.
A SUNDAY SCHOOL TEACHER.
NURSERY EDUCATION. SPORT that is innocent, fun and frolic that are not degrading or demoralizing, are nursery problems. Children will have fun—it is natural, and it
“ Delight and libertythe simple creed
Of childhood, whether busy or at rest.” We are willing to confess far less apprehension of the effect of too much frolic upon children—if it be only hearty and wholesome-than of the effect of a gravity and stateliness which are unnatural, and must consequently be forced or stimulated. If a man is to be natural, genial, unaffected, honest in bearing and thought; if it is important to keep the heart young, so that no hard worldly experience can petrify its springs; if such a capacity is worth anything in a world with few enough green spots, as the gentle poet had, who sang in a measure which will be always sweet and new :
“My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
Or let me die-;"
“ The child is father to the man." and that if we
" Would have our years to be
Bound each to each in natural piety,” we must give nature scope, and let the infant glide into childhood, into youth, into maturity, by channels unforced and inartificial.-N. Y. Chron.
THE SUNDAY SCHOOL.
From " Sunday at Home."
THE people of our Christian land
The man of toil has many a care,
Some men of toil, though husbands, sires,
Then more the need that there should be
'Tis pleasant on a sabbath morn,