Page images

the commands no less
than in the promises

6. If any man will follow me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me.” This is required not as a condition for obtaining an interest, yet as an exercise that necessarily accompanies faith in Christ. The spirit of faith is a spirit of obedience. 1 (As soon as it is infused, the sinner will be seen casting away bis iniquities and coming to Christ, doing wbat he commands and resting in bis promises, animated with zeal to honour bim and a desire to enjoy him. Faith embraces him at once as a Saviour and a Master. In short, it is a hearty acquiescence in the Word, whatever it teaches of Christ, and what. ever it requires for him,-it is a conformity to the will of God, as it is there expressed in Christ, and toward him. The soul does not desire to enjoy Christ otherwise than as he is offered in the Gospel. It is satisfied to have him thus, and approves of the entire dispensation. And it is when the principle of faith is carried out into these exercises upon the Word of God, that its object is clearly seen and fully enjoyed. “To them that believe he is precious.”. He is seen to be the chief among ten thousand, and altogether lovely. He is embraced with gratitude and love, and unfeigned submission. And just as faith is clear and strong, so will these affections abound toward him, For it is “a saving grace, whereby we receive and rest upon

him alone for salvation, as he is offered to us in the Gospel.” -Reader, “ dost thou believe upon the Son of God ?" If not, you are dead in trespasses and sins. “ He that believeth not shall be condemned ; he that hath not the Son of God, hath not life.” Be alarmed for your condition...“ Bebold the Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world.” “Now is the accepted time, now is the day of salvation." Hast thou faith : Cherish it and strengthen it. Learn more and more of Christ, and you will love him more, and serve him better. Be 'not satisfied with low attainments. Grow up into Christ the Head, drinking largely of his Spirit, advancing in conformity to this image, and enjoying the assurance of his love. Pray for increased faith, and remember that the language of the Apostle applies to the progress as well as to the production of the principle. « By grace are you saved through faith, and that not of yourelvcs, it is the gift of Godi"as Eph. ü. 8. 1 písel. Hint Vin Alles Mo 2195cia bas In ! bout-ia od tou lliw 1949691

с. 91, 9 sų

Ikulid 10 guiwilloi 9:T

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

116,228 bris, CV-id 11

SABBATH SCHOOT.S. 11'111'12 iro THE EDITOR OF THE ORTHODOX PRESBYTERIAN. a/My Dear Fellow.TEACHERS, -It is with mingled feelings of diffidence and confidence, that I propose for your consideration the following plan for obviating, if not removing, that almost insurmountable obstacle to the efficiency of your labours of love, viz.,--the teaching of the Alphabet.

Of the necessity, difficulty, and trouble of this part of your labour, I need not say a word to experienced teachers ; you all feel it deeply, and lament it much. The necessity cannot be removed, and the difficulty, though it may, perhaps, be a little modified, will, it is to be doubted, remain nearly the same; consequently, the trouble, irksome as it is, must be undergone. And the question is, by whom? The Sabbath-school teachers, however zealous, from causes well known, recoil almost in despair from the wearisome task. How, then, is it to be accomplished? Can it be done without them ? or rather, can they influence others to do it, to whom it will be not a weary, heavy task, but a pleasing and delightful duty ? w Let us, then, calmly consider, whether or not we have any possible means of bringing persons, able and willing to teach, into daily or hourly contact with those we wish to be taught. Now, if we find that the lower classes in our schools are com. posed, in general, of the younger brothers and sisters of those in the more advanced, we obviously have the means com. pletely in our power,--the machine ready to our hand, requiring only to be worked.

Every child who can read knows the letters, and is able to teach them; and if it be unwilling to teach them to its little brothers and sisters at home, I unhesitatingly affirm, that the fault lies with its teacher, for not yet having brought into action the earliest developed and most tender feelings in that pupil's breast. eis Let the teacher take up some passage of Scriptures, as John 1941-442where." Andrew first findeth his own brother Simon, and sath unto him, We have found the Messias. And he brought him to Jesus.”—And from this shew the children io the class their duty towards their younger brothers and sisters, and I am very much mistaken, indeed, if-the teacher will not be surprised at the sensibility of the chords just touched, particularly if it be a female class.

The following, or similar questions, will, of course, be put

say to

to the class : What did Andrew do when he heard John speak of Jesus ? Whom did he find first? What did he his brother ? To whom did he bring him ? Have you any brothers or sisters ? Here the teacher will take down the names and ages of those mentioned by his pupil. Would you wish to bring them to Jesus? Can they read? Do they know the letters ? Cannot you teach them, and thus prepare your little brothers and sisters for reading this book, and coming to Jesus ? Now, let me know next Sabbath morning how many letters you have taught your little brother William, or sister Jane, during the week. Well, next Sabbath comes, and I venture to assert, and I do it from experience, that the teacher will not have to ask the pupils how the glad task was performed. No, their young hearts will be bursting with delight to tell it, and all will be striving who may get nearest their kind teacher, that they may get their little story first told ! “O, Sir," or“ 0, Ma'am,” will be heard from every little glad heart, all at once. “0, Sir, I shewed William, or James, &c. &c., three of the letters when I came from my work on Monday morning, but be had forgotten them all when I cane home at night. I then shewed them again, and sure when I came home to breakfast, next morning, he had two of them. I then shewed him three more, and told mamma to keep bim in mind of them through the day,” &c. &c., and so on, until the teacber will be obliged to put a stop to this overflow of feel ing and delight; the same time giving all due praise and encouragement to the delighted pupils. And thus the work which, to grown teacher, is tedious and wearisome beyond en. durance, may be performed with alacrity and cheerfulness by the lighter hearts and more giddy beads of their little pupils.

As to the teaching of those who may not be so fortunate as to have elder brothers or sisters at school, a further development of the plan will meet their case also. For, I have no doubt, but that some good child may be found living near, who, by a little management on the part of its teacher, will gladly undertake to shew its little neighbour the letters.

The persuading of the children to the performance of this duty, will, doubtless, be a delightful task to all the teachers; for there you will be quite in your element; implanting Christian principles and enforcing moral precepts. , The appeal is to be made to the most tender and first developed feelings of yoer papil's hearts ; wbilst the degree of success will serve as a very useful test of the efficiency of your own labours.

It is pleasing to feel assured, that the labour of teaching

those preliminaries will be gradually diminishing, that as edu. cation extends, there will be more, and more individuals coming in contact with every child able and willing to teach it the letters, sounds, tables, &c., &c. And thus obstacles, which now lie at the very entrance of knowledge, may be early and imperceptibly removed ; and not only Sabbath-school teach. ers, but teachers in general, be relieved from this irksome part of their labours.


AUGUSTINE'S CONFESSIONS ABRIDGED. No. I. (We propose to publish the Confessions of Angustine, from Milner's Church History,

in a series of articles, knowing few things more practical or profitable for the enlightenment or quickening of the mind.]

T'hou art great, O Lord, and most worthy to be praised; great is thy power, and of thy wisdom there is no end. A man, a portion of thy creation, wishes to praise thee; a man, too, carrying about him his mortality, carrying about him the evidences of his sin, and a testimony, that thou resistest the proud : yet, even such a man wishes to praise thee. Thou excitest him, that he should delight to praise thee. For thou hast made us for thyself, and our heart is restless, till it rest in thee.

Who shall give me to rest in thee? who shall give me, that. thou mayest come into my heart, and inebriate it, that I may forget any own evils, and embrace thee, my only good? What art thou to me? Pity me, that I may speak. What am I to thee, that thou shouldest command me to love thee, and be angry at me, if I do not, and threaten me with the greatest miseries ? Is that itself a small misery, to be destitute of the love of thee ? Alas! alas ! tell me, by thy com. passions, O Lord, my God, what art thou to me? SAY UNTO MY SOUL, I AM THY SALVATION. So speak, that I may hear. Behold! the ears of my beart are before thee, O Lord; open them, and SAY UNTO MY SOUL, I AM THY SALVATION. May I run after this voice, and apprehend thee. HIDE NOT THY PACC FROM ME. May 1 die,* that I may see it, lest I die indeed. The room of my soul is narrow, too narrow for thy entrance. - O! do thou enlarge it. It is ruinous; oh! do thou repair it. • It has what must offend thine eyes, I know and

• Ke seems to wish to undergo any mortification, even the loss of life itself, rather than lose the enjoyment of his God.


must confess. But who shall cleanse it? or to whom shall I cry but to thee? CLEANSE ME FROM MY SECRET FAULTS, AND KEEP ME FROM PRESUMTUOUS SINS. I BELIEVE, AND THEREFORE SPEAK, O Lord, thou knowest. Have not I confessed to thee my sins, and hast not thou pardoned the iniquity of my heart ? : I will not contend in judgment with thee, who art truth itself; for I would not deceive myself, lest my iniquity lie against itself. I will not contend in judgment with thee; for if thou, Lord, should mark iniquities, who cali stand ?*

But, do thou suffer me to speak before thy mercy; me, who am dust and ashes. Suffer me to speak, because I address thy mercy, and not the scornfulness of proud men. Perhaps thou deridest the simplicity of my thoughts, yet wilt thou turn and exercise compassion upon me.

What else would I say, () Lord, my God, than that I know not whence I came hither into this, ---shall I call it mortal life, or vital death? Thy compassionate consolations, however, received me, and thou gavest me the aliment of infancy. Hear me,

O God. Woe to the sins of men! And a man says these things, and thou pitiest bim, because thou hast made him, and madest not sin in bim... Who shall inform nie. of the sin of my infancy?.' for none is clear from sin in thy: sight, not even the infant, whose life is one day. Could it be. a good thing, with tears to beg, what it would be noxious to receive, to express vehement indignation against my elders and betters, if they did not comply with my will, and to endeavour, though with feeble blows, to revenge myself of them? The imbecility of my infant-limbs was innocent, not 50 the spirit of the infant. I have seen and observed an in fant full of envy, who could not yet speak; pale with anger, he looked at his fellow-suckling with bitterness in his countenance. But as I was conceived in iniquity, and my mother nourished me in her womb in sin, where, Lord, where, or when was tu innocent? But I pass by this whole time. For, what can I say of that, no traces of which I recollect?t.

It is obvious to observe, how a mind like Augustine's, altogether resting on grace, and free justification, is freed from the solicl est post

part of ; , those who vation, in any degree, on themselves, are ever tempted to extenuate their sins.

+ The serious reader will not be inclined to pass over, in levity, these striking proofs of the sinful propensity of nature exerting itself, antecedent to the growth of' reasor, or the power of habit,


« PreviousContinue »